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toasted coconut almond slice

1st April 2014


I think I may have stumbled upon a treat that eases the craving for chocolate or something sweet. Almost ‘Cherry Ripe’ (for those Australians amongst you) in flavour.


Toasted almonds & coconut, dates, cranberries, cocoa, cinnamon, coconut butter, coconut oil


That’s it……….all processed together, pressed into a tray & frozen.

This was my second attempt at this recipe. Made the day before I left Stacey’s home in Portugal. Photos captured the day after by Stacey.  Thanks, Stace, they’re beautiful.

Inspired by Savoury Simple’s No-Bake Toasted Coconut Bars. In my first attempt, I followed her quantities, but used almonds instead of the cashews, and added cranberries as well as the dates. I found the coconut oil & butter overpowering, so on this second attempt, I increased the quantities of dates and cranberries, and reduced the amount of coconut butter.  And, for that chocolate flavour (of which I am a little partial), I added cocoa. Of course, you could replace with preferred nuts and dried fruit. Almonds and dried apricots are always a favourite (you may need to add only 1 cup dried apricots).

toasted almond coconut slice

ingredients :

2 cups whole almonds

cup desiccated/shredded coconut

250g dates, pitted & halved (original recipe used 1 cup)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 Tblsp good-quality cocoa

¼ tsp cinnamon powder

tsp rock salt

¼ cup coconut butter (if unable to source, you could try using all coconut oil, only adding ¼ cup first to check consistency)

1 – 2 Tblsp coconut oil (adjust for consistency)

preparation :

Place almonds and coconut on a tray in a pre-heated 180 degree Celsius oven (can use grill only if prefer).  Keep a careful watch as they will burn quickly. Toss as necessary and remove when lightly toasted.

Place all dry ingredients, including the toasted nuts and coconut into a food processor. Pulse until crumb-sized or to preferred texture.

Add coconut butter and coconut oil (1 tab first). Process until well combined.  If dry, add another tablespoon of coconut oil.

Line a brownie/biscuit tin with grease-proof or baking paper, allowing 2 sides to overhang.  Press in the mixture so evenly spread.  Use plastic wrap and the back of a spoon for an even surface.

Freeze tray for at least 20 minutes or until required.  To cut, remove the entire slice with the paper from the tin.  Cut into desired pieces and store in a sealed container in the freezer.


Goodness shared from Donna & beauty captured by Stacey

sunshine in a glass

15th February 2014


When you need to brighten things up even if the weather isn’t.

Beautiful, bright, yellow, warm.

Freshly picked, freshly squeezed orange juice.

fresh orange juice

Just in one glass of orange juice, there is about 125 mg of vitamin C.

They also contain a high potassium content and a high calcium content.  Oranges are a good source of folate, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids, vitamin B1, potassium, copper and pantothenic acid).

Out of all the citrus fruits, oranges contain the most vitamin A (as beta-carotene), which helps against infections by supporting the immune system and preventing recurrent ear infections.

Oranges are full of soluble fibre which is helpful in lowering cholesterol.  They also contain a flavonoid called hesperidin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties.



helpful sources –

Goodness shared from Stacey

green garden salad hummus

23rd January 2014


I spent the last couple of days transplanting tiny, green, little seedlings of fennel which have self-seeded from the summer blooms; naturally dried, some saved, and some haphazardly sprinkled or wind-carried in all sorts of unusual places throughout the garden. This IS what I LOVE about a garden left to self-seed.  There is always something to be found where you least expect it, or not expect at all.

I love that it makes me get my hands and knees dirty so that I notice all the infinite little beauties all around me.  The wild rocket is popping their heads up everywhere.  I have blankets of small parsley seedlings and more green blankets of coriander seedlings, which make the most delicious addition to green salads.


This hummus goes very nicely with this beetroot salad and served with these sweetcorn and chard pancakes. A perfect light dinner or lunch.

a wintergreen garden salad hummus

Inspired by a vegetable garden.

It is important for the celery and fennel to be very fresh and finely chopped.


1¼ cups dried chickpeas

tsp bicarbonate soda

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ cup tahini

juice of ½ lemon (approximately 2 Tbsp)

salt to taste

½ cup ice cold water

1 cup celery, finely chopped 

1 cup fennel, finely chopped

big handful finely chopped fresh coriander

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill

rind of one lemon

sprinkling spicy paprika powder


1.  Soak the chickpeas overnight with double their volume in water – the next day, drain and rinse.


2.  Place the chickpeas and bicarbonate of soda in a saucepan and generously cover with water, bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface – simmer uncovered until the chickpeas are soft, about 1 – 2 hours depending on the type and freshness of your chickpeas.  You will need to add more water as they simmer.  Once done the chickpeas should be quite soft but not mushy – drain and set aside.

3.  Dry roast the cumin seeds in a small pan, when lightly toasted turn off the heat and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle – set aside.

4.  Transfer the chickpeas to a food processor, run the machine, stopping and scraping down the sides occasionally, until the beans are crumbly.

5.  Pour in the tahini, add the cumin, lemon juice, salt, and blend again until well combined.  With the machine still running, start drizzling in the ice water, so that the hummus starts to become fluffy and aerated.  Depending on the beans you may not use all the water, or you may need more.  Taste and adjust to your own personal taste by adding more tahini, lemon or salt – set aside while preparing the vegetables.

6.  Finely and thinly chop the fennel and few fronds, celery and few leaves, fresh coriander and dill, place in a large shallow bowl and stir in the blended chickpeas.

7.  Combine well, adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or lemon to taste. Glug a good helping of olive oil around the hummus, sprinkle on the lemon rind and hot paprika.  Serve as above or with these crackers, vegetable sticks or in sandwiches.


Goodness shared from Stacey

peanut butter choc energy bites

22nd July 2013


Running on the forest trails is where I go to return to my centre.



Even though I return to the same trails, I always discover something new that brings me back to my core.


A renewed spirit and a cleansing of soul.

And after these soul-cleansing runs, a re-fuelling is much needed.  Something clean, fulfilling and of course, delicious.

These Energy Bites meet all requirements. Added bonuses are no cooking, quick and easy to make.

Many substitutions could be used with this recipe. All you need are some sort of nut/s, nut butter, dried fruit, & chocolate (optional).

Recipe inspired from ‘Gimme Some Oven’ 

peanut butter choc energy bites

Makes about 20 – 25 small balls

1 cup wholegrain oats (or mix of quinoa flakes & oats)

2/3 cup toasted shredded/flaked coconut

1/2 cup 100% peanut butter

1/2 ground flaxseed (linseeds)

1/2 cup dark chocolate. chopped roughly in small bits (optional)

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tab chia seeds

1 tspn vanilla extract

Add all ingredients to a medium-sized bowl and mix until thoroughly combined (you may need to use your hands). Place bowl in fridge for at least half an hour (easier to roll).

When chilled, roll mixture into balls of whatever size you like (I used about a teaspoonful).

Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week (if they last that long)


Goodness shared from Donna

date walnut & oat chunks

14th February 2011

It is easy to follow a whole food, natural diet when high quality foods are available.  Here in Israel, and on my sister’s ‘farm’, the range of choices are too hard to pass up.  So in keeping with that trend, I have been hunting for an immediate after-workout whole food, carb/protein snack to use as a recovery food at the club, before I am able to eat something more substantial.  In the past, I have made the oaty, nutty, puffed rice crisps for a sweet treat, however despite the choice of other high quality ingredients, I am unable to find rice syrup here.  The following recipe is an adaptation and I must admit, a better one.

Rice syrup may be a rarity in Israel, but you can find date syrup, and fresh, fat dates are in abundance. Some still with their branches attached.  Why not use what’s on offer, I say.  Oats, dates, walnuts, coconut, dark chocolate, sesame seeds, unrefined coconut oil (a health food in itself), coconut milk and date syrup all work together to provide a chunk of goodness with surprise little pockets of varying textures.  The dark chocolate gives the ooze (the chopped up bits), the walnuts provide the crunch, the oats and coconut are the grainy bits and the dates give the chew factor.

I made chunks of mixture, but you could just as easily make these into flat biscuits for more of a crisp factor, which my sister prefers and requested.  And, as you can imagine, as I am a guest here for a few months, it is best to appease the kitchen master.  However, much to Stacey’s disappointment, they did not maintain their crispness the next day.  In saying that, she also wants me to warn you that these ‘chunks’ are of the moist type, so if you are expecting a biscuit-like crunch, these are definitely not for you.  I, on the other hand, love the texture.  Oh, and the raw mixture tasted just as good as the baked…..most of it did make it onto the tray and into the oven.  For my first experiment, I halved the following quantities, which made approx. 16.  My second experiment (which is the one below), I added coconut milk to replace some of the date syrup (the 1st version was coyingly sweet), and I made the whole batch, which was approximately 30 chunks.

date walnut & oat chunks

If Date Syrup (silan) is unavailable, substitute rice syrup. Try and hunt it down though, as the flavour is very good.

Makes approx. 30 small-sized chunks

ingredients :

2 cups oats

1 cup chopped dates

½ cup dried coconut

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

2 tab sesame seeds

¼ tsp fine sea salt (optional – I like the hint of the salt)

1 tsp baking powder

50g dark chocolate (half shaved/grated & remainder roughly chopped) – can add more if wish

3 tab. coconut oil (pure, unrefined – available from health food stores)

½ cup date syrup (silan)

¼ cup coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

preparation :

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Line a flat baking tray/biscuit tray with baking paper.

Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix well to ensure dates and nuts are well coated.  Heat coconut oil until becomes liquid, remove from heat and whisk in date syrup, coconut milk and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients, mixing in well.  Use hands to combine all the ingredients well.

Using a dessertspoon to gauge size and pick up mixture, form balls/chunks and place on tray.  Bake in oven for 8 – 10 minutes until brown.  Remove from oven and leave on tray to cool.  Don’t worry if chunks appear soft, as they will harden up as they cool.

Goodness shared from Donna

chocolate-like biscotti biscuits

17th September 2010

Another recipe from my sweet Anna.  These she made one evening when we were just back from our holiday.  They came from an old Swedish cookbook she has on her shelf.  We had them alongside a bowl of vanilla ice-cream with spoonfuls of fresh passionfruit.  Delicious, comforting, with a warm earthiness.  I love handling the dough with my hands, rolling and pressing it out in a childlike manner.  I especially love the aroma that fills the whole house, giving it a loved and lived-in feel.

I have made these twice, and cannot seem to get them as crunchy as that night as Anna’s place.  She did mention that there is a delicate balance of taking them out perfectly done, or leaving them in that extra minute, only to come out a little bit too well done.  I have managed to do neither and under-baking them.  But I will persist, and bake them five more minutes longer next time.

Oh, and the children love them!!  I like to eat mine, still warm from the oven, with a cup of tea in hand, in the cosiest corner of my house.



chocolate-like biscotti biscuits

200g butter (room temperature)

200g sugar

1 egg

1 tab vanilla essence

320g all-purpose flour

4 tab cocoa powder

1tspn baking powder

1 beaten egg

Set the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.  Cover a biscuit tray with baking paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.  Set aside.

With your hands combine the butter, sugar, beaten egg and vanilla essence. (because it can be a glorious mess it is good to have everything organised in front of you)

Fold in the flour mixture.  When well mixed, bring together.  Divide the mixture into three or four sections.  Roughly roll out into a log and flatten with your hands to about 1/2 cm  thick.   Do this with the other sections of the dough.  Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle roughly with chopped almonds or coconut or your favourite nuts.  Bake for 12 – 15 mins.  Allow to cool and then cut into biscotti-like slices.

note :  Anna told me the secret to these biscuits is to make them quite thin.  You want the thickness to be about 1/2 cm. 


Goodness shared from Stacey

banana cake

4th July 2010

Ever since, I tried the Rosemary and Olive Oil cake in one of Stacey’s recent posts, I have been searching for other quick, no-fuss cakes.  With Winter well and truly here this week, a pot of home brewed chai tea or freshly brewed coffee with a slice of cake is definitely one of those moments that nourishes the soul.  Well, as long as there is a bit of dark chocolate added.

My new food mission is to ensure that any treats, whether savoury or sweet, that enter my house, must be of all natural ingredients and ones that you would most likely find in your fridge or pantry.  Actually, I read an article recently on wholefood, and the suggestion was if a food item has ingredients that you would not find in your great-grandmother or great-great-grandmother’s pantry (depending on your generation), be wary.  Most bought biscuits have all manner of interesting ingredients that are definitely not natural or have been contorted away from its natural source.  Hydrogenated vegetable oil, vegetable oil (usually a saturated fat or palm oil which is highly refined), flavour and colour additives, are just to name a few.

In Jude Blereau’s Wholefood – 300 Recipes to Restore, Nourish, and Delight, a treasure in Stacey’s recipe collection that has now been added to my own, I discovered this banana cake.  Hand-mixed in one bowl, wet added to dry, cannot get much quicker than that.  Loaded with raisins, dates, walnuts and of course, banana, and a little spice, a comforting and nourishing food this is.  In  the Rosemary and Olive Oil cake, I loved the little pockets of melted and hard chocolate bits that appeared in each slice, so I had to add it to this one.  A personal preference, of course.  It will still measure up as a comfort food without.  And, as an added bonus, this is a no sugar cake (minus the dark chocolate), as the dried fruit provide its sweetness.  In fact, it is probably more a banana bread, than a cake. 

banana cake

Makes 1 loaf

1 cup whole wheat flour (wheat or spelt)

1 cup unbleached plain (all-purpose) flour (wheat or spelt)

2 1/2 tspns baking powder

1 tspn ground cinnamon

1/2 tspn mixed spice

1/2 cup golden raisins (or dark)

1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts

1/2 cup fresh dates (or dried), pitted and roughly chopped

3 very ripe bananas, roughly mashed with a fork

1 – 2 bananas (extra), cut into small bits

5 tab unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup natural yoghurt

1/2 to 3/4 cup milk (dairy or soy)

100g dark chocolate (min. 70%), roughly chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius (350 F).  Lightly grease a 4 cup capacity loaf pan and line the base and sides with baking paper.

Place the whole wheat flour in a bowl and sift in the unbleached flour and baking powder.  Add the cinnamon, mixed spice, raisins, walnuts and dates and mix through so that the fruit is evenly distributed.  Add the mashed bananas and all other ingredients, except the chocolate, and mix gently through. (You may need to add an extra tab. or two of milk, so that the batter moves well over the spoon as you mix it.)  Add 2/3 of the chocolate and mix gently through.

Place into the loaf pan and sprinkle remaining chocolate over the top.  Drag a fork gently across top to cover chocolate bits.   Bake for 50 to 70 minutes, or until golden and cooked in the centre.  Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then turn onto a cake rack.

Goodness shared from Donna

a year’s worth of favourites

9th June 2010

A year today, on the 14 June, we posted our first recipes on Goodness is….  90 posts later and we are still here.

We both wanted to say a little thank you to all who have found our  little patch of goodness is… and are taking time to read it, especially to those of you who have been kind enough to tell us that you have found something inspiring or that encouraged you to enter your kitchen and rediscover the goodness it beholds.  We really appreciate all of you and we are slowly finding our way on our little patch of goodness.  We still hold our breath every time we hit the publish button, and hope and wonder if people are actually out there reading and cooking what we are posting.

It warms our hearts each time we receive a lovely comment from someone in response to our post.  It really makes our day!  I hope we will continue to inspire you, not only in the kitchen, but in your garden and throughout your day in all the seasons of the year.







For our anniversary special, we thought we would revisit our archives and each list some of our favourites.  It was very difficult to select just a few, because when we went searching, we were reminded of some dishes that we must revisit. 

donna’s picks

creamy smashed potatoes


chai tea

wholewheat chocolate brownies

spicy lentil soup

dill and parsley pesto

red lentil hummus


stacey’s picks

gingerbread spice cake

Indian rice pudding

raw granola


roasted infused thyme tomatoes

tofu with a sweet sauce

steamed greens with sesame dressing

Shared Goodness from Donna and Stacey

Aran Goyoaga vegan crumble tart

26th May 2010

I love this crumble tart, it is easy to pull together, no pre-chilling the dough, no rolling and whatever filling you choose, it tastes amazing. The original recipe is gluten-free, however, I prefer the all-purpose flour version. The crust is crispy and crunchy, with the perfect balance of sweetness. Delicious!

base for crumble tart

Slightly altered recipe from Cannelle et Vanille – Aran Goyoaga.

Preparation – 20 mins

Baking – 50 mins

Serves – 10


9-inch tart pan with removable bottom


1 cup/120g all-purpose flour (gluten-free option: replace with 1 cup/140g superfine brown rice flour)

1 cup/100g almond flour

½ cup/100g light brown sugar

1 tsp fine rock salt

10 Tbsp/140g virgin coconut oil, not melted

2 Tbsp ice water

⅓ cup/25g flaked almonds (increase)



1.  In a bowl, toss together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, sugar and salt. Add the coconut oil (solid) and work it into the flour using your fingertips until you have a dough that resembles coarse sand. The dough should clump up but feel slightly dry. Add 2 Tbsp ice water and mix it with your hands until it comes together into a loose dough but feels more like a crumble.

2.  Take approximately two-thirds of the dough (approx 440g) and press it into a 9-inch tart mold, bring it up around the edge. Try not to make the middle too thick. Any leftovers can be returned to the bowl.

3.  Mix the flaked almonds into the remaining dough to make the crumble topping. Refrigerate both the tart crust and the crumble topping while preparing the filling of your choice.

filling options

4.  In a large bowl, toss together the blueberries, halved apricots, orange juice and zest, sugar, tapioca starch, and vanilla. If the filling is very wet, add 1 more tablespoon of tapioca starch.

When adding the filling, pay particular attention to fill the spaces around the rim and around the fruits, leaving some of the pieces of fruit showing.

6.  When ready, bake until the crust is golden and filling is bubbly, 45 – 50 minutes. Allow the tart to cool slightly before slicing.


  • replace apricots and berries with seasonal fruits.
  • Replace the all-purpose flour with rice or buckwheat flour.

summer & winter roasted vegetables

3rd May 2010

I am posting two versions of this and both are my favourites.  Next month, we will be heading into our Summer months here in Israel, and over in Australia where Donna is, it will be the Winter months.  So this recipe covers my homes in both parts of the world.

During our recent colder months, I made the Winter version quite a lot as I had an abundance of fennel and cauliflower in the garden.  It is so quick and so tasty.  It goes great with yoghurt and avocado sauce, lentil dahl, quinoa and a green salad.  Also, this combination is good if cooking for a crowd.  This photo is from our recent Winter, and I will follow with a photo of the Summer roasted vegetables in the Summer season.

winter roasted vegetables – cauliflower, fennel & pumpkin

head of one medium cauliflower, broken into florets

large wedge of pumpkin, or 2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

6 fennel bulbs, cut in half, and then quartered

olive oil

4 – 5 sprigs rosemary

4 -5 sprigs of thyme

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Place the cauliflower, sweet potato and fennel in a deep baking tray.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the rosemary and thyme. Place in the oven and bake until tender. Cover with alfoil for the first 30 mins and then remove. Stir occasionally.

summer roasted vegetables – okra, eggplant & beetroot

8 small potatoes

1 small eggplant

1 red pepper

6 small beetroots

okra (handful)

1 tab fresh ginger, finely chopped

1/2 tspn turmeric

sprinkle of cumin seeds

Steam potatoes and beetroot until just starting to soften.  Cut the eggplant in half lengthways, then quarters, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 20mins.

Place all vegetables in a baking tray with finely chopped fresh ginger, turmeric and a sprinkling of cumin seed.

Bake until brown and the potatoes are crisp.

Serve with a lentil dhal and lightly spiced basmati rice (Heat a little ghee, fry cumin seeds, then a little curry powder.   Add rice, and water and simmer covered until the rice is tender).

Goodness shared from Stacey

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