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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

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

vegan caesar salad dressing

26th May 2010


vegan caesar dressing

makes 1 cup 


⅓ cup raw cashew nuts, soaked for at least 2 hours

⅓ cup filtered warm water + extra if needed

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (can use grated parmesan)

½ tsp tamari

1 tsp Dijon mustard

⅛ tsp turmeric powder (optional, just for colour)

1½ Tbsp liquid sweetener – honey, agave, maple syrup

3 Tbsp olive oil

fine rock salt & freshly ground pepper


1.  Drain the cashews, and place in a blender/food processor with the remaining dressing ingredients – blend on high until you have a smooth mixture.

2. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more lemon or sweetener if needed.  Slowly add extra water until you have a dressing that will pour easily.


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

mung beans with tofu & tomatoes

30th June 2009


This dish was first made by our dear Amin, who was with us for 7 years before she went back to her home country.  She was very inspiring to have in the kitchen as she would invent and whip up a dish in a matter of minutes.  Usually, it was very difficult to obtain recipes from her, as she would always forget to tell you to add an extremely vital ingredient that usually would make or break the recipe.  Thanks, Amin for all your wonderful recipes and taking care of us!

If I am organised in the mornings and already decide what to cook that evening,  I soak the dal or beans during the day to use that evening.  This makes the cooking time much less and make them easier to digest.

mung beans with tofu & tomatoes

Preparation – 40 minutes

Serves 2


½ cup green whole mung beans

3 cups water (add more if needed)

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp ghee

½ cup tofu cubes (1 cm)

1 or 2 Tbsp ghee/oil

3 small roma tomatoes, chopped

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

1 tsp rasam powder

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp salt

freshly ground pepper

1 tsp jaggery

handful of fresh coriander


1.  Wash the mung beans in a saucepan until the water runs clear, drain, add 3 cups water, turmeric and ghee – simmer for 30 minutes or until the beans start to break down and are soft.

prepare the voggarane

2.  In a deep skillet, add ghee, when hot, add the tofu, and allow to brown on all sides.

3.  Add the cumin, ginger and rasam powder – fry for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, simmer on low for 10 minutes with the lid on.

4.  Pour the cooked mung beans into the tomatoes, add lemon juice, salt, a good helping of freshly ground pepper, jaggery, a handful of fresh coriander.

Serve with a green garden salad and rice/quinoa.

Shared goodness from Stacey

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