Category Archives: paleo

Basic Raw Chocolate Recipe

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It does seem to be all about chocolate this weekend. Must be the magnesium I’m craving! Lol! If you’re not sure what I mean read my last post here and it will explain everything! Anyway I’m going to get straight into it. This recipe is a basic raw chocolate recipe I use to make a variety of different truffles and other chocolate goodness. It comes courtesy of the New York Times Bestseller, Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilipo, BS, NC. If you have not checked her out please do. She is a leader in the paleo-sphere! I also use my own recipe, which is nut-free too. You can find it here.

Recipe

Makes 10 chocolates

Ingredients

2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp. almond butter

3 tbsp. coconut butter

2 tbsp. raw cacao powder

1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 tsp. pure maple syrup

Cacao and/or coconut for dusting truffles in

Method

1. Combine all ingredients in a small-medium sized bowl, stirring until forms a smooth paste. It will be quite runny. Add in any of the extra ingredients you may want to use at this stage (see below for suggestions).

2. Place bowl in fridge for 20 minutes or until mixture starts to firm up enough to roll into balls or shape into rounds.

3. Shape chocolate into desired shapes and roll in cacao or coconut and return to fridge.

4. Store in fridge but take out 5 minutes before you eat them to allow them to soften slightly.

Variations

Add  3tbsp. of shredded coconut, 1 tbsp. of goji berries and 1 tbsp. of cacao nibs

Add slivered almonds and fresh raspberries.

Add 2 tsp. of mint extract for an after dinner mint chocolate.

Lemon Chicken Soup

Have you ever had chicken soup when you are feeling sick? If you have, you may well have been on to something. While the idea that chicken soup cures the flu has its roots in folklore, modern research has proven that bone broths do actually help to prevent and cure infectious diseases. This can be attributed to their rich mineral content in the form of easily absorbed electrolytes and the presence of gelatin and cartilage, which both support the body with a range of functions and disease fighting properties. With the added benefit of vitamin c from the lemon, this soup is the perfect remedy for when your feeling sick, tired or rundown but also a great addition to your weekly meals to help boost your immune system and general overall health. Oh and it is super easy and tastes great too!

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Recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients

500 ml home-made chicken stock*

1 egg, whisked

5 leaves of kale, shredded ( keep the stems in but you can remove them by slicing each side of the leaves off)

Handful of shredded chicken meat (optional)

1 lemon, 1/2 juiced and the other cut into wedges

1/2 small handful of parsley, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

1. Heat chicken stock in a medium sized saucepan and bring to simmer. Add kale and bring back to the simmer.

2. Whisk in egg and simmer until egg is cooked through, continuing to whisk so the egg breaks up through the soup.

3. Add chicken (optional), lemon juice and stir to combine. Bring back to a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with parsley.

4. Serve with a wedge of lemon on the side.

Recipe notes

* It is very important to use a real homemade stock for this recipe. This means making one yourself or buying one from a reputable source. Please don’t use one from the supermarket as all the nourishing qualities of a home-made bone broth will be reduced dramatically if not lost all together. If you live in Sydney Australia you can buy great home-made stock from here, which is where I buy mine from when I don’t have time to make it myself.

Want to make it a bit more substantial? Serve with some crusty bread and butter or add a handful of cooked rice to the soup before serving.

Paleo Parfait with Warm Strawberry Compote

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I am on day 1 of the 21 day sugar detox today so it is quite ironic  that I am posting this recipe. However, I didn’t want to keep it from you any longer as it is a delicious dessert! This may be more suitable for the hot months so if you’re in the northern hemisphere this is for you but it is yummy enough to eat now, even if you’re in the rainy, grey and cold Sydney, Australia like me!

I made this dessert a few months ago because  I wanted something sweet that was still full of goodness and vitality. I love a decadent dessert every now and then but I know I often regret it as most desserts are loaded with processed sugar, dairy and/or wheat, which leave me feeling bloated and irritable for a few days afterwards. It is great to be able have a treat that is decadent and delicious but still nourishes your body, which this dessert provides. It is truly heaven on a plate AND it is a 100% clean Paleo treat. No dairy, processed sugar, gluten or grains in this frozen rectangle of deliciousness!

Recipe

Ingredients

For the mousse:

2 medium sized avocados, flesh removed

1/3 cup raw cacao + 3-4 tbsp. extra to taste

5 fresh medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp. natural vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut milk + a little extra if needed.

1 pinch of Celtic sea salt

For the strawberry compote:

1 punnet strawberries

2 tbsp. of water

1 tbsp. of maple syrup

Method

1. Line a metal loaf tin with plastic wrap, using enough to have the plastic hanging over the edges (you will fold these over the top of the mouse latter).

2.Place avocados into a food processor and pulse to puree.

3. Add cacao, dates, vanilla, salt and maple syrup, 1/2 of the coconut milk and pulse on high to combine. Turn it off, taste it and look to see if it needs more coconut milk. Avocado size, your taste and climate all play a part in how much coconut milk is needed. You don’t want it to get too runny or be too thick and dry so use your own judgement if you feel you need more or less of it. You want it to by a light and fluffy mousse like consistency. If it needs more coconut milk, turn on the food processor again and while it is running pour in the remaining coconut milk and any extra if needed. If you like it sweeter adjust the sweetness with extra maple syrup.

4. Pour the mousse into the lined loaf tin and smooth the top down then cover with the excess plastic from the edges to make it an even shape.

5. Place in the freezer for 4 hours or until frozen. Over night is best.

6. Just before serving, place all the ingredients for the strawberries into a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer on low heat. If liquid evaporates add another tbsp. of water. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes until strawberries heated through and you have some syrup at the bottom of the saucepan. Set aside while you prepare the frozen mousse.

7. Take the parfait out of the freezer and turn out of the tin. You may need to pour some warm water on the bottom of the tin to help it come out. Remove the plastic and working quickly slice the frozen mousse into 2 centimetre sized slices. Place one slice per plate and serve topped with strawberry compote and a drizzle of the compote syrup.

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Vegan Lime and Mango Cheeze Cake

This dessert is raw, vegan and paleo as it is based predominantly of nuts with no cheese, processed sugar or dairy in sight. The base is made with a combination of nuts and sweet dates to stick them together while the filling is made from cashew nuts blended to create a beautifully smooth paste that takes on the flavours of lime and coconut perfectly. Diets aside though, this is a truly delicious cake that has been boyfriend and kid approved, so you don’t have to save this for those following a diet. Serve it to anyone and I guarantee they will be impressed.

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Recipe

Ingredients

Base

8 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped

2/3 cup walnuts (Activated* are ideal)

1/3 cup almonds (Activated are ideal)

1/4 cup shredded coconut

pinch celtic sea salt

Filling

3 cups cashews

3/4 cup coconut nectar

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( I used 5 but this will vary according to how juicy they are)

3/4 cup coconut oil

Topping

2 fresh mangoes, flesh removed (you could also use defrosted frozen mango)

lime juice and coconut nectar, to taste

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1 lime, zest finely grated

To serve

1 fresh mango, peeled and flesh thinly sliced

coconut ice cream

Method

1. Grease and line a 25cm round springform cake tin.

2. For the base, place the walnuts, almonds and coconut in the food processor and pulse until resembles the texture of bread crumbs. Add dates and pulse until well combined. Press into the base and place in the freezer while you make the filling.

3. For the filling, wash the food processor and add all the filling ingredients. Pulse at high-speed until smooth and creamy. Pour onto the base layer and spread out evenly. Return to the freezer to set firm enough to pour over the topping.

4. In a blender, blend the mango and add the lime and coconut nectar to taste. You won’t need much so add each in small amounts until you reach the right balance of sweet and tangy. Pour over set filling layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the coconut and lime zest and return to freezer to set for at least 4 hours.

5. To serve, remove from freezer to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Use a sharp hot knife to cut slices of the cake. You can heat the knife by placing it under hot running water. Do this between each slice. Serve with fresh mango slices and small scoop of coconut ice cream.

* Activated nuts have been soaked in water over night to activate the digestive inhibitor and then dried out at a very low temperature to retain their nutrients. For this reason they are considered to be more nutritious and easier to digest. You can find them at all good health food stores.

Recipe adapted from www.taste.com.au

Apricot and Coconut Bliss Balls

This recipe comes straight from the cookbook “wholefood for children” by the amazing wholefood chef Jude Blereau. This is a regular creation in my kitchen so I just had to share it with you. I’ve renamed them because they are absolutely bliss! But the recipe is exactly the same a Jude’s. These bliss balls are best eaten nice and cold and are a great afternoon pick-me-up or a nice addition to a sweets plate for a party. I usually make a combined tasting plate of these with my paleo chocolate cake and sweet ‘chocato’ truffles. The only sugar in these balls of bliss come from the dates and apricots, and the fat from the coconut fills you up and gives you slow released energy too so you don’t get that crash like you would from a processed sweet. Dates and apricots also provide you with a variety of vitamins and minerals and are a good source of fibre all of which you would not get from a candy or a chocolate bar. So if you are going to have a sweet treat try these little balls of bliss!

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Recipe

Ingredients

95 g dried apricots (preferably sulphur-free), roughly chopped

55 g dates, pitted and roughly chopped

185 gr coconut butter* (spread)

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted, if required

25 g desiccated coconut

Method

1. Process the apricots in the food processor until they are finely chopped and beginning to come together.

2. Add the dates and coconut butter and process until combined.

3. Scrape down the sides, if needed and continue to pulse again. If the mixture does not come together, add the coconut oil and pulse again.

4. Roll mixture into small balls and then roll them in the coconut and place on plate.

5. Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.

6. The balls will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

*Coconut butter is the coconut flesh ground into a paste. It is also sometimes called coconut manna. Do not mistake coconut oil for the coconut butter you need for this recipe, as some coconut oils call themselves ‘butter’. You must use the true coconut butter made with the whole flesh in this recipe, otherwise the balls will fall apart. So make sure you check the ingredients that it is made with the whole coconut flesh.

Mayonnaise

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You can put the knife down for this recipe! All you need is a bowl, a whisk and some elbow grease. In fact, Mayonnaise is so simple and easy to make that once you’ve made it yourself you’ll wonder why you ever bought it from a shop. It only has 5 ingredients and if your careful with combining the oil into the egg yolks you’ll have a beautiful creamy mayo in no time at all. It also tastes delicious and of course has the nourishing nutrients filling fats of fresh egg yolks and olive oil and no sugar or preservatives that often come in the jars on supermarket shelves. Spread it in your favourite lettuce wrap or on some sprouted bread with tomato, use it as a dip for some vege-sticks put a dollop with some sweet potato chips or add some extra flavours and serve with some freshly baked fish. The perfect condiment for a healthy wholefood/paleo meal or snack!

RECIPE

Ingredients

2 egg yolks

260 ml olive oil (or you can use grape seed oil which will have a milder taste)

1 – 2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Pinch of celtic sea salt to taste

Method

1. Combine the yolks and oil, using a hand whisk or blender/food processor. You need to take care with this part, so take it slowly to make sure the oil and egg yolk emulsify and do not split.

– To hand whisk:

a) Place egg yolks in a metal or glass bowl and whisk to break up.

b) Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking with the other hand. You will need to stop pouring the olive oil at times to ensure it is incorporated into the egg yolk. Make sure you whisk very fast and thoroughly so as to ensure the yolks and oil emulsify and don’t split.

– To use a blender/food processor:

a) Add yolks to the blender/processor and blend at low-speed.

b) Slowly drizzle in oil and keep blending until smooth and emulsified.

2. Once all oil is incorporated, add mustard, salt and lemon to taste. Whisk to combine and adjust seasoning as needed.

3. Store in refrigerator and use as needed.

Should keep for 10 days in an airtight container.

Variations

Make garlic aioli by adding 2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Make tartare sauce by adding 2 tbsp chopped capers, 2 tbsp chopped baby cornichons, 1 chopped eschallot and 1 clove of garlic, crushed.

Paleo Chocolate Cake

IMG_2633These little cakes are absolutely divine! Being paleo means they are sugar, dairy and grain free so they are also a relatively healthy treat. The ganache` icing is not quite paleo but there is no sugar or dairy added, just what is in the chocolate. The icing compliments the cake so well, I could not use a different one!I cooked this with kids, so it is super simple. They ate it all up too, which means it must also be delicious, as we all know kids can be the toughest and most honest critics. Their parents loved it too making it a winner all round!

You can cut the cake into little baby cakes like I did or if your cooking it for a birthday you might like to keep it as a whole cake.

Recipe adapted from my favourite blogs paleospirit.com and live right be healthy.

Since writing this recipe I have created a vegan and paleo version of the ganache`. You can get the recipe here.

Recipe

Serves 10 small slices.

1/3 cup coconut flour, plus 1-2 tbsp extra if needed

1/4 cup good quality cacao powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp celtic sea salt

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

Butter or oil for greasing cake tin

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup water

1 batch of sweet potato chocolate ganache`

1 punnet of strawberries, thinly sliced into rounds.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl: coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda, salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with electric beater until pale, light and very fluffy. Try to make them as fluffy as possibly as this will create a light and moist cake but keep an eye on them as you don’t want to them either.

4. Add the oil, maple syrup, water and vanilla extract into the egg and continue to whisk until combined.

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5. Gradually pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir in gently to combine with a wooden or metal spoon. The batter should not be too runny but still fluffy and thick. You want it to be a batter that can pour out with the help of a spoon and scraper. If it is too runny add a tablespoon of coconut flour and if it is too thick add some more water, 1 tbsp at a time.

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6. Pour batter into prepared cake tin and spread it out evenly.

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a fan forced oven/20-25 min in a conventional or gas oven or until a skewer come sout clean.

8. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes and then on a wire rack until room temperature.

9. Cover cake with ganache`.

IMG_262010. Cut the edges off each side to make the cake even.

3. Top with strawberries.

4. Cut into small squares or serve as a whole cake with a bowl of creamy coconut ice cream to dollop next to each slice.

5. Enjoy!

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Chilled Chia Power Porridge: Gluten free porridge #1

The other day I was asked on Instagram about my thoughts on gluten-free oats. I actually had never heard of them and still cannot understand how oats can be gluten-free! Coeliac Australia explains that while oats have a different type of gluten that some coeliacs can digest they still contain the gluten protein. So it really does beat me how oats can be gluten-free. I had thought that maybe they were made from different ingredients but the products I found online just state oats as the ingredient. Maybe its how they are grown or processed? Can you can shed some light on this? Anyway, I promised to put up my 2 gluten-free porridge alternatives. so here is the first one!IMG_2513

This chilled chia porridge is the first of my gluten-free porridges. Packed full of omega 3 and high in calcium, iron, vitamin c, fibre and antioxidants chia seeds provide a substantial and nutritious start to the day. This chia porridge is best served cold, making it the perfect spring – summer breakfast. Almond milk or coconut milk can be used, which are both delicious but I prefer coconut milk as it creates a slightly sweeter and creamier porridge.

RECIPE

2 large servings

Ingredients

2/3 cup chia seeds

2 1/2 cup water

270 ml milk of choice (I used coconut) and have 1 cup extra in case it is needed after soaking the chia seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

2 banana, sliced into rounds

1.5 punnet strawberries, sliced into rounds

2-4 table spoons dark Agave or maple syrup plus extra to serve.

Activated almonds to serve

Method

1. Combine water and chia seeds in a medium sized mixing bowl (keeping in mind the mixture will double in size) and soak for 15 minutes. For the first 5 minutes stir every minute or so to prevent lumps.When the chia seeds form a gel like consistency mix them together with the milk and cinnamon and leave in fridge over night.

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2. Take the chia mixture out of the fridge. If it is quite thick mix in 1/2 milk and water until it reaches your desired consistency. Stir in your maple syrup or agave and 1/2 of the strawberries and banana.

3.Divide between 2 bowls. Top with remaining banana and strawberries and the almonds and drizzle with extra agave or maple syrup.

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Topping Variations

Raspberries and dried coconut shavings.

Stewed apple and cinnamon with desiccated coconut.

Fresh mango slices, passionfruit pulp and toasted macadamia.

Figs, banana and maple roasted walnuts.

Delicious Paleo Gluten Free Crackers

These crackers are absolutely delicious! Unlike many gluten free options they do not use rice flour but use almond meal and sesame seeds instead. They are perfect for anyone who is trying to avoid gluten, grains and/or carbs. Be warned though, because they are so yummy, you may need to hide them from your gluten, grain and carb eating friends! Recipe adapted from the cleanse program at Enliven Fitness.
 
                                                                      


Ingredients

140g almond meal
80g sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons of finely chopped herbs
(dill and coriander work well)
Zest of one lemon
1 organic free range egg
1 1/2 tablespoons of  olive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 175 C.
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Combine almond meal, sesame seeds, salt, garlic, herbs and zest in a bowl.
Stir with a spoon to combine.
In a separate bowl whisk egg and olive oil together until combined.
Pour egg mixture into dry mixture and stir to combine.
Kneed together with your hands until forms a ….dough.
If its too dry add more oil/water and if its too wet add more almond meal.
Place dough between 2 sheets of baking paper.
Roll dough with a rolling pin into a large thin rectangle
Cut the dough into small rectangles or squares.
Place on line baking trays and bake for  6 minutes.
Turn each cracker over. and bake for another 6 minutes or until golden.
Remove from oven and cool completely.
Keep fresh in an air tight container for 5 days.

Great accompaniment to a salad or as a snack with some ham, tahini and tomato or a dip, such as guacamole.

Vegan ‘Cream’

There are a range of options for ‘cream’ or frosting in vegan baking. This recipe uses cashews, nut milks and good old agar flakes. It is taken straight from “Vegan Pie in the Sky” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. It is called Rad Whip and it really is rad! It is a bit like cream but yummier and is a great accompaniment to vegan pies and cheese cakes. I piped it onto some of my mango, coconut and lime cheeze cakes but you could also quenelle it on the side or on top for a more fancy dinner party look. I’ve made a few minor changes to the amount of agar agar and coconut oil and the instructions at end of the method. Otherwise it is exactly the same as Moskowitz and Romero’s recipe, so I must give them all the credit for it! If your looking for a good vegan dessert book go and get Vegan Pie in the Sky. It’s great!

RAD WHIP

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole raw cashews soaked in filtered water over night, until very soft.
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 cup plain almond milk
1tablespoon of agar agar flakes
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Method

1. Place a large metal bowl in the freezer to chill, make sure its large enough for all the ingredients as you’ll be using this to blend up the Rad Whip latter.
2.Drain cashews and blend in the food processor or strong blender with the coconut milk and 1/2 cup almond milk until completely smooth. Rub mixture between your fingers to make sure there is no graininess left; reaching this state could take up to 10 minutes.
3. In a small saucepan, heat the other 1/2 cup of almond milk, agar agar flakes and sugar. Bring to boil and let simmer another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut oil and stir to melt. It’s important this mixture doesn’t set on the stove.
4. Stream the warm mixture into the food processor/blender with the machine turned on. Blend on high for about 1 minute to incorporate bubbles then add the vanilla and pulse to combine.
5. Transfer mixture to chilled metal bowl. Place in freezer for 30 minutes or until very cold but not frozen. It should be cold all the way through and feel firm and even a bit rubbery to touch.
6. Using an electric beater, beat it until soft peaks start to form. When smooth and fluffy, cover with plastic rap and place in fridge for at least 3 hours but overnight for best results. The longer the better! Now take it out again and beat again with an electric beater to get it even more fluffy.
7. Keep it stored in a tightly sealed container for up to 5 days.

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