Category Archives: vegan

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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Decadent Chocolate Cups

IMG_3185 If you’re looking for a treat for mother’s day. These hit the spot. Super decadent chocolatey goodness but no processed sugar or lecithin in sight! They are also vegan and Paleo friendly. I have given you  the basic recipe which you can use to play around with different flavours or you could just make the almond butter cups (pictured). I have a few other variations that I’m working on, which I will add as I make sure the recipes are blog worthy. Some possibilities are raspberry coconut and cacao rocky road, walnut butter cups, pistachio and mint or just the all time favourite coconut rough! Would love to know if you try any of them or if you make up your own creations! Let me know how you go!

Basic Chocolate Recipe

Makes about 12 mini sized chocolates and 1 portion of chocolate for the other variations.

Ingredients

1/4 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup raw cacao

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 – 4 tbsp. coconut nectar

Method

1. Combine raw cacao, vanilla, coconut oil and coconut nectar in a small bowl and mix to combine until no lumps. Add coconut butter and mash together with a fork until forms a paste.

2. Pour mixture into mini or medium silicon/paper cupcake moulds (or if you have them, use chocolate moulds) and place in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

3. To serve take out of their wrappers/moulds and place on a platter. Nice with a warm chai or coffee or a glass of full bodied red wine.

Almond Butter Cups

Ingredients

1 portion of basic chocolate

3 tbsp. almond butter

1 tbsp. coconut oil

small pinch of Celtic sea salt

Method

1. Divide half of the chocolate mixture between your chosen moulds. Make sure it covers the base adequately. If it is too thin the chocolate may break after it is set. Place in fridge to set.

2. In a small bowl mix almond butter coconut oil and salt together until well combined. Divide between the chocolate filled moulds, to cover the layer of chocolate.  This is the middle layer that will be the filling.

2. Pour remaining chocolate mixture over the almond paste and return to the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

 More Variations being tested, so watch this space!..

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

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.

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.

Vegan Mango, Lime and Coconut Cheeze Cakes

I adore vegan baking. This kind cooking uses no animal products whatsoever and thus no animals are harmed in making the ingredients. My Karma points increase massively when I make these babies! Ethics aside though, I love vegan baking for the creative process and challenges involved. It provides new ingredients to explore and a diverse range of interesting dishes that many people have not tried or may not have even thought of. It’s a kitchen challenge that I love to give myself, seeing how I can make a cheese cake without cheese and a pastry without butter. It can also be a lot healthier and provides a different foods to add to my diet. Last week I made these little babies for yes, a baby shower. If you are new to vegan baking but want to put yourself up for the challenge, this is a good recipe to start with. The key is to make sure all the agar agar dissolves into the almond milk.

Ingredients

Crust:
1 3/4 finely ground wholemeal digestive biscuits (made from about 4 short of a normal sized packet)
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons of  rapadura sugar (unrefined cane juice sugar)
5 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon of almond milk

Filling:
2 mangoes flesh removed, 1/4 of it mashed into a pure` and the rest cut into thin slices small enough to fit into cup cake moulds.
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
1 1/2 cups of almond milk (unsweetened is preferable)
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons of agar agar flakes
1 regular can coconut milk
1/2 cup rapadura sugar
zest of 2 limes (from a fine grater)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Makes 24

Method

For the base
Preheat oven to 180 C.
Place cupcake liners into 2 x 12 hole cupcake trays.
Combine biscuit crumbs in a bowl with sugar and coconut.
Drizzle in coconut oil and mix with a spoon to combine.
Drizzle in almond milk and mix again with a spoon until forms a crumbly dough.
If the mixture is too dry add more coconut oil and almond milk as needed but you don’t want it too moist. You want it crumbly but moist enough so it will stick together when you press it into the base of the cupcake moulds.
Spoon a a heaped tablespoon and a 1/2 into each cupcake mould and press firmly into each base with a teaspoon, making sure they are packed in firmly.
Bake for 5 minutes or until firm and golden.
Set trays aside to cool.

For the filling
Combine mango pure` with the caster sugar and heat for 1 minute to combine then set aside.
Whisk almond milk, tapioca flour and agar agar flakes in a saucepan on medium heat.  Whisk constantly for 5 minutes.
Turn heat up and bring to the boil and continue to whisk constantly for about 5 minutes or until starts to thicken, making sure the agar agar dissolves.
Turn heat down to medium.
Whisk in the coconut milk, sugar, lime juice and zest.
Whisk on the heat for about 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat.
Whisk in vanilla and mango pure`.
Pour filling mixture into a pouring jug.
Pour enough filling into each mould to just cover each base.
Spoon mango slices onto the filling of each mould.
Pour more filling over the mango slices. I like to cover them slightly but still see some of the mango.
Cool on the counter for about 1/2 hour
Refridgerate for at least 3 hours until set.
Serve straight from the fridge with slices of mango and “Rad Whip” ( recipe to follow).

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