Healthified Pancakes

I have been a pancake fan forever and I will take them any which way you give them to me.

Over the last few years though it has been a mini-mission of mine to pimp my pancakes so they pack a nutritional punch, while still being light and delicious. There have been numerous incarnations of healthier pancakes in my kitchen. But with this one I think I’ve have hit the jackpot. image

The only sweetner is banana so you can happily give them to little people, and they are easily made gluten free with the addition of gluten free posts. They come together quick smart and I can report that they were devoured by the G also (hence that half pancake on top).

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Perfect Healthified Pancakes (makes 6 smallish pancakes)

Ingredients 
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 banana
2(ish) tbsp milk (I used almond)
1 tsp vanilla

Method
1. First up pop your dry ingredients (oats, buckwheat flour and baking powder) into your food processor and whiz them up so the oats break down a bit- they don’t have to be super fine.
2. Add everything else and whiz again.
3. Heat your pan, add a little coconut oil (or another greasing agent) and cook 2 pancakes at a time. I could have got more but it makes flipping tricky.
4. You know the drill, when bubbles start popping on the surface of your pancake flip that sucker.

Now you can enjoy these babies however you choose, but it would be remiss of me not to mention how I ate mine… As peanut butter and raspberry sandwiches. Get. On. Board. You absolutely won’t regret it!

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Lemon Pie Bites

Lemon Pie Bites
You know you’ve found a corker of a recipe when you regret not making a double batch before you’re even finished. This is exactly how I felt while whipping up Lola Berry’s Lemon Pie Bites from her 20/20 Diet Cookbook. I was inspired to head back to this trove of deliciousness in readiness for exploring her new one- The Happy Cookbook.

This recipe is SUPER easy. You’ll probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard (and substitutions are simple as… pie) and they come together in about 20 minutes. Then you just have to resist them while they set up in the freezer.

Lemon Pie Bites
Lemon Pie Bites (adapted from Lola Berry)

Ingredients
75g (3/4 cup) whole raw almonds
75g (3/4 cup) raw walnuts
45g (1/2 cup) shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp rice malt syrup (you could use honey or maple syrup too)
Juice of 3 lemons (mine were on the small side
Zest of 3 lemons (again mine were smallish, so if you’ve got bigger lemons adjust your zest… but in my opinion, the zestier the better!)
1 vanilla pod scraped
1/2 cup coconut butter
extra coconut for rolling

Method
1. Zest and juice your lemons, set aside
2. Add your almonds, walnuts and shredded coconut to a food processor, whizz it until your nuts are at a meal-ish consistency. It doesn’t matter if they’re a bit chunky.
3. Now in with all your other ingredients and blitz it baby!
4. Roll the mixture into balls and toss through the extra coconut
5. Pop them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set
6. Enjoy! I store mine in the freezer for an icy treat

Lemon Pie Bites

And now to get my hands on a copy of The Happy Cookbook!

 

Choose Your Own Ice Pop Adventure

Summer is coming! We’ve already had a few glimpses of it here in Melbourne- our new AC units cannot be installed quick enough.

Now I am not what you call a hot weather kid, give me Autumn crispness any old day, but the warmer weather does have its perks, one of which is devouring sweet, frozen treats.

The problem with most icy poles is that they are loaded with sugar and artificial nasties, so this year I wanted to create a cleaner, healthier version.

First of course we needed the moulds. Now most of the moulds you can get here are little, kiddy type ones.  They would not do at all. Amazon naturally provides s variety of better options.

Ice pop moulds

 

Once you’ve got the hardware the rest is up to your imagination! We started with a banana smoothie pop. Then a raspberry-mint yoghurt.

Watermelon margerhita

Watermelon Margerhita- juice watermelon, lime and mint.

Pear-pine devine

Pear-pine Devine- juice pineapple, pear, apple, lemon.

Peaces 'n' (coconut) cream

Peaches ‘n’ (coconut) cream- blend peaches, add coconut milk.

The options are truly endless. All you need to do is blend, or juice, pour, and freeze! BOOM!

Anzac Biccies

I’m a few months late… I had intended on making these since before Anzac Day (celebrated in Australia and New Zealand on April 25) but just hadn’t gotten around to it until now.

Actually, that’s not entirely true…  I did attempt a gluten and refined sugar free anzac a month or so ago but it was not what you’d call a success what with me eating half of the mixture uncooked- thanks to the lack of eggs- and the other half congealing into one large biscuit while in the oven. Whoops.

This second attempt happened because on my “time out” afternoon one of my treats was a vegan anzac and hot-damn it was sensational. So much so that the following day I stocked up on ingredients and got to baking.

Anzac biscuits

I wasn’t so concerned with keeping these babies vegan, but still wanted to give them a gluten and refined sugar free twist.

This time around I also followed a recipe- always helpful. And I am please to announce that they were exactly what I was after! Just out of the oven they were crunchy on the edges and chewy in the middle. The following day they were super-chewy all over. As a result I may bake them for a little longer next time, because there will most definitely be a next time!

Anzac biscuits

I pretty much stuck to the recipe entirely, aside from subbing the macadamias for additional oats, so there is really no need to rehash it here, head on over to I Quit Sugar and get baking!

Oh and if you’re wondering… they go particularly well with Greek yoghurt and fresh juicy strawberries…

Anzac biscuits

Chocolate Bliss Balls

Growing this baby has made my sweet tooth ramp up to formerly unknown heights. After the whole liver thing 2 years ago (I cannot believe it’s been 2 years already!?) I cleaned up my diet a lot and pretty much cut out all refined sugar. I maintained it for quite some time, taking a break at Christmas (obviously), but for the most part I was a sugar free individual.

Then we went to Europe. And, well, what’s Europe without Italian Gelato and French pastries? Nothing, that’s what. So naturally I went on a sugar bender for roughly 6 weeks, and I do not regret a minute of it.

Once we got home though, my sweet tooth was tingling and taking myself back to a sugar-free place was challenging. But I tried. Once pregnant however, I found myself making exceptions, oh some chocolate here is ok, a little this and that won’t hurt. I am pregnant after all. And cravings are your body telling you what it needs!

I am pretty sure my body doesn’t need Crunch chocolate…

So, in an effort to tame my sweet tooth I decided I needed an alternative. Enter the Chocolate Bliss Ball. I’ve made a couple of batches but this latest one is definitely my favourite. Sweet, chewy, chocolatey and rolled in coconut. How can you lose?

raw chocolate balls

Chocolate Bliss Balls
(I adapted this recipe from another one that I can’t find now… when I do I’ll be sure post it)

Ingredients
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup roasted hazelnuts
12-15 medjool dates (depending how chevy you want them)
2-3 tbsp cacao
2-5 tbsp vanilla almond milk
Big pinch of salt
Desiccated coconut (for rolling)

Method
1. Blend your hazelnuts and sunflower seeds in a food processor until crumbly looking, you don’t want them to get to a paste stage
2. Add all you other ingredients and blend. Depending on how sticky and wet you want your mix you can add a little more milk here
3. Roll your balls and toss them around in coconut to coat
4. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up

I store these babies in the freezer. They stay chewy and are sensational icy cold- I think that’s another preggo thing, really cold things.

Chocolate Bliss Balls

Anyway, a clean, vegan, refined sugar free treat that’s bursting with goodness and you don’t need to feel guilty about! But be warned… they are rather addictive!

Banana Bread (again)

Bananas

My Saturday has included
– breakfast
– baking
– a failed trip to H&M (pro-tip: don’t go on a Saturday, just don’t)
– a large hot chocolate
– vegemite and cheese toastie

The baking has been the highlight (well along with breakfast). Unconsciously I think I have been on a search for my ideal banana bread. It’s tricky. I don’t want to fill it full of sugar. I’d rather make it gluten free. Most importantly, it’s gotta be damn tasty. And I think I may have found it.

Four words.

One. Bowl. Banana. Bread.

It’s also gluten free, and has only bananas and maple syrup for sweetness. I found it on Minimalist Baker, which I have been drooling over for sometime now but have yet to jump in and make any of the creations. What better place to dive in than with banana bread. Especially when you only need one bowl.

We start where all good banana breads start… with mashed, overripe bananas

banana bread: mashed bananas

Next up we add everything except are three flours

banana bread

Once whisked it’s time to add the oats, almond meal and gluten free flour.

banana bread

We whisk again and into the greased and lined tin it goes.

banana bread

Even at this point, I’ve gotta admit it smells delightful. Into the oven it goes for 45 minutes to an hour. I probably could have left mine in a little longer but considering I am planning to toast it for breakfast I figured it didn’t matter too much.

banana bread

Banana Bread (adapted from Minimalist Baker)

Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
3.5 tsp baking soda
a big pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
3ish tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup almond meal
1 1/4 cup oats
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

Method
1. preheat oven to 180*c
2. mash your bananas in a bowl
3. add everything except the almond meal, oats and GF flour. Reserve the cider vinegar too. Whisk it up.
4. add your cider vinegar and give it another little whisk, it’ll fizz a bit.
5. almond meal, oats and GF flour are added, mix it up.
6. pour your batter into a loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

You’re done! Now all you have to do is clean up the mess created in the process…

banana bread: behind the scenes

banana bread: behind the scenes

This is pretty much how my kitchen looks every time I bake something… In my defence I did clean the whole place up afterwards!

Zesty Lemon Curd

Last week life (ie. my work collegue) gave me lemons. I immediately knew that they were destined for lemon curd that would be piled high with meringue for a Mother’s Day Lemon Meringue Pie. It wouldn’t just be any ordinary pie though, oh no, this would be a testament to the fact that most anything can have a healthier twist. It was going to be glorious.

That plan hit a road block, or two.

Road block one: the pie crust recipe I planned to use (this one) used almond meal/flour. After my baking bonanza the previous weekend that result in delicious savoury muffins and banana walnut loaf, my almond meal stores were depleted. And for whatever reason when I went in search for it, my usual haunts either didn’t  have it, or it was appallingly expensive. So instead I decided to use quinoa flour.

I should point out that this baked up a treat. It was crumbly and fragrant and altogether lovely. However, it was not a sweet pie crust. Pop a quiche in that sucker and it would have been a dream, but the sweet and tangy filling I had in mind just wasn’t going to work.

Road block two: sugar, though generally thought of as evil, not only provides sweetness to your meringue but also structure (as my father tells me). A half-half ratio of coconut sugar and stevia, although providing gorgeous colour and a deep caramel flavour, does not provide such structure. As a result my Italian meringue was weepy and without structural integrity.

Through all of this however, the lemon curd was a triumph. It was tangy and just sweet enough to not make your face screw up too much- it should probably be noted here that I love a super tangy lemon curd.

Ingredients at the ready. There actually isn’t very much to this recipe at all. And as soon as I am flush with freshly picked lemons again you can bet I’ll whip up another batch exclusively for toast.IMG_1145

Sweetener. Eggs. Zest. Whisk. Whisk. Whisk.IMG_1146

Add butter (or coconut oil or ghee).IMG_1147

And your lemon juice.IMG_1148

From here it goes onto the heat and you whisk away. A note, make sure you’re getting all the way to the corners of your pot, when my curd went into a bowl there were some semi-scrambled egg bits around the edges.

Anywho… once your butter has melted and the whole mixture has thickened pour it through a sieve (if you’re opposed to lemon zest in your teeth and generally getting in the way of the beautiful smoothness) in a bowl. Leave it to firm up a little more in the fridge and try not to eat it with a spoon. It’ll be hard, but just try.IMG_1149

Zesty Lemon Curd (I doubled the original recipe, I’m a lemon curd glutton, what can I say)

Ingredients
6 eggs
1 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
170g butter, cubed
1/2 cup rice malt syrup

Method
1. Add your eggs, rice malt syrup and lemon zest in a small to medium saucepan. Whisk away until combined and a bit paler (mine didn’t really lighten much so don’t stress too much)
2. Add you butter, then you lemon juice
3. Time to heat it up, put you pot over medium heat. Stir/whisk constantly. Your butter will melt and then everything should start to thicken up. It will be a bit like custard, and coat the back of a spoon (I wish I could tell you how long this took however I totally zoned out and was kind of in a lemon curd haze, it was quite relaxing actually)
4. Sieve your curd, if you’re opposed to zesty bits, into a bowl. Let it cool before refrigerating
5. Eat with a spoon directly from the bowl. Or on toast. Or in a pie. Or, as we did, in a deconstructed pie of sorts layered with biscotti, raspberries, meringue, and cream