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!

 

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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 protein muffins

I have a biology exam on Friday. This is the second time I have attempted the subject because last time the exam was on I was in Europe and holidays aren’t a good enough reason for deferrals… It wasn’t a bad thing, I think having to go over everything a second time was helpful.

Anyway, procrastination is a wonderful thing. Procrastination lead to these muffins. Well procrastination and 3 overripe bananas on my kitchen bench. I had actually been wanting to make a muffin for a little while now so this presented the perfect opportunity.

I knew that I wanted to make these grain free and protein packed, so after a little perusal of standard banana muffin recipes to get the proportions I headed to the kitchen. And the result wasn’t too shabby at all. banana protein muffinsbanana protein muffins

Banana protein muffins

Ingredients
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I use Sun Warrior)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts
Pinch of salt
125gr coconut oil, melted
1/2tsp vanilla
1/3-1/2 cup almond milk
3 eggs, lightly whisked
3 bananas, mashed
1 1/2tsp apple cider vinegar

Method
1. Combine your dry ingredients, except walnuts
2. Make a well and throw in all your wet ingredients- except apple cider vinegar- mix it all up
3. Add your banana and walnuts, don’t mix it too much you want some banana chunks in there
4. Mix in your apple cider vinegar last
5. Spoon into a lined muffin tray
6. Bake at 180*c for 20-25 minutes
7. Allow to cool and try not to eat them all at once

banana protein muffinsEnjoy!

Mini banana cupcakes + vanilla icing

These little babies are fit for a princess. Fit for a birthday princess no less…IMG_2140There is something so freakin’ cute about mini cupcakes with pink icing and sprinkles.

Little Miss A is turning two, the main cake will be an impressive poodle number (I am so looking forward to seeing it in all it’s glory) and as a side I was asked to make cupcakes, naturally I said yes.IMG_2138

IMG_2139IMG_2141My favourite mini-cupcake transportation: egg cartons. They fit like a glove and look cute all packed in rows. Not all of these will end up at the party, some will head to work with the BF to be off loaded on his colleagues.

The cakes are my go-to Magnolia vanilla, to which I added 3 mashed bananas. The icing is the incredible Magnolia vanilla buttercream, with slightly less sugar than the recipe calls for. Both of which you can find here.

Easter slutty brownies

I will pretty much take any excuse to bake something. And easter is as good a reason as any. I had many ideas in mind when it came to easter creations.

1. Cheesecake filled chocolate eggs with a passionfruit “yolk”
2. Chocolate egg nests
3. Easter slutty brownies.

Two and three happened, my nests were not quite as nest-like as I was hoping, but it’s hard to go wrong with slutty brownies. Now you can make these babies bonkers easy by using box mix for both the cookie and brownie components. But I am a sucker for creaming some butter and sugar so I made a from scratch cookie base. The brownie layer however, well you must use Betty Crocker. IMG_2006Ingredients, most of them anyway, not pictured is the flour, baking powder and castor sugar for the cookie layer and the vegetable oil (I used rice bran) for the brownie layer.

First up, cookie layer…IMG_2011Butter and both sugars. Cream.IMG_2012Egg and vanilla. Beat. IMG_2028I love a good action shot… or four. Mixing. Mixing. Mixing. Mixing. IMG_2029Cookie dough. IMG_2016Now squish it into your pan.

Brownie time! IMG_2023Peel your eggs. I had two kinds, the big ones are caramel filled, the little ones are straight up chocolate. Once that’s done you’re ready to make brownie batter. Now focus, this is tricky…IMG_2018Dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix.IMG_2020Eggs meet brownie mix.IMG_2021Brownie mix meet cookie. IMG_2008And you’re ready for the oven.IMG_2034Baked up to gooey-brownie-cookie goodness. The only mistake I made was cutting the chunks too large…

If you fancy looking at the original slutty brownies head over to The Londoner, I can almost guarantee they won’t be the only thing to catch your eye.

Happy (slightly belated) Easter!

Play with your food: Paleo banana bread

Banana bread is one of those things that pretty much everyone has a soft spot for. I am no exception. It’s sweet. It’s smells incredible. It’s so easy to eat I can inhale half of one in little more than five minutes (I’m guessing I could of course… I’ve not actually tried, recently). When I took gluten and sugar off the menu I thought my days of banana bread were over. I mean what is banana bread without its gluteny, sugary goodness? Turns out, banana bread is pretty amazing in all forms.

Over the past few months I’ve been doing some reading up on the Paelo diet and lifestyle. I really like the sound of it, although I’d find it difficult to forgo my natural greek yoghurt and cheese altogether. So when I found this recipe on Move Nourish Believe I had to give it a try.

With all of the ingredients on hand I got to baking… I just made a few tweaks:

1. Instead of honey I used rice malt syrup
2. All of my pumpkin and sunflower seeds ended up in the mix, so I sprinkled some cocoa nibs on top

IMG_1562Ready for the oven. I initially thought that a tablespoon of cinnamon was waaaay too much, the raw batter was super cinnamonny, and I am a fan of the stuff. However, after a some quality time inside the oven (longer than the recipe called for)…

IMG_1563The flavours mellowed and blended leaving me with a kick-ass banana bread, if I do say so myself. Perfect as a snack, slathered with butter, or make it breakfast with some yoghurt and fruit. Either way, it’s delicious!

Play with your food: coconut-raspberry chia pudding

Like so many people, I get into the weekly meal rut and despite the fact that I am often bored as all hell of what’s on my plate I cannot for the life of me break out. The thing is though, I really enjoying cooking and baking and just generally being in the kitchen so it is time to stop procrastinating and actually make some of those recipes I’ve been hoarding on pinterest.

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day so it was only natural that my experimentation started here. Last August I stopped eating sugar- unless it’s in fruit form- and recently I have been trying to avoid grains and dairy, which eliminates pretty much all of your standard breakfast choices. I’ve got no problem with eggs, however didn’t really want to be eating them everyday (they don’t always agree with me… too much? Sorry, let’s carry on), but what does that leave a girl with? Fruit. Vegetables. I’ve been downing a green smoothie pretty much every morning, but I still need a little something else at 10.30ish to nudge me through until lunch, something dairy and grain free, which ideally doesn’t have to involve eggs. While staring into my pantry and fridge alternatively I was starting to think that I would have to get a new favourite meal because breakfasts were looking decidedly dreary… but then I spied a packet of black chia seeds and remembered a certain recipe I’d pinned when I first ditched sugar.

Raspberry-coconut chia pudding pops! Now, I didn’t need them in pop form, however the idea of a coconut based, raspberry spiked pudding sounded pretty darn good to me. So off I went to assemble the ingredients… I had everything I needed on hand, bonus. I tweaked a few  things
1. I used unsweetened shredded coconut
2. I added some vanilla essence (not that you could really tell in the finished product)
3. I added 1tbsp of coconut protein powder
4. I forgot the stevia (unintentional tweak)

photo (3)

please excuse my messy bench, I will have to improve my ‘here are all my ingredients’ shots in future. This is what happens when you are not thinking ahead about posting…

The recipe was simple enough, throw all ingredients together, rather than let the chia seeds expand in the container I turned my mix into 2 perfect breakfast size portions and stuck them both fridge to get all pudding-like overnight.

The following day when I cracked open my pudding filled mason jar I was pretty pleased with myself. And even more so when I actually tucked in to eat it…

photo (4)

Needless to say my hope for breakfast has been renewed and my curiosity for further experimentation alight.