The union of fennel with orange is one of my favourites. Thanks to Diego Bonetto’s foraging tour I learnt how to identify edible plants growing wild in my backyard including fennel.
A recipe for rich chocolate that will not only satisfy your cravings but you need never feel naughty about eating!
Following my muesli recipe, I had some spelt left over to experiment with.
Wholegrain Rolled Spelt, enough for 2 cups when finely blended
1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon of himalayan pink salt
3 tablespoons of chilled water
Put the rolled spelt into a blender and continue to process to the finest texture you can get. It will still be quite rough and chunky compared to flour.
Add the salt to the blended spelt and mix the coconut oil through the dry ingredients using a knife until it forms crumbs. Add the water and stir. Press the mixture together into a ball and put in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
1 cup thick natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
1/2 teaspoon rosewater
1 tablespoon pistachio paste
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Plums, finely sliced
Mix the pistachio paste with the orange blossom and rose water until it forms a runnier consistency and all the lumps are gone.
Stir this into the yoghurt with the chia seeds and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour. The chia seeds will thicken the yoghurt if you leave it for long enough.
Pre heat an oven to 180°c
Take the spelt mixture out of the fridge and use enough to evenly press into small tart tins (with removable bases) like you do with a biscuit base for a cheesecake. I wouldn’t call this a pastry – it’s far too crumbly and textural. Put the tart tins in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the coconut oil to harden.
Put the cold tart shells straight into the hot oven and bake for 30 minutes. Check after 15 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Fill the cooled tart shells with the thickened yoghurt mixture, top with sliced plums, whole blackberries and crushed pistachios.
This recipe is sugar free but you can add honey to the yoghurt mixture or drizzle it on top of the finished tart to suit your taste. This will also make an extravagant yet healthy breakfast to serve guests with a cheeky twist. Looks can be deceiving and it’s not the rich pastry it appears to be…
I’m having dinner with a friend this week and I volunteered to make the dessert. I came up with this recipe after an indulgent weekend. I had an absolutely delicious and fun feast but I can’t face sugar for a few days.
4 large yellow peaches
blood orange infused extra virgin olive oil
40g pistachios, shelled
a handful of shredded coconut, toasted
4 heaped tablespoons of natural yoghurt
1 cap full of orange blossom water
Wash the peaches, cut them in half length ways and remove the seeds. Place the peaches in a baking dish, drizzle lightly with the infused oil and rub it evenly over the fruit with your fingers. Put the peaches under the grill for 10 minutes turning them over after 5 minutes so they warm through evenly.
Put the pistachios into a blender and grind to a fine dust. Reserve a few teaspoons of the ground pistachios and continue to blend the rest until it comes together to form a paste.
Mix a dessert spoon of the paste in with the yoghurt. You’ll need to push the paste against the side of the bowl to smooth it out and mix it through the yoghurt and you will be left with some lumps. This adds to the texture and creates concentrated bursts of flavour through the yoghurt. Add the orange blossom water and stir through the yoghurt. It should be very subtle so you can still taste the pistachio flavour.
Once the peaches have cooled down to a bit above room temperature, spoon some yoghurt into the cavity where the seed once sat and top with toasted coconut and the reserved ground pistachios.
Grilling the peaches gets the natural juices flowing and intensifies the sweet, tangy flesh. This is such a simple dessert without any added sugar and it’s also perfect for breakfast. The leftover pistachio paste can be used as you wish. I’m going to be experimenting with mine so look out for more recipes.
So here’s the result of the second batch of chia seed breakfast pudding that I mentioned in my last post.
1 cup of natural organic yoghurt
2 heaped dessert spoons of black chia seeds
Mix the yoghurt and chia seeds together and leave it in the fridge overnight. Serve with fresh fruit and shredded coconut sprinkled on top. Simple! More posts to follow.
So the holiday season has swept through like a hurricane and I’ve enjoyed every minute. I ate and drank whatever I felt like and now it’s time for a healthy kickstart – not just for me but also friends and family. Over the past few years I’ve received requests for healthy diet tips and now even to push people to exercise and keep checking in on their progress. This is a sign of things to come…
I began by preparing my breakfast last night. It’s often a difficult meal for most people to master yet it’s so important to start the day with the right fuel to avoid loading up on the wrong foods when you finally become fuzzy and ravenous. I’m as guilty of skipping breakfast as the next person but when I get into a routine I stick to it. There doesn’t need to be a lot of effort involved in preparing a delicious healthy breakfast and I’m a believer in eating the foods that make you feel good.
A fruit salad on an empty stomach can make me feel sick due to the natural acids and sugar while others might find this is perfect for their body. Tune in and notice how you feel when you eat different foods – you are the best person to assess this.
So back to breakfast this morning. You may have heard of Chia Seed Pudding and this is my version which is very basic. I’m experimenting with different ingredients using chia seeds as the focus.
When chia seeds come into contact with liquid, a gel like substance forms around them similar to tapioca. There’s a plethora of information online about the health benefits of chia seeds and whether or not humans should be consuming them. Again, I believe in moderation and listening to my body and I like chia seeds. I don’t eat them everyday, just when I feel like it.
Chia Seed and Coconut Water Pudding
1/2 cup of fresh young coconut water
1/2 cup of black chia seeds
Organic shredded coconut
Young coconut flesh
Cut open a fresh young coconut, drain the water and scoop out the flesh. Mix the chia seeds and 1/2 cup coconut water in a bowl until it starts to thicken. Divide the mixture into individual bowls (1 serve each), cover and leave it in the fridge over night.
To serve, you can either leave the pudding as is or loosen it with extra coconut water. Toast some shredded coconut and hazelnuts and sprinkle over the pudding with blueberries, some coconut flesh and crunchy (dry) chia seeds.
I have a mix of chia seeds and organic natural yoghurt soaking in the fridge for my next recipe so until then, here’s an old post that makes me laugh…
When I first saw this video I couldn’t breathe because I was laughing so hard and today I had flash backs! I was searching through the cupboards for my chia seeds and was so frustrated that they were nowhere to be seen until I thought of the scenes in this video.
Of course the packet has just fallen to the back of the cupboard… so I continued to make a late Sunday breakfast with quinoa and chia seeds. I can hardly write the words chia seeds now without bursting into laughter!!!
1 cup of White Quinoa, uncooked
3 cups of Water
1 teaspoon of Coconut Sugar
1 teaspoon of Virgin Coconut Oil
1 teaspoon of Chia Seeds
Sprinkle of Himalayan Pink Salt
Sprinkle of Cinnamon Powder
6 Whole Hazelnuts, roasted
Put the quinoa and water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on. Strain any excess liquid. Transfer about 4 heaped tablespoons of cooked quinoa to a breakfast bowl and mix in the salt, sugar, coconut oil, chia seeds, cinnamon and hazelnuts. Now add enough milk to suit your taste depending on whether you want a thick porridge like consistency or runnier.
I made up this recipe as I went along so you can simply adapt it to your taste. Try dried or poached fruit, slivered almonds, honey, shredded coconut, cocoa powder or nibs or freshly sliced banana – not necessarily all together!
Considering how much of my life revolves around passion for food, most people would be surprised to learn that I have a habit of skipping breakfast even when I wake up before dawn to do yoga. So I made a promise to myself last week that I would try to get back into a good routine. I used to make fresh juice every morning or have something healthy to start the day so I’ve taken on the challenge to get back to eating breakfast.
Anyway, I’m going to put some eyeshadow on my 3rd eye so until the next post… watch this and laugh.
My dad gave me 10 litres of cream yesterday and I felt a butter session coming on. I’ve posted about making butter before but now that I’ve made it a few times I had to share it again because it’s just the best thing since sliced bread!! If you haven’t attempted making your own butter you don’t know what you’re missing. Besides the luscious flavour and getting immense satisfaction out of creating with my hands, making butter also leaves my hands feeling soft and supple. Try it for yourself – you’ll find step by step instructions here. I sprinkled the butter balls with Himalayan Pink Salt but you can leave it plain or mix salt through to suit your taste.
I do use other natural fats such as coconut oil or olive oil in place of butter but sometimes you can’t use anything else.
The buttermilk can be used in Lassi, pancakes, curries and more. I remember having buttermilk as an accompaniment to curries instead of yoghurt when I was a child.
I’ve successfully cooked with coconut sugar and found it to have a flavour that can’t be compared to refined white sugar or even brown or raw sugar. It has a caramelised, mineral taste that I love because I prefer savoury over sweet. I often add a pinch of salt to cakes, muesli and pancakes and reduce the sugar or substitute it for honey or coconut sugar where possible.
So I bought some coconut flour out of curiosity. The first thing I noticed when I opened the packet was the beautiful strong aroma. I put a little in my mouth and it immediately soaked up all the moisture where it touched my tongue and the roof of my mouth. I realised that what I’d read about coconut flour needing a lot more liquid than wheat flour was true. I came across several pancake recipes online and on the back of the coconut flour packet but this one was the simplest and I modified it to suit my taste.
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of organic full cream cow’s milk
1 heaped teaspoon of coconut sugar
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon bi carb soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Butter for frying and some to serve
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk until light and frothy. Add the coconut sugar (it’s a good idea to sift it because it tends to become clumpy) and milk and whisk together. Put the coconut flour, bi carb soda and sea salt in a bowl and mix well esuring all lumps have been broken up.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquid while whisking. Once completely combined (make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl) leave the mixture to sit for a few minutes so the coconut flour can absorb some of the liquid.Heat a fry pan and add some butter.
Spoon in enough mixture to make a thick small pancake (like a pikelet). I managed to fit 3 at a time in my fry pan. Leave the mixture long enough to set so you can flip the pancake. My first one broke up because I wasn’t used to the texture but then I got a feel for how long it took to cook. They also browned quickly because coconut is very oily but I just turned the pan down as needed so they could stay on the heat long enough to cook through.
Top the hot pancakes with butter (I made a fresh batch again last weekend), blueberries and a drizzle of honey or serve them however you prefer. They weren’t too sweet so would be perfect with some crispy bacon, coconut and chocolate butter or homemade jam.
I used to love dark chocolate but I haven’t had much of a taste for it lately until I made these delicious truffles that melt in the mouth. A few years ago I named my cat Truffles but don’t worry, he’s not involved in this recipe.
200g good quality dark chocolate (70%)
165ml of cream
Shredded coconut, toasted
Hazelnuts crushed and roasted
Pure cocoa powder
Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Heat the cream on the stove until it comes to the boil and then pour straight over the dark chocolate. Leave it to sit for a moment and then start stirring to help the chocolate to melt.
If you still have some lumps, set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water for a short amount of time while stirring, remove from the heat and repeat if necessary. The bowl should only get as hot as you can bear to touch as you don’t want to over heat the chocolate. Once combined, set aside to cool at room temperature.
When set, scoop out a heaped teaspoon of the chocolate mixture and quickly roll into a ball with dry hands and repeat until all the mixture has been used. Put some of the cocoa powder, coconut and hazelnuts into separate small bowls. Place a truffle in the bowl and swirl the bowl around in a circular motion to coat the truffle. You may need to apply some pressure using your fingers to help the coconut and nuts to stick to the truffles.
Use any nuts that you like and be creative! The options are endless when it comes to chocolate truffles. Enjoy!