In the excitement of announcing my new cookbook, 'Bliss Bites', I thought I ought to share one of my favourite recipes from the book with you all!
This recipe is an ode to my favourite childhood ice cream, and with the current timing of the Streets-boycott-saga, I couldn't think of a more perfect to make your own bite-sized version.
If you have never eaten the classic Australian ice cream, the Golden Gaytime, I can tell you one thing - it leaves other ice creams in the shade. Although it's been a good million years since I ate one myself, I have fond memories of them and these balls instantly bring those memories flooding back. The buckwheat on the outside is reminiscent of the cookie crunch of the Gaytime, and the super delicious center reminds me of that caramel-vanilla ice cream you get inside. If you wanted to make these even more deluxe, you could dip the balls in raw melted chocolate before rolling them in the buckwheat. Insane.
Golden Fun-Time Balls
Prep time: 10 minutes
12 medjool dates (about 240g), pitted
40g (1/3 cup) vanilla flavoured plant-based protein powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
90g (1/3 cup) nut butter, toasted coconut butter or seed butter
2 tablespoons caramelised buckwheat*, plus extra for coating
2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
- Place the dates, protein powder, cinnamon (if using), nut butter, caramelised buckwheat and raw honey in your food processor or blender. Pulse until they're combined.
- Take about a tablespoon of the mixture at a time and roll into 3.5cm (1 1/2") balls then roll in caramelised buckwheat to lightly coat. Place the balls in an airtight container then put them in the fridge or freezer. These will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, and a couple of months in the freezer.
Note: I use Loving Earth caramelised buckinis in this recipe. These can be found in all good health food shops, bulk wholefood stores and independent grocers across Australia.
Something I am very excited to announce, although to be honest, it's been a fairly bad kept secret, is that I have written another cookbook! The cookbook is titled 'Bliss Bites' and is a super-cute pint-sized book with over 65 recipes both savoury and sweet!
This cookbook is a small step away from my first cookbook, focusing on being as simple and accesible. After writing my first cookbook at the age of 22 I found I was using a few ingredients that not everyone could track down, or recipes that were a bit more advanced (can you blame me?! I was a very excited young thing writing my first ever book!). This cookbook has been created to cater for everyone, making fuss-free treats that are both delicious and healthy! None of the recipes have been designed to be daunting and I have written substitutions where applicable to make them as allergy friendly as possible too!
The recipes in this cookbook are a mix of bite-sized snacks and lunchbox fillers (think 5-ingredient Peanut Butter Bliss Balls, Raspberry Ripe Truffles, Golden Funtime Balls, Not-So-Malt Teasers), savoury treats (think Rainbow Sushi Balls and Thai 'Crabless' Cakes), as well as delicious desserts (think Almost-A-Snickers Bar, Raw Lemon Slice) with a few healthy 'milkshakes' and smoothies popped in there too.
Something I have been incredibly passionate about since starting Kenkō Kitchen is trying to help others see that eating healthy doesn't have to be just lettuce on a plate, and it doesn't need to be hard or expensive. I hope this cookbook, and it's small price tag, will bring joy and pleasure into kitchens and lunchboxes around Australia (and the world!).
The cookbook will be released December 1st (oh would you fancy that, right in time for holiday gift shopping - wink wink, nudge nudge!) through Hardie Grant Books.
For my UK and USA friends, 'Bliss Bites' will be released January 2nd, 2018.
This is one of my go-to salads when attending a dinner party or having people over. Not only can this salad be whipped up in under 10 minutes, it looks beautiful and tastes just as good! The pairing of radicchio, blood orange, and roasted hazelnuts has always been a favourite of mine and the finger lime really takes this dish to the next level, adding a wonderfully tangy and sweet burst of excitement with every bite.
Finger lime, for those who have not yet been introduced to this magical citrus fruit, is an Australian bush lime with caviar-like beads (cells) inside. The juicy caviar-like beads provide a delicious burst of lemon-lime flavour with every mouthful and it also adds a beautiful pop of colour to dishes both savoury and sweet. Finger limes come in an array of different colours from green, yellow, purple, pink and bright red and they can be found at specialty greengrocers and markets.
Like all citrus fruits, finger limes are a great source of Vitamin C - with this small lime packing three times more Vitamin C than a mandarin. They are also high in Vitamin E, folate and potassium.
If you've got a bit of a green thumb, finger lime trees can also be picked up from plant stores and nurseries. Although our plant at home is only small it produces masses amounts of these delicious finger limes. If growing your own, a good tip is that finger limes can be frozen for up to 12 months without flavour loss - so if you end up with an abundance just freeze them for all your wow-dishes throughout the year!
If you can't find finger limes at the markets or green grocer - try checking out The Lime Caviar Company who sell fresh and frozen finger limes delivering Australia-wide and internationally.
Radicchio, Blood Orange & Finger Lime Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
1 medium head radicchio, washed and cored
2 blood oranges, peeled and segmented
1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
2-3 finger limes, 'caviar' only
micro greens or sprouts
For the dressing
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
pinch salt flakes
cracked black pepper
- Break radicchio leaves up into a large salad bowl and arrange the blood orange segments around the leaves.
- Sprinkle on the roasted hazelnuts, and just before serving, add the finger lime 'caviar' and micro greens.
- To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over dressing just before serving.
Like many plant-based cooks, I've struggled with making brownies that are as good as the real deal. I have tried making brownies out of various vegetables. I've tried making them with beans. I've tried making them with various flours and funky (bank-breaking) ingredients but in the end, they've always ended out NQR (you know, either more like a glue consistency or somewhat like a flavourless crumbling dirt cake mmmm... yuuurrrmmmm....).
Before I knew I was coeliac, and wasn't so health conscious (AKA not health conscious at all), baking was my thing. I would literally use any excuse to bake and then would bake without an excuse too. It was my stress relief during year 10-12 when school was 'hard' (I look back at this and totally LOL now, ohhh how naive we are in high school). In my later teens' when other people partied, I baked. I used to cater for my friend's parties making them brownies, cakes and cookies. I would make elaborate cakes in the shapes of BBQ's, meat pies, burgers, pizza boxes, whatever you wanted - I could make a cake look like the real deal. My favourite thing to bake however was brownies. They won everyone over, they cured everyone's broken heart and everyone's stressed brain.
Fast track to 4 years later and I was faced with the challenge. How to make brownies without using refined sugars and with wholesome ingredients. I've definitely made some doozies and I would even go so far as to say most of my attempts were likable to an inedible slice of cardboard. Let's be honest - they were gross.
I tried other bloggers and cooks recipes hoping they would taste as good as the Instagram photo looked. They didn't. They too were cardboard (soz guys).
Maybe it was just an impossible? I should give up. Brownies just weren't going to exist in my life anymore. I would just have to accept it.... NO!
And so I came to this. Gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, refined-sugar free, grain free, vegan, oil free. Is that enough 'free's' for you?
Not only can you find most of these ingredients in your local supermarket, they are also super quick to make, and in my opinion, taste even better than the real deal (then again I haven't had a 'real' brownie in like 6 years so I can't really judge, but they're good and get lots of thumbs up).
They are also kind of good for you, they have flax seeds (source of fibre, protein, omega-3), cacao powder (antioxidants, magnesium, manganese), maple syrup (calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc) and of course, black tahini (a great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin E and B-vitamins... among some other things too).
I even read online that black tahini is a natural remedy for grey hair. However, I don't have grey hairs yet and I've already fallen for the 'natural hair dye myth' once before - The one where you can supposedly dye your hair with coffee. You can't. I poured coffee on my head, let it soak, and the result was not the luscious brown locks pictured on Pinterest, my hair was the same but, it just smelt of coffee and I was left with my mother and sister mocking me.
Anyway, enjoy this recipe. I do, very much. My friends who have tried it also enjoy it.
WARNING: You won't be able to just make this recipe once. You will make it once, then probably the next week to share with someone, then again the next day because one batch wasn't enough. Before you know it you've spiraled into a Black (Tahini Brownie) Hole and won't be able to think about anything other than these. It's OK though, who needs pants that fit or friends or a boyfriend or a job? You have brownies, and they will bring you all the fulfillment you need.
BLACK TAHINI BROWNIES
Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Oil Free, Nut Free
Makes 9-12 brownies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
1/4 cup linseed meal
1/2 cup water
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup arrowroot flour
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup black tahini
120g raw or dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a 20 x 15 cm (8 x 6 in) baking tin with baking paper.
- Place the linseed meal and water in a mixing bowl and stand for a few minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.
- Add the baking powder, bicarb soda, salt, cacao powder, arrowroot flour, maple syrup and black tahini and mix until smooth. Add the chocolate and fold through.
- Pour mixture into the tin and bake for 20 minutes or until just set (don't overcook your brownies!).
- Cool the brownie in the tin for at least 15 minutes before slicing into 9-12 pieces.
This recipe is inspired by the breakfast bar my friend Ryo makes at one of my favourite Melbourne eateries, Walk Don't Run. These bars are as mindful and goodness-packed as they come.
They're super delicious, foolproof to whip up and make a winning breakfast when you're running out of time (or sprinting out the door!).
These bars also make awesome snacks after a workout, in-between meals and are PERFECT when hiking.
Breakfast Seed Bars
Makes 10-12 bars
Prep time: 10 minutes
Setting time: about 2 1/2 hours
1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
3/4 cup pepitas
1/4 cup macadamia nuts
1/4 cup goji berries
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup white chia seeds
1/4 cup linseeds (flax seeds)
1/2 cup raw honey or rice malt syrup
1/3 cup tahini, cashew butter or other nut/seed butter of choice
40g cacao butter, melted
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Line the base of a 20 x 15cm (8 x 6 in) baking tin with bakingg paper. Transfer the mixture to the tin, pressing it firmly and evenly over the base then refrigerate for 2 1/2 hours or until firm.
- Once the mixture is firm, cut into 10-12 even-sized bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or the freezer for up to 2 months.
I'm not going to lie, when the golden mylk trend started I was all over it like a rash. I was ordering golden mylk lattes at cafes (no shame - i'm one of those people), I was creating golden mylk hot chocolates at night and I was even making the below recipe, golden mylk smoothies, after the gym or pool. I just couldn't get enough of that sweet golden liquid, but for good reasons!
This smoothie is amazing for helping with inflammation (thanks turmeric) and great for anyone who does labourious work or hits the gym regularly to help those sore muscles. The black pepper in this smoothie plays an important factor, as it boost the bioavailability of curcurmin (aka it makes it easier for our bodies to absorb the goodness from turmeric). The ginger in this smoothie helps to ease the digestive system and can be good for anyone experiencing nausea.
Frozen bananas are my favourite friend when it comes to smoothies as not only do they add a creamy texture and cool your drink down, they are also packed with energy to keep you fuelled. Bananas are also great for making you happy due to high levels of the mood-enhancer tryptophan! So not only does this drink look like sunshine - it will have you feeling like sunshine too!
GOLDEN MYLK SUNSHINE SMOOTHIE
Prep time: 5 minutes
2-3 frozen bananas
600ml plant-based milk (almond or coconut)
2 heaped tablespoons cashew or almond butter
1-2 medjool dates, pitted
3/4 - 1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 - 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
pinch black pepper
1 tbs raw honey or rice malt syrup (optional - i don't use either)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
1 cup ice (optional)
- Place all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into two glasses and enjoy immediately.
Note: To make this into a 'thick shake' add a scoop of plant-based ice cream (refined sugar-free, of course!).
I'm not normally one to brag about my recipes, however this slice seriously towers over any store-bought (healthy) caramel slice. The taste really is next level with the perfect balance of salty and sweet. I would say this recipe is one of my most adored from friends and family and its the one thing I'm always requested to bring a long to any kind of event.
To make this recipe simple there is almost no cooking required for this slice - with most of the work being done by a food processor! Too freakin' easy!
Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free
Makes 9-12 squares
Prep time: 25 minutes, plus soaking and freezing
50g (1/3 cup) macadamia nuts
80g (1/2 cup) almonds
80g (1/2 cup) buckwheat groats
90g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
14 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 teaspoon salt
155g (1 cup) cashews - soaked in water overnight or for minimum 3 hours
125g (1/2 cup) almond butter
160g (1/2 cup) Coconut 'dulce de leche' or store bought coconut spread
60ml (1/4 cup) coconut cream
100g melted raw or dark chocolate (at least 70%)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
35g (1/4 cup) caramelised buckwheat/'buckinis'
- Place all the cookie base ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the picture is a breadcrumb-like texture and just starting to come together.
- Remove the mixture from the food processor and press into the bottom of a 24 x 19cm slice tin/dish to make a smooth base about 1cm (1/2 inch) thick. Cover and place in the freezer.
- Clean the food processor out with paper towel and then put in all ingredients for the filling and blitz until a smooth caramel has formed and there are no cashew lumps.
- Remove tin from the freezer and spoon the caramel on top, making sure it is even and smooth. Cover and return to the freezer for 20 minutes.
- For the chocolate topping, gently melt the chocolate over a double boiler with the coconut oil and salt.
- Remove the slice from the freezer and sprinkle over the caramelised buckwheat. Pour the melted chocolate mix on top and return to the freezer. Once the chocolate has hardened, after about 20 minutes, you're ready to go! You can keep the slice in the freezer for up to 2 weeks. Remove the slice 5 minutes before eating.
The Healthy Convert by Nicole Maree is a super-cute cookbook which had me hooked within the first few pages. Catering to those with food intolerances and allergies, Nicole Maree has nailed it with her first print cookbook filled with drool-worthy recipes.
In her introductory chapter Nicole runs through her pantry essentials and the substitutes for sugar, flour, egg, oil, dairy and nuts. Having had to go through this painful process of working out what to substitute for what when I first became vegan and was diagnosed with Coeliac on my own I can safely say this chapter would have been a lifesaver! This chapter is something which I know would be incredibly helpful for anyone and everyone to have on hand for when you're needing to cater to new allergies or dietary requirements.
With recipes like Jersey Caramels, Lemon Meringue Cupcakes, Red Velvet Cake, Coconut Lime Tarts, Churros and more - this book is a great pick up for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Cookie Dough Treats
Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free
Makes 24 treats
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
25g chia seeds
175ml tinned coconut cream
125g coconut sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
310g gluten-free plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarb soda (baking soda)
60g vegan milk chocolate, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced/350°F). Line a large 38cm x 25cm (15 in x 10 in) baking tray with baking paper.
- Mix the chia seeds with 30ml walter. Set aside to become gelatinous.
- Add the coconut cream, coconut sugar, sea salt, vanilla extract, flour, bicarb soda and chia mixture to a large bowl. Mix until a dough forms. Fold in half the chocolate.
- Take a heaped tablespoon of the mixture, roll it into a ball and place it on the prepared baking tray. Repeat with remaining mixture. Stud the balls with the remaining chocolate.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Allow the treats to cool. Serve with ice cream, or on their own.
- Store them in an airtight container in the pantry or fridge for up to 1 week.
Christmas Pudding Slice
All the goodness of Christmas pudding, jam-packed into a hedgehog slice - rum included.
Gluten Free, Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free
Makes 16 slices
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus soaking and freezing time
Cooking time: 5 minutes
50ml sweet rum
200g gluten-free, vegan arrowroot biscuits
40g unsweetened desiccated coconut
40g cacao powder
100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
100g dried cranberries
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
135g almond or seed butter
90ml rice malt syrup
40g coconut oil
- In a small bowl mix the raisins and rum to combine and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
- Line the base and sides of a 17cm x 17cm cake tin with baking paper, ensuring the paper hangs over the sides of the tin for easy removal.
- In a food processor pulse the arrowroot biscuits until slightly crushed. Transfer into a large bowl.
- Add the coconut, cacao powder, apricots, cranberries, orange zest and soaked raisins. Mix to combine.
- In a saucepan over a medium-low heat, mix the almond butter, rice malt syrup and coconut oil until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
- Press the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm.
- Remove from the tin, slice into squares and serve.
- Store the remaining slices in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Ahhhh granola! Such an amazing breakfast which can be freshly made ready for the week ahead. This granola stores well, tastes great and is packed with so many goodies to keep you going for longer without the sugar highs and lows of a store-bought granola. I haven't met a mouth yet that doesn't like this recipe!
Blueberry & Hemp Seed Granola
Prep time: 10 minutes
Setting time: 15-20 minutes
1 1/2 cups (150g) gluten-free rolled oats or rolled buckwheat
1/4 cup (10g) puffed amaranth
1/4 cup (30g) chia seeds
25g chopped almonds
1/4 cup (30g) sunflower seeds
1/4 cup (30g) hemp seeds
1/4 cup (30g) flaked brown rice
1/3 cup (20g) flaked coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (125ml) coconut oil
1/2 cup (125ml) coconut nectar or rice malt syrup
1/3 cup (55g) dried blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place all the dry ingredients, except the dried blueberries, in a large mixing bowl and combine.
- Place the coconut oil and coconut nectar in a seperate bowl. Heat over a double boiler orin a microwave for about 30 seconds or until just melted.
- Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and mix until everything is well combined.
- Spread the mixture evenly across the lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Stir the ingredients around on the tray, and cook for another 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven, evenly sprinkle the dried blueberries on top and then let the granola cool completely on the tray.
- Store in an airtight container or jar for up to 2 weeks.
Simple Acai Bowl
Prep time: 5 minutes
1 frozen banana
1 heaped cup mixed berries
1 cup (250ml) plant-based milk
1-2 tablespoons almond or cashew butter
1 x 100g frozen acai packet (ensure you get the 100% pure acai) or 2 heaped tablespoons acai powder
2 tablespoons coconut yoghurt (optional)
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
1/2 scoop protein powder (optional)
fruit of choice
- Place all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and top with any toppings of choice. Serve immediately.
Note: Try adding in 1/2 cup frozen kale or spinach (optional).
This is the second recipe I am featuring from the Green Kitchen Smoothies cookbook by the beautiful couple David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl. For more on this cookbook and another featured recipe, check out the first post here.
Marbled Smoothie Popsicles
Our popsicle version of a smoothie has a beautiful marbled look that can be made in an array of colours. The photo features three different flavour combinations: mango and passionfruit; strawberries and raspberries; and blueberries, but you can adapt this recipe to any fruit of choice - just let your imagination run wild! If you choose a very ripe and sweet fruit, you can use a little less sweetener, or increase it if your fruit is very tart.
Makes 10 popsicles
Prep time: 5 minutes
For the banana smoothie
2 ripe bananas, peeled
500g (2 cups) coconut yoghurt
2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the fruit smoothie
150g (1 cup) fresh berries or fruit of choice
2 tablespoons maple syrup or raw honey
For the extras
fresh ripe berries or fruit of choice, roughly chopped
toasted nuts, roughly chopped
quality dark chocolate (at least 70%) or raw vegan chocolate
- Roughly chop the bananas and add them to a blender along with the rest of the banana smoothie ingredients. Blend on a high speed until completely smooth.
- Set aside about 350g (1 1/2 cups) of the banana smoothie, leaving the rest in the blender. Add all the fruit smoothie ingredients to the blender and blend until completely smooth.
- Carefully fill 10 popsicle moulds with the smoothies, alternating between the banana and fruit one to create a marbled look (you can use the back of a teaspoon or knife to create this ripple effect). For an even more spectacular look and interesting texture, try adding some extras in the moulds between the different coloured layers.
- Cover, insert the popsicle sticks and set in the freezer for at least 4 hours or until completely firm or overnight. They can keep in the freezer for days, weeks, months, years... (but secretly you know they won't!).
Note: I made this recipe vegan by changing the full-fat plain unsweetened Greek yoghurt to coconut yoghurt. If you're not vegan feel free to keep the recipe as the original stands.