Posts in Cookbook Club
Raw 'Twix' Bars
  Raw 'Twix' Bars // Kenkō Kitchen. Image taken from the  Bliss Bites  Cookbook. Cookbook out December 1st through Hardie Grant. Photography by  Elisa Watson , styling by  Caroline Velik .

Raw 'Twix' Bars // Kenkō Kitchen. Image taken from the Bliss Bites Cookbook. Cookbook out December 1st through Hardie Grant. Photography by Elisa Watson, styling by Caroline Velik.

There is a reason why George Costanza, in a Seinfeld episode, got so upset about someone eating his Twix bar. They are just so darn good you really don't want to share them. These Twixes are raw, so they're not exactly the real deal, but they are close enough for me. Keep these on hand in your freezer to snack on whenever you please - which will be always! Until you run out; in which case, just make more!


Raw 'Twix' Bars

Makes 12 or 24
Prep time: 15 minutes
Setting time: about 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

Base
155g (1 cup) activated or raw cashews or macadamia nuts
45g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut
2 1/2 tablespoons almond meal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Caramel
13 medjool dates (about 260g), pitted
60ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup, coconut nectar or rice malt syrup
90g (1/3 cup) nut or seed butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1 tablespoon mesquite powder (optional)
pinch sea salt flakes

Chocolate coating
100g raw or dark chocolate, melted and cooled

METHOD

  1. Place all the ingredients for the base in your food processor and pulse until well combined.
  2. Line the base of a 20 x 15cm (8 x 6 in) baking tin with baking paper. Place the nut mixture into the tin, pressing it firmly and evenly over the base. Transfer to the freezer and freeze for about 30 minutes, or until firm.
  3. To make the caramel, combine the ingredients in the cleaned food processor and blend together until smooth. Remove the tin from the freezer and spread the caramel layer evenly over the base. Return to freezer to set firm.
  4. Line a small tray with baking paper.
  5. Once the mixture is firm, remove the Twix from the tin and cut into 12 even-sized fingers. You can then cut these in half widthways, to give 24 smaller fingers, if you like. Dip the fingers into the melted chocolate, draining off any excess, and place them on the tray. 
  6. Refrigerate or freeze until the chocolate has set then transfer them to an airtight container to store. These will keep, ideally frozen, for a couple of months (or 2 days, if you find them as delicious as I do!). 

Note: These bars go a bit soft in the fridge, so freezer storage is best. 

Bliss Bites / Golden Fun-time Balls
  Golden Funtime Balls // Kenkō Kitchen. Image taken from the  Bliss Bites  Cookbook. Cookbook out December 1st through Hardie Grant. Photography by  Elisa Watson , styling by  Caroline Velik .

Golden Funtime Balls // Kenkō Kitchen. Image taken from the Bliss Bites Cookbook. Cookbook out December 1st through Hardie Grant. Photography by Elisa Watson, styling by Caroline Velik.

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

Makes 16
Prep time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

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

METHOD

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 

A New Cookbook / Bliss Bites
  Not-So-Malt Teasers // Kenkō Kitchen. Image taken from the  Bliss Bites  Cookbook. Cookbook out December 1st through Hardie Grant. Photography by  Elisa Watson , styling by  Caroline Velik .

Not-So-Malt Teasers // Kenkō Kitchen. Image taken from the Bliss Bites Cookbook. Cookbook out December 1st through Hardie Grant. Photography by Elisa Watson, styling by Caroline Velik.

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.

You can now pre-order the cookbook from Booktopia, Book Depository, and Amazon.

  Bliss Bites Cookbook // Kenkō Kitchen. Image taken from the  Bliss Bites  Cookbook. Cookbook out December 1st through Hardie Grant. Photography by  Elisa Watson , styling by  Caroline Velik .

Bliss Bites Cookbook // Kenkō Kitchen. Image taken from the Bliss Bites Cookbook. Cookbook out December 1st through Hardie Grant. Photography by Elisa Watson, styling by Caroline Velik.

The Healthy Ingredient / Cookie Dough Treats and Christmas Pudding Slice
  Cookie Dough Treats and Christmas Pudding Slice. Image taken from The Healthy Convert. Cookbook out now through Hardie Grant. Photography by  Elisa Watson , styling by Georgia Young.

Cookie Dough Treats and Christmas Pudding Slice. Image taken from The Healthy Convert. Cookbook out now through Hardie Grant. Photography by Elisa Watson, styling by Georgia Young.


The Healthy Convert CVR.jpg

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.

For more on The Healthy Convert or Nicole Maree, check out her website here. 


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

INGREDIENTS

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

METHOD

  1. 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.
  2. Mix the chia seeds with 30ml walter. Set aside to become gelatinous. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

INGREDIENTS

100g raisins
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

METHOD

  1. In a small bowl mix the raisins and rum to combine and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. In a food processor pulse the arrowroot biscuits until slightly crushed. Transfer into a large bowl.
  4. Add the coconut, cacao powder, apricots, cranberries, orange zest and soaked raisins. Mix to combine. 
  5. 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.
  6. Press the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm.
  7. Remove from the tin, slice into squares and serve.
  8. Store the remaining slices in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Green Kitchen Smoothies / Marbled Smoothie Popsicles
  Marbled Smoothie Popsicles //    David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl  from the  Green Kitchen Smoothies  cookbook. Cookbook out now through Hardie Grant. Photography by  David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl .

Marbled Smoothie Popsicles // David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl from the Green Kitchen Smoothies cookbook. Cookbook out now through Hardie Grant. Photography by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl.

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

INGREDIENTS

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
nut butter
toasted nuts, roughly chopped
granola
quality dark chocolate (at least 70%) or raw vegan chocolate

METHOD

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Green Kitchen Smoothies / Purple Performance Smoothie

I was first introduced to David Frankiel and Luise Vindahl of Green Kitchen Stories back in 2012 when I first started to really pay attention to what I was eating. I had been switching between vegan and vegetarian for 12 years, was giving up gluten (unaware at the time I was coeliac), was cutting out refined sugars and all dairy products were completely eliminated. Finding recipes to suit my new lifestyle back then was hard. There wasn't the plethora of plant based blogs and cookbooks on offer. It was either recipes in extreme diet books, which lets face it, weren't all too appealing to a 21 year old, or it just didn't tick all of my new boxes. Whilst looking for inspiration online, I stumbled across Green Kitchen Stories and instantly fell in love. Their recipes were simple, real and looked SO appealing. They were the first couple that showed me that eating healthy could be delicious, and wouldn't make me feel like I was missing out on the foods I loved. Not only that, they were adorable. Their love for each other, and watching the beginning of their family made my heart strings sing. They were the ones who inspired me to think that plant-based cooking could be my career. If they were helping people change their lives through food, I could do it too!

I religiously followed the posts on their website. I got their first cookbook, I religiously liked their instagram posts and wanted to be as cool as David and Luise. Fast forward 2 years and this incredible couple would be attending my first Cookbook launch. I thought I was going to explode of nerves having this duo and their adorable family there to celebrate the release of something inspired by them. 

There is no secret smoothies have been trending for the last 5 years. Smoothie bars are popping up everywhere, making it easier for us to stay healthy wherever we go. Packed with incredible fresh ingredients, smoothies not only give us a boost of nutrients, they also add energy, fibre, antioxidants or a plethora of vitamins and minerals into our diets. Smoothies are a go-to for me, whether it be something which I can have on the go to ensure I still get nourished when I am too busy to make/consume a meal, or whether it be an afternoon treat, a pre or post workout protein packed energy hit or just something simple to tie me over in-between meals.

In Green Kitchen Stories latest cookbook, Green Kitchen Smoothies, there are recipes to suit every and any occasion. Whether its simple breakfast smoothies, green smoothies with a twist, or recipes that will transform the way you think of dessert. This is the perfect cookbook for anyone who is just getting into the health and wellness world and for those who just need some new and exciting ideas to inspire their smoothie game. I could not recommend this cookbook enough!


  Purple Performance Smoothie //    David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl  from the  Green Kitchen Smoothies  cookbook. Cookbook out now through Hardie Grant. Photography by  David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl .

Purple Performance Smoothie // David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl from the Green Kitchen Smoothies cookbook. Cookbook out now through Hardie Grant. Photography by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl.

Purple Performance

pre- and post-workout smoothie
SERVES 2 or 1 large serving

Beets (and other nitrate-rich vegetables) improve blood and oxygen flow in muscles and prompt them to use the oxygen more efficiently. Sour cherries are rich in antioxidants and help the body to recover from intense training, as well as reducing delayed-onset muscle pain. Drink beetroot and sour cherry juices and smoothies regularly to gain the physical benefits. 

Ingredients

1 small raw beetroot, peeled (approx. 80 g/3 oz)
1 tablespoon dried sour cherries or sour cherry powder (or goji berries)
60 g (2 oz/½ cup) frozen raspberries
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 tablespoon hemp seeds or hemp protein powder (or more if you like)
½–1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated (or ¼–½ teaspoon ground ginger)
350 ml (12 fl oz/1½ cups) almond milk (or unsweetened milk of choice)
1–2 tablespoons lemon juice

Method

Depending on the strength of your blender, roughly chop or grate the beetroot and add it to the blender along with the rest of the ingredients.

Blend on a high speed until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the spiciness and sourness to your liking by adding more ginger or lemon juice if necessary.

Pour into two medium-sized glasses and serve, or store in a large airtight glass bottle to pack into your gym bag (as featured in the photo).