Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kid-Friendly Paleo Banana & Date Muffins

So I knew I wanted to make a paleo friendly muffin that would appeal Mr W and to kids of all ages. We had some ripe bananas and fresh dates on hand so I scoured the Internet and found this Martha Stewart recipe which I paleo pimped to suit our household. The result was impressive. So much so that the word 'more' spilled out of Mr W's mouth today. If I'm honest, he was on the verge of saying it anyway but these muffins sealed the deal.

Now buckwheat isn't considered strictly paleo and falls into the grey area along with quinoa. However, it is considered a 'cheat' food by many who follow paleo and primal lifestyles. If you would prefer to avoid it, substitute it for coconut flour which works just as well.

Kid-Friendly Paleo Banana & Date Muffins
Makes 8 

1/2 cup coconut (or buckwheat flour)
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp pink salt flakes or sea salt
4 large free range/organic eggs
1 banana, mashed
3 large fresh dates
2 tbs shredded coconut
2 tbs raw honey
1 tsp organic vanilla essence or paste

Heat oven to 170 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl whisk together eggs, banana, honey and vanilla. Fold through the coconut and chopped dates.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and pour batter to fill 3/4 of each liner. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. 

Cool on a wire rack.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cashew Mustard Dressing

New Zealand's Annabel Langbein is known as The Free Range Cook on her popular TV series now in its third series. To accompany the new series, Annabel has just released her new cookbook Through the Seasons. 

Through the Seasons is a visually stunning and informative cookbook that will appeal to those who love fresh seasonal produce.

The cookbook is as it sounds - a celebration of the seasons with handy tips, growing guides, recipes and links to video demonstrations studded throughout.   

I was instantly drawn to this recipe for Cashew Mustard Dressing which tastes divine and is so easy to make. I have tweaked it ever so slightly by changing the ingredient of honey to raw honey to fit in with a paleo and/or primal lifestyle.

Also, just make sure your seeded mustard doesn't contain any nasties like sugar or added preservatives etc. 

Cashew Mustard Dressing
adapted from Annabel Langbein's recipe
Photo Source: Annabel Langbein

½ cup roasted cashews
1 tbsp seed mustard
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp raw honey
½ tsp salt
about ½ cup water, to thin

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend to a smooth sauce. Thin with a little extra water if desired to reach your preferred consistency. Store in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Enjoy x

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vanilla Chia Pudding w/ Maca Caramel & Macadamia Crumbs

This pudding is one of my favourites and is perfect for entertaining. I just love chia seeds and this was the first time I had used the delicious maca powder.

Maca powder is made from the maca root which grows in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Referred to as a superfood, it is revered for its wide-ranging benefits to the hormonal system and its aphrodisiac qualities.  If you want to know more about the wonderful benefits of Maca Powder, the team at I Quit Sugar have put together a bluffer's guide to Maca.

Vanilla Chia Pudding w/ Maca Caramel & Macadamia Crumbs
Makes approx 6 individual servings or one large pudding


Vanilla Chia Pudding
1/2 cup of chia seeds
2 cups of coconut milk (or any other non-dairy milk of your choice)
3 tablespoons of maple syrup (or any other liquid sweetener of your choice)
2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract or 1 pod scraped
1 pinch of Himalayan crystal salt or sea salt
Maca Caramel
1 cup dates
2 tablespoons maca powder
Himalayan pink crystal salt, to taste

3/4 cup water, more or less as needed 

Macadamia Crumbs
1 cup raw macadamia nuts

For the chia pudding:
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, stir well and let rest for a few minutes.
After a few minutes whisk together with a fork or metal whisk and place in the fridge to set for 3-4 hours or overnight.
For the Maca Caramel:
To make the caramel: blend all the ingredients until smooth and thick. Put this in the fridge for about 2 hours. 
For the Macadamia Crumbs:

Lightly toast the nuts in a hot pan then set aside to cool. Using a food processor pulse the macadamia nuts until they resemble a fine crumb unless of course you prefer a few chunky pieces.

To serve:

Spoon the chia pudding mix into individual serving dishes or ramekins, spoon a little maca caramel on top and sprinkle with macadamia crumbs. 

This tastes incredible and is you can enjoy it for dessert without any guilt.