October 18, 2017

My Favourite "Chocolate Bar" Slice - Vegan - Gluten Free


This is my famous chocolate bar, with the works, (coconut, toffee, nuts, fruit, chocolate) slice! Ok...so, I'm its biggest fan, so maybe it's not so famous outside of my house. I love it so much because it gives me the same satisfaction that sitting down to snack on an "unhealthy" chocolate bar used to, without the guilt or bad tummy, of course.  Coconut, fudge, chocolate, fruit and nuts...everything good, in one slice!  Nice and healthy, full of nutrition. I find that with these healthy treats, I'm eat them to enjoy, I don't ravenously crave them, I don't need more than one piece either. I always have it stocked in my freezer, ready to go, and it is so easy to make in the food processor. Feel free to adapt the ingredients for the topping to suit your tastes.  For example, rice crisps add a nice crunch.

So, are you ready?  Let's begin....

In the processor, place



4 cups shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp maple syrup
(depending on the moisture content of the coconut, a splash of nut milk can be added right at the end, only if needed)

Give this a mix in the food processor until its is finely ground and sticks together between your fingers, about 3 -4 minutes.  Then, press down into a prepared 25 cm square, lined, baking tray.



Now for the toffee fudge...

2 cups cashews 
1 cup dates (if dried, briefly soaked, 30 mins in warm water and drain) 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Blend this until it comes together and forms a nice smooth consistency. Spread out on top of the coconut base.


Sprinkle nuts and dried fruit on top.  I like to use,

1/2 cup chopped almonds (quick blitz in food processor will do this)
1/2 cup peanuts
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup gogi berries

Time for the chocolate...mmmm!

In a small bowl add,

4 Tbsp maple syrup
4 Tbsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp cashew nut milk



Drizzle this on the top of your slice.

Doesn't that look delicious!!  Don't cut into it yet, lightly cover with the excess baking paper, without pressing down onto chocolate (alternatively, use cling wrap) and place it in the fridge overnight, ready to slice up the next day.

Pull it out of the tin using the lining, and slice up with a sharp knife.

For those who can't wait (ME!) Put it in the fridge for a few hours, or freezer for 1 hour and you can lift the whole slice out gently with the baking paper lining, then cut some from the side and enjoy, before replacing back into the pan...and letting it set properly (it'll never know, -sneaky hehe!) 
Hope you like, x Sarah

October 6, 2017

Lemon Tart - Vegan - Gluten Free

This lemon tart was something of a trial, when I was a non-vegan, I used to love lemon tart and lemon meringue pie, but never really enjoyed the egg taste of the original recipe. So, I am delighted to find I can make a fresh tasting, healthy, Vegan and Gluten Free version of one of my favourites!



Let's begin with the base.

In the food processor grind the almonds into crumbs, then add in the dates, vanilla and salt.



1 cup ground almonds
1 cup soaked dried dates (1 hour soak time)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp salt

Press into a 20 cm lined pie dish and chill in the fridge while we prepare the delicious lemon filling.

For that we will need a medium sized saucepan and a spatula to stir.

Into the saucepan, place all the ingredients and before heating, whisk in the tapioca flour with a fork.  Place on medium heat and let it thicken and cook, it doesn't take too long, about 10 minutes.



1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 cups cashew milk (or nut milk of choice)
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup tapioca flour




Pour on top of the pie crust and place in the fridge until set.  I found this to have a better flavour the next day.  I am also now a convert of tapioca!  Amazing stuff!


Enjoy!!

x Sarah


September 29, 2017

Peanut Crunch Biscuits - Vegan - Gluten Free

I love peanuts!!  Peanut butter, even better! I slather it on everything, and although most people will be thinking, "fat! calories!" I have gained no weight with my peanut obsession whilst on my plant based diet. Peanuts have so much nutrition, more protein per weight than meat, and it is a plant food, so NO cholesterol.  In fact, I eat about one jar of peanut butter per week and my cholesterol had dropped by 2 points after 6 months of going fully plant based and giving up eggs, the last animal product I was consuming.
Enjoy nuts! I'm able to build up muscle and strength, consistently, that I was never able to build up on animal protein.


So, here is my peanut crunch biscuit recipe!  Very easy to make in the food processor, and eat....

Ingredients

1 cup ground cashews
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup coconut flour
6 tbsp maple syrup
2 heaped tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt (if using salted peanuts, omit this)
1/4 cup nut milk
2/3 cup peanuts (mixed through at the end so they are not too broken up by the mixer blades)



Let's get baking!

Place the cashews, almonds, and coconut flour in the food processor and grind to a fine flour for approximately 1 minute



Add everything else, except the whole peanuts.  Blend until it is combined and almost at dough stage.
Add the peanuts now and give the food processor another wiz for about 10, until the peanuts are broken up a little, and the dough starts to form.




Roll out spoonfuls of the dough between your hands, press down into a biscuit shape (they will not spread in the oven) and place on the prepared flat biscuit tray.



Bake in a preheated oven 160 Celsius for approximately 20 minutes depending on the size of your biscuits.  I made 12 largish biscuits.



Of course, they smell delicious baking in the oven...yum!  Enjoy!!!

x Sarah


September 27, 2017

Carrot Cake - Vegan - Gluten Free - Raw

Carrot cake is one of my families favourites!  It's so good to be able to make a healthy, vegan and gluten free version we can all enjoy.  It is also raw, so extremely easy to make, especially if you have a food processor. You won't believe how good this tastes and how similar it is to the real thing.
My Carrot Cake Recipe

I use my food processor for easy grating and mixing,

Ingredients...
For the cake
2 cups of grated carrot (about 4 medium carrots (I use the medium size grater attachment on my food processor)
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup soaked dates
1 cup walnuts - leave out until the end (I rinse these first to wash the bitter taste away)

Mix everything in the food processor until combined except the walnuts, the mix should still be a little chunky, then add the walnuts and give a quick, 10 second mix, so they aren't pulverised and unrecognisable in the cake. Spoon out into a lined 20 cm long, loaf pan.

For the Maple Cream - 

1 can coconut cream (scrape out the cream from the top and drain off the water)
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
Juice and zest of half a lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend this together in the food processor and then spread on the top of the carrot cake.  Sprinkle with some extra cinnamon if you like.
Place this in the fridge for about 3 hours or freezer for 1 before lifting it out using the lining, slice it up and enjoy.
I found the flavours to be nicer on the second day, so if you are going to freeze this, make sure you store it in the fridge for at least 24 hours before you do. 
I hope you enjoy!

Sarah x

Chocolate Brownies - Gluten Free, Vegan

I started making black bean brownies from the recipe in the Deliciously Ella Everyday book (she has amazing plant based recipes, I highly recommend!) I have made them several times, and tweaked the recipe to suit my tastes. They are delicious, they smell delicious and taste delicious! I was sure I'd taste the beans in them, but no, they just give them an amazing texture that I've been looking to achieve in my Gluten Free Vegan cake recipes.
My Chocolate Brownie Recipe

I use my food processor for easy mixing,

Ingredients...


1 cup ground almonds (I grind them in the food processor to begin with before the mixing bowl gets sticky)
2 Tbsp ground chia seeds (I grind these in the coffee grinder)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 cup soaked dates
1 medium ripe banana

I give all of this a mix in the food processor at this point before going on to add...

400 g black beans - canned (drained) or cooked from dried (I cook up a big batch and freeze individually in 400 g portions)
1 cup nut milk (I make my own cashew milk by placing one handful of cashews into the food processor with 800 ml of water and blending for 4 minutes)
6-8 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract



Mix in the food processor until nicely combined.  You can taste at this point too, yum!

Spoon the mixture into a 20 cm, lined, square brownie pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 45 minutes.

Take it out and let it cool for at least an hour in the pan.  Then slice it up and enjoy!

I usually freeze any portions I won't be eating within a few days.  I find it nice to bake a variety of sweet treats that I can freeze and snack on at any time.

Have fun baking and eating these healthy. gluten free, vegan treats!

x Sarah

September 26, 2017

Veganniversary!


It's my 1 year Vegan anniversary this month!!! A bit of art work to celebrate πŸ˜†πŸŽ¨πŸŒ± The only regret I have, as most Vegans do, is that I didn't go fully vegan sooner! I knew I wanted to live this way from an early age but chronic illness took me on a detour. I have 25 years of learning and experience to share and hopefully, help others make the switch. For the animals, planet and ourselves. Nothing beats feeling this good. Not only physical improvements, but there is a peace in my soul that I have never experienced before. I've found this feeling to have had a much bigger impact on the happiness and contentment of my life than anything else. πŸ’ŸπŸ‘ΌπŸ’ŸπŸ‘ΌπŸ’ŸπŸ‘ΌπŸ’Ÿ I would never...could never go back. Peace, love, kindness, compassion and a non violent life and world starts with me and my choices. πŸΆπŸŒ±πŸ°πŸŒ±πŸ‘πŸŒ±πŸ₯πŸŒ±πŸ„πŸŒ±πŸ΄πŸŒ±πŸ·

x Sarah



May 3, 2017

Pancakes - Gluten Free - Vegan

I woke up at 5.30 am again today, time to smile a sunny morning, even if it was still dark. I didn't always love mornings, but do now! Sound sleep, refreshed, energy πŸŒžπŸ˜€πŸŒžπŸ˜€ I drank my cup of morning tea,  searching for a gluten free, vegan pancake recipe to try for breakfast πŸ˜€πŸŒžπŸ˜€πŸŒžπŸ˜€πŸŒž
I go to do my qigong under this! So blessed and grateful. Feeling the energy πŸ’ŸπŸŒžπŸ’ŸπŸŒžπŸ’Ÿ
So, after much searching, I decided to roughly base my recipe on a recipe share by, Cooking with Plants on You tube. It was for pumpkin pancakes, with peanut butter topping. So, my recipe is quite different. I wanted to use sorghum flour, since I tolerate that well. After years of being scared of food, then diagnosed with celiac disease, on top of allergies to many other foods, I'm feeling so well again on a Vegan, plant based diet, my confidence is back and I'm having fun doing something I love again! Recipes, baking, cooking, ingredients, I love it all, of course the eating too. 
So, to start with, I blended the wet ingredients in my food processor

1 banana
1 cup cashews milk
Splash of vanilla

Then add
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
A pinch of salt

(I buy all my flours from iherb.com great prices and free postage, even to Australia.)

Blend this up

Heat the pan
Add a little nuttelex coconut butter, pour small amounts of batter into the pan. Leave until the bottom is brown, as you do with usual pancakes, the only difference is they don't bubble. I don't like the taste of baking powders and the like, but you can easily get bubbles by adding this. The pancakes are still fluffy without.

Flip, and cook the other side

Delicious! 
Amazing! 
Better than non vegan pancakes! 
You better believe it πŸ˜πŸ˜‰πŸ˜
I really,  really, really enjoyed these! I don't feel sick after eating  them, I don't have a heavy tummy, I'm energised and ready to go! Happiness!  Too much excitement for the morning! It's 8am and I've already had the best day ever! I love mornings! 



April 30, 2017

Good morning!

Good morning 🌞🌻🌞🌻🌞 I spent a relaxing morning, wandering around my garden at first light, watching my garden wake up. Then the sun came up and my sun catcher was shining so brilliantly, sharing the sun's message, "It's going to be a wonderful day" πŸ˜€πŸŒžπŸ˜€πŸŒžπŸ˜€πŸŒžπŸ˜€

April 29, 2017

It's world Qigong and Tai chi day!


It's world tai chi and qigong day! Qigong has changed my life! I could barely walk, or even stand or move my arms through the routine I will share with you, last year, after 20 years of full body, crippling autoimmune arthritis and 10 years of adrenal disease. I've worked up to doing this routine 2 times per day. I'm stronger, healthier, calmer, happier and more energetic in my daily life. Getting our Qi moving is just as important as the food we eat. I can't proclaim loudly enough how much I love qigong and how beneficial it has been for me. I don't see I'll ever stop progressing with this ancient exercise. I πŸ’Ÿ qigong
https://youtu.be/g-jSBBwr8Ko
7 minutes of magic by Lee Holden

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