I’m not sure where this recipe originated from, it was handwritten (in my handwriting) but I cannot for the life of me remember who gave it to me and so cannot credit the original to anyone! I have adapted it to suit my family’s tastes and have called them cupcakes in an effort to get my ‘used to eat everything and now don’t like anything’ 3 year old daughter (they are really more like muffins and are divine with a smear of ‘real’ butter on them). It was also a desperate attempt to get some vegie’s into her without her realising! These are just orange coloured cupcakes in her mind and I’m fine with that as long as she eats them! Great little snack to throw in a bag for a trip to the park.
2-3 carrots, depending on size, peeled
3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1/3 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/3 cup rice malt syrup (can use maple syrup or even honey if you like them sweeter)
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
Put the carrots, egg and rice malt syrup in a food processor and process for 30 seconds to a minute. Add all remaining ingredients and process until combined. (I love my food processor!)
Fill a muffin tin with cupcake liners and fill each evenly. Sprinkle some coconut and sunflower seeds on top.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until you think their cooked!
They’re so easy to make and are freezer friendly (if they last that long!) Enjoy!
* For those of you who don’t own a food processor. Simply grate the carrots by hand and then combine all the ingredients as above. Still easy!
Today I baked. We had run out of everything sweet and my husband was driving me mad with ‘You need to make more of these…’ ‘You need to make more of those…’ So I gladly set aside the housework and did what I love instead, baking. First I made some Yummy Mummy Date Balls using raw honey as the sweetener making a note to use Rice Malt Syrup next time so it’s not quite as sweet. Then I made some Chocolate Oat Cookies courtesy of Coconut Health and Healing, so quick, easy and yummy. Then I had a craving for a more biscuity style of cookie with a little bit more chocolate but without all the butter and sugar. Hey presto! Happy Island’s Chocolatey Chocolate Chip Cookies were born! Really easy and quick to make, satisfies that choccie craving and is approved by my 3 year old! Hope you enjoy them too!
1/2 cup coconut oil (room temperature)
1 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 1/2 cups organic flour plain (I used white flour in this recipe but am keen to try a wholemeal spelt)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons raw cacao
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 180°C. Put the coconut oil, coconut sugar and the vanilla bean paste into the food processor to cream, this should only take a couple of minutes. Add all other ingredients. Place a sheet of baking paper on a cookie tray. Roll mixture into balls, place on tray and flatten. Cook for 15-20 minutes. The amount of cookies depends on the size of your balls (and no I didn’t mean for that to sound rude!) Enjoy
Hubby came home starving from a surf this morning so the smell of my freshly baked Sourdough Rye Bread and Zucchini and Feta muffins was too much for his grumbling belly. He greedily sliced into the fresh bread and spread the slices generously with a simple butter and jam, he also made short work of the muffins before I could so much as pull out a picnic blanket! So we ate in the sun on our deck overlooking the water (not too shabby anyway) and then set off for the beach. Catching up in the sun on the sand with our city neighbours and their children who have made the journey to the island for the school holidays was a nice way to spend the afternoon. We’re not used to so much colour and movement on the island as we pretty much have it to ourselves outside of school holidays. All in all it’s been a pretty perfect Sunday AND I can highly recommend my Zucchini and Feta Muffins! I hope you give them a go and enjoy them as much as we do!
ZUCCHINI AND FETA MUFFINS
1 1/2 cups organic wholemeal spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 zucchini’s, medium size, grated
1 cup chopped feta
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
Handful of chopped basil
Preheat the oven to 180° celcius. Grease a 12 hole muffin tray. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and pepper. Add grated zucchini and chopped feta. Add all other ingredients and mix until just combined. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin tray holes. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Let them rest for 5 minutes after removing from oven before placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
These taste great eaten cold or heated through and smeared with a little butter.
Enjoy! J x
For years, well before my daughter was born, my husband has loved Chocolate Crackles. You know the kind Mum used to make as a treat or for birthday parties, the recipe came free on the back of a pack of Rice Bubbles. Just add some copha, icing sugar and cocoa and you have a quick but not very healthy treat. Copha is hydrogenated coconut oil. It alters the chemical structure of the oil and creates harmful trans-fatty acids. Hydrogenated oils can impact negatively on your cholesterol levels. Substitute copha with Organic Coconut Oil for the same taste without all the negatives.
In my version I added some chia seeds and flaxseeds which are high in fibre (this is beneficial for heart health), rich in antioxidants and can reduce cholesterol.
My little family loved them. I hope yours will as well.
This is my version of Chocolate Crackles based on Janella Purcells.
3 cups organic puffed rice
1 cup of dates
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup organic dessicated coconut
1 cup raw cacao
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup flaxseeds
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup currants
4-6 tablespoons of Agave Syrup (depending on your desired sweetness, you can also use raw honey or rice malt syrup)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Chop the dates (I do it in my food processor), remove and set aside. Chop the walnuts to desired consistency (I use the food processor and chop them really fine). Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until completely combined. Place patty pan/cupcake cases onto a flat baking tray, fill with mixture and pop them into the fridge for around an hour to set. If you are desperate to eat one fairly quickly you can pop them into the freezer. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
This recipe will make about 24.
Sometimes it’s nice to have a healthy side dish that can be whipped up quickly to serve with the family meal or to take to that last minute BBQ where the host says, ‘If you could just bring a salad that would be great!’. You don’t need to have a lot of ingredients and most of the ones found in this salad are pretty much staple foods in my household. It’s delicious, fresh and as the texture is kinda pasta-ish, it pleases my 3 year old who has decided all she wants to eat is pasta (this has made for some inventive dishes lately!)
HAPPY ISLAND HEALTHY COUSCOUS
This recipe can be made gluten and wheat free by substituting the cous cous for quinoa.
1 cup Organic wholewheat Couscous (can subsitute for quinoa)
1 cup boiling water
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Put cup of couscous into a bowl and cover with boiling water, stir to combine. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff up with a fork. Add all other ingredients, pour lemon juice over the top and presto! You’re ready to serve!
* For the Quinoa, follow the directions on the back of the pack as it will differ and take longer.
** This is the perfect accompaniment to my ‘Crumb Your Own!’ Chicken Schnitzels.
I remember one of the rare treats when I was a kid was my Mums Chocolate Truffles. A ball of chocolatey, biscuity naughtiness rolled in sweet coconut. They were a special occasion food that Mum faithfully trotted out at formal dinner parties, Christmases or as a cooking contribution at a family/friend gathering. You could never just eat one and I remember hovering around the food table watching, waiting for the opportunity to snatch another one and pop it quickly into my mouth before anyone noticed. I was caught out more often than not as my suspiciously bulging cheeks would often give me away. It’s amazing how some foods just transport you back to the magical, carefree days of childhood. This is my healthy version of my Mum’s Chocolate Truffles, one that my daughter Willow calls ‘Yummy Mummy Date Balls’, a name that has stuck. And yes, she takes every opportunity to try and sneak an extra one just like her Mum!
YUMMY MUMMY DATE BALLS
This recipe is super easy and doesn’t take long. I use all organic ingredients where possible.
1 1/2 cups pitted dates
1 cup raw cashews or almonds
2 tablespoons raw cacao
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon raw maca powder* (optional)
40-50ml agave syrup
Dessicated coconut for rolling
Place the nuts into a food processor and process until you have a nice crumb consistency. Add the dates and process until chopped well. Add all other ingredients, blend until well combined and mixture stick together. Roll into tablespoon size balls, then roll in coconut. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate.
*Maca powder is a superfood which is native to the Andes mountains. It has many health benefits including boosting energy, increasing fertility, combats migraines and stress, enhances memory, speeds healing, is vitamin packed with B1, B2, B12, C, zinc and calcium to name a few, boosts your immunity and apparently, your libido.
Winter has arrived here in Queensland. The beautiful sunny, clear blue sky days. The calm, flat water surrounding part of my island has cooled but the pumping surf on the other still tempts my husband who has ducked off for a quick wave before starting work. The sand is cold beneath our feet and the air chilled but it is a lovely day. It will heat slightly as the day progresses and then late in the afternoon it will chill again and we will light our new fire to warm our home. It’s days like these that I really enjoy preparing a hearty, healthy meal for my family to sit down to in the evening and if you ask my daughter what she would like for dinner the most likely answer will be pasta, so a vegetarian lasagne is the perfect choice.
Organic lasagne sheets
Cheese for grating on top (I used a mozzarella in this one)
2 cloves of garlic
1 small head of broccoli
2 small zucchini
1 bunch of silverbeet
2 x 400g tins of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup of almond milk
2 tablespoons wholemeal spelt flour
Pinch of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place all vegetables except garlic in food processor and process (you can chop it all if you like). I process as I have a little girl that’s going through a ‘no chunky vegetables’ stage.
Heat oil in pan and add crushed garlic, cook for a minute. Add all other vegetables and stir for a couple of minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
Melt 50g of butter in a saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of wholemeal spelt flour and whisk into a paste. Gradually add 1 cup of almond milk, whisking until thickened. Take off heat and stir through pinch nutmeg.
Now it’s time to put it all together! I do 3 layers, a layer of the filling, topped with lasagne sheets, then another layer of filling, topped with ‘white’ sauce and lasagne sheets, the last layer of filling then the white sauce and topped with grated cheese. Cover the dish with foil and place in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until top is browned.
Let it rest for a few minutes and you’re ready to serve! It’s a winner with my family, I hope yours enjoys it too!