Posts tagged Gluten-free

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Just a quick little post today…my new baby has decided that day sleeps are overrated, unless she happens to be attached to my chest, so as you can imagine any spare time is pretty much non-existent. Having said that I have managed to throw a thing or two into the oven since August arrived a couple of weeks ago. Mostly these baking sessions have involved one recipe set to ‘repeat’ as it’s one of the quickest and easiest baking recipes I’ve come across. Not only that but these little cakes are one of the healthiest treats you could dream up being free of refined sugar, gluten, butter and oil. The original recipe comes care of the much-loved Petite Kitchen blog – I’ve made her Upside Down Mandarin & Poppy Seed Cakes innumerable times now but today felt like experimenting with the basic premise of the recipe whilst changing up the ingredients a bit.

My version below is even quicker and easier to make. I replaced the mandarins with frozen berries and used coconut in place of the poppy seeds. No need to boil mandarins for an hour – just defrost a cup of berries and you’re good to go.

These are truly a one-bowl-wonder. Everything gets put into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisked until well combined. Couldn’t be easier! The cakes are stained a shade of blue from the berries breaking down in the mix but they can be dressed up with a light dusting of icing sugar if you feel that way inclined.

Serve them with a large dollop of something on the side, depending on your required level of virtuousness…thick greek yoghurt and a drizzle of honey for a guilt-free treat; my favourite – a half-half mix of greek yoghurt and whipped cream with a touch of vanilla extract; or a large dollop of mascarpone for a slightly naughtier version.

BERRY, COCONUT AND ALMOND CAKES

INGREDIENTS (makes 10 mini-cakes)
1 cup frozen berries – I used a mix of blueberry and raspberry
Juice 1 orange (or tangelo)
4 free-range eggs
2 cups ground almonds
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
Finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup liquid honey
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

METHOD
1. Place the frozen berries into a small bowl, squeeze over the orange juice and set aside to defrost.
2. Preheat the oven to 160°C and grease 10 muffin tin recesses well with butter.
3. Put the eggs, ground almonds, coconut, lemon rind, honey, baking soda, apple cider vinegar and defrosted berries/juice into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on a medium-high setting until well combined.
4. Divide the mix between the 10 muffin tins and bake for approximately 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean.
5. Leave to cool completely in the tins then gently lift out with a knife.
6. Dust with icing sugar to serve if desired and accompany with your choice of yoghurt, cream or mascarpone.

Pilaf_1
I had a summery moment of inspiration yesterday. Something about being out walking in the early evening sunshine filled my mind with dinner ideas where fish, rice and leeks were at the fore. We eat a lot of potatoes in our house, which I’m quite happy with most of the time but let’s be honest, you can’t eat them every night of the week and last night saw me drawing a starchy line in the sand. So from one starch to another I dreamt up this absolutely delicious little meal that turned out even better than I had hoped for.

I’m a huge fan of pilaf. It’s a very satisfying way to eat rice. A good pilaf should be light and fluffy, well-flavoured and nourishing. This pilaf is flavoured with buttery leeks and lemon and makes the perfect bed for a fillet of baked white fish finished off with a vibrant herb and caper salsa. The buttery flavor of the pilaf is perfectly offset by the zesty, tangy and slightly salty salsa.

It might look like there are a few steps involved, but they are very simple steps to take. This is easy enough to pull together on any given night for the family but would also make a beautiful dinner party meal that’s guaranteed to help you win friends and influence people (if that’s the desired outcome) but won’t tie you to the kitchen all night long. The salsa can be made in advance, the pilaf is simple to prepare and the fish and asparagus can be cooked minutes prior to serving.

You could serve this dish with just the pilaf, fish and salsa but seeing as it’s asparagus season we are throwing them into every second meal while they are fresh and delicious and they certainly work very well as an accompaniment in this case.

LEMONY LEEK PILAF WITH BAKED FISH AND HERB CAPER SALSA
Serves two (very generously)

BEFORE YOU START
A few hours before you want to start cooking the pilaf, start the rinsing/soaking process which ensures lovely fluffy rice and will also reduce the required cooking time. Put 150g long-grain white rice into a bowl and cover with water. Use your fingertips to rub the grains of rice to release the starch, then drain and refill the bowl with fresh water. Repeat this process 2-3 more times until the water runs clear. Drain one final time, add 1 tsp sea salt and cover with warm water. Stir to dissolve the salt and leave the rice to soak in the fridge for 3 hours. When you are ready to cook the pilaf, remove the rice from the fridge and drain well in a colander until ready to use.

NOTE – when you are ready to start cooking the pilaf, preheat the oven on to 200°C so it’s at temperature to bake the fish when the pilaf is almost done.

INGREDIENTS – SALSA
Large handful each basil leaves, flat-leaf parsley leaves and fennel tops
Juice 1 lemon
Heaped tablespoon capers
3-4 tbsp good quality olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

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METHOD – SALSA (can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the fridge)
1. Place the herbs (leaves only) into the bowl of a food processor along with the lemon juice, drained capers, olive oil and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
2. Blitz until a rough paste forms, you may need to scrape down the sides a couple of times. Add a little more oil if needed to achieve a good texture – the salsa should be slightly looser in consistency than a pesto without being too runny. Set aside until you are ready to serve.

Pilaf_3
INGREDIENTS – PILAF
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 large leek – white/pale green part only
1 large clove garlic – crushed to a paste with a large pinch of sea salt
150g long-grain white rice (prepared as per notes above)
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1 cup vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp pinenuts – lightly toasted

METHOD – PILAF
1. Finely slice the leeks and then roughly chop the slices to break down a little further.
2. Add the olive oil and butter to a heavy-based saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and garlic and fry very gently, stirring often, for 10 minutes until tender but not browned. Add the grated lemon rind to the leeks and cook a further 5 minutes.
3. Add the prepared/drained rice to the pan and stir well to coat in the leeks.
4. Add the stock to the pan along with 1/2 cup water and season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper over the surface of the rice then put the lid on top of this.
5. Bring the rice to the boil and cook fast for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes immediately reduce the heat to low and continue cooking (lid on) for a further 8 minutes. Remove from the heat but leave the lid on for another 5 minutes while you cook the fish (and asparagus, if using).

FOR THE BAKED FISH
2 medium fillets of white-fleshed fish (I like gurnard but tarakihi and schnapper would also work well)
1 lemon – cut crosswise into thin slices
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD – BAKED FISH
1. Rinse the fillets in water and pat dry on kitchen towels.
2. Lay the fillets side-by-side on a sheet of tin foil, season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and lay the lemon slices along the length of each fillet.
3. Fold the foil around the fish to seal and place into the oven for 5-8 minutes, depending on the size/thickness of the fillets.

TO SERVE
Place a large spoonful of the pilaf on each of the serving plates, top with the baked fish and a generous dollop of the herby caper salsa. Finish off with a sprinkling of pinenuts and serve immediately with your favourite greens on the side. Absolutely delicious!!

Macaroons_4
I’ve becoming more than a little obsessed with coconut of late. My rather more glamorous friend visited recently from Sydney and brought all her lotions and potions along for the ride which made not only her smell delicious but our house as well. Her aura made its olfactory mark, let’s say. I was jealous. I wanted to waft about the house smelling divinely sweet and just a little bit less like the mother of a toddler. You mothers out there will know what I mean.

Short of investing in the mini-apothecary that my friend carries with her, I made sure I nosied about in her stash to find out the scented secret of my lust. There were a few things I would have loved to get my hands on, but one in particular struck me as both unusual and so scrumptious to the nostrils that I had to give it a go. What was it? Why the humble, pantry-stored, cook-em-up Coconut Oil. How I have yet to discover this apparent miracle substance is beyond me. How did I miss the boat on this one?? I’ve recently discovered that there are a million and one uses for coconut oil and as many benefits from smearing it on every corporal surface possible (including the interior). I’ll extoll the full list in another blog post, but suffice to say that it’s so good for the body that you could be forgiven for bathing in it every day. Though naturally you’d be a little greasier for it.

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I’ve now taken to smearing my skin, head to toe, in this delicious substance twice daily after I shower. The first few times you do this you’ll find yourself sniffing your limbs every few minutes to fully inhale the intense coconuty delight that now resides on your epidermis. I smell like a Krispie biscuit 24/7 which is a very fine thing indeed.

All this skin-talk aside, the constant reminder of Krispie biscuits has made me crave coconut cookies. Not the packet, processed kind, but the homemade variety made from real ingredients with real goodness and flavour. So, I whipped these tasty little morsels up this morning to fulfil my wanton needs.

These macaroons are not the delicate, multi-coloured French variety but rather more of the Moroccan ilk which are chewy and tender and incredibly moreish. They’re made them with a mix of ground almonds and coconut, sweetened with honey and scented delicately with orange zest. Perfect for morning tea with a freshly brewed coffee.

NOTE: Be sure to place the tray of cookies in the middle of the oven. If you place them too low or high you’ll burn their bums/heads.

ORANGE SCENTED MACAROONS

INGREDIENTS (makes 16 small cookies)
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup desiccated coconut
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup liquid honey
2 large certified free-range eggs – whites only

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line an oven tray with baking paper.
2. Place the ground almonds and coconut into a mixing bowl and zest the orange directly on top.

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3. Add the honey and egg whites (no need to whisk first) and stir well to bring all ingredients together into a sticky mass.

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4. Roll walnut-sized portions into balls and place on the baking tray. Flatten slightly with a fork and bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden.

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5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve with freshly brewed coffee…these cookies are great for dunking!

Soup_4
I always find the tail end of winter and arduous time of the year. I’m starting to pine for warmer, longer days where the sunshine breathes energy into your skin and bones and your spirits lift like only the promise of Spring can. We’re right in the thick of the Spring-time-tease right now. The occasional glorious and mildly temperate day is usually followed by a day or four of rain to dampen those spirits back to their default winter setting. Luckily…dark chocolate and red wine exist to give our souls a cuddle when needed. And if we overdose on that there’s always soup to warm the cockles of our hearts through these late-winter days.

I’ve fallen in love with celeriac, or more accurately…rekindled by love of celeriac. It’s very much a winter flavour for me, absolutely divine cooked up into a rich and nourishing gratin served with lamb or beef and a fresh crunchy salad on the side. Celeriac also lends a wonderful flavour to soups and this recipe below hits all the right marks for me where winter soups are concerned. I’m not a broth kind-of-a-gal. I like my soups thick, creamy and smooth.

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Celeriac is a variety of celery and is one of the less beautiful of vegetables thanks to its knobbly, odd-shaped root and green tufted hairdo. It has a mellow, subtle flavour with a hint of celery and a sweet nuttiness which is absolutely divine when turned into mash, oven roasted or combined with other vegetables into a soup. You can even eat it raw, either grated finely or with a mandolin, mixed into a salad to add an interesting, flavoursome and crunchy texture.

This soup is one of my favourite ways to eat this unassuming root vegetable. The sweetness of the leeks, the richness of the butter and the sharpness of the dijon combine beautifully in this hearty, creamy soup.

You can convert the recipe easily to dairy-free by omitting the cream and butter if needed. Leftovers can be frozen – the soup will separate as it defrosts but is easily restored to its former creamy goodness by whisking well as you reheat the soup in a saucepan.

INGREDIENTS (serves four)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
250g leek (white part only)
2 large garlic cloves – finely chopped
250g celeriac (peeled/cubed weight)
2 large potatoes (about 400g once peeled/cubed)
2 cups vegetable stock
1.5 cups water
1/4 cup cream
2 tbsp dijon mustard
Juice of half a lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large handful chopped flat-leaf parsley and a drizzle of good quality olive oil to serve

METHOD
1. Cut the leeks into slices approximately 5mm wide, using only the white part of the leek. Use a paring knife to remove the knobbly skin of the celeriac and chop roughly into 2-3cm chunks. Repeat with the potatoes.

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2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the leek and garlic and cook gently, stirring often, until the leek starts to soften and caramelise (approximately 10 minutes).
3. Add the celeriac and potatoes and stir to combine well with the leek and garlic. Add the stock and water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid (allowing some steam to escape) and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes until the root vegetables are tender.
4. Add the cream, dijon mustard and lemon juice, stir well and remove from the heat to cool slightly.
5. Use a stick blender to blitz the soup until smooth and creamy. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and return to the heat to warm through gently prior to serving.
6. Serve in bowls topped with a sprinkling of finely chopped flat-leaf parsely, a drizzle of good quality olive oil and a final grind of black pepper to garnish. Delicious served with crusty Turkish bread fresh out of the oven.

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Loaf_3
It’s been quite some time between blog posts I must say. I’ve been a little on the busy side, to say the least, and sadly the first thing to drop out of my days is creativity in the kitchen. I’m a creature of habit when I’m stretched for spare time so all the usual culinary suspects have been boring me to tears lately in a desperate attempt to simplify my daily routine. About the only thing I’ve managed to squeeze in has been a spot of baking brought about by my monthly hosting of a group of friends and their rugrats at our house.

I had a mound of overripe bananas on the cusp of Rotsville which were destined for the rather disparate fates of either baked glory or rubbish bin demise. The day of hosting arrived just in a nick of time as the bananas reached their full-flavoured baking potential, mere hours before they were only ripe for turfing out.

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So, bake ‘em I did. Into this very moist, very delicious loaf which has been naturally sweetened with honey, dates and aforementioned bananas. With a base of ground almonds it’s gluten-free and incredibly moist thanks to the fruit content.

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As divine as cakes are hot from the oven, this one does need a good 30 minutes to cool down before you carve into it. It’s dense from the fruit content yet light in texture, a combination which means it’s a little fragile when hot out of the oven. Exercise some restraint if you can muster it and leave the loaf to sit in the tin for 30 minutes before lifting out and carefully cutting into thick slices.

This recipe makes a large loaf so any leftovers can be put under a hot grill for breakfast the next day. Absolutely delicious smothered in butter or topped with a dollop of greek yoghurt if you want to keep it on the virtuous side.

INGREDIENTS
125g butter – at room temperature
1/3 cup liquid honey
2 large free-range eggs
100g dates – roughly chopped
2 large bananas, approximately 250g peeled weight (the riper the better)
1.5 cups ground almonds
1/2 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
80g walnuts – roughly chopped

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a loaf tin and line the base with baking paper.
2. Place the roughly chopped dates into a small bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain well in a colander and set aside.
3. Put the butter and honey into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy. Add the drained dates and beat well again – this helps break the dates down a little.
4. Add the eggs to the butter mix, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Mash the bananas well and add to the butter/egg mix and stir to combine.
6. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground almonds, flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and chopped nuts.
7. Tip the egg mix into the dry mix and fold together gently until just combined.
8. Pour the batter into the greased loaf tin, smooth the top and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.
9. Remove from the oven and leave to sit in the tin for about half an hour before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

NOTE: If the top of the loaf starts to darken too much during cooking, place a sheet of tin foil very loosely over the top to prevent it burning.

Crumble_1
Is it wrong to eat pudding for lunch? Not in winter…and definitely not on a Sunday. In my book a hearty apple crumble is capable of encompassing many nutritional essentials…protein, carbohydrates, fruit, grains and nuts. This may be slightly wishful thinking on my part but I’ll try anything to relieve the tiny skerick of guilt I’m harboring in the back of my mind. At any rate, it’s naturally sweetened with honey and coconut sugar so really it’s not naughty at all given fats in moderation aren’t anything to be scared of.

I could be talked into eating this crumble at any time of the day, if I’m honest. For breakfast with greek yoghurt or for lunch or dessert with lashings of whipped cream. Whatever time of the day you decide to eat this deliciously warming little pudding, you’ll find it easy to throw together and absolutely divine served fresh out of the oven.

NOTE: This crumble would be great with any combination of cooked fruit. I’ve made this before with a mix of apple and tamarillo which was divine as the tang of the tamarillo was beautifully offset by the sweetness of the crumble. Pears, nectarines or peaches would also be delicious. Play around with fruit combos to find your favourite.

INGREDIENTS – for the apples
4 medium apples – peeled and cored
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp liquid honey
2 tbsp water

INGREDIENTS – for the crumble
2/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup ground almonds
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/3 cup thread coconut
1/3 cup coconut sugar
Rind 1 lemon
100g butter – melted

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Cut the peeled and cored apples into quarters then cut each quarter lengthwise into slices approximately 5mm thick.

Crumble_2
3. Place the sliced apples into a medium saucepan along with the vanilla extract, honey and water. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the apples are just tender but not falling apart. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly with the lid off.
4. Put all the dry crumble ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Add the melted butter and stir well to incorporate.
5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the apples to a pie dish (approximately 4 cup capacity), press down slightly then trickle over 2 tbsp of the cooking liquid. Discard any remaining liquid.

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6. Pour the crumble mix over the apples, spread out evenly and press down lightly with the back of a spoon.

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7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden and oh so fragrant. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes, depending on how impatient you are.

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8. Spoon into bowls and served with a generous dollop of freshly whipped cream.

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muesli_5
I’ve always been a huge fan of breakfast. Not one to shy away from a hearty feed as soon as my feet hit the floor, once my eyelids are more open than closed I’m beating a hasty path to the pantry. My breakfast of choice changes from time to time, but ultimately I’m a creature of habit. I’ve been obsessed with porridge for months now. I love making it with a half-half mix of milk and water and sweetened with a touch of honey. I up the nutritional stakes by adding a tablespoon of flaxseed oil to get my omega-3 fix for the day. It adds the most divinely nutty, creamy background flavor which I find it hard to do without.

My love of breakfast goes back a long way. I think it originally comes from my Mum’s weekly habit of giving us a ‘treat’ for dinner which equated to her taking a load off one night a week and making us think we were getting a pretty sweet deal by skipping vegetables for the night and eating muesli instead. It was quite the deluxe incarnation though. She would layer muesli in a glass with yoghurt and banana which somehow seemed indulgent to my sister and I.

muesli_2
With a huge array of nutritious grains, cereals, fruit, nuts and seeds on the market these days it’s possible to pack a significant nutritional punch into the first meal of the day. Making your own muesli at home is a very satisfying thing indeed. Not only can you control exactly what goes into your mix, pandering to your every whim and fancy, but you can also avoid all the nasties which you’ll habitually find in store-bought versions.

I like a muesli which is not too heavy on the cereals, one that has a good ratio of grains to other goodies such as nuts, fruit and seeds. My version incorporates everything I love in the flavour department while keeping in mind my goal of making it as nutritious as possible. I believe I’ve succeeded with this most divine of mixes. Puffed millet and oats provide the cereal backbone while chia seeds, goji berries, dates, almonds, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds give it some serious nutritional clout. It’s free of refined sugar and everything is incorporated in its raw form so you are getting the most nutrients possible. It’s seriously delicious…I have to stop myself from having multiple breakfasts in one day.

muesli_1
In a recent trip to Sydney I tried the most divine example of vanilla pear jam. I decided to do some poached pears to top my cereal with so this quick and easy cook-up is inspired by the lovely folk at Fleetwood Macchiato. Take my word for it when I say this is an invigorating, healthy way to start the day. Serve a bowl of my delicious muesli with your choice of milk (I prefer almond or rice) topped with a generous dollop of natural yoghurt and a spoonful of vanilla poached pears. My work here is done.

muesli_6
As an aside…take a look at the bottom of this post, after the recipes, to find out about some of the goodness this muesli contains.

THE BEST HOMEMADE MUESLI…EVER

INGREDIENTS (makes approximately 8 cups)
2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary)
2 cups puffed millet
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup LSA (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds)
1 cup dates – roughly chopped
1 cup goji berries
1/3 cup flaked almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup brazil nuts – roughly chopped

METHOD
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and turn over a few times with a large spoon until well combined.
2. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. The muesli will keep well for at least a month.

VANILLA POACHED PEARS WITH MANUKA HONEY

INGREDIENTS
4 ripe but firm pears (about 300gm once cored and peeled)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp manuka honey (or other well flavoured, good quality honey)
1 cup water

muesli_3
METHOD
1. Peel and core the pears then cut lengthwise into slices approximately 5mm thick.
2. Add to a medium saucepan along with the vanilla, honey and water and bring to a gentle simmer.

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3. Cook for 15 minutes until the pears are tender but not collapsing. Remove the pears with a slotted spoon, leaving behind as much of the liquid as possible and set aside in a bowl.
4. Gently simmer the remaining liquid for a further 10 minutes until it has reduced by half. You should be left with about 4 tablespoons of liquid.
5. Pour the reduced liquid over the pears, leave to cool completely, then cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. The pears will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION – HOMEMADE MUESLI
This is by no means an exhaustive list of nutritional content but does introduce some of the key nutrients that can be found in these ingredients.

CHIA SEEDS – high dietary fibre aids digestion; omega-3 fatty acids (good for your brain); high levels of calcium and manganese (good for your bones); phosphorus (helps with cell and tissue repair); high protein; helps to stabilize blood sugar; can help regulate appetite and sleep and can also aid in lowering cholesterol.
PUMPKIN SEEDS – magnesium (heart health); zinc (immune support).
SUNFLOWER SEEDS – selenium (cell damage control); vitamin E; magnesium; copper (vital for healthy bones).
BRAZIL NUTS – monounsaturated fatty acids (help to lower ‘bad’ and increase ‘good’ cholesterol in the blood); vitamin E (great for skin); selenium.
GOJI BERRIES – packed with antioxidants; can help with eye health; protein; vitamin C; iron.
DATES – high soluble fibre (regulation of digestion processes); packed with minerals.
PUFFED MILLET – gluten-free and easy to digest; rich in B-vitamins and minerals.
OATS – good source of dietary fibre; slow release energy (regulation of blood sugars).
CINNAMON – high in antioxidants; helps with blood circulation and removal of impurities.
LSA – rich source of protein; omega-3 fatty acids; helps with bone, skin and liver health.

Bites-8
I feel like I’m perpetually on a quest to find nutritious snacks to throw into Thea’s lunchbox which don’t cost the earth and won’t put her teeth into the line of sugary fire that most store-bought snacks promise to do. These little oaty bites are packed with the goodness of nuts and oats, are naturally sweetened with dates and honey and have a lovely nutty flavour thanks to the tahini. They’re very easy to throw together and keep well once stored in an airtight container.

Bites-2
What I love most about these bites is that you can make up double the dry volume (everything minus the tahini and honey) and reserve half of it in a jar as homemade muesli. It’s super delicious soaked in almond or rice milk with a dollop of organic natural yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and some fresh fruit. My kind of start to the day.

Bites-9
You could play around with the types of nuts and seeds you want to use depending on your preferences, just keep the volumes the same and the recipe will still work a treat. I used non-stick mini-muffin tins as they provide a good portion size and make it easy to press the bites into shape.

OATY, NUTTY BITES
1/2 cup dates – roughly chopped
50g brazil nuts – roughly chopped
25g sunflower seeds
25g pumpkin seeds
30g dessicated coconut
100g oats (buy gluten-free if need be)
150g hulled tahini
4 tbsp manuka honey

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Combine the dates, brazil nuts, seeds, coconut and oats in a bowl and mix well.

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3. Add the tahini and honey and stir well with a wooden spoon until everything is well incorporated and has come together.
4. Use your hands to firmly press tablespoons of the mix into the mini-muffin tins (you don’t need to grease the cavities).

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5. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tins by gently running a bread knife around the edge of each bite. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack and then store in an airtight container.

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