Coconut Sugar Cookies

Easter cookies, Easter dessert, sugar cookies, sugar free cookies, gluten free recipes, dairy free recipes, gluten free cookies, the best Easter cookies

It makes me so happy to have perfected this recipe! And it comes complete with an amazing “white chocolate” icing to decorate with!

Easter is my favorite holiday. There are plenty of treats that are a tradition to make in my family. While having a think about what I wanted to make this year these cookies came into my mind. Well, the original recipe did. My grandmother’s sugar cookies. These are an old family favourite, made countless of times since I was a kid. The original recipe calls for two cups of sugar and I’ve been wanting to make a healthy version for some time. I believe this new and revised recipe has nailed it. These are still sugar cookies but this recipe uses the likes of coconut sugar and maple syrup to give it the sweetness. They are also gluten free, dairy free, and now refined sugar free!

The best part is the icing. In the past, coloured sugar and chocolate wafers were bought in blue, pink, purple, yellow, all the colours of the rainbow for use to decorate. Here, macadamia nuts and cacao butter make the white chocolate and they are decorated with cacao nibs, chia seeds, and goji berries.

Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. This recipe proves you can make healthy treats that taste amazing and are actually good for you! They are the perfect Easter treat.

Ingredients:

For the cookie dough:

½ cup coconut oil

1 egg

1 egg yolk

1 ½ tbsp. vanilla

1 cup coconut sugar

¼ cup maple syrup

1 cup ground almonds

1 ¾ – 2 cups gluten free flour

1 tbsp baking powder

¼ tsp sea salt

For the white chocolate icing:

¼ cup cacao butter

2 tbsp honey or maple syrup

½ cup soaked macadamia nuts

1 vanilla pod

3 ½ tbsp. almond milk (add as you need to slightly thin the icing)

1-2 tsp arrowroot powder

pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. First, soak the macadamia nuts for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. Make the cookie dough: Add the coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla to a large bowl and mix together with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the coconut sugar and maple syrup and mix again. Finally, add the ground almonds, flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.
  3. Divide the dough in two, wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to set in the fridge for 1 hour. (Or pop in the freezer for 20 minutes)
  4. When you’re ready to use the dough, remove it from the fridge. Preheat your oven to 350°, sprinkle your work surface with flour then roll the dough out until it is approximately ½ cm thick. (Add flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking)
  5. Cut into desired shapes then place them onto a parchment lined baking tray. Pop into the oven for 5-7 minutes (they bake quickly!) until slightly golden on the edges.
  6. Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack and make the white chocolate icing.
  7. In a double boiler, melt the cacao butter. When it’s completely melted, remove from the heat and add the honey. Allow this to melt into the cacao butter until they are combined.
  8. Rinse and drain the macadamia nuts then add them to a high-speed blender. Split the vanilla pod in half with a knife and scrape the seeds out to add in along with the cacao butter, honey, salt, and 1 tbsp of almond milk.
  9. Keep blending until the mix is very smooth. This may take several minutes; it helps to continually scrape down the sides of the blender. Add more milk if needed and when the mix is smooth add 1 tsp of arrowroot powder and blend just until combined.
  10. Decorate your cookies: smooth a small amount of icing onto each cookie and get creative with decorating! I used cacao nibs for eyes, goji berries for ears, and a little raspberry for a bunny nose. Sprinkle chia seeds, hemp hearts, chopped pistachios, etc. to decorate Easter eggs.

These cookies taste like my grandmother’s original recipe. They are still perfectly sweet but have the added benefits of unrefined sugar and superfoods to decorate them! Make them for Easter or enjoy the recipe any time of the year.

 

Happy Easter! x

 

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Dairy Free Soft Serve Ice Cream: Chocolate & Vanilla

Dairy Free Ice Cream, dairy free ice cream, soft serve ice cream, chocolate, vanilla, homemade ice cream

This is a revelation if you’re intolerant or have any sensitivity to dairy. I’ve probably always been sensitive to dairy but as ice cream has always been my favourite, I have never wanted to give it up! Until now. I have found an alternative. And it may actually be a hundred times better.

I am a massive chocoholic. I have a huge sweet tooth so generally when I get a craving or when I go to make something, chocolate is the first thing that springs to mind. Some time ago I made this discovery while attempting to find something quick and easy to put together to satisfy a craving. I remembered I had a can of coconut milk in the fridge as I usually keep one in there. (Coconut milk is so great for many alternatives to dairy. You can make whipped cream, thicken a curry, make frosting for desserts, etc.)

This time I had an idea. I added some raw cacao and maple syrup to sweeten and then I popped the dish into the freezer. An hour later I had the most amazing, creamy, indulgent, chocolatey soft serve ice cream you could dream of. Seriously. Use coconut milk for a lush treat in anything but pop it in the freezer and it’s magic. It’s also the quickest thing to make ever. Try it yourself. You will not be disappointed. I challenge people to even question whether they miss ice cream at all!

I’ve since made a few other varieties and I’m sharing the chocolate and vanilla versions now. I can’t wait to experiment with some more flavours moving into warmer weather.

Ingredients:

1 x 400mL can of coconut milk (full fat!)

1 vanilla pod

2 tsp vanilla extract

2-3 tbsp raw cacao

2-4 tbsp maple syrup (date syrup, honey, more or less as you like to sweeten)

Directions:

1. Leave a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. When ready to use, separate the can into two equal parts of coconut milk in two bowls.

2. For the vanilla version: cut and scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add to the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup, then whisk everything together by hand or with a hand blender until combined.

3. For the chocolate version: add the raw cacao and maple syrup to the other bowl and again whisk everything together. Make sure there are no lumps from the raw cacao.

4. Divide into smaller portions or put the bowls as they are into the freezer for 1 hour. When you’re ready to eat, remove from freezer and let stand for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

P.S. You can totally eat this for breakfast: It makes the best addition to things like pancakes or french toast. You can even use the vanilla version as a vegan custard which is amazing with desserts!

 

Cacao Beet Smoothie

Cacao Beet Smoothie, chocolate and beets, chocolate and beetroot, gluten free, dairy free smoothie, beet smoothie, cacao beetroot, cacao beets

Okay, this had to turn out good because I am not the biggest fan of beetroot! There’s been a lot of vegetables that I’ve opened myself up to over the past few years and have really learned to love but unfortunately, beets are not one I can get on board with! However I still eat them, mainly by juicing them because they are very nutritious. They’re wonderful for cleansing your liver and detoxing the body. No matter what though, they still end up tasting quite “earthy” to me. Well, enter this smoothie! Combining beets with chocolate is a classic combination of late and this is an excellent way to get in some veggies AND enjoy chocolate. Guilt Free. Because using raw cacao allows you to keep all the wonderful properties of pure chocolate (such as magnesium which we all tend to be pretty deficient in!) And this is delicious. I promise even if you despise veggies at all, this is a winner. When I make this I don’t really measure too much so adjust the quantities to your liking as these are estimates. You may find you’d like to add more cacao or berries or even a frozen banana to the mix.

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk (coconut milk, etc)

2 small beets

1/2- 1 whole avocado

1/2- 1 cup raspberries

2 tsp vanilla extract or a vanilla pod

Couple tbsp raw cacao

Pinch of cinnamon

Optional add-ins: raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, hemp hearts

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

I added hemp hearts to mine for an added boost of protein. And a sprinkling of chia seeds and raw cacao nibs on top to make it that little bit more chocolatey!

Hazelnut Pecan Nut Butter Balls

Hazelnut Pecan Nut Butter Balls, Peanut Butter Balls, dessert, Valentine's Day, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free

These are a healthy, nutritious version of a much-loved family favourite recipe I’ve been having ever since I can remember. Peanut Butter Balls are the original favourite and for every time we’ve had a holiday, they’ve always been the first to go. I get requests to make them all the time by my family in the UK and while they have always been delicious, they are made with an unhealthy amount of icing sugar. I wanted to make a healthy version but equally delicious and what a better time of year than now for Valentine’s Day?

These are made with homemade nut butter (I chose to make a hazelnut pecan blend) over peanut butter. They actually make these nut butter balls taste a bit more like a healthy Ferrero Rocher! As peanuts are quite prone to mold and contamination, I tend to favour other nuts over them. Of course, if you really love peanut butter, substitute that. Make it yourself with organic peanuts or buy a high quality peanut butter. Whichever you choose will taste great with chocolate.

Instead of using icing sugar to sweeten and make up the bulk of these I have made my own version using coconut sugar. You can simply add coconut sugar to a food processor and blend well until very fine. I keep a small quantity of this available to use in place of icing sugar if needed. For the most part I’ll use sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, dates, etc. Feel free to use more maple syrup in these instead of coconut icing sugar if you like. I’d start with two tablespoons as it also acts as a thickener.

And if you haven’t made your own chocolate, you don’t know what you’re missing! Raw chocolate is phenomenal and you don’t ever have to feel guilty about it because the real stuff is pretty good for you. The combination of both the nut butter and chocolate is amazing and I guarantee you will love these. These make approximately 18-20 nut butter balls. So you can make some for your husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, someone special, and keep some behind for yourself!

Ingredients:

Filling:

1 cup hazelnut-pecan nut butter (or other nut butter of your choice)

3 tbsp coconut icing sugar

2 tbsp coconut flour

1 tbsp maple syrup

½ cup puffed brown rice (I used Rude Health’s; you can use some organic rice krispies)

Raw Chocolate:

½ cup cocoa butter

2 tbsp maple syrup (honey, date syrup)

½ tsp vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

3 ½ tbsp raw cacao

Directions:

Add the nut butter, coconut icing sugar, coconut flour, and maple syrup to a medium sized bowl and mix until combined. Add in the puffed brown rice. Set aside in the fridge for about 20 minutes to firm up. When you’re ready, take the mixture from the fridge, make ½ tablespoon balls, and set on a lined baking tray. You can then pop these back in the fridge for a couple of hours, or just pop them in the freezer for another 20-30 minutes.

While the balls are setting in the fridge/freezer, make the raw chocolate. Add the cocoa butter to a double boiler on a low simmer to melt. Add in the maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt. When all is combined and melted, take it off the heat and whisk in the raw cacao. Allow this to stand to the side for 10-15 minutes so it’s not too hot when you dip the nut butter balls.

When you’re ready to dip the balls, remove from the fridge/freezer and dip them into the chocolate with a dessertspoon until completely covered, then let them set on a lined baking tray.

You can let these set in the fridge and then dip them again if you have some chocolate leftover. Dish them up on a pretty plate to serve or box them up as a lovely gift for someone to enjoy. Spread the love of chocolate with those around you and have a Happy Valentine’s Day! x

Raw Chocolate Chia Pudding

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This raw cacao chia pudding tastes amazing. It’s good for you as well, which might be hard to believe as it looks and tastes decadent enough to be a dessert. However, with all the ingredients added to this it’s incredibly healthy and filling enough for breakfast or anytime.

Chia seeds are a bit strange when you first experiment with them and can be a bit of an odd texture but I promise when mixed with raw cacao, it tastes delicious and will have you eating them in no time!

They’re great in smoothies, sprinkled on top of porridge or yogurt, or added to baked goods. You can even use them to replace eggs in recipes.

Probably one of the best things about this recipe is that it takes no time at all to prepare. Just mix everything the night before and you’ll wake up to a bowl full of superfood goodness!

Ingredients:

To serve 1

1 cup almond milk (or other milk of your choice)

¼ cup chia seeds

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp maca

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup (you could use raw honey or date syrup as well)

1 tbsp raw cacao

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together well your milk and chia seeds allowing the seeds to become incorporated with the liquid.
  1. Set aside for a couple of minutes to “gel” then mix the rest of your ingredients in until everything is nicely combined.
  1. Pop in the fridge overnight until you’re ready to eat in the morning. Sprinkle with whatever toppings you like.

I used hazelnuts and flaked coconut but you could add anything you like: nuts and/or seeds, granola, fruit, etc. Raspberries would be a great addition with the chocolate!

 

 

Yogi Energy Balls

yoga energy bites, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free

Sometimes even with the best intentions and in making something you’ve made countless times, things with cooking and baking don’t quite work out the way they’re meant to.  But sometimes that actually happens for a reason and that reason in this case was a delicious one! I was aiming to make my usual nut butter but in soaking the nuts beforehand I was left with nuts that simply wouldn’t become “butter”. Even though soaking nuts is a healthier way to consume them, it doesn’t necessarily make for good nut butter.

Enter these energy balls. I’ve added some healthy ingredients full of flavour for a quick bite size snack that hits the spot when you need it. These are raw, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free, but still so very yummy. They’re perfect before or after yoga class, as an afternoon pick me up, or even just for dessert! They’re super easy to make, taste chocolatey and indulgent, and are full of natural protein from the hemp hearts. Try them out yourself:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup hazelnuts

4 Medjool dates

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp coconut sugar

2 1/2 tbsp raw cacao

3 tbsp hemp hearts

Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Soak the cashews and hazelnuts overnight (or minimum 4 hours) When ready to use, drain and rinse the nuts then blend in food processor until fine and crumbly. Add the dates and pulse for a few seconds before adding the rest of the ingredients, blending until fully combined.

Make the balls by taking tablespoons of the mixture and rolling into shape. Place on a lined baking tray and pop in the fridge until ready to serve.

Makes approx. 14 energy balls

 

Chocolate Cake For Two

Chocolate Cake For Sugar Cravings, gluten free and dairy free

This flourless chocolate cake requires very little effort and is a perfect treat for two to share (or just for one if you’ve got a serious sweet craving going on!) It’s gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free. If you aren’t using chocolate in its natural state (raw cacao) it’s best to try and use a dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids as that’s where you’ll find the healthy antioxidants that chocolate contains.

This is best served warm, a few minutes after coming out of the oven. Alternatively, if you have any leftovers you can pop it in the fridge and enjoy it as a fudgier treat the next day!

Ingredients:

100g dark chocolate

4 tbsp coconut oil

2 eggs

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Directions: 

  1. Break the chocolate into pieces and add with coconut oil in a double boiler over a simmering saucepan of water until melted. Set aside to cool.
  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F. Combine the rest of the ingredients into a food processor until combined. Add the melted chocolate and coconut oil.
  1. Grease a baking dish (with coconut oil) and pour the mixture in. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!