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oat-apricot-cookie

OAT, APRICOT & MAPLE SYRUP BIKKIES

[RECIPE] Makes 25 (5cm) cookies | 30 mins go to woe  (Prep 10 mins. Baking 20mins)

Quick, easy wholesome recipe for kids lunch boxes & healthy snacks on-the-go.  This is a variation of the Crispy Oat & Cranberry Cookie  , it’s thinner and uses apricots instead of cranberries + maple syrup replaces panela sugar.

YOU’LL LOVE IT BECAUSE….

  • Maple Syrup – natural and un-refined, mineral rich sugar syrup
  • Oats: regulate your appetite so you feel fuller for long and as well as help lower cholesterol. Read more
superfood hot cross buns clean food luk beautifood

Superfood Hot Cross Buns + berries, apples & cacao nibs

Have you noticed how buying hot cross buns can be a mine field of preservatives, sugar and wheat?  I admit, I and my kids have a weakness for this Easter treat so I was determined to ‘make over’ the delicious humble bun without too much effort and create superfood hot cross buns!

However, I did not want to produce a gluten free rock cake, so it was important to still use a grain with gluten and yeast to obtain a light texture in this superfood hot cross bun. I swapped refined wheat flour for wholemeal spelt flour and substituted 1/4 with buckwheat flour – the one I used was a very dark organic brand hence the dark colour of my superfood hot cross buns. Tho I used yeast, I did not want to take 3+ hours to make them so I skipped a ‘second rise’ and added baking powder as a backup to ensure the buns had plenty of lift.  If you don’t have buckwheat you can use a ground nuts or 100% spelt for these superfood hot cross buns.

Traditionally buns contain sultana’s and candied peel, again I made some changes and opted to use antioxidant and vitamin rich goji berries, apples and cacao nibs. I still added some sugar to the dough and made a syrup to glaze. The quantity of sugar was far less than commercial bought buns. I also enriched the recipe with a little butter and an egg.

These superfood hot cross buns certainly tasted different to traditional Easter buns, and their texture was a little ‘shorter, not so doughy but oh they were yummy, especially toasted with lashings of butter and a drizzle of raw honey! Happy Easter!

BEAUTY FOOD BENEFITS

Apple: Quercetin fights off free radicals that attack the skin cells and damage collagen and elastin.  These 2 key skin proteins stop wrinkles and skin from ‘sagging’ preserving a youthful complexion. Their high fibre content helps your body to remove toxins and aids digestion. Blueberries or Goji Berries Bursting with antioxidants, both these berries have one of the highest antioxidant counts.  They fight wrinkle formation by neutralising free radicals to keep skin smooth, warding off a dull appearance. Cacao nibs: Naturally reduce the amount of stress hormones released – phenylethylamide is a natural mood enhancer – keeping your mind and thoughts positive! CitrusThe perfect vitamin C boost your body needs! Not only working to keep collagen strong and skin smooth, it also aids your immune system to keep you in top shape.

SUPERFOOD HOT CROSS BUNS RECIPE

2 hrs from wo to go. Makes 15

YOU’LL NEED

Superfood Hot cross buns

3 cups wholemeal spelt flour (+ extra for kneading + 1/4 cup for cross)

1 cup organic buckwheat flour (or ground nuts such as almonds or hazelnuts)

1/2 cup goji or blue berries

1/2 cup dried apple, diced (sulphur free)

1/4 cup organic cacao nibs or dark chocolate diced (>70% Cacoa)

2 sachets dried yeast

3 tspn ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup rapadura sugar

rind of 1 lemon and/or 1 orange, finely grated

1 cup milk

100g butter

1 egg

Glaze

3 tblspns rapadura sugar

juice of half a lemon

1 cinnamon quill

3/4 cup water

1/2 tspn cinnamon (or 1 egg to wash buns before baking if you don’t want to sugar glaze the buns)

METHOD

1. In a large bowl, combine  spelt & buckwheat flours, apple, berries, yeast, baking powder, cinnamon, cacao nibs or dark chocolate, lemon and/or orange rind and  sugar. Mix together thoroughly and make a well in the center.

2. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat (or 1.5 minutes in m/w on high), stir to ensure butter melts. Mixture should be warm (not too hot ie keep below 40C so you don’t kill the yeast). Whisk egg with butter and milk mixture and add to flour mix, stirring / ‘slice through’ to form a soft dough.

3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (10 minutes).  You may need to add up to 1/2 cup more of spelt flour depending on its protein content (the stronger / higher the level, the more liquid it will need).

4. Now lets cheat! Rather than letting the dough rise in the bowl…..

5.  Divide dough into 15 even pieces and knead each into a smooth ball. Place balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper, (3 x 5) making sure each ball is roughly 1cm apart. Cover and stand until doubled in size (30-40 minutes) in a warm place. I used the oven turned onto 50C with the door open. I also cover with glad wrap to keep the moisture in by making a tent with tooth pics. I should have used a damp cloth to ensure I was not exposing the dough to plastic but I was focused on making sure the yeast was in a warm, damp environment to rise properly!

6. Preheat oven to 220 degrees.

7. If you are not using a sugar glaze to finish off when baked then whisk the egg with a little water or milk and brush the buns carefully (ie not rough or you will knock the air out)

8. Mix remaining 1/4 cup flour and 1/3 cup water in a bowl, whisking to create a smooth paste. Adjust if too thick or thin – it needs to remain in place when piped. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each bun. (pipe the length of each row then cross over)

9. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 200 degrees and bake until golden (8-10 minutes).

10. Whilst baking make the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice. Stir over medium to high heat until sugar dissolves. Add cinnamon quill and reduce heat to medium, bringing to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or so until the water is evaporated off and sticky syrup results. Remove cinnamon quill, add cinnamon powder. Brush thickly over your  hot cross buns and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Note you only use a tablespoon or so of the syrup.

TIPS AND TRICKS

Follow these pics for a step by step guide…

Collect and prepare your ingredients!

Collect and prepare your ingredients!

In a large bowl, combine  spelt & buckwheat flours, apple, berries, yeast, baking powder, cinnamon, cacao nibs or dark chocolate, lemon and orange rind, baking powder and  sugar. Mix and make  a well in the center.

In a large bowl, combine spelt & buckwheat flours, apple, berries, yeast, baking powder, cinnamon, cacao nibs or dark chocolate, lemon and orange rind and sugar. Mix and make a well in the center.

Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat (or 1.5 minutes in m/w on high), stir to ensure butter melts. Whisk in egg and add to flour mix, stirring to form a soft dough.

Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat (or 1.5 minutes in m/w on high), stir to ensure butter melts. Whisk in egg and add to flour mix, stirring to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (10 minutes).  You may need to add up to 1/2 cup more of spelt flour depending on its strength.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (10 minutes). You may need to add up to 1/2 cup more of spelt flour depending on its strength.

Divide dough into 15 even pieces and knead each into a smooth ball. Place balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper, making sure each ball is roughly 1cm apart. Cover and stand until doubled in size (30-40 minutes) in a warm place. I use the oven turned onto 50C with the door open. I also cover with glad wrap to keep the moisture in by making a tent with tooth pics.

Divide dough into 15 even pieces and knead each into a smooth ball. Place balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper, making sure each ball is roughly 1cm apart. Cover and stand until doubled in size (30-40 minutes) in a warm place. I use the oven turned onto 50C with the door open. I also cover with glad wrap to keep the moisture in by making a tent with tooth pics.

 If you are not using a sugar glaze to finish off when baked then whisk the egg with a little water or milk and brush the buns carefully (ie not rough or you will knock the air out)

If you are not using a sugar glaze to finish off when baked then whisk the egg with a little water or milk and brush the buns carefully (ie not rough or you will knock the air out)

Mix remaining 1/4 cup flour and 1/3 cup water in a bowl, whisking to create a smooth paste.  Spoon into a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each bun.

Mix  1/4 cup flour and 1/3 cup water in a bowl, whisking to create a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each bun.

 

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 200 degrees and bake until golden (8-10 minutes).

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 200 degrees and bake until golden (8-10 minutes).

 

Whilst baking, make the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine the  sugar, water and lemon juice. Stir over medium to high heat until sugar dissolves. Add cinnamon quill and reduce heat to medium, bringing to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or so until the water is evaporated off and sticky syrup results. Remove cinnamon quill, add cinnamon powder. Brush thickly over your  hot cross buns and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Whilst baking, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and lemon juice to make a syrup. Brush thickly over your  cooked superfood hot cross buns and transfer to a wire rack to cool. ENJOY!

 

banana-loaf

Banana, Coconut and Chia Seed Bread

[RECIPE] Makes 1 loaf | 60 mins wo-to-go (Prep 10 mins. Baking 50 mins)

It’s almost time to go back to school so it time to ‘revamp’ the banana cake to make it more nutritious and delicious. This recipe is a  hand mixed ‘one bowl wonder’ and you don’t need to get your scales out – just a measuring cup and teaspoon.  It does not get much simpler than that! It’s even more fabulous because you can substitute the core ingredients based on what you have on hand, what †˜taste’* your like and the sort of nutrition** you are after. You can make a loaf,  †˜slice’ or muffin style. Leave it plain or †˜top it’ pre or post baking.

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Buckwheat Pikelets

ALMOND & BUCKWHEAT PIKELETS | swap refined ingredients for divine results

This wholesome pancake recipe gives you fabulous quick & easy to make little pikelets.  Whip a batch and top with savoury goodies or have as a healthy alternative to sweet treats.  They are  nutrient dense, and devoid of added sugar and refined white flour.

Topped or filled, they are handy to have on hand for breakfast, to fill lunch boxes or have as a snack.

I’ve taken a basic recipe and SWAPPED refined wheat flour with an organic buckwheat & spelt wholemeal flour and added some healthy and nourishing goodies such as chia seeds and almonds. Spelt is an ancient grain and tho is contains gluten some people with gluten intolerances can eat it . Note that it has a high gluten content which can create a ‘tough’ pancake.

BEAUTY BOOST: 

So many skin loving goodies packed into one delicious meal. Wholegrains contain B vitamins that are required for every aspect of metabolism in your skin, without them your complexion will have a dull appearance as the skin cells can’t regenerate quickly. The seeds and nuts contain skin vital essential fatty acids (esp. harder-to-get omega 3) and key beauty mineral antioxidants (zinc, magnesium, calcium & selenium) and vitamin E.

RECIPE

YOU’LL NEED…..

Serves 4 |  10mins go-to-wo

batter

1 cup organic buckwheat flour (or use 1/2 buckwheat & half wholemeal spelt flour)

1 tablspn chia seeds

2 tablspn almond meal

1 tspn baking powder

1 egg

1 cup milk (add slightly less then use remaining if needed)

dollop butter to cook the first round.

TO MAKE….
  1. Add dry ingredients to bowl. Mix well with a ballon whisk.
  2. Add egg and milk. Whisk til well combined.
  3. Turn heat on medium high, into a cast iron fry pan add a knob of butter, add a small ladles of batter mix.
  4. Cook until surface of pancake has lots of little holes on the surface,  then  flip with a spatula.
  5. Turn on to a plate with paper towel. Stack them up and if eating immediately, keep warm in an oven (cover with foil to keep moist and soft)
  6. Store in an airtight tub for a day or 2 or freeze for later.
TIPS & TRICKS
  • Depending on what flour you use, you may need to increase the milk a bit. Also, if the batter sits for a while it thickens as chia seeds swell up to 10 times the original size. So, it’s a little trial and error til you get the right feel on the thickness of the batter: it is very forgiving.
  • You can substitute some of the milk with sour cream or buttermilk to make lighter and fluffier.
  • Why not try using a nut milk?
  • You can add other ingredients to the batter change the flavour or boost the fibre or nutrient content. Eg 1 tspn vanilla or 1 tbspn walnut oil or 1 tblspn wheatgerm or wheat bran.
  • Don’t over mix or you will toughen the batter.
TO SERVE

sweet (ideas)

  • For breakfast on a plate I love to serve them with fruit: natural yoghurt, muesli. maple syrup and cinnamon
  • Another idea is..whilst cooking, add slices of apple or pear and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve with maple syrup & yoghurt + a seedy cereal topper.
  • Or make a berry compote by cooking 1/2 cup frozen blueberries and 1/2 cup raspberries with 1/4 cup water & a couple table spoons of sugar or a few drops of stevia. Cook ingredients til liquid reduces and thickens – takes about 10 minutes.
  • Unless you are a purest, you can be a little naughty like me and add sugar to the cinnamon as it is easier to sprinkle and tastes yummy! At most you’re only adding 1/4 teaspoon to your plate so it’s a guilt free choice for me.
  • For kids lunch boxes or an on the go snack: butter and a smear of honey

savoury (ideas)

You can top or ‘sandwich’ together the pikelets with

  • creamy goats cheese + fresh thyme leaves, S&P
  • or sour cream, smoked salmon & capers, S&P
  • or hummus + ripes tomatoes, S&P, drizzle of olive oil
  • or avocado and rocket, S&P, drizzle of olive oil



buckwheat cookies

BUCKWHEAT & CRANBERRY COOKIES (+ optional choc drizzle!)

[RECIPE] Makes 25 (5cm) cookies | 30 mins wo-to-go (Prep 10 mins. Baking 20mins)

Quick easy healthier recipe for kids lunch boxes & healthy snacks on-the-go.  This is a variation of the Chewy Oat , Banana and Cranberry Cookie. By omitting the mashed banana and adding water you turn it in to a more traditional style cookie.

YOU’LL LOVE IT BECAUSE….

  • Nutrient dense – wholemeal flours, oats, un-refined sugar, cranberries Read more
chewy_oat_cookies

CHEWY OAT, BANANA AND CRANBERRY COOKIES

[RECIPE] Makes 25 (5cm) cookies | 30 mins wo-to-go (Prep 10 mins. Baking 15-20mins)

Quick & easy healthy recipe can be whipped up for kids lunch boxes & healthy snacks to go with a cuppa.

YOU’LL LOVE IT BECAUSE….

  • Flours – A mix of organic spelt & gluten free wholemeal buckwheat –  gives it shortness  (a delicate bite)  & nutty flavour and tho spelt contains gluten it is eaten by many on wheat free diets. Read more
Dark_Cocoa_Cookies

DARK COCOA + WHITE CHOC COOKIES | lunch box love

[RECIPE] Makes 24 (5cm) cookies | 20 mins wo-to-go (Prep 5 mins. Baking 15mins)

I love baking, always have, always will. So does my family! I love how simple it can be for a max feel good factor: 20 out of 10 my little ones says! I am sure you find the same comments in your house. The trick is to achieve this 20/10 with the least amount of effort & time (mixing, moulding, cleaning up) and still stay high on the healthy food chart. Wholesome baked goodies are a low guilt treat for you & your kids.

This recipe is an Amazing Allrounder – one I created from scratch, late sunday afternoon in preparation for the (kids) week ahead.

YOU’LL LOVE IT BECAUSE….

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