Cake & Biscuits

Paleo Treats….. Friend or Foe

They are sure as hell my friend but they might be your foe. I see so many ‘Paleo police’ getting their loin cloths in a twist over paleofied sweet & treats. Eyes on your own plate people. No-one’s forcing that Paleo Donut down your pie hole….. Though what a delightful form of torture if they did! You just go back to eating your kale and keep your cranky-treat-deprived-opinions to yourself. 

Now come on, let’s get real. Cavepeople (because PC) would if they could! I guarantee that if Mr & Mrs Grok (or Mr & Mr/ Mrs & Mrs) had come across a Paleolithic bakery on their travels they would have dropped the jerky quicker than you can say Choc Chip Caramel Cookie Sandwich and dove in. Same as they would have if they stumbled across a fruit tree, it’s just a different version of a ‘treat’. 

Treats for me have their place because food, cooking & eating should be a joyful experience and I for one, love to bake and make sweets and experiment with food and I don’t do well with the dairy or gluten in the non-Paleo counterparts.  It all depends on where you are at with your health as to whether your food journey should involve a treat once a week, once a month or once a year. Heck, if you are a well-oiled machine with thriving gut health, glowing skin, boundless energy, excellent sleep patterns, a sharp mind & you feel like you are at the top of your game…… Treat yourself as often as makes you feel good. If you have sluggish digestion, skin breakouts, rubbish sleep, high stress, brain fog and are pretty-much flat-lining in the energy department, I’d suggest their are far more important foods for you than treats. 

I think the main thing to keep in mind is the very word ‘treat’. The definition I found said ‘an event or item that is out of the ordinary that gives great pleasure‘. That’s the thing, it’s not for all the days, all the time. It’s not meant to take the place of a real, nutrient dense meal. It’s for celebrations (Friday is a celebration right?), it’s for dinner parties (Wednesday night standing at the kitchen bench in my pj’s count?), it’s for those times when you really just want to smash a tub of Ben & Jerry’s in your gob but instead you can make my  Hardcore Choc Crunch Ice Cream and don’t have the guilts for days. 

What do you think about Paleo treats? Might as well just eat the real thing or are you all over them like a fat kid on a smartie? 

Paleo Vanilla Bean Donuts

Holy donuts Batman….. Actually un-holey donuts. I got a bit , ok, way too enthusiastic with my mixture and may have overfilled my NODO Donut Pan and basically these bad boys came out of the oven looking more like a cupcake than a donut. Luckily, for your aesthetic pleasure I used a special tool (also known as fingers) to punch some holes back into them and return them to their namesake, because. Resourceful. 

Now look, they ain’t no NODO Donut because I haven’t managed to kidnap Kate yet & steal her super-secret recipe but these suckers are pretty damn good. They are surprisingly light & fluffy and I think the ‘chose your own adventure’ topping would be a cracking kids party/ any party idea instead of a lolly bag! 

Grain-free baking can at best be a challenge and, at worst, be a rage-blackout-worthy waste of great quality ingredients that end up tasting like chalky cardboard. I really hate wasting food so now if I have a baking disaster & don’t have the bandwidth to deal with it at the time, I pop the offending items in a container in the freezer and find things I can use them for later. Crumbly cookies can be used in icecream, dry cakes can be blitzed up and added to bliss balls. You picking up what I’m putting down? Don’t waste food. It’s not cool. On with the donut recipe. 

Dry Stuff

1 1/2 cups almond meal

1 cup tapioca flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or extract)

Wet Stuff

1/2 cup honey/rice malt syrup/maple syrup

1/4 cup melted coconut oil/ghee/butter

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

3 eggs at room temperature

Frosting Stuff

Cinnamon Sugar – 1 tbs cinnamon mixed with 1 heaped tsp coconut sugar

Lime & Ginger- 2 tbs Buttered Up No Nuts Gingerbread, 1 tbs melted coconut oil, 2 tbs lime juice. Mix well.

Choc Mint- 1/2 cup Chocolate Mousse mixed with 2 drops Peppermint Oil

Preheat your oven to 170C. Ok, add the dry ingredients to one bowl & mix well. Then, make sure your eggs have come to room temperature, this is not a suggestion, just do it. Now add all the wet ingredients to a separate bowl and mix them well. If you add cold eggs to the mix your coconut oil is going to solidify, speaking from experience this is a pain in the ar$e so just do as I say. Once the wet stuff is all mixed & the dry stuff is all mixed you can add them together and mix them well. Now you want to use a piping bag to 1/2 fill the donut pan with mixture. I used a ziplock bag with the corner cut out because I have no clue where my piping bag is. It works perfectly fine. Bake for 12-15 mins, allow to stand in the pan for 10mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Once cool then you can frost them if you like or just drizzle with some honey, sprinkle with cinnamon and eat. 

Tangy Lemon Cookie Dough Balls (Grain & Nut-Free) 

So I feel like we haven’t really caught up properly in ages and I know you are wondering what’s doing over here….oh you weren’t? Well it’s my blog & I’ll cr@p on if I want to. Pretty sure you know how to scroll though so head on down if you want to skip what will undoubtedly be excellent stories & humor. Your loss.

So what’s news with you? On this end it’s business as usual just with a bit more cr@p & puke, and that’s not because I am poisoning Trav with my cooking. Baby G has also developed quite discerning tastes and is quite partial to anything green- broccoli, avocado, spinach, kale, zucchini, grass & leaves, as well as liver, pâté, lamb cutlets, chicken leg bones, kombucha & sauerkraut. What she does not like is puréed chicken & really, who can blame her, the texture is weird and it kinda tastes like nothing. We are also moving to our new house soon which will be fricken brilliant to have windows that close, cupboards and a gate that isn’t tied on with rope. It’s the small things really. Anyway, let me tell you about my balls…..

These lemony balls of delight are just slightly sweet with a great lemon tang. You could easily substitute for lime or orange if you were feeling a bit more love for a different type of citrus. They are your balls, you do what makes you happy. You can probably substitute the coconut butter for another type of ‘butter’, maybe cashew or macadamia. I haven’t tried though it sounds pretty damn good…..BUT don’t go getting all up in my grill if it doesn’t work. I’ll say it again, I HAVEN’T TRIED IT. 

1 1/2 cups coconut butter

Juice & zest of 1 lemon or 4-5 drops doterra lemon oil

1/4 cup coconut oil

12 fresh dates, pits removed

2 tbs chia seeds

Coconut flour or dessicated coconut for rolling

Add the dates and coconut oil to the food processor & blend until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients (except the coconut flour/dessicated for rolling) and blend to combine. Roll into balls and roll in the coconut flour before popping into the fridge to set.

Matcha Matcha Matcha

So it seems that green is the new black & matcha is this season’s goji berry. Never heard of matcha? It’s green tea powder. Leaves & all. Well the peeps in the know (my inter-web sources obviously) tell me that one serve of this business has more than 10x the nutritional benifits of a regular cup of green tea, more than 100x the antioxidants,  it detoxifies, boosts metabolism, enhances concentration and can help calm the mind. God damn, it sound like the only thing matcha doesn’t do is make your bed. Even so, I am pretty partial to a matcha latte myself and it’s a great alternative if you want the energy buzz of coffee without the nervy caffeine buzz and don’t mind too much that your drink is a swampy green shade. Have I sold it to you? 

Battling on, I present to you a Matcha Bulletproof Latte because fat in your hot beverage makes the world go round, & matcha balls, because who doesn’t love a few green balls. 

Matcha Bulletproof Latte

1/2 tsp matcha powder

1 cup boiling water

1 tbs butter/ghee

1 tbs MCT oil/coconut oil

1/2 tsp honey OPTIONAL 

Pop it all in a blender and blend baby blend until that business is frothy & creamy. That’s it. 

Matcha Balls

1 cup raw cashews

1 cups shredded coconut

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 tbs coconut oil

1 tsp matcha powder

1-2 tbs raw honey (depending on your preferences) 

3-4 drops dōTERRA ginger oil – OPTIONAL

Add everything t the food processor & blend until it all starts to come together like a dough. If it’s too dry, add an extra tbs coconut oil, if you blend too much and it’s gets too much like a paste, add some extra coconut. Roll into balls, store in the fridge or freezer. Simple. 

Orange & Lime Balls & The Real Food Revolution

So I’ve got more balls for you because who doesn’t love a ball or two. BUT FIRST, there is something else we need to talk about! The Real Food Revolution! Not only is it a ‘thing’ but it’s an actual ‘THING’. An event, a 3 day, chocca-block thing that you can come along to & fill your brain & your body with real food goodness & education! 

There is so much misinformation out there, processed foods line the shelves and we just seem to be getting sicker. The question is, what can I do about it? It’s time to start with REAL FOOD.
 
The Real Food Revolution is exactly what it sounds like. A Real, Food, Revolution! It is an Australian wide event designed to create a shift in the way we look at food. Over 3 days you will learn how to transform your body, your kitchen and your mindset around healthier eating.
 
The workshops will cover everything from Raw Food, to Juicing, to Paleo, to Intuitive Eating, Blending, Processed Foods, Food as Medicine and Holistic Health.

Do you love REAL Food, Juicing, Blending and Soaking Up New Health Information like a Sponge?  It’s time to Join Us at The Real Food Revolution! Grab $50 off with 3 day tickets to the revolution with the code therealfoodrevolution. 
 
I am a partner for The Real Food Revolution events this year and can’t wait to get along to the Gold Coast event! 
 
Perth: 12-14 June – Perth Town Hall
 
Gold Coast: 26-28 June – Crowne Plaza, Surfers Paradise
 
Sydney: 10-12 July – Kirribilli Club
 
Canberra: 31 July – 2 August – Rydges Capital Hill
 
Melbourne: 14-16 August – Ibis Melbourne
 
Adelaide: 11-13 September – The Payneham Library
 
Hobart: 28-30 August – Wrest Point
 
Cairns: 02-04 October – The Pullman Hotel
 
For more information about the event, speakers, venues, dates and to book your tickets please visit The Real Food Revolution.

Now, onto the balls! This is an awesome lunchbox snack for big kids or little kids as it can be made nut-free. If you don’t want to use rolled oats you can use quinoa flakes or almond meal. You can experiment with different oil combos too. I think lemon & ginger oil would be a cracker too. When using essential oils make sure they are food grade & 100% pure. I use and recommend the DoTerra brand. You don’t want to be ingesting crappy oils laced with other crappy additives because that would just be crap. Got it. 

250g gluten free rolled oats

3 tbs coconut oil

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

1 cup nut butter (or sunflower seed/coconut butter for a nut-free version) 

1 tsp cinnamon

5 drops orange oil

3-4 drops lime oil

1-2 tbs honey (depending on your sweet preference or maple syrup for vegan option)

2 tbs chia seeds

Blend everything together and then pop it in the fridge (I left mine in the food processor) for 20-30 mins to allow the chia seeds to absorb some moisture & let the coconut oil start to solidify.  Once you take it out of the fridge, if the mix still looks a bit wet, add an extra tbs of chia seeds. Reblend again to combine, roll into balls & store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a few months.  If you are too lazy to roll balls you can just press it into a tray & make it as a slice or bars. Now go book your Real Food Revolution tickets before it’s too late!!

Gingerbread Truffles

‘Tiz the season & all that jazz so get some balls in your life. Christmassy ones. You can make these without my extra special BUTTERED UP (obviously they will be a little less delicious) but you will need to add some gingerbread spices if you want these to taste ‘gingerbready’. Yep that’s a word. Save yourself the effort and just go to Primal Pantry (Teneriffe, Nundah or Toowoomba) and get your mits on a few jars. These are a great Christmas treat or other time treat if you are tired of plain old date or chocolate balls. Go get yourself Merry.

1 jar Buttered Up Gingerbread (or 190g other nut/nut free butter)
1 jar Buttered Up Nothing But Coconut (or 190g coconut butter)
10 fresh dates
1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional)
1/2 cup coconut (shredded or dessicated)
2 tbs coconut oil

Blend everything except the cacao nibs until a smooth dough forms. Add the nibs, pulse a few times to combine. Roll into balls. Place in mouth. Chew. These will store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for probably a few months if you don’t eat them all first.

White Christmas Cheesecake

I’m dreaming of some White Christmas,
Just like the one used to eat.
Without the toxic copha,
Or processed sugars,
Or nasty, weird ingredients…..

I hope you sang that to the tune of ‘I’m dreaming of a White Christmas’? I feel like my lyrics need some work but I am too excited about this deliciousness to be bothered really. I had a couple of attempts at perfecting this recipe as the first few were good but didn’t taste like the White Christmas I remember. I feel like I nailed it with this one so you are welcome. You can get your mits on my WHITE XMAS recipe over at Gourmand and Gourmet, it’s delicious too.

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the innards (sounds gruesome) of this freaking amazing cheesecake because I made it for a party and I thought it may be frowned upon to take a cake that had already been cut into…. And probably that slice eaten…. I am sure the excuse ‘but I had to instagram it’ would not fly.

Base
2 cups almonds
2 cups fresh dates
3 tbs coconut oil

Filling
3 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4hrs then drained
250ml full fat coconut cream (I use the Ayam brand)
3/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 – 3/4 cup rice malt syrup/maple syrup/honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 cup goji berries
1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots (sulphur free)
1/2 cup lightly toasted nuts (I used a mix of macadamias & pistachios)
1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
Optional- White Christmas for topping

For the base, blend all ingredients in the food processor until it all comes together like a dough. You can leave it as chunky, or make it as smooth as you like. Press into the base of a springform tin and pop it in the freezer to set while you make the filling.

For the filling, blend the cashews, coconut oil, coconut cream, vanilla & rice malt syrup until you get a really smooth mixture. Stir through all the remaining ingredients. Pour over the base, top with some crumbled White Xmas (optional) and pop back in the freezer to set. Remove from freezer 15mins before serving to allow to soften, slice, then serve. Stand back and watch people’s minds be blown.

Choc Chip Caramel Cookie Sandwiches

I feel like caramel & chocolate is a marriage made in heaven. Only thing that would be better is SALTED caramel & chocolate which you could totally do. Remember when I made the Caramel Topping? Well if that didn’t blow your mind, these cookies will. This makes about a dozen cookies which is really only 6 cookie sandwiches so it wouldn’t be that bad if you ate them all. I wouldn’t judge you, some would, not me. You don’t have to make the caramel if you don’t want to/ can’t be ar$ed/ don’t like caramel (weirdo alert), but it really does complete them. Just like in Jerry Maguire.

Wet stuff-
¼ cup ghee or butter at room temp (you could try with coconut oil too but I haven’t yet)
¼ cup coconut sugar
2 tbs maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar or rice malt syrup
1 large egg at room temperature

Dry stuff-
1 tsp vanilla powder
1½ cups pumpkin seed meal (you could use almond meal, hazelnut meal or another type of nut flour)
2 tbs coconut flour
½ tsp bicarb soda
½ tsp sea salt
1/2 cup dark choc chips

CARAMEL

Preheat your oven to 170C and line a baking tray with baking paper. In your food processor (or using some beaters) blend the wet ingredients until they are creamy and well mixed. Add the dry ingredients (except the choc chips) and combine completely, scraping down the sides as required. Stir through the choc chips by hand so they don’t get all mashed up by the food processor. Pop the mix in the fridge for about half an hour to make the dough easier to work with. You can make the CARAMEL while that is happening if using it. Once the dough is less sticky, roll it into balls and flatten out slightly on the baking tray, be aware these cookies will spread a bit so don’t put them too close together. Pop them in the oven for about 15mins or until starting to brown on the edges. Allow to cool for about 20mins on the tray before transferring to a wire rack. Once cool, smear some caramel on a cookie, add another as a lid, take a nice big bite and experience the bliss. The only thing that could make them any better would be an extra layer of homemade ice cream in the cookie sandwich. Ooooh yeah!

Caramel Topping

There are no words…. Well maybe ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’. Yep. It’s that good, and easy. I mean 3 ingredients, there are no excuses for not making this. They’re not even weird ingredients like ‘mesquite powder’ or ‘saffron threads’ (seriously, what’s with saffron? That gear is like $3million an ounce. Not even joking. It’s not like it’s unicorn dust!). Anyway, that was a tangent, these are simple, easy to find ingredients. Your supermarket will have them, it’s not too late. Go now.

I used this as a warm topping for some homemade ice cream but it would also be a great filling for caramel tarts, caramel slice, as a cake icing, adding to some protein balls, straight from the jar or anything else splendidly caramel you can think of. If you think of other cool caramel uses be sure to share them in the comments below. No-one likes a selfish-Sally. Nothing against the Sally’s of the world.

15 fresh dates, pits removed
100g coconut oil/ghee or butter (I used ghee)
2 cups full fat coconut milk

Blend everything in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth. Transfer to a small pot and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 mins. You can add extra coconut milk if you want a thinner sauce, keep in mind it will thicken up in the fridge. Use as a caramel topping on anything you fancy. Your finger? I wouldn’t judge.

Nut Free No Bake Fig & Quinoa Bars

That title is WAAAYYYY too long but at least you know what your are signing up for right?! You can add nuts to this in place of the seeds and you could bake it if that tickled your fancy….. Then they would just be ‘Fig & Quinoa Bars’, much more succinct to say but a little more work to actually do. I’m not into that, and I’m impatient to eat this stuff. Baking creates timeframes that I just don’t dig today so ‘no bake’ it is.

So, I’m BAAAACCCCKKK! Baby Grace is now 10 days old and is a super cool little human but I thought it was time to stop the #babyspam and give you some food back….. Well after this last little bit of spam because she is bloody cute.

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Isn’t she just squishable!!

Ok, so back to food. This recipe contains quinoa (as do some of my others in the archives) so it’s not strictly ‘paleo’…. GASP! Send the paleo police round, I am sure I can convert them with this deliciousness anyway and seriously, a bit of quinoa here & there isn’t what is causing the global obesity, diabetes and heart disease epidemic we are fighting is it? Substitute it for something else if it offends you or you don’t tolerate it.

375g dried figs, soaked in boiling water for 15 mins, then drained
250g coconut oil (or butter or ghee)
125g pumpkin seeds
125g sunflower seeds
150g quinoa flakes
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup/ rice malt syrup/ coconut nectar)
1/4 cup tahini (or nut butter of your choice)

Melt together the coconut oil, honey & tahini. Once melted transfer to a food processor with the soaked figs & blend until a smooth paste forms. Add remaining ingredients and process until just combined (you can do that by hand if you like). Transfer the mix into a baking paper lined tray (I used a large rectangular slice tin), press down evenly and pop it in the fridge for a few hours to set before slicing into bars or squares. This freezes really well and is a great option for school lunch boxes or a sweet treat when the mood strikes you.