Dessert

The Truth About Acai Bowls

Acai bowls are the latest health food fad doing the rounds. They are popping up in every cafe & health food shop and you can even make them yourself at home (which I absolutely recommend so you can jam some extra nutrition in).  Touted by many as the perfect healthy meal they come in a massive variety of flavours and colours but let me let you in on a secret….. That ain’t no perfect brekkie.

OK, before a war breaks out let me firstly say, I like acai bowls. They are delicious. It’s like having ice cream for breakfast and who wouldn’t love to do that…. It’s got about the same amount of sugar as having ice cream for breakfast too. Yep, on average an acai bowl will have about 40g of sugar and up to about 75g depending on your toppings.  The same size bowl of full fat vanilla ice cream has about 39g of sugar. At least the ice cream has a good dose of fat in there too to at least help slow that insulin spike a little. Yes, the acai is natural sugar from fruit but as far as your body and your insulin response are concerned, it’s still sugar and if your body doesn’t need it, it’s likely going straight to your ar$e, or thighs, or stomach or wherever else your body thinks it would like to store it for the next famine you encounter. That’s basically an entire days recommended sugar intake in one bowl.

So what’s my point? My point is, don’t get caught up in the hype and the very clever marketing. If you give zero flying ducks (*side note; why does auto-correct think I want to write ‘ducks’? Seriously, how often do I refer to ducks to make it think that is a legitimate swap?) about your sugar intake, you are not trying to minimise your body fat, you don’t mind feeling hungry again an hour later, and you have $16 to drop on a bowl of sugar every morning, go your hardest, I’m not talking to you. If you do care about the above points I’d suggest that acai bowls are a sometimes food, a treat for your weekend brekkie out or a refuel after you have smashed out a gruelling workout, enjoy it for sure but don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s health food.

A few things I want to point out, not all acai is made equal. Homemade is absolutely the best because you can whack in a heap of great things to add way more nutrition. My tips would be cinnamon to help curb the insulin spike, collagen powder or protein powder to add some protein and help with skin, hair, joints etc, frozen zucchini or spinach to add some greens, use some coconut cream instead of coconut water to get some healthy fats in there- this will help keep you fuller for longer and assist with blood sugar regulation.

Different brands of acai also contain different things, it’s a good idea to ask. My pick is the Amazonia Pure . Some contain soy lethicin, some contain added sugar or syrups to make it more ‘scoopable’, some contain colours and additives to mask the fact that is has oxidised and gone brown instead of being the deep purple of a non-oxidised acai. So that’s it from me, eat your acai, or don’t, I have zero ducks to give, it’s your body to nourish how you see fit.

 

 

Blow Your Mind Peanut Butter Slice (primal. gluten free. dairy free)

Is it wrong to eat a whole slab of PB slice in one go? Asking for a friend. Obviously.

I’m not going to lie to you, if you are trying to lay off the treats right now this recipe is NOT for you. This gear is good. I mean mind-blowingly good. You won’t just eat one piece. I’d be impressed if you could eat less than 5 squares in a sitting. If I can give you a hot tip, which I can because it’s my blog, hide the finished product from yourself in the freezer. Behind the liver. Oh, you don’t have liver in your freezer? You should. That stuff has superpowers. Anyway, hide it, or you’ll see it when you open the fridge. Every time. And you’ll eat some. Every time. Then it will be gone in 12hrs. So I hear. My ‘friend’ told me.

Base
1/2 cup almonds (or nut/seed of your choice)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
15 fresh dates, seeds removed

Blend in a food processor until it comes together like a dough. Remove and press into a baking-paper lined tray. Set aside.

Filling
1/2 cup natural coconut milk yoghurt (or full fat coconut cream)
1/2 cup 100% peanut butter (or other type of nut/seed butter)
1/4 cup collagen hydrolysate (optional but amazing for skin, hair, nails & gut health)
Pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together well then pour over the base. Pop it in the freezer while you make the topping.

Topping
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (you could use ghee, cacao butter or butter instead)
2 tbs raw cacao
1/4 cup rice malt syrup/honey/coconut nectar

Mix all ingredients until smooth, pour over the slice and pop back in the freezer for 2 hrs to set. Slice. Devour. Try to stop at one piece. That’s a dare.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

It’s been a while between blog posts and if I’m being honest, I feel like my kitchen mojo is a little flat right now. My creative cooking buzz is a little dull and I am feeling a bit ‘pulled all over the place’ with life in general. Sometimes that just happens right and instead of creating and blogging when Baby G goes to bed, I binge watch Banshee. Because avoidance is my strategy of choice right now. As the weather warms up though I am sure I will get inspired again and we’ll be hanging out here a lot more together. In the meantime. Chocolate & Peanut Butter.

Chocolate & peanut butter, it’s a marriage made in heaven and who doesn’t love a good tart?! I know you do. You could make this as mini-tarts using cupcake moulds if you fancied. I don’t fancy because that seems like a whole lot more effort than I can be bothered with but if mini-tarts are your thang, go hard.

250g raw cashews, soaked in a bowl of water for 2-4hrs
2 ripe bananas
4 tbs coconut oil
1/4 cup natural organic  peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1/4 cup raw cacao
1/4-1/2 cup pure maple syrup/ rice malt syrup depending on your sweet preference

2 cups raw almonds

2 cups fresh pitted dates

Preheat your oven to 170C. Line or grease the bottom and sides of a spring form or tart tin.

Pulse the almonds & dates in the food processor until The come together like a rough dough. Press evenly into the base and sides of the tin and bake for about 15mins until just starting to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

While the base is cooling, add the drained cashews and banana to the food processor and blend until completely smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times. Add the remaining ingredients (start with the minimal amount of maple syrup) and blend to combine. Taste and add extra sweetener if required. Pour into the cooled tart base and refrigerate for at least 4 hrs, overnight is best. Cut it. Serve it. Eat it.

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Almond & Maple Ice Cream (paleo. vegan. raw)

This day reminded me of Christmas Day, you know those days you feel like all you do is eat. Today I spent the day down the coast eating. I went out for breakfast, had coco whip in between & then an amazing seafood feast for lunch. I came home feeling full, sleepy & pretty sure that I was just going to by-pass dinner…. Thennnn I felt the urge to make ice cream, because there is always a separate stomach compartment for ice cream right? Well my stomach has that compartment, and one for sweet potato chips, I can put away A LOT of those things. So damn delicious. Anyone who tells you you can’t over-eat healthy food is a goddamn liar.

You can choose your own adventure with this ice cream a bit and swap the almond butter for a different type of nut butter. Cashew butter will give it a much more neutral flavour and something like peanut butter is going to give you a stronger flavour. Do what you want. Add in some of the optional extras, or don’t.

400ml coconut cream (full fat)
100ml water
3/4 cup almond butter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1/3- 1/2 cup maple syrup/ rice malt syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Plus a few extra tbs maple syrup to drizzle                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1 vanilla pod, scraped (or 1 tsp extract)

Optional-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Cacao nibs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Shredded coconut                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Goji berries                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dark chocolate                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Few shots of espresso

 

This can be done without an ice cream maker, it will just require a bit more patience and you’ll need to let it thaw a little before you try & scoop it out. I used an ice cream maker because it’s there so I might as well. So, grab all the ingredients (not the optional extras) and blend them together in your food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into your ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing. You can either eat it as soft serve straight from the ice cream maker or pop it in the freezer to set a little harder. If you are not using an ice cream maker, pour it into a container with a lid and freeze for 4-6 hours until scoopable. Top with any optional toppings. Enjoy.

almond espresso ice cream 1

Protein Chocolate (vegan. paleo. nut free)

I have a confession. I am eating waaaaayyyyy too many treats. Like seriously. Way. Too. Many. I ate all these chocolates in one day. That’s not a lie. I wish it was. Yeah they are ‘healthier’ than a Mars Bar but the whole lot!? In one day. I’ve gotta reel that $hit in. I wrote a post a while back about my take on HEALTHY TREATS and I still stand by that but, I know myself and I will end up in a full sugar-junkie tailspin if I don’t get a lid on this now. It’s time.

I am getting back to basics and am going to have a little sugar detox like the one I did HERE just to get me feeling back on track. I am going to get back into doing some regular INFRA-RED saunas at my chiropractor. I find these make my skin feel amazing, they help me unwind and calm myself and they are the perfect way to help relax tight muscles and detoxify. I wrote about the benefits of those bad boys a while ago but had to stop while I was pregnant & breast-feeding due their serious detoxing ability.

1/2 cup chopped cacao butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut oil (or ghee)
2 heaped tbs raw cacao
2-3 tbs rice malt syrup/maple syrup/honey (make them as sweet or bitter as you like)
2 tbs gelatin (Great Lakes collagen hydrolysate green canister) or protein powder (optional) I use ONLY NUTRITION brand
OPTIONAL- Few drops of peppermint oil (or orange oil)

Melt the cacao butter and coconut oil together then set aside to cool slightly. Add the cacao and mix well to ensure there are no lumps. Add remaining ingredients and whisk it all together until smooth. Pour into chocolate moulds or into a baking paper lined tray to set as a “bark” that you can break up once it has set. Place in the fridge for 3-4 hrs to set then just try and eat one piece. I dare you. Baby G managed to get her mits on one of these before I demolished the rest.

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CBF Paleo for Kids- For people who really want to feed their kids well but Can’t Be Fu*ked

I did it. I wrote another eBook. Well I use the word “wrote” quite loosely, it’s hardly a novel. We can all agree I’m no wordsmith. I put roughly formed sentences and a whole lot of my mindless dribble into another eBook for you. It’s just like my 1st eBook CBF PALEO but with a focus on the small humans in our life. It’s NOT just for little kids though, the recipes are perfect for all the humans in your life, it’s all 5 ingredients or less, nutritional bang for your buck with minimal effort because, let’s be honest, some days you just CBF.

The best part is, it’s less than $9, it’s full of tasty stuff that, if your tiny terrorists throw it on the floor, you’ll enjoy eating it anyway. There are loads of veggies snuck in too of course and it still looks pretty. You can grab your copy here and here’s a sneak peak of some of the pretty things inside.

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Lemon Passionfruit Cheesecake (paleo. vegan. raw)

So, funny story. I was invited to this birthday party where I knew approximately exactly 2 people. I was nervous enough about that as it was. So, I said I’d make a cake. Sure way to make friends and influence people right? Give them cake. Oh no, I think that’s booze. Should have taken booze. Not cake. Anyway, I wasn’t sure if the rest of the party peeps were going to be “into” my healthified Paleo, vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, raw cheesecake. In hindsight the odds were NOT in my favor but I carried on on my merry cake-making way oblivious to the fact that this could be a total fail and I could leave the party with approximately exactly zero friends. Just before the cake came out there was much conversation about how someone had previously made a Paleo cake for one of the kids’ birthdays and it was allegedly the WORST CAKE EVER. Like in the entire world. The kids were still talking about it a year on and were begging not to be exposed to Paleo cake ever again in their lives. At this point I am panicking and trying to work out how I am going to run away, with or without my cake, without anyone noticing. Instead I cracked open a bottle of Bollinger….. Because champagne fixes everything and if I was about to have a disaster-chef moment I might as well………Fast forward to the cake. They ate it, they liked it, there was even second servings. They could have been lying to me but I didn’t see anyone spit it in the garden so I’m calling this cake a success. 

Base

12 fresh pitted dates

1/2 cup coconut (shredded or desiccated)

1 cup macadamias (or nut of your choice)

2 tbs coconut oil

Filling

3 cups raw cashew, soaked for 2-4 hrs then drained

1 cup full fat coconut cream

1 tsp vanilla powder or extract

1/2 cup maple syrup (you could use honey, rice malt, coconut nectar)

2 lemons, zest & juice

3-4 passionfruits

Line the base of a springform tin with baking paper and grease the sides with coconut oil. In your food processor pulse together all the base ingredients until the form a rough dough. Press into the bottom of the tin and pop into the fridge. * You could bake the base if you wanted to. I have done that before and it’s delicious. 10 mins on 200C then pop in the freezer to cool completely before you top with the filling.*

paleo cheesecake base

Add the cashews and coconut cream to the food processor & blend until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the passionfruit and blend again well to combine. Pour this mixture over the base and pop it in the freezer for at least 4 hrs to set. Top with the passionfruit before serving. Allow to stand out of the freezer for 10 mins before cutting.

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Caramel Protein Bars (paleo, vegan)

You’ll never guess the secret ingredient in these bars….. Seriously, it’s weird, even for me. It’s a sneaky veggie. Cauliflower. Yep, I’m serious. Told you it was weird. Weird, but strangely delicious and quite frankly I am LOVING the fact that this has veggies in it so hard right now. I mean it’s basically a salad now. Right? Pass me that tray of salad.

300g steamed & cooled cauliflower

200g raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hrs then drained

200g medjool datess

Dark chocolate (for dipping)- I used Lindt 90% but you can use this recipe to make your own if you prefer

2 tbs mesquite powder (optional but delicious)

2 tbs tahini

2 tbs rice malt syrup/maple syrup/honey/coconut nectar

1/2 cup Only Nutrition Vanilla Protein (or protein of your choice)

Add the dates, cashews & cauliflower to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients except the dark chocolate and process again until it forms a dough. If it’s still a bit wet, add an extra 1/4 cup protein at a time until you get to a ‘bliss ball’ type consistency. Press into a baking paper lined tray and pop in the freezer to set for 1-2 hrs. Once the slice has set you can melt your chocolate and pop it in a bowl for dipping. Cut the slice into bars, dip in the chocolate and place back into the freezer to reset. If you have leftover chocolate, you can do a second dip because let’s face it, one layer of chocolate is never sufficient. If you can’t be bothered with the dipping bizzo you can just pour the melted chocolate on top before you slice it into bars. I store these in the freezer to maintain a good consistency….. and to hide them from myself.

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Mango Coconut Protein Ice Creams (paleo, primal, gluten free, dairy free, vegan)

Um it’s been eleventy-ten million degrees in Brisbane this week. 4000% humidity, 0% oxygen. Not. Even. Kidding.  Ice creams is pretty much all I have wanted to eat and luckily these bad boys are super easy & very versatile and will cool you down asap. The biggest problem is thinking ahead to make them but if you just go ahead and make them now you’ll be good to go. 

Feel free to go rogue and choose your own adventure with flavours here. I’m think banana & almond butter would be MIND BLOWING but you can substitute in any fruits and veggies you like. 

Layer 1

2 cups coconut cream
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract
1 tsp honey/rice malt/maple syrup (optional)

Layer 2

350g mango
3/4 cup coconut cream
1 scoop ONLY NUTRITION VANILLA PROTEIN (optional)
1/2 cup shredded coconut

You will need some ice block moulds or some sort of vessel you can whack a paddle pop stick in to make it an ice block. Use your creative genius and let me know what you come up with.

Mix the ingredients for layer one together well & half fill your ice block moulds then pop this straight in the freezer to start to set while you make the next layer.

For Layer 2, add all the ingredients to your food processor or high speed blender and blitz until smooth. Pour on top of layer 1, whack the Popsicle stick in and let the freezer work its magic. That’s it. 

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Super-Simple Paleo Choc Chip Cookies 

Choc chip cookies with 4 ingredients! Say whaaaaatt?!? I know. How is that even possible? Well it’s not only possible, I’d go as far as to say these are the best choc chip cookies ever….. And I’ve eaten a few (hundred) cookies in my time. They are crispy on the edges and chewy in the centre and they make a totally kick-ar$e ice cream sandwich. What more could you want from a cookie? Just a community service announcement, you are going to want to hide these from yourself once they are done or feed them to others because otherwise you will consume approximately 14 cookies. This recipes makes approximately 14 cookies depending on how much dough you eat. Would it be wrong to eat them all at once? Asking for a friend. Obviously. 

2 cups almond meal/hazelnut meal 

4 tbs honey/rice malt syrup/maple syrup/ coconut nectar

3 tbs ghee/butter/coconut oil

1/2 cup dark choc chips (or whatever kind of choc chips floats your boat)

Preheat oven to 170C. Add the almond meal & choc chips to a bowl. Add the ghee & honey to a mug and stir well to combine. Once that deliciousness is mixed pour it over the dry ingredients and mix them all together well until you have a dough that somewhat resembles the below image. If you use blanched almond flour you will have a lighter colored dough but don’t be racist, just use whatever you have. 

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Now, before you eat all the raw cookie dough, roll it into balls then flatten them into cookie shapes on your baking tray like so. Come to think of it, you could totally leave these as balls and eat them raw or have them as a raw cookie, or in ice cream as cookie dough…. The possibilities are endless.

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Now pop them into your preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until just starting to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20mins. That part is essential for 2 reasons…. The cookies need time to set as they cool &, perhaps more importantly, that business will burn the cr@p out of your tongue straight from the oven. These will keep really well in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer. They would also make a brilliant ice-cream sandwich. Just saying.