vegan

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!!

Honey Macadamia Ice Cream

So Summer is officially over according to my calendar but the warm weather is still hanging around in Brissie so I thought I’d take the opportunity to churn out a bit of ice cream before the cold sets in. I have eaten my fair share of Haagen Das pints in my time but the texture of this ice cream is definitely one of my favourites. The cashews add an awesome creaminess and honey & macadamias are what dreams are made of people. Imagine unicorns frolicking on your tongue…. It’s pretty much the same, without the heavy hoofs. 

I am yet to create a homemade ice cream that doesn’t set rock solid if left the freezer so you will need to let this one stand out of the freezer for about 15mins before serving if you do leave it in there too long otherwise you will be forced to eat it with a snow pick. Not even joking. 

1 1/2 cups soaked raw cashews

2 cups coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla powder (or extract)

2 tbs honey (Or maple syrup/coconut nectar) 

1 cup chopped, roasted macadamias (you can use raw if you prefer) 

2 tbs Gelatin (hydrolysate) (you can use the code GBD599 to get $10 off your order on iherb)

Once your cashews have soaked for a few hours, drain them and add everything except the macadamia to your food processor or high speed blender and blend baby blend until it’s nice, smooth & lumpless. Pour it into an ice cream maker & let that bad boy work its magic. Add the macadamias when the churning is almost done. If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can just pour it into a container, stir through the macadamias and freeze it until it’s solid enough to scoop. Doneski. Go forth & churn. 

Not Your Typical Smoothie

So it’s about eleventy-ten-million degrees in Brisbane right now (Yep that’s an actual temperature, a freaking hot one) and the perfect time to get the smoothies going. Smoothies can be a great way to jam in a load of nutrition quickly & easily & in this weather, a perfect way to cool down.

This week I am all about sneaking some weird & wonderful ingredients into my smoothies to get the most bang for my buck out of these refreshing drinks. If you have a cool concoction to contribute to the Smoothie Week concept by Williams-Sonoma tag me on Facebook or Instagram and #smoothieweek & #myfoodreligion so I can share it on!

I use a thermomix for my smoothies because it’s the only blender I have but I would definitely recommend using a high power blender for both of these babies, it’s not a ‘smooth-ie’ if it’s chunky is it? You can find some other good blenders HERE, I haven’t tried them though. I also like to freeze all my smoothie ingredients so that it’s nice & cold like a slushie but I also find that freezing things that are a bit fibrous like celery & leafy greens can help break down the fibers and makes for a nice smooth drink. I always add some sort of fat to my smoothies to make sure that I am absorbing all the goodness from the fat-soluble vitamins in the veggies. I use either avocado, coconut milk, coconut oil, macadamia oil or nut butter. I also love to add some Gelatin to my smoothies. Gelatin is essentially for building healthy skin, hair, nails and adds some protein to the drink. Forget Botox and wrinkle creams, get good quality gelatin in your life!

My first recipe for you is a green smoothie with a random zucchini thrown in. That’s right zucchini. You can sneak zucchini into any smoothie you like really & if you want to be super stealth (for peeps that don’t like the ‘green stuff’) you can peel it first & they’ll never know. You can sub in or out any of these ingredients you don’t like. Not big on mango? Add banana or pear instead. Hate ginger? Leave it out or add mint instead. It’s totally a ‘choose your own adventure’ kinda deal. I’ll have another weird concoction for you tomorrow.

Not Your Average Green Smoothie- serves 3-4

1 zucchini, chopped roughly
Handful of spinach/kale/chard
1/2 cucumber, chopped roughly
1/2 tbs grated fresh ginger
1 mango, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
500ml coconut water (I use RawC) or water
1/2 avocado

Pop everything into your blender with 1/2 the coconut water & blend for 1 minute. Add the remaining coconut water and blend until smooth. Drink up.

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.

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.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

I love cauliflower, even though it does smell like fart sometimes…..My research tells me that fart-smell of cooked cauliflower is actually due to the sulfur containing compounds in it that are exacerbated by cooking. The good news is, that even though it might be a bit on-the-nose, cauliflower & other cruciferous veggies are powerhouses of nutrients and brilliant for supporting detoxification of our body. You will be pleased to know that this recipe didn’t result in a stink-filled kitchen. Boom. Go make it.

1 tsp turmeric powder
Good pinch of salt
& cracked pepper
1/2 tsp garam marsala
1 cup coconut yoghurt (or full fat natural yoghurt)
Head cauliflower, stalk trimmed & leaves removed

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a bowl mix all ingredients except the cauliflower to combine well. Using your hands (or some sort of implement if you are feeling fancy), rub the yoghurt mix over the cauliflower to completely coat it. Place on a baking paper lined tray or in an oven dish & bake for 30-40mins until cooked through. It will depend on the size of your cauliflower how long this takes, it could take an hour. Pop a knife in the middle of it to test if it is ready, it should feel like a ‘ripe pear’ in terms of firmness.

Choc Gingerbread Fudge

This is stupid easy. Like even a total kitchen muppet can nail this recipe. It only has 4 ingredients, you can substitute the Buttered Up for some other nut or nut-free butters of your choice. Obviously it won’t be as awesome as my Buttered Up version but you do what you need to to get this fudge in your mouth.

1 jar Buttered Up No-Nuts Gingerbread Flavor (190g)
1 jar Buttered Up Chocolate Cake Batter Flavor (190g)
16 fresh dates, pitted
4 tbs coconut oil

Add the Gingerbread Flavor to the food processor with 8 of the pitted fresh dates and 2 tbs coconut oil and blend until a smooth paste forms. Press this into a small baking paper lined tray (I used a mini loaf tin) and press down to an even layer. Pop this in the freezer to start to set. Add the Chocolate Cake Batter flavor to the food processor with the remaining dates & coconut oil & blend again to a smooth paste. Press this on top of the Gingerbread layer to form your second smooth layer then pop it in the fridge to set for a few hours. Once set, I drizzled mine with a bit of Buttered Up melted Nothing But Coconut butter because I can, and it’s delicious. You can leave that bit out or drizzle with some melted dark chocolate. Slice into squares and store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer.

Turmeric Tea

Wait! Wait! Before you run away! I promise it is waaaaayyyy more delicious than it sounds and, not only that, this gear is a real SUPERFOOD… Or SUPER DRINK I guess. The first time I gave this a crack I went way too overboard with the turmeric & the coconut milk….. It was kind of like a curry-cup-a-soup……. And not in a good way. This version is good! It’s creamy, and spicy & just the right amount of sweet. It is brilliant to help support gentle liver detoxification, settle an upset tummy and is a super powerful anti-inflammatory.

Turmeric has been shown to help with everything from diabetes, altzheimers, boost the immune system, improve skin, reduce cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve liver function and even help prevent cancer. Seriously, if turmeric could just make me dinner it would really be the ultimate partner! You can read more about how freaking awesome turmeric is HERE. Give this a whirl, if you hate it I’ll never tell you to make it again.

By consuming healthy fats (coconut milk & ghee) with turmeric you increase it’s absorption, and, the addition of pepper to turmeric increases your bodies ability to absorb it’s amazing goodness by up to 2000%! Yowsers! Don’t scrimp on that pinch of black pepper people!

Makes 2 cups

2 heaped tsp fresh grated turmeric
1 heaped tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp honey
Pinch black pepper
1 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
2 cups boiling water
2 tbs gelatin (optional) – I use THIS BRAND from iHerb and you can get $10 off your first order with the code GBD599

Add the ginger, turmeric, pepper, cinnamon and honey to a pot and add the boiling water. Allow to steep for about 5mins. Add remaining ingredients & bring to the boil while whisking to make it creamy & frothy! You could also use a stick mixer to get it nice & frothy. I do mine in the thermomix. Once it’s hot enough you can strain it through a tea strainer into your mugs. I have also made a BULLETPROOF version by omitting the coconut milk & adding 2 tbs ghee and 2 tbs of coconut oil plus an extra cup of boiling water and blending until frothy & creamy. It is delicious too! Enjoy.