Snack

Carrot Cake Muesli Bars (gluten free. dairy free. vegan. nut free)

Muesli Bars. They are usually the things that are grabbed from the supermarket shelf because they look ‘healthy’ or they are ‘organic’ or the have some super fab label that tricks us into thinking that these are actually a legit form of nourishment. They’re usually not. Mostly they are loaded with preservatives, stabilisers, crappy vegetable oils & $hit tins of sugar masquerading as a health food bar. These homemade bad boys require slightly more effort than grabbing some from the shops but they are tasty, nutrient dense and freeze really well so I suggest making a double batch to pop in the freezer for later on!

I have used oats in mine, I grabbed the gluten-free ones from the health food shop but if you want to sub out the oats you can swap them for quinoa flakes, more puffed brown rice or puffed amaranth. Whatever spins your tyres. Hemp seeds are a fab source of protein and omega fats 3, 6 & 9 and are loaded with antioxidants. I get THESE ONES. Tahini is a bloody top source of calcium and is also a great nut-free option but you can sub that for any other sort of nut butter you fancy. Don’t like carrot? Use grated apple or pear instead. No biggy. You can basically choose your own adventure here, add in other dried fruit, nuts, coconut, seeds, choc chips, you get the jist. You do you.

If you watch my instagram stories you will know the tragedy that befell these bars as I was carrying them very poorly to photograph them…. They ended up all over the floor, smashed, squashed, broken, much like my heart at the time from seeing good food go to waste. LUCKILY I had just finished mopping the floors so they were all clean & I managed to save some of them. Then I had to make another batch for the kid and as you can see below I added some pumpkin & sunflower seeds to that because I was feeling adventurous. These would also make cracking cookies if you just wanted to form them into cookie shapes and bake until golden brown.

gluten-free-muesli-bars

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Carrot Cake Muesli Bars

Servings 15 squares

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup mashed banana (or 2 eggs)
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil/butter/ ghee
  • 1/2 cup tahini (or other nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup honey/ maple syrup/ rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 cups puffed brown rice
  • 1/4 cup cranberries (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 170C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. 

  2. Melt together the honey, vanilla, tahini & coconut oil. Once that has all melted, add in the mashed banana & stir well then set aside.

  3. In a large bowl add all the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Pour over the wet mixture and mix well until completely combined. 

  4. Pour into your baking paper lined tray and bake for 50-60 mins until golden on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a baking rack. 

  5. Once it has cooled to room temperature, transfer to the fridge to set for at least 4 hours before slicing. If you try and slice it straight away it will crumble all over the place. Don't say I didn't warn you. Once it's sliced you can store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

Festive Ice Cream (paleo. keto)

The Keto diet is being bandied about left, right and centre at the moment and has some bloody ace applications for certain people. You can read more about keto in THIS POST HERE but here’s the cliff’s notes- It’s a high fat, low carb diet. A few weeks ago when I was doing a WORKSHOP down the coast I stopped by this place called Brio Emporium that make these bloody amazing keto ice cream sundaes and realised that I needed to give that jazz a roll at home. So here’s me rollin’….

Now the base of this recipe is keto, so you can just leave it at that and be all #keto….buuutttt I was feeling kinda festive at the time because #christmas so I went and un-keto’d it by adding cranberries & chocolate & brandy. If you hate fun and don’t want to add the extras then power to you. *On a side note- the addition of booze stops the ice cream from freezing hard once you pop it in the freezer. If you have ever made homemade ice cream without the crappy ingredients you know what I’m talking about. About 1/4 cup of alcohol, vodka works well and adds no taste, will keep it from freezing like a rock. If you want to leave it out you’ll just need to let it soften on the bench for at least 15 mins before you try & dig in.

keto-ice-cream-paleo

I used this HEMP OIL as it’s a top source of omega fats 3, 6 & 9 as well as a cracking source of antioxidants.  I also use THIS COLLAGEN powder. Collagen is basically pure protein and the building blocks for hair, skin, nails, joints etc. It can help restore the firmness in our skin AND it’s cheaper than BOTOX! It’s also bloody tops for gut health and helping to repair leaky gut.

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Keto Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 4 lge eggs
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup hemp oil/macadamia oil/coconut oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 400 ml full fat coconut cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • stevia to taste
  • 1/4 cup collagen powder
  • OPTIONAL EXTRAS
  • 1/4 cup brandy (or rum/vodka)
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dark choc pieces
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (only if NOT using stevia)

Instructions

  1. Basic Keto Ice Cream-

    Add the eggs, coconut cream, stevia, collagen, cashew butter, oil, vanilla & apple cider vinegar to a blender and blitz until smooth. 

  2. Pour into your ice cream maker and let it work it's magic. Once it's done, transfer into a container with a lid and pop it in the freezer to set.... Or just eat it like soft serve right now. 

  3. Festive Ice Cream-

    Add the Add the eggs, coconut cream, maple syrup, collagen, cashew butter, oil, vanilla, brandy & apple cider vinegar to a blender and blitz until smooth.

  4. Stir through the choc chips & cranberries then pour into your ice cream maker following the same steps above. 

White Christmas Rocky Road (paleo. vegan)

I’ve got to say it. I’ve outdone myself this time. Just TRY and only eat one piece! I DARE YOU.

This recipe came about because I went to The Source Bulk Foods to get salt. That’s it. Just salt. Needless to say I’m going to need to ban myself from going there unattended again. Oh don’t get me wrong, I got salt, two types actually because who doesn’t need multiple types of salt….. I also got almond meal, coconut flour, cranberries, sour cherries, epsom salts, cacao butter, cashews, macadamias, coconut, pistachios, some sort of beetroot latte powder (WTF!?), some quinoa pasta, puffed brown rice, probably other things that I can’t remember that I also didn’t need. That place is an abyss of bulk bin heaven and every time I’d look in a new bin I’d think “hell yes I need puffed amaranth” despite absolutely NOT requiring such things. My wallet left substantially emptier but my belly is now very full PLUS you now have a recipe for this bundle of mouth-party joy because I had to find a use for some of these ingredients that I absolutely HAD to have.

paleo-vegan-white-christmas-slice

This reminds me of a cross between Darrel Lea White Chocolate Rocky Road & old school White Christmas. The beauty of this recipe is that it can totally be a choose-your-own-adventure kinda deal. Don’t like macadamias? (Clearly you are a MASSIVE weirdo but I’m not here to judge…. but I kind am. Weirdo) but you can sub them for something else, same with most of the other ad-in’s. Obviously don’t mess with the base of cacao butter & cashew butter because you’ll royally F things up but the rest, you do you. I had some raspberry kombucha jellies to add in but I got all overwhelmed with all the new ingredients and totally forgot about them!

vegan-white-christmas-rocky-road-paleo

Anyhow, on with the recipe. Enjoy it & don’t forget to tag me in any of your creations on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM!

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Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup pistachios, lightly toasted
  • 1/3 cup macadamias, lightly toasted
  • 1 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 150 g cacao butter
  • 1/2 cup dried sour cherries
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup or rice malt syrup (depending on your sweetness preference)
  • 1 cup fresh rasberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Melt together the cacao butter & cashew butter in a saucepan then set aside to cool to room temperature. 

  2. Transfer to a large bowl & add the maple syrup and stir well to combine.

  3.  Gently stir through the remaining ingredients then pour into a baking paper lined tray. Pop it in the fridge or freezer to set before cutting. 

  4. This can be stored in the fridge for a week (as IF you’re not going to eat it before then) or in the freezer for a couple of months.

 

Corned Beef Fritters (paleo. gf. df)

I used to HATE corned beef as a kid. Detest it. I don’t even know why. I don’t think I have actually ever eaten it in my adult life until a few weeks ago when I tried it at a cafe as a brekkie wrap and it was awesome! So obviously now I’m obsessed and I went straight to the butcher and bought one. I’ve got be honest, I didn’t love how it initially turned out as the way they had brined it was WAAAAAYYYY too salty for my liking (and I love salt) so I’m going to get my mits on some silverside from Young Farmers and brine my own and just see how that pans out for me. Anyway, the point is, I wasn’t digging it but I HATE wasting food and I remember my mum used to make corned beef fritters so, that’s what happened. Fritters. The small human loved them. Smashed them both hot and cold. They make a cracking snack, brekkie or dinner option and they freeze like absolute champions. Obviously you can sub in other veggies if you want. This is what I had in the fridge.

1/2 red onion, diced
2 cups finely chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 cup grated sweet potato
2 cups diced corned beef
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups almond meal
Salt & pepper
Optional- 1/2-1 tsp turmeric
Coconut oil/ghee/ butter for cooking

Makes 12-15 fritters

Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl. Heat a large frying pan over low-med heat, add about 1/2 tbs of cooking fat. Form the batter into fritters, don’t worry if they don’t look like they are going to hold together, they will as they cook. Pop the fritters in the pan, cook on one side then flip, after flipping use the back of your spatula to press them down a little flatter. Cook on other side until browned.

 

Keto Love Bites (paleo. keto. vegan)

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock, you will have probably heard the term ‘keto’ being bandied about in health & fitness land. It’s the new black but it’s not a new concept. A Keto diet has been around for yonks and it’s been used therapeutically for treating obesity, epilepsy, diabetes, Alzheimers and many other conditions for a very long time. It’s basic premise is eating high fat &  very low carb kicking your body into ketosis where it will use your fat for fuel. Benefits  vary from person to person but  weight loss, blood sugar control, mental focus & clarity, and increased energy are generally seen. As EVERY body is different, the amount of carbohydrate you can tolerate before you are no longer in ketosis varies and it’s something that each individual needs to work out for themselves. Am I doing Keto? No. Do I generally eat a pretty high fat (healthy fats) and low-mod carb diet anyway? Yes. That feels good for me. Going super low carb (to be in ketosis) doesn’t feel great for me, I lack energy, my sleep suffers and my hormones go a bit wacky so, for me, making sure that I have a bit of fruit or some good starchy veggies as my carb sources works. Anyway, keto or not, these treats are a GREAT source of healthy fats and taste bloody tops. The fats will keep you satiated plus you feel like you are eating chocolate and that’s always a win in my book. Go forth and keto. Or don’t. You do you. 

3 tbs nut butter/coconut butter
1 tbs tahini

OPTIONAL- 3-4 drop peppermint or orange oil

1/4 cup coconut oil/butter/ghee/ cacao butter

1 tbs raw cacao
2 tbs collagen powder (or protein powder)

Melt together the nut butter, tahini & coconut oil, stir in everything else then spoon into chocolate moulds or pour into a baking paper lined tray. Pop it in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.

** If you don’t give 2 hoots about being keto-friendly and need some sweetness you can add 1-2 tbs of raw honey, pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup if you fancy.

 

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.

 

 

Kimchi (fermented. vegan. paleo)

If you are not on the fermented foods bandwagon yet you need to JUMP ON IMMEDIATELY. Like now. Fermented food is the new black. Adios probiotic capsules & HELLO probiotic rich foods. Not only are fermented foods going to give you more variety of good bacteria in your life but they are so much more potent than even the very best probiotic capsule or powder on the market. By incorporating food containing probiotics we start to establish great long-term, diverse, healthy gut flora far more effectively than if we just take a probiotic supplement. If Kimchi isn’t your jazz then try some other types of fermented veggies, kombucha, kefir, homemade yoghurt etc. The more different types of fermented foods the more diversity of good bacteria you will incorporating into your life. If you don’t know why having a healthy population of bacteria in your gut is important you can get in the know HERE  and HERE but basically everything from skin conditions, weight regulation, mental health, immune function, obesity, fatigue & auto-immune disease.

I have been making kraut for a while but have been hanging out for someone to give me a great kimchi recipe and Jeremy came through with the goods! This was also my first time using my new crock from KINFOLK & CO!!  This recipe comes courtesy of the awesome Jeremy over at Holistic Lifestyler who is a chiropractor in WA, runs fermenting workshops & has an awesome line of organic clothing that is SO soft & comfy. You can get your mits on his fermenting ebook for only $40 if you tell him I sent you. We’re tight like that. He’ll hook you up. Just email him info@holisticlifestyler.com

Will need approximately 2 Litre sized fermenting vessel, notes on these in the troubleshooting.

Vegetables

Green Cabbage  400 g ; Nappa Cabbage 500g ; Spring onions 100g; Sweet potato 250g; Carrot 100g; Green apple  ½ (100g); Salt approx. 30g (which is around 2% of the vegetable weight, this is important as it’s the researched safe ratio of salt to vegetable to provide the optimal environment for fermenting) I recommend good quality Celtic sea salt.

Paste

Fresh Red Chilli 2 ; Turmeric powder 1-2tsp; Cayenne Pepper powder 2 tsp; Chilli Flakes 1 tsp; Garlic 4 cloves; Ginger 4cm grated

Procedure

  • Finely chop green cabbage, add salt; massage until brine created
  • Chop the end off the nappa cabbage then chop into approx. 3 cm square pieces then chop the spring onions add to green cabbage and massage for a few minutes
  • Shred the carrot and sweet potato. Place the green apple through the mandolin or finely slice (if mandolin not available), add to the mix [Note: carrot & sweet potato could also be put through the mandolin if you prefer a slightly chunkier kraut]

PASTE

  • Finely chop the chilli, grate the ginger, chop the garlic, add the cayenne, turmeric and chilli flakes. Blend all the ingredients adding filter water as needed to create a paste consistency.
  • Add the paste to the vegetable mixture and mix through.

 

 Options; can add some dulse or wakame flakes into the mix, some fresh chives can be added to the paste.  Instead of water added to the paste mix some good quality fish sauce can be used may need to go a little lighter in the salt in the vegetable mix as fish sauce is quite salty.  Daikon radish also can be added which adds a nice crunch.  Korean Chilli powder can be added and is very nice and provides a deep red colour, this is usually found at specialist Asian food stores.

 

FERMENTING

  • Pack ingredients into the jar, so that the vegetables are under the brine that has been created. Close the vessel
  • Ferment at room temperature ideally 18-22 deg Celsius for 2-4 weeks before transferring to the refrigerator.
  • Once in the refrigerator should last upto a year (although you’ll get through it much faster than that because it’s so delicious!)

TROUBLESHOOTING

  • If the vegetables start to rise above the brine at the top during the fermenting period simply remove the lid and with the back of a clean spoon push vegetables back under the brine and close the lid again. Alternatively you can add some kind of weight device to keep the vegetables submerged under the brine.
  • If your environment is quite hot the fermenting period may need to be less for instance more like 10 days. If its cooler may need the full 4 weeks.  There’s no way of telling when the ferment is ‘done’ on a home scale type set up without testing things like pH etc but sticking to the timeframe suggested is a safe reliable timeframe.
  • Jars:
    • My personal preference is the ‘Fido’ wire bail lid type which can be found on line at kitchen stores. Otherwise The Fowlers-Vacola jars I’ve found to be the most reliable as the lid never loses its tensile strength like the wire bail types which tend to become faulty after a few years use and no longer create a 100% sealed environment.  The downside to the Fowlers jar is they only make them in 1 Litre size now so you have to make them in batches.  There are many other ‘specialised’ fermenting jars out there that are more expensive but they really are no more beneficial than the two mentioned.  If you want to upsize your fermenting then fermenting crocks are a great option.

 

 

Stuffed Potatoes (paleo. vegan. gluten free. dairy free)

Stuffing stuff is awesome. There’s not much you can’t stuff. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, those big-arse mushrooms that are almost the size of a plate. You get where I’m going. You don’t want to stuff potatoes? No drama. Stuff something else. Just get stuffed. The other great part of getting stuffed is that you can stuff it with whatever you like! Asian style, Mexican, Indian flavours or just a leftover mash-up of whatever’s in your fridge leftover from the week. Mine’s a leftover mash up but you do whatever spins your tyres and make them as fancy as you please. I think some leftover taco mince, homemade guacamole etc would be epic.

4 small sweet potatoes (or 1 or 10- depends how many you’re feeding)
Olive oil to drizzle
Whatever you want to stuff your stuff with. I used-
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red capsicum, diced
Big handful kale, shredded
Big handful red cabbage, shredded

Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a tray with baking paper. I don’t peel my sweet potatoes, I just wash them. Pop the sweet potatoes on the tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for about an hour or until soft to touch. It could take up to 90 mins depending on the size of your potatoes but just whack ’em in and go and binge watch some Suits until they are ready. You don’t watch Suits? Take a good, hard look at yourself and make better life choices.

Take all the stuff you are going to stuff them with and sauté it in a frying pan until it’s about 3/4 cooked then remove.

Take your cooked sweet potatoes, cut them down the centre and use a spoon to push the filling to each side so you have a nice little galley in the middle for all the good bits. Stuff them choc-full with all the stuffing bits. Now would be a cracking time to sprinkle some cheese on top if you can handle it or even a good drizzle of homemade mayo. Whack them back in the oven on about 200C for 15 mins then dig in!

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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

Monkey Chicken (paleo. clean eating)

I’m calling this monkey chicken because it is actually that basic a monkey could do it. It’s fast, easy, delicious and can’t even really be called a ‘recipe’ so I am VERY loosely using that term to describe what I am about to tell you.

This was one of the food prep ideas I demonstrated to the crew down at CROSSFIT BABES & CHASE CONDITIONING a few weeks ago to kick off their 8 week challenge. It’s a great base to batch cook a heap of chicken with a fairly neutral favour that you can then freeze in portions if you want to. When you reheat it you can jazz it up by adding different spices, herbs, curry paste, flavours etc so that you don’t feel like you are eating the same ting over and over. Alternatively, you can just leave it as it is and have it with different sides like in lettuce boats, rice paper wraps, sushi, with roast veggies, tossed through a salad etc. If you want to add some extra flavour to the base recipe, some chilli, lemongrass & kaffir lime is always a winning combo and it looks pretty too.

You can pretty much do the same thing with a boneless leg of pork or lamb shoulder too. When I am batch cooking like this I always try and go with the concept of economy of effort, if you are going to do 1kg of chicken thighs, might as well do 2kg so you can freeze some or have leftovers. Learn to batch cook like a bad-arse and your life just got a whole lot easier. You’re welcome.

2kg chicken thighs

400ml coconut cream (full fat & look for one that just has coconut and water as the ingredients)

Good pinch of salt & pepper

So that’s it. Seriously. You whack all that in the slow cooker. Turn it on low. Walk away for 6-8hrs. Come back, shred it all up with a couple of forks and Bob’s your uncle… Or perhaps he’s not. He’s not mine.