Almond Chia Bliss Balls

I haven’t had almonds in my house for a while now. However, Coles recently had a great special on almonds so decided to stock up! I still have my 1kg bag of chia which will last me an eternity which is awesome. So a bit of brainstorming led me to think up these delightful treats! There are just 5 ingredients in these and an optional sixth! These will take you less than 5 minutes and can be popped straight in the fridge after they’re made for storage! These are dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free!

Almond Chia Bliss Balls (yields 6)

What you’re going to need

1/3 cup almonds

1/4 cup chopped dates

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon liquid sweetener (maple syrup, rice malt syrup or honey)

sprinkle cinnamon

sesame seeds for rolling (optional)

Method

  1. Blend your almonds into a coarse meal in a pulse blender or food processor
  2. Once in a meal, add the chia and cinnamon and pulse again to combine
  3. Add the dates and syrup and pulse until the mixture is moist and combined and can be moulded into shape with your fingers
  4. Roll into ball shapes and if you like, cover with sesame seeds.
  5. Store in the fridge for up to a week!

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Coconut and Passionfruit Bark

I was lucky enough earlier this year to win an Instagram competition for a glorious basket of organic food products from a company called Spiral Foods. Part of the contents of this prize pack were some ingredients I had heard of but never had in my house. For example –  coconut oil and rice syrup. My research has shown that there are hundreds of desserts created with these two ingredients forming the foundations for a tasty delight. I decided to have a play around with these as well as some passion fruits kindly given to me by my friend Alice. This recipe is vegan, nut free and refined sugar free!
Here I present to you…

Coconut and Passionfruit Bark

What you’re going to need

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/3 cup rice syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 strawberry, diced

2 passionfruit, sliced in half

handful coconut shreds

Method

  1. Line a tray with baking paper and set aside
  2. In a bowl, combine the coconut milk, oil, syrup and passionfruit.
  3. Pour the contents onto the tray and make sure it is spread evenly. Sprinkle the strawberries and coconut shreds over the top
  4. Freeze until firm. Remove from freezer and break into shards. Store in the freezer for optimal consistency!

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PB Banana Bites

I spend at least a few minutes a day trying to figure out the best way to treat my sweet cravings. I’d rather not just reach for a chocolate bar or a bag of gummy bears. I had an abundance of bananas in my kitchen and had been having dark chocolate and peanut butter withdrawals post Europe (peanut butter is SO expensive there). And so I’ve thought up a simple yet effective cure for my sweet tooth. Minus the dairy of course! And they’re also conveniently gluten free too.

PB Banana Bites

What you’re going to need

1 banana, cut into 1cm slices

1/4 cup peanut butter

100 grams dark chocolate (I used 85%)

Method

  1. Prepare a lined tray (small enough to fit in your fridge/freezer)
  2. Melt your chocolate with your preferred method of choice***
  3. Dip each piece of banana into the chocolate until it is completely coated then place on the lined tray
  4. Repeat with all the pieces and place in the fridge to set (or if you’re impatient you can put them in the freezer)
  5. Once set, place half a teaspoon of peanut butter onto one of the banana pieces. Sandwich together with another banana piece and you’re done!

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*** The way that I melt my chocolate is as follows

  1. Boil a kettle full of water 
  2. In a heatproof container, fill halfway with boiled water
  3. In a bowl that will sit on top of the heatproof container, place the chocolate inside after having broken it into smaller pieces
  4. Place on top of the heatproof container and stir through until the chocolate has melted.( Make sure chocolate does not come into contact with water. )

Raw Cacao Truffles

Every human being should know that yes, 3:30itis is a legitimate thing. It is that time of day when you start to get sleepy, hungry and feel a whole mixture of emotions. Luckily today, I decided to manage my 3:30itis with some raw treats which are jam packed with all the good stuff and no nasties (not even any sweeteners are added!!!). These glorious creations were so easy, they took about 2 minutes!!!

Raw Cacao Truffles

What you’re going to need

1/4 cup almonds (or store bought almond meal just depends what you have on hand)

1/3 cup dates, chopped

1 tablespoon cacao powder (keep out the packet for decoration later)

2 teaspoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon tahini

dessicated coconut for rolling

Method

1. If you’re using whole almonds, you will need to process these first into a “meal” . For this step, simply throw your almonds in a pulse blender and pulse until desired consistency is achieved (mine turned out quite fine but not store consistency but I enjoy the texture it gives)

2. Add all of your ingredients into the pulse blender and blend until mix comes together (it should be quite thick and a bit sticky so you may need to scrape down the sides of your blender and blend again.)

3. I used rubber gloves for this stage – Using a teaspoon, scoop a heaped spoonful of mixture into your gloved (or ungloved hands), roll into a ball and place on a plate/tray. (Truffles are meant be small due to their flavour richness but obviously this is a personal preference)

4. Continue rolling into balls until all the mixture is used up. This recipe yielded 12 for me but this may vary. Roll the balls in dessicated coconut or sprinkle with some freshly sifted cacao powder (or both)

5. Store in the fridge (they’ll probably last a week but there’s no way you’ll need that long!!!)

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Beetroot and Walnut Hummus

Beetroot is just one of those amazing vegetables that will match up with pretty much anything you pair it with. It brings colour and life to every dish that it is featured in and its unique sweet yet still savoury taste continues to lure me in for more and to be as creative with it as possible! My dad had actually tried out this recipe a few weeks ago and it tasted fabulous, so I thought I’d give it a try too! However, dad being dad, when I asked him what measurements he used, he responded with “I never measure anything, I just wing it” – not very helpful when you’re a food blogger. Alas, I measured as I go and these were what measurements and ingredients I ended up with

Beetroot and Walnut Hummus (yields 1 cup)

What you’re going to need

1 fresh beetroot, cricket ball size (or if you’re lazy/willing to splash out a few extra bucks then you can buy the precooked ones – not tinned though!)

1/4 cup walnuts

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon tahini

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons water

juice of 1/2 lemon (1 teaspoon roughly, but this is a taste preference)

salt and pepper

Method

1. If you have bought a fresh beetroot, you will need to bake it first. All you have to do is cook the beet how it is (do not peel the skin) by wrapping in some foil and baking for about 45 minutes. When you can easily put a skewer through the centre, it is ready to take out. When it’s ready, remove the skin using a knive and cut the beet into small chunks. Then, put them in the freezer for about 2 minutes so they’re cool enough to work with.

2. Throw all of your ingredients except the water into a pulse blender or food processor. Blend until desired consistency is achieved (if not coming together smoothly, add a tablespoon of water at a time until you’re satisfied)

3. Serve with crackers or other vegetables such as carrots and cucumbers!

Will store in the fridge for up to a week!IMG_6169

Banana Based Smoothie Bowls

I know this is not a new revelation but it is in my household. Breakfast is now my favourite meal of the day because I just let all my creative juices fly. There are a zillion and one recipes for smoothie bowls but if you’re stuck on ideas here is one that I whipped up the other morning before work! This is budget friendly and something that everyone can whip up at home with these ingredients or any fruits that you desire! Always make sure you shop around for your food and remember to buy in bulk where possible.

What you’re going to need

Smoothie component

2 frozen bananas (rookie mistake I made the first time was not pre-cutting the banana before freezing so make sure you do that! Cut your banana into about 5-6 chunks about the size of ice cubes)

1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder

pinch cinnamon

1-2 tablespoons soy milk (or any milk really but not full cream because it will be super rich)

Toppings

3-4 tablespoons granola (recipe for the one I made is a few posts back)

1 tablespoon coconut

handful walnuts (or any nut of your choosing)

Method

1. Use a food processor (not a blender, I tried this and the banana chucks were just spinning around and around) and add all of your ingredients. Process until a smooth consistency is achieved. Run a spoon through the mixture to check there are no chunks left.

2. Pour into a bowl and add your toppings!

I love this recipe and method of makings smoothies because you don’t need to add ice or anything to keep it chilled. Also it makes breakfast so much more beautiful and exciting! So here are pictures of bowls I’ve made so far! There are many more to come but just a preview of my creations so far.

Zucchini and Carrot Pasta with Avocado, Basil and Tahini Dressing

Bit of a mouthful of a name but there are just so many good things in this dish that I had to tell you about them straight away! Because I am a budget foodie and also because most of the food at uni is either unhealthy or healthy and overpriced, I always bring packed lunch. I decided to invest in a julienne peeler as I had been using a grater previously. The pasta comes out perfectly every time and the chance of slicing your hand open is drastically reduced. I wanted to try a different dressing this time for my pasta, something with a bit more depth and bit more of a sauce consistency than a dressing. I did some reading to source out the types of ingredients people were using. I took the best bits of different ones and made my own! I don’t normally measure when I cook but I’ve started now so that other people can make my creations too!

Zucchini and Carrot Pasta with Avocado, Basil and Tahini Dressing

What you’re going to need

Pasta

1 zucchini, julienne peeled (or grated)

1/2 carrot, julienne peeled (or grated)

handful cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Dressing

1/2 avocado

10 basil leaves

1/2 clove garlic, grated (I used a Microplane but you could just use a garlic crusher here)

1 teaspoon tahini

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (to taste)

2 tablespoons olive oil

pinch salt

Method

1. To prepare the dressing, I used a pulse blender (but any kind of food processor will suffice). Add all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until a smooth consistency (taste as you go to see if you want to add more lemon or salt)

2. Julienne peel (if you haven’t already) your zucchini and carrot and mix together. Add the tomatoes. Put a dollop of the dressing on the top and mix through with a set of tongs.

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