Raw Bliss Balls

Roll up, roll up, these bliss balls are super delicious and the perfect treat or post training recovery snack. All you need is 10 minutes and a blender.

 

Ingredients

12 Medjool dates

1 cup pistachios

1 cup almond or hazelnut meal

2 heaped tbsp cacao

2 tbsp dessicated coconut

1 tbsp chia seeds

 

Method

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined. If the mixture is not sticky enough to form balls, add a very small amount of water and process again.

Using a heaped tablespoon of the mixture form into balls and place into an airtight container and refrigerate until firm.

Scoop it up! How to whip up Banana and Peanut Butter Ice-cream

Along with many others around the world, Australian’s really love ice cream.

In fact, we hold the bronze medal position in the Top 5 ice cream consuming countries in the world. Ice cream eating prowess is not included in the Olympic games but if it ever makes an appearance we are ready to go!

The deliciousness of this cold creamy treat presents itself in many flavours and combinations with the classic vanilla being the favourite flavour in most countries. It’s mine too.

Yet despite how much I love ice cream, there is the downside of eating too much of it. As much as we might try, we can’t completely ignore the fat, sugar, cream, emulsifiers and gums that accompany this cool dessert.

With summer almost (maybe) upon us, it seems like the perfect time to whip up something cold and creamy. One of my all time favourite flavour combo’s is Banana and Peanut Butter, so for me this was the natural place to start.

Bananas are naturally sweet and are a fabulous source of carbohydrate, potassium and Vitamin B6 making them the go-to fruit for a burst of energy. They also freeze and blend really well, which means they are the ideal base for ice cream.

Peanut butter provides the goods in the protein and healthy fats department and provides just the right savoury flavour to put with banana for a yummy ice cream.

The best thing is – making Banana and Peanut Butter Ice Cream is SO simple and takes approximately 10 seconds to make.

Banana and Peanut Butter Ice Cream

1. Break up two frozen banana’s into pieces and place in a Vitamix or blender with 1 ½ tablespoons natural crunchy peanut (or other nut) butter.

2. Blitz until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is a bit stiff, just add a teensy dash of milk.

3. Serve with with fresh slices of banana. Serves 2.

Check out How to Make this Banana and Peanut Butter Ice Cream in action here.

This ice cream is an ideal snack or dessert that is low in fat and sugar.

All you need to do now is enjoy and congratulate yourself on your ice-cream making skills without any added nasties!

Lemon and Coconut Slice – a delicious makeover

There are some recipes that just about everyone loves and I think that the good old Lemon and Coconut Slice is one of them. It is the perfect marriage of buttery biscuit base with a zesty lemon topping scattered with coconut. This delicious slice can often be seen making its entrance at afternoon teas, bakeries, high teas and grandparents abodes.

Of course, this moorish treat is not something one should eat every single day but imagine if there was a healthier alternative that tastes just as delicious but is low in sugar, full of healthy fats and has a secret anti-inflammatory ingredient. I’m not teasing because I have just the thing that ticks both the nutrition and taste boxes. Really.

Lemon and Coconut Slice

200g raw unsalted cashews
100g desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons turmeric
Juice and rind of one lemon

Place all ingredients into a food processor and whiz together until well combined. Press into a 15 x 20cm lined container and chill overnight. Cut into 12 pieces and serve.

If you would like to see me making this slice in action just click here now.

Turmeric might seem like a strange ingredient to add to a sweet recipe but because it doesn’t have an overpowering flavour, it works. Turmeric is a very distinctively coloured spice that has been around for thousands of years and is right up there in the ancient stakes. Although traditionally used in curries and savoury dishes, in recent times turmeric has found a new place in golden hued lattes, teas, tonics and smoothies in many cafes around the globe. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin and it’s this compound that has been linked to many health benefits including:

  • Natural anti-inflammatory properties which can assist with inflammatory related disease
  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Possible breakdown of the amyloid plaques in the brain that contribute to dementia and Alzheimers Disease
  • Some research shows that curcumin may help to prevent some cancers by reducing the size and number of tumours
  • Helps to fight colds and flu’s
  • Assists with digestion by increasing the production of bile
  • Possible decrease in blood sugar levels in diabetics

In it’s natural form, turmeric is a root from the ginger family (and does in fact look very similar to raw ginger) and the roots and bulbs are generally boiled and dried to make the powder. The root can also be grated like ginger and added to food or taken as a supplement in the form of capsules, drops or fluid extract.

The other great thing about this Lemon and Coconut slice is the healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and the bundle of resistant starch that comes with the cashews. It’s no surprise that as the name would suggest, resistant starch is resistant to digestion and nourishes our gut bacteria, which naturally helps us to maintain our intestinal health. But that topic is another story for another day.

For now, spend the grand total of five minutes that it takes to make this Lemon and Coconut Slice with the added benefits of turmeric and sit back and listen to the ooh’s and aah’s of everyone that samples it.

Going Nuts

Yesterday afternoon, I walked into the home of one of my dear friends to be greeted by the wafting aroma of something delicious baking in the oven. Not only was she baking a cake for afternoon tea but being super organised, she had modified the recipe to: reduce the fat content but include more unsaturated fats, increase the fibre content by adding more fruit and lower the sugar content. And last but certainly not least, this friend of mine had taken the photo required to post it all on social media! This girl is a keeper.

Needless to say the cake delivered all that the aroma promised plus the inclusion of ground and slivered almonds fitted rather nicely into the Nuts for Life #nuts30days30ways campaign. In Australia, we are very much under performing in the nuts department by consuming on average just 6g per day, which is well below the recommended 30g daily handful.

Eating nuts every day can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes but can also help manage cholesterol and body weight. That might sound contradictory as nuts do contain fat (albeit the healthy kind) but these little morsels can actually help you manage your body weight. Nuts also contain much needed protein which helps regulate appetite and prolongs the feeling of being full – meaning that you don’t feel the need to pounce on anything that isn’t nailed down every 5 minutes.

Nuts of all kinds are such a great addition to a meal or a handy, portable snack that you can keep in your bag or desk.

Grinding nuts into meal to use in cakes, biscuits, protein balls or smoothies does not result in any nutrient loss and is just another easy way to get nuts into your day. Of course, eating cake every day is not as nutritious as eating a handful of nuts – but it is important to include some luxury items into your diet too!

This Apricot and Almond Cake is a great source of nuts, beta carotene, fibre and Vitamin C courtesy of the apricots and nectarines and is low in saturated fat. Of course, it is an excellent source of deliciousness too.

Apricot and Almond Cake

Ingredients

160ml olive oil
200g SR flour
150g ground almonds
180g raw sugar
150 ml milk
3 large free range eggs beaten
3 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
6 ripe apricots (or tinned apricot halves)
I used 2 sliced nectarines as well!
1 tblspn runny honey
50g slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan forced.
Grease and line a square cake pan with baking paper.

Place all dry ingredients into a food processor or thermomix and whiz together. Add the wet ingredients – oil, milk, eggs, vanilla – as well as the lemon zest and whiz again until all combined.

Pour the mixture into the tin.

Place apricot halves and nectarine slices in a random order on top for a rustic effect. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake for 1 hour, then set aside to cool in the tin for 20 mins.

Serve just as it is or with Greek yoghurt.