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.

Magic Bean

Legumes and I are good friends from way back.  We get together 3-5 times every week and I share the love between baked beans, cannellini beans, chick peas, kidney beans, lentils and others. We are friends because I know that legumes and beans are a great way of adding fibre, protein, Vitamin C and resistant starch to my diet. I love that research shows resistant starch can promote intestinal health and may play an important role glucose and energy management. For those of you who don’t enjoy legumes such as baked beans and other dried or tinned varieties, my friend Belinda may have delivered a solution to get you into the market.  Last week she dropped off five little chocolate cupcakes that at first glance just looked plain delicious.  But these weren’t just ordinary cupcakes. These little morsels of chocolatey yumminess contained legumes as their base along with antioxidant rich cacao. I was sold at hello and they delivered with amazing texture and taste.  My children and husband still have no clue they are still raving about cupcakes that are full of magic bean goodness. Belinda kindly shared the recipe, originally from CleverCook who develops Thermomix recipes.  I don’t have one of these wizzy machines and they work just as well in a blender.  The recipe makes 12, with each iced cupcake containing 180 calories. It’s good to know that when having a treat like this, you get a boost of nutrients to go with it.  Go try them, I dare you.

Magic Bean Chocolate Cupcakes

440g can kidney beans, drained 1 tablespoon water 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 70g raw cacao powder 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 125g butter or poly/monounsaturated margarine 5 eggs 140g sugar 1. In your blender or Thermomix, puree the beans, water, 1 egg and vanilla until smooth and set aside 2. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. 3. Add the remaining eggs and beat well followed by the bean mixture, cacao powder, baking powder and bicarb, beating to mix to a smooth batter 4. Pour mixture evenly into 12 cupcakes papers and bake for 20 minutes until firm to the touch.