Sunday, 21 December 2014

DAY 5, 6 and 7: Gluten free reindeer cookies, healthy fruit punch and fresh fruit ice blocks

I've been really busy the last couple of days finishing work, packing, other assorted Christmasy tasks before I head home for Christmas.

I did do some pretty awesome baking today though...

I made reindeer Christmas cookies :)

I used this recipe below but added gluten free flour.



GINGERBREAD COOKIES
125g butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup golden syrup
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking soda
1 egg
1 teaspoons vanilla essence

1. Place butter, sugar and golden syrup in saucepan and heat gently until butter melts. Allow to cool, then add baking soda.
2. Add sifted flour and spices and mix well, then add egg and vanilla. Mix to form a soft dough.
3. Roll dough out thinly, cut into shapes then bake on a greased oven tray at 180°C for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

I had some left over dough so decided to get a bit creative :)


Another thing I'm looking forward to trying is this recipe for Sparkling Tropical fruit punch (no added sugar)

2 limes sliced
1 punnet of frozen strawberries
1 litre of fresh orange juice
250 ml of sparkling mineral water
3 passionfruit

and last but not least...

Frozen fruit ice blocks

It's just sugar free lemonade and any fruit you like! I bought some Popsicle molds to make these last year but I kept forgetting. I hope I've given you some healthy treat inspiration :) Cya next year blog!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!




Thursday, 18 December 2014

DAY 4: Bacon wrapped... ANYTHING

The best part about Paleo is bacon and at Christmas time that means you have an excuse to wrap pretty much anything in bacon.

Bacon wrapped Asparagus, bacon wrapped pineapple, bacon wrapped melon. Oh yes! Bacon galore! Just get bacon wrapping :)




Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Day 3: Candycane truffles

There isn't much to say about these really, candy canes and dark chocolate and just a whole lot of delicousness.  These are not strickly 'Paleo' because of the cream but hey it's Christmas, you've gotta have some treats in your life <3

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

DAY 2: Caramel chocolate slice

I'm going to make this tomorrow so I will update this post then with my own pictures :) This recipe is from BlissfulBasil.com (which is a really cool blog you should check out) 

Ingredients:
For the Chocolate Layers
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • ½ cup virgin coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
For the Caramel Layer
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup virgin coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
For Garnishing
  • large flake sea salt
Instructions
  1. Grease an 8x8 square pan with coconut oil.
  2. To make the chocolate layers, add the cacao, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a small pan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.
  3. Pour approximately ⅔'s of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of the greased pan and reserve the other ⅓. Pop the pan into the freezer for 15 minutes to set.
  4. While the first layer of chocolate is setting, make the caramel by adding the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and sea salt to a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Whisk together constantly for 3-5 minutes or until melted. Let the mixture cool slightly.
  5. Pour about ⅔'s of the caramel over the chocolate and carefully spread across (ensure the caramel isn't hot when you pour it over or it will melt the chocolate). You can pour the entire batch of caramel over the chocolate if you want thicker squares, but I usually opt to refrigerate the leftover caramel for later.
  6. Return the pan to the freezer to set the caramel layer for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Pour the remaining chocolate mixture over top, carefully smooth out, and sprinkle with large-flake sea salt (optional).
  8. Return the pan to the freezer to set for 30 minutes.
  9. Carefully turn the pan over to release the chocolate-caramel bar onto a cutting board. Slice into squares and store in refrigerator or freezer.

Monday, 15 December 2014

DAY 1: Cranberry and roasted nut bark

This is a ridiculously easy and impressive looking Christmas treat from With Style & Grace.


You literally just roast your nuts, melt your chocolate and sprinkle the cranberries and the nuts on top. If you want to read the full blog post and instructions click on the link above.

These are going to be my Christmas goodie bags this year so that's something to look forward if you live in Wellington and know me :)

Merry Paleo Christmas!

Happy Paleo Christmas!

My gluten free Christmas post was so popular that I've decided to do 7 days of Paleo posts.


Yep! thats 1 different Paleo treat or Christmas food everyday from now until Monday the 22nd of December. Yay! Healthy and delicious Christmas ideas are on their way :)

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Make your own snowflake Christmas candle!

I've been seeing these 'how to' pins on Pinterest for months and finally decided to make one for myself today.

This was seriously so easy and really fun!



I started by getting some washi tape and making a 'snowflake' shape. Then covered my candle with PVA glue and rolled it in blue glitter and let dry. That's it... then wait until its dark and light your new Christmas candle :)


                             Merry Christmas!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Gluten free Christmas treats

For those of you who have been following my health journey this year you will know I have been gluten free for most of the year (not strictly though as I do have a treat day on Sundays).

Being gluten free at Christmas time is proving quite a challenge especially with all of the delicious treats around this time of the year so I thought I'd post a few of my favourite things I'm making and enjoying this December.


1. Dairy free, low sugar, gluten free, candy cane cocoa!

I know your thinking what? Are you crazy? Why would you want that but seriously it's delicious, don't dis it until you try it. You can sprinkle a little crushed candy cane on top to make it candy cane flavoured, like this one above (just check for gluten on your box first). If it's too hot for cocoa maybe you could freeze them instead like this clever person?


So how do you make this delicious treat? It's really easy, just warm some almond milk or coconut milk in the microwave or stove top, add 2 tablespoons of cocoa and a tablespoon of pure maple syrup, blend in a blender or whisk and add a drop of vanilla to taste. YUM!

 2. Gluten free gingerbread cookies


These are so delicious you won't even know the difference!  Recipe is from the roasted root blog

3. Now for my absolute favourite and what I am planning on making this holiday season for friends and family.

Chocolate bliss balls: I roll mine in coconut but if your not a fan, you can always dust them with icing sugar or roll them in chopped nuts or even dried fruit if your blend it finely enough.



 Ingredients for the base flavour:
  • 1 cup of cashews or almonds blended until smooth (or you can cheat and buy cashew or almond butter)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 dates (pitted and soaked in warm water for at least an hour)
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut for coating or chopped nuts/fruit
Then just add in whatever flavours your like, just don't add too much because the consistency will go a bit off, a handful or two of whatever addition will be awesome!

E.g to make them chocolate mint add a handful of chocolate chips and some peppermint essence.

I like coconut and apricot too and lemon and cranberry is pretty delicious.

or my personal favourite, take out the cocoa and add lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of coconut YUM!!

I hope this has inspired you to try some healthier treats this year?

Merry Christmas!

Love and happy baking xx

Eat, Bake, Love <3

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Monster Trucks & the 2 minute brownie

On the weekend I went home to see 'Monster Jam' the USA Monster Truck show.

It was AWESOME!!

Not so awesome is that I got really, really sick and spent the rest of the weekend in bed, lame.

When I finally arrived home on Monday night I was sad, sick and grumpy I didn't feel much like eating except for maybe if it was a pudding and after searching my freezer I was lucky to find some delicious brownies I had frozen the week before. I heated them up with a little chocolate milk I poured over the top and it was the perfect late night snack to pick me up after a horrible weekend of sickness.



Heres my 'takes 2 minutes to make' brownie recipe.

3/4 cup butter (melted)
1 egg
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla
Chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix everything in a bowl and pour into a greaseproof paper lined brownie tine, bake for 20 mins, enjoy!



One of my favourite things about going home to Auckland is Dunkin Donuts, we don't have one in Wellington and there really is nothing like a delicious donut, especially when your sick!

They had these cute pumpkin ones for Halloween and these awesome 'Homer Simpson' donuts too :-)


Friday, 5 September 2014

Homemade macarons

Last Sunday I was procrastinating about writing my next essay and decided to give making my own macarons a go. I really love macarons but theres only a handful of places that sell good quality ones in Wellington and they are so expensive! I'm talking $4.50 for one macaron, although they are really, really good! I thought I'd see if all the fuss about how tricky it is to make them is really justified.

So after reading lots of different recipes online and watching several videos I decided I was ready to try and tackle these tricky little things...

The recipe itself wasn't too tricky but getting the right consistency for the mixture was! It's pretty technical In fact lots of the recipes said that if you didn't to get it just right then they would be too tough or not even cook at all! One said you should do precisely 55-60 folds when adding your dry ingredients to your egg whites so I went with that concept and I think it worked out pretty well.



It was slightly annoying piping them because it took about 20 minutes or more (and a lot of concentration) also annoying was that I made most of them waaay too big because I didn't realise they would almost double in size when I baked them, whoops!



As you can see they look more like little meringues than macarons but they tasted pretty good.



I would like to try them again at some point but maybe when I have a couple more hours and a bit more patience!

 Practice makes perfect!


I love these little cookie monster ones! So cool!


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Hundreds and Thousands Cupcakes

Recently Whittaker's chocolate brought out a new chocolate block in New Zealand (which I was VERY excited about) The Whittaker's hundreds and thousands block. It's basically a version of these delicious little biscuits which are iced pink with sprinkles on top, totally reminiscent of 5 year birthday parties. Yum,yum,yum! It's actually really, really good! so good in fact that I thought it needed... A Cupcake version!

The chocolate itself is pretty sweet so I wanted to make the cupcake a bit on the plain side so it wasn't too full on!  I made one of my favourite cupcake recipes from the Hummingbird bakery book, it's called their 'basic vanilla cupcakes' then I added about 1/8 of a cup of 100s and 1000s so they would have lots of rainbow sprinkles throughout:)

When they had cooled I iced them with a pink strawberry butter cream frosting, some more 100s and 1000s and a piece of the chocolate, yum!

Here's some photos of the finished result :)

I'm pretty pleased with them and will totally be making them again, maybe for my children at work x




Thursday, 10 July 2014

Chocolate cake with cookies and cream filling

This week I've been busy pinning lots of pretty cake's decorated with flowers...

Today I tried out my first chocolate sponge cake recipe and decorated it with you guessed it... lots of pretty flowers :-) It had 8 eggs in it which was a bit crazy but I think it made it nice and dense without being too heavy. Cake chemistry is pretty cool! I used a Rachel Allen recipe which I would totally use again. Check it out here.


Saturday, 3 May 2014

Healthy chocolate mousse

I found this recipe on a Paleo website a couple of months ago now and we often make it when we feel like a sweet chocolatey treat. This is a healthier alternative to sitting down to a big block of choccy and it really does taste just as good as the real thing!

You will need to own a blender or a food processor for this one.

4-5 dates
1 can of coconut cream
2 tablespoons of cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of maple syrup or rice malt syrup

Start by placing 4 or 5 dried dates in a mug of hot water they need to get nice a plump!
After about 5 minutes or so your dates will be nice and soft and juicy then drain off the water and add them to the blender along with all the other ingredients.

Blend until smooth.

Place into 2 small bowls and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Check out Vegan Magic for lots more tasty low sugar/dairy free desserts :)


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Paleo banana bread

I've been on the Paleo diet for just over 3 weeks now and it's been going pretty well. Although I have to admit that is probably because one of my favourite parts so far has been eating this Paleo banana bread. I have it as a snack or as a quick breakfast with almond butter and its really, really good!

It's just as nice as a piece of regular flour banana bread and if you really like nuts then perhaps even better.

I use Elana's Pantry's recipe but with a few of my own alterations.

  1. Place bananas, eggs, vanilla, honey and oil in a blender
  2. Pulse ingredients together
  3. Pulse in almond flour, salt and baking soda
  4. Scoop batter into a greased 7.5 x 3.5 magic line loaf pan
  5. Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool


ENJOY! <3

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Valentine's Day and the red velvet cake

I had such a wonderful Valentine's Day it started off with this incredible pink sunrise on my way to work...

Then I was super spoilt with these pretty flowers


And it ended with having fish and chips on one of my favourite beaches in Eastbourne...


I decided to go with a red velvet cake for my husband just because it seemed fitting for Valentine's Day. I think it overall I was really pleased with it except my decorating definitely wasn't the best...oh well it tasted great and thats what counts right?

I love the colour too! I haven't baked one in years so I was a bit nervous about it being the right colour (I always find that the trickiest part to get right with red velvet cakes)

Now he has to work his way through the rest... I'm sure he'll manage it though!

Happy Valentine's Day blogger friends <3

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