Sunday, 24 April 2016

Feijoa, Raspberry, and Dark Chocolate Muffins

So. Many. Feijoas!

Had the youngest rascal home today while the older ratbag was at a birthday party, so we decided to do a spot of baking to pass the day. Between the two of us we came up with the ultimate flavour comination...feijoa, raspberry and chocolate. YUM! I was thinking Feijoa and Chocolate and then Mia suggested raspberry... Genius!

So here we are... the recipe for the yummiest feijoa muffins ever!

Feijoa, Raspberry. and Dark Chocolate Muffins

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free (optional), soy-free, free of refined sugar (optional)


1 cup almond flour
1/4 coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup dark choc chips of your choice
25g feijoa flesh, pureed
2 eggs, whisked
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup ghee (or butter or coconut oil), melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen raspberries


1. Preheat oven to 180. Line or grease a 12 hole muffin tin.
2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, coconut flour, and baking soda. Mix to blend
3. Gently heat your choice of fat (ghee, butter, or coconut oil) over a low heat along with the honey. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
4. Combine the pureed feijoa and the whisked eggs, then add the fat mixture. Mix well to combine.
5. Add the liquid mix to the dry. Blend well to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips and the frozen raspberries
6. Spoon the mixture evenly in to the muffin tin. The recipe makes about 8-10 muffins depending on how big you make them
7. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch
8. Remove from oven then allow to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, Once cool to touch, remove the the tin and cool on a wire rack.



Friday, 22 April 2016

Kiwi Classic Banana Cake

Time to give the family a blast from the past with the the old classic Edmonds Cookbook....gluten free style!

Those of us who grew up in good old Aotearoa (that's New Zealand to any overseas readers!), will surely be familiar with the the Edmonds cookbook. It was a staple in any kitchen, and I'm sure a large majority of us still have a copy lurking around. 

One of the most used recipes from my memory in that book was the classic banana cake. Light and fluffy, with nothing fancy going on, just a yummy banana flavour.

I did a bit of a kitchen experiment and made one using the original recipe for my husband who loves a bit of classic banana cake. I also made a gluten free one for the kids. Turns out the 'new and improved' version was more popular!

So if you're after a basic recipe for a really classic cake, check out the recipe below. I hope you like it as much as we did!

Kiwi Classic Banana Cake

Gluten-free, dairy free option, grain-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar

65g butter (or coconut oil if you are dairy free - make sure the oil is hardened not liquid)
1/4 cup coconut sugar
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line or grease a loaf or cake tin
2. Using an electric beater, beat the butter (or coconut oil) and sugar until light and fluffy
3. Add eggs one at a time and beat until just combined.
4. Add banana and beat until just combined
5. In a separate bowl, combine the almond and coconut flours as well as the baking powder. Mix to combine.
6. In a small heatproof pan, or in a microwave safe small bowl in your microwave, heat the milk until close to boiling.
7. While the milk is heating, add the liquid mix to the dry and mix well to combine.
8. When the milk is ready, add the baking soda, give it a quick stir until the mix starts to foam, then add it to the cake batter. Mix to combine then pour in to the prepared baking tin.
9. Bake for around 25 minutes or until golden brown on top and a skewer or knife comes out clean
10. Cool in the tin for about 5-10 minutes then on a wire rack until cool...actually you don't have to wait that long because this tastes soooo good when it's still warm!



Sunday, 21 February 2016

Quinoa, Coconut, and Apricot Muesli Bars (vegan option)

Oh yeah, it's that time of year again! Lunches are being made frantically every morning (for the kids, for husbands, wives, yourselves) and its handy to have ideas to create something different every now and then to save yourself from the well known lunchbox rut!

These Quinoa, Coconut, and Apricot Muesli Bars are perfect for luncboxes or a morning/afternoon tea snack, or even a high protein breakfast on the run. They are free of gluten, grains, dairy (optional), nuts, soy, eggs (optional), and refined sugar.

These ones have apricots and raisins in, but you could substitute for any dried fruit you like, and you  could add in things like chopped nuts if you prefer. The option with eggs does hold together better, but if you are vegan or have egg allergies the egg free version tastes equally as delicious, just slightly more crumbly.

Egg free

Quinoa, Apricot, and Coconut Muesli Bars

Gluten free, grain free, dairy free (optional), soy free, nut free, free of refined sugar, egg free (optional)

2 cups Quinoa Flakes
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup dried apricot, diced
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp baking powder
100ml coconut oil or butter
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs (or if you want a vegan option you can substitute eggs with 1/2 cup apple puree and 2 tbsp chia seeds)

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease or line a square or rectangular cake tin
2. In a large bowl, add the dry ingredietns (quinoa, coconut, apricots, raisins, cinnamon, and baking powder. Mix well to combine
3. In a small bowl whisk the eggs (or apple puree and chia seeds) with the honey and coconut oil (or butter). If your honey and butter (if using) are hard you may want to melt them slightly to use. Same applies if it is winter and your coconut has hardened.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix well to combine
5. Press the mixture in to the baking tin. Press down so that it is firmly packed and the top is fairly flat.
6. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack, then slice into museli bars of the size you desire.



Monday, 1 February 2016

Jaffa Cakes

What do you do when you have leftover orange wedges from your daughters birthday party, it's Auckland Anniversary Weekend, and you need to stock the pantry with school lunchbox food for going back to school? You make Jaffa cakes of course!! For those of you who don't know, Aucklanders are referred to throughout NZ as JAFA's (stands for Just Another F'ing Aucklander for those from other parts of New Zealand, or Just Another Fabulous/Friendly/ Fantastic - or whichever other positive F word you can think of - Aucklander). Of course this then translates to the classic Jaffa flavour combination of Chocolate and Orange... hence the Jaffa cakes that were created,

The smell while cooking these is fantastic - the sweetness of the orange really permeates the house. I used fresh oranges that were part of the fruit platter at my youngest daughters fifth birthday celebrations and they were no longer at the stage where anyone was willing to eat them (they'd gone a little limp looking) but still perfectly edible! I have a major pet peeve in regards to food waste to anything that can be reused gets reused... leftover strawberries got frozen for future baking, leftover juice got make into gummy 'lollies', leftover watermelon got frozen to make watermelon slushies on a hot day, leftover cake....well that just got eaten!!

The jaffa cakes are free of gluten, grains, dairy, soy, and refined sugar, and smell amazing. I put plenty of cocoa in to make them nice and chocolatey but then they have that sweet note from the oranges and just a hint of that citrus tang. You could ice these if you wanted to make them a little more special, but this batch were for lunchboxes hence keeping them plain.

Jaffa Cakes

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar

1 cup almond flour (you can choose a flour of your choice if you cannot use nuts - you may just need to adjust your quantities)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 large oranges, chopped into wedges, skin on
3/4 cup water
3 eggs
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a muffin tin with muffin cases or use oil/butter to grease.
2. In a pot bring water and chopped oranges to a boil. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until oranges are soft and aromatic. Leave to cool for a few minutes,
3. In a bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder) and whisk to combine and remove any lumps.
3. In a blender, combine oranges and honey (including the water the oranges were boiled in), and blend until smooth. Pour mixture in to dry ingredients. Whisk your eggs and vanilla extract (or blend in the blender after you have removed the oranges - not at the same time though as your orange mix will probably still be quite hot if you're impatient as I am and you will have scrambled eggs!). Add egg mix to the bowl too.
4. Mix well to combine all ingredients. The mixture will be quite runny. I filled my cases about half way as I didn't want them too big for the kids but you could fill them 3/4 if you would like a bigger cake. Speaking of cake, this recipe will also make a delicious cake, so you could simply cook it in a cake tin and adjust your cooking time if this is what you are after.
5. Bake for around 20 minutes (for the muffins) until springy to touch.
6. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Once cool you can choose to ice if you would like.



Sunday, 17 January 2016

Peanut butter vs Chocolate - 1 cookie, 2 ways!

When the kids can't decide which flavour of cookies to make, rather than resorting to letting them brawl it out or go down the old tried and true route of paper rock scissors, I managed to save the day by making a base cookie mixture, splitting it in to two bowls and letting them each flavour their batch how they wanted! The options are endless, so let your kids (or your own!) imagination run wild. The girls chose peanut butter for one batch, and chocolate for the other, but some other ideas would be chocolate chip, raisin, date and walnut, any of the nut butters, coconut, banana...and so much more!

Peanut Butter or Chocolate Cookies

Gluten-free, dairy-free (optional), soy-free, nut-free (if you don't use peanut butter), free of refined sugar

Base mixture
1 cup flour (we used brown rice flour)
100g butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp baking soda

Peanut butter cookies
Add 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

Chocolate cookies
Add 3 tbsp cocoa and 1 tbsp honey

1. Preheat oven to 160C
2. Line a baking tray with baking paper
3. In a bowl combine flour and baking soda. Set aside
4. In a small pot over a low heat, combine butter or oil, honey, and vanilla essence. Heat until just liquid
5. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well to form a soft dough
6. Split the mixture evenly into 2 small bowls.
7. To one bowl, add the peanut butter. Mix well to combine evenly
8. To the other bowl, add the cocoa and honey. Mix well to combine evenly.
9. Roll the doughs in to small evenly sized balls and flatten gently with a fork.
10. Bake for around 5-8 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies you have made) until golden brown.
11. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to.a wire rack to cool completely.

- You can choose which type of flour you would like to use. We used brown rice, but you could use spelt, regular, almond...whatever works for your dietary choices. If you choose to use almond or coconut flour, you may have to adapt the quantity of liquid you use to make the dough.
- The options are limited only by your imagination for these. Use the base cookie mixture and then go wild with whatever flavour you would like. You may have to add a little more liquid or a little more flour depending on what you are adding (ie if you are adding dry ingredients such as cocoa you may like to add a little more honey, oil, or milk; if you are adding wet ingredients such as banana you may want to add a couple of tbsp more flour)


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Strawberry Meringue Pie

A fruity version take on a lemon meringue pie? A modern twist on the classic kiwi pavlova with berries? Maybe a bit of both! This delicious summery delight of a dessert is a whole new level of deliciousness and is perfect for all of those Christmas celebrations that are going on. I made this for a dinner we were at with some wonderful friends, and it was a total hit. From the sweet pie shell, to the slightly tangy, zesty, sweet strawberry filling, to the fluffy meringue topping... nothing to not love really! This pie will take a few steps to put together, and looks pretty impressive, but is actually pretty simple to do. All you will need is a few basic ingredients and a little bit of time - more for the chillling and setting than for actual work.

The shell is a simple almond, date, coconut combination, the filling is jam packed with fresh strawberries enhanced with a hint of lemon and sweetened with a wee bit of honey, and the topping is a light fluffy italian meringue made with egg whites and honey. Before serving a topped with a grated dark chocolate just to add that last bit of decadence....mmmmmmm!

The dessert is free of gluten, grains, dairy, soy, and refined sugar. You can also have the option to make this a raw dessert if you prefer, or you can bake it. It is best served soon after making it, or a least kept chilled in the fridge and topped with the meringue just before serving as I discovered - hence the pie looks a little melted in the bottom picture! I also went for the more raw version whereas if you were to bake the filling it would most likely stay firmer for longer - must make it again to try that can be so tough!

That gorgeous strawberry red filling in all its glory...
Little fluffy clouds of meringue piped on top - nearly done!

The final stage - a slight browning with my super cool blow torch
- SO much fun, and the kids thought I was awesome!

Ok, actually this is the final stage...eating it!!!

Strawberry Meringue Pie

Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, soy free, free of refined sugar


2 cups almond flour
1.5 cups dates
1 cup desiccated coconut
4 tbsp coconut oil or butter
2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups strawberry puree
5 tbsp honey
1 tbsp gelatin
1 tsp lemon rind
1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Meringue Topping
4 egg whites
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup honey

1. Start with making your base. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients until they are well combined and formed in to a thick dough. 
2. Remove from the blender and press in to a pie tin or quiche tin or whatever you would like to use to serve it. 
3. Place in the fridge and allow to firm for a few hours. 
4. Next make your filling. Place the strawberry puree, honey, lemon zest and juice in a small pot and bring to gentle simmer. Remove a small amount of the liquid and combine with the gelatine to form a thick paste. Add to the strawberry mix and stir in. If there are any lumps, remove them with a spoon.
5. simmer for a bout 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
6. Pour in to the pie base. Pop int he fridge or freezer and allow to set. If you prefer a baked version, pop the pie in the oven at about 160C for about 20 minutes until firm.
7. Finally make the meringue topping. With a beater beat the egg whites until frothy and starting to firm. While beating the eggs heat the honey on the stove until liquid and simmering. 
8. Add the lemon juice and continue beating. While beating the eggs add the hot honey in a steady stream. Continue beating the eggs until the form stiff peaks. 
9. Spoon the meringue mix in to a piping bag. Pipe on to the top of the pie in whatever pattern you like. If you can't be bothered with the piping bag just spoon it on top of the pie and flick up in peaks. 
10. If you are fancy and have a blow torch, blow torch the tops of the meringue just to brown gently. If you don't have a blow torch you can place until a hot grill for a couple of minutes to create the same effect. If you prefer you can just leave it without the browning and simply smother in grated dark chocolate...Yum!

Enjoy! x

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Strawberry Coconut Bliss Bites

These are the easiest little bliss bites (didn't call them bliss balls - mine are in teh shape of strawberries!!) to whip up, and they are perfect for kids lunchboxes or anyone with nut allergies as they have no nuts in them. The best part is that they only have 3 easy ingredients (oh I just realised it's four because I added a touch of vanilla at the end!) simple the kids could do it!

If you want an easy treat, a simple lunchbox filler, or just a yummy little morsel to satisfy a sweet craving, these are a go to...and perfect for these hot summer afternoons with the berry coconut flavour...bring on the chilled drinks and cold snacks!

These would also be ideal for a little something to give as a gift or have on the Christmas table coming in to the silly season... all of those festive moments need food right?! You could get a wee Christmas tree mold and make them really fun.

Strawberry Coconut Bliss Bites

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar

1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Pop all ingredients in to a small blender and blend until well combined. The mixture may seem quite dry to start with but if you blend it for quite a while the oils will heat up and will start to create a more sticky mixture. If you find your mix is still quite dry and you can't stick it together, try adding a teaspoon or so of coconut oil just to help the ingredients to combine.
2. Either for the mix in to balls or pop in to molds then leave in the fridge until set.
3. Store in fridge to help keep them firm and to get them to last longer


Enjoy x