Monday, 24 February 2014

Ginger Crunch

Wow - I knew ginger crunch was popular, but the teaser post I popped on Facebook last night drew in an avalanche of love! Obviously I am not the only one who has a weakness for this divine little sweet treat, and there is even more to love with this version which is full of nutrients and whole foods and leaves out all of the refined sugars and flours that the traditional version is loaded with.

It is amazing how much more efficient your brain can be at 2 in the morning right?! Does anyone else do their best thinking then?! We are currently in the middle of weaning my youngest off of her night nappies, so I am spending a fair amount of time cruising the house at 2 in the morning changing sheets and wiping down a sleepy little girl. Combine this with the mother of all colds that has hit this week, and sleep was a lost cause once I finally got back in to bed (my ear was THROBBING!) and spent the next forever (always feels like forever at that time of night) tossing and turning. With all that tossing and turning my mind was ticking over and I suddenly thought - wouldn't coconut butter be SO good with ginger to make a yummy crackly topping for a ginger crunch? Seriously, food is always at the top of my mind… really have to get a hobby that doesn't involve eating!

So obviously one of the first jobs to do in the morning was to turn those ideas into reality, and I think the end result was pretty darn amazing… and just so you are fore-warned, you will not be able to stop eating this! Best of all, it's made from all raw ingredients, so a little hit of freezer time is all that is required (and even that is not 100% necessary, it just adds firmness to the slice)

The ginger crunch is gluten, dairy, grain and soy free, and free of refined sugar. The sweetness comes from the addition of dates and a touch of maple syrup. I have added both fresh and ground ginger for a real ginger kick. If you are a fan of ginger but don't like it to be really strong, you can dial back the ground ginger in the recipe to give it a little less oomph. The fresh ginger also adds to the nutritional benefits of this treat - ginger is an amazing little wonder food which a fantastic aid to digestion and has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties.



Ginger Crunch

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

Ingredients:

Base
1 cup raw cashew nuts
8 medjool dates (or dried if you don't have medjool)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated (you can eliminate if you don't have any fresh ginger, but it really boosts the flavor!)
2 tsp ground ginger
zest of 1 lime (or lemon)
3 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
1/2 cup almond flour

Topping
1/2 cup coconut butter, melted (make you own, or you can buy from most health food or specialty food shops)
2 tsp ginger
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Directions:
1. In a food processor or blender, combine the cashews, dates, both types of ginger, lime zest, and maple syrup. Blend until well combined and almost smooth but with a little bit of texture left
2. Tip into a bowl and add the almond flour. Mix well to combine
3. Press the base mixture into a small baking tin or quiche tin. You will find it easiest to either use a tin that has a removable base, or make sure line whatever you use with baking paper or glad wrap to make sure you can get it out. You can even make it in a bowl or on a plate - it doesn't really matter! You will want the base mixture to be about 2-3 cm thick.
4. Once the base mixture is in the tin, pop it in the fridge or freezer to chill.
5. In a small bowl, combine the coconut butter (make sure it's melted - if not you can stand the bowl over a pot of simmering water for a couple of minutes to allow it to melt) then quickly add the ginger, maple syrup and vanilla essence. The addition of the other ingredients will cause the coconut butter to firm up so stir it quickly to ensure you get a nice even mix before it firms.
6. Remove the chilled base from the fridge and press the topping on (you can use either your fingers or the back of a spoon). Place back in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to allow the topping to 'set'.
7. Dig in!

Enjoy!

x