Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Apple Crumble Muffins

What is more humble than a crumble?! 

These yummy, moist muffins have the classic combination of apple and cinnamon, combined with the nutty crunch of a crisp crumble topping. They are really easy to make, full of goodness. Perfect for lunchboxes, but have that little something extra that makes them special enough to serve for a special afternoon tea with friends. In fact, they would be ideal for a quick breakfast on the go too, or part of a lazy Sunday brunch.

These muffins are free of gluten, dairy, grains, soy, and refined sugar. They are choc a block full of goodness from the apple and cinnamon, to the nuts, seeds, and coconut oil, and you could bake them into a cake or loaf if you wanted an alternative way of serving them.

The recipe is loosely based on a bread recipe from the Merrymaker Sisters, a couple of gorgeous Australian girls who create some wonderful tasty recipes. 

Crumble - ready to rumble! (the rhyming is addictive!)
Golden, crispy crumble on a moist apple muffin...Mmm!

A wee peak inside...

Apple Crumble Muffins

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


2 cups diced apple (I used cooked apple as I had some in the fridge and wanted to have the extra moisture, but if you can't be bothered with the extra step you can use raw apple instead - just dice it into fairly small pieces so they cook in the oven)
3 eggs
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup walnut flour (make your own by pulsing raw walnuts in a blender until a flour forms)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Crumble Topping:
1/4 cup coconut thread
1/4 cup chopped mixed nuts
1 cup diced apple (again you can use either cooked or raw - I used cooked)
1 tsp cinnamon

Optional: You can add a tbsp or 2 of honey to the muffin recipe if you like a little more sweetness, and add a tsp or 2 to the crumble to create a bit of a caramel taste


1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with liners. 
2. Whisk together the eggs and oil
3. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (walnut flour, almond flour, coconut flour, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt). Give them a good mix around.
4. Add the apple to the egg mix, give it a good mix, then pour into the dry ingredients. Fold the wet into the dry, ensuring ingredients are evenly distributed.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the crumble topping. 
6. 3/4 fill the holes of the muffin tin with the muffin mixture, then top with tablespoons of crumble.
7. Bake for about 40 minutes. You will probably want to check the muffins half way through and cover with tinfoil to stop the crumble from burning. The muffins are done when they are no longer 'squishy' to touch



Blueberry Lemon Slice/Cake/Loaf

A few requests for this recipe, so I'll keep it short and sweet and get straight into it!

This yummy bit of baking is really versatile, and so far I've made it into a slice and mini loaves, but you could also make muffins or a cake out of it. Simply adjust the quantity of the recipe (ie if you are making cake you will probably need to double the recipe to get it thick enough), and the baking tin (ie muffin tin instead of slice tin - obvious of course!)

The recipe is free of gluten, grains, nuts, soy, and refined sugar, with the sweetness coming from the fruit. If you have a sweet tooth or your bananas are less ripe, you can add a little honey, coconut sugar, or other sweetener of your choice to give it a bit of a sweetness boost, or alternatively you could add some chocolate chips to take it to the next level...mmmm yummy!

I served the slice version for afternoon tea when we had visitors and I made a wee chocolate sauce that I drizzled over the top. Definitely made it a little more decadent and was VERY well received by all! For the kids lunches though, I made the mini loaves and stuck to the recipe as per below. The kids really loved this one...the pop of colour from the blueberries makes it appealing to them too.

The recipe uses coconut flour but if you are sensitive to coconut flour or would prefer an alternative you could use almond flour or any other kind of nut flour. You could even experiment with flours like buckwheat or brown rice if you prefer. You would have to have a play around with the quantities required, but I would suggest starting with doubling the amount (ie where the recipe uses 3/4 cup coconut flour, use 1.5 cups of nut flour) and then if you need more you can add as necessary. Coconut flour is a very thirsty flour, so requires very little compared to all other flours.

Is a round slice still a slice or is it a cake? Looks like a cake like this, but it was quite thin more like a slice! I'm sticking with slice :)

Mini loaves - cut 'em up to a size that suits each person for a lunchbox filler

Blueberry Lemon Slice/Cake/Loaf/Muffins!

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

3/4 cup coconut flour
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence
zest and juice of one large lemon (or 2 small)
2 medium bananas, mashed
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tin (or whatever form of baking dish you require depending on the type you are making) with baking paper.
2. Whisk together the eggs, vanilla essence, lemon juice, and oil.
3. Mash the bananas
4. To a medium bowl add the dry ingredients (coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt) and stir to combine
5. Add the banana and lemon zest to the dry ingredients. Mix well to combine. Add the egg mix, give it a good mix to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
6. Gently fold in the blueberries.
7. Spoon into the prepared tin, and bake for roughly 35 minutes until no longer soft in the middle, and golden brown on top.

Note: Your cooking time will vary depending on the type of baking you are doing. If you are making muffins they will need to come out sooner than making a slice or loaf.



Thursday, 13 November 2014

Black and White Red Velvet Truffles

Oh the decadence and the colour!

Here's one of my Dad's classic 'Dad humour' jokes...

What's black and white and red all over?

A Newspaper! ('read' all over, get it?!) I know, don't all laugh at once right?!

Well these YUMMY little balls are black and white and red and delicious and the best part is you could pretty much each them for breakfast and still not feel guilty...they even have vegetables in them!

So are you ready for this?

Ready to get dunked... 

Had to let hubby be the guinea pig!

When will they invent 'tasteavision'...

Everything they cracked up to be!
Check out that moist, decadent truffle centre...

Oh the chocolatey goodness!

WARNING: You will not be able to resist eating more than your fair share of the mixture for these little may need to make extra! (For research purposes of course!!)

You can be a little flexible in terms of the types of nuts you use in the recipe, although the combination used here is a wonderful balance of both flavour and nutrients. The brazil nuts give a fantastic dose of selenium (an essential mineral that many of us are lacking sufficient levels of due to poor soil quality), the almond give you a wonderful boost of vitamin E, and the cashews a hearty dose of heart healthy antioxidants, in particular copper. The addition of beetroot (in my mind one of the superfoods for it's cardiovascular benefits), cacaofor some major antioxidant benefits, coconut for medium chain triglycerides which boost your body in every way, and a small sprinkle of psyllium for a wicked boost of fibre, there is nothing not to love!

The truffles are free of gluten, grains, dairy, and soy, and contain only a small quantity of sugar in the chocolate truffle coating. You can use any chocolate you like so you may prefer to make your own chocolate coating, or to buy a brand which contains no refined sugar. I choose the Enjoy Life ones on the odd occasion for these special treats as it is free of all of the allergens, but still behaves like regular chocolate which is ideal when you have to get fancy with it like dunking!

Note: Just as an aside, I have started my own wee business this week selling flavoured coconut butters. These are highly addictive, and completely delicious and would be fantastic to use for this recipe. There a number of flavours available so you can have a play around with the coatings on your truffles. I used the Creamy Dreamy Vanilla one just to add a little extra flavour to the coating, but I also think the Nutty Fruitcake would be AMAZING with this recipe! 

Check out the website here if you're interested in finding out more about this taste sensation!

So, without further ado, I give you the recipe. 

Black and White Red Velvet Truffles

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free and refined sugar free option available

1 cup raw brazil nuts
1.5 cups grated red beetroot (I used raw, but you could use cooked if you prefer)
1/4 cup raw cashew nuts
6 medjool dates, stones removed
4 tablespoons maple syrup (add more or less depending on how sweet you like your mix)
2 tablespoons almond butter (or ground almonds)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/3 cup raw cacao powder, or cocoa powder if that's what you have on hand!)
1 tbsp psyllium husk (optional if you have it in the pantry, but not necessary - just add in an extra tbsp of cocoa or ground nuts to balance the moisture levels, or even a tbsp of ground flaxseed or chia seeds)
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup dark chocolate chips (or melting chocolate of your choice)
1 cup coconut butter - you can either buy jars of coconut butter or you can make your own. See the note above the recipe for my little coconut butter plug :)

1. In a blender or food processor, blitz the brazil nuts and cashew nuts until you get a 'meal' - not yet butter,but kind of a flour texture.
2, Tip into a medium bowl and set aside. 
3. In the blender, place the dates, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond butter. Blend to combine until a smooth paste forms. Add the grated beetroot, coconut, and Psyllium, and pulse until just combined.
4. Tip the beetroot mix into the bowl with the ground nuts. 
5. Add the cacao or cocoa and mix it all up until all ingredients are well combined and you have a gooey thick truffle mixture. 
6. Shape tablespoon amounts of mixture (more or less depending on the size you would like for your truffles) and pop on a plate in one layer. Put them in the fridge or freezer to chill and harden.

7. While the truffles are getting nice and cold, you can prepare your chocolate and coconut butter.
8. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (a small pot of simmering water, with a bowl placed over the top with the chocolate chips in it...make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl).
9. Take half of your truffles out of the fridge. Line a plate or tray with baking paper. Once the chocolate is melted (be careful not to over-melt it or it will seize and go too hard), work quickly to dunk each in the melted chocolate. Get in there with your fingers and give them a good roll around so they are well coated. There are probably lots of fancy methods for doing this, but I find good old fashioned fingers to be the most efficient! You will need to work quickly as the chocolate will harden quickly once it gets on the cold truffles. Once you have done all of the truffles, pop them back on the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden.
10. Repeat the process with the other half of the truffles only in the coconut butter. Again, melt the coconut butter in a double boiler until just melted, dunk the truffles (working quickly), and place straight back in the fridge to harden the coconut shell. With the coconut truffles, they can often benefit from a second round of dunking once hardened if you have time. 
11. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve. 



Sunday, 2 November 2014

Apricot and Coconut Slice

A rainy Sunday, afternoon tea with our wonderful friends, and a bag of dried apricots that were due to be used up.....what's a girl to do? Make a tasty slice to share with the gang!

This slice is a lovely little treat and is perfect for munching on with a cup of tea, or would be ideal for a little lunchbox treat for the kids. Our kids wolfed it down, and it was a hit with the 'grownups' (I hesitate to use that one - don't feel very grown up sometimes!!!), so it must be a winner. Don't you just love those baking wins where you open up the pantry, see what packets you have open that need using, and create something that everyone loves? It's so satisfying!

Here's a couple of wee pics of the deliciousness...

In all it's glory...

Getting up close and personal...

The slice is free of gluten, grains, dairy, soy but it is a wee bit of a treat food as it does have a few sneaky chocolate chippies thrown in. You can feel free to leave them out if you prefer, or use whatever kind of chocolatey bits and pieces that you prefer to use. I used these ones for this slice - they are free of pretty much all allergens and hold up really well in baking (tasty too!!), plus they don't have any of the nasty additives that many of the 'free-of' chocolate has...many of the sugar-free/dairy-free chocolates seem to have thrown in (artificial sweeteners, soy lecithins, etc)

Apricot and Coconut Slice

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free

1/4 cup almond flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1/2 cup coconut thread
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a standard baking tin (slice tin) with baking paper
2. In a food processor, combine the apricots, desiccated coconut, oil or butter, egg, and vanilla. Pulse until combined but not smooth. You want to have some texture to the apricots.If you can't be bothered roughly chopping the apricots before starting (I couldn't!) you can put the apricots in the food processor first and pulse them a bit until chunky then add the other bits and combine them in. If you're not in the mood for creating too many dishes, dice up the apricots, and whisk the other ingredients together until combined, then add apricots in and mix. As you can tell it's one of those recipes that can be pretty flexible!
3. In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, coconut thread, and chocolate chips. Mix to combine.
4. Add in the apricot mix and give it a good mix-up. The mixture will be solid. 
5. Once combined, press the mix into the baking tin. 
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden. 
7. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then remove from tin, slice into thick slices, and cool fully on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container (if you have any left to store!) for a couple of days, or it will last in the fridge for ages.