Friday, 15 May 2015

Savoury Curried Chia Cookies

Do you ever just have more of a hankering for something to satisfy a savoury craving rather than a sweet one? I am the first to admit that I have a terrible sweet tooth! But lately I have been really craving salty, spicy, sour things...older and wiser? Changing taste buds? Some mystical message my body is telling me? Who knows! All I do know is that when the craving hits, these super yummy chia cookies can be whipped up in a matter of minutes, and you'll be able to satisfy that hankering ASAP!!

Since making these cookies I have been having all sorts of ideas for them, and think they could very much become a versatile wee number to have on hand. Although I just sat down and scoffed the lot as an afternoon snack, you could also serve them with your favourite indian curry for a bit of dunking action (who doesn't love to dunk things in their food right? Childhood memories!). Often when going gluten free, naan bread is out when it comes to ordering indian, unless you make your own, so these could be a fun and tasty alternative.

You could also try pressing the dough out very thinly and creating more of a cracker, then adding your favourite toppings. Maybe a yummy chutney or relish, or my personal favourite - avocado, tomato and a pinch of salt and heaven!

However you choose to use them, these cookies are made with just a few simple ingredients, and you can have a play around with various herbs and spices for a bit of fun. 

The cookies are free of gluten, grains, dairy, soy, nuts, and sugar. You can choose to add or remove chilli as you desire, and although I made just a small batch as a trial, you can double or triple the recipe if you would like a more substantial quantity.

Here is everything you need to know....

Savoury Curried Chia Cookies

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

1/4 cup Chia seeds
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tbsp psyllium husk (optional - just omit if you don't have any on hand)
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Pinch of chilli (or to taste, omit if you don't want it spicy)
1 egg
2 tbsp coconut milk

This recipe is small and makes 4-6 cookies, so feel free to double or triple if you would like to make a full sized batch!

1. Preheat oven to 180C, line a baking tray with baking paper
2. In a medium bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Mix well to blend.
3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and coconut milk together.
4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. The chia seeds and coconut milk will absorb a lot of liquid, so the dough will grow thicker as you mix.
5. When a firm dough is formed, scoop roughly tablespoonful amounts and shape into balls. Place on the baking tray, and flatten gently with the back of a fork. You can flatten as much as you like depending on how thick you would like the cookies. This recipe would also work well for more of a cracker style so feel free to roll the balls out into a thin cracker instead - would be great with your favourite dip or condiment!
6. Bake for around 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Your cooking time will very much vary depending on how thick you make your cookies or crackers, so you will want to keep an eye on them as they bake. If you are making more of a cracker, I would reduce the oven temperature to about 160C and bake more slowly to create more of a crunch and to ensure the thinner dough does not burn as easily.
7. Remove from the oven and either devour as soon as your mouth can tolerate it (as I did!) or cool on a wire rack and enjoy in whichever way you crave. Great with dip, great as a side to a meal, perfect to keep in the cupboard to snack on... options are endless!



Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Feijoa Upside Down Cake

Just in case it has escaped your notice (for those of you in NZ!) it just happens to be feijoa season at the moment!

Our tree has gone completely mad, and after totally neglecting the garden for a few weeks we went down and did a bit of harvesting.... 30kg of feijoas later our house is now perfumed with that distinctive smell, and my brain is whirring with "how on earth will I use all of these?"!!!!!
Arrrrggg!!! Feijoa overload!!

So, after randomly seeing a picture for a pineapple upside down cake, I decided that feijoas would actually be a really yummy and pretty alternative to the traditional upside down cake. 

My youngest daughter had lots of fun helping me to chop and scoop the feijoas and arrange them in the bottom of the baking tin, and the kids really got into the idea of an upside down cake - like a magic trick when you take a regular looking cake, and flip it onto a plate to discover the hidden goodness!

This recipe really is so simple, and you can choose how much of a 'celebration cake' or 'everyday cake' you would like to make it! I kept it very simple, and as such this recipe is good enough you could eat it for breakfast (or lunch or dinner, or snacking in between!!). If you are making it for a bit more of a celebratory occasion you can play around with adding a big more sweetener, sprinkling sugar on 'top' to get the fruit more caramelised, or adding in extras to the cake such as chocolate chips. It is delicious served warm or cold, on its own or with a big dollop of plain or coconut yoghurt, or of course a big old scoop of ice-cream!

Of course, if you are not a kiwi, or you do not have access to an abundant supply of feijoas, you can subsitute any other kind of fruit for the fruit layer. Stone fruits, citrus fruits, apples, pears, or of course the old classic pineapple all work really well.

The recipe is free of gluten, grains, soy, and refined sugar. I used a bit of butter in this one, but you can easily make it dairy free by using coconut oil instead (or your choice of oil, or even substitute an alternative such as apple puree). The butter gives a delicious flavour with the feijoas, but is certainly not essential. Dairy free and nut free options will also work, and I'll pop notes in the recipe)

The recipe is as follows:

Feijoa Upside Down Cake

Gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar. Options for dairy and nut free.


10-15 ripe feijoas
4 tbsp honey or 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or sugar of your choice)
4 tbsp melted butter (or oil)

1 ripe banana
1/2 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter (or oil/applesauce if you prefer dairy free)
1/4 cup honey or sweetener of your choice
1/2 cup almond flour (you can use any nut flour, walnut would be divine!, and if you prefer nut free substitute either pumpkin or sunflower seed meal, or use 1/4 cup coconut flour instead. If you cannot do coconut either, you can use an alternative such as rice flour or alternative gluten free baking flour - you will need to adjust the quantities)
1/2 cup coconut flour (see notes above in regards to substitutions)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 170C.
2. Line the bottom of a round baking tin with baking paper (you could grease it, but for this cake it really does work better to have the baking paper to make it easier to flip). 
3. over the baking paper, sprinkle the sugar or drizzle the honey and pour the melted butter over. Cut the feijoas in half and scoop each half out, keeping the flesh intact. 
4. Place the feijoa halves cut side down in the baking tin in whichever pattern you would like
5. In a blender (because I'm lazy!) place the banana, eggs, vanilla, milk, butter, and honey. Blend until combined. You can also do this in a bowl - whisk the eggs, add the honey, vanilla, milk, butter, and mashed banana.
6. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, cinnamon) and mix well.
7. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and give them a good mix together to combine. 
8. Carefully spread the cake batter over the feijoas, trying not to disturb the feijoas too much
9. Smooth the top, and place in the oven
10. Bake for approximately 25 minutes until the top of the cake is golden brown and firm to touch.
11. Leave to cool in the tin, then grab a plate larger than the cake tin, and turn the cake upside down on to the plate. Remove the baking paper (careful!), and Voila! Cake! If you like, you can pop the cake under a hot grill for a couple of minutes or use one of those fancy blow torches to caramelise the top a little more....Hubby got me a blow torch for Christmas, and I had a ball 'playing with fire'!!!! hahaha!!!