Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Cinnamon Nut Butter Loaf

There is something about the taste of cinnamon that screams winter warmth and cosy nights by the fire...Does anyone else notice that, or am I just a little odd?! (well, actually don't answer that...pretty sure it's a yes!!).

Not only is this a 'cosy' loaf, but the taste brings back huge childhood memories of those dutch cinnamon biscuits. I'm not sure if anyone will know the ones I mean, but every Christmas my stepdad would be given a packet of them by a patient, and so they became synonymous with the 'taste of the holiday season'. This loaf tastes just like them, especially when eaten lightly toasted with a smear of butter melted into it! Yum! (or maybe a wee touch of coconut oil melted on top if you can't do dairy, or a dollop of your favourite spread..walnut butter would be divine!).


This gorgeous light, fluffy loaf is so simple to prepare, and is full of nutrients. Cinnamon is truly one of the wonderfoods - it is great for your heart, and it reduces the spike effect on your blood sugars after eating, especially if you eat it with carbohydrates. Mother nature really does know what works for us huh? I mean, banana and cinnamon, or pumpkin and cinnamon are such fantastic combinations and they are meant to be together...wonderful complex carbohydrates, paired with cinnamon to improve the impact on our bodies. Perfect!

The loaf is free of gluten, grains, dairy, soy, and refined sugar, and sweetened simply with a small amount of banana. You can choose to add a bit of honey if you prefer a sweeter taste, or you can leave it as is which gives you the option to maybe dollop on a little honey or jam to eat it with.


















Cinnamon Nut Butter Loaf

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

Ingredients
1 cup almond butter (or your choice of nut butter)
2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
1 ripe banana
1/2 medium kumara (about 1/4 cup), or you can use pumpkin
3 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
Optional: 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup or sweetener of your choice

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 170C. Line  a loaf tin with baking paper
2. In a blender combine the nut butter, banana, kumara, eggs, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar (and sweetener if using). Blend until well combined and smooth.
3. Add the chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda. Pulse to combine
4. Pour the mixture in to the lined baking tin.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and spongy to the touch

Enjoy!

x


Monday, 22 June 2015

Crunchy Green Nutty Cluster Crisp Muesli

Winter is here, and it's decided to truly make itself known this week - for us Aucklanders it's not our usual routine to have to put on gloves, hats, scarves and jackets just to get out the door in the morning! 

With the cold weather comes the inevitable bugs that float around, especially with little ones at school and kindy. Both of our the girls take vitamin D, vitamin C and a kids mushroom based multivitamin to boost their immunity, but I figure any extra help they can get in the winter the better. 

So, with that in mind, and some spirulina powder in the pantry begging to be utilised for its immune boosting health properties, I came up with this nutty, crunchy muesli clusters that are green and fabulous! The kids loved it, and they happily sat rugged up on the couch munching through a big bowl of it.

You can use this as a snack food either at home or on the go, combine with your choice of milk and some fresh fruit for a yummy, filling, nutritious breakfast option, or sprinkle over a bowl of hot porridge on these cold winter mornings. For something a little more decadent, it would also be delicious sprinkled over a big old bowl of ice-cream or nice cream...really there are so many options for how to use this!
Although this recipe calls for nuts, you can always add in your choice of dried fruits and other seeds as a substitute if you prefer to not use the nuts. I have also used egg whites in the recipe to help achieve the clusters, but you can leave them out if you do not tolerate eggs - the only difference will be that the bits will not stick together as much. If you are not using egg whites I would use a tbsp or so of oil or honey just to help the spirulina to stick to the other components. 
The recipe is free of gluten, grains, dairy, soy, and refined sugar. I chose to keep this one free of any sweetener but you could add your choice of sweetener such as a little maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar, or dried fruits (or a combination of whatever you like). Any of those choices would taste great with the mix and may make it a little more appealing to children or anyone with a bit of a sweet tooth. 

Crunchy Green Nutty Cluster Crisp Muesli

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

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut chips or coconut thread
2 cups mixed raw nuts, roughly chopped or crushed (I used cashews, walnuts and almonds - choose your favourites!)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp spirulina powder (our local supermarket sells it, but if no luck there most health food stores should stock it)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla essence
1 egg white

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line a baking tray with baking paper
2. In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients (coconut, nuts, seeds, spirulina and cinnamon.
3. In a small bowl, or in a blender or using a stick blender, whisk egg white with vanilla essence until frothy. 
4. Pour the egg white mix in with the muesli mix and stir until well combined. You want the muesli to have a good coating of the egg white mix so that it forms clusters
5. Pour the mixture on to the baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes until lightly toasted
6. Allow to cool then store in an airtight container

Enjoy!

x