Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lemon 'Curd' {Vegan, sugar free, low fat}

I made by request from my husband- I'd been meaning to get around to it for a while but better late than never! We're both lemony people so this is a strong one, I wouldn't suggest eating it alone (like I may have) unless you enjoy eating lemons too, alternatively if you're not such a lemon lover simply add some water or non-dairy milk instead of all the lemon juice so you're using 1 cup liquid in total then you could eat it straight like a pudding if you so desire!

I would suggest using this as an ingredient in desserts though- like I did for my other half. We whipped up a little lemon tart with this filling and chocolate topping. Unfortunately it was devoured before I got a chance to photograph it but you all know what a tart looks like. I could see this in a tart topped with fresh berries in a healthier version!
This lemon 'curd' is wonderfully mouth puckering-ly tart. Sweet and perfect for using as a dessert ingredient, it's creamy but not heavy and sets to a soft luscious texture that's just divine. This recipe is just begging to be used in some delicious vegan desserts!

Lemon 'Curd'
Makes 6 small serves
1 tsp agar agar
100g silken tofu
250ml/1 cup fresh lemon juice (don't use the bottled kind) OR your desired blend of diluted lemon juice and water or non-dairy milk
1/2 tsp liquid stevia (adjust to taste, I like it more lemony than sweet)
2 tbsp cornstarch
  • Juice lemons and strain
  • Combine cornstarch and lemon juice until smooth
  • Heat over a low heat while stirring until thickened
  • Add agar agar and heat for 2 mins
  • Add silken tofu
  • Blend with an immersion blender until completely smooth
  • Allow to set in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (30 mins will do it if you put it in individual portions)
  • Enjoy!
  • Keeps well in the fridge for a week (do not freeze)

You can see the texture better in this photo (even if it doesn't look as pretty) when set it has enough body to hold itself up and support say berries for example in a lemon curd tart.

How do you like to use lemon curd? Any favourite recipes I should try this with?
Submitted to Health Vegan Friday
Love and Smiles,

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Date 'Toffee' Puff Balls

Sweet healthy snacks are on the menu today! I made these to make a boring research meeting more enjoyable. My colleague's kids had to come along (school holidays) and I thought a little something sweet (but healthy) would help make a child's nightmare more bearable. Both kids loved them and kept sneaking their hands back in the tin for more throughout the meeting (phewf!) Thankfully they were a hit with the adults too so I know you guys will just love them too.

These beautiful balls are two bites of bliss. The vanilla flavour is strongest but it works with the lemon to freshen it up and compliment the ooey-gooey date 'toffee'. The walnut butter in the 'toffee' adds body and texture (and filling protein and good fats) and the quinoa puffs lighten the combination so it's not an overly sickly sweet indulgence. 

They are surprisingly light so you can eat more than you'd think (I do believe I spied the gorgeous boys downing 3 each!) There's not a lot that makes me happier than seeing people enjoy my food so please do give this one a try.

Date 'Toffee' Puff Balls

Makes 32 balls
30 medjool dates
1.5 cups walnut butter (raw, no oil, If you don't have any just chuck some walnuts in the blender until they form a smooth paste. Alternatively you could use almond butter, cashew butter, brazil nut butter etc. Almost anything except peanut butter as the flavours would clash)
2 tbsp vanilla extract
Lemon Rind from 1 small lemon
1/8 tsp salt (optional)
2 cups Puffed Quinoa + 1 cup Puffed Quinoa to roll in (you can use any puffed grain you desire, rice or millet would be good choices- If you want to keep this raw why not use soaked and drained quinoa or sprouted grains instead!)
  • Pit dates
  • Zest lemon
  • Combine dates, vanilla extract, salt and lemon zest in food processor
  • Process date mixture until everything is combined in a smooth paste (this may take some stopping and scraping down the sides to ensure it's even)
  • Add walnut butter and process until the mixture releases some natural oil (depending on your walnut butter this may take a few minutes)
  • When you have a smooth, shiny, even mixture transfer to a large mixing bowl
  • Add 2 cups of puffed quinoa and stir to combine, cutting into the mixture to ensure even distribution
  • Roll mixture into tablespoon sized portions (larger or smaller if you like but this give two nice bites)
  • Roll balls into additional puffed quinoa and roll again between your hands to secure them
  • Enjoy!
Find some friends to share these gorgeous morsels with... or keep them all for yourself, either way enjoy them. Don't you just love the look of the sticky date 'toffee' insides... 

It's times like these I really wish dates didn't upset my tummy! Still, cooking for others is wonderful fun too.

Submitted to Raw Food Thursdays

and Healthy Vegan Fridays
Love & Smiles,

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Zucchini Pasta with Mushrooms in a 'creamy' Avocado Sauce

The journey to eating more raw foods has been great fun. I've been especially loving my juices, smoothies, super salads, raw soups and veggie 'pastas'. For veggie 'pasta' I like carrot and zucchini best. I have noticed I've been eating many more nuts to stay full though, and as much as I love nuts and value the nutrients they bring to my diet I thought I should add a little more variety to my plate. This 'creamy' sauce is avocado based.

I find that adding good fats to my raw meals really keeps me satisfied and this is no exception The avocado makes a delicious base for the thick sauce that coats the zucchini and mushrooms are like little nuggets of earthy flavour in your mouthfuls. I really enjoyed this meal and hope you do too!

Zucchini Pasta with Mushrooms in a 'creamy' Avocado Sauce
Makes 2-3 serves
3 zucchini (approximately 600-700g or 1.5 lbs)
3 large mushrooms
1 avocado
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp spice infused vinegar (mine has herbs and mustard seeds but any herb/white wine vinegar or ACV will be great too)
1/2 cup water
  • Spiral cut zucchini- if you don't have a spiral cutter just use a veggie peeler and make ribbons!
  • Chop mushrooms into large chunks
  • Combine all sauce ingredients and blend until smooth (I use a stick blender but use whatever you have)
  • Combine and toss all ingredients well
  • Serve promptly- if you're making it ahead of time dress immediately before serving
  • Enjoy!
This is a delicious raw dinner, even if you're not fussed about raw food this is a winner- and lets face it, if you really wanted you could use the same sauce on any noodles/pasta you like. 

Submitted to Raw Food Thursdays

and Healthy Vegan Fridays
Hope you're fitting lots of veggies in your meals,

Love and Smiles,

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Raspberry Orange Sorbet

I love something sweet after a meal but I'm mighty picky- it's got to be healthy, vegan, no sugar/refined fat and quick and easy to make (because unfortunately while I'm studying I really don't have the time to make complex meals) So that usually adds up to something like this delicious fruit 'ice cream. You can find all my other fruit 'ice cream' flavours here.

I know I've done many before and there will be many in the future but this is one of the best combos! It's slightly tart (unless you like it sweet and add more stevia) and packed with flavour. The mixture of orange and raspberry is wonderfully refreshing and bright, it's the sort of vibrant summer dessert you'd love to enjoy on the beach.

Raspberry Orange Sorbet
Apologies for the melting- It was quite hot! (38 degrees, thus the need for an icy treat)
Makes 3-4 serves
4 cups Frozen Raspberries
4 small or 2 large Oranges + zest
Stevia as desired
  • Zest oranges
  • Peel and de-seed oranges and add to blender/food processor
  • Add frozen raspberries
  • Process until it reaches a smooth soft serve consistency
  • Adjust sweetness to taste with stevia (personally I don't add it but if I was cooking for others I would add it)
  • Enjoy!
  • If you desire a firmer texture simply return it to the freezer.

I know this one's a winner but if you're not convinced why not check out some other flavours! I hope you're enjoying some lovely healthy desserts too,

Submitted to Raw Food Thursdays
and Healthy Vegan Fridays
Love and Smiles,

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Choc Banana Bar

Like bananas? I do.. but my other half hates them (unless they're in banana bread!) I even had a friend in high school that you couldn't eat them around because she would freak out and feel sick! So I know this might not appeal to everyone but for me, you can't go wrong with bananas.

If you're looking for a fat replacement in baking banana works really well. Beans also work well but they make it heavier, dense more like mud-cake, using bananas lets you keep it lighter and more cakey.

This bar is a sweet, filling, choc banana gf grain based bar that is filing and healthy. It's moist inside, when it's freshly baked the outside is almost crisp with the center just baked- but the next day it forms an almost sticky outside. Either way it's yummy but personal preference will dictate how quickly you wish to eat it. It holds together well so you can travel with it and it is packed full of choc banana flavour!

Choc Banana Bar

Makes approximately 30 serves (suggested serving size half those pictured- I realised later when I was eating them the above portion was way too filling!)
2 cups Puffed Quinoa
1 cup Rolled Oats
4 Ripe Bananas (yellow with brown spots!)
1/2 cup Protein Powder (I use pea & brown rice)
1 tbsp Cinnamon
6 tbsp Cacao powder
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Rice Malt (or another liquid sweetener of your choice like agave- if using stevia adjust to taste and reduce baking time as the mixture will be firmer)

  • Pre-heat oven to 200 C degrees
  • Mash bananas well
  • Add vanilla and rice malt
  • In a separate bowl combine cinnamon, cacao, protein powder
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients
  • Fold in oats and puffed quinoa- the mixture should be wet but hold together
  • Add to a lined baking tray and pat down evenly (to avoid burning)
  • Bake for 30 mins
  • Allow to cool in tray
  • Cut into slices
  • Enjoy!
  • Store in between grease proof paper (they get sticky when cool) I haven't tried to freeze them but in general I have found higher fat foods freeze better.

I hope this gives you a better idea of baking without fats- it really can be done! Do you have any other favourite ingredients for substituting fat in recipes?

Love and Smiles,

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