Nut Free Bliss Ball

Supermarket bought bliss balls are generally full of preservatives and refined sugar. Or where not with refined sugar still over 50% sugar with the high level of dried fruits. You can make bliss balls that are higher in fat and lower in sugar which is my preference but these are generally not so great in the lunchbox as they tend to melt. They do best kept in the freezer and used for home treats.  So the trick is working out the lower level of sugar that works and yet still holds the balls together for a lunchbox.

These bliss balls are quite basic, they’re quick to make and not crazy high in sugar. They also store well in the fridge or freezer but they also work well in the lunchbox as they don’t have coconut oil to melt.

There are loads of variations possible with bliss balls including making them into bars instead of balls. Let me know what you try and how you find them!

RECIPE:

Makes 10-15 bliss balls.

What you need:

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup coconut, dessicated

1/2 cup dates* (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then drained)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

* Use Medjool dates if you can otherwise other dates (without sulphites).

Optional:

1 Tbsp cacao (or cocoa) powder & 1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp strawberry or other flavoured (all natural) powder (we used Fresh As products)

1/4 cup of apricots can be added to mix in place of 1/2 the dates or in addition for sweeter treat.

Toast the sunflower seeds and coconut before hand in some coconut oil in pan on stove for extra yum factor!

What to do:

  1. Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes to soften.
  2. Combine the sunflower seeds and the coconut with the ground cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Add mixture to food processor and pulse until medium crumb like consistency.*
  4. Drain excess water from the dates and add them to the other ingredients in a food processor.
  5. Pulse for approximately 2 minutes or until the mixture comes together. If its not coming together then drizzle in some water (or coconut oil if these are not for school lunches).
  6. Dampen your hands and gather up the mixture making into small balls. (You might have to wash your hands part way through if get too sticky.)
  7. If balls are sticky spread some desiccated coconut on your chopping board and roll the balls in this.
  8. Store the balls in the freezer until you need them.

OPTIONS:

Add 1 Tbsp of cacao and 1 Tbsp of raw honey or maple syrup or other liquid sweetener of choice to the mixture in the processor before you mix together.

Another option – roll in a powdered flavour – like here strawberry powder.

TIPS:

*I like to blend in food processor just 3/4 of the seed mixture and leave some whole seeds out but just do what you think your kids will like best. Some prefer more blended. The more blended it is the more mixture will be gooey at the end once dates are added and then you’ll need to use more coconut to coat.

These are lower sugar bliss balls than many recipes and ones sold (but still high sugar). If you need to add a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey to the basic mix.

Store balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for ages (I’ve kept them couple of months and they were fine).

If for school: leave in freezer until the morning of school lunches need packing. Best in school lunchbox/bag with a cooler pack but will be OK even at room temperature unless we’re talking about a heat wave they’ll get a bit soft.

 

 

 

 




Nut Free Muesli Bar (Paleo)

I’ve been experimenting for a while for a nut free, grain free, dairy free “muesli” bar that will hold together for the school lunches. This is the current best attempt so far. The challenges are that what holds most bars together is the grains and loads of sugar plus they’re usually full of additives and preservatives including industrial seed oils like canola oil.

If you’re making for eating at home you can add in coconut oil or butter more freely as you can store and eat straight from the freezer. But in the lunchbox these sorts of bars will end up melting so you need to keep the oil/butter content lower.

You can use this recipe for a baked bar or for a “no bake” bar but for the “no bake” you must eat directly from the freezer (not for school lunches).  If you’re not baking then it definitely tastes better to toast the seeds and coconut but if you’re rushed it’s not necessary.

Play around with this recipe and let me know if you find any interesting alternative ways that work as well!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Nut Free Muesli Bar (Paleo)
 
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When made in standard square baking dish this makes 10 muesli bar shaped bars or 15 smaller bars which are thinner than “normal” bars. To make them more like normal you can make in a loaf tin or double the mixture. Just make extra sure to push down on the mixtures before and after baking to compact the mix.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Type of food: Paleo
Serves: 10 min – 1 hour

What you need:
  • Ingredients To Toast:
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup coconut, desiccated or shredded
  • ½ cup chia seeds (or ¼ cup flaxseed & ¼ cup chia seeds)
  • **
  • Other Ingredients:
  • ½ cup banana, ripe & mashed
  • ¼ cup raw honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or 3 Tbsp butter for better stickability)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • Extra coconut oil for the pan
  • **
  • Optional Extras
  • Dried fruit (choose sulphite free)
  • 2 eggs (if you can tolerate eggs then you can add eggs for more binding) – obviously if you use eggs you’ll need to bake.
  • **
  • Alternatives
  • Use butter instead of coconut oil if you like the taste and if you can have dairy – butter will bind better.

What to do…
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
  2. Combine all the seeds and coconut together and mix.
  3. Remove approximately ¾ of the mixture and blend in a food processor so that all chopped finely (not breadcrumb like but on the way to being like that) then add back to the ¼ mix and combine.
  4. Toast this mixture in the pan on stove top with 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and heat through on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until nicely browned but watch it so doesn’t burn! (This is optional you can use raw but toasted tastes better.)
  5. Combine the banana, honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in pot on stove on medium and heat and bring to simmer.
  6. Add these wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine well.
  7. Line a large square cake tin or two loaf tins with baking paper and pour mixture in.
  8. Place another sheet of baking paper over the top and then press in so mixture is well compacted.
  9. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
  10. Remove and let sit moment then using tea towel or other object press down on the bar to (carefully) compact it.
  11. Place in freezer for at least an hour or until solid.
  12. Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to cut into muesli bar sized slices or squares.*
  13. Return to freezer for storage (in glass container is best).
  14. **
  15. NB – An option is that after cutting you can return them to oven at 180 degrees celcius for another 5-7 minutes to make them more brown and crispy. This makes them more like “normal’ bars. Keep an eye on them to not burn them!

Tips For The Lunchbox

  • Use butter or ghee instead of coconut oil (if your children tolerate dairy) because this will bind the bar together better than the oil.
  • Make sure you really pat down the mixture so it’s compact.
  • Keep in the freezer until last moment before school and send frozen with lunchbox bag with freezer pack to keep cool.



Turkey Meatballs & Kale In Lemony Garlic Broth – Guest Recipe

meatball-kale-lemon-broth-large

Guess what? I’m not Claire.

I’m Irena from Eat Drink Paleo and I am super excited to be here at Dom’s Kitchen sharing one of my recipes with you.  I’ve known Claire for a while through our paleo/real food blogger community and I’m so happy to be able to say hi to all of you lovely readers.

My guest recipe is a nourishing and delicious stew with turkey meatballs, kale and lemony broth. This dish is actually from one of the meal plans in my 9-week nutrition and lifestyle program Happy Body Formula and it’s very popular with our participants. It’s comforting for winter days, but is equally suitable for those in warmer regions. I also love that it’s a one-pot kind of dish. It reminds me of a dish I used to eat as a kid, although we didn’t have kale back then 😉

A few notes before you get cooking!

  • Meat: Turkey, chicken or pork mince can be used in this recipe. Even fish would work really well with the flavours of the soup. If you can’t find ground up chicken or turkey mince, get some thighs (skin and bone off) and grind it up using a food processor.
  • Herbs: Other herbs like sage and oregano can be used instead of thyme and coriander or basil will work well instead of parsley.
  • AIP: Omit the chilli and use parsnip or sweet potato instead of white potato. White potato is A-ok in our program but of course, you can swap it out.

You can add other types of vegetables this soup/stew. Broccoli and carrots might work better than kale with the little ones. If you include green fresh peas in your diet, then those would also make a great addition.

As a side note, if you’re not familiar with the Happy Body Formula program, do check it out! It’s perfect for anyone kicking off their health journey or simply looking for a more structured and guided way to get healthier and to eat better. I developed all of the meal plans and recipes, which have all be reviewed by a nutritionist, and if you like this recipe, then you would love the whole 9-week challenge.

Happy Body Formula

Registrations for Round 4 are now open, and we are kicking off the next 9-week program on Monday 19 September 2016. And,  I would like to offer a special discount offer for Dom’s Kitchen readers. Use code Happy20 at check out, to get $20 off the price. Find out more information here.

Ok, now back to meatballs! The recipe is pretty straightforward but if you have any questions, leave a comment and Claire will pass it on to me. Happy to answer any other questions you might have. Thanks for having me over at Dom’s Kitchen.

Irena

5.0 from 1 reviews

Turkey Meatballs & Kale In Lemony Garlic Broth – Guest Recipe
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Stew
Serves: 3-4

What you need:
For the meatballs
  • ½ leek, (pale part), roughly cut (or 2 spring onions)
  • handful of fresh parsley (about 10 g)
  • few mint leaves if available
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only (1 tablespoon thyme leaves)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 600 g ground turkey mince (or 5 chicken thighs ground up, skin and bone off)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
For the soup
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ leek (green and pale part)
  • 5 peels of lemon
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced into halves
  • 1 large white potato or 1 parsnip, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground up cumin powder
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 ½ tablespoon fish sauce
  • generous pinch of salt
  • generous pinch of black pepper or chilli flakes
  • 10-12 kale leaves, torn off the stem and into smaller pieces
  • juice of ½ lime
  • juice of ½ small lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

What to do…
  1. If you have a food processor, place leeks, parsley, mint, thyme, garlic,and lime zest inside with an S-blade on. Blitz a few times, until the ingredients are finely ground up. Alternatively, chop everything very finely using a knife. Transfer to a large mixing bowl together with the turkey or chicken mince, salt and pepper. Mix really well, until well incorporated.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Roll the mixture into small meatballs, about 20 g each, a smaller than a Ping-Pong ball. Fry the meatballs for 7-8 minutes, turning them throughout so they go golden-brown on all sides.
  3. In the meantime, add the olive oil, the other part of the leek, lemon peel, carrot and potato to a medium saucepan. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, star anise, chicken stock and fish sauce. Season with some salt and pepper and bring to boil.
  4. Add the meatballs and cook over medium heat, covered, for 3-4 minutes. Prepare the kale and add to the soup, stir through and cook for a further 5 minutes, covered. Test the potato and once soft, remove from the heat and add the lime and lemon juice. Stir and taste for salt. Let it sit for 5 minutes off the heat before serving.

meatball-kale-lemon-broth-vertical-683x1024




Homemade Nutella

Hazelnuts-roasting

Hazelnuts ready to roast.

homemade-nutella

Homemade “Nutella”!

 

homade nutella

The Best Part.

It seems there are a hundred different variations for making Homemade Nutella and I’m fairly confident that most of them taste delicious because it’s pretty hard to go wrong with the basic flavours here – we’re talking chocolate and hazlenut.

Our recipe is easy and and makes a yummy spread that’s perfect for toast, pancakes, waffles, fruit and more! You can make it with chocolate or cacao.

I’m sure you’re going to love our version of this popular hazelnut spread because it’s:

  • Rich
  • Creamy
  • Choc-a-holic worthy
  • Sweet but not too sweet
  • Spreadable
  • So easy to do
  • Versatile

We ended up making this recipe two different ways – one with a bar of chocolate and another time with cacao. You could also make it with cocoa. The version with the chocolate bar definitely seemed creamier but using the cacao was also good but in that case we did add 1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the mixture.

Either way, totally yummy-licious!

Another option that we’ve not tried but which I’ve seen others use is to substitute the hazelnuts for walnuts. This means you don’t need to roast and remove the skins of hazelnuts so saves time and walnuts generally cheaper than hazelnuts.

What about using sweetener?

You can also use stevia instead of your usual sweetener. I’m not such a fan of the stevia taste but if you do substitute 1/2 of your sweetener for stevia then you should only taste the taste of the sweetener not the stevia. In this recipe you might start with 1 tablespoon of stevia for the additional sweetener per the notes below as an example. Obviously the aim is to reduce sweetener as much as possible. But if you go too low the first time such that you and/or your children refuse to eat “that homemade stuff” and only want the “normal” then my thoughts are that its better to at least be eating this version that might be a bit high on the sweetener side that to be eating the store bought Nutella with which is nearly 50% sugar and also has vegetable oil.

Totally Yum Home-made “Nutella”
 
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Easy and delicious Nutella that’s perfect for toast, pancakes, waffles, fruit and more! Can be made with chocolate or cacao.
Author:
Recipe type: Spread, Desert, Snack
Type of food: Gluten Free, Paleo
Serves: 2 cups

What you need:
  • 2½ cups raw or roasted unsalted hazelnuts
  • 100 grams of dark chocolate (80% plus best), chopped (see also option for cacao version)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

What to do…
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and add hazelnuts to a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. If raw, roast for a total of 10-12 minutes or until the nuts have darkened slightly and the skins are starting to loosen. (If already roasted it’s still preferable to roast the nuts for about 8 minutes just ensure the natural oils are warmed up and to loosen the skins. This steps makes it easier to transform the nuts into a butter consistency.)
  2. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Use your fingers or a towel to remove the skins from the hazelnuts. They should come off pretty easily. Don’t worry if there are some random pieces of skin that you can’t get off but the more you get off the creamier the spread will end up.
  4. Place the hazelnuts (without the skin) and the coconut oil in a high-speed blender or in a food processor. Process for about 30 seconds or if your blended is not high-speed or in danger of over heating you will need to do with breaks and pulsing probably for about 10 minutes. In any case you are aiming for a creamy consistency*
  5. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave, then stir.
  6. Pour the melted chocolate into the blender or food processor with the nut butter and pulse until completely combined and smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Add the sea salt and vanilla and pulse to combine.
  8. Remove from blender and store in a closed container in the pantry or fridge for up to 2 weeks. In the fridge it will keep longer
  9. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt or vanilla if desired.

Chef Dom’s Tips:
If you think the Nutella isn’t sweet enough you can add 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey. Be aware that (aside from obvious extra sugar) the more syrup or honey you add the firmer the spread will get, so I would use it sparingly. But for sure when changing from store bought nutella you may well have to add at the higher end of sweetener. You can use cocoa or unsweetened cacao powder instead of chocolate. Add 3 tablespoons of cacao or cocoa when you add the vanilla and salt.




Grainy Grain-Free Toast Bread

Paleo Grainy Bread

Paleo Grainy Bread

We have tried out a variety of grain-free recipes both crunchy ones with seeds like this one and also ones made with ground up nuts that make a “plain” loaf. You can make this one less crunchy by blending or chopping up your seeds. But if you really love something that more closely resembles white bread or a non-grainy bread then this is not the recipe for you!

Also, we’ve not used any yeast or gums or other additives in this recipe. It’s very plain and simple. You can use gums like xanthan and guar gum so as to get non-gluten containing flours to have the shape, texture and taste more akin to those that do have gluten. Gluten is the glue in bread. We haven’t tried doing that as I think there are a lot of questions over the use of gums in food and I prefer to keep it simple. Plus we love the taste as it is. However, if you’re trying to convert someone (or yourself!) to move away from standard toast you may want to check out some of the grain-free options for sale commercially which use the gums (or experiment yourself!) if is not bread-like enough for your tastes.

3.7 from 3 reviews

Grainy Grain-Free Toast Bread
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Type of food: Paleo
Serves: Loaf

What you need:
  • Dry ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • ¼ cup flaxmeal (ground linseeds)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds (white or black)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ cups of seeds (whole or chopped). You can substitute ½ cup of seeds for nuts – cashew, macadamia or almond nuts (in slivers or chopped finely).
  • (For the bread in this picture we used ½ cup pumpkin seeds, ½ cup sunflower seeds** and ½ cup sesame seeds all in their whole form.)
  • Wet ingredients:
  • 5 eggs (large size)
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (ACV)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Extras
  • Handful of nuts/seeds to sprinkle on the top.

What to do…
  1. Assemble all your ingredients first :-).
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  3. Place the first set of dry ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well.
  4. Add the seeds (and/or nuts) to the dry ingredients and mix.
  5. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  7. Promptly (don’t muck around as the ACV will start to react immediately with the baking soda) pour into your baking tin (we used standard size loaf tin 20cm X 10cm). Note this is a wet mix not a dough so it should be pour-able.
  8. If you like, sprinkle some seeds and nuts on the top.***
  9. Place immediately in pre-heated oven and cook for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. We use fan bake setting on our oven and check at 45 minutes. Unless you see an obvious issue, don’t check before 40 minutes as you will interrupt the rising process.
  10. Wait until it’s cooled to slice up. Slice on the thick side (i.e. toast slices). Best toasted with butter smile emoticon.

Chef Dom’s Tips:
If you use sunflower seeds then the seeds may turn green after baking. This is due to a chemical reaction with the baking soda. If want to avoid this then don’t use sunflower seeds – it doesn’t affect the taste though.

For the seeds or nuts on top. Don’t go overboard as they can burn if you’re using a conventional toaster. Can avoid by grilling bread in oven to toast or just use less and keep an eye on them when toasting.

We slice our loaves up and then keep in the freezer (with baking paper between the slices – see pictures). A loaf like this would last us 3-4 weeks or more because we’re not eating it regularly.

 




“Mish Mash” Salad With French Dressing

superfood-salad

Mish Mash Salad – With Fermented Cabbage.

I love to eat a “mish mash” salad for lunch with just a bit of this and that all chucked together.  The more colourful the better.  This salad starts with bed of salad leaves and then has 1/2 an avocado, 1 hard boiled egg, couple of tablespoons of red cabbage sauerkraut (this is Be Nourished brand) with a sprinkling of almond nuts and seeds (pumpkin and sunflower) as well as some croutons made of toasted grain-free bread.  What really finishes the salad of taste-wise is the drizzling of French dressing over the top. Yum!

To make the dressing just combine 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar with 1/2 macadamia (or olive) oil, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.  Shake vigorously and pour what you like on your salad.  The rest will keep in fridge for up to a week.




Dom’s Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce

tomato-sauce

Delicious Homemade Tomato Sauce

We’ve played around with making tomato sauce before now and while the results were yum they didn’t really have the wow factor. That’s all changed now with this little experiment. It came about because the other night we’d done a big roast and at the same time I had cooked up Dom some sausages for his lunch. He wanted to have sauce for those and I thought of just blending up all the roasted veggies.  Of course it will have been done before many times over but for some reason we’d not tried it.

This is a really easy recipe which is very flexible. Taste test as you go to adjust to your preference.  The best way to make it is definitely when you’ve done a roast – just make extra vegetables to use for this sauce.

I’m sure you’re going to love it. The roasted vegetables are the perfect way to recreate the sweet taste we associate with traditional store bought sauces. Except even better. This sauce is:

Thick
Roasted
Spicy
Sweet (but not too sweet)
Bold
Caramelised
And seems goes perfectly on pretty much anything.

We love it with potato chips and sausages and we also used a variation of it as a sauce for our zoodles (zucchini noodles). I wasn’t really sure whether to call it a tomato sauce or a pasta sauce. I’d say its more a tomato sauce but with less vinegar and water would be more like a pasta sauce. Try it and let us know what you think and what you use it with!

Dom’s Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce
 
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Roasted veggie yumminess makes this tomato sauce a winner with kids and adults alike. Try it with anything!
Author:
Recipe type: Sauce
Type of food: Paleo, Vegetarian, Primal
Serves: 1 large bottle

What you need:
  • 500 gram fresh tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 red or brown onions, peeled, quartered
  • 2 red capsicum, core removed, halved
  • 2 med carrots, sliced
  • 1 bulb of garlic, sliced in half
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (we use Red Boat fish sauce)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Fresh Basil (we used a good handful of leaves) – optional
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos (we use garlic flavoured but plain fine or use gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ cup water

What to do…
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (approximately 350 degrees fahrenheit).
  2. Place the tomatoes, onions, capsicum, carrots and garlic in a roasting dish and drizzle with oil.
  3. Roast in oven for 30 – 45 minutes until well cooked through. (OR do extra in your next roast and use the leftovers with tomatoes)
  4. Remove from roasting dish and place in blender and bend until puree consistency.
  5. Place back onto stove top dish and add the herbs, spices, coconut amino and fish sauce bring just to a simmer and then add ½ cup of water and can of tomatoes water and simmer further to reduce.
  6. (You can either add more water for thinner sauce or leave it thick or simmer to reduce yet further.)
  7. Check taste and add salt and/or vinegar to taste.
  8. Pour the sauce into glass bottle or jar and seal. This sauce should keep in the fridge for 3 months.

Chef Dom’s Tips:
If your children are used to sweet sauces (Watties etc) then you may want to start with less vinegar (1-2 tablespoons) and/or use 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or rice malt syrup or ½ tsp of stevia. I’m sure this would be good with a sauerkraut juice so next time will try that to get some extra fermented goodness going.

 




Valentines Day Mini Heart Cheesecakes

mini-paleo-cheesecake-valentines

Mini Paleo Cheesecakes (grain and dairy free) for Valentines.

These Valentine Mini Heart Cheesecakes are sweet enough for a special occasion but also a healthier alternative to the processed sugar overload that can seriously derail your health and wellness goals during this time of year!
They’re fairly easy to make (using a food processor otherwise it would be a serious slog).  The filling is made with layers sweetened with fruit and small amount of maple syrup. But it’s the crust that is the true star of this creation – chewy and sweet – it goes so well with the fluffiness of the filling.
This cheesecake mix is grain, egg, and dairy free so it’s a fantastic Valentine’s Day day dessert that can accommodate a variety of dietary preferences.  I mean look, check out this pic below – you know you cannot go wrong with raw ingredients like this!

raw-ingredients-chocolate-cheesecake

Raw ingredients for our Valentines Day Paleo Cheesecake.

Valentines Day Mini Heart Cheesecakes
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Valentines Treat
Type of food: Paleo
Serves: 4

What you need:
  • For the Chocolate Crust
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup of other nuts (we used pecans)
  • 1 cup dates
  • ½ cup finely-chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • For the Plum Filling
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup of plums (you could use any berries)
  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil

What to do…
  1. To make the crust:
  2. Combine the cashews, dates, chocolate and coconut oil in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until everything is finely ground and a coarse, sticky paste has formed.
  4. Transfer to the pan or novelty dishes (in our case heart shaped) that you’re using and press firmly to an even thickness with your hands.
  5. Place in fridge to chill.
  6. To make the filling:
  7. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Leave them to soak for at least 5 hours and preferably overnight.
  8. Drain the water from the cashews and combine them with the remaining filling ingredients in a food processor.
  9. Blend into a smooth batter and pour on top of the base layer. Smooth out with your fingers and place in fridge to chill for at least an hour.

 




Chocolate Bliss Balls (Paleo,GF,DF)

chocolate-bliss-balls

Chocolate Bliss Balls

These delicious balls of yumminess are the best for when you are in the mood for something a bit sweeter.  These are definitely “special occasionals” as Chef Dom has taken to calling this type of thing.

We don’t usually make chocolate bliss balls as they’re pretty decadent.  But I needed to make something for Dom to have at daycare when the other children are having birthday cakes (generally made with grains). It’s not a decision I made lightly to have Dom eat differently to the other kids in respect of “treat” food that is shared communally and I know not everyone will agree with me on this.

But the fact is that there is so much food being brought in for “special occasions” so often (consisting predominantly of refined wheat and sugar and often with dairy) that in the end I consider it the best way. It’s just not worth the upset tummy and other fall-out associated with eating those products 2 or 3 times a week. Dom is happy provided he is getting his thing when the others have the cake.

Chef-Dom-Paleo-Bliss-Balls

Dom caught in the act of “helping” me taste test them!

These chocolate bliss balls make a great party food or just a treat food to keep in the fridge or freezer.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Bliss Balls
 
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Easy delicious chocolate bliss balls for special occasions. You can use any combination of nuts but its nice to use a base of macadamias or cashews for at least half the mix. For the dates we use medjool dates – if using other dates soak them first for 10 minutes in hot water because discarding water and using the dates.
Author:
Recipe type: Occasional
Type of food: Paleo, Gluten Free
Serves: 20

What you need:
  • 2 cups of nuts (cashew + pecan or macadamia + walnuts are good combos but any nuts will work)
  • ¾ cup of dates, chopped roughly (aprox 8 dates with stones removed)
  • ½ cup of sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup of desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup of coconut threads (or more desiccated coconut)
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate (chopped up) (We use Green & Blacks 85% Organic.)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup each of white chia seeds and desiccated coconut to roll the balls in.

What to do…
  1. Place the nuts and chocolate in processor and process so that JUST chopped. (Or chop up by hand). You only want to chop them roughly not turn into thinly ground mixture or a paste!
  2. Remove and set aside.
  3. Place the dates and sunflower seeds in your food processor and blend until becomes smooth.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients (including the nut mix) and pulse until mixture is crumb-like and sticky (probably 20 seconds or less. Don’t over mix or you will end up with runny mess. You can always do it a bit more if need be.).
  5. If the mixture is too dry add in some extra water or coconut oill. If too wet then you can add in some extra desiccated coconut.
  6. Scoop out the mixture by tablespoons and roll into balls on the extra desiccated coconut and chia seeds (you might need to wet your hands a couple of times as you go because the mixture will be very sticky).
  7. Put in fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up before eating (if you can). They will keep in fridge in airtight container for a couple of weeks but they won’t if you put them there because you will eat them!
  8. Best to make them last by keeping them in (the back of) your freezer.




Brussel Sprout Chips

brussel-sprout-chips

Brussel sprout chips.

Who would have thought!  Bake your brussel sprouts in the oven to make irresistible Brussel sprout chips.  In the past I’d probably discard some of the outer leaves of these veggies – now we turn them into mouthfuls of salty, crunchy goodness.

Brussel Sprout Chips
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Super easy snack that’s satisfies the urge for crisps as is a much more nutrient dense option.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Type of food: Vegetarian, Paleo
Serves: 3 cups

What you need:
  • 3 cups of Brussel sprout leaves (either just the other leaves or cut the sprouts in half and then peel off 2-3 layers from each sprout.)
  • 3 Tbsp of coconut oil (or fat of choice – lard is good also)
  • Sea salt

What to do…
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Melt 3 Tbsp of coconut oil (or other fat of choice)
  3. In a large bowl – mix the sprout leaves with the oil and then sprinkle very lightly with sea salt.
  4. Arrange the leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until crispy and brown around the edges. Keep en eye out – it’s easy to burn these!
  5. Remove from oven and serve immediately adding extra sea salt to taste.