Coffee ice cream sandwiches

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Every now and then I get an extreme craving for coffee ice cream.  I don’t know why, it just comes and sneaks up on me.  I find this odd as I drink no where near as much coffee as I used to.

Long gone are the daily trips to that specific coffee shop, you know, the one that sells that particular coffee brand and uses that specific soy milk.  Yes, I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a coffee snob.  Those annoying individuals that order a 3/4 soy flat white.  Yep, that’s me and I’m proud of it.  The way I see it, I only drink one coffee a day and it bloody well better be a good one!  But I digress, I was talking about coffee ice cream.

Ok, here’s the deal.  I’m going to give you my coffee ice cream recipe.  It’s creamy, doesn’t require any churning and to make it a million times better, I’m also going to give you the cookie recipe to sandwich in the creamy goodness.

I know, I’m so good to you :)

This recipe needs some forward planning because you need to soak the cashews for at least 3 hours (will give the creamiest result), as well as placing the coconut milk cans in the fridge so that the cream rises to the top and solidifies, making it easier to scrape out.  I got everything ready first thing in the morning and made it that evening so that it was ready the next day.

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Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches

Makes approx. 3

Ingredients

Coffee Ice Cream

1/2 cup coconut milk (cream part only, about 2 cans)

2 cup raw cashews  (soaked for 3 hours and rinsed well)

1 shot of espresso or 2 TBS coffee granules dissolved in 1/2 cup of water (if using a shot of espresso, add 1/4 more of water)

1/4 cup of maple syrup

Chocolate Cookie

1 1/2 cup pecans

2/3 cup roasted hazelnuts

5 medjool dates, pitted

2 TBS raw cacao powder

1 TBS coconut oil, melted

pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Method
Ice Cream

Be careful not to shake the cans of coconut milk when you take them out of the fridge.  Open them carefully and scoop out the coconut cream only.  Save the rest for curries, smoothies or to use in overnight oats or porridge.

Place the cream, and the rest of the other ingredients into a powerful blender and blend until super smooth and creamy.  There should be absolutely no lumps or grittiness.

Pour into a square tin lined with baking paper. I used a brownie tray but you can also use a tupperware container, as long as you can get about a 1.5 – 2 cm thickness so that you can cut out rounds for the cookies.

Cover and place in the freezer to set.

Chocolate Cookie

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it resembles fine crumbs.  It should look like this:

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Pour into a square cake tin lined with baking paper, and press down firmly so that the mixture sticks together well and doesn’t fall apart when you’re ready to make the cookie.  Make sure you get even distribution so that your cookies are more or less the same thickness.

Cover and place in the freezer to set.

To Assemble

Take both ice cream and cookie pans out of the freezer and let it thaw for about 30-45 minutes.  Until you can put your finger in the ice cream and it gives a little but doesn’t go through it.

Get a chopping board and lay some baking paper over it, then take a round cookie cutter about 5 cm in diameter, and cut out your cookies.  Place them on your lined chopping board.  Repeat until you have all your cookies out.

Do the same with the ice cream, laying each piece of ice cream round on top of a cookie. Cover with another cookie.

Repeat until all your cookies are done.  You will have extra ice cream left over.  Make more cookie dough if you want or eat as is.

If you want to eat them straight away, go ahead, but you can also store them in the freezer ready to go for when the next ice cream sammie attack hits.

Here’s cheers.

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Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

 

 

Pumpkin and Coconut Bread

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Since deciding to not use processed sugar in my cooking, I’ve been playing around with lots of different ways to sweeten things up.  I can normally get away without needing much extra sweetener in raw desserts as that can be easily added with fruit and dried fruit like dates, but when it comes to baking, it’s a different story.

Apart from banana based cakes and muffins, I find that baking really needs some kind of sweetener added to make it a proper baked goodie.

So, when Natvia approached me about contributing a recipe for their e-book, I jumped at the chance.

Now, I have to admit, I have used stevia before but I normally use liquid so it’s hard to write a recipe with exact quantities as my drop might be bigger than yours, and so on.

I like that with baking stevia you can use it exactly as you would sugar, so 1 cup of stevia equals 1 cup of sugar in recipes.  So much less complicated than getting the dropper out!

There are a lot of brands of stevia out there, but I like this one for two reasons.  One, it’s 100% natural and made from the stevia plant, and two, it’s made in Melbourne which is as local as I’m going to get from Sydney. I highly recommend it if you want to give it a go and it’s pretty easy to find, I’ve seen it at my local Woolies and I’m pretty sure they also sell it at Coles.  And if you’re in two minds, just get the smaller 200 g canister that they have available, that way it won’t be a huge waste if you decide you don’t like it.

Now what to bake?  Enter pumpkin and coconut bread.

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Pumpkin and Coconut Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup spelt flour (or plain flour, or wholemeal flour)

1 cup of Natvia

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp all spice

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup of coconut milk

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup walnuts

Extra pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and a TBS of oats for topping (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Lightly grease 1 loaf tin with coconut oil.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, add flour, Nativa, baking soda, salt, all spice, ginger, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and coconut milk, and mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Fold in the flaked coconut, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin.  Top with the extra shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds and oats.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and cover tightly with foil.  Allow to steam for 10 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting into slices.

I served mine with freshly made roasted hazelnut butter.

YUM.

Whilst I don’t make cakes that often, I’m glad to know that there’s a good option to make a sugar free one that tastes good too and doesn’t have that yuck after taste.

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Next time, I’m going to try and make a gluten free version so watch this space.

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

 

The Perfect Bowl of Porridge

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What does it take to be a perfect bowl of porridge? The answer to this as with many other things, is that it’s different for everyone.  Some people I know love their porridge cooked with water, some salt and pepper and a dollop of butter.  Some people I know, like theirs runny, like a soup.  Personally I’m a thick porridge girl myself, preferably sweetened with fruit.

So, I’m going to give you my version of perfect oats.  My preferred method is to let the oats soak overnight with 1 cup of the water I’m going to cook them in, a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.  They say soaking helps to break down the phytic acid which can combine with minerals in the gut to block the absorption of nutrients in the grain. Soaking or fermenting the grains beforehand releases enzymes to help breakdown the phytic acid and gluten which is present in many grains, especially wheat, but oats as well. Oats contain more phytic acid than any other grain so it’s important to soak them.  Of course, if you forget, don’t worry, you won’t die.

Basic Porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup of wholegrain oats (GF if you’re sensitive to gluten)

1 cup of water

1/2 cup of milk of choice (I go between almond and coconut)

pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Method

Let’s assume that you soaked your oats with the cup of water and pinch of salt in your saucepan.  The next morning, just add the milk and cook on medium heat until the oats reach your desired consistency.  It won’t take long as they will be really soft.  Make sure you stir the oats whilst cooking, this will give it a really nice and creamy consistency.

If you didn’t soak your oats, don’t fret.  Just add all the ingredients to the saucepan and cook as above.  It may take a minute longer, just do some squats whilst you wait.

OHM Perfect Porridge:  To the above recipe, add 1 medium ripe banana before cooking.  Mash with a potato masher until it’s all incorporated with the oats.  This will add a natural sweetness so that you don’t have to add any other sweeteners.  If you’re tempted to add more sweetener, I suggest doing that with your toppings.

Now that you know how to make the basics, why not try some flavour combos by adding the following to the OHM Perfect Porridge recipe.

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Banana Chai Oats :  add 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cardamon, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1 crack of black pepper to the above recipe before cooking.  Once it reaches your desired consistency, add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.  Top with berries, goji, almonds, shredded coconut, chia, coconut yoghurt and nut butter.

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Blueberry Banana Oats:  Add 1 cup of frozen blueberries whilst the oats are cooking. Top with fresh kiwi and coconut flakes

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Pumpkin Pie Oats: Add 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree and 1 tsp of pumpkin spice mix to the oats before cooking.  Top with caramelised apples, chopped pecans and a dash of maple syrup.

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Vanilla Pear: Substitute the banana with 1 medium ripe pear, and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract to the porridge once it’s cooked.  Top with caramelised pears and seeds of choice.

So those are just a few flavours but really, the sky is the limit when it comes to coming up with some good ones.  Just think about the flavours you like and which of those go well together and bingo!

Peas, love and munbeans

xxb

 

 

Spirulina Chia

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There’s always that ingredient in someone’s life which they know to be good for them but because of taste, they just can’t seem to incorporate it into their day.

For me that ingredient was spirulina.   I have tried so many different ones, only for them to collect at the corner of my kitchen bench, in a little huddle of spirulina rejects.

No matter how much I tried, the strong flavour would just wreck a good green smoothie, mind you I’d still force myself to drink it as I hate wasting anything!  So off my little spirulina rejects went to the homes of those who liked the algae taste in their smoothies (>.<)

So I decided to try one more time, and chose this one by Nature’s way as it promised to be the best tasting spirulina.  Big claim but I had nothing to lose.

I decided to test it out on the green smoothie first.  I only added 1 tsp to a 500 ml smoothie made with frozen mango, spinach, celery, cos lettuce and banana and it tasted great.  Didn’t have to force my self to drink it, WIN!

But how would the taste fair up in a chia pudding?  After all, it has nowhere to hide.

Verdict: tasty

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Spirulina Chia Pudding

Serves 1

Ingredients

2 TBS chia seeds

1 tsp Nature’s Way Tropical flavoured spirulina powder

3/4 cup coconut milk

Toppings:  I used a combination of banana, strawberries, homemade muesli and grapes.

Method

Place the chia, coconut milk and flavoured spirulina in a jar with tight fitting lid and shake well until the spirulina is dissolved.  It will be really green, don’t freak out.

Shake a few more times and then place in fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.  When ready, stir in a tbs of coconut milk if it’s too thick, pour into your serving dish and add toppings.  Done.

This is a yummy way to make a dessert that has great health benefits.  It contains iron so it’s good for people like me who don’t eat meat or are low in iron, which is really common in women.  That’s not to say that this is enough to get your iron up, usually those with low iron or ferretin levels need to take iron tablets too but this is a great way to boost that and it also contains lots of antioxidants that protect you from free radicals as we age.  It’s also high in chlorophyll which we all know is cleansing for your system, and that can only be a good thing.  To learn more about it, you can check out the info on the Natures Way website here.

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Hope that helps some of you who are on the hunt for a tasty spirulina.

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

 

Creamy Coconut and Pumpkin Curry

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So by now you know that if it’s fast and simple, then I’m all over it.   This curry is not different.  I literally took 20 minutes to make this and used just a few ingredients (what was left in my fridge).

Creamy Coconut and Pumpkin Curry

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 TBS coconut oil (optional but recommended)

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 tsp grated fresh turmeric

2 tsp curry powder (or more depending on taste)

2 cups cubed pumpkin

1/2 medium red capsicum, diced

2 cups chopped cauliflower

1 cup of coconut milk (I used 3/4 cup of vitasoy unsweetened coconut milk and 1/4 cup regular full fat coconut milk from a can)

1 cup of canned chickpeas

2 cups of silverbeet, chopped

Method

Add the oil, curry powder, ginger and turmeric to a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat until fragrant and soft. Add the pumpkin, capsicum and cauliflower and stir to coat with the spices.  Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, just long enough to steam and soften a little bit.  Add the coconut milk, stir and cover and cook on medium heat until pumpkin is soft, about 10 minutes.

When pumpkin is soft, add chickpeas and silverbeet.  Stir well,  season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until chickpeas are warmed through.

Sauce should be thick and creamy and it’s now ready.

I serve this with basmati rice and it’s delicious.  You could also make it as a chunky soup by adding some more coconut milk and water.  If you like it creamy, you could blend it.  It’s a really hearty and nourishing meal either way.

Now, here’ s a trick to making perfect basmati rice every time.

Heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a small saucepan, add 1 crushed garlic clove and add 1 cup of rinsed basmati.  Add some Himalayan pink salt (about 1/2 – 1 tsp) and stir.  Then add 1 1/2 cups of cold water.

Cover and bring to the boil on medium heat.  When it starts to boil, bring the heat down to low, cover with a piece of foil so that no air escapes and then place lid on top to seal.  Put the timer on for 15 minutes.  DO NOT OPEN THE LID.

When the 15 minutes is up, turn off heat and leave for another 5 minutes with the foil and lid in situ.

You have now made the most perfect basmati rice ever.

You’re welcome :)

I love curry leftovers, and I think the flavours are even better the next day after they’ve had some time to develop.  If you’re trying to incorporate more greens into your life, try this:

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Just wrapped up in cos lettuce leaves.  Fresh and simple and saves you making a salad.

Enjoy

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb