Healthy Nutella Slice

1/3 cup almonds

2 tbsp each of pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sunflower and linseeds

1/2 cup almond meal

75g desiccated coconut plus 1 tbsp etra 

400g raw nutella (see below)

RAW NUTELLA

2/3 cup (100g) hazelnuts

1 cup (100g) cacao powder

100g extra virgin coconut oil

100ml maple syrup

Raw Nutella - soak hazelnuts overnight in water. The next day, drain and rinse well.

Place hazelnuts in a food processor and whiz until fine. Add 1/4 tsp salt and pulse to combine. Add 1/4 cup (25g) cacao and whiz to combine, then add 25g coconut oil and whiz. Repeat, alternating between cacao and coconut oil, scraping down sides of bowl, until combined. Add maple syrup in a thin stream to form a paste. If mix splits, add warm water, 1-2 tbsp at a time, to bring back together.

Whiz almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a small processor until roughly chopped. Combine with linseeds, almond meal, coconut and raw nutella.

Line a slice tin with plastic wrap. Press mix into the pan and sprinkle with extra coconut. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes or until firm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe courtesy of Delicious Superfoods

Easy Jam Slice

This beautiful slice is easy to make from start to finish. Feel free to use whatever type and flavour of jam you like.

Serves 15-20

125g melted unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups wholemeal plain flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats 

1/2 cup brown sugar (loosely packed)

1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

1 egg

pinch salt

1 cup of your favourite jam

Preheat a fan forced oven to 180C. Spray a slice tin with cooking spray and line with baking paper, leaving sides to overhang (so it can be easily lifted out of pan once cooked and cooled).

Mix together the melted butter, flour, oats, bicarb soda, salt and brown sugar until well combined. Add the egg and mix through.

Place half of the mixture on the base of the sprayed tin. Top it with jam then crumble the rest of the mix over the jam with your hands. Bake 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove and allow to cool in the tin before lifting out and cutting.

Best served at room temperature or cold. Store in an airtight container.

Note: you can microwave the jam for a minute to loosen it so it is easy to spread.

Preparation time 5-10 minutes

Cooking time 30-35 minutes

Banana Bran Walnut Muffins

A simple lush banana muffin full of goodness and quick and easy to make and bake.

This easy recipe is dedicated to my wonderful Zumba friends at Energize Studios Newcastle; an amazing group of people that are leading me down the path to a healthy life. 

I made these in mini muffin tins which made around 30. You can make them by generously filling large muffin tins which will make around 12 if you feel safer eating one than two or three.

Feel free to top with a frosting such as a mix of cream cheese, vanilla and Greek yoghurt, or even cream cheese with lemon.

1 cup wholemeal plain flour

1/2 cup wholemeal self raising flour

1 tsp bicarb soda

3/4 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 1/2 cups natural bran

3 large very ripe bananas (well mashed)

1 cup buttermilk

125g melted butter

1 egg

Sift together the flours and bicarbonate soda. Wholemeal flour will have husks that remain in the sieve, so return them to the flour after sifting. Add the sugar, walnuts and bran.

Mix together, then make a well in the centre. Add the mashed bananas, buttermilk, lightly beaten egg and melted butter. Mix lightly until the mix just comes together (do not overwork). Drop spoonfuls into the greased muffin tins of your choice. 

Bake in a 200 degrees celsius oven 15-20 minutes.

Pumpkin and Macadamia Risotto

There are few dishes and beautiful and popular as risotto. In it's simplest form, risotto is a hearty rice dish, rich from the stock added in the cooking and often flavoured with saffron and parmesan cheese. It matches well with hundreds of ingredients.

Whilst there are conflicting opinions about it's history, rice was first introduced to Italy and Spain by the Arabs during the Middle Ages.

It was in Milan that this delicious dish was created. Rice became a staple of the region and slow cooking dominated the culinary landscape of the region. Osso Bucco was also a favourite.

This simple recipe showcases risotto at it's finest whilst maintaining a healthy meal offering.

Serves 4

Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

1 ½ cups brown rice (short grain)
3-4 cups chicken or vegetable stocks or miso soup
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp macadamia nut oil
1 ½ cups pumpkin, diced
½ cup macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped
¼ cup goat/feta cheese
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, finely sliced
1 bunch parsley, chopped

Method

Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes

Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Stir in pumpkin and rice, mixing well for 1 minute. Pour 1 ladle of stock and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, keep slowly adding stock until desired consistency of rice is reached.

Stir in the macadamia nuts. Garnish with a drizzle of macadamia nut oil, crumble of goat/feta cheese and sprinkle of coriander leaves.

 

 

Recipe and photo courtesy of Zoe Bingley-Pullen, http://www.goodchefbadchef.com.au/recipe/pumpkin-macadamia-nut-risotto/

 

Coffee and Orange GRANITA

For those coffee lovers, this is a beautiful healthy dessert that you can eat anytime of the day without feeling bad. Granita is a semi-frozen dessert which originated from Sicily. Normally made from sugar, water and flavourings, this version will leave you feeling satisfied with no regrets. 

Serves 2-4

Time 4 hours (includes freezing time)

Ingredients

2 cups cold drip coffee
¼ cup honey
2 tsp orange juice
1 tsp orange zest

Method

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well, taste for sweetness. Pour mixture into a baking dish and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Remove from freezer and using a fork, scrape the mixture into ice crystals. Return pan to the freezer and continue this scraping process every 30 minutes for the next 2-3 hours. Once the mixture is frozen, fluff with a fork and let set for extra 30 minutes

When ready to serve granita should look fluffy and ‘dry’. Spoon mixture into iced glasses and top with chocolate coated coffee beans.

 

 

Recipe and photo courtesy of Zoe Bingley-Pullen, http://www.goodchefbadchef.com.au/

Gluten free Chocolate Banana Muffins

What's not to love about the combination of chocolate and banana. Now people with gluten intolerances can enjoy a sweet treat as well. Tasting more extravagant than they look, these beautiful muffins are made from raw cacao - viewed by many as a superfood that is high in antioxidants, and an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper to name a few. Cacao is also an excellent source of omega 6 fatty acids and vitamin C.

  • 75 grams (approximately 1/2 cup)buckwheat flour
  • 75 grams (approximately 3/4 cup) almond  flour
  • 140 grams (approximately 1 cup) whole grain or all-purpose gluten free flour mix
  • 32 grams (approximately 6 tablespoons) cacao powder
  • 10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 3 ½ grams (rounded 1/2 teaspoon)salt
  • 100 grams (approximately 1/2 cup)raw brown sugar or packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 75 grams (1/3 cup) canola or grape seed oil
  • 120 grams (1/2 cup) plain low-fat yogurt or buttermilk
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
  • 330 grams ripe bananas (peeled weight), about 3 medium mashed (1 1/4 cups)
  • 115 grams (about 2/3 cup) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate

 

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Oil or butter muffin tins. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Pour in any bits that remain in the sifter.
  2. In another large bowl or in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whip attachment beat together the oil and sugar until creamy. Beat in the eggs and beat until incorporated, then beat in the yogurt or buttermilk, the vanilla and the mashed bananas. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed or whisk gently until combined. If using a mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  3. Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, fill muffin cups to the top. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes, until a muffin springs back lightly when touched. Remove from the heat and if the muffins come out of the tins easily, remove from the tins and place on a rack. I like these best served warm, but if they don’t release easily allow them to cool, then remove from the tins.

 

 

Recipe and photo courtesy of Martha Shulman, New York TImes

Can't BEET a beet and chia pancake

Beets are one of the most nutritional foods we can have in our diet. Beets are a unique source of phytonutrients that are shown to provide antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. 

By the 19th century, beets began to be appreciated for their natural sweetness. High in carbohydrates, they have been found to improve health by:

Lowering blood pressure, boosting stamina, fighting inflammation, anti-cancer properties, rich in valuable nutrients and fibre and aiding the detoxification process.

This simple healthy recipe is a great way to enjoy this amazing vegetable.

  • 1 large or 2 medium beets (enough for 1/2 cup puréed roasted beets)
  • 125 grams (1 cup) whole wheat flour
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 2 grams (rounded 1/4 teaspoon)salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, honey, or agave syrup (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk or 1 cup yogurt + 1/2 cup milk
  • 35 grams (3 tablespoons) chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower, grapeseed or canola oil

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Cut the greens away from the beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish (or lidded ovenproof casserole). Add 1/2 inch water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast medium beets (4 to 6 ounces) for 50 minutes, large beets (8 ounces) 60 minutes, or until very soft and easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish. Cut away the ends and slip off the skins. Purée in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until smooth. Measure out 1/2 cup. Freeze any extra.
  2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar (if using sugar). In a medium-size bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk or yogurt and milk, oil, vanilla, beet purée and honey or agave nectar (if using). Quickly whisk in the flour mixture and fold in the chia seeds.
  3. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and brush with butter or oil. Drop the pancakes by the scant 1/4 cup onto the hot pan or griddle. Cook until bubbles break through and turn the pancakes. They will be quite moist so make sure to wait long enough so that they don’t fall apart when you turn them. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on the other side, until lightly browned. Remove to a rack. Serve with maple syrup and butter.

 

 

Recipe and photo courtesy of Martha Shulman, New York Times

Whole-wheat buttermilk SCONES

Name one person who doesn't love a scone. Pumpkin are my favourite with creamy butter but the jam and cream come in a close second. I've been making scones are far back as under 10 thanks to the girl guides badges. 

 

To keep on the healthier side of life, this whole-wheat scone means you can have your cake and eat it too. Bon appetit!

 

  • 150 grams (approximately 1 1/4 cups) whole-wheat flour
  • 62 grams (approximately 1/2 scant cup) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 40 grams (approximately 1/3 cup)oatmeal
  • 10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 5 grams (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 25 grams (approximately 2 tablespoons) raw brown sugar(turbinado)
  • 3 grams (approximately scant 1/2 teaspoon) salt
  • 70 grams (2 1/2 ounces / 5 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 125 grams (approximately 1/2 cup)buttermilk
  • 75 grams (approximately 1/2 cup)raisins

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Stir in oatmeal. Rub in butter, or place in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and beat at low speed, or pulse in a food processor, until incorporated. Add buttermilk and raisins and mix just until dough comes together.
  3. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and gently shape into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cut either into 2-inch circles with a biscuit cutter or into 6 squares, then cut each square in half on the diagonal. Transfer to baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Flip over, bake 2 more minutes, and remove from the heat. Serve warm or allow to cool.

Tip

  • Advance preparation: These will keep for couple of days at room temperature and freeze well.

 

Recipe and photo courtesy of Martha Shulman, New York Times

Salivate over Salmon

Nutritionally dense and in the superfood category, salmon has been an important part of our diet since prehistoric times. Not only is it eaten cooked, but these days we see it being eaten raw, smoked and salted. 

Of all the different varieties of fish available, salmon has received the most praise for its nutritional value. Born in fresh water, salmon spend a large part of their lives navigating the open seas only to return to their birthplace to spawn. 

FIsh and shellfish are nutrient dense - an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals (potassium, selenium and B12 to name a few), but also high in Omega 3 fatty acids.

This simple recipe is a delicious way to enjoy this beautiful fish.

Roasted Salmon Glazed with Brown Sugar and Mustard

  •  Salmon fillets, preferably wild or farmed organically
  •  Dijon mustard
  •  Brown sugar
  •  Salt and black pepper
  • Heat your oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  1. Make a mixture of Dijon mustard and brown sugar to the degree of spicy-sweetness that pleases you. Salt and pepper the salmon fillets.
  2. Place the salmon fillets skin-side down on a lightly oiled, foil-lined baking sheet. Slather the tops of the fillets with the mustard and brown sugar glaze and slide them into the top half of your oven. They ought to be done in 12 minutes or so, and they pair beautifully with greens.

 

 

Recipe and photo courtesy of Sam Sifton, New York Times

Healthy Muffins with wholemeal flour and currants

Serves 6-8

200g wholemeal self raising flour

40g sugar

50g currants

250ml low fat milk

80ml vegetable oil

1 egg

Mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Sir in the currants.

Mix the milk with the oil and egg. Stir the milk mixture lightly into the flour mix. Do not overmix as this will stop muffins from being light and fluffy.

Place mix into a lightly greased muffin tin. Bake 180 degrees celsius (160 degrees fan forced) for approx 20 minutes.