Gingerbread Granola

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Americans always have funny names for things don’t they? Biscuits are “cookies”, soft drink is “soda” and lollies are “candy”! I soon learned that what the Americans call “granola” is what we Aussies call “toasted muesli”! Well, wherever you’re from and whatever you call it, we can all agree that granola tastes amazing!

I have to admit, granola is not something I generally eat because the store-bought stuff is usually super high in sugar and fat and let’s face it, I eat enough sugar and fat in one day so I don’t need any extra at breakfast. But I love the stuff! I’m a big fan of anything crispy, crunchy, cereal-y and nutty. Luckily, I came across a post on Pinterest of gingerbread flavoured granola and I knew I had to try it! Everything ginger reminds me of being a kid and visiting my favourite Auntie and Uncle who would always have a container of Arnotts biscuits waiting for us when we arrived – my choice was of course Gingernuts! I also love chocolate-covered ginger, ginger cake and I always make gingerbread for Christmas. So I was very excited to add one of my favourite spices to a long-lost breakfast love!

As this was my first time making granola, I wasn’t sure of exact measurements and wasn’t fussed with making it super healthy. Consequently, I just threw everything in a bowl and made use of whatever ingredients I had to make this batch. Next time I will probably substitute the golden syrup with rice malt syrup or honey and add a variety of different nuts, this is just what I had on hand. Feel free to use whatever you like! And if you like ginger as much as me, you may want to add more spices to this recipe (including more ginger and mixed spice) as mine didn’t come out quite as spicy as I would have liked!

Anyway, have fun making this granola or any version you like with added dried fruit, peanut butter or shaved coconut. The possibilities are endless! I plan to enjoy this for breakfast with greek yoghurt and some baked peaches πŸ™‚

 

Gingerbread Granola (makes about 4 cups)

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups mixed nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)

1/3 cup golden syrup

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

 

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and spread on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper or a silicon cookie tray. Bake for about 15 minutes at 180 C, mixing several times (depending on your oven, just check to see how brown the granola is getting). Β Don’t be too worried if mixture looks a little wet when you take it out, it will dry up as it cools down. Then eat!

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Mini Coconut Brown Rice Puddings with Fig

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Before a few months ago, I had never eaten a fig. Fresh, dried or otherwise, this fruit always seemed to elude me. I had never seen it in a grocery store until recently and at the occasional time I saw it on a menu, I would ignore it in favour of fruits like pear or apple – safe and delicious! However, I was forced to finally try figs when I went out for breakfast with the BF one day to a hip, little backyard cafe called Cafe Komodo. The fruit from the “pancakes with fruit” I ordered turned out to be dried figs, served with cute pikelet-sized pancakes, maple syrup and a small scoop of ice cream. Granted, it wasn’t the healthiest breakfast I had that week but the dried figs were a perfect addition and from then on, I decided to give figs a fighting chance!

Unfortunately, fresh figs are pretty uncommon in my local grocery stores, so when I found a packet in Woolworths I had to snap it up! I thought my first time trying a fresh fig would be amazing. It was bland and boring! I’m not one to waste though, so I set about discovering all the ways I might cook up the six pint-sized figs before they shrivelled up and died.

So here’s a simple dessert recipe using only a few ingredients! I adapted the recipe from [http://www.tarteletteblog.com/2011/08/recipe-gluten-free-fig-gateau-de-riz.html] – I swapped the brown sugar for rice malt syrup as I am trying to reduce my fructose intake and I used silicon moulds to bake the puddings in for portion control. I also used a steamed sachet of brown rice which only took 90 seconds to steam in the microwave. This takes all the hassle out of cooking rice on the stove if you’re in a hurry! This recipe would probably work with quinoa and chia added in to the rice as well. Overall, these mini desserts are low in fat, sugars and GI and so make a perfect treat for the health-conscious. They are not terribly sweet so I would suggest drizzling a bit of rice malt syrup over them to serve. Hope you enjoy!

Mini Coconut Brown Rice Puddings with Fig (makes 7 small puddings)

Ingredients

1/2 can of full-cream coconut milk

250g cooked brown rice (I used Sunrice Organic Brown Rice Steamed Rice Sachet)

2 eggs

1 tbsp rice malt syrup

2 small figs, sliced into 7

Directions

1. Steam your rice in the microwave if using a rice sachet. Otherwise, just put your cooked brown rice in a bowl.

2. In another bowl, mix the coconut milk, eggs and rice malt syrup until well combined.

3. Pour milk mixture over cooked rice and stir.

4. Pour rice batter into 7 silicon moulds (sit the moulds in a muffin tray) and top each with slice of fig.

5. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes at 180 C until golden brown. Let the puddings cool down slightly and set a little in the tray.

6. Eat hot from the moulds if you like or let the puddings cool down completely and slip off the moulds, pop the puddings on a plate and drizzle with rice malt syrup to serve. Enjoy!

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Raw Ferrero Rochers

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Oh dear. It seems I have an obsession. But I think it’s a healthy one this time! For anyone who follows me on Instagram, they may have seen that I was given the greatest gift anyone could ever receive on their birthday – a stash of products from the latest Mayver’s Food range! If you don’t know about Mayver’s, they are an Australian company who makes raw seed and nut spreads (among some other things) that are completely natural and functional – that means they are good for you! I have six products from their range so far and all of them are AMAZING. Consequently I’ve been going hammer-time in the kitchen, spreading, mixing and dolloping Mayver’s goodness on pretty much anything. Now, it should be noted that while these products are totally raw, they are definitely not fat-free or low-calorie. Personally, I don’t really believe in calorie-counting if you are eating natural, clean, pure foods so I am a massive advocate for this brand, especially if you’re using it to replace highly, processed, sugar-filled foods that are devoid of nutrition.

Which leads me to this awesome recipe! It’s my take on Ferrero Rochers (which I absolutely love but know that they aren’t the healthiest treat in the world). If you liked the previous post ‘Chewy Choc Peanut Slice’ you will see that this is just a variation on that, and so you can experiment with your own flavours if this doesn’t take your fancy. I adore how these balls turned out and they are sure to satisfy any sweet cravings, trust me!

Enough rambling, here’s the recipe!

Raw Ferrero Rochers (makes about 11 balls)

Ingredients

6 heaped tbsp chia seeds

3 heaped tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

3 tbsp almond meal

1/2 cup Mayver’s hazelnut & cacao spread

1 tbsp honey (more if you like it really sweet)

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it makes a thick paste. Roll the mixture into small balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate until firm. Eat!

Note: These raw balls would have looked cute presented in some gold tin foil but all I had was some silver metallic paper which I crushed up in my hand to give it a crinkly effect. They would also look great in some super mini patty pans which you can buy from homeware/kitchen stores πŸ™‚

Chewy Choc Peanut Slice (Gluten, Sugar & Dairy Free!)

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I posted this recipe up on my Facebook and Instagram and I was bombarded with comments and requests for the recipe! I don’t blame y’all – this sweet treat tastes even better than it looks! The texture is a mixture of chewy, soft and crunchy thanks to the addition of chia seeds. Seriously, it’s the best thing EVER. For my overseas readers, you may not be able to get the Mayver’s products however you can just substitute with whatever brand you like. Go make it now! You won’t regret it!Β 

Chewy Choc Peanut Slice (makes 16 bite size pieces)

Ingredients

6 heaped tbsp chia seeds
6 heaped tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1/3 cup natural peanut butterΒ 
1 heaped tbsp Mayvers peanut cacao spreadΒ 
1 tbsp PB2 (if u don’t have this just add another 1/3 c of peanut butter)Β 
1/4 c honey
Roasted nuts, chopped (I used almonds)

Method

Mix all ingredients together until it forms a sticky paste. Spread the mixture into a thin slice tin lined with baking paper and top with nuts. Refrigerate until firm (a few hours should be fine) and slice it up into bite size pieces. Easy!Β 

Note: You can also use the same mixture to make bliss balls, just roll into small balls, coat with crushed nuts or coconut and refrigerate.

Raw Choc Mint Milkshake

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Inspired by the Mint Slice smoothie from one of my favourite local cafes, Nutrition Republic, is this Raw Choc Mint Milkshake which tastes pretty darn close to the original!

Using a bunch of amazing ingredients, this is one nutritionally-packed drink which satisfies all those sweet, chocolatey cravings.

Fun facts on four of its main ingredients:

CHIA is great for fibre, satiety and good fats
BANANA is full of potassium and stimulates happy hormones
DATES are for instant energy and antioxidants
MINT stimulates digestion and alertness

The great part about making smoothies like this is you can alter it to your taste. I love mint and could have used a whole bunch in this recipe! By the way, if you would like to try the original version from Nutrition Republic (or simply don’t have the time to make one yourself), I suggest you get down to King William Road, Adelaide, and ask for a “Mint Slice” with coconut milk. So good!

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Raw Choc Mint Milkshake

Ingredients (serves 1)

1/3 fresh banana

1 soaked medjool date (remove the pit before using)

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 1/2 cups of Coco Quench (dairy free milk)

About 20 mint leaves (more or less depending on taste)

1/2 tsp cinammon

1/2 tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

Method

1. Chuck all the ingredients into a good blender and voila! Awesomness! Add lots of ice before drinking πŸ™‚

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Vegan Burrito Bowls with Lime Rice

No cheese! And it still tastes good!

No cheese! And it still tastes good!

I have to admit – a lot of my recipes have a solid foundation in pure laziness. This recipe is a perfect example! I had all the ingredients I needed to make burritos but I was too lazy to make the tortillas from scratch like I’ve done in the past. Solution? Chuck all the ingredients into a bowl and make a burrito salad! The only extra addition required is some basmati rice for an extra carb hit. You can omit this if you are watching the calories but I’m asian, so I can never so no to rice! If you want to make this meal completely clean, I would suggest you swap the refried beans over for canned black beans and add some avocado πŸ™‚

Warm Burrito Bowls with Lime Rice (Serves a hungry 1)

Ingredients:

1/2 C Basmati Rice

1 lime (plus an opptional extra lime for garnish)

1/4 can of vegetarian refried beans

Jarred jalapenos (use as much as you like)

1/2 corn on the cob, boiled and kernels removed (alternatively, used canned corn kernels)

6 cherry tomatoes, quartered

Chopped Lettuce & baby spinach (as much as you like)

Fresh coriander to garnish

Method:

1. Cook rice by absorption with the juice of one lime added to the water. If you want your rice to be crunchy, let it overcook slightly.

2. While the rice cooks, heat up your beans and corn.

3. Assemble your burrito bowl! First add rice, then your greens, corn, tomatoes, jalapenos and a dollop of beans. Garnish with lime and coriander. Add avocado if you have some. Enjoy!

Mini Bento Boxes

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After my recent Asian grocery haul, there are a bunch of foods in my pantry and fridge that are perfect for creating dishes inspired by Korean and Japanese flavours. So tonight I decided to create a mini bento box-type meal combining korean sweet brown rice, boiled egg, spinach and kimchi. It’s a very simple and quick way of putting a meal together which is perfect when you don’t have a lot of time for cooking! Generally I’m not a fan of brown rice but this Korean variety has great flavour and despite what I had heard about how hard it is to cook, it turned out really well in the rice cooker! It’s surprising how filling this meal is, despite the small amounts used. The great thing about these boxes are that you can use whatever you like! In another box, I’ve gone with a more Japanese style using the same brown rice with pickled ginger, wasabi and miso flavoured egg. The possibilities are endless! A great tip I picked up was to use silicon cupcake pans to separate the different ingredients in your container πŸ™‚ Hope you give these great mini meal boxes a try!

Mini Bento Box (Korean style)

Ingredients

Korean brown sweet rice

2 large handfuls of baby spinach

1 egg

Kimchi

Sesame seeds

Gochujang + Honey + Sesame Oil for the sauce

Method

1. Cook up some brown rice in a rice cooker (or on the stove if you know how!)

2. Β While the rice cooks, boil some water. Cook an egg for a few minutes until it’s hard boiled.

3. Combine gochujang with honey and a drizzle of sesame oil to your taste.

4. When egg is cooked, remove it from boiling water but do not turn off the stove. Add your spinach and let it cook for a minute or so. Take the egg, cool it under some cold water, peel off the shell and slice in half. Drain the spinach and pop it in some cold water to stop it from cooking further. Squeeze out the extra water with your hands.

5. Assemble your bento box! Add rice first, then pop some silicon cupcake pans into your box for dividers. Fill the pans with the kimchi, and spinach topped with egg. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the rice and add a dollop of sauce. Eat!