Snacks

Hazelnut choc bliss balls

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I’m such a huge fan of bliss balls, they are a sinch to make and are a great snack for on the go. It’s easy enough to make them nutrient dense, loaded with good fats, protein, minerals and fibre. I prefer to keep my bliss balls on the fruit free and lower fructose side, firstly as I tend to eat thousands of them when they are super sweet, and secondly as I find I get quite a bad crash from the sugar high later on if they are loaded with dates and maple syrup or agave.

I created this particular recipe to have an example of how to add hemp seeds to your day for my clients. I personally love hemp seeds sprinkled on dishes or added to smoothies, but found that others really wanted another way of incorporating them into snacks/meals. I’m a HUGE fan of hemp seeds as they are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and are therefore great for those who don’t eat or don’t like eating fish. They are also a great source of other fatty acids (making them the perfect anti-inflammatory food), protein, fibre, minerals and B vitamins.

They are also a sustainable food source and are grown here in Australia! Better still, they are finally legal for human consumption in Australia which means they are more readily available, I’ve even seen them in the big supermarket chains!

These are great to whip up when you’re in a hurry, you can even press the mix into a baking tray and cut into slices if you don’t have time for rolling them. They’re also a fun snack to make with little ones, allowing them to get their hands dirty and work on their rolling technique. Enjoy! -Renee x

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Makes: 10-12 balls

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup hazelnuts

  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds

  • 1 tbs coconut oil

  • 2 tbs rice malt syrup (you could also use maple syrup or honey)

  • pinch of salt

  • 1 1⁄2-2 tbs cacao (depends on how chocolaty you like it)

  • desiccated/shredded coconut (make sure it’s sulfur free)

METHOD

  1. Process the hazelnuts, in a food processor/thermomix/blender until they resemble meal/flour (not quite nut butter).

  2. Chuck in the remaining ingredients, except the coconut, and process until everything is smoothish and sticking together, adding a touch more rice malt if the mixture is too dry.

  3. Divide and roll the mixture into golf sized balls.

  4. Sprinkle a handful of the desiccated coconut onto a plate and roll the balls into it until covered.
    These will keep for a 5 days in the fridge, and freeze well too.

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Apple & strawberry gluten free muffins

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I've been working on a gluten free muffin recipe that was also egg/soy/dairy free (so it excluded the most common food intolerances that I encounter) AND wasn't too dense AND delicious. I knew I was onto something when my kids literally gobbled up the first batch that I made using the following recipe!

As with all of our recipes, you can swap things like the gluten free flours for regular wheat/spelt/khorasan flour, the milk for any milk your prefer, the coconut sugar for regular cane sugar and the apple puree for banana (or even pumpkin puree).

These gluten free muffins are perfect for lunch boxes or day trips, they keep well for up to 5 days (although best stored in the fridge) and freeze well. Enjoy! -Renee x

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour

  • 1/4 cup besan (chickpea) flour

  • 1/4 cup arrowroot/tapioca flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (you can also use regular cane sugar)

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbs ground flaxseed combined with 4 tbs water, mixed well and set aside)

  • 1 cup apple puree

  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • 1/2 cup milk (nut, soy, rice etc)

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, chopped (you can use any berry)

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METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease two muffin trays and place both on a large baking tray and set aside.

  2. Combine the apple puree, sugar, vanilla essence and coconut oil until well mixed.

  3. Add the flours, salt, baking powder and soda, salt, flaxeggs, cinnamon and milk and process until smooth. 

  4. Gently stir in the chopped berries, then pour the mixture into the muffin trays (should make 10-12 muffins.

  5. Place tray in oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before removing from trays. Best stored in the fridge if not eaten within 2 days and they freeze well.

 

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Dairy Free Chocolate Popsicles

Prep time: 10 minutes

Freezing time: 2 hours

Serves: 4-6

These are a massive hit in our house! I love making these chocolate popsicles because they are dairy free, low sugar and super quick to make! I can whip them up in the morning or early afternoon, knowing that in a couple of hours they will be ready, perfect for those hot days when you need to cool off AND keep the kids happy!

If you need to keep them fructose free omit the dates, otherwise don't be afraid of the realistically small amount of sugar in them! Dates are also fibre rich which helps to slow down the absorption of sugar, and the addition of them in these popsicles adds a special sweetness and creaminess to the texture.

You can also play around with the flavours, omitting the cacao and swapping for carob powder or keeping them vanilla flavoured. If there's a cashew allergy, swap for other nuts such as almonds or macadamias or omit altogether.

I hope you enjoy my dairy free chocolate popsicles as much as we do in my house! x

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews

  • 250 mls coconut milk (you could also use almond, rice or another non dairy milk)

  • 3 fresh dates, roughly chopped

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • 2 tbs cacao powder

  • 2-3 tbs rice malt syrup

METHOD

  1. In a food processor or blender, process the cashews until a paste is formed.

  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.

  3. Pour the mixture into popsicle moulds (I use these and these).

  4. Place in the freezer for 2 hours until completely frozen. You will need to run the moulds under hot water for a for seconds to remove from the mould.

'Cheezy' Rosemary Seed Crackers

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I love a good cracker! Especially with homemade dip or a nut cheese like the phenomenal Botanical Cuisine cheeses. Seed crackers are a great way to get extra nutrition into your day, all whilst eating something delicious! These crackers are an excellent source of omega 3 from the flax and chia seeds, zinc from the pepitas and sunflower seeds, calcium from the sesame seeds and protein from all the seeds. 

You can whip these up quickly and have them on hand for whenever hungry strikes. They are also a great one to go for when you get that mid-arvo slump and want to reach for something sugary. Reach for these babies instead and stabilise your blood sugar and get an energy boost from the crunch, protein, carbs and healthy fats!

I hope you enjoy these tasty seed crackers, and check out our other recipes for dips to pair them with here.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbs buckwheat groats

  • 2 tbs chia seeds

  • 1/2 cup flaxseed (linseed)

  • 2 tbs sesame seeds

  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds

  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

  • 1/2-1 tsp salt

  • 3 tbs savoury yeast flakes (also called nutritional yeast)

  • 1 tsp dried rosemary (crushed)

  • 1 cup filtered or tap water

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line two baking trays with baking paper or a silicone baking mat and set aside.

  2. Roughy chop the sunflower seeds and pepitas.

  3. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Allow to set for 20-30 minutes until the water has absorbed and the seeds have become gel like.

  4. Spread the mixture across both baking trays, ensuring it is evenly spread and not too thick (you want it less then 1/2 cm thick). Using a pizza cutter or knife, score the mix so the crackers will break apart easily once made (I usually make the crackers approximately 5 x 5 cm).

  5. Place the trays in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until slightly brown. remove the trays from the oven, allow to cool slightly then break the crackers apart.

  6. Flip the crackers over on the tray, place back in the oven and back for a further 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

  7. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

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Grain & Refined Sugar Free Granola

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My go to breakfast pretty much 7 days a week is eggs in some form or other, but every now and then I really want crunchy granola with a bit of fruit and natural yogurt. I'm finding myself eating fewer grain based meals due to digestive issues, it really helps to cut down that stodgy and bloated feeling post eating that I often experience with things like oats. I'd been working on a grain free granola recipe in my head for quite a few months before I finally whipped out the ingredients and had a crack at making it, and boy is it delicious (and easy to make)!

I have this as a snack in the arvo when I need a little pick me up as crunchy foods are great for improving focus and concentration due to the work of our jaws having to chump those harder foods, and the protein and good fats give that slow burn that maintains energy for the rest of the day.

This grain and refine sugar free granola can be enjoyed with yogurt, fruit and milk (dairy free or otherwise), but its also great as a topper for fruit and yogurt or even eaten like trail mix. Enjoy! x Renee 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups buckwheat groats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence/extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
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METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper or silicon baking mats and set aside.
  2. Roughly chop the almonds and hazelnuts and place in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Combine well until thoroughly mixed. Scoop half the mixture on each baking tray and spread across thinly and evenly.
  4. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then swap the trays in the oven and stir the mixture around to ensure even baking.
  5. Bake for a further 20-30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before placing in an airtight container. 

Carrot & Date Balls

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This beautiful recipe was given to me by dear friend. Without a doubt it was love at first bite - I am HOOKED on these suckers.... and guess what?! So are the kiddos!

These balls are sweet from the delicious medjool dates but the sweetness is nicely balanced by the addition of cinnamon which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Because they are full of carrots they are packed fibre, anti-inflammatory healthy fats and beta-carotene. And I just LOVE the earthy taste of the nutmeg which gives them a delicious autumnal flavour.

At Westside we are constantly talking to clients about having healthy snacks like these on hand, so when you are feeling like a little "sumthim sumthin"  at the end of the day then you have some nutritious options to turn to. Simple!

Plus they take about 10 minutes to make so there really is no excuse.

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 x cups of grated carrot
  • 6-8 x medjool dates
  • 1 x cup of raw nuts (I like pecan but walnut, cashew & almond all work well too).
  • 1 x small handful of shredded coconut
  • 1 x pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 x tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 x tbs of almond meal or LSA to bind 
  • Extra shredded coconut to roll the balls in at the end

Method

  1. Blend all ingredients except for the almond meal/LSA together in a food processor until well combined. 
  2. Stir in the LSA or almond meal
  3. Roll mixture into balls and then roll each ball in some shredded coconut.
  4. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks. 

Enjoy xx 

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Mini Choc Chip Cookies

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OMG, who doesn’t love tiny little choc chip cookies??? These babies have this lovely kinda wholemeal texture, but the chocolate makes them feel decadent and indulgent. Amazingly they stay really soft if kept in a airtight container, so I take a little box to work at the beginning of the week, for little arvo pick me ups, and they work a real treat! And bonus, my kids absolutely love them which is great as it can be difficult to find treats that are gluten, dairy and soy free for my two year old.

I generally bake them using coconut sugar, but have recently started using rice malt syrup instead in order to cut the sugar content down even further and love them! With rice malt syrup, they're more of a chewy, flat cookie and a little softer so be gently with them. If you're a real sweet tooth, stick with the coconut sugar, otherwise rice malt syrup is the way to go!

-Renee x

Makes 15 or so

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INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds

  • 1 cup (or just under) Loving Earth mylk chocolate, chopped (use 90% Lindt chocolate instead to reduce fructose content further)

  • ½ cup unrefined coconut oil

  • ½ cup coconut sugar*

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 1/3 cup brown rice flour (you can also use almond flour)

  • 1/3 cup of each besan (chickpea) flour and tapioca/arrowroot flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 flax egg (2 tbs ground flaxseed + 4 tbs water mixed together)

  • 1/3 cup of plant based milk (soy, nut, rice, coconut)

  • 1 tbs vinegar

*swap for ½ cup rice malt syrup; adjust milk to 0

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper, grease with a little coconut oil (you 100% need to do this if using rice malt syrup) and set aside. Add the vinegar to the ‘milk’ and roughly chop the chocolate and set both aside.

  2. In a large bowl cream together the coconut oil, coconut sugar and vanilla extract.

  3. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and combine well, then add the milk/vinegar combo and mix well. Stir in the chopped chocolate and sunflower seeds.

  4. Form the dough into walnut sized balls, place on the baking trays and gently flatten with a fork (if you're using rice malt syrup the mix will be quite wet, spoon 1 tbs of batter per cookie, keeping them spaced apart even further). Keep them fairly spaced out because they will expand a little.

  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Keep an eye on them because they can overcook and will lose their chewiness.

**Please note these can dry out pretty quickly, so once they are cool (if there’s any left!) it’s best to keep them in an airtight container. If it’s really hot, best to keep them in the fridge and they’ll last close to a week.

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Almond Butter

We LOVE nut butters here at Westside - they are a wonderful way to get nutrition and help to feel satiated (full) at the end of a meal. They are full of mono- and poly-saturated fatty acids meaning which means that they are great for brain function and can help to repent heart attacks. 

They are also wonderful sources of magnesium and calcium which also helps to regulate blood pressure and support mood. Think healthy HEARTS and BRAINS folks!

Nut butters can be costly, especially organic ones. At Westside we like to make our own, it's simple to do and also better on the budget.

Spread on toast, add to smoothies, slap onto a slice of apple and BOOM tasty snacks are ready to eat and full of nutritious goodness.

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups of raw almonds, preferable organic

  • 3 pinches of sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160ºC

  2. Place all the almonds on the baking tray and heat in the oven for 10 minutes.

  3. Place warm almonds and sea salt into a high powdered food processor/thermomix.

  4. Process for about 10 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrap down the sides. The mixture will be chunky at first, then become powdery and then after a long time become rich a buttery.

  5. Store the nut butter in a glass jar.

Makes 1 cup. Keeps for 1 month.

Veggie & Egg Breakfast Muffins

We so know what its like to be rushing around in the morning, trying to get yourself ready, maybe even your kids, trying to find clean clothes and drink bottles and all that jazz.  Getting a good breakfast in can be nearly impossible during these mornings! Some of us can handle that, but Renee absolutely cannot go without breakfast so she whipped up this veggie loaded, egg muffin recipe that you can make in advance and eat a couple on the go!

They make great, nutrient dense snacks too and freeze well, so you can double the recipe and freeze some for busy, busy times. Enjoy!

Makes 10 muffins

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INGREDIENTS

  • 6 eggs
  • ½ medium zucchini, grated with excess moisture squeezed out
  • ½ small sweet potato, grated with excess moisture squeezed out
  • Large handful of leafy greens, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup of milk (soy, rice, almond, dairy etc)
  • Salt and pepper

Optional additions:

  • 100 g beef mince, cooked in a pan with a little olive oil
  • 50 g feta, crumbled
  • 1 tbs savoury yeast flakes
  • handful fresh, chopped herbs such as chives, parsley, basil

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Grease 2 muffins trays with a little olive oil and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add the zucchini, sweet potato and leafy greens and combine well. Add any of the additional ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour mixture into muffin trays, half filling each segment.
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until brown on top. These will keep in the fridge for 5 days, and freeze well.
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Homemade Activated Sunflower Butter

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With my eldest starting school next year and most schools being either nut free or nut aware, I've been wanting to come up with nutritious, quick and healthy recipes that are also nut free. We love nut butters in our house because they are high in protein, good fats and minerals so I decided to experiment with sunflower seed butter to see if it would be a good replacement, and it is!

Activating the seeds is an extra step, but it's definitely worth it for improving digestibility and nutrition (you can read about why we activate seeds, among other things here). Sunflower seeds are particularly high in zinc (around 5 mg per 100 g) as well as vitamin E and B vitamins among others. Zinc is especially important for growing bodies and brain development so its a nutrient I make sure my kids are getting each and every day. Soaking sunflower seeds in water with a little apple cider vinegar helps to break down anti-nutrients that reduce the absorption of minerals such as zinc. It is an extra step in the recipe, so definitely not 100% important if you don't have time.

I love the taste of sunflower seeds, especially roasted ones, so was very happy with the flavour, however, it definitely doesn't taste EXACTLY like other nut butters. My two year old absolutely loved it, however my 4 year old isn't quite sold yet! Organic sunflower seeds are exceptionally cheaper than most nuts and we grown sunflower seeds in Australia, so sunflower seed butter is definitely a great addition to your pantry for cooking and baking to replace some of those more expensive butters.

Enjoy!- Renee

Makes approx 300 gram jar of sunflower seed butter

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sunflower seeds/kernals
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar

Method

  1. Place the sunflower seeds in a large bowl, add the apple cider vinegar and cover with water (filtered is best). Leave to soak for 4-6 hours (overnight is fine too).
  2. When you are ready to make the butter, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line two baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking mats.
  3. Strain the sunflower seeds, running fresh through to wash off any residue. Shake out any excess water and spread the seeds evenly on the baking trays.
  4. Place in the oven and bake until seeds are golden brown, 20-30 minutes. You will need to mix the seeds at the 10 minute mark to ensure evenness of the baking, then again every 5-10 minutes until all the seeds are golden. They may clump together in the beginning as they are quite wet, just do your best to mix and un-clump them. Ensure that all the seeds are at least dry if not completely toasted as this can affect the butter.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then place in a food processor/blender/thermomix and process on high speed for 2-4 minutes. The seeds will go from full seeds, to powder then eventually the oils will be released and your sunflower seed butter is made! Stop and scrap down the sides of the bowl/blender/processor to ensure all the seeds have been processed. Continue to blend until you get a consistency you like, I found to get it really smooth it was around 4 minutes.
  6. Store in a clean and airtight container. It will last 2-3 months. Best stored in the fridge in the warmer months.
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Carrot Hummus with Paleo Crackers

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If you're wanting to mix things up in the dip department, then this carrot hummus is definitely one to give a try! It's go a similar spiced flavour to regular hummus with the cumin and coriander, but the roasted carrots add a lovely sweetness to it, and the cashews add a punch nutritionally with protein, calcium and magnesium.

The crackers are great for those who eat paleo, grain or gluten free but also for those who want need a little variety in the cracker department.

You can omit the cashews in the dip and swap the almond meal for more coconut flour or tapioca flour if there's nut allergies or to keep them lunchbox friendly for school. You can also eat the baked carrot as is for a salty and sweet snack (I bake extra for that exact purpose).

The carrot hummus freezes well and the crackers will last 5 days in an airtight container and up to 10 days in a container in the fridge. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots, cut into 1 cm thick disks
  • 2 tbs coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground sumac (or smoked paprika)
  • cracked pepper and a pinch of salt
  • Juice of ½-1 lemon
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 2 tbs tahini
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • ½ tsp each ground cumin and coriander
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place cashews in a bowl, add 1/2 tsp salt and cover with water, leaving to soak for at least 2 hours (up to 6 hours).
  2. In bowl, combine the carrots, 1 teaspoon each of coriander and cumin, the sumac and coconut oil. Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and pour the carrot mixture on top. Spread out and bake for around 20-30 minutes, until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
  3. Throw the baked carrots, soaked cashews (drained and rinsed), and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor or thermomix and blend until smoothish (depends on the texture you like it). Taste and add salt, pepper, cumin and coriander if necessary. If the mixture is a little too dry, add olive oil a teaspoon at a time until you get the consistency you like.
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    Paleo Crackers

    Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
    • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
    • 1 tbs savoury yeast flakes
    • 3 tbs melted coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup coconut flour
    • 1 cup almond meal
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 eggs or 2 flaxeggs (2 tbs ground flaxseed + 4 tbs water)

    Method

    1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
    2. If you are using flaxeggs instead of eggs, place the ground flaxseed and water into a cup and mix well. Set aside.
    3. In a dry pan, toast the sesame and sunflower seeds until golden brown, this will take around 7 minutes.
    4. Place the toasted seeds into a food processor and grind into a fine powder
    5. Add the remaining ingredients (savoury yeast, melted coconut oil, coconut flour, almond meal, salt and eggs or flaxegg) and process until well combined.
    6. Form the mix into a large ball and flatten with a rolling pin between two sheets of baking paper until the pastry is approx 1/2 cm thick. Using a biscuit cutter or knife, cut the pastry into cracker shapes. Place the baking paper with the cut out pastry on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. You do want to watch these as the line between golden brown and burnt is pretty fine.

    Stored in an airtight container, these will keep for 5 days.

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    Truly Sugar Free Biscuits

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    I've done the I Quit Sugar program several times now and am a real fan of it for re-setting my taste buds and getting off the sweet stuff for a period of time. I've now reached a point where I've realised that if I have good savoury snacks on hand I will always go for them, even if there's sweet stuff around too. 

    I love a good biscuit though and in my quest to find a truly sugar free bikkie and finding none, I realised I had to come up with my own recipe! And I love it! They're salty, soft with a little bit of crunch and high in nutrients such as protein, calcium and magnesium. You can tweak them as needed too, swapping almond meal for oats and cashew butter for sunflower butter to keep them nut free for school lunch boxes. They are quick to make and last around 5 days in an airtight container. Enjoy! -Renee 

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    Ingredients

    • 2 tbs coconut oil
    • 4 tbs cashew butter (or other nut/seed butter)
    • 2 tbs tamari
    • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
    • 2 flax eggs (2 tbs of ground flaxseed combined with 5 tbs of water, allow to sit for 5-10 mins until it becomes jelly like)
    • 1 cup almond meal (or oats)
    • 2 tbs savoury yeast flakes (optional, also called nutritional yeast)
    • ½ cup buckwheat (also called activated buckwheat or buckwheat groats)
    • 2 tbs sesame seeds
    • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
    • ¼ tsp ground ginger and turmeric
    • 1 tsp ground coriander
    • ¼-½ tsp salt

    Method

    1. Preheat oven to 180C degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
    2. Combine the coconut oil, cashew butter, tamari and rice wine vinegar until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.
    3. Using a tablespoon, spoon the mixture and form into rough balls, placing on the baking tray. These won’t expand so you can put them fairly closely together.
    4. Bake for 20 or so minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before eating and store in an airtight container.
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    Hummus

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    Hummus is a staple in our houses. It's versatile (can add to sandwiches, use as a dip or simply add some to a salad), simple to make and packed full of nutrients. 

    Hummus is made from chickpeas and and few other small items you usually have on hand at the house. Chickpeas contain iron, protein, fibre and folate (amongst other goodies!). These nutrients make them particularly important to a vegetarian or vegan diet. But the thing I love the most about hummus is that the kids can't get enough of it! My youngest calls it "Thomas" (probably because he's a train-obssessed 2 year old) and he's always shouting at me "More Thomas! More Thomas!". They always want to help me make some, mostly so they can lick the spoon at the end!

    You can also easily freeze hummus. This recipes gives you a big batch so you can pop some in the freezer to use later.

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups raw chickpeas
    • 1 tsp fennel seeds
    • Juice from two lemons, or 1.5 tbs apple cider vinegar
    • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 1 tbs tahini
    • 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
    • Pinch of salt

    Method

    1. Soak chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with fennel seeds. Soak for at least 8 hours.
    2. In the morning strain the chickpeas and place in a large pot with lots of water.
    3. Bring the pot to the boil and skim off any scum and bubbles that accumulates at the surface.
    4. Turn down to a simmer and leave the chickpeas cooking until they are tender (about 30 minutes, depending on their size). While they are cooking make sure you occasionally store the pot to keep them from sticking to the bottom. 
    5. While they are cooking put lemon (or apple cider vinegar), olive oil, garlic and salt in a food presssor or blender. 
    6. Strain the chickpeas once they are ready. You will know they are ready when they are soft when you bite into it.
    7. Start adding chickpeas to the food processor or blender 1 handful at a time. Add a little extra olive oil or splash of water if the consistency is too thick. Once all the chickpeas have become smooth add the tahini and process until combined. 
    8. Serve with some veggie sticks, falafel, in a sandwich or alongside your salad.  

    Makes about 5 cups. 

    Stores in the fridge for up to 1 week. Just cover the top of the hummus with olive oil to keep it from drying. If you wish to freeze some just fill a container and cover the surface with olive oil to prevent freezer burn.

    Vanilla Chia Pudding

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    We love chia pudding! It's so easy to whip up, it tastes good and is super nutritious being high in omega 3, fibre, protein and calcium. Prep it on a Sunday night for breakfasts and snacks on the go through the week. You can also divide into smaller servings for the kiddos as well!

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups almond milk
    • ½ cup chia seeds
    • 2 tsp vanilla paste or extract
    • 2 tbs rice malt syrup (or maple syrup)

    Method

    1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well mixed. 
    2. Use a whisk to stir regularly to prevent the chia seeds from clumping on the bottom. 
    3. Once the mix has thickened a little, pour into 4-5 jars or containers and refrigerate, the puddings will need to set overnight or for at least 8 hours. 
    4. Top with fresh or frozen fruit, a sprinkling of hemp seeds, activated buckwheat or other healthy goodies. 

    These will last 4-5 days in the fridge.