WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

DESSERT

FERERRO ROCHER SWEET JESUS CAKE

Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle copperman2 Comments

Sweet Jesus. That's exactly what a friend of my sisters exclaimed during his first encounter of what was then my sisters birthday cake but what is now just a collection of tantilising 2D images on my laptop. I'm reliving the entire thing from the comfort of my Airbnb in Berlin, but Berlin's got nothing much to do with this recipe so I'll save that for another time. The cake is the real reason we're all here, am I right? And the aim is for you all to get a Sweet Jesus exclamation out of as many people as possible, okay? Let's go.

Sometimes you just need a birthday cake, and you need it fast. An example of one of these 'sometimes' was last week when I spent the day with my sister and her friends to celebrate her thirtieth birthday. We were on our way home for a quick freshen up of spa faces (you know?) and a light meal before heading to partytown in the form of our local, when the topic of the cake i'd made our other sister for her birthday came up in conversation. It was really good guys, but I literally threw things at the food processor hoping they would warm to each other and get along. It happened, but it was a miracle, a miracle. I wrote a few notes on my phone as i went along but the measurements were not what mattered here, just the end result, and so the specifics were pretty blurry. It was all about taste and texture and I might as well have been blind, which is all good and pretty clever at the time, but not when you're challenged to recreate it another time. That's when the feeling clever wares off. Never the less, as my sister and her friend reminisced about the cake gone by, I took my 1.5 hours, that same food processor (maybe it remembered?) and whatever I could find in the kitchen and I made it happen. Again. I do work well under pressure, but daaaamn, I didn't know I worked this well.

This time, wrapped up in a frenzy of searching and blending and writing and tasting, I somehow managed to add a frosting to the initial version, and thank god I did because the frosting is what really makes everthing you see going on here happen. It's inspired by the crispy, creamy, nutty, chocolatey vibes of fererro rochers, which may seem impossible to achieve with natural ingredients, but is simply what happens when roasted hazelnut butter meets thick, creamy coconut milk. We're all familiar with the phrase having your cake and eating it, but this recipe goes even further and is all about having your cake and your fererro rocher. It's not, however, going to be like eating a fererro rocher. It's going to be so much better. With a brownie-like cake layer (infused with maca and pure cacao) and a seriously smooth topping, it puts those poxy mouthfuls of wafer to shame if anything. Although, I'm grateful for the inspiratoin of course, otherwise where would we be? So thanks Fererro.

+ You'll notice in the ingredients list that there are a few loose options, as certain ingredients in version one were replaced in version two with whatever I had on hand. I can confirm that all options worked perfectly well without much alteration to the flavour, and no alteration to the texture. So approach this recipe freely and tailor it to your own supplies).

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE CAKE
60g hazelnuts (cashews and walnuts will also work)
60g ground almonds
50g flaked or whole almonds
8 tablespoons coconut syrup (or other natural sweeteners such as date paste or raw honey)
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
4g pinch himalayan pink salt (tamari also works nicely)
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste powder or extract
80g cacao nibs
45g cacao powder
12g maca powder
10 dates
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons almond butter
50g coconut milk powder (I use this one. Coconut flour will also work if you can't get hold of coconut milk powder, but isn't as flavoursome. You could also use roughly 4 tablespoons of a melted bar of creamed coconut)

ELEVATE IT
1 teaspoon reishi powder
1 teaspoon chaga powder
1 teaspoon shilajit powder
1 teaspoon cordyceps powder
1 teaspoon spirulina powder
1 teaspoon mucuna puriens
1 teaspoon ashwaganda powder

FOR THE FROSTING
120G hazelnuts, roasted
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
4 tablespoons coconut milk powder (can replace with 4 tablespoons melted creamed coconut)
1-2 teaspoons coconut nectar or other natural sweetener of choice
Pinch himalayan pink salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract / paste / powder or fresh seeds
2 tablespoons almond butter
3 tablespoons tinned coconut milk - the thick creamy part + 2 tablespoons of the liquid part

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 150c. Place the hazelnuts from the frosting ingredients list on a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes until they begin to brown slightly.

Meanwhile, start pulsing the nuts - including the ground almonds - with the cacao nibs in a food processor. Once the ingredients begin to come to a fine flour-like consistency, add the salt, vanilla, cacao powder, maca and other superfood powders and pulse to combine.

Next, split the dates in half to remove their stones and place them in a small bowl. Cover with freshly boiled hot water and leave to stand for 1-2 minutes.

Add the coconut powder or flour, syrup of choice, almond butter and coconut sugar to the food processor and blend for another minute, first on a low speed, and then on the highest speed for the final 30 seconds.

Next add the dates to your food processor, squeezing each one to remove as much liquid as possible. Blend for another 1-2 minutes on a high speed, scraping down the sides and blending continuously until the mixture is smooth and begins to form a doughy ball.

If you haven't already, check on the roasting nuts and remove from the oven. As they cool, transfer the mixture into you choice of cake tin, dish or even a muffin tin to make smaller individual cakes. I scattered the bottom of my dish with cacao nibs and pressed the brownie mixture onto it which adds a subtly crunchy base layer. You could also add crushed nuts, or nothing at all. Press the dough into your mould/s, making sure it is even and compact.

For the frosting, you can either blend the nuts with their skins or remove the skins by placing the nuts inside a teacloth and rubbing them together for around 1 minute which will encourage the skins to flake away naturally. Whichever you choose, add the nuts to your fresh and cleaned food processor and pulse on a high speed until buttery. This can take up to 10 minutes, and may take some scraping. Add the melted coconut oil and almond butter as the machine is still running. If your mixture still seems dry, these ingredients will help it to loosen up and combine. Now you should have a nut butter consistency. Next add the coconut milk, coconut powder, salt, vanilla and your sweetener of choice. Blend for a further 30 seconds to combine and then spread the mixture over the cake layer. Smooth with a spoon or spatula and if you wish, top with your choice of chopped nuts, superfood powders or cacao nibs. Place in the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes to set - this is what gives it it's chewy, decadent texture. Store here until ready to serve and remove 5 minutes before you plan to enjoy it.

+ If you don't end up making a cake of this recipe, you can break it into two. The cake mixture can be made into bars or balls, and the frosting can be used as a nutella alternative for things like pancakes, crepes, porridge or other desserts.

RAW CHOCOLATE GALAXY FUDGE BARS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Recipe, Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

This weekend was almost like any other weekend, although not quite. Breakfast and/or brunch are major parts of most of my weekends, but this week a Juice Cleanse from Raw Press turned up on Friday, and like all genuinely healthy foodstuffs and drinkstuffs, these things go off. It couldn’t wait until monday.

So Saturday was kinda sad. I didn’t brunch, hell i didn’t even eat. But I was full in other ways. Full of nutrients, vitamins and surprising amounts of energy, and full of overplanned ideas about what I’m going to eat first on monday.

Then I was also full of guilt because my sister,  whose birthday happened to fall on day two of my juice cleanse, and whose gluten intolerance is much more serious than mine, was coming over for the evening and i hadn’t made her a cake. With a food blog centered around a hatred for gluten and miraculous ways in which to create things without it, this was the one day of the year that she deserved one of my gf creation the most.

Thankfully, with a pretty well stocked kitchen (rule one, guys), i managed to wing a no-recipe, use-whatevers-in-the-cupboard creation in under 10 minutes because as well as being unprepared i was also late and my sister likes to avoid telling us her ETA until it is about 30 minutes away so i had to act fast.

Proof is in the pudding though (literally) that it is possible to create truly delicious and truly madly deeply nourishing provisions quicker than you can get to the nearest shop to buy standard ones.

I do have a few disclaimers for this recipe though. It contains more natural sweetener than I would usually use, mainly because I had different kinds of guests with different kinds of tastes on this particular evening (inc. a boy with a very boyish diet). My relationship with dates, which never really took off, has almost entirely diminished mainly because of how sickly i find them. I have also been rethinking my relationship with nuts, as, although they have tremendous health giving qualities, i find them quite rich and indulgent and difficult to digest. These foods are healthy, but in a world where fad diets are frowned upon, they have ironically become faddy themselves. Because they are healthy, people assume it’s okay to eat them as if they’re going out of style. But, dates and natural sweeteners, although more nutritious, still have the same affect on our blood sugars, glucose levels and insulin responses as refined sugars. And too many nuts can be tough on the system, especially if they are not prepared properly. So, by all means embrace them and replace the nutritionally void alternatives, but be mindful of quantities and frequency of consumption.

That being said, this is far healthier than artificial, shop bought cakes which, as well as refined sugar, contain a hideous selection of other hideous ingredients like hydrogenated fats, margarine, white flour, colourings, flavourings and preservatives. You can reduce the amount of natural syrups used in this recipe, although I have a feeling the texture might suffer a little.

I’ve done this recipe in grams as I’ve been testing new recipes for Qnola products and I’m just in that frame of mind. When developing recipes for big-scale production, you have to work in grams even with liquids in order to percentagise the recipe, to scale it up or down as painlessly as possible. I’ve also provided ml and tbs, just in case.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 12 Large or 24 Medium

50g Hazelnuts or walnuts
60g Ground almonds
60g Flaked almonds
100-120g (about 8 tablespoons) Coconut Nectar or natural sweetener of choice (to taste)
4g Salt or Tamari
6g (1 tablespoon) Vanilla bean paste powder or extract
100g Cacao nibs
45g Cacao powder
12g Maca
8 Dates (soaked in boiling water for 1 minute)
20g (2 tablespoons) Coconut Oil, melted
30g (2 tablespoons) Almond butter
50g Coconut Milk Powder or Coconut Flour
1 Teaspoon Reishi Powder, optional
1 Teaspoon Chaga Powder, optional
1 Teaspoon Lucuma, optional

METHOD
Start by pulsing the nuts, including the ground almonds, and the cacao nibs in a food processor.

Once the ingredients begin to come to a fine flour consistency, add the salt, vanilla, cacao powder, maca, mushroom powders or other superfood powders if using, coconut flour, syrup of choice and almond butter and blend for another 1-2 minutes, first on a low speed, and then a higher speed for the last 30 seconds.

The mixture should begin to thicken and stick together when you pinch it between two fingers.

Next, add the dates. Remove the pits and place in a small bowl, then cover with about 1-2 inches of boiling water. Soak for just 1 minute and then squeeze gently to remove as much liquid as possible before adding to the food processor.

Blend for another 1-2 minutes on a high speed, scraping down the sides and breaking the mixture up if it forms a tight, doughy ball. In order to get the smoothest consistency, break the ball up a couple of times and blend further until you are happy with it.

To set, choose a baking tin or dish, a muffin tin or something like mini loaf tins. I scattered the bottom of my dish with cacao nibs and pressed the brownie mixture onto it. This adds a subtly crunchy base layer to the brownies. You could also add crushed nuts to make a quick, simple cheesecake variation, or you can leave them au naturale. Press the dough into your mould/s as compactly as possible. You can decorate the top with just about anything. I like using cacao powder, maca and coocnut flour to create a galactic effect, as well as chopped nuts, almond butter drizzle and, of course Qnola.

Once complete, place in the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes. Remove 5 minutes before you plan to serve / enjoy.

+ Store in the freezer for as long as you can resist eating them.

GRAPE, ORANGE, ALMOND AND WALNUT CRUMBLE

Essentials, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Freedanielle coppermanComment

I recently discovered that I love red grapes. I don’t eat much fruit, which, before I ate healthily would have been a shameful confession, but which now is more a way of life I am neither proud nor ashamed of, and which is a natural progression of a low sugar diet. 
Although grapes are available all year round thanks to global farming and other agricultural plus's, I feel like at the moment they everywhere. Maybe I’m just noticing them more since I ate almost an entire bag of them on a road trip to upstate New York. Since then, grapes went from being something I never particularly fancied in my lunch box at school, to something I had great plans for.

Before now, grapes were just something I was told to eat by my mother as they were good for me, and as one of few things that fell into this category that I actually enjoyed eating, I obeyed. However, I’ve never found them very exciting, and since making my own grocery store decisions, would always choose berries or other fruits over grapes. As a child, freezing grapes was about as experimental as it got (seriously tho, try it). We never cooked them or added them to meals, rarely added them to baked goods or made desserts with them, and definitely never thought about making them into refreshments. Grapes were grapes. Easy, instant, ready to eat. No hassle. But I’ve completely complicated things since rekindling my love for them. Let me introduce you to, roasted grapes. I’ve been roasting bunches and bunches of em since I returned from New York, and I want the world to know that until you roast a grape, you haven’t given it a proper chance in life. 

And until you make a crumble out of roasted grapes, you haven’t given yourself a proper chance in life.

INGREDIENTS

Topping
½  Cup Buckwheat Flour, Oats or Buckwheat Flakes
1 Cup Ground Almonds
1/4 Cup Desiccated Coconut
½ Cup Walnuts
4-5 Tablespoons Coconut Palm Sugar / Pure Maple Syrup / Dates or natural sweetener of choice
Generous Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cardamom (not essential if you don't have it)
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil - soft / room temp
½ Cup Flaked Almonds or Chopped Nuts of Choice
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds / Milled Chia Seeds / Milled Flaxseeds

Fruit Layer
4 Cups Red Grapes
1-2 Oranges
¼ Cup Water
½ Cup Chopped Dates / Apricots - optional
Juice of ½ a Lemon
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract / Paste / Powder / Seeds

Optional
1 Teaspoon Acai Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Beetroot Powder
4 Tablespoons Coconut Milk
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Tablespoon Cacao Powder or Cacao Nibs to top

METHOD

Start by cooking the fruit. Preheat the oven to 200c. Arrange the grapes, oranges and dried fruit, if using, in an oven proof dish and drizzle with the lemon juice. Pierce and roughly mash the grapes using a fork and then place in the oven for 45 minutes. Stir a couple of times to evenly cook the grapes, and after 30 minutes, drain the juices. Save in a jug as the juice makes an instant and delicious sauce to serve with the crumble (and other desserts).
Whilst the fruits cook and begin to soften, make the topping. Blend the walnuts and desiccated coconut together in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a rough flour. Transfer into a medium mixing bowl and add the buckwheat flour (or oats or buckwheat flakes, if using), ground almonds, coconut palm sugar, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and flaked almonds or chopped nuts. (Ground cardamom is sometimes quite hard to find, but this recipe will work perfectly well without the spices - they are just there to add flavour). Stir to combine, then add the coconut oil, breaking it up into small pieces and rubbing it into the dry ingredients with your hands. Massage gently until everything is combined and the mixture resembles dough-like breadcrumbs. Remove the fruit from the oven once it has softened and reduced a little. This is the time to stir in the chia seeds, along with any other superfood powders, coconut milk or almond butter, if using. Then arrange the crumble layer, evenly spreading out spoonfuls of the mixture to cover the fruit completely. Press down gently with the back of a spoon or a spatula to make the crumble compact, as this will encourage it to bind and crisp up nicely. Return to the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes, until the topping is brown and becoming crispy, and the fruit layer is bubbling and jam-like.

Top with extra walnuts, flaked almonds or other nuts and serve with probiotic yoghurt, coconut yoghurt, coconut milk, almond milk, cashew cream, cashew custard, the preserved juices from the grapes, almond butter, tahini, cacao powder, fresh basil, mint or thyme, grated raw chocolate or grated orange zest. Get creative.

SIMPLE AVOCADO, ALMOND AND COCONUT GELATO

Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Paleo, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Beautydanielle coppermanComment

Eating Ice cream, for me, is usually a spoon in tub kind of activity, which is why you wont find an ice cream scoop in my kitchen. Pointless waste of space or what? A spoons a spoon and if scooping is all that needs doing, I think my current collection has all angles covered. Well actually, today I swayed more towards the ‘or what’ part of that sentence. It would have been nicer, neater and easier for me to get across the beauty of this simple, no-churn, no-ice-cream-maker ice cream with the help of an ice cream scoop. But, by default, I’ve accidentally proven that this ice cream - as well as being achievable without an ice cream maker (who actually owns one), and without dairy or refined sugar - is also achievable without an ice cream scoop. This is probably not very exciting for you because, I realise, for most people, the presence of an ice cream scoop in the cutlery drawer is not a big deal. But I’m basically making an excuse for my shoddy food styling, so just go with it, yh. It's Christmas after all. 

INGREDIENTS

2 Ripe Avocados
¼ Cup Almond or Coconut Milk (or alternative plant based milk)
6 Heaped Tablespoons Solid Coconut Milk
Generous Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Paste / Extract / Powder / Seeds
1 Tablespoon Raw Honey / Coconut Palm Sugar / Agave / 2 Medjool Dates
2 Tablespoons Flaked Almonds
2 Tablespoons Hulled Hemp Seeds

Optional
2 Tablespoons Strong Coffee or 1 Teaspoon Coffee Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Chicory Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Medicinal Mushroom Powder (Reishi / Shilajit / Chaga)
Handful Fresh Mint Leaves
Handful Fresh Mint Leaves and Cacao Nibs or Chunks of Raw Chocolate

METHOD

Simply blend all the ingredients except for the flaked almonds and hemp seeds in a high speed blender or food processor. If you are adding the optional flavourings, add them now too - apart from the cacao nibs or raw chocolate, which should be stirred gently through the main mixture before freezing. Blend on a high speed for 2-3 minutes until the blender runs consistently and smoothly on its highest speed. Taste, and add a little more sweetener, salt or flavourings to suit your tastes. Transfer to a deep container, bowl or a bread tin. Stir in the cacao nibs or chocolate, if using, or your choice of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, nut butter, berries or compotes (to create a raspberry ripple kind of taste sensation). You can enjoy instantly as it is, as a pudding / mousse / yoghurt kind of dessert, or freeze for around 4 hours (depending on the depth of your tin) or overnight to turn it into a rich, creamy ice cream. 
This recipe doesn’t require an ice cream maker as previously stated, which means the texture can be a little tricky to work with, and serving the ice cream requires organisation and a little patience. Remove from the freezer 1 hour before you wish to serve. Let it thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes, and then leave to thaw gradually in the fridge for 40 minutes. When ready to serve, simply scoop single portions into bowls and top with the flaked almonds and hemp seeds, to add protein and healthy fats, as well as texture and sprinkle-like excitement.

CHERRY JAM AND CASHEW CUSTARD TARTLETS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Recipe, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment
IMG_6778.jpg

I've been enjoying (term used loosely) a month of 'firsts' this June. The first time I've broken my left arm and, thus, the first time I've been in a cast for 6 weeks. The first time I've lived alone (peaceful but boring). The first time I've lived in West London. And I think (somehow!?), the first time I've ever used cherries in a recipe on here. It's all been wild, but it got even better with the impulsive bake that I got on last weekend. The results of which are detailed below.

It's hard for me to write this recipe. I feel I am selling it short, and that just one filling recipe for these DELICIOUS GLUTEN FREE TARTLETS isn't enough and just do them justice. Instead, I'll call it a suggestion. The rest is up to you.

As you think about all the ways in which you can fill your tartlets (of which there are many), you may also be interested in all the good that they're about to do you. Without any white flour, gluten, wheat, dairy or refined sugar, they are total do-gooders in the world of food/health/wellbeing/loving your bod, but also - above all else and the reason you're really here - flavour. They also embrace the seasonal showstoppers that are cherries. High in antioxidants, juicy but not-too-sweet sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals - it's obvious as to why the expression is 'cherry on top' and as opposed to any other fruit. 

My filling choice was dictated by two things. Seasonal produce, and all I accumulated in a minesweep of my parents kitchen (since waiting over a month to move in to our new apartment which is totally worth the wait, I am now completely the last leg of this couch surfing summer back home in Bath). The pastry was easy and honestly, if you only make part of this recipe, make sure it's the base. You can make it into biscuits for a quick snack, or into empty tartlet cases to enjoy with something as quick and simple as fresh berries. The cashew custard layer is even easier and contains just two simple steps - filling the blender, and operating the blender. And the cherry jam/coulis can be done simultaneously, whilst you work on the other parts of the recipe. 

.  OTHER FILLING SUGGESTIONS  .
Avocado Cacao Ganache
Chia Berry Jam
Salted Caramel
Coconut Cream
Honey & Tamari cover nuts and seeds

INGREDIENTS
(makes 10-12)
50g Coconut Oil
80g Buckwheat Flour
80g Ground Almonds
25g Coconut Palm Sugar
8g Arrowroot
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
35g Cold Water

METHOD
Preheat oven to 160c and lightly grease a muffin tray.
Start by whisking the dry ingredients (flour, ground almonds, coconut palm sugar, arrowroot and salt) together in a medium mixing bowl. Next add the melted coconut oil, stirring in with a wooden spoon. Once combined, gradually add the water. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface or some baking paper, at about 2cm thick. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

When you remove it from the fridge, roll it out onto a freshly floured surface, to become no thicker than 3mm. Cut, using a knife or your own cutters (i used basic round cutters). Place each circle into each hole of your muffin tin. Bake for 15-18 more minutes, checking halfway through. If one side is browning quicker, turn the tray around. 

Leave to cool before filling.

FOR THE CASHEW CUSTARD
(fills 12 - with some leftover to serve on the side)
1 cup cashews, soaked
1/3 cup cold water (or nut milk)
1 teaspoon honey or agave
vanilla
optional – ginger, rose, lemon, orange, mango, lime

METHOD
Simply add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend on a high speed for 2-3 minutes. Add a little more water if it is having difficulty blending, depending on the strength of your blender. Make sure it is as smooth as possible before filling your tartlet bases.

FOR THE CHERRY JAM
(fills 12 tartlets)
250g Fresh Cherries
½ Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice

METHOD
De-seed the cherries and chop or tear with your hands. Place in a saucepan with the lemon juice and water. Bring to the boil and then simmer over a medium heat. As they begin to soften, add the chia seeds and stir to combine. If the chia seeds absorb the water too quickly, add a few extra tablespoons of water. Simmer until entirely soft.

.  TO ASSEMBLE  .
Take your cooked tartlet bases and fill them with the cashew cream. It doesn't matter which order you fill them in, you can start with the jam if you prefer. Repeat for each tartlet. Place in the fridge to keep cool (this will also make the custard thicken and set a little - making it richer), or serve immediately.

LEMON, ACAI, BEETROOT AND BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman3 Comments
PHOTO CREDIT: RITA PLATTS / LOUIE WALLER

PHOTO CREDIT: RITA PLATTS / LOUIE WALLER

Here's one for the weekend. There is no day more fitting than a Sunday, to upload a recipe dedicated to cheesecake. A healthy, raw, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, grain free, and dangerously nourishing cheesecake, to be exact. 

This cheesecake is too good for words, and when I try to describe it to someone it comes out more in some kind of expressive facial dance combined with approving noises. There's really no way for me to put it into words. You won't understand until you've tried it yourself.

I recently met Rita and Louie through Rita's agent, who was interested in setting us up as three innocent girls with an unconditional love of good food, styling food and photographing food. Needless to say, we got on extremely well and spent an entire day positioning crumbs strategically, and eating enough cheesecake/eton mess/savoury muffins (recipes to follow) to feed an entire picnic party. It was a good day.

Since it's Sunday, you might be planning to spend the evening preparing food for the week ahead. You might be soaking some quinoa, making chia seed pudding to store in the fridge, or batch cooking stews or curries to chill or freeze, to have on hand as an instant meal for when you're short of time. I think this weekend, though, you should ignore your structured schedule, soak some cashews, de-flesh a coconut and concentrate on preparing to make this tomorrow. (It requires about 2 minutes to whack open a coconut and pour some water over a few handfuls of cashews, so if you are really serious about your week ahead, you could easily do this as well as prepping your usual meals). 

This recipe doesn't require any cooking, so once the prep is prepped, its a pretty easy and instant process from there. The food processor and blender will do the hard work for you (i remember making cheesecakes when i was younger, bashing away with a rolling pin for what seemed like hours, to crush a packet of digestive biscuits into a suitable base). The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for the cheesecake to set, but if you pre-occupy yourself with licking the blender clean, you'll hardly notice the time pass.

The base is made from nuts, coconut and dates, and is naturally sweet. As it sets in the freezer it develops into a crunchy, biscuity texture, which is hard to believe when it is in its blended phase. The fillings' main components are soaked cashews and coconut flesh. The two ingredients combine perfectly together to create a rich, creamy, mousse-life consistency. The coconut flesh adds some kind of airy bounce to the texture, whilst the cashews make it creamy and thick. Free from dairy, rich in protein, healthy fats and antioxidants and bursting with fresh, natural, vibrant colours and flavours, there is really nothing to stop you from making this.

+ If you have a nut allergy, try making the base with buckwheat groats, sunflower and hemp seeds, and the filling with coconut flesh, pine nuts (actually a seed, safe for most people with nut allergies) and solid coconut milk or the flesh from 1 avocado.

RAW BISCUIT BASE

INGREDIENTS
(makes one large cheesecake. If you have any left over, use it to top the cheesecake, or to make a few miniature ones)

1 Cup Raw Almonds
60g Desiccated Coconut
50g Raw Cashews
200g Medjool Dates
1 Large Handful Walnuts
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
Salt
Zest of 1 Lemon - optional
1/2 Cup Toasted or Activated Buckwheat Groats - optional (adds an amazing extra crunch to the base)

METHOD

Place the desiccated coconut, buckwheat groats (if using), almonds, cashews and walnuts into a food processor, and pulse on a high speed for 1 minute, until they break down into a flour consistency with some small chunks. Add the dates, vanilla, salt, coconut and zest, if using, and pulse for a further 1-2 minutes.

+ With the coconut oil, melted or room temperature will both work. If you are using room temperature, though, concentrate on scraping thin layers of it into the food processor, rather than adding great big chunks, as this will encourage the mixture to blend more smoothly and easily.

Once the mixture has become almost dough like, but still a little crumbly looking, transfer it into a dish (can be round or rectangular, or you can even use individual miniature moulds). Spread the mixture around evenly, then use the back of a spoon or your bare hands to press the mixture firmly into the base of the tin. Make sure the mixture reaches the sides, and make it as compact as possible to ensure the finished cheesecake won't crumble and break. As you flatten it, it will begin to look more like a conventional cheesecake base.

Place in the freezer whilst you prepare the fillings.

ACAI, BEETROOT AND BLUEBERRY LAYER

INGREDIENTS
(makes one large cheesecake. If you have any left over, use it to top the cheesecake, or to make a few miniature ones)

1 Cup Coconut Flesh (If you can't get hold of this, you can work without it, but it creates the perfect texture)
2 Cups Cashew Nuts, soaked for at least 2-4 hours, preferably all day or overnight
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
3/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
2-4 Tablespoons Agave, or natural sweetener of choice (to taste)
120g Fresh Blueberries - not frozen
2 Tablespoons Acai Powder
2 Tablespoons Beetroot Powder (can also use grated beetroot if you don't have the powder - or omit the beetroot altogether)

+ You can also experiment with flavours here, using unsulphured apricots, fresh mango, lime juice, avocado or goji berries instead of blueberries. 

METHOD
(Allow about 45 minutes setting time, or leave in the freezer until ready to serve and transfer to the fridge 20-30 minutes before serving).

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Use a tamper if you have one, to help the mixture to blend. Add a little more coconut oil or nut milk if the mixture is too thick and lumpy. Scrape down the sides after 3 minutes, and blend for a further 1-2 minutes on the highest speed of your blender, until the mixture is entirely smooth. It should resemble the consistency of custard or creme fraiche. 

Once smooth, pour the mixture over your prepared base. You can mix in some chopped fresh berries or goji berries, or simply lay some chopped berries/fruit along the base before covering with the mixture. Make sure you leave enough room for the top layer.

If you want to make a 3 layered cheesecake, return to the freezer and proceed with the top layer. If you want the make a marbled affect cheesecake, don't place this layer in the freezer. Set aside whilst you prepare the top layer.

LEMON CREAM LAYER

1 Cup Coconut Flesh (If you can't get hold of this, you can work without it, or try using 1 cup solid coconut milk instead)
2 Cups Cashew Nuts, soaked for at least 2-4 hours, preferably all day or overnight
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
3/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
2-4 Tablespoons Agave, or natural sweetener of choice (to taste)
Juice of 3 Fresh Lemons

METHOD
(Allow about 45 minutes setting time, or leave in the freezer until ready to serve and transfer to the fridge 20-30 minutes before serving).

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Use a tamper if you have one, to help the mixture to blend. Add a little more coconut oil or nut milk if the mixture is too thick and lumpy. Scrape down the sides after 3 minutes, and blend for a further 1-2 minutes on the highest speed of your blender, until the mixture is entirely smooth. It should resemble the consistency of custard or creme fraiche. 

If you are making a 3 layered cheesecake, remove the cheesecake from the freezer and pour this top layer over the berry layer. Return to the freezer and allow to set for at least 45 minutes. 

If you are making a marbled affect cheesecake, pour this mixture on top of the berry layer, ensuring you cover the berry layer entirely, and reach the edges of the tin/dish. Then, use a teaspoon to gently swirl and spread the mixtures into each other. Be careful not to smudge or spread or stir too much, or you will just end up with a pale purple cheesecake, which will still taste delicious but won't look as fun. Make small, gentle movements and don't over do it.

Return to the freezer and set for at least 45 minutes. You can store the cheesecake in the freezer until you are ready to eat it, and transfer it to the fridge 30 minutes before serving, to allow it to soften slightly.

+ Store in the freezer for months, before or after serving. You can make it in advance and store it before a big event, or simply keep any leftovers in the freezer, so as not to waste any.

COCONUT, MISO AND CARDAMOM BUCKWHEAT 'RICE' PUDDING

Sugar Free, Gluten free, Breakfastdanielle copperman11 Comments

From time to time there is a fine line between breakfast and dessert. This recipe represents one of those times. You could eat this for dessert at a gourmet restaurant, or you could eat this with your kids around the breakfast table on a sunday, in your pyjamas. It's up to you, but I know what I'd rather. I love all things breakfast, and although I don't always get time to make a good one during the week, my weekends are almost entirely centred around it. If I have a relatively calm weekend with not much going on, i'll take my sweet time getting out of bed, deciding what to make for breakfast, perhaps visiting the local grocery shop in clothes that certainly aren't socially acceptable, and then preparing, serving and enjoying a nutritious kind of feel-good feast. That's what weekends are for! The more people around the kitchen table and the more mouths to feed, the better.

This take on porridge is considerably creamier and has, in my opinion, a much more pleasant texture than oat porridge. Growing up, I hated porridge as I always got tough oats stuck in my teeth, and also, I hadn't been introduced to any of the ingredients I love now, so I was terribly unaware of how toppings could transform a sloppy, bland bowl of soggy oats into something I wanted to eat all day, all night and then again in my dreams. As well as being incredibly softer, plumper and creamier, buckwheat (a fibrous seed) is far more nutritious than oats - higher in (easily digestible) proteins, high in magnesium and, despite it's name, gluten and wheat free. It also helps control and reduce water retention in the body, and aids digestion.

To keep this breakfast/snack/dessert everything-free like the rest of ModelMangeTout, I use coconut or almond milk in this recipe instead of cows milk. Instead of sugar, you can incorporate coconut palm sugar/nectar, agave, stevia or raw honey (you may not need any sweetener at all - but I would recommend it for a dessert option). And, as with all porridge, you can get creative and play around with what you put in it, and on it, to make it more than just a bowl of stodge. In this recipe, I used miso and cardamom as they go really well with the coconut flavour from the milk, but you can use any herbs or spices and can add nuts, seeds, dried or fresh fruit and superfood powders of your choice.

INGREDIENTS
Serves 2 for breakfast, 4 for dessert portions

1 1/2 Cups Raw Buckwheat Groats, soaked overnight
5-6 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
2 Tablespoons Golden Linseeds/Flaxseeds - optional
1 Tin Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Almond Milk (or water)
1 Tablespoon Agave/Coconut Nectar/Honey
2-3 Tablespoons Coconut Palm Sugar/Stevia (to taste) (can also use more agave/syrup if that's all you have)
1/2 Teaspoon Miso Paste (I like Clearspring)
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Powder or Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 Tablespoon Maca Powder

TOPPINGS PICTURED

Chopped Mango
Julienned/Peeled/Grated/Spiralised Kohlrabi
Solid Coconut Milk
Crushed Dried Hibiscus Petals
Coconut Blossom Nectar

METHOD

Make sure you have soaked your raw buckwheat groats overnight or for at least 8 hours. Rinse it thoroughly through a sieve then place it in a medium saucepan along with the the coconut milk and almond milk or water. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to medium/low. Simmer for 30-40 minutes (i should have warned you, this is certainly not the ideal breakfast for time-poor people, but if you make it one morning or over the weekend when you have more time, make enough to store in the fridge in jars or containers to grab-and-go on other mornings throughout the week). After 10 minutes, add the agave, coconut palm sugar, miso paste, chia seeds, linseeds (if using), cardamom, coconut oil, vanilla and ginger. Continue to simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Add more miso or natural sweetener to taste, along with any other spices or super foods you fancy. I like adding dried goji berries or fresh blueberries whilst it is cooking, as they become soft and juicy, adding a refreshing flavour to the bowl.

Once the milks have more or less reduced and been completely absorbed by the buckwheat and the other seeds, remove from the heat and serve immediately, or leave to cool and store in airtight containers in the fridge until you are ready to enjoy. Reheat, or stir with hot nut milk or water before serving, or enjoy chilled. 

Top with more coconut milk or coconut cream, more berries or fresh fruit, and another teaspoon of coconut oil which will melt into it porridge wonderfully.

+ For dessert options, serve with cacao sauce, cacao avocado cream or almond caramel.

TWO TONE ALMOND BUTTER CHOCOLATES

Sugar Freedanielle copperman1 Comment

These chocolates are quite special. Not only is raw chocolate much easier and less technical to make than normal chocolate (which involves vital precision and a lot more science than most people can fathom), it is a hundred times healthier, too. Cacao is the purest and most nutritious form of chocolate, and having undergone little to no processing at all, has a multitude of health benefits still in tact, which are usually stripped from the cacao bean somewhere along its journey from bean to bar. 

Cacao is one of the richest sources of antioxidants, and promotes healthy cellular activity, ensuring your body is functioning to the best of its ability. Cacao is also high in fibre and can stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which helps support healthy digestion. Many people also believe it may aid weight loss or maintenance, as it can act as an appetite suppressant. Cacao also contains serotonin, which, put simply, is the ‘happy hormone’. By elevating your levels of serotonin, cacao helps to improve your mood, positivity and has even been proven to reduce depression and anxiety.

I’ve played around with dark and white chocolate in this recipe. The white chocolate layer is made predominantly from cacao butter, which is the solidified pure oil of the cacao bean. It has an intensely creamy and ridiculously rich flavour, and also smells divine. Mixed with a few delicate natural flavourings like vanilla and unrefined, organic sweeteners, the raw white chocolate layer adds a unique creaminess to the rest of the chocolate. Combined with a generous dollop of nut butter, if these chocolates aren’t in your mouth, fridge or tuppaware box, they’ll be on your mind forever more.

INGREDIENTS

8 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
120g Raw Cacao Butter
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2-3 Tablespoons Coconut Blossom Nectar, Honey or Sweetener of Choice
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Seeds or Extract
Maca, optional
4 Tablespoons Coconut Milk
1 Jar Almond or Cashew Butter
Qnola, Puffed Quinoa, Granola, Buckwheat or Chopped Nuts and Seeds - optional
A Few Pinches of Salt

METHOD

Start by making the bottom layer of chocolate. I'll start with the white chocolate but it is up to you how you structure yours. In a medium saucepan, melt 60g cacao butter, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1-2 tablespoons coconut blossom nectar (or sweetener of choice), maca and the salt. Stir with a whisk or a wooden spoon on the lowest heat to gently melt the cacao butter and the oil without damaging it with too high a temperature. Once dissolved and everything is combined, remove from the heat and pour into chocolate moulds. You can use anything from ice cube trays to cake tins, depending on the size you'd like the chocolates. I prefer small moulds about 2 centimetres deep and no bigger than 2 inches wide. Once you have evenly distributed the white chocolate mixture into your moulds, place in the freezer for 20 minutes to set.

Whilst the white chocolate sets, make the dark chocolate layer. Rinse the saucepan (save any leftover white chocolate by pouring it into a small bowl or ramekin and setting it in the freezer). Melt the remaining 60g cacao butter, 1 tablespoon sweetener, salt, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the coconut milk if you want the chocolate a little less rich, and creamier (you can leave the coconut milk out if you prefer a darker chocolate). Whisk together on a low heat until everything is combined nicely, then remove from the heat and set aside until the white chocolate layer has set. 

Prepare the nut butter filling. I like using pure nut butter, but for some people it may be a little bland and a bit too thick. You can either use nut butter straight from the jar, or make a lighter cream out of it. 

For the nut butter cream, whisk together your nut butter of choice, 2 tablespoons coconut milk, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoons coconut blossom nectar or honey (or your preferred sweetener) in a small bowl. When combined, remove the white chocolate base from the freezer and spoon a small amount of the almond cream into the centre of each one. Flatten the nut butter with the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it evenly onto each white chocolate, but don't spread it too near to the edges or you will be able to see it when the chocolates have set. This isn't a major problem but it will look a little messy.

Once you have arranged the nut butter mixture onto each white chocolate base, pour over the dark chocolate so that it covers the nut butter entirely. Fill the moulds and then return to the freezer to set for another 20-30 minutes. 

Pop each chocolate out of its mould and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving. Store in the freezer or fridge. The filling will stay softer in the fridge.


 

 

OTHER FILLING OPTIONS

Fresh Mint Cream
Goji Cream
Apricot Cream

FRESH MINT COCONUT CREAM CHOCOLATES

Snacks, Sugar Freedanielle coppermanComment

These are one of those things that are born from your leftovers. You could use any fresh herbs but the mint adds a delicious sweetness to these chocolates, and is refreshing against the richness of the raw chocolate. And for those of you who are partial to an after eight from time to time, these are your new after dinner treat. Made without dairy, refined sugar and artificial flavours and additives, these chocolates should make it onto every dinner table and should be considered just as important as the main course. Cacao butter builds the foundations of the these chocolates, making them exceptionally high in antioxidants and healthy fats. Cacao butter is the pure oil that comes from raw cacao beans, and although it hasn't much flavour eaten in its solid form, it adds a rich, smoky, chocolate flavour when combined with cacao powder and a little sweetener. No need for flavourings or E-numbers, these nutritious mouthfuls are 100% natural, and the cacao and fresh mint help to aid digestion - so they really are the perfect way to end a meal.

INGREDIENTS

CHOCOLATE

6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Coconut Nectar or Sweetener of Choice
1 Tablespoon Coconut Milk, solid (for a slightly milder, creamier chocolate)

FILLING

1 Large Handful Fresh Mint Leaves
1 Bar Creamed Coconut
3 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, solid
1 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

METHOD

Melt the chocolate ingredients in a medium saucepan on the lowest heat. On a medium heat, wait for the cacao butter or coconut to melt. Then, whisk in your chosen sweetener, along with the cacao powder, salt and finally the coconut milk. Whisk until everything is combined and everything has dissolved nicely. Pour into a jug and distribute a small amount into your chosen chocolate moulds. Fill the moulds just under half way up with the chocolate mixture, and set the remaining chocolate aside for later. Place the filled moulds in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set. Meanwhile, make the filling.

Start by melting the creamed coconut. Fill a large mug, jug or bowl with boiling water and sit the bar of coconut inside, so it is fully covered with water. Do not cut open the outer plastic packet, as this will let the water in an dilute the creamed coconut. Massage the bar once the water is cool enough to touch, until it has become entirely soft and runny. Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan or in the oven. Once melted, pour both the oil and the creamed coconut into your blender or food processor, adding the fresh mint leaves and coconut milk. Blend on a low speed for 1 minute, then as the ingredients begin to combine, turn the speed up and blend for a further 30 seconds. Once everything is smooth and runny and the mint leaves are no more than a few green specs, use a small spatula (i can't live without this one), to get every last bit out of your machine. Remove the chocolate from the freezer and, leaving them in the moulds, spoon a small amount of the mint cream into the centre of each one. Flatten it as much as you can, but be careful not to spread the cream to far towards the edge of the chocolate. You want it as central as possible in order for the top layer of chocolate to cover it completely. 

Take the remaining chocolate from earlier and, if it has solidified, briefly melt it again. Pour over the mint cream until you can no longer see it. Return to the freezer to set for a further 15 minutes. Remove 10 minutes before serving/enjoying. Store in the fridge

CHESTNUT TAHINI FROSTING

danielle coppermanComment

This recipe is great for use on cupcakes, sweet loaves, biscuits or fruit. Making healthy frosting seems like an impossible task, but I have discovered several ways in which you can create it. This frosting closely resembles buttercream icing, as opposed to sickeningly sweet fondant icing, or the simple icing sugar and water method. It is incredibly creamy and the texture is smooth and thick - perfect for piping or spreading onto cakes. Add your own choice of spices or other flavours to match with whatever you are icing, or enjoy on slices of apple or other fruits. This recipe also makes a delicious spread for toast, or can be added to porridge in the place of nut butter to add some flavour.

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Chestnuts
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Tahini
1 Tablespoon Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar, Raw Honey or Date Syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

METHOD
Simply add all the ingredients to your blender and blend for 2-3 minutes.

FOR A CHOCOLATE VARIATION

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Chestnuts
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Tahini
1 Tablespoon Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar, Raw Honey or Date Syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
3-4 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1/4 Ripe Avocado - optional

METHOD
Simply add all the ingredients to your blender and blend for 2-3 minutes.

PUMPKIN PIE AND A POP UP

Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman6 Comments

My first and only experience of pumpkin pie up until now was at my best friends house around the age of 13. With an american father, Thanksgiving is a big deal in their house, but I’d never really celebrated it before. At an awkward age of growth spurts and secondary school I almost didn’t even try the pie and tried to turn down the offer politely. It didn’t look especially appealing and i’d never tried it before, so naturally assumed it couldn’t be that special. Thankfully, her mother persuaded me and just one mouthful of that warm, homemade pie has remained a vivid memory in my mind ever since. I think a section of my brain is dedicated entirely to food, and times or occasions associated with certain foods. Sometimes i can even remember a conversation or event simply because i remember the food we were eating, or the restaurant we were in at the time. I can still see that pumpkin pie, fresh out of the oven, sitting on the countertop and can still smell the warmth of its spices. The sheer brilliance of pumpkin pie makes me wonder why it has taken me this long to attempt it myself. It is brilliant enough made with cheap pre-made pastry or shop-bought in festive packaging, but is even more brilliant if you make it by hand, with fresh pastry, and make it without any unnatural ingredients. So if you like that cream, the sugar and the buttery base, look away. You’re not going to like this version. Well, you’re not going to like the sound of this version, but if you do decide to trust me, you’ll realise it tastes just the same, if not better, than what you’re used to. 

Before changing my diet i enjoyed baking brownies and rice crispy cakes on a regular basis - in fact, so often that i knew the recipes backwards, upside down and read with my eyes shut. I’d mastered two very amazing recipes, and they were easy, so making a pie seemed like an impossible task - some kind of art form i was certainly incapable of and which was definitely out of my league. But since i now use vegetables in baking and know how to make pastry with nuts and without gluten, I felt it was about time i revisited that moment in my best friends kitchen, embraced this seasons most delicious ingredients and made that classic holiday favourite, with a lot of things taken out, but with a whole lot of other good things added. 

It’s hard for me to remember exactly how mama coleman’s pie tasted, but to me this one is all that a pumpkin pie should be. The base is different, as it is not real pastry. It is made without butter and with no flour - just nutritious nuts and nourishing coconut oil. Where most pies (especially shop bought pies) taste smooth and artificial, the base of this pie is crunchy, nutty and flavoursome. The filling is amazing, especially for people who are intolerant to gluten or just generally don’t desire the feeling of fullness that comes as a side effect of eating cakes. The filling is so smooth and light and, made with coconut oil and coconut milk, is a kind of creaminess you just can’t find in normal, artificial desserts. If theres one thing you make this winter, let this be it. Far better than chocolate, far better than mince pies and far better than the pumpkin pie you had last year. With this recipe, you can have your cake/pie/cheesecake/vegetables and eat them, all at once. Blissfully unaware that you are eating your way through the holidays to a healthier New Year, thanks to all the vitamins and minerals in pumpkin which will keep your immune system in check this winter. Eat up, it’s basically medicine. You neeeeeed it.

INGREDIENTS

Crust
1 Cup Walnuts
1/2 Cup Pecans
1 Cup Buckwheat Flour
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, room temperature
1/3 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoon Agave or Date Syrup
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Filling
2 Cups Pumpkin, chopped (squash will work too) (if you haven’t the time or patience, buy some organic pumpkin puree from a local health food shop)
2 Tablespoons Agave or Date Syrup
1 Tablespoon Coconut Palm Sugar
1/3 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tin Coconut Milk (the solid part only)
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
1 Egg
2 Teaspoons Maca, optional
1 Teaspoon Lucuma, optional

METHOD

Heat the oven to 200c.
Start by roasting the pumpkin for the filling. Remove the skin and place in a roasting dish with a little splash of olive oil or some coconut oil, and roast for 25-35 minutes. It needs to be as soft as possible.

Crust
Once the pumpkin is cooked, reduce the oven temperature to 160c.

Blend the nuts in a food processor or blender until they become a fine flour consistency. Pour into a medium bowl and add the flour, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix together with a wooden spoon, then add the coconut oil, combining with your hands. The mixture should begin to form a dough. Make the dough into a ball and it should hold its shape. Take a round baking tray or cake tin, roughly 20cm in diameter (you can also use a rectangle dish if you don’t have a round one) and grease the bottom and the sides with a light coating of coconut oil. Press the dough into tin, making the base no more than 1cm thick, and making sure to press the dough around the sides too. Use a fork to pierce the dough in the middle, and bake for 15 minutes, until it begins to brown, and until it is dry to touch.
Whilst it bakes, make the filling.

Filling

+ TIP: Pumpkins with paler skins generally taste nicer and have a smoother less stringy texture when cooked. Look for crown princes or any with a greyish/blueish skin.

Take the cooked pumpkin and place it in your blender or food processor along with the rest of the filling ingredients. I strongly advise using the egg and also maca if you have it, as the egg provides a vanilla-y flavour and a smooth texture and the maca adds an incredible malty caramel flavour. Blend all of the ingredients together until the mixture is smooth. Add a little more coconut milk or oil if the mixture needs help getting smooth.

When the base is cooked, leave to cool for 5-10 minutes and then pour the filling mixture into it. Spread the filling evenly across the pie base, ensuring it reaches the sides too. Return to the oven and cook for 40 minutes, until the middle of the filling is firm to touch. If it is still quite wet or gooey to touch, leave it to cook for a little longer until you can be sure it is cooked through. The top should begin to brown and crack a little, and you should be able to stick a knife in the centre and bring it out clean. 

Let cool for at least 20 minutes. I prefer it from the fridge as the filling becomes a wonderful consistency, but it is also delicious enjoyed warm. Serve with coconut yoghurt or coconut cream, fresh berries or a warm berry compote.

+ Save the Seeds 
Pumpkin seeds also carry a lot of nutrients, so don’t throw them away. They are high in protein and fibre and also contain tryptophan which is a chemical compound that triggers happiness and positivity and reduces stress. Pumpkin seeds also contain anti-inflammatory properties and essential vitamins and minerals. Toss them in coconut oil or olive oil and your choice of natural sweetener and spices, or use nutritional yeast, tamari and dried herbs and spices to make a quick a savoury snack.

BLEND AND PRESS POP UP

I am excited to announce that next weekend i will be popping up and taking over Blend and Press in Neals Yard. I will be running an exclusive Model Mange Tout brunch menu, and i will be there from 10.30-1.30pm. Pop in and say hi, and choose from my nutritious gluten, grain, dairy and refined sugar free menu. I will be serving Cacao Chia Porridge with Almond Sauce and berries, Sweet Potato Cashew Pudding with Christmas Qnola, Cranberry and Rosemary Compote and Toasted Chestnuts, and Buckwheat Pancakes with Coconut Cream, Tahini and Cacao Sauce.

Prices start from £4.95. Hope to see you there! Come in, keep warm and wake up well!

COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM

Sugar Free, Vegandanielle coppermanComment

INGREDIENTS

2 Tins Coconut Milk from the fridge (strictly the solid part only)
1-2 Teaspoons Date Syrup

Optional Extras

2 Tablespoons Tahini
Fresh, Grated Ginger

METHOD

Spoon the solid part of the coconut milk into a blender. Save the liquid for making smoothies, porridge or chia seed puddings, don't let any into this recipe. Add the tahini and date syrup and blend on a low speed until the ingredients are combined smoothly. Pour into a bowl or container and store in the fridge to harden for 1-2 hours. Serve either in scoops (will need 2 hours to set) or as a double cream alternative (no need to set).

+ Great served with desserts like rich chocolate torte or warm crumble.

RAW CARAMEL SHORTBREADS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

A while ago I made healthy caramel shortbreads. I don’t know how it came about, but it did. One of my favourite snacks miraculously made into a concentrated form of promising nutrients(!?). For me, that recipe was a little long winded and the caramel had to reach just the right temperature in order to set perfectly. The beauty of raw desserts is that the preparation takes hardly any time at all, and instead of having to monitor the cooking process carefully, it requires only a blender and a freezer, and very little devotion of time or effort. This recipe is much simpler, much quicker and, in my opinion, maybe even tastier. Free from gluten, grains, dairy and refined sugar, I guarantee you can feed this to anyone and they’d be easily convinced that it was bad for you and incredibly naughty.

With a layer of protein rich nuts high in healthy fats, a filling of dried fruit and nutritious coconut oil, and a topping of cacao - one of the purest super foods high in natural, sustainable energy - these are perfect snacks any time of the day. Totally acceptable for breakfast, a perfect yet gentle pick me up for the afternoon, and a brilliant treat in the evening to satisfy any sudden, post-dinner sweet cravings.


INGREDIENTS

150g Cashews
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Seeds
Generous Pinch of Salt
2-3 Tablespoons Tahini
5 Tablespoons Ground Almonds
3 Tablespoons Desiccated Coconut
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
2-3 tablespoons Agave


RAW DATE CARAMEL

2 Cups Dates (preferably medjool)
1 Tablespoon Solid Coconut Milk
2-3 Tablespoons Liquid Coconut, Almond Milk or Water
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoon Agave
2 Tablespoons Almond or Cashew Butter, or Tahini

+ Try alternative raw caramels like Apricot Caramel and Quick Almond Caramel.


TOP LAYER

1 Cup Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter or a mixture of both
10 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
Pinch of Salt
2 Tablespoons Solid Coconut milk or Almond Milk (this is optional, but it adds a creaminess to the chocolate and makes the flavour a little less bitter)
1 Teaspoon/Tablespoon Agave or Coconut Blossom Nectar (again, optional if you like things sweeter).

 

METHOD

Grease a dish with coconut oil then set aside. Although you’re not cooking the biscuit, raw desserts still have a tendency to stick sometimes. Alternatively, you can line your dish with baking paper.

+ I chose to do mine in a rectangle baking tray, and then cut them into individual bars. You could also use small ramekins for this recipe if you have guests for dinner. Or you could use a muffin tray, to make perfectly formed individual ones.

Start with the shortbread layer. Add the cashews, coconut oil, tahini, vanilla, salt and agave to a blender. Blend for 2 minutes and then add the desiccated coconut and ground almonds. Scrape down the sides and then blend for another minute or so. Adjust the speed to help get things moving. Stir again, and blend for a final time, until the mixture if becoming really smooth. It should resemble a very thin cookie dough. It won’t hold its shape in a ball like normal cookie mixture, but it should be a thick paste, and shouldn’t be runny. 

+ You could experiment with a cooked base for this recipe too. You could either use a mixture of toasted nuts, although it wouldn’t be as smooth, or you can use the biscuit base from this recipe.

Scrape into your dish and spread the mixture along the base. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, make sure you press the mixture down as firmly as possible, making it compact. If it isn’t compact, it won’t set properly and may crumble. Once the entire base of the dish is covered evenly, place in the freezer to set. It should take about 1-2 hours to become really crunchy like a normal biscuit, but you can carry on adding the other layers even if it isn’t completely firm.

For the caramel, start by blending the dates and water. When the dates are completely broken down and a liquidy paste is forming, add the remaining ingredients. Blend on a high speed for 2-3 minutes to ensure you get the smoothest caramel possible. Pour the caramel onto the shortbread layer then return to the freezer.

You can let the date layer set for a couple of hours until it becomes tougher and chewier, or you can add the chocolate straight away. Just be careful not to spread the chocolate together with the caramel or you won’t get all three layers properly.

For the chocolate, simply heat the coconut oil in a pan until it is melted, whisk in the salt, coconut milk (if using) and agave, or sweetener of choice, and pour over the caramel layer. You can either leave it like this, or you can create a marble effect like mine. Simply melt together the Milk Chocolate ingredients, pour gently over the raw chocolate layer whilst it is still wet, and use the end of a fork or spoon to gently intwine the two shades of chocolate.

Set in the freezer for 2-3 hours at least. I prefer these really crunchy, so i leave them for about 6 hours. When they are ready, gently cut into rectangles and enjoy.

+ Store in the freezer, as the base may soften if you leave them in the fridge.

CHOCOLATE CREAMS - EIGHT WAYS AND COUNTING

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

FOR THE CHOCOLATE

10 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
8 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1-2 Teaspoons Coconut Nectar or Sweetener of Choice
1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, solid (for a slightly milder, creamier chocolate)

METHOD

Melt the chocolate ingredients in a medium saucepan on a low heat. Use a whisk to combine everything and when all of the ingredients have dissolved and come together, remove from the heat and let cool for a couple of minutes. Take a chocolate mould and pour a little chocolate mixture into each one, filling it half way only. Place in the freezer to allow to set for 15-20 minutes. Leave the remaining chocolate mixture in the pan, and if it sets you can always re-heat it quickly for the top layer. Meanwhile, choose and make your filling from the suggestions below.


F I L L I N G S


APRICOT COCONUT CREAM

100g Dried Apricots
2 Tablespoons Water
1 Bar of Creamed Coconut
Pinch of Salt
3 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, Solid
1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil

METHOD

Place the apricots and water into a high speed blender or food processor and blend on the highest speed for 2-3 minutes. When a paste is beginning to form, prepare the creamed coconut by leaving it sealed in its plastic pouch and sitting it in a small bowl, a mug or a jug of boiling water. As the water cools, massage the bar firmly to help the middle to melt. Once it has melted, add it to your blender or food processor, along with the salt, coconut milk and coconut oil. Blend for a further 1-2 minutes, until a thick, pale orange paste forms. 

Take your prepared chocolate bases from the freezer and arrange a small amount of the cream mixture in the centre of each chocolate. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the cream filling, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


GOJI COCONUT CREAM

1/2 Cup Goji Berries
1 Bar Creamed Coconut
1 Tablespoon Filtered Water
1/4 Cup Coconut Milk, solid
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted

METHOD

In a small bowl, soak the goji berries in boiling water (enough to cover the berries) for 5 minutes, to soften them. Drain, and then place the goji berries and filtered water into a high speed blender or food processor and blend on the highest speed for 2-3 minutes. When a paste is beginning to form, prepare the creamed coconut by leaving it sealed in its plastic pouch and sitting it in a small bowl, a mug or a jug of boiling water. As the water cools, massage the bar firmly to help the middle to melt. Once it has melted, add it to your blender or food processor, along with the coconut milk and coconut oil. Blend for a further 1-2 minutes, until a thick paste forms. It should become a beautiful peachy, orange colour.

Take your prepared chocolate bases from the freezer and arrange a small amount of the cream mixture in the centre of each chocolate. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the cream filling, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


DRIED BLUEBERRY CREAM

1/2 Cup Dried Blueberries
1 Teaspoon Acai Powder or Ginseng (optional)

1 Bar Creamed Coconut
1 Tablespoon Filtered Water
1/4 Cup Coconut Milk, solid
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil, melted

METHOD

In a small bowl, soak the goji berries in boiling water (enough to cover the berries) for 5 minutes, to soften them. Drain, and then place the berries and filtered water into a high speed blender or food processor and blend on the highest speed for 2-3 minutes. When a paste is beginning to form, prepare the creamed coconut by leaving it sealed in its plastic pouch and sitting it in a small bowl, a mug or a jug of boiling water. As the water cools, massage the bar firmly to help the middle to melt. Once it has melted, add it to your blender or food processor, along with the acai or ginseng powder, coconut milk and coconut oil. Blend for a further 1-2 minutes, until a thick paste forms. 

Take your prepared chocolate bases from the freezer and arrange a small amount of the cream mixture in the centre of each chocolate. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the cream filling, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


WHITE CHOCOLATE AVOCADO TRUFFLE GANACHE

INGREDIENTS
1/4 Cup Raw Cacao butter
1/2 Ripe Avocado
2-3 Tablespoons Coconut oil, melted
1 Tablespoon Coconut Blossom Nectar, Date Syrup or preferred sweetener
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Cashews, soaked for 4 hours
1/2 Creamed Coconut Bar, melted
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Plant Based Milk (almond or coconut work well)

METHOD
Start by preparing the creamed coconut by leaving it sealed in its plastic pouch and sitting it in a small bowl, a mug or a jug of boiling water. As the water cools, massage the bar firmly to help the middle to melt. Once it has melted, add all of the truffle ingredients to your blender or food processor and blend on a medium speed until a smooth paste begins to form. (Use 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to begin with, and if the mixture seems to thick to blend properly, add the remaining tablespoon to help it along). You don't want the mixture to be too wet, so if it is having difficulty blending, use a spatula to scrape down the sides and help clear the blade area slightly. Continue to blend until the mixture is completely smooth. Scrape the mixture from the blender and arrange a small amount into the centre of your prepared chocolate bases. Press down firmly before pouring over the remaining melted chocolate from earlier. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


TAHINI CHESTNUT CREAM

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Chestnuts
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Tahini
1 Tablespoon Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar, Raw Honey or Date Syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

METHOD
Simply add all the ingredients to your blender and blend for 2-3 minutes.
Take your prepared chocolate bases from the freezer and arrange a small amount of the cream mixture in the centre of each chocolate. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the cream filling, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


TAHINI CARAMEL

INGREDIENTS
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil 
4 Tablespoons Tahini
2 Tablespoons Solid Coconut Milk
2 Tablespoons Coconut Palm Sugar, Coconut Blossom Nectar or Agave
A Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt or a Teaspoon of Tamari
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Ground Vanilla
2 Tablespoons Almond or Cashew Butter
1 Teaspoon Maca or Lucuma, optional

METHOD
Simply place all ingredients into a small saucepan and stir continuously until everything has dissolved, whisking to break up any lumps. Bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes, and then reduce the heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, cautious not to let it burn. Let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes before spooning onto your prepared chocolate bases. Then arrange a small amount of the caramel in the centre of each chocolate. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Pour it over the caramel filling, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


APRICOT / DATE / GOJI CARAMEL

INGREDIENTS
2 Cups Unsulphured Apricots or Dates
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, solid
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Seeds
A Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Maca
4 Tablespoons Almond Butter or Cashew Butter

METHOD
Simply place all of the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on a high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides to collect any escaping ingredients, and add water or nut milk if the mixture needs a little help to get moving. Blend for another 2-3 minutes until a thick paste begins to form. It must be as smooth as possible as you don’t want lumpy caramel. Scrape the caramel from the blender and spread evenly over the centre of your prepared chocolate bases. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the caramel layer, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.


QUICK RAW CARAMEL

INGREDIENTS
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter, smooth
Generous Pinch of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Tablespoons Coconut Palm Sugar (or a syrup)
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil, melted on a low heat
1-2 Tablespoons Almond Milk or Coconut Milk (or warm water)

METHOD
Simply blend all of the ingredients together in a high speed blender for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Add more water if you'd like the caramel thinner. This caramel won't be gooey like the heated version, but if left to set in the fridge, it hardens and becomes melt-in-the-mouth amazing. Scrape the caramel from the blender and spread evenly over the centre of your prepared chocolate bases. Press down slightly to make it easier to cover with the top layer of chocolate. Now take the remaining chocolate from earlier and re-heat it if it has set slightly. Then, pour it over the caramel layer, covering it completely. Return to the freezer to set for another 15-20 minutes.

+ Store in the freezer until 5 minutes before you are ready to eat/serve them.

LEMON, AMARANTH AND HONEY CAKE WITH AVOCADO FROSTING

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Gluten free, Brunchdanielle coppermanComment

Last weekend in Bath I took my delightful mother to a new coffee shop which apparently had been the talk of the little town for months. Bath is full of independent shops, cafes and eateries, and thankfully, to this day there is still only one Pret a Manger to its name. Don’t get me wrong, with its green juices, boiled eggs, kale chips and raw nuts, Pret is quickly becoming my favourite fast food coffee chain, but, there is nothing quite like a family-run cafe with irreplicable (is that a word?) character. 
Bath’s finest cafes are cosy, welcoming, beautiful and unique, but of course, they’ve never heard of almond milk or dairy-free baked goods. Their produce is local and fresh and the food is always amazing, but until Mr Twitchett and his Roundhill Roastery came to fruition, the coffee was instant and the milk choices, satisfactory. It’s easy to find milk sourced from the local farmers, which is of course delicious in so many ways, however, if you are detoxing, giving up dairy or completely intolerant to it, your only option is going to be soy. Again, nothing wrong with that, but once you’ve tasted nut milk and are aware of such creamy, flavoursome concoctions of nutrients, there will always be a pang for it. Cue, Society Cafe.

As I ordered our almond milk cappuccinos at the counter of Society Cafe in Kingsmead Square, a slice of Lemon, Polenta and Pistachio cake with exquisite beauty caught our eyes. I ordered it without giving it a thought and we sat in awe after our first mouthfuls, painfully vowing that we would wait to continue once our coffees had arrived. It was amazing, and straight away I wanted to create a grain-free, dairy-free and sugar-free version, using coconut milk and raw organic honey instead of butter and sugar. So thats what I done did.

+ I used amaranth instead of polenta as it is similar in physical features and I thought it would taste almost the same, and create a similar texture. I kept mine raw and I liked that the texture was quite bitty and crunchy, but boiling it first will soften it, making the cake smoother. Amaranth is a seed, similar to quinoa (you could probably use quinoa instead of amaranth, raw or gently boiled, if you don’t have amaranth). Amaranth is a complete protein, is full of vitamins and nutrients and is exceptionally high in fibre.

(Guide to Bath coming soon).

INGREDIENTS:
Makes one large cake. Halve measurements if you want to make several small cakes or really tiny ones, in ramekins.

200g Soft Coconut Oil
150g Organic Raw Honey or Raw Agave
200g Ground Almonds
250g Amaranth, raw or boiled in water for no longer than 5 minutes, to soften
1 Teaspoon Organic Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Psyillium Husk Powder
3 Large Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
The Zest of 2 Unwaxed Lemons
Handful of Whole Raspberries or Blueberries, optional

TO GLAZE:
The Juice of Two Lemons 
2 Tablespoons Raw Organic Honey or Raw Agave

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180c.
Beat the coconut oil and honey together in a medium bowl, using an electric whisk. In a separate bowl, mix the ground almonds, amaranth (raw or briefly boiled), baking powder and psyillium husk together. Beat 1/3 of the dry mixture into the coconut oil and honey, then beat in one egg. When combined, add another 1/3 of the dry mixture and another egg and beat until combined. Now add the final 1/3 of the dry mixture and the final egg, along with the vanilla extract, and whisk until fully combined. Stir in the lemon zest and pour the mixture into a tin or ovenproof dish, greased lightly with coconut oil.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, juice the lemons and pour the juice into a small bowl, with the honey or agave. Mix together until combined.

Remove the cake/s from the oven and let cool before removing the cake from the tin and placing it gently onto a plate. Stab gently at the surface of the cake with a fork and pour the lemon and honey mixture over the cake. Watch it soak into the cake, then leave in the fridge until ready to serve (it becomes even more dense, chewy and moist in the fridge thanks to the coconut oil), or serve right away. I enjoyed it with Buckwheat Yoghurt (recipe on the Qnola website soon), but cashew cream or coconut yoghurt will suffice. And the frosting below isn’t mandatory, but it is certainly advised.

OPTIONAL WHITE CHOCOLATE & AVOCADO FROSTING:
100g Cacao Butter
2 Ripe Avocados
1 Tablespoon Raw Organic Honey or Raw Agave
1/2 Cup Cashews
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest (or juice, for a stronger lemon flavour)

+ You can also used creamed coconut instead of the Cashews and Raw Honey or Agave.

METHOD:
Place the cacao butter and cashew nuts into a food processor or blender and blend for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Now add the avocado, scraping at the flesh to gradually release it from the skin so as not to overwhelm the blender with large chunks. Add the sweetener and lemon zest and blend for another 1-2 minutes, until everything is combined and the mixture is smooth and a whipped consistency. Spread onto your cooled cake/s. This icing is prefect for any cake, and works especially well on cacao cake, banana bread and blueberry muffins.

+ If you don’t like lemon flavoured things, this cake works just as well without the lemon, and this frosting is delicious on the plain vanilla and berry sponge. Alternatively, you can use fresh orange juice instead.

RAW CACAO DIGESTIVE BISCUITS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Gluten freedanielle copperman1 Comment

I recently had a conversation with my make up artist on a shoot about how good crunchy food is. Sometimes, we agreed, we don’t even crave sugar or food at all, we just want something to munch on. Biscuits are the devils. Made predominantly from butter, sugar and flour they are so simple yet somehow so incredible. The perfect snack and the perfect accompaniment for a hot drink. I was recently back and forth in emails giving health advice to a full time teacher who complained that it’s all well and good eating healthily and taking leftovers for packed lunch, but there is no escaping the staff room and the morning break-time snacks. I came up with this recipe as a simple and portable snack to make at home and take to work if office snacks are hard to turn down. I also think it is a great idea to have these in a jar or to make fresh for guests, so that you have something to offer them that you can enjoy with them. The look on my grandmothers face when i turn down the offer of a biscuit with my tea is so painful, I needed to come up with something.

I made these for a group of guests over the weekend whilst I was moving house and they are completely gluten, wheat, dairy, grain and refined sugar free. I made mine similar to chocolate digestive biscuits, but you could easily make the biscuit and leave it plain as there is plenty of flavour from the vanilla, salt and coconut palm sugar. You could also add ground ginger for a healthy gingersnap variation, or a mixture of spices to make chai biscuits - amazing with hot drinking cacao. If you want more of a proper cookie, add chopped chunks of raw chocolate to the mixture and leave them about 1cm in depth instead of flattening them down. You can top yours with cashew cream instead of icing, or stick two biscuits together with a spoonful of cashew cream in the middle to make a delicious cookie sandwich.

INGREDIENTS:
½ Cup Coconut Oil, room temperature
¼ Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoons Organic Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
1 1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Water

+ (Can add 2 tablespoons unrefined syrup of choice (date, coconut blossom, agave, honey, yacon) to add a wonderful caramel flavour to the biscuit)

FOR THE CHOCOLATE:
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
3-4 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Agave
Pinch of Salt

METHOD:
Preheat the oven to 175c.
Use an electric whisk to beat the coconut oil until it softens and becomes slightly fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure the coconut oil becomes a good soft consistency before continuing. Next add the sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon and beat again for 1-2 minutes. Add the almond butter and whisk again until everything becomes completely combined and the mixture becomes light and fluffy. It will look darker in colour than usual biscuit or cake batter but this is just the caramel colour of the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is combined and gradually add the water, before whisking one last time. Now, taking a wooden spoon, add the flour bit-by-bit and mix gently but thoroughly. When all of the flour has been added, give the mixture a final vigorous beat with the spoon before taking a tablespoon of the mixture at a time to flatten in your palms. If the dough is too wet and sticks to your hands, add a little more flour. You can also use a rolling pin and a circle cutter (or any shape for that matter) to separate into biscuits, but i always get frustrated when the dough sticks to the surface. I made the tablespoon of dough into a ball and then used the heel of my hands to gently flatten it into a circle. Grease a baking tray with a little coconut oil before arranging the uncooked biscuits. 
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown slightly.

Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. They must be completely cool before you add the chocolate or things will become extremely messy. If you are leaving them plain however, eat the straight away whilst they are still hot with a glass of almond milk or a cup of herbal tea.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE:
In a small bowl, melt the coconut oil in a microwave, or melt it in a small saucepan on the hob. Remove from the heat and whisk in the raw cacao powder until it is fully dissolved. Add the agave and salt and stir to combine. Leave aside for 5-10 minutes to let it thicken slightly. Now, take a pastry brush or something similar and brush the melted chocolate onto the cooled cookies. If you do not have a pastry brush you could try using a spatula or just dunking one side (or both - it’s entirely up to you) into the bowl of chocolate. Place them onto a plate and put them in the freezer for 2-3 minutes to set. Repeat this 3 or 4 times depending on how thick you want the chocolate layer to be. You could even sandwich two biscuits together, painting both flat sides with chocolate 2 or 3 times before finally pressing them together. Then leave them in the freezer to stick.

RAW LEMON, ROSE AND WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

Sugar Free, Vegandanielle coppermanComment

Baked cheesecake was never something i made much of a fuss about. Fridge-set cheesecake on the other hand… now we’re talking. Theres just something about cream cheese mixed with sugar. Its so wrong yet so, so right and combined with a crunchy gingernut or digestive base - I’m weak at the knees just thinking about it. These days, with dairy, sugar and gluten no longer part of my diet, i rarely crave a slice of cheesecake. I also rarely opt for the fruit flavour on the dessert menu, not because of the fructose but because vanilla, chocolate and caramel will always have one up in my opinion. Lemon, however, is an exception. When i first discovered lemon curd as a 7 year old, i couldn’t get enough of it and loved the confusion of its sweet yet sour taste. Citrus flavours and creamy flavours create a perfectly balanced taste sensation when combined together. So, to celebrate the first week of Spring in London, i decided to recreate these flavours using healthy, natural ingredients. I wanted to use fresh, fruity flavours that reminded me of summer. The cashews, avocado and coconut milk make this cheesecake creamy and the fresh lemon combined with organic rose extract makes it vibrant and refreshing. This “cheesecake” honestly turned out better than i thought it would. It tastes just as good if not better than a conventional cheesecake, and comes without the side effects of dairy, gluten and sugar. It is also pretty easy and quick to make - you could call it a Smoothie Cheesecake as you rely heavily on your blender for most of it. Also, with no baking required, once you’re done making the mixture you just leave the hard work to the freezer. As it is raw and doesn’t require baking, this cheesecake keeps hold of all its nutrients, vitamins and minerals without destroying anything, making it incredibly nutritious. It makes a perfect dessert but i also think it is more than acceptable to have for breakfast. It is full of healthy fats, protein, long-lasting sources of energy, fibre and antioxidants and is also incredibly alkalising. You could even leave the base for another time and make the filling as you would a smoothie or a cashew pudding. Stir through some soaked chia seeds or serve as a smoothie bowl topped with nuts, seeds and clean granola/muesli.

BASE INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Medool Dates
1 1/2 Cup Walnuts
1/2 Cup Almonds
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Avocado Oil
Salt
2 Tablespoons Beetroot Powder

METHOD

Place the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the blender if it isn’t combining properly, and blend several times until the mixture is pretty much smooth. once combined, scrape into a tart or cake tin or mini tart tins and spread along the bottom. Press down until the mixture is compact. You can spread it up the side of your tin depending on the shape or it if you want a side crust too. set in the fridge.

FILLING INGREDIENTS

Fresh Lemon Juice of 1 1/2 or 2 Lemons
1 Cup Cashews, soaked briefly or overnight if you have time
1/2 Ripe Avocado
2 Teaspoons Agave
1-2 Teaspoons Rose
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
80g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil (the cacao gives it the ‘white chocolate’ flavour)
2 Tablespoons OSB Skin Food or Maca or Superfood of choice
2 Tablespoons Solid Tinned Coconut Milk, or Coyo Original

METHOD

Place the cashews, lemon juice, avocado, agave, rose, vanilla and coconut milk into a clean blender. Melt the cacao butter in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Once fully melted, add this to the blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. You may need to stir to encourage the mixture. Blend until fully smooth and pour this over you prepared base(s). Spread evenly over the base and set in the freezer for about 30 minutes to an hour. It should be almost entirely solid when you remove it, and if it seems too solid, remove from the freezer and store in the fridge to soften before serving.

OTHER FILLING SUGGESTIONS
You can omit the beetroot powder from the base or substitute it for cacao if you want to experiment with different cheesecake flavours. I love mixing the base with cacao for a Raw Cacao Torte or a Vanilla Choc Chip Cheesecake.

CACAO
(makes one large torte)
120g Cacao Butter or Coconut oil
400g Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Spirulina
Handful Cashews, soaked
1 Tablespoons Organic Orange Oil or Extract (or Fresh orange juice & zest)
1-2 Tablespoons Agave (as the Cacao has quite a bitter taste)
Salt
Blend, pour onto base then freeze.

VANILLA CHOC CHIP
1-2 Fresh Vanilla Pods
100g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Cacao Nibs
1 Cup Cashews
4 Tablespoon’s Solid Tinned Coconut milk
1/2 Cup Chopped Raw Chocolate or Cacao Paste (made by melting 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil or cacao butter with 2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder and leaving to set)
Salt
Blend, pour onto base then freeze.

CHOCOLATE & SALTED CARAMEL TART
1 Tin Coconut Milk
1/3 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
1-2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Avocado, optional
Heat all the ingredients in a pan. Bring to the boil and whisk like this for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat then simmer for 10-15 minutes, whisking constantly. Transfer to a blender and blend until combined. Pour onto the base then freeze until almost solid.
Top with a layer of melted Raw Chocolate or Dairy Free Dark Chocolate. Either cover the whole tart of drizzle over the caramel. 
Freeze again until chocolate harden.

OUT OF THIS WORLD LEMON AND LIME CURD BARS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Gluten free, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

This is one of my favourite recipes and I've made it time after time for guests, occasions, event catering and, well, for myself. A lot. It's one of those things that looks extremely unpromising as it goes into the oven, but comes out looking, smelling and tasting like nothing on this earth you have ever tried before. It is a bonus, then, that they are gluten, grain, dairy and sugar free. The base was inspired by a grain free desiccated coconut flapjack i recently experimented with, and although it is quite unlike a biscuit (common in most lemon bar recipes) it is a thousand times more flavoursome and has a much chewier, cakey texture.

Perfect with a hot drink or as a light, healthy after-dinner dessert. These also make great gifts for foodies and health conscious friends and family. Wrap them in baking paper and seal with some twine or some ribbon.

 

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS

BASE
6 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
3 Tablespoons Coconut Blossom Nectar, Agave or Date Syrup (any unrefined syrup will work)
2 Cups Desiccated Coconut
1 Cup Ground Almonds
1/4 Cup Coconut or Buckwheat Flour
Salt
2 Egg Whites

TOP LAYER
3 Eggs
2 Egg Yolks (leftover from the crust)
Juice of 2 Lemons
Zest of 1 Lemon, optional
Juice of 1 Lime
5 Coconut Blossom Nectar, Agave, Maple or Date Syrup
1/3 Cup Ground Almonds
1 Tablespoon Milled Chia Seeds, optional

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 175c. Grease a small rectangular oven proof dish with coconut oil or line it with greaseproof paper.
Melt together the coconut oil, unrefined syrup of choice, shredded coconut, almond flour, salt and coconut or buckwheat flour. Stir to combine and remove from the heat - be careful not to burn the coconut. You only need to heat the mixture until the oil and syrup have completely dissolved. Add your egg whites to the mixture, saving the yolks to use in the filling, and stir thoroughly until the mixture comes together in a doughy, sticky paste. Arrange the mixture in your prepared dish, using a spatula or spoon to spread the mixture out evenly across the base of the dish, pressing firmly to ensure it is compact to ensure it sticks together nicely. 
Bake for 10 minutes until the top begins to brown. It may also begin to rise but will flatten again as it cools. If the tops aren't browning after 10 minutes, you should still remove it from the oven, as you will continue to cook it once the filling is on top, so it will all come together in the end. Once you've removed it from the oven, place it in the fridge to set whilst you prepare the filling.

Vigorously mix together the eggs and egg yolks, either by hand if you're feeling up to it, or using an electric whisk. Wait until the become frothy before adding the lemon and lime juice, zest - if using, sweetener, ground almonds and chia seeds - if using. Continue to whisk for 1-2 minutes until everything comes together nicely and is still relatively frothy. Pour the filling mixture over the cooked base and bake for another 15-20 minutes. The top should feel spongy to touch and should bounce back slightly when you prod it. If it is too runny, lower the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes. 

Leave to cool or set in the fridge before slicing and enjoying. It tastes perfectly delicious as a gooey mess, but once it's set, there aren't even words to describe it. Sprinkle with gluten free flour or desiccated coconut and enjoy as they are, or serve with fresh mint leaves and/or homemade coconut cream. 

+ You can also experiment with adding passion fruit to the filling, or homemade apple or mango juice or puree.