WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

EASTER

COCONUT MACA MACAROONS

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

Easter treats for ya! A cross between cornflake crispy cakes, rice crispy cakes, and those cute little easter nests we all used to make in junior school. These are, ofc, gluten, grain, dairy and refined sugar free, and involved highly nutritious ingredients such as golden linseeds, sunflower seeds, flaked almonds, cacao nibs, pure cacao powder and maca.

Hi and bye.

INGREDIENTS
Makes roughly 20-26 macaroon domes / balls, depending on size

50g Cacao Powder
120g Coconut Oil
30g Coconut Nectar, Raw Honey, Date Syrup, Maple or Natural Syrup of choice
50g Cacao nibs
20g Sunflower Seeds
20g Golden Linseeds
200g Desiccated Coconut
30g Flaked Almonds, sliced (can also use coconut flakes)
5g Maca Powder
5g Bee pollen (optional, if you have it)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste, Seeds, Powder or Extract

Optional
Goji Berries or Other Dried Fruit, for a rocky road kind of vibe

METHOD

Start by weighing out and mixing the cacao nibs, sunflower seeds, linseeds, flaked almonds, desiccated coconut, maca and bee pollen, if using, in a medium bowl.

Next, weigh out your cacao powder, coconut oil, natural sweetener of choice and vanilla in a saucepan. Melt over a medium to low heat until the powder combines with the other ingredients and everything is dissolved and smoothly incorporated.

Remove from the heat and pour over the dry ingredients. Use a spatula or a wooden spoon to carefully but quickly stir the mixture, coating all of the dry ingredients completely. Mix for about 2 minutes in order to combine every last nib and every little seed, then place in the fridge for 5 minutes to set briefly. Once the mixture begins to stiffen, it will easier to form into balls. If you want to make bars, you can work with the mixture without having set it, if you have suitable bar molds.

For the balls / domes, take a small handful of the mixture and form it into a small ball in the palm of your hands.

Arrange on a baking tray or a plate, and repeat until all of the mixture is used up. Place in the freezer for at least 20-30 minutes to firm up, and then enjoy.

+ Store in the freezer for as long as you can resist them for.
+ Use or create leftovers on purpose to freeze in clusters to make raw granola. Simply serve with almond milk or on smoothie bowls or yoghurts.

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.

THE BROWNIES PROMISE

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman8 Comments

I call these gratitude brownies. Gluten free, grain free, dairy free, sugar free and nut free, these brownies not only make you feel grateful for all of the ingredients they contain that enrich life here on earth, but also for every single thing going on in your life at this moment in time. You could call them stress-releif brownies, you could call them break-up brownies, you could call them holiday-blues brownies. What i'm trying to say is, no matter what life is throwing at you, making (and then demolishing) a batch of these brownies will make none of it matter. You'll instantly feel grateful for all the good in your life, focussing on everything positive (predominantly, the brownies that sit before you), and momentarily leaving behind any bad/negative thoughts/issues/situations. It's like these brownies take your problems and pack them away into an insignificant little box never to be found, creating more space for you to dwell on the positive aspects of your life. I guess you could call them feel-good brownies, but thats a little generic. Name them as you see fit. Today, these are Easter brownies. And also it's-so-grey-outside-lets-brighten-things-up brownies.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 10-12 large brownies, or enough batter to split between two tins for thin brownies.

300g Coconut Oil
120g Cacao Powder
Pinch of Salt
4 eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract, Bean Paste or Seeds from Fresh Pods
200g Coconut Palm Sugar 
2 Tablespoons Agave
200g Buckwheat Flour
1 Teaspoon Maca
1-2 Tablespoons Brown or Golden Linseeds, to top

+ These brownies are incredibly decadent and dense. They aren't fluffy or cake-like, and once chilled in the fridge they stiffen and begin to resemble fudge. For a cakier, lighter version, use less coconut oil and use ground almonds and dates, instead of buckwheat flour and sugar. I'll develop a precise recipe for these in the next couple of weeks.
 

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease a heat proof dish with a little coconut oil. (You can line the tin with baking paper, but if the mixture sticks to that, it isn't as fun to salvage and is extremely frustrating to separate the paper from the brownie).

Start by melting the coconut oil in a large sauce pan over a low-medium heat. Whisk in the cacao powder, vanilla, maca and agave. In a separate bowl, measure out the flour and salt. In another bowl or a wide mouth jug, whisk the eggs with the sugar until completely combined. When the coconut oil and cacao has dissolved and come together, remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then, whisk the sugar and egg mixture into the chocolate, working quickly to avoid allowing the egg to cook in the warmth of the chocolate. Next, add the flour, a few large tablespoons at a time, and whisk constantly. When everything is combined, pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 30-45 minutes. I like to take mine out when the middle is still a little gooey, as they will continue to cook as they cool, and this will leave the middle incredibly chewy. If you cook them for too long, they may end up too dry.

+ I prefer these cold having been chilled in the fridge. Serve with coconut cream or top with avocado cream, almond butter or tahini frosting.

+ This recipe fills an entire tin about 5cm deep. I made large brownies then cut them in half as they are so rich and dense it was almost too much. You could simply halve the mixture to make your brownies flatter/thinner, or split the mixture between a couple of tins. Alternatively, use a larger tin, or shallow baking trays with high sides, and make really flat brownies to serve canapé style. (see picture above, with almond butter topping)

EASTER EGG SHORTBREADS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

Shortbreads, despite their three main components being butter, sugar and white flour, have proven to be one of the easiest things to make healthily. I substitute the butter with coconut oil, the sugar with coconut palm sugar or natural fruit sugars/syrups, and the white flour with buckwheat flour, oat flour, or nuts ground into a flour consistency. From there, it is easy to add other ingredients to increase the nutritional profile of your biscuits even more - such as superfood powders, raw vegetables and linseeds/flaxseeds or chia seeds. You can also very easily make these into savoury or sweet biscuits, simply reducing the amount of coconut palm sugar or syrup used for savoury biscuits (and adding vegetables, more flour and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour), or increasing the coconut palm sugar or syrup quantities to your personal taste, and adding things like low fructose dried fruit and super foods like maca and cacao. Once you've got the base down, you can add pretty much anything.

And you don't have to skip the icing either! Creamed coconut is a mysterious ingredient and, as it sets, resembles sugar icing almost exactly. I actually prefer it, as it has a nicer texture, a creamier flavour and doesn't leave a strange aftertaste or sugaring coating in your mouth after you've eaten it. While some of the colouring items are quite an investment, they're definitely worth it. I alternate adding each one to smoothies, porridge and soups as well.

-  View the full recipe on WOMENSHEALTHMAG.CO.UK  -


LEMON AND CHIA SEED WHITE CHOCOLATES

Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

Chocolates come in all shapes and sizes. Since stocking Qnola in The Food Hall at Selfridges, I have come to realise that no matter how long you spend wondering around that place, there is always a new Chocolatier to discover, a new chocolate to sample. I discovered the possibility of making healthy raw white chocolate a while ago (see here), and love to experiment with adding different natural flavourings and super foods to the base recipe to create a variation of delicious, chocolatey sweet treats.

Chocolate was always a Friday night kind of thing in my family. Aside from the fact it also made its way into our packed lunches, Friday night always seemed more of a chocolate occasion. It wasn't complete without a large bar of Dairy Milk or Galaxy, provided my the man of the house, positioned strategically on a table within arms reach of each sofa. 

These chocolates differ considerably to the kind we used to pass around and share square by square. They are made without dairy or sugar and instead consist of pure cacao butter, natural sweeteners and added super foods. They make the perfect snack to instantly enhance your energy levels, generally maintaining blood sugar levels - unlike conventional chocolatey snacks which are high in refined sugar and additives. They also make great gifts, are a brilliant activity for children to get involved with and are perfect after dinner sweets to share with a table of guests.

INGREDIENTS
(makes 25 Chocolates)

1 Bar Creamed Coconut (like this)
3/4 Cup Coconut Oil or Cacao Butter
Juice of 1 Fresh Lemon (add the zest too if you want to)
3-4 Tablespoons Agave/Coconut Nectar/Raw Honey
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Powder or Fresh Vanilla Seeds from 1 Pod
3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

OPTIONAL
Fresh Chopped Goji Berries
Superfood Powders of choice (I love maca, baobab, mucuna puriens and a drop of aloe vera juice)

METHOD

Start by melting the coconut oil over a low heat. Chop away at the solid bar of creamed coconut and then add that to the pan, stirring constantly. Add the rest of your ingredients, whisking or stirring with a wooden spoon until everything has melted and combined together. 

Pour into chocolate moulds (you can even use an ice tray if you don't have proper moulds) and place into the freezer to set for 20-30 minutes.

+ Store in the freezer for really stiff chocolates, or in the fridge. Serve as a gift or after dinner snack, or enjoy as a mid-afternoon pick me up.

+ You can also experiment with making these with my lemon curd recipe. You can either stir 2 tablespoons of the pre-made curd into the mixture (reducing the amount of fresh lemon used), or you can use a small spoonful of curd to fill the white chocolates. Simply fill your moulds half way only, set, then arrange a small amount of the curd in the centre of the set chocolate, then pour over the remaining white chocolate mixture, and set again for 20-30 minutes.

ROLOS AND RAW ROLO BLISS BALLS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

Caramel is almost on a par with chocolate in my opinion. I love the rich, creamy taste sensation of chocolate but is there anything more delightfully, mouth-wateringly confusing than the sweet ‘n’ salty combination? This recipe came about when i succeeded in making healthy millionaire shortbreads (recipe up tomorrow). Having proven it was possible to make a healthy caramel, i didn’t want to stop there and couldn’t wait to work it into brownies, muffins and raw chocolate treats. Rolo’s sprang to mind immediately and the lead up to Easter seemed the perfect time to give them a go. I would personally recommend making these if you only make one of my easter recipes this year. They are much easier than the eggs, don’t require buying any egg moulds and taste just as good, if not better!

FOR INDULGENT COCONUT CARAMEL

2 Tins Coconut Milk (use the solid coconut fat from each and only 1 tablespoon of the liquid)
3/4 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar 
1-2 Teaspoons Himalayan Pink Salt, to taste
1 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract.
3 Tablespoons Almond Butter or Cashew Butter
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Maca Powder - optional

METHOD
In a medium saucepan, melt the cacao butter or coconut oil depending on what you prefer. The cacao butter tastes better but they both act similarly in setting the caramel after the boiling process. Once melted add the rest of the ingredients and whisk. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes on a medium to high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 35 minutes, whisking every 5 minutes to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan, or worse, burn. Transfer to a bowl and set in the freezer for half an hour. Check on the caramel after 10 minutes and give it a stir. The coconut oil may separate a little so if this happens, transfer to the blender and blend before the coconut oil becomes completely solid. The cacao butter will be less likely to do this. Once the caramel is set but not entirely solid, remove from the freezer.

When the caramel has hardened, take teaspoonfuls of the mixture at a time and roll in to balls in your hands. Place on a plate and then leave in the freezer again to remain stiff whilst you prepare the chocolate.

FOR EASY, RAW ALMOND CARAMEL
(Makes 26)

INGREDIENTS

6 Tablespoons Smooth Almond Butter
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Fresh Seeds From 1 Vanilla Pod
1 Tablespoon Coconut Palm Sugar or Coconut Nectar
8 Medjool Dates
3-4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, room temp
1/2 Teaspoon Maca Powder - optional

METHOD
Simply blend all of the ingredients together in a high speed blender for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. This caramel won't be gooey like the heated version, but leave it to set in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes until it hardens. Then use a spoon or a small scoop to form the chewy mixture into balls.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE

100g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar or Date Syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Salt (optional - the caramel is pretty salty itself so you can choose to leave this out)
2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk - if you want a milkier, milder chocolate

METHOD
In a heatproof bowl over saucepan filled with boiling water, place the cacao butter, agave and salt. Whisk until the cacao butter or coconut oil dissolves. Gradually add the cacao powder and whisk continuously to avoid any lumps. When everything is combined and fully melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside. Get the Caramel Balls out from the freezer and form into rolo shapes with a little squishing at the sides. Keep them in balls if you’d prefer or even make them into long rectangles for a curly-wirly or twix kind of snack. Anyway, if using the balls like i did, roll them gently in the chocolate until fully coated and place on a plate. Refreeze for 2 minutes, then repeat this process 2 or 3 more times to ensure a thick, crunchy layer of chocolate. You could also pour the chocolate into mini cupcake cases and simply take a small spoonful of caramel to place in the middle. Then top the caramel with more melted raw chocolate to make a caramel ‘cup’ - similar to a reese’s peanut butter cup, but in my opinion, far more delicious!


RAW ROLO BLISS BALLS
These are a little easier and simpler to make. Once the dates are smoothly blended there is nothing to worry about. I know a lot of people have difficulty blending dates effectively and i even know someone who’s Vitamix got defeated by a bunch of dates. They are strong, sticky little things so be careful. If you don’t have a very powerful blender i would suggest soaking them for a few hours before blending. However, if you begin this recipe by breaking the dates down with a little water, everything should go smoothly. If you are confident in the power of your blender simply chuck everything in at once and let it do all the work for you.

FOR THE CARAMEL FILLING

1 1/2 Cups Soft Medjool Dates (or unsulphered apricots)
6 Tablespoons Almond Butter, optional
2 Tablespoons Cashew Butter or Tahini
2-4 Tablespoons Water or Plant Based Milk
1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
4 Tablespoons Ground Almonds, optional
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
2 tablespoons Coconut Milk, solid parts only
1 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
Dash of Organic Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Seeds

METHOD
Place the dates and the water into a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until a smooth paste begins to form. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again for another 2-3 minutes until everything is combined and smooth. Pour into a bowl and set in the freezer for half an hour. It should be firm to touch and when it is, take a teaspoon and begin to form the mixture into balls. Place the balls on a plate and then set in the freezer again whilst you prepare the raw chocolate coating.

FOR THE RAW CHOCOLATE COATING

100g Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
6 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
1 Teaspoon Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar or Date Syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Salt (optional - the caramel is pretty salty itself so you can choose to leave this out)

METHOD
In a heatproof bowl over saucepan filled with boiling water, place the cacao butter, agave and salt. Whisk until the cacao butter or coconut oil dissolves. Gradually add the cacao powder and whisk continuously to avoid any lumps. When everything is combined and fully melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside. Remove the Caramel Balls from the freezer and roll them gently in the chocolate until fully coated. Place on a plate and refreeze for 2 minutes, then repeat this process 2 or 3 more times to ensure a thick, crunchy layer of chocolate.