WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

GOOD FOR KIDS

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.

COCONUT PALM AND SALTED ALMOND DUSTED TOFFEE APPLES

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

I arrived in New York October 23rd. People were already in fancy dress. People's dogs were already in fancy dress. Halloween in the USA is no joke. It is real.

A brief timeline of my first few days in the city:

Settled into my friends apartment in East Village.
Ate at Dimes too many times. Ate at Hu Kitchen too many times.
Saw too many dogs dressed in tutu's.
Said Hola to my agents, had new digitals taken and began a marathon of castings.
Regretted bringing so many jumpers because the weather here is currently tropical.
Said goodbye to my laptop as my flatmate bathed it in lemon and ginger tea. Was forced to take a break from my usual work, so between castings and meetings, made some healthy toffee apples.

Toffee apples are everywhere right now as Fall celebrations like Halloween and Bonfire Night arrive. I was never very fond of them as a child, they were too tough to get into, and the reward for hurting teeth, cutting lips and getting sticky hands wasn't tempting enough for me. They just aren't that good. There I said it. But what I came up with in my friends apartment on the rainiest Fall afternoon, using organic coconut sugar instead of refined sugar, no dairy and the juiciest organic apples, kind of changed my mind about a few things. Particularly my opinion on toffee apples. These ones are much less sickly, much more nutritious, much more flavoursome and the coating is slightly chewy, as opposed to the solidified shards of toffee commonly found coating shop bought options. And if you're worried about people (kids) not liking a healthier version, my flatmate and her boyfriend polished these off in under 2 days, blissfully unaware of what ingredients went into them. They probably don't even know what coconut palm sugar is. So go with it, no one will know...

INGREDIENTS
makes 4-6

1 Cup Coconut Palm Sugar
250ml Cold Water
1 1/4 Cups Almond or Coconut Milk
Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice - optional
4 Small - Medium Apples of choice (I used Granny Smiths)

+ You will need a selection of bamboo sticks, kebab sticks or lollipop sticks.

TOPPINGS (estimate the amount required depending on which ingredients you choose, and how much you want to coat the apples)

Chopped Salted Almonds (or any nut/seed of choice)
Golden Linseeds
Chia Seeds
Cacao Powder
Maca Powder
Chopped Cacao Nibs
Granola or Qnola

METHOD

Start by boiling the water in a medium saucepan. As it begins to boil, stir in the coconut palm sugar, and let the mixture boil on a high heat for 2-3 more minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce to a medium heat, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Simmer here for 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly as it can stick to the pan or burn easily. Keep a close eye on it, watching it thicken, and continue to simmer until it becomes darker brown in colour, thicker and begins to reduce slightly. To test whether it is done, take a teaspoonful and rest it on a plate to cool. As it cools it should become even thicker and should be slightly tough to touch. If it is still sticky and runny, continue to simmer and allow it to thicken even more. Once you are happy with the consistency and once it begins to set more solidly, remove the pan from the heat.

Now you need to work relatively quickly as the toffee will cool rapidly. Lightly grease a plate or a baking tray with coconut oil. Take one apple at a time and insert whichever sticks you are using through the middle of it. It shouldn't go all the way through to the other side, but deep enough to ensure it won't slip out. Now, carefully tilt the sauce pan to one side, dip the apple into the toffee mixture, and turn the apple repeatedly to coat it evenly. Lift it out of the toffee and continue to turn it above the mixture, to let any excess drip off. I recommend scraping the bottom gently, to ensure it doesn't stick too much to the plate/tray that you place them on. As the toffee begins to stop dripping, place the apple on your prepare surface, and repeat with the other apples. You can either leave the apples bare like this, or roll them through the toppings of your choice. I chopped some salted almonds finely and placed them in a medium bowl, then gently rolled the apples around in the bowl until the almond dust stuck. If it is easier, you can top the apples by taking a handful of your toppings and pressing it into the toffee coating.
Once coated, or if you are leaving them bare, place the apples in the fridge to cool and set a little more, for around 1 hour. The longer you leave them, the better.

+ These will last for around 2 weeks in the fridge or in an airtight container.
+ You can also use this toffee recipe to make individual toffees. Instead of coating apples, simply allow the toffee to cool a little, and then take teaspoonfuls of the mixture and mould it into individual shapes, or fill chocolate moulds with the mixture, and set in the fridge.

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.

CHIA SEED PORRIDGE - FOUR WAYS

Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment
IMG_1650.JPG

I don't even know how I have left it so long to post this recipe. It is by far one of my favourite breakfasts (also a perfect snack or dessert), and, providing instant yet long-lasting energy, is my go-to pre-workout meal. The combinations are endless, and the toppings are what really take things up a notch. The texture of chia seeds is unusual and completely unique. At first, people can be sceptical about even giving them a chance, as they look and feel unlike any other kind of food - and not in an appetising way. However, prepared the right way, chia seeds can become one of the most delicious sweet treats, and are packed with antioxidants, fibre, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. They swell when they are combined with a liquid, tripling in size, which means when you consume them they'll contribute to keeping you fuller for longer, without making you feel bloated or 'too full'. Additionally, they retain a lot of the liquid, keeping you sufficiently hydrated too. 

Below are just four simple recipes of my favourite flavour combinations. I serve these as warm porridges, but store the leftovers in the fridge and enjoy them for days as a cold chia seed pudding, for an instant, on-the-go breakfast and portable snack. This is also one of my favourite travel companions. The chia seeds soak up all of the liquid, so it doesn't leak from the container!

The most important component of these recipes is the milk. The cashew milk is thick and creamy and I've perfected this as a base for these recipes to create the softest and creamiest results. I have previously used coconut water and nut milks, but as they are quite thin liquids, the result is generally less creamy and doesn't bind as well. You want the gel of the chia seeds to really combine and merge together, and if the milk isn't thick enough, you'll end up with more chia seeds than you do gel (see the image of all four bowls above - the pink one without any toppings is made with normal coconut water and is a lot wetter - the chia seeds more separated - than the others. This was an experiment, but the recipe for the Beetroot Pudding below, is with the thicker milk, which I believe tastes better).

CHIA SEED PORRIDGE - FOUR WAYS   

 

VANILLA CINNAMON CHIA SEED PORRIDGE WITH CACAO ALMOND SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 3 portions)

1 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk (can be tinned coconut milk, freshly homemade, or milk from a carton) 
5 Tablespoons Chia Seeds 
1 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Raw Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Cup Cashews, preferably soaked for 2-4 hours
1 1/2 Cups Cold, Filtered Water
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (can also experiment with using ginger or cardamom, or other spices of choice)
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

METHOD 

Start by preparing the milk. Blend the cashews with your the water and your chosen nut milk for 2-3 minutes, on the highest speed. Sieve the milk, either through a sieve or using a nut milk bag (cashews don't create much pulp though, so a sieve works fine). Pour the sieved milk into a medium saucepan and simmer on a medium heat. Add the chia seeds, vanilla, natural sweetener, salt, and cinnamon and stir constantly to ensure the seeds don't stick to the sides of the pan, or float on the top of the milk. Reduce the heat as the mixture begins to boil and thicken, and simmer for about 15-25 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of your milk and the exact quantity of chia seeds used. Stir regularly to make sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When all of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy - almost resembling rice pudding - remove from the heat and serve.

+ If the mixture seems too wet, add more chia seeds. If it seems to dry, add a little more water or nut milk, gradually.

CACAO ALMOND SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 5 servings)

2 Large Tablespoons Almond Butter (can also try with cashew butter, other nut butters or tahini)
1/3 Cup Filtered Water
1-2 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Honey
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1-2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder (depending on your taste preferences and how rich/bitter you like it)
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Coconut Oil

METHOD

Simply heat the almond butter and water in a small saucepan, whisking constantly. Add your sweetener of choice, the salt, the coconut oil and the vanilla, and continue to whisk. Simmer on a low heat, whisk in the cacao powder, and when it has dissolved and fully combined, remove from the heat and serve.

+ This recipe is extremely quick. If you cook it for too long, it can quickly burn or begin to thicken too much. If it becomes too thick, try adding a little more water and sweetener.


BEETROOT INFUSED CHIA SEED PORRIDGE

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 3 portions)

1 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk (can be tinned coconut milk, freshly homemade, or milk from a carton) 
5 Tablespoons Chia Seeds 
1 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Raw Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Cup Cashews, preferably soaked for 2-4 hours
1 1/2 Cups Cold, Filtered Water
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Tablespoon Beetroot Powder, or 2 Tablespoons Grated Raw Beetroot

METHOD 

Start by preparing the milk. Blend the cashews with your the water and your chosen nut milk for 2-3 minutes, on the highest speed. Sieve the milk, either through a sieve or using a nut milk bag (cashews don't create much pulp though, so a sieve works fine). Pour the sieved milk back into the blender, add the beetroot powder or the grated beetroot and blend for another 2 minutes. Then pour into a medium saucepan and begin to simmer over a medium heat. Add the chia seeds, vanilla, natural sweetener and salt, and stir constantly to ensure the seeds don't stick to the sides of the pan, or float on the top of the milk. Reduce the heat as the mixture begins to boil and thicken, and simmer for about 15-25 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of your milk and the exact quantity of chia seeds used. Stir regularly to make sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When all of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy - almost resembling rice pudding - remove from the heat and serve.

+ If the mixture seems too wet, add more chia seeds. If it seems to dry, add a little more water or nut milk, gradually


BLUEBERRY CASHEW MILK CHIA SEED PORRIDGE WITH FRESH BERRIES AND BLUEBERRY SYRUP

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 3 portions)

1 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk (can be tinned coconut milk, freshly homemade, or milk from a carton) 
5 Tablespoons Chia Seeds 
1 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Raw Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Cup Cashews, preferably soaked for 2-4 hours
1 Cup Cold, Filtered Water
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 Cup Frozen of Fresh Blueberries (can use mixed berries too)

METHOD 

Start by preparing the milk. Blend the cashews with your the water and your chosen nut milk for 2-3 minutes, on the highest speed. Sieve the milk, either through a sieve or using a nut milk bag (cashews don't create much pulp though, so a sieve works fine). Pour the sieved milk back into the blender, add the berries and blend for a further 2 minutes, until the mixture is smooth, and purple in colour. The pout the infused milk into a medium saucepan and simmer on a medium heat. Add the chia seeds, vanilla, natural sweetener and salt, and stir constantly to ensure the seeds don't stick to the sides of the pan, or float on the top of the milk. Reduce the heat as the mixture begins to boil and thicken, and simmer for about 15-25 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of your milk and the exact quantity of chia seeds used. Stir regularly to make sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When all of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy - almost resembling rice pudding - remove from the heat and serve.

+ If the mixture seems too wet, add more chia seeds. If it seems to dry, add a little more water or nut milk, gradually

BLUEBERRY SYRUP

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 3 servings)

1 Cup Blueberries
1 Cup Raspberries
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 Cup Water

1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Blossom/Organic Honey

METHOD

Start by blending the berries with the water, on a high speed for 2 minutes. When smooth, transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the lemon juice, salt and sweetener of choice and whisk to combine everything. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes, adding a little more lemon juice and a little more sweetener if the mixture is too watery. Once it has thickened, serve, or pour into an airtight jar and store in the fridge.


CACAO CHIA SEED PORRIDGE WITH SALTED CARAMEL ALMOND SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 3 portions)

1 Cup Coconut or Almond Milk (can be tinned coconut milk, freshly homemade, or milk from a carton) 
5 Tablespoons Chia Seeds 
2 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Raw Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Cup Cashews, preferably soaked for 2-4 hours
1 1/2 Cups Cold, Filtered Water
1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (can also experiment with using ginger or cardamom, or other spices of choice)
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Cacao Powder 

METHOD 

Start by preparing the milk. Blend the cashews with your the water and your chosen nut milk for 2-3 minutes, on the highest speed. Sieve the milk, either through a sieve or using a nut milk bag (cashews don't create much pulp though, so a sieve works fine). Pour the sieved milk into a medium saucepan and simmer on a medium heat. Add the chia seeds, vanilla, natural sweetener, salt, and cacao powder and stir constantly to ensure the seeds don't stick to the sides of the pan, or float on the top of the milk. Reduce the heat as the mixture begins to boil and thicken, and simmer for about 15-25 minutes. This will depend on the thickness of your milk and the exact quantity of chia seeds used. Stir regularly to make sure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. When all of the liquid has been absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy - almost resembling rice pudding - remove from the heat and serve.

+ If the mixture seems too wet, add more chia seeds. If it seems to dry, add a little more water or nut milk, gradually

SALTED CARAMEL ALMOND SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
(makes roughly 5 servings)

2 Large Tablespoons Almond Butter (can also try with cashew butter, other nut butters or tahini)
1/3 Cup Filtered Water
1-2 Tablespoons Date Syrup/Agave/Coconut Nectar/Organic Honey
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Coconut Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon or Ginger - optional
1/2 Teaspoon Maca (or other superfoods of choice) - optional

METHOD

Simply heat the almond butter and water in a small saucepan, whisking constantly. Add your sweetener of choice, the salt, the coconut oil and the vanilla, and continue to whisk. Simmer on a low heat, whisk in the spices and superfood powders, if using, and when it has dissolved and fully combined, remove from the heat and serve.

+ This recipe is extremely quick. If you cook it for too long, it can quickly burn or begin to thicken too much. If it becomes too thick, try adding a little more water and sweetener.


HEALTHY COCONUT AND CASHEW CUSTARD DREAMS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman2 Comments

Healthy snacks are hard to come by. They are hard to find in cafes, even harder to find in supermarkets or convenience stores and seemingly hard to make yourself. It is for this reason the title of this post - healthy custard cream biscuits - probably seems like some kind of un-amusing joke. You've probably never felt less enthused or more hopeless about something in your life. However, having mastered several other gluten, dairy and refined sugar free shortbread recipes, you should feel comfortable in my hands. I've only made these biscuits three times. Once as an experiment, once again to share around my agency (IMG Models) during London Fashion Week, and then a final time on demand, requested by Laney Crowell, who flew all the way to London from New York just for one bite (and kind of to oversee a shoot; but mainly in pursuit of the custard cream close ups I'd teased her with on instagram a few weeks beforehand). She just needed them. And I may not know you well, but I do know you need them too.

The biscuits are one of my favourite things I've ever made. I almost wish they would develop some kind of flaw, as, when I make them, I can't stop eating them, and when they're gone, I can't stop thinking about them. The biscuit is completely gluten free, made with buckwheat flour and ground almonds (although you can leave the almonds out if you want to make a nut-free version). The filling is incredibly easy too, and made with cashew and coconut is full of healthy fats (omega 3 fatty acids), protein, fibre and antioxidants. If you make one thing for guests or one thing for someone who refuses to believe healthy food can be delicious, make it a batch of coconut and cashew custard creams.

INGREDIENTS
Makes Roughly 45 Biscuits (20-25 finished biscuits using 2 either side of the filling)

180g Coconut Oil
1 Teaspoon Tahini
50-60g Coconut Palm Sugar
4 Tablespoons Agave
Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract, Bean Paste or Fresh Vanilla Seeds from a Pod
200g Buckwheat Flour
4 Tablespoons Ground Almonds

FILLING
Makes enough for 45 Biscuits

1 Bar Creamed Coconut, melted
30g Raw Cashew Nuts (you can replace theses with another bar creamed coconut for a nut-free alternative)
3 Tablespoons Solid/Soft Coconut Oil 
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste or Vanilla Seeds from a Fresh Pod
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Solid Coconut Milk - optional
1 Teaspoon Coconut Sugar, Nectar, Agave, Date Paste or Raw Honey

METHOD

Lets start with the biscuits. Preheat the oven to 160c. Use a chunk of solid coconut oil to grease 2 flat baking trays.

I'll warn you now that the biscuit dough seems to hold together differently every time i make these. I think it depends on the heat of my hands, the moisture, the texture of the coconut oil and just generally how the dough is feeling. If it isn't cooperating, it can be quite frustrating. That said - every single time i have made these, they have worked impeccably.

Start by using an electric whisk to beat together the coconut oil and the coconut palm sugar. Make sure the coconut oil is soft not melted, and not rock hard. To soften it if it is too cold, place it in a plastic sandwich bag and wrap the bag in a flannel or towel soaked in hot water. Squeeze and massage the oil until it becomes slightly softer.

Once the oil and coconut sugar have come together into a light, fluffy mixture (it will be darker than the usual cake batter you are used to, due to the coconut palm sugar) add the salt, agave, tahini and vanilla before gradually adding the buckwheat flour and the ground almonds.

Continue to whisk and when the mixture becomes too doughy to whisk, use a wooden spoon or you hands to combine everything. Once all of the ingredients are coming together, use you hands to knead the dough slightly, and form into a large ball. Squeeze and massage the dough until it holds together nicely. If it is too dry or too crumbly, add a little more agave. If it is really too dry, add a tiny bit of extra coconut oil. If it is too oily, wet or sticky, add more buckwheat flour. For me, I notice that the biscuits cook best with more flour, however dry the mixture may seem. So try to keep the mixture quite dry, working it with your hands as much as possible to encourage it to bind. It may take a few minutes of kneading to get it to where it needs to be.

Leave aside for 10-20 minutes in a tightly squeezed ball. Don't place it in the fridge as the coconut oil will cause it to stiffen rapidly.

Lightly flour a dry surface and roll out half or a quarter of you dough at a time. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out, using a lot of pressure to encourage the dough to stick together, until it is no more than 4mm in depth. Use your cutter of choice (I use the lid from a jar of coffee which is more or less the perfect rectangular shape. You can also use a knife to cut out shapes, although this is rather laborious and time consuming).
+ Use a thin, sharp knife or a metal spatula to peel each biscuit off of the surface if it become stuck.

Place each raw biscuit onto your prepared baking tray. Place in the over for 10-15 minutes. This will depend on your dough (i.e: if you felt inclined to add more flour or more agave). Check the biscuits after 10 minutes, and then again after 12, as if they don't seem ready after 10 minutes, they can cook incredibly quickly. Although they taste perfectly fine a little over cooked, this isn't ideal.

Whilst the biscuits are cooking, make the cream filling. Keep an eye on the biscuits though, as, like i said, they can become overdone quite quickly. Place the bar of creamed coconut in a bowl or jug of boiling water. Make sure the plastic that it comes in isn't pierced or broken. Leave for 3-5 minutes to melt completely, and as the water cools enough to touch, massage the packet to help disperse the chunkier bits. 

Place the melted creamed coconut, raw cashew nuts, salt, vanilla, coconut milk, if using, and the coconut oil into a high speed blender. Blend for 1-2 minutes, starting on a low speed, and going to the highest. A tamper is really useful for getting the mixture going, if you have one. If it is not blending smoothly enough, add a little more coconut oil and/or coconut milk. Don't add melted coconut oil or water though as the mixture will separate.
+ Add a teaspoon of agave or coconut sugar to taste, if you have a sweeter tooth.

Scrape the cream into a bowl and set aside until the biscuits have cooked and cooled. Don't place it in the fridge as it will solidify and will be impossible to work with. Keep stirring the mixture whilst the biscuits cool.

Remove the biscuits from the oven when they begin to turn a golden brown. They will probably become darker than you imagined but this is normal. If they are still soft to touch, don't worry - they will become incredibly crunchy as they cool, so don't be tempted to put them back into the oven unless they are still really soft and pale.

Leave to cool before sandwiching the cashew coconut cream between them. Simply take a small teaspoonful of the cream and spread it gently onto the centre of one biscuit. Then place another biscuit on top, press the two together gently and place in the freezer to set.

Repeat until all of the biscuits have been used up, and place them all in the freezer to allow the centre to solidify slightly. You can enjoy them at room temperature too. 

+Store in the freezer or fridge in an airtight container.

+ Add ground or fresh grated ginger to the biscuit mixture for a Ginger Crunch Cream variation.
+ Add cacao to the biscuit dough for a Bourbon Biscuit or Oreo Variation
+ Add cacao and 1 tablespoons Agave to the cashew cream for a Bourbon Biscuit variation or just for a more chocolately treat in general.


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

MARINATED KALE, BRUSSELS AND CABBAGE CHIPS

Snacks, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

This recipe is great for any crisp lovers, or kale chip lover for that matter. Using seasonal vegetables and a festive favourite, these brussels sprouts become the perfect consistency to satisfy any ‘crunch cravings’. Some people just need something to munch on, and often a salty snack does the trick. Depending on how long you cook or dehydrate the brussels for, they will become extremely crunchy and, if stored correctly, will last up to a week, maybe even more. Play around with your own flavours. I like Tamari and Balsamic Vinegar or Nutritional Yeast, Lime and Tahini. 

INGREDIENTS
150g Large Brussels Sprouts, chopped Cabbage or Chopped Kale
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Generous Sprinkling of Himalayan Pink Salt

FLAVOUR COMBINATIONS

Tamari and Oil
2 Tablespoons Tamari and 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil. You can also add black or white sesame seeds to add to the crunch.

Tamari and Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Tamari, 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar, 3 Tablespoons Olive or Coconut Oil, 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice and an optional 1/2 Teaspoon Agave or natural sweetener of choice. 

Nutritional Yeast, Lime and Tahini
2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast, 1 Tablespoon Smooth Tahini, 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 1/2 Teaspoon Lime Juice, Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

Garlic, Chili and Paprika
1 Tablespoons Garlic Granules, 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Flakes, 1 Teaspoon Paprika, 1 Teaspoon Tumeric, 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil

METHOD
Choose one of two methods. The i-need-a-snack-now method, which takes about 25 minutes, or the lets-dehydrate-these-brussels-properly method, which can take up to 6 hours.

METHOD ONE
Preheat the oven to 150c.
Wash your brussels sprouts and chop the bottoms off, allowing the outer leaves to separate. These will be your chips. Peel each brussels carefully so as not to tear any leaves, and place the largest leaves into a medium mixing bowl. Take as many leaves off as you can without too much effort, then chop the bottoms again to release a few smaller leaves. Once all of the brussels have been peeled, store the small inside balls for use in salads or to enjoy with another dish, and add your chosen flavours to the bowl of leaves. Toss the leaves in your chosen flavours and massage with your hands to ensure each is evenly coated. Spread evenly on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 12-25 minutes. The timings will depend on your choice of flavours. Be sure to stir the leaves after about 10 minutes to ensure they don’t stick and to make sure they cook evenly. 

METHOD TWO
Preheat the oven to 60-80c.
Wash your brussels sprouts and chop the bottoms off, allowing the outer leaves to separate. These are your chips. Peel each brussels carefully so as not to tear any leaves, and place the largest leaves into a medium mixing bowl. Take as many leaves off as you can without too much effort, then chop the bottoms again to release a few smaller leaves. Once all of the brussels have been peeled, store the small inside balls for use in salads or to enjoy with another dish, and add your chosen flavours to the bowl of leaves. Toss the leaves in your chosen flavours and massage with your hands to ensure each is evenly coated. Spread evenly on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 2-8 hours. The longer the leave them, the longer they will stay crispy. I baked mine for only 1 hour and they were delicious enjoyed straight away, but they won’t keep for long.

Store in an airtight container, in a dry place (not in the fridge).

BUCKWHEAT BAT BISCUITS AND SUGAR FREE ICING

Snacks, Sugar Freedanielle copperman1 Comment

As I child I have fond memories of walking around the tiny village we grew up in, dressed proudly in devil horns or, in some cases, mummified with toilet roll. An enthusiastic albeit moderate group of children, eyes gleaming, full of hope that the next door we knocked on would promise even more candy than the previous. We’d enjoy a game of apple bobbing, or attempt to eat a ring donut off of a line of string without using out hands, before doing the rounds and disturbing unenthusiastic neighbours, there lack of excitement portrayed in their choice of ‘treats’. (Baked beans, a half empty packet of liquorice allsorts, and even a healthy muesli bar on one occasion, which, as a 6 year old expecting candy, I took as a trick, not a treat. 

The lead up to halloween was just as exciting. We’d make halloween biscuits or concoct some unruly potions whilst our mothers ‘enjoyed’ making our costumes. Icing and decorating the biscuits was the best bit, even though I didn’t like the taste of icing. Despite a severe case of sweet tooth, I never liked that part of a cake. I actually felt insulted by fondant icing, and although I went with it, was even hostile towards butter cream. I’m much the same now. I ice my cakes with creamy frosting like cashew or coconut cream, as opposed to sickeningly sweet icing. I love experimenting with natural colourings too, using an easy coconut base and simply adding vibrant superfood powders. The recipe below is a sweeter icing recipe compared to nut based alternatives like cashew cream. The creamed coconut is a brilliant consistency to work with, and sets perfectly in the fridge. Mixed with a little liquid, like nut milk, or blended smoothly with cashews, it will become slightly softer which is ideal for cakes, but for biscuits, it is best left as it is. Coconut is an incredibly source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so not only is this recipe completely natural, sugar free and made without artificial colours or flavours, it is incredibly nutritious too. 

QUICK BISCUITS

100g Coconut Oil
35g Coconut Palm Sugar
1 Tabelspoon Raw Organic Honey
100g Buckwheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Almond or Cashew Butter, or Smooth Tahini

EASY ICING

1 Bar Creamed Coconut
1 Teaspoon Natural Sweetener, optional

NATURAL COLOURS/FLAVOURINGS

Charcoal Powder or Capsules
Sweet Orange or Freeze Dried Mango Powder
Beetroot Powder or Fresh Beetroot (to stain)
Spirulina Powder
Tumeric Powder
Cacao Powder
Vanilla Extract or Seeds
Lemon Juice or Zest

MEHTOD

Preheat the oven to 190c.

Beat the coconut oil, sugar and honey together in a bowl until fluffy. Then stir in the flour and the nut butter and form into a bowl. If the mixture is too wet, add more flour. Flour a surface and roll out the dough so it is no higher than 1cm. Use cookie cutters or a knife if you are free styling, and make your desired biscuit shapes. Arrange them onto a baking tray, either greased or lined with baking paper, and place in the oven for 12-18 minutes. 

Meanwhile, make the icing. Fill a small bowl with boiling hot water and sit the bar of creamed coconut inside. (Make sure not to cut the plastic at this stage). Leave for a few minutes, and when the water is cool enough, start to massage the creamed coconut to encourage the mixture to melt. When it is soft, remove from the water, cut the plastic it is in and pour into a medium bowl. Add your colourings/flavourings of choice (charcoal for bats, turmeric for pumpkins, beetroot for some blood) and mix with a spoon or spatula until the coconut is vibrantly coloured.

Remove the biscuits from the oven when they are beginning to brown. (They will be browner than normal biscuits due to the buckwheat flour). Let them cool for about 10-20 minutes before icing them. Once they are iced, set in the fridge for 1 hour until ready to serve.

    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.