WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

SNACKS

YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THESE CHESTNUT BROWNIES

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

So, although it's practically sunbathing weather compared to most Decembers in the UK, winter is coming, and more importantly, (in the words of Coca Cola) the holidays are coming. Silently, alongside public Christmas light displays, Starbucks' red cups and pumpkins and chestnuts filling my local grocery store, winter is unfolding and I have an underlying suspicion that it's just gonna come out of nowhere and hit me in the face with blue lips, frozen toes (no matter how strong my sock game), and some seasonal illness for good measure. My response will be these seasonal brownie bites, inspired by the abundance of chestnuts this time of year - definitely not one of those ingredients you come across in a recipe that makes you think 'where on earth?!'.

These brownie bites are perfect as a sugar-free snack with full-on chocolate vibes during the winter, and would be well received making an appearance at duvet days, movie nights, cocktail or dinner parties, wrapped as a gift to give or kept in the freezer when the boxes of Celebrations and balls of Chocolate Orange begin to get a bit much.

INGREDIENTS

makes 8- 10 small brownies or 1 dish around 9 x 5 in

FOR THE CHESTNUT BROWNIE LAYER

170g medjool dates
80g chestnuts
90g raw almonds
70g raw walnuts
20-25g raw cacao powder
25g coconut oil - melted
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 Teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
10g coconut palm sugar or natural sweetener of choice - optional

ELEVATE IT

1/2 Teaspoon of some or all of the following:
He Shou Wu Powder / Maca Powder / Chaga Powder / Reishi / Shilajit / Cordycepts / Mucuna / Ashwaganda

FOR THE CHESTNUT CARAMEL LAYER

100g chestnuts
2 tablespoons almond butter or tahini
25g coconut oil - melted
65g dates
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup plant milk or water
1 teaspoon honey, coconut syrup or other unrefined sweetener of your choice
1 tablespoon maca

FOR THE CHOCOLATE LAYER

250g cacao butter (or coconut oil) (can also use half cacao butter + half coconut oil)
150g raw cacao powder
40ml coconut syrup or other unrefined sweetener of choice
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

+ Can also use store-bought dark or raw chocolate bars. I like Ombar.

METHOD

Start by making the brownie layer. place the almonds, walnuts and chia seeds into a food processor and blend until they form a flour like consistency, similar to breadcrumbs. next, add the chestnuts and blend again for 30 seconds. then add the dates, cacao powder, coconut oil, himalayan pink salt and coconut sugar, if using. blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the mixture comes together to in a slightly sticky dough-like consistency. make sure the mixture is smooth and that there are no large chunks of nuts involved, as this recipe tastes so much better when the mixture is completely smooth.

Once blended, either place into a cupcake or mini loaf tin tray (i use this one) or into a standard loaf tin or baking tray (around 9 x 5 in). Using trays with individual mini sections will be easier to handle, but you can use a larger tray and simply cut into individual pieces once set. Whichever you use, spread the mixture on the bottom of the tray/tray sections, making it about 1 to 1.5 cm in height. Place in the freezer to set.

Whilst the brownie layer sets, make the chestnut caramel layer. In a cleaned food processor or your blender, pulse the chestnuts for 20 seconds until they begin to break down into small pieces. Add the dates, almond butter or tahini, coconut oil, vanilla, syrup of choice and maca, if using and then continue to blend until smooth - about 1-2 minutes should do it.

Once the bottom layer is beginning to set and firm to touch, spread the chestnut caramel layer on top until the entire base is covered. Smooth evenly to ensure a more level finish to coat with the raw chocolate.

Return to the freezer and set for about 1-2 hours, or overnight. Unfortunately this step is necessary in order to easily coat the brownies in the chocolate layer. If you can't wait, follow the following step for drizzling the melted chocolate over the bars instead of dipping the bars into it.

Once set, start making the chocolate. Leave the brownies in the freezer until you have made the chocolate. bring a small pan of water to the boil and then set a heatproof bowl over the top. Add the cacao powder, cacao butter or coconut oil (or combination of both), salt and sweetener of choice to the bowl and whisk as the mixture melts together. Once combined, remove from the heat but leave the bowl over the water to avoid the chocolate cooling and thickening too quickly.

Remove the brownies from the freezer and remove from the tins carefully with a knife or cake slice. If you used a large dish, slice into desired sizes. Set each individual brownie onto a cooling rack with a layer of baking paper on the surface underneath the rack. One by one, add a brownie to the chocolate mixture and, working quickly, use a fork to turn the brownies through the mixture until fully coated. *You could alternatively keep the brownies on the rack and pour or spread the chocolate mixture over them, but I find this method a little messier. Sprinkle each one with chopped pecans or hazelnuts, Qnola or himalayan pink salt before the chocolate has fully set. You can also experiment with drizzling a second layer of chocolate over the smooth chocolate layer, and if you have leftover chocolate you could double dip, for a thicker, crunchier outer coating.

If the cooling rack fits, place it in your fridge or freezer once each brownie has been coated. If it doesn't fit, wait for the chocolate to set slightly at room temperature, and then transfer the brownies onto smaller plates or to tuppaware.

+ store in the freezer, and remove 5 minutes before serving.

CARAMELISED COURGETTE, PEA, MINT AND MACADAMIA DIP

Seasonal, Sides, Snacks, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunch, Recipe, Dips + Spreads, Dairy Freedanielle copperman1 Comment

I've been on and off home turf the past couple of months but everytime I do stop by I head straight for the kitchen to regurgitate information and inspiration gathered during my time away. Some things are inspired by new places and new cultures. Some things are inspired by local cuisine. Some things are inspired by seasonal produce. And some things are inspired by me just having too much time to myself to think about fun new things I could try when I get home.

This recipe is mostly inspired by the fact that we are in peak pea season, with some influence coming merely from me having had too much time to think about the things you could do with peas. I've made pea and mint houmous in the past and I'm a huge dip lover in general, as they require next to no thinking at all, and pretty much the same amount of effort. Dips and spreads are one of my favourite things to make purely because they are so easy and customisable. You can disguise any ingredients you don't like the taste of by combining then with ones you do, and you can also invent your own new combinations by simply getting creative with whatever you can find in the kitchen (within reason).

I've been wanting to develop some good summertime recipes (although it has seemed pointless since it still feels like winter in the UK), but have been caught up in the waves of life, and by that I mainly mean work. June felt like the heaviest month. The energy was low and dull, the weather was grey and practically everyone I know was feeling totally depressed about the EU Referendum results. I honestly believe that the energy of others around you has a huge effect on your own energy, even the energy of people you don't know. But, I also believe that seasonal produce provided by the Earth exists to help us cope with certain times of the year, by providing us with what we need, when we most need it. Natural, life-rich produce has transferrable energy. It has so much to give, and all we have to do to attain it is consume it.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, the peas are here to help. I had leftovers of this for breakfast this morning and the sun is currently out. It hasn't even rained yet today (!?). I'm feeling good about July already, and sending total Bye Felicia vibes to June.

INGREDIENTS

180g Garden Peas (cooked)
200g White Beans, Butter Beans, Cannelini Beans or Chickpeas
70g Olive Oil
20g Filtered Water
30g Avocado Flesh
100g Sliced Courgette, sauteed (can also substitue for sauteed broccoli or cauliflower)
Large Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt - to taste
15g Tahini
10g Fresh Spinach
1g Lemon juice
15g Macadamia Nuts (Pumpkin Seeds + Brazil Nuts would work well too)
6g Mint - optional but v v nice
1/2-1 Clove Garlic - optional (I am mildly allergic so I didn't include this but if you're into it I think it would be a sure)

METHOD

If using frozen peas, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and add the peas. Simmer for about 5 minutes until soft, then strain and leave to cool. If your peas are pre-cooked and ready to go, start by sauteeing the courgette in a little olive oil and salt, over a medium heat. Meanwhile, blend the peas, your beans of choice, olive oil, water, salt, avocado flesh, tahini, spinach, lemon juice, nuts and mint and garlic - if using - in a high speed blender. Blend for about 1-2 minutes, using a tamper to get things moving properly. Keep an eye on the courgette and flip them as they begin to sizzle and brown. Once cooked well on both sides and soft in the middle, add them to the blender and blend for a further 1-2 minutes. Ideally, the blender should be able to run smoothly without the help of the tamper, as this will create the smoothest result. If it's really struggling, add a little more water.

Once you are happy with the texture, taste and season with extra lemon, garlic or salt, until you are happy with it. Transfer to a bowl or tuppaware and leave in the fridge to cool before serving.

To serve, drizzle with a little extra olive oil and either some chopped macadamia, sesame seeds or hemp seeds, dukkah or za'atar, to add a little crunch.

 

QUINOA CREAMED CHIA SEED PUDDING

Essentials, Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Brunch, Breakfastdanielle copperman3 Comments

This is my new favourite. My new favourite several things. My new favourite breakfast. My new favourtite snack. My new favourite chia seed pudding. Hell, it's the best chia seed pudding I've ever made, and it's the best chia seed pudding you'll ever make, and I'm not even nervous to make that promise cos I know I can deliver.

Chia seed pudding comes in many forms. You can soak these tiny but powerful, simple but effective seeds in any liquid at all, and they will gel together to form a pudding within minutes. The simplest recipe would involve water, coconut water, or shop bought / ready made plant milk. Something a little more special would involve handmaking plant milk with less water to make it thicker and creamier, making the gel around the seeds creamier and plumper. And something even more spectacular (and even creamier and even more nutritious), would include making a cream out of cooked quinoa and plant milk. Let me elaborate:

Ingredients

150ml Plant Based Milk (I use oat, almond or cashew)
5g Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Bean Paste, Vanilla Seeds or Vanilla Powder
80g Cooked Quinoa, rinsed and cooled
1 Teaspoon Maca
30g Coconut Milk (the more solid part) (you can also experiment with 15g Avocado Flesh or Banana instead of Coconut Milk)
10g Sunflower Seeds
10g Coconut Syrup, Date Syrup, Honey or other Natural Sweetener of Choice
Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt
25g Chia seeds

Optional
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon or Cardamom
10g Cooked Quinoa (to stir through before serving)
Fresh Cherries
Pink Grapefruit
Nut Butter
Tahini

Method

Simply measure out all of the ingredients, apart from the chia seeds, into a blender and blend on the highest speed for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Add a little more salt or sweetener (and maca and any spices you are using) to suit your taste and blend again to combine. Once smooth, pour the mixture into a bowl, jar or tuppaware and weigh out the chia seeds into the same bowl. Stir or whisk with a fork to fully combine the seeds, and leave to absorb for 5 minutes. Stir again to ensure the seeds are fully coated in order to absorb the liquid evenly, and then set in the fridge for 10-20 minutes. Stir again (at this point, if you want to, add some leftover cooked quinoa if you want to bulk the pudding out a little more) and then leave in the fridge until ready to serve. Leaving overnight will make the seeds the perfect softness and plumpness, but you can enjoy after as little as half an hour.

Top with your choice of fruit, nut butter, tahini, extra spices and superfood powders, granola, qnola, nuts and seeds. Enjoy for breakfast, as a snack, stirred through smoothies, stirred through porridge or served alongside desserts.

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.

SMOOTH SWEETCORN PANCAKES

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunch, Recipe, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Brunch, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

I’m incredibly aware that things have become quiet around here during the last couple of months. In fact - I’ll be real - make that the last year. It’s like I’ve been a terribly terribly unprepared parent, neglecting the fairly low maintenance first born in becoming completely tied up and overwhelmed with the bringing up the second. Thankfully, at only 22, I’m talking theoretically and about actual children of mine, but it's a pretty accurate comparison in my opinion. Qnola happened to me completely out of the blue and i was unprepared to say the least. 

Almost 2 years in, i still work through the night, but i now have a help, which means i can finally start dusting off the recipes i’ve been recording since 2014 that never quite made it to the stage of being uploaded. there are some wonderful recipes buried deep inside my computer, along with valuable travel tips from my recent adventures of living in new york and travelling the world whenever i can. to start with though: a recipe just over a month late which i intended to post in time for pancake day, but which got intercepted by general life. in my opinion, and ok, in attempt to justify my lateness, one day is simply not enough time to give pancakes the praise they deserve, so let’s ignore last months hype and have pancakes whenever we want to.

As a child, i excelled in making pancakes and that was more or less the purpose of my life from the age of 8 to i’d say, well, the present day if you ask any of my friends who still demand a pancake party the morning after they stay over. These pancakes, though, are not like those from my childhood. I’m more conscious than i was then and have replaced the gluten, removed the dairy and injected these nourishing pancakes with antioxidants, healthy fats and plant proteins. I also made them as neutral as possible in flavour, meaning they work with both savoury and sweet toppings. Pictured here with savoury chicken salad and homemade nut and seed pesto, but enjoyed the leftovers with fresh lemon juice, thyme and coconut palm sugar.

INGREDIENTS
100g Almond Milk
10g Olive Oil
150g Sweetcorn, cooked
10g Hemp Seeds
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
30g Quinoa, cooked
2 Eggs (can replace with chia seed gel or flax seed gel)
50g Buckwheat Flour
Fresh Herbs - optional 

METHOD
Simply add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend on a high speed. You can add your choice of fresh herbs or even spinach or kale to make these pancakes even healthier and more flavoursome. Once the mixture is completely smooth, heat some coconut oil in a large saucepan until it has melted, then take a large spoonful of the batter and create 3-4 small pancakes - as your frying pan space permits. Fry over a medium heat for about 1-2 minutes and then flip when the underside can be loosened from the pan. Flip and fry on the other side and re-flip if you want a crispier result.

Top with sweet or savoury toppings like coconut palm sugar and fresh citrus, homemade raw cacao spread, honey and coconut yoghurt, or pesto, houmous, raw/cooked vegetables, fish/meat or this dairy free chicken salad.

CHICKEN SALAD

INGREDIENTS
Serves 2-4

200g Shredded Chicken (This works best with tender meat generally from around the bone, but i used sliced chicken breast and it worked perfectly)
2 Egg Yolks
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt
½ Clove Garlic, sliced
Small Handful Coriander
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Orange Juice
1 Teaspoon Lime Zest
1 Teaspoon or Pinch Nutritional Yeast - optional
30g Avocado (or soaked sunflower seeds)
½ Teaspoon Mustard - optional

Optional:
20g grated apple
20g grate kohlrabi
20g grated courgette
chopped basil optional
chopped black or orange apricots

METHOD

Start by blending the egg, oil, salt, garlic, coriander, citrus zest and juice, nutritional yeast and avocado (or soaked sunflower seeds) until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl, and stir through the grated fruit and vegetables (if using), the herbs and finally the chicken. When fully coated, top each pancake or serve as a side. Perfect for salads, sandwiches and picnics.

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.

HOW TO MAKE PECANS, DATES AND RAW CHOCOLATE TASTE UNHEALTHILY TO-DIE-FOR

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

One evening in July 2015, my flatmates and I found ourselves all at home at the same time, for the first time since we'd moved house. We moved in the first week of July, and because these days everyone has multiple jobs and no spare time at all, we hadn't even found time to sit and eat dinner together since moving in. However, this particular Saturday night we decided to have a wild one. We pulled together everything our fridge and cupboards had to offer, made a meal out of mismatches, dusted off my projector screen and had an old school movie marathon (featuring movies so terrible they're brilliant). We were thinking about movie snacks before we'd even decided on dinner, but what is a movie marathon without some sweet thangs? Popcorn gets stuck in your teeth and is nutritionally substandard. Chocolate - dairy/sugar/emulsifiers. Raw Chocolate - good but slightly boring. Sweets - just no, not these days. Chewy Bliss Balls / Cookie Dough Bites - chewy, sweet and salty goodness with raw chocolate. All natural, gluten, grain, dairy and sugar free, antioxidant, fibre and protein rich, and filling in a clean way. Well, that's just about the only way to christen a new home in my eyes, so thats exactly what we done.

This recipe is just the kind of recipe we all need more of. It is quick. It is seriously inexplicably delicious. And I practically made it with my eyes shut. I was concentrating on dinner, catching up with my flat mates and thinking about what films we should watch, whilst the food processor did the hard work. I also didn't measure any of the ingredients thoroughly, and chucked in whatever I could find. This recipe, although I have more or less estimated the quantities that I used, should work just fine. As long as you have the nuts and buckwheat flakes as the foundations, the dates and the coconut oil to bind and bring everything together, and the superfood powders to flavour, you'll end up with something delicious. The quantities only really alter the texture, not so much the flavour. So, if yours turn out too soft or wet, add more buckwheat flakes. If they turn out too sticky, and so stubborn they won't blend, add a little hot water. If they're too sweet, add extra lemon juice and/or salt/tamari. And if they're not sweet enough, add 1/2 or 1 date more.

In my defence of this seeming like a lazy recipe (why don't I just try it again and give you the exact measurements? Sadly, I. Don't. Have. The. Time), even if I did have exact measurements, the end result may not suit your personal tastes. This way, you can take inspiration from my recipe and work with it until you have it just the way you want it. I'm here to encourage you to create your own delicious foods, by providing you with the foundations and leaving the flavourings up to you. We're all different, and not everybody, for example, likes raw chocolate (shame on you tho). 

SALTED RAW CHOCOLATE CHIP & PECAN COOKIE DOUGH BITES

INGREDIENTS
100g Pecan Nuts
2 Tablespoons Desiccated Coconut
200g Buckwheat Flakes
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (room temp
1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
Tamari
6 Medjool Dates
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice or Zest
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1 Tablespoon Hot Water - if needed to help things blend
½ Tablespoon Lucuma Powder
1 Teaspoon Maca Powder
1/2 Cup Raw Chocolate (I like Ombar), chopped

METHOD
Start by blending the nuts into a flour - usually takes around 1 full minute. Then add the buckwheat flakes and blend for another 30 seconds. Next, add the dates (halved), then the rest of the ingredients, apart from the raw chocolate. When fully combined and dough-like, transfer to a bowl and stir in the raw chocolate, kneading with you hands to combine (work quickly so the chocolate doesn't melt). Break the mixture into small chunks, roll into balls, flatten into bar shapes, or roll out gently and cut with shaped cutters to make raw cookies. Arrange on a baking tray or a plate and place in the freezer. Leave for 30 minutes, to 1 hour and remove 5 minutes before enjoying. I like mine straight from the freezer, and as they melt they become a fudgey consistency. If you prefer yours softer, leave them out for 10-15 minutes before enjoying. I'm sure you can work it out.

+ If yours seem too oily, wet, sticky, salty, sweet or lumpy, see above for directions.

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.


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  -


COCONUT BANANA BREAD WITH RAW CHOCOLATE AVOCADO SPREAD

Sugar Free, Gluten free, Brunch, Breakfastdanielle copperman2 Comments
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Banana bread is one of those things. One of those things that makes the house smell good and warm, and welcoming for days. One of those things that tastes like what I imagine it must be like to eat a slice of love. One of those things that, upon consumption, wherever you are instantly feels like home. One of those things that actually tastes like home. One of those things you eat and then realise you haven't been listening to conversation or taking in anything around you, because for a moment, it was just you and that slice of warm banana bread and nothing else mattered. Banana bread is one of many things then, I guess. 

For me, banana bread reminds me of my home home - the place i grew up - and of my eldest sister, who was always greatly attached to it. I remember we'd have it at every picnic and for every birthday, smothered with our Aunty's dizzyingly good cream cheese frosting. This recipe, as always, is unlike your conventional banana bread. There is no wheat, dairy, refined sugar or grains, and you can work it around your own requirements - for example using all buckwheat flour to replace the ground almonds for a nut-free variation, or playing with the sweetener quantities to suit your taste. You don't really need sweetener at all in this recipe, as banana's are incredibly sweet themselves (and so are you). This bread is perfect as a breakfast treat, and if you make it one sunday evening when you've time to spare, it can last you the rest of the week, making an instant breakfast on-the-go, the perfect energy-rich snack or an offering if you have guests over for a cuppa. Lovingly spread it with Raw Chocolate Avocado Spread (recipe below), and kids will be all over it, without a care in the world that it contains fruit and super foods and is actually good for you! 


INGREDIENTS
Makes One Loaf

80-90g Coconut Oil (the more you use, the denser the bread will be)
2 Eggs
60g Coconut Palm Sugar (or 4-5 tablespoons agave/maple syrups/coconut nectar)
3 Ripe Bananas
80g Chopped Medjool Dates (optional - can also use goji berries, raisin etc but these are all high in sugar, so use in moderation. Can also use chopped raw chocolate chunks or cacao nibs)
75g Chopped Walnuts or Pecans (optional - adds a nice texture)
90g Wholemeal Buckwheat Flour 
100g Ground Almonds
2 Tablespoons Ground/Milled Chia Seeds
50g Desiccated Coconut
3 Tablespoons Whole Golden Linseeds
Pinch of Salt or a few drops of Tamari
1/2 Teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda or Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Mixed Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Cardamom / Nutmeg /  Spices/Herbs of choice
Toasted Buckwheat (kasha) to top (i really recommend this - it adds an amazing crunch to the bread)

+ Note - for a lighter bread, use one extra egg, and replace the buckwheat flour with ground almonds. 
 You can also experiment with making this bread into a savoury sandwich bread. Simply reduce the sugar quantity to 2 tablespoons, use only 1 banana and 2 grated courgettes, and add plenty of fresh herbs and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast.

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 170c.

Break the bananas into a bowl and then mash them until they become smooth and thick, but not lumpy. Measure the coconut oil, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and herbs and spices of choice into the bowl and mix using an electric whisk (you can also do this in your blender to ensure a smoother mixture, and less effort!). Once the ingredients are coming together, add the bicarbonate soda or baking powder and the lemon juice, then the buckwheat flour, ground almonds, milled chia seeds, golden linseeds and desiccated coconut. Whisk a final time, and then stir in the chopped dates, along with any nuts/seeds/cacao/chocolate of choice.

Sprinkle with the toasted buckwheat, and nuts/seeds if you wish. Place in the preheated oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. The outside becomes so crispy whilst the inside remains dense, spongy and moist, and full of flavour and texture.

Serve with Raw Chocolate Avocado Spread (below), pure tahini mixed with honey or coconut nectar, Berry Tahini Cream, Organic Butter, Ghee or Coconut oil -  toasted or warm from the own.


RAW CHOCOLATE AVOCADO SPREAD/FROSTING/SPOON-IN-JAR SNACK

INGREDIENTS
Makes roughly 10 servings as a spread. Store in an airtight container and use on cakes, porridge, pancakes, fruit and, well, literally anything.
 

1 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
1 1/2 Ripe Avocados (must be soft and almost squashy in order to blend)
16-18 Tablespoons Raw Cacao Powder
5 Tablespoons Agave
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt or Tamari

Optional
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom, Cinnamon or Orange Oil/zest 

METHOD

Simply place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend. I find it helps to gently scrape layers of the avocado in to the blender, rather than large chunks of the flesh. You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender after 30 seconds, to ensure everything gets combined evenly, and you aren't left with any lumps.
 


TAHINI BERRY SPREAD

INGREDIENTS
Makes 2-4 servings

4 Tablespoons Smooth Tahini
1/2 Teaspoon Agave/Honey/Coconut Syrup
Handful Fresh Raspberries/Blueberries/Blackberries (or a combination of each)

METHOD

In a bowl, stir the tahini with the agave or your sweetener of choice, and gently mash the berries in, a couple at a time. Alternatively, you can whizz everything up in a blender, for a smoother variations.

+ Use less tahini if you want more of a jammy consistency/flavour.

RAW VANILLA SHORTBREADS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Gluten free, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

The recipe for these raw shortbreads came about quite accidentally. I was going through the stages of making Raw Caramel Shortbreads and got as far as step two, when I realised how good step one tasted solo. I scrambled the mixture out of the baking tin and chopped the raw biscuit base into fingers resemblant of the  traditional tea-time favourites. Despite having a buttery biscuit base (did I steal that from somewhere?), these biscuits are set in the freezer, instead of baked. If you're used to conventional biscuits you probably can't even begin to imagine how these must taste. But let me assure you; these biscuits are more melt-in-the mouth than a Rich Tea, any day. They are incredibly moreish, cleverly crafted and, simply put, very, very nice indeed. No matter how hungry or fed I am, each bite - even the tiniest nibble -  is a thrill that never loses its charge. 

Once set in the freezer to stiffen, these biscuits have almost exactly the same texture as a normal shortbread, just a little less crumbly. They are like a cross between shortbread and fudge - a winning combination if ever I came across one.

INGREDIENTS

100g cashews
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
A Generous Pinch of Salt
3 Tablespoons Tahini
5 Tablespoons Ground Almonds
3 Tablespoons Desiccated Coconut
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted on a low heat
2-3 Tablespoons Agave

Optional
Juice and Zest of 1 Unwaxed Lemon
Fresh Rosemary
Cacao Powder
Raw Chocolate Chunks or Raw Cacao Nibs
Superfoods of Choice - Lucuma, Maca, Mucuna and Chia Seeds work well

METHOD

Simply add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender. The speed and power of your blender is really important for this recipe, as the biscuit tastes so much better smooth. 

 + Experiment with flavours such as solid coconut milk or creamed coconut, for a clotted cream variation.

+ For a raw choc chip cookie, simply add cacao nibs or chunks of raw chocolate to the mixture, and form into flat discs instead of shortbread fingers. For a dehydrated version, click here.

+ serve with homemade cashew cream, runny coconut cream or coconut and ginger whip.

+ Try my raw caramel millionaire shortbreads.

SUPERFOOD MINCE PIES WITH DAIRY FREE CREAMS

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

An incredible recipe for the perfect gluten, grain, dairy and sugar free mince pies. This recipe uses the most amazing gluten and dairy free pastry I have ever made, and the filling is a unique caramelly take on traditional mince meat. I was never a fan of mince pies growing up and always hated sultanas or currents in anything, picking them out excruciatingly from anything I found them in. This recipe doesn’t use conventional, high sugar dried fruits, but instead combines antioxidant rich super foods such as goji berries and dates with fresh blueberries. The dates make the texture of the filling incredibly caramelly, and the berries release a delicious flavour into the mixture which is absorbed by all of the other fruits as they cook.

+ Get ahead of yourself and make the dough now, which you can freeze or which will last in the fridge for a couple of days before you need to cook it.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 18 (base and top)

For the Crust
250g Buckwheat Flour
50g Ground Almonds
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, room temperature
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Creamed Coconut Bar, melted (not essential, but delicious)
4 Tablespoons Agave, Date Syrup or Maple Syrup
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda

For the Filling
4 Apricots, chopped
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Powder, Extract or Fresh Seeds
6 Dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 Green Apple, chopped
30g Goji Berries, optional
125g Fresh Blueberries
Handful Dried Blueberries, optional (can substitute for other dried fruit)
The Juice of half a Fresh Orange (and zest - optional)
1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Mixed Spice
1/2 Teaspoon Tumeric
1 Teaspoon Fresh Grated Ginger or Ground Ginger
1-2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Maca or Ginseng, optional

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 160c. Grease a muffin tin with a little coconut oil.
For the crust, place all of the ingredients but only half of the flour at this point, into a food processor or high speed blender. (To melt the bar of creamed coconut, simply fill a bowl with boiling water and place the sealed bar inside. Let it sit until the water has cooled enough for you to put your hands in it and then massage the bar to quicken up the melting process. Once melted, snip the corner with some scissors and measure out two tablespoons). If using a blender, add the wet ingredients first so the flour doesn’t clump around the blade, and blend on a high speed for 20-30 seconds. If the mixture isn’t completely smooth this doesn’t matter, just make sure the coconut oil is more or less combined. Transfer to a bowl and continue to mix the mixture, adding the remaining flour, until it is completely combined. Add a little more flour if it seems too sticky and wet, or a little more agave if it is too dry. Knead and fold the dough over itself on a floured surface, using the warmth of your hands to melt any small lumps of coconut oil that might remain. Roll the dough out until it is about 3mm thick. This pastry is easiest to work with freshly made and warmer rather than colder, so there is no need to store it in the fridge. The pastry is also a slightly unusual texture, both dry and doughy at the same time, so i find the best way to roll it out without it crumbling/breaking/sticking to the surface is to press down with the rolling pin, rather than just rolling and dragging. Work with it gently. Use a round cookie cutter to make you individual crusts, and use a thin, wide, sharp knife to separate the dough discs if they have become slightly stuck to the surface. Lay each circle into the muffin tin. Leave the leftover dough for the toppings. Bake for 6-8 minutes until the crusts begin to brown, but aren’t cooked through. Whilst they cook, prepare the filling.

For the filling, simply place all of the ingredients apart from the chia seeds into a medium saucepan on a low-medium heat. Stir constantly and burst the blueberries with the back of a wooden spoon. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, and add the chia seeds just before you take the mixture off of the heat. Take a tablespoon and fill each pre-baked crust. 

Roll out the remainder of your dough and use a cookie cutter (a star, a christmas tree or holly leaves work well but you can use a round one to make a sealed pie). Take each shape and arrange it on top of the mince mixture. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-12 minutes, until the pastry is turning a golden brown.

To serve, dust with buckwheat flour or ground desiccated coconut, and serve with coconut cream, runny almond cream or with an extra dollop of mince meat if you have some left over.

'SINGLE' ALMOND CREAM

Ingredients
1 Cup Soaked Almonds (or cashews, macadamia and brazil nut work well too)
1/3 Cup Water
Vanilla, optional
Agave, optional
Himalayan Pink Salt, optional

Method
Simply blend the almonds and water together on a high speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve or, even better if you have one, through a nut milk bag or jam strainer. Return the strained mixture to the blender and add your flavours or sweetener of choice, if using. If the mixture is too thick for you, add a little more water to thin it. Blend again and then transfer to a serving jug. Pour over warm or cold puddings, over your breakfast or even into savoury dishes.

GINGER COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM

Ingredients
1 Tin Coconut Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Grated Ginger or Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Agave or Date Syrup

Method
Simply add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth - this will only take a few seconds. Transfer into a jar or container and set in the fridge for 1-2 hours until ready to serve

    STUFFED MEDJOOL DATES WITH CASHEW CHEESE AND BACON

    Snacks, Sugar Free, Brunchdanielle coppermanComment

    This recipe is a winner for anyone catering a festive event this time of year. These dates are real crowd pleasers (you can omit the bacon for an equally delicious vegetarian version, and even replace it with wilted chicory leaves). With so many flavours in just one small mouthful, people take a good few minutes to finish one, masticating on each element more than they realise, before commenting on its tastiness. The sweet, chewy texture of the medjool dates, combined with the creaminess of the cashew cream cheese and topped off with a smoky saltiness from the meat is a taste sensation like no other. Perfect as a lunch box snack (easy to pack and easy to transport), served on platters at a canapé event, served as snacks, starters or sides at an informal Christmas gathering or enjoyed as ‘afters’ - part of the cheese board or a cheeky evening snack.

    + I’ve also done this recipe with chestnut cream fillings instead of cashew cream which has worked really well. Simply blend 200g soft chestnuts with 1/2 tin solid coconut milk and a little coconut oil, until smooth. Add salt, tamari, garlic and nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour, or leave as it is for a subtly sweet, creamy alternative.

    INGREDIENTS

    20 Dates, pitted
    3/4 Cup Cashews, preferably soaked for 2-4 hours
    1/4 Cup Macadamia Nuts or Brazil Nuts (optional - or just another 1/4 cup cashews)
    1/4 Cup Water
    Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
    1/2 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
    1-2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
    1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
    1 Tablespoon Tahini, optional
    Fresh Herbs of Choice
    200g Organic Bacon or Good Quality Ham (use bacon if you want to cook the dates, and use ham if you want to keep them cold and uncooked).

    Optional:
    1-2 Shallots or 1 Tablespoon Onions (raw or cooked, either with work)
    1 Small Clove Garlic (caramelised with blend better - bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the clove becomes soft)

    METHOD
    Start by slicing your dates lengthways down the middle, careful to score them and not to slice the whole way through. You want them to open at a hinge, rather than cutting them into two separate halves. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and prepare the cashew cheese. 

    Place the cashews, water, macadamia or brazil nuts, salt, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice into a blender and blend on the highest speed. Stop to scrape down the sides, reduce the speed slightly and blend for another minute. Add the nutritional yeast, tahini and shallots if using and blend for a final time, for 1-2 minute, until the mixture is completely smooth. There’s nothing wrong with it being a little lumpy, it will resemble a feta or goats cheese sort of texture, especially once cooked, but i like the cheese to be as smooth as possible. Now, take a teaspoon of the cheese mixture and fill the dates with it. Depending on the size of your dates you may want to use more, or less. 


    Now prepare the bacon or ham. You can either wrap the bacon or ham around the stuffed dates, or you can dice the meat and add that to the cheese stuffing too - this works best in larger dates which you are able to almost close. If you are wrapping the dates, slice the bacon in half lengthways, take a date and place it on one end of the meat. Then carefully roll the date along the bacon, wrapping it up neatly until it is covered. Place it back onto the baking tray and repeat with the other dates. This method creates a much smokier flavour in the dates and the cheese as they catch and absorb the smoky flavour of the meat during the cooking process. If you decide to add the meat to the stuffing, simply dice it into tiny pieces, spoon it onto the cheese mixture and mix it in slightly to combine. Return to the baking tray and repeat with the other dates.

    When each date is nicely stuffed and wrapped, place them under the grill for 10-15 minutes, until the bacon is fully cooked. Turn the dates over after 5 - 10 minutes so they cook evenly. The dates and cashew cheese don’t need to be cooked through, so as soon as the bacon is done, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly. Either serve warm on a sharing platter or as canapés, piercing a cocktail stick into the middle of each one to make them easier to eat, or serve as part of a cold buffet, with cranberry chia jam or homemade christmas chutney.

    + Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

    SWEET POTATO CHEESEBOARD BISCUITS

    Snacks, Gluten free, Brunch, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

    INGREDIENTS
    Makes 15-20 Biscuits (depending on size)

    2 1/2 Cups Almond Meal
    3/4 Cup Buckwheat Flour
    1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
    1 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
    1 Tablespoon Fresh Sage, chopped
    2 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary, chopped
    1/2 Large Sweet Potato, steamed or baked, then pureed.
    1/2 Teaspoon Ground Chia Seeds, optional
    1/4 Cup Olive Oil
    1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
    1 Tablespoon Agave or Date Syrup

    METHOD

    Start by baking the sweet potato at 200c for 45 minutes, or until completely soft. Meanwhile, mix the flours together in a large bowl. 
    When the sweet potato is soft, turn the heat of the oven down to 170c and puree it in a blender or food processor with the oil, salt, cider vinegar, fresh herbs, natural sweetener, until smooth. Pour the puree into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Add more buckwheat flour if the mixture is too sticky. Knead together and massage with your hands to help the ingredients come together. Flour a surface and roll out the dough until it is about 2-3mm thick. Use shaped cutters or a sharp knife to cut into circles or rectangles. Arrange on a baking tray lined with baking paper or greased with a little coconut oil.

    Bake for 15-20 minutes.

    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).

    SEEDED BUCKWHEAT BISCUITS

    Snacks, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment
    BUC.jpg

    INGREDIENTS

    1/2 Cup Ground Almonds
    1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
    2 Cups Buckwheat Flour
    1 Large Carrot
    Handful Fresh Basil, chopped
    2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, chopped
    Other Fresh Herbs of Choice, chopped
    2 Tablespoons Tahini
    1 Tablespoon Reishi Powder, optional
    1 Tablespoons Sunflower or Pumpkin Seed Butter (nut butter will work)
    5 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, room temperature
    1 Tablespoons Bicarbonate of Soda
    1 Clove Garlic
    2 Tablespoons Solid Coconut Milk or Dairy Free Yogurt
    2 Tablespoons Golden Linseeds
    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

    METHOD

    Preheat the oven to 220c.
    In a large bowl, mix the flour, nutritional yeast, reishi and ground almonds together. Now add the coconut oil, mixing with your hands, then the coconut milk, tahini, seed or nut butter and the carrots. Combine thoroughly then add all of the herbs and seeds, along with the oil. When the mixture begins to resemble a dough, knead it momentarily and form it into a ball. 
    Roll out onto a floured surface, adding more flour if the dough is too sticky, to no more than 3mm thick. The thicker the dough, the softer the biscuits will be, but I prefer them thinner as they are much crunchier. Use a round cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough into discs, rectangles or squares - however you would like to serve them. Arrange them on a baking tray, greased with a little coconut oil. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until they begin to turn golden.

    Serve with spreads like pesto, houmous and guacamole, or cheese, or sweet condiments like jams, chutneys, homemade nutella, raw honey, smashed fruit and nut butters.

    GREEN SUNFLOWER PESTO

    Snacks, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

    I know it’s a bold statement but my first homemade pesto - and not just homemade pesto but healthy, nutritious, dairy-free pesto - turned out to be the best pesto I’ve ever tried. Since experiencing this variation of pesto i have come to realise that normal shop-bought pesto is far too oily and bitty. Another thing i dislike about it is the inclusion of cheese which i try to avoid as i don’t eat much dairy. If i’m going to eat cheese it’s going to be a huge slice of locally sourced cheese covered in chutney. That would be worth it. But in pesto i think it is pretty unnecessary, especially when the option of nutritional yeast is available, which adds a nutty, cheesy taste similar to parmesan, but also boasts an abundance of nutrients and high levels of vegan protein, to entirely upgrade your pesto (and most other savoury recipes).
    On top of that, many supermarket brands of Pesto use sugar and preservatives which are unnatural and can be detrimental to health. You also must be careful when choosing pesto to make sure it is made with natural oils such as extra virgin olive oil and not with artificial, hydrogenated fats such as vegetable oil. You’re safest and healthiest bet is to buy organic or local, homemade pesto, or make it yourself (its as easy as a smoothie)!

    This pesto is a lot creamier than most brands of pesto due to the sunflower seeds and avocado i use. Sunflower seeds are an amazing base for sauces and creams and add a unique texture to this condiment. I also substituted pine nuts for pistachio nuts as i love their intense flavour and thought it would work well with the sunflower seeds. As well as basil I used a large handful of spinach leaves to increase the nutritional value of the recipe and also to thicken it a little. This pesto is incredibly healthy and is high in healthy fats (from the avocado, nuts and seeds), protein (from the nuts, seeds and nutritional yeast) and antioxidants (from the spinach, garlic, avocado, lemon, basil and spirulina). It also contains alkalising properties due to the use of lemon, leafy greens and spirulina and contains a diverse range of vitamins, minerals and fibre from all of the natural ingredients.

    Enjoy as a spread, as a dip for vegetables or sweet potato chips, as a side or condiment for most meals including fish, meat or eggs, and incorporate into savoury sauces or soups for extra flavour. And throw out the Sacla.

    INGREDIENTS

    1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds
    1/2 Cup Pistachio Nuts
    Large Handful Fresh Basil Leaves
    Large Handful Kale or Spinach, diced
    1/2 a Ripe Avocado
    1/2 Cup Avocado Oil or Olive Oil
    Salt
    1-2 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
    1-2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
    1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
    Pinch of Spirulina (optional)

    METHOD

    Add the sunflower seeds, pistachios and a tablespoon of the oil to a blender and blend for 5 minutes. When the mixture begins to become smooth, add the avocado (best to chop it first), basil leaves, spinach or kale, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon juice and the rest of the oil (as well as the spirulina, if using). Blend again for a further 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and all ingredients are combined. You may need to scrape the sides. I quite liked mine with a few chunks in it but if you prefer a smoother spread, continue to blend until you are happy with the consistency. Scrape from the blender into a bowl and season with more salt or lemon or spirulina or nutritional least until you are happy with it. 
    Cover with cling film and store in the fridge. It may become slightly dark on the outside due to the avocado oxidising but just stir before serving and it will be absolutely fine

    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.