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  1. Every part of the coconut can be used to nourish and support the body. Known as the ‘Tree of Life’ you can drink the water, eat the flesh and use the shell for all sorts of things.
  1. They are always in season and grow all year round. They are easy and cheap to buy. Once you know how they are also easy to open. Young meat is jelly like and really sweet and more mature meat is whiter, firmer and less sweet. You can make your own coconut water, kefir, milk, cream, yoghurt , butter and vinegar very easily.
  1. Coconut can be eaten and the water drunk during pregnancy. Both are  repudiated to nourish mother and baby and may help with a ‘quick delivery’. The oil when rubbed into the skin can help prevent and heal stretch marks. It can also be applied direct to nipples to soothe chafing and heal wounds whilst breastfeeding. The oil is also a safe and effective sunscreen for children and adults alike.
  1. When dehydrated in the hot summer months coconut water can help. Containing all the necessary electrolytes it can help get you back to balance. Coconut water also contains antimicrobial properties so is also great when suffering from bacterial imbalance (runny tummy!) and in the re-hydration afterwards. The sugar and nectar from the flowers is also full of necessary nutrients to process the sugar (improving blood sugar levels and create energy.
  1. Coconuts have been seen to help a diverse range of conditions, mostly due to their Medium Chain fatty acids. They have a positive effect on the body as they are easily absorbed, have anti-microbial properties, can boost metabolism , enhance thyroid activity, reduces pain and swelling, improve digestion, boost immune system and improve skin, hair teeth and nails. Is there anything a coconut can’t help? (Coconut Cures- Bruce Fife)

Coconut Recipes;

20121113-154836.jpgA bounty of Coconut

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Almond and Coconut Flour  Kefir pancakes

green drink

I use coconut water/ kefir for all my green drinks

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Coconut and Carrot seed oil natural Sunscreen

  

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Pumpkin Bread

Works best when making mini loafs as they stay moist and not too dense.

4 tbs coconut sugar, 2 tbs coconut nectar

2tbs Olive oil, 2tbs coconut oil

400g Pureed pumpkin

¼ lemon squeezed

Thumbnail size of grated ginger.

1 cup Almond Flour,

½ cup Quinoa Flour

¼ coconut flour

1 cup All purpose gluten free flour.

1tbs poppy seeds

1 ½ tsp cinnamon,

½ tsp grated nutmeg,

1 tsp Xanthum gum (or Chia gel- 1 tsp chia to 3tsp water let it sit for 10-20 mins till gel consistency)

1 ½ tsp baking soda,

½ tsp Salt

Mix all wet ingredients (everything on list till grated ginger) in the Kenwood or with a hand mixer.  Mix dry ingredients together in another bowl. Slowly fold in dry ingredient to wet ingredients. Meanwhile grease some mini loaf tins. When fully mixed, put into loaf tins. Pre-heat oven to 200C and cook for 15-20 mins. Turn out onto cooling rack when finished.

Cacao Beans

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I love chocolate.  So does my daughter. Finding foods that our kids will love that will also love them is tough. They are going to come across a whole range of foods in their social lives and we want to equip them to make good choices.

You will have heard that chocolate is very good for you and its health benefits are numerous. This is true but sadly no-one is talking about the milk chocolate, Kit Kats or things we grab on the go from our convenience stores. Raw cacao (in butter, nibs which are the bits of the bean before they are ground and powder form) is where the goodness lies. Cacao is chocolate in its bean form, before it is roasted, extracted and processed then mixed with sugar, milk, preservatives and other fillers and flavours. It contains antioxidants and minerals and its benefits amongst others are;

  • weight loss due to its chromium content which in turn also
  • Regulate blood sugar along with the magnesium content
  • Prevent cavities in your teeth (the caffeine content in cacao contains theobromine which can help kill bacteria in your mouth that causes tooth decay- it is lost in the process to milk chocolate.)
  • Helps alkaline your body (conventional chocolate is acid forming because of its sugar content)
  • Helps detoxification and contains powerful anti-oxidants.
  • Gives a gentle euphoric feeling without the sugar crash afterwards.

It’s what we do to the cacao and add to it that give “chocolate” the opposite list of effects.  Raw Cacao is incredibly bitter to those more used to even dark chocolate so start by replacing milk chocolate with 70% dark chocolate and work your way towards using the raw cacao powder as your hot chocolate.

Eva's Hot Cacao

If you find nibs pair them with a Goji berry or a raisin and you are close to ‘chocolate’ flavour as we know it. Try it yourself and with your kids. 10 tries are enough to convince your taste buds!

Pairing coconut with chocolate is a match made in taste and nutrient heaven- healthy Bounty bars!. Coconuts are anti bacterial, anti microbial, naturally sweet, packed with vitamins, essential fats and amino acids and minerals too. This recipe is a massive favourite in our house- a brilliant way to be able to say yes guilt free and isn’t that what we all want?  I hope it will be in yours too. My friend came up with it so it is named for her!

Other Chocolate Recipes

Beetroot Brownies

Chocolate Truffels

Homemade Raw Twix

Iced Mocha

Chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Chip cookies

This article was written for The Hub

Here’s some good reading;

Coconut Cures- Bruce Fife http://www.amazon.com/Coconut-Cures-Preventing-Treating-Problems/dp/0941599604

http://www.wellnesswa.com.au/2012/11/eat-your-way-to-good-health-raw-cacao-powder-a-deliciously-simple-home-made-chocolate-recipe/

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-numerous-health-benefits-of-coconuts-2.html

http://www.secrets-of-longevity-in-humans.com/raw-cacao-benefits.html

My quest for replicating common chocolates continues- I love my ‘Bounty’s’ now on to ‘Twix’ (would love to do Kit Kat but I think that gonna be impossible)

My journey began with foods I have never heard of till now. I have a dehydrator at home inherited from my folks who bought it to dry fruit and never used it! So I am looking into incorporating raw foods into our day to day diet to try and completely erradicate industry processed foods. A tough thing to do it seems!

Anyway- Buckwheaties are first on the agenda- apparently you can buy these ready made- but where’s the fun in that?! Also nowaday buying something made isnt as simple as making something and putting it in a bag to give to someone else.

Buckwheaties: (these can also be used as snacks in themselves as I discovered when my 3 year old kept coming back for more! and also are used as cereal or added to muesli. They are really crispy and are seeds derived from a flour so are completely grain free. Ground they are also a great flour and are used in alot of baking recipes- they are really quite moreish! You may have come across Buckwheat in Japanese buckwheat noodles, Russian pancakes (Bilini’s) and are used in beer production too!)

 

 

 

1 cup of Buckwheat Groats (very easy to buy I got some in Green dot)

Water

Pyrex bowl

Tea towel

This takes a little time, but is worth it. Rinse the groats in some water and leave to soak (preferably in filtered water) overnight. In the morning drain them and set in a glass bowl and cover with a tea towel. In the evening- rinse the groats and again place in the bowl and cover with the tea towel. In the morning they should have sprouted. Now they are ready to dry. I put them in the dehydrator, but you can use the lowest setting on your oven. Spread out the groats and dry until crunchy- takes about 6 hours in the dehydrator at living foods temperature.

Right now to the twix- this then takes no time at all!

1 cup of Buckwheaties

1/4 cup of dates (preferably organic medjool)

1/4 cup coconut sugar

3 tbs Cocoa Butter (melted)

Put the buckwheaties, dates and sugar in a food processor. I had to use a mini chopper as my Kenwood mixer food processor didnt have a good enough seal for the crumbs to stay in. Blitz until crumbs but may be some big bits still- keeps it crunchy and biscuit like. Add the cocoa butter and mix till its evenly mixed through.

Boil kettle and soak for 15 mins 1 cup of medjool dates for the caramel

Put some cling film in a baking dish- I used a square silicon one. Press down so bottom is evenly covered by the base. Put in the freezer.

While this is freezing make the caramel.

1 cup of medjool dates soaked (as above)
1/4 cup coconut nectar/maple syrup
2 tbs nut butter- I uses smooth organic peanut butter
3 tbs cocoa butter (melted)
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Blend these all together and take out the biscuit base and smooth over the top. Put back in the freezer for a few hours.

When it’s set and frozen. Melt 200g of quality organic/ fair trade min 70% dark chocolate. I used endangered species (I think 1 milk chocolate bar and 1 dark will make it taste less overwhelmingly chocolate and more authentic to the Twix bar). In a Bain Marie. Take out base and caramel from freezer and lift out of bakeware onto a chopping board. I cut it into 1 inch squares. Get some baking parchment to put them on. Roll around using 2 forks in the chocolate till covered and lift out and put on the baking parchment. When finished put in the fridge for a couple of hours to set- or the freezer.

And Voilà- try don’t taste exactly the same- they taste better!

Don’t forget to put the excess chocolate in a parchment to make caramel biscuit chocolate bar after!!!!

Reward your self with one or two with a cup of Chai roobios!!

 

Thanks to these two ladies- without which this would never come into existence for me!

http://www.terawarner.com/blog/2012/10/raw-vegan-recipes-raw-vegan-caramel-fingers-aka-twixy-biscuits/#more-27946
http://www.haverawcakeandeatit.co.uk/raw_food_uk/BUCKWHEATIES_recipe.html

This takes quite a bit of prep, but when its made its awesome! I have been making Mocha concentrate. You can keep it in the fridge so you just pour it out straight into the glass 50/50 with milk. Add ice and go. I am not the biggest coffee fan, but ever since I got pregnant with my son I crave it. Less now he’s born but I still fancy it now and then. It makes me feel really weird so I can only have decaffeinated  This is a good link to describe different ways of making coffee decaffeinated- http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/decaffeinated-coffee-safe-drink I use the ‘naturally decaffeinated’ coffee for mine and raw cacao powder for the chocolate. I also added some coconut sugar and vanilla essence just to take the edge off (can you tell I don’t really like coffee!!). It can be made straight with coffee to your own taste

100g coffee

to a litre water ( to adjust to make more/less)

50g Cacao powder

2 tbs Coconut sugar (optional)

1/4 tsp Vanilla Essence (optional I also like Hazelnut Essence)

Put coffee, sugar and cacao in a large glass bowl. Pour over water and stir. Leave to sit for at least 8 hours, stirring from time to time. Pour into sieve through a muslin cloth (at the very least a coffee filter or paper towel) Allow to sit through strainer for another 15-20 mins. Use a spoon to press last water through. Add vanilla essence. Put into a container to refrigerate.

When you want to use it use milk (Coconut,Oat or almond are delicious) 50/50 mix in the glass, add ice and enjoy with some beetroot brownies

I have been finding out about my home country in the past few month, my new and old friends have made me aware of places I have never been before. Recently my great friend Angela took me to one of her favourite places and now also one of mine!!! I saw this recipe before and so needed the donut pan to make it. I found them in Shanghai St- Thanks Angela xx

I have adapted this recipe to make it Gluten/dairy free. The pumpkin makes it incredibly moist unlike some of the really dense gluten free bread I have been making previously. You could probably also use sweet potato, but I like pumpkin as it is now in season. I have used canned but its even more tasty when you cook up the pumpkin yourself and puree it. Let it cool and its ready for the recipe.

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1tsp xanthum gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup oatmilk

Preheat oven to 200c. Butter a donut pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and spices together, and set aside.

In a large bowl, or a the bowl of a kenwood mixer, fitted with the beater, whisk oil, coconut sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and oat milk until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the mixture- I did it spoon by spoon and stir until just combined, do not over mix batter.

Using a pastry bag, fill each donut cup with the batter. Nice circle, not too full as they will rise up a bit. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until donuts spring back when gently pressed. Turn donuts onto a wire each and allow to cool for a few minutes.

for coating:

2 tbs coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/2  tablespoon cinnamon

While the donuts are cooling, put the coconut oil in one bowl, and combine the sugar and cinnamon in anther. While donuts are still warm, brush each donut with oil and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve immediately. I refilled the piping bag and clamped both ends and put in the fridge to make another 6 tomorrow and the next day!!

**You can bake these a day ahead of time, and store in an airtight container. Do not coat them in the butter/ cinnamon-sugar mixture until just before served or they will get soggy- but if you are anything like me- if they are made they are eaten!! I like them warm and fresh**

I love lemon curd- this is so easy to make- can’t believe I never made it before- its actually pretty healthy!!!

 

3 lemons (zest and juice so unwaxed organic if possible)

1 orange (zest and juice so unwaxed organic if possible)

thumbnail sized piece of ginger grated.

100g unsalted butter

100g coconut sugar

3 Organic eggs

Put all the ingredients in a heat proof bowl and whisk over a bain marie. Keep on low heat whisking continuously so the eggs don’t cook too quickly and scramble. Keep going till it thickly coats the back of a spoon and is glossy. Pour into large jar (makes about 500g) allow to let cool and then refrigerate. Will keep for a few weeks.

You may have noticed a trend lately with my recipes! Chocolate. I love it- there’s nothing wrong with it. In the right form and the right amount it’s really good for you- a very good anti- oxidant.

I have raw organic cacao powder and I use it in my baking and for hot chocolate and my 2 year old likes it way better than the sickly sweet, poor quality, addictive garbage that is generally billed for kids. “That’s not chocolate” she says about the mass produced stuff and reaches for the 85% I always have in the fridge! Guess what she’s happy with one square.

Anyway, I love ice cream- it doesn’t love me- until now. My husband is a great cook and he too loves his sweet stuff although he has a lot more will power than me- not difficult. He also is not great with dairy and the only stuff we have is kefir and cheese (although mainly goats and Sheeps cheese and only occasionally). So dairy free ice cream has always been something we have tried. Most products out there are either soy (something else we avoid unless it’s fermented) or very sweet and the chocolate flavour is usually lacking. We have developed our own little favourite flavour from checking out some blogs (see below) and have already started to brainstorm other flavours.

Here’s Niall’s winning recipe-

700mls coconut milk (organic preferably)
1 mashed banana
100ml Coconut nectar
100ml Maple syrup
3 tbs Cacao powder (I may have added 1 or 2 more to make it really chocolaty!)

Whisked in the kenwood (without banana). Stirred in banana at end. Then either use an ice cream machine or put in container and in the freezer- use a hand blender to break up the ice crystals at intervals when frozen. Yum yum!!! Seriously like it better than dairy chocolate.

Just made it again and added a tablespoon of peanut butter yum yum!

The third adjustment comes from Miranda, I was struggling because it keeps freezing really solid- she suggested a little salt. Have tried it and it has made a difference. It also definitely brings out the taste of the chocolate- just add it slowly and taste along the way- the first time I did it I added too much salt! Thanks Miranda x

http://www.pbs.org/parents/kitchenexplorers/2011/07/11/dairy-free-chocolate-coconut-ice-cream/

http://www.thekitchn.com/magic-one-ingredient-.ice-cream-5-ways-peanut-butter-nutella-and-more-171618

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/romans-dairy-free-chocolate-coconut-ice-cream

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My daughter and I love to bake together, she loves what we make and I love making the cookies and cupcakes nutritious enough for me to feel happy she’s eating them! To help her adjust with the addition of her little brother it’s something I am trying to keep as consistent mummy and Eva time. Also with visitors coming to meet the little guy i called them best friend cookies.

I am currently baking gluten free as we are a gluten and dairy free family. This is a choice we made as neither dairy nor gluten seems to agree with us and using different flours definitely adds more goodness and for example quinoa flour adds some protein to the mix. Using coconut sugar makes such a difference. Not only is it adding fibre but it has a completely different effect on the body. For one thing, you are satisfied with just the one! I tend to divide the mixture in half, roll them into sausages in cling film, stick one in the freezer, one in the fridge and cut off and bake the number of cookies you need when you need them. Not only does it cut down temptation (ESP when breast feeding!) it means you always get that fresh baked texture, smell and taste of a good gooey chocolate chip cookie.

This is a recipe I have adapted;

100g quinoa flour
50g coconut flour
200g biscuit and baking gluten free flour (red mill)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
320g coconut sugar
30g coconut nectar
225g butter (butter is just the fat there is no lactose or casein in butter)
1 tsp vanilla (1 pod)
3 medium organic eggs
1tsp orange water (optional)
1 bar organic 85% chocolate chopped up
1tsp cinnamon

I recently got a Kenwood Major for my birthday. put the softened butter and coconut sugar and nectar in the bowl and whisk (on 2 for those with a mixer with the balloon whisk.) until creamy. Add the vanilla, orange water and eggs whisk together.

Add the flours salt and baking powder and continue whisking until dough like. Add chocolate and cinnamon and mix till combined. Put in cling as described above and stick into the fridge. Let cool and harden slightly so it can be cut. Or just put a spoonful on a greased baking tray, leaving room between each one. Cook at 200c for 10-15 mins allow to cool on the tray.

Info on coconut sugar: http://www.livestrong.com/article/540370-nutrition-in-coconut-sugar/

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Not my cupcakes I hasten to add- I tend to rush decoration and they look more like the pic at the bottom!

I have to share this recipe so I don’t lose it. I am notorious for not being able to follow a recipe. I use them as guides and change things as I go along. Constant experimentation, sometimes it works, and sometimes…well lets just say those ones won’t be posted!!!

I have a very sweet tooth and it is my undoing, I hate adding sugar to things because I know how damaging it can be to your body. I have just found coconut sugar. Brilliant adds good fat fibre and natural sweetness to any recipe. I also have been playing with various different gluten-free flours and have enjoyed using them knowing they are adding some goodness to my baking. Pair this with the added pleasure of baking with my 2.5 year old and we are winning all round.

150g organic butter, 150 g coconut sugar, whisk till creamed (blended and fluffy)

Add 3 organic eggs one by one and whisk together,

then 25g coconut flour (red mill), and 25 g organic cocoa powder, 120g gluten-free baking and biscuits flour(red mill) ( I deviated slightly from my original plan of quinoa flour (red mill)and add baking soda, that’s for next time!)

tsp baking powder

then coconut flour sucks up moisture so I added oat milk till I got the desired consistency when whisked together (wet but still thick and fluffy).

Then 2 1/2 handfuls of hazel nuts bashed and I cut up a small bar of organic 85% chocolate added and stirred.
Oven at 180 for 18 mins check and keep going till golden brown (mine took 22 mins but I never wait for the oven to heat up!). Or 8 mins in the cupcake maker (yep!!) made about 25-30 and they are nice and light and fluffy.

Frosting; 20g butter, 2tbs boiling water and cocoa then sprinkles for fun!

My friend has just added the following frosting which shall be my next plan: “chocolate frosting (cocoa, dates, coconut oil)” From our new fav blogger www.therawtarian.com. Thanks Amanda xxx

Happy baking and indeed sharing with family and friends.

Heres what I think encompasses my decorating skills!!! Love this-

 

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