THE LOW DOWN ON COCONUT OIL, and Chocolate Ganache Filled Biscuits – dairy/gluten/grain/egg free and FULL OF DELICIOUS!

THE LOW DOWN ON COCONUT OIL, and Chocolate Ganache Filled Biscuits – dairy/gluten/grain/egg free and FULL OF DELICIOUS!

Coconut oil is ace! It is a wonderfully nourishing fat that is antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial due to its lauric acid content – just like breast milk!
It is metabolised immediately in the gut rather than relying on bile acids from the liver, and so is fabulous for anyone with digestive disorders or difficulty digesting fat. This also means that it produces energy more quickly and stimulates metabolism.
Coconut oil has a wonderfully high smoke point (around 170 degrees), making it fantastic for cooking at high temperatures. It is also a godsend for the dairy intolerant, making a great substitute for butter in almost any recipe. 
Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but it is medium-chain triglyceride as opposed to a long-chain triglyceride normally found in animal and plant fats. Medium-chain triglycerides are more easily absorbed, digested and used by our bodies as they contain smaller molecules than those long-chain triglycerides. Less energy and less enzymes to digest = more quickly and easily metabolised – which can be useful if weight loss is a goal also.

We have a need for dairy free goods in our house at times, and I use it in baking, roasting, frying and even in place of butter on toast.

So now that you are pumped to rush out and cook something with coconut oil, I have a completely fabulous recipe for you that I came across last week here.
So easy, so good for any food intolerance or dietary restriction thrown at you, and SO delish!

Here’s what to do:
1/4 cup coconut oil (liquefied) 
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs raw cacao (or cocoa if you like)
1/4 cup raw honey
1 tbs full fat coconut milk
Mix the first three ingredients together in a small bowl. If your coconut oil is

For the love of tea, and an antioxidant sorbet.

For the love of tea, and an antioxidant sorbet.

Green Tea and Raspberry Sorbet

Tea is one of the oldest drinks in the world, and has traditions entrenched many cultures. We are so lucky to have a huge variety to choose from, but today I am just talking about green tea.

GREEN TEA leaves are blessed with catechins, the gatekeepers of wondrous amounts of antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and antibacterial properties.  That’s right, drink some green tea and reduce your risk of colon, skin, lung, prostate and breast cancer; and the likelihood of cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disease. And slow adverse effects of ageing while you’re at it! 

But why stop at drinking it as a tea. The Food Matters Project recipe for this week – Raspberry Cabernet Sorbet, inspired me to to make a green tea, raspberry and mint version. Cracker-packed full of antioxidants, this sorbet is a delicious little dairy-free treat. Wrong time of year for sorbet? Not on hot apple pie!

Green Tea and Raspberry Antioxidant Sorbet
Makes about 2 cups
1 tablespoon good quality green tea
10-15 mint leaves, roughly chopped
225g raspberries (frozen)
1/4 cup silken tofu (or coconut milk)
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

Pour 1/2 cup boiling water onto the green tea and steep for 10 minutes.
Pop the raspberries, tofu and maple syrup into a food processor or blender and process until just combined (you will probably need to scrape down the sides).
Drizzle in 5 tablespoons of the strained, cooled green tea infusion and add the mint leaves and process just enough to combine. Don’t overprocess or it will turn into a raspberry liquid!

Serve straight away. You can freeze and serve later, but be sure to allow time for it to soften before serving (anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes or more depending on the temperature).

Nut Pulp Mania: Falafels and Roasted Capsicum Pesto

Nut Pulp Mania: Falafels and Roasted Capsicum Pesto

I have had a few requests lately for more recipes for all your left-over almond pulp, or nut pulp from making loads fabulous nut milk! I have talked about how to make nut milk in this previous post, so I will devote my time today to sharing these two super dooper recipes with you for your beautiful pulpy leftovers. Of course you can substitute any chopped nuts into these recipes if nut milk is not your thing.
First of all, a roasted capsicum and nutty pulp pesto. I posted this kale pesto recipe a while ago, but this one gives you a totally different flavour profile to play with. If you don’t happen to have any nut pulp hanging around, walnuts would be delicious here.

Roasted Capsicum and Nut Pulp Pesto
500g roasted capsicum *see below for details of how to roast capsicum if required
1/2 cup nut pulp or chopped nuts
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp miso paste
1/4 cup / 60ml olive oil
1/2 tbs of pomegranate molasses or lemon juice (plus extra for adjusting at the end)
Pinch of smoked paprika

Add the roasted capsicum and nut pulp/nuts to a food processor and pulse until chunky and combined.
Add all other ingredients and process until it is a consistency that you like – I like it a little chunky.
Taste and add extra pomegranate molasses/lemon juice or miso paste until it tastes delicious to you. There should be a nice balance between the sweetness of the capsicum, the salty miso and the tangy molasses/juice.

*To roast capsicums, cut lengthwise and de-seed. Place on a baking sheet with the skin facing up, and drizzle with a little oil. Grill the capsicums on a med-high heat until the skins begin to blacken and blister. At this point,

Cacao Love: Chocolate Avocado Mousse and Chocolate Kale Chips

Cacao Love: Chocolate Avocado Mousse and Chocolate Kale Chips

I have had a little cacao obsession this week.

It started with the avocado love from last week, which just sort of melted into an avocado chocolate mousse; and finished with cacao and cashew kale chips…. Lucky that cacao is chock full of antioxidants: 10-15 times more antioxidants than blueberries, and 20 times more than green tea to be precise – whoa! Cacao beans are super rich in magnesium, and are also high in chromium, iron, zinc, vitamin C and manganese. If you are worried about the caffeine content, it is actually quite low – around 1%, compared with coffee which had around 10%.

So what’s the deal with cacao anyway? The cacao tree grows the cacao pod which is the fruit. The pod is full of fabulous seeds which we know as cacao beans. You can find cacao as beans, nibs, powder and cacao butter. The nibs (like chocolate chips) and the powder lend themselves fabulously to baking, trail mix, smoothies, desserts and my new gourmet granola (I will post the recipe soon!).

The difference between cacao and chocolate, or ordinary cocoa, is that the latter is like a watered down version of cacao, with added extras like sugars, binding agents, milk solids, colourings and other chemicals. Vitamins and minerals are very sensitive to heat, and as most chocolate and cocoa is made using high temperatures, the end product is severely depleted in antioxidants, and has almost none of the vitamins and minerals it began life with. Good quality raw cacao however is produced using low temperatures and so maintains much of the original nutrient profile, hooray! Although it’s not something you should really eat in the same quantity as vegetables, the health benefits make it such an awesome alternative for a sweet treat! You will find it in …