Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tummy Grumbles for Granola

“My tummy grumbles for that!”
my youngest son said as he pointed to the jar of Granola I had made on whim the night before whilst he was tucked up in bed.

There’s something nice about a big glass jar of granola sitting perched on the kitchen counter - don’t you think?  I’m not sure what it is?  It’s probably linked to my obsession with food and lifestyle magazines who feature perfectly styled kitchens with a big jar of perfectly roasted golden granola on the bench top.  The granola I can achieve, the perfectly clean kitchen - no!   Well, maybe for five seconds once a week.   

Search the web and you will find a zillion trillion recipes for granola.  It’s nothing ground breaking but it’s popularity is definitely warranted for its taste and versatility.  My version here mingles mesquite powder with dried cranberries, shavings of coconut and plenty of seeds.   Mingled together this combo made a delicious mix of golden crunchiness which looks nearly to good to eat.  

Granola can be enjoyed in so many ways.  1/2 cup with  a splash of almond milk/goats yoghurt and fruit or with this cashew cream serves me beautifully each morning.   It works pretty nicely as a snack as well.

Makes approx 4 - 5 cups

Dry Mix:

1 cup coconut shards
2 cup oats (preferably gluten free if you can get them)
1/3 cup pepitas
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup golden flax
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbs cacao nibs
2 Tbs hemp seeds
2 Tbs mesquite powder (opitonal)
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raw almonds
leftover vanilla bean pod (see wet mix below)

Wet Mix:

1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 - 1/3 cup coconut oil
seeds of a vanilla bean, removed

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Place dry mix into a large mixing bowl, combine and set aside
Whisk together wet ingredients
Add wet ingredients to dry mix and mix well ensuring that dry ingredients are well coated with wet mix
Evenly spread the mix out of a baking sheet lined with baking paper
Place in the oven for 15 - 20 mins
Stir regularly to promote even cooking
Keep an eye on it that it doesn’t burn as it can happen quickly
When nicely golden and evenly roasted remove from the oven and allow to cool before finding your own special jar to perch on your counter.  

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Cashew Cream, Spiced Persimmon & Salted Pistachio Crumble

Breakfast is by far my most favourite meal of the day.  It’s the meal that I am always most hungry for, it’s the meal that sets my day and it’s something that I always allow time for.   I am definitely not one of those people who can eat the same thing for breakfast everyday, day in, day out - no way.  I like mixing it up and tend to go through phases, usually directed by what is in season or by what I feel like.

For those of you who know me well I am a huge fan of local food, farmers markets etc.  I drag my two  boys along to our local one at the crack of dawn pretty much every Saturday morning - rail, hail or shine.  Once upon a time the boys would complain, but now on a Friday evening when putting them to bed their last words usually are “see you in the morning for the market”.  It’s music to my ears.

On the weekend I met for the second time this couple who had a selection of hand crafted raw goods on sale.  Swoop I did, and came away with a few packets of their raw crackers  and their version of what I have prepared here.  My mum and I shared it, and with our last mouthful agreed we would have a go at recreating it.    My version uses rice malt syrup meaning it’s not 100% raw but hey, that’s cool because it tastes super yummy and is dairy, gluten and grain free.  It’s not as good as good natured living’s but I don’t have access to them every day so this will have to do for now, and with persimmons coming into season here I will be making this one again some time soon.

Cashew Cream, Spiced Persimmon and Salted Pistachio Crumb
Serves 2 - 3

Cashew Cream

2/3 cup cashews, (soaked for a minimum of 2 hours  or overnight)
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 Tbs rice malt syrup
Seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean

Drain the cashews from their soaking water
Place drained cashews in a high speed blender with the coconut water, rice malt syrup and seeds from the vanilla bean
Whiz on high speed until smooth and set aside in a separate bowl

Spiced Persimmon

2 small persimmons (165 gms)
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
3 Tbs coconut water

Peel the persimmon and place in a high speed blender along with cinnamon and coconut water.
Whiz until your desired texture ( I like to leave a bit of chunk to mine)

Salted Pistachio Crumb

1/4 cup pistachios
pinch of sea salt

Place the pistachios and sea salt in a mini food processor and whiz until resembles fine crumbs

To Assemble

Spoon cashew cream into a bowl and top with spiced persimmon and pistachio crumb.

My photography assistant below is also very good at helping himself to whatever is in view of the camera.  

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Guilt Free Dessert Anyone? - Peanut Butter & Chocolate “Cheesecake” - By Wholesome Cook

I absolutely agree with Martyna from Wholesome Cook on this one - yes, a cheesecake can be both delicious and good for you.

When a copy of Martyna’s new e-book - Guilt Free Desserts landed in my inbox it was this recipe that I kept flicking back to - Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cheesecake. 

Impressive to say the least this not so traditional cheesecake utilises one of my favourite ingredients and turns it into a star.  The use of avocado here creates a moorish dessert that is also no bake and dairy free provided you can get your hands on some vegan chocolate.  Me personally, I just went with regular organic chocolate.  What could be more perfect, right!

Included in the book is also a host of other food bloggers who specialise in whole food and allergy friendly cooking and Wholepromise is part of that with its “Macadamia Cacao Icecream”.   We were so excited when Martyna asked us to contribute.

 If you haven’t got your hands on your copy of Guilt Free Desserts then skip on over to Wholesome Cook right now to pick up your own personal copy and brace yourself for some drool worthy recipes that are minus the guilt yet still full of pleasure.  Perfect timing for Easter I would think.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake

Peanut Butter & Chocolate “Cheesecake”
Prep Time 20 mins
Chilling 4 + hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 mins
Serves 8 - 10


For The Crust:

2 cups raw pecans
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp maple syrup

For The Cheesecake Filling:

1 1/2 cups avocado flesh (from about 2 medium avocados)
2 Tbsp organic smooth peanut butter (i used crunchy)
2 tsp raw cacao powder
2 tsp non-dairy milk (i used almond)
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp freshly ground sea salt
125 g [ 1/4lb] vegan and gluten free low sugar chocolate ( I used regular chocolate)


Line the base and sides of a 20cm (8in) springform tin with baking paper

To Make The Crust:

1. Process pecans in a food processor until roughly chopped.  Add the remaining crust ingredients and process further to combine into a moist crumbly consistency.
2. Spoon crust misture over the base of the tin and spread out evenly, pressing the crust down firmly and into the edges of the tin.
3. Place tin in the fridge for 10 minutes for the crust to set.

In the meantime make the "cheesecake” filling

1. Place all ingredients (except for the melted chocolate) into the bowl of a food processor or your handheld blender (chopping attachment).  Process until smooth and creamy.
2. Add melted chocolate to the avocado mixture. Process until smooth and well combined.

To Assemble The Cheesecake:

1. Pour filling into the prepared tin lined with the pecan crumb base.  Cover the cake with cling film and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours before serving

To Serve:

1. Remove the ‘cheesecake’ from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving (shorter in summer, longer in winter).  Slice and serve.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mushroom Pate Pots

It’s been bucketing down here with rain for what seems like weeks now and outdoor plans and activities have been on hold. Each morning we wander if we will ever see the sun again.  On a positive note however, the dull weather has provided some beautiful light for photography and I have enjoyed watching it dance on my subjects as I snap away and learn more with each and every click.  The boys usually join me and think it is funny to help themselves to whatever I am capturing.  Who am I to say “no” when it is something that contains mushrooms, nuts and other yummy things.  Shame they wouldn’t eat it if I put it on a dinner plate for them at 6pm each night.  This mushroom pate exceeded my expectations, is vegan and makes for a yummy afternoon snack.  

Mushroom Pate Pots
Serves 4

1 1/2  Tbs macadamia oil
1 red onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
375gms button mushrooms, quartered

2/3 cups almonds, roasted
1/2 cup cashews, roasted
4 Tbs chives, finely chopped
2 Tbs sage, finely chopped

salt and pepper to season**

Heat the macadamia oil in a large frying pan over medium heat
Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft
Increase the heat slightly and add the mushrooms and cook until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated
Remove from the stove top and allow to cool
Meanwhile place the almonds and cashews in the bowl of a food processor and whiz until finely chopped
Add the cooled mushrooms, herbs and whiz all together until your desired texture
Season with salt and pepper ** ( i used a combination of white and black pepper and some truffle salt and it was perfect! - just remember to taste)
Place in the fridge for a  little while to chill and serve as you wish.

Below is one of a zillion photos I have taken in the last couple of weeks.  With a new venture in the pipe line I am slowly collating what I need to make it happen.  I just wish I wasn’t one of those people who wants everything yesterday. Can you relate?

 Loving the little shot of purple (stolen from my neighbours garden - sorry) in this photos. With the weather having been as such it is quite possibly the brightest thing I have seen in weeks.

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Hey There, I’m Sherilyn the creator of Wholepromise. This is where I venture outside of being a mum, wife and Fertility Nurse Specialist. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, Australia and am spoilt by year round access to Farmers Markets offering a plethora of local, seasonal and organic produce. In all Wholepromise is my style of food, it’s the food I want my boys to appreciate and it’s the food that makes me happy. Styling and photographing it is just another bonus.


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All photos on Wholepromise are by Sherilyn Palmer. If you would like to use one then please ask and provide a link back to the original source - with thanks :)