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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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nutty Quinoa

This is type of thing I like to prepare when I can’t be bothered to prepare anything else, but know I should prepare something nourishing and filling.  It’s accepting of variation and can easily be thrown together in no time.  It was a no fuss way to end the weekend that went by so quickly – sigh!  Back at work tomorrow knowing there are a million things to be done at home – sigh again!  Guess they will still be there when I get home.

Nutty Quinoa Salad
Serves 2 for main or 4 as a side

½ cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained
¾ cup water

To Cook Quinoa:

Place ¾ cup water in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil
Add quinoa and reduce to a simmer
Cook for 10 mins or until grains are tender and liquid has been absorbed
Remove from the stovetop and allow to steam until ready to use

Meanwhile Prepare Additional Salad Ingredients:

2 stalks celery, sliced
1 roasted capsicum, finely sliced
¼ cup semi dried cranberries
¼ cup roasted almonds
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
¼ cup pistachios, shell removed
½ red onion, finely sliced
1 – 2 cups salad leaves of your choice

For the Dressing:

3 Tbs lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to season

Place the lemon juice, curry powder, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper into a bowl and whisk well to combine.
Set aside until ready to use.

To Assemble Salad:

Place the cooked quinoa, and additional salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss together
Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well to combine
Serve on own or as a side

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Could Eat This For Breakfast! - Cherry Clafouti with a Lemon Almond Crumb

Cherry Ricotta Clafouti

Actually - I did! Laced with an abundance of cherries this went down very well just before slipping out the door to work.   Topped off with a blob of natural yoghurt and the crumb of course, means I am still thinking about it and wishing I had some for breakfast everyday....  

Cherry Ricotta Clafouti

Cherry Clafouti with a Lemon Almond Crumb
Serves 4 - 6

Cherry Clafouti

1/2 cup milk (your choice of type)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
1/2 cup oat flour (gluten free) or almond meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved

Preheat oven to 185 degrees celcius
Blend milk, eggs, rice malt syrup, oat flour and vanilla all together until smooth
Lay the cherries evenly over the bottom of an oven proof dish (mine was approx 20cm wide)
Pour the batter evenly over the top
Bake until golden brown, approximately 30 - 35 minutes
Serve warm and sprinkled with lemon almond crumb and/or a dollop of yoghurt

Lemon Almond Crumb

1 Tbs flaked almonds
Zest of half a lemon
1 Tbs dessicated coconut
1 tsp plam sugar

Place ingredients in a food processor and whiz

Cherry Clafouti with Ricotta

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Be My Valentine - Zesty Almond Raw Chocolate

Raw Chocolate Recipe

This recipe for raw choc definitely comes under the super easy category of - compile, gently heat, stir, pour, freeze and eat.   It’s also perfect timing for Valentines Day.  The boys chose lemon zest and almond butter and once poured I had an after thought to make one especially for me and added some chopped walnuts and a few chilli flakes - that gave it a nice bit of spark.  Personally I think making raw chocolate is one of those things that once you have a base just about anything (within reason) will work.  So don’t be shy and give it a try.  It will be a whole lot better for you than store bought chocolate and less addictive as well - trust me!

I recently picked up some chocolate moulds from Spotlight  but if you don’t have any just make a bark as we did in this combo sometime ago now.

Zesty Almond Raw Chocolate
(makes enough to share)

1/2 cup cacoa butter
1/4 cup cacao powder, sifted
3 Tbs brown rice syrup (use more if you like it sweeter)
2 tspns vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon (unwaxed)
2 Tbs almond butter

optional (chopped walnuts and a little sprinkle of chilli flakes)

Melt the cacao butter over a very gentle heat
When completely melted add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine
Pour into your chosen moulds
Place in the freezer until set (maybe 5 mins)
Remove and keep refrigerated until ready to eat

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Monday, January 21, 2013

It’s Fabulous Fermentation Week - Fermented Beets with Orange & Thyme, Tzatziki and Spiced Chickpea Cakes

It’s fabulous fermentation week and personally it couldn’t have come at a better time.  After reluctantly being prescribed and taking a double course of antibiotics for pneumonia in the week leading up to xmas, I have been stuffing this fermented beet concoction into my gob as much as possible.

Now, I should say that I have attempted to make fermented foods before with not so great outcomes, so, when Elenore from Earthsprout and Sarah from My New Roots emailed about taking part in Fabulous Fermentation Week I decided to give it another go.  But rather than fumbling my way through I went straight  to the source of all things traditional - Nourished Kitchen.  I am sure Jenny needs no introduction, but if she does then you do yourself a huge favour and get yourself familiar with her blog, because it is a golden resource to live by.  Using her tips as a guide I am very happy to say that I did it and so can you.   In fact I could feel myself doing a little happy dance each time I looked at the jar and saw it bubbling away.

However given that some people fear fermentation I thought it important to add this link where you can follow the advice and guide of Sandor Katz – the king of fermentation.

A little note: 

As I didn’t have enough beet mix to fill my chosen size jar (1 litre capacity) I ended up using the leaves of the beets (well washed and organic) to keep the beet mix thoroughly submerged (this is key).  I did this by packing them tightly into the top of the jar. I then topped up with a small amount of water to just make sure everything was covered.

Finding ways to integrate fermented food into my meals has been super easy – just put it on top of whatever you like. But if something more specific is what you are after then here are my two favourite ways to make fermented beets a complimentary addition to your life.  Spiced Chickpea Cakes with Tzatziki and for a snack - Hummus and Beet Eggs.  Even the boys eat it as a little side option to their lunch or dinner, so it can’t be to bad.

Fermented Beets with Orange &Thyme with Tzatziki and Spiced Chickpea Cakes

Fermented Beets with Orange and Thyme 


500gm beetroots, washed well and grated
10 sprigs of thyme
zest of one orange
¼ cup whey *
2 tsp sea salt (salt to taste)

Beet Leaves, washed well (for keeping the beets mixture submerged)

To Make:

Lop the top and bottom off the beets
Grate the beets using a grater or food processor and place into a medium to large size bowl
Combine beets with orange zest, thyme, whey and salt
Mix together
Spoon into a mason/glass jar and pummel with a tool that will assist the release of the juices so that the beets are eventually under the liquid
Push the reserved and well washed beets leaves into the jar as tightly as you can to keep the beets immersed below the fluid
Cover loosely and ferment at room temperature for 3 days then transfer to fridge.

* I used whey strained from organic natural yoghurt.   To do this, line a sieve with muslin.  Spoon the yoghurt into the lined strainer that has been place over a bowl.  Cover and leave overnight.   

Store any leftover Whey in a glass jar in the fridge for future use (some say up to 6 months). Check out this post by Food52 for ways to use whey in the future.  You will be surprised just how versatile this stuff is.  

Cumin Spiced Chickpea Cakes
Makes 8 patties


1 can (440gm) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
¼ cup besan flour (chickpea flour) + extra for dusting
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped (stems and leaves)
1 small brown onion, roughly chopped
½ roasted red pepper, roughly chopped
4 small cloves garlic, crushed
2 tspn ground cumin
1 tspn ground sumac
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp white pepper, freshly ground
2 medium eggs

½ cup quinoa, cooked
1 small carrot, grated

2 Tbs macadamia oil (for cooking) (use what you wish)

To Make:

Process the above ingredients (except the quinoa and carrot) in a food processor and whiz until well combined and smooth
Stir through the cooked quinoa and grated carrot
Cover and refrigerate for 20 – 30 mins (if possible)
Meanwhile preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Remove the mixture from the fridge
Using your hands shape the mixture into 8 patties
Dust each pattie lightly with extra besan flour (optional)
Heat your choice of oil (2 Tbs) in a frypan over a medium heat
Cook for approximately 6 – 8 minutes on each side or until golden brown
Transfer to oven and cook for a further 10 minutes
Serve with Tzitziki (recipe below) and fermented beetroot


Makes 1 ½ cups

1-cup natural yoghurt (I use Barambah)
1 medium cucumber, grated and drained*
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tbs fresh mint, finely chopped
½ tsp truffle salt or sea salt (season to your liking)

* place the grated cucumber in a piece of muslin and squeeze to release as much liquid as possible

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and gently mix through
Season to your liking
Place in the fridge until required

Snack Time - 

Hummus and Beet Eggs

Fill boiled egg whites with hummus and top with fermented beet.
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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 :)