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Recipe! Spiced Apple & Walnut Brownies. 

Sinfully dark chocolate brownies in a low carb, gluten free version. Perfect for curbing those pesky sweetie cravings when you’re dieting 😉

Ingredients

  • 2 small apples , cored & diced, skin on.
  • 1tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Small knob of unsalted butter
  • 60g dates, pitted & finely chopped
  • Approx 6 Tblsp hot water
  • 60g coconut oil, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 60g pure cocoa powder (not drinking chocolate)
  • 50g walnuts, smashed with a flat bladed knife.

I use a silicone soap bar mould (which I’ve naturally never used for soaps) to make these as I wanted bite sized ones (see end for mould details) , but you can use a traditional 20cm square baking tin and cut them to whatever size you like. Makes approx 44 mini bars.

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C and grease up the mould with a little coconut oil.

Place the chopped dates in a small saucepan and add just enough hot water to cover. Simmer gently for about 5 mins then set aside.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan, melt the knob of butter.

Toss the apples in the spices then add to the frying pan. Fry on a medium heat for approx 5 mins or until they just start to brown, then add to the dates. Allow to cool for a few mins.

In a large bowl beat the eggs with a mixer, then add in the melted coconut oil, almond flour, dates and apples (including any juices) and the cocoa powder. Mix well, scraping the sides down, until a lumpy thick batter forms. Lastly stir in the walnuts.

Spoon into the mould, giving it a little shake to settle it. Fill the cavaties to just about full.

You’ll have to bake in 2-3 batches at 10 minutes each. (I’d suggest turning the tray around half way through to eliminate any cold zones in your oven) Once done pop them out of the mould onto a wire rack to cool, then refill the mould with more mix and back into the oven (no need to wash and re-grease between batches).

If for the last batch you only have enough mix to fill a few cavities, put it in the centre ones first as this ensures a more even bake. IMO.

If you’re using a traditional baking tin, bake for 20 mins, then check the middle to see if a tooth pick comes out clean. (I’ve never done them this way so this is a guesstimated time) Once done turn out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing.

Nutrition per mini bar

  • Kcal 50
  • Protein 1.5g
  • Carbs 3.8g
  • Fat 3.8g
  • Fibre 1.1g

Serving tip: For a quick choccie fix, I have 2 bars with a tablespoonful Greek yogurt= 140kcal per dish.

BTW – if you want to get the mould I used (shown in 2nd picture) I actually got it from their Ebay store, but this is it on their website:
http://www.siliconemoulds.com/PBSCProduct.asp?ItmID=14227865

Or check out SiliconeMoulds.com on Blogspot (that’s their official blog) for recipes and tutorials.

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Recipe: Cream of Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

I’ve had my lovely Andrew James soup maker for a few months now, (bargain at under £50!) and have used it’s various attachments (grinder, steamer) but not gotten around to using it for soups yet. So, this was a recipe test and road test in one. The machine worked brilliantly and the resulting soup was a big hit.
Here’s what I did…

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Ingredients:
2 large vine tomatoes
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium sweet potato
1 small white onion
1/2 can coconut milk
1 tsp vegetable boullion (dry powder)
3 tsp garlic puree
3 tsp basil puree
Drizzle of olive oil
500ml cold water

★ As per the machines instructions, chop all the veg into small cubes. (About 1-2cm)
★ Add the veg to the blender jug, taking care to no go over the “max soup” line.
★ Next add in the drizzle of oil, the vegetable boullion, and the garlic and basil puree, then pour the water in over the top. Easy-peasy!
★ Place the jug onto the base, press  the on/off button, and press the “Soup Smooth” button.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH.. (drumroll please…)

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Ta-da!
The machine makes a few beeps at you, then starts the cooking cycle.
It cooks first, then pulses and blends to give you a nice smooth soup.

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★  After the cycle has finished, the machine beeps several times to let you know it’s done. This is where you add the coconut milk. Just pop off the lid, pour it in (or spoon if it’s a good quality thick one like I use) then press the “Blend” button to mix it in.
And you’re done!
Serve up while it’s hot with a sprinkle of grated parmesan on top.

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Overall result?
Took about 40 minutes from getting everything out of the fridge to serving up.
I did have few little niggles with the machine: it’s a little fiddly to locate the jug correctly onto the base (however it helps if you actually read the instructions fully, as it tells you specifically how to attach it) but once I’d sussed it out its easy enough; and the beeper is a bit strident in my opinion, but other than that it was really easy to use.
I do like that fact that it is self-washing; makes cleaning it really easy and you’re not risking the ends of your fingers on those blades!
Also the “Re-heat” function is a great idea. I made this soup mid morning, but we have our lunch late most days, so I can just leave it in the jug and warm it up as required.
Would I Recommend It To A Friend?
Already have. And I’m thinking of getting one for someone for Christmas too. (Shhhh! )