Bounty bites

I just love the combination of coconut and chocolate, it really makes me smile. Only the well known manufactured bars makes your body not so happy.

Why are these happy bites?

In contrast to this famous bar, these bounty bites are sugar free and full of unsaturated fat. This kind of fat is really important for your body as they contribute to strong bones, healthy liver, heart and long functions and stimulates the communication between nerves. Raw cacao is a source of different minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. This is cacao in its purest form; not a subject of chemical process, where sugar, milk and saturated fat has been added, like in most commercial chocolate.
For 20 bites:
– 180 gram coconut oil
– 160 gram grated coconut
– 4 tbps honey ( agave or maple syrup if you want to have them vegan)
– 60 gram raw cacao
– Contents of 1 vanilla stick
– Pinch of sea salt
To make the filling:
Melt 60 gram of the coconut oil and mix it with 2 tbsp of honey, the vanilla seeds and a pinch of sea salt. Add the grated coconut and mold the mix. Scoop the coconut mix onto a flat oven dish, covered with baking paper. Put it in the freezer for 40 minutes.
For the chocolate coating:
Melt 120 gram of the coconut oil and mix it with 2 tbsp of honey. Add the cacao and salt and mix until a silken texture.
Take the coconut mix out the freezer and cut, or break it in the kind of pieces you like. I always try to make bar shapes, but I always end up with messy pieces. Trust me, the taste will be the same. Coat the coconut bites in the chocolate mixture and put it back on the baking paper. Put the rusks in the fridge for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, heat the rest of chocolate mix up again and coat the bites again for a nice thick chocolate layer. Again they need some 15 minutes in the fridge before you serve them.

Enjoy!

Home made tomato vegetable soup

As a little child, we always had the privilege to choose what we want to eat on our birthday. I always choose tomato soup, as plain as possible and out of a can. I still love soup but nowadays,

I like to make soup myself from scratch. That may sounds really difficult, but it really isn’t. And home made fresh soup is a source of vitamins, will warm you and give you energy. In the winter season it gives you a boost of strength, to fight flu and other viruses.

It may take some time to make, but it is worth the effort and your body will thank you. Instead of stock from supermarkets, which are mainly a mix of 90% salt and flavor additives.

Why will this soup strengthen your body:

Onions are high in vitamin C, the amino acids methionine and cystine detox your body, and the antioxidants work on as antiviral and antibacterial level. Garlic can boost the immune system and is anti-infection. The fresh herbs helps to stimulate digestion and are full of antioxidants which will help your body fight varied diseases and viruses. The Celtic or Himalayan salt will help your cells better to communicate with each other and contain magnesium.

This recipe consists of two parts, the stock and the tomato vegetable soup recipe:

Ingredients and the guidance for the stock:
– Extra virgin olive oil
– 5 Garlic cloves, chopped
– 3 onions, chopped in quarters
– 2 big carrots, roughly chopped
– 4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
– 1 big leek, roughly chopped
– 2 bay leafs
– Fresh herbs (like parsley, basil, thyme, just what you like)
– Optional: other vegetables ( be creative or just use your left-over vegetables)
– 1 tbp Celtic or Himalayan salt
– 1,5 liter boiled water

How to make it:
Heat a soup pan on medium heat. Add 2 tbp of olive oil and fry the onions and the garlic for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, celery and leek and fry it all together for 4 minutes. Add 1,5 liter of hot boiled water, and then the bay leafs, the fresh herbs, other vegetables you want to use and the salt. Lower the heat and let the mix simmer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes pour the broth into a sieve and catch the stock into a bowl. This is the base for the tomato vegetable soup ( or any other soup you would like to make)

Ingredients and how to make the tomato vegetable soup:
– Extra virgin olive oil
– 3 onions, fine chopped
– 500 gram tomatoes, chopped
– 1 can peeled tomatoes (400 gram)
– Hand full of chopped fresh Italian herbs ( thyme, oregano, rosemary and/or sage)
– 1 liter Home made stock

Heat a soup pan on medium heat. Add 2 tbp of olive oil and fry the onions for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, the can peeled tomatoes and the fresh herbs. Stir for 3 minutes. Add the stock and let it boil. When boiling, lower the heat and let it cook for 10 minutes. Turn the heat of and puree the soup with a bar mixer or in a blender till a silken tomato soup. Add salt and pepper if you please.

Serve with some croutons and a pinch of fresh herbs.
Enjoy!

Dutch spiced rustic biscuits

I can only ‘launch’ my food website with a easy to make recipe that shows my Dutch roots. These biscuits are ‘spiced’ with a mix of spices we in the Netherlands call ‘speculaas’ and simple to make.

During the winter holiday season in the Netherlands we use this speculaas mix of spices in traditional bakings. So now, when it is winter in South Africa my mind automatically longs for this kind of delicacies. In the Netherlands you can buy this mix of speculaas spices ready-to-go in most food stores. Although it is really easy to make it yourself  (also good to know for Dutchies abroad). Below I will show how.

These little cookies are only made from ingredients that makes your body and the world happy, so all vegan and ofcourse really kid friendly.

And if you like the taste of speculaas, I promise I will post more of this kind of recipes.

Making your own mix of speculaas spices ( ca 60 gram)

  • 40 gram cinnamom
  • 10 gram nutmeg
  • 10 gram grinded cloves
  • 5 gram ginger powder
  • 5 gram grinded white pepper
  • 2,5 gram cardemon

Feel free to experiment with the measurments, to make the mix personal. A great addition can be grinded anise. Be careful not to use to much nutmeg.

Why are these spices good for you. Cinnamon inhibits blood sugar fluctuations and stimulates your carb- and fat metabolism. Cloves gives you energy stimulates the absorption of food. Ginger supports the digestion and is antiviral and anitbacterial.

What you need for 20 spiced cookies:

  • 150 gram spelt flour
  • 75 gram coconut sugar
  • 40 gram pored banana
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp speculaas mix ( feel free to add a bit less or more)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (room temperature)

Preheat the oven at 180 Celsius. Coat a baking sheet with baking paper. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Whip pored banana with the coconut oil in a seperate bowl and add it too the dry mix. Make a ball of the dough, wrap it in cling foil and put it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Pollinate your counter with some flour and roll out the dough, till a thickness of 1 centimer. Stab circles out the dough and put them on the baking paper. Bake the biscuits in around 10 minutes in the oven. Every oven is different so check occasionally, you also might want to turn the cookies over after 8 minutes. Get them out of the oven and let them cool. Enjoy! If can safe some biscuits for later, put them in the refrigerator.

 

 

Cannelli bean spread

This bean spread is one of my personal favorites and I try to let it be my kids one aswell, with mixed succes. This spread it such a healthy savoury treat on fresh bread or a cracker. It also makes a great tasty dip for potatoes. And the possibilities are endless, make your personal mix with your favorite beans and herbs.

Why beans? Beans are full of fibres and low-fat, which make them really good for a healthy gut. Consuming beans keep your blood sugar level steady. The beans can help you lower your cholesterol and are full of magnesium and potassium which supports your nerve system and heart.

This is how I make the spread most of the times.

Ingredients:

  • one can of cannelli beans (400 gram)
  • a hand full of fresh dille, spring onion and parsley
  • 2 tsp of oil ( olive oil or almond oil)
  • maybe some water to make it more creamy

Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix till the structure you prefer.

Spread in on your bread and top it with your choice of vegetables. I love the combination with pickles ( or gerkins, like we call them in South Africa) and tomatoes.

Store the spread in the refrigerator, and you can use it for up till 5 days after making it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not wanna be a mac ‘n cheese

My boys eat lunch at school and one weekly dish is mac ‘n cheese. But my boys are not really lovers of this dish. So this inspired me to make a healthier vegan version which they love.

Online I found this great recipe from the Theminimalistbaker.com.

This ‘mac ‘n cheese’ is lower in fat and calories then the Original one. Super delicious , filling and comforting.  The eggplant & caramelised onion make this loaded with nutrition and super tasty.
It is sure to be your family favourite ! It is in my family, only we call it the cheesy onion pasta dish.

Why eggplant instead of cheese?

Melted cheese is a high-calorie, high-fat indulgence. It is also responsible for high amounts of bad cholesterol and sodium in your blood. Phytonutrients in Eggplant have positive effects on high cholesterol and is a source of fibre and antioxidants which protects the brain cell membranes.

What you need for 4 servings:

  • 300g pasta of your choice. My family loves the spelt penne.
  • 1 large eggplant (About 400g)
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 5-6 tbsp of nutrional yeast
  • 500 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch (or 2 tbsp any other flour)
  • sea salt
  • 120 gram bread crumbs (to keep it wheat free I crumbeld rye crackers)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preperation:
Slice the eggplant in slices of 2 centimeters and sprinkle both sides with seasalt
Lay them on a paper towel on a big plate, put papertowel on top and then put some weight on the slices. Place aside for 20 minutes to dry.
Preheat the oven to high broil
Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil and bake the onions in 10-12 minutes. Make sure you stir every few minutes to let them caramelize nicely. place then in a bowl when they finished.
Bring the pasta water to boil in a pan with a tbsp of salt
Rinse the eggplant and dry the slices. Put them on a baking sheet, on a oven tray, single layer and sprinkle them with olive oil.
Broil on high for 4-5 minutes till they nicely brown and roasted.
Get the eggplant out of the oven and wrap it in foil to let it steam for 5 minutes
Then peel the skin of the eggplant.
Add the eggplant (without the skin) in a blender with the almond milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch (or subsitute) and garlic and mix. Add the salt, or more nutritional yeast or garlic to your own taste. Blend until a nice smooth sauce.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for as long as the package tell you.  Then drain and cover the pan with a towel to keep warm.
Pour the eggplant sauce into the same pan as you used for the onions. Cook the sauce for 5 minutes so it will get thicker.
Heat a small saucepan to medium heat and add some olive oil. Than add the breadcrumbs and stir for 5 minutes. Put aside when light brown and roasted.
Add the pasta to the eggplant sauce in the skillet. And add half of the caramelized onions.  And mix. If the skillet is oven proof you can put it the mixture straight in de oven. If not transfur the mixture into a ovendish. Top it off with the remaining caramelized onions and the bread crumbs.
Put the ovendish/skillet in the oven ( still on high broil) and roast it for 2-3 minutes till golden. Stay close because it can go fast.
Remove from the oven straight away and serve it.
Enjoy!

Chia overnight coconut breakfast pudding

Rise and Shine with this great breakfast. Although I name it a breakfast pudding, this pudding will also make a great dessert or snack. You can trust me on that one.

Such a simple, health and delicious way to start your day
Why chia?
Chia seeds are a great source for Omega-3 and fibre. When you increase your Omega 3 intake you reduce your risk at developing cardiovascular disease and depression. Fibres are highly important for a good digestion and will provide fuel for good bacteria in your gut.
What do you need for two puddings:
120g of Chia seeds
2 cups of coconut milk
1 tbsp of Maple syrup
optional: fresh vanilla
The night before :
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or a jar.
Keep it in your fridge overnight. Easy enough.Right?
In the morning use the toppings of your choice and  enjoy!
Fruit , homemade granola , raisins.Ah,the possibilities are endless.
My personal favorites: Passionfruit (granadilla here in South Africa), banana and buckwheat granola.

Sweet potato brownies

Last month both of our boys were ‘bakerman’ at school. Ofcourse we wanted to treat their friends with a healthy snack and suprise the teachers with so much goodness in a perfect brownie.

Why these brownies will make your body happy:  The sweet potatoes and coconut oil in the brownie subtitute the butter. Coconut oil is a source of saturated fat which increases the risk of getting vasculair diseases. It also accelarete your metabolims, which speeds up your fat and calorieburn. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamine B6, C and D. Contains iron and magnesium. Which will suport your healthy immune system. Sweet potatoes in contrast to normal potatoes will not let your blood Sugar level spike.

What you need to make 20 muffins:
700 grams of sweet potatoes (with the orange inside) peeled into thin slices
250 gram of speltflour
100 gram of raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs (or egg replacement)
300 ml agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
300 grams melted coconut oil

Boil the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Then smash them.  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Mix the flour, cocoa powder and flour in a bowl. In another bowl beat the eggs and add the coconut oil, agave syrup, vanilla extract and mashed potatoes. Mix it with the dry mix of ingredients.
Fill the muffin tray and add on top some cacao nibs. Place the tray for 20 minutes in the oven. Check once after 15 minutes, each oven is different and you don’t want them too get dry. But that they still ‘soft and melty’ on the inside.
Decorate the muffins with your favorite fruit. We used strawberries because my son wanted it to be fireman brownies.