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Saturday, August 20, 2016

I have a chocoholic husband! What more can I say. A version of this recipe is always in our fridge. Not always this almond and date one, sometimes I'll make other combinations such as walnuts and sultanas, dried cherries and walnuts etc. Because it's something I make often, I always use basic ingredients from my pantry that I can get from any grocery shop and don't cost the earth. Healthy eating has to be sustainable and I find that keeping to the basics helps.

To keep in line with my frugal ways I've started to add rolled oats to the mix and the results are great. Still super fudgy, flavour is amazing and it helps to keep the overall cost down, adding healthy cholesterol lowering fibre and also highly nutritious. 

I've told you about my husbands chocolate addiction now I'll tell you about my obsession with just throwings things together on a whim. And yes, just about every time I make these it's on a whim! He leaves the empty bowl in the fridge for me to find at the most inopportune times. So, that means I usually grab then blender, take it to the pantry, throw in the ingredients I know will create great taste, texture and fudge then whizz away to my hearts content until I get the consistency I need. I have a Vitamix which is perfect for this recipe. High speed, strong motor and has good speed control. You can also get great results with a strong food processor but it will take a lot longer. Just be patient, it's worth the wait to get it right.

 Date and Almond Chocolate Fudge 

Makes: 25-30 round slices


1/3 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup sultanas
1/3 cup walnuts
2-3 tbs coconut sugar
2 1/2 tbs raw cacao powder
1 tsp cinnamon - optional but great for controlling insulin as well at taste!
1 tsp vanilla - optional

1/2 cup almond pieces or slivers - I chop my own
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/3 cup organic coconut shreds - optional (not in the pic)

  1. Add all ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor. 
  2. If using a blender, start of low until all of the ingredients have been chopped to resemble crumbs then turn to max speed making sure to move the mix around and away from the blade as much as possible to avoid overloading the motor. 
  3. Keep going until it turn into fudge and starts to form a ball
  4. If using  food processor just keep blending until it turns in a ball, you may have to stop it and push the sides down but persevere, it will eventually get there. 
  5. Turn fudge out onto a board then flatten it out a little
  6. Place the almond pieces, dates and coconut if using and knead them into the fudge
  7. Roll it into a long 2-3cm snake and place into the fridge to get firm. I roll mine into a reflex sheet or non stick baking paper.
  8. After about 6-8 hours it will be firm enough to slice into 1/2 cm slices with a sharp clean knife. 
  9. Stores indefinitely in the fridge. 
Remember to check me out on Instagram and Facebook and tag your creation #karenluvslife so I can check them out.

Last but not least.. Enjoy! :-)


Sunday, August 14, 2016

I know, I know! It's been a long time between posts! The truth is I really miss blogging and sharing my recipes but I've been so strapped for time, I'm never able to get a descent photo let along find time put a post together for my beloved blog.

As for my blog, what do you think of the new format? It still needs a lot.. yes I mean 'A LOT' of work  to get it where I want it to be. Nothing's simple in the world of cyberspace and setting up complicated websites is one. Just as I get the hang of something they go and change it on me and get all technical! So for now i'd like to apologise for the mess and disorganisation of the site but at least you'll be able to see the new stuff and  hopefully find the old recipes here which is actually much easier for find than it was before. You'll see it in the bar across the top.

Time to share our favourite bread and the easy recipe that goes with it! I make this bread at least 2 to 3 times a week. It's the only bread we use for everything from breakfast through to dinner. It's perfect toasted and fresh! My husband loves it smothered with butter and honey, I love it sliced thinly, toasted and doused in coconut oil.

Grain Free Yeast Bread 
Makes: 1 loaf using 350g of mix

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 sachet tandaco yeast or 2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sea or Himalayan Salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 eggs
3 eggs and 1 ¼ cups water

  1. Ground bread mix until fine with the salt and baking powder
  2. Add to a large mixing bowl with the yeast and stir to combine
  3. Add the room temperature eggs, tepid water and vinegar then stir for about 1 minute to create a thick dough.
  4. Turn the dough into the bread loaf pan and flatten the top
  5. Place into the oven and turn the heat to 180 degrees Celsius, no fan!
  6. Set the timer at 1 hour and 10 minutes
  7. When the timer goes off you can remove the loaf from the pan and set it back into the oven for 10-15 minutes to finish off the crust or it can be removed straight away if it sounds hollow when tapped with the back of you hand.
  8. Allow to cool, then store in a bag or container allowing the loaf to breath so that it does not sweat.
  • If you like a seedy loaf then just blend part of the mix or none at all to give it some full seed crunch.
  • If you don't have a proper dedicated bread pan you can use a cake loaf pan but it may need to be lined with non stick baking paper or lightly greased. 
  • If you are going to freeze you may find it best to pre slice then place sheets between the slices so that you can remove them as needed without having to defrost the whole loaf. 
  • Highly recommend that in warmer temperatures you store your bread in the fridge!!
  • Can also be enjoyed straight from the oven warm and hot while the crust is still crisp! 
  • Best stored in the fridge in a vented container so that it doesn’t sweat. Keeps well for at least a week. May be frozen.
  It slices perfectly and is nice and pliable so it works well for sandwiches and burgers. 

 Grab a bag of the mix I've created at my new shop
As always - Enjoy! 


Thursday, August 4, 2016

How about that moment when you discover you've accidentally hit the 'publish' button on a post 3 hours after it went up... and it's not even finished!! Recipes all good but there's nothing else on it!! 

This recipe is an oldy but a goody. Perfect snack food especially in the evening when that sweet tooth kicks in to finish off a good meal.

Friendly Seven Logs

Makes: 1 large log, about 12 raw cookies


7-pitted dates
7 organic dried apricots
7 tbs sultanas/raisins
7 raw cacao beans or 7 tsp. raw cacao nibs
7 tbs coconut sugar
1 tsp. vanilla paste or powder
1 tbs raw protein powder
7 tbs dried coconut + extra for rolling


  1. Add all ingredients minus the Anzac granola to a blender or food processor and blend until fine and sticky.
  2. Remove mixture from bowl and place onto a board or clean bench then carefully knead the granola into the mix until evenly distributed being careful not to crumble it up too much.
  3. Shape the mixture into a log then roll in the coconut.
  4. Refrigerate until firm then carefully slice into 7mm coins with a damp serrated knife.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

It's a beautiful Sunday morning and I'm about to go for a nice walk. Before any good walk I need my double shot green tea. So, while I gently sip away at my warm beverage I'm going to post this delicious but unusual lunch recipe I made for myself a few weeks ago.

I try to get a dose of oysters in at leat 1-2 times per week. I consider them a superfood. Packed with vitamin B-12 which is one of the hardest macronutrients to find in a natural diet along with Iron, calcium, omega 3 and another one I try to keep on top of, Zinc. And lets face it, they taste great as well. 

I'd also like to point out that you can now purchase smoked oysters in springwater. I've found them in Aldi and Woolworths who both have a great range of sustainably sourced tinned seafoods. I find them the quickest and easiest additions to my lunches and they give me the opportunity to add my own good fats which I'd prefer to do. You never know what or where the oil comes from that they use in the oiled varieties unless you purchase the more expensive brands and seen as I'm a bit of a scrooge that doesn't happen very often. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Things have been a bit quiet on this blog. Yikes!! I've been super busy with other things in my life and the lack of having my own functional kitchen and limited internet has also got in the way. I've spent the last 2 months living in our motorhome in our driveway. There are no bedrooms left in the house as they're all takin up, any spares have been rented out to uni students and 2 of our children take up the rest. That makes it 5 uni students in one house! Imagine getting time in the kitchen. So why now am I able to do up some recipes and get the posted. Well!! .. that's because we have sold the Motorhome! Yep! it's gone but it doesn't mean we're moving back home. We have a few things up our sleeve and hope to know in the next couple of week what life will bring us this year. For now I have absolutely no idea.

I know live in the garage, my husband is away at work for the week and Uni has gone back! Yeah, empty house so I can get into my happy place and create with lots of people to share it with.

Another little secret I have to share is... I've also been working very hard on a new product I've created. I've been working on this for quite a while and I'm really excited to get it out there. I've created a business called 'Luving Life Wholefoods" and all of the products are grain free, gluten free, Paleo and dairy free. There's a Nut free Bread mix a Baking mix and a Self Raising Flour

Apple Cinnamon Pre-workout Pancakes with Apple and Cinnamon Compote

Serves 4


3 apples – sliced
9-10 tbs sultanas
16 pitted dates – sliced
½ cup coconut shreds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tsp vanilla
1 lime zested - optional
Juice from ½ lime - optional
4 -8 tbs rice syrup, maple syrup or honey
8 tbs water

1 tbs walnut per person - optional 


2 cups Luving Life Wholefoods Self Raising Flour - (grain free, gluten free)
1 cup Protein Supplies Australia WPC protein powder – pure or vanilla
2 eggs
Approx 300ml coconut milk or almond milk
2 cupful apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla powder or paste


  1. Add all ingredients to a pot on medium heat get to a simmer, turn to low with the lid on and allow to cook and soften for up to 20 minutes. 
  2. Stir occasionally whilst ensuring it doesn't get to dry, if it does add a few tablespoons of water. 
  3. Once it is ready set aside to cool. 
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and stir to combine making sure there are no lumps and it's well distributed. 
  2. Place 2 large tablespoons per pancake onto a greased frypan on medium to low heat and cook on one side for about 1 minute then turn to do the other side. 
  3. Repeat until you have used up all the mixture. 

Layer the pancakes with the compote then sprinkle 1 tbs of crushed walnuts and a large dollop of CoYo or yoghurt and enjoy! 

PS: An extra smothering or honey, maple syrup or rice syrup makes it pretty damn special as well! :-) 



Friday, November 27, 2015

I made these a few days ago but didn't plate it up until yesterday and let me tell you... OMG!! they are so good! I wondered about the pancakes and made sure to note in the recipe to remind myself to tell you that they are best consumed as soon as possible after you make them. I didn't have time to take a pic then and I really wanted to make the cream to go with them so I bagged them in a zip lock bag and put them in the fridge. Worked a treat, not as good as when first made but nothing really is except a good stew or curry. They were still awesome. This Mango Jam is the bomb I'm telling you. I still have some mangoes here from the bucket we bought in Townsville so I'm going to make another batch and jar it up. I want to make these for the kids when I get  home next weekend. 


Thursday, November 26, 2015

I know, I'm on a roll. All this time to myself and a cupboard full of great ingredients for making treats that will last until the main man gets back next week. Here's the other ball I made whilst I was experimenting with Protein Balls a few days ago. I have a really good collection of Protein Powders. This one uses a whey protein isolate which creates a slightly different texture to concentrate. I've also used a few different ingredients in this one but it still has mango in it which has helped to create a beautiful chewy and fudgy texture.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Yesterday was transition day. That's the day when my main man goes back to work and I have to get back into my work. It's always a bit of a blah day. Not usually very constructive although I do achieve a few things.. Like the washing :-) Not a biggy I know but it's something. Especially when you live in a motorhome with no washing machine. We've travelled from Townsville to Cairns since last Saturday and It's just beautiful up here. Townsville unfortunately is just so dry and desolate. It sort of gets depressing after and while. You only have to travel about 2 hours north and the whole landscape just comes to life. Forrest's, green pastures, rain, cool breezes. There's something about tropical lush vegetation that just brings me back to life. I also love being close to the ocean. Where I'm staying now I can ride my bike to the Esplanade, town centre, coffee shops and a large shopping centre. I'm getting pretty good at lugging all of my shopping bags back on the bike. Lucky for me there's a great path I can get on that brings me directly back to my location as I've been known to overload myself a bit and end up being a bit of train wreck trying to stop and start at lights and navigating through narrow passages. I just call it an adventure. I'm also looking forward to Rusty's markets this weekend. It's a 3 day market in the centre of town and it's huge. The freshness and variety is second to none and it's really well priced. I always make sure I drop in Sunday afternoon just before they close as that's the perfect time to pick up mega bargains.