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Friday, October 21, 2016

How can something so experimental work out so damn good! Most would have called these an absolute failure. I was experimenting make in caramel with coconut sugar and added to much coconut water, then when I added the salt it got lumps in it. So I left it no the stove to cool off and contemplate what I would do with it as I tend not to waste anything. 
Morning tea was coming up hard and fast and I had a limited time to get something delicious, creative and vegan over to the band of merry workers by 10.30! Cookies, I haven't made cookies for while went through me head. Quick what can they be? A quick glance in the pantry and I spotted an opened packet of salted peanuts that needed to be used and decided that some of the fresh sultanas I'd purchased the day before was a better option that choc chips as we'd decided it was a chocolate free day! That is until dinner arrives then he's in the fridge quietly sneaking handfuls of the Date and Almond Chocolate Fudge that I make sure it always on hand for such cravings.
 Back to the cookies!!! That was it, I threw the ingredients into the mixing bowl and in my rush quick added 1/2 cup cacao buttons to the coconut sugar salted caramel and gently heated it up to melt the buttons. Not using honey kept it vegan and it helped to use up the failed caramel. I gave it a quick mix then decided it needed to be really thick and fudgy to get the desired OMGYUM factor so I got my hands into it and gave it a good squishy mix up! Mmm things where starting to happen. This time it was gong to be mega cookies so I shaped them into huge cookies, threw them on the baking trays, whipped them into the oven and headed off to do a quick 8 minute tabata while they baked! At 15 minutes i took them out and headed off to do some stretching not realising that they hadn't cooked properly. When I go back to them I though! Far out! oops!! then as I removed them I realise the outer edges where all sugary and crisp while the centre was all stretchy and gooey. #sodamgood #whatmorecanisay! so here's the recipe. :-)
 Chewy Salted Peanut, Sultana and Caramel Cookies

Makes: 12 large cookies


1 cup coconut sugar
50ml coconut water, milk or water

1 cup almond meal
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup sultanas
½ cup salted peanuts
½ cup coconut flakes
1 tbs mesquite – optional
1/2 cup cacao butter, butter or coconut oil
3 tbs water



Add sugar and coconut milk/water to a pot on medium and simmer for approx. 45 minutes or until it starts to thicken.
Add the salt and stir through, leave to simmer for another 5-10 minutes then turn off the heat and allow to cool


Preheat oven to 160 oc and grease or line 2 baking trays with non stick baking paper.
Add the almond meal, rolled oats, sugar, sultanas, peanuts, coconut flakes and mesquite to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Add the cacao butter to the caramel, gently heat and stir until the butter dissolves, then stir the caramel mixture into the almond meal mixture with the water.
Using your hands continue to mix the dough until it becomes thick and gooey.
Take a good handful and roll it into a ball then flatten it out to about 1-2 cm.
Repeat with the rest of the mixture making sure to spread them out on the baking trays leaving a good 4 -6cm between each cookie.
Place into the centre 2 racks of the oven and bake for 14-15 minutes or until they flatten out and the edges start to brown.
Remove for the oven.
Allow to cool completely before removing from the baking paper.
Best stored in the fridge, the outside remains crisp from the caramelised sugar and the centre chewy.


Paleo: use quinoa flakes or almond sliver in place of the oats.
If you cannot get cacao butter you can substitute coconut oil or butter.
For a choc chip version you could substitute the sultanas for choc chips or use both!
Caramel can be made the day before.

Enjoy! :-) 


Monday, October 10, 2016

Who doesn't love a good crumble, covering a yummy layer of sweet and gooey caramel, filled with salted peanuts and chewy sultanas on a healthy sugar free shortbread base? We all loved this one. It would be perfect served hot with cold coyo, yoghurt, ice cream or fresh cream. To make it decadent, add some extra caramel sauce warmed up and drizzled over the top. 
One of the benefits of blogging is how I can go back through my blog and see what I was making years ago. It's quite a journey. With all the moving we've done in the last few years it shows how I've had to adapt and be create by using different methods to create healthy treats for my hubby, staff or family. It'a a food diary and some. I need to start sharing more of the savory meals we have but as I've mentioned before, by that time of day getting a nice pic just does't seem to happen unfortunately. 
That brings me to another one of my blogging obstacles, taking pictures!! I'd love for my images to be much better than they are. Food photography is huge these days and I LOVE photography. Creating and cooking up new recipes is the easy bit, actually it's therapeutic part of it all for me... creating a nice image raises my anxiety and stresses me! Mainly because I'm always strapped for time! Running a business that also requires me to take photos becomes extremely time consuming. Although I must admit I’ve developed a new love for pet and animal photography. 
Salted Peanut and Caramel Slice
Paleo | Vegan

Makes: 20 x 20 cm slice


1 ½ cup Luving Life Wholefoods SRF or 1 1/4 cups blanched almond meal, 2 tbs tapioca or arrowroot and 1 tsp baking powder
½ cup xylitol or coconut sugar 
2 lge heaped tbs coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut cream


½ cup dates
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup raw cashews
approx. ½ cup coconut milk

Coconut Crumble:

½ cup coconut shreds
½ cup almond meal
½ cup xylitol
2 tbs cold coconut oil
3 tbs maple syrup or rice syrup

Fill ins:

½ cup sultanas
½ cup salted peanuts or salted cashews for Paleo
½ cup vegan chocolate chips



Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir  to combine.
Press into the bottom of the prepared baking tray


Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy
Pour caramel over the base and spread out evenly

Coconut Crumble:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix together with fingertips to create a course mixture that stick together when pressed into a ball
Sprinkle the sultanas, peanuts and choc chips over the caramel then distribute the coconut crumble over the top and press down lightly.

Bake at 16-170 no fan for approx. 30 minutes.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Homemade Mango Jam full of gooey soft dates and sultanas, smothering a soft Paleo cake topped with crunchy coconut streusel was one of the fresh morning tea cakes that were a big part of last weeks morning teas. Always served warm and fresh out of the oven, hence the gooey. 

I get my mango for Aldi, they do a frozen mango that I find really easy and versatile. I know it's not Australian but sometimes price and convenience overrides some of my values. Not a good excuse I know but at least I've admitted it. :-)

It's still quite cold here and we are getting so much rain it's getting to the 'it's not funny' stage. Everything is soaked, the gardens, the paddocks, the yards for the dogs to play in and we can't get the mowing done so things are starting to look a bit untidy. Stressing hubby out to the max which is a bit unfortunate. At least we didn't get the destructive winds and rain like South Australia did. 

This was Wednesday's morning tea and it got devoured. I was really happy with the results so thank goodness I wrote the ingredients and measurement down. If you don't have any Paleo Pro then just add an extra egg. Paleo Pro is just dehydrated egg whites. It's virtually pure protein but I find it a great ingredient for baking, especially seen as most of my cakes and treats are grain free, gluten free and Paleo. It helps to add structure as well as protein. 
Mango Jam and Coconut Streusel Cake

Makes: 23cm round cake




2 cups mango
½ cup dates
½ cup sultanas
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla


1 ½ cup blanched almond meal
1 cup coconut sugar
¼ cup tapioca or arrowroot
¼ cup Paleo Pro Pure
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs (use 3 eggs if not using Paleo Pro)
60g butter
60g yoghurt
1tsp vanilla


½ cup coconut shreds
½ cup blanched almond meal
½ cup coconut sugar
30g butter


  1. Add all ingredients to a medium sized pot and simmer until the fruit has softened and the liquid has reduced to create a nice thick jammy consistency.
  2. This will take about 45 minutes.
  3. Set aside and allow to cool. 

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius and grease a large round or square cake tin.
  2. Add almond meal, sugar, tapioca or arrowroot, Paleo Pro and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add the eggs, butter, yoghurt and vanilla to a blender or separate bowl and blend to combine.
  4. I use a blender as it ensures the butter is mixed through properly especially if I’ve forgotten to soften it!
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine then turn into the cake tin and level the top.
  6. Gently dollop the Mango Jam over the top of the cake making sure to distribute it evenly, then carefully spread it out to cover the whole cake.

  1. Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl and using your fingertips mix the wet ingredients into the dry to create a course crumble.
  2. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the top of the cake.
  3. Place into the centre of the oven and bake for approx. 35-45 minutes depending on your oven, you will need to test the centre with a dry skewer or knife, insert and if it comes out dry it’s ready.
  4. If the top seems to be getting to brown and the centre is not cooked, reduce the heat to about 155-160 degrees Celsius and make sure the fan is off.

Allow to cool before slicing.


 I've used a similar Mango Jam in a few recipes such as the soft fluffy 
Grain free and gluten free!
and this versatile 

Dairy free, great with salads as well.


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

 Cookies!! 2 to 3 times a week I make a batch. These are the result of Mondays effort. I hadn't done a cookie for a while so decided today was the day. I find them really quick and easy to make. I use an old coffee measurer from one of the old time coffee machines, it's the perfect size and shape for cookies which makes them super easy to scoop and shape.
Not only do I have our staff to cater for we also have visitors again, Craig's mum and dad are here. They're a great help with the business. Marg is fantastic with the dogs and cats while Lindsay helps Craig to get on top of all the little odd jobs. Painting, mowing, gardening, building, all those blokie things.
I don't know if you already know, but I'm going to tell you anyway. (as I do! ;-) ) Cranberries are really good for UTI's (Urinary tract infections) and I've had a few friends get then lately so this inspired me to grab the packet of dried cranberries while out food shopping.  Everybody commented how much they enjoyed them so here's the recipe.
Cranberry, Coconut and Almond Cookies

Makes: 35


1 cup blanched almond meal
1 cup rolled oats or quinoa for Paleo
1 ½ cups coconut sugar
½ cup org coconut flakes
½ cup almond flakes
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup cacao buttons
75ml maple syrup
½ cup coconut sugar extra
2-3 tbs water

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius, no fan and line 2 baking trays.
  2. Add almond meal, oats or quinoa, 1 cup sugar, coconut, almond flakes, and cranberries to a bowl and stir to combine
  3. Add cacao, syrup and extra ½ cup coconut to a frypan on medium and melt until it starts to froth and bubble.
  4. Add cacao mix to dry mix with water and stir to create a thick dough
  5. Shape into 35 balls and flatten slightly before baking for 12-14 minutes.

As per usual, Enjoy!