Dessert, Snacks

Chocolate-dipped Cherries

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Just two ingredients … but they are two of my favorite ingredients!

Chocolate-dipped Cherries

200 g cherries (with stalks attached)

150 g dark cooking chocolate

Makes about 25 chocolate-dipped cherries.

Wash and dry the cherries, then place on a tray in the freezer for an hour or until you are ready to dip them.

Melt the chocolate in a small bowl over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until completely melted. Set aside to cool for a minute or two.

Dip the cherries one by one, then place on a tray or plate lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until serving.

For a lighter version, only dip the cherries halfway.

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert, Snacks

Chocolate coconut squares

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These chocolate coconut squares are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar, but are nonetheless one of the most intensely chocolate flavoured desserts I have ever eaten. I had intended the recipe to be for chocolate coconut bars, but they came out so rich I had to downgrade the size to squares. These are lovely with a cup of coffee or as an after-school treat for hungry children.

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Chocolate Coconut Squares

360 g pitted medjool dates

100 g organic cacao powder (I use Creative Nature)

60 g dessicated coconut + extra to sprinkle

50 g chopped almonds

2 tablespoons honey

4 tablespoons water

pinch of salt

Makes about 30 squares.

Line a 20 x 20 cm baking tin with parchment paper.

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.

Tip the mixture into the tin and spread out evenly. Press down and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Sprinkle a bit more coconut over the top and press into the surface.

Refrigerate for at least one hour, then cut into squares. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Breakfast, Dips and spreads

Pear Butter

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I love the magic quality of this recipe, in which just one ingredient – pears – cook in a bit of water until they are completely transformed.  The result is a naturally sweet spread perfect for toast or pancakes, or stirred into some natural yogurt.  It is also a great way to use up any pears that are less than perfect or slightly past their prime.

This is good fun to make with children. They can chop the pears and stir the pot, and will be amazed at how cooking can completely change an ingredient.

Pear Butter

4 large pears or 6 medium (about 1.2 kg total)

200 ml water

Core and chop the pears, but do not peel them, and put in a pan with the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until pears are tender, about 1 hour.

Once the pears have softened, remove the lid and continue cooking for another 2-3 hours, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is smooth and brown and there is no visible liquid. You will need to stir more frequently towards the end of cooking, to avoid scorching.

Cool to room temperature and blend in a food processor or blender until smooth. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate.

 

Drinks

Brita Collaboration – Tropical Agua Fresca with Jewelled Ice

BRITA Tropical Agua Fresca

This is the last of the three healthy drink recipes that I created for BRITA and it is definitely my favorite! I am planning on sipping this tropical agua fresca all summer long.

Agua frescas are fruity but refreshing flavoured waters popular in Mexico. Served ice-cold, they are thirst-quenching with a hint of sweetness. This version is made with coconut water, rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium. To keep the drink fresh and light, the fruit is used to infuse the water, and “jewelled” fruit ice cubes dress up the drink.

Tropical Agua Fresca with Jewelled Ice

100 ml BRITA filtered water

20 pomegranate seeds

10 blueberries

400 ml coconut water

1 lime, washed and quartered

½ orange, washed and roughly chopped

50 g chopped fresh mango

2 tablespoons honey

Serves 2

First, make the fruit ice cubes. Place the pomegranate seeds and blueberries in an empty ice cube tray, fill with BRITA filtered water and freeze.

To make the agua fresca, place the lime, orange, mango and honey in a large jug and bash well with a wooden spoon to blend and release the juices. Add the coconut water and stir well. The drink can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours at this point.

When ready to serve, strain the agua fresca into two glasses and add the BRITA fruit ice cubes.

Photo in this post courtesy of Iris Worldwide.

Drinks

BRITA Collaboration – Chocolate coconut milkshake

BRITA Chocolate Coconut Milkshake

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been working on some healthy drink recipes for kids using BRITA filtered water. In my practice, I recommend that all of my clients stick to water as their default drink. Drinking plain filtered tap water is an excellent habit to adopt, especially for children who will hopefully keep up the habit of drinking water for the rest of their lives. However, in life there are always occasions when a special treat is called for – a birthday, a party, to cheer up a rainy day or to make a picnic even more special. The recipes I have created for BRITA are intended to taste delicious and satisfying, but remain a healthy choice.

This week I am sharing a chocolate coconut milkshake recipe. This thick and creamy milkshake is made with coconut milk, which contains healthy fats and provides a great alternative to cow’s milk, and also has protein-rich cashew butter as an ingredient. The milkshake’s sweet taste comes not from refined sugar, but from dates and bananas. I’m sure your kids will enjoy whipping this one up with you.

Chocolate coconut milkshake

Ingredients

150 ml coconut milk

2 medium frozen bananas (peel and slice the bananas before freezing)

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

2 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon cashew butter

100 ml BRITA filtered water

Instructions

Combine all of the ingredients except the water in a blender and blitz until smooth.

Very gradually add the water until a drinkable consistency is obtained (you may not need to use all of the water).

Serve immediately.

Yield: 2 servings

Photo in this post courtesy of Iris Worldwide.

Drinks

BRITA Collaboration – Berry Fizz

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I was very excited to be asked by BRITA water filters to develop a series of healthy drink recipes for kids. I’ve used my BRITA filter every day for many years, and it is a product I really believe in.

BRITA has shared my three child-friendly healthy drink recipes with parenting websites and bloggers, who were invited to whip up the recipes themselves and publish their results. Some of the blogs that participated include Everything Mummy, The Ana Mum Diary, Whole Heartedly Healthy and Food for Kids.

Here is the recipe for my first BRITA drink, a berry fizz.

Not all fizzy drinks have to be unhealthy! This one is packed with flavor but without all of the sugar and other nasties in branded soda. The raspberries in this Berry Fizz are rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin C, and the Berry Fizz is sweetened just with maple syrup (or you can use honey instead if you prefer).

BRITA Berry Fizz

Berry Fizz

Ingredients

2 teabags of Cranberry-Raspberry tea, or any other berry-flavoured tea

200 ml BRITA filtered water

70 g raspberries, rinsed

50 ml maple syrup (or honey, if you are on the GAPS diet)

200 ml BRITA filtered water, carbonated using a home soda maker OR 200 ml soda water

Instructions

Boil 200 ml BRITA filtered water, and use it to steep the teabags in a pan that can go on the hob.

After steeping for 15 minutes, remove the teabags and add the raspberries and maple syrup. Bring to the boil on the hob, then simmer for 10 minutes stirring regularly.

Strain through a mesh sieve, cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, divide the raspberry syrup into two glasses. Then top up each glass with the carbonated water (or soda water), about 100 ml or to taste.

Yield: 2 servings.

All photos in this post courtesy of Iris Worldwide.

Snacks

Kale Chips

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Happy new year! Here’s wishing each and every one of you a wonderful 2014 filled with good health and delicious food.

It’s been a year now since I started the blog section of my website. Thanks so much to all of you who have supported me and cheered me on. My most popular post of the year was Slow-Roasted Duck Legs, with 261 hits! I have big plans to continue posting recipes and fact sheets this year. In particular I will be adding more GAPS-friendly recipes, as GAPS has been increasingly significant in my clinical practice.

Kale chips might be a little bit 2013 by now, but they are still easy and delicious. So if you have never made them, I urge you to have a go. I used curly purple kale, but any variety works for this recipe.

Kale chips (adapted from a David Lebovitz recipe)

1/2 of a head of kale (about 6 large leaves)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

Serves four as a snack

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Wash the kale leaves and dry in a salad spinner. Tear the leaves into large bite-sized pieces, taking care to discard the tough central stem. Toss with the olive oil in a bowl, then arrange the kale on a baking tray in a single layer.

Bake for 20 minutes or until crispy. Remove from the oven and put the kale on some kitchen paper to blot excess oil. Sprinkle very generously with sea salt, and serve as a snack.