Matcha came into my life about a year ago and I’ve been making up for lost time ever since. If you haven’t had a chance to peruse our blog to your hearts content, take a look at my matcha cacao swirl tarts, matcha milkshake, matcha latte and matcha pea soup and you’ll start to see what I mean. For those not in the know, matcha is powdered green tea leaves, which means that in terms of antioxidants it’s way more powerful than just a cup of green tea as you’re consuming the actual leaves, not just steeping them in hot water. It’s certainly an acquired taste, but one that I have very much acquired and really love.
These balls are just on another level when it comes to snacking; they’re chocolatey, sweet, chewy and with a hint of that lovely matcha flavour, as well as being packed with antioxidants from the cacao and matcha powders and protein, good fats and fibre from the dates and cashews. In summary, they’re a delicious snack but they’re so so good for you at the same time. Matcha and cacao powders both also contain small amounts of caffeine, but not the kind you get in your double espresso aka a jittery high followed by an almighty slump, the kind that gives you a lovely little buzz and puts you back where you belong on top of the world. So they’re great for a bleary-eyed morning or a mid-afternoon lull!
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup cashews
4 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp matcha powder
Optional: extra matcha powder and desiccated coconut for dusting
Pop the ingredients in a food processor and whizz for a couple of minutes until they combine to form a big sticky ball. Roll the mixture into about ten small balls and in a little bowl combine an extra pinch of matcha powder with a couple of tablespoons of desiccated coconut. Roll the balls in the matcha coconut mixture and store in the fridge.
Sometimes when I’m creating recipes they evolve as they go along; these cookies began life with every intention of coming out looking like Jammy Dodgers (one of my fave childhood biscuits) but as you can see they didn’t quite get there. Well the first batch did – I spent ages painstakingly shaping them and cutting out hearts in the middle with tiny cookie cutters and I’ll be the first to admit that for all the faff they did look fab, but boy did they take forever. And that’s not what we’re about here at D&H; gourmet pastry chefs we certainly are not. We like easy, quick and simple recipes that taste delicious and don’t contain millions of ingredients.
The beauty of these biccies is that you can make the jam in advance (which in itself only takes 10 minutes) and pop it in the fridge or freezer, then when you’re ready to get baking you just need to grab the jam and the 5 ingredients needed for the cookies and you’re all good to get baking! And all you need is a mixing bowl and an oven so it’s definitely minimal on the clearing up side too, which is always a win. It’s a great recipe to make with kids too and the cookies are great for little ones as there’s no refined sugar involved (just a bit of maple syrup) so they won’t be bouncing off the walls with a sugar high!
Because they’re so quick they’re a great little Sunday evening bake (as a week ahead without snacks is just not even worth thinking about) and they’re fab for popping into a tupperware and taking into work (a la Mr H) to have with a nice mid-afternoon cuppa.
Half a batch of our three ingredient raspberry chia jam (you can always make a whiole batch in advance and freeze half for next time)
Make the jam in advance (if you’ve made it on a previous day just take it out the fridge or freezer and if you’re making it on the same day just allow it to cool a bit while you make the cookie dough).
For the cookie dough, simple combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until everything is mixed together well. Shape the mixture into small balls (slightly smaller than a ping pong ball) and flatten them a little with your hands. Poke your thumb into the middle to make a nice indent for the jam (remember, the bigger the hole the more jam you can stuff in so get poking!) and pop them on a baking tray. Spoon the jam into the centres with a teaspoon and bake at 180C for 15 minutes until they are golden on top but still slightly soft as they will harden while they cool. Leave them to cool for 15 minutes or so then (if you have better self control than me) store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Or if you are like me, boil the kettle and enjoy half the batch with a nice cup of herbal tea. Perfection!
Carrot cake is a funny old thing isn’t it? It’s like it was way ahead of its time; these days people are putting all sorts of vegetables into their sweet baked goods – courgette, sweet potato, beetroot, you name a vegetable and there is probably a cake recipe that uses it somewhere. Except maybe kale, but I could be wrong – if anyone has any good kale cake recipes do let me know!
The great thing about carrot cake (and these muffins in particular) is that due to the sweetness and moistness of the carrots, you don’t really need to use much else to sweeten it and it also has the benefit of being lovely and light. These muffins are naturally sweetened with carrots, apple and banana (although you can add a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup if you like them a little sweeter) which means they taste delicious but unlike conventional muffins they won’t play havoc with your blood sugar levels.
These are another of our recipes which are great for breakfast on the run – you can make a batch on the weekend and just grab them as you’re leaving the house during the week. They’ve got lots of oats in (so plenty of slow release energy) as well as ground almonds (a great source of protein and good fats) and coconut oil (another good fat right there), so all in all they’re a pretty good thing to start the day with. Of course if you’re having a more leisurely morning (or afternoon snack) you could smother some nut butter on top which we’d thoroughly recommend too.
2 cups oats
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 medium carrots (or 4 small), grated
1 ripe banana
1 large apple, cut into quarters and de-seeded
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seed left in 6 tbsp water for 10 minutes)
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, ground almonds and cinnamon, then stir in the grated carrots, almond milk, coconut oil, flax eggs and maple syrup (if you’re using it). Pop the apple and banana in a food processor or high speed blender and whizz until they become a puree. Pour this into the mixing bowl and stir well so that everything is combined.
Spoon the mixture into cake cases and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean. They should still be quite soft in the middle (they will harden a little during cooling) so set them aside for half an hour or so to cool. Decorate with nuts, seeds, or coconut flakes and store in an airtight container.
I never used to be bothered about cauliflower. It always seemed to me to be a bit bland and boring (maybe because of its colour) and we didn’t have lots of it growing up apart from cauliflower cheese which I hate, so I’d never really warmed to it until fairly recently. When Mr H and I visited India a couple of years ago we wanted to eat as authentically as possible which meant that our diet consisted mainly of the most amazing vegetable curries for breakfast, lunch and dinner, served with freshly baked breads or rice. Cauliflower seemed to feature heavily in a lot of the dishes we tried (and loved) and I can totally see why; it’s like a blank canvas and works so well with all different kinds of spices. Our friends in India have definitely worked out how to get the most out of their cauliflowers, that’s for sure.
And don’t even get me started on how incredible it is when it’s been roasted. I mean sure it’s nice in a sauce and all that but my absolute favourite way of eating it is when it’s been baked in the oven and it’s all tender on the inside but crispy and lightly charred on the outside. Now whilst I don’t have a tandoor (the clay ovens used in India) I’ve got my trusty oven, a cauliflower and some delicious tandoori spices, so I’ve been in cauliflower heaven recently and this dish is most certainly up there with my fave cauli dishes. It’s so full of flavour and feels really nourishing too as it’s full of delicious veggies and detoxifying spices – just what our bodies need!
1 head of cauliflower
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup frozen garden peas
1 tbsp tandoori spice
1/2 cup coconut yogurt
Juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil
To make the tandoori marinade, first crush one of the garlic cloves and in a small bowl mix it with the lemon juice, tandoori spice and coconut yogurt. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a bowl, then pour in the marinade and use your hands to make sure the cauliflower is all completely covered. If you have time, leave it to marinate for half an hour as this will enrich those lovely tandoori flavours. Preheat the oven to 200C and pop the cauliflower florets on a lined baking tray and roast for about 40 minutes until the florets are crispy on the outside but tender inside.
While the cauliflower is cooking, chop the onion and the second garlic clove finely and add them to a frying pan with the olive oil. Sauté on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until they go soft, then add in the spinach and peas. Keep stirring for a few minutes until the spinach has completely wilted, then add in the cauliflower florets and stir for another couple of minutes. Serve with a side of brown rice or quinoa and some coconut yogurt – heaven on a plate!
I’m a total porridge addict, and Mr H and I always try to sit down together in the mornings at our breakfast bar to enjoy a bowl each of the stuff. It’s such a lovely ritual as it means we get a little bit of quality time first thing just to sit and chat before the craziness of our days begins.
But of course sometimes there are the days where it doesn’t quite work out – he goes for an early morning Crossfit session, I’ve got somewhere to be first thing, we oversleep (oops) – in which case sadly we have to forego our little tradition. But luckily we don’t have to forego our porridge as thanks to this scrumptious recipe what we normally enjoy in a bowl we can enjoy just as much in a (much more portable) square. Phew!
These chai, coconut and raspberry porridge squares are total lifesavers on those days where your morning routine doesn’t quite go to plan; they’re packed with oats for slow release energy, as well as antioxidant rich, low GI raspberries, and coconut flakes which are a great source of fibre. Oh and the cinnamon keeps you fuller for longer too. Plus they taste so yummy as well , how perfect is that?
They only require a handful of ingredients and you don’t even need a food processor, just an old school mixing bowl and an oven. They’re super quick to make and you can make a big batch on the weekend to keep you going during the week. They’re such a staple now in our house, especially as we seem to have more of ‘those days’ than we’d like!
Makes about 9 squares
1 1/4 cup Rebel Kitchen chai mylk (or 1 1/4 cup almond milk mixed with 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger)
3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup raspberries
1/3 cup coconut flakes + a handful extra for decoration
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir well. Spoon the mixture into a small lined or greased baking tin or mould, spring the extra handful of coconut flakes on top and bake at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Leave to cool and then cut into squares. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
I’m a big fan of chia pudding (looks like dessert, tastes like dessert but is totally acceptable to eat for breakfast) so when they lovely people at Sevenhills Organic sent me some of their amazing organic chia seeds and cacao powder I wanted to create something super special and super delicious using them both. Continue reading →
I never quite know what to do with kiwis – I like them, but haven’t yet attempted to put them in a smoothie, or do any sort of baking with them. I guess it’s possible, so am going to add it to my list as I don’t want to have a gaping kiwi-sized hole in my smoothie/dessert recipe repertoire, I just need to have a little think about what to make with them. Continue reading →
Thai food is one of my favourite cuisines as it’s just so full of flavour and many typical dishes use coconut milk (and not cream or yogurt) to give them a creamy texture, which is a big tick in my book!
I’m partial to a Thai green curry when we go to our local Thai restaurant, but this isn’t super often (I much prefer cooking at home to eating out, and so does our bank balance I suppose) so I’ve been busy creating my own version which is just as yummy but lots healthier as its packed with loads of colourful veggies (and uses hardly any oil). That’s the other thing I find about eating out – most restaurants seem to make their food really oily which is weird as you’d never add that much oil to your food in your own kitchen so why do restaurant kitchens have to be any different? Who knows. Continue reading →
When I was little my brother and I used to have the loveliest Czech babysitter. As all little people do, we loved convincing adults to tell us swear words in different languages so that we could use them in the school playground or wherever without getting told off, so anyone who spoke a foreign language was a valuable resource to us. Our babysitter didn’t mind indulging us in our favourite pastime (anything to keep us occupied while our parents were out) so she taught us a couple of words. One such word was ‘hovno’ which is apparently Czech for ‘shit’, but the way she said it it sounded like ‘hobnob’ which to us was hilarious and of course it stuck. Continue reading →
Don’t think me a fraud for calling this a ‘recipe’ as I’m under no illusions that these lollies are potentially the easiest things to make ever! I just thought that they a) look so pretty and b) taste so yummy that I had to share them on the blog with you guys!
I’m a massive fan of coconut water – it’s hydrating, delicious and full of fabulous electrolytes, which makes it one of my favourite drinks right now. I love putting it in my morning smoothies, but recently the weather’s been so lovely I dug out my ice lolly moulds and have been enjoying coconut water lollies pretty much daily. They’re an amazing guilt free snack or dessert, especially if you’re feeling like you need something cooling and refreshing. Continue reading →