Homemade Raw Bars

After giving up refined sugar I got hooked on these things.  They are an absolutely delicious, feel-good treat (Pulsin is on the ethical chocolate list) which is almost guilt-free.  Almost.  Unfortunately they’re wrapped in plastic.  So, to avoid that, I decided to make my own – and they are equally yummy, if I do say so myself 😀

I ordered my supplies from the Zero Waste Club – a wonderful new company from whom you can order all sorts of healthy staples without plastic wrapping.  The following is my first attempt and it made a lot of bars.  In future I’ll halve these measurements 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Almost 3 mugs full (500g) of organic pitted dates
  • About 2 mugs full (about 350g) of organic cashews
  • About 1 mug full of organic raisins
  • About half a mug full of organic cocoa powder (to be truly raw, substitute raw cacao)
  • About a mug full of organic cacao nibs
  • Some organic oats (to be truly raw, omit these)

First soak the dates and the cashews in water (separately) in the fridge for a couple of hours to soften.  Afterwards, drain and rinse the cashews in a colander.

I don’t have a food processor (I used to have one but it broke and I refuse to buy another one which will also break at some point and add more plastic to landfill) so I used my beloved manual juicer to process these ingredients.  This is a simple, hand-crank machine made of stainless steel which I believe will last me a life time.  I highly recommend it 😀 (BL-30 Manual Stainless Steel Wheat Grass and Vegetable Juicer)

  1.  Process the softened dates into mush and put them in a large mixing bowl.2.  Process the softened cashews into mush and add them to the bowl with the dates.3.  Mix the stiff mixture of dates and cashews until thoroughly combined.4.  Process the raisins into mush and mix them into the mixture.5.  Add the cocoa and the cacao nibs and mix until everything is fully combined into a lovely chocolatey mixture.6.  If you don’t want to add the oats, you’re finished so you can spread the mixture into a tin or onto a plate or container.  It is delicious now but you won’t be able to pick it up with your fingers to eat it, like a shop-bought bar.  You’ll need a plate and a fork coz it’s mushy.  So, I added a few oats to stiffen it up.  Just add a few at a time and mix them in until you’ve got the consistency you want.7.  When the mixture is the right consistency, spread it onto a lined cookie sheet (I lined it with eco-friendly grease proof paper from If You Care)  Flatten it with  the back of  a wet spoon.8.  Then cut it into bars and chill in the fridge.  Easy 😀 Yum 😀

 

Easy Gluten-Free Flatbread

This is so easy and absolutely delicious 😀

No fat, no yeast, no gluten and no frying.  Just oats and water.  Baked.

You’ll need:

8 oz rolled oats

400 ml of water

parchment paper to line your baking trays so that you don’t need to oil them.

** For garlic bread version see bottom of post 🙂

First pre-heat your oven to 220°C (less if it’s a fan oven).

Then weigh out about 8 oz of rolled oats and mill it into a flour in your food processor (with the S blade).

Add 200ml of water, whiz to combine with the flour and then add another 200ml and whiz again so that you’ve got a runny, pour-able mixture.

Line two baking trays with parchment paper, and pour half the mixture onto each of them.

Then spread it thinly and evenly with the back of a spoon, and put the trays in the oven.

After about 20 minutes remove trays from the oven and turn the bread over.  Turn the trays around so that they get evenly baked and return to the oven for another 6 or 7 minutes.

Remove and put on plates 😀

If you want them crispier, bake them for a little longer but keep a close eye on them because there is a very fine line between crisp and burnt.

Now do what you like with them.  Add your favourite spreads, cover them with beans, use them as pizza bases, make sandwiches with them …. whatever you like.

** To make amazing garlic bread just add a few cloves of fresh garlic to the oats when you mill it into flour (I use 4 fat ones to this amount of oats but if you like your garlic stronger, add as much as you like).  The garlic will be finely minced and combined with the oat flour.  Then, instead of using parchment paper on the trays, generously grease them with vegetable oil and preheat the greased trays before adding the runny mixture.  This will produce delicious crispy garlic bread ready to eat with no need for margarine.

Chocolate Chip Banana Cookies: ORGANIC, FAIR TRADE, VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, NO ADDED SUGAR, NO ADDED FAT

Now, these cookies look very healthy, but they don’t taste it 😉

Of course there is fat and sugar in the chocolate, but the truth is there’s only a couple of specks of chocolate in each cookie, so how can that hurt really?  If you’re being ever so strict you could leave the chocolate out and I’m sure the cookies would still be lovely, but since Miranda found a bar of Moo Free in the cupboard that we didn’t know we had, we decided we wouldn’t be 😉

To make these nutritious treats, this is what you’ll need:

  • 4 very ripe medium to large fair trade organic bananas
  • about 80g of fair trade organic vegan chocolate (optional)
  • 3 ounces of organic sultanas (or other dried fruit)
  • 8 ounces of organic rolled oats
  • a little water to make the mixture the right consistency

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Mash the bananas with a fork in a mixing bowl and then add the sultanas (or raisins or other dried fruit) and the chocolate cut into little chips.  Mix it all together well.

Put the oats into a food processor and mill them into a rough flour, then add it to the mixing bowl (or you can add the oats without making them into flour) and thoroughly combine with the other ingredients.  Add a little water, if needed, a tablespoon at a time, and mix it in to make a nice, moist cookie mixture.

Then put heaped teaspoons of mixture onto a lined baking tray and flatten them with the back of a wet spoon.

Bake them for about 20 minutes or until they are as golden as you like them,

keep an eye on them and rotate the tray if necessary 🙂

And there you have it: delicious and nutritious – they tick all the right boxes!

They’re a lot yummier than they look I promise you 😀

Chocolate chip peanut butter oat cookies

vegan gluten free cookies

Peanut butter, chocolate chip, oat cookies – vegan, gluten-free, organic and fair trade: What more could you want? 😀

I just felt peckish so I raided the cupboard for ingredients and found what I needed:

  • Organic rolled oats
  • Organic Fair Trade sugar
  • Organic Fair Trade chocolate
  • Organic Fair Trade peanut butter
  • Organic Fair Trade Sunflower Oil
  • Water (not in the cupboard)

vegan gluten free cookies

These are so quick and easy 😀

Weigh out 8 ounces of oats and put them through the food processor to turn them into flour.

Put the oat flour in your mixing bowl and add 4 ounces of sugar.  Mix well.

Then break up about 60 grams of chocolate (I used Moo Free) and put it into the food processor with about 3 heaped spoons full of peanut butter, I think (it’s up to you how much you use, I can’t actually remember exactly how much I added this time 🙂 ).

Whiz the peanut butter and chocolate around with the ‘S’ blade for a few seconds until the chocolate is in little chips and beautifully combined with the soft peanut butter.  Of course you can do all this by hand, it’ll just take a little longer 🙂

By the way, the peanut butter is unsalted with nothing added – it’s nothing but organic roasted peanuts.

Leave the peanut butter and chocolate to one side while you add about 100 ml of sunflower oil and 5 tablespoons of water to the flour and sugar in the bowl and mix well.

Then add the peanut butter and chocolate chips and mix it in until you have your moist cookie mixture.

This is an oily mixture so you shouldn’t need to grease the baking trays but I lined them with eco-friendly greaseproof paper which is optional.

Put heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto your baking trays and then flatten them with the back of a wet spoon.  This recipe makes about 24 cookies.

Bake for 20 minutes at 180°c (in a pre-heated fan oven).

Remove and put on a rack to cool.

vegan gluten-free cookies

vegan gluten-free cookies

vegan gluten-free cookies

Crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.  Ooh, these are good!

vegan gluten-free cookies

Enjoy them with a cup of tea 😀

Presents!!!

But before they sat down to tea, Kauri gave Grandpa his present.

“Happy Birthday Grandpa, I made this for you,” he said.

vegan children's story

“Oh thank you Kauri,” said Grandpa when he’d unwrapped it, “I just love it!”

vegan children's story

And Myrtle gave her present to Grandpa.

“Happy Birthday Grandpa,” she said, “I made this for you.”

vegan children's story

“Oh thank you Myrtle,” said Grandpa when he’d unwrapped it, “I absolutely love it!”

vegan children's story

And he was thrilled with the delicious birthday tea the children had made for him.  But Cedro was too excited to wait for everyone to finish the savouries before they got to his present …

vegan children's story

… so he cut a slice for Grandpa straight away and said

“Happy Birthday Grandpa, I made this for you.”

vegan children's story

And with a great big smile Grandpa took it and said,

“Oh thank you Cedro, I really really love it.”

vegan children's story

And he really REALLY did.

vegan children's story

vegan children's story

The End 😀

You can read the whole story here and it is available in paperback here 🙂

vegan story book

******************************************************

vegan children’s story, vegan cake, vegan recipe, vegan children’s book

Time for tea!

By then it was time to get ready for Grandpa Wollemi’s Birthday tea.

Everyone was very excited.

vegan children's story

There were crisps and cookies and mini pizzas;

vegan children's story

there were crackers and pasta salad and pineapple on sticks;

vegan children's story

and the big birthday cake, made entirely by Cedro, was the centrepiece.

vegan children's story

*************

continues tomorrow 😀

but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole story here now 🙂

************************

vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, vegan cake, vegan party, vegan party tea, vegan birthday party

Buckwheat Brown and White Cookies

Buckwheat flour

I’ve recently discovered buckwheat which is naturally gluten free as it is not actually a grain – it’s a fruit seed.  Buckwheat is related to rhubarb and the flour has a subtle sweet fruity taste to it which means you don’t need so much sugar.  This organic Doves Farm pack is not certified gluten free because it wasn’t bagged in a totally gluten-free environment, but I have been told they do do a certified gluten-free version for those who are highly sensitive.  My recipe is very simple:

8 ounces  organic buckwheat flour

3 ounces organic fair trade sugar

100 ml organic sunflower oil

4 tablespoons of water

organic fair trade cocoa

***

First pre-heat the oven to 180°c.  Weigh out half of your dry ingredients (ie 4 oz flour and 1.5 oz sugar) and place in a mixing bowl with a dessert spoon or two of sieved cocoa.  Mix well and then add half the wet ingredients (50 ml oil and 2 tablespoons of water).  You might need a dribble or two more of water to compensate for the cocoa and make a soft, moist cookie mixture.

buckwheat cookies

  (Bear in mind that I had doubled the recipe the day I photographed it so you won’t have this much mixture unless you do the same).  Put the chocolatey mixture to one side and mix up the other half of ingredients (minus the cocoa) in another bowl.

buckwheat cookies

Then spoon teaspoons full of ‘white’ mixture onto ungreased baking trays.  Flatten with the back of a spoon.  (These look quite big because I had doubled the recipe that day)

buckwheat cookies

Then add another teaspoon of chocolate brown mixture to each cookie and press it on like so:

buckwheat cookies

buckwheat cookies

Bake for 20 minutes and then remove to a cooling tray.  There is no need to double the mixture, the 8 oz mixture makes 20 to 24 cute little cookies, but if you want big fat ones like these you know what to do!  Oh, and if you do double it they’ll need cooking a bit longer – say 30 mins at 170° in a fan oven.

These are so yummy that I forgot to take any pictures of them after they came out of the oven.  When they’ve cooled they’re kind of hard, like a ginger nut, but a little bit chewy on the inside.

buckwheat cookies