Food Blog

Healthy plant-based recipes full of good stuff whilst being free from refined sugars and wheat. The food blog is a space to kickstart your inner creativity!

Chocolate Avocado Pudding (with medicinal mushrooms!)

I have been adding medicinal mushroom powder to everything recently- well mainly anything chocolatey as the colour and flavours are perfect masked!

I bought a selection of organic medicinal mushroom powders from here and mixed them together into one blend tub which I keep in the fridge. I like to have a teaspoon a day in a chocolatey dessert or as hot drink with some cocoa and/or vanilla bean.

medicinal mushroom powder ready to mix into chocolatey porridge

medicinal mushroom powder ready to mix into chocolatey porridge

There are many reported benefits of medicinal mushrooms... I was first intrigued by the articles I read up on how mushrooms could help with focus (something I really struggle with as my creative brain fires off on all tangents!) I had also been aware of them at many health food shows but hadn't really explored them at that point. 

There are estimated to be over 5 million different species of mushrooms, yet only 270 are currently classified as ‘medicinal’ with their potent anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and immune-enhancing qualities. Some of the most popular are reishi, chaga and cordyceps- which are the three types I have.

This pudding recipe is a spin on a classic avocado chocolate pudding, and in putting this post together I realised I didn't actually have any other form of avocado pudding on this blog - every vegan food blogger has an avocado pudding!! ;-) (Now I do too!)

This recipe serves one (or two smaller servings), but I have also tried it with great success by multiplying and making a huge batch of pudding mix then freezing in muffin cups- perfect pudding portions at the ready!

You could mix other mild favoured superfood powders in if your preferred- such as maca or baobab or leave them out all together.

Bonus- this recipe only takes two minutes to blend up!

Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding with medicinal mushrooms

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates (approx 3-4)
  • 3 tbs raw cacao (or cocoa powder)
  • 1 heaped tsp cashew or macadamia butter*
  • 1/2 cup water*
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp medicinal mushroom powder (optional)
  • Tiny pinch of sea salt
  • Approx. 1 tsp maple syrup - only if needed

* You could also substitute the nut butter and water with 1/2 cup coconut milk.

Method:

Blitz all together in a small food processor/blender until super smooth. Taste and add a tiny drop of maple syrup if extra sweetness is desired. Spoon into a serving bowl and allow to chill a little to set if desired. 

I served mine with crushed frozen raspberry pieces and desiccated coconut. You could also add an extra layer of fruit at the bottom of the serving bowl.

 

 

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Jackfruit inspiration... 15+ versatile vegan recipes!

Jackfruit has been a player on the vegan scene for a while now... in my excitement late last year I bought a can from the Asian market near me but and until last month it has sat in the cupboard- forgotten! Oops..

A few weeks ago I came across that lonesome can and figured it was time for some experimentation. After a little research and realising the true versatility of jackfruit, I then put a call out for some other wonderful vegan bloggers to contribute their delicious recipes too. 

Since jackfruit in this context is often used a meat substitute but as it's a fruit has a low protein count in itself, I would typical advise teaming it with beans/nuts/tofu to create a nicely balanced dish.

So here you have it, my own jackfruit 'buddha bowl' recipe creation and lots more ideas from some vegan friends. If this doesn't inspire you to go buy a can and have a play then I don't know what will! :-)

Perfect for the summer months, it famously makes a great 'pulled pork' style topping/filling. I have also tried freezing it once marinaded and part cooked, it worked really well- simply defrost enough to 'flake up' then grill or bake for a few minutes until the edges are a little crispy and serve.  In the future I will definitely be making up a big batch this way!

Final top tip- make sure you buy the young jackfruit in brine (not syrup!) this also works much better using canned jackfruit not fresh (which is handy as fresh is harder to come buy in Europe and it can weigh up to 100 pounds!) Many of the recipes online call for chopping out the centre 'core' of the jackfruit pieces, but I didn't both as I felt it would mean discarding quite a lot of the fruit and the core seemed quite soft and so I simply chopped it up well- but feel free to discard if you prefer.

This is a photo of a jackfruit tree that I took in Chaing Mai Thailand last year!

This is a photo of a jackfruit tree that I took in Chaing Mai Thailand last year!

Recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Buddha Bowl (from Jo!)

Serves 3-4

Ingredients: 

  • 1 can young jackfruit in brine or water (not syrup) - approx 1 1/2 cups
  • 3 sun dried tomatoes- chopped (optional)
  • 1 small onion- finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves- crushed
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (or other oil of choice)

BBQ sauce:

  • 1 can tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tbs molasses
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of cumin
  • 1 tbs liquid smoke*

For building the 'buddha bowl' (or use whatever you have to hand)

  • 1 can black beans- cooked
  • 2-3 large handfuls fresh coriander
  • 2 avocados- sliced
  • A big bunch of sautéed greens of choice- I used chard (use lots as green wilt so much!)
  • Sprinkling of pine nuts (optional- I just fancied some!)

Note: when I first made this I did not have any liquid smoke, I left it out and it still tasted great. It juts adds some extra BBQ-ey depth of flavour ;-)

Method:

Sauté the sun dried tomatoes, the onion and garlic in a medium pan until softened. Meanwhile prepare the jackfruit (cut out core if desired) by 'flaking it up' a little. Add all BBQ sauce ingredients and jackfruit to the sauce pan and simmer for 15 mins. 

Remove from the heat and allow jackfruit mix to sit and marinade for an hour. (You could also marinade for longer or overnight by allowing to cool, covering and placing in the fridge). This would also be the point at which you freeze any extra portions. 

Lay the jackfruit mix in a thin even layer on a lined oven tray (or two) and bake at approx. 160C for approx 20 mins until slightly crispy at the edges.

Meanwhile prepare the remaining components of the buddha bowl ready to serve along with the BBQ jackfruit.

PIN jackfruit budda bowl.jpg

 

Jackfruit recipe creations from the vegan community! Thank you to all those who contributed ;-) (click the pics to jump to the original recipes)

Jackfruit Vegan Pozole Rojo

Doras Kitchen

Vegan Enchiladas with Jackfruit and Black Beans

Well Vegan

Buffalo Jackfruit Sandwiches with Hemp Ranch

Simply Overjoyed

Jackfruit Fried Chick’n

Soy Division

Jackfruit Carnitas

Yup...It's Vegan

Teriaki Jackfruit Bowl

The Veg Life

Jackfruit Taquitos with Southwest Dipping Sauce

The Mostly Vegan

Jackfruit Crabless Cakes

Healthy Slow Cooking

Jackfruit Tacos

One Hungry Bunny

Pulled Jackfruit Enchiladas

May I have that Recipe?

Jackfruit Chile Relleno Pot Pie

Spabettie

Vegan gyros with jackfruit and creamy tzatziki

Zena N Zaatar

Teriyaki Jackfruit Sushi Bowl

Elephantastic Vegan

Jackfruit Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Vegan Heaven

Slow Cooker Pulled Jackfruit 

Yummy Mummy Kitchen

 

Here are a few other jackfruit recipe/cooking technique inspirations from around the web that provided me with inspiration when I began my experiments:

BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches - Minimalist Baker

How to make the Ultimate BBQ Jackfruit - Organic Authority

How to cut, open, prepare and eat fresh jackfruit - video (if you don't want to use canned!)

Have you tried jackfruit or a you a newbie? If these recipes have inspired you... let me know in the comments what you try! 


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Carrot Cake Brownies (in time for Easter!)

This cake is a wicked cross between my all-time favourite courgette brownie cake and a carrot cake… I swapped the courgette for carrot and changed up the spices a little. I figured this would make fabulous Easter treat… Or any time of year (or week) really where you want to celebrate a little! 

I have made variations of this cake (remember my PETA shortlisting!) so many times now and I know it works perfectly in a brownie pan, a round cake pan (this recipe is sized for an 8" pan), muffin trays or cupcake trays. You can leave the top plain or frost it. You can even add chopped nuts dried foods mixed through in the batter... so many possibilities!

This type of cake also freezes really well, some say brownies taste better once I've been frozen and defrosted- I'll let you be the decider of that. But I will say this is a great cake to always keep on standby in the freezer to satisfy a little chocolate craving when it strikes or if you have last minute unexpected company!

For other highly recommended easy Easter treats... have a look at these Easter nests I made for Real Food Source and also the Hot Cross cookies are a great non-chocolate option that I also love to make each year. Finally these 'cream eggs' from 4 year ago now (whaaaaat- 4 years!) are a little more fiddly- but fun ;-) 

What have you got planned for Easter treats?

Recipe: Carrot Cake Brownies

Makes 1 x 8” round or square cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed dates (soaked then drained for easier blending)
  • approx 3 tbs coconut syrup (other other preferred syrup)
  • ½ cup water or non dairy milk
  • 1 cup finely grated carrot
  • 2 tsp cinnamon and/or nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil- melted
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed 
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup oat flour (I ground some regular porridge oats)
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaped tsp baking soda

Method:

Blend all the wet ingredients with the flax seed to form a smooth fairly runny paste. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes. Stir through the gated carrot (save a little for the top).

Mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add the wet. Mix lightly but well to form a thick soft batter. Add a little extra water if necessary. Taste test for sweetness and add a little extra syrup if necessary.

Spoon the batter into a lined/greased muffin pan or round cake tin (you could also make cupcakes) and smooth the top as best you can. Add the remaining sprinkles of grated carrot and press down lightly to reduce chance of burning.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for approx 30 minutes, after 10-15 minutes it is advisable to lightly cover the top of the pan with foil to prevent the top browning before the centre is cooked through.

Allow to cool before slicing.  Store in the fridge for up to 1 week…this cake tastes even better the next day!

Here are my Hot Cross Cookies.... a bit like like a bun but sooooo much easier to make!

Here are my Hot Cross Cookies.... a bit like like a bun but sooooo much easier to make!

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Rhubarb Crumble Granola (and what is a 'natural flavour'?)

Over the last few month I have been working behind the scenes to develop my Wholeplus flavour range, it is still in the works but I hope to unleash the exciting new products and creative philosophy very soon!

A huge part of my investigation process was in aligning optimal taste and texture with highest quality ingredients. When I launched Wholeplus I initially only had three flavours in the range- chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla as these were the only real food powders I could get and I was resistant to explore 'natural flavours' because I didn't understand them. It was very limiting.

So, what are 'natural flavourings'? 

Taken from the web: 'Natural flavourings are flavouring substances or flavouring preparations which are extracted from vegetable or animal materials and are not further chemically modified or changed.

So basically, natural flavours come from natural sources — the original ingredient is found in nature and then purified and extracted and added back into the food. This is the only way it is truly possible to have foods in certain flavours, and nearly all companies use them including most of the health brands I know.

This has become sensationalised in various articles online with headlines such as 'is beaver butt used to flavour your food?' (Yes indeed the anal secretions of beavers can be used in foodstuffs and is actually pretty wide spread in the perfume industry as a musky smell- who knew!)  BUT Don't worry this DOES NOT appear in my products!

My biggest takeaway from this process of investigation is to be fully aware, do you own research and ask questions of the manufacturer if you are unsure how ingredients are derived. 

My investigations brought me to Foodie Flavours and after doing some thorough research to understand what natural flavours really are, a face-to-face meeting with the company, and confirmation that all of their products are indeed vegan, gluten free, sugar-free and made in the UK, I was gifted some flavours to take home for my trials.  

As well as Wholeplus Toppers recipes, I decided to put the Foodie Flavours to good use and created a granola recipe in a couple of flavours combinations. Both were great, but I have a real thing for the sweet and sour tang of rhubarb which is amazing.

Of course you can use any other 'flavouring' types you like- any extracts of choice or vanilla bean, cinnamon ginger etc.

Granola is a perfect snack all on its own, but in a 'smoothie bowl' (top pic) that was almost like custard in its consistency it was a wonderful combo of smooth and crunchy.  This was simple to whip up with water, frozen banana and cashews blended up. Yoghurt gives a similar creamy contrast too.

I also love how the freeze dried beetroot gives a great nutritional boost and lovely pink hue to compliment the rhubarb.  Beetroot powder would also work well I imagine but I think beet juice would make the resulting granola too wet and soft.

You could add any chopped nuts or seeds you like, I used roughly half pumpkin seeds for some flecks of colour and the rest a combo of mixed chopped nuts.

Other flavours that would make great granolas...

  • Chocolate orange with cocoa and orange flavour (or zest)
  • Cinnamon ...because cinnamon with everything works ;-)
  • Bakewell tart- almond flavour with flakes almonds and some dried cherries (stir those in after!)
  • Banana Bread- I have tried this mashed with fresh banana and dried bananas chunks and it's great. These was my first granola recipe experiments that used pureed fruit.
  • Tropical Trip with a tropical flavour and then coconut curls and dried fruit chunks mixed through once cooked.
  • PB&J granola- this recipe made great chunky clusters!

What are your favourite flavour combos? 

Recipe: Rhubarb Crumble Granola (with Foodie Flavours)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup chopped nuts/seeds
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 3 tbs coconut oil- melted
  • 1/4 cup mild syrup of choice (I used coconut syrup)
  • approx 8 drops Foodie Flavours rhubarb flavour* (they suggest 20 drops per kg of product)
  • 1/4 cup freeze dried beetroot powder* (optional for colour)

*You could omit the beetroot and/or use an alternative flavour type of your choice. I also tried 'dulce du leche' flavour as seen below in the lighter variation. 

Method:

Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl until well coated.

Spoon onto a lined baking tray in a thin even layer and bake for approx 15-20 mins on a medium heat- roughly 160C until lightly golden and toasted. Allow to cool thoroughly before storing in an airtight container. I found the granola lost it crispness after a couple of days, but it still tasted good!

The dulche du leche version. Great with yoghurt too- this is the new Alpro 'Greek style' version I fancied trying out!

The dulche du leche version. Great with yoghurt too- this is the new Alpro 'Greek style' version I fancied trying out!

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The 'Bliss Cake' (aka a mega bliss ball!)

I have another Bliss Ball Workshop coming up this weekend and last weekend I was in full on recipe development mode last weekend which included making loads of Bliss Ball mix... but I fancied a different presentation to the norm to change things up a bit and so the 'Bliss Cake' was born.... Oh My Gosh..... a touch of heaven on earth!!

Whaaaaaaa.... Why have I not create this before!

I love eating raw cakes BUT I am not typically big fan of making them, simple because of the time it often takes to make and freeze the different layers and also because they are often very neat and super slick and well, I guess I am a little more rough around the edges ;-) Basically, I like to keep things as simple and as quick as possible!

So this beauty ticked those boxes for sure. Be warned if you make it, it is VERY yummy and VERY moreish and a little slice is very rich and will go a long way!  As with blss balls themselves, you could literally make any cake base and then decorate with any toppings... as you can see I added as many colourful things as possible (I was trying out new freeze dried fruits from RealFoodSource at the time).

My base was a blend of dates, almonds, raw cacao and a touch of orange extract.

Other great options could be..... these turkish delight balls, these 'cake like' truffles, or a gingerbread slice. Or why not try a double-decker cake and layer it up- it will barely take any longer as you could just make the full mix without any cocoa, divide in half and add cocoa to the second half, press the first half into the plan followed by the second. 

If you wanted to add a frosting, then the raw frosting I used on these mini sweet potato muffins below (full muffin recipe here) would go down a treat!  Basically you mash slightly softened coconut oil, with a little syrup of choice and cocoa powder, the spread on top in rough peaks and store in the fridge.

Or this lighter frosting (my classic go-to) uses silken tofu and is a total winner! (it just means the topping is not raw, if you were going for the raw cake thing!)

See... now you understand just how versatile the 'bliss cake' is! It;s going to be my new party piece for sure, I will be able to change up the flavours to suits my recipients favourite on a whim!

Recipe: The Bliss Cake 

Makes one 8" cake (or a deeper 6")

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups medjool dates or soaked and drained deglet noor dates (I use the latter)
  • 1 cup ground almonds (or any ground nut/seed base)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa (for a non choc option use a little extra dry ingredient)
  • 1 tsp orange extract (optional- rose water, mint or almond would be fab too)
  • Toppings galore!!!

Method:

Simple blend everything together in a food processor, you may need to do this in two batches defending on the side of your processor (mine is a 2 litre Thermomix). You want a fairly smooth texture with no big pieces, some texture if ok as it makes it 'cake'.

Press fairly firmly into a springform cake pan (or a silicone pan works too) then press into lots of amazing toppings. Or feel free to first it (you will need to keep in the fridge if frosted).

Keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks (unfrosted) or on the counter for a few days. 

Let me know if you make your own 'bliss cake' tag me @johodson on Instagram as I'd love to see!

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The Raw Retreat experience. no. 2 (and my favourite 'meat'ball and chunky tomato sauce recipe!)

Last weekend saw the second Raw Retreat Experience take place... and it was just as epic as the first!  

The moment I walked through the front door of the hall, I breathed a sigh of relief and all my worries fell away. The weekend was ours. The energy of the simple unassuming village hall in the quirt Derbyshire countryside is incredible! Half of the participants had also been to the first retreat, and as they came through the door I heard a couple of them say "it feels like coming home". It did indeed.

As it says in the details, the Raw Retreat weekend is stripped back experience to remove luxury and create an environment for deeper connection with your inner spirit. As we arrived we each set up our beds and got cosy for the evening. There is a wonderful childlike sense of having a 'camp out' throughout the retreat, even when people have a little snooze during the day, or take time to zone out and meditate, there is a special energy about it all taking place in the same environment where someone maybe reading, eating or crafting just a few meters away. 

The focus throughout is on connecting with our senses... through food, movement, nature, crafting, conversation, space and stillness to go within.

Some of the tribe shared with wonderful words about the experience and it makes me heart smile, I can't wait to create more retreats for more deep connection...

"It felt like coming home, space to BE!"
I have learned loads about myself, I met wonderful people that feel the same as me inside. This is the closest I get outside 'recovery' in connection with feelings, emotions and understanding".
"Lovely vegan food, lots of walking, lots of talking and brilliant company." 

My friend Dionne at Manabika yoga led us through energising morning yoga practices and a yoga nidra bedtime session on the first evening.  Then there was the food.... wonderful food (if I do say so myself, ha!) Thought the focus was not on raw food (just healthy vegan food) Dionne also created a masterpiece of a raw cake... recipe to come soon.  One of my favourite recipes are my 'meatless meatballs'.... I can't believe I haven't shared them on my blog before (I even had to double check!) as they've been a favourite at both Lanzarote retreats and both Raw Retreats!

They are so versatile, can be rolled into balls or pressed into larger burger style patties, they can be made with beans or mushrooms or a combination. They also freeze well- so I always make a big batch!  Seriously- what's not to love?

The recipe for the 'no-meat' balls and my chunky tomato sauce is below, but first I want to share with you the energy of the retreat in photos. I plan to run 3 or 4 of these retreats a year so keep your eyes on the main info page for the latest dates!

The wonderful raw cake... mmmmmm!

The wonderful raw cake... mmmmmm!

Here we all are in our PJ's and onesies... having just woken up, drinking mugs of hot lemon and ginger water before morning yoga! ha ha

Here we all are in our PJ's and onesies... having just woken up, drinking mugs of hot lemon and ginger water before morning yoga! ha ha


Recipe: 'Meat' balls

 Makes approx. 30 balls (they freeze well but you can halve the quantities if preferred)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked beans* (mix of red and black or just one type)
  • 1 cups sunflower seeds (approx 350g) soaked and drained
  • 1 cup oats
  • ¼ cup flax seed
  • 2 small red onions
  • ¾ cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 heaped tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 lemon- juice
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Approx. ¼ cup soy sauce

* Note: I used beans as one of the participants on the retreat had a mushroom allergy, but I have also used mushrooms instead of beans (arguably even more authentic!) pulsed in a the food processor to get a 'mince' style texture. Pat with kitchen towel to take as much of the moisture out to prevent wet balls.

Method:

Pulse beans in a processor until you have a loosely blended mixture. Set aside.

Pulse remaining ingredients together until you have a smooth but still chunky mixture. In a large bowl add the mushrooms and mix through well.

Roll the mixture into meat ball size balls and place in a lined baking sheet. Bake at 180C for 25 - 30 minutes until crispy and golden. (also great eaten cold)

Serving options: spaghetti (or courgetti) and tomato sauce, pasta, quinoa, topping for a salad or in a wrap. Also make great burgers.

 

Recipe: Chunky Tomato sauce

Makes approx. 3 cups worth

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs(fresh basil optional)
  • 2 tbs cup tomato puree
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 carrot finely grated
  • approx. 4 dried apricots - chopped
  • 250ml vegetable stock

Method:

Heat oil, onion, garlic and spices for a few minutes, then add the puree and cook for another couple of minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.

There photos above are of the 'bean' version as served on the retreat, below are a couple of photos I had taken previously when I made the 'mushroom' version as balls and burgers at home. The result is darker (and more meaty looking?) I love both options. Just be aware that the mushroom version can become a little too wet if the mushroom mix has a lot of moisture once chopped up and isn't pressed/patted dry.

Let me know if you make them and how you serve them... I'd love to hear!  Tag me @johodson on Instagram ;-)

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NEW Workbook Launch.... and Sweet Potato Choc Orange Muffins!

Yesterday I finally completed something I have actually been working on for some years now!

As you will gather from the title of this website, and this little story I shared a few weeks ago... quitting refined sugar BUT still eating treats is a huge factor in optimising my own life! It's something of a mission for me to share with the world :-)

In my opinion it is in one of the BEST things you can do for your body and mind equally, regardless of what kind of diet you follow. Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free etc ....everyone can benefit hugely from cutting out refined sugar from their diets!

A couple of years ago, after immersing myself in countless books, data, articles etc all about sugar, and even having this article published in the first ever edition of Vegan Life Magazine (huge proud moment!) I wrote the copy for an 8-week course I planned to run through a dedicated Facebook group in the lead up to summer. I created all the graphics and promo too.

It was literally all set to go.... but then 'life' for in the way and I didn't run it at all. All the wonderful content lay dormant on my laptop, even though I knew it had the potential to change so many peoples lives.  I feel a little embarrassed now admitting this to you all.

But I never forgot about it.

A few week ago I saw Star Kechara's passive income challenge to create a interactive workbook. It suddenly clicked.... all that wonderful copy I had written could be remodelled (and added to of course with all my new knowledge) into a workbook that people could fill in and work through at their own pace. A resource for life. It felt such a good fit!

So here it is! Now complete in all it's glory!  PLUS as an added bonus I have written a (pretty incredible) extended version of my 'sugar-free recipe book' as the perfect companion to the 4-week workbook challenge.

AND...I am offering this HUGE bundle (pictured above) for the price of the workbook alone until January 31st 2017!

You can find all the info with a sneak peak of what you'll get in the details here!

Or if you want to check out just the recipe book alone... details are here!


In the mean time I want to share a new recipe a from the recipe book with you... a little gift! This is a direct page grab from the book so you can see exactly how the recipes are laid out. 

These mini muffins are perfect for Christmas but any time of year really.... and it just so happens to be my favourite flavour combo (remember my little story!) True to nature they also pack some veggies in. I used sweet potato but this is a spin on my classic 'crazy courgette cake' so courgette or even carrot would work well here too!

I hope you make them, and enjoy them.... please tag me if you do! It always makes me smile. :-)

 

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Bliss Baubles... fun Christmas gift (and the Ultimate Guide!)

At the beginning of this month you may recall I launched a simple advent gratitude challenge on Facebook. I've been feeling festive now that all the adverts are on TV and the countdown to Christmas is in full flow...  I am also feeling very reflective and setting in motion what I want to create in 2017! Maybe this is what triggered the gratitude challenge.

I also ran another 'Bliss Ball' workshop a few weekends ago (we also had one on my last two retreats) and it was so much fun!  As I was making up all the mix I had an idea for a simple gift idea...

Mini bliss balls in a bauble! Yay!

Simply, blend up some dates, nut butter and cacoa (or use your favourite bliss ball recipe) roll into small balls then dust in extra cacao. 

Below are the rough ratios (I rarely measure bliss ball ingredients these days!)... basically make sure you process the ingredients well and end up with a mix that tatses good and isn't too sticky to handle. Add more dry ingredient or chill for a while if too sticky.

The guide is my go too recipe when it comes to bliss ball making. The perfect beginning 'base'.

Guide recipe:

  • 2 cups medjool dates or soaked deglet noor dates (drain them very well!)

  • 1/2 heaped cup desiccated coconut, ground almonds or nut butter

  • 1/4 cup cocoa or raw cacao (plus extra for dusting)

  • few drops of flavour extract to taste (optional) - peppermint, orange and rosewater are my favourites!

Pop a handful of balls in a plastic bauble- the type made in two halves (I found a set of 8cm baubles on Ebay) add a ribbon and a gift tag with a little message if giving as a gift... or just hang on the tree! 

I didn't take a great photo as I hadn't initially planned to blog it (only Instagram it), but I thought it was such a lovely idea, I wanted to share it here too!

They'd make great stocking fillings, thank you gifts or healthy Christmas tree candy! 

Here is a pic from the workshop in Lanzarote.... messy hands!

Here is a pic from the workshop in Lanzarote.... messy hands!

As I am such a big lover of bliss balls/power balls/energy balls... (whatever name floats your boat). I made a fun guide 'The Ultimate Bliss Ball Guide' and you can buy it here for just $5. You can simply view it digitally or print as cut into a card set as I have designed it be used :-)  No excuse for not having healthy, indulgent, energising snacks to hand any more!

Packed full with 20 EASY NO-BAKE RECIPES. Complete with lots of variations for endless fun and exploration!

Enjoy... be sure to tag me if you make any of the recipes!


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