Posts tagged easter
15 Carrot themed recipes in time for Easter!

I notice I have shared a few recipe round-ups recently. I promise I do have other new recipes waiting in the wings... I have just been busy with my coaching work and researching content for a new book I'm writing focussing on 'creativity' that I haven't had as much kitchen time for cooking and photography. 

I'm actually spending Easter in Vietnam with my mum, visiting my sister who lives overseas. In the meantime before I leave on Wednesday, I have Easter on my mind and the one food (other than chocolate) I associate with Easter is... carrots!

So here you have it, a few of the popular carrot themed recipes from my archives to tempt your creations over the holiday period and beyond!

There are plenty to choose from but if you are intrigued to know my personal favourites, they would be:

1) Carrot Cake Brownies

2) Carrot Apple and Ginger Cake

3) Carrot Burgers  (and oldie but goodie!!)

Enjoy... let me know if you make any of these recipes or come up with your own carrot themes Easter dish! Best place to catch me is Instagram

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
The healthiest ever... carrot, apricot & ginger cake!

It's been a while since I posted a new recipe... I've been busy working on the blog, but more behind the scenes- trying to sort my recipe index out (slow progress!) and also creating a book based on my mindset posts. I have also been coaching a lot more in recent months too and that hs been a priority.

That said I've missed creating sweet things and photography! Last weekend I was feeling in the mood to bake something... and put a post on my personal Facebook page asking what things people wanted 'healthanizing' ... billionaires shortbread got a mention (I'll try and get onto that before xmas) and so did carrot cake.

carrot ginger apricot cake.jpg

Well, it just so happens that a few weeks ago I did make a fantastic carrot cake, and the comment prompted me to get it up on the blog!  This is a blend of carrot, ginger and apricot for an indulgent twist on the classic.  It's super healthy- packed with fruit and veg, minimal processed ingredients and made with oats, I'm pretty sure it could be made entitely gluten free very easily. 

The carrot cake may not be particularly festive, but it's still great for a party of a gathering or bookmark it for a springtime treat :-)  If you love carrot cake BUT also love chocolate... you should definitely try this chocolate brownie carrot cake!

Final top tip before you go ahead and make it - this cake keeps well for a few days in the fridge, in fact I think it tastes even better the day after it's made- richer and cakier!

carrot ginger apricot cake 3a.jpg

Recipe: Carrot, Apricot & Ginger Cake!!

Ingredients:

  • 2tbs flax and 1/4 cup water- mixed

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil- melted

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk

  • 1 medium apple- cored

  • 1 tps baking soda

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • Pinch salt

  • 1 heaped tsp ginger powder

  • 1 cup finely grated carrot

  • 1 cup fine oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (you could probably sub a GF flour blend)

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds

  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Method:

Blend the flax mix with the melted coconut oil, non-dairy milk and the apple until fully pureed. In a sperate large bowl mix together the dry ingredients then add all wet ingredients plus any remaining ingredients to it, stir through until well mixed.

Spoon batter into two 8" cake pans- the layers will be fairly thin. Bake for approx 30 mins at 180C, loosely cover with foil if tops are browning too quickly. Allow to fully cool before frosting.

Meanwhile, make the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup non-dairy yoghurt

  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1 tbs mild syrup

Method: Mix together and then allow to thicken in the fridge.

To decorate (optional), make the balls on top:

  • 1 medium carrot

  • 1 cup dates

  • 1 tbs ground ginger

  • 1/2 cup almond or cashew butter

Method: Blitz together all ingredients in a food processor and then make into balls. If the mix is a little too wet, allow to chill in fridge to firm up before forming.

carrot ginger apricot cake 6a.jpg

For some festive foodie vibes... I have a few treats planned for the coming weeks, feel free t leave me your ideas too!

In the meantime, I would love to share with you my top five festive recipes last year, I put them together in a mini book you can find here. 

 
 

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
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! 

Recipe: Carrot Cake Brownies

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

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!

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Home made chocolate... with a twist!

This was a totally last minute recipe, an idea that came to me yesterday morning and I so whipped up and posted over at Real Food Source all within a matter of an hour. Boom! Super productivity... or maybe I just had a chocolate craving. Ha yeah, that's probably more like it! ;-)

So here I have a super simple last minute Easter recipe for you... this would also make a great gift or treat anytime of the year too!

I love making my own chocolate and lately I have been adding all sort of nutritious ingredients to give it a boost and turn a treat into a health experience. I used the Energise powder blend from real food source, but you could use any you had to hand- maca, lucuma, baobab, beetroot, ace to name a few. I haven't been brave enough to try with greens powder but there is no reason why it wouldn't work, i'm just not sure on how much the flavour will come through.

I used the 'as raw as it gets' chocolate couverture blocks for the most nutritional rich option, but any dark chocolate base would work well, then simply add your extras. The coconut oil helps thin the chocolate mix which is needed to maintain a good consistency when adding dry powders so don't omit this.

I added orange extract, partly because choc-orange is my favourite flavour but also because I want to hide any possible hints of the powders coming through. You could also use almond, mint or rosewater extracts too. I added freeze dried berries on top as I was trying them out for the first time but you  could add anything you like- raisins, chia, crushed nuts or even my Wholeplus Toppers (I made another batch with those on top!)

The options are literally endless! It's the kind of recipe I love :-)

Recipe: Home Made strawberry Chocolate

Recipe: Home Made Chocolate... With A Twist!

Ingredients: 

*note: you don't need to add extract, but depending on the powders used the flavours may come through and I found that adding an extract best compliments the chocolate and strawberry topping.

Method:

Chop the couverture coarsely and then melt carefully in a water bath (or similar) along with the coconut oil and orange extract, until fully melted.

Stir the Energy blend (or powders if using) through the melted chocolate leaving no lumps. Pour onto a lined baking sheet and spread to approx. 3-4mm thick (silicone liners are best as it makes it easy to peel the chocolate slab off) or alternatively pour into chocolate moulds.  Add a generous sprinkle of freeze fried fruit last to decorate. 

Chill for an hour to set.  Best served from the fridge.

This recipe was created for Real Food Source as I made it for them whilst testing their ingredients. 

Enjoy and have a beautiful Easter!

Recipe: Home Made strawberry Chocolate

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
The Easiest Easter egg nests- sugar free and gluten free!

This nest recipe is my favourite chocolate experiment over the last few weeks and the macadamia 'eggs' with the golden hue from the oven look absolutely perfect. A fantastic twist on regular chocolate mini eggs! Ingenious (if I do say so myself!)

This was another recipe created for Real Food Source using their ingredient range. I have since made these nests as gifts from friends and true to my typical curious nature- I never make things the same ways twice.  You'll find the original recipe here at Real Food Source. But I also had great success swapping the dark chocolate for cocoa power, 1/4 cup nut butter (PB, almond, cashew) and syrup of choice (maple, agave brown rice syrup and date syrup) with a little pure stevia for an extra sweetness boost- just have a play and taste the raw batter until you hit your preferred sweet spot! (best excuse ever to eat a raw cookie mix!!). I also subbed half the ground almonds for desiccated coconut too which worked a treat.  

The nests themselves couldn't be easier to mix up. With just a handful of ingredients and packed full of good fats, these little bites are rich and dense with just the right amount of moisture. Like a brownie bite and totally delicious. 

 

It's totally flexible mix- so easy you can't go wrong! Bake them until just cooked for a lovely moist fudginess. Mmmmmm....

Get the original recipe here at Real Food Source!


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Easy Easter no-bake slices

I'm bringing you a keto inspired round up of meal and recipes in the next few days, walking you through how I went a month on a super low carb, fat fuelled diet... but for today, we are rocking the Easter thing!!

Only just over a week to go. I can't believe I haven;t brought you more before now! Ooops...

I've been busy concocting Easter recipes for Real Food Source (yes this was indeed tricky and full of crazy temptation in the midst of keto- my mum did a lot of the eating!) and so today I want to share with you these seriously simple no-bake slices.  Whilst by no means keto, these are still a great low carb treat, packed full of good fats and unrefined coconut sugar chocolate (that stuff is soooo good!) 

I love layered up desserts and you could top them within anything that takes your fancy. Here I used macadamias and a few cranberries and choc chunks.  Chill the slices well and cut with a sharp knife for a super neat edge.  These freeze well too if you don' t trust yourself enough to keep them on the kitchen counter! :-)

You'll find the full recipe HERE over on Real Food Source.

Note: I've used their ingredients, but you can use roasted almond butter, or make your own. Any unrefined syrup would work well too.

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Easter hot cross cookies

Yep, I promised you another Easter recipe... this one is a much easier and actually turned out a lot more 'bun like' than i'd anticipated- winner! (check out the photo at the end to see the crumb)

The inspiration for this recipe actually came from a kitchen homeware company! Let me explain...

I had an exciting commission a week or so ago to develop and shoot and Easter recipe to showcase their new baking range. The recipe had to be really simple made with regular supermarket bought ingredients and showcase their cookie tray.  The recipe I created was indeed really simple but not  necessary as healthy as I'd like since I appreciate this was not aimed at a specifically health conscious crowd. However I loved the concept of the recipe so much I modified it and whipped up another batch this time a more healthified version! I only made a small batch but you could easily double this recipe.

This recipe uses spelt flour but you could try substituting that for a 3:2 mix of GF flour and ground almonds, I usually find that ratio works well and creates a good balanced texture.

p.s on a final note I am off on holiday for a week later today so I have a couple of posts scheduled for next week and then I will be back on the Easter weekend fully refreshed with lots of photos no doubt. I'm taking my iPad (but not laptop) as I have so many books I want to get stuck into that I have simply had no time to read. I'm sure i'll also be popping up on Facebook and Instagram too...so you can always find me there!

Recipe: Hot cross cookies

Makes approx. 6-8 cookies

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 medium mashed banana
  • 1 tbs flax mixed with 3 tbs hot water
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup whole meal spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon and/or nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • large handful of dried fruit such or dark chocolate chips 

Topping:

  • 1 tbs sugar free marmalade- melted
  • ¼ cup coconut butter- melted (note: coconut butter not oil for a white cross!)

Method:

In a large bowl beat the coconut oil, sugar, flax mix and banana together until soft, fluffy and well blended.

In a separate bowl mix the flour, cinnamon and baking powder and mix into the wet batter to create a soft thick dough adding the dried fruit/chocolate in the final strokes. Add a small splash of cold water only if needed to ensure a thick smooth batter.

Using your hands, roll golf ball sized dollops of batter into balls and press down on to a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 180ºC.

Leave the cookies on the tray and allow to cool slightly before glazing the tops with the runny marmalade and piping crosses with the melted coconut butter. 

Store in an airtight container. Best eaten within 3 days.

crazy bun like texture...yumm!!

crazy bun like texture...yumm!!

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:

 

 

 

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF
Hot Cross Buns...gluten free!

I'm feeling happy...

Spring is here.

The sun in shining.

Easter is nearly here...

I want to be able to give you lots of healthy sweet treats to set you up for the holiday but it's been a little tricky since I haven't been able to eat anything sweet ...but hey i'm working around it! I made a birthday cake for a friend last weekend and spent the whole time running across the house with spoonfuls of batter asking my mum to taste taste... needless to day she was a willing participant! :-)

I have two more Easter recipes for you this week.... today we have gluten free hot cross buns and coming up I have a little quirky twist on the classic but you'll have to wait a couple of days for that one ;-)

I warn you now these buns do take a little while to make (yeast bread always does) and so it's more unusual for me to have a recipe of this nature with so many ingredients and steps to the process, plus I never usually have much success with gluten free bread recipes.

However I love hot cross buns and when I saw this post by Quirky Cooking on Facebook (as a teaser to the actual blog post) I wanted to create a vegan version. I had a chat with Jo and she gave me some idea to test for her, I opted for chia seeds as a substitute and it worked a treat. My mum and her fiends enjoyed them for the next few days. Though as Jo says in her original recipe, these buns are best eaten fresh which is pretty easy since you can keep the batter in the fridge for up to 5 days and just bake what you need in one go.

Thank you Quirky Cooking for the inspiration, the recipe and the help in creating a vegan version.

P.s go check her out she has some amazing things going on on her blog and a great community on her Facebook page- particularly for those with allergies of all kinds.

Recipe: Hot Cross Buns...gluten free!

Ingredients:

Buns

  • 150g brown rice flour
  • 110g sorghum flour
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 190g arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 40g coconut sugar or Rapadura
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium husk
  • 200g coconut milk or almond milk
  • 2 Tbs ground chia seeds mixed with 6 Tbs warm water.
  • 150g water
  • 40g light oil
  • 200g sultanas/raisins  

Crosses

  • 50g gluten free plain flour
  • 50g water

Glaze

  • 2 tbs sugar free marmalade
  • 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

Mix ground chia with warm water and set aside.

Place brown rice into mixing bowl with orange zest. Add yeast, arrowroot/tapioca starch, salt, cinnamon, mixed spice, sugar, and psyllium husk, and mix well.

Add chia mix, milk, water, oil, sultanas and mix well to form a wet dough. Pour mixture into a large container, place lid on, and leave to rise for 2 hours. 

Once mixture is risen, container can either be put into the fridge to be used the next day (best results, as flavours intensify and mixture thickens), or you can make the buns straight away. You can use half the dough one day and the other half another day if you like, as they are best eaten hot out of the oven, or within 24 hours.

When ready to bake:

Mix the flour and water for the crosses in a small bowl with a fork until smooth, then pour into a small piping bag, or a ziploc bag (seal, and cut a very small corner off the bag). Set aside.

 Using paper muffin cups or a silicone muffin tray, take the dough out of the fridge and scoop out heaped tablespoonfuls, and using a spoon and butter knife, drop a large spoonful into each muffin cup. Muffin cups should be 3/4 full. 

Cover muffin tray loosely with a plastic bag (so that plastic does not touch dough) and leave to rise for 1 hour, or until dough has barely risen to the top of the muffin cup. Towards end of rising time, preheat oven to 200C. Pipe crosses onto buns.

Once oven is hot, place tray inside on middle shelf, and cook for 20 mins, or until lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Glaze:

Melt the jam and mix in the spice. Generously glaze the top and sized of the buns.

Store cooled buns in an airtight container at room temp for up to 2 days, but best eaten on day of baking.

Great texture for a gluten free bun!

Great texture for a gluten free bun!

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:

 

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF