Monday, 14 April 2014

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns (Paleo)

Are you on Instagram?  I am just a newbie, but I love it!  It's different to Facebook in that you can find a whole community of like-minded people from around the world.  My daughter, showed me how it works and now I'm hooked. :)
Unlike Facebook, you can search for hashtags # of particular topics.  My favourite to search is #paleo where I get to see the amazing food that everyday paleo people are eating.  It's inspiring me to present my food beautifully (which makes the eating experience all the better) and encouraging me to try different things.  Instagram gives me so many new ideas to try!  Maybe some people have a wider range of people that they follow, but mine are pretty much all food. :)  LOL.
It's been wonderful to connect with so many Aussies eating healthy food.
Anyway, I encourage you to give it a try if you're not on already.  I'm really glad I did.  Come find me @anaussiewithcrohns and if you bake any of my goodies, hashtag me #anaussiewithcrohns so I can see it too!  Such fun! :)

It's only a few more days until Good Friday where tradition has it that Hot Cross Buns must be eaten.  I'm always amazed at the different varieties available at the shops, so I've been inspired to make a Chocolate version with cacao powder and cacao nibs inside.  They're awesome.  Again, I've given you two versions, depending on whether you want sweetener or not.
Enjoy! xx

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns - Keto (no sweetener)
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15-17 mins
Makes: 8

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 cup coconut millk
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
3 Tablespoons cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/4 cup cacao nibs


For crosses: 2 egg whites 1+1/2 Tablespoons coconut flour 
 
 Instructions: 

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340F)
  • Grease 8 muffin tins with coconut oil
  • Beat the eggs with an electric beater for 1 minute.
  • Add the coconut milk and beat again.
  • Add the coconut flour, bicarb soda and cacao powder and mix with the electric beaters for another minute.
  • Scoop batter into muffin tins.
  • Make crosses by beating the egg whites with electric beaters.  Add the coconut flour and beat again.
  • Scoop egg mixture into a plastic bag, snip off the corner and pipe onto the top of buns.
  • Bake buns for 15-17 minutes.
(I sometimes turn the oven off at 15 minutes and leave buns in the oven for a couple of minutes to finish cooking.)

 Chocolate Hot Cross Buns (sweet) 


Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 17-20 mins
Makes: 8

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 orange juice
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/4 cup sultanas (golden raisins)

For crosses: 2 egg whites 1+1/2 Tablespoons coconut flour
 Instructions: 

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340F)
  • Grease 8 muffin tins with coconut oil
  • Beat the eggs with an electric beater for 1 minute.
  • Add the coconut milk, orange juice and honey and beat again.
  • Add the coconut flour, bicarb soda and cacao powder and mix with the electric beaters for another minute.
  • Stir through sultanas.
  • Scoop batter into muffin tins.
  • Make crosses by beating the egg whites with electric beaters.  Add the coconut flour and beat again.
  • Scoop egg mixture into a plastic bag, snip off the corner and pipe onto the top of buns.
  • Bake buns for 17-20 minutes.
(I sometimes turn the oven off at 17 minutes and leave buns in the oven for a couple of minutes to finish cooking.)

 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cheesecake (Gluten, Dairy & Refined Sugar Free)



This week we celebrated my daughter, Daisy's, 19th birthday. :)  Aren't birthdays wonderful?  I love the gathering of family and friends, the reminiscing about when they were little and the opportunity to say all the things we don't say often enough.  My kids are all amazing and I am so blessed to be their mum. 
Daisy is a very health conscious young lady so was quite happy for me to make her a birthday cake without sugar, dairy or grains.  She has recently gone vegan, so the challenge was to make a cake without eggs.  Thank goodness for cashew cheesecake!
If you haven't tried it, soaked cashews blended in a food processor or blender are SO creamy and delicious, you could be fooled and think you're eating dairy.  Since Daisy LOVES peanut butter, we decided that should be the main focus of her cake.
This cake is very big and serves heaps of people.  It's very rich so you only need small pieces.  Seven of us didn't even eat half of one. (and we like our cake!)
Yes, I know peanuts aren't Paleo.  Please substitute any other nut butter if you don't eat peanuts. :)

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cheesecake
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooling time: overnight

Serves: 14


Ingredients:
For the base:

¼ cup coconut oil (melted)

For the middle:
3 cups cashews (soaked 6 or more hours)
1 cup coconut milk
1+1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey

For the top:
1/4 cup cacao butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
3 Tablespoons cacao powder
1 cup coconut cream

To decorate:
roasted peanuts

Instructions:
First, make the base: 
  • Grind the chocolate cookies in a food processor until fine.  Add the melted coconut oil and process until mixture sticks together.  Add another tablespoon of coconut oil if you need to.   
  • Press the crumbs into the base of a 21cm springform tin, lined with baking paper.  If you don’t have a springform tin, just line your tin with plastic wrap so you can remove it easily.   
 To make the middle layer: 
 Drain the cashews well.  Put all of the filling ingredients into a high speed blender or processor and process until smooth. 
  • You will need to use the tamper if you have one and regularly scrape down the sides to make sure all the ingredients are blended together.  Keep processing until it is super smooth.  Lots of taste testing needed for this step!
  • Once the mixture is smooth, scrape it all into your pan, on top of the base mixture.  Spread it out with a spatula.

To make the chocolate layer:
  • Melt the cacao butter and coconut oil and mix in the cacao powder until dissolved.  
  • Stir through the honey and coconut cream.
  • Spread on top of the cake.
  • Cover with plastic wrap, then put into the freezer overnight to set.
  • When ready to serve, take cheesecake from the freezer and defrost for around 30 minutes to soften slightly before cutting. 
  • Decorate with the roasted peanuts.
  • Yum! 
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Sunday, 6 April 2014

Hot Cross Buns (Paleo, SCD, GAPS & Keto versions)

I haven't shared that I am a Christian here on my blog before; just a lot of things about cooking. :)
Cooking and food are very important in my life, but my faith is even more important.  I feel very blessed to have been raised in a Christian family, but it was only when I was in my 20s that I really found God for myself.  Now it's my relationship with my Heavenly Father that gives me purpose, peace and joy.
So Easter is a big celebration in our family.  This year my sister and her family are joining us from interstate, so I'd better get organised with that Easter Egg hunt. :)
I've always loved Hot Cross Buns, but must admit it's been several years since I've eaten one.  For me, it's the mixture of spices that really tastes and smells like Easter.  My teenagers devoured these, even the ones without sweetener.  I hope you like them, they are quick and easy to make and keep well for a couple of days.

I'm giving you two versions of Hot Cross Buns as I've recently found I feel so much better when I keep my carbs very low (Keto, 21DSD or IQS).  I'm saving the nuts, honey and fruit for special occasions and found that my tummy appreciates it, I need much less sleep and I have more energy.  Awesome! :)
* Scroll down for the version with honey and sultanas. 

Hot Cross Buns (Keto version) 
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes 8 

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice (pumpkin spice)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

For crosses:
2 egg whites
1+1/2 Tablespoons coconut flour 

 Instructions: 
  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340F)
  • Grease 8 muffin tins with coconut oil
  • Beat the eggs with an electric beater for 1 minute.
  • Add the coconut milk and beat again.
  • Add the coconut flour, bicarb soda and spices and mix with the electric beaters for another minute.
  • Scoop batter into muffin tins.
  • Make crosses by beating the egg whites with electric beaters.  Add the coconut flour and beat again.
  • Scoop egg mixture into a plastic bag, snip off the corner and pipe onto the top of buns.
  • Bake buns for 15-17 minutes.
(I sometimes turn the oven off at 15 minutes and leave buns in the oven for a couple of minutes to finish cooking.)

Hot Cross Buns (with honey & sultanas)

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice (pumpkin spice)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


For crosses:
2 egg whites
1+1/2 Tablespoons coconut flour

Instructions: 
  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340F)
  • Grease 8 muffin tins with coconut oil
  • Beat the eggs with an electric beater for 1 minute.
  • Add the honey, coconut milk and orange juice and beat again.
  • Add the coconut flour, bicarb soda and spices and mix with the electric beaters for another minute.
  • Fold through the sultanas.
  • Scoop batter into muffin tins.
  • Make crosses by beating the egg whites with electric beaters.  Add the coconut flour and beat again.
  • Scoop egg mixture into a plastic bag, snip off the corner and pipe onto the top of buns.
  • Bake buns for 15-17 minutes.
(I sometimes turn the oven off at 15 minutes and leave buns in the oven for a couple of minutes to finish cooking.)
 
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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Sweet!



"My go-to- woman for quick, easy foolproof recipes that are always delicious! Especially when I want a treat : )" - Mindi.

Well, it’s finished!   I’ve had great fun putting together my first eBook.  I’ve called it ‘Sweet’ as I had too many recipes to go into one book.  (and let’s face it, most of my recipes are sweet!) :)


So, if you’re frustrated with having to search my blog each time you want to cook one of my recipes and would prefer an easy to read and print PDF version of them, here it is!
A great idea is to print out the book in colour and place into a display book to protect from splashes while cooking.

I’m looking into turning this ebook into a paper copy book.  More details on that later.
But for now, I hope you’ll enjoy reading my recipes on any device – computer, iPad or iPhone.  Great for checking ingredients when out shopping!


The ebook contains 51 recipes for sweet breads, muffins, cakes, cheesecakes, cookies, slices, desserts, treats and a special chocolate section.


Included are the most popular recipes on my blog, as well as new recipes such as Strawberry Mousse, several types of cheesecake: Banana Date, Lemon, Orange Gingernut, Strawberry Squares and White Chocolate and Cherry flavours.  There are also new chocolate recipes:  Chocolate Fruit and Nut Fudge and my special Mini Chocolate Sponge Layer Cake.


Thank you for all of your support for my recipes and blog.  I’ve loved putting this together for you all.

Happy baking!


Xx Deb
Buy this on Selz Sell digital downloads on Selz

10% of proceeds will go to Zoe Foundation Australia.

Here's a few of your comments for a couple of your favourite recipes:

Berry & Coconut Slice

"I made this yesterday (finally) and it has been a huge hit.
Thank you so much. I have recommended your site to everyone who will listen!
Both my daughters and I LOVED it. Lasted one day. Even my wheat, dairy and sugar loving husband liked it."



"Made this today. The works, even the jam from scratch. It is yummy yummy yummy. Love it."



"Just made this for breakfast! 5 kiddos ranging in age from 10 down to 1. Everyone LOVED it. Thanks!"

Easy Jam

"Your jam recipe is the easiest and most delicious jam ever. The only problem is keeping the supply up to my Lovelies. Thank you." - Karen.




Thursday, 20 March 2014

Keto Cookies (Paleo, SCD, GAPS, 21DSD)

Have you heard of the Ketogenic Diet?  I've done some research and found that it is very low carb, high fat and moderate amount of protein.  So basically what I usually eat, except more fat and no fruit or honey.
And since my body is an ongoing science experiment, I thought I'd give it a try.  I've found I feel best if I keep carbs low anyway, so I wondered if this would make any difference.
The first day I felt great; less bloated and puffy (I'd eaten way too many carbs the few days beforehand).  On the second day, I made these cookies; I know you're not surprised! :)
You know, I couldn't find any Keto Cookies on the internet.  Am I the only person who tried Keto and had to have some sort of cookie? :)
Anyway, these cookies are good if you are avoiding any sort of sweetener.  They taste good to me and I liked the spice taste. 
I stayed on the Keto diet for about two weeks, but I've got to say it's not easy.  I think my body liked the low carb, but my tummy didn't like so many nuts.  By the end of the week I was very tired. I lost a bit of weight to start with, but then put some on by the end. 
In conclusion, keeping carbs low makes me feel better, but going very low carb (no fruit or honey) doesn't agree with me.  I found I kept wanting to eat Keto treats even though I was full.  I find I'm satisfied with a smaller amount of treats if they have the sweet taste I'm craving.

So I'll probably make these cookies again, but add in some honey and dried fruit.

Here is the cookie you might need if you go Keto. :)

Keto Cookies.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time:  10-15 mins
Makes: 24 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup tahini
3 eggs
1 cup walnuts
1 cup macadamia nuts
1 cup shredded or desiccated coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Instructions:
  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340F)
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Combine the tahini and eggs in a mixing bowl.
  • Roughly chop the walnuts and macadamia nuts.
  • Add the chopped nuts, coconut and spices to the tahini/egg mixture and mix thoroughly.
    Before baking.
  • Scoop tablespoons of mixture onto the baking paper-lined tray, forming them into cookie shapes.  (Shape won't change while cooking).
  • Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Cool on the tray.

Note:  These cookies are unusual in that they bubble up as they are cooking.  See pic below.  Must be all those good fats! :)
Bubbly after baking!


Thanks to all those readers who've come and said 'Hi!' on Facebook.  It's lovely getting to know you all.  
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Thursday, 13 March 2014

Fruit n Nut Fudge (Paleo & SCD)


On Sunday I had a fantastic day out with my daughter, Daisy.  She is almost 19 and studying Journalism at RMIT in Melbourne.  Daisy is very interested in healthy food and exercise.  Here's her blog if you are interested. :)

Ashy, Daisy & Nicole.
Anyway, Daisy and I attended the Feed Your Soul event run by Ashy Bines  and Nicole Joy.  These are two inspiring young women who had a wonderful, positive message.  My favourite guest speaker was Dr Nat Krouglis.  Dr Nat runs a women's health and fertility clinic called The Pagoda Tree in Melbourne.  I was encouraged by her talk on gut health being the basis for many health problems.  She said, "I'm going to keep giving you the same answer to all your questions.  If you have health problems, you need to get your gut right."   Dr Nat talked about how The Pill, antibiotics and modern-day diets damage or destroy the good bacteria in your gut and how this leads to a multitude of illnesses.  I wanted to get up and cheer! :)  It was wonderful that these young women were hearing such wisdom about their health.  

I've got to give a shout out to my gorgeous mum here.  As I was growing up she talked about The Pill not being good for women and how it could upset your system.  My mum was certainly ahead of her time.  Thanks, Mum, for all that health advice you researched and gave to us.  Who knows where I'd be if you hadn't adjusted our diet and environment to heal your health problems. You're awesome, Mum. xx

A long time ago, I used to love Fruit n Nut chocolate.  :)  Really, if you're going to have chocolate, it has to include nuts.  Now that chocolate is off the menu, I really appreciate treats like this one.  The cacao butter, coconut oil and nut butter give a creamy, chocolatey taste.  And the addition of the sultanas and roasted nuts just makes it bliss.  
Enjoy!  Good fats are GOOD for us!  Woo Hoo to that! :)

Fruit n Nut Fudge (Paleo & SCD)
Prep time: 10 mins
Set time: 30 mins
Makes - one 20 cm square pan full.  Cut into as many pieces as you like.

Ingredients:
1 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup flaked almonds
 1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup cacao butter
1/2 cup nut butter 
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup sultanas (golden raisins)
1/4 tsp honey

Instructions: 

  1. Line a 20cm (8 inch) pan with baking paper.
  2. Toast the macadamia nuts in a dry frypan over medium heat.  Stir regularly, and remove from heat when lightly browned.
  3. Repeat for the flaked almonds.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the cacao butter in the microwave (about 2 minutes).
  5. Melt the coconut oil (about 30 seconds) in the microwave.
  6. In a mixing bowl, stir together the melted cacao butter, coconut oil and nut butter.
  7. Mix in the honey, vanilla and sultanas.
  8. Finally, stir through the toasted nuts.  Mix well.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading the nuts and sultanas evenly across the bottom.
  10. Put in the fridge or freezer to set.
  11. When fully set, cut into pieces.
  12. I store mine in the freezer.
  13. Enjoy! :)
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Monday, 10 March 2014

Apricot, Fig & Macadamia Nut Cookies (Paleo & SCD)

Have you missed me?  :)  I've been so busy that my recipe experiments haven't made it from my notebook to my computer!  I think I need an assistant to keep my life organised.

I don't think I've mentioned before that my full time job (as well as being a mum, of course!) is working as a teacher.  I love learning with my students each day and I have fabulous colleagues who are beautiful friends.  I'm so blessed.
But since my life has had such a turn with my health journey, I decided to do some more study this year.  I've just started a Grad Dip in Home Economics so that I can be the Food Tech and Health teacher.  Woo Hoo!  It's a two year part time course and I'm just loving it.  
Isn't it funny how your life can take turns you'd never expect?  As I'm learning more about health and food, there is so much I'd like to do with my life and so much I want to share with others.  (I think that's a teacher thing!) 

Anyway, life is good but BUSY!  
But there's always time for cookies. :)

Apricot, Fig & Macadamia Nut Cookies.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10-12 mins
Makes around 30 cookies
Macadamia Nut Butter

Ingredients:
1 cup dried figs
1 cup dried apricots
2 cups desiccated coconut (very finely shredded)
1 cup macadamia nut butter
1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius (300F)
  2. Chop each dried fig in half, then put in your food processor with 1 cup of desiccated coconut.
  3. Process until chopped.
  4. Repeat with dried apricots, using the other cup of coconut.
  5. In a mixing bowl, mix together the macadamia nut butter, honey and eggs.
  6. Add the chopped fruit, coconut and roughly chopped macadamia nuts and mix thoroughly.
  7. Scoop tablespoons of the mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.  
  8. Form into a cookie shape.
  9. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until starting to brown.
  10. Cool on trays.
    Before baking.

    Notes:  If making your own Macadamia Nut Butter for this recipe, process 2 cups of macadamias to make just over 1 cup of butter.

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