Gluten-free vegan sticky date slice

It feels like it should only be May, but here we are, in November already. My ceramic work has been keeping me so busy that I only have one day at home on the weekends. The ‘one day’ weekend goes by so quick.

This is a case of when bad photos happen to good food. I am always in such a rush to eat this, that I forget about trying to get ~the~ shot. You’ll just have to trust me that this is good. I’ll come back and update the photos for this gluten-free and vegan sticky date slice later. In the meantime, I’m going to share this recipe with you so you’re not deprived of something so tasty any longer.

Sticky date slice

Gluten-free vegan sticky date slice
Makes 8 slices

For the slice
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup dates, soaked and chopped
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
6 tbsp aquafaba, whisked into soft peaks

For the sauce
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup dates, soaked and chopped

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix almond meal, coconut sugar and baking powder in a bowl. Add dates, water, coconut oil and aquafaba. The mixture will be quite wet, as it is essential for the slice to be moist.

Pour into a lined tray and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until top is golden and knife comes out clean.

To make the sauce, heat coconut milk, coconut sugar and chopped dates over a low-to-medium heat. Remove from heat when sauce thickens.

Pour sauce over slice. Best enjoyed warm.

Raw cherry ripe {gluten-free, vegan}

Today we headed down to Killalea State Park. A monthly market is held there with heaps of food stalls. In fact, there were so many gluten-free and vegan-friendly options that it was difficult to choose just one, a rare occurrence! We sat on the top of the hill, which overlooks The Farm’s Beach and enjoyed our lunch – me, with my vietnamese salad and my boyfriend Jess, with his spinach and cheese gozleme. Then we walked along the beach and headed home.

Now that the weather has been warmer, it feels as good a time as ever to share with you my recipe for raw cherry ripe. I had been thinking about making it for a while and when I saw some beautiful cherries on special at my local green grocer, I knew it was a sign. It’s not as naughty as a real cherry ripe, but it has all the elements. Perhaps we can call this a cherry ripe for when you are trying to be good but you’re naughty at heart.

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Raw cherry ripe
Makes 9 slices

For the base:
1 1/2 cup almonds
4 tbsp raisin paste or 4 dates
1 tbsp coconut oil

For the filling:
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
2 cups desiccated coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup or other sweetener of choice
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp beetroot powder
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla powder

For the topping:
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup maple syrup

Blitz the base ingredients in a food processor until the almonds are roughly chopped. Spoon into the base of a square container or baking pan. Smooth out evenly and set aside.

Blitz the filling ingredients until combined well then spoon on top of the base. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.

Add coconut oil, cacao powder and maple syrup to a bowl and whisk until combined. Remove cherry ripe from freezer and spread the chocolate on top. Return to the freezer for another hour before enjoying.

Allergy-friendly ice cream sandwiches {GF, vegan}

I had the house to myself this weekend and what did I do with my time? Cleaned the house from top to bottom. Here I am at the end of yet another weekend having only scratched the surface of my to-do list. I’m doing far less of what I want to do in my spare time and far more of what I need to do, which has me wondering if I even have spare time at all. Finding time to cook is about all I have time for but I shouldn’t complain – there are far worse things in life!

Let’s talk about nice cream (ice cream made from bananas). Every second person I follow is on that bandwagon but I’m not 100% sold because, well, bananas. My 2-ingredient raspberry sorbet is just as easy and doesn’t have a banana in sight. I was thinking about using it as the filling for ice cream sandwiches a few months ago but time got the best of me, as it usually does.

These almond meal cookies are my go-to… in fact, as I type this, I realise I need to flesh out my cookie repertoire – this is the only cookie recipe I know! Leave that with me, and in the meantime, give these ones a go. These cookies have just 7 ingredients and sorbet has just 2… gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar-free ice cream sandwiches with less than 10 ingredients!

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Ice cream sandwiches
Makes 3

For the cookies
1 1/2 cup almond meal
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C, and combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Roll out the cookie dough onto a lined baking tray and use a cookie cutter to evenly cut out the cookie shapes. (A cookie cutter helps keep each cookie uniform… an important tool for ice cream sandwiches!)

Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. When the cookies come out of the oven, they will be soft to touch so it’s best to leave them for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

For the sorbet
2 cups frozen raspberries
3/4 cup rice milk (stored in the freezer for 4 hours)

Add ingredients into a bowl and use a hand blender to combine the raspberries with the semi-frozen rice milk.

Evenly spread into a shallow baking dish and place in the freezer for approx. 2 hours, to freeze into shape.

Once set, use the same cookie cutter you used for the cookies to cut out rounds of the sorbet.

Add cookie on either side of the sorbet slices and enjoy.

6-ingredient vegan paleo brownie

It doesn’t feel like winter, not when the skies are blue and my skin is warm from an abundance of sun rays. I’m not even outside, I am writing this from my sunroom table with a brownie in hand. I haven’t made brownies in the longest time. I don’t know why, because this recipe is so easy and only takes six ingredients.

Our house is coming along. Our furniture shipment will soon arrive, and then it will start to feel more like home, rather than a big empty space with a few pieces of furniture. I guess that’s what happens when you move from a studio to a small townhouse to an actual house – you don’t have much to fill the space!

Plants have made the space feel more like home in the meantime. I have fiddle leaf figs lining the windows, avocado trees I’ve grown from seeds (now up to my hips!), cacti, ivy, succulents and my prized pilea peperomioides and monstera adansonii pants, which took months to source and acquire.

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6-ingredient vegan paleo brownie
Makes 9 slices

1 cup apple and pear puree (do this yourself using organic fruit, or look in the baby food aisle to find organic fruit puree without additives)
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
3 tbsp coconut sugar
2 tbsp beetroot powder
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well until combined. If mixture feels a bit dry, add 1-2 tbsp water to help it bind.

Transfer the ingredients into a greased brownie tin and cook for around 20-25 minutes.

Let cool in tin before slicing and serving.

No-bake lemon tart | gluten-free vegan lemon slice

Lemons have always been my favourite. Mum said when I was little, I once bit into a lemon like an apple. Maybe that’s what started it all.

The humble lemon tart is something I never thought I would eat again with the eggs involved (not to mention the dairy and sugar) but then I discovered agar agar and wondered if it could just happen for me.

Turns out it could. I started experimenting and here we are with a delicious lemon tart. The lemon component was the easy part. What I really struggled with was a complimentary base that wouldn’t overpower the delicate lemon. It didn’t need a raw cake base, it needed more of a shortbread-type base.

This no-bake lemon tart is incredibly easy to make. It takes about 10 minutes to prep and needs 1-2 hours in the fridge to set. I don’t know why I don’t make it more frequently.

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No-bake lemon tart
Makes 9 large slices or 12 smaller slices

For the base
1 1/4 cup almond meal
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
3 tbsp coconut oil
Zest from 1 lemon

For the filling
2 2/3 cup filtered water
1 tbsp agar agar powder
1/3 cup arrowroot flour/starch
5 medium sized lemons, juiced
Pinch turmeric
2/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut milk

Mix all the base ingredients together in a bowl until coconut oil is evenly mixed through. Spread out in a lined tin or dish and refrigerate until needed.

Whisk arrowroot into lemon juice then add turmeric, maple and coconut milk and continue to whisk until combined. Set aside.

Add the agar agar to the filtered water and gently heat, stirring until agar is dissolved. Once you have reached this point, add the lemon-arrowroot mix and whisk continuously over a medium heat. After about 8 minutes, it should start to hold together. If it doesn’t, keep it over the heat a little longer.

Pour the lemon mix on top of the base and return the dish to the refrigerator for 1-2 hours until set. When set, slice and plate. Serve on its own or with a scoop of vanilla or coconut-flavoured ice cream.

Raw chocolate mousse tarts | Gluten-free raw vegan dessert

I always considered myself a chocoholic but chocolate mousse was the one chocolate dish that never really did it for me. It reminded me of soft serve ice cream, something I could never stomach (pun intended given I later found out I was lactose intolerant).

I discovered chocolate avocado mousse years later and it still underwhelmed me, this time, for different reasons. Then one day, I got it right.

Full disclosure, this recipe started as a jaffa tart. Halfway along the way, I realised I had created the perfect vegan chocolate mousse, not too rich, not too bitter, not too sweet and – best of all – not too avocado-tasting. Realising I had well and truly outdone myself, I dumped my jaffa tart and pursued my new love: chocolate avocado mousse.

Speaking of love, it’s Valentine’s Day (well, almost) and since I’m not good at expressing how much I love a person in words, I put it all in a tart.

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Raw chocolate mousse tarts | Gluten-free raw vegan dessert
Makes 4 individual tarts (each one serves two), or 1 large tart

3/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats
5 medjool dates, soaked to soften
4 large avocados, skin and stone removed
2 1/2 cup water (or replace with coconut water and omit coconut water powder below)
1 tbsp coconut water powder
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
A pinch of salt

Blitz cashews, buckwheat and dates in a food processor for 10-15 seconds, until broken down and starting to stick together. Line the base of your tart tins (or tart tin, if making 1 large tart) and pop the bases in the freezer to chill while you make the mousse.

Next, add avocado, water + coconut water powder, cacao powder, maple syrup, orange juice, vanilla and salt to a high-powered blender and blend until combined. Add a small amount of additional water if mix is too thick and becomes troublesome to blend.

Remove your bases from the freezer and pour the avocado on top, filling it just under the top of the tin rounds. Place in the freezer for around 2-3 hours (slightly longer if making 1 large tart).

Remove from freezer and plate. I serve mine with a sprinkle of beetroot powder over the top.

Raw lemon and raspberry cheesecake

Changing your diet to be one that is gluten-free, vegan and mostly refined sugar free when you have one helluva sweet tooth is one crazy thing to do. I didn’t know how to reward myself for what felt like the longest time (OK, turns out it wasn’t that long).

But one day, I discovered raw desserts and boy, am I glad I did.

Yes, it’s a raw cheesecake as in uncooked, but stay with me ’cause this is not like the cheesecake you know, it’s SO much better (as well as being SO much better for you than regular cheesecake). I usually turn up to family gatherings with this bad boy in tow and let me tell you, this gluten-free vegan raw raspberry cheesecake is a crowd pleaser.

If you’re familiar with raw desserts and cringe at the thought of the long list of ingredients that usually accompanies them, don’t fret, I have you covered. This one won’t have you traipsing all over town to find a long list of unfamiliar ingredients. In fact, you’ll be able to get everything from your local supermarket. I’m good like that.

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Raw lemon and raspberry cheesecake
Serves 12

1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
5 medjool dates, soaked for 5 mins
2 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 4-8 hours
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut water or 1/2 cup filtered water with 1 tbsp coconut water powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen raspberries
Grated dark chocolate (optional)
Grated lemon zest (optional)
Shredded fresh mint (optional)

To start, blend walnuts and hazelnuts with the dates in a food processor until nuts are small pieces and binded together by the dates.

Press the mixture into the base of a cake tin or mould that you would like the cake to set in. Try to make it as even as possible, then pop it in the freezer while you make the filling.

Add cashews, water, coconut water, maple syrup, lemon juice, coconut oil and vanilla to a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into a bowl and gently fold in the raspberries.

Remove base from freezer and pour cashew filling on top, spreading it out evenly.

Pop the cheesecake in the freezer for 4-6 hours. Refrigerate for one hour before garnishing with chocolate, lemon zest and mint, then serve.