Choccy Flapjacks

These chocolatey flapjacks are such a treat.
They are super easy to make and are a good addition to picnics or as a healthier afternoon snack.
Plus, they look awesome:

choccy flapjacks.JPG

200g oats
grated zest and juice of an orange
1 tsp cinnamon
100g sultanas
100g Munchy Seeds Choccy Apricot, can be substituted with 50g each of chopped apricots and dark chocolate chips or 100g of chocolate chopped into small chunks
50g coconut oil
5 drops of vanilla extract
3tbsp agave, honey or maple syrup

Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper & preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Melt the coconut oil and agave in a small pan over a low heat, whisk in the vanilla and juice of an orange.
Put all of the ingredients in a large bowl and stir well to combine.
Press into the loaf tin and bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden.
Allow it to cool completely before slicing.

Apple crumble with vanilla cashew cream

A warm apple crumble on a lazy Sunday afternoon is hard to beat.
It is one of those comforting puddings that I often revisit in autumn when apples are at their best.
Of course, I wouldn't be cooking it unless it could somehow be filed under the "good for you" category. 
This not so naughty apple crumble uses no sugar, relying instead on the natural sweetness of apples and some cinnamon for the base.
Cinnamon is a great spice when it comes blood sugar control. It doesn't just improve cellular absorption of sugar (this is a good thing) but it also tricks your brain into thinking you are eating a much sweeter food than you actually are.
The top, or the most important part of the crumble, is a fusion of high fibre oats, crunchy pecans or almonds, coconut oil and honey.  A dollop or two of vanilla cashew cream finishes this comforting pudding.
Give it a try. You won't be disappointed.

Ingredients - Serves 4
4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of oats
1/2 a cup of pecans or almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons each of honey and coconut oil

For the vanilla cashew cream:
1 cup of cashews, soaked overnight, drained
1 cup of water
4 Medjool dates
10 drops of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
To make the base of the apple crumble, put the apple pieces in a small pan with a teaspoon of cinnamon and cook over a medium heat until it is just starting to soften.
Spread the mixture out in a small crumble pan or ovenproof dish.
Melt the coconut oil in another pan, add the honey, oats and nuts and stir well to combine. Put the oaty mixture over the apples.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
To make the cashew cream, put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Divide the crumble mixture between 4 bowls and serve topped with a couple of dollops of vanilla cashew cream.

Avocado chocolate mousse

Whether you eat yours dark or milk, it is undeniable that chocolate has the kind of comforting properties that few other foods match.
Aside from the obvious sugar hit, there is another reason why chocolate may help you feel better: the mineral magnesium. 
Magnesium is nature's "chill out" mineral and it is especially abundant in cocoa.
Magnesium is truly useful with research studies highlighting its benefits in relation to heart health, anxiety, insomnia and pain management. It is even one of the main areas of interest in migraine research at present.
Try this chocolate mousse for a  delicious way to get your daily dose of magnesium. It uses avocados for the base but don't let this put you off. The cocoa hides the taste of avocado, leaving you with a comforting and guilt free dessert.

Ingredients for 1:
1 ripe avocado
1 large banana
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of high-quality cocoa powder (I used Green & Blacks)
a pinch of sea salt
a few drops of vanilla extract

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Figs, vanilla cashew cream, torn mint

As a self-confessed cake addict (yes, even nutritionists like cake) there are only a handful of non-cake based sweet treats that I find satisfying.
Fresh figs are one such treat and luckily, they are in season right now. 
Of course, my inner fat kid won't just eat figs on their own, so I also created a creamy cashew vanilla dip to complement the mellow, soft and crunchy, texture of figs. Garnished with some torn mint leaves, this assembly job of a dish is the perfect guilt free snack.

4-5 figs
1/2 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight
2 Medjool dates
5 drops of vanilla extract
4-5 fresh mint leaves

To make the vanilla cashew cream, put the soaked cashews, pitted dates and vanilla extract in a blender. Pour in half a cup of water and blend until smooth. Pour the cashew cream into a small serving bowl.
Cut the figs in half, scatter over the mint leaves and serve with the bowl of vanilla cashew dip. 

Beetroot dip & oat crackers

Sunday afternoons are for a good movie, a tasty dip and some crackers.
Just like this skinny beetroot dip and oat crackers, which are nothing short of delicious.
Whilst other dips such as hummus use a fair amount of olive oil, this recipe didn't require any for flavour so it is accidentally "skinny". In case hummus is your favourite thing in the world and you are left wondering what on earth would be the issue with the added oil then let me just reassure you: there is no issue. Extra virgin olive oil is considered a healthy fat but as with any oils, moderation is the key.
This recipe gets around that moderation issue somewhat.

Ingredients for the crackers
100g oats
30g flax seeds
200ml water
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt


Ingredients for the dip
4 medium beetroots (450g), peeled
5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp rapeseed oil
2 tsp tahini (sesame paste)
1 lemon
sea salt and pepper to taste

To make the beetroot dip:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Cut the beetroots into wedges and put them on a roasting tray. Scatter over the garlic cloves and drizzle with a teaspoon of rapeseed oil. Stir well to combine with the oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.
Roast in the oven for 40 minutes and set it aside to cool.
Once it is cool enough to handle, put the beetroot in a food processor or blender with the tahini, juice of a lemon, a good pinch of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and 5 tablespoons of water. Peel, the now roasted, garlic and put that in the blender too.
Blend until smooth. Taste the dip and adjust the seasoning as required.

To make the crackers:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Mill the oats and flax seeds into a flour by whizzing it on the highest setting in a blender or food processor. Decant the flour into a large bowl, add the salt, water and olive oil and stir well until completely combined.
Pour the mixture onto the baking tray and spread it out as thinly as it'll go.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, take the baking sheet out and slice the crackers into squares with a pizza cutter or sharp knife.
Return it to the oven and bake for a further 30 minutes.
The crackers should be solid but not browned. Allow them to cool before consuming.