Chocolate Peanut Slice - Healthier Snickers (DF, EF + VO)

Raw, healthier foods aren't normally something I make. My best mate does. My Mum does. Me? Well, I'm known more for my sugar laden (even though I've really cut down over the years) gluten free baked goods. That's why you're here, right? Well, we all grow, and these 'healthier' versions are something I want to work on. I want to work on foods that are not only delicious, but also a healthier alternative for me and my family.

Don't get me wrong, I know it has been a while but don't worry this space is not going to morph into a healthy food blog. Hell no! That may be others journey, but it isn't mine. I want a happy medium of the foods we enjoy at home or I recreate at home to be shared with you, so that wherever you are on your journey you can find something delicious.

My best mate is one of the funniest, and fun-est people I know. She is also a kick-ass parent and all round human being who inspires me (without knowing it) to be better at both of those things. So, when she recently shouted out, ok, casually 'suggested', via a rather well known social media platform that someone should get themselves into the kitchen asap and whip up a healthier, raw Snickers and deliver it to her. Well, I jumped at that suggestion, not literally, it was a few days later for her birthday that I got my butt into the kitchen and here it is; an almost raw, peanut laden chocolate topped slice. It's delicious, or so she says. She totally ate a slice for breakfast, it's that good and that good for you too ;) 


Almost Raw Chocolate Peanut Slice

/ makes about 10 pieces / To be honest, I've never had the famous version of this chocolate bar as I didn't like peanut butter as a child and now, well, I can't eat snickers as they're not gluten free! Luckily this version is healthy and gluten free... and clearly I now eat peanut butter, but only in baked goods :)

To make this slice vegan substitute the honey for rice malt syrup or maple syrup. You can make your own raw chocolate for the top, Google will be able to give you a recipe for this.

method

Line the base and sides of a 13 x 21cm tin with baking paper.

Place all of the base ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined. The mixture should stick together when pressed against the side. Add the second tablespoon of coconut oil if needed, as it shouldn't be too dry or it will crumble.

Press firmly into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Place in the freezer to set for 20minutes.

To make the caramel stir together the peanut butter and two tablespoons honey. Taste and add the third tablespoon of honey if you wish.

Remove the base from the freezer, it needs to have set for about 20minutes or you will pull up the base when you spread the caramel over it. Scatter the peanuts over the base and pour the peanut butter caramel over the top.

Pour over the melted chocolate and smooth the top. For an even chocolate top tap the tin a few times on your bench and give the tin a little shake to smooth it out.

Cover and return to the freezer for an hour to set.

Remove from the freezer and cut into portions. Store covered in the freezer for 2 weeks, allow 10-15minutes for the slice to 'warm' up if eating from the freezer. Will also keep covered, in the fridge for 5 days.

ingredients

Base Layer

50g (1/3cup) pitted dates

200g (2cups) almond meal

50g (1/2cup) desiccated coconut

1-2tblspn coconut oil

Peanut Butter 'Caramel' Layer

220g (about 2/3cup) natural peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

2-3 tblspn honey - use rice malt or maple syrup for a vegan option

50g (about 1/3cup) raw peanuts

125g dark (72%) chocolate, melted

 


Tomato & Pumpkin Soup (DF, EF, NF, V)

gluten free scallywag tomato pumpkin soup

Food is such a comforting thing. I remember eating entire pots of mashed potato when I was sick, I used to put grated cheese on the top and let it melt, eat the top layer and repeat. (Yeah, who said comfort food was healthy?!) It was warm and filled the whole in my tummy and I knew it wouldn't upset my stomach not in a gluten free way, more like aewww... dairy? no not right now, or ewwww.... steak? no not right now, the whole chewing this is too much effort kind of way! I laugh as I remember my Dad's reaction to my coeliac diagnoses, so no more potatoes? He was so very disappointed when I said that I could still eat potatoes. He will still tell anyone that will listen that I could have bought shares in the potato farming business because of all the afternoon potato snacks I made. Let alone the massive piles of mashed potatoes that I would consume whenever Mum whipped them up.

Alas, I've not made my favourite comfort food today, although I do believe it'll be on my dinner menu very soon! No, I made soup, the other warm comforting food, perfect as Melbourne cools down. It's gorgeous here at the moment, the leaves in our street have changed colour and have fallen off the trees, piling up underneath parked cars and covering our pathway, perfect for swishing your feet through!

Don't you just love that? Seeing all the pretty leaves fly up in the air? It makes me feel happy, carefree and happy for that moment nothing else matters but seeing the leaves fall back down to the ground.

gluten free scallywag tomato pumpkin soup

The colours of the leaves are so pretty, autumn oranges, red and browns, a little like this autumn soup full of rich tomatoes and gorgeous pumpkin. It's dairy free & nut free too,well, at least it is if you don't add my serving options - a dash of cream and a dollop of fresh homemade basil pesto  I hope you enjoy it as much as we have been, becuase it is a synch to make and full of good things to help you through the cooler months, unlike the delicious but not so nutritious bowl of mashed potato I used to eat!

Tomato & Pumpkin Soup

Makesjust under 2L, or about 4-6serves (depending on how hungry you are!) 

1 small brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2cm rounds

1 piece celery, chopped into 2cm pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 grey pumpkin,  skin and seed removed, cubed into 5cm pieces

1 x 400g tin tomatoes, whole or chopped will do

1L (4cups) gluten free vegetable stock

Heat a large 3L capacity pot and add a tablespoon of oil. Heat the oil and add the chopped onion and cook until it is soft and translucent. Add the carrot, celery and garlic and cook for 4-5minutes until softening. Add the pumpkin, tomato and stock to the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20minutes with the lid on, remove the lid and continue to simmer for another 10-20minutes until pumpkin is soft and a third of the liquid has evaporated. If too much liquid has evaporated, add in a slosh of water or two.

Allow to cool completely before buzzing in the blender. I find it best to blend in portions and then mix it all in a large bowl and seasoning with a little salt and pepper.

Will keep refrigerated for 5 days & I'm sure it would freeze well too. Perfect to make ahead for dinner or lunch during the week.

If you're not lactose or dairy intolerant then you can serve this soup with a little cream and a spoonful of basil pesto . Of course, a crispy toasted cheese sandwich to have with this would make it even more comforting! 

Grain FreeDate & Almond Truffles (DF, EF)

Gluten Free Scallywag_date almond truffles_1

Yesterday, I made gluten free banana muffins. They. Were. Horrible. I threw them out. Really, they couldn't be be saved. It's the second batch of buttermilk/oil based muffins that haven't worked for me - is it too soon to give up? I don't think so, so I am giving up and sticking with my trusty old banana muffin recipewhich works a treat every time!

Well, apart from the gluten free banana muffin fail, I also cleaned out the study. Lots of filing, opening of old birthday cards (I found $100 - woo hoo!) and lots of shredding of old bank statements. After these efforts to clean up, my man and I got out of the house and spent a lovely afternoonat Soda Sunlounge (details here) soaking up the rays and scoffing a delicious gluten free risotto paired with a crisp cider and then we wandered into tow to peruse the stores, but mainly to look at new laptops for my man (even though my little guy here is slowly dying - don't worry that recently found $100 is now in my 'new laptop piggy bank') . It was such a lovely weekend that it was made all the better as I buzzed up these delicious grain free, gluten free, egg free, lactose free date & almond truffles that I had bookmarked some time ago.

Boy are these tasty ! They totally made up for my previous efforts and I'm delighted to share them with you... so that you can, maybe, share them with someonenext Monday; Valentine's Day...?

Gluten Free Scallywag_date almond
truffles_3

Next time I'm going to be decadent and dip them in some dark chocolate.... mmm.... I am drooling already just thinking about that sweet chocolate crunch and chewy middle... I think I'm gonna go get my food processor out again!

So, go - get in your kitchen and make these for your Valentine!

Gluten Free Scallywag_date almond
truffles_2

Date & Almond Truffles

Makes approximately 20-25truffles

1/2cup juicy raisins

1/2cup almonds

1/2cup medjool dates, pitted and roughly copped

1/4cup dried figs, stemmed and roughly chopped

cocoa and finely desiccated coconut to roll the truffles in

Place the almonds in the bowl of your food processor and buzz until a coarse meal is achieved (approx 2-3mins). Add in the raisins, dates and figs and process on high until the mixture sticks together like a pastry dough (approx 3-5mins). 

Remove the mixture and using a teaspoon scoop portions and roll into balls. Coat in the cocoa or coconut and place onto serving tray or into little mini patty cases to gift. Will keep in an airtight container for approximately 1week.

Strawberry Zing Smoothie

It's heating up here, in Perth. We are wearing shorts around the place.The winter legs are out to start their summer glow. Gym visits are more regular, laundry dries quickly on the line. There are new herbs in our little balcony garden; basil, mint, thyme and parsley. I sneezed a dozen times planting them, hay fever - eek!

There are also strawberries abound in our fridge. My man made a smoothie - all strawberry, citrus and gingery goodness. It isn't my thing strawberries and citrus, but I'm nice and like to share. (Plus he said it was yummy!) So, here's the recipe for you to start your week with - Happy Monday!

Strawberry Zing Smoothie

Serves two strawberry lovers, or four mini strawberry lovers :)

2 cups fresh strawberries, greens removed, washed

3 small pieces of crystalised ginger

1 large slurp (about 1/3 cup) orange juice

4 ice blocks, add more for a thicker smoothie

Add all ingredients into blender. Pulse until smooth. Pour into glass and drink!