Oaty Chocolate Chip Bites

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These are great for when you really want something chocolaty. They can be a bit moreish. You have been warned!

Makes 12 servings (about 2 per serving)

* Can be gluten-free if using gluten-free oats

Ingredients:

1 cup

oats

½ cup

desiccated coconut, unsweetened

¼ cup

flax seeds, ground

½ cup

peanut butter (no added oil, salt or sugar variety)

¼ cup

maple syrup

½ cup

dairy-free dark chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Stir the oats, coconut and flax seeds together in a bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add the peanut butter and maple syrup and combine until well distributed.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Cover and let chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Scoop with tablespoon and roll into about 24 balls (approx 1” each)

Keep refrigerated.

Baked apples

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Makes 2 servings

* Gluten-free if using gluten-free oats and/or spices

 

Ingredients:

2 medium apples, cored

½ cup rolled oats

½ tsp cinnamon

2 dates, pitted and chopped

1 tbsp ground flax

¼ cup pecans, chopped

1 cup almond milk, unsweetened

1 tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 175C/350F and cover small baking dish with parchment paper.

Wash and core apples and place on paper.

In separate bowl, mix rest of ingredients together.

Spoon the oat mixture into centre of apples. If there is extra, you can spoon it onto the paper so it will crisp up like granola.

Bake, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes. Check for doneness by piercing apple with a fork to test softness. If knife slides in easily, then it’s done, if not, then check in another few minutes.

Remove from oven and serve hot.

Tiger nut bites

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Fancy trying something a bit different? These tasty bites are made using tiger nuts. Tiger nuts are not actually a nut, but tubers of a plant called the yellow nutsedge. They are a good source of fibre, protein, iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamins C and E. They’re also lower in fat than nuts. This recipe doesn’t have any added sugar, sweeteners or oil.

Makes approx 18 rounds

Ingredients:

130g dates
80g tiger nut flour
80g ground almonds (I used a Vitamix to grind the tiger nuts and almonds)
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter (I like Meridian nut butters - no added oil and most are unsalted)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions: 

Using a food processor blitz the dates.

In a bowl add these to the tiger nut flour, ground almonds, peanut butter, chia seeds and lemon juice.

Using a potato masher or fork combine all the ingredients together until it forms a dough. The consistency will depend on the type of dates you’ve used. If the dough is a bit dry add a bit more peanut butter.

Taking a small handful at a time press in to small balls or bites. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Variations: you could try using different nuts, nut butters and dried fruit.

I’d love to know if you make these and what you think of them! Let me know by commenting below.

(Tiger nuts may be available from your local health food shop, alternatively they can be found online.)

Quick and easy houmous!

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This one doesn’t have any tahini so maybe isn’t strictly houmous, but it is very houmous-like! It has a lot less oil than shop bought and most standard houmous recipes.

Ingredients:

1 x 400g can chickpeas

Jar of grilled peppers

Squeeze of lemon juice (I keep fresh lemon juice in ice cube trays in the freezer)

Clove of garlic (again – I use frozen chopped garlic for speed)

Directions:

Drain the chickpeas and tip into a food processor.

Add a few peppers, lemon juice and garlic. Blitz for a few seconds. Scrape the sides down with a spatula and blitz again until smooth.

Feel free to add more lemon juice and a splash of water. 

Season with black pepper.

Curly kale crisps

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It’s a great idea to include lots of fruit and veg in your diet, but some are particularly beneficial. Leafy green veg such as spinach, kale, pak choi, Brussels sprouts, spring greens are full of flavour and provide a multitude of nutrients, including fibre, vitamins C and K, many of the B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and iron. They are also a good source of non-dairy calcium.

So how can you easily include these in your diet? I love to make a snack out of kale. You just need to wash and dry it. You could either use a salad spinner or give it a good shake in a colander or sieve and lay out on a baking tray to dry. Any water left can be taken off with kitchen towel. Drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil over the kale. Bake in the oven at a low temperature, about 100C. You will need to check it regularly to rearrange the kale, because the kale on the outside will cook quicker.

I like to keep the curly kale crisps quite simple, with just a dash of black pepper and a generous sprinkling of nutritional yeast flakes (Engevita). If you’ve not come across these before they taste a lot better than you may think when you see them (they look like fish food!) but have a great cheesy flavour. You can get the tubs in larger supermarkets/health food shops or online.