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Chocolate ANZAC biscuits

ANZACs 2

A short post today – just in case anyone is in need of a little baking project for the afternoon. ANZAC biscuits are a bit of a staple in Australia and New Zealand, and I have lovely memories of eating them with my Dad who loves them. Traditionally, they are made with golden syrup and flour to accompany the oats and coconut, but I have switched things up a bit by using honey and nut meal, and adding a few extra seeds for fun. The chocolate was at the suggestion of my 6 year old, so I went with it…

The main line of contention with these iconic biscuits is whether you like them crunchy or chewy… I am a fan of crunchy on the outside, chewy in the centre, so that’s what I have done here. I hope you enjoy!

ANZACs

Chocolate ANZAC biscuits

1 1/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup desiccated or shredded coconut

1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or any nut of your choice)

1/2 cup almond/nut meal

1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil

2 tbsp honey*

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp milk of choice

A pinch of sea salt

50g dark chocolate for drizzling (optional)

*You could also use rice malt syrup here – the result will be slightly less sweet. Maple syrup won’t work as well as you need a thick, sticky sweetener to help the mix hold together.

Add the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds and nut meal to a food processor and process until slightly broken down but so there are still some whole / semi-whole pieces of oat and seeds left.

Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine.

Spoon out tablespoon sized portions and use your hands to firmly shape into biscuit shapes and arrange on a lined baking tray. Bake …

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Gingery Roasted Pumpkin & Tomato Soup with Harissa, Lime & Yoghurt {and how to add protein to your soup}

pumpkin tomato harissa soup

Soup Season has begun in my house (*fist pumps). I love soup so much, and have it on the menu each week for an easy and quick dinner. One thing to think about when making a soup is to try to infuse protein into the mix somewhere along the line. This will help to keep you full and balance your blood sugar, making your soup a complete meal rather than more of an appetiser. I love a good vegetable soup as much as the next person, but when I’m hungry again in an hour, that’s just annoying.

How to Protein-Up Your Soup

One of my favourite ways to do this is with legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, white beans or split peas. Either whole or blended they make a fantastic addition to almost any soup, bringing protein, fibre, and various other vitamins and minerals depending on the legume. Adding quinoa is another way to protein-up your soup, which can be cooked directly in your soup as long as you give it a good rinse first and allow enough water content within the soup for it to absorb. Adding an egg to your soup, either stirred through ‘egg-drop’ style, or served fried as a topping is another wonderful addition. If you are a meat eater, you could of course include that too. And finally, don’t skimp on your toppings. Adding a good dollop of either yoghurt, cheese, nuts or seeds not only looks pretty, but adds protein, vitamins and minerals. In the case of nuts and seeds, it also adds a lovely textural crunch, which for me is pretty vital.

Pumpkin Tomato and Harissa Soup

With this soup I have used chickpeas, and also added yoghurt and a few pumpkin seeds to the top. I hope you love it! *If you haven’t used harissa …

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Pumpkin, Halloumi & Sage Tart

pumpkin halloumi tart copy

The weather has turned cooler here in Melbourne lately. It’s Autumn, so we are still enjoying some beautiful, sunny days, but the nights are cool enough to bust out the fluffy socks and snuggly jumpers. The cooler weather also makes me want to bake things. Delicious, comforting things that may take a little time, but help you to slow down and enjoy the ride. Rides like this tart. A nourishing, seasonal, wholefood celebration of loveliness.

The pastry for this takes some time – and can even be started the day before if you’re organised enough. However the results are pretty delicious let me tell you. Pumpkins are perfect right now, and are always a good friend of halloumi I find. Plus they are loaded with betacarotene, a precursor for vitamin A which helps to boost our immunity, nourish our skin and benefits the health of our eyes. Thank you pumpkin, and we haven’t even started talking about their seeds!!

So, if you can carve out a little time for yourself this week, I can think of worse ways to spend time than creating this beauty! Also, halloumi.

Pumpkin, Halloumi and Sage Tart

Serves 6

For the pastry:

*You can substitute good quality shop bought shortcrust pastry if pastry making is not your thing

250g white spelt flour

125g butter, chilled and cut into cubes

1 free range egg

1 tbs chilled water

For the filling:

600g butternut pumpkin, washed, skin left on and sliced into inch thick slices

1 leek, sliced

½ tbsp butter, ghee or coconut oil

6 free range eggs

½ cup coconut milk, full fat, or milk of your choice

¼ tsp nutmeg (or more to taste)

¼ tsp sea salt

100-150g halloumi, sliced

6-7 fresh sage leaves

Black pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 180°C.…

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Fig Popsicles with Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

fig pops 1.1

Hello, Autumn! And hello, FIGS! If you happen to live in Melbourne, particularly the inner north as I do, you’re be very aware of the fig-tastic-ness that is everywhere. Unfortunately not in my back yard, but luckily we have a work friend who regularly comes to the fig party with a beautiful donation :)

Just because I’m still hanging on to summer, I still feel the need for frozen treats in the freezer. And these are highly recommended! Super easy to make, and deliciously refreshing.

I’ve spoken about the nutritional beauty of figs before here (back when I had an overhanging fig tree next door…), but to give you a little recap, you can expect to find calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and vitamins A, C and E among other things. They are also wonderfully high in fibre, go figs!

So if you manage to get your hand on some, here is one quick and delicious serving suggestion. I’ve listed some others below.

fig pops 2.1

Fig Popsicles with Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

Makes 7-8 popsicles

2 cups coconut cream (full fat)

1 large ripe banana

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 – 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)

5-6 fresh figs, thickly sliced

For the sauce

2 tbsp cashew, macadamia or almond butter

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Decent pinch sea salt

Place the coconut cream, banana, vanilla and maple syrup if using in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Taste and make sure the sweetness is to your liking.

Pour the mixture into popsicle moulds, poke in a couple of slices of fig to each one and transfer to the freezer for at least 4 hours, or until frozen.

To make the caramel sauce, simply combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Serve the popsicles once frozen with …

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Holistic Nutritionist
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