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Raspberry Chocolate Ice-Cream Sandwiches

raspberry icecream sand

I can’t believe it is that time of year again already! I have to say that I am very pleased though – I LOVE the festive season! This morning we delivered home-made granola and potted herbs to my daughter’s kinder teachers, and it was just so lovely to see their reactions. Especially to the cards we had written. Here’s an example – “I love you very much {kinder teacher}, but I love my mum and dad a little bit more, but I still love you”. Awwww.

I love taking the opportunity that this time of year brings to show your appreciation for others. Special cards going out to my favourite cafe and most frequented health food shop, as these are people that make my life great, and are so wonderful to interact with on a regular basis. My nephew wrote a card for the garbage man, as he decided this was someone that is special in his life. Too cute! Kindness, it makes the world go ’round.

Okay, on to some food! These little ice-cream sandwiches are a great treat to serve any time really. You can slice them up and the pop them back in the freezer, to have on demand whenever the mood strikes, or serve them all at once to a lucky lot. They should please most people as they are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. The best bit for my mind is that the ice-cream is a super easy no churn, no fuss, one freeze situation – hooray to that! I hope you love them.

raspberry icecream sand 2

The brownie is based on My New Roots raw brownie genius, and you can substitute any berry in place of the raspberries. I’m thinking blackberry would be wonderful too. If you want to get fancy, dip the individual …

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Persian Love Smoothie with raspberry and rosewater

persian love smoothie 1

Have you ever tried rosewater? It is a very distinct flavour with reference to turkish delight and middle eastern loveliness. I love it! It is particularly great in icings / frostings, baking and desserts.

On a recent trip, I ate a raspberry and rosewater ice-cream that was mind blowing! We bought it on a sunny afternoon with our last few coins on the way back to where we were staying. My daughter, hubby and I shared this little ball of deliciousness, taking turns and finding it really hard to pass it on to the next person… I have to confess, I am not great at sharing my food…

rasp rose icecream

So when Williams-Sonoma invited me to put forward a smoothie for their ‘Not Your Average Smoothie’ week, I knew I wanted to make something with similar flavours.

I’ve chosen some traditional middle eastern ingredients, and mixed it with the raspberries for added punch. Full of protein, calcium, fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C, and sweetened only with fruit, this smoothie is a balanced treat that you can enjoy in a glass, or serve in a bowl for a more decadent experience. The avocado adds extra healthy fats to keep you fuller for longer, and also a lovely creaminess, but if that’s not your bag, substitute with the banana as I’ve mentioned in the recipe.

Serves 1

You can easily adapt this smoothie to suit your own taste. Use this as a guide, taste and adjust to your liking. Rosewater can easily overpower the whole thing, so be sure to start with a small amount, and if you need to add more, add it drop by drop.

1/2 cup full fat thick yoghurt (or coconut yoghurt if dairy free)

1/2 cup milk of your choice

1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

1 tsp tahini (sesame …

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Crowd-Pleasing Chocolate Cupcakes

choc cupcake iced copy

It’s always a crazy time before you travel. Or maybe it’s not for everyone, but it certainly is in our home. I have a wonderful disease where I seem to be compelled to focus on the least important tasks that need completing. Examples this time were organising the bookcase, and making granola to eat on the plane… Great jobs, but perhaps should be looked at after things like actually packing.

And the main purpose for all this running about was of course to grab some final ingredients to make these awesome chocolate cupcakes for a gift! Another very important pre-flight activity… I love these cupcakes so much. They have a fantastic texture, and are a lovely sturdy base for any decorations. They use spelt flour as a base, which is lower in gluten than wheat, and more importantly, is more easily digested and is more nutrient rich. They are nut free, egg free and dairy free – hence the crowd pleasing. My next task is to make a gluten free version – to be continued…

Ivy cheeky cupcake copy

Dairy Free, Nut Free, Egg Free

1 cup (about 135g) wholemeal spelt flour

1 cup (about 125g) white spelt flour

1/2 cup (about 50g) raw cacao

2 tbs arrowroot

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 cup ripe, mashed banana (about 135g)

1/2 cup chocolate, roughly chopped (optional)

1 cup milk of your choice

1/2 cup maple syrup

6 tbs coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 175C / 347F.

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, cacao, arrowroot, baking powder and sea salt and whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana well with a fork, and add the maple syrup, milk, coconut oil, vanilla and apple cider vinegar, …

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A Pizza Tart, and my best farmer’s market tips.

pizza tartAnyone who knows me, knows that I’m farmer’s market OBSESSED! Actually, any kind of food shopping I’m generally down with. But I particularly love markets because I love finding out about where my food comes from. Here are my best tips to get the most out of your local farmer’s market:

  1. Take a basket, bag or even better a wheely trolley to carry your goods – most vendors won’t have bags or boxes to give out.
  2. Take cash, preferably in smaller notes so you don’t clean someone out of all their change first thing in the morning.
  3. Make the most out of the opportunity and chat to the producers. You will always learn something wonderful about the produce, how to store it, prepare it and maybe even a recipe or two.juiceradish
  4. Arrive early to nab the best looking produce.
  5. Arrive late to take advantage of any end of day discounts or bargains.
  6. Be inspired by the produce! Take a risk. Buy something you have never cooked with before – you will have the best advice around you on what to do with it.
  7. You will often get great deals if you buy in bulk. See if your friends want to go halves with you in that bag of tomatoes, or think about perhaps preserving some of your haul.

 

So there you have my tips for farmer’s markets. I also love how everyone is so friendly, there are always dogs, usually a great coffee van situation, loads of fabulous fresh produce, and no-one is getting upset because the person in front of them in line can’t find their rewards card and is holding up the express check-out.

This is a very shallow tart, about the thickness of a pizza, and feels like a bit of a hybrid tart-pizza – hence …

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Holistic Nutritionist
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