Niki’s Sweet Potato Brownies

2016, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Summer, Sweet

swepotbro

Hey guys!

My mother always said that if the batter of your cake tastes like you can devour it in its raw state then you have got a winner…well she is certainly right with this number guys.

My sweet potato brownies are truly soft and squidgy…really chocolatey and just so good for you! They are light and heavenly as the only flour I have used here is just some ground almond flour and a few other gluten free and dairy free ingredients. You will be amazed when you see how quick and easy they are to make, the sweetness of the dates and maple syrup naturally complement the sweet potato base beautifully too.

What’s more, you can really be quite adventurous with the toppings after you are done with baking the brownies, to include ground ginger which has great anti-inflammatory properties and can aid with muscle soreness as well so it’s perfect to treat yourself to them after your workout. Bee pollen is also another one of my toppings used here and it’s great because it’s a wonderful energy enhancer as well as soothing your skin and boosting your immune system.

 

All you will need for about 12 brownies are:

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

2 medium to large organic sweet potatoes

½ cup of organic ground almonds http://www.realfoods.co.uk/product/14656/organicalmondsground

10 organic medjool dates, pitted https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/datesmedjool200g

3 tablespoons of organic raw cacao powder http://www.bulletproof.com/chocolatepowdernetwt16oz

4 tablespoons of organic maple syrup http://www.meridianfoods.co.uk/Products/Otherranges/NaturalSweeteners/Organic/MapleSyrup

2 tablespoons of organic pip and nut almond butter http://www.pipandnut.com/

½ teaspoon of organic Himalayan salt https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/himalayanrosepinkfinesaltprofusion500g

 

From your kitchen:

1 silicone spatula

A food processor

A brownie tin lined with parchment paper

 

Start off by preheating the oven to 190°C or gas mark 5, peel your sweet potatoes and cut into small chunks. Boil them

for about 10 minutes or until they are tender. Allow to cool slightly before adding them to the food processor with the

pitted dates.

Pulse a few times and you will see an almost soft toffee-like consistency (yes, really) come together. Next, pop in the

rest of the ingredients and mix the combination well, pausing every now and again to scrape down the sides with your silicone spatula.

Pour into your line brown baking dish and bake for about 25-30 minutes, prick with a fork to make sure it’s cooked all the way through (the fork should come out clean) and allow it to cool for a further 15 minutes, please be patient on this last step as the brownies needs to really come together so don’t attempt to cut them into squares whilst warm otherwise they will fall apart.

 

Once they have cooled completely, cut into your desired size and top your sweet potato brownies however you desire. I have generously slathered on some green and black’s 85% dark chocolate along with a sprinkling of organic bee pollen, organic ground ginger and even some Himalayan salt for a deliciously intense chocolatey flavour. You can find out where to get these ingredients below along with some extra information on the benefits of ginger.

 

I can’t wait for you to cook these, please share and #nikibakes with your photos!

 

Happy Baking!

 

Niki

Recipe Developer

 

http://www.planetorganic.com/rawlivingbeepollen250g250g/14140/

 

http://www.greenandblacks.co.uk/ourrange/Bars/Dark85?p=2691&c1=1559#first

 

http://blog.doctoroz.com/ozexperts/herbofthemonthginger

 

Niki’s Dark Chocolate and Blueberry-Cream Squares

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Spring, Summer, Sweet

blueeee

Hey everyone!

Fancy an indulgent little sweet treat to usher in the summer?

Look no further than my Dark Chocolate and Blueberry-Cream Squares!

Blueberries are full of goodness guys; they help fight against cancer and contain an abundance of antioxidants, notably flavonoids.

The dark and rich raw cacao used in the chocolate layer is also a mood enhancer and helps maintain good heart health. Let me show you how easy and fun it is to make these dairy free squares guys, a great show stopper for a dinner party or to impress someone on a first date…read on…

All you need for about 16 squares is:

For the Blueberry Layer:

A punnet of organic blueberries

2 tablespoons of organic maple syrup (Meridian is a great choice: http://www.meridianfoods.co.uk/Products/Other-ranges/Natural-Sweeteners/Organic/Maple-Syrup)

1 tablespoon of coconut cream (Biona is always my go to for coconut based products: http://www.biona.co.uk/product-272-4.html)

For the Coconut-Cream layer:

200ml of coconut cream

1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup

2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut

For the dark chocolate layer:

2 tablespoons of organic cacao powder (the raw chocolate company is a good choice)

2 tablespoons if maple syrup

3 tablespoons of organic coconut oil (pukka or Lucy bee is a great choice here guys)

From your kitchen:

A standard silicone cube tray

A whisk

A few teaspoons

2 mixing bowls

A food processor (Optional)

A small saucepan

A silicone spatula

A fork

Start off by creating your quick and delicious dark chocolate layer. In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil over a very low heat. Once completely melted, add your maple syrup and raw cacao powder and whisk thoroughly for about a minute. Once fully incorporated, spoon your dark chocolate mixture into the base of your moulds with a teaspoon.

Let them cool for a couple of minutes and then pour in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Whilst this is happening you can get on with your coconut layer. This couldn’t be simpler guys, just whizz or hand whisk the ingredients needed for the coconut cream layer and gently add them as the next layer in your silicone moulds. Freeze for another 5 minutes whilst you whisk or whizz up your blueberry layer (my favourite part!).

Simply blitz up your blueberries, coconut cream and maple syrup in a food processor (or mashing up with a fork works just as well). Layer that on top and freeze for a final 30 minutes or so.

You are now ready to enjoy them with your loved ones! They keep for about a week in the freezer, just allow a couple of minutes to thaw before enjoying them.

Please check out my links below for all the products I have mentioned.

Happy Baking Guys!

Niki

Recipe Creator

https://www.lucybee.co/

http://www.biona.co.uk/product-272-4.html

http://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/shop/make-your-own/cacao-powder-180g

Some useful articles:

https://www.onnit.com/academy/health-benefits-of-cocoa-an-ingredient-of-hemp-force/

https://www.onnit.com/academy/mct-fats-found-in-coconut-oil-boost-brain-function/

Niki’s Butternut Squash and Dill Röstis

2016, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Summer, Super Quick

ros2

Hey guys,

Do you fancy some delicious and fast Röstis? These are quick to make and will be a firm picnic favourite for you and your family this summer. The humble Röstis from Switzerland are traditionally made with potato and are quite delicious, often containing very few ingredients. My spin on the Röstis contain no potato but the butternut squash give it a nice hearty edge whilst the dill complements and uplift the flavour, delicious and moreish.  Also, the cooking oil used here is coconut oil as opposed to another so your Rösti is full of good fats along with packing a lot of energy, you can also use ghee as well if you prefer.

 

To make about 12 Röstis you will need:

A small/medium organic butternut squash, grated coarsely

1 small bunch of dill, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of red chilli flakes and Himalayan salt

½ teaspoon of ground turmeric

3 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil (Lucy bee or Pukka is a great one to go for)

2 medium organic eggs

 

 

From your kitchen:

 

A frying pan

A mixing bowl

A wooden spoon for mixing

A metal spoon for measuring

A plate

A couple of squares of kitchen paper

A grater

A sharp knife

 

 

In your mixing bowl use your wooden spoon to combine your grated squash, seasoning, and chopped dill and mix evenly so it’s all evenly distributed in your Rösti mixture. Crack in your eggs, one at a time and mix until well combined. Heat your frying pan over a medium high heat and use your tablespoon to measure out your Röstis. After a couple of minutes your Röstis will start to brown underneath, flip them over gently to avoid splattering yourself and cook for a further 2 minutes, at this point you would want to turn the heat down a bit so the centre cooks through as well. After they’re done place your kitchen towel on your plate pop your Röstis on top to absorb any excess oil. Serve warm or cold, I personally love to have my Röstis paired with my Italian dips! Mmmm.

 

Happy Baking!

Niki

Recipe Creator

Niki’s Rosemary and Red pepper Sauce with Polenta Dumplings

2016, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Super Quick

polrose1

Happy May everybody!

Let’s kick off this warm and lovely month with a meat-free Monday dish ready to make for the beautiful bank holiday. Guys, you know how much I truly adore polenta but I have now come to use it as one of the main staples of my evening dishes. With Summer just on the horizon, polenta is fantastic for those light evening meals. I just love its versatility, you really can eat it all year round, hot or cold and this includes my easy and addictive polenta dumplings.

Roasted red peppers make a lovely introduction here too as they not only contain high levels of vitamin c but give an almost fruity like flavour to the sauce, complementing perfectly with the smooth and creamy texture of the polenta. Rosemary just adds to the delicate aromas of the garlic and red chilli flakes (optional!) here and it contains anti-inflammatory properties also. So I want to share this lovely dish with you guys…it couldn’t be simpler, let me show you how to make this tasty and nutritious dish:

 

All you need to serve 2 is:

 

For the Rosemary and Red Pepper sauce:

 

2 red bell peppers, sliced into chunks

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped,

A handful of rosemary, chopped

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons of organic avocado oil (Olivado is great) or organic olive oil (Mr organic is perfect)

½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

1/3 cup of water

 

For the Polenta Dumplings:

100g of polenta

½ teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional)

½ teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary

½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon of organic avocado oil (Olivado is great) or organic olive oil (Mr organic is perfect)

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure your oven is preheated to 200ºC or gas mark 6 and scatter your tomatoes, peppers, garlic and rosemary onto your baking sheet. Gloss with your choice of oil and season with salt and cracked black pepper to taste and roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, get your polenta cooked according to the packet instructions. Let it set for 15 minutes in a small pyrex dish whilst checking in with your roasted red peppers. Once 15 minutes has passed, heat your saucepan over a medium high heat and toss in all your roasted veggies and herbs and cook it down for a good 7-10 minutes. Pour in your water and cover your pan, let it simmer for around a further 10 minutes until a thick sauce comes together.

Whilst that is happening grab a teaspoon and scoop out little balls from your now set polenta mixture. Pop it on the baking sheet you already used for your roasted red peppers (less washing up- yay!), season and drizzle with olive oil, back into the oven it goes for 10 minutes until it becomes crispy and golden. Keep mixing your sauce now and again and check the seasoning while your dumplings are cooking.  You are now ready to dish up your sauce once it’s thickened up and top generously with your yummy polenta dumplings. Easy! Go on, give meat-free Monday a go today!

 

Happy Baking!

 

Niki

Recipe Creator

Niki’s Raw Raspberry and Lemon Cheesecake Slices

2016, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Spring, Sweet

raww

Happy Hump Day everyone!

I want to help you transition into the sweet life the right way…do you want to feel guilty after every sweet treat? Bloated? Tired? Hungry for another bite even? I used to feel like this all the time after my desserts until I found the natural way to sweeten them up. Incorporating gluten, dairy and processed sugar free food into desserts really couldn’t be simpler, dare I say it even tastes better, you get that sweet hit but you feel satisfied yet light at the same time. I have used xylitol and maple syrup as my sweeteners here, both of which are natural, easily digestible in the body and come from sustainable plant sources. My creamy filling comes from coconut cream and soaked cashews….I can’t describe how velvety and smooth it is and paired with the crumbly almond flour and crushed pecan base, you’ll savour every bite guys.

 

Containing more vitamin c than oranges, raspberries are packed full of potassium, calcium and vitamin a. Did you know that in the Philippines if you hang a raspberry came from the outside of your house, evil spirits are supposed to be deterred? It’s a seriously powerful fruit and with the help of the lemon, it cuts through the richness of my coconut cream filling beautifully.

 

Soaked cashews nuts also make a strong feature in my raspberry and lemon cheesecake slices. Aside from giving an ultra smoothness and thickness to your filling, soaked nuts are very good for your health long term as they help with the absorption of nutrients to your body and removes all toxins that could be harbouring in the nuts themselves.

 

All you need is:

 

For 8 slices you will need:

 

For the raspberry layer:

 

1 punnet of raspberries plus a few extra for decoration

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

 

For the coconut cream layer:

 

2/3 of a can of coconut cream (not the watery part)

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

2 level tablespoons of xylitol

The juice of a lemon

200g of soaked cashews (overnight or at least 2 hours beforehand)

2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted

 

For the crumbly nutty base:

 

200g of pecans, soaked (overnight or at least 2 hours beforehand) and dried and chopped roughly

1 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt

2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted plus extra for greasing

The zest of 1 lemon

 

In your round deep tin, lightly grease the base and sides of your dish and set aside. In a food processor combine all your base ingredients and pulse a few times. Using your hands, press your filling tightly down and even it out the best you can with the palm of your hand. Place in the fridge whilst you start your coconut cream layer.

 

Clean the bowl of your food processor and cream all the contents needed for your delicious middle layer (this will take a good few pulses before you get a smooth consistency so please stick with it). Pour half the mixture gently over your cheesecake base and place in the freezer for a further 20 minutes.

 

Finally blitz the remaining half of your creamy mixture with your raspberries and maple syrup, top your cheesecake up with the final layer and place in the freezer for at least one hour before serving. Use a knife that’s been placed in a cup of boiling water to help cut your slices evenly and garnish with your fruit, simple and delicious!

 

Happy Baking!

 

Niki

Recipe Creator

 

Niki’s Crunchy Cod and Butterbean Stew

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Super Quick

codd

Happy Fish Friday all!

It’s still a bit chilly right?

Spring is certainly taking it’s time to warm up that’s for sure but it doesn’t mean you can’t have some hearty food to warm and nourish your body. My crunchy cod is seriously moreish, I can’t describe how light yet filling it is, paired with soft butter beans, it’s sure to warm your spirits right through.

I have used polenta for my coating as it’s gluten free and actually gives a crisper finish to your fish. My recent trip to Milan inspired me to use polenta as well, it’s such a staple out there but quite underused here. Considering that it’s stocked in most supermarkets now, I would like to show you just how versatile it is. It can be a yummy substitute for mash, cakes, cookies and coatings for meat and fish. You can’t go wrong here guys, this meal won’t leave you feeling the least bit sluggish but rather satisfied and nourished. Butter beans contain a good source of iron, zinc and magnesium as well as providing you with fibre and energy. The prep is minimal which is perfect after a long day in the middle of the week.

All you need is:

(Serves 2)

For the Crunchy Cod:

2 Wild Cod fillets, sliced into medium chunks and patted dry with kitchen towel

2 tablespoons of polenta

1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons of grass fed ghee (surthrival or pukka are good choices)/organic avocado oil (olivado is a great one to try)

 

For the Butter Bean Stew:

1 can of organic butter beans, thoroughly washed and drained

1 tablespoon of avocado/olive oil

5 slices of chorizo, diced finely (optional)

1 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika

2 tablespoons of sweetcorn, washed and drained

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 onion, finely diced

1 teaspoon of tomato purée

½ cup of water

2 tablespoons of finely shredded wild garlic (optional)

1 tablespoon of red chilli flakes (optional)

Start by heating your pan over a moderate heat and sweat off your diced onion and garlic clove for a couple of minutes. Once softened, add in your diced chorizo, sweet smoked paprika, sweetcorn and tomato puree and mix in for a further five minutes, turning the heat down.

Add in your butter beans, seasoning and water and bring to the boil. Simmer for at least ten minutes until your stew has thickened.

Whilst that’s happening, you can get your crunchy cod going. In a separate frying pan heat your oil over a medium heat, season your cod fillets and lightly dust with your polenta.

Place it gently but swiftly in your pan and cook on each side for at least 5 minutes (or until the flesh becomes opaque rather than translucent). Once cooked through, remove your cod with a slotted spoon and let the excess oil seep out by placing it on a plate lined with some kitchen paper.

 

You are now ready to assemble your dish (my favourite part!) by pouring a decent ladle full of your stew in a bowl and top with your crunchy cod. I personally love to top mine with some finely shredded wild garlic for that extra savouriness, mmm. This dish is perfect on workout days as well as it’s fully of energy boosting goodness! Hope you enjoy it guys.

Happy Baking!

Niki B

Recipe Creator

Niki’s Mini Lahmacun

2016, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Spring, Super Quick

lahmacun2

Selam!

My wonderful readers I do hope you are having a truly restful Sunday evening. Having spent a year in Istanbul I had the great fortune of being exposed to the beautifully cosmopolitan city and all the delicious food it had to offer. One of my favourite savoury dishes out there was the legendary lahmacun. It’s essentially a Turkish pizza but I can assure you the flavours are bold and super tasty. My take on it is rather different I must say as its missing cheese and the wheat base but I hope you give it a try, once you try a lahmacun there’s just no going back!

 

For approx 10 mini lahmacuns you will need:

 

For the base:

1 small cauliflower- processed finely to resemble fine sand in a food processor and wrapped up in a tea towel (wring out that moisture!)

1 pastured egg

1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon of doves farm cornflour

1 teaspoon of ground cumin and turmeric

1 spring onion, finely chopped

 

For the delicious lamb topping:

250g of finely minced grass fed lamb

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (Turkish pul biber would be ideal but not necessary)

1 tablespoon of finely chopped coriander

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon of ground cumin and turmeric

1 teaspoon of avocado/extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves crushed

 

Simply preheat your oven to a medium high heat and mix all your ingredients for the cauliflower base in a bowl. Shape your cauliflower bases into ½ inch thin discs and place gently onto your baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes. Whilst that’s happening, cook your lamb mince with the olive oil and the seasoning in a frying pan, use a wooden spoon to really pulverise the lamb as much as possible. Once the cauliflower bases have had those 10 minutes, bring them out and take a teaspoon to measure the lamb mince topping. Spoon into the middle of the cauliflower bases and pop back into the oven to cook for a final 15 minutes. Serve warm with a light salad….afiyet olsun!

 

Happy Baking!

 

Niki

Niki’s Grilled Polenta Slices with Pesto

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Super Quick

polenta

Good evening my bella readers,

Today is the last day of my Italian week here at nikibakes and I wanted to share my grilled polenta slices with you all. It’s so simple but truly satisfying and tasty. This gluten free and veg wonder is also very versatile in that you could add it as a side to your next steak or meat dinner or even as a light lunch with some salad, the choices are truly endless!

 

All you need is:

250g of cooked polenta, cooled and poured into a square pyrex dish to set

½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

Extra olive oil to brush the polenta steaks

 

For the Pesto sauce:

 

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 handful of basil

2 garlic cloves

½ cup of almonds

 

Simply slice your polenta into ½ inch thick slices and season your delicious slabs. Set aside. In a food processor blend together the olive oil, basil, garlic cloves and almonds until a lovely and aromatic pesto sauce forms. Next, heat your grill pan over medium high heat and lightly brush your polenta slices with olive oil. Grill each polenta slice on both sides for 3-5 minutes each. Serve warm with your pesto sauced drizzled over. Enjoy!

 

Ciao for now!

Happy Baking

Niki

Niki’s Neapolitan Ice Cream Slices

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Spring, Sweet

neopolitan
Ciao ciao!
Fancy a little dolce treat? This classic cosmopolitan slice featured in every gelateria in Milan and I wanted to share my version of it with you. Can you believe that I even managed to make it gluten and dairy free? Don’t worry though, taste is not compromised here and dare I say it’s even easier to make than the original version. My Neapolitan ice cream slices contain maple syrup which is super good for you as it contains numerous antioxidants and thus preferable over normal processed sugar. Also, instead of cream I have used coconut cream which improves your immunity and provides you with energy. Happy days.

All you need is:
For the coconut cream layer:

160ml of coconut cream
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

For the strawberry layer:

160ml coconut cream
3 strawberries, crushed
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

For the chocolate layer:

2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Simply whisk the selected ingredients in a bowl thoroughly and pop into the freezer for 30 minute intervals before you start to make the next layer. I really hope you enjoy it guys and make sure you share your creation on my Facebook page- I would love to see it and share it!
www.facebook.com/nikibakes

Happy baking!
Niki

Niki’s Raw Bounty Squares

2016, Easter, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Spring, Sweet

coconut squares

Hello my dear readers and happy Wednesday,
Today I would like to share with you one of my all time favourite sweets but with a healthy twist. This sweet treat is packed with antioxidants and the superfood that has captivated all of our hearts: coconut. This superfood is truly a winner in many ways, from aiding digestion to being a good fat; I cannot recommend using it enough in your cooking. All you need to make about 20 small squares is:

1.5 cups of coconut flour
2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
½ cup of coconut oil, melted
3 tablespoons of maple syrup

For the chocolate topping:
3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
¼ cup of coconut oil
Extra desiccated coconut for decoration

Line your square brownie dish (or deep dish) with greaseproof paper and set aside. In a large bowl missing in the coconut flour, desiccated coconut, coconut oil and maple syrup with a metal spoon until it comes together this will take a minute or two. Pop in the freezer for around 20 minutes. Five minutes before you are due to take out your coconut filling, heat a small pan and melt the coconut oil. Once completely melted, whisk in your maple syrup and cacao powder until a smooth glossy covering comes together. Set aside to cool for a moment and bring out your coconut filling from the freezer. Pour generously over the top and scatter over your desiccated coconut in whatever design you wish. Freeze again for a further 15 minutes and then cut into desired size. Finally…devour them!

Happy baking and thanks for reading!

Niki x