Niki’s Pumpkin Pie

2016, Autumn, Christmas, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Sweet, Winter

pumpkin-ppie

Hey guys,

It gives me so much joy to share this recipe with you guys today; it’s so close to my heart. I have been looking at many different variations of pumpkin pie and always wanted to create my own version which would be free of dairy and gluten. Turns out it was much easier than I thought and I even made it free from refined sugar as well.

Another challenge was to think about how I could replace the whipped cream on top as this helped to tie the whole dish together. The coconut cream I went with was the perfect choice and provided just the right amount of richness to my pumpkin pie. I love to enjoy a slice on my workout days with a cup of cinnamon tea.

Pumpkins are high in tryptophan which can boost your mood and help you sleep. Containing lots of fibre, the humble pumpkin is also great for maintaining a healthy heart as well. It’s a true superfood guys and all you need to make my gorgeous pumpkin pie is:

 

Ingredients: 

 

(Serves 10 people) 

(Use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)

 

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1.45

Total time: 2 hours (including the preparation of the pumpkin)

For the pumpkin base:

250g of ground almonds

2 level tablespoons of raw coconut oil, melted

½ cup of maple syrup

1 level teaspoon of pink Himalayan Salt

1 level teaspoon of ground cinnamon

 

For the filling:

1 medium sized pumpkin, hulled of its seeds, chopped roughly and boiled for 20 minutes until tender)

3/4 cup of maple syrup

2 eggs

½ cup of coconut milk

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

 

For the topping:

1 carton on coconut cream

From your kitchen:

A mixing bowl

A wooden spoon

A sharp knife

A secure chopping board (very important for cutting your pumpkin please!)

A silicone spatula

A couple of tablespoons for measuring

A couple of small saucepans

A baking sheet

A silicone whisk

A pie dish

 

 

Method:

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to 190°C or gas mark 5. In a mixing bowl add all of the dry ingredients and incorporate well with a wooden spoon, set aside.

Step 2:

In a small saucepan, gently heat your coconut oil, maple syrup and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before pouring over your dry ingredients. Mix well until a dough like consistency is formed and transfer to your deep pie dish. Press down with your fingers evenly and pop in the oven for 15 minutes to par bake.

Step 3:

Scoop out the flesh of your pumpkin using a spoon and discard of the skins. Using a fork, mash up the flesh until it forms a smooth purée. Whisk in your eggs, cinnamon, coconut milk and maple syrup.

 

Step 4:

After 15 minutes take your base out from the oven and very gently pour in your pumpkin pie filling. Place in the middle shelf of your oven and bake for a further 50 minutes.  You will know when it’s done as your filling takes on a deeper colour and the edges start to come away from the baking dish. I like to finish my pie by spooning over coconut cream In various patterns rather than slathering it all on top, it adds a much lighter (and prettier!) touch.

 

I really hope you will see how utterly delicious and worthwhile it is to create your own pumpkin pie. The silky smooth filling is in stark contrast to the nutty and solid base, I love it so much that I could happily eat it all day! Please do enjoy this pie preferably on workout days and with your loved ones…otherwise you may end up eating the whole thing!

pumpkin-pie-up-close

Happy Baking!

Niki

Recipe Creator

 

https://draxe.com/pumpkin-seed-oil/

Niki’s Dark Chocolate and Sticky Date Tarts

2016, Autumn, nikibakes.co.uk, Sweet

datetarts

Hey guys,

I have been waiting a while to share this indulgent yet nutritious (yes, that’s right!) treat with you all. To mark national chocolate week, I am so excited to now share my dark chocolate and sticky date tarts with you all. I’m not really sure where I should begin with such a sweet treat as there’s so much going on in terms of flavour…you have the buttery like and nutty base layer…the smooth and sticky date filling and then the rich and silky raw cacao topping. The raw cacao nibs also add that extra bit of crunch which contrasts beautifully with the fudgy texture of the chopped dates on top. It’s packed full of vitamin e from the almonds, crammed full of antioxidants from the raw cacao powder and good fats from the coconut oil to name but a few goodies. These tarts are best enjoyed on workout days and preferably and the evening.

All you need is:

Ingredients:

(Makes 8 mini tarts) 

(Use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)

 

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes (including assembly of the tarts)

For the ‘pastry’ case:

200g of almond flour (Sukrin is a great choice)

½ cup of raw coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons of coconut sugar or ¼ cup of maple syrup

¼ teaspoon of pink Himalayan Salt

1 level teaspoon of ground Ceylon cinnamon

 

For the sticky date filling:

1 cup of organic medjool dates, pitted and at room temperature

¼ cup of filtered water

2 tablespoons of raw almond butter

 

For the raw chocolate topping:

¼ cup raw cacao powder

½ cup coconut oil

¼ cup of maple syrup (meridian is a great choice)

 

For decoration:

2 tablespoons of raw cacao nibs

3 medjool dates, pitted and chopped

From your kitchen:

 

A mixing bowl

A wooden spoon

A sharp knife

8 mini tart shells

A silicone spatula

A couple of tablespoons for measuring

A couple of small saucepans

A baking sheet

A silicone whisk

Method:

 

Step 1: 

 

Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. To create the pastry layer all you have to do is combine the ground almonds, coconut oil, ground cinnamon and Himalayan salt in your mixing bowl using a wooden spoon. Once it comes together, take your wooden spoon and use your hands to form the dough.

 

Step 2: 

 

Next, use a rounded tablespoon of your pastry mixture for each tart case and flatten out your pastry evenly using the palm of your hand and your fingertips. This process can take up to 10 minutes but I promise you, the effort will be worth it as this will make sure that your tarts are strong enough to hold your filling along with baking evenly. Place your tarts on your baking tray and bake for around 12-15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Leave to cool.

 

Step 3: 

 

To prepare your sticky date filling, heat your dates gently on a low heat with your water in a small saucepan. Alter 5 minutes the dates should be warmed through and soft so using your wooden spoon simply break down the dates until a thick texture is formed from the dates. Don’t worry if there are still some small chunks of dates in your date filling, this will add more texture. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before using your spatula to spread your sticky date filling evenly over your nutty base layer. Using a teaspoon, spread over your almond butter evenly across the 8 tarts and leave to one side.

 

Step 4: 

 

Lastly, for your raw chocolate topping gently heat your coconut oil and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Using your silicone whisk, gently add your raw cocoa powder and whisk thoroughly until a delicious liquid is formed and there are no lumps remaining from the raw cacao powder. Carefully cover your tarts (my favourite part!) evenly and decorate with your cacao nibs and chopped dates. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

I hope you enjoy making these tarts as much as I did and hopefully see how delicious sweet treats can be with the added nutrition from real and natural ingredients. These tarts are great for special occasions and even Christmas, just increase the cinnamon to two tablespoons and you can top the tarts with dried cranberries.

 

Happy Baking!

Niki

Recipe Creator

 

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/super-powers-cocoa

https://draxe.com/almonds-nutrition/

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/02/01/this-is-what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-eat-pink-himalayan-salt/

https://draxe.com/medjool-dates/

Niki’s Raw Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Crispy Bites

nikibakes.co.uk, Sweet

crispysalted

Hey guys!

When I fancy a quick treat that doesn’t require too much time or effort, my salted caramel and dark chocolate crispy bites are just the ticket. Minimal ingredients are needed but with every bite there is a true taste sensation here, sweet and savory notes are being hit with every mouthful. This sweet treat is best had on workout days so your body can refuel again in the best possible way. My crispy bites are also free from refined sugar and you can control the level of sweetness by adding a little less maple syrup if you wish. What’s more, the dark chocolate also gives it that extra dimension of flavour as it complements the salted caramel beautifully.

 

Ingredients:

(use organic/natural ingredients where possible)

Makes around 20 crispy bites

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

 

For crispy squares:

6 cups of organic brown crispy rice

½ cup of organic smooth almond butter

½ cup of organic maple syrup

1 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

 

For the raw salted caramel and dark chocolate glaze:

1 tablespoon of smooth almond butter

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

100g of organic dark chocolate (minimum 70%)

From your kitchen:

A large mixing bowl

A wooden spoon

A sharp knife

A few plates for serving

A couple of teaspoons and tablespoons for measuring

A silicone spatula

A deep brownie dish

A large saucepan

2 small saucepans

 

Method:

Step 1:

 

In your large saucepan, gently heat your smooth almond butter, maple syrup and coconut oil on a low heat. Use your silicone spatula or wooden spoon to mix it all together thoroughly. It will start to bubble up, don’t be alarmed but after 1 minute take it off the heat and continue to mix your lovely salted caramel filling.

 

Step 2:

Next, add in your brown crispy rice, one cup at a time, making sure it’s all coated evenly, add your pink Himalayan salt as this stage too. Transfer to your deep square tin dish and let it rest whilst you make your super speedy raw salted caramel and dark chocolate glaze.

 

Step 3:

In your small saucepan, heat up all your smooth almond butter, maple syrup, salt and coconut oil in just the way you did with the coating but let it thicken, this process will take around a couple of minutes. Don’t be alarmed when is bubbles, sure make sure you are constantly mixing the sauce. Transfer to a small bowl to cool down whilst you melt your dark chocolate in another small pan – please do not take your eyes of it as it can burn very quickly!

 

Step 4:

Drizzle over your salted caramel and dark chocolate as desired and refrigerate for about 10-12 minutes. Cut into squares and enjoy these sweet treats with a nice cut hot green tea! Yum.

Happy Baking!

Niki

Recipe Creator

https://draxe.com/healthy-chocolate/

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/advantages-almond-butter-compared-peanut-butter-6541.html

Niki’s Broccoli Fritters and Rainbow Rice

2016, Healthy, International, Savoury, Summer, Super Quick

brocooli

Happy August everyone!

With the arrival of the Olympics this summer, I wanted to share one of my favourite picnic dishes. Packed full of colour and taste, my broccoli fritters and rainbow rice is sure to boost your mood and make you feel like you’re dancing in the streets of Rio. What I enjoy most about this recipe is that it’s fuss free and very easy to cook.

 

Of course, at the heart of this dish is the wonderful broccoli. This health hero is native to the Mediterranean – the name comes from the Italian name brocco and the Latin bracchium meaning arm, branch, or shoot. I love broccoli for its high vitamin C content and an unusually strong combination of vitamins A and K. It’s a good source of folate, calcium, iron and potassium, can boost DNA repair in cells and has antioxidant, antiviral and antibiotic properties.

Ingredients:

(use organic/natural ingredients where possible)

Makes 12-14 broccoli fritters

 

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

 

For the broccoli fritters:

 

2 large organic broccolis, stalks and head, finely chopped or blitzed up

3 large spring onions, finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon of lemon zest

2 large eggs

10 tablespoons of almond flour

1 large handful of freshly chopped coriander and dill

1 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt

3 tablespoons of ghee

A teaspoon of ground cumin, red chilli flakes and ground coriander

 

For the rainbow rice:

 

1 medium sized squash (butternut or pattipan are good choices)

½ organic red cabbage, finely shredded

½ broccoli, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional)

1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil (Lucy B or Pukka are great choices)

 

From your kitchen:

 

A large mixing bowl

A wooden spoon

A sharp knife

A chopping board

A food processor (optional)

A few plates for serving

A couple of teaspoons and tablespoons for measuring

A silicone spatula

A large frying pan

A medium pan

A fork

A few sheets of kitchen towel

A slotted spatula

 

 

 

Method:

 

Step 1:

 

In your large mixing bowl, combine your finely chopped broccoli and the rest of the ingredients in one go. Mix with your wooden spoon until a lumpy batter forms.

 

Step 2:

 

Heat your ghee in your large frying pan over a medium high heat. Using two tablespoons, measure out your broccoli fritters and begin frying them (do not overcrowd the pan as this will lower the temperature and will soak up more oil!) for a couple of minutes or until golden brown. Using your slotted spatula transfer each fritter onto a plate which has been lined with a few sheets of kitchen paper, allow to cool slightly.

 

Step 3:

 

Next, heat some coconut oil in your medium pan and simply toss in all your vegetables for your rainbow rice. Turn the heat down, season and cook for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Serve immediately with your fritters and enjoy!

 

Happy Baking!

 

Niki

Recipe Creator

 

https://draxe.com/broccoli-nutrition/

http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/kristin-kirkpatrick-ms-rd-ld/getting-most-out-broccoli

 

Niki’s Mango and Redcurrant Ice Cream

2016, Healthy, International, Summer, Sweet

mangoredcurrant

Howdy everyone!

Let’s carry on embracing summer with my easy mango and redcurrant ice cream. You only need a handful ingredients and no ice cream maker is needed. Redcurrants are super good for you, they help in the production of red blood cells whilst mangoes help with maintaining good eye health and feeding the good bacteria in your gut. I love this ice cream because coconut milk stars as the base with a couple of ripe bananas. Thus, this chilled dessert is best eaten in the evenings on workout days. You’ll love the first fruity hit of the mango and then the light hint of creamy coconut at the end. It couldn’t be simpler, read on to find out how to make this yummy ice cream…

All you need to make 1 generous tub (to serve 6-8) is:

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total freezing time: 4 hours minimum or overnight

Ingredients:

1 ripe organic mango, peeled and stoned

100g of organic redcurrants, for topping at the end

1 tin of organic coconut milk

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

2 ripe organic bananas

4 tablespoons of water (at room temperature)

 

For you mango and redcurrant sauce:

½ ripe organic mango, peeled and stoned

2 tablespoons of water

2 tablespoons of xylitol

 

300 of organic redcurrants washed and ready to go

2 tablespoons of water

2 tablespoons of xylitol

 

From your kitchen:

 

1 small saucepan

1 wooden spoon

A few teaspoons and tablespoons

A blender

A silicone spatula

1 silicone tub

A knife

A vegetable peeler

A sieve

A small bowl

 

Method:

Step 1:

In your blender add in your coconut milk, water, maple syrup, bananas and mango all at once. Pulse for a few times until the desired smoothness is just right for you. I personally like little bits of fresh mango flesh in my ice cream to show so I only pulse a few times, this is totally up to you though!

Step 2:

Pour your delicious mango ice cream mixture into your silicone tub or mould and place into your freezer for at least 4 hours or even overnight.

Step 3:

To make your mango and redcurrant sauces for the topping of your ice cream you simply need to heat your small saucepan up and add in your chosen fruit first. Add in your xylitol and water and pop the lid on, cook the sauce down for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. I like to pass my redcurrant sauce through a fine sieve so the seeds don’t pass through but again this is your own preference. Chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve your mango ice cream. Simple!

I absolutely adore this fun and fuss free ice cream even more as you can be so versatile with it too. Blackberries, blackcurrants, pomegranates and raspberries work very well in this dish too if you can’t get a hold of redcurrants. I like to serve my mango ice cream as an open bar for my friends and family to help themselves, it’s interesting to see the different combinations they come up with! My creation includes plenty of redcurrant sauce and chopped up mango pieces…oh and some fresh mint too.

Happy Baking!

 

Niki

Recipe Creator

 

https://draxe.com/mango-nutrition/

https://draxe.com/coconut-milk-nutrition/

Niki’s Smoky Spanish Salmon

2016, Healthy, International, Savoury, Summer, Super Quick

salmon

Hola mis amigos!

Summer is well and truly here guys and what better way to celebrate than with my light and delicious smoky salmon? Sitting on a bed of lightly sautéed spring onions, this superfood dish is packed full of nutrients and flavours.

Spring onions help to reduce cholesterols levels whilst salmon is incredibly wonderful for inflammation, cardiovascular health and upping your vitamin d to name just a few benefits here. What’s great about this dish is that it’s also very quick to prepare and you don’t need to be by the stove for hours on end, no one wants that on a hot summer’s day!

To serve 2 you will need:

 

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

 

Ingredients:

 

2 tablespoons of grass-fed ghee, butter or organic coconut oil

1/2 tsp of Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp of organic sweet and smoky paprika

2 wild Alaskan sock eye fillets (260g average)

1 tsp of ground coriander

1 tsp of ground cumin

A bunch of organic spring onions

1 small red, chilli deseeded and chopped (optional)

1 small lime, halved or quartered

2 small organic sweet potatoes, chopped into small cubes

 

From your kitchen: 

 

A whisk or fork

A medium sized mixing bowl

A teaspoon and tablespoon

A small frying pan to melt your chosen oil or butter

A plastic spatula

A wooden spoon

A sharp knife

A chopping board

A serving plate

 

Method: 

Step 1:

Slice your salmon fillets into 2 small portions, seasons with your spices and salt and set aside. Chop up your spring onions as finely as you would like them and season lightly with some Himalayan pink salt, this helps to soften them up for cooking.

Step 2:

Next, heat up your frying pan with your chosen oil over a medium-high heat. Throw in your chopped spring onions and toss in your oil for a couple of minutes or until they’re nice and golden. Place them onto your serving dish and sauté off your sweet potato cubes.

Step 3:

Cook your salmon fillets for a couple of minutes on either side and finish off by squeezing the juice of half a lime just before you wish to serve your fish. Buen apetito!

Happy baking!

Niki

Recipe Creator

http://www.chatelaine.com/health/diet/seven-health-benefits-of-salmon-and-a-vitamin-rich-summer-recipe/

https://www.abelandcole.co.uk/organic-salmon-fillets-pack-of-2

https://draxe.com/top-10-vitamin-k-rich-foods/

http://www.functionalself.com/product/functional-self-coconut-oil/

 

Niki’s Eton Mess

2016, Healthy, Summer, Sweet

etonmess

Hey guys!

My Eton mess is a delightfully tasty and nutritious treat to enjoy this summer…dairy free and free from refined sugar, you’ll be loving how light you’ll feel afterwards! Strawberries are a very high antioxidant food and they’re bursting with vitamin c as well. The coconut milk that I have used in place of the traditional double cream is also rich in beneficial fat content and provides energy for the brain too along with being a natural antibiotic, too.

When I initially planned this dessert I was a little weary of the coconut milk and if it would work but it did because it’s so mellow and mimics the texture of double cream beautifully once whipped. So join me in giving my version a go, I am sure you will love how truly fun it is to make, you can get the kids involved too or for a group activity if throwing a dinner party, it’s a great ice breaker too as the guests can create their our Eton mess if an open bar is created, so laying out all three components with serving glasses and everyone just helping themselves. Xylitol is also used to create the meringue nests so it’s truly free from refined sugar as well, happy days!

To serve 4 you will need:

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

 

For the Strawberry Sauce:

A punnet of organic strawberries, hulled and halved (about 400g)

1 tablespoon of xylitol

2 tablespoons of filtered water

 

For the Cream:

1 can of organic coconut milk http://www.biona.co.uk/product-364-4.html

1 small carton/can of organic coconut cream (refrigerated overnight or for at least 2 hours beforehand)

1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup (refrigerated overnight or for at least 2 hours beforehand) http://www.meridianfoods.co.uk/Products/Other-ranges/Natural-Sweeteners/Organic/Maple-Syrup

For the Meringues:

4 egg whites (pasture raised)

2 tablespoons of xylitol http://www.totalsweet.co.uk/xylitol.php

 

From your kitchen:

An electric whisk or hand whisk

Three mixing bowls (one for each component of your Eton mess)

4 serving cups/tall glasses

A couple of tablespoons

A plastic spatula

A wooden spoon

A small saucepan

A baking sheet

A silicone baking sheet or baking parchment

 

First of all heat a small saucepan and tip in half the punnet of your strawberries. Heat them gently with your xylitol and water and let it simmer for about 5 minutes until a deliciously thick sauce forms, set aside to cool whilst you get your meringues ready.

I have purposefully prepared them at this stage to allow plenty of time for the sauce to cool down completely.  Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/180°C and whip up the egg whites until they’re double in volume, add in your xylitol bit by bit and you will see a smooth and glossy mixture coming together.

Take a tablespoon and spoon them out onto your baking sheet, making small round meringue shapes – try not to make them big as we want them to cook quickly and the smaller they are the quicker this will happen. Bake for about 10 minutes until the meringues have taken on a light golden colour and are soft and squidgy inside. Take them out of your oven and allow to cool completely.

Finally prepare your coconut cream (my favourite part!). Simply take your spatula and scoop out your coconut cream filling and your coconut milk (the top solid part only please, NOT the watery part!) and just gently whisk together with your maple syrup. The most deliciously firm and creamy cream forms guys, its magic! You are now ready to assemble your Eton mess! I particularly love to set out an open bar of all three parts of the Eton mess and let my guests help themselves, I really hope you enjoy this healthy sweet treat guys, best enjoyed in the cool summer evening.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read and try my recipes!

Happy Baking!

Niki

Recipe Developer

 

http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/why-local-fruit-is-the-best-fruit/#QvcxS6GEqHcztZJq.97

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/5-foods-starve-cancer

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinkadvice/11727259/The-nutritional-benefits-of-coconut.html

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 Rosemary and Red pepper Sauce with Polenta Dumplings

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

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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