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 Nutty Granola

2016, Autumn, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Super Quick, Sweet

granupclose

Hey guys,

Autumn is well and truly upon us and if you are like me you may want something a little sweet to have in the evenings, after dinner or a snack in the day on workout days. I warn you now, my nutty granola is seriosuly addicitive. It’s delicous, light and crunchy and also packed full of vitmains and nutrients. You really can’t go wrong here  and what’s more, you can be quite versatile with this granola. I like to heat some almond milk and have my granola on top, espcially when the chilly mornings roll in but you can have it on its own or as a topping for coconut ice cream (as my brother kindly pointed out) for eaxmple, the options are endless. All you need to make my nutty and grain free granola is:

 

Ingredients:

(Makes roughly 10 standard bowl servings) 

(use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)

 

1.5 cups of almonds

¼ cup of pumpkin seeds

¼ cup of sunflower seeds

¼ cup of cashew nuts

¼ of hazelnuts

¼ cup of Brazil nuts

20g of chia seeds

½ cup of desiccated coconut

1/4 cup of coconut oil

1/4 cup of maple syrup

½ teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

1 level teaspoon of ground cinnamon

 

From your kitchen:

 

A mixing bowl

A rolling pin

A baking tray

A silicone spatula

A couple of teaspoons for measuring

A small saucepan

1 standard cup

A couple of jars for storing

A plastic bag, for bashing the nuts in

 

 

Method:

 

Step 1: 

Preheat your oven to gas mark 3 or 275°F. Heat your saucepan over a gentle low heat and melt the coconut oil and maple syrup together, set aside to cool.

 

Step 2: 

Combine all your nuts in a plastic bag and use a rolling bin to bash them into rough and small bite size pieces. Add them to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle over your salt and cinnamon, mix together with your wooden spoon.

 

Step 3: 

Pour your granola mixture evenly on your baking tray, use your silicone spatuala to aid this. Bake your granola in the middle shelf of your oven for 15-20 minutes and strring it every so often so its browned evenly. Once its nice and golden, leave it to cool before decanting to your jars.

My delcious granola will keep for up to two weeks in a cool dry place so is perfect for making big batches ahead of time. I really hope you give this a go and see how striaghtforward it is. Bursting with mood enhancing properties from the brazil nuts and vitamin e from the almonds, every mouthful is good for you…and tastes bloody brillaint too!

graaereal

Happy Baking!

Niki

https://draxe.com/brazil-nuts/

https://draxe.com/maple-syrup-nutrition/

Niki’s Fruity Chilli Jam

2016, Healthy, International, Spring, Super Quick
chillijammy

www.facebook.com/nikibakes

 

Hello my lovely readers,

As you all know by now, I’m a massive chilli fan, I can’t get enough of the deliciously flavourful fruit. My chilli jam is quick, straightforward and won’t blow your socks off (so all you foodies who have milder taste buds can still enjoy :P).

 

In fact you can truly control the heat intensity of your jam by the choice of your chilli (you can find this by your desrired intensity ) –

Super hot – hot –  I would recommend birds eye or habanero
moderate to mild – I would recommend jalapeño or chipotleThe choice is yours but feel free to experiment!

It’s aromatic and truly fruity, you’ll see what I mean when you make it for yourself and trust me once you start making my fruity chilli jam, you’ll be hooked.

I have tweaked a few of the ingredients from the conventional recipes to make it a healthier version of the classic chilli jam by swapping out the standard caster sugar for xylitol. This sustainable and natural sweetener is that is sourced from plants so it’s easily digestible.

 

This jam keeps for up to 2 months in the fridge and is the perfect accompaniment to meat, fish and vegetable dishes, it’s a very versatile jam indeed.

 

I personally love to have it with some grass fed lamb chops or on the side with my steamed veggies.

All you need is:
8-10 yellow, orange and/or red organic chillies, deseeded (regardless of variety) and finely processed in a food processor
A handful of organic cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
1 teaspoon of tamari
1/2 teaspoon of finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed finely
1 tablespoon of avocado or olive oil
5 tablespoons of xylitol

Simply heat your pan over a moderate to high flame and soften your ginger and garlic for just a moment. Once the aromas start wafting out, add in all your chillies and stir for a couple of minutes. (Your eyes may begin to water a little but just remember that you’re cooking out most of the raw heat from the chillies anyway and is in no way an indication of how your chilli jam will taste). Next, add In your chopped tomatoes, rice vinegar, tamari and xylitol, mixing well until all the xylitol has dissolved into your jam. Cook this down for a good 15 minutes and you’ll see very quickly how it thickens and becomes sticky and saucy…it’s a beautiful moment when that happens and when it does it’s time to take it off the heat. Let it cool completely before you put into your sterilised jam jar and store in the fridge.

I do hope you give this one a try folks, you’ll love it for sure!

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 Spiralised Golden Chicken Salad

2016, Healthy, Super Quick

tuer full

Happy April all!

With the arrival of Spring I wanted to share a fun and delicious way to have your chicken salad. With a few simple spices and techniques you can jazz up this classic dish and make it your own. What I love about this dish is that it can be as hearty or light as you wish, versatility is key in our busy lives afterall. Turmeric is quite simply one of the best spices I have ever used in my cooking and I’m delighted to share all of its benefits with you. From having anti-inflammatory properties to being a punchy antioxidant, I can’t recommend turmeric enough to you. Aside from all the nutritional benefits turmeric contains, it also adds this wonderfully golden tinge to your meats and sauces. Spiralising is also another technique I have come to love because it adds another dimension to cooking. You can get a spiralizer for a very reasonable price nowadays so you can incorporate it into your day to day cooking as it’s also quite a handy tool to have for quick Courgetti too. All you need for my spiralised golden chicken salad is:

 

For 2 people:

2 free range skinless and boneless chicken breasts

1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons of olive/avocado oil

2 carrots, spiralised

1 beetroot, spiralised

A handful of baby kale

A small handful of alfalfa sprouts

 

Firstly, heat your shallow pan over a medium high heat and pop in your chicken breasts. Pop in all of your seasoning and turn the heat down. Let the chicken cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid on and then turn the heat off and allow to cool. Then assemble your salad however you wish and making sure your chicken is cold so it doesn’t wilt the baby kale. Finish off with a scattering of your black sesame seeds and enjoy!

 

Happy Baking!

 

Niki

 

Niki’s Milanese Meatballs

2016, Healthy, International, Savoury, Spring

mila2

Bonjourno my lovely readers and welcome to my Italian week! 

I would like to start off my Italian week with my delicious and sumptuous Milanese meatballs. Upon my recent trip to Milan, I was truly taken aback by all the vibrant colours and alluring aromas of roasted garlic and basil wafting in the residential streets. Steaming hot pasta dishes glistening in top quality extra virgin olive oil to sweet and decadent dolce treats lining the cobbled streets of central Milan. One thing I was particularly taken with was all the delicious meat dishes and of course the meatballs. There are a million ways to create a meatball out there, I saw some stuffed with eggs, oozing mozzarella cheese and deep fried with breadcrumbs and herbs. Now of course, whilst it was amazing to see all of this I want to now show you my take on the classic meatball, Milanese style.

All you need is: 

500g of organic grass fed beef
1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped up basil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
I egg yolk
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 extra tablespoon of basil, roughly geared up
1 teaspoon of tomato purée

 

Simply mix your beef with your seasoning, egg yolk, basil and 1 clove of garlic. Set aside for 30 minutes. Next, in a separate pan heat your oil and add in the other clove of garlic and heat gently with your tomato purée. After a couple of minutes, turn up the heat to a high flame and add in your chopped tomatoes, stir well. Then, shape your meatballs into small sized balls using a teaspoon to measure them out equally. Pop them into your tomato sauce and lower the heat. Simmer your dish for 20 minutes and just before you’re ready to serve, garnish with your basil. 

Buonissimo! 

Happy Baking! 

Niki 

Niki’s Sweet Potato Katsu Curry

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

sweetpotatokatsu

So it’s still quite chilly outside and with all this wind why not cosy up to my comforting and super easy sweet potato Katsu curry? It couldn’t be more straightforward guys, as long as you have curry powder there’s not much more to it. Best part? It is gluten free as well! Happy days indeed! All you need is:

1-2 tbsp ghee or avocado oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp of polenta
2 tbsp medium curry powder
2 tbsp. of cornflour
500ml of water or vegetable stock
1 tbsp of soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 free-range egg, beaten lightly
3-4 tbsp of coconut oil or ghee for shallow frying
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, sliced into ½ inch thick medallions
Japanese rice or the rice you have to hand, pickles and salad to serve

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté gently for 2 minutes, then throw in the carrots and sweat slowly for a further 10 minutes with the lid on, giving the odd stir, until softened and starting to caramelise. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a minute. Slowly pour in the stock and cornflour until combined and whisk thoroughly whilst doing so. Next add in your soy sauce and bay leaves and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, so the sauce thickens but is still of pouring consistency.

While you are waiting for the sauce to thicken, simply dip your sweet potato medallions in the beaten egg and then dust with the polenta and season it as desired and fry on both sides on a medium heat…4 minutes on each side should do the trick but keep an eye on it as it can burn so very easily! You could also use chicken if you prefer, it is equally as delicious.

Happy Baking guys!
Niki

 

Niki’s Walnut and Maple Syrup Muffins

2015, Christmas, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Super Quick, Sweet, Winter

pecan

Happy Holidays lovely people!
Whilst we are surrounded by cheer and bright lights all around us, we can all get run down and tired from all the shopping and extra preparations at this time of year…so have a go and whipping up my quick walnut and maple syrup muffins. They’re hassle free yet super tasty and gluten-free, no compromise on flavour here guys. What’s more, you’re getting all the sweetness of the maple syrups but none of the processed sugar you may find in other muffins, the walnuts also provide that wonderful crunch and will fuel you up for many hours. All you need is:

Handful of walnuts, chopped up
3 tbps of maple syrup
Pinch of Himalayan salt
1 ½ cups of ground almonds
¼ cup of melted coconut oil and ghee
1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of grated nutmeg
1 cup of almond milk

Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 or medium high and simply beat your maple syrup, oil (or ghee if chosen) and eggs until thoroughly beaten. Next, fold In your ground almonds, ground spices, salt, baking powder and alternate with your milk. Fold in until just combined and scoop out your batter into your muffin cases and bake for no longer than 20 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy these muffins guilt free and hassle free!
Happy Baking!

Niki

Nikis Dark Chocolate-Almond Slices

2015, Autumn, Christmas, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Super Quick, Sweet

choccc

Hello there!

Warm, rich and enticing, dark chocolate is the ultimate superfood when it comes to sweet treats. Coupled with the wondrous almonds, this decadent slice is just right with a cup of hot tea any day of the week. All you need is:

100g of dark (72% minimum) chocolate, roughly chopped
1.5 cups of ground almonds
2 eggs
¼ cup of melted coconut oil
1.2 cup of coconut sugar
1 tablespoon of raw cocoa powder (or 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder)
½ cup of almond milk (if mixture is getting too thick)
1 teaspoon of baking powder

Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 (medium) and melt 70g of the dark chocolate, coconut oil and coconut sugar in a separate pan. Once cooled blend in the eggs one at a time and then simply fold in with the ground almonds and baking powder. Grease your pan generously with some more coconut oil and pop in the oven for no more than 15-20 minutes, it’s that quick! Decorate however you wish, I’ve simply drizzled my remaining chocolate on top and garnished with some almonds. Yummy!

Happy Baking!

Niki

Niki’s Californian-Quinoa Salad

2015, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Summer, Super Quick

cali
Surfs up dude!

Fancy a really super sunny salad which is crunchy yet smooth in texture and zingy but sweet at the same time? Look no further I say! My Californian-Quinoa salad simply consists of a quinoa base and I have built upon that by drawing upon good old San Francisco foodie elements such as avocado and watercress, it is so delicious and you can feel so good inside and out when feasting on this robust salad. Give it a go guys!
Happy Baking!
Niki