Healthy Halloween biscuits 

On account of having four huge pumpkins harvested from my mums garden we have been eating a whole lotta pumpkin this week. This morning we experimented with making pumpkin biscuits and they turned out rather tasty! These halloweeny treats are super healthy. Packed with vitamin A, protein, fibre, magnesium and probably a squillion other antioxidants and wonderful things. In fact they are practically a square meal in themselves! They are topped with dark chocolate which is a special wee treat and are mighty tasty. The kids wolfed them down, as did we! 
Healthy Halloween biscuits 
Ingredients 

  • 150g roasted pumpkin 
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • Drizzle of olive oil 
  • 50g dates (soaked)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • 50g oatmeal 
  • 50g ground almonds 
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder 
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds 
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional) 
  • 50g of 85% dark chocolate

Method 

Cube and roast your pumpkin on a baking tray with the nutmeg and a drizzle of olive oil at a fairly high temperature for around 40 minutes. 

Turn the oven down to 180/gas mark 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 

Mix together the dry ingredients in a food processor, add the dates, pumpkin, honey and vanilla and blitz till all the ingredients are combined. The mixture will be a bit lumpy but that’s ok. You can do all of this by hand too but if you do have a processor I think it’s a bit easier. 

Take tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls, place each one on the baking tray and flatten slightly. You should get 8 small biscuits from this mixture. 

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. 

Cool on a wire rack. 

While they cool, melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water. Once the biscuits are cold, smear each one with chocolate and place in the fridge to set for around 10 minutes. 

Enjoy with a spooky movie and a hot cuppa. 

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Sweet potato biscuits 

Since starting working again, well working for myself from home…shameless self promotion here~ (facebook.com/sadiesroomfurniture) baking has taken a bit of a back seat. I’m struggling to fit everything in, a problem a lot of parents with small children have. It’s so tough to find time for things you want and like to do. So today im having a day off from painting furniture and baking some biscuits. During the week we visited my favourite cafe, Moon and Hare in bruntsfield. I’ve mentioned here before, it’s healthy and yummy and organic and wholesome. Anyway the kids had a sweet potato biscuit. Sound weird I know but it looked delicious. I have no idea what was in it (other than the obvious sweet potato) or what it tasted like because the kids inhaled them faster than the speed of light. Seeing as they went down so well I thought I’d try and make up my own version. Arthur helped in the kitchen, we made a big mess, had fun and the biscuits came out pretty tasty too. Here is the recipe…

Sweet potato biscuits 

Ingredients 

  • 1 small sweet potato (about 200g) chopped and steamed/boiled. 
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 25g oatmeal 
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder 
  • 50g dates (soaked) 
  • 2 tbsp honey 

Method 

Preheat oven to 180/gas 4 and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 

Mix together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. 

In a food processor whizz up the dates, honey and cooked sweet potato. 

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Take spoonfuls of mixture and roll into balls. Flatten slightly onto the tray and score the top of each biscuit with a fork. 

Bake for 20 minutes. 

Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Apple sauce muffins

So I find baking biscuits, flapjacks and other oaty based things without using refined sugar fairly easy. There are so many delicious natural sweeteners and so many nut butters to chose from to glue everything together you can be really experimental and still end up with something yummy. This is brilliant if you are baking with little ones. Arthur loves to help chose what to bake with, he picks all his favourite ingredients (usually seeds and raisins) and tries everything first…quality control of course! In fact I think one of the main things he enjoys about helping in the kitchen is the eating part. Baking cakey type things however is not so easy without sugar. It is a pretty important component to achieve the spongey texture of cake that we are all familiar with. It is not impossible though and there are loads of great recipes out there for sugar free alternatives. I’ve experimented loads to come up with my own recipes and some have been total disasters, dense and sticky and rubbery and totally tasteless. This is always really disappointing but what is really really satisfying is when it works! And it’s not only edible but tastes as well! Yesterday we had one of those triumphs. We made some extremely extra yummy apple and sultana muffins and as Arthur would put it “we are going to eat them all up in our tummy!” Which we did, well some of them and we have some left for today too.
Apple sauce muffins 

Ingredients 

  • 50g soya butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce 
  • 100g self raising flour 
  • 50g wholemeal spelt flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 cup sultanas 

Method 

Preheat oven to 180/gas 4.

Line a muffin tin with 8 paper cases.

First I made the Apple sauce by stewing 3 small chopped apples with a wee drop of water in a pan over a low heat. Once soft I mashed with a fork and set aside. You can also use Apple sauce pre bought and skip this stage. 

In a small bowl mix together the flours and baking powder.

In a different bowl cream together the soya butter and maple syrup. Add the egg and Apple sauce and mix thoroughly. 

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. 

Mix in the sultanas.

Spoon into the paper cases. 

Bake for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool on a wire rack. 

Not going to lie I poured maple syrup all over mine before I ate it. This is not essential but it is rather tastey…it is a super good remember. 

Coconut Chocolate slice

So we have had a busy old month here in Edinburgh. The festival is in full swing and we’ve been out and about on many epic adventures. Kids shows, exhibitions and cafe visits. It’s been great fun for the kids and we’ve even had some good weather! It has meant however a slip in our healthy eating. When your on the go all day and home later than usual and more tired than usual, convenient easy foods are tempting. I mean I’m not saying we’ve been bypassing McDonalds on the way home but there have certainly been a few pizza nights and ice cream treats. I found an amazing new cafe near to us called Moon and Hare which serves a huge variety of healthy options. They sell sugar free ice cream made with coconut and cashews and sweetened naturally. I am always wishing it was more common place to be able to pick up a more nutritious ice cream option for kids so this was a real find. I highly recommend it.
Anyway, over the summer my home baking has also taken a back seat but now that the summer holidays are over and our normal routine is resuming I plan on spending much more time in the kitchen. So here is a recipe my number one helper and I created this morning. Actually I have to say it was mostly my work on this occasion with Arthur acting as chief taster.
Coconut chocolate slice 

Ingredients

For the base 

  • 100g oats
  • 50g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey

For the chocolate topping 

  • 2 dessert spoons coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder (or good quality cocoa powder)
  • 2-3 tbsp runny honey (depending how sweet or dark you want your chocolate)

Method

Preheat oven to 180/gas 4 and line a 2lb load tin with greaseproof paper.

For the base, simply mix all the ingredients together and press firmly into the loaf tin. Bake for 18 minutes. Allow to cool for a little while in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the base is cooling, prepare the chocolate topping.

Melt the coconut oil in a pan over a low heat. Once melted take off the heat and whisk in the cacao powder and honey.

Now put the base back into the loaf tin and pour the chocolate over the top.

Place the whole thing in the freezer for about an hour to set the chocolate.

Take out and remove from the tin, cut into squares.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Sugar free hobnobs

My store cupboard is looking a bit sparse at the moment. I used to make a regular pilgrimage to the whole food shop to stock up on healthy baking ingredients, however it is a dangerous place when money is tight and there are far too many delicious things I like in there so we haven’t been for a while. Arthur asked to do some baking this afternoon, so we had a look to see if we could be inspired by the minimal ingredients we had.

One of the best things about making up your own recipes is that you don’t have the disappointment of not having the ingredients the recipe requires. Instead we take out the ingredients we have and see what we can do with them.

Today I had a hankering for a nice cup of tea and biscuit. So hobnobs it was, refined sugar free hobnobs that is. Yes they do have a fair amount of butter and honey in them but I’m not suggesting you eat them all at once….we definitely haven’t eaten them all…yet. These are just my kind of biscuit as they are huge, they really expand in the oven and come out all soft and chewy and yummy.

Now I don’t want to brag but these are really tasty, and actually very similar to hobnobs. don’t just take my word for it though, make them and then decide.

*Note* I have used salted butter in this recipe because i think it gives the biscuits that signature hobnobbiness, but if this just sounds too weird to you then feel free to use unsalted butter instead.

Sugar free hobnobs

Ingredients 

  • 100g self raising flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g salted butter
  • 1/3 cup runny honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Method

Preheat the oven to 160/gas mark 3 and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the oats and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl mix together the butter, honey and vanilla. We used an electric mixer for this for two reasons, 1. it makes the butter and honey fluffy and creamy super fast and 2. Arthur flipping loves a machine that makes a noise.

Gradually fold in the dry ingredients until everything is combined thoroughly into a wet mixture.

Take spoonfuls of mixture and dollop them onto the baking sheet. The mixture will be quite wet but don’t worry it will come together in the oven. Be sure to space out the dollops as they will expand quite a bit. We got 10 biscuits from this mixture.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, switching your trays around half way so each gets some time on the top shelf.

Allow to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Now boil the kettle…

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Sugar free ice cream cake

Move over Ben and Jerry…I think I might have invented the best dessert ever! Arthur has been asking me to make ice cream every day since…he was born I think. I have a trusty old healthy banana recipe I use which is pretty yummy and healthy but I’m kind of bored of it. So today I decided to mix things up a bit. Enter the fresh raspberries, crumbly biscuit base and dark chocolate topping and you have a flippin delicious ice cream, cheese cake type pie, dessert spectacular! This recipe made 4, everyone loved it, Sadie shared mine after dinner which means there is one left in the freezer which I plan to scoff as soon as I can actually get Sadie to go to sleep. Probably she can’t drop off due to sheer excitement at being the first baby on earth to try the best dessert ever. Can’t blame her. Here’s the recipe:
Sugar free ice cream cake 

Ingredients

For the base 

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

For the ice cream

  • 1 large banana (sliced and frozen)
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

For the chocolate topping 

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder (or good quality cocoa powder)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Method

First make your base. Place all the ingredients in the food processor and blitz till all combined in a sticky crumble type mixture. Divide between 4 ramekins or small coffee cups/tea cups. Squash down flat and place in the freezer while you prepare the next layer.

For the ice cream first put your frozen banana slices in the food processor and blitz. It can take a while to break up the banana but after looking crumbly it will start to go smooth. Add the raspberries and maple syrup and whizz again until smooth. Dollop the ice cream on top of the bases, dividing equally. Place back in the freezer and make the final layer.

For the chocolate, melt the coconut oil in a pan. Take off the heat and whisk in the cacao powder and maple syrup until smooth. Pour over the ice cream and freeze again.

Ideally for the ice cream to set you want to freeze these for a few hours.

Toot Toot Truffles

Today I sat my driving test and passed…hurray! I was massively nervous about it and spent most of the week frowning and chewing my fingers. In an attempt to calm my nerves I kept super busy with the kids (nothing new there), abstained from all caffeine, alcohol and sugar and in the process created this bad ass recipe for raw truffles. Some people would call these energy balls; yes they do tick all the energy ball boxes, they contain many many wonderful ingredients for boosting energy…but they also really remind me of those delicious homemade truffles I remember from school fetes and birthday parties. Also truffles sound much fancier and fit for the celebration of passing my driving test. So here is the recipe. These are perfect for a party, a picnic or just an easy snack to have stored in the fridge.

Toot Toot Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 small carrot (grated)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder (or good quality cocoa powder)
  • 4 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs (or good quality dark chocolate chips)\
  • desiccated coconut for rolling

Method

Place the grated carrot, oats, flaked almonds and sunflower seeds in a food processor and blitz util fine.

Add the remaining ingredients except the cacao nibs and desiccated coconut and blitz again until combined.

Stir through the cacao nibs so they remain whole.

Take tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls.

Roll each ball in the desiccated coconut

Chill in the fridge for an hour or so

These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days.

 

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