Pecan Crumble Coffee Cake

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We have a Saturday morning tradition in our family and it begins with a late and lazy wake up. For a few years now, we have thoroughly enjoyed our Saturday morning sleep ins. Our youngest who is 10 is normally the first to wake and we sometimes hear her in the kitchen emptying the dishwasher, one of her Saturday morning chores, before she knocks on our bedroom door sometime after 9 and climbs into our bed for cuddles. Once we climb out of bed, Isaac and I head to the kitchen to make breakfast, which nine Saturdays out of ten, would best be called brunch by the time we finish cooking and sit down around our dining table – still in PJ’s – to eat (we currently have two teens and soon to be a third teen who often have to be woken to join us at the table as late as 11). Some weeks it’s frittata, other weeks omelettes with all the fillings, and other weeks I will bake a special treat, always served with butter coffee and mugs of steaming chicken broth. This past Saturday, it was this lovely coffee cake because some Saturdays, we crave something made with cinnamon (…must be my American roots). 🙂 Of course, this is a healthier version of the traditional coffee cake and I must say, it is also important to use a good quality, flavourful cinnamon. I think next time I make this, I may also add a drop or two of dōTERRA cinnamon bark essential oil for that extra cinnamon-ey hit.

GO GET:

Crumble;
30g butter (or coconut oil)
30g honey
1 tbsp cinnamon
150g pecans, chopped (walnuts are also great)

Swirl;
40g butter (or coconut oil)
80g honey
1 tbsp cinnamon

Cake;
60g butter, softened (or coconut oil)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
6 eggs
120g coconut milk (or preferred milk of choice)
150g honey
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
300g almond meal
20g coconut flour
1 tsp bicarb
½ tsp salt

GET GOING:

Preheat oven to 150ºC. Grease and line a square baking pan. A springform round cake tin would also work.

To make Crumble;

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine butter, honey and cinnamon.
  2. Add pecans and stir until thoroughly combined.

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To make Swirl;

Combine butter, honey and cinnamon in a small bowl.

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To make Cake;

  1. Place butter, vanilla, eggs, coconut milk, honey and apple cider vinegar into TM bowl and blend 30 sec/speed 5.
  2. Add almond meal, coconut flour, bicarb and salt into TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 4. Scrape down sides of TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 4.

To assemble Cake;

  1. Pour half the cake batter into the lined baking tin. Spread batter out evenly.
  2. Place swirl onto the batter and gently spread it evenly across the batter.
  3. Pour the remaining cake batter into the pan and gently spread out evenly.
  4. Sprinkle crumble across the top of the batter and using the back of a spoon, gently push the crumble down into the batter.
  5. Bake 45-55 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Check after 40 minutes and reduce oven temp a little if the top is becoming too brown.
  6. Serve warm with coffee.

Choc Coconut Chia Pudding

GO GET:

120g Medjool dates, pitted weight
2 x 400g tins Organic BPA free coconut cream
70g chia seeds
40g cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
50g organic shredded coconut

GET GOING:

  1. Place dates into TM bowl and roughly chop 5 sec/speed 6.
  2. Add remaining ingredients apart from shredded coconut into TM bowl and blend 1 min/speed 10.
  3. Add coconut and mix 10 sec/speed 3.
  4. Pour into one large bowl or individual serving bowls and refrigerate until cold and set.

Serve with cacao nibs, berries or sliced banana.  We also sometimes like to have ours served with a big dollop of homemade sour cream.

24-hour Cultured Yoghurt and Sour Cream

Since starting on the GAPS diet approximately one year ago, we have been making at least 2L each of sour cream and yoghurt per week.  The kids most days have a bowl of yoghurt with homemade GAPS muesli (will have to write that one up later!) and we use the sour cream on lots of things from Mexican to stews to frittata to soups to desserts (think, in place of cream!)  I love it with baked berries and pepitas as an afternoon snack.  It is so rich and creamy and delish!!  The yoghurt and sour cream both need to be cultured for 24 hours (the beneficial bacteria eat up the lactose and break down the milk protein casein, making it easier on sensitive tummies) so we do this in a dehydrator and often dry out nuts we have soaked at the same time.  At the end of the 24 hours, you will have jars full of rich, creamy, lactose-free yogurt/sour cream rich with beneficial bacteria, active enzymes, B vitamins, biotin, vitamin K2, and essential fatty acids.  If you don’t have a dehydrator (sorry, I haven’t tried it without one!) you will need to find a way to keep your yoghurt/sour cream warm.  Some suggestions (but can’t guarantee they work) – use a preheated Thermoserver that is wrapped in towels and kept in a warm place, in a water bath in an esky (make sure the water isn’t too hot!) or in the oven with the oven-light left turned on.  When culturing ours in the dehydrator, we have found that using smaller jars (we use 250ml tomato paste jars for the sour cream and small flip lid jars from Ikea for the yoghurt) helps it to set better/thicker.  The yoghurt will never set really thick (both the sour cream and yoghurt will thicken considerably once cooled in the fridge) so you can drip it in a cheesecloth or muslin cloth in the fridge, removing some of the whey.  Our kids love it as is, so we don’t bother.  You can easily reduce this recipe if you don’t have a family as big (or as piggie) as ours, so just reduce the heating time a little (but not the culturing time).

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GO GET:

Sour Cream;

1.75L pure cream
250g good quality natural yoghurt (we use Jalna Organic) or 250g yoghurt reserved from a homemade batch
Enough glass jars for 2L

Yoghurt;

1.5L full cream unhomogenised milk
250g pure cream
250g good quality natural yoghurt (we use Jalna Organic) or 250g yoghurt reserved from a homemade batch
Enough glass jars for 2L

GET GOING:

  1. Depending on which recipe you are making (or if you are as fortunate as us and have 2 Thermomixes, make both simultaneously!), pour cream or milk/cream into the TM bowl and heat 20 min/90ºC/speed 2.
  2. Cool the heated cream/milk until no temperature lights light up on the Thermomix display when you place the bowl back on the machine.  To speed up the cooling process, take the lid off the TM bowl and place it into the fridge.
  3. Add the yoghurt to the TM bowl and mix 10 sec/speed 3.
  4. Heat 15 min/37ºC/speed 2.
  5. Immediately pour the sour cream/yoghurt into clean jars, put the lids on and then place into the bottom of the dehydrator.
  6. Incubate for 24 hours on 37-40ºC (be careful not to go higher than 40ºC!)
  7. Refrigerate reserving 250g yoghurt for your next batch.  Enjoy this creamy delicious delight!  🙂

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Creamy Leek and Fauxtato Soup

I love to convert traditional recipes over to healthier versions (and if possible to Thermomix which makes life easier), and in particular GAPS-friendly versions that suit our family’s needs.  I was home from church today with a sick 10yo so decided to do some cooking, ya know, for fun…not because I had to (a very rare moment for me!)

Growing up, my dad used to make a delicious leek and potato soup.  It was creamy, it was chunky and it was satisfaction with every bite.  But, we don’t eat potato on GAPS (too high in starch, plus I’m sure dad’s version would have had flour in it too) so I thought I’d try a ‘fauxtato’ (aka cauliflower)  and flour-free version.  I’ve gotta admit, I was trying to take the pic of the finished product real quick ’cause I was dying to try it…it smelled so good (unlike cauliflower cooking can smell sometimes! 😉 ) and I wasn’t disappointed.  In fact, I gave myself a mighty pat on the back…it was absolutely delicious.  And, when the rest of the family came home from church, they all had a bowlful too and gave it the big thumbs up.  Enjoy!  🙂

GO GET:

1 clove garlic
250g leek, washed thoroughly, halved lengthways and sliced
200g bacon, diced
50g butter or ghee (or coconut oil/olive oil for Paleo)
500-600g cauliflower, cut up in small pieces (2cm), like you would a potato
500g chicken broth
1 tsp sea salt

To serve:
Homemade sour cream or olive oil, chives and/or parsley

GET GOING:

  1. Place garlic into TM bowl and chop 2 sec/speed 7.
  2. Add leek, bacon and butter and sauté 5 min/Varoma/speed soft (spoon symbol).
  3. Add cauliflower, broth and salt and cook 20 min/1ooºC/Reverse/speed soft.
  4. Serve the soup as is if you like a ‘brothy’ type soup.
    OR
    If you like a creamy soup (as pictured), remove most of the soup from the TM bowl (leave up to the 500ml mark on the inside of the bowl).  Blend 30 sec/speed 7 (gradually increasing speed over the first 10 sec to avoid spattering), return the remaining soup to the TM bowl and mix 10-20 secs/Reverse/speed 2, or by hand with the spatula.
    OR
    If you like a completely smooth and pureed soup, blend the entire contents of the bowl 1 min/speed 8 (gradually increasing speed over the first 10 sec to avoid spattering).
  5. Serve the soup topped with a big blob of sour cream or a swirl of olive oil and a sprinkling of chopped fresh chives and/or parsley.

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Homemade Ghee

A few years ago, our family made the switch from low-fat margarine (blech!!) to pure butter.  Not only does it taste waaaay better than marg, it is also good for us.  Yes, yes it is – whoopee!!

During the Intro stage of GAPS (early 2016), my family was introduced to the taste sensation that is ghee, otherwise known as clarified butter.  There are a truckload of benefits to ghee, even over butter, and in the early stages of GAPS it is important to use in place of butter as there is no casein and lactose present.

Homemade ghee is dead easy to make, tastes fantastic in sweet and savoury dishes, and is incredibly affordable compared to store-bought.  So give it a go…you’ll never look back.

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GO GET:

1kg butter, preferably grass fed

GET GOING:

  1. Set your TM to 60 min/Varoma/speed 1/MC off.
  2. Quickly, while the TM is on, cut the butter into large cubes and place them into the TM bowl through the hole in the lid.
  3. Place the TM simmering basket onto the TM lid (to release steam and prevent spattering).
  4. After 60 mins, reset the TM to 30 min/Varoma/speed 1/MC off (basket on lid).
  5. Allow the ghee to cool to room temp before pouring through a muslin or cheese cloth into sterilised jars.  Discard the solids.

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