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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Mini-Meatloaves

These little meatloaves are packed full of flavour and the goodness of veggies.  We always have our butcher mince 100g liver to every 1kg beef mince so they are also another great way of getting liver into you, especially if you’re not a fan – I promise, you can’t taste it at all!  This recipe makes 2-2.5 dozen mini-meatloaves which is perfect for our family size as we always have enough left over for school lunches the next day – the kids are more than happy to down them cold.  You can, of course, halve this recipe, but why would you?  Unlike meatballs, they take very little time to press into the muffin trays.

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GO GET:

50g linseeds
Handful parsley and/or other herbs of choice
3 cloves garlic
1 onion, halved
3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, including leaves, roughly chopped
100g baby spinach leaves
1 zucchini (approx. 150g), roughly chopped
1kg beef mince (or half beef, half pork)
2 eggs
2-3 tbs butter or other good quality fat (ghee, coconut oil, duck fat)
2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional: Bacon to line muffin holes
Homemade ketchup or BBQ sauce

GET GOING:

  1. Preheat oven to 200ºC and line 2-3 muffin trays with paper or silicone liners.
  2. Place linseeds into TM bowl and mill 30 secs/speed 10.  Tip out into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Place parsley, onion and garlic into TM bowl and chop 3 sec/speed 7.  Tip into mixing bowl.
  4. Place carrots, and celery into TM bowl and chop 5 sec/speed 5 or until finely chopped. Tip into mixing bowl.
  5. Place spinach and zucchini into TM bowl and chop 5-10 sec/speed 4, until evenly chopped.  Tip into mixing bowl.
  6. Add remaining ingredients to mixing bowl (apart from bacon and ketchup/BBQ sauce) and mix thoroughly with your hands.
  7. Press mixture into muffin holes to the top of each hole (if using bacon, line each muffin hole with a slice of bacon first).  Bake 25-30 mins until beginning to lightly brown.
  8. Remove mini-meatloaves from the oven, top with approx. 1 tsp ketchup/BBQ sauce each, then return to the oven for a further 10-15 mins.  The meatloaves are also delicious topped with a slice of cheese.  Pour remaining juices (in muffin holes) over the meatloaves (or if having mash, over that!) when serving – delicious!

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Mini-meatloaves served with cauli-mash and steamed green beans.  A perfectly balanced GAPS meal.

 

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

This icing recipe is incredible!  It is refined sugar free (uses the goodness of raw honey) and perfect for those on the Full GAPS diet.  It is obviously still a now-and-then treat recipe but is absolutely perfect for birthday cakes and other special occasions.

GO GET:

230g cold butter
180g raw honey
30g cocoa or cacao powder
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

GET GOING:

  1. Place all ingredients into TM bowl and mix on speed 4, stopping now and then to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Once the icing is creamy and well mixed, you are done!
  3. Ice cooled cake/cupcakes immediately.  Store leftover (haha!) icing in the fridge and bring out to soften slightly before using.

VARIATIONS:

Choc Mint:  Add up to 10 drops of dōTERRA Peppermint oil in step 1.  Start with 5 drops and add more after tasting to your preference.
Jaffa:  Add up to 10 drops of dōTERRA Wild Orange oil in step 1.  Start with 5 drops and add more after tasting to your preference.
Choc Peanut Butter:  Add 150g natural/homemade peanut butter in step 1.  Goes perfect with the Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes (pictured below).

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Grain-free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes with Choc Peanut Butter Icing and cacao nibs.

Super-moist Grain-free Chocolate Cake

One of the hardest parts about being on GAPS, especially with kids, is trying to find good recipes that are equal to their unhealthier counterparts in terms of flavour and texture, and don’t leave you feeling deprived and disappointed.  This recipe was a very pleasant discovery just prior to my 40th last year.  I wanted a low-key celebration with just my family – lunch at a local winery, followed by cake and coffee back at home.  Good ol’ google came to the rescue once again – I found this recipe originally on Honest Body and tweaked it slightly plus adapted it to Thermomix.  It uses A LOT of honey (which provides both sweetness and moisture), but is very rich so you only *need* a small piece.  In the pic below, I doubled the recipe and it easily served more than 16 people (yes, I have a large family!)  The buttercream icing recipe is also from Honest Body and my adapted Thermomix version (plus peppermint, jaffa and peanut butter variations) can be found on this blog.  Decoration was kept simple (like me!) – native flowers from my garden (just make sure if using flowers they are not poisonous!)  The cake was a huge success, enjoyed by one and all!  Victory!  It is always exciting when a recipe is a success, especially when also eaten (and critiqued) by those who just eat “regular food”.  😉

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GO GET:

120g butter, cubed, or coconut oil
280g honey
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
6 eggs
40g unsweetened cocoa or cacao
60g coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

GET GOING:

  1. Preheat oven to 170ºC.  Grease and line a 22cm springform cake tin.
  2. Place butter into TM bowl and melt 2-3 min/50ºC/speed 1-2.
  3. Add honey, vanilla and eggs and mix 5 sec/speed 5.
  4. Add cocoa, coconut flour, baking soda and salt and mix 5 sec/speed 4.  Scrape sides of TM bowl and mix 5 sec/speed 4.
  5. Pour cake mix into cake tin and bake 40-50 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

This recipe also works very well as cupcakes- bake 20-25 mins instead.

Once cooled, ice cake or cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Icing of choice.

Recently, my eldest son wanted a peanut butter dessert for his 14th birthday.  Once again, this recipe came to the rescue!  To make Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes, fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full with cake mix, dollop a generous teaspoon of natural/homemade peanut butter into the centre of each cake, then top with a little more cake mix.  Once cooled, ice with Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing.

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Cupcakes from my daughter’s 10th birthday party.  We used a few drops of dōTERRA peppermint oil in the icing and topped them with Hoppers sprinkles…they were demolished by the kids and parents!

Simple Grain-free Waffles

Today is my eldest son’s 14th birthday.  My hubby Isaac and I like to make something a little special for our kids on their birthdays for breakfast, and waffles is right up there!  This recipe really couldn’t get any simpler.  Whack the ingredients into the Thermomix, blend, cook in your waffle maker and serve.  They are full of protein and low in carbs compared to traditional waffles, but also don’t taste like “health food”.  It can be so disappointing when you look for healthier versions of your favourite recipes and they just don’t cut it.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised – they certainly get the stamp of approval from my four kids!  Be careful removing them from the waffle maker – they are quite delicate.  Worst case, if you break one removing it (especially before you have mastered getting them out), have a taste…it’s always a good idea for quality control purposes anyway.  😉

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GO GET:

170g butter, coconut oil or ghee, plus extra for greasing the waffle maker
12 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
100g honey
120g fresh apple (in pieces), apple sauce or homemade yoghurt
60g coconut flour
1 tsp sea salt

GET GOING:

  1. Preheat waffle maker according to manufacturer instructions.
  2. Place butter, eggs, vanilla, honey and apple/apple sauce/yoghurt into TM bowl and blend 10 sec/speed 4 (speed 6 if using fresh apple).
  3. Add coconut flour and salt and mix 5 sec/speed 4.  Scrape down sides of TM bowl and blend 5 sec/speed 4.  Allow the mix to sit for approx. 5 minutes.
  4. Grease the waffle maker very well using a pastry brush before making each waffle.  We use butter and found using approx. 1-2 tsp worth of butter per waffle gives them a lovely crisp edge.
  5. Pour the waffle mix into the waffle maker (a 1/3 cup measuring cup worked perfectly for our waffle maker) and cook until golden brown.  Carefully remove the waffle and keep warm in a low oven or Thermoserver, or serve immediately to the hungry kids.
  6. Serve with your choice of toppings.  We generally serve ours with raw honey, blueberries and sour cream, however today the birthday boy wanted his served with a big blob of natural peanut butter.

This recipe makes approx. 12 waffles.  You can easily halve the recipe but as the waffles are quite thin and delicate, you are likely to find most people will want to eat a couple.  Leftover cooked waffles can be stored in the fridge for a day or two and be reheated or packed in lunch boxes, or wrapped well and frozen.

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Look at those crispy edges…mmm-mmmmmm!  😉