Aussie Bites

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Mmmm Aussie Bites! I must confess these little bites are addicting. I make them in a mini muffin tin and I could easily gobble up 4 at a time, but I try to practice self discipline and limit myself to just 2 at a time. But, ya know, stuff happens and 2 ends up as 4 sometimes. I tell myself that these are healthy and it’s okay. #yolo right?!

So, here is a look at most of the ingredients. It seems like a lot, but these come together pretty fast.

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First thing you should know is that you need oat flour for this. But fear not! Oat flour is super easy to make with some oats and a food processor. It only takes a minute to process the oats into a flour. See, easy peasy oat flour in 1 minute flat.

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Now, for my Aussie Bites I kept some of the oat whole for texture purposes. I think it gives them an extra chew. It’s personal preference, feel free to blend all of the oats into a flour if you desire less chew from the oats.

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These are great for breakfast, or a snack, or dessert. Anytime really. I grab 2 on my way to work. Quick, easy and delish! This recipe will make about 18-24 mini muffins depending on how much batter per muffin you fill.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 Cup old fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 1/4 Cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 Cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 Cup raisins
  • 1/4 Cup ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 Cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 Cup quinoa, cooked
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 Cup honey
  • 1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 24 count mini muffin tin.
  2. Pour 1 Cup of oats into a food processor and process until you have a flour.
  3. Add in the coconut sugar, apricots, raisins, ground flax seeds, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, quinoa, chia seeds and baking powder. Pulse in the food processor until well combined and the fruit is diced up into tiny bits.
  4. Add in the honey, melted butter, extra virgin olive oil, vanilla extract and remaining 3/4 cup of oats. Pulse again until everything is well combined.
  5. Spoon out the batter into your lined mini muffin tin and pack down batter into tin gently with back of spoon.
  6. Baked in pre-heated oven for 12mins or until golden.
  7. Once baked, place pan on a cooling rack and let cool. Enjoy!

Ottolenghi’s Spinach, Date & Almond Salad

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Hi everyone! I’m sorry the blog went dark last week, but I had a good reason. I was on vacation! Like, just 2 adults and 0 kids vacation. I think prior to this it has been 6yrs or so since I’ve had an adult only vacation. It was nice, but I missed my big babies and my pups.

Now that I’m back to reality. It’s back to grocery shopping, cooking and meal prepping. This salad is one of my favorite salads. The flavor combinations in here are amazing! The texture is on point as well. Perhaps it’s the seasoning or the toasted pita bread that sets it off. I’m not sure, but it’s amazing!

For this recipe I slightly adapted it from Ottolenghi’s cookbook: Jerusalem, which I highly recommend if you are looking for veggie heavy, flavor packed recipes. There are meat and dessert recipes in the cookbook as well. So, far everything I have tried of his I absolutely love! Fair warning though – some of his recipes can be labor intensive, but the end results are always phenomenal.

This salad has a sweet, yet tangy flavor with a slight spiciness to it. The dates give it the sweet vibes and the quick pickled onions and dressing give it a bit of a bite. This is a match made in heaven to me. Top it off with the seasoning blend and I’m in salad heaven.

Ingredients

Salad Base:

  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 medium size red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 Cup pitted Medjool dates, sliced into quarters lengthwise
  • 2 T unsalted butter or ghee
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 small pitas torn into roughly 1 to 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1/2 Cup sliced unsalted almonds
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 5oz baby spinach
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp plus 2 pinches of salt, divided

Directions

  1. Put the vinegar, onion, and dates in a small bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the onions and dates and mix well with your hands. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes, then drain away any residual vinegar and discard. Onions should has softened up by this point.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the butter or ghee and half of the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the pita and almonds and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring the entire time, until the pita is crunchy and golden brown. Remove from the heat and mix in the sumac, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside to cool.
  3. When you are ready to serve, toss the spinach leaves with the pita mix in a large mixing bowl. Add the dates and red onion, *the remaining olive oil, the lemon juice, and another pinch of salt*. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

*Dressing alternative: The olive oil and lemon juice works great on this salad, but when in a pinch I use balsamic vinaigrette and it compliments the flavors very well.

Creamy Raspberry Mango Ice Pops

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How many people love a cold, creamy dessert? These ice pops are an awesome summer treat. You’ve got a creamy coconut layer and then a raspberry-mango layer. What’s not to love?! 🙂

Growing up I remember eating my fair share of Popsicle’s. However, looking back I think they were mostly brightly colored, frozen sugar ice. I loved them as a kid and my kids will eat pretty much any frozen treat that comes their way. But I’m not fond of the standard ingredients you will find in a box of Popsicle’s.

You will usually find this trio: High fructose corn syrup, sugar and corn syrup. Why? So many sugars crammed into one ice pop! So, I decided one day I would make my own. Surely it would be easy, right? I remember freezing juice in little paper cups as a kid with a wooden stick shoved into them and it worked! I had my very own miniature ice pop. 9yr old me was super proud of this moment even though it was just frozen apple juice or grape juice.

Adult me me realized there was more to it than just freezing some juice. The flavor combos are endless and it’s super fun to make your own ice pops. Plus, they’re healthy with no refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup!

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To get a cool layered ice pop you first pour the coconut milk base into your molds and freeze for about 10-15mins and then proceed with the fruit layer. Above are the molds I use. They have worked great over the last couple of years that I’ve had them. Also, they’re BPA free!

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While the coconut milk base sets you can move onto the fruit base. I used a mixture of frozen mango and raspberries. I add in some honey to sweetened it up a bit, but this is optional. You can also use agave or maple syrup if you prefer.

Also, if you hadn’t noticed already… here is some wise, old advice. Make sure you put your blender blade in the blender BEFORE you add your ingredients (face palm). I had to scrape all of my honey drenched fruit out into another bowl. Put my blender blade in the blender and then scrape all the fruit back into my blender. Having to dirty up an extra bowl because I forgot the blade was not cool. No one needs an extra dirty dish in their sink!

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Now, when you go to blend up your frozen fruit you will probably need a little bit of liquid to smooth it out. A couple of spoonfuls of the coconut milk base would work, but will result in a slightly lighter color. Apple juice is usually my go to, but I was out. So, I grabbed what I had on hand. Which was Voss lime mint sparkling water. I know, totally weird, but it worked! The ever so slight lime mint flavor from the water complimented the raspberry-mango very well. Here is a picture of the Voss sparkling water for reference:

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You totally do not have to use this. My youngest kid just happened to have downed the last of the apple juice before I had time to notice. Sometimes you just have to improvise 😉

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After you spoon in your fruit layer on top of the coconut milk, let freeze for at least 4hrs. To loosen the ice pops from the molds either let sit at room temperature for about 15mins or run lukewarm water around the molds to help loosen them up quickly. Ta-da you have just made delicious, yet healthy ice pops you can feel good about. Did you try them out? Let me know how you liked them 🙂

Ingredients

Coconut Milk Base:

  • 1 (15oz) can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 Cup honey*, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Raspberry-Mango Base:

  • 1.5 Cup of frozen mango chunks and raspberries
  • 2T honey*
  • 1/4 Cup Voss sparkling lime mint water (or apple juice)**

Directions

  1. Shake can of coconut milk well and pour into a small bowl. Add in 1/4 cup of honey minus 2T (these 2T of honey will be used for the fruit base later). Add in the vanilla and mix well.
  2. Fill ice pop molds about half to 2/3rds of the way full with the coconut milk base. Place in freezer for about 10-15mins.
  3. Place frozen fruit and honey into a blender and blend well. Scrape down sides and add 1T at a time of the Voss sparkling lime mint water (or apple juice) and blend after each addition of water or juice. Add only enough liquid to get a spoonable smoothie like texture.
  4. Take your ice pop molds from the freezer and spoon in the fruit base on top of the coconut milk base. Once all molds have been filled place a wooden stick in each mold and place molds in the freezer. Freeze for at least 4hrs or until solid.
  5. To remove from molds let sit at room temperature for about 15mins or run lukewarm water around mold to quickly release them.

*Agave or maple syrup can be used in place of the honey for a vegan friendly option.

**Only add in the liquid 1T at a time until you get a spoonable smoothie like texture.