Chocolate Orange Sweet Potato Brownies

Choc orange brownies

This recipe almost defeated me.  I tried it so many times and I was never happy with the outcome for a number of reasons; too sweet, not sweet enough, didn’t rise, not gooey enough – I honestly thought I’d need to admit defeat and forget about it.

Thankfully a couple of weeks ago I had one last go and altered the recipe yet again and these delicious brownies were the result.  At first I thought I’d had another disaster as they didn’t seem to set but I left them on the side to cool and they firmed up but still retained their gooey-ness.  I had to taste test three in a row just to be sure I had finally got it right!!

I’ve since made the recipe a couple of more times and all were successful.  Once you take the brownies out of the oven and allow to cool, when you slice them they will still be gooey, however, once you set them aside they’ll firm up further.

Chocolate orange brownies

Makes approximately 9 brownies.

Ingredients

-1 cup mashed sweet potato (approx. 1 medium sweet potato)

-1 cup ground almonds

-2 tsp. baking powder

-1 egg, beaten

-1/2 cup cacao powder

-3 Tbsp. honey

-zest of 1 large orange

-2 Tbsp. chopped dairy free dark chocolate

How To Make

Pre-heat oven to 180C/355F.  Line a small baking dish with oiled parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients until fully combined.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish and top with broken chocolate pieces if using.

Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the top starts hardening.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Once cool, slice in to squares (they will still be gooey at this stage) and set aside to firm up further.

Enjoy warm or cold.

These keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Enjoy 🙂

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Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas

I love chickpeas and any dish that contains them or is made with them.  I’ve always got some in the house, tinned or dried.

I cannot believe I haven’t tried roasting chickpeas before now, they are utterly delicious and very, very moreish (be warned!).  I was developing recipes the other weekend and instead of making hummus I thought I’d try these and now making them weekly, I’ve even got my friend hooked on them.  So now I’m wracking my brains thinking of other recipes I could incorporate chickpeas in – baked goods?  Who knows? But I’m sure I’ll have fun trying.

I use Ras El Hanout on these chickpeas but you could use any spice you like.  Ras El Hanout is a Moroccan seasoning with cinnamon, lavender, rose petals and cloves among some of the spices and herbs used to make it, which makes it lovely and fragrant.

These are lovely enjoyed warm but be sure to allow them to cool enough when you take them out of the oven.  I didn’t the first time making them and ended up with a sore tongue!

Ingredients

-1 X 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed

-1 Tbsp. olive oil

-1 Tbsp. Ras El Hanout or spice of your choice

Roasted Chickpeas2

How To Make

Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with tin foil.

After you have rinsed the chickpeas pat them dry with kitchen towel and put in a bowl.

Pour over the oil and seasoning, mixing well so all chickpeas are covered.  Pour onto the lined baking sheet spreading out the chickpeas.

Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes, giving a stir halfway through cooking time.

Remove when golden and crispy.

Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

These store well in an airtight container for 2-3 days (although once you start eating them it’s hard to stop!)

Enjoy 🙂

Sweet Potato & Spinach Curry

Sweet Potato & Spinach Curry

I hadn’t realised when I wanted to make a curry from scratch it would be so difficult.  Trying to get the spices just right nearly defeated me but I kept on trying and I am so glad I did.  This curry is lovely and creamy with just enough heat but if you prefer more heat then add an extra chilli or more curry powder.

The ingredients list for this recipe may seem long but I promise you it will be worth it.  I normally use a curry paste when I make a curry but I always wanted to make my own from scratch.  My mum used to make great curries from scratch and now I wish I’d paid more attention to what she was doing!

Like most curries, this tastes even better the next day.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

-1 red chilli, seeds removed

-large thumb size piece of ginger, peeled

-4 cloves of garlic, peeled

-1 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil

-1 red onion, peeled & diced finely

-1 tsp. curry powder

-2 tsp. garam masala

-1 tsp. ground coriander

-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

-1 tsp. turmeric

-2 Tbsp. tomato puree

-1/4 cup desiccated coconut

-2 medium organic sweet potato, peeled and diced (large dice)

-1 x 400ml can of light coconut milk

-1 x 400ml can of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed well

-approx. 180g of baby spinach, rinsed

Sweet Potato & Spinach Curry2

How To Make

First put the chilli, ginger and garlic in a mini food processor and process until very finely chopped.  If you don’t have a mini food processor you can crush the garlic and finely chop/grate the chilli and ginger.  The processor just saves time!

In a large pan heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onion.  Cook the onion gently for 4-5 minutes until it starts to soften.  Next add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the spices and cook for another minute then add the tomato paste.  Cook the tomato paste for about 5 minutes as this helps remove any bitterness.  You may need to reduce the heat to prevent the spices burning.

Next add the sweet potato and give everything a good stir.  Pour over the coconut milk and fill the empty coconut milk can with water and add this to the pan too.  Add the desiccated coconut and cannellini beans, giving everything a good stir.

Put the lid on the pan and bring everything to a boil.  Reduce heat to a high simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the potatoes are just becoming tender (cooking time will depend on the size of your diced potato).

Add the spinach and cook until wilted and the potatoes are ready.

Serve with brown rice or buckwheat.

This curry can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Hazelnut Chocolate Balls

hazelnut chocolate balls1

I can’t stop making and eating these balls.  They taste very similar to Ferrero Rocher which used to be my favourite sweet treat before I had to give up gluten and dairy.  They are great with a cup of tea in the afternoon when most people get a sweet craving.

These are really easy to make and store well in the fridge for 3-4 days; they may possibly store longer but I never have any left longer than 4 days!

Makes 6-8 balls

Ingredients

-6 large medjool dates, stones removed

-2 Tbsp. cacao powder

-1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. roasted, blanched hazelnuts

-1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

hazelnut chocolate balls

How To Make

Place the dates in a bowl and pour over just boiled water.  Let the dates stand in the water for 1-2 minutes until softened.

While waiting for the dates to soften, place the hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Remove 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts and place in a dish – this will be used to roll your balls in.

Place the dates, vanilla and cacao powder in the processor along with the chopped nuts and blend until all ingredients come together to form a ball.

Take some of the mixture and roll into balls between your hands then roll in the reserved chopped hazelnuts and set aside.  Continue to do this until all the mixture is used up – should make 6 to 8 balls.

Place balls in the fridge until firm.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Enjoy 🙂

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried cauliflower soup

My usual way to cook cauliflower is to roast it or make ‘rice’ with it, however, when I received one in my veg box I decided I wanted to try something different.

The first soup I made wasn’t great.  I used too many ingredients, over complicated the flavours & couldn’t actually taste the cauliflower.  I decided that ‘less is more’ kept the recipe simple and voila!  The recipe below was born.

This is a lovely thick soup but if you prefer a thinner consistency add more water or stock.  This soup is lovely with a squeeze of lemon on top just before serving.

Serves 4

Ingredients

-1 heaped tsp. coconut oil or olive oil

-1 red onion, diced

-1 garlic clove, crushed

-1 thumb size piece ginger, peeled & finely grated

-1 medium cauliflower, trimmed and florets separated

-1 medium potato, peeled and roughly diced

-1 x 400ml can low-fat coconut milk

-600ml water or vegetable stock

-1 tsp. turmeric powder

-1 heaped tsp. curry powder

-salt & pepper to taste

How To Make

Place a large pan over a medium heat and heat the coconut oil.  Once the oil is hot add the onion, garlic and ginger.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion starts to soften.

Add the remaining ingredients and give everything a stir.

Place a lid on the pan, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower and potato are cooked.

Allow to cool slightly then blend.  Season to taste with salt and pepper

This soup stores well in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container.  It freezes well too.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Mint Chocolate Smoothie

mint choc smoothie

I was going to post a different recipe this week but when I posted a picture of this smoothie on Instagram and Facebook I received lots of enquiries about it that I thought I would share it with you this week.

I’m not a huge chocolate lover but every so often I do have a craving for some.  This smoothie satisfied my craving instantly and is filling too so a great snack.

I don’t add any sweeteners to this smoothie but if you prefer something a little sweeter you could add some honey or maple syrup.  If you don’t have any bananas in your freezer just use a regular banana and a handful of ice cubes.

Some people may not be familiar with maca which I have included – although this is totally optional.  Maca is native to the Andes and is a very hardy plant. Amongst other benefits it is great for helping with energy levels and reducing tiredness.  It has a slight caramel taste which I love.

Serves 1 – easily doubled

Ingredients

-1 frozen banana, peeled

-1 handful baby spinach

-3 or 4 large fresh mint leaves

-2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder

-1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)

-1/2 tsp. maca powder (optional)

-cacao nibs for sprinkling on top (optional)

mint chocolate smoothie

How To Make

Place all the ingredients except for the cacao nibs in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into a glass and top with the cacao nibs, if using.

Enjoy 🙂