Today the girls and I decided to do some baking and I was thinking about making some sort of slice, something apricot and almond, but not certain what. As we were looking through Claire’s bag of kinder activities for lockdown 2.0, we came across some Gruffalo inspired recipes, one of them was ‘Knobbly Knees’, essentially a honey joy with some nuts, dried fruit and chocolate. This was the exact inspiration I needed.
The main ingredient for Knobbly Knees was cornflakes, which we didn’t have, so instead we used puffed millet and didn’t really follow the recipe at all, but created these little Apricot, Almond and Chocolate Millet Cups. These little cups are the perfect snack for both kids and adults, they are versatile in that they can be made using whatever puffs, dried fruit and nuts that you have on hand.
These cups when made using millet are a gluten free snack, making them suitable for anyone who has coeliac disease or follows a gluten free diet. If you are making these for kids that need a nut-free snack for school, the nuts can be substituted for seeds and peanut butter can be swapped for tahini or more butter. The chocolate chips can be added before adding the butter mixture, however this will result in them melting and the whole mixture being a darker colour.
I hope you enjoy these quick and easy snacks xx.
60g puffed millet
40g almonds, roughly chopped
40g dried apricots, diced into small pieces
1/3 cup flaked coconut
3 tbs honey
1 tbs peanut butter
1/3 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease muffin tins or patty pans.
Place millet, almonds, apricots and coconut into a large bowl and mix to combine.
Place the butter, honey and peanut butter into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until melted and allow to bubble for ~1 minute. Cool slightly.
Pour butter mixture over the millet mixture and mix well to coat. Add the chocolate chips and fold through.
Place mixture into muffin tins or patty pans (I used silicone muffin trays) and press down slightly, sprinkle with a few choc chips and bake for ~ 10 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before removing from the tray and store in an airtight container.
With school aged children, the need for nut-free snacks is imperative.
I have been seeing blondie recipes pop up everywhere lately, especially chickpea blondies, which I love. The only downside is that they all use either peanut butter or almond meal, which is not at all conducive when you can’t send your child to school with nuts (not that school-friendly snacks really matter when you’re schooling from home!!!). So, I have done some experimenting and have come up with these Tahini and Chocolate Chickpea Blondies.
Don’t let the inclusion of chickpeas put you off as you really cannot taste them. Instead, your body just reaps the rewards of including a member of the pulse family in the diet. Chickpeas provide an excellent source of prebiotic soluble fibre. Prebiotics are the ‘food’ that feed the trillions of good bacteria (also called probiotics or microbes) that reside in your gut, which make up the microbiome. When fed adequately, these microbes flourish and produce short chain fatty acids, which control the permeability of the gut, ensuring that molecules stay inside the intestinal tract, where they belong, rather than leeching out and causing inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body is an underlying cause of many chronic health conditions, so minimising it is very beneficial to overall health and well-being.
One of the best things about this recipe is that you can pop everything into the food processor and blend it together, meaning only one bowl needs to be washed. Do make sure that you store these blondies in the fridge. One of the batches I made, I left at room temperature and within a couple of days they went mouldy, due to the moisture content of the chickpeas.
If you don’t love the taste of tahini and have no need for these to be nut free, then you can substitute the tahini for peanut butter, which has a more mild flavour than the tahini. The chocolate is an optional extra, but I highly recommend including it. I have just sprinkled it on top here, but it can be folded through the mixture just before adding it to the pan.
1 cup rolled oats
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of hulled tahini
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
50g dark chocolate, chopped or 1/3 cup dark choc bits
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a square baking tray with baking paper.
Place the oats into the food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times to break up the oats.
Add the chickpeas, tahini, maple syrup, dates, eggs, vanilla and baking powder and blend until a smooth, yet slightly lumpy consistency forms. You may need to stop the food processor to scrape down the sides.
If you want the chocolate to be evenly distributed throughout the mixture then fold in the chocolate, otherwise pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the chocolate on top.
Place into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until firm to touch.
Allow to cool before slicing. Place into an airtight container and store in the fridge.
It’s been awhile since I have shared a muffin recipe and I seem to be baking a new batch a few times a fortnight, so I thought I’d come up with something new.
Lemon and Blueberry are always a great flavour combination, and the addition of any form of chocolate to a muffin makes most people happy. These are a light, fresh and flavoursome muffin. All of the kids have enjoyed the 2 batches of these that I have made, even when I forgot the milk in one of the batches….ooops!
These are a simple one bowl muffin and freeze really well. They are also great for the kids lunchboxes, now that the restrictions are starting to lift and schools have returned…for us in Australia, at least.
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup milk
90g butter, melted
3 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g fresh or frozen blueberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chips or roughly chopped white chocolate
Preheat the oven top 200°C and prepare an 18 hole muffin tray(s) for medium sized muffins or a 12-15 hole muffin tray for larger muffins.
Place flours, baking powder, bicarb soda and lemon zest into a large bowl and mix to combine.
Add the lemon juice, milk, eggs, butter, maple syrup and vanilla and stir to combine.
Add the blueberries and white chocolate and fold through the mixture, being careful not to over mix.
Divide the mixture between the muffin holes and place into the oven and bake for ~15 minutes or until the muffins bounce back when pressed on top.
I am always trying different flavours of bliss balls, as well as experimenting with ones that contain nuts and ones that are nut-free so that Mark can take them to school. Recently, Mum and Dad came to visit and brought with them a big bag of lemons, so I needed to use them up, which is where these Lemon and Coconut Bliss Balls came into play.
Ordinarily, I would have made these with cashews or almonds, or a combination of the two, but in this case, I wanted these balls to be lunchbox friendly, so I made them with seeds rather than the nuts, which in my opinion, are not as delicious. The nuts seems to add a more smooth and creamy texture than the seeds.
The flavour combination of lemon and coconut is reminiscent of my childhood – the good old lemon and coconut slice, which, to be honest, one of my favourite parts of this slice being made was licking the condensed milk tin! Delicious! I will still happily enjoy a piece of lemon slice if I come across one, but it is nice to be able to create similar flavours in a way that is much more nutritious for both adults and kids.
Make ~25 balls
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup chia seeds
2/3 cup shredded coconut, toasted
12 medjool dates, pitted
1 tbs coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract) or 1 tsp vanilla protein powder
1/3 cup desiccated coconut, for rolling
Place oats, seeds and toasted coconut into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Remove from bowl and set aside.
Place dates into food processor and blitz on high until dates break up and then come back together to form a ball.
Place the oats and seeds mix in with the dates and add the coconut oil and lemon zest and blitz on high to break up the ball of dates.
Add the vanilla and lemon juice and blitz again until the mixture comes together and forms a large ball.
Place mixture into a medium sized bowl and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, place desiccated coconut into a small frypan and toast over medium heat until it turns golden brown. This happens quickly, so keep an eye on it.
Remove the mixture from the fridge and take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture, roll into a ball and roll in the coconut. Repeat with remaining mixture.
Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for 2-3 months (they won’t last that long)!