LUXE / HEALTH raw date caramel slice…

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Caramel slice has got to be one of my absolute favourite treats but the generic stuff you find at your local cafe is often laden with refined sugars. Although there are endless recipes online for healthier versions of this tasty treat, I’m forever experimenting with new combos and think I’ve stumbled onto a winner. While dates are high in fructose (so I wouldn’t suggest noshing on them every day), they are the perfect addition to this sticky slice…just try not to devour the whole slab at once!

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LUXE / HEALTH Raw Date Caramel Slice

Ingredients:

For the base:
4 dates, pitted and diced
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup raw pecans
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

For the date caramel:
4 dates, pitted and diced
4 tbsp. tahini
2 tbsp. rice malt syrup
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

For the chocolate:
1/4 cup cacao
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp. rice malt syrup
Crack of sea salt

Method:

  • To make the base, pop all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles chunky breadcrumbs.
  • Line a baking tin or small square tupperware container with baking paper. Pour the shredded base mixture into the prepped tin and press down firmly. Pop in the freezer while you make the caramel.
  • Place dates, tahini, rice malt syrup and coconut oil in the food processor and blend until the mixture comes together like it does when you’re making dough. Tip out into a fine sieve and drain off any excess milky oil that has been released by the tahini.
  • Press the caramel firmly into the base with your fingers or a spatula and place back into the freezer.
  • Whisk together the cacao, coconut oil and rice malt syrup, add a crack or two of sea salt and pour over the caramel layer. Place back in the freezer once more and leave to set for 30-60 minutes.
  • Slice into thick chunks and enjoy! The slice will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

LUXE / HEALTH carrot cake…

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This was my first (and only) attempt at creating a healthy version of carrot cake and I have to admit – it was a winner all round!  If you’ve got a surplus of carrots lingering in the bottom of your fridge, I suggest you whip up this wee treat, grab a cup of tea and enjoy every single mouthful…

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LUXE / HEALTH Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

3 large carrots, grated
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla bean powder
Dash ground cinnamon
Dash ground ginger
2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (or raisins if you prefer) + extra to serve
2 tsp. baking powder

For the icing:

Cream cheese
Pinch vanilla bean powder
Lemon zest and juice, to taste

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 160C on bake.  Then, in a large bowl mix together the grated carrot, eggs, spices, almond meal, walnuts, baking powder and coconut oil.
  • Mix well then pop into a lightly greased loaf tin.  If you haven’t got one already, I can highly recommend the silicon loaf tins you can buy nowadays!
  • Bake for around 90 minutes or until cooked through, the cake should be moist but hold together.  This is another recipe where you need to trust your instincts and after 60 minutes, check the cake every 10 minutes or so as every oven differs slightly.
  • Cool in the loaf tin completely before popping onto a rack.
  • Meanwhile, whip up some cream cheese icing by popping a few tablespoons of cream cheese in a hand mixer with a pinch of vanilla bean powder and the zest of one lemon.  Slowly add lemon juice, to taste and a little honey or rice malt syrup to sweeten (optional).
  • Once the cake has cooled, use a spatula to ice the loaf and sprinkle with extra chopped walnuts.  Simple.

LUXE / HEALTH banana + oat cookies…

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Give me a bunch of too-ripe bananas and I give you these wee gems…enjoy!

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LUXE / HEALTH Banana + Oat Cookies

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas
2 cups oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup choc chips (substitute for raisins or chopped nuts if you want to ditch the chocolate!)
1 tbsp. rice malt syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
Dash ginger powder

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 140C, then in a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas well.
  • Add the oats, coconut, choc chips, rice malt syrup, coconut oil and a dash of ginger powder (or cinnamon if you prefer) and mix well.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper then pop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the tray – should make 12-14 cookies.
  • Cook for around 45 minutes at this low heat, then crank your oven to 180C for another 10-15 minutes to crisp up the outside.  The cookies should look nice and golden brown but still be chewy on the inside so just trust your instincts when it comes to your oven and keep an eye on them!

LUXE / HEALTH French toast…

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In my mind, there’s nothing more comforting than a stack of gorgeously gooey French toast and while it’s certainly a bit of a treat brekkie and not something I would suggest noshing on every day – it’s definitely on high rotation in our household at the moment.  Sunday mornings currently involve a lazy stroll to the corner coffee shop, followed by a trip to the local bakery for a loaf of fresh gluten free sourdough, and then it’s straight back to the kitchen for pure indulgence…

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LUXE / HEALTH French Toast

Ingredients:

4 eggs
1/2 cup milk of your choice
1 tbsp. rapadura sugar
4-6 slices thickly cut sourdough (I’ve found the BEST gluten free loaf at our local, but any bread will do)
Fresh raspberries
Marscapone or coconut yoghurt, to serve
Maple syrup (make sure you buy 100% pure – the regular supermarket rubbish is often full of just that..)
Butter or coconut oil

Method:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and sugar until smooth.  Then, dunk each slice of bread in the egg mixture for a few seconds until it’s super soggy.
  • Heat a grill pan or frying pan on medium-high heat and add a dollop of butter or coconut oil and swirl around.  Note: I like to have two pans going at once because I’m simply too impatient to wait!
  • Fry each slice of bread for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown and serve while hot.
  • Current fave toppings include fresh raspberries with marscapone (it’s a treat after all!) and maple syrup.  But, honourable mentions include sliced banana and bacon, raspberries and coconut yoghurt or my hubby’s simple favourite, cinnamon sugar…

LUXE / HEALTH choc-dipped strawberries…

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I don’t know about you, but choc-dipped strawberries are one of my favourite treats at Christmas time, but after two or three (read: half a dozen), I find the sugar in the chocolate  leaves my teeth tingling.  Here’s a version which is sugar free, dairy free and unbelievably delicious.  Trust me, you won’t even notice the difference…

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LUXE / HEALTH Choc-Dipped Strawberries

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cacao
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp. rice malt syrup
2 tbsp. almond milk
Generous crack sea salt
Punnet of strawberries, rinsed
Chopped almonds
Shredded coconut

 

Method:

  • In a small saucepan, whisk together cacao, coconut oil, rice malt syrup, almond milk and sea salt until well combined.  Take off the heat.
  • Rinse and prep strawberries – either leave them whole or slice lengthways in half.
  • Dip each strawberry in the melted chocolate, shaking off any excess before dipping into roughly chopped almonds or coconut (optional) and leave on a tray to set for 10 minutes.
  • OR, you can ignore all that and simply dip and devour immediately!

 

LUXE / HEALTH salty peanut butter bark…

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I think this might be my favourite sweet treat yet!  A little bit salty, a little bit sweet and completely guilt free…the best bit about this peanut butter bark is that it literally takes 20 minutes from start to finish.  Get into it!

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LUXE / HEALTH Salty Peanut Butter Bark

Ingredients:

4 tsp. peanut butter (smooth or crunchy – whatever tickles your fancy!)
2 tsp. rice malt syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
Handful coconut flakes, plus a few extra to sprinkle on top
Sea salt

Method:

  • In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter, rice malt syrup, coconut oil and a handful of coconut flakes.
  • Line a baking tin with baking paper, then pour the peanut butter mixture into the tray.
  • Crack a generous dose of sea salt over the top (I give it 8-10 good twists as I like it salty!), then sprinkle a few extra coconut flakes over the top.
  • Pop it in the freezer to set for at least 20 minutes, then break apart and scoff quickly.