I don’t usually make many sweet treats because I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. However, there are times I do crave something sweet. I love these date balls as I get to stave off the cravings with a big nutritional hit.
These energy balls fuel your body with superfoods, filling an empty tum and providing energy to burn.
1 cup of dry dates (about 30) soaked in water for 3 – 5 hours 2 tablespoons of honey 1/4 cup chia seeds 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped 1/2 cup shredded coconut 1 1/2 cups almond flour
Drain the water from the dates, reserving 1/4 cup of water.
Put the dates, reserved water and the honey into a small food processor/blender. Process until smooth, or leave it a little lumpy with tasty date chunks.
Pour the date mix into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Mix the chia seeds well. Let it sit for two minutes.
Add the almond flour, cinnamon, pecans and shredded coconut to the bowl, and mix well.
Roll the dough into bite-size balls and coat with your choice of finely crushed pecans, shredded coconut or cinnamon, or leave them plain.
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With Saint Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I decided to do a “green recipe”. I have never bothered adding green to my pancakes or beer before, but this covid pandemic has left me with much time on my hands. So I sat down and thought about something green that would be a yummy inclusion to any St Paddy’s Day celebration. Since I have made a Christmas bliss ball, I decided to do bliss ball for St Paddy’s Day.
These delicious coconut lime bliss balls are perfect for any occasion! Leave off the chocolate coating for a healthier treat.
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup *macadamias, roughly chopped
Zest of 2 large limes (about 1 tablespoon)
Juice of 2 large limes (about 1/2 cup)
4 tablespoons runny honey (add more honey for a sweeter bliss ball)
3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil (cold pressed)
3 tablespoons of hot water
Put the oats into a food processor and process until fine. Add the oats to a bowl with the coconut flour, desiccated coconut, chia seeds, macadamias and lime zest. Mix well with a spoon.
In a small bowl mix the hot water, honey and coconut oil, blend well. Add to the bowl and add the lime juice. Mix very well (a minute or two) and allow to sit for several minutes. Mix well again and then form into balls. Squeeze a spoonful of coconut mix in your hand firmly and shape into a ball. Once you have a firm ball shape, roll the ball between your palms to form a smooth ball.
225g White chocolate oil-based food colour.
Decorate the balls with white chocolate (coloured green for St Patrick’s Day) and use slices of snake lollies to form four- leaf clovers. Alternatively, coat the ball in chocolate and sprinkle half with desiccated coconut.
Pudding for breakfast? Yes, please! I love this delicious, super nutritious breakfast dish. What’s not to love? I love how easy it is to make; I love how tasty it is, and I love how simple it is to dress it up and add different flavours. I also love that this breakfast is packed full of superfood goodness. This is my simple recipe for Chia Seed Pudding and a few simple modifications to add variety as well as ideas to increase the fibre!
Before we look at the recipes, please note I have not added any sweetener. This is precisely how I like it. However, it is simple to make this ‘pudding’ sweeter. Experiment with adding honey, maple or sugar syrup.
Making it even easier! I don’t know about you, but I love things to be simple in the morning. I am a morning person, but I like to sit with the computer, write and drink tea. That is when my brain is at its best, and I get the most done. So having breakfast prepared and ready to eat is super handy. I also have a ready-mix of chopped nuts, seeds and coconut, which I keep in an airtight container. This makes topping my chia breakfast pudding quick and easy!
Basic Chia Pudding
1/4 cup Chia seeds
1 cup milk – almond milk, coconut milk or cows milk
Mix the chia seeds and milk well with a fork, breaking up any lumps, then leave to sit for 10 minutes. Mix again with the fork, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
I refrigerate mine overnight. It will keep in the fridge for a few days. So I make several breakfast puddings at one time.
*Alternatively, you can mix as above and pour into individual serving dishes (after the second mix) before refrigerating.
Divide the chia seed pudding between two serving dishes and top with yoghurt, berries and nuts and seeds. Get creative!
Chia seed breakfast pudding set in individual bowls and topped with yoghurt, blueberries and a nut and seed mix
Some of our favourites!
1/4 cup Chia seeds
1 cup almond milk
2 Tablespoons of cocoa
Fresh or frozen berries
Mix all ingredients well with a fork, breaking up any lumps, then leave to sit for 10 minutes. Mix again with the fork, cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve topped with berries, nuts, seeds and desiccated coconut.
Choc berry chia pudding topped with coconut, nuts and seed… the seeds and nuts are full of goodness and help make this a filling breakfast
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup of almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 Tablespoon coconut
Mix all ingredients well with a fork, breaking up any lumps, then leave to sit for 10 minutes. Mix again with a fork, cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve topped with coconut, and chopped nuts.
Tropical Fruit Salad
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup almond milk
Mix all ingredients well with a fork, breaking up any lumps, then leave to sit for 10 minutes. Mix again with a fork, cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning I layer chia seed pudding and chopped tropical fruit (mango) in several layers. Top with tropical fruit such as mango, dragon fruit, passionfruit, pineapple and banana.
Chia seed pudding with tropical fruit
For a bigger fibre hit, I use Psyllium.
2 Tablespoon chia seeds
180ml almond milk
1/2 cup water
3/4 – 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons psyllium husk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Mix all ingredients well with a fork, breaking up any lumps, then leave to sit for 10 minutes. Mix well again with a fork, and pour into serving glasses. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with berries and yoghurt, a sprinkle of coconut and seeds.
Mix all ingredients well with a fork, breaking up any lumps, then leave to sit for 10 minutes. Mix again with the fork, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. I then serve this in bowls topped with banana, coconut, seed and nut mix.
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I am always trying to formulate ways of adding more fibre to my diet. Dietary fibre prevents constipation and is excellent for weight loss as it makes you feel fuller. However, the benefits are far more significant than that alone. Did you know that high fibre diets reduce blood pressure and inflammation and may prevent colorectal cancer?
Adults need 30g of fibre a day. So I set to work selecting high fibre ingredient to blend into a delicious fruit and nut bar.
I first made this recipe with 1/4 of a cup of dried fruit and I had a couple of people tell me it wasn’t sweet enough. I don’t have a sweet tooth so it was perfect for me. I made a second batch with more fruit and it was better received by the friends who have a sweet-tooth. I, on the other hand, found it a little too sweet and will go back to using only a 1/4 of dried fruit. So you may want to play around with the amount of fruit you use (ingredient six**). If you like very sweet start with 1/2 a cup of fruit etc. You can always add a little honey for sweetness also.
3/4 cup LSA* 1/2 cup desiccated coconut 1/2 cup chia seeds 1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts 1/4 – 1/2 cup mixed dried fruit** (cranberries, blueberries, goji etc) 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao 2 Tbs psyllium 1/2 cup raisins 3/4 cup coconut milk A little dark chocolate to melt to top the slices (optional).
Add the first eight ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix until well blended.
Put the raisins and the coconut milk in a food processor and blend for a minute.
Mix the coconut and raisin into the dry ingredients until well blended.
Press into a tray, sprinkle with coconut and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Once it is firm slice it into bars. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired.
*LSA is a ground mix of linseed, sunflower and almond.
About the ingredients
LSA (Linseed, Sunflower and Almond) – Healthy fats – omega’s 3 and 6, high fibre, vitamins and minerals and it is gluten-free.
Desiccated Coconut – High fibre, iron and minerals (gluten-free).
Raisins – High fibre, iron, calcium and anti-oxidants (gluten-free)
Psyllium – an excellent source of fibre and is gluten-free.
Chia seeds – high in fibre and good fats – omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, high protein (14% by weight) and gluten-free.
Goji berries – good source of fibre and protein, contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants… and gluten-free.
Cocoa – high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is also gluten-free.
Walnuts – low Carbohydrates (and most carbs in the walnuts are fibre). High in good fats omega-6 and Omega-3, and contains huge amounts of antioxidants. Walnuts contain many vitamins and minerals and are gluten-free.
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I have another bliss ball for you! I love knowing what I am eating and by making my own snack foods I am aware of all the ingredients. Homemade bliss balls are the perfect snack for the lunch box, morning or afternoon tea, or just when you need some filling up.
My bliss balls do not require any oil to hold them together, as I use the psyllium which works beautifully to bond all the ingredients. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so please feel free to add a little honey if you want them sweeter (you will probably have to reduce the orange juice). Bon appetit!
3/4 cup of oats 1/2 cup desiccated coconut 300g dried apricots 1/4 cup psyllium husks 1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped 6 brazil nuts, roughly chopped 1/4 cup chia seeds 1/2 – 3/4 cup orange juice extra coconut for coating
Add oats to a food processor and process until fine and put into a bowl.
Add the coconut, psyllium, pistachios, brazil nuts and chia seed to the bowl.
Put the apricots into the food processor and chop up. Add 1/2 a cup of orange juice and chop up well.
Add the apricot mix to the bowl and mix well. Add a little more orange juice if needed. Mix into a firm mix. Once well blended, use wet hands and roll the mix into 25 – 30 balls.
Coat the balls in the extra coconut.
Refrigerate. Will last in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
About the Ingredients
Apricots – are high in beta-carotene, fibre, vitamin C and potassium, they also provide protection against free radical damage.
Oats – High in fibre, helps lower cholesterol and is high in antioxidants.
Psyllium Husk – fibre! and can help manage cholesterol levels.
Chia Seeds – massive amounts of nutrients with very few calories! Excellent source of fibre and antioxidants. High in protein and omega-3 fatty acids and helps lower the risk of heart disease.
Brazil nuts – High in selenium, Brazil nuts properties include, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and will increase your bliss, hence Bliss Balls! This is due to the Selenium which has been scientifically proven to lift mood and prevent depression.
Coconut – rich in a number of essential nutrients, including dietary fibre, manganese, copper and selenium.
Pistachios – loaded with all kinds of nutrients, such as vitamin B6, thiamine, potassium, copper, magnesium and iron. Helps lower cholesterol.
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Tom Kha Gai, aka Thai Chicken Coconut Soup, is one of my absolute favourites! Now that we are back in Phuket I thought it was about time I made it. I first discovered this soup when Dwayne and I visited Phuket in 2007. I gotta say, I was a little reserved about trying a coconutsoup… it didn’t look that appetising, but it was delicious! So flavoursome in fact, that I sat there tasting it and deciphering the flavours so I would be able to make it myself when I got back home. I think my tastebuds did a good job of recognising the ingredients and my Tom Kha Gai is delicious….. if I do say so myself! However, I don’t have a recipe to share with you as I cook it by taste every time I make it, and I forgot to write it down as I cooked it this time for the blog… doh! But I do remember what goes in it and what I did so I will explain it the best I can.
This is what I did…
I heated 1 cup of chicken stock and added about 8 kaffir lime leaves bruised and ripped apart, two sticks of lemongrass – the hard part remove and the inner white part bashed with a mallet; a couple of crushed garlic cloves, a 2cm piece of galangal, thinly sliced, a 2cm piece of ginger, thinly sliced and some chopped chilli.
I simmered it for 1/2 hour, then I added some chopped chicken and simmered for 10 minutes before adding the coconut milk (approx 250ml) and a handful of enoki mushrooms*. I simmered the soup for another 5 minutes and then added fish sauce, to taste, and a handful of coriander.
To serve, I ladled the soup into two large deep bowls and garnished with some more chopped coriander.
It is so easy to make and delicious!
When I make Tom Kha Gai for Dwayne and me, I do not remove the chunks of ginger, galangal etc when I serve it, as this is how I have had it served to me most of the time in Thailand. However, when I have prepared this soup for guests I have strained the soup before I add the coconut milk, chicken, mushrooms, fish sauce and coriander.
*Shitake, or oyster mushrooms are more often used in Tom Kha Gai but enoki mushrooms were what I had at the time.
Why don’t you pin this recipe so you will always know where to find it!