Gluten free Chocolate Chunks – a Guilt-free treat for the whole family – no refined sugar!

Gluten free Chocolate Chunks – a Guilt-free treat for the whole family – no refined sugar!

Gluten free Chocolate Chunks – a Guilt-free treat for the whole family – no refined sugar!

These chocolate chunks have a crisp outer shell, beneath which, is a sublimely smooth, chewy chocolate inner.  One chunk simply won’t be enough!

Coconut butter gives these chocolate chunks their velvety texture. and imbues them with a multitude of health benefits.  Coconut butter contains lauric acid, which has numerous beneficial properties, including promoting weight loss, and boosting your metabolism.  So, not only do they taste fabulous, but these gluten-free chocolate chunks are also incredibly good for you too.  Can you ask for any more in a chocolate?!

Coconut butter remains a solid below 26°C.  You can often see a white layer of coconut oil on top, and the creamy coconut below.  So, the first thing we need to do, is to melt the entire jar in a pot of hot water, and stir thoroughly until the oil and the flesh of the coconut are completely combined.

Gluten free Chocolate Chunks: Melted Coconut Butter

There’s absolutely no refined sugar in this recipe – yep, that’s right – nada.  The sweetness comes from the coconut butter and caramelised dates.  If you’re using dried dates, then a great trick is to just cover them in water and microwave them for about a minute.  This makes them beautifully soft – and means your food processor gets to fight for another day!

Gluten free chocolate chunks: Dates on Plate

When caramelised dates are added to melted coconut butter, the mixture magically fluffs up:

Gluten free Coconut Chunks: Dates combined with coconut butter

For that slice of chocolate heaven, stir in cocoa or cacao powder.

Gluten free chocolate chunks: Add cocoa or cacao

Adding raisins gives the chocolate a slightly chewy texture that contrasts deliciously with the crisp outer shell.

Gluten free chocolate chunks: add raisins

Pour the mixture into a lined container and spread evenly with the back of a spoon.

Gluten free chocolate chunks: Chocolate Base Spread in container

Pour the remaining coconut butter over the chocolate base to give a beautiful crisp, white coating to these tantalisingly tasty chocolate chunks.  Pop your container in the freezer until the mixture is firm enough to cut into pieces.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.  You could store them in the freezer for longer, but they’re likely to be devoured long before then!

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Gluten free Chocolate Chunks - a Guilt-free treat for the whole family - no refined sugar!
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack, Lunchbox Fare
Cuisine: Free from refined sugar, Gluten-free, Vegan , Dairy free
Serves: 20 pieces
Ingredients
  • 300g coconut butter, melted.
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup of dates
  • 3½ tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • ¼ cup raisins (optional)
Instructions
  1. Melt jar of coconut butter in hot water and stir to form a uniform liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, add 1 cup of dates to 1 cup of water and microwave in a non-metallic bowl for 1 minute or until dates are very soft.
  3. Drain and mash dates until a thick, caramel consistency is formed.
  4. Add 250g of melted coconut butter and stir until a thick, fluffy mixture forms.
  5. Stir in cocoa or cacao powder until mixture is smooth and chocolatey.
  6. Taste and adjust if required: for extra sweetness, add a few more dates; add a little more cocoa/cacao for a richer chocolate flavour.
  7. Sprinkle raisins into mixture if using.
  8. Line a container with baking paper and spoon mixture into the centre.
  9. Using the back of a spoon, gradually compress and spread the mixture to fill the container.
  10. Pour liquid coconut butter from jar over top and spread with a knife until an even white coating forms.
  11. Place container in freezer until just firm enough to remove from baking paper and cut into pieces.
  12. Store chocolate chunks in the fridge in an airtight container for a week or in the freezer for longer.
Notes
If the mixture hardens fully in the freezer, it will crumble when cut. In this case, wait until the chocolate has softened a little before cutting your chocolate chunks.

Quantities will vary depending on size of container: a small container will result in thicker chunks; a larger container will yield more pieces, but they will be thinner.

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Chocolate Coconut Butter Truffles

Chocolate Coconut Butter Truffles

Chocolate Coconut Butter Truffles

These Chocolate Coconut Butter Truffles have a crisp exterior and a rich, velvety, buttery interior that will totally satisfy even the most hard-core cravings.  High in protein, gluten free, and with no added sugar, these scrumptious snacks are good for you too.

What I also love about these truffles, is that they are great for kids’ lunch boxes, especially if nuts aren’t allowed in your child’s early childhood education centre or school.

Coconut butter is the puréed flesh of the coconut.  It is also called creamed coconut, coconut manna, and coconut concentrate.

Coconut butter remains solid below 26°C.  Above this temperature, it gradually softens until it becomes a liquid.  As you can see, it was a cool day when I was making these truffles!

Gluten free Chocolate Coconut Butter Truffles: Raw Coconut Butter Pieces in Pot

You can either buy coconut butter commercially, or make your own.

How to make coconut butter

To make your own coconut butter, all you have to do, is put shredded or flaked coconut (preferably organic) into a food processor or high-powered blender.  You’ll need to scrape down the sides intermittently – and be patient – as it can take up to 20 minutes for the butter to form.  If need be, you can add a little coconut oil to help things along.

Coconut flakes tend to make a smoother butter than shredded coconut.  Avoid using fresh coconut, desiccated, reduced fat or sweetened versions, as these will not produce the desired result.

Back to the Chocolate Coconut Butter Truffles …

Just as with almond and peanut butter, coconut butter tends to separate, with the oil rising to the top.  In its solid form, the only clue that this has happened, is a whiter colour above, and a creamier colour beneath.

Heat the butter until it’s melted enough for you to thoroughly combine the two layers.  I prefer to do this in a pot over a stove, because microwaves alter the molecular structure in a way that decreases the health benefits of the butter.

Gluten free Chocolate Coconut Butter Truffles: Melted Coconut Butter

Once the butter has completely melted, take the pot off the heat, and stir in the cocoa powder.

Gluten free Chocolate Coconut Butter Truffles: Melted Coconut Butter: Add Cocoa Powder

Add mashed dates and stir until the mixture thickens and becomes fabulously fluffy.

Gluten free Chocolate Coconut Butter Truffles: Melted Coconut Butter: Cocoa powder and dates create fluffy mixture

At this stage, considerable effort may be required to resist the urge to devour the entire contents of the pot!

Once the mixture has cooled sufficiently, roll into truffle-sized balls, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until the truffles have hardened.  If you can’t wait this long (I couldn’t!) freeze until hard, and then refrigerate in an air-tight container.  If your household is anything like mine, beware – all thirty balls were devoured within two days (I kid you not!)

Gluten free Chocolate Coconut Butter Truffles: Pyramid

 
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Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack, Lunchbox
Cuisine: Gluten free, Nut free, Vegan
Serves: 30 truffles
Ingredients
  • 15 dates, softened and mashed
  • 250g coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup Cacao nibs (optional)
  • 1 large handful of sultanas (optional)
Instructions
  1. Microwave dates with a tablespoon of water for 30 seconds or until softened. Mash with a fork.
  2. Melt coconut butter in a pot over a low heat until mixture is smooth.
  3. Turn off heat and stir in cocoa powder until fully mixed.
  4. Add dates and stir vigorously until the mixture thickens into a stiff, fluffy batter.
  5. Stir in raisins and cacao nibs if using.
  6. Check temperature before using hands to roll batter into truffle-sized balls.
  7. Refrigerate truffles for two hours or until fully hardened.
  8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or longer.
Notes
Variations:
Add ¼ cup chopped nuts of choice.
Add 1 tbsp zest of orange.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten free Black Bean Kumara Burgers

Gluten free Black Bean Kumara Burgers

Gluten free Black Bean Kumara Burgers

With as few as 11 ingredients, these gluten free black bean kumara burgers are simple to make, highly nutritious, and absolutely delicious!  Crispy on the outside, moist and bursting with flavour on the inside, these little beauties will tantalise your taste buds and boost your health all at the same time.  What more can you ask for in a meal?!

The inclusion of pear, beetroot and kumara (sweet potato) adds a super succulent sweetness to these veggie burgers.  English Mustard gives the burgers a great kick, while the avocado and cheese keep the patties mouth-wateringly creamy and moist.

Add cheese, rice and kumara to the mix:

Black Bean Kumara Veggie Burgers: All ingredients in bowl: Add cheese, rice and kumara

Mix and mould into patties.

 

Black bean kumara burgers: Patties on tray

Pop them in the oven and, hey presto:

Black Bean Kumara Veggie Patties: Patties on a plate

Stack and serve in a gluten free bun, on a bed of leafy greens, tomato, cheese and beetroot.  Enjoy!

Gluten free Black Bean Kumara Veggie Burger

 

Black Bean Kumara Veggie Burgers
 
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With as few as 11 ingredients, these black bean kumara veggie patties are easy to make, and full of flavour. Pop them inside a gluten free bun, nestled on cheese, salad leaves and tomatoes, and your family will love you forever. These burgers taste so great that no one will believe you when you tell them they're also super healthy!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree, Lunch
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Serves: 25 small patties
Ingredients
  • 2 medium-sized kumara (sweet potato)
  • ½ cup of rice, cooked*
  • 1 can black beans
  • ½ cup of onion, diced
  • ½ cup of nut meal (or finely processed nuts) of choice
  • 1 tablespoon of English mustard
  • ½ cup of avocado
  • 2½ tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
  • ½ cup grated cheese (optional)
  • ½ cup beetroot (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Slice kumara (sweet potato) in half, lengthways, coat in coconut oil and place cut side face down on lined or well-greased baking tray. Bake in oven at 200 °C until soft enough to mash.
  2. While kumara is baking, cook half a cup of rice*.
  3. While rice is cooking, add the remaining ingredients to a large bowl.
  4. Add cooked kumara and mash gently, leaving some of the black beans intact for texture.
  5. Stir in cooked rice.
  6. Mixture should be moist and retain shape when formed into small patties.
  7. Place on lined baking tray and bake in the oven at 180 °C for 15 minutes or until patties can be turned without breaking. Bake for a further 15 minutes or until outsides begin to crisp.
  8. Place patties in gluten free buns atop leafy greens, tomato, cheese.and beetroot.
Notes
* To cook rice: add ½ cup well-rinsed rice to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes or until all water has been absorbed and rice is soft and fluffy. Alternatively, use a rice cooker and follow manufacturer's instructions.

Adapted from a recipe by Minimalist Baker
Nutritional Information
Serving size: 3 patties

 

Gluten free Veggie Nuggets

Gluten free Veggie Nuggets

Gluten free Veggie Nuggets

These gluten free veggie nuggets are quick and easy to make, and will be a hit with the entire family.  They are super crunchy on the outside, and deliciously moist and flavourful on the inside.  A match made in heaven!  Even better, these little beauties can be made with only eight ingredients!

Add a selection of dipping sauces, and the kids will be requesting this meal for dinner every night!  And best of all, they’re super healthy and nutritious.

Steam any combination of vegetables until a knife just glides through.  Avoid overcooking, as this will make the mixture mushy.  Once cooked, chop your veggies into small pieces or pulse briefly in a food processor.

The onion and English mustard give the nuggets that little bit of a kick.

You’ll also need four eggs to bind the mixture together.  To keep the nuggets light, use only egg whites for two of the four eggs.  And of course, garlic for that garlicky flavour that we all love.

 For additional texture and flavour, add chopped parsley, and grated cheese.

With the last batch of veggie nuggets that I made, I rolled the nuggets in the breadcrumbs rather than adding them to the mixture.  They swelled up quite a bit on the tray, so the result was bigger nuggets, and an even greater crunch factor.

Why not try both methods and let me know which version you prefer?

Gluten free Veggie Nuggets
 
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Wait until you try these gastronomically delectable Gluten free Veggie Nuggets. Crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside - a family favourite!
Author:
Recipe type: Entree, Lunch
Cuisine: Gluten free, Vegetarian
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 5 cups raw veggies of choice
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 4 tsp English mustard
  • 4 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 cup cheese, grated
  • 1 cup gluten-free bread processed into breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C.
  2. Steam vegetables until just tender (not mushy).
  3. Chop the veggies into fine pieces or pulse in a food processor and transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add gluten free bread to a food processor and process into breadcrumbs.
  5. Add breadcrumbs and remaining ingredients to bowl and combine until evenly mixed.
  6. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  7. Mould mixture into nugget shapes of desired size (smaller is better for kids).
  8. Space nuggets on tray, allowing room for expansion.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes, turning over at half time.
Serving Suggestions

  1. Sour cream
  2. Guacamole
  3. Sweet chili sauce
  4. Gluten free Tamari Sauce
Notes
Adapted From: That Oven Feelin

About the Author

About Kiwi Earth Mother
Formerly an English lawyer, Sharon now resides in the Waikato, New Zealand, with her husband and three children.

Read More

In 2001, Sharon exchanged life as a successful London lawyer for Australian backpacking adventures.  Next stop, Auckland, New Zealand, where she met and married a Kiwi.  Sharon retrained as a Secondary School Teacher, teaching in two schools, before taking time out to raise a family. She is a proud mother of three - two girls aged six and three, respectively, and a nine month-old baby boy... Read even more

Gluten free and Grain free Fabulous Fruit Crumble

Gluten free and Grain free Fabulous Fruit Crumble

Gluten free and Grain free Fabulous Fruit Crumble

This Gluten free fabulous fruit crumble is a very quick and simple dessert to make, using whatever fruit you have to hand. For a sweeter finish, include banana, dates or apple.

Just cut your fruit of choice into chunks, and stew in a covered pot with a dash of water until fruit is soft enough to mash. To thicken the mixture, add cornflour dissolved in a little water. The trick here is to remove the pot from the heat before stirring in the cornflour. It will then thicken nicely.

Grain free Gluten free Fabuous fruit crumble fruit in pan

Transfer the mixture to a well-greased oven dish.

Stewed fruit in dish

To make the crumble, you will need:

  • almonds
  • coconut oil
  • coconut sugar
  • an egg
  • a pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients together and spread the crumble mixture over the fruit. I find that the best way to do this, is to add dollops into the centre and, with your fingers, gently draw the crumble outwards.

Bake in the oven until the fruit starts to bubble and the crumble has turned golden brown.

Grain free, gluten free fabulous fruit crumble

I served with sour cream, but cream, custard or ice cream would do just as nicely.

Gluten free fabulous fruit crumble

Fabulous Fruit Crumble
 
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This fabulous fruit crumble is a delectable way of sneaking a variety of fruits into your children's diet. Use any combination of fruits you have in your fruit bowl. No need to add extra sugar - bananas and dates will sweeten up this dessert perfectly.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Gluten free, Grain free
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Fruit Base
  • 4 cups of chopped fruit
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or water
Crumble
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup almonds ground in a food processor or almond meal
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 whole egg
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
Fruit base
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Chop fruit into small pieces and add to a pot filled with ¼ inch water.
  3. Cover and stew for 5 minutes or until soft.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cornflour dissolved in lemon juice or water.
  5. Stir in sour cream for a creamier flavour (optional).
  6. Pour into greased baking dish.
Crumble
  1. In another bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients until well combined.
  2. Spoon mixture into centre of baking dish, and spread outwards until as even as possible (spreading with fingers works best).
  3. Bake in the oven at 180°C for 25-30 minutes or until the fruit bubbles up the sides, and the topping has turned golden brown.
  4. Serve with sour cream, cream or ice cream as desired.

About the Author

About Kiwi Earth Mother
Formerly an English lawyer, Sharon now resides in the Waikato, New Zealand, with her husband and three children.

Read More

In 2001, Sharon exchanged life as a successful London lawyer for Australian backpacking adventures.  Next stop, Auckland, New Zealand, where she met and married a Kiwi.  Sharon retrained as a Secondary School Teacher, teaching in two schools, before taking time out to raise a family. She is a proud mother of three - two girls aged six and three, respectively, and a nine month-old baby boy... Read even more

Gluten free Banana Coconut Cookies.

Gluten free Banana Coconut Cookies.

Gluten free Banana Coconut Cookies.

Gluten free Banana Coconut Cookies

Gluten free Banana Coconut Cookies

These gluten free banana coconut cookies are fabulously quick and easy to make – with just these two ingredients.  I, personally, like to add additional texture in the form of sultanas, and I tend to go for the shredded coconut, although desiccated will do just as nicely if you prefer less of a crunch.

For a slightly sweeter hit, I like to throw in a couple of handfuls of dates.  If your dates are not already really soft, it’s important to soak them in hot water for at least ten minutes.  Otherwise you’ll wear out your food processor pretty quickly!

Gluten free Banana Coconut Cookies Raw Mixture

I then added a couple of tablespoons of a good quality cocoa powder, as Raven and Starfire LOVE chocolate (do you know any kids that don’t?!).

The girls had great fun rolling the mixture into cookie shapes and, of course, licking their hands – and the bowl – clean afterwards.

Roll mixture into balls, flatten to form small discs and space out on prepared baking tray.

This recipe makes around 20 child-sized cookies.  They are great for breakfast on the fly, a nutritious snack, or a yummy lunchbox addition.  And, best of all – there is absolutely no added sugar and they are vegan and grain free to boot!

I hope you guys love making – and devouring – these nutritious banana coconut cookies as much as my lot do.  If you give them a try, let me know how you like them! Leave a comment and rate the recipe – it’s so helpful to me and other readers. Cheers!

 

Gluten free Banana Coconut Cookies
 
These gluten free banana coconut cookies are so quick and easy to make - with as few as two ingredients (coconut and banana).
Recipe type: Breakfast or Lunchbox addition
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten free, Grain free
Serves: 20
Ingredients
  • 2 bananas
  • 1½ cups coconut (shredded or desiccated depending on desired texture)
Optional Extras
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 handfuls of sultanas
  • 2 handfuls of dates (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  2. Lightly grease a baking tray or line with greaseproof paper.
  3. Pulse dates in a food processor until a caramel consistency is achieved.
  4. Add bananas and cocoa powder and process until mixture is smooth.
  5. Stir in sultanas if using.
  6. Roll mixture into balls, flatten to form small discs and space out on prepared baking tray.
  7. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until tops start to darken.Gluten free Banana Coconut Cookies
Notes
This recipe is an adaptation of a two ingredient cookies recipe by Grok Grub.

Healthy Gluten-free Apple Banana Muffins

Healthy Gluten-free Apple Banana Muffins

These gluten-free apple banana muffins are super healthy, naturally sweetened with fruit, and contain no refined sugar.  They have no fat or eggs added and can be made dairy-free for vegans.

Mini-muffin trays are perfect for little people’s lunchboxes.  This recipe yields a minimum of 24 mini-muffins, so I freeze most of them and pop them under the grill to thaw and refresh.

 

Gluten-free Apple Banana Muffins
 
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Serves: 24 mini muffins
Ingredients
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder (if using plain flour)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 2 apples (remove peel and core and grate)
  • 280 ml milk (dairy or non-dairy alternative e.g. rice milk)
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C.
  2. Grease mini-muffin tin or insert paper muffin cups.
  3. Add dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Then add the wet ingredients and stir until just mixed.
  5. Spoon mixture into muffin tin and bake until centre springs back when pressed and skewer comes out clean (around 15 -20 mins).
  6. Store in an airtight container and keep in fridge, or freeze.
Notes
Optional: add a large handful of raisins.

For extra sweetness, replace half of one banana with a handful of dates chopped into small pieces in a food processor.
Nutritional Information
Serving size: 1
Quick, Healthy, Vegetarian Quinoa Risotto

Quick, Healthy, Vegetarian Quinoa Risotto

Quinoa Risotto is one of my favourite recipes when I haven’t got a lot of time, because it is so incredibly quick and easy to make.  All you need, is quinoa, whatever veggies you have to hand, and cheese.  Oh yes, and did I mention how incredibly tasty it is?!

 

Quick, Healthy, Vegetarian Quinoa Risotto
 
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This scrumptious cheesy quinoa risotto is a quick, healthy, gluten-free dish that is both filling and full of flavour. It'll be a hit with the whole family.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegetarian,
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups stock or water
  • 3 cups vegetables of choice, chopped
  • 1½ cups grated cheese
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Parsley to garnish
Instructions
  1. Pulse vegetables in a food processor until chopped into small pieces.
  2. Add to a pan along with quinoa and stock/water and bring to boil.
  3. Cover, reduce heat and simmer over a medium heat until the liquid has been absorbed (around 15 minutes).
  4. Remove from heat, stir in the grated cheese and cover for 5 min to allow cheese to melt and quinoa to fluff up.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Using a teacup, mould risotto into desired portion size and turn out onto serving plate.
  7. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Notes
To make the dish vegan, use a non-dairy cheese substitute.

Inspired by Kevin Lynch's Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa on Closet Cooking.
Nutritional Information
Serving size: Large

Gluten-free Date Almond Balls

Gluten-free Date Almond Balls

Gluten-free Date Almond Balls

These Gluten-free Date Almond Balls are nutritious, quick and easy to make, and only use five simple ingredients.  They are also free from dairy and refined sugars.  Your kids will love helping you make this recipe (and enjoy licking the bowl afterwards even more!)

Gluten-free Date Almond Coconut Balls
 
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This recipe is quick and easy to make using only 4 or 5 ingredients. And even better, the kids will love helping you make these delicious date almond coconut balls. I usually double up on batches as they don't last long in my household!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack, Lunchbox filler
Cuisine: Gluten-free, raw food, no cook
Serves: 18 small balls
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups raw unsalted almonds
  • 20 dates (soaked in warm water for 10 mins if dry)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla essence
  • 6 Tbsp desiccated coconut
Instructions
  1. Add almonds to a food processor and pulse until finely ground almond meal. Set aside.
  2. Process dates and coconut oil until a caramel-like consistency.
  3. Add vanilla and almond meal and pulse again until a dough forms.
  4. Roll into small balls.
  5. Spread the coconut on a plate and coat the balls in the coconut.
  6. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container.
Notes
Gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free
Nutritional Information
Serving size: 2 balls
Caramel Coconut Cream Ice Pops

Caramel Coconut Cream Ice Pops

Caramel Coconut Cream Ice Pops

Here is another super-scrumptious recipe by the Minimalist Baker.  For kids, these Caramel Coconut Cream Ice Pops are best made in little people-sized moulds, as they are so rich and creamy.

Caramel Coconut Cream Ice Pops
 
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These incredibly creamy Caramel Coconut Cream Ice Pops are gluten-free, dairy-free, and simply tantalising to taste buds everywhere!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Gluten-free, free from refined sugar, Dairy-free
Serves: 8 smallish ice pop moulds
Ingredients
  • 14 (1¼ cups) pitted medjool dates (or dry dates soaked for 10 min in warm water then drain)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup, agave nectar or honey
  • 1 can coconut cream
Instructions
  1. Blend pitted dates and 2-4 Tbsp warm water in a food processor, scraping down the sides as required until mixture is a thick caramel-like consistency.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until batter is creamy and smooth.
  3. Pour into ice pop moulds, evenly distributing any date mixture settled at the bottom.


  4. Insert ice pop mould lids or sticks and freeze until firm (approx 6 hours).
  5. Remove from freezer and run under warm water to soften before carefully taking out of moulds.
  6. Store remaining ice pops in the freezer for up to seven days.
Notes
Try adding raisins for a chewy texture.
Nutritional Information
Serving size: 1
Gluten-free black bean muffins

Gluten-free black bean muffins

Gluten-free black bean muffins

Here is a recipe for Gluten-Free Black Bean Muffins.  I used a fantastic recipe from the Minimalist Baker as the basis for these delicious little morsels.  I love the fact that they are nut-free, so that Raven is able to take them to her Kindergarten.

For a vegan version of these black bean muffins, you can substitute the eggs for two large flax eggs, as per the original recipe.  To cater for little people, I used mini muffin trays, and popped blueberries and raisins in each slot, and sprinkles on top.  I also reduced the quantity of cocoa specified, as it’s a little too rich for my youngest daughter’s delicate palate otherwise!

I like to keep a generous stock of baking in my freezer, so that I can spend less time each day making lunchboxes, and more time with my kids.  Put frozen fare under the grill for a few minutes to restore it to its just-baked freshness.

Gluten-free Black bean mini muffins
 
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These black bean mini muffins are perfect for children attending schools or pre-schools that have a nut-free policy. They are quick and easy to make, high in protein, and super-scrumptious!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert, Lunchbox addition
Cuisine: Gluten free, vegan, grain free, nut free
Serves: 24 mini muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 can black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
  • ½ to ⅔ cup cocoa powder (depending on how chocolatey you want the muffins to be)
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ to ⅔ cup coconut sugar (for finer texture, grind in a food processor)
  • 48 frozen blueberries (optional)
  • A generous handful of raisins (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Add muffin cases to two mini muffin trays (24 cases) or lightly grease if not using cases.
  3. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process on low for 1 minute and on high for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary, until mixture is smooth.
  4. The batter should be quite thick (slightly thinner than butter icing but definitely not runny).
  5. If desired, add two frozen blueberries to each muffin case and sprinkle a few raisins in too.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases/slots and use your finger to smooth the tops.
  7. I added sprinkles to my muffins, but feel free to experiment!
  8. Bake for approx 15 minutes or until the tops crust up and a skewer in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  9. Place cased muffins on a wire rack to cool. If not using cases, allow them to cool completely before gently removing from tray.
  10. Muffins will keep for a day or two in an airtight container, or place in fridge or freezer for longer storage.
Notes
Muffins can be stored in the freezer. Put under the grill for a few minutes to restore them to their just-baked freshness.
Nutritional Information
Serving size: 1

About the Author

About Kiwi Earth Mother

Formerly an English lawyer, Sharon now resides in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband and three children.

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In 2001, Sharon exchanged life as a successful London lawyer for Australian backpacking adventures.  Next stop, Auckland, New Zealand, where she met and married a Kiwi.  Sharon retrained as a Secondary School Teacher, teaching in two schools, before taking time out to raise a family. She is a proud mother of three - two girls aged six and three, respectively, and a nine month-old baby boy... Read even more

Gluten-free Kebabs

Gluten-free Kebabs

Gluten-free Kebabs

Gluten free kebabs are a wonderfully versatile lunchbox idea, using whatever fruit or veggies you have to hand. They are quick and easy to make, and are a gluten-free, allergy-friendly lunchbox filler.  The combinations are endless! And for those parents who struggle to get their kids to eat their 5+ fruit and veggies a day, sliding them on a stick may be just the ticket.

Feel free to experiment with different ingredients in your gluten-free kebabs, according to your children’s tastes. You can use different shaped cutters for effect, but make sure carrots are steamed slightly first so that they slide onto the skewer without breaking or splitting.

Gluten free kebabs - slices of carrots

Some foods will brown if made the night before – like apple for example. A great trick to prevent them browning, is to coat them in lemon juice, sweetened with a little coconut sugar.

Gluten free fruit kebabs - apple slices

For vegans, omit the cheese, or use a vegetarian alternative.

Slide prepared ingredients onto skewers and voila! Enjoy!

Gluten free fruit kebabs

Fruits and vegetable slices can be cut into desired shapes using small cookie cutters

To prevent browning

If using apple or other fruits that brown, coat in lemon and coconut sugar mix to prevent browning.

Slide prepared ingredients onto skewers and voila! Enjoy!

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