Archives September 2015

Lemon Coconut and Chocolate Raspberry Tarts

One of my favourite things to create in the kitchen is healthier versions of sweet treats.  Switching out refined ingredients for more wholefoods increases the nutritional value.  Even though they are still treats, if they taste just as great as the original then why wouldn’t you try to make it a little healthier?

For inspiration, I was checking out Bite, and I found these amazing looking lemon tarts, so I decided to have a go at making  a healthier version, as well as a chocolate raspberry version too.

If you haven’t checked Bite out before, it’s definitely worth a look. There are over 10,000 recipes from top NZ cooks such as Nadia Lim, Al Brown and Karena and Kasey Bird from Master Chef.  There’s even recipes from Dr Libby.  Join up and you can save your favourite recipes, upload your own recipes, and save collections of recipes you like.  I’ve made a healthier sweet treats section including these pumpkin pancakes and beetroot and blackbean brownies, as well as lots of different ideas for dinner – because I’m always after more inspiration.

Lemon is one of my favourite flavours.  Tart, tangy and just a little bit sweet, it pairs well with a crunchy nut based tart base.    To make the recipe healthier, I made a raw nut and coconut base and combined honey, eggs, coconut oil and lemon juice to make a lemon curd for the filling.  I use coconut oil as it has a healthier fat profile than butter, but feel free to use butter if you don’t have coconut oil. I stirred through some coconut cream to the lemon curd and this adds a subtle coconut flavour that complements the lemon really nicely.

For the chocolate raspberry tarts, I used raspberry and chia to make a no added sugar jam and combined with a decadent chocolate filling.

Lemon Coconut Tarts:
Makes 6 tarts

For the base:
1/2 cup dates, soaked in boiling water for ten minutes, then drained
2 teaspoon chia seeds
1 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup coconut
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter

For the lemon coconut curd:

1 large dessert spoon of honey
2 dessertspoons of coconut oil (or butter)
2 eggs
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest from one lemon
2 dessert spoons coconut cream

To garnish:
Coconut chips
Grated lemon zest


Place all the base ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined.  The mixture should come together when pressed.  Place 6 muffin cases in muffin tins and add a dessert spoon of mixture into the case.  With clean fingers, press the mixture into the base of the muffin case, then add more and press up the sides firmly.  This is a little fiddly and messy but doesn’t take too long.

Place in the fridge to firm up.

Whilst the bases are chilling,  make the lemon coconut curd.

Place the honey and coconut oil in a small pot and melt over a low heat, stirring to combine.  Take off the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.  Mix through the lemon juice then the eggs, whisking well.  Place back on the heat over a low-medium heat.  Whisk well for 3 minutes, then turn the heat to low. Continue stirring until the curd thickens.  This takes quite a while so don’t give up!  It took at least 15 minutes for me.  It’s important to keep whisking it, especially as it thickens so you get a nice smooth curd.  Once thick, take off the heat and stir through the coconut cream.  Place in a jar in the fridge until cool.

Take the bases from the fridge and peel off the muffin cases.  Place spoonfuls of the chilled lemon curd in the bases and top with grated lemon zest and coconut flakes.  Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for up 1-2 days.

You can find the recipe for the chocolate tarts on Bite here.

Tell me, what would you prefer – lemon coconut tarts or chocolate raspberry tarts? Or both!

This post is was sponsored by Bite.

A new, lighter breakfast routine

While I’m normally an oats type of breakfast girl, sometimes you just feel like a lighter breakfast.  And now the weather is warming up I’m feeling like a change in my breakfast routine.

I haven’t really eaten flake type cereals for a long time as they can be quite sugary, refined or lack fibre, but I’ve been trialing a new cereal thanks to Vogel’s that hits the spot.  Vogels’ Buckwheat, Quinoa and Vanilla flakes are light, crunchy and just slightly sweet (it has less than 6g of sugar a serve).  They’ve got all the goodness of muesli or oats, but they’re lighter and easier to eat. They’re surprisingly filling too, a bowl keeps me full all morning. A serve contains 12% of your daily protein requirements as well as 15% of your daily fibre needs. Protein and fibre both help to keep you feeling full.

I top mine with some natural yoghurt and fruit and occasionally a few Vogel’s Protein Toppers if I’m particularly hungry.   These are also yummy by themselves as a snack, or mixed with fruit and yoghurt for breakfast too.


I was thinking this new lighter type cereal would be yummy in a healthier cookie, so I got to work and did a bit of experimenting.   Healthier cookies are a hard thing to come up with.  Often what sticks a cookie together is butter and sugar, and it can be hard to substitute these.  But I’ve done it!  The Vogel’s cereal adds a yummy, slightly sweet flavour and texture that means you don’t need a whole lot of sweetness from extra sugar, and the fluffy egg whites keep the ingredients bound together.   These are a different type of cookie, kind of a cross between a yummy coconut macaroon and well, breakfast cereal, hence the name breakfast cookies!  The cereal makes them nice and chewy, and they’re a nice for a treat for a snack with a hot drink.

You can check out Vogel’s new range of cereals here and visit their facebook page for more inspiration.

Here’s the recipe for ‘breakfast’ cookies.

Buckwheat, Quinoa and Coconut Macaroon Cookies


Makes 8-10 cookies

3 large egg whites
1/4 cup stevia
3 tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar, adds a nice caramel flavour)
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup flaked almonds
2 cups Vogel’s Buckwheat, Quinoa and Vanilla Cereal
1/3 cup freeze dried berries (I used blackcurrants, these are optional and you can skip this step if you wish)

To decorate:
30g dark chocolate
coconut chips.


Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celcius on fan bake.

Place the egg whites, stevia and coconut sugar in a cake mixer and mix on a high speed for 5-8 minutes, until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold through the coconut and Vogel’s cereal.

Place tablespoons of the mixture on greased oven trays. Press the berries into the cookie mixture and slightly flatten with the spoon.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until very lightly golden.  While still warm, gently slide the cookies off with a metal fish slice.  Leave to cool on a cooling rack.

To decorate, melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the top. Sprinkle over coconut flakes.

Store in an air tight container.  Best eaten within a few days of baking, so share these babies around 🙂


Thanks to Vogel’s I’ve got a delicious prize pack to give away containing  5 of their yummy products:

Cafe-Style Light Cereal (Buckwheat, Quinoa and Vanilla), $9.49

Cafe-Style Toppers – Raw Protein Mix, $10.99

Cafe-Style Toppers – Golden Toasted Protein Mix, $10.99

Cafe-Style Super Oats  – Wholegrain oats and chia with coconut, $7.99

Cafe-Style Super Oats – Wholegrain oats and barley with banana and pecan, $7.99

Comment below to be in the draw to win and like this post with the Facebook button at the top or bottom of the post 🙂

This post was made possible thanks to Vogel’s.

Congratulations to Helen Tam – winner of the Vogel’s prize pack. 

Roast vegetable, feta and mushroom frittata

For an easy weekday lunch, frittata is a great option.  Make a batch on a Sunday, and you’ve got lunch for a good few days.  You can freeze it too, and grab it out for those days when you’re not organised for lunch.    I’m trying to be more organised with food prep at the moment, and this is on my list to make again!  Simply make a big salad and you’ve got a balanced lunch.


1 cup pumpkin, diced in small pieces
1 cup kumara, diced in small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 button mushrooms, sliced
8 free range eggs
100g feta cheese
2 tablespoons pesto
1/2 punnet cherry tomato
1/3 cup grated edam cheese
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Place the pumpkin and kumara on a baking tray.  Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl and beat well.  Chop the parsley and stir through the eggs along with the pesto. Break up the feta and stir through the egg mixture. Pour into a greased dish.  Sprinkle over the mushrooms and the roasted vegetables. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and add to the top of the frittata. Sprinkle over the grated cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve with a salad for a yummy lunch.

Chocolate Oat and Almond Bliss Balls

Often in the weekend I’ll make a batch of bliss balls to have over the next week or so for a healthier sweet treat.  This recipe for chocolate oat and almond bliss balls is one of my older recipes I’ve been using again.  Oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, dates and chocolate combine to make a yummy healthier sweet treat.  This is a super simple recipe too, just chuck it all in the food processor and blend away.  Quick, easy and delicious.

Chocolate Oat and Almond Bliss Balls

Makes 22 balls


1/2 cup of dates + boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds)
1/4 cup coconut
1 tablespoon cocoa
6 pieces of dark chocolate
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted

Soak the dates in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Blend the almonds in a food processor until they are cut up into small pieces. Add the remaining ingredients, including the dates. Pulse the ingredients until combined. You may need to stop the food processor and push the ingredients down from the sides with a spatula.

Squeeze a spoonful of ingredients together in your hand and push firmly into a ball shape. You can either roll these in extra coconut or leave as is.

Store in the fridge and enjoy for a delicious, tasty snack.

Creamy strawberry cashew smoothie


I’m loving Spring – blossom, gorgeous flowers, and more sunshine!   Seeing the sun again put me in the mood for refreshing, berry smoothies and I came up with this delicious creamy berry cashew smoothie.

Smoothies can sometimes lack a little substance and leave you feeling hungry soon afterwards, but this smoothie is a good mix of macronutrients and substantial enough as a meal.  Cashew nuts provide some healthy fats, a little fibre and protein. Chia seeds are a good source of fibre too which will help keep you feeling full. The milk and yoghurt provide calcium and protein (and calcium!) and the fruit provides carbohydrates.

I used frozen strawberries for this smoothie, but it would also be yummy with raspberries.

I enjoyed this for a weekend lunch sitting in the sun.  Bliss!

Ingredients for one creamy strawberry cashew smoothie:

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 small banana
30g raw cashew nuts (small handful)
1/2 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt
1/2 cup milk of choice
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Blend together until smooth and creamy.


Chocolate peanut butter bars


If you follow me on instagram, you may have got the picture that I’m a bit of a peanut butter addict. So when I was flicking through my cookbook Whole and saw a recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars I knew I had to make them for a bit of a treat.    I modified the recipe slightly and added an extra layer of peanut butter, because I just love it.

The base is made with oats, dates, coconut and peanut butter and the top is covered in a home made chocolate.

These are still very much a treat food, so enjoy in moderation!

This is my slightly modified version


1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup of peanut butters
7 pitted dates, soaked in boiling water for 5 mins, drained well
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Peanut butter layer
2-3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

Chocolate topping
1/2 cup cocoa butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

If you don’t have cocoa butter for the topping, you could try coconut oil or otherwise I’d suggest just buying some good quality dark chocolate and melting this on top

Place all the base ingredients in a food processor until well combined.  The mixture should hold together well when you pinch it together.

Place into a lined tin. I used a loaf tin, with baking paper so it comes over the top of the tin. Press the mixture into the tin and place in the freezer to firm up.  When firm spread over the peanut butter

While the base is chilling, melt the cocoa butter in a pot.  Add the sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla and whisk well.  Pour into the food processor and blend to help make it nice and smooth.

Pour on top of the base and return to the freezer for an hour or two until set.

Cut into 12 bars.

Store in the fridge, or freeze for up to 6 months.

For more yummy wholefood recipes, both every day and treats, check out the Whole recipe book. It contains recipes from some of NZ’s best wholefood bloggers including Monday Wholefoods and Be Good Organics.