Stuffed Dates GF, DF & Paleo

Hello there!

Chewy, creamy stuffed medjool dates – Perfect for indulging in at Christmas

This is a recipe post for stuffed dates, dairy free, gluten free and paleo which are perfect for Christmas treats, would make an amazing home made Christmas gift or could even be made at Easter for a fabulous alternative to chocolate eggs. It is paleo, gluten free, dairy free and free from refined sugar. As it is made with dates, its (sadly) not low carb but I will look at adding in the nutritional information so that those of you tracking carbs can work out whether its something you can allow as a treat.

Its been a while . . .


I should mention that if you are reading this in current time, then it is just THREE days before Christmas (2018) -eeeeeekkkkk! I am officially sorted, with presents picked and wrapped, food delivered and ready for the big day and nothing left to do but watch cheesy Christmas films and get into the Christmas spirit.
Its been quite some time since I have posted on my blog and I apologise to those who have been left wondering where I have been. To summarise, last Christmas my mum had a serious heart attack, leaving her with Hypoxia (a form of brain damage/ injury) and in the new year (Jan 2018) my grandfather passed away. This was followed by my husband and I moving house (over 65 miles from where we had been living) and the impact it had upon my health. As a result (and a broken computer!) I have taken some time away from my blog to just focus on my life. However, I have continued using Instagram, sharing various stories and information, so if you want to keep up to date with my goings on, I recommend you follow me on there as I share all sorts of things from food finds (shop bought foods that are clean or free from) to tips that can be beneficial to those of you with chronic health issues.
Although i am posting this recipe now, I actually made some of these last year for a Christmas treat and loved them. Even family and friends who had been unsure (as they said they were not big ‘date’ fans) said that they loved them. They are very much like toffees or caramels in a box of chocolates (for those of you who are American you would call them Candies), they taste very moreish!

Storage, sourcing ingredients and Swaps


The version photographed is made with peanuts but it is possible to swap them for seed butter, coconut butter or even tigernut butter making it nut free (I have made them using almond butter and hazelnut butter). You can chose to coat them in chocolate or leave them as they are once you have stuffed them. I used 70% chocolate from the shop but you could easily make your own chocolate.
If you find it difficult to find medjool dates you can try using smaller dates, which I have also tried but the texture and taste isn’t as great. Medjool dates are squishy, soft and give them that caramel taste. I buy my dates from Ocado or Waitrose and in the past have frozen them as it keeps them for longer.
For storage, I recommend keeping the dates in the fridge once made as it adds to the texture (as it makes the chocolate snap and the nut butter filling a little harder and the date more chewy). You can eat them at room temperature but serving chilled is my personal opinion.anretxE

Useful Websites

For home made chocolate recipes check out Tabithas Edit (previously Tabithas kitchen) and for nut butter recipes check out The Nourished Coeliac.
If you decide to give these a go, please let me know how you get on and what your thoughts are!

For those of you who are reading this in current time – Merry Christmas and I wish you health and happiness for 2019!
Peace out
Emma x

Print Recipe
Stuffed Dates
Stuffed medjool dates with a creamy nutty filling, coated in dark chocolate. Can be made nut free too! Dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, egg free.
Course Sweets
Prep Time 20
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
Dates
Ingredients
Course Sweets
Prep Time 20
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
Dates
Ingredients
Instructions
Making the Stuffing
  1. To make the stuffing you need to place the desiccated coconut (you can use flaked coconut too), into a blender and blitz until it becomes a paste.
  2. Once the coconut is paste like, add in the nut butter, vanilla and coconut oil (melted) and blitz until combined
  3. Using a knife, carefully cut open (but not completely in half) the medjool dates removing any stones or pips. (The dates should be able to open an close like a book).
  4. Line a tray or plate with some foil or a silicon mat and place the medjool dates on to it.
  5. Take one date at a time and using a teaspoon, scoop some of the mixture and stuff it into the middle of the date. Place back onto the plate/ tray and continue until all of the dates are filled.
  6. Place the dates in the fridge to chill while you melt the chocolate (or make the chocolate if you are making your own)
Coating the Dates
  1. If you are using chocolate bought from the shop, you need to melt it to coat the dates with. To do this fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling turn the heat as low as it will go and place a dish over the pan (the dish should be just a little bigger than the pan so that it sits above the water line).
  2. Break the chocolate into squares and place into the dish, stirring occasionally to help melt the chocolate
  3. Once the chocolate is melted, turn of the heat and then taking one date at a time, coat them in chocolate. It helps to use either toothpicks or two forks to roll the dates in the chocolate and then fish them out, placing back onto the plate or tray for them to set.
  4. Once all the dates have been coated, place them back into the fridge to chill. They should set in about 30- 40 minutes.
  5. For decoration purposes you can always drizzle some left over chocolate onto the dates once they have cooled. I did this using 80% chocolate.
  6. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (they can last longer), or freeze them. I freeze batches and take out what i want to eat, each day. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

You can make homemade chocolate if you don't want to use shop bought. Its fairly easy to make, here is a link to a simple recipe on Tabithas Edit (previously Tabithas Kitchen).

You can use desiccated coconut or flaked coconut - I have used both kinds when making this recipe and both work well.

Nuts, seeds or other - If you don't like or can't use nuts then seed butter is a great substitute, however for those who can't use seeds either try using tigernut butter. Idont know if its available to buy, but i have made my own. To find out how to make it, try Emma's recipe on her blog The Nourished Coeliac.

To coat or not to coat?
You can chose not to coat your dates and leave them plain. They still taste really nice, the chocolate just adds a bit of luxury making them feel more like a 'treat'.

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Egg Free Cookies – paleo and low fodmap

Egg Free

These cookies are paleo, egg free, dairy free and can be made with a wide variety of sweeteners (maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar and erythritol have all be tested!). This recipe has minimal sweetener due to me trying to lower my sugar intake, but if you want to make them an extra treat you can add in a little extra sweetener and it won’t affect the recipe ( I have tested them with various levels of sweetener).

This recipe is a remake of one of my older recipes. Since discovering I can’t tolerate eggs, it’s been difficult to find recipes for most things as they always tend to contain egg – ugh! I don’t tolerate huge amounts of flaxseed and can’t handle chai seeds and these are the ingredients usually used in most egg free baking (doh!).

In place of the eggs I have used a gelatine egg which has worked out really well. Once the cookies have cooled down, they have a wonderful crunchy, crumbly texture. I haven’t yet tried making them vegan compliant but I would like to try, and I aim to use agar agar as a replacement for the gelatine. If anyone decides to try this before me – please let me know how you get on!

Other Recipes

For more sweet AIP and Low FODMAP treats check out my other recipes such as breakfast bars or chewy cookies.

If you are lucky enough to be able to eat eggs, then check out my original paleo cookie recipe or my crunchy paleo biscuits which are delicious (I tried them before I found out I couldn’t eat egg).
Whilst I have been testing these cookies to be egg free I have also made them in a range of flavours such as dates and chocolate, double chocolate chip, chocolate and pecans and plain with brazil nuts.

AIP compliant
To make these cookies AIP compliant you can use tigernut flour (i have tested them with tigernut flour). Omit the cacao powder and either use carbo powder or go without. You also need to omit the vanilla but could use either mace or cinnamon in its place (use 1 teaspoon). Good AIP fillings include dates, raisins, and figs.

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Egg Free Cookies - paleo and low fodmap

Course Sweets

Servings


Ingredients

Course Sweets

Servings


Ingredients


Instructions
  1. Turn the oven on to 150’ C (300'F)

  2. Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or greaseproof paper and lightly oil using the extra tablespoon of coconut oil.

  3. In a bowl combine the almond flour, cacao powder, coconut sugar (if using honey or maple syrup leave out), bicarb of soda, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine.

  4. Chop the nuts and add into the dry mixture. Chop the chocolate and place aside for now.

  5. In a sauce pan add the coconut oil, the coconut milk and if using maple syrup or honey, add in here. Turn on the heat very low to melt the ingredients and stir to combine.

  6. Turning off the heat, sprinkle the gelatine over the melted oil and immediately whisk to combine.

  7. Pour the liquid into the dry mix and stir to combine.

  8. Add the chopped chocolate into the mixture and stir once again to combine.

  9. Using a cookie cutter to shape, on the greaseproof paper press a heaped tablespoon of the mixture into the cutter and use your fingers to flatten out into the shape of the cutter. Lift the cutter carefully, leaving the shaped cookie behind.
    Allow two finger spaces between each cookie to allow for spreading.

  10. When all of the mixture has been used up place the baking tray in the middle of the oven and cook for 24 minutes.

  11. Once cooked turn off the oven and allow the cookies to remain in the oven for a good 20 minutes before fetching out and allowing to cool on a rack. As the cookies cool down they will firm up and develop a nice crunchy texture.

  12. Keep in an air tight container for up to 4 days.


Recipe Notes

Gelatine - Make sure you use the orange can if you are using Great Lakes gelatine. You want to use gelatine, the kind that gels, not collagen which doesn't act like a binding ingredient.

Sweetener - If you don't want to use coconut sugar, you can use maple syrup, honey, erythritol or any other kind of sweetener. If you want the cookies to be sweeter then you can add more into the mix. However, if you are following a low FODMAP diet then don't use more than 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar as large amounts are higher in FODMAPS.

Flours - I have made these cookies using tigernut flour as well as using half and half with almond flour.

Fillings - If you want to avoid chocolate or don't want to use nuts then you could use tigernuts, dates, dried fruit, or even carob drops.

AIP Breakfast Bars- low FODMAP, low carb with SIBO SCD, vegan and nut options

These AIP breakfast bars are Paleo, low FODMAP, low carb and can be adapted to be SIBO SCD and vegan compliant. They are similar to a Kellogs Nutrigrain bar except without the grains and refined sugar.

If you didnt want raisins/ sultanas and blueberries you can add other fillings in place of them them such as fresh cherries (not low FODMAP) or strawberries, figs, seeds, dried pineapple and banana or even chocolate chunks if you can tolerate cacao. I have made them with sundried banana and chocolate chunks before and they were just as delicious.

Variations

For a vegan option you can use agar-agar (1 tbsp will be enough) in place of the gelatine or guar gum (1 tbsp). Follow the same steps as you would the gelatine – whisking it with water before adding into the mixture.

Nut Option

If you tolerate nuts then you can use nut flours and or seed flour / butters. You can swap for the exact same amounts. If you use sunflower seeds, omit the baking soda otherwise the mixture will turn green! (Its not harmful, its just an alkali reaction between the soda and the sunflower seeds). I mostly make my bars using almond flour and hazelnut butter as I have successfully reintroduced these into my diet.

SIBO SCD

For SIBO SCD you will need to omit the bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) as its classed as “illegal” (in other words it’s on the “no” list!). It won’t made a huge difference to the bars as they don’t rise much during cooking.

Low Carb

If you wanted to reduce the carb count even further you can omit the honey entirely or you can use powdered erythritol or stevia instead. I would use the 30g of erythritol (based on my experience of using erythritol) but if you have a sweet tooth you may want to add a little bit extra.

Although I have called them breakfast bars they can be eaten as a snack or even a dessert. I like to heat mine up (in the microwave for 15 seconds) and serve with paleo ice cream. My favourite dairy free ice cream recipe is by Kelly from The Spunky Coconut. Its called Swiss Almond Dairy Free Ice Cream, but it can be made without the nuts/ nut milk. To make it, I use all coconut milk. Paired with a hot breakfast bar it makes quite a treat!!!

AIP Breakfast Bars

Servings 15 bars

Nutritional Information (per bar)

Total Carbs 10.6g
Fiber 2.4g
Net carbs 8.2g
Protein 2.8g
Fat 6.6g
Calories 104 Kcals
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AIP Breakfast Bars
These AIP breakfast bars are so versatile, you can make them with a range of fresh and dried fruit. Try swapping the raisins and sultanas for dried pineapple and banana for a tasty tropical twist!
Course Breakfast, Sweets
Cuisine English
Prep Time 10
Cook Time 26
Servings
Ingredients
Course Breakfast, Sweets
Cuisine English
Prep Time 10
Cook Time 26
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 160'c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Use a little coconut oil to grease the paper as it helps the mixture from sticking to the paper once it cools!.
  2. In a bowl combine the tigernut flour, desiccated coconut, vanilla, salt, baking soda, saltanas, raisins, lemon juice, honey, coconut milk and nut butter. Stir thoroughly until everything has incorporated.
  3. Chop the dates into small pieces and add to the mixture, then stir once more to combine.
  4. In a jug add the gelatine (agar-agar or guar gum) then add the hot water, cold water and whisk immediately until its becomes white and frothy.
  5. Pour the gelatine mixture into the bowl with the tigernut flour mix and give everything one final stir, making sure everything has combined.
  6. Scoop the mixture into the baking dish and using your fingers or a spatula, press the mix into the tray.
  7. Take the blueberries and press one by one into the top of the mixture, dotting them about. Try not to press them into the edges of the mixture as they can go soggy making a mess when cutting the bars up.
  8. Place into the oven and allow to cook for 26 minutes or until the top has turned a golden brown in colour.
  9. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack and remove the greaseproof paper carefully - leave to cool for 20 minutes.
  10. Once cooled cut into bars or squares and allow to cool fully before placing in a container in the fridge. Use greaseproof paper or foil to separate layers so the bars don't stick to one another.
  11. Serving Suggestion : Eat whilst warm (or reheat in the microwave for 15 seconds) and serve with Paleo Ice Cream!

Crunchy Paleo Biscuits (Cookies)

Crunchy Paleo Biscuits (cookies)

Crunchy Paleo Biscuits (cookies)

These biscuits (or cookies as those of you in the USA would refer to them) can be made paleo by using nut butter in place of the peanut butter. They can be made low FODMAP by using brown sugar or granulated sugar in place of the coconut sugar.

For a low carb / ketogenic version you will want to use erythritol or stevia to sweeten and use a nut flour in place of the buckwheat. If using erythritol I would suggest 60g and this is based on my experience with adapting paleo recipes. I dont really use stevia as I dislike it, but when I have used it, I stick to pure stevia with a reb of 97% (What’s Stevia Reb 97%?) and I use only 1/2 teaspoon. If you are used to working with stevia then go with you own recommendation.

Variations

Nut butter
The biscuits photographed were made with organic peanut butter. They CAN be made with ANY nut butter which will make them Paleo. I know that some paleo peeps do still eat peanut butter, but if you dont then hazelnut butter would be an awesome swap – especially if you can get some with some chunky pieces in it.

Chocolate Chips
If you don’t want to add chocolate chips then you can swap it for whatever you like – a good choice would be raisings, chewy banana pieces or even some dried cherries – oohhh yum!

Flours
After doing a bit of research it seems that buckwheat flour can be subbed with rice flour, banana flour or even any kind of nut flour. I haven’t yet tried these substitutions but I am mentioning them based on research of other recipes where these flours have been subbed for one another. In the past I have made recipes with almond flour and even tigernut flour in place of buckwheat and they worked out fine (I used the exact same amounts).

Baking Powder
Baking powder is not paleo, from what I have read its because it’s derived from grains (forgive me if I am wrong). But dont worry theres an easy paleo sub that you can do. For a paleo friendly baking powder you can use cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) mixed together. The trick is to use 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar with 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. I make up a big batch and keep it in a recycled glass jar.

Crunchy Paleo Biscuits (cookies)

Servings 16 cookies

Nutritional Information (per biscuit)

Total Carbs 17.5g
Fiber 2.1g
Net carbs 15.5g
Protein 4.8g
Fat 10.2g
Calories 173 Kcals

For a low carb version, using almond flour and 6og erythritol, based on 16 biscuits the nutritional information is as follows;

Crunchy Paleo Biscuits (cookies)

Servings 16 cookies

Nutritional Information (per biscuit)

Total Carbs 5.5g
Fiber 2.1g
Net carbs 3.4g
Protein 5.8g
Fat 16.4g
Calories 183 Kcals
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Crunchy Paleo Biscuits (Cookies)
These crunchy paleo biscuits are so delicious and have an amazing crunch to them which you don't often get with paleo baking. They are so versatile too, you can use dried fruit, nuts or even carob drops in place of the chocolate chunks.
Crunchy Paleo Biscuits (cookies)
Course Sweets
Cuisine English
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Sweets
Cuisine English
Prep Time 10 min
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Crunchy Paleo Biscuits (cookies)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180'C and line a large baking tray with a silicon mat or lightly oiled greaseproof paper.
  2. in a bowl using an electric whisk (or in a stand mixer) add the peanut butter, melted coconut oil and egg and whisk until combined,
  3. In a separate bowl add the buckwheat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, vanilla and salt and stir until combined.
  4. Pour the liquid into the dry mixture and whisk until its all incorporated. Add in the chopped chocolate and continue to mix until the chocolate has been evenly distributed.
  5. If the mixture is a little bit sticky, you can add a little extra flour so that it's a little bit drier and easier to handle.
  6. Taking walnut sized pieces of the mixture, roll into a ball the flatten in the palm of your hand. Place on the lined baking sheet leaving about half an inch gap in betwwen to allow for spreading.
  7. Place in the oven near the top and allow to cook for 15 - 25 minutes. Cooking will vary depending on how your oven holds its heat. Ideally you want the cookies to start to turn brown around the edges.
  8. Once brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before munching as they firm up as they cool down.
  9. Keep in an airtight container for upto 3 days. If the weather is particularly hot you can keep the tub in the fridge.

Paleo Chewy Cookies – Low FODMAP, AIP & SIBO SCD

Elimination Diet Friendly

These cookies are paleo, Low FODMAP, Dairy free and Egg free. They can also be made AIP, SIBO SCD and ketogenic compliant (substitutes listed in ‘Recipe Notes’) – whoop!

You can find out more about these diets by clicking on the following links; the AIP diet, a Low FODMAP diet, a SIBO SCD and the Paleo diet.

These cookies have a wonderful chewy texture and only have a small amount of maple syrup in them. I used 3 medjool dates and just 30g of 80% dark chocolate for my fillings, but you could substitute with any other dried fruit, nuts, carob drops or even fresh fruit – use whatever suits your diet!

I have been following the AIP diet but have managed to re-introduce small amounts of nuts so I decided to make these cookies with almond flour. I have also made them with tigernut flour too and they turned out just as delicious. They may work well with cavassa flour or banana flour but I havent tried it – if anyone decides to give these flours a go, please let me know how you get on!

For low carb/ ketogenic dieters it’s good to know that you can still make these cookies with medjool dates. By subbing the maple syrup for a low carb sweetener, the cookies are reduced to just 5.3g Carbs (per cookie), with Fiber at 1.5g and Net Carbs at a low 3.7g.

Once made its best to keep these in the fridge so they keep fresh. However, as they don’t contain egg they will keep at room temperature but they may spoil after a few days if the weather is hot.

Paleo Chewy Cookies

Servings: 16 (Makes 6 individual fishcakes)

Nutritional Information (per Cookie)

Total Carbs 8.8g
Fiber 1.7g
Net Carbs 7.1g
Protein 2.8g
Fat 10.1g
Calories 131 Kcals

Paleo Chewy Cookies – Low Carb/ Ketogenic Version

Servings 16

Nutritional Information (per cookie)

Uses 2 tbsp extra coconut milk and 3 tbsp of erythritol
Total Carbs 5.3g
Fiber 1.5g
Net carbs 3.7g
Protein 2.8g
Fat 10.5g
Calories 121 Kcals
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Paleo Chewy Cookies - Low FODMAP AIP & SIBO SCD
These Paleo cookies are deliciously chewy and can be made with a variety of fillings. Chose from dried or fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, chocolate or carob drops!
Course Sweets
Cuisine English
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Course Sweets
Cuisine English
Servings
Cookies
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180'c Using a silicon mat or baking paper, line a baking sheet and place on the side ready to place the cookies.
  2. If your coconut oil is hard, you will need to melt it until it's soft. You can do this by placing it in the microwave for 30 -60 seconds. Alternatively place the jar into a bowl of boiling water.
  3. In a large bowl add the wet ingredients - maple syrup (or honey), coconut oil, nut butter, coconut milk and lemon juice and whisk until fully combined.
  4. In a separate bowl add the dry ingredients - almond flour (or tigernut flour), bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla and salt and stir to combine.
  5. In a jug add the gelatin and pour in 2 tbsp of cold water and 1 tbsp of boiling water then immediately whisk until frothy. Pour this into the bowl with the wet ingredients (nut butter/ maple syrup) and whisk its all combined
  6. Chop the dates and the chocolate into chunks and add into the mixture (or any other fillings you like) and stir to combine.
  7. Taking a heaped tablespoon of mixture, dollop it onto the baking paper or silicon mat. Leave about half an inch between each cookie as they spread slightly when cooking. If its really gooey - use your finger to gently slide the mixture off the spon!
  8. Place in the oven near the top shelf and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. The cookies will still be soft whilst hot so be careful when transferring them to the cooling rack (I used a spatula). If you use baking paper transfer the cookies on the paper onto the cooling rack and allow them to fully cool before using a spatula to lift them from the paper.
  10. If you manage not to scoff them all at once, you can keep the remaining cookies in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Recipe Notes

Substitutions

For AIP cookies you can use tigernut flour and tigernut butter in place of the nut flour/butter.

If you are following a SIBO Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) then you will need to omit the bicarbonate of soda and use honey instead of maple syrup. I would suggest only using 2 tablespoons as honey is quite sweet.

For Whole30 omit the maple syrup and add 2 extra tablespoons of coconut milk.

For Ketogenic/ Low Carb substitute the maple syrup with erythritol and add 2 tablespoons of extra coconut milk.

Paleo Ginger Snaps

If only blog posts could be live – ha, well maybe not, because although you would be able to see me munching on one of these amazing ginger snaps you would also see that I’m still in pajamas and my hairs a state – eeek! … Anyway, on to the good stuff. These came about after I made a recipe from Carolyn from I dream all day about food (if you haven’t checked out her blog yet then make sure you do as its AWESOME!).

The recipe I made was coconut almond crisps and they reminded me a little bit of brandy snaps which I used to eat as a kid. Although they were really nice (for me) they just didn’t have a strong enough taste (I’m a funny onion when it comes to flavour). They had and amazing ‘snap’ when eaten from the fridge so I thought they would be great as a ginger snap as it had the perfect texture. After three bakes and two tweaks I managed to get what I think is the perfect ginger snap.

I keep and serve mine from the fridge, however I took a few out and left them on the side for about an hour and they kept their ‘snap’ so they are still good if left out for a while. Just be mindful that if you take them with you in your bag they will get hot quicker (but yes, they do still taste great when squishy ha!).

Macros
The macros are based on making 24 small cookies, but you could easily make them a little bigger if you wanted to.

Total Carbs 2.2g
Fiber 0.69g
Net Carbs 1.5g
Protein 1.1g
Fat 5g
Kcals 57

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Paleo Ginger Snaps
These ginger snaps are the perfect companion to your cup of tea or coffee. They are crunchy and super gingery (oh yes - that IS a word - ha!)
Course Sweets
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Passive Time 30 Minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Sweets
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Cook Time 10 Minutes
Passive Time 30 Minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 170'C (338'F) and allow to warm up. While still cold, take out one of the metal oven racks and place on the side. Cover with a piece of grease proof paper or a silicon mat.
  2. In a bowl add the almond flour, desiccated coconut, ginger and vanilla (if powdered). Stir to combine.
  3. Measure out the xanthan gum and place in a small bowl ready to use next to a whisk by the hob top (where you will be heating the palm shortening).
  4. In a saucepan combine the palm shortening, molasses and the powdered erythritol. Place over a low heat and stir to combine. Once the shortening is liquid leave for a few minutes (but keep watching), then when it starts to bubble/ go foamy take off the heat and using the whisk stir in the xanthan gum.
  5. Add the almond flour mix into the palm shortening mixture and stir to combine. If using liquid vanilla add it in here.
  6. Spoon heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto the grease proof paper and shape into circles. Try to leave 2 finger spaces between them as they will spread during cooking.
  7. You can cook these on two sheets (one above the other) or cook them in batches of 12, cooking one batch at a time - both methods worked when I tried them.
  8. Place in the oven and allow to cook for about 6 minutes or until they turn brown - this won't take long!.
  9. Once cooked, using oven gloves remove the rack from the oven and place onto the side (To protect the work surface you can place on to a chopping board or 2 tea towels). Allow to cool. Once its cool enough to touch, gently slide the grease proof paper off the rack and onto a flat surface.
  10. If you want to speed up the process you can place the cookies into the freezer to firm up. To do this place a piece of foil over a small chopping board or tray. Move the foil covered board close to the grease proof paper until they are overlapping (the paper over laps the foil). Slide each cookie carefully onto the foil. When they are all on the foil, place the board in the freezer for about 15 minutes to allow the cookies to firm up.
  11. Alternatively allow to cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  12. Once cooled, place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge.
  13. They will last about a week in the fridge but only if you don't scoff them all at once - ha!
Recipe Notes

* If you are using cups to measure the ingredients then for the palm shortening, you want about 1 tablespoon just under a 1/2 cup, so don't fill to the brim.

I also want to add that its important that you source your palm shortening from a reliable and ethical company as palm shortening is made from the palm trees which orangutans live off, thus making them an endangered species. I always buy from Spectrum as they are an ethical company with certified sustainable practices.

Chocolate Orange Brownie Bars

Chocolate Orange Brownie Bars (5)

I am so excited to be able to share this recipe with you because it took me some tweaking and dedication to get them to what they are, which is delicious and moreish – like a Terry’s chocolate orange in a brownie! Its low carb (yay), ketogenic (yay) and its paleo too (triple yay!). If you didn’t want the filling and topping you could always just make the base and have a low carb brownie. The brownie texture is soft, light and a little spongy. Add some chocolate chips or nuts into the batter for some texture and you will have one awesome brownie – you’re welcome 😉

Macros

I wasn’t able to find the nutrient content for my orange extract (which was natural extract in alcohol) so the macros may be a tad out, but it’ll only be by a microscopic amount.

Making 16 servings/ bars

Total Carbs 9.3g
Fiber 4g
Net Carbs 5.3g
Protein 7g
Fat 29g
Kcals 308

Please Note: For the photographs I used a few squares of 85% dark chocolate melted and drizzled over the top. I haven’t included this in the macros because it’s just for show and doesn’t actually add anything to the overall taste. If you wanted to add this into your recipe, just remember to adjust the macros!
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Chocolate Orange Brownie Bars
A soft chocolate brownie base with a creamy orange filling and smooth chocolate topping, perfect as a treat with a cup of tea of coffee.
Course Sweets
Prep Time 15
Cook Time 25 min
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
Bars
Ingredients
Brownie Base
Creamy Orange Filling
Smooth Chocolate Topping
Course Sweets
Prep Time 15
Cook Time 25 min
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
Bars
Ingredients
Brownie Base
Creamy Orange Filling
Smooth Chocolate Topping
Instructions
Making the Brownie Base
  1. Preheat the oven to 150' (300'F) and line an oven proof dish with grease proof paper (or use a large silicon baking tray).
  2. Chop the dark chocolate bar into very small pieces and add to a saucepan. Add in the coconut oil and on a very (very) low heat, gently warm until it starts to melt. Turn off the heat and keep stirring until all of the chocolate has melted.
  3. In a bowl combine the almond flour, cacao powder, erythritol, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and cream of tartar and stir to combine.
  4. Pour the melted chocolate into the almond flour mix and stir to combine. Add in the eggs, vanilla, liquid stevia and whisk until combined.
  5. If the mixture starts to thicken up, add the 1/4 cup of water and stir thoroughly. You can leave it out but the mixture usually thickens up as the dry ingredients absorb the liquid.
  6. Place in the oven for 25 minutes. As soon as its done remove and transfer to a cooling rack. As soon as it has cooled a little, place in the freezer for about 15 - 20 minutes.
Making the Filling
  1. First you will need to melt the creamed coconut. The easiest way to do this is either place the unopened bag into a saucepan of boiled water and allow to simmer on very low until the coconut has melted / becomes liquid. Turn off the heat once it has melted and carefully using tongs, remove the bag from the pan and place on the side to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Place the rest of the filling ingredients into a blender bowl (don't attach it to to blender yet!). Using an oven glove to handle, cut the corner of the creamed coconut bag and measure the creamed coconut into the blender bowl/ attachment with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Blitz the coconut/ filling mixture until its all combined and creamy. Depending on your blender (I used a thermomix), you may need to scrape down the sides a few times and blitz for a little longer.
  4. Once smooth and paste like, its ready to spread on to the brownie base. Ensure the base is cool before spooning the filling mixture on top as a hot base will make it melt and may make the base soggy (yuck!).
  5. Using a spoon or spatula, spread the mixture onto the base of the brownie, getting as close to the edges as possible.
  6. When completed, place the brownie back into the freezer for about 15 minutes to allow the filling to harden.
Making the Topping
  1. Chop the dark chocolate in to very small pieces and add to a bowl with the coconut oil.
  2. In a pan, gently heat the coconut milk until it starts to bubble. Take off the heat and pour over the chocolate and coconut oil and stir to combine.
  3. Using a spoon or spatula spread the mixture carefully over the orange topping. Tip; Place a large table spoon of mixture near each corner of the base and then spoon the rest into the middle and gently spread the mixture outwards. Try to get as close to the edges as possible.
  4. Once completed, place the brownie back into the freezer for about 20 minutes to harden. After 20 minutes take out of the freezer and cut into bars then return to chill for a further 10-15 minutes. (Its easier to cut while its still partly soft).
  5. Once the chocolate has set on the top, its ready to enjoy. To store, transfer to a air tight container and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Recipe Notes

If you wanted to play about with the flavours you could always make the filling mint by using mint extract and fresh mint leaves. Personally I don't like the taste of fresh mint leaves in sweet dishes so I would use mint extract and a few leaves of spinach just to give a bit of green colour (about 3-4 leaves).

Or you could leave out the orange all together have them as chocolate coconut brownie bars. If you wanted to enhance the flavour you could use natural coconut extract.

Other flavours to try would be raspberry (swap the orange juice for a handful of fresh berries and natural extract), vanilla (leave out the orange and use 1 tbsp of vanilla), or chocolate (leave out the orange and add 2 TBSP of cacao powder and a few extra drops of stevia).

Bounty Bar Bites

Hello – can you believe that we are in spring already!! Whhaattt???? Where did that time go?!!! … I’ve been fairly quiet for quite some time now because sadly my health has been pretty bad. I rely heavily on my husband to help me, so being able to try a recipe and then write about it requires his help every step of the way, but I have just been too tired to do anything – even with assistance! Heyho, it’s the nature of the illness, I am just glad that I had a ‘good’ weekend and was able to make something yummy.

I know that if you search the internet for homemade Bounty bars or ‘Paradise bars’ you will find hundreds of recipes, so what makes mine so great? – because I made them!! haha, ok that’s pretty lame and I don’t have a reason but I thought I would share it anyway because they are just so easy to make and they are paleo.

If you take a look at my Facebook or Instagram page you will see that I made a little video with the recipe on – its slightly different from the one listed below as I made another batch and tweaked it slightly which made them taste even better – whoop!

The hardest decision you’ll need to make when making these is how you want them to look. You can roll them into balls, squash the mixture into mini silicon muffin cups, shape them into bars (like the originals) or squash the whole mixture into a baking tin and cut into bar shapes once they have cooled – it’s really up to you!

I also have to add that they are really versatile so you can add in extra ingredients if you wanted to. My husband really likes any treats with nuts in so after making a batch of bounty bar coconut bites we made a second batch but instead of using coconut we used toasted flaked almonds, chopped pecan nuts and a few raisins. The rest of the ingredients stayed the same (creamed coconut, sweetener, coconut milk and chocolate coating) and they were delicious.

Also for those of you who are low carb or follow a ketogenic diet here are the macros per bite:
Total Carbs 4.3g
Fiber 2.4g
Net Carbs 1.9g
Protein 2g
Fat 9.3g
Energy (Calories) 105g

Paleo and Ketogenic Bounty Bars
Paleo and Ketogenic Bounty Bars

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Bounty Bar Bites
If you love Bounty Bars (A.k.a Paradise Bars) then you will love these. They are rich and coco-nutty with a dark chocolate coating. If you wanted to tweak them and use milk chocolate (either a dairy free version or using dairy) you can! The only down side is they are so moreish that you'll find yourself scoffing them as soon as they are set!
Course Sweets
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 10 min
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
Bites
Ingredients
Course Sweets
Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 10 min
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
Bites
Ingredients
Instructions
Making the Coconut Balls
  1. In a saucepan add some water and place in the unopened bag of creamed coconut and turn on the heat. As the water boils it will melt the creamed coconut in the bag; keep an eye on it to make sure the bag doesn't burst (once the water is bubbling you can turn the heat down to low). After 5 - 10 minutes the coconut should be melted. Using some tongs take the bag out of the pan and turn of the heat.
  2. Place a bowl over some scales. Cut open the edge of the creamed coconut bag and slowly pour into the bowl and weigh out 80 grams of creamed coconut. (Place the bag aside in a cup or mug so that as it cools it doesn't dribble everywhere on to the surfaces).
  3. In the bowl with the creamed coconut add in the desiccated coconut, sweetener, vanilla, coconut milk, stevia and stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined.
  4. If you want to make the bites into balls or make small bars you will need to place a baking tray on the side next to the bowl and line with some baking paper or some foil (with the dull side facing up). If you are using silicon muffin cups you will just need a tray to place them on. If you are making one large block that you want to cut into bars then you will need a tray (a bread tin would work) or a baking dish. Line it with grease proof paper or foil.
  5. Either with clean hands or wearing rubber gloves, scoop out approximately 1 tbsp of mixture and roll into a ball then place onto the baking sheet. For bar shapes (like the originals) use 2 tbsp of mixture and roll into log shapes. If using silicon muffin cups, press 1 tbsp of mixture into the bottom of a mold and place on to a tray. If you are making on big block that you want to cut into bars you just need to press all of the mixture into the (lined) dish you are using. You can have the bars as thick or thin as you like, just remember if you are using a small tin/ dish the bars will be thicker and might take a longer time to chill.
  6. When all of the mixture has been used place the baking tray/ dish into the freezer for 15 minutes.
Coating with Chocolate
  1. You will need to make a bain marie to melt the chocolate. To do this you need a bowl that will fit over a saucepan. Fill the saucepan halfway with water and then place the bowl on top. The bowl shouldn't touch the water. Turn the heat on and as the water boils, the steam will heat the bowl (be careful not to touch as it will be hot). Break the chocolate up and add into the bowl and allow 5 minutes or so for the chocolate to fully melt. Once the chocolate has melted you can turn off the heat.
  2. Take the coconut balls (or bars etc) out of the freezer and place on a clear / hard surface. Carefully pick up the tray/ dish and holding firmly each side, (not too hard) bash the tray/ dish down onto the surface. This will help to free the coconut from the tray as it can sometimes stick! If you used the baking dish method you will need to place your block of coconut on to a chopping board and cut it up into bar shapes before moving on to the next step.
  3. Take the bowl of melted chocolate and place it on a heat proof mat or a towel. Next to it place the tray/ dish of coconut bites. Using two tooth picks or some tongs, carefully dip the coconut bites into the chocolate and move it about to make sure it gets evenly coated. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off before transferring to the baking sheet. Continue doing this until all the coconut bites are coated.
  4. Place the coated bites back into the freezer to harden for 15 minutes. Once they have hardened you can transfer them to a container and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. If they have stuck to the baking sheet/ tray etc then repeat step 2 (bashing gently to release the bites) They will keep at room temperature if the weather is not too warm. In summer it would be best to keep in the fridge.
  5. Eat on their own or with a lovely cuppa tea or coffee! Enjoy!

Chocolate Truffles – Paleo Ketogenic and Vegan

Paleo, Ketogenic and Vegan Chocolate Truffles

These chocolate truffles are so delicious and really easy to make. The only ‘difficult’ part is waiting for the mixture to chill in the fridge! I would recommend making the mixture on the night then leaving it overnight in the fridge.

If you have any latex gloves or washing up gloves you can use these when rolling the mixture into balls, as your hands WILL get sticky! It’s not a must have, but it can make things easier and less messy. Just remember to wash your hands once you put the gloves on – just to make sure any powdered residue (from inside the latex gloves) is washed off before handling the food.

The flavours for these truffles are endless, you can have coffee, toffee, caramel, strawberry, cherry and so on – all you need is a decent extract.If you wanted to go one further you could add nuts, dried fruit, or even have fresh berries in the middle. You can also play around with the coating too, I rolled some in roasted chopped almonds (see featured image) but I prefered them plain. If you wanted you could try toasted desiccated coconut, cacao nibs, powdered erythritol for that powdered sugar look or melted chocolate for a smooth crisp outer shell.

You can easily change the type of nut butter, percentage of chocolate or sweetener used to make these as long as you use the same amounts.

If you are making these for someone who is vegan, you will need to make sure that the chocolate you are using has no dairy in – some dark chocolates DO contain traces or have small amounts of dairy.

Macros
Below are the macros for one truffle – based on making 24 orange flavoured truffles. If you change the flavour or add in extras such as nuts or chocolate coating this will change the overall macros, but the information below can be useful to get an idea of how many you can eat!

Protein 1.3g
Fat 6.5g
Carbs 3.8g
Fiber 0.85
Net Carbs 2.9g

If you want to make them smaller (I’ve tried), you can get 35 chocolate truffles and the Macros are as follows :-
Protein 0.89g
Fat 4.4g
Carbs 2.6g
Fiber 0.58g
Net Carbs 2g
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Chocolate Truffles - Paleo Ketogenic and Vegan
These chocolate truffles are so delicious and easy to make. You can change the flavour, add in dried fruit or nuts or coat in chocolate for a more decadent taste.
Course Sweets
Prep Time 10
Passive Time 4 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Course Sweets
Prep Time 10
Passive Time 4 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a pan over a low heat, warm the coconut milk until it starts to bubble.
  2. Reduce the heat a little and add in the vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup, erythritol, nut butter and stevia, then stir to combine.
  3. Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate, square by square until it has all melted. You will need to keep stirring to ensure it doesn't burn.
  4. If you want orange flavored balls you can add the orange essence into the mixture here. If you would like to have half plain and half orange you will need to add it later. (Alternatively if you want a variety of flavours, you can split the mixture into bowls and add the extract in to each bowl then give it a good stir.)
  5. When the mixture has completely combined and there are no lumps, pour into a bowl or jug and allow to cool. Once cooled place in the fridge for a few hours to thicken up. (Approx 3 1/2 hours)
  6. When ready it should be firm like butter - the best test is to prod it with your finger, it should easily squish but not stick to your finger.
  7. Place the cacao powder onto a plate and place an empty plate near by.
  8. If you would like to make half of the batch orange flavoured, you will need to make a line down the center of the mixture splitting it into two. Make the plain balls using the one half of the mixture. When that runs out and you are left with the other half of the mixture, add in the orange extract and give it a good stir. It will be thick and difficult to stir but will loosen up. If it becomes too sticky you can add in a sprinkle of cacao powder.
  9. Use a metal spoon (or a melon ball scoop) scoop out the chocolate mixture and roll into balls using your hands. Drop the ball into the cacao powder, shake off excess powder then place on to the plate.
  10. Once you have made all your chocolate truffles, place the plate into the fridge and allow to cool again (chilling will help them firm up again).
  11. If you are able to stop yourself from gorging on these little beauts, they will last 3-4 days in the fridge. They can be easily frozen too - just fetch out and place in the fridge a few hours before eating.
  12. If you want to give them to a friend as a gift (e.g. for Christmas) check out the link below for recycling glass jars (which are perfect for storing these in!).
  13. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Click here to go to my blog post 'Memory Jars'. It will tell you how to decorate and up cycle a glass jar, which would be perfect for giving as a gift with some chocolate truffles in.