clean recipe

Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes – Make At Home And Get Twice As Many For Half The Cost!


DarkChocRiceCakes-4760-ETC-Main

Recently I have fallen in love with dark chocolate rice cakes . The brand in particular I have fallen for are these ones (in fact these are the only brand of chocolate rice cakes I have seen!):

Kallo Dark Choc Rice Cakes

I have been having 2 of these for my afternoon snack together with an apple and it’s just the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. What could be better than a fresh, crunchy apple accompanied by the delights of comforting, crispy rice cakes smothered in dark chocolate? I know! Nothing!!

BUT, I have to say that these little beauties are very expensive. Even when you buy them on BOGOHP (buy one get one half price), you still feel it in your purse. They are around £1.80 a packet and for that you only get 8 thin dark chocolate rice cakes. They don’t last long, as you can imagine.

Kallo Dark Choc Rice Cakes

So what is a girl to do when she longs after these rather expensive little items? Make her own of course (and make them cheaper)!

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Rose & Goji Berry Raw Chocolates – To DIE For!


Raw Chocolates

So the picture above means you already want to make these for yourself, right?! And so you should! These solid dark chocolates remind me of a Turkish paradise (ok, a ‘Turkish Delight’ paradise anyway) and as you crunch into them you find the delicate flavour of rose and also little chewy pieces of goji berries, all tantalising your taste buds. It’s a sensation not to be missed I promise. These are only my second venture into the world of raw chocolate making, so I’m pretty pleased they came out looking like this and also tasted so great!

After watching a programme on TV about raw chocolate making, where they showed a quick overview of the process and the types of ingredients involved, but didn’t give any quantities of each, I decided I would just have a go for myself. As with most times I decide to ‘try’ something,  I just winged the quantities and added a few of my own ingredients, weighing and writing them down in case I came up with a genius recipe I’d want to repeat. The first batch were not bad, but they weren’t perfect – they didn’t have that ‘snap’ that chocolate has when it’s bitten into or broken apart, being softer than they should be. I put this down to two things – firstly I added quite a quantity of coconut oil which, as you probably know, is fairly soft even when in its solid state; secondly, I went overboard adding powdered ingredients, so the liquid was swamped and therefore couldn’t ‘set’ into a solid again. Oh and finally, I didn’t reheat the chocolate mixture to enable it to set with a lovely glossy coat. Lessons learned. Moving on to my second batch…

(Before I go on I should say sorry to my friend Jenny, who got some of the first batch but still insisted they were lovely! The second batch was MUCH better I’m pleased to say – as verified by 2 other friends – and this is what I’m sharing with you today.)

Armed with the knowledge of how NOT to make a crisp chocolate, I started over, this time with less powdered ingredients and MUCH less coconut oil.

This is my recipe for Rose and Goji Berry Raw Chocolates.

Ingredients (makes about 30 chocolates, depending on mould size used):

Soft & Crispy Nutty Snack Bars


Soft & Crispy Nutty Snack BarsI like to find new ingredients to try as often as possible and this week I ordered a few things from my favourite UK supplier of all things healthy – HealthySupplies.co.uk. Amongst my box of goodies this time were some Buckwheat Puffs.

BuckwheatPuffsBox

So what exactly IS buckwheat?! Well for a start it has nothing to do with wheat, so the gluten-intolerant amongst you can breathe a sigh of relief, it’s gluten-free. It’s not a grain at all, it’s actually a fruit seed, closely related to rhubarb and sorrel. In terms of taste, for those of you familiar with Sugar Puffs, buckwheat puffs taste kind of like those but without the sugar, if you can imagine that!. If you want the full low-down on buckwheat, I found this fantastic page all about it, just click here (but come straight back!).

And so to today’s recipe… Soft & Crispy Nutty Snack Bars. Bit of a mouthful but I couldn’t think of a better way of describing them! These bars have the slight crispiness of the buckwheat puffs, combined with the crunchiness of the chopped hazelnuts, all stuck together with a mixture of soft dates & peanut butter and a little coconut flour! The finished taste is nutty, the insides soft but with a hint of crispiness, and when reviewed by colleagues at work they described them having a similar texture to that of a Nutrigrain Elevenses Baked Bar. One colleague said they would make a great breakfast bar and that he would definitely pay for them! Sounds good?! Here’s the recipe and photographs…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1.5 cups puffed buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour (or desiccated coconut will do if you don’t have flour)

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Peanut Butter & Coconut Cookies – A Taste Sensation


PB Coconut CookiesHere it is! The recipe I’ve been teasing you all with a picture of this week. These cookies are moist but slightly crumbly, sweet but slightly savoury and a whole lot of delicious! I’ve taste tested them on 3 people and as they’ve chewed into the cookie each person has had a similar reaction… “ooh, interesting… nice… ooh coconut… oh wait a minute… peanut… mmm… different… I like them!”. So I’m reporting that as a successful taste test and so now I present to you… Peanut Butter & Coconut Cookies.

I won’t beat around the bush with this one, I’ll just dive straight in with the recipe and pictures. Hopefully you will be drooling over the photos so much that you will definitely want to make these. And then you will taste what all the fuss is about for yourself.

Ingredients: (makes about 6 medium sized cookies – double recipe if you have a larger family!)

Sweet Drops Stevia Vanilla Drops

  • 1/2 banana, mashed up with a fork
  • 1 tbsp. organic runny honey
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, I used crunchy so that the final cookies would have little peanut bits in them
  • 12 Vanilla Stevia Drops (see pic right) OR 1 tbsp. stevia powder plus 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 12 dark chocolate drops to decorate (optional) (more…)

Prune Shortcake Cookies


Don’t let the title put you off these gorgeous-tasting cookies!!! Prunes are optional and the shortcake hints only at the flavour, not the assumed ingredient list!

So I still have your attention? Good!

Prune Shortcake CookiesI wanted to share these cookies with you because I simply can’t believe how good they taste, bearing in mind they have none of your traditional cookie ingredients in them. They’re gluten, dairy and wheat-free. But before I get to the recipe, just a few snippets of information about a couple of the ingredients.

Firstly, I have used coconut oil in this recipe. For those of you thinking, “Wait a minute, you said this was a healthy recipe yet you’re pouring oil into the mix?”, let me tell you a bit about coconut oil. For a start, yes it is technically a saturated fat, due to the type of chemical structure it is composed of. You can usually tell which fats are the saturated ones as they will generally be solid at room temperature (unless you’re lucky enough to live in a very warm climate).  Coconut oil indeed sits on the shelf as a solid and only melts at a temperature above 24 degrees Celcius. However, coconut oil is different from most other saturated fats, as it is made up of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s), which is just a fancy way of saying its structure is a little different from other saturated fats, and this type of structure is one that is readily assimilated (gobbled up!) by the body, meaning you use the energy from coconut oil straight away and don’t store it in your fat cells as you might with other saturated fats. Perfect! When buying coconut oil you should make sure it is COLD pressed, VIRGIN coconut oil. This is the best quality oil you can get. Coconut oil is also one of the few oils that can be used at high temperatures, as its structure does not break down under heat and saves us from those nasty free radicals, which only cause premature ageing. So all round, coconut oil is a great oil to use for cooking with. It also has other fantastic health benefits such as helping protect from mental degeneration, aswell as beauty benefits when used as a moisturiser or as a hair conditioner. Look it up!

Ground almonds (or almond flour as some of you know it) is quite literally almonds that have been ground very finely. Usually it’s the blanched almonds that are used to make the flour, so you don’t get the brown ‘skin’ of the almond in the meal. I have used measurements in cups of ground almonds here, but make sure you pat down the flour into the cup, or you could end up with some air and less almonds than you thought.

So, with that said, onto the recipe. I hope you will make these cookies, they literally take less than 15 minutes including baking time, so what’s to lose?

Prune Shortcake Cookies

Makes 12 small cookies. Each cookie contains 91 calories, 7g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 7g fat (1g of which is saturated fat), 3g sugar.

Ingredients: (more…)

Beat the Holiday Choc-Fest!


If you’re like me at this time of year, you will no doubt be finding it hard not to give in to the endless chocolates that are being offered to you by your generous family, friends and colleagues. “Just one won’t hurt”, “It’s Christmas, why not?”, “I’ll be good tomorrow”… all excuses and rationalisations that can go on in your head to ‘allow’ yourself that indulgence. Maybe you’ve decided that you WILL allow yourself to have a few of the sugar-laden treats this year, but if you would like a get-out clause I’m here to help.

I would like to let you know that YOU CAN HAVE CHOCOLATE THIS YEAR!!! My little chocolate treats will taste equally as good as any shop-bought bar of chocolate, if not better. And to be able to say, “Would you like a piece of my home-made chocolate nut block?” will make it seem all that more indulgent when you offer it to your friends (if you want to share that is!). So here’s a my very simple solution to your Christmas chocolate dilemma – Easy Tasty Clean Chocolate Nut Block.

Easy Tasty Clean Chocolate Nut Block

Ingredients:

  • 1 100g (4oz) bar of Green & Black’s Organic Dark 85% Chocolate
  • 50g pistachios
  • 50g macadamias

Directions:

  • Melt the chocolate in a small bowl until there are no lumps left – this can be done by sitting the bowl over a pan of simmering water or by simply microwaving in 1 minute intervals until melted.
  • Chop the nuts into small pieces using a large sharp knife, you can go as small as you like with the pieces. I usually cut each nut into at least 4 pieces but just make it random for best results.
  • Add the nuts to the chocolate and stir until fully coated.
  • Line a larger-bottomed bowl (around 8″) with a piece of cling film (plastic wrap) and pour the chocolate/nut mixture onto it. Spread out until the mixture is around 0.5 cm or 1/3″ thick.
  • Refrigerate for at least an hour then break or cut into small pieces, ready to eat!

So there you have it, an incredibly simple way of not only having your chocolate this holiday season, but making it all the more healthy with the addition of some nuts. And here are some facts about these nuts that might just convince you to have a go at making the Chocolate Nut Block for yourself:

  • Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper and manganese, also containing potassium, phophorus and magnesium. They are also a great antioxidant, protecting against ageing. In addition, a snack sized portion of pistachios contains the same amount of fibre as a bowl of oatmeal!
  • Macadamias are a good source of B Vitamins, as well as containing smaller amounts of vitamin C. They also contain copper, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc, making these nuts great for the nervous system and the immune system. Macadamias are higher in saturated fats than other nuts though, so don’t go overboard on these!
  • Both of these nuts may help to lower the risk of heart disease, if consumed responsibly, in small quantities.

The holiday season doesn’t have to be a trauma in terms of having to abstain from everything in sight, you just have to be a little bit more creative and work out how you can fit tasty holiday-style foods into a clean eating lifestyle.

I will be putting this recipe onto a downloadable Recipe Sheet on the Easy Tasty Clean website soon, so feel free to download it here!

Enjoy!

Janice.

Quick Midweek Recipe – Soft Ginger Cookies


Today I was offered a lovely home-made ginger cookie by a friend at work, and I did taste one corner of it, and how lovely it was!!! So I thought I’d like to try to make my own much cleaner version of these cookies. I looked up a few recipes on the internet for both traditional full-fat ginger cookies and also some healthy-eating versions, and I chose a mish-mash of some of the ingredients I found, which as it turned out worked a treat, to give these gorgeous specimens:

They’re beautifully soft and cake-like inside, with a lovely kick of ginger. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup water + 1 extra tbsp. water
  • ½ cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup quick cook oats
  • 4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. baking powder

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4
  • Using a blender, mix the first 3 ingredients then add the dates and blend until the dates are finely chopped.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again, the mixture will be fairly thick and quite coarse due to the oats and dates.
  • Grease an oven tray with a little coconut oil to prevent sticking then put dollops of one to two tablespoons of mixture all over the tray, leaving gaps between them for expansion while cooking.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes, then serve hot or cold.

Stats:

You should get about 9 cookies out of the recipe. Each cookie contains 74 calories, 13g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 2g fat (1g of which is saturated), 2g fibre.

Enjoy as a snack, keep them in a container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Yum yum! Hope you enjoy these as much as I did when I tasted them!

Janice.