Cacao Almond Slice

I have got the most amazingly delicious gluten free, dairy free and cane sugar free chocolate slice recipe for you. Say hello to my Cacao Almond Slice!¬†This was one of the first recipes I ever created over three years ago and I’m finally getting around to sharing it with you! My bad ūüėČ

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My Cacao Almond Slice garnished with flaked almonds
This is a recipe that I come back to all the time. It is super quick and easy to make and oh so yum. It’s kind of like eating a brownie. This recipe is always a massive hit and if you make it I promise you’ll have people asking for the recipe so they can make it at home too. Plus you’ll also be wondering how on earth it got eaten so fast!

I love this slice so much because it doesn’t feel like I’m eating something that is gluten, dairy and cane sugar free. It is decadent, it is moist and it is sweet. It ticks all of my yummy treat boxes. I hope you love it as much as I do and it becomes a favourite recipe in your household.

You can also turn this Cacao Almond Slice recipe into a moist chocolate cake. Simply cook it in a small round baking tin and bake it for 35 to 40 minutes. Easy.

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You can turn this recipe into an amazing chocolate cake just by baking the batter in a small round cake tin and cooking it for 35 to 40 minutes in a 180 degrees Celsius oven. So versatile!

Cacao Almond Slice

Ingredients:

  • 200g raw almonds (if using a Thermomix) or almond meal (if following the conventional method)
  • 25g tapioca flour or arrowroot starch
  • 100g coconut milk (full fat)
  • 2 free range organic eggs
  • 80g coconut oil, melted, or macadamia oil
  • 2 teaspoons of gluten free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground vanilla powder
  • 25g raw cacao powder
  • 100g pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup
  • For garnish – 2 tablespoons of flaked almonds or cacao nibs (optional)

Thermomix Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a slice tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the raw almonds in your Thermomix bowl and grind on speed 8 for 10 seconds.
  3. Place all of the remaining ingredients (except the optional garnish) into your Thermomix bowl and blend on speed 5 for 30 seconds.
  4. Pour the Cacao Almond Slice mix into the prepared slice tin. If you wish, you can sprinkle the slivered almonds or cacao nibs on top for a garnish. Bake the slice in your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the slice comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the slice tin for 30 minutes before removing onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or cool.

Conventional Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a slice tin with baking paper.
  2. Place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well with a whisk until combined and you have a smooth and velvety batter.
  3. Follow steps 4 and 5 above in the Thermomix method.

 

 

Banana Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

I’m just loving this smoothie bowl combination at the moment. It is so refreshing, cool and really hits the spot on the days when the temperature hits over 30 degrees Celsius! This Banana Strawberry Smoothie Bowl is made with lots of frozen fruit and has a touch of raw cacao powder to give it a beautiful rich colour. I also love to add some raw vegan protein powder to mine so it can sustain me that little bit extra throughout the day.

This smoothie bowl is perfect for breakfast or as a snack. You just put everything into your Thermomix or high speed blender, whiz it up and then serve with your favourite toppings. Super simple and super delicious.

Remember if you try this out, take a picture and tag me on Instagram with @hayley_yummygoodness and use the hashtag #yummygoodness.

I would love to see your creations!

Happy blending.

Banana Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 6 small frozen bananas, cut into chunks
  • 270g or 2 cups of frozen strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
  • 4 tablespoons of protein powder (I use Amazonia Protein Isolate in¬†Natural – you can use pea protein powder or hemp protein powder too)
  • 500g or 2 cups of coconut water
  • 1 handful of baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of raw honey or rice malt syrup
  • ¬†Cacao nibs and goji berries to sprinkle on top of the smoothie bowl
Method:
Place all of the ingredients into your Thermomix or high speed blender. If using a Thermomix, blend on speed 8 for 1 minute, using the spatula to help mix the ingredients if needed. If using a blender, blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour into four bowls and garnish with some goji berries and cacao nibs. You can also add fresh fruit like chopped banana, strawberries, blueberries or mango. Enjoy immediately!
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Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

It’s been another big day for us serving healthy, wholefood breakfast options to the lovely people who participated in the MAF Walk for Awareness this morning. Vanilla Chia Seed Puddings were on the menu today and before I get to the recipe, I have to say a few words about this event that is bringing people in our community together to talk about mental health and suicide.

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

It was such a pleasure to be a part of this event this morning. 1,300 people gathered under the Story Bridge to walk 8km around our beautiful city, honouring the memories of all of the loved ones who are no longer with us after taking their own lives. The message is simple. Let’s talk about suicide and mental illness. Let’s break the taboo and encourage people to talk about what’s going on for them. Let’s come together as a community and support each other so we stop losing the ones we care about.

For me, there is a connection between the food that we eat and our mental health. I do believe that in nourishing my body with amazing, healthy, nutritious foods I can also nourish my mind. I want to share this message with more people and in doing so create healthy people, healthy families and healthy communities. I want to inspire everyone to embrace a healthy lifestyle so we can all love food and love life.

Now that you know what I’m working towards, here’s one of my recipes from today. I’d love to know if you try it at home. You can¬†tag me in all of your Instagram posts with @hayley_yummygoodness. Happy cooking!

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of organic coconut milk (I love Honest To Goodness coconut milk – it’s 100% coconut milk)
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon of organic vanilla powder (also available from Honest to Goodness)

Method:

Mix all of the ingredients in a cup. Let the pudding mixture¬†sit for 2 minutes and then stir again. Let it sit for a further 5 minutes and stir one last time. Pop the chia seed pudding mixture into the fridge to set. You will get the best results if you let the Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding set overnight. If you don’t have the time, then let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes. That will give you enough time for the chia seeds to soak up the coconut milk and soften.

Top with some fresh berries, toasted nuts for crunch and some coconut flakes or shredded coconut.

This is a delicious gluten free, dairy free and sugar free breakfast, snack or dessert. The chia seeds will keep you full and regular!

Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding arial

Choc Chia Protein Balls

I love coming up with different bliss ball recipes. It’s fun and it’s always exciting to try the different flavours. I was really happy when I came up with this recipe. These Choc Chia Protein Balls are so sweet and satisfying. They’re very moreish and it’s a general rule of mine to stop at two! These little beauties are packed full of protein and natural goodness from the nuts, seeds and dried fruit. I use organic ingredients when I make these so I know there are no preservatives or additives in my Choc Chia Protein Balls. This is a ‘no nasties’ zone!

Choc Chia Protein Balls photo 3 170915Choc Chia Protein Balls photo 4 170915

These Choc Chia Protein Balls are a fabulous alternative to a chocolate bar in the afternoon. I think they’re HEAPS yummier than any of the commercial bliss balls or fruit and nut bars that are currently on the market. I love making these myself using quality ingredients. It’s definitely quality, not quantity, when it comes to bliss balls. Make them with love and they’ll taste even better.

These¬†bliss balls¬†are something I might make once every few weeks. They are really sweet and quite rich. I find that my kids struggle to eat a full one of these, so maybe start off with a half of one if you’re making them for the little ones.

Enjoy!

Choc Chia Protein Balls

Makes 15

Ingredients:

  • 12 medjool dates, pitted, at room temperature
  • 80g or 1/2 cup of organic sultanas
  • 80g or 1/2 cup of raw cashews
  • 60g or 1/2 cup of raw pecans
  • 30g or 1/4 cup of pepitas
  • 30g or 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 4 tablespoons of vegan protein powder (I use Amazonia raw protein isolate in natural flavour)
  • 3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Method:

Place all of the ingredients into a high speed food processor and process until the mixture resembles large bread crumbs. The natural oils of the nuts will start to come out and help to hold the mixture together. The dates need to be very well broken down. This may take a few minutes in a standard food processor with an S blade inserted.

If using a Thermomix, blend on speed 8 for 45 seconds.

Roll into balls and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

All of the ingredients ready to be processed in my Thermomix.
All of the ingredients ready to be processed in my Thermomix.
The mixture once it has been processed. The balls are ready to roll when the mixture looks like this.
The mixture once it has been processed. The balls are ready to roll when the mixture looks like this.

Pretty in Pink Smoothie

Strawberries are amazing this time of year. I love their smell and that burst of flavour when I first bite into a big, luscious, red strawberry that has my name written all over it. Strawberries on their own are always fabulous and, of course, because I love my smoothies, my strawberries invariably end up in my Thermomix all blended up.

I love my strawberries!
I love my strawberries!

My Pretty in Pink Smoothie is just that – very pink! It really does remind me of the movie with Molly Ringwald and all of those beautiful shades of pink in her clothes. It has lots of delicious strawberries and other berries in it, plus some added extras to give you an extra dose of antioxidants and yummy goodness to naturally enhance your energy levels. The goji berries and acai powder have really high levels of antioxidants and are two foods that I love to add to my smoothies on a regular basis. I also add organic raw mesquite powder for added calcium and magnesium.

My Pretty In Pink Smoothie just waiting to get in my belly!
My Pretty In Pink Smoothie just waiting to get in my belly!

This is a great smoothie if you don’t like bananas because I have used medjool dates to provide the sweetness. If you’re using almond milk and you¬†want to make this smoothie even creamier you could add a quarter of a ripe avocado.

You can add some vegan protein powder if you want to have this as a breakfast smoothie or enjoy it in the afternoon to give you a natural boost.

It’s quick, delicious, nutritious and so good for you. Blend it up!

Pretty in Pink Smoothie

Serves two

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 1 cup of organic frozen mixed berries
  • ¬ľ cup of goji berries
  • 3 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup of almond milk or coconut milk
  • ¬Ĺ cup of filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon of mesquite powder
  • 1 tablespoon of freeze dried a√ßai powder
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon of organic vanilla powder (or the seeds from one vanilla pod)
  • One handful of ice

Method:

Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth. If you wish, you can garnish your Pretty In Pink Smoothie with some extra strawberries and goji berries.

If you have a Thermomix, blend on speed 10 for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Enjoy immediately!

The smoothie ingredients
The smoothie ingredients
Raw mesquite powder - I love the one from Loving Earth
Raw mesquite powder – I love the one from Loving Earth
All of the ingredients in my Thermomix ready to be blended up
All of the ingredients in my Thermomix ready to be blended up
The end product. So pretty! I love to drink mine with my glass smoothie straw.
The end product. So pretty! I love to drink mine with my glass smoothie straw.

Feed Your Mind Festival 2015

I thought it’s about time¬†that I tell you about an amazing festival that I was involved with in June called Feed Your Mind. The brain child of my friend and colleague, Angela Taylor, the Feed Your Mind Festival was dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of nourishing your body to nourish your mind. As a lover of good, wholesome and nutritious food, I was delighted when Angela asked me to be involved in helping to organise the event and run a food stall and food demonstration on the day. For me it was a chance to get connected with people in my community and spread¬†the message about how important¬†our food is¬†to our mental health and wellbeing. Exciting stuff!

It was a big day for me and my husband, Chris, and a day of firsts. After much preparation, we erected our very first Yummy Goodness stall, selling healthy treats that were all free from gluten, dairy, sugar and preservatives. No nasties guaranteed! It was also our first time working together and my first time running the show.

Our Yummy Goodness food stall, selling delicious and healthy treats.
Our Yummy Goodness food stall, selling delicious and healthy treats.

We sold an amazing vegan hot chocolate that was very popular in the early morning cold and drizzle. Another best seller was our banana cinnamon smoothie and then there was my Raw Chocolate Nut Slice. We had a number of people come back for seconds! This is definitely a great recipe to try at home if you’re looking for a chocolate substitute.

My other project on the day was running a food demonstration where I showcased three easy food swaps. I wanted to share with people how easy it can be to take some common dishes and transform them into dishes free from gluten, dairy and sugar. I made:

Three Easy Food Swaps menu
Three Easy Food Swaps menu
Me showcasing my Three Easy Food Swaps menu.
Me showcasing my Three Easy Food Swaps menu.

 

My yummy Red Capsicum and Cashew Dip
My yummy Red Capsicum and Cashew Dip
The delicious ingredients for my Berry Superfood Smoothie made in the Thermomix.
The delicious ingredients for my Berry Superfood Smoothie made in the Thermomix.
In action making my Berry Superfood Smoothie in the Thermomix.
In action making my Berry Superfood Smoothie in the Thermomix.

During my food demonstration I had support from a wonderful Thermomix consultant, Katherine Mathers. Katherine assisted me while I was making the dishes and brought in the latest Thermomix model, the TM5, for our attendees to look at. Thanks for your support Katherine! I really enjoyed sharing how quick and easy it is to prepare wholesome and delicious treats in the Thermomix. There is no excuse for buying pre-made treats and snacks from the shops when you have this machine at home!

It was fabulous to meet so many people who were interested in finding out more about healthy eating and ways to nourish their bodies from the outside in. We had much in common. I have felt the impact of good food on my own mental health. When I was really overweight and experiencing the effects of food intolerance, my mood was low and my thinking unclear. Changing the way I ate and putting nourishing foods into my body led to an immediate improvement in my thinking and my way of being. After a few weeks of healthy eating, it was like I had stepped out from behind a dark curtain and rediscovered myself and what my life could be. The impact was so profound. I threw off the cloak of just surviving and put on a ballgown for living. I began to reinvent what my life looked like; all because I started to nourish my body with proper food as nature intended.

A special shout out to some special people… I was thrilled that our MIFQ CEO, Tony Stevenson, provided our work venue at Gilchrist Avenue, Herston, for the event. We set up in the large car park out the front, with food stalls, health practitioners, the Concoctions Kerb Side food truck and coffee cart. My lovely friend, Chantelle, hosted a stall for her business Flourishing Minds Collective, showcasing imaginative play boxes for children that feed their growing minds. We had face painting for the kids provided by the beautiful Danielle and amazing music from The Lazy Hyena. There was such a good vibe.

I also want to say a special thank you to Kim of Kim-Vu Graphic Design who designed my Three Easy Food Swaps handout. As always, I love your work Kim!

As I end this post, I want to say a huge thank you to Angela for asking me to be involved. It was a wonderful project to be a part of and I loved the experience of being connected with so many like minded individuals who all wanted to inspire and empower people to enhance their health and wellbeing.

My plan is to be involved in more Feed Your Mind events in the future, so watch this space.

As always: Love food. Love life.

Hayley

Choc Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

There’s no secret that I’m a sucker for smoothies, especially smoothies with peanut butter in them. I bought a peanut butter and jelly smoothie once at Liquefy in Mount Gravatt and fell in love with this taste combination. I wanted to recreate this taste at home, with my own twist on it, so I can blend it up and enjoy whenever I want. Thus my Choc Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie came into being!

Choc PB and Jelly Smoothie

I find this smoothie so satisfying. It is slightly sweet, has that amazing undertone of peanut butter (yum), a hint of chocolate and the creaminess from the almond milk. Plus the combination of strawberries and banana ensures this smoothie ticks the ‘yummy’ and ‘goodness’ boxes for me.

Try it for breakfast or a yummy snack today!

Choc Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 1 ripe banana, cut into chunks
  • 2 medjool dates, seeds removed and cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons of 100% pure peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of organic raw cacao powder
  • 6 ice cubes

Method:

  1. Place all of your ingredients into your high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If you are using a Thermomix, blend on speed 10 for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
  2. Pour into your favourite large glass and enjoy straight away.

Choc Beetroot Berry Smoothie

This is a powerhouse smoothie! I have been eating so much beetroot lately and, of course, it has now found its way into my smoothies.

Beetroot has such an earthy flavour, it is alkalising, and I recently learned that it is fabulous for your liver. I love eating my beetroot raw because then my body can take full advantage of the wonderful nutrients and enzymes that this delicious root vegetable has to offer.

Over the past few years I have consumed a lot of beetroot juice (check out my Organic Beetroot Juice recipe if you want to give some a try). Apart from beetroot hummus and roasted beetroot salads, this is one of my favourite ways to add more beetroot into my diet. A few weeks ago I was watching one of the awesome videos from Fully Raw Kristina, where she combined raw beetroot, lots of bananas, dates and young coconut water to make a delicious, nutritious and satisfying smoothie. This video gave me inspiration to create my own beetroot smoothie that is packed full of amazing ingredients that your body will love.

Choc Beetroot Berry Smoothie title

This recipe has some added goodies to boost your antioxidant intake for the day. Raw cacao powder, goji berries, organic baby spinach and activated almonds are amazing foods for your body. I particularly love the combination of cacao and beetroot. Raw cacao is such an amazing ingredient and I admit that I eat at least one tablespoon of raw cacao powder every day without fail. It has a really high antioxidant count and is wonderful for boosting mood and making you feel good.

This smoothie makes me feel amazing. It is packed full of incredible raw ingredients that give me so much energy. Plus, it’s such a great way to eat your vegetables! Try it today and give your body an antioxidant and energy boost.

Choc Beetroot Berry Smoothie

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 300mL of chilled organic raw coconut water or filtered water
  • 1 small organic beetroot, skin removed, cut into chunks*
  • 1 cup of frozen organic mixed berries
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of organic raw cacao powder
  • 1 large handful of¬†organic baby spinach
  • 2 small frozen organic bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 medjool dates, seeds removed, cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons of goji berries
  • 1 tablespoon of raw mesquite powder
  • 10 activated almonds (or raw almonds soaked overnight)

*If you’re not used to the taste of raw beetroot then you could start out with half a small beetroot.

Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into your blender or Thermomix. Blend until smooth. If using a Thermomix, blend on speed 10 for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
  2. Pour into two glasses and drink immediately.
All of the Choc Beetroot Berry Smoothie ingredients ready to be blended.
All of the Choc Beetroot Berry Smoothie ingredients ready to be blended.
Choc Beetroot Berry Smoothie closeup
Amazing colour!

Feed Your Mind Festival 2015

I’m so excited to tell you about a new event that’s happening in Brisbane next weekend on Saturday 13 June 2015. It’s called Feed Your Mind and it’s being organised by my lovely friend, Angela, who is passionate about sharing the message of Healthy Body = Healthy Mind.¬†I was stoked when Angela asked me to help her put this event together. It is right up my alley! Check out our¬†Feed Your Mind Community¬†Facebook page and¬†this article in Weekend Notes about the event here.

Healthy Body = Healthy Mind
Healthy Body = Healthy Mind

I didn’t always feel great. In September 2012 I gave up gluten, dairy and sugar and I started eating predominantly organic foods. In the months that followed I started to realise just how terrible I used to feel. Migraines, headaches, bloating, weight gain, brain fog, abdominal pain, gas, lethargy and loss of vitality were symptoms that were with me every day. They had become a normal part of life for me. I desperately wanted to escape them, but I didn’t really believe that I could. I was suffering. I was sad and I was¬†resigned that my life would always be that way.

Then I started making different choices for myself and for my life. I became responsible for my own health and wellbeing. I totally changed the way I ate and I started having a different relationship with food. I began to nourish my body with food. ¬†This change was really easy for me because I started noticing improvements in myself quite quickly and this encouraged me to keep going. Now life is so different. Living migraine free has made such a huge difference to my daily life and if you experience migraines¬†I really encourage you to explore what you’re eating. For me it was as simple as giving up gluten, dairy and sugar. No more migraines. No more drugs. No more pain. Instead hope, possibility and the beginning of a new chapter.

This has been my journey so far – listening to my body and discovering what works for me. What might work for you? What would life look like if you started eating better and taking care of your body and your mind? What can you do today to make a difference to how you think and feel? Remember, it’s the little steps – the choices that we make over time – that add up to make a big difference.

I’m really looking forward to sharing my story and connecting with people at Feed Your Mind on Saturday. I’ll be doing a Yummy Goodness Food Demonstration showcasing Three Easy Food Swaps that you can make right now to help you embrace a gluten, dairy and sugar free lifestyle. I would love you to join me and sample the delicious, wholesome foods on offer! I’ll be demonstrating how to make Vegan Dark Chocolate with Roasted Nuts, a Berry Superfood Smoothie and Red Capsicum and Cashew Dip.

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Vegan Dark Chocolate with Roasted Nuts
Choc Banana Berry Smoothie
Berry Superfood Smoothie
RedCapsicumCashewDip
Red Capsicum and Cashew Dip

I’ll also be running a market stall on the day selling some yummy smoothies, raw foods, vegan hot chocolate and my favourite paleo chocolate almond cake. Come and check it out!

Feed Your Mind Festival

Saturday 13 June 2015 from 9am to 2pm

MIFQ, 298 Herston Road, Herston

 

Turmeric Milk

As the weather gets colder here in Brisbane, my mind turns to warming drinks and simple foods that I can eat to help boost my immune system. I’ve been hearing and reading much lately about the amazing benefits and healing properties derived from eating turmeric. I’ve read that turmeric has long been used for its anti-inflammatory properties in both Chinese and Indian medicine. As such, it has been widely used throughout history as a healing remedy. When I read things like this I think, ‘So what ways can I eat more of this amazing food?’

I’ve been using turmeric in my curries for a long time and more recently I’ve been using fresh turmeric in my juicing. I came across the idea of Turmeric Milk or ‘Golden Tea’ (as it is often¬†called) last year. However, it’s only recently that I’ve started to drink it as a way to enhance my own health.

I’ve seen a lot of other recipes and I have tweaked them to make one that suits my tastes. I prefer a mild turmeric milk that has been spiced with ginger and ground cinnamon. I love to add a little sweetness by adding a heaped teaspoon of manuka honey, which is also known for its healing properties. If you want a vegan option, then substitute the honey with pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup. All in all, this is a pleasantly spiced turmeric milk that makes me feel warm inside. I hope you enjoy it.

Turmeric Milk

Turmeric Milk 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 400ml or organic coconut milk or activated almond milk
  • 250ml of filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 thumb-sized knob of ginger, skin removed
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of Manuka honey

Thermomix Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in your Thermomix bowl and blend for 1 minute on speed 8.
  2. Heat the Turmeric Milk for 4 minutes on speed 2 at 60 degrees Celsius.
  3. Pour into your favourite mugs and serve immediately.

Conventional Method:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour the Turmeric Milk into a pot and heat on the stove over medium heat. Stir often. Remove from the heat before the liquid boils.
  3. Pour into your favourite mugs and serve immediately.