Homemade Toasted Nut Butters

Peanut butter
550 g (1 lb 4 oz/4 cups) peanuts
½ teaspoon Himalayan salt

Almond butter
650 g (1 lb 7 oz/4 cups) almonds
½ teaspoon Himalayan salt

Cashew butter
625 g (1 lb 6 oz/4 cups) cashews
½ teaspoon Himalayan salt

Pistachio & macadamia butter
350 g (12 oz/2½ cups) pistachio nut kernels
230 g (8 oz/1½ cups) macadamia nuts
½ teaspoon Himalayan salt

Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF).

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Spread your chosen nuts on the baking tray, sprinkle with the salt and bake for 10–15 minutes, or until golden, shaking the tray occasionally to ensure they don’t burn.

Transfer the toasted nuts to a high-speed food processor and start blending. The blending time will depend on how smooth and creamy you like your nut butter, and how powerful your processor is. It can take up to 10–20 minutes to achieve a smooth nut butter, and you’ll need to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl a few times, and to give the motor a rest. The nut butter is complete when it is smooth and creamy, with no nut pieces — unless you prefer a crunchy nut butter, in which case you can stop processing earlier.

Store your nut butter in a clean jar in the fridge. It will keep for up to 3 weeks.

Buckwheat Pancakes

1 cup buckwheat flour

2 tablespoons potato flour or ground yellow maize flour

2 tablespoons coconut flour

2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1½ cups coconut milk

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

1–2 teaspoons grapeseed oil

To make the pancakes, combine the buckwheat flour, potato flour, coconut flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Add the coconut milk, coconut oil and ½ cup water and whisk well. The amount of water you need depends on how thick you prefer your batter; add a bit more for thinner batter.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Brush the pan with some of the grapeseed oil.

Pour ¼ cup of the batter into the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn and cook the other side for 2 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Cook the remaining batter in the same way, adding more grapeseed oil to the pan as needed. You should have enough batter to make eight pancakes.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

2 cups hazelnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup raw cacao powder

pinch of Himalayan salt

½ cup rice malt syrup

1 tablespoon coconut oil

¾ cup non-dairy milk of your choice

Preheat the oven to 315ºF.

Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake for 5–10 minutes, or until browned. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly, then rub off the skins.

Place the hazelnuts in a high-speed food processor. Blend for 2–3 minutes, or until they turn into a butter. Add all the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. It will keep for up to 2 weeks.

Detox Juice

I’m not one of those that goes on juice detoxes — although this juice could almost persuade me otherwise!

1 medium-sized beet, scrubbed well

1–2 carrots

1 small apple, cored and chopped

1/2 cup chopped pineapple

juice of ½ lemon

14 mint leaves

½ inch knob of fresh ginger

Mix all the ingredients in a juicer or blender and serve.

If you use a blender for this recipe, rather than a juicer, you will get a much thicker juice, due to the fibrous pulp from the fruit and veg being retained. You can add a little water to the recipe to thin it, or run the juice through a fine mesh sieve.

Gluten Free Banana Maple Bread

Everyone loves a piece of freshly baked banana bread, especially one that’s sugar, gluten and wheat free.. It is a perfect accompaniment to tea or coffee, or just on its own for a snack.

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons linseed (flaxseed) meal

2 cups almond meal

½ cup desiccated coconut

½ cup millet flakes

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

3 ripe bananas

¼ cup melted coconut oil

½ cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 315ºF. Line a loaf tin, measuring about 9½ x 5 inches, and about 2½ inches deep, with parchment paper.

Put the linseed meal in a bowl, mix in ¾ cup water and place in the fridge for 5–10 minutes, or until the mixture gels together and takes on an egg-white consistency.

In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, coconut, millet flakes, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and baking soda.

In a small bowl, mash two of the bananas using a fork. Mix in the coconut oil and maple syrup.

Add the banana mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until combined, then pour the batter into the loaf tin.

Slice the remaining banana and arrange over the loaf. Bake for 35–45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool before slicing.

The loaf will keep for 2–3 days, stored in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature.

Creamy Quinoa Porridge

Quinoa is gluten free, high in protein and fibre, and is low GI, meaning it is slowly digested for longer-lasting energy. Lucuma gives the porridge a natural sweet kick, with cinnamon and nutmeg for a touch of spice

2 cups cooked quinoa

1½ cups rice milk

1 cup coconut cream

2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus extra to serve

1 teaspoon lucuma powder *

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon golden raisins

Bring the quinoa and rice milk to the boil in a separate saucepan. Add the remaining porridge ingredients, stirring well. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3–5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When your porridge has reached a thick, creamy consistency, remove from the heat and ladle into four serving bowls.

Serve warm, with an extra drizzle of maple syrup.

* A natural sweetener prepared from the Peruvian lucuma fruit. Known as ‘Incan gold’, the pulp of the fruit is dehydrated to produce the powder, which is commonly added to smoothies, treats and breakfast foods.

Strawberry Chia Pudding

Chia is a versatile, powerful little seed with outstanding health benefits. It is very high in calcium, and being high in fibre it keeps you feeling full for longer and is especially handy for regularity. It is also gluten, wheat and nut free.

40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) chia seeds

250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) almond milk

225 g (8 oz/1½ cups) strawberries, hulled

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

1–2 teaspoons rice malt syrup

To make the strawberry chia, place the chia seeds in a bowl with the almond milk and whisk together with a fork. Set in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight. When you’re ready to serve, place the strawberries, vanilla and rice malt syrup in a blender and whiz into a purée on high speed. Add the purée to the chia seeds and whisk well. Spoon into serving glasses, add your favourite topping and serve immediately

Caramel Chia Pudding

Chia is a versatile, powerful little seed with outstanding health benefits. It is very high in calcium, and being high in fibre it keeps you feeling full for longer and is especially handy for regularity. It is also gluten, wheat and nut free.

40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) chia seeds

375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cups) almond or coconut milk

1 tablespoon mesquite powder

1 teaspoon rice malt syrup

To make the caramel chia, place the chia seeds in a bowl with the coconut or almond milk and whisk together with a fork. Add the mesquite powder and rice malt syrup and whisk well. Set in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or overnight, before serving with your favourite topping.

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Chia is a versatile, powerful little seed with outstanding health benefits. It is very high in calcium, and being high in fibre it keeps you feeling full for longer and is especially handy for regularity. It is also gluten, wheat and nut free.

40 g (1½ oz/¼ cup) chia seeds

375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cups) coconut milk

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 teaspoon lucuma powder

1–2 teaspoons rice malt syrup

To make the chocolate chia, place the chia seeds in a bowl with the coconut milk and whisk together with a fork. Add the cacao, lucuma and rice malt syrup and whisk well. Set in the fridge for up to 8 hours, or overnight, before serving. Add toppings of your choice if desired.

Hippie Pantry

“For those of you who didn’t grow up eating lentil-and-brown-rice casseroles, it may be hard to recognize what came to be called “hippie food.” That’s because so many of the ingredients that the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s adopted, defying the suspicion and disgust of the rest of the country, have become foods many of us eat every day.”

~ Jonathan Kauffman

Acai powder

Pronounced ah-sah-ee, acai powder is native to the Amazon, the dark purple acai berry is one of the richest known natural sources of antioxidants, and is also packed full of essential vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Combined with frozen fruit, it makes a deliciously simple and supercharged breakfast bowl. I’m obsessed!

Activated buckwheat groats

An absolute godsend to gluten-free people around the world! Deliciously crunchy and versatile, activated buckwheat can be used in so many ways. You can use it as a granola or cereal replacement for breakfast, or add some to smoothie bowls for crunch. I include it in the base of cheesecakes or slices.

You’ll find activated buckwheat in health food stores and online, or you can make your own by following these simple steps: soak 180 g (6½ oz/1 cup) raw buckwheat groats overnight in 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) filtered water mixed with 1 teaspoon salt. Rinse and drain. Set a food dehydrator to 40ºC (105ºF), spread the groats on your dehydrating trays and leave for 24–48 hours, or until dry and crisp. Alternatively, spread the groats on a baking tray lined with baking paper and dry in the oven at its lowest setting for 24–48 hours, or until dry and crisp. Easy peasy!

Almond meal

Almond meal is simply made by grinding almonds. Super delicious in baked goods, it adds a nutty, moist texture and beautiful flavor to recipes. Almonds are well known for their healthy fats, fibre, protein, magnesium and vitamin E; health benefits may include lowering blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol. To maintain freshness, keep your almond meal in the fridge in an airtight container.

Berry powders

Blueberry and strawberry fruit powders are relatively new on the scene.  Full of antioxidants, berry powders are not only delicious, but nutritious. I use them in smoothies, stir them through breakfast dishes, and sprinkle them on almost everything. You’ll find them in good health food stores and online.

Buckwheat flour

A big fan of buckwheat. It’s fabulous in its natural form, as activated groats, and when ground into a flour. Although its name suggests it is a form of wheat, buckwheat is classified as a seed, and is naturally gluten free. Low in fat, it contains disease-fighting antioxidants and highly digestible protein, as well as many vitamins and minerals. With its deliciously nutty flavor, buckwheat flour is the star ingredient in pancakes and baked cinnamon donuts. A definite pantry staple.

Cacao butter

One of the most stable fats around, cacao butter is the pure, cold-pressed oil of the cacao bean and provides a healthy dose of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. I use it in place of coconut oil in some of my cakes, and for making chocolate. Cacao butter is solid, but I always use it in liquid form. To liquefy cacao butter, simply place it in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir it with a whisk or a spatula, checking with a thermometer to ensure the temperature does not rise above 48°C (118°F), to keep all the valuable nutrients intact.  If it starts rising above this temperature, remove the bowl from the heat; the cacao butter will be warm enough to finish melting on its own.

Cacao powder, raw

If you want serious nutrition, raw cacao powder is where it’s at! Unlike regular cocoa powder, which is heat-treated, raw cacao powder is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. This process removes the fat, while keeping all its nutrients and enzymes intact. I

Cashews

Raw organic cashews contain a host of vitamins and minerals, including copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin K and oleic acid. Together these nutrients promote bone strength and joint flexibility, may help discourage migraines, improve memory, lower blood pressure, and help protect against UV damage, heart disease and cancer.

Soak them in water overnight for maximum nutrient absorption. If you are running short of time, you can speed up the process by soaking them in boiling water for 30–60 minutes.

Chia seeds

Gluten free, and super high in omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are full of nutrition, unbelievably versatile and an essential pantry staple. Soak them to make breakfast puddings, and have them in muesli mixes, and in raw and baked treats. High in fibre, protein and calcium, they keep you regular and fully satisfied. You’ll find them in major supermarkets.

Coconut, dried

Dried coconut plays a starring role in many breakfast and treat recipes. It is so versatile, as well as totally delicious. Coconut also boasts many health benefits, mainly due to its high levels of lauric acid, an anti-fungal, anti-viral compound thought to be helpful for gut health and immunity.

Shredded coconut is made from coconut flesh that has simply been dried and shredded. I love its texture in raw treats and as a breakfast topper.

Flaked coconut is basically the same as shredded, but processed into flatter pieces, making it less stringy. Desiccated coconut is also dried, but contains less moisture than shredded or flaked coconut. Finer in texture, it works beautifully in raw and baked treats.

Coconut butter

A creamy, velvety spread made by blending coconut flesh, coconut butter is rich in immunity-boosting lauric acid. It may also help increase your metabolism, enhancing energy levels and aiding in weight loss. I love using it in frostings. You can find it in health stores and online.

Coconut cream & coconut milk

Use coconut milk in many recipes for its creamy texture and distinctive flavor. Coconut milk is the liquid that comes from the grated flesh of a coconut, which is processed with water to create a milk. Use it in combination with other plant milks, such as rice or almond milk, as they blend beautifully together. Coconut cream contains less water than coconut milk, resulting in a much thicker texture.

Most tinned coconut milks include an emulsifier; Use brands that are 100% organic and BPA free. You could also use long-life coconut milk if you wish.

Coconut flour

Coconut flour is made from grinding coconut pulp after it has been squeezed for coconut milk. It contains much of the fibre from the coconut, and absorbs lots of liquid. High in protein, it is particularly handy as a thickener, and simply for its delicious nutty flavor. Add some to my pancake mix to give it a little extra rise. It is naturally sweet and filling, which is an extra bonus.

Coconut oil

Possibly the most versatile oil on earth, coconut oil is a definite keeper. With its high smoke point, coconut oil can be used at high temperatures without becoming unstable and losing its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients. Use it in much of your savory cooking, as well as raw and baked treats. For maximum health and taste benefits, use cold-pressed (and preferably organic) coconut oil.

Coconut oil solidifies in colder temperatures. To liquefy it to use in recipes, immerse your jar in a bowl of boiling water. Within a few minutes, the oil will begin to melt. Keep it immersed a little longer for the oil to melt completely.

Coconut sugar

Coconut sugar (also known as coco sugar or coconut palm sugar) is a natural sugar produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. This tasty sugar is considered the most sustainably produced. Being high in sucrose, I wouldn’t call coconut sugar a health food, but it does offer some trace nutrients, and has a less dramatic impact on blood sugar than many other natural sweeteners.

Coconut yoghurt

Irresistibly creamy, full of flavor and totally satisfying, coconut yoghurt is a favorite dairy-free yoghurt. Consumed in moderation, it can benefit your health and help fight infection. It is made from coconut cream and is sold in major supermarkets and health food stores.

Dates, medjool and pitted

Dates are a must in your pantry. Use medjool and sometimes pitted dates in my recipes. Medjool are the larger fresh dates you’ll find in the fruit and veg section of your grocery store. They’re soft and super sweet, and perfect in shakes, smoothies and raw treats. They contain pits, which need to be removed before consuming.

Pitted dates are the dried variety most commonly found in the baking or dried fruit section of grocery stores. They are chewier and less moist than fresh dates, and ideal for baking.

Grapeseed oil

When pan-frying, use grapeseed oil for its mild flavor and high smoke point. The ‘smoke point’ is the temperature at which an oil will begin to smoke. When heated past its smoke point, the fat in the oil starts to break down, releasing toxic fumes and free radicals.   Although we most often cook at moderate temperatures and the risk of heating the oil past its smoke point is unlikely, I like to play it safe.

Linseed meal

Also called flaxseeds, linseeds are one of the leading sources of plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fibre. Ground linseeds are incredibly useful in plant-based baking as an egg substitute. When linseeds are ground and mixed with water, they thicken and act as a binding agent, and are commonly called a ‘flax egg’. Fortunately, linseed meal is easily processed by the body and provides many health benefits. Grinding your own linseed meal as you need it yields the best binding results; I store mine in the fridge to keep it as fresh as possible.

Lucuma powder

A natural sweetener prepared from the Peruvian lucuma fruit. Known as ‘Incan gold’, the pulp of the fruit is dehydrated to produce the powder, which is commonly added to smoothies, treats and breakfast foods. In recipes it is generally interchangeable with mesquite powder — they both offer a caramel-like flavor and contain a heap of nutrients.

Maca powder

Maca is a root plant known for its energizing and revitalizing properties. Often referred to as ‘Peruvian ginseng’, maca powder is nutritionally dense, containing vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids. Loaded with vitamin C and iron, maca can help boost the immune system for daily wellness, and also help with stress, mood, PMS and menopausal symptoms. I add a teaspoon to smoothies or treats when I need an energy boost. However, too much maca can cause hormonal disruption and other side effects, and should be avoided altogether by people with thyroid illnesses. Check with your doctor or naturopath if you have concerns.

Mesquite powder

Mesquite is a nutritious superfood powder with a sweet, rich, nutty, caramel flavor that works beautifully in smoothies and treats. The powder is extracted by grinding the seed pods of the mesquite plant, commonly found in South America. It is high in protein, and rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and dietary fibre. Buy from good health food stores and online.

Millet

One of the world’s oldest crops, millet is a nutty, mildly sweet grain, once mainly used as bird and livestock feed. Increased interest in its nutritional and gluten-free properties has revitalized its image, and it is now enjoyed as a wheat-free alternative. Millet flakes can be used in Banana and maple bread. It has a mild flavor that pairs well with most foods. Millet contains B group vitamins, magnesium, potassium and dietary fibre, and may assist with toxin excretion. Adding millet to your diet while detoxing can help speed up the process.

Nut butter

Nut butter is an addictive spread achieved by grinding nuts into a paste. Use nut butter in a lot of recipes — and I often eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon! Nut butters can be found in most supermarkets and health food stores; or make your own.

Nutritional yeast

Besides its delicious cheesy taste, nutritional yeast (also called savory yeast flakes) is very nutritious, as its name would suggest. It is high in some B-complex vitamins, and is often fortified with B12. It is also a complete protein, low in fat and sodium, is free of sugar and gluten, and contains iron. You’ll find it in most health food stores, some supermarkets and online.

Oats

Oats have got to be the ideal breakfast comfort food, and add a subtle, delicious flavor to cookies, baked goods and raw treats. Much controversy surrounds the presence of gluten in oats, and whether gluten-free oats exist. Oats are naturally gluten free, but are almost always contaminated during the milling process. Oats contain a protein called avenin, which can produce a gluten-like reaction in some people with celiac disease.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand prohibits any form of oat being labelled as gluten-free in Australia or New Zealand, but a few international brands sell gluten-free oats that have been tested to not contain gluten.

While oats most often do not cause a reaction for people with an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten, the Celiac Australia society does not recommend that people with celiac disease consume oats of any kind.

If oats are a concern, you can almost always substitute them in my recipes with quinoa flakes.

Olive oil

Used heavily in Mediterranean cooking! Please pay attention to the quality of the oil you use. Extra virgin olive oil is the purest grade you can get. It is made by crushing olives and cold-extracting the juice, without altering the oil in any way, and using no additives during the process. Naturally, it has the finest flavor and more health benefits. The phenolic compounds in olive oil have been found to promote cardiovascular and digestive health, and have anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting qualities.

The more processed and refined your olive oil is, the less beneficial it will be.

Potato flour

Potato flour is made from cooked, dried and ground potatoes. It works well with other gluten-free flours and adds a desirable moist, soft texture to pancakes and cupcakes. Don’t confuse it with potato starch. Ground from the whole potatoes, including the skin, potato flour is heavier and denser than potato starch and tastes more like potato. Potato starch is flavorless and is better used as a thickener.

Psyllium husks

Mainly used as a form of natural dietary fibre, psyllium husks are often sprinkled on breakfast bowls or added to smoothies. I find psyllium adds a beneficial texture to gluten-free baking in general, making the result more moist and tender. Psyllium is readily available in supermarkets and health food stores.

Quinoa

I love its taste and texture, and that it’s high in protein, less starchy than rice, and so versatile. I often use quinoa flakes in baked goods and savory patties, the cooked grain in salads and meals, and quinoa puffs in sweet treats. Quinoa is gluten-free, but if you are highly sensitive to gluten, ensure the quinoa you buy hasn’t been processed in a facility that also processes grains, to avoid any potential gluten cross-contamination.

Rice malt syrup

Organic brown rice malt syrup is a naturally malted whole-grain sweetener derived from brown rice. Characteristically rich but mildly flavored, it complements other flavors in a recipe, whereas sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup and molasses have a stronger, more distinctive flavor.

If you can’t find brown rice malt syrup, use pure Canadian maple syrup. It contains a decent amount of some minerals, especially manganese and zinc. Make sure you buy 100% Canadian maple syrup and not the cheaper maple-flavored syrups, which are often made from a nasty mix of sugar, corn syrup, molasses, caramel color, alcohol, vanilla extract, flavors and a sulphide-based preservative.

Sorghum flour

A popular option for gluten-free baking, sorghum flour is ground from wholegrain sorghum, and has a light texture and mild sweet flavor. Being high in fibre, it promotes digestive health, helps fight cardiovascular disease and aids in blood sugar control.

Used alone, sorghum flour produces dry, gritty, baked goods. I combine it with tapioca starch and rice flour to give my baked gluten-free recipes better volume and texture.

Tapioca flour

Tapioca flour, also called tapioca starch, adds structure to gluten-free baking. It comes from the root of the cassava plant, and in combination with other gluten-free flours, provides a chewy texture to baked goods.

Tapioca flour is similar to arrowroot powder, but also gives a little elasticity to baked items.

Teff flour

Like quinoa, teff is a really handy and nutritious gluten-free grain. Long a nourishing staple of highland Ethiopians, the grain may be the tiniest in the world, but packs in many health benefits. Teff is high in protein, iron and calcium, and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is excellent for maintaining blood sugar balance and feeding the friendly bacteria in the gut, for improved digestive health. Use ivory teff flour in baked cinnamon donuts and it works for a treat. Available online and in health food stores.

Vanilla powder

Organic vanilla powder is such a beautiful product, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It is simply made from grinding organically grown vanilla beans to a powder — and nothing else! Its aroma and taste is far superior to extracts and essences, particularly in smoothies and raw cakes.

You can make your own vanilla powder by simply grinding some organic vanilla bean pods in a coffee or nut grinder.

The next best thing is organic vanilla bean paste or extract. Most pastes and extracts contain some kind of added sugar, but there are a few superior products that don’t, so check the label.

Xanthan gum

Made from the outer layer of a tiny, inactive bacterium called Xanthomonas campestris, xanthan gum is commonly used in gluten-free baking as a binding agent. I use it as an emulsifier, and to add volume to gluten-free batters.

Za’atar

A tangy Middle Eastern spice mixture that includes dried thyme and oregano, ground sumac, sesame seeds and salt. Blend za’atar with olive oil and add it to a cauliflower ‘dough’ to create gluten-free mana’eesh ‘flatbread’.

In Middle Eastern culture, za’atar is believed to give strength and clear the mind. It is also said to boost the immune system and circulation, build strong bones, soothe inflammation, boost energy and improve mood.

Sources: Hippie Lane: The Cookbook