Sunday, January 25, 2015

Easy Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Spread


Of course we all know that famous brand and I've been addicted to it most of my life. I couldn't find a GMO, palm oil, dairy free version so I had no choice but to come up with a recipe. I had an idea..

It has 4 simple ingredients, less sugar than the main brands and is quick to make. It tastes like a darker version of the main stream brands, but with the same irresistible flavour. The bought hazelnut butter is what I used for convenience and it still tastes great. For a homemade version you can make your own*. If you want the exact flavour of the regular brands, but a healthier version and you eat dairy, then you can use organic milk chocolate instead of the dairy free chocolate.

The Ingredients

250g Smooth hazelnut butter
200g Semi-sweet dairy free chocolate (Chocolate with at least 60% cocoa solids)
2 Tsp. Pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. Unrefined coconut oil

Choose organic where possible.

The Method

1. In a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate and coconut oil and stir in the vanilla.

2. Once the mixture is melted and smooth, stir in the hazelnut butter.

3. Pour into a clean glass jar and allow to cool.

4. Keeps well stored in the fridge for a few months.

* To make hazelnut butter, roast the hazelnuts in the oven at 180°C (360°F) for 15 minutes turning them over every 5 minutes. Tip out onto paper towel as soon as they are out of the oven. Let them sit for 5 minutes and then rub off the peel using the paper towel. Process the prepared hazelnuts into a smooth nut butter.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gluten free, Vegan Oat and Raisin Cookies

This is my first experiment with gluten free vegan cookies. They turned out crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and really tasty and wholesome. It's nice to have a healthier gluten free snack without the eggs and butter. I enjoyed the wonderful cinnamon aromas that wafted from the oven as they cooked. They are favorites with wheat eaters too, and you don't really notice that they are made without butter.

1 1/2 cups Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose flour
3 cups gluten free quick flake oats
1 cup organic coconut oil (room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp organic flax meal
1 tsp xanthan
1 cup organic raisins

Heat oven to 350F. Beat butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in the vanilla and egg replacer*. Blend all dry ingredients except for the oats and raisins, and mix into wet ingredients. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop rounded tbsps, an inch apart, onto a lightly greased baking sheet/tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they start to go a golden brown. Remove and let cool and firm for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to onto wire rack to cool.

*Egg replacer - mix 2 tbsps flax meal with 6 tbsps water and let sit for 5 minutes.

They are best eaten freshly baked, and tend to soften when stored but will keep for a few days.

This recipe was adapted from:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Quick, Easy Gluten Free Brownies

This is a great simple and easy brownie recipe which I came across. They turn out chewy, very chocolatey and delicious. My wheat eating husband said it was the best brownie he'd ever eaten!

I like the fact it's so simple and only uses corn starch.

So here is the recipe:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or dark chocolate pieces (60-70%)
  • 1/2 cup macademia nuts (optional)


    Preheat oven to 350 F. and lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.

    In saucepan, melt butter and add cocoa powder. Whisk.

    Mix in the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla to butter/cocoa mixture.

    Add the corn starch and salt and mix well.

    Stir in chocolate chips or dark chocolate pieces.

    Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Until toothpick comes out clean.

    Allow brownies ample time to cool and set before serving.

They can be stored in the freezer and thawed before serving.

Here is the source:

Coconut Easter Macaroons

This is an adaption of a recipe which I found while on a search for coconut flour recipes, and I gave it an Easter twist. It's quick and easy and the macaroons are popular with wheat eaters too!

Here is the recipe:


½ cup sifted organic coconut flour
½ cup butter*
3/4 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 free range eggs
¾ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups grated or flaked coconut

* for a dairy free version, leave out the butter.

Heat oven to 375 F (175 C).

Mix melted butter/oil together with sugar, eggs and almond extract. Stir in flour and grated coconut. Let batter rest for 5 minutes and then drop heaped tsp mounds 1 inch aprt onto a greased cookie sheet/baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned. Makes 12 macaroons (aprox).

Once cooled I decorated them with a chocolate glaze and mini eggs. They were really enjoyed by everyone!

They are also good just plain without the chocolate, and can be frozen and then thawed before serving.

Here is the link to the original recipe and other recipes using coconut flour:

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Glutino Gluten Free French Bread & Pizza mix

Tonight with an Italian meal I enjoyed Glutino's Gluten Free French Bread. It was a little complicated to make but worth it for a large, well-risen, crusty white loaf. It is tapioca free so has quite a neutral flavour, holds together well and would make good sandwich bread. It contains white rice flour, potato starch, corn starch, guar gum, granulated honey, salt and yeast.

Pros: Good versatile, crusty white bread.
Contains potato flour and is dry and very dense.

The trouble with "Nightshades"

The nightshade family is often a problem for people with Celiac disease. Nightshades contain alkaloids which act as a natural pesticide for the plants. Many people can tolerate nightshades, but it's difficult for anyone with damaged intestines. The most common nightshades are tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, chili and egg plant (aubergine). There are theories that if Celiac disease is undiagnosed it often leads to extreme sensitivity and potentially leaky gut syndrome, where the toxins in nightshades can pass into the blood and cause a reaction. If this is the case then when the intestines recover there is a chance that alkaloids can be eaten again with no reaction.

Unfortunately potato flour is perhaps the savior of gluten free foods. It is what makes them work. You'll notice it in almost everything. To get a flavour and texture that can help to imitate wheat, potato flour is the magic ingredient. So for those with a problem with nightshades the downside is an upset, inflamed stomach and possibly other symptoms too.

To learn more:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gluten Free Mince Pies

December is the time for mince pies and it's hard to find gluten free ones anywhere. So there was only one choice, and that was to make them.

It is a lot of work and worth making a big batch and freezing them. Pastry can be made in large batches and frozen which saves some time.

The pastry was made from rice, corn and potato flour and it holds together better than most gluten free pastry.

They are filled with Vegetarian mincemeat and topped with icing (confectioners) sugar.

The result was really good, deceptively light and really delicious. Even a wheat eater would enjoy them. The only downside is the slight grittiness of the white rice flour, I'm still trying to source a finer ground flour.