peanut butter waffles (Paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sugar-free)

All members of my family agree that these waffles are even better than conventional ones.

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Yes, seriously – even better! They’re crispy on the outside with a perfect texture and crumb inside. Their peanut butter flavour comes through just a tad, and because the recipe is so very versatile, I love adding all sorts of mix-ins to the batter! And there’s more.. they freeze extremely well, so it’s a matter of minutes to defrost a waffle on weekdays!

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Crunchy, crispy, yet soft and fluffy, with a nutty undertone and a hint of vanilla extract – I think I’m addicted. And trust me, drizzling melted peanut butter, melted chocolate, and coconut whipped cream on top definitely doesn’t hurt. Fluffy and light and pumped full of flavour, I can just imagine what these would taste like with a little pumpkin pie spice and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.. yum!

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One recipe makes around 10 waffles.. in my mind that equals lots of fun baking on Saturday, a waffle devoured while standing by the waffle iron, a waffle to celebrate having made all the waffles, two waffles on Sunday morning, a waffle on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and two waffles on Friday. Because it’s Friday, obviously, and you need two waffles to survive Fridays. Was that too much waffle talk? I’m not sorry.

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Based on Paleo Parents’ ELaD Frozen Waffles!

 

peanut butter waffles

by Alessandra Peters

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon ground arrowroot
  • splash vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Instructions

1. Process the apple, banana, and peanut butter in a food processor until mashed and completely smooth.

2. Add in the eggs, ground arrowroot, vanilla extract, and baking soda.

3. Process until smooth, around a minute.

4. Grease your waffle iron with a bit of coconut oil. Let it heat up.

5. Ladle 1/2 cup-fuls into your waffle iron.

6. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

7. Enjoy!

Note: I love to top mine with some whipped coconut cream, a bit of melted peanut butter drizzled on top, and a bit of melted chocolate as well!

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pumpkin pie bars (raw, vegan, Paleo, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free, primal, egg-free)

Honesty time.

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These bars were the first pumpkin-flavoured baked good I’ve ever had. I know, I know. Eternal thanks to the blogging world for introducing me to pumpkin flavoured food and pumpkin pie spice. What could possibly be better than cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger mixed together and thrown into every possible baked good ever made?

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It needs to start being socially acceptable to wear pumpkin pie scented perfume. And deodorant too, while we’re at it. Who’s with me?! These bars, along with making your house smell ridiculously amazing, are the love-child of a spiced, crunchy, maple-y base and a creamy, sweet, and silky spiced filling, are luscious slabs of pumpkin goodness that taste absolutely heavenly straight out of the freezer.

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They’re light and airy and spiked with warm flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice. Reminiscent of boots, coats, and orange leaves strewn across the roads  – you really should make these as soon as humanly possible.

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Back to that amazing pumpkin pie spice… it could totally work as a bronzer, right?!

pumpkin pie bars

by Alessandra Peters

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

    For the Base

    • 1/2 cup dried apricots
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1 cup pecans
    • 1 cup dessicated coconut
    • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
    • splash vanilla extract

    For the Filling

    • 1 cup cashews
    • 1 cup pumpkin puree
    • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
    • splash vanilla extract
    • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup agave nectar

    Instructions

    To Make the Base

    1. Combine all ingredients in a powerful blender such as a Vitamix for 3-4 minutes or until completely combined.

    2. Press base mixture into a 5×7 inch baking tray

    To Make the Filling

    1. Combine all ingredients in a powerful blender such as a Vitamix until smooth. Because of the cashews, this may take up to 2 minutes.

    2. Spread the filling over the base.

    3. Freeze for 1-2 hours or until firm.

    4. Slice into 12 bars, then place back into the freezer until you serve them.

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    hazelnut chocolate chip fudge (vegan, Paleo, grain-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, raw)

    One more week.

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    One more week until October break. One more week until lazy mornings, baking days, and Madrid. One more week until I do away with the madness of school, the insanely busy days, and the struggle of waking up at an ungodly hour. I absolutely adore learning, and if you’ve read my About Me page, you’ll know that I often delve into fascinating online courses in addition to a rigorous school, but everyone needs a break every so often, and I simply can’t wait.

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    I can’t wait to explore Madrid and take cheesy pictures next to the Museo del Prado. I can’t wait to eat fudge whenever I want for a whole week, but most of all? I can’t wait to experiment. To throw ingredients in a bowl, go mad, and hope for the best! I had a spare hour or two today, so I did just that. I still can’t quite wrap my mind around this incredible flavour combination of cold, nutty, chocolately, and fudgy – it’s quite insane.

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    Creamy, icy, yet melt-in-your-mouth fudge with a sweet, buttery, crunchy undertone of hazelnuts all stirred up with a good dose of naughtily dark and delicious chocolate. Trust me on this one – if you have a store of these in the freezer, nothing can stop you. Not even those horrid, dark, cold mornings that end in you wrapping yourself in a multitude of towels you purposefully put in the dryer to warm yourself up. Or is that just me?

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    And since we’re on the topic of fudge, did you know that if you cut your fudge as soon as it’s hard enough to cut and bury it in the depths of the freezer, nobody will know about your possibly excessive fudge-eating habits? I speak from experience, my friends!

    hazelnut chocolate chip fudge

    by Alessandra Peters

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup hazelnuts
    • 1 cup macadamia nuts
    • 2/3 cup almond milk
    • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • pinch salt
    • 2 tablespoons cacao butter, melted
    • 1 cup chocolate chips

    Instructions

    1. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a high-speed blender (I used my Vitamix) until very smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes.

    2. Scoop out the mixture, then fold in chocolate chips.

    3. Spread the mixture in a 8×8 baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.

    4. Freeze for 2-3 hours or until firm. Cut into small squares and store in an airtight container.

    5. Enjoy!

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    baked burmese shan tofu salad with sweet chilli sauce (paleo, vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, candida)

    Tomorrow, I’ll be singing in front of the Queen.

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    Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be visiting our school tomorrow and the school’s honour choir and I will be singing for her. It’ll be the second time in my life that I’ll be singing for Her Majesty and I’m extremely excited! There’s nothing quite like the thrill leading up to such a momentous event – and the prospect of missing a day of school isn’t horrible either.

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    Just kidding. About the ‘nothing quite like the thrill part’, that is – the Queen is really coming. There is something like the thrill, and it goes something like this: finding out that chickpea flour can be turned into tofu. Yes, really! Soft, squishy, flavour-absorbing tofu that can be baked into gorgeous golden loaves of deliciousness laden with a scoop of sweet chilli sauce.

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    Piled on top of salad, of course. Because green stuff makes everything look deceivingly healthier! Thanks green stuff. Crunchy yet silky smooth, nutty squares intermingled with the sharp sweetness of chilli’s and the crunch of fresh organic vegetables makes one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten. Gently baked so that they are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these tofu pieces are so much better than normal tofu, but soy-free. Slightly nutty and comfortingly filling – I love them.

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    Fit for the Queen!

    baked burmese shan tofu salad with sweet chilli sauce

    by Alessandra Peters

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook Time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients (serves 2)

      For the Chickpea Tofu

      • 2 cups besan (chickpea) flour
      • 6 cups water, divided
      • 2 teaspoons salt

      For the Salad

      • 1 head cabbage, shredded
      • 1 carrot, julienned
      • handful mangetout, diced
      • handful roasted and salted cashews, chopped
      • handful parsley
      • 8 pieces chickpea tofu

      For the Sweet Chilli Sauce

      • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
      • 4 large red chillies, chopped
      • 2 teaspoons maple syrup

      Instructions

      For the Tofu

      1. Whisk together the besan flour, salt, and 2 cups of water in a large bowl. Set aside. Generously grease a large 9×13 pan with vegetable oil and set aside.

      2. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 4 cups of water to a simmer. While stirring with a large wooden spoon, add the besan flour mixture to the water.

      3. Mix until smooth and glossy, approximately 5 minutes.

      4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, let cool until room temperature, and set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

      5. Drain away the water, then turn over the tofu block on a chopping board. Cut into bite-size pieces.

      For the Sweet Chilli Sauce

      1. Stir together all ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat.

      2. Mix for 2-4 minutes or until combined and warm.

      For the Salad

      1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

      2. Arrange 8 tofu pieces on a baking sheet.

      3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.

      4. While the tofu bakes, combine the other salad ingredients and arrange them on a serving platter.

      5. Arrange baked tofu pieces on top of the salad. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

      6. Enjoy!

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      double chocolate pecan salted caramel brownies (vegan, Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, egg-free, primal)

      I turned fifteen yesterday.

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      Let me just reiterate that my birthday was on a Saturday.  I mean, that fact already makes it great, but with the house full of girls and boys I am lucky to call my friends for three hours, it was my greatest birthday yet. There was cake – if you didn’t know, I run a cake decorating business and it’s the only half artistic thing I’m capable of – and there was pizza. There was laughter, there was fun, and there was sunshine.

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      One year ago that day, I was admitted to hospital. On the morning of my fourteenth birthday, I boarded a plane with my mother and left behind my father and brother. We flew to Holland and took a taxi directly from the airport to the hospital. I recall the heavy curtain of sleep falling over me seemingly all the time; in the plane, the taxi, and even talking to the doctors. I was just so, so tired. For three months, in varying states of health, I walked around that small, disinfectant scented hospital room.

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      They never did find out what was wrong with me in those three months. They talked, they watched, they speculated. Celiac? Impossible. Food allergies? No way. After those three moths, I left that hospital no better than when I had entered it. But we didn’t give up. Doctor after doctor, we travelled around until we had an answer. And a year later, we have it, and I feel better than ever. Coeliac and fifty-three food allergies – most people offer their condolences upon learning about my allergies, but I’m determined to celebrate them. My life has changed so much for the better, and in a way I could never have imagined.

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      I mean, without my diagnosis I would never have made these brownies! And that would just have been detrimental to humankind everywhere. Chewy, fudgy, and rich chocolate cake studded with crunchy pecans drizzled with a sweet ribbon of dark salted caramel sauce and lashings of melted chocolate. They are exactly what a good brownie should be – fudgy and dense with a crispy top, sweet and deliciously salty with flakes of Maldon sea salt sprinkled over the top, and drizzled with caramel sauce.

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      Oh, and since it’s my birthday weekend, you totally have permission to eat two. Or three…

      Adapted from the wonderful Brittany!

      double chocolate pecan salted caramel brownies

      by Alessandra Peters

      Prep Time: 20 minutes

      Cook Time: 40 minutes

      Ingredients (serves 16)

        For the Brownies

        • 3 cups finely ground almond flour
        • 2/3 cup cacao powder
        • pinch salt
        • 1 tablespoon baking powder
        • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
        • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
        • 5 tablespoons water
        • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
        • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
        • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

        For the Caramel

        • 1/4 cup coconut oil
        • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
        • 3 tablespoons coconut cream from the top of a chilled can of coconut milk
        • 1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes

        Instructions

        1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).

        2. Line a 8×8 inch pan with baking parchment.

        3. Mix together all brownie ingredients except chopped pecans and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Press mixture in to the lined pan.

        4. Bake for around 40 minutes or until slightly firm to the touch.

        5. Let cool for 20 minutes, then sprinkle with pecan pieces.

        6. To make the caramel, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk until everything is melted and combined. Let cool in a glass jar until slightly thickened.

        7. Drizzle the brownies with lashings of caramel sauce.

        8. Optional: melt some more chocolate chips to drizzle over the brownies.

        9. Enjoy!

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        healthy nutella (paleo, vegan, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)

        Nutella used to be right up there with my favourite foods.

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        Every new house, every new country, every new bedroom to adorn with stickers throughout my childhood – I knew that there would always be Nutella. It sounds silly, a silky smooth myriad of chocolate and hazelnuts to placate me, but I’m quite certain that Nutella provides a certain emotional attachment to children. Who doesn’t remember seeing that squishy, soft, fudgy mass leaking out of the sides of a sandwich as tiny paint-covered fingers clutch it?

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        Rich, smooth, and soft, this healthier version contains just hazelnuts, cacao powder, a splash of vanilla, some almond milk, and some coconut palm sugar, and it really is incredible. Sweet, buttery, and crunchy hazelnuts laced with fierce, bold cacao, some speckled vanilla, smooth and creamy almond milk, and golden caramelised coconut palm sugar swirled together makes a mixture that would scare shop-bought Nutella right out of your house.

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        If we’re personifying Nutella here, that is. And I think we can all agree that there’s no time to be personifying Nutella here because it’s time for you to get in to your kitchen and make this right now. Just one warning.. don’t trust yourself alone in the house when this is in the fridge!

        healthy nutella

        by Alessandra Peters

        Prep Time: 10 minutes

        Ingredients

        • 2 cups hazelnuts
        • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
        • 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
        • 1/2 cup almond milk
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

        Instructions

        1. Roast the hazelnuts on a large baking tray at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes, or until their skin starts to crack.

        2. Roll the hazelnuts in a large tea towel until their skin comes off.

        3. Place the hazelnuts into a food processor or powerful blender and process for about a minute, or until a smooth paste is formed.

        4. Add the other ingredients, then process until smooth and combined, another 1-2 minutes.

        5. Spoon in to an airtight jar, then store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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        no-bake dark chocolate tarts with raspberries (vegan, paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free)

        “But when she turned her back to the lights, she saw that the night was so dark… she could not see the stars. The world felt as high as the depthless night sky and deeper than she could know. She understood, suddenly and keenly, that she was too small to run away, and she sat on the damp ground and cried.” – Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl

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        It feels like time is running away from me. On Monday, my little brother turned 13. Thirteen years of laughter, crying, bickering, loving. Thirteen years of fun, and I couldn’t be more grateful. In ten days, I turn fifteen. It will be 5475th day of my life on paper, but it will be just the 221st of my life. My real life; the life in which I feel I satisfy the definition of ‘the state of being alive’. Alive with fun, alive with smiles, alive with the people I love, and alive with health. Can I edit my birthday?!

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        Rich, gooey chocolate insides that curl up on  your spoon, caressed by a soft nutty crust with a plump, juicy, ruby red raspberry carefully set on top of a drizzle of chocolate. Dark and mysterious, decadent and creamy, yet soft and smooth, this really is a celebratory treat. My spoon glides in to it like a wave in to the ocean – carefully, yet boldly. Everybody needs some of this no-bake crust filled with lusciousness, berries so ripe they are about to burst scattered on top.

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        Let’s call it breakfast, shall we? That’s totally a deal.

         

        dark chocolate tarts

        by Alessandra Peters

        Prep Time: 30 minutes

         

        Ingredients

          For the Crust

          • 1 1/4 cup ground almonds
          • 3 tablespoons cacao powder
          • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
          • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

          For the Filling

          • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
          • 1/3 cup maple syrup
          • 1 cup cacao powder

          Instructions

          1. Blitz the crust ingredients in a food processor until well combined.

          2. Press the mixture in to four small tartlet pans or two quarter-loaf pans evenly to form a crust.

          3. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until hardened.

          4. To make the filling, combine the coconut oil and maple syrup in a food processor until combined. Add in the cacao powder and process until combined.

          5. Fill the tartlet crusts with the mixture, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon.

          6. Place in the fridge for an hour. To serve, let the tarts come to room temperature and stud with raspberries!

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