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Avocado-carob Granola

Posted on Feb 22, 2016 in Blog, Breakfast, Snacks, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

Who doesn’t love granola? Come-on. It’s like the perfect “healthy” treat. You can nibble it like a little birdie, sprinkle it on your brekkie bowl. use it in muffins, sprinkle it in yoghurts, mix it into parfaits. What’s not to love? Well, not all granolas are created equal – equal in healthiness that is!! Some can be quite high in sugars and/or fats. And that’s something that none of us need added to our daily nosh. I made an apple-blackberry crumble the other night and made the crumble with avocado instead of butter. It was sensational. You can find the recipe on the blog. But I made too much of the crumble mix, so I decided to turn the rest into granola. It turned out so much better than I’d hoped. And I’m kinda thinking that given that I dried it out – it’ll have a resonable shelf-life. Not sure. The jury is still out on that one. 🙂  I’ll let you know if I keep it long enough to find out! 😉 Let me know what you think. J x AVOCADO-CAROB GRANOLA 1 ripe avocado (don’t use a hard, watery or stringy avocado – it just won’t work. 2 Tbsp carob powder 3 – 6 Tbsp maple syrup – depending on your desired sweetness and how well the granola is sticking together pinch of salt 2 cups of nuts/seeds – I used walnut, raw almonds, sunflower seeds, buckwheat grouts. But any combinaton will work. 1/3 cup coconut Dry roast nuts/seeds. Blitz to very coarse chop in food processor. If you’re using buckwheat – add it with the coconut and avocado – you don’t want buckwheat flour. Add avocado, coconut, pinch salt, carob, maple syrup. Mix using a pulse action. Don’t give it a long razz – as you might end up with a gummy mess. Add 3 Tbsp maple syrup and taste and check for sticking-togetherness. If you need more, add another Tbsp. But only just a pulse action to mix. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper. Jiggle the clumps into smaller lumps (granola style). Bake in very slow oven for 30 – 45 mins. Depends on your preferred level of crunch and hardness. Allow to cool and store in a jar. Use within a week. Tweet!    ...

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Birdseed Chocolate Tahini Cake

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

Every so often you get it right!!  It’s like all the stars align, and all your baking “get-it-on” gets it on!! Well, this cake is the result of these happy happenings. This chocolate cake is light and soft, but rich and decadent. It is easy to make (think one bowl wonder here or food processor party!) It doesn’t have any weird aftertaste, and you won’t have people frowning as they eat it saying, “I can taste something a little odd…..what is that….?” ‘It’s egg, dairy, nut, refined sugar, and gluten free! You can fill and dress it up any way you like. Plus, it can be cut and shaped, iced, ganached or carameled to suit any occasion. Like I said. It’s a winner! Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!!   Birdseed Chocolate Tahini Cake 50g maple syrup 80g dates soaked in boiling water 150g boiling water 1.5 tsp vanilla essence or extract 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar 220g rice (or other dairy free) milk 50g oil (EVOO is excellent) 75g (3 Tbsp) tahini 150g Birdseed All-Purpose Flour (or 50g buckwheat, 50g rice flour, 50g tapioca) 50g pure cocoa powder 25g puffs (blitzed a little if you choose big ones – buckwheat or sorghum) (millet/buckwheat/rice/sorghum puffs work well) 1.5 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp bi-carb soda Pinch salt Heat oven to 180oC Add dates to boiling water and allow to soften. Sift Birdseed flour, cocoa, baking powder and bi-carb soda ingredients together. Add in puff flour and salt and mix well. Put sugar, oil, tahini and vanilla extract into a mixing bowl and mix to combine the sugar into the oils. Add vinegar to rice milk Pulp the dates to make a smooth paste and add to the sugar mix. Add the flour blend and the milk/vinegar mix and stir well to combine. Immediately transfer to mini-baking cups or a large greased and lined tin. Cook in an 180oC oven until the cake springs back when touched or a skewer comes out clean (around 15 – 20 mins for mini cakes and 20- 30 mins for a larger cake). Avoid over-cooking the cake – as it will dry out. Allow to cool for 10mins and then turn out from tin. Top with chopped bananas and drizzle to caramel sauce (recipe on Blog under SWEET...

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French Lentil Carob Brownies FAILSAFE

Posted on Sep 19, 2015 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

  Now, I’ve been trying to avoid chocolate since I started the FAILSAFE (around 2.5 months ago). I’m no longer low salicylate, but I’m keeping an eye on my thresholds and adhering to some strict rules – no coffee, tea, herbal teas, alcohol and chocolate. But we all need a little treat every now and then. However, one of the things about being on the FAILSAFE diet is that sweet treats are NOT in short supply. But then again most of the recipes for FAILSAFE sweets aren’t really all that healthy and don’t always consider sugar as they should. So on the back of my sucess with the Chocolate Bean Brownies, I started thinking. What about carob? And what about lentils? Carob is an easy and obvious substitution. But why lentils? I did like the bean brownies, don’t get me wrong. But I felt that they were a little heavy. So I thought, how about giving lentils a whirl? They’d certainly work in a similar way to beans in the brownies, but would probably be lighter and easier to digest. So upon boiling up too many puy lentils (French lentils) the other day, I thought, “Giddy-up” – it’s brownie time! And without much ado – here’s the recipe. I highly recommend you give it try. It’s super easy – food processor easy!  Super yummy. Kids will love out! It’s low fat, low sugar, dairy free, egg free, gluten free. I’ve made a few Birdseed-FAILSAFE quirks in the recipe. I recommend leaving the brownies in the fridge for a couple of days – as I think that the flavour improves after a bit of resting time. Happy baking!   BIRDSEED FRENCH LENTIL CAROB BROWNIE 200g lentils cooked to soft and well drained (I used French lentils, but I’m certain that you could use any variety of lentils) 70g cup of freshly roasted cashews  (OR almond meal or hazelnut meal or pepita meal or sunflower meal– whatever takes your fancy. However, only cashews will be FAILSAFE) ½ cup millet or quinoa puffs. Just adds a textural difference into the brownie and some lightness. 3 Tbsp carob powder 1 tsp baking powder ¼ tsp salt 1 Tbsp vanilla essence 130g (½ cup) maple syrup 50g (½ cup) rice bran oil or canola oil 80g (¼ cup) rice milk ½ tsp vinegar (you can omit this for low salicylate – but the vinegar does help to activate the baking powder a little) Heat oven to 165oC Cooked the lentils and drain  well. Put the lentil and cashews into a a blender or food processor and whizz well. Add in the puffs, carob, baking powder and salt and give it all a whizz to combine. Add the maple syrup, vanilla essence, oil, milk and vinegar and whizz until everything is mixed (don’t overmix). Pour into prepared tin and cook in a moderate oven for around 25 – 35 mins. Once the edges are cooked and pulling away...

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Pear, Vanilla and Cashew Cake (FAILSAFE)

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 2 comments

I love easy cakes! Don’t get me wrong – I love baking. I love the thrill of creating something new and quirky and delicious (sometimes!). And I love playing with my bird seed flours and seeing what they can do. They always surprise and thrill me. But I’m time-poor too and sometimes you just need a cake that you can smash out in and have it all bundled into a pretty tin ready to take to your get-together in a little over an hour! Yep, an hour! This is a delicious cake and so easy to make. It’s a great treat for anyone – and especially beaut for those of us who want or who need to watch our salycilate intake. Having done the RPHA FAILSAFE diet three times now, I am so thankful that pears and cashews are not off limits. They’re such a great combination for baking. Cashews add a creamy smoothness and richness to cake mixes. Even with the cashew limitations for the diet, a little cashew goes a long way. Pears add such a charming sweetness to a cake and are superior to apples in many ways; one being that they don’t ferment as quickly as apples. I find (and it might be just me, so take this with a grain of salt) that after a couple of days, cakes made with fresh apples have a faint smell of mould or ferment. Anyone else noticed this? But I don’t find the same thing with pears. Odd, ain’t it! Ideally some roasted steamed or tinned pearswould be the way forward for this cake. But I reckon that you could achieve the same with fresh pears. PEAR, VANILLA AND CASHEW CAKE 130g pear – Approximately 1 1/2 pears (steamed or roasted or stewed. Don’t add water to the stewing, as you really don’t want your pear too wet. If you’re using fresh pear put the quarters into the food processor to blitz or grate. 100g oil rice bran oil or light olive oil if you can find low-salycilate. 80g maple syrup or rice malt syrup 80g rice milk 150g GF flour (I used 70g buckwheat, 50g rice flour, 30g tapioca starch) 50g cashews (I roasted mine before using, but this isn’t necessary – just gives a nice piquant to the cake) 2 tsp baking powder 3 tsp vanilla Pre-heat oven to 175oC Chuck everything into a food processor. Pulse until everything is combined and cashews are chopped up. This is where you’ll need to be a little “hmmm”. Is it too wet or a bit thick and gloopy? Too wet – add a little flour. Too thick – add a little more rice milk. Your mix should be thick, but not stiff. Too stiff and it won’t rise nicely. Too wet and it’ll be heavy and take forever to cook. You want a thickish mix. (I really must make a video for these recipes as it’s...

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Apple, Cinnamon and Walnut Cake

Posted on Sep 12, 2015 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

I love easy cakes. And this cake is a seriously easy cake. In fact, all my egg, diary, refined sugar free cakes are. Plus, they have the bonus of being on the healthy side. Well, healthy for a cake, that is. Pretty good, eh? A fair ol’ bang for your buck. And sometimes you just need a little tweet. Something sweet to take for morning tea at work or to your book club natter in the afternoon. And you know, Sandy is gluten intolerant, and Bess is vegan, and Tanya is allergic to eggs, and Peta is on the FAILSAFE diet. All in all, it is a tough call to create a thing of deliciousness and beauty to suit all tums. But this cake might just crack it – apart from the Paleos. Soz, Paleo-folk. Can’t win ’em all. Ideally some stewed or steamed or roasted apples would be the way forward for this cake. But I reckon that you could achieve the same with fresh apples. For FAILSAFE use pears instead of apples. And use cashews instead of walnuts. Instead of cinnamon use vanilla extract. Easy-peesy-lemon-squeezy! That’s my motto!!! 🙂 From go to woah the cake prep is around 15mins. (Boo-yeah!). In the oven a big cake will take around 45mins. Little cutsie cup-cakes will take around 25mins. Cheers to easy, yummy cakes! APPLE, CINNAMON AND WALNUT CAKE 130g apples  (steamed or roasted or stewed. Don’t add water to the stewing, as you really don’t want your apples too wet) OR 130g fresh apple – into the food processor to blitz. 100g oil (EVOO or coconut oil or tahini or rice bran oil – select your favorite combination) 80g maple syrup 80g rice milk 150g GF flour (I used 50g buckwheat, 50g rice flour, 50g tapioca starch) 50g walnuts (I roasted mine before using, but this isn’t necessary – just gives a nice piquant taste to the cake) 2 tsp baking powder 3 tsp cinnamon Pre-heat oven to 175oC Chuck everything into a food processor. Pulse until everything is combined and walnuts chopped up. This is where you’ll need to be a little “hmmm”. Is it too wet or a bit thick and gloopy? Too wet – add a little flour. Too thick – add a little more rice milk. Your mix will be thick, but not stiff. Too stiff and it won’t rise nicely. Too wet and it’ll be heavy and take forever to cook. You want a thickish pancake mix. (I really must make a video for these recipes!!) Pop into a greased and lined tin. I used a 12cm square tin. It’s not a big cake and will make around 8 cupcakes. Either place apple slices on top or sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar once it’s out of the oven. Cook for around 40 – 45 mins for a large cake, until the skewer comes out...

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Birdseed Breakfast Biscuits (FAILSAFE)

Posted on Aug 30, 2015 in Blog, Breakfast, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

Birdseed Breakfast Biscuit (FAILSAFE VERSION) 110g thin rice flakes (or 70g thin and 40g medium). Rice flakes are available from Indian grocery stores. They are available as think, medium, thin and brown. The thin and medium are best for these biscuits. The thicker flakes are perfect to use in porridges. 40g amaranth or quinoa flakes 120g All purpose Birdseed flour (OR gluten free flour OR 60g buckwheat flour & 60g rice flour) 2 tsp bi-carb soda 1/2 tsp baking powder (optional) 1/4 tsp salt 30g buckwheat grouts 70g raw cashews (equates to approximately 50cashews. Given that the mix makes around 15 – 16 biscuits – this equals arouand 3 cashews per biscuit. 50g brown sugar 80g rice bran oil (or sunflower/canola oil) 85 g pear = 3/4 pear – tinned pears are great 45g pear juice (approx 3.5 Tbsp pear juice) 2 tsp vanilla essense HEAT OVEN 155oC Method: Blitz the rice flakes in a blender or a ninja for around 20 seconds until they’re chopped a little. Put into a bowl. Blitz the buckwheat as above. Put into the bowl. Dry roast the cashews in a pan or the oven until a little brown and blitz until a coarse meal is achieved. Put into the bowl. Add the amaranth/quinoa flakes, flour, baking powder, bi-carb soda, salt, sugar into the bowl and mix to combine. Put the pear, the pear juice, vanilla essense, oil into the ninja/blender and blitz to smooth. Pour into the bowl and mix until everything is combined. Roll out between sheets of greaseproof paper until the dough is around 1cm thick. Refrigerate for 30mins to allow the dough to harden. Remove and cut into biscuit rounds and transfer to a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Squish spare dough/off-cuts together and roll out again. Continue cutting out biscuits until all the dough is cut out. Bake in a slow oven for 20 – 30 mins (depends on the thickness of your dough) Allow to cool and keep in a jar or air-tight container.   They are delicious served with a carob sauce. Or make a carob hot-“chocolate”. Delush!!!   If you are up to moderate chemical – the breakfast biscuits are delicious topped with banana – roasted or raw.  ...

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Chocolate-Coconut Lime Mousse Cake

Posted on Aug 3, 2015 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 1 comment

Raw, luscious, delicious and completely nut free. There is no reason why seeds cannot be used in place of nuts in a raw tweet. This scrummy Choc-coconut Lime Mousse Cake is so easy to make and so easy to eat. Refined sugar free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free and, of course, nut free, it really is a special occasion dessert that everyone can enjoy. Chocolate-Coconut Lime Mousse Cake BASE: 1 cup sunflower seeds (soaked overnight and drained) 2 Tbsp organic cacao powder 8 medjool dates 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted ½ cup coconut flakes Pinch of salt Blitz everything together in a high powered food processer until it is coarsely chopped and comes together in as a cookie dough. Press the dough into a lined 18cm round tin and put into the fridge or freezer to set. FILLING: 1½ cup pepita/pumpkin seeds (soaked overnight and drained) ½ cup + 1Tbsp maple syrup ½ cup coconut cream (use the solid part that sits at the top of the tin) 1 tsp vanilla essence Zest of 1 lime Juice of 1 lime Blitz everything together in a high powered food processer until it is smooth. You’ll need a strong blender (Vitamix or Thermomix) to create the emulsion of all the ingredients. Scope the filling on top of the base, smooth over and return to the freezer. TOPPING: 250g coconut cream 150g coconut sugar 50g maple syrup 2 – 3 Tbsp cocoa Put all ingredients into a pot and set on a medium heat. Stir and bring to the boil. Reduce temperature and keep the caramel at a busy simmer for around 20 to 25mins. If you want a chocolate sauce add 2 – 3 Tbsp of cocoa. Stir in well to dissolve any lumps. Allow to cool and then spoon over the top of the cake. The rest of the choc-caramel sauce can be kept in the fridge in a clean container and is a delicious treat in hot chocolates, over ice cream or as a dairy free topping for cakes....

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Pear and Poppy Seed Cake (FAILSAFE)

Posted on Jul 17, 2015 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

  I’ve often wondered why it’s always Orange and Poppy Seed Cake. I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of any other poppy seed cake varieties. Have you? Why is that? What is it about oranges or citrus that goes so well with poppy seeds? Or what is it about poppy seeds that works so well with citrus fruits. There’s very little that doesn’t go with citrus, let’s be honest. But poppy seeds? They’re an odd little seed, aren’t they? I’m currently on a salicylate-free/low-salicylate diet. I’m using the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital FAILSAFE elimiation diet notes. I did the FAILSAFE diet in 2009 for around 3 months as part of my journey to understand my intolerances and nonspecific health issues that had bugged me all my life. I was able to discover a number of food sources that bothered me and lead to a myriad of health problems. Gluten being one of the main culprits. Anyway, as I’m always telling people, understanding dietary intolerances is a journey one that is often lifelong. So many factors can affect and change the balance of a previously understood intolerance. Some factors are beyond our control (hormones, stress, environment, aging, other health problems). And some factors are within our control (diet, response to stress, life-style choices). And here I am again. Trying to fix what I believe to be stress caused to my body by an over indulgence in high-salicylate foods and drinks. Now, not all foods that are high in salicylates are bad foods. Salicylates are present in nearly all food and drink. Some of my most favourite foods are high in salicylates: seeds,  mandarins, alfalfa sprouts, strawberries, spinach, silverbeet, coffee. But for someone who has an intolerance to a food type, over-indulgence can present itself in a variety of ways. From the benign such as, tummy ache, headaches, skin problems, to the more serious and complex: migraines, yeast inbalances, chronic conditions, heart palpitations/irregularities. But the journey to health repair doesn’t have to be without a little tweet now and again. So here’s my Pear and Poppy Seed cake recipe. And for the record, pear and poppy seed are secret lovers! They work so well together! Enjoy and happy healthifying! Pear and Poppy Seed Cake 150g butter (softened) 150g CSR Caster sugar 90g golden syrup 2 eggs (at room temp) 1tsp vanilla essence 250g Birdseed AP flour*** 2 tsp baking powder 2Tbsp poppy seed ¼  – ½ cup milk to loosen mix 300g pears (blitzed to chop coarsely) Heat oven to 175oC Cream butter, sugar, golden syrup and vanilla essence together. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between eggs to ensure they’re combined. Blitz pears or chop coarsely Add pears, flour, baking powder, poppy seeds and mix gently. Add milk into the batter to loosen it a little. Pour into round 20cm tin or smaller muffin baking cups Bake for...

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Birdseed Rich Chocolate Cake

Posted on May 10, 2015 in Blog, Sweet Tweets | 0 comments

I had just turned 21 and finished my Bachelor of Arts with a major in Japanese and English.  As my next step, I decided to return to Japan to consolidate my language skills so that I might hopefully become a translator/interpreter in the future.  To fund my dream, I applied for a scholarship program to teach and study in Japan, and as my marks were good, I felt pretty confident. But my application was unsuccessful, and I was bitterly disappointed. I felt so humiliated that my skills and my language ability obviously weren’t up to scratch. I was devastated that the dreams I had created in the clouds of my mind of life and love in Japan, had been knocked back. I remember sitting gloomily at my Nana’s polished round dining table, playing with the placemats depicting horse and hound hunting scenes. As she placed a cup of tea in front of me, she said, “Aye, well, disappointment is good for the young.” She was very direct, my Nana. She was Scottish and wasted little time and energy on unnecessary and indulgent emotions. At the time I was put out, and while I grumpily finished my cup of tea, I thought, “what a stupid comment. What the hell is that supposed to mean?”  However, once the cut of the disappointment healed over, I picked myself up and got over it. Nana’s words have stayed with me, and have played back in my mind, especially when disappointment comes my way. Disappointment (apart from being one of the most frequently misspelt words around – trust me, I’m a high school English teacher!!) is part and parcel of life. It happens when hopes are not realised in the way we expect, anticipate, want. It happens when we feel unfairly judged. It happens when our expectations are not met. It happens when our world view is not reflected back to us, and we are left feeling small, confused, sad. Disappointed. But is disappointment good for the young? I recently suffered a disappointment. It’s been a tough few months with hopes and expectations running high. I’m playing a waiting game at the moment and it’s tiring. And I guess that longer the hopes and expectations are held out, the greater the disappointment is going to be if they are not realised in my favour. So within this cycle of waiting, I was handed a candle of hope. It was to be a potential banner of recognition for my efforts. A potential ticket to help me move forward in a new direction. It was a certificate of merit for all that I had done and achieved with the business over the past 5 years. But while I was gazing at the candle, my hopes raised and my excitement brewing, it was snuffed out. And yes, I was disappointed. Probably more disappointed than I have been...

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