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Vegan &/or Raw

Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw, x For Freezer x

Mini Banoffee Pies

I’ve been making these banoffee pies on the Seven O’Clock Show. You can click here to me cooking them, with Big Brother star and the deadly Lucy Kennedy.

The recipe is from my cookbook The Virtuous Tart and has proved the biggest hit in the entire book so far. Here’s why we love ’em …

 

Snoozage

Stress drinks up our banks of zinc and B6, resulting in a deficiency at night. No one functions well on a poor night’s sleep. Not even Mary Poppins. Our concentration falls, our patience wheezes and our immunity chokes. Of course, ditching caffeine and taking up meditation is the most effective way of repairing adrenal glands. But for most of us, such a proposal is enough to send our stress levels to precarious heights.

So who would have thought that a twist on the classic banoffee pie could help? Bananas are steaming with B6 and the mineral zinc can be sourced from the pecans in this recipe. I recommend investing some quality time with these foods before booking into a fancy hypnosis centre or resorting to Celine Dion’s greatest hits.

 

1 1/2 cups (210g) regular pitted dates

1/2 cup (140g) cashew nut butter

3 tablespoons lúcuma powder or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon unscented coconut oil

good pinch of sea salt flakes, such as Maldon

250g Greek or natural yoghurt, or DIY coconut milk yoghurt

3 bananas, sliced

4 squares of dark chocolate

Raw or lightly toasted pecans / walnuts

 

Cover the dates with a little water in a small saucepan and boil for 10 minutes. Whip in a food processor with the cashew nut butter, lúcuma or vanilla, coconut oil and a good pinch of sea salt until seriously smooth. Allow to cool down before you judge! At this stage, it won’t taste or smell like caramel.

Scoop some thick cold yoghurt into six little pots. Add a few slices of fresh banana, followed by a glossy kiss of the caramel. Top with optional shavings of dark chocolate if you have some. No biggie if not. Toasted pecans scattered on top give a great crunch.

Serve to unsuspecting guests and see if they notice the difference.

 

Virtuous Tart Final Cover

Photos Jo Murphy / Styling Orla Neligan.

And in other news, here’s a meaty interview I did for Trinity Mag TN2 this month. Includes everything from vices to victories. Until next week!

Breakfast, Vegan &/or Raw

4-Grain Porridge

People want three things in life. To be happy. To be healthy. To be rich.

I can’t make you rich, but two out of three ain’t bad! This blog is all about food to make your taste buds break dance, without making you fat or ill. It’s about paying the grocer, not the doctor. It’s about taking the hell out of healthy.

Everyone digs porridge; the steaming bowl of goodness before that icy walk to work; the comforting smell of the kitchen as your oats happily burp on the stove; the sweet syrupy mess you so love to launch on your hot porridge, like a giddy conductor with ADD.

This 4-Grain Porridge is kickass comforting. The best part? It’s a complete source of protein too.

 

4 grain porridge recipe

 

By socialising oats with other grains such as amaranth, buckwheat and chia seed, we achieve a full quota of essential amino acids that otherwise would have fallen short of the bench presser’s Sweet Spot.

This is real cereal, not that sugary nonsense the word ‘cereal’ has come to represent. Whole, unrefined, unadulterated yumness that takes minutes to prepare, but parties in your body all day long.

And yes, oats often contain gluten. I need you to collect yourself. Ready? Gluten is not a poison. Such is the misinformation surrounding gluten, my poor husband thinks we should be taking an insurance policy out against it.

And our neighbour thinks gluten is something that wild teenagers sniff.

If you want to evict something in your diet, ditch the processed cereals and mass-produced granola. Let’s decriminalise gluten. I’ve never seen a herring so scarlet.

 

4 grain porridge4 grain porridge susan jane white

 

4-Grain Porridge
Makes 1kg

 

625g regular oat flakes
125g buckwheat flakes 
125g milled chia seed (not a grain)
125g amaranth flakes
3 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

 

I find the best way to make this is by asking 2 different pals to purchase the buckwheat flakes and the milled chia. I buy the amaranth flakes. Then we all swap 125g each.

Add the listed ingredients together in a 1kg Kilner or other jar. Shakey shakey shakey.

Store this way for up to 6 months.

When you fancy a bowl of 4-Grain Porridge, just treat the mix like regular oats. We like using 1 teacup of this 4-grain mix to 2.5 teacups of plant milk (oat’s milk is particularly good).

Simmer gently for 10 minutes, until glossy and creamy. Serve with sticky set honey.

 

 

Breakfast, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

2016 Chocolate Seed Soldiers

Coconut flour is quite the diva. It’s the Gordon Ramsay of flours. You can’t substitute it with any other flour. Try to, and your baked goodies will throw a hissy in the oven. This is because coconut flour demands alarming quantities of liquid in comparison to plain white flour.

I’m prepared to put up with coconut flour’s shenanigans because it makes a really great alternative to gluten or grain flours (hello paleo, hello coeliac). You won’t beat this flour’s fibre content either, ringing in at a whopping 42% (bye bye, haemorrhoids).

Extra bonus? You don’t even need to cook it.

Coconut flour works balistically well in this recipe, alongside cashew nut butter and a platoon of seeds. You can make great ‘cookie dough’ with it too, by combining the flour with some maple syrup, chocolate chunks, and nutbutter. No need to cook. Just roll into grenades and taunt the children into thinking it’s junkfood. They’ll love it.

 

seed soldiers the virtuous tart susan jane white
2016 Chocolate Seed Soldiers

The 2014 version is here which still knocks us sideways, like a puppy who ran into his birth brother. The 2016 ones are more wintry with orange zest, sea salt and creamed coconut.

 

The base:
1 cup (140g) dates, chopped
Just under 1 cup (100g) of milled flax or milled sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup (55g-65g) coconut flour
1/2 cup (75g) raisins
1/2 cup (140g) almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew nut butter
Up to 1/2 cup (125ml) maple syrup or agave (honey doesn’t work)
3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
2 tablespoons goji berries
2 generous pinches of sea salt flakes
zest from 1 unwaxed orange

 

To top:

100g bar of 75% dark chocolate
1/2 block of creamed coconut (only 1 euro in specialist Asian grocers)
Handful of goji berries or dried mulberries
Some raw cacao nibs
Blue cornflowers (for a touch of Mary Poppins, but you can’t taste them)

 

In a food processor (a simple fork and a temper will also work), combine all the base ingredients until gorgeously gooey.

Spoon it out over a parchment-lined shallow tin. The perfect size tin is a 20cm x 25cm rectangular one, a little larger than the traditional 20cm x 20cm square brownie tin. I place another piece of parchment paper on top of the base mixture, pressing down firmly with my fingers. Once the base is smooth, you can ditch the top piece of parchment. Chill in the fridge.

Meanwhile, slowly melt the chocolate and creamed coconut in a bain-marie. This is basically a pot of simmering water, 2.5cm in depth, with a heatproof bowl sitting on top where a lid might otherwise have gone. The contents of the bowl will gently melt from the steam of the water underneath. The trick is not to let the water boil or let the bottom of the bowl touch the water underneath.

Smother the chilled base in this coconut and chocolate ganache. Parachute a couple of goji berries, cacao nibs, mulberries and blue cornflowers on top for colour. Refrigerate overnight. I doubt you’ll need an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning.

 

the virtuous tart cookbook

 

This weekend with The Sunday Independent, you’ll find my final Sugar Feature. Diets suck. That’s why I don’t do them. And guess what? I’ve never been so healthy or so happy. Once you master how to turn your pesky sugar cravings into a nutritional slam dunk, you’ll be levitating with satisfaction!