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Treats & Snacks

Treats & Snacks

Wholefood Banoffee

I’m not religious. So I get my regular fix of divinity from this banoffee pie. In place of white sugar and butter, we’re using toffee-tasting dates with tahini to conjure up the creamy caramel. Eat your heart out Hermione!

No boring white flour either – our base is a brilliant medley of ground almonds and Irish oats for us wholefood whores. We like almonds for their treasure-trove of vitamin E, the patron saint of sexy skin. And all that fibre packed into almonds and oats will help blast pesky toxins out of our plumbing like a power hose. Not bad for a slice of banoffee!

Chef’s note: We prefer using an odourless coconut oil from a trustworthy brand for this recipe, which can be accessed through any Irish health store online. When done correctly, odourless coconut oil is gently steamed to remove the stronger coconutty tones, but leaving the beneficial lauric and caprylic acids intact. Nyom.

For the base:

100g ground almonds

80g oats

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

For the caramel:

125ml light tahini

225g dried dates

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

To top:

3 bananas, sliced

10g dark chocolate, to grate

120ml coconut yoghurt (v) or whipped cream

Shoot up the oven to 180 C (160 fan-assisted). Oil an 20cm loose-bottom pan with a swipe of coconut oil and clean fingertips. I have a fluted loose-bottom pan that works beautifully, and can be found online in kitchen stores for around €11. 

Using a food processor or coffee grinder, blitz the oats with your ground almonds until uniform. Add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and salt. It will feel too wet for a pastry base, so leave it to rest and absorb for 10 minutes.

By now, your base will be easier to handle and feel drier to touch. Tumble into your pre-oiled pan, flatten into every corner, bringing the mixture up the fluted sides. Go as thinly as you can, especially at the elbow part which often comes out thickest.

Bake for 12-14 minutes before the pastry colours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 hours.

While the pastry cooks, you can get jiggy with your wholefood caramel. Cover the dates with a little water, and boil for 8 minutes. Transfer to a blender with your tahini and vanilla. Blitz until lusciously smooth. Leave to cool for 2 hours (this avoids the trauma of a soggy pastry butt).

To assemble, spoon your lickysticky caramel over the cooled pastry base. Top with a blanket of sliced banana, followed by clouds of cold cream or coconut yoghurt. Dust with lots of chocolate scrapings (a potato peeler is good for this). This banoffee will last beautifully for days in the fridge.

Treats & Snacks

Cinnamon Oat Bombs

I asked a paediatrician recently what the most common condition children presented with each week at ER. Constipation. Seriously!

Gastroenterologists – the specialists who look after our pipes – recommend that children ideally get around 25g of dietary fibre every day. This week’s oat balls will help your little one do exactly that. Expect bowel movements to be practically Instagrammable.

There are two types of fibre chillaxing inside each oat flake and flaxseed. Soluble fibre is a gift for the gut, and works by helping to normalise bowel movements and balance blood sugar levels. The other type of fibre is insoluble, and has the ability to police our bowels, improving congestion and reducing transit time like a tenacious traffic warden. We like. Oats and flaxseed contain astral amounts of the stuff. Plus, we are totally addicted to these and make them every single day. Our bowels have never been more beautiful.

100g oats (Ireland’s own superfood)

3 tablespoons milled flaxseed

5 tablespoons runny tahini

4 tablespoons maple syrup

Generous smattering of flaky salt

Pinch of ground cinnamon or freeze-dried strawberry powder

3 tablespoons coconut sugar

Using a coffee grinder or blender, pulse your oats and milled flax into a fine flour. I find that whole flaxseeds tend to get stuck in our teeth, and so we favour milled flax.  

In a medium sized bowl, beat together the tahini, maple, salt and vanilla until luscious and sticky. We get our tahini on tap from our local bulk store for a fraction of the price. It also happens to be the most exquisite tasting tahini in our postcode’s orbit.

Mash in the blitzed oat mix, and leave aside to soak for 30 minutes. Roll into lots of oat balls and chill on a tray inside your fridge.

When they’re firm enough (say 30 minutes), tumble the batch of oat balls into a bowl of coconut sugar. Shake to coat. Return to the fridge.

Feel free to roll in melted dark chocolate and dust with freeze dried raspberry powder for extra snazz.

Treats & Snacks

Vegan Chocolate Mud Pie

This is a pitch dark, fudgy chocolate pie with a salted cocoa crumb. It’s the missionary position of tarts, so go ahead and add your own signature moves. We love a dusting of coconut sugar to ramp up the sweetness. You could try slicing fresh raspberries in half, then pressing them into the chocolate , cut side up, before setting. Yumdinger. A swirl of lickysticky caramel or espresso syrup can raise it up an octave. Or maybe a glorious side of vanilla ice cream will suffice. Let your taste buds vote.

You’ll need to get your mitts on a 20cm or 18cm fluted loose-bottom pan. Loose-bottom pans are not expensive to purchase online, but it might be worth asking a neighbour or relative if they have a fancy fluted one to borrow. A regular loose-bottom brownie tin also works in a pinch.

For the gluten-free crust:

80g (gf) oats

100g ground almonds

4 tablespoons cocoa/cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

3 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted

For the vegan ganache:

225g dark chocolate, chopped (I love Vivani)

225ml oat milk

1 To make the crust, blitz your oats into a fine flour using a coffee grinder or blender. Let the ground oats party in a bowl with the ground almonds, cocoa/cacao and salt.

2 Whisk the melted coconut oil and maple syrup together until glossy. Then pour over your dry ingredients and coat everything really well. I like to wait for 10 minutes before pressing the crust into the fluted pan – I find it much easier to handle.

3 In the meantime, you can grease your pan with clean fingertips and coconut oil. Your pan doesn’t need to be fluted, but if it is, extra attention to the frilly edge is important to prevent cracks and tantrums. Once your pan is well greased, start pressing the dough into the pan. It’s not like pastry – absolutely no rolling required.

4 Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven of 180 Celsius for 12-14 minutes or until the sides naturally start to pull away from the pan’s edge. Leave to cool for at least 1 hour.

5 To make the filling, heat the oat milk until you can see steam rise from the surface – almost scalding, but not boiling. Pour the hot milk over your finely chopped chocolate and stir with a spatula (not a whisk or fork). I do a figure eight with my spatula around the bowl. The ganache will come together fairly quickly. As soon as it’s dark and smooth, pour into your cooled pastry shell. Let it relax at room temperature before setting in the fridge.