Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hazelnut Cacao Balls

   After our break away the pantry was bare of all its usual homemade snacks so, with two hungry kids at my feet I had to work quickly to create something yummy and satisfying for them.  I was under pressure but thankfully I had stocked up on hazelnut meal before we left so i was confident I could create something tasty out of that and here is what I came up with - tasty little morsels that didn't really last very long but did fill the little holes in those two growing boys tummies.  For a little while anyway. 

Hazelnut Cacao Balls
Makes approximately 16 

5 fresh dates, seeds removed and roughly chopped 
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup hazelnut meal
1/3 cup almond butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 T cacao nibs
pinch of sea salt

Place the fresh dates and desiccated coconut  into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times
Then add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the mixture comes together 
Using a spoon roll approximately 3/4 tbs amount of mixture into small balls
Repeat with the remaining mixture before placing in the fridge to firm up

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

On Hiatus in Yamba

 Currently we are  enjoying some precious family time in the picturesque and laid back Yamba.  No time for cooking this week, rather we are being waited on and sampling the local seafood and produce this region has to offer.  Not to mention the salty stuff - water that is.  The boys are in heaven!!!  

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Baked Peach & Hazelnut Oatmeal

This is take 2 on this post.  I am not quite sure what happened with the last post but something went pear shaped.  Thanks to those who alerted me. 

There is something quite comforting about Oats.  Perhaps it is a childhood thing?  - who knows, but something about eating them makes me feel cosy and satisfied.   As a great way to start the day whether young or old,  it is nice to add some variation to mix it up a little in comparison to the regular dish up as per this combination.  We have been making the most of all the luscious stone fruit such as peaches, apricots & nectarines before they disappear.  The peached found their way into this oatmeal and paired very nicely with the hazelnut meal.  The kids went nuts over it eating it not only for breakfast but morning tea as well so I guess this one will be on the cards again sometime soon.  I highly recommend soaking the oats before making this.  It is not hard at all (see below) The reason why and in short is that soaking oats or any grain for that matter is important so that  phytic acid is removed which can block the absorption of valuable vitamins and minerals.  For further information please refer to the extract below from Nourishing Traditions  Otherwise I hope you enjoy making this and getting creative with your own variations if you dare.  I would love to hear about what you come up with.

All grains contain phytic acid (an organic acid in which phosphorous is bound) in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron especially zinc in the intestinal track and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may led to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects. Soaking allows enzyme, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid. As little as seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. The simple practice of soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will vastly improve their nutritional benefits.

Baked Peach & Hazelnut Oatmeal
Serves 6 - 8

250 gms rolled oats, soaked overnight (see below)
1 Tbs Natural Yoghurt + a pinch of salt

The Night Before:

Place the oats in a glass bowl along with 1 Tbs natural yoghurt + a pinch of salt
Add enough filtered water to completely cover the oats then cover with a lid or wrap and leave to soak on your bench overnight.

½ cup hazelnut meal + extra (approx 2 Tbs) to sprinkle on top
¼ cup honey
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup cream
1 large egg
2 Tbs shredded coconut
250 gms blueberries
3 medium size peaches sliced  (approximately 8 slices per peach)

The Next Morning:
Prehaeat oven to 185 degrees celcius or 325 fahre
Prepare your chosen baking dish by greasing it if necessary
The following place the oats briely  in a colander to drain any excess water away
Mix the drained oats with the hazelnut meal, honey, baking powder, cinnamon and salt
In another bowl whisk together the milk, cream and egg and then add to the oat mix
Mix well to combine
Arrange half of the peach slices in a single layer in the bottom of your chosen baking dish
Sprinkle half of the blueberries over the peaches along with the shredded coconut
Gently pour the oat mix over the top of the peaches & blueberries

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Sea Salt Spelt Grissini

 Crisp, crunchy and addictable.  For the life of me I  am trying to work out why I haven't made these for the boys earlier.  Thing is I tend to avoid store bought (unless desperate) as they are mostly manufactured using highly refined white flours whereas my own creation uses freshly ground organic whole spelt flour and packs a whole lot more nutritional substance than their store bought counterparts.  Although fiddly to some extent I quite enjoyed the process and the boys gave a helping hand when it came to rolling out with plenty going in their gobs as well.  What is it with kids and raw dough/batters anyway?  We are heading on a picnic tomorrow with our little cousins visiting from Melbourne and some of these will be packed to snack on although, I have a sneaking suspicion the seagulls may be snacking on them as well.

 Spelt Grissini with Sea Salt
Makes Approx 30
310 gms whole spelt flour
200 gms water at room temperature
1 tsp instant yeast
¾ tsp fine sea salt
1 T cold pressed olive oil
toppings for your grissini – ie. sea salt, black sesame seeds, rosemary as per my choices however use whatever your wish

Combine the flour, yeast and sea salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached and mix gently to combine 
Mix the water and olive oil together and slowly add to the dry ingredients in the stand mixer whilst the motor is running.  
(be mindful that you may not need all of the water so add gradually)
Continue mixing until the dough becomes smooth and elastic – approx 2 mins
Lightly oil a bowl with olive oil, place the dough inside and cover with a wet cloth or cling wrap
Leave the dough to ferment for 1.5 – 2 hrs or until doubled in size.
When the fermentation is over, preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 Fahrenheit
Line a baking sheet (you may need two) with baking paper
Divide the dough into four equal pieces (keep pieces you are not working with covered to prevent drying out)
(Repeat this for each of the four pieces of dough)
Lightly flour the bench and roll each piece of dough into a rectangle shape as best you can
Using a sharp knife cut long skinny strips of equal width - approx 3cm wide
Roll up each piece into a snail shell before rolling into a thin skinny stick (see picture below)
Place each stick onto the prepared baking sheets
Spray or lightly brush each stick with olive oil and sprinkle with your choice of toppings rolling them around a little to lightly cover them (see picture below)
Pop in the pre heated oven for 25 – 30 mins or until lightly golden in colour
Cool on a wire rack

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Hey There, I’m Sherilyn the creator of Wholepromise. This is where I venture outside of being a mum, wife and Fertility Nurse Specialist. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, Australia and am spoilt by year round access to Farmers Markets offering a plethora of local, seasonal and organic produce. In all Wholepromise is my style of food, it’s the food I want my boys to appreciate and it’s the food that makes me happy. Styling and photographing it is just another bonus.


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