Sticky Date Banana Puddings

I haven’t eaten sugar on the regular for almost two years but every time I visit my mum’s wonderful cafe in Palmerston North, I indulge in one of my favourite desserts; sticky date pudding! 

When I came back to the Dunedin after my last visit, the plummeting temperatures had me dreaming of that piping hot sticky date pudding, drowning in a puddle of caramel sauce. I then successfully made a Catherine approved version that warmed my belly and made me forget about my frozen toes. There’s nothing like a warming bowl of goodness on a cold day! 

As I’m not eating eggs at the moment, I adapted this recipe to be made without. The egg free version is slightly more dense and gooey than the fluffier egg version but I love them both! 

Vegan Pudding Ingredients

2 bananas 

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup of dates (depending on your preference) 

2 tablespoons coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 

NB: can use 1 tsp of baking powder of your choice instead of baking soda and cream of tartar.

If you want to use eggs: use 1 and 1/2 bananas, 3 tbsp coconut flour and 2 eggs. Omit coconut oil. 

Caramel sauce: 

2 tablespoons coconut oil 

1/2 can Ayam coconut cream 

Dates (I use about 6, adjust to your preference) 

Water to adjust to desired consistency 

Method: 

1. Steam the dates for both the sauce and puddings together, with enough water to cover the bottom of the saucepan, until they become soft. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius. 

2. Put your bananas in your blender/food processor with the coconut oil and blend (only add coconut oil with vegan version).

3. Add in dates for the pudding while leaving behind the dates for the sauce (turn off the element) and blend. You still want the dates slightly chunky!  

4. Add in coconut flour, baking soda and cream of tartar or baking powder and give one final mix. 

5. Spoon the mixture into a muffin tray. You may want to use baking paper with this recipe if your bakeware is prone to sticking. The vegan recipe works best for about four puddings whereas the egg recipe can be stretched to five-depending on how big you want your puddings to be. 

6. Pop the puddings in the oven and add the ingredients for the sauce to the pot of dates. Cook until the coconut oil has melted and then blend in the blender/food processor until smooth. I like to add the sauce back into the pot just before I take the puddings out of the oven and add water a few tablespoons at a time to reach the desired consistency. 

7. These puddings take quite a long time to cook. Keep an eye on them and cook until a fork comes out clean when inserted. When the vegan puddings reach this stage I like to flip them upside down and bake for a further 5 minutes or so. 

These Sticky Date Banana Puddings are best eaten straight from the oven drizzled with a more than generous amount of sauce. 😉 If you save some for later, I recommend putting them back into the oven for about 5 mins to reheat. 

Pumpkin SpIce Cream

I’ve become a bit obsessed with pumpkin lately.

My boyfriend cannot get enough of my Pumped Up Brownie and neither can I! One day I realised, as I was shovelling the decadent brownie mixture into my mouth, that it resembled the glossy deliciousness of my Schokoladen Ice Cream.

I know banana ice cream is worshipped in the alternative foodie community, but what about pumpkin?

Orange pumpkin is definitely the new black banana in my opinion. This recipe is nut free and churn free too! Plus for all of my budding health foodies who haven’t become slaves to their food processors yet–you can make this recipe without one! Woohoo.

It’s not quite as creamy as a banana ice cream but for someone who is a big fan of injecting classic desserts with a bit of veg, it ticks all the boxes for me.

The recipe here is for pumpkin spice cream but if you’re more of a chocolate fan, swap the spice for some cocoa! Delicious.

 Pumped Up Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 cup of dates (more or less depending on your preference)

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

1/4 of a pumpkin (It’s best to have just over a quarter rather than under)

1/2 can of Ayam coconut cream (or about 5 heaped tablespoons)

1 teaspoon of ginger

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Method:

  1.  Steam dates in a saucepan until soft with just enough water to cover the bottom.
  2. Cut the skin off the pumpkin and dice.
  3. Boil the pumpkin until soft. You could also roast the quarter in the oven, but I prefer boiling it.
  4. Blend pumpkin, dates, coconut oil and coconut cream together.The pumpkin will be warm enough to melt the coconut oil. Note: Coconut cream must have minimal liquid! Ayam coconut cream is very dense, which is why I use it. Don’t use the liquid that accumulates at the bottom.
  5. Add in your spices and give another quick whizz to incorporate. If you eat nutmeg you can pop that in if you like or any other pumpkin pie flavourings you desire. I like to adjust my spices to taste every time so 1 teaspoon for each is just a minimal guide. As I have learnt and relearnt far too many times, it’s better to have too little than too much!
  6. Spread fairly thinly on a tray and pop it in the freezer.
  7. It takes about 2 hours or a bit more to freeze. I like to check it every now and again until it reaches the texture I like. If you want a super creamy texture I recommend putting it in the food processor again or blending before eating. If you leave it in over night you will have to defrost it before you eat it. You can speed it up by bathing the container in warm water. 

TIP: when frozen, let the ice cream defrost until soft enough to put a fork through. You can enjoy your ice cream like it is or my favourite is to put it in my food processor (blender might work too) and it creates a soft serve texture. 

And, if you want a bit of cheeky coconut crunch:

Crunchy coconut bits

I made the crunchy coconut bits by roasting some coconut butter (not the same thing as coconut oil) thinly spread on baking paper. I then chilled the coconut butter in the fridge and crumbled it over the top. 🙂

You can make coconut butter by processing coconut flakes until they make a butter–quite a lengthy process but so worth it!

Schokoladen Fudge Ice Cream

Schokolade is German for one of my favourite things to eat; chocolate! 

This weekend has been all about indulgence for me. I’m buzzing with gratitude!

I believe there’s always time for conscious indulgence in your life and my Schokolade Fudge Ice Cream is the perfect way to treat yourself. One of the biggest barriers to true health comes about from feeling deprived; it heightens your cortisol putting you into survival mode. Many of us have way too much stress in our lives and the media, amongst many other things, can cause us to feel enough of the body blues as it is.

Of course it is hard to prioritise our health especially if it makes us feel more stressed! 

That’s why such a big part of my health journey has actually been about indulgence and acceptance rather than the more common techniques of deprivation and resistance. 

Of course the key is to find something healthy that tastes delicious too–double win! Then, in my experience you also don’t crave as much because you know you can devour something both delectable and healthy–triple win! 

I would much rather eat something delicious and healthy than deprive myself, which may later lead to binging on shitty last minute pre packaged food. Honour your hunger and honour your cravings, in other words; eat intuitively! 

People ask me how I do it. It’s that simple. It’s just pros and cons.

Ask me to get a tub of sugar filled ice cream on a cone from Rob Roy’s Dairy? Call me crazy, but I’ll take my refined sugar free Schokoladen Fudge Ice Cream every time! 

This recipe also works with other nuts such as macadamias, almonds or hazelnuts. It is the perfect indulgent treat and is much more dense than ice cream–closer to ganache. Lecker!

Most of all, the best thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require an ice cream maker or any churning at all. Easy, delicious and wholesome! My kind of ice cream. 

Fudge Ice Cream

Ingredients:

280g (2 cups) Cashews

As many dates necessary for your preferred sweetness (I use about a handful)

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 cans full fat Ayam coconut cream 170mL each

1/2 cup cacao powder (depending on your cacao and preference)

Genuine vanilla essence (optional) 

Method:

1. Process your cashews in your food processor until fine. 

2. Put in coconut oil and continue to process until a paste is formed. 

3. Add in dates and process until smooth. 

4. Add in coconut cream, cocoa and your vanilla essence if you are using it. Process and scrape off any cashews stuck around the sides and at the bottom under the blade and incorporate into the mixture.

5. Test if the mixture is decadent enough for your liking, adding in more cocoa or even honey if you need to. 

6. Pour into a tray and pop into the freezer for about 30 mins or until it’s as firm as you wish. I use a glass baking dish. A tray is important because more surface area means it freezes faster and more evenly. 

7. Nom nom nom 

Enjoy! 🙂

Pumped Up Brownie

 

The first world health freak struggle is over.

brownie yay

I have spent almost two years trialling devastating whole food brownie recipes. I am a difficult health foodie to please.

Cooked nuts? No thanks. Coconut flour? Yes please. Recipes with 10 eggs? Kindly, get fucked.

This recipe was adapted from the whole food goddess Eat Drink Paleo. She originally uses honey and sweet potato but I prefer my homemade date paste and the lower carb, sweeter alternative–pumpkin!

I have tried this recipe using both grated and pureed pumpkin and kumara. They are both delicious but my trusted jury of taste testers (flatmates) agreed they loved the texture of the grated pumpkin brownies the most! However, we haven’t come to agreement whether they taste better warm and gooey or cold and fudgy. I highly recommend refraining from eating the whole batch freshly baked only because they’re so good cold too!

brownie in tin

Ingredients:

2 cups of grated or pureed pumpkin

2 Eggs

1/2 cup of pitted dates (or more, depending on your sweet tooth)

1/2 cup of cacao powder (depending on your preference and strength of cacao powder)

2 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 cup of coconut oil

1/2 tsp of baking soda

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 185°C.
  2.  If you are making date puree put your dates in a small saucepan with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. Put on the lid and steam your dates on a low temperature until soft while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  3. Cut about a sixth of a medium sized pumpkin or use a whole medium sized kumara. Cut off the skin and grate until you have about 2 cups. More pumpkin is fine, but less is pushing it.
  4. Scoop out 1/2 cup of coconut oil and pop it in the pot with the dates to melt, or chuck the dates and coconut oil straight into your food processor or blender and blend until smooth. You don’t want the oil and dates to be super hot when you put the eggs in
  5. If using a food processor, pop the grated pumpkin, eggs and cacao into the food processor and mix. Or just put dates, coconut oil, pumpkin and eggs into a bowl and mix.
  6. Mix in coconut flour and baking soda.
  7. Pop baking paper into loaf tin and pour in mixture.
  8. Put in oven and cook for at least 25 mins until it reaches your desired texture.
  9. Face plant into the entire batch! Enjoy. 🙂