Healthy ABC Cake with Lemon Ricotta Icing

I adore banana bread and carrot cake, but I wanted to make something a little different to use up some old vegetables. So here’s my version of an ABC (apple, banana, carrot) cake instead! Packed full of fruit and veggies and with no added refined sugar, this can be a rather nifty way to contribute to your 7 serves a day!

Ingredients 

ABC Cake

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large apple
  • 1 large banana
  • 3/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil Nuttalex

Lemon Maple Icing

  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C.
  2. Grate the carrot and apple. Set aside.
  3. Place the banana, milk, eggs and Nuttalex in a bowl and mush until combined (the banana can stay in chunks).
  4. Add the carrot, apple, almond meal, flaxseed meal and baking soda to the wet mixture and mix until well combined.
  5. Place the mixture into muffin tins (or a 20cm cake tin) and press flat. Bake until golden and firm to touch (~30 minutes). Allow to cool before icing.
  6.  To make the icing, mix the yogurt, ricotta, maple syrup and lemon zest in a bowl (mix slowly to avoid lumps), the stir in the coconut. Spread on top of the cake / muffins and allow to set in the fridge before serving. I topped mine with honey roasted macadamia nuts for a little extra crunch!
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Linseed and Strawberry Donuts

Linseed or flaxseed is something that I usually find at the supermarket but have rarely used in cooking until recently. It’s a shame, because it’s a great source of good fatty acids and fibre, and is also the preferred fibre supplement for those who suffer from IBS and are prone to bloating.

In light of that, I may have accidentally created the ultimate bloat-free donut! Free from dairy, refined sugar and gluten!

Ingredients (makes 6 large)

  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/2 cup linseed meal (also known as flaxseed meal)
  • 1/2 cup teff grain 
  • 250g punnet strawberries
  • 1 cup almond milk (or you can use regular milk)
  • 2 eggs (or egg substitute)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted olive oil Nuttalex (or just use olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla pea protein powder (entirely optional and just to add a bit more protein, but if you do add it, add another 1/4 cup almond milk)
  •  1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or your choice of sweetener e.g. rice malt syrup, Stevia)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C. Grease a donut or bundt tray with your choice of oil or butter (or alternatively, NoDo Donuts make a great silicon mould!).
  2. Mix the quinoa flakes, linseed meal, teff grain, baking powder +/- protein powder until well combined.
  3. Add the almond milk, eggs, melted Nuttalex and maple syrup and mix well.
  4. Chop the strawberries into small chunks and add to the mixture, leaving some aside.
  5. Pour the batter into the tray, top with the rest of the strawberries and bake until they spring back when touched (about 15-20 minutes). Eat warm with your favourite natural peanut butter!

Lemon Rocket Pesto

This pesto recipe was a bit of a happy accident. I call it an accident in that, while I was house-sitting for my mother, her wildly growing herb garden wilted in the cold snap. Rather than attempting to resuscitate the plants, I preened them and ended up with an abundance of rocket and parsley.

I’ve now written a handy guide for growing and storing your own herbs after I learned my lesson – but at least I have some wonderful zesty pesto to show for it!

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 2 cups rocket leaves
  • 1/4 cup pinenuts
  • 1/2 cup flat leafed parsley
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon infused olive oil (OR use regular extra virgin olive oil and add 1 tsp lemon zest)

Method

  1. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a fry pan over a medium heat until browned. Set aside to cool. Note that there is about a three second difference between ‘toasted’ and ‘burnt’ pinenuts so watch them like a hawk!
  2. Place all of the dry ingredients in a food processor. While processing, slowly add the oil until everything is well combined. Serve with fresh warm bread, your favourite poultry, tossed with boiled potatoes……  the possibilities are only limited by your tastebuds!

Carrot Cake Chia Bircher

It’s like carrot cake, but not as you know it!

Ingredients (serves 1-2) 

  • 1 small grated carrot
  • 2/3 cup plain low-fat greek yogurt
  • 1/6 cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup granola
  • 15g pea or whey protein of your choice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom

Method

  1. Mix all of the above ingredients and set in the fridge overnight.
  2. Top with whatever takes your fancy – I used natural peanut butter and more granola!

Salted Caramel Protein Balls

Warning, these little mouthfuls of bliss are slightly addictive! Perfect for curbing those afternoon cravings with a healthy mixture of protein, carbs and good fats.

Ingredients (makes 8 large or 12 small) 

  • 1 small banana
  • 4 dates
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 40g of Botanika Blends salted caramel pea protein (OR use vanilla pea / whey protein and add 1/2 tsp salted caramel essence, found in the baking isle of the supermarket)
  • 1 tbsp carob powder (can use cacao or cocoa instead but carob is naturally sweeter in flavour)
  • 3/4 cup granola of your choice

Method

  1. Process the banana, dates, tahini, oil, pea protein and carob powder in a food processor until smooth
  2. Stir in the granola until well combined, then roll into balls and set in the fridge.

Note you will find it much easier to roll the balls if your hands are wet. 

Vegan Pumpkin, Carrot, Coconut and Za’atar Soup

Another soup to warm the hands, heart and soul when our weather finally cools down! Pumpkin soup is one of my absolute favourites, and after a recent admission to hospital, this was all I felt like eating to restore my body back to normal working order!

Ingredients (serves 4) 

  • 500g Kent pumpkin
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 litre stock (vegetarian if you’re vegan, chicken if you’re not)
  • 400mL can light coconut cream
  • 4 tablespoons Za’atar (a sesame based Arabic spice mix, try your local deli or if you live in Sydney or Melbourne, you can’t beat the version made by Gewurthaus)
  • Dollop of yogurt to serve (plain coconut if you’re vegan, plain Greek if you’re not)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C. Peel and roughly chop the pumpkin into small cubes. Leave the carrots with the peel on but chop into similar sized pieces. Place onto a lined baking tray or two, spray with olive oil, and roast until golden brown and soft (approximately 30-40 minutes).
  2. Place the stock, coconut cream, pumpkin, carrot and 3 tablespoons of za’atar in the blender and blend until smooth. Top with the extra za’atar and your choice of yogurt to serve

5 Ingredient Pesto Fruffins

These mini pesto fruffins are a cross between a frittata and a muffin, and make for a quick and easy lunch box snack (or in my case, hidden in my scrub pockets at work…)

Ingredients (makes 12 big or 24 mini)

  • 4 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 heaped tablespoons pesto
  • 100g block of your choice of cheese (feta, Edam, cheddar or Gouda work well here!)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200*C. Line a muffin tin with cases or grease with oil.
  2. Mix the eggs, pesto, flour and yogurt until well combined. Pour mixture into muffin tins.
  3. Dice the cheese into 12 or 24 pieces depending on your muffin tray size, and press one piece into each blob of muffin mixture.
  4. Bake until risen and golden on top (15-20 minutes). Eat warm!

Clementine, Cointreau and Dark Chocolate Tart

Definitely soul food rather than body food, but who can resist the rather delicious combination of citrus and dark chocolate?

Ingredients 

  • 100g Choc Ripple biscuits
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup clementine marmalade (you can use orange instead)
  • 15ml Cointreau
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a spring form cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Process the biscuits in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add the butter and process to combine, then spread across the bottom and sides of the cake tin and bake for 10 minutes until firm. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a bowl, mix the marmalade, Cointrea and almond meal together.
  4. Sprinkle the chocolate chips along the biscuit base before topping with the marmalade mixture. Bake until the edges have caramelised and the filling slightly firm, then chill for 4 hours before serving.

Rainbow Frittata

This colourful slice makes for a great breakfast on the go, a lazy dinner or just a delicious protein-laden snack!

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1 cup shredded coleslaw mix (or alternatively, 1/2 cup grated carrot and 1/2 cup purple cabbage)
  • 4 large Swiss chard / Silverbeet leaves
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • Grated cheese of your liking

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a slice tray with baking paper.
  2. Finely slice the Swiss chard, and place on top of the baking paper with the coleslaw mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, yogurt and pesto together.
  4. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the slice pan. Top with cherry tomatoes and your choice of cheese.
  5. Bake until firm and the cheese has melted (~ 15-20 minutes).
  6. Slice into 6 and enjoy!