23rd Birthday + Raw caramel coconut crunch slice recipe

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and certainly my favourite time too! Christmas is here, and I’ve already been enjoying the silly season festivities this past week. Last Thursday was my 23rd birthday and was fortunate to have … Continue reading

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf

It’s my first week back in Melbourne since my travels and it’s been absolutely FREEZING! I’ve been drinking lots of herbal tea and making winter meals to keep me warm. Here’s something many of you didn’t know about me, I’ve never actually had a ‘proper’ winter before. Yes I’ve visited places during the winter and have seen snow multiple times but to live in a city where I can wear a winter coat and boots day in, day out is quite exciting for me.

Along with embracing the winter fashion I’ll also be making plenty of hearty meals that are full of nutrients. If you would like to be the first to receive these healthy yet hearty meals straight to your inbox, just hit ‘follow’ and enter your email on the right side of this page –>

So, here’s just a few things that I’ve been making/buying this week.

Healthy Winter Dinner. Emma Lauren Food.

Easy winter dinner

The above meal is one of my go-to weeknight dinners as along with being healthy it is simple, quick and tasty. After a busy day at work and in this cold weather all I’ve been craving is warming foods. By adding warming spices such as cinnamon and cumin to the sweet potato it really brings out the flavour of the vegetable – try it out next time you’re roasting some!

Healthy Pantry. Emma Lauren Food.

Stocking up my healthy pantry

This week I’ve been stocking up my healthy pantry – two of the health food stores in my area have had ‘super saver’ days (one 20% off and the other 15% off) so how could I not buy anything?! Although initially it is quite an outlay, these products will last me a long time and I know I can make/create a lot of different recipes with this selection.

Healthy Pantry. Emma Lauren Food.

Another healthy haul!

As I’ve moved to a new area in Melbourne, one of the first things I did was check out my local health food store and find out when their ‘super saver’ days are. It is common for health food stores to have 15% off on the first Saturday of every month, but make sure you ask and put it in you calendar as you can make a real saving!

Almond milk latte. Emma Lauren Food.

Almond milk latte from Organica, Melbourne

Before heading to the Prahran Markets to buy some fresh produce for the week, I stopped by Organica for an almond milk latte. It was just what I needed as it was quite cool – as you can see by the number of layers I’m wearing! I haven’t eaten there yet, but they have some great raw vegan slices, healthy salads and soups and takeaway meals.

Roasted pumpkin stuffed with moroccan spiced lamb. Emma Lauren Food.

Saturday night dinner

This was last night’s dinner and boy did it go down well. Made with organic grass fed lamb mince and fresh vegetables all sourced from the markets it was just what I needed. You too can make this roasted stuffed pumpkin with moroccan spiced lamb – it’s actually one of my favourite recipes. The best part is I have plenty of leftovers so tonight’s dinner is sorted.

Now for the vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf recipe. I made this at the start of the week as a quick breakfast option and to enjoy at morning tea. It’s actually a vegan and gluten free version of this loaf.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Dry ingredients

Almond meal is a light flour that’s also gluten free and grain free (it’s basically ground almonds). The additions of chopped almonds add a crunchiness, the coconut adds a slight chewiness and the quinoa flakes add bulk to the loaf.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Chia ‘egg’

As I’ve mentioned previously, a chia ‘egg’ is just chia seeds mixed with water. It’s a vegan substitute that acts as a binding ingredient just like a regular egg does – plus it has the added nutritional benefits of chia seeds!

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

In separate bowls

Once the dry and wet ingredients have been separately mixed, it’s time to combine them. Make sure you gently fold them together in the larger bowl so the blueberries don’t break/bleed their colour too much.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Loaf mixture

All mixed together now and you can really see the different elements that make up this deliciously healthy loaf.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Prepared loaf tin

I always line my loaf tins to ensure the baked good can be easily removed. Plus, it means less cleaning up as you just need to wash it in hot soapy water without having to scrub bits of loaf off the tin.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to be baked

The loaf needs to be pressed into the tin to ensure a nice, even top. I sprinkled a few extra chopped almonds on top just for decoration, feel free to do the same!

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Golden on top!

Just how a loaf should look – golden and crunchy on top! Enjoy a slice of this healthy loaf with some almond butter and a cup of tea, or just by itself.

Make sure you allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing as it is quite delicate!

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to be devoured

This loaf will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 6 TBSP water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt*
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease or line loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Combine almond meal, baking soda, shredded coconut, almonds and quinoa flakes in a large bowl, set aside.
  3. Combine chia seeds and water in a bowl, set aside for 2 minutes or until liquid has absorbed.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract, coconut oil, coconut yoghurt and blueberries into chia ‘egg’ bowl.
  5. Fold wet and dry ingredients together.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared loaf tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely in loaf tin.
  7. Slice with a bread knife and enjoy!

Notes

    • Substitute the coconut yoghurt for 1/2 cup mashed bananas
    • Make sure you allow the loaf to cool completely otherwise it may crumble.

I’ve already sliced the up into individual portions and have them all wrapped up, ready to take to work for the week!

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Apple cinnamon muffins

Bonjour from Paris! I’m currently writing this post from an apartment in the 8th arrondissement. It’s been such an amazing few days here with most of my family! You may have seen some updates from my time in Paris on @emmalaurenfood and/or Emma Lauren Food Blog.

The beauty of staying in an apartment is that we are able to enjoy cooking with fresh seasonal produce whilst also devouring the local delicacies (sans wheat and cows milk of course)!

Paris. Emma Lauren Food.

Fresh produce

I’m absolutely loving all the fresh fruits on offer – the markets really showcase the best that’s in season!

Paris. Emma Lauren Food.

Wandering through the markets

What I love most about travelling is wandering the streets and stumbling upon hidden gems only most locals visit.

Paris. Emma Lauren Food

Local market produce

From the market haul, we enjoyed this simple platter. I’m loving the variety of goats cheese that’s available and these strawberries are just mouthwatering!

On a side note – I have some exciting news to tell you, Lorna Jane has posted another original recipe of mine on her Move Nourish Believe website. It’s considered one of the top five favourite no added sugar recipes. Feel free to check it out here.

As it was quite busy leading up to my trip with travelling interstate I unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to post this apple cinnamon recipe until now!

Apple cinnamon muffins. Emma Lauren Food.

Dry ingredients

The combination of almond meal and quinoa flour allow these muffins to be quite light yet moist.

Apple cinnamon muffins. Emma Lauren Food.

Adding almond milk

Almond milk or any other dairy free milk is a great wet ingredient as it adds extra flavour to the muffins instead of just using water.

Apple cinnamon muffins. Emma Lauren Food.

Adding to the batter

I’ve used eggs in this recipe to help the bind the batter. If you’d prefer a vegan muffin, just use a flax egg – you may need to adjust the cooking time to suit.

Apple cinnamon muffins. Emma Lauren Food.

Perfect match = apple + cinnamon + walnut

To me, there is something very comforting about the combination of apple and cinnamon. I think it’s the earthiness of the cinnamon with the sweet apple…

Apple cinnamon muffins. Emma Lauren Food.

Spooned into prepared tins

As I prefer larger muffins, this mixture made 8 however if you’d like smaller muffins the mixture may make up to 12.

Apple cinnamon muffins. Emma Lauren Food.

Golden on top

After taking them out of the oven, I noticed straight away how crunchy they were on top! Definitely the way I like to enjoy my muffins.

Apple cinnamon muffins. Emma Lauren Food.

Ideal breakfast

These muffins will keep in the fridge for up to three days in a sealed container. They can be kept in the freezer for up to two weeks in a sealed container.

Apple cinnamon muffins

Makes 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs or 2 flax eggs
  • 4 TBSP coconut nectar
  • 2 apples, washed and diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and grease/line muffin tin.
  2. Mix almond meal, quinoa flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Add almond milk and mix until well combined.
  4. Add coconut oil, vanilla and eggs then mix together.
  5. Add coconut nectar, apples and walnuts and mix until all combined.
  6. Spoon into prepared muffin tins and bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Test with a skewer and if it comes out clean it’s cooked!
  7. Serve immediately or allow to cool on a wire tray. Enjoy!
Apple cinnamon muffins. Emma Lauren Food.

Crunchy on top!

Delicious! Serve with some almond butter and a latte on the side – you have a near perfect Sunday breakfast!

Now, I’m off to explore Paris some more…

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice

It’s been a week since I moved to Melbourne and I’ve finally settled into my own place. As I’m working in the CBD, it has been great exploring new cafes and have already found some that will become my go-to places for coffee and lunch during the week.

Green Press in Melbourne CBD. Emma Lauren Food.

Colourful salads from Green Press

If you haven’t already been to Green Press, do yourself a favour and go! It has an array of healthy vegan salads to choose from, changing almost daily. There is the option to add chicken, beef and falafels on top. They also offer some breakfast items and sweet treats, along with pressed juices.

I enjoyed this so much that I went back again on Thursday for lunch!

Almond milk latte from Madamimadam. Emma Lauren Food.

Almond milk latte from Madamimadam

Madamimadam is a cool cafe down one of the many side streets in the CBD. It was quite busy the morning I went so that is usually a good sign. They make their own cold pressed almond milk which tasted amazing in my latte. Will definitely be heading here when I need my caffeine fix for the day!

Pantry essentials. Emma Lauren Food.

Pantry essentials

Now that I’ve moved into my own place, I have already started stocking up my healthy pantry. To start with I’ve purchased almond milk, cacao powder, coconut nectar, buckwheat flour, buckwheat groats, coconut oil, almond butter, coconut yoghurt and Himalayan pink salt. I look forward to adding to this each week.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Almond milk latte from Forest Green

Today, an early morning walk was on the cards as I wanted to explore the area I’ve moved to. I came across Forest Green, a nice cafe on High Street, and fortunately they stocked almond milk. So, I enjoyed a latte whilst reading the paper. I always like to have a look at the menu even if I’m not ordering food and Forest Green’s menu sounds really delicious so will have to go back for breakfast one morning.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Choc-coco base

Since arriving in Melbourne, I was fortunate enough to stay with my good friend and her family until I found more permanent accommodation. As a thank you, I made dinner and dessert for them on Saturday evening. Dinner consisted of roasted pumpkin stuffed with moroccan spiced lamb and dessert was this indulgent slice.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Smooth chocolate layer

I wanted the different layers to consist of different textures. The base was slightly chewy, the chocolate was smooth and the salted caramel had little bits of crunch to it.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Chocolate layer

The chocolate was glossy in appearance and as it’s quite rich only a thin layer was needed. I used coconut oil as one of the ingredients as it sets quite quickly and is easy to cut through.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Salted caramel…YUM!

The salted caramel really enhances the flavour of the slice and is very simple to make, only three ingredients needed.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Final layer

This recipe purposely makes a small batch as now I’m living on my own I don’t have anyone to eat all these goodies. If you’d like to make more, just double or triple the ingredients.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Indulgent squares

This slice will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice

Makes 6 slices

Ingredients:

Base
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, extra for decoration
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP cacao powder
  • 1 TBSP coconut nectar*
Chocolate
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP cacao powder
  • 1 TBSP coconut nectar*
Salted caramel
  • 1 TBSP almond butter
  • 1 tsp coconut nectar*
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Line a small baking tin with baking paper.
  2. Mix base ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Press into prepared baking tin and should be about 1cm thick. Set in the freezer.
  4. Mix chocolate ingredients together and pour over base. Return to freezer.
  5. Mix salted caramel ingredients together and spread over chocolate. Set in the fridge.
  6. Cut into slices and enjoy!

Note: you can substitute the coconut nectar for honey, 100% pure maple syrup or rice malt syrup – may have to adjust quantities to suit your taste buds!

Raw coconut chocolate salted caramel slice. Emma Lauren Food.

Layers of goodness

These are not very thick but are quite rich so a little slice goes a long way.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed your Easter long weekend and have indulged in some healthy chocolate treats!

Double chocolate macadamia cookies

This weekend I’ve enjoyed some good old-fashioned baking, something I haven’t done in a long time. Baking cookies is a favourite pastime of mine; I have fond memories of baking multiple batches for school bake sales.

I posted this photo on Emma Lauren Food’s Instagram and Facebook page yesterday and many of you were asking for the recipe. So, I thought I’d share it with you all today so you too can enjoy theses little morsels of chocolately goodness!

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Oops… I couldn’t wait to try them!

These are a little on the undercooked side, meaning they are soft and chewy – just how I like my cookies! They will slightly harden once cooled though.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Rich in colour

I made this batch of cookies twice, once using coconut palm sugar and another with 100% pure maple syrup. Personally I preferred the coconut palm sugar to sweeten these as they actually tasted like a cookie as opposed to a brownie with occurred when I used the maple syrup. Mind you, they really are both delicious.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Cookie dough almost finished

Almond meal is a great base for these cookies as it’s light which helps to balance out the rich chocolate flavour.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Decadent additions

My philosophy with food is if you’re going to enjoy something, you might as well go all out! This was definitely applied when adding the chopped chocolate and macadamias to the already indulgent cookie dough.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Final ingredients

Don’t be alarmed if the cookie dough appears to be quite ‘wet’. Once baked it prevents the cookies from drying out.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

All rolled…

By rolling the cookie dough into balls, this ensures the cookies are evenly shaped and are of similar size.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

… now flattened

Using your index and middle finger, gently press the cookie dough balls down to flatten and resemble cookies.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Cool on a wire rack

Store in a sealed container in the pantry for up to four days or in the fridge for up to one week.

Double chocolate macadamia cookies

Makes 15 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar*
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg*
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 cup macadamias, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs or any sugar and dairy free chopped chocolate*

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix almond butter, coconut oil and coconut sugar in a large bowl.
  3. Add cacao powder, vanilla, egg, baking soda, salt and almond meal then mix until well combined.
  4. Stir through macadamias and cacao nibs/chopped chocolate.
  5. Roll into 15 evenly sized balls, place on prepared baking tray and gently press down with your fingers.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes then allow to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • I used Loving Earth Coconut Mylk Chocolate
  • Replace coconut palm sugar with honey or 100% pure maple syrup however this will result in a different texture once baked
  • For vegans/egg free alternative: replace the egg with a ‘flax egg‘ – mix 1 TBSP flaxseed meal and 3 TBSP water
Double chocolate macadamia cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

In the cookie jar!

Ready to be enjoyed with a cup of tea during the coming week!