Healthy Christmas recipes

Four days ’til Christmas! I’m definitely getting very excited about the festive celebrations now! For me, Christmas time means family time. We eat way too much delicious food, spend quality time hanging out and create many lasting memories. There’s nothing more important in my … Continue reading

Chocolate chip cookies

Ciao from Sardinia! I’m currently sitting by the resort pool soaking up the Mediterranean sun which is a change from the cooler Parisian weather we experienced last week.

Sardinia. Emma Lauren Food.

Soaking up the sunshine

Sardinia is such a beautiful island, just off the coast of Italy. We are here visiting some very good family friends who have been coming here for many years and certainly know the best places to go.

Sardinia. Emma Lauren Food.

Brunch

Food is such an important part of the culture over here and there is a real emphasis on high quality, fresh produce. There was certainly no shortage of food over brunch and was such a great way to start our week here.

Sardinia. Emma Lauren Food.

Breakfast

The simplicity of the food here has really impressed me – vegetables drizzled with good quality olive oil and seasoned with salt to bring out the flavour. Light and delicious – I’ve definitely had to hold myself back from going for seconds a number of times!!

Now, to share with you a recipe I made before leaving Australia: chocolate chip cookies. These are a classic cookie with a healthy twist – so you can still enjoy them without the ‘guilt’.

Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food

Chia egg

The chia egg is used in the same way as the flax egg – it acts as a binding ingredient for the cookies, plus they are full of omega 3s!

Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

One bowl required

Only one bowl is required for these cookies – just how I like to cook. This also means less cleaning up!

I’ve used quinoa flakes as a main ingredient in these cookies as they provide bulk and add a protein element.

Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Homemade chocolate chips

These are homemade chocolate chips however you can use dairy and sugar free chocolate chips that can be purchased from your local supermarket in the health food section or local health food store.

Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Rolled into balls

These are great bite-sized cookies, perfect for a mid-morning or afternoon treat. They don’t require too much effort but really hit the spot if you’re after a chocolatey hit.

Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Cooling…

These cookies will keep in a sealed container in the pantry for up to three days or in the fridge for up to one week.

Chocolate chip cookies

Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 chia egg*
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips – dairy and sugar free*

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix quinoa flakes, coconut oil, coconut nectar, shredded coconut and chia egg together in a large bowl.
  3. Add chocolate chips and mix until well combined.
  4. Form into 12 cookies and place onto prepared baking tray, then press down lightly.
  5. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
  6. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with a cup of tea. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • The chia egg is made using 1 TBSP chia seeds with 3 TBSP water. Allow to sit to for 2-3 minutes until water has been completely absorbed.
  • I used homemade chocolate and cut it into pieces. As mentioned earlier in the post, you can purchase dairy and sugar free chocolate chips instead.
Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to be enjoyed!

We only have a few days left in Sardinia before head through Italy. I’m certainly learning a lot about eating gluten, dairy and sugar free whilst travelling through Europe – cannot wait to share these experiences with you all when I’m back in Australia soon!

Raw chocolate orange tart

Last Friday night some family friends came over for dinner. I’ve been working more than usual lately so my Mum looked after the main meal and I was asked to create a dessert.

I’ve really been loving oranges at the moment so I went back through some of my older posts for flavour inspiration and came across the cacao orange chia balls. Just remembering the flavour of these balls, I was immediately inspired to create this chocolate orange tart!

Base ingredients

Instead of nuts I used buckwheat groats in the base to provide a crunchier texture to contrast the creamy filling. Buckwheat groats can be purchased from most health food stores or the health food section in your local supermarket.

All pressed in…

Once processed, you’ll find the buckwheat doesn’t breakdown as much as nuts but don’t be alarmed. To ensure the base is all pressed into the tart pan, use the back of a wet spoon. When the tart is placed in the freezer the coconut oil solidifies so it will keep it altogether.

Earthy filling ingredients

I love the burst of orange and cacao that you have from the very first bite . There is a subtle earthiness in the filling that comes from the walnuts and cinnamon.

Smooth and creamy filling

You might be surprised to see avocado as one of the filling ingredients. It is actually beneficial for two reasons: 1) it makes the filling creamy, and 2) it is full of good fats for your body – it’s a win-win really!

Decadent, earthy tart! Ready to be demolished!

This tart will keep in a sealed container in the freezer for up to two weeks.

Raw chocolate orange tart

Serves 8

Ingredients:

Base
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats*
  • 10 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
Filling
  • 2 cups walnuts*
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 TBSP orange zest
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 avocado
Decorate
  • Extra orange zest
  • Shaved chocolate (optional) –  once the chocolate is set, shave by using a vegetable peeler

Method:

  1. Place all base ingredients in a food processor and process for 3 minutes or until crumbly.
  2. Press into a 28cm rectangle tart pan which has been lightly greased with coconut oil and lined on the bottom. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Place walnuts, cacao and cinnamon into a Vitamix or food processor and process for 3 minutes.
  4. Add almond milk, orange juice, orange zest, coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup and avocado and process for 5 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Pour into frozen base and even out with a spatula then place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until solidified.
  6. Remove tart from freezer and from the tart pan.
  7. Decorate with extra orange zest and shaved chocolate, cut into 8 slices and serve. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can substitute buckwheat groats for almonds.
  • You can substitute walnuts for cashews for a less earthy flavour (I haven’t tried this as yet but should still provide the same consistency).

Indulgent afternoon snack!

As I’ve been loving the flavour combination of chocolate and orange lately I enjoyed it as an afternoon snack yesterday – see my Instagram and Facebook Page for the recipe!

Cacao avocado coconut spread

Yes… you read the title right, there’s avocado in this chocolately goodness! This is the secret to making it so creamy!

I used avocado as I wanted a chocolate spread that didn’t have too many nuts or sugar in it. This definitely fit my criteria, and as I’m a fan of dark chocolate the bitterness was a welcomed bonus!

All the ingredients

Three contrasting ingredients that come together to make such a delicious spread! Who would have thought?!

All processed!

It is quite a bitter spread, that’s because I only used rice malt syrup. If you prefer a little sweetness, just add some honey or maple syrup instead.

Creamy cacao goodness!

This can be enjoyed with pancakes, on top of porridge, spread on some fruit or even by the spoonful!

Cacao avocado coconut spread

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado, ripe
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 TBSP rice malt syrup
  • 4 TBSP almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut, shredded or desiccated
  • 2 TBSP almond butter

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Process for 3-5 minutes or until all well combined.
  3. Place in a clean glass jar or a sealed container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. Enjoy!

Do you use avocados to make dishes creamy?

Raw chocolate macaroons

As I’m nearing the end of my university semester I thought I’d share with you one of my final assignments. Don’t worry, it involves food!

For a social media group assignment we were required to create a YouTube video on the topic of our choice. As my group members and I enjoy making (and eating) healthy food we decided to create a ‘how to’ video demonstrating a simple recipe.

I hope you enjoy the demonstration of raw chocolate macaroons!

I would like to thank my group members Emily and Uma for participating in the video.

Click here to view the YouTube channel for Emma Lauren.

The macaroons will keep in a sealed container in the pantry for up to four days.

Raw chocolate macaroons

Makes 25

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 12 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Process for 2 minutes, or until well combined.
  3. Form roughly into small balls with your hands.
  4. Place on a tray in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to slightly harden. Enjoy with a cup of tea!

Enjoying afternoon tea! Photo courtesy of Emily.

I’d love to hear what you think of the video?! Would you like to see more videos of me demonstrating recipes?