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

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!

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…

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!

Vegan french toast

There’s something so relaxing about Sunday mornings, I think it’s because you’re able to ease into the day at your own pace – no matter how fast or slow. Today I started mine slowly with a beach swim, delicious breakfast followed by some writing.

Enjoying my Sunday morning…

A couple of weeks ago I injured my back, resulting in me having to take it easy – this meant no cooking! Such a difficult thing for me to do as I love cooking; this also explains my absence in regards to recipe posts. However, I’m well and truly on the mend now and have been enjoying creating recipes once again.

Batter.

As breakfast is my favourite meal of the day I’ve been creative in the kitchen this past week – my favourite of them all has been french toast! I’ve only ever enjoyed french toast a handful of times however since creating this recipe and knowing how easy it is, I will be making it more often.

Soaking up all the flavours

It’s such a versatile breakfast as it can be enjoyed with a variety of toppings – fruit, nut butters, yoghurt, maple syrup and chocolate sauce just to name a few!

Make sure you coat both sides!

This batter is not your traditional french toast batter as it is made without eggs, making it vegan. It’s quite light yet the cinnamon and maple syrup lend a subtle sweet earthy flavour to the french toast. I will definitely create a batter with eggs in the coming weeks as an alternate option!

Crisping up

Once cooked, the toast takes on a beautiful golden colour and as it’s fried it becomes quite crunchy, YUM!

Beautiful breakfast

The french toast is best served immediately otherwise it will lose its crunch. The batter can be made the night before to save time in the morning – store this in a sealed container for up to two days.

Vegan french toast

Serves 2 – 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of gluten free bread
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 TBSP buckwheat flour
  • 1 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil for frying

Method:

  1. Whisk together the almond milk, maple syrup, buckwheat flour, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a shallow dish.
  2. Place each slice of bread into the batter and allow it to soak for 1 minute each side.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a medium-size frypan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, place the bread slices in the pan and cook for a few minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Serve with chia blueberry jam, fresh fruit, coconut chips and almond butter – also, extra maple syrup if you like! Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Substitute the almond milk for another dairy free milk.
  • Substitute the buckwheat flour for another gluten free flour – quinoa or plain gluten free.
  • Substitute the maple syrup for honey (however this won’t be vegan)

I’d love to hear what breakfasts have you been enjoying lately?!