Breakfast jars

Firstly, Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful Mum and all the amazing Mum’s today! I hope you’ve had a wonderful day surrounded by your loved ones. Unfortunately I was unable to spend the day with mine but last weekend I surprised her in Sydney for early celebrations and what a weekend it was!

Brunch at Bread & Circus. Emma Lauren Food.

Brunch at Bread & Circus

On Saturday morning we went for brunch at Bread & Circus in Alexandria and I had the ‘summer on toast’ – it was honestly the best brunch I’ve had in a long time! Such simple ingredients yet so delicious – goats chevre, heirloom tomato, torn basil, chilli flakes and lime on essene bread with a side of eggs. Perfection.

This definitely provided me with more than enough fuel for a full day of shopping with Mum!

Sydney. Emma Lauren Food.

Stunning Sydney day

After a busy shopping day on Saturday, Sunday was more low-key with a family lunch. Sydney really turned on the weather – it actually felt like I was back on the Gold Coast…

Almond milk latte from Anvil Coffee Co. Emma Lauren Food.

Sunday morning coffee

My younger sister and I enjoyed our early morning coffees and a walk around the beautiful Kirribilli streets before heading to the family lunch. In Kirribilli, Anvil Coffee Co is a great cafe located on the wharf. Much to my surprise they served almond milk and had quite a nice menu too – I gauged this only from reading it not actually eating anything.

It was really special to spend quality time with my family last weekend as it’s such a rarity these days; but I can assure you we definitely make the most of our time together when it does happen.

Anvil Coffee Co, Sydney. Emma Lauren Food

Quality sister time + coffees

I cannot believe it’s been one month since I moved to Melbourne! My morning routine has completely changed – from early morning exercising, cooking a big breakfast and driving to work I now exercise in the evenings, eat breakfast out of a jar (most days) and take the tram to work.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed my multiple breakfast jar posts, such as the one below…

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Fig and tahini breakfast jar

These have become my go-to breakfast as I make them the night before and grab it on my way out in the morning. I use a jar as it’s easy to carry and the food travels well in it, plus I like to make my food look appealing so the clear jar assists with that!

As you can see in the photo above there are a number of elements to my breakfast jar – granola, fruit, cinnamon, yoghurt and nut/seed butter.

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

The ‘granola’

This granola only takes 5 minutes to make and you can add in whatever granola ingredients you have in your healthy pantry. Lately I’ve been using buckwheat groats and chia seeds as the base as they absorbed the liquid and provide bulk to the granola. The pumpkin seeds add a crunch and the coconut, well I really just love coconut… so I add it in for extra flavour.

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready for assembling

Once the fruit is cut and the granola is made, it’s time for the fun part! A little tip, if you’d like your breakfast to look artistic use a teaspoon when layering the ingredients as they won’t end up on the sides of your jar if you’re careful enough.

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Tomorrow’s breakfast is made

For the jar, I actually use an old nut butter jar – about 400g. Just thoroughly clean it out and peel off the label then you have a non-toxic way to enjoy your breakfast!

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Cacao avocado spread + figs

Here’s some flavour inspiration for you! The cacao avocado spread + figs has probably been one of my favourite combinations so far – I think it’s the decadence of having chocolate for breakfast that gets me time and time again! Plus, the avocado really makes the spread creamy so it’s indulgent yet guilt-free!

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Chocolate tahini spread + strawberries

This will keep in the fridge for up to two days (depending on the fruit used) in your sealed glass jar!

Breakfast jars

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 2 TBSP coconut flakes
  • 2 TBSP buckwheat groats
  • 2 TBSP pumpkin seeds
  • 2 TBSP almond milk/milk of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP nut butter or this or even this
  • 2 TBSP coconut yoghurt/yoghurt of your choice
  • Fruit of your choice, sliced

Method:

  1. Place chia seeds, coconut, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds and almond milk in a bowl to make the ‘granola’.
  2. Mix until well combined then set aside for two minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Layer, in a glass jar, the nut butter, granola, cinnamon, fruit and yoghurt until filled to the top.
  4. Place lid on tight and store in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can add any ingredients you like to the ‘granola’ – goji berries, bee pollen, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, quinoa flakes, oats, etc. would all work well!
Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Chocolate tahini spread + blueberries + plums

The colours in this jar are so vibrant and make me enjoy breakfast that little bit more…

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Blueberries + apple + chocolate tahini spread

What are your thoughts on the breakfast jar?

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!

Raw rum balls

In our household, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without rum balls. Instead of using crushed biscuits and condensed milk, I opted for a healthier version this year. It actually surprised me how much they taste like the ‘real’ ones.

I wanted to share this recipe with you before Christmas so you too can hopefully enjoy them come Christmas Day!

Ball ingredients

I find that brazil nuts are quite oily which work really well in this recipe as they keep the rum balls moist.

Crumbly mixture

Once processed, the mixture is quite crumbly but the coconut oil and dates help to combine the rum balls when rolled.

Christmas rum ball tree

These are a great addition to your Christmas menu and are a healthy treat to enjoy throughout the day!

Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.

Raw rum balls

Makes approximately 30 balls

Ingredients:

  • 10 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup brazil nuts
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP dark rum – start with 1/2 TBSP then add more to suit your taste buds

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and process for 5-7 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides.
  2. Roll into 30 decent sized balls.
  3. Place in the fridge to harden and enjoy!

Note: for an alcohol free version just omit the rum.

Only two sleeps to go…!

Buckwheat frypan granola

Most store bought granolas and cereals these days contain copious amounts of sugar, often disguised under names we don’t recognise. This is the main reason I stopped eating them, plus it’s a lot cheaper to make your own.

Frying the buckwheat

Buckwheat is a great base for this granola as it’s gluten free – actually it’s a fruit seed, related to rhubarb. It’s high in fibre and contains all eight essential amino acids (meaning the body doesn’t naturally produce these amino acids, we have to get them from the foods in our diet).

IMG_1641

This granola is really versatile so you can basically add whatever you like (e.g. dried fruit, chopped nuts, cacao nibs, etc) to make it your own.

All cooked!

The granola will keep in a sealed container in the pantry for up to one week.

Buckwheat frypan granola

Makes 3.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut or desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP rice malt syrup

Method:

  1. Place a large frypan over medium heat and add coconut oil to melt.
  2. Add buckwheat groats and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add shredded coconut and pumpkin seeds and cook for a further 2 minutes, until they start to turn golden in colour.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir through chia seeds, cinnamon and rice malt syrup.
  5. Allow to cool before storing! Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Make sure you keep stirring the granola as it burns easily.
  • You can replace rice malt syrup with honey or 100% pure maple syrup.

Enjoy this served with coconut yoghurt or almond milk and topped with fresh fruit – or see below for more inspiration!

Served with coconut yoghurt, papaya and rhubarb!

Served with strawberries and my cacao avocado coconut spread!

Served with buckwheat pancakes, strawberry chia jam and almond butter!

Served in a parfait of coconut yoghurt, papaya, strawberries and macadamia butter!

How do you enjoy your granola in the morning?

Coconut quinoa porridge

Growing up in Cairns I only ever experienced two seasons – wet and dry. What I love most about Melbourne is the city actually goes through ALL the seasons. Whilst I was there, I was fortunate enough to see it change from winter to spring! It seemed like overnight everyone’s clothing became brighter and there was a real buzz in the city.

All in the pan

This buzz made me want to cook with something that was in-season. So, I opted for a strawberry chia jam as strawberries are nearing the end of their harvest. This was a great addition to my morning porridge.

Becoming creamy…

As I’ve said previously, quinoa flakes are great for breakfast as they contain all the nutritional benefits of regular quinoa but they just cook a lot quicker – perfect for those early/busy mornings. Adding the shredded coconut provided the porridge with great texture and flavour.

Perfect spring breakfast

If there are leftovers they will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for two days.

Coconut quinoa porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/4 cup shredded or desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, add more if too thick
  • Serve with strawberry chia jam and almond butter

Method:

  1. Place quinoa, shredded coconut and almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Stir continuously for 3-5 minutes, or until thickened and creamy in texture.
  3. Top with jam and almond butter – enjoy!

What do you love most about spring?