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

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…

Chocolate – that’s healthy, vegan and refined sugar free!

Before I share the decadent chocolate recipe, I have some exciting news to tell you. It’s not blog related, but more on a personal note – I am moving to Melbourne! I’ve been offered an amazing career opportunity and am very much looking forward to checking out all the amazing cafes and restaurants the city has to offer!

If you have any favourite places to eat, I would love to hear from you so I too can try them out.

Now, moving onto the much anticipated chocolate recipe. This is definitely one to make over the coming Easter period as it’s prime time to indulge in chocolate.

Chocolate - that's healthy, and vegan! Emma Lauren Food.

Cacao butter melting

I’ve use cacao butter as it ensures the chocolate remains solidified longer, meaning it won’t melt as quickly as using only coconut oil.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Adding in the cacao powder

Cacao powder is what makes this chocolate chocolatey and is considered a superfood due to its high nutrient and antioxidant value.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Glossy appearance

I just love how the chocolate takes on a glossy appearance once all mixed together, makes you want to eat it by the spoonful.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Lined tray

By lining a baking tray, this ensures the chocolate does not stick and can be easily removed once solidified.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Variety of toppings

What I love most about this chocolate is the toppings you can add. The combinations are only limited by your imagination!

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Pouring into the tray

The consistency should be thin enough to pour straight into the prepared tray.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Spread evenly

Once all has been poured, spread the chocolate evenly over the tray as quickly as possible. Once the cacao butter starts to cool, it will start to solidify.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Ready for toppings

Now it has been evenly spread, the chocolate is ready to be decadently decorated.

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Designer chocolate

You could say this is designer chocolate, but homemade and healthy!

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Variety of toppings

The decadent toppings I chose were from left to right: goji berries and coconut chips; pistachios, cacao nibs and buckwheat groats; and salted caramel macadamia.

This chocolate will keep in the freezer in a sealed container for up to one week, if it lasts that long that is.

Chocolate

Makes a lot!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cacao butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups cacao powder
  • 2/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Melt cacao butter over low heat in a small saucepan.
  2. Line baking tray with baking paper (the size of the tray was 18 x 28cm).
  3. Place all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
  4. Pour chocolate onto prepared baking tray.
  5. Add toppings of your choice.
  6. Place in freezer for 1 hour or until hardened.
  7. Cut into pieces and enjoy!
Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Salted caramel macadamia chocolate

To make this decadent topping, for the caramel I mixed 1 TBSP almond butter with 1 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup with a pinch of salt. Chop macadamia nuts and sprinkle on top of chocolate and add dollops of salted caramel. Set in the freezer, then enjoy!

 

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Goji coconut chocolate and pistachio cacao buckwheat chocolate

I sprinkled enough of each ingredient to cover the surface, then placed it in the freezer to set!

Chocolate - that's healthy, vegan and refined sugar free! Emma Lauren Food.

Coconut salt chocolate

This topping is simple, coconut chips and salt. Perfect for those who are unable to eat nuts!

I hope you all enjoy this chocolate recipe over Easter and throughout the year too. Comforting to know you can indulge in decadence that is actually healthy!

Chocolate tahini spread

This past weekend was spent mostly outdoors, something I am definitely trying to incorporate more into my life especially as I live on the beautiful Gold Coast! Last Sunday involved an early morning road trip to Byron Bay to enjoy breakfast and have a change of scenery.

Byron Bay

It was a picture perfect day in Byron Bay with many people enjoying all that nature has to offer.

The Roadhouse, Byron Bay

This was definitely worth the early morning drive! The Roadhouse is one of my favourite cafes in Byron Bay as they always serve delicious food, beverages including almond milk lattes and has a really relaxed atmosphere. A must-try when visiting Byron!

However, enough of my weekend and onto the velvety chocolate tahini spread!

Rich in colour

I love the colour of this spread: it’s rich, dark and luxurious. Just how it tastes too!

I used unhulled tahini in this recipe as it’s made from whole sesame seeds ensuring its nutritional value remains. It definitely has a stronger flavour than hulled tahini and is a great source of iron and calcium.

Velvety

The almond milk allows the spread to become silky in texture and appearance.

Store in a glass jar

This spread is best stored in a glass jar, just clean out an empty nut butter jar or jam jar. I often use these jars to store pestos, chia seed jams, hummus and salad dressing.

All filled up!

I can assure you this jar of chooclately goodness won’t last long at all!

Chocolate tahini sauce

Makes approximately 1 cup of sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unhulled tahini
  • 1/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, more or less depending on the consistency you prefer

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
  2. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to one week. Enjoy!

Here’s two ways I’ve already enjoyed the chocolate tahini spread:

Oozing over the pancakes

A delicious way to start the day, pancakes topped with chocolate tahini spread and fresh strawberries!

Colourful breakfast

I devoured this parfait for breakfast today, it was actually one of the most delectable breakfasts I’ve had in a long time!

What do you do to make the most of the outdoors? I’d love some ideas!

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?!