Sweet and salty peanut butter ice cream shell

Hands up if you love ice cream!

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If like me you love the stuff then I think you will also love this sweet and salty peanut butter sauce. It goes really well with my current favourite – Alpro Hazelnut and Chocolate “ice cream” – which is dairy free, low in sugar and it does not disappoint. Anyone out there who can’t have dairy or chooses not to then you’ve gotta try it…it’s so creamy, I don’t know how they do it but it’s delicious.

I’ve got to admit… when I first made the recipe I hadn’t planned on it going solid when it cooled, I just wanted a little something extra that was as satisfying as toffee sauce but a healthier version! I’m really chuffed that it does though, it reminds me of when we were little getting ice cream from the lakes that was dipped in hot chocolate sauce which were always so good!

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Anyway whether you have it drizzled over porridge or a stack of pancakes it’s equally as nice but I just love how when you pour this sauce over ice cream, it hardens and forms a shell, ready to be cracked open!

This recipe can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes, so whilst you are waiting for your ice cream to soften a little you can make a quick batch of sauce. Its so good you’ll end up eating it out of the pan before it even makes it near your dessert bowl, did I mention that it’s completely vegan too…

Give it a try next time you have a cosy night in and let me know what you think!

Ingredients

Serves 2

Method

You can make this in a little saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave.

Heat the coconut oil over a medium heat until melted, add in the rest of the ingredients, stir well and serve!

The sauce is ideal for freezing too, just reheat in the microwave when you are ready to eat!

3 Ingredient Hazelnut Truffles

If you’ve never roasted hazelnuts at home, it’s something you need to put on your to do list this weekend because they taste so damn good and smell divine!

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I’ve made these a couple of times now and each time I have planned on them lasting all week so that I can have a little something sweet either at work or after dinner but so far they have lasted 2 days tops. And it’s not just me that loves them, everyone who has tried them (children too) have given two sticky, chocolatey thumbs up and can’t believe that they are good for you!

They are really easy to do and super fun to make, so if you have kids they are a winner!

Like I said, you can have them for a snack any time of day but I think they go really well with coffee at the end of a meal as they are rich and satisfying so you don’t need many.

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Hazelnuts are high in good fats, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and these can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Fats are needed by the body for many reasons, one of which being that certain vitamins and minerals (such as A, K, D and E) are fat -soluble, so can only be absorbed and then used or stored through these types of fats. The raw cacao powder is a really high source of magnesium that is fantastic for your muscles and nervous system. It also raises serotonin levels in the body, making you feel calmer and happier…do you need anymore excuses to eat raw chocolate than that?!

The third ingredient is 100% natural maple syrup. Although is does contain sugar, it is a natural source so there are no additives or preservatives and it has been far less processed than white table sugar.
Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup (150 g) hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Makes approximately 20 truffles

  1. Heat the oven to 180°c and roast the hazelnuts for 10 minutes on a baking tray, then remove from oven and allow to cool completely
  2. Put 20 Hazelnuts to one side and put the remaining nuts into a food processor
  3. If you want a really smooth paste you can rub the hazelnuts with some paper towel which will remove the dark skins before you blend them. Its a little time consuming but worth it.
  4. Blend until a fine crumb, then remove 2 tablespoons worth and place in a bowl (this will be used to coat the truffles at the end)
  5. Add the maple syrup and cacao powder to the processor and blend again for a few minutes until a smooth and creamy paste. If it’s sticking too much you can add water but do so a little at a time to prevent it becoming too runny
  6. Using a teaspoon take a small amount of the paste and encase a whole hazelnut and roll into a ball. If you don’t want to get messy you can use two teaspoons and roll the ball between them to round the truffle into a ball. Then place the truffle into the bowl with the crushed hazelnuts and roll around until evenly coated.
  7. Once all are done place into the freezer for half an hour to set. They can be kept in the freezer or in a airtight container in the fridge

 

 

Dakos greek salad

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This last week I’ve been on my jollies in Sivota, mainland Greece. The first time I visited Greece was when  I went to the island of Kos last year and I fell in love with the place and the food! Everything is so fresh, locally sourced and in season and I love how so many of their dishes are made from a few simple ingredients that taste amazing.

The Greek or Mediterranean diet has always been considered one of the healthiest and I can definitely see why, although some of the most classic Greek dishes are meat based such as Moussaka it doesn’t seem to be the main basis of their diet. Freshly caught fish, lots of fruit and vegetables and small portions of locally produced dairy such as feta and Greek yoghurt seem to make up most of what they eat. Accompanied by some good quality olive oil, homemade bread and an occasional slice of baklava with honey, pistachios and walnuts!

One of the things I noticed about traditional Greek food is that a lot of dishes are either raw or gently cooked for warm salads for example or they are slowly roasted which intensifies the flavours of the ingredients. Many Greek dishes are tomato based as they grow in abundance in most regions . Taking inspiration from how good they tasted over there I thought I would share with you  a recipe which grew to be one of my favourites.

It’s so simple to make and is a great way to use up a few last pieces of bread that you might otherwise use to feed the birds! The dressing is full of healthy monounsaturated fats from the olive oil (check out my last post on why fats are good for you here) and it’s quick and cheap!

Greek Dakos Recipe
  • 3/4 slices of crusty bread (depending on how big you would like the salad)
  • 50 ml of Olive oil 
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp of dried Oregano
  • 1/2 a Cucumber
  • 100g Feta Cheese
  • 2 x Beef Tomatoes (good quality)
  • Small bunch of fresh Dill
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Put a griddle pan on a high heat, lightly brush the bread slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toast on either side for 2-3 minutes until they start to crisp up
  2. Whilst they are toasting, finely chop the beef tomatoes and cucumber
  3. Once all the bread is done put to one side and combine the rest of the olive oil with the lemon juice and dill salt and pepper and whisk
  4. Mix the cucumber, tomatoes and crumble in the feta into the dressing..leaving a little feta to one side to garnish
  5. Chop the bread into thick chunks and combine well with the dressing until it’s evenly mixed
  6. Leave for 10 minutes for the bread to soak up all the juicy flavours.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining feta over the top along with the oregano and season with salt and pepper

This dish originates from Crete but is common all over Greece and you can adapt the recipe to create lovely bruschetta’s too if you were having guests over – to do this just toast the bread in the same way but rather than combining with the tomatoes and feta dressing and leaving to soak, just soak the dressing and then top the bread when ready to serve so it still keeps it’s crunch.

Or just make a big salad that everyone can help themselves to accompanied with some olives, sun-dried tomatoes and hummus – check out my smokey hummus recipe here.

I will definitely be making this dish again when I get the holiday blues and want something light and tasty in 15 minutes! Try it out and let me know what you think 😊