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Friday, January 20, 2017



With just 2 ingredients and you'll have the best dairy free yoghurt you'll ever taste. Comment from one of our Vegan staff members I gave some to: "It tastes just like Greek Yoghurt, you can't even tell that it's made with coconut milk" 
I've improved on the first Coconut Yoghurt recipe I did a few years ago. After you've made your first batch you'll only ever need the 2 ingredients .. good coconut milk and tapioca starch. My favourite coconut milk is the Aldi brand, it's super creamy and it has amazing taste and consistency. You'll find that all yoghurt's made from non dairy sources have a thickening agent. For this yoghurt I'm using the same one Coyo use, Tapioca. It's their little secret I've discovered. The recipe is super simple. I make mine first thing in the morning then place it in my dehydrator for at least 24 hours on 38 degrees Celsius.
 If you've been following me for a while you notice that I don't like to purchase basic staples that I can make at home. Most of time my intention is to improve the ingredients list and secondly it saves me money, hence this easy coconut yoghurt recipe. It's very expensive to purchase and if you're adding it to your baking recipes as well as smoothies, bircher bowls and smoothie bowls, you'll go through it very quickly.
If you're a yoghurt lover and you want a dairy free alternative make sure to give this simple recipe a go. You'll find that the longer you use it, the better it will get. I've been using this one now for 3 months and it just keeps getting better and better. You may find that at first they are not as thick and not as tart, but with time the culture will improve. I don't add probiotics to mine as I love the idea of creating and growing my own from a good quality natural yoghurt that you'll have to purchase to get it started. Good luck and don't give up! :-)
 Coconut Greek Yoghurt
Recipe by: Karen Kitto

Makes: 1 x 800ml jar

You will need:

1 800ml jar or 2 400 ml jars - sterilized and clean.

Ingredients:

2 400ml can of good quality full fat Coconut milk
2 tbs tapioca starch
2-4 tbs Good quality natural Coconut yoghurt.

Preparation:

Add the coconut milk to a medium pot with the tapioca and stir with a balloon whisk until the tapioca is fully incorporated and there are no lumps.
Turn the heat to medium and stir while it warms up and thickens. It's important to keep stirring or you will get lumps in the mix from the tapioca.
Once it's reached a thick consistency like pouring custard, turn off the heat and set the pot aside to cool to body temperature. Approx 38ᶜ degrees .
NOTE: Don't test it by dipping your finger in it as you will contaminate the mix, I feel the side of the pot to do this.
Add the natural coconut yoghurt from a previous batch or a store bought one to the thickened milk and whisk it though until smooth and fully incorporated.
Pour the mix into the jar or jars, put lid on loosely, then place in a dehydrator* at 30ᶜ degrees for 24 hours.

NOTES:

To sterilise my jars all I do is clean them thoroughly in very hot water then rinse again with boiling water and let them dry naturally to ensure they don't get contained by bacteria. There are other ways, but I find this has worked for me. My favourite brand of coconut milk is the Aldi Asia Specialties (don't get the low fat!) If you can't get tapioca starch then arrowroot should be just as good as they are generally interchangeable. Make sure that your started yoghurt is pure and natural and nothing has been dipped into it that would contaminate it. Always use a fresh clean spoon. If you don't have a dehydrator you can also place the jars in your oven with the light on or add the mix to a thermos or yoghurt maker. Last resort, a warm spot such as on the fridge should work as well. After 24 hours put the yoghurt in the fridge, it will thicken a little bit more as it cools. Remember to never double dip so that you can use this mix as a starter for your next batch of yoghurt. It's a bit like sourdough, it improves with age! :-) Enjoy! 





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Sunday, January 8, 2017


This versatile chutney is great as an addition to savory dishes such as eggs and avocado on toast or on a roast sandwich, but it will truly shine at your next gathering when you pair it with my easy homemade Tomato Sauce  as a dipper for Sweet Potato Wedges as I do just about every night for entree! 
Loquats
Loquats were our new taste sensation last year. We discovered we had a tree on our new property that was fruiting. We had no idea what it was. It turned out to be a Loquat tree and it was loaded with fruit. They taste great, the seed is quite big so it's easy to remove and the taste is something between an apricot and a mango, so, as you can imagine divinely sweet and juicy. We were picking handfuls every afternoon and eating them straight from the tree. It was a bit of a competition with the birds but there were so many it really didn't matter. 

I've added them to smoothies, made Jam, Kasundi, which is really an Indian chutney that I will also share with you later. I've got bags of dried loquats, frozen loquats, loquat and banana ice creams. We've had a great time and look forward to another harvest next year. At least we will know what it is and will look into how we can get the most from the tree as we where told that they were a bit small. None the less we were very happy with our first harvest. 
The Chutney has been amazing. Not only have I mixed with my Tomato Sauce to dip our sweet potato chips in, I've also added it to the Savoury Cream Cheese as a dipper and we have it daily with our eggs and avocado on Luvinglife grain free bread. If you don't have or can't get Loquats I think the recipe would work well with Peaches or Nectarines. 
 Loquat Chutney
Inspired by delicious.com.au

Makes: 2 large jar of about 1kg each.

Ingredients:

   2kg Loquats, chopped
   1-2 apples, peeled, chopped – I used a red apple
   2 large onions, chopped
   150g sultanas
   2 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
   500g coconut sugar
   2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
   1 tablespoon mustard powder
   1 tablespoon mild curry powder
   2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Preparation:
  1. Place tomatoes, apples, onions, sultanas, vinegar, sugar, garlic, mustard and curry powders with the peppercorns in a large saucepan with 1-2 tablespoons Himalayan salt.
  2. Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, then increase to medium-high and bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 – 1 ½ hours until the ingredients have broken down and the mixture is thick. (To test, press the back of a metal spoon into the mixture. If a pool of liquid forms in the spoon, cook for a little longer.)
  4. Allow to cool slightly then gently blend to create a thick sauce making sure not to over do it and make it too smooth, you want it to have some chunks.
  5. Pour into sterilized jars, seal and store until needed.
Naturally sun-dried on the tree Loquats 
We braved it and tried the naturally dried ones on the tree, thank goodness we did, they're delicious. Great added to cookies and muesli's.

Enjoy! ;-)
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Sunday, November 13, 2016



Who can resist a delicious chewy crust filled with smooth and creamy chocolate? The magic ingredients in this one are the ripe avocado and soaked and sprouted raw cashews. There are a lot of these type of recipes popping up in mainstream website, magazines and new age cookbooks. 
How good is it that it's becoming the norm to create such healthy alternatives. You'll even notice that most cafe's these days have something on the menu that's either gluten free, Vegan or Paleo. I only wish they'd get on board and provide a good Grain free/Paleo alternative bread. Most have gluten free but they're like cardboard and not nearly as nutritious.
I actually made this a few weeks ago now, as per usual with my vegan treats, it was on the weekend for our staff morning tea. So in a way, this post is for Olivia as well, as she wanted to be able to make it at home.


Raw Vegan

Equipment:

20cm round tart pan
High speed blender

Ingredients:

Base:
1 cup dates
½ cup almonds
½ cup oats – use almonds for 100% raw or Paleo
1 tsp vanilla

Filling:
1 large avocado
1 cup dates
½ cup cashews
1/3 cup rice syrup or maple syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tbs mesquite powder – optional
Extra rice syrup, maple syrup or honey if needed
2 tbs raw cacao powder

Preparation:

Soak dates and cashews in enough warm water to just cover for about ½-1 hour.
Line a round tart pan with non-stick baking paper or a teflex sheet.

Base:

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until it starts to turn into dough.
Turn out into the pan and spread evenly to cover the bottom then level it out with the back of a dessert spoon pushing some up the sides, I left mine rustic but you can spend more time and get the edges neat and tidy if you wish.
Place into the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

Remove the dates and cashews from the water making sure to reserve the water in case it’s needed.
Add all ingredients, accept the cacao powder and mesquite to a high speed blender or food processor then blend until completely smooth and creamy, you many need to add some of the date/cashew water to get it moving. Don’t add too much or it will be too runny.
Once you have it as smooth as possible, add the mesquite and cacao powder then blend through until fully incorporated.
Taste test for sweetness and add more if needed.
Spoon the mixture into the base and spread out.
Serve immediately for a warm and decadent dessert or place into the fridge to serve cool before serving. Some like them frozen but I find it loses some of it’s intense flavour when frozen, personal choice. J






Enjoy!


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Friday, October 21, 2016

How can something so experimental work out so damn good! Most would have called these an absolute failure. I was experimenting make in caramel with coconut sugar and added to much coconut water, then when I added the salt it got lumps in it. So I left it no the stove to cool off and contemplate what I would do with it as I tend not to waste anything. 
Morning tea was coming up hard and fast and I had a limited time to get something delicious, creative and vegan over to the band of merry workers by 10.30! Cookies, I haven't made cookies for while went through me head. Quick what can they be? A quick glance in the pantry and I spotted an opened packet of salted peanuts that needed to be used and decided that some of the fresh sultanas I'd purchased the day before was a better option that choc chips as we'd decided it was a chocolate free day! That is until dinner arrives then he's in the fridge quietly sneaking handfuls of the Date and Almond Chocolate Fudge that I make sure it always on hand for such cravings.
 Back to the cookies!!! That was it, I threw the ingredients into the mixing bowl and in my rush quick added 1/2 cup cacao buttons to the coconut sugar salted caramel and gently heated it up to melt the buttons. Not using honey kept it vegan and it helped to use up the failed caramel. I gave it a quick mix then decided it needed to be really thick and fudgy to get the desired OMGYUM factor so I got my hands into it and gave it a good squishy mix up! Mmm things where starting to happen. This time it was gong to be mega cookies so I shaped them into huge cookies, threw them on the baking trays, whipped them into the oven and headed off to do a quick 8 minute tabata while they baked! At 15 minutes i took them out and headed off to do some stretching not realising that they hadn't cooked properly. When I go back to them I though! Far out! oops!! then as I removed them I realise the outer edges where all sugary and crisp while the centre was all stretchy and gooey. #sodamgood #whatmorecanisay! so here's the recipe. :-)
 Chewy Salted Peanut, Sultana and Caramel Cookies


Makes: 12 large cookies

Ingredients:

Caramel:
1 cup coconut sugar
50ml coconut water, milk or water

Cookies:
1 cup almond meal
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut sugar
½ cup sultanas
½ cup salted peanuts
½ cup coconut flakes
1 tbs mesquite – optional
1/2 cup cacao butter, butter or coconut oil
3 tbs water

Preparation:

Caramel:

Add sugar and coconut milk/water to a pot on medium and simmer for approx. 45 minutes or until it starts to thicken.
Add the salt and stir through, leave to simmer for another 5-10 minutes then turn off the heat and allow to cool

Cookies:

Preheat oven to 160 oc and grease or line 2 baking trays with non stick baking paper.
Add the almond meal, rolled oats, sugar, sultanas, peanuts, coconut flakes and mesquite to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Add the cacao butter to the caramel, gently heat and stir until the butter dissolves, then stir the caramel mixture into the almond meal mixture with the water.
Using your hands continue to mix the dough until it becomes thick and gooey.
Take a good handful and roll it into a ball then flatten it out to about 1-2 cm.
Repeat with the rest of the mixture making sure to spread them out on the baking trays leaving a good 4 -6cm between each cookie.
Place into the centre 2 racks of the oven and bake for 14-15 minutes or until they flatten out and the edges start to brown.
Remove for the oven.
Allow to cool completely before removing from the baking paper.
Best stored in the fridge, the outside remains crisp from the caramelised sugar and the centre chewy.

NOTES:

Paleo: use quinoa flakes or almond sliver in place of the oats.
If you cannot get cacao butter you can substitute coconut oil or butter.
For a choc chip version you could substitute the sultanas for choc chips or use both!
Caramel can be made the day before.



Enjoy! :-) 

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Who doesn't love a good crumble, covering a yummy layer of sweet and gooey caramel, filled with salted peanuts and chewy sultanas on a healthy sugar free shortbread base? We all loved this one. It would be perfect served hot with cold coyo, yoghurt, ice cream or fresh cream. To make it decadent, add some extra caramel sauce warmed up and drizzled over the top. 
One of the benefits of blogging is how I can go back through my blog and see what I was making years ago. It's quite a journey. With all the moving we've done in the last few years it shows how I've had to adapt and be create by using different methods to create healthy treats for my hubby, staff or family. It'a a food diary and some. I need to start sharing more of the savory meals we have but as I've mentioned before, by that time of day getting a nice pic just does't seem to happen unfortunately. 
That brings me to another one of my blogging obstacles, taking pictures!! I'd love for my images to be much better than they are. Food photography is huge these days and I LOVE photography. Creating and cooking up new recipes is the easy bit, actually it's therapeutic part of it all for me... creating a nice image raises my anxiety and stresses me! Mainly because I'm always strapped for time! Running a business that also requires me to take photos becomes extremely time consuming. Although I must admit I’ve developed a new love for pet and animal photography. 
Salted Peanut, Coconut and Caramel Slice
Paleo | Vegan

Makes: 20 x 20 cm slice

Base:

1 ½ cup Luving Life Wholefoods SRF or 1 1/4 cups blanched almond meal, 2 tbs tapioca or arrowroot and 1 tsp baking powder
½ cup xylitol or coconut sugar 
2 lge heaped tbs coconut oil
1/3 cup coconut cream

Caramel:

½ cup dates
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup raw cashews
approx. ½ cup coconut milk

Coconut Crumble:

½ cup coconut shreds
½ cup almond meal
½ cup xylitol
2 tbs cold coconut oil
3 tbs maple syrup or rice syrup

Fill ins:

½ cup sultanas
½ cup salted peanuts or salted cashews for Paleo
½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Preparation:

Base:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir  to combine.
Press into the bottom of the prepared baking tray

Caramel:

Add all ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy
Pour caramel over the base and spread out evenly

Coconut Crumble:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix together with fingertips to create a course mixture that stick together when pressed into a ball
Sprinkle the sultanas, peanuts and choc chips over the caramel then distribute the coconut crumble over the top and press down lightly.


Bake at 16-170 no fan for approx. 30 minutes.
Enjoy! 

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Homemade Mango Jam full of gooey soft dates and sultanas, smothering a soft Paleo cake topped with crunchy coconut streusel was one of the fresh morning tea cakes that were a big part of last weeks morning teas. Always served warm and fresh out of the oven, hence the gooey. 

I get my mango for Aldi, they do a frozen mango that I find really easy and versatile. I know it's not Australian but sometimes price and convenience overrides some of my values. Not a good excuse I know but at least I've admitted it. :-)

It's still quite cold here and we are getting so much rain it's getting to the 'it's not funny' stage. Everything is soaked, the gardens, the paddocks, the yards for the dogs to play in and we can't get the mowing done so things are starting to look a bit untidy. Stressing hubby out to the max which is a bit unfortunate. At least we didn't get the destructive winds and rain like South Australia did. 

This was Wednesday's morning tea and it got devoured. I was really happy with the results so thank goodness I wrote the ingredients and measurement down. If you don't have any Paleo Pro then just add an extra egg. Paleo Pro is just dehydrated egg whites. It's virtually pure protein but I find it a great ingredient for baking, especially seen as most of my cakes and treats are grain free, gluten free and Paleo. It helps to add structure as well as protein. 
Mango Jam and Coconut Streusel Cake

Makes: 23cm round cake

Ingredients:

Ingredients:

Jam:

2 cups mango
½ cup dates
½ cup sultanas
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Cake:

1 ½ cup blanched almond meal
1 cup coconut sugar
¼ cup tapioca or arrowroot
¼ cup Paleo Pro Pure
2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs (use 3 eggs if not using Paleo Pro)
60g butter
60g yoghurt
1tsp vanilla

Streusel:

½ cup coconut shreds
½ cup blanched almond meal
½ cup coconut sugar
30g butter

Preparation:

Jam:
  1. Add all ingredients to a medium sized pot and simmer until the fruit has softened and the liquid has reduced to create a nice thick jammy consistency.
  2. This will take about 45 minutes.
  3. Set aside and allow to cool. 

Cake: 
  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius and grease a large round or square cake tin.
  2. Add almond meal, sugar, tapioca or arrowroot, Paleo Pro and baking powder to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Add the eggs, butter, yoghurt and vanilla to a blender or separate bowl and blend to combine.
  4. I use a blender as it ensures the butter is mixed through properly especially if I’ve forgotten to soften it!
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine then turn into the cake tin and level the top.
  6. Gently dollop the Mango Jam over the top of the cake making sure to distribute it evenly, then carefully spread it out to cover the whole cake.

Streusel:
  1. Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl and using your fingertips mix the wet ingredients into the dry to create a course crumble.
  2. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the top of the cake.
  3. Place into the centre of the oven and bake for approx. 35-45 minutes depending on your oven, you will need to test the centre with a dry skewer or knife, insert and if it comes out dry it’s ready.
  4. If the top seems to be getting to brown and the centre is not cooked, reduce the heat to about 155-160 degrees Celsius and make sure the fan is off.

Allow to cool before slicing.


Enjoy!! 

 I've used a similar Mango Jam in a few recipes such as the soft fluffy 
Grain free and gluten free!
and this versatile 


Dairy free, great with salads as well.

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Disclaimer:

I am not a doctor, registered dietitian or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food, fitness and life and hopefully to inspire you. All content provided on my blog is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Karen

Karenluvslife

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