Double Chocolate Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

Double Chocolate Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches

 

These double chocolate ice cream cookie sandwiches have been on my to-do list forever!

I’ve seen so many mouthwatering versions on social media that I was inspired to create my own Swoon Food version, i.e. dairy, gluten/grain free, and low in sugars.

After trialling a spiced cookie version on Christmas day I decided chocolate cookies were definitely the way to go. If you’re going to do it, you might as well go the full way – right?!

I based the chocolate cookies off my Oreo cookie recipe from many moons ago. They’re a delicious, dark chocolate flavoured cookie, that stays nice and flat after baking,  so are perfect for sandwiching ice cream together.

This new version, however, is much lower in sugars and uses raw cacao powder instead of dutch process cocoa. The reason I used dutch process cocoa in the original Oreo cookie recipe was the achieve the classic, dark Oreo colour. Unfortunately,  dutch process cocoa powder loses much of it’s nutrients in the processing, so raw cacao powder is the healthier choice. To read more about why raw cacao is so good for you, check out this raw chocolate brownie mousse cake post.

Raw cacao does creates quite a rich, decadent cookie though, so if you’re making these for kiddies either sub out some of the raw cacao powder for more flour, or use regular cocoa powder instead.

 

 

There’s a trick to making ice cream cookie sandwiches that don’t immediately melt in your hand – which I learnt the hard way!

Instead of scooping ice cream straight from the tub and squishing between cookies (unless you uber messy is your thing!), the best way is to prep your ice cream ahead of time. 

All you need to do is allow a tub of ice cream to soften, spread it into a brownie pan and allow to set. When firm, cut rounds using the same cookie cutter as your cookies, sandwich the ice cream round between two cookies and return to the freezer to allow it to set. The key is to make sure the chocolate cookie is the same temperature as the ice cream so that the ice cream doesn’t melt before you get a chance to eat it!

 

 

And that’s it! Super easy.

You could, of course, get all fancy and roll the sides of the ice cream cookie sandwiches in toppings such a coconut, chocolate chips or freeze dried raspberries. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably want to eat them well before any of that!

And because these double chocolate ice cream cookie sandwiches are stored in the freezer, there’s a chance you might just forget about them. This means one day when you’re looking for a sweet treat you’ll find a happy surprise waiting for you…

Ok, who am I kidding. These are seriously good so you’re going probably going to eat them in one sitting, but they’re worth it!

 


If you make these double chocolate ice cream cookie sandwiches, let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook. Enjoy!

 

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM COOKIE SANDWICHES

Makes: Approximately 10 medium or 16 small ice cream cookie sandwiches
Prep time: 30 minutes

Chocolate Cookies

100g coconut oil, melted
120g coconut sugar
60g ground almonds/almond meal
60g buckwheat flour (or rice flour)
60g raw cacao powder (dutch cocoa powder for a milder flavour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch pink Himalayan salt
1 egg or egg substitute/flax egg 
1 Tbsp rice syrup or pure maple syrup

Ice Cream

A tub or two of your favourite ice cream (I used Duck Island’s Salted Chocolate Brownie & Little Islands Coconut Caramel – both dairy free/vegan)

 

To get the best looking ice cream sandwiches that don’t melt in your hand, you need to prep the ice cream first. Leave it out at room temperature for 20 minutes or so until soft, then spread it into a lined brownie tray. You want it to be quite thick, around 1 inch, then place in the freezer to set. Once set, use a cookie cutter to cut out rounds of ice cream, place them on a tray then back in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. The ice cream off cuts can either be refrozen and used to make more rounds, or put back in the tub for another day.

To make the cookies, place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, vanilla and cooled, melted coconut oil. Stir well to combine.

You’ll have quite a sticky dough so place it between two sheets of baking paper and roll it out to approximately 5mm thickness. Place in the fridge to chill 10 mins or so, until firm.

Preheat your oven to 180ºC fan bake.

Remove the sheet of dough from the fridge and peel off the top paper. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles and place them on a lined baking sheet. If the cut cookies start to get too soft place them in the fridge to firm up again before baking.

Bake the cookies in the centre of the oven for 8 minutes, or until cookies are just firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the tray before transferring to a sealed container if you doh’t plan to use them straight away.

To assemble the cookie sandwiches:

Remove the ice cream round from the freezer and sandwich a chocolate cookie on either side. Place the ice cream cookie sandwiches back on the tray and into the freezer to set again. When the cookies are chilled they’re ready to be served.

 

 

 

Mediterranean Zoodles

Mediterranean Zoodles

Mediterranean Chicken with Zoodles

 

This saucy tomato Mediterranean Zoodles recipe has been on high rotation ever since I borrowed my mum’s spiralizer (about a year ago!)… and let’s be honest here, this dish is so delicious the spiralizer is probably never going to be returned!

Even though it’s a warm dish, the Mediterranean flavours make this recipe multi-seasonal so we’ve enjoyed it in Summer through to Winter. To keep things interesting I change the herbs and spices depending on whether I want more of a Moroccan, Italian or Spanish influence, but the base of zucchini, tomatoes and your favourite protien essentially stays the same.

The recipe below is the Moroccan version, and you should be able to find the spices ras el hanout and sumac in most supermarkets. If you want to make the Spanish version simply leave out the ras el hanout and add more paprika and sumac, and for the Italian version leave out the ras el hanout, sumac and paprika and replace them with Italian herbs such as basil, oregano, parsley, thyme and rosemary.

Even though this is quite a simple dish made entirely in one pan (which means less washing up!), it’s packed with big flavours, colours and lots of plant phytonutrients.

If you don’t own a spiralizer you can still make this recipe by using a vegetable peeler to make zucchini ribbons, or simple zucchini strips with a knife. If you think a spiralizer might be something you’d get a lot of use out of, you can pick up a really simple one for about NZ$9.

Any leftovers are great for lunch the next day, and this recipe also freezes well if you want to stock up your freezer. Enjoy x

 

Do you have a favourite zoodle recipe?

Tell me in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

 

Mediterranean Chicken with Zoodles

Mediterranean Zoodles

Note: see the notes above for tips to change this to a Spanish or Italian version.
Serves: 2 hungry or 4 standard
Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes

4 zucchini
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
2 cloves garlic
Your choice of protein: e.g. tofu, tempeh, caniellini beans, 2 free range chicken breasts
1 x 400g can cherry tomatoes in juice
1 x 400g can finely chopped tomatoes
70g concentrated tomato paste
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ras el hanout
1 tsp sumac
1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional)
1 cup black olives, pitted
pink himalayan salt & pepper

Fresh coriander to serve

First prepare the zucchini by washing well and cutting off the ends. Then either spiralize them, use a peeler to create ribbons lengthways or cut into rounds and set aside. Peel and cut the onion into fine 1 cm pieces, peel the garlic and put it through a garlic press and set both aside. Prepare the protein by cutting into small strips approximately 5cm x 2cm if needed (obviously not for beans!).

Heat the olive in a good heavy based fry pan over medium heat. When hot add the onion and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Add the protein and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until protein is almost cooked through. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the cherry tomatoes and finely chopped tomatoes, paprika, raw el hanout, sumac and chilli powder. Stir to combine. Lastly add the black olives and zucchini and stir well. Leave to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it is simmering too hard, turn the heat down at this point. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve piled on a plate (or in a bowl), topped with fresh coriander leaves. Leftovers will keep for 2 days in the fridge, heat well before serving again. This Mediterranean Zoodles recipe also freezes well.

 

Mediterranean Chicken with Zoodles

 

Raw Strawberry Tart with White Chocolate Cream

Raw Strawberry Tart with White Chocolate Cream

Raw Strawberry Tart with White Chocolate Cream

 

This raw strawberry tart was inspired by some amazing extra large, juicy strawberries that were leftover from a birthday party. These strawberries were the really delicious sweet kind and were exactly what you’d imagine the perfect strawberry to look and taste like.

When I think of strawberries I naturally think of cream, or in the case of a tart, a vanilla custard cream. I decided to go one better and make this tart with a white chocolate custard cream. And by cream I really mean cashew cream as this is a gluten, dairy, egg & refined sugar free tart of goodness!

Fresh fruit flan used to be my mum’s go-to dessert when entertaining, and it would always receive many complements. What no one knew was it was a flan case made from store bought pastry that she filled with a vanilla “pastry cream” made from vanilla instant pudding with a bit of whipped cream folded through.

She topped her flans with fresh seasonal fruit (or occasionally tinned), and glazed it with apricot jam. The finished flan always looked spectacular and fooled many a guest into thinking that it was made from scratch. Mum was all about quick and easy desserts and this one never failed to please.

So for nostalgia sake, I have loosely based this raw strawberry tart recipe on those traditional fruit flan flavours. The base is reminiscent of a vanilla biscuit base and is made from almonds, brazils, cashews, coconut and dates. It’s very easy to prepare, simply blend it all in a food processor and then press it into your flan tin. I used a large 26cm flan tin but this recipe would work equally well with a standard springform tin or individual flan tins.

 

Raw Strawberry Tart with White Chocolate Cream

 

The white chocolate custard cream is made from soaked cashew nuts (I’ve added some notes on soaking below), as they create a lovely creamy base. I combined them with raw cacao butter which brings the white chocolate element, vanilla for flavour, pure maple syrup to sweeten, coconut oil for setting and coconut milk for consistency. This may sounds complicated, but once you’ve soaked the cashews it’s simply a case of blending all the ingredients in a high speed blender and pouring the white chocolate cream into your tart case to set.

Once the custard layer is set the tart is ready to for the strawberries. I kept the strawberry arrangement really simple by just standing them on top of the custard ensuring there were as little gaps as possible. But you could also slice the strawberries in half and arrange them lying down, or you could cut them into slices and arrange them in spikes to create a more art deco style flan.

Of course the decoration is entirely up to you, and if you’d prefer to use another type of fruit entirely, by all means do. Raspberries, blueberries or blackberries would all be amazing, and if you wanted to get really creative you could make a mixed fruit flan using all your favourite seasonal fruits.

This raw strawberry tart will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, although it’s best eaten fresh on the day it’s made. I think it would make a fabulous celebration dessert, and would be perfect for Christmas day!

I hope you give this recipe a try and if you post any photos to Instagram be sure to tag @swoon.food #swoonfood so I can come and admire them!

Any questions about this recipe? Do you have a favourite strawberry recipe? Leave your comments in the section below, I would love to hear from you!

 Raw Strawberry Tart with White Chocolate Cream

 

Raw Strawberry Tart with White Chocolate Cream

Makes: 1 x 26cm/10 inch tart or 6-8 individual tarts
Prep time: 1 hour Soaking time: 2-4 hours Chill time: 1 hour

Base

3/4 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup raw brazil nuts (or cashews)
pinch sea salt
8 medjool dates, pitted
2 Tbsp coconut oil, gently melted (see note below)

White Chocolate Custard Cream

2 cups cashews, soaked (see note below)
1 cup coconut milk (I used Little Islands Original Coconut Drinking Milk)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence, or powder or 1 scraped vanilla pod
pinch himalayan pink salt
1/4 cup cacao butter, gently melted (see note below)
1/4 cup coconut oil,  gently melted (see note below)

2 extra large punnets of strawberries, washed and dried

Start by soaking the cashew nuts. Place 2 cups of raw cashew nuts in a bowl, cover with filtered water and leave to stand for 2-4 hours. Drain off the water and rinse the cashews well.

To make the base, gently melt the coconut oil by placing it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of steaming water with the heat turned off (see notes below). Place the coconut, almonds, brazil nuts and salt into a food processor and blend until the mixture looks like chunky crumbs. Add the medjool dates (ensuring you have removed the pitts!) and blend until they are well combined. Lastly add the melted coconut oil while the motor is running. Lightly grease the bottom of your flan tin with a wipe of coconut oil. Press the base mixture evenly into the tin and up the sides, then place in the fridge to set.

To make the white chocolate custard cream first gently melt your coconut oil and cacao butter using the method as above. Place the soaked and drained cashews into a high speed blender (e.g. Vitamix/Blendtec) along with the coconut milk, pure maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt, and blend until smooth. You may need to use your blender stirring stick to ensure it’s evenly blended. When the mixture is smooth, add the melted cacao butter gradually through the top of the blender while the motor is running, followed by the coconut oil. These should blend in completely and you should end up with a smooth thick cream. Pour the white chocolate cream into the tart base, smooth with a spatula and place in the freezer to set for approximately 30minutes to an hour depending on your freezer. You can also place the tart in the fridge to set, but it will take much longer.

Once the white chocolate cream is set, remove the tart from the freezer and pop it out of the tart tin onto a serving plate. Prepare the strawberries by washing thoroughly, removing the greens and patting dry. Arrange the strawberries on top of the tart with as few gaps as possible. Return the finished tart to the fridge until ready to serve. This raw strawberry start will keep covered in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Raw Strawberry Tart with White Chocolate Cream

How to activate nuts: activating is the process of soaking nuts (or seeds) in water to remove the natural inhibitor enzymes on their skins to make them more digestible. The cashews in the cheesecake filling of this recipe are therefore activated. If you also wanted to activate the cashews and almonds in the base for this recipe they would need to be soaked and then dried. Ideally this would be in a dehydrator at 41ºC for 1 1/2 – 2 days, or in an oven on the lowest fan bake setting with the door ajar for about a day. The aim is to keep the nuts below 41ºC so the nutrients remain unaffected by heat and the food still deemed raw.

How to melt raw ingredients: to ensure ingredients remain in their raw form and their nutrients fully intact, they must not be heated above 41º. When melting raw coconut oil or raw cacao butter, do so by placing the bowl of ingredients over a pot of steaming water with the heat turned off. This should ensure the ingredients do not heat above 41ºC.

How to choose a good coconut oil: it is important which type of coconut oil you choose. A lot of the cheaper coconut oils are heat or chemical processed which destroys the inherent nutrients that have made coconut oil so popular recently. Look for ‘cold pressed, extra virgin, organic’ or ‘unrefined raw’ coconut oil. Even though it may cost a little more, it is WAY better for you. Coconut oil contains high quantities of lauric acid which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. It boosts your immune system and metabolism, lowers blood pressure and helps with the absorption of minerals. Even though coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is considered a ‘heathier’ fat because lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid. This means it is easily digestible and processed by your body in the same way as carbohydrates as a direct source of energy.

How to choose a good maple syrup: make sure you get the real deal! There are quite a few maple syrups out there that are just maple flavoured sugar syrup, full of additives and often high fructose corn syrup. Pure maple syrup lists only “pure maple syrup” under ingredients and is made by a natural process of extracting the sap from maple trees, evaporating off excess water and filtering to remove impurities. Pure maple syrup is an unrefined sugar and has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. It contains minerals and antioxidants such as calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and zinc, unlike refined sugar which contains none. Maple syrup is still a form of sugar however, so while it is better choice than refined sugar it is still best used in moderation. Feel free to use less in this recipe if it suits your tastes and if you do decrease the amount of maple syrup, replace the quantity you leave out with an equal amount of coconut milk.

 

Raw Chocolate & Vanilla Coconut Swirl Cheesecake

Raw Chocolate & Vanilla Coconut Swirl Cheesecake

 

The Lightest Raw Cheesecake You’ll Ever Eat

These Raw Chocolate & Vanilla Coconut Swirl Cheesecakes are like no other raw cheesecake I’ve eaten to date!

They have the most amazing light and creamy, almost mousse-like texture, which is reminiscent of the cheesecakes and mousses I used to make as a pastry chef.

BUT the difference is this one is made entirely without any dairy products, gluten, eggs or refined sugar. Nick even said “I think this is the best thing you’ve made yet!”, which is saying something given he’s not usually a fan of the raw dessert variety.

 

The Secret Is In The Proportions

The cheesecake layer in this recipe has a base of soaked cashews which gives it its super creamy flavour and texture. Coconut oil provides the set and vanilla and raw cacao provide the flavours.

The key difference in this recipe is the proportions of these ingredients, and using coconut milk and a blender to create an amazing light texture. 

The base for this cheesecake is the same recipe I used for these Raw Chocolate Cheesecakes. It’s a combination of coconut, almonds, cashews, dates and raw cacao. The mild chocolate flavour of this base goes so well with the creamy chocolate and vanilla flavours of this cheesecake.

 

Why & How To Soak & Activate Nuts

The reason for soaking the cashews in this recipe is two fold. Firstly it’s to soften them so that they blend into a smooth cream. The second is to activate them. Activating is the process of soaking nuts (or seeds) in water to remove the natural inhibitor enzymes on their skins to make them more digestible.

If you’re not familiar with soaking and and ‘activating’ nuts, I’ve put some notes down below on this, as well as how to melt raw ingredients and keep them in their raw state, choosing a good quality coconut oil, and what to look for when buying pure maple syrup.

 

Make As Individual Or One Large Cheesecake

I usually make these cheesecakes in a 6 hole texan muffin pan to create 6 good sized individual servings. I find this size works for this cheesecake as it’s not overly sweet or rich. However, if you think you’d prefer a smaller serving by all means use a 12 hole standard muffin pan, and if you prefer your cheesecake as a slice, feel free to make it in an 8″ round springform pan instead.

 

Eat Chilled Or Frozen

It’s best to allow these raw cheesecakes to chill until fully set, and serve chilled. But if you need them faster, you can put them into the freezer to speed things up. If you accidentally end up freezing them, don’t worry! They defrost fast, but equally, they taste pretty amazing frozen as they slowly melt and turn into a creamy mousse cake.

Hope you give this amazing recipe a try, and if you post any pictures to Instagram I would love to see your creations! Tag @swoonfood and #swoonfood so I can find them.

Enjoy!

 

 

Raw Chocolate & Vanilla Coconut Swirl Cheesecake

 

Note on activating nuts: activating is the process of soaking nuts (or seeds) in water to remove the natural inhibitor enzymes on their skins to make them more digestible. The cashews in the cheesecake filling of this recipe are therefore activated. If you also wanted to activate the cashews and almonds in the base for this recipe they would need to be soaked and then dried. Ideally this would be in a dehydrator at 41ºC for 1 1/2 – 2 days, or in an oven on the lowest fan bake setting with the door ajar for about a day. The aim is to keep the nuts below 41ºC so the nutrients remain unaffected by heat and the food still deemed raw.

Note on melting raw ingredients: to ensure ingredients remain in their raw form and their nutrients fully intact, they must not be heated above 41º. When melting raw coconut oil or raw cacao butter, do so by placing the bowl of ingredients over a pot of steaming water with the heat turned off. This should ensure the ingredients do not heat above 41ºC.

Note on choosing coconut oil: it is important which type of coconut oil you choose. A lot of the cheaper coconut oils are heat or chemical processed which destroys the inherent nutrients that have made coconut oil so popular recently. Look for ‘cold pressed, extra virgin, organic’ or ‘unrefined raw’ coconut oil. Even though it may cost a little more, it is WAY better for you. Coconut oil contains high quantities of lauric acid which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. It boosts your immune system and metabolism, lowers blood pressure and helps with the absorption of minerals. Even though coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is considered a ‘heathier’ fat because lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid. This means it is easily digestible and processed by your body in the same way as carbohydrates as a direct source of energy.

Note on choosing maple syrup: make sure you get the real deal! There are quite a few maple syrups out there that are just maple flavoured sugar syrup, full of additives and often high fructose corn syrup. Pure maple syrup lists only “pure maple syrup” under ingredients and is made by a natural process of extracting the sap from maple trees, evaporating off excess water and filtering to remove impurities. Pure maple syrup is an unrefined sugar and has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. It contains minerals and antioxidants such as calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and zinc, unlike refined sugar which contains none. Maple syrup is still a form of sugar however, so while it is better choice than refined sugar it is still best used in moderation. Feel free to use less in this recipe if it suits your tastes and if you do decrease the amount of maple syrup, replace the quantity you leave out with an equal amount of coconut milk.

 

Raw Chocolate & Vanilla Coconut Swirl Cheesecake

 

Raw Chocolate & Vanilla Coconut Swirl Cheesecake

Makes: 6 or 12 mini cheesecakes or 1 x 8″ cake.
Prep time: 1 hour Soaking time: 2-4 hours Chill time: 30 minutes

Base

1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
pinch sea salt
5 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp coconut oil, gently melted (see note above)

Vanilla Coconut Filling

1 cup cashews, soaked
1/2 cup coconut milk (I used Little Islands Original Coconut Drinking Milk)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 vanilla pod, scraped (or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder)
pinch himalayan pink salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, gently melted (see note above)

Chocolate Coconut Filling

1 cup cashews, soaked
1/2 cup coconut milk (I used Little Islands Original Coconut Drinking Milk)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 vanilla pod, scraped (or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder)
pinch himalayan pink salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (see not above)

Start by soaking the cashew nuts. Place 2 cups of raw cashew nuts in a bowl, cover with filtered water and leave to stand for 2-4 hours. Drain off the water and rinse the cashews well.

Line either a 6 hole texan muffin pan, a 12 hole standard muffin pan or an 8 inch springform tin with cling film. Place the desiccated coconut into a food processor and blend until it starts to break down. Add the almonds and blend until they are half ground, then add the cashews, cacao powder and salt. Blend until the mixture looks like chunky crumbs. Add the medjool dates (ensuring you have removed the pitts!) and blend until they are well combined. Lastly add the melted coconut oil while the motor is running. Press a spoonful of mixture into the bottom of each standard muffin hole or a couple of spoonfuls into each texan muffin hole (or the whole lot into the 8″ tin) and place the pan in the fridge to set.

To make the vanilla coconut layer first gently melt your coconut oil using the instructions in the notes above. Place the 1 cup measure of soaked and drained cashews into a high speed blender (e.g. Vitamix/Blendtec) along with the coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt. Blend until smooth, you may need to use your blender stirring stick to ensure it’s evenly blended. This should blend really easily but if you do find it taking a little longer make sure you don’t over heat (i.e.cook!) the mixture as the blender blades can create a lot of heat. If it starts to feel warm place the jug in the fridge for 10 minutes or so. When the mixture is smooth add the melted coconut oil gradually through the top while the blender is running. Divide the vanilla mixture between the muffin holes (or pour into the 8″ tin) and smooth the top. Set aside while you make the chocolate layer.

To make the chocolate layer, again gently melt your coconut oil using the instructions in the notes above. Place the 1 cup measure of soaked and drained cashews into a high speed blender (e.g. Vitamix/Blendtec) along with the coconut milk, maple syrup, raw cacao powder, vanilla and sea salt. Blend until smooth, you may need to use your blender stirring stick to ensure it’s evenly blended. This should blend really easily but if you do find it taking a little longer make sure you don’t over heat (i.e.cook!) the mixture as the blender blades can create a lot of heat. If it starts to feel warm place the jug in the fridge for 10 minutes or so. When the mixture is smooth add the melted coconut oil gradually through the top while the blender is running. Gently pour the chocolate mixture on top of the vanilla layer of each cheesecake and use a spoon to swirl the tops. Place the cheesecakes either in the fridge or freezer to chill until set, approximately 30 minutes to an hour.

To serve, remove the cheesecake(s) from the tin and peel off the cling film. Place on a serving plate and decorate with edible flowers. These cheesecakes will keep, covered for up to 5 days in the fridge and 1 month in the freezer if well sealed.

 

Raw Chocolate & Vanilla Coconut Swirl Cheesecake

 

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Pumpkin Pie Granola

 

I got the brilliant idea for this Pumpkin Pie Granola recipe came from a lovely attendee at one of the food workshops I held earlier this year.

I used my Crunchy Maple Banana Granola as a topping for a chia pudding recipe I demonstrated, and everyone commented on what a great idea it was to use banana as the whole food sweetener for the granola.

At the end of the workshop a lovely lady came up to tell me she used pumpkin to sweeten her granola and it was so good she often ate it straight as a trail mix!

Ever since that fortunate evening I’ve been meaning to try out the idea, but it wasn’t until I saw all the Halloween pumpkins about recently that it occurred to me a pumpkin pie spiced granola would be pretty fabulous!

This granola recipe is reminiscent of a mildly spiced, slightly healthier version of a pumpkin pie. Because it’s sweetened with pumpkin and only a small amount of pure maple syrup, it’s not an overly sweet granola and the sweetness will vary depending on the type of pumpkin you use. I chose to use a butternut squash for this recipe, as it has a slightly sweeter flavour than the other pumpkins that were available, and when pureed it gives a nice smooth texture.

By using pumpkin puree to sweeten this granola you gain the benefits of the inherent antioxidants and vitamins present in this humble vegetable.

Pumpkins contain high amounts of vitamins A and C, which are great for eye health, skin and immunity. They’re rich in carotenoids which gives them their orange colour, and particularly beta-carotene which also converts to vitamin A in the body. They’re also a great source of fibre and potassium.

So when combined with oats, coconut, cashews and pecans, this granola makes for a very nourishing breakfast!

Serve this pumpkin pie granola with your choice of milk (I’m loving Little Islands drinking coconut milk at the moment) and a generous dollop of yoghurt (check out Raglan Coconut Yoghurt for THE best coconut yoghurt I have tasted to date!).

This granola is also great as a topping for fruit or ice cream, or simply eaten by the handful like a trail mix. 

Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Makes: 1 large jar / approximately 6 cups
Prep time: 30 minutes  Bake time: 1 hour

2 cups cooked pumpkin puree
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt
3 cups oats
2 cups coconut thread
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

To make the pumpkin puree, preheat your oven to 180ºC fan bake. Cut the pumpkin into quarters (leaving the skin on) and place on a baking sheet. Spread a little coconut oil over the flesh and place in the centre of the oven to cook for approximately 30 minutes.

The pumpkin is cooked when you can easily cut the flesh with a butter knife. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 150ºC fan bake.  When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, you should find the pumpkin skin easily peels away from the flesh. Either use a hand masher or food processor to puree the pumpkin flesh.

Measure 2 cups of pumpkin puree and combine it with the maple syrup, spices, salt and melted coconut oil. This can either be done in a bowl by hand or in a food processor. You’re aiming for a smooth spiced pumpkin paste.

In a large bowl combine the oats, coconut, cashews, pecans and pumpkin seeds. Add the spiced pumpkin paste and the best way to combine it all is to roll up your sleeves and use clean hands to rub it all together in the same way you would make a crumble topping or scones. Aim to rub all the pumpkin paste into the oat mix so that the mixture resembles a chunky crumble topping.

Spread the pumpkin pie granola onto lined baking trays and place in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. When opening the oven beware of escaping steam from the pumpkin as it continues to cook. Check occasionally and stir if it looks like the edge areas are cooking faster.

The granola is ready when it has turned a yellow golden brown and started to crunch up. It may still be a little soft when you remove it from the oven but should crunch up on cooling. If not, simply return to the oven for another 10 minutes or so.

Store the pumpkin pie granola in airtight containers in your pantry for up to a month.

 

Pumpkin Pie Granola