Christmas is almost upon us and although we’re all busy buying gifts for our loved ones, sometimes it’s nice to make your own presents and there’s nothing more tastier than a jar of homemade granola! I love making my own granola as it means I can play around with flavours and know exactly what the ingredients are rather than some of the sugar heavy store versions. There’s something really satisfying about making your own granola too, the kitchen smells amazing when it’s baking and it’ll make the perfect gift for that special someone!
Here’s how I make my own Winter Granola…
- 150g oats
- 125g mixed nuts (I used a mix of cashews, peanuts, macadamia and pecans)
- 2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of mixed spice
- 1 tbsp of pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- pinch of sea salt
- 75g of mixed dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c fan). In a pan, gently heat the coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and mixed spice together until dissolved, be careful not to burn. In a large bowl, weigh out all of the other ingredients (excluding the mixed dried fruit) and stir together. Pour the liquid into the bowl and stir until the oats are completely covered. Transfer the mix onto a large baking tray and spread out evenly.
Pop into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, stir every 5 mins to ensure all of the granola is baked and golden brown. This also helps the nuts and oats to stop burning, this can happen pretty quickly if you don’t watch out!
When golden, remove from the oven and stir in the mixed dried fruit. Leave to cool before storing in an airtight jar.
Chocolate & hazelnut is a classic flavour combination, and one of the best smoothie bowls to make! I used to love Nutella but since I’ve started being much more aware of what I’m putting into my body, I tend to stay away from the shop bought version (Sarah Wilson, founder of I Quit Sugar, has a great article about it here) and make my own using ground hazelnuts, raw cacao and pure maple syrup. It’s so much more tastier too knowing you’ve made it yourself!
Here I’ve made one of my classic smoothie bowls, you can easily swap out the flavours by adding peanut butter or ground almond instead, it’s great to experiment. I’ve also added avocado as I find it makes the smoothie extra thick and creamy. I love topping my bowls with fresh fruit and a handful of granola. I’ll be sharing a homemade granola recipe soon, so keep a look out!
- 1 banana, chopped and frozen
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 tbsp of whole or ground hazelnuts
- 1 tbsp of raw cacao
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 1/2 – 1 cup of milk (I like to use Koko coconut milk)
Simply add all of the ingredients to a blender (I use a NutriBullet) and whizz together until thick and creamy, add more or less liquid depending on how thick you prefer your smoothie.
Top with fresh fruit, granola and seeds. Even a spoonful of greek yogurt would be delicious!
Chia jam has been a staple in my kitchen for quite some time now, and I’m excited to share my winter spice plum recipe with you – a perfect gift for Christmas.
Chia seeds are used in lots of vegan recipes, as they often act as an egg replacement, making them ideal for baking cakes, chia puddings and other delicious treats. One of the great things about chia seeds is that they can hold between 9-12 times the amount of liquid they are soaked in, making them a perfect addition to fresh homemade jam.
Many store-bought jams contain huge amounts of sugar, I’ve discovered that you only need a tablespoon or two of maple syrup or honey to sweeten chia jam, and that can only be good thing right!
This recipe makes 1-2 small jars, and will last for 7-10 days in the fridge (with an airtight lid).
- 475g of plums, stoned
- 2 tbsp of sugar (I used coconut sugar for a slightly caramelised flavour)
- 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 tsp of mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp of orange juice
- 3 tbsp of chia seeds
Preheat the oven to 200°c (180°c fan) and line a baking tray. Stone the plums and roughly chop into small pieces, add to a mixing bowl with the coconut oil, sugar, mixed spice and vanilla extract. Using a spoon, mix the fruit together until evenly coated.
Lay out the fruit on to the tray and pop in the oven, bake for 25-30 minutes until soft and sticky. Leave to cool.
Add the spiced fruit to a blender (I used my NutriBullet) and add a tbsp of orange juice. Blend for a few seconds until roughly smooth. Scrape into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Stir together until well combined and spoon into jars. Pop in the fridge overnight and enjoy spread on toast, with greek yoghurt or give as a gift for Christmas!
This is one of my favourite sweet treats to make, the mix of raw cacao and smooth peanut butter is an absolute dream! I like to make a batch of these as a sweet snack, and I leave a bowlful of them in the fridge and pop the rest in the freezer – then there is always delicious treats at my fingertips.
The secret to making these bliss balls stick together is by soaking the dates in freshly hot boiled water. This makes them extra soft and easy to blend. I also find that you can use any form of dates when you soak them in hot water, which means you don’t have to buy super expensive medjool dates instead.
I’ve used peanuts and cashews as the base of the bliss balls but you can swap these for any type of nut you prefer. They would even taste delicious with almond butter instead of peanut, actually any nut butter would be awesome!
So, here’s my recipe…
You will need:
- 100g of peanuts
- 100g of cashews
- 150g of dates (pitted)
- 50g of desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp of peanut butter
- 2 tbsp of raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp of ground linseed (optional)
Boil the kettle and soak the dates in a bowl. Blitz the nuts in a processor until they form a fine crumb. Next drain the dates and add to the processor with the rest of the ingredients and blend until sticky and combined.
Using your hands, roll into small balls and pop in the fridge for an hour. This recipe makes approx 30 bliss balls. Store in the fridge or freezer.
Apple. Peanut Butter. Oats. What more do I need to say?!
I’m always looking to find healthy alternatives to sweet treats, and today I’ve been experimenting with breakfast bars. Lots of the store bought versions are crammed full of sugar, additives and other names that we just simply can’t pronounce – and if you can’t say it, how are we supposed to know what we’re putting into our bodies?
I’m sure many of you are aware of my ‘overnight oats’ addiction (so flipping’ good!) and this inspired me to take some of the key ingredients and have a go making my own breakfast bars. As soon as they’re were out of the oven, the warm sweet scent filled the kitchen and I knew I was onto a winner!
The recipe is simple and easy to follow, and they make the perfect grab and go breakfast when times are hurried. They also taste awesome with a cup of tea as a mid afternoon snack. Brew anyone?
- 200g of oats (I used porridge oats)
- 50g ground almonds
- 2 apples, peeled and grated
- 25g of sunflower seeds
- 25g of pumpkin seeds
- 25g of peanut butter (I used The Protein Works PB)
- 25g of honey or maple syrup
- 25g of coconut oil
- 40g of 80% dark chocolate
Makes 16 squares.
Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c fan) and line a square baking tray. Peel and grate the apples into a bowl, add the oats, ground almonds and seeds and roughly mix together. In a pan, add the peanut butter, coconut oil and honey (or maple syrup) and gently stir on a low heat until melted. Be careful not to burn! Pour into the mixing
bowl and stir together until combined and sticky.
Press the mix into the baking tray and flatten with the back of a spoon until compact. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
For extra yumminess, melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the bars. Top with a sprinkle of seeds and enjoy!
If you have a really sweet tooth, increase the honey to 50g instead of 25g.
By Healthy Jon
Creator of healthyjon.com
A raw cheesecake is a great place to start if you are relatively new to healthy dessert making, all you need is a food processor and a freezer. The base consists of; dates & nuts and the filling consists of; cashews, coconut oil, coconut milk & agave/honey/maple syrup etc., then just add flavourings to both to create different varieties of cheesecake. How easy is that!
You will need:
For the base:
- 15 medjool dates
- 1 cup of mixed nuts
- 2 tbsp. of desiccated coconut
- Zest of 1 lemon
For the filling:
- 200g of soaked cashews
- ½ cup of coconut oil (solid)
- 200ml of coconut milk
- 4 tbsp. of agave/honey/maple syrup etc.
- Dash of vanilla essence
- Zest of 2 lemons and juice of all 3
- Soak your dates for at least 2 hours (preferably 4) then drain, rinse and dry.
- Add the nuts to the food processor and blitz until they form a small crumb like texture (do not blitz for too long or they will turn into a powder, just 10 seconds will do), then add the remaining base ingredients and blitz until it starts to come together.
- Remove and spread into the base of a spring form pan, making sure it is even all over, pop in the freezer to set.
- Clean the food processor then add the dry cashews along with the remaining filling ingredients (melt the coconut oil first) and blitz until VERY smooth, the smoother the mixture, the lighter and creamier your cheesecake will be.
- When silky smooth pour over the base, spread flat and pop back into the freezer for 4 hours then serve.
NOTE. This will last quite a while in the freezer so you can make it well ahead of time if you need to, just remember if frozen for more than 6 hours or so it will need about an hour to soften up before you can serve it.
For more delicious recipes from Healthy Jon, visit his website healthyjon.com or find him on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter
This treat is vegan friendly, gluten and dairy free.
Here’s how I made it:
For the base
- 2 tbsp of smooth peanut butter
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 50g of oats (gf if needed)
- 50g desiccated coconut
For the topping
- 2 tbsp of smooth peanut butter
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 tbsp of raw cacao
Start by making the base, in a pan heat the PB, coconut oil and maple syrup together. Pour over the oats and coconut and stir together until sticky, press firmly into a lined cake tin until pressed together. Pop into the fridge while you make the topping. Gently heat the topping ingredients together, be careful not to burn it and then spread over the top of the base and pop back into the fridge to set. I couldn’t wait that long so my base is a little crumbly! I topped it with sesame seeds and raw cacao nibs.
It’s been a while since I’ve made cookies, and today I fancied playing around with flavours! The base of the cookies are made of ground almonds, which makes them melt in the mouth, and I’ve added raisins and pecans for a sweet and nutty hit, give them a try and let me know what you think!
- 150g ground almonds
- 100g of raisins
- 50g pecans, chopped
- 1/2 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 2 tbsp of coconut sugar (maple syrup or honey)
Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan) and line a baking tray. In a mixing bowl add all of the ingredients except the coconut oil and sugar, and stir together. Add the coconut oil and sugar to a pan and melt together. Pour into the mixing bowl and stir until a sticky dough ball forms, add 1 tbsp of milk if the mix is a little dry. Using a spoon divide the mix into 8-10 balls and flatten in your hand, pop on the baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins. Leave to cool and then munch away!
Apple Pie is one of my favourite desserts, it’s like a warm comforting hug! And we all know how much I love bliss balls, so I decided to combine the idea of a classic pudding with a healthy twist – all in mini bite sized pieces…
Lots of recipes tend to use dried apple but I decided to try making them with a real apple and they turned out delicious. The oats and almonds help soak up any of the juice and the dates bind them together, a squeeze of lemon juice helps to keep them from discolouring quickly.
- 50g almonds
- 75g oats (gf if needed)
- 75g dates (approx 10)
- 1 apple, peeled
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 1/2 – 1 tsp of cinnamon
Put the oats and almonds in a food processor and blitz until a fine crumb. Pit the dates, peel the apple and chop into small pieces. Add to the processor with the lemon juice and cinnamon and blitz together until sticky. Using a spoon, roll into balls and pop on a tray. Store in the fridge or freezer, makes approx 12.
The Easter weekend is here and that usually means indulging in lots of sweet and savoury treats (I won’t mention the chocolate egg I’ve already eaten…) so I decided to experiment in the kitchen with some of my favourite ingredients and that’s how Chocolate Almond Butter Strawberries were born!
The sauce is perfect for dipping all sorts of fruit in, and if there is any left over you can spread it out on a baking sheet, sprinkle over sea salt and pop in the freezer to harden, it makes the most deliciously rich chocolate to add to breakfast bowls or melt into porridge…
- 50g almond butter
- 25g raw cacao powder
- 25g raw maple syrup
- 5 tbsp of milk (I used coconut)
- 250g strawberries
Add all of the ingredients to a heat proof bowl, except for the milk and strawberries, and put over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water underneath). Keep stirring as the sauce starts to melt together, add a tablespoon of milk and stir. Repeat until the sauce is lovely and thick then remove from the heat.
Dip the strawberries in the sauce and sprinkle with your favourite toppings, I used crushed pistachios, sesame seeds, raw fruit powder and coconut.
Pop in the fridge to set the sauce, although it will still remain buttery so won’t harden like normal chocolate. Or eat straight away while they’re still warm!