Raw Caramel Choc Slice

(AD) This caramel slice is mouth-watering amazing! Better still, it’s full of whole food ingredients that are good for you! Here’s the recipe. If you make this, please let me know what you think! x x

Raw Caramel Choc Slice  

Ingredients:

Base layer:

¼ cup coconut oil (melt this if it isn’t in a liquid form)

¼ cup rice malt syrup (alternatively you can use maple syrup)

½ cup raw cashews

½ cup oats

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Three grinds of sea salt

Optional: Include 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder of your choice if you want an extra protein boost in this recipe.

Caramel layer

1 cup coconut cream

1 cup dates

½ teaspoon cinnamon 

½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder

3 grinds of sea salt

Top layer

½ block of dark chocolate (to keep the recipe vegan, just choose a dark vegan chocolate instead)

Method:

Base layer 

Line a square tin with baking paper. The first ingredients to go into the Vitamix include the melted coconut oil and rice malt syrup (this is so it blends easily). Next put in the cashews, oats, cinnamon and salt. Then add the protein powder if you want to include that. Blend in the Vitamix until smooth and then put the mixture in to the lined tin. Place this into the freezer to chill for a short time while you make the next layer.

Caramel layer:

Place the coconut cream into the Vitamix first so it blends well. Next place the dates, cinnamon, vanilla bean powder, and sea salt into the blender and blend this until it’s creamy and smooth. This layer tastes so good it’s easy to eat this directly from the spoon! But resist the temptation to do that and put this layer immediately on top of the base layer. Put this back into the freezer for a short while when doing the next layer.

Top layer:

Put a big pan on the stove full of 2cm of water and boil. Then place a glass bowl into the centre and next place the chocolate in this bowl. The water heats the chocolate without burning it. This is called a bain-marie. When the chocolate is melted, spoon it out on top of the caramel layer. This hardens quite quickly, and I’d recommend getting a large knife at this point to cut it into slabs or squares before the chocolate fully hardens and can be harder to cut. Now put the cut-up slice into a plastic box and into the freezer. Pull out a piece of the slice whenever you feel like one!

Hack 1: Buy the broken-up pieces of cashews at your local bulk buy store. They are so much cheaper! The nuts are going to be blitzed in the Vitamix anyway and so it makes sense to save cents here! Actually, you can save a lot of dollars.I got a 1kg bag of cashew pieces for $15.50 (more than enough for this recipe and with lots of leftovers. While a 1kg bag of whole cashews cost over $10 more – at $25.80.

Hack 2: Keep leftover nuts in the freezer. They last a lot longer and keep their freshness better. 

This post was kindly sponsored by Vitamix. To buy one of these epic machines, get them through Kitchen Nook #sponsoredpost #vitamixnz

Rachel is a wellness speaker and the author of Balance: Food, Health + Happiness

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Beef Curry – made in an Instant Pot Duo Crisp pressure cooker

(AD) The Instant Pot’s pressure cooker function is epic – it’s such a time-saver. This curry only takes 35-minutes to cook using the pressure cooker function – and the meat is mouth-watering tender and delicious. When I cook this recipe on the stove it takes an hour – so almost twice as long to get the meat tender – and I have to keep an eye on it, and stir it occasionally. The other great thing about using this pressure cooker is that I can switch on the timer and walk away. It switches itself off when it’s done and then the curry stays hot in the pressure cook and it’s ready to eat for later. Enjoy this recipe!

Beef Curry

Ingredients:

750g rump steak (remove the fat and slice thinly)

2 tbsp oil

2 onions (skin removed, diced)

5 garlic cloves (outer layer removed, diced)

1 tsp each of turmeric, coriander, cumin and cayenne powder

½ tsp cinnamon

1 large red chilli (cut and de-seed and chop the green top off and slice up)

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (use a knife to remove the outer layer of the ginger and then dice this up)

5 bay leaves

2 cups coconut milk

Beef stock (make it by mixing 250mls water with 3 teaspoons beef stock powder)

2 tbsp lemongrass paste

2 tbsp soy sauce1 tbsp brown sugar

Zest from 1 lime

½ tsp black pepper

Juice squeezed from 1 lime

fresh coriander to garnish

1 cup long white rice (the Duo Crisp also replaces a rice cooker. Cook the rice in two cups of water)

Method: Place the oil, onions and garlic in the inner pot. Press the sauté function and cook for three minutes. Keep stirring. Add the spices, chilli, and ginger and stir for a minute more. Now place this in a blender (I use a Vitamix) and add 1 cup of coconut milk) and blitz it so it combines to make the curry paste.

Add this now to the pressure cooker inner pot, and then add the rest of the coconut milk, the beef stock, lemongrass paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, and black pepper.

Meanwhile, on a clean chopping board, trim the fat off the meat and cut this into small strips and add to the curry liquid in the pot. Lock the pressure cooker lid next on top (ensure quick release button is set to seal position). Push the pressure cooker button on high for 35-minutes and then press start. Leave it to cook and walk away and come back when you like later. Open the lid and add the lime juice and stir. Serve onto plates, garnish with coriander, serve with white rice and a glass of water (or wine). Now savour!

This recipe was #sponsored by Instant Pot. If you are interested in buying one then check out this link HERE

Recipe by Rachel Grunwell: Wellness expert, wellness speaker, and author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness

Instant Pot Crispy Chicken Burgers in 14-Minutes

(AD) Go in the draw to win a Duo Crisp Instant Pot over on my Instagram or Facebook pages!

This is a fast, healthy way to make crispy chicken burgers – cooked in the air fryer of my Duo Crisp Instant Pot cooker, which by the way has almost a dozen appliances in this one machine. So it’s a space-saving machine given it has all those appliance applications at my finger tips. You can pressure cook, sauté, slow cook, steam, roast, bake, broil, dehydrate or air fry for example.

Here’s a recipe to air fry and make crispy chicken burgers.

Ingredients

5 chicken thighs, boneless

2 eggs

½ cup flour (use rice flour if you want the recipe to be gluten-free, otherwise normal flour is all good)

½ teaspoon cayenne spice

A grind each of salt and pepper

½ cup breadcrumbs

Olive Oil spray

5 fresh burger buns

Sliced tomatoes

Gherkins

Sliced cheese

Lettuce

Sliced avocado

Tomato sauce

  1. Season your chicken thighs first. Get bowls and fill them each with the flour, cayenne, salt and pepper, the second bowl with the eggs (whisked with a fork), and a third bowl for the bread crumbs. Coat each thigh with flour mixture, then the egg mixture and then the bread crumbs.
  2. Pour ½ cup of water into your Instant Pot. Add the steamer basket and place crumbed chicken pieces inside this (use the rack if you want to do another layer). Spray the pieces of meat on each side with the oil to coat them.
  3. Close the lid and press air fry and set the cook time for 14-minutes. Walk away and let the machine do the work!
  4. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the ingredients you want in your burgers. I’ve mentioned above the things I love in mine.
  5. Assemble your burger, eat and enjoy!
  • This post was #sponsored by Instant Pot. Buy an Instant Pot from your local Harvey Norman store in NZ.

Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Wellness coach, author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness & recipe creator for Good magazine.

Sunshine Smoothie Bowl

(AD) Sunshine Smoothie Bowl 

We can’t get to the islands right now. But we can bring a taste of that decadent island holiday food and sunshine like feels to our table!

I’ll be demonstrating how to make this smoothie bowl at the Go Green Expo in Auckland (March 27 & 28 on the Vitamix stand between 11am-2pm). Come along and learn some smoothie bowl tips and tricks and how to use a Vitamix to make smoothies, soups, bliss balls, juices, ice-cream and more!

I’ve had a Vitamix for years and back it. It’s sturdy, safe, powerful and has a seven year warranty. It never breaks!

By the way, this smoothie bowl is best served on a hot Summery day. Slurp it up loud. It will cool you down and that sweetness in the bowl will make you smile.

This bowl is nutrient-dense, delicious and you can make it up pretty quick.

One of the superfood ingredients is turmeric, which can aid digestion and is seen as an anti-inflammatory food.

Sunshine Smoothie Bowl 

½ cup almond milk

2 cups mango flesh (you can use fresh or I just buy it in frozen chunks in 1 kilo bags from the supermarket)

1 cup banana (skin removed)

½ teaspoon each of vanilla cinnamon and turmeric

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon’ Manuka honey

Method:

Place all the ingredients into the Vitamix blender in the order listed above. Blend the ingredients quickly until smooth. Don’t blend for too long (I do it for around 10 seconds) otherwise it will make the smoothie less thick and more liquid-like. Pour the mixture into a bowl and eat just as it is. Or you can top it with whatever you have at home. I had mint leaves, shaved dark chocolate, passionfruit and coconut chips. Eat and savour!

https://www.instagram.com/vitamix_aunz/https://www.instagram.com/gogreenexpo/https://www.instagram.com/harveynormannz/
  • Rachel is a wellness expert, author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness and a healthy recipe creator for magazines and brands. She is a proud ambassador for Vitamix! Follow her on Instagram or Facebook 

This post was proudly sponsored by Vitamix

Protein-Packed Choc Orange Bliss Balls

This snack is easy-peasy and quick to make. They’re a good snack for the kids and us “big kids”. I keep them in the freezer and so feel free to double the mixture and make twice as much so they’ll last a while. If you are lucky… My kids could eat the lot in one day. In fact they actually did, which made me a little grumpy ’cause I like these too!!

If you try them let me know what you think. Feel free to change up the ingredients. Perhaps yours will taste even better! A lot of people tell me how they change up my recipes in my book Balance, and I love hearing what they do! It’s really cool.

Protein-Packed Choc Orange Bliss Balls

Ingredients:

2 Cups of raw nuts (I used a mix of almonds and hazelnuts, but you can also use cashews etc or whatever you have in the cupboard)

¼ cup cocoa powder

3 tablespoons of rice malt syrup (or you can use maple syrup or coconut sugar instead etc)

salt (one grind)

1-2 scoops of protein powder

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

1 orange (finely grate the outside/ squeeze the juice of the orange too)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 cup of coconut (half into the mixture, half set aside to roll the balls in this)

Method: Place the nuts into a blender and grind them down to a fine powder. Then add all the other ingredients (except the ½ cup of coconut left over).

Blend the mixture well. Set aside and put the ½ cup of coconut into a bowl.

Place a golf ball size of mixture in your hand and roll it into a ball. Then place this into the bowl of coconut to coat the outside. Repeat…

Check out Rachel’s book Balance which features 30 nourishing recipes and 30 experts sharing science-backed wisdom on how to live healthier & happier. Click Here

Peanut Butter & Honey Choc Slice

My kids give this recipe the big thumbs up. It’s not always easy to please my three boys when it comes to baking – especially the teenager. But all my boys dig this. The secret ingredient is the new 100% natural 1839 Mānuka honey, which is a premium Mānuka honey from New Zealand. This is uniquely triple churned so it is silky smooth and mouth-wateringly delicious. Mānuka honey is well known for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and good health benefits.

Pair this delicious honey with a crunchy peanut butter and, of course, the all-important chocolate top and bottom nutty layers, and it’s quite simply heavenly. This slice is nutrient-dense, great for satiety (it fills you up) and of course, yummy. Give it a whirl too and let me know what you think! Good luck with stopping at one piece. I ate three in the first sitting. And people wonder why I run and lift weights… This gal LOVES to eat amazing kai!

Ingredients & Method

Base

1 cup hazelnuts

¼ cup cacao powder

½ cup raw cashew nuts

2 tablespoons 1839 Mānuka honey

Pinch of cinnamon

3 tablespoons coconut oil

pinch Himalayan salt

Middle Layer

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 cup coconut cream

pinch Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons of 1839 Mānuka honey

Top Layer 

300g cacao butter

¼ cup cacao powder

pinch Himalayan salt

3 tablespoons 1839 Mānuka honey

First layer. Place the nuts in a blender and blitz them until they are fine crumbs. Then add the cinnamon and salt. Next, spoon the coconut oil into a pan on the stove and gently melt it. Once melted, turn off the stove and add the honey and mix with a spoon. Next, put the honey and coconut oil into the nut mix. Use a spoon or your hands to mix well into a wet crumb. Place baking paper into a cake tin. Pour this mixture into the tin and then press it down with your hands. Place the tin into the freezer while you make the 2nd layer.

Second layer. Place the peanut butter and coconut cream into a pan and heat gently while using a spoon to combine these ingredients into a smooth blend. Once blended, turn off the stove and add the salt and honey and stir well. Next, spoon this onto the base layer and then put the this back into the freezer while you make the top layer.

Top layer. Place the cacao butter into a pan and melt slowly on a low heat. Then remove from the stove and add the honey by stirring it in. Next add the cacao powder and salt and stir until silky smooth. Take the slice out of the freezer and then pour this chocolate layer on top. Then place the completed slice back into the freezer for 30-minutes. Remove from the freezer and cut it into slices roughly. Then place all the slice in a container in the freezer. Dip into it whenever you want a piece!

PS I can’t promise that your kids will not sneak into the freezer when you are not looking and scoff the lot. Or does that just happen at my place???

This recipe was kindly sponsored by 1839 Mānuka honey. To check out this silky smooth honey click HERE 

Blog by Rachel Grunwell: Wellness expert, coach, yoga + mindfulness teacher, and wellness columnist for Good mag, Indulge mag, and the Herald online. Rachel is the author Balance: Food, Health + Happiness which boasts 30 global experts sharing science-based wisdom on how to live healthier and happier + 30 nourishing recipes. Find out more HERE.

1839 Manuka honey is triple churned so it is silky smooth and almost fluffy. There are no gritty bits! It just melts in your mouth. The stuff in the pouch is divine. It’s easy-peasy to squeeze it out.

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