Vegan Caramel Coconut Ice Cream

Vegan, Gluten Free
IMG_2365

I don’t know if anybody noticed this, but I’m extremely obsessed with ice cream. In the last 28 days, I have eaten ice cream at least once a day. Sometimes twice, and one time three and a half times. (I’m not proud.) When I was little my Mum once called me an Ice Cream Monster and said if I didn’t watch out I’d become obese. That was because I tried to eat an entire ice cream cake in two days, but still…so harsh!

Most of the time, I’ll admit it, I do buy ice cream by the giant tub. Sometimes gourmet tubs of Maggie Beer, most often whatever brand of mango sorbet is available and Blue Ribbon vanilla. I also buy gelato ridiculously often as well, sometimes by myself which I’m sure is some kind of social taboo.

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 1.15.18 PM

I do love making ice cream though! As you can see from the countless recipes on this blog. Highlights include banana bread flavoured frozen yogurt, Mango Frozen Yogurt, and the most epic of all vegan birthday ice cream cakes. All delicious and frozen by me, therefore slightly less guilt-inducing. What can I say, some people spend $4.00 on a coffee every day, I spend that on ice cream. And while we’re being 100% honest, I also spend that on coffee. Plus an extra 50c for soy milk 🙂

Recently I’ve been committing to an almost completely vegan diet, save the occasional egg when eating out. Because of this I have been having some MAJOR creamy ice cream withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms include irritation, yelling at passers-by and eating tub upon tub of mango sorbet. It was definitely time to make a coconut ice cream.

IMG_2359

I have major beef with ice cream recipes that don’t make ice cream, but instead make ice cream flavoured blocks. The whole point of an ice cream recipe is that it makes ice cream…which must be scoop-able immediately, not half an hour later after sitting it on the bench. When I want ice cream I don’t want it in half an hour, it’s usually a give-it-to-me now kind of deal. Otherwise call it a popsicle! Ok?!?!?!

But I do get it, it can be really hard to make a somewhat healthier ice cream recipe that doesn’t freeze too much. I usually add alcohol to sorbets (sorry children) to keep them soft. I didn’t want to add alcohol to coconut ice cream though, and my sister accidentally bought “coconut drink” instead of milk, which had way less fat and was in general way less awesome. But waste not want not right?! So I decided to experiment with the controversial ingredient of glucose syrup.

Controversial because it’s 90% glucose, made from refined starch, basically just terrible for you. But it does completely stop ice cream from freezing solid! It’s crazy. This recipe had almost no fat in it at all, just 2 tbsp of syrup. And days later it still scoops fine! The drawbacks are that the syrup is super super sweet, and I didn’t adjust the sugar enough to compensate. For me, who doesn’t have a huge sweet tooth (hah I know) it was almost too sweet to eat. So I’ve given instructions in the recipe for both with and without, you decide. Use the syrup if you want to make low-fat ice cream with light coconut milk, or just use honey if using full-fat and tell me how you go with that scooping. Or just eat it straight after you make it! Never a bad idea 😉 Have a great week guys!

IMG_2352

Caramel Coconut Ice Cream: Inspired by My Darling Lemon Thyme

1 litre full-fat coconut milk (2.2 cans)
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
EITHER:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
OR:
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp glucose syrup

IMG_2331

Mix a few tbsp of the coconut milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry. Put all of the other ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently, whisking in the cornstarch mixture. Let the mixture come to the bowl, whisking constantly as it heats. (It’s important to reach this temperature or the floury flavour won’t cook off and it won’t thicken enough). Turn the heat off and pour through a sieve in to a bowl. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then cover the surface in plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming. Chill overnight, then freeze in an ice cream maker following the manual’s instructions. If using glucose syrup, you may get away with not churning it although I haven’t tested this!

Optional: stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips, berries, caramel drops, chopped dates etc

IMG_2341

Carrot, Pear and Quinoa Crumble Muffins (vegan, sugar free)

Vegan and Sugar Free

IMG_6481

I am so, sooo sick of the election lead-up. Everywhere you look, Abbot and the Ruddmeister smiling and waving creepily, commercials of little children being cast in to darkness because nobody cares about their education! Ridiculous slogans like “stop the boats,” that will be played back in thirty years as an example of how backwards and racist Australians used to be. 

It makes me sad that in this “democratic” country so many people’s votes are shaped not by party’s policies, but by fear campaigns and propaganda spread by the media controlled by a certain someone I won’t name (Murdoch). I don’t want this post to be all about politics and I don’t want to alienate anyone with my views, but it’s hard not to say a word or two when the election is tomorrow! 

It’s embarrassing to think what overseas countries must see in Australian politics. It seems that every three years, all the darkest and ugliest sides of Australia come out and take centre stage for a while, even though most of these views are held by a minority for the rest of the term. For instance gay marriage has been a hot topic this election, and instead of playing out as a cooperative and respectful debate it has become a monster of homophobia, discrimination and name-calling. Within the parties too, not just in general society. It’s such a horrible point to use as a defining policy and it shines negatively on the entire liberal party to take such a primitive and old-fashioned stance. The worst part is, it’s gaining them votes, not losing them. 

IMG_6522

 Sorry about that rant! And on to these muffins. I love muffins but so often they’re the most unhealthy option in the entire cafe. They can be packed full of preservatives, sugar, margarine and other strange ingredients I’ve never heard of, especially if you buy them at the supermarket or make them from a muffin mix. 

That’s where these bad boys step in! Each muffin has a whopping 7 grams of protein! That’s an entire serving, which for a vegetarian is like Christmas come early. They are also intensely delicious. I had a little “taste test” so I could explain the quinoa flour flavour to everyone, and I ended up eating an entire muffin. They are fruity and sweet and packed full of flavours like coconut, sultanas, walnuts, carrot and pear and cinnamon and vanilla and are you drooling yet?? The honey flavour really shines through and gives the loveliest sweetness and crunch to these muffins. 

But it’s the crumble that takes them to the next level. 

IMG_6492

Coconut, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, flaked almonds and nutty wholemeal flour come together in a medley of love to create a very crunchy and flavoursome topping. Don’t do what I did and pour hot honey over the crumble, because that will melt your butter like nothing else. Also don’t under-estimate just how much crumble your muffins can take! 

I have a terrible condition of overfilling my muffin cases, and this crumble topping was a great way of exercising control. Once the crumble’s on you can’t add any more muffin mix! Genius. These muffins are great the day they are made, but wait for them to cool down before eating them because all the flavours come together more. Also quinoa flour! What is that you may wonder? It is ground quinoa and it has an earthy, strong flavour that works well here because it is completely masked by the other ingredients. 

I wouldn’t know if you could substitute more than I have, but I would proceed with caution. It’s naturally gluten free so doesn’t behave like normal flour, and depending on the brand it can have a powerful “plant” flavour that can be overwhelming in lighter cakes. It’s very good for you though! So lets all continue to experiment with it and tell me what you discover.

Can’t get enough of your muffin fix? Here’s some recipes I’ve been eyeing this week:
Delicious Oatmeal Muffins from 101 Cookbooks
Mini Almond and Roasted Strawberry Muffins from Sprouted Kitchen so cute!
Plums and Almond Muffins from A Tasty Love Story look amaaazing.

IMG_6505

Carrot and Pear Crumble Muffins: Adapted from Ottolenghi 

Topping:

60g (1/4 cup) coconut butter, in pieces (or regular butter for non-vegan)

50g (1/2 cup) wholemeal flour

45ml (1/3 cup) runny honey or maple syrup for vegan

1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp water

50g (1/4 cup) oats

25g (1 tbsp) desiccated coconut

30g (1 heaped tbsp) sunflower seeds

20g (1 heaped tblsp) poppy seeds

15g (1 tbsp) flaked almonds

In a bowl, mix with your fingers the flour and butter until sandy. Add the other ingredients and mix until crumbly with your hands. Set aside. 

IMG_6491

Muffins:

4 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 8 tbsp of water to form a gel (or 4 large eggs)

200g (1.5 cups + 1 tbsp) plain flour sifted with 100g (3/4 cup) quinoa flour (or all plain/half wholemeal)

1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

200g (1 +3/4 cups each) each grated carrot and pear (apple works too)

270ml (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) honey or maple syrup for vegan

160ml (2/3 cup) olive oil

50g (2.5 tbsp) desiccated coconut

100g (2/3 cup) sultanas

100g (3/4 cup) walnuts, chopped

IMG_6501
Preheat the oven to 170C (340F) and line 12-14 muffin pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and sift well. In a large bowl mix the chia gel or eggs, honey, oil, carrots, pears and vanilla. Stir in the walnuts, coconut and sultanas. Fold in the flour mixture and gently combine. Spoon into 12-14 muffin cases and sprinkle with the  crumble generously, pushing it down so it sticks to the muffin mix. Bake for 18-25 minutes until golden brown and crunchy on top. Leave to cool and then eat them!

IMG_6534>

Coconut and Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches (vegan, gluten and refined sugar free)

Vegan, Gluten and Refined Sugar Free
IMG_6278

Check out my new title! Isn’t it beautiful?! My amazing friend Lilli designed and drew it for me in exchange for some homemade cinnamon buns. She is an art student and anyone wanting some sweet web design, leave a comment below for contact details. She does portraits, Henna at Glebe Markets on occasion, paintings, sculptures and jewellery too, because being good at one or two things just isn’t enough for that girl. (Check out these buns omg….)
IMG_6390
You may have noticed I got rid of the ‘recipes from a home kitchen’ bit. Why you may wonder? Why the hell was it there in the first place is my question. “Recipes from a home kitchen”? What does that even mean? Where else would they be from?? Someone else’s kitchen? I don’t even remember what was going through my mind at the time when I wrote that but I think I just thought it sounded like something someone would have on their blog. 

Plain old “Sugar and Cinnamon” seems better I think. It’s funny that that’s the title and that’s what Lilli wanted as her number one dessert, sugar and cinnamon buns. Maybe after drawing and painting the words ten times she got a mad craving for some hot sugar and cinnamon pastry. I don’t know why I keep talking about the cinnamon buns because that’s not even what I’m posting about. I copied the recipe directly so it’s not like I could blog about it! (I got it from Poires au Chocolat and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll leave this blog and get your ass over there for some hot, buttery goodness). So instead I’m sharing with you the most delicious vegan, gluten, and refined sugar free ice cream sandwiches known to man. 

IMG_6318

The biscuits are awesome. If you’re gluten free, vegan, sugar intolerant, or if you LOVE COOKIES! Then you’ll love these biscuits. They taste so indulgent. They’re soft on the inside, crispy and super coconutty. There’s a lot of coconut action going on in there, with coconut butter, milk and flour, so it’s a good thing to like coconut before you get involved with these. 

I’m really unused to cooking with coconut products so I’m always pretty nervous before beginning. Especially when baking without eggs and gluten! But these cookies were so easy to make. And they’re easier to shape than chocolate chip cookies! What’s that about?!?!?! You can flatten them down if you want crispy cookies for crunching up over the ice cream, or you can leave them thicker for making sandwiches or eating with tea. They don’t spread too much so it’s up to you! 

IMG_6247

Now on to the ice cream. This ice cream is infused with an entire vanilla pod and seeds for an hour, giving it the most aromatic perfume and sweetness. There’s only three ingredients! So you really have no excuse not to make it. I used one can of coconut cream and one can of coconut milk, and it turned out creamy but still quite light tasting. You can use just milk (or just cream for all you gluttons) if you prefer, but don’t use “light” coconut milk because you’ll be left with a bland tasting coconut ice block. 

Coconut milk is a God-send for people that can’t eat regular dairy because it’s so creamy! Perfect for substituting in desserts, creams and ice creams. It’s also really good for you, despite what some people claim about the saturated fat content. Saturated fat is present in dairy cream and milk anyway so I’m not sure why people make coconut out as the devil’s food. 

You don’t have to use this ice cream just for sandwiches. There will be leftovers unless you double the cookies, and it’s delicious over tropical fruit, a crumble, or just on its own as well. If you’re like me and hate wastage, take out two tablespoons of the coconut milk before you make the ice cream and keep it for the biscuits, that way you won’t have to open another can. Remember to take it out of the freezer about half an hour before you want to eat it so it’s nice and soft! IMG_6346

Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream: Adapted from GI 365

800ml (3 +1/4 cups) coconut milk (or half cream)

300ml (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) runny honey or maple syrup

1 vanilla pod, or two tsp vanilla extract

Pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan and scrape in the vanilla seeds. Drop in the pod as well and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Once scalded, allow to cool completely and leave to infuse for at least an hour. 

Remove vanilla pod, dry and keep for another use. Chill the coconut mixture in the fridge overnight. Pour into an ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Leave in the freezer until the cookies are ready.

IMG_6310

Coconut Cookies: Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories

85g (1 cup) rolled oats

20g ( 1 tbsp) coconut flour

60g (4.5 tbsp) coconut butter, melted

40ml (3 tbsp) coconut milk

60ml (3 tbsp) runny honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Mix all the ingredients together well in a bowl. Spoon into 12 flattish mounds on tray and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. They’ll harden up more once out of the oven but remember, they’re quite crumbly, so don’t try and move them from the tray right away. 

IMG_6297

Assemblage:

Take the ice cream out of the freezer as you put the cookies in the oven, giving it time to soften. Once the cookies are out and cool enough to handle, take a spoon and get a good scoop of ice cream on it. Using a knife, transfer the ice cream to one cookie. Use the knife to flatten the top layer of ice cream and melt it so it’s a bit sticky. Place the second cookie on this prepared surface and squeeze together slightly so the cookies adheres to the ice cream. This method will ensure the cookie and ice cream are truly melded together. Place on baking paper in a cookie tin in the freezer, so that they don’t get flavoured by anything else in there at the same time. Eat within the month 🙂 IMG_6329

Apple, Quince and Walnut Cinnamon Pie

IMG_4963

The first time I saw a quince I had no idea what it was. Trying to be cool and down with the fruit I picked it up and said something like, “oh sweet, I love these old…fruits…” before dropping it on the floor. My quince days were meant to end here, but last week a friend gave me three enormous ones from a tray she’d bought. 

 So I did some googling. After consulting some trusty sources I tried poaching two of the quince with sugar, cinnamon, star anise, vanilla and lemon peel for two hours. I was sure by the end they would be mushy and brown but they weren’t! They blushed a deep red and tasted like gently spiced apple and rose water. 

IMG_4910

 Quince (quinces?) are so nice! I decided to make a pie with the remaining giant quince and some apples. This here is a deep dish pie with a walnut crumble base under the fruit that stops the bottom getting super soggaay. I’ve actually never made a pie before. I wish this was the part where I could say “it was so easy! I must have been a lattice pie in my previous life” but no. I didn’t think it was super easy at all. To begin with my scales broke, so everything was a bit of a guess. Also I wasn’t really following any recipe and being my first pie attempt, that wasn’t one of my best ideas. 

Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 9.23.47 AM So it came out a bit rustic. For starters I tried to blend everything in the blender just as it said in the recipe. For a moment I believed in a world where when the instruction says “blend flour and butter until it resembles bread crumbs” I could actually blend flour and butter until they resembled bread crumbs. My blender cut one piece of butter before getting stuck, so I rolled it out by hand. I didn’t chill the dough enough so it kept falling apart when I tried to roll it. I forgot to chill the pastry before baking it, then pulled it out hot from the oven with my bare hands! The enormity of the moment somehow made this seem like a good idea. But in the end, after many fixing attempts, there was pie. I feel like pies can take a few mistakes in their stride and still be happy. 
IMG_4949
Apple and Quince Walnut Pie: Adapted from Delicious Magazine
 Start with the poached quince and apple:

1 giant quince or 2 medium, peeled and cut into 2cm dice

4 apples peeled and cut into 2cm dice

3 cups of water mixed with 225g (1 cup) of caster sugar

2 cinnamon sticks, 3 star anise, piece of lemon peel, pinch of nutmeg and ginger

Juice of 1 lemon

Put the quince and everything but the apples in a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1-2 hours until orange and soft. Meanwhile, toss the apple chunks with the lemon to stop them browning. In the last ten minutes of the quince cooking time, add to the pot and simmer until soft but still firm. Set fruit aside.  IMG_4953

For the pie:

290g (2 + 1/3 cups) plain flour

65g (1/2 cup) icing sugar

200g (7 ounces, 1/2 pound) butter, chilled and diced

60ml (1/4 cup) chilled water

85g (1/2 cup) walnuts, blended or crushed with 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon

If you have a powerful blender, blend the butter, sugar and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Otherwise pinch together the butter and flour until the same. Add a dash of water at a time, blending or folding the dough until it just comes together. Don’t overwork it! Roll into a bowl, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 200C. Roll out 2/3 of the pastry and reserve the rest in the fridge. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line it with the pastry. Freeze for 10 minutes until firm. Line with baking paper and fill the pie with baking weights or beans, and bake for 10-15 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Sprinkle the walnut and sugar mixtures over the base of the pastry and then place the drained fruit on top. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut into strips. Lay over in a lattice pattern (start with one horizontal at the base of the pie, then one vertical on the left hand side, etc…). Brush pastry with a splash of milk or egg yolk, and bake for 20 minutes until golden.Allow to cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream or custard 🙂
IMG_4974

Tangy Lemon Curd Frozen Yogurt

Low Fat and Gluten Free

IMG_4880

Growing up, every summer holidays my mum would take me and my sister to her friends farm. It was an eight hour drive north, and every time we’d buy McDonald’s egg and bacon McMuffins and throw out the papers so that no one would know about it. 

 Their property was on the banks of a river. During the day when it was boiling hot, we’d lie in the water, raft down to the rapids with our friends, or sleep in the hammocks under the lemon trees. I remember the heat was so strong the horses would lie down in the paddocks on the cool soil, their heads in the shade. IMG_4884
Above us, in the gum trees cockatoos would watch us waiting, waiting for us to go inside so they could take the lemons and the mandarins straight from the branches. Sometimes we’d bundle the fallen fruit up in tea towels and carry it to the cows, feeding them through the fence. Once we walked right in to the paddock and they came stampeding towards us. We threw the lemons over our shoulders and ran. When they caught up to us they slowed down and pressed their big wet noses into our underarms and faces, looking for fruit. 

IMG_4864Last weekend our friends came down to Sydney and brought with them a bursting bag of lemons. The smell was so strong it perfumed the whole kitchen. I made lemon curd and while I was stirring, the smell reminded me of their farm and the childhood I had there. The lemon curd was so sweet and thick, it tasted exactly like a lemon meringue tart! I folded it through with thick Greek yogurt and froze it. It made the richest, creamiest, tangiest lemon frozen yoghurt I’ve ever had. I followed a recipe from an old delicious magazine article. Even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, I’m sure it’s creamy enough to freeze right away. Just take it out half an hour before you want to eat it and keep it in the fridge.
 IMG_4857

Lemon Curd Frozen Yogurt: Curd adapted from Delicious Magazine

2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks, at room temperature

165 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar

The juice and zest of two large lemons 

85 grams (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

500 grams (1 pound, 2 cups) thick Greek or natural yogurt (the lower the fat, the harder it will freeze)

IMG_4875

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the eggs and sugar until combined. Place over a low heat and add the lemon juice and zest, and the butter. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon continuously for about 20 minutes, until the mix is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Have a jug ready with a strainer placed over it. Once the curd is thick pour it through the jug, using a spoon to push it through and remove the lumps. Allow to cool, then place in the fridge and cool overnight. 

In an ice cream maker or large container, mix the yoghurt with the lemon curd. Either freeze according to your machine’s instructions, or freeze straight away for around 8 hours. Tastes best either half an hour since it was frozen, or having been softened slightly before eating. 

IMG_4886

Rich Chocolate and Caramel Brownies

IMG_4791

I find it really hard to resist buying cake and muffin pans that come in funny shapes. When I bought the heart shaped pan I used to make these brownies, I justified it by wrapping it in Christmas paper, putting it under the tree and addressing it to me. 

IMG_4768

I can now justify the purchase with these brownies. No other pan would do something so chocolatey and gooey and rich justice! 

IMG_4776

These brownies are made with very dark chocolate as well as a generous amount of cocoa powder. They are dotted with large chunks of dark chocolate that melts from the heat of the oven. In the centre, there is a dollop of salted caramel that runs out once you break one open with your fork. I was faced with a terrible dilemma recently when someone gave me two jars of salted caramel. One side of me was like “noooo using pre-bought sauces is sin!” and the other was like “nooooo wasting is a sin!” and seeing as the ingredients were just sea salt, cane sugar and butter, I thought it would be ok to make an exception this once. To recreate this recipe you could use dulce de leche, good quality store bought caramel or make your own. (Or leave it out). I can’t actually link to any external recipe because I followed one on a recipe card my friend gave me for a birthday. It’s the best book of recipe cards ever, each one dedicated to chocolate. Every single recipe turns out AMAZING! Although saying that, I haven’t tried the beef stew with chocolate sauce yet…Here is the brownie recipe:IMG_4782

Chocolate Caramel-Filled Brownies:

300g (10.5 ounces) dark chocolate (at least 50% cocoa solids)

150g (5 ounces) dark chocolate cut into chunks

150g (1 + 1/3 sticks) butter, cubed

350g (1 + 3/4 cups) brown sugar

4 eggs, lightly beaten

60g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder

80g (3/4 cup) flour

200g (1/2 can, 7 ounces) dulce de leche or caramel of spoonable consistency

IMG_4785

Method:

Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line either a 20cm by 20cm square cake pan, 12 muffin cases or 10 friand holes with baking paper. Over a pot of simmering water melt the 300g chocolate with the butter until smooth. Stir in the brown sugar and leave to cool slightly. Mix in gently the eggs, and then the chocolate chips. Sift over the cocoa powder and flour and fold until just combined. Pour half of your brownie mix into your prepared pan or muffin holes. Using two teaspoons or a melon scooper, carefully spoon a small dollop of caramel into the middle of each one. If using a pan just do dollops every 2cm or so. Cover with the remaining brownie and bake for 15 minutes to 25 minutes, checking so that when the top is just set and the middle slightly wobbly you take them out. Once cool dust with cocoa powder and icing sugar.
 IMG_4788

Healthy Carrot Muffins with Bush Honey Icing

Low Fat, Sugar Free
IMG_4756

 Today I did exercise for the first time in five months. You heard me, five. I wish I was exaggerating! But this is the truth, I haven’t even gone on a medium to fast paced walk in weeks! (unless you count running awkwardly for the bus and falling over in front of your class acquaintance that always dresses like they’re going to a trendy art gallery). 

IMG_4744

 What can I say, I felt motivated by these muffins. You wont believe me when I say this, and you definitely won’t believe me if you actually go and try them! But these muffins have no sugar, no butter or oil, no honey or agave business, and they are made with wholemeal flour. And they taste amazing. Of course they are much healthier without the generous dollop of cream cheese icing but I usually only ice half of them, and keep the rest for breakfast. The measurements are in cups because this isn’t the kind of recipe that you have to worry about being exact. 

IMG_4750

 It took me two years to get this recipe right. I started with a relatively healthy but still sugary carrot cake recipe and tweaked it, tweaked it, tweaked it, TOO FAR! You know the drill, and this is the finished result. There is no road further my healthy friends, believe me. Do not substitute skim milk for light. Do not reduce the dates, or the flour. These muffins are moist and dense and packed with flavour, but they will take no more compromising without tasting, well, like health muffins. Instead of delicious happy gently spiced carrot muffins. Like I said the icing is up to you, but it helps to get kids to eat them (kids love them- that is a good sign for a healthy muffin).IMG_4761Carrot Muffins with Honey Icing: First adapted from Jamie Oliver

3 1/2 bananas, (1 large cup) mashed or blended until smooth

2-3 medium carrots (to equal 1.5 cups) skinned and grated

60g (1/2 cup) dates blended until smooth with 110ml (1/2 cup) light milk (this will help them blend)

325g (2 cups) wholemeal flour, sifted with 2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamon and salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons pepitas or sunflower seeds

Icing: (double if you want to ice the whole 10 muffins

250 grams (1/2 pound, 8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

100 ml (1/2 cup) slightly warmed honey (I used lavender bush honey but any will work)

IMG_4753

 Preheat your oven to 170C (340F) and line 10 large muffin holes with muffin cases. Sift your flour, spices, salt and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. Mix your milk and dates, carrot, banana, eggs, walnuts and seeds in a bowl until well combined. Sift over the dry ingredients and stir together with a spoon until everything is just combined. Spoon into muffin holes and bake for about 22-25 minutes, until golden on top and dry when pierced with a skewer. Leave to cool completely. 

Icing: Blend or whisk your cream cheese with the honey until completely combined and fluffy. Spread over the cooled muffins and either eat within 24 hours or store in the fridge once iced. 

IMG_4749