Low-fructose vegan caramel slice

VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | CANE SUGAR FREE | LOW FRUCTOSE

Yep, that’s right – a low fructose caramel slice that contains no gluten, dairy, cane sugar or dates.

BASE
1/3 cup almond meal
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Sprinkle of vanilla powder
Sprinkle of salt
The base doesn’t need any sweeteners as the ‘caramel’ & chocolate layers contain no-fructose rice malt syrup. The coconut oil binds the almond meal

CARAMEL LAYER
1/3 cup almond butter
1/4 cup coconut yoghurt (I used coyo)
1 tablespoon rice malt syrup (I always use Pureharvest)
1 tablespoon coconut oil

CHOCOLATE
1/3 cup cacao
1/3 cup coconut oil OR cacao butter OR a combination – personally I prefer cacao butter to coconut oil in home made chocolate; it also works better as it has a higher melting point so won’t melt on those hot summer days.
1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
1 tablespoon tahini (not essential if you don’t have it, just gives it a ‘creamy’ texture)

  1. METHOD
    For the base, simply mix the almond meal, melted coconut oil, vanilla powder & salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. Press the mixture into a vessel of your choice lined with baking paper – I recommend a square or rectangular glass dish in order to cut it easily. The one I used was approx 14cm x 14cm. Then pop this into the freezer
  3. For the middle layer, pop the almond butter & coconut oil into a small pan & put on the lowest heat. Warm it up until it mixes easily. Turn off the heat & stir through the coconut yoghurt & rice malt syrup. Using a spatula, spread this over the almond meal layer & pop back in the freezer
  4. Wait one hour or longer for the caramel layer to set in the freezer, then make the chocolate layer: in the same pan (don’t worry if there are some dregs of the caramel) – on a low heat, mix cacao, coconut oil/cacao butter, tahini & rice malt syrup until well combined. Pour the mixture onto the caramel layer & you guessed it, pop it back in the freezer for about one hour.
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Getting kids to try new foods (from a Mum!) 

Everyone will have a different opinion on this but I recently read an article by Justine Lebrun on the I Quit Sugar website which you can find here.

Whilst I agree with many of the points raised, & like that she is a Mum so has experienced it first hand, every family situation is different.

For the last 2 1/2 years, the Father of my little people lived away from home 5 nights a week. Last year I was working 4 days a week, pregnant, managing a pretty big renovation & part of the time living with my parents. Not to mention having a newborn.

This year he is back in town, leaving home at 430am every morning & returning home somewhere between 6-7pm. With a crazy 7 year old, an even crazier 5 year old & a 3 month old who is still “witching” at dinner time, meals aren’t always the peaceful event you hope for. As a matter of fact, my 7 year old asked me tonight “why is it so quiet?” with the witching baby being jiggled in the Baby Bjorn while I attempted to cut / boil / cook dinner. It’s harder than you think.

Nevertheless, our method with me generally as a “single mum” with 3 kids is: the boys sit up on bar stools & eat their dinner. I generally pick at the vegetables I’ve presented them (that I know they won’t eat), modelling how much I loooooove cauliflower. At the same time I can stack the dishwasher, talk to the kids & keep moving so the baby doesn’t wake. We are a “no screen” household from Sunday evening til Friday afternoon every week, however this year my son in year 2 is going to have to make PowerPoint Presentations so some screen time will have to happen (nooooo!). Both boys also have some online Maths homework.

During the week, they are exhausted from school & I find that if I’m going to try a new meal, Saturday, Sunday or Monday is best. Tuesday-Thursday they are too tired to want to try new things. I’m guessing many families are similar.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself – there aren’t too many adults who only eat crumbed fish & spaghetti bolognaise. If you’re going to crumb it, use a healthy crumb – my go to is either straight quinoa flakes; or a combination or quinoa flakes, sesame seeds, chia seeds & almond meal – depending on what we have in the pantry.

Make it fun & colourful. Cut the veggies in a different shape – try sweet potato in wedges one night & discs another; make carrot sticks into match sticks one night & noodles another. Cut long thin pieces of cucumber, or thin discs. Use a spiraliser. Make it different every night. Don’t make a fuss over what isn’t eaten.

Most importantly, be realistic with your expectations – I haven’t eaten meat in nearly 20 years but my sons like meat (currently). I don’t like pasta, they love it. I could eat salad & veggies all day, every day, whereas they feel slightly different! I do sneak veggies into their bolognaise (usually grated cauliflower & zucchini) but that’s more of a nutrient than a taste issue for me.
We agree as a family that sweet potato is the best veggie ever & that frozen bananas make the best smoothies. We all love my crumbed fish & cucumbers.
We all love whole fruit.
My 7 year old & I share a mayonnaise addiction whereas the others don’t see the fuss. It’s the same throughout life- we all know someone who hates coriander right? How about anchovies? I love both but there was a time where neither were on the Menu for me.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, it’s another chocolate recipe 

I always get the most recipe requests for chocolate – perhaps that’s a no brainer?!

INGREDIENTS
1/3 cup coconut oil or ideally cacao butter
1/3 cup tahini (Mayver’s is my fave)
1/3 cup cacao
2-4 tablespoons rice malt syrup – depends how sweet you like it
1/4 cup coconut milk

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS:
For a little sour kick add 1 tablespoon of baobab powder
For a protein hit, add 1 tablespoon vegan protein powder (I get mine from Naked Foods) &/or 1 tablespoon chia seeds

METHOD
1. Throw all ingredients (but only 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup to start) in a saucepan & turn onto low heat.
2. Stir until well combined – it will only take 1-2 minutes on a gas cooktop then take an all important taste test. Add more rice malt syrup if desired
3. Once well combined, remove from heat & pour into a silicone loaf “tin” or a Tupperware container lined with baking paper. Pop it in the freezer & it should be ready to devour in an hour (although from experience it’s also pretty good when still a bit gooey 😉)