Thursday, 26 May 2016

Brownie Batter Dip

I don't know about you, but when summer time rolls around I kinda go off proper meals during the day, and just want picky things! I don't know why, but it is what it is. I love just munching on watermelon or veggies with hummus, but my latest favorite snacky lunch is this high protein Brownie Batter Dip with lots of fruit to scoop it up with! This is a great recipe for using up all those pesky chickpeas leftover from making macarons!

Real talk for a second. There are a load of healthy, sugar free, low calorie sweet chickpea dip recipes floating around the blogosphere and I'm afraid this isn't one of them. I've tried those recipes and I'm sorry (not sorry) to say that I need the sugar. If you want something to taste like brownie batter, sugar is a pretty crucial component. By all means, switch the sugar in this recipe out for a replacement if you wish, but it probably won't taste as good as the full-sugar version! 

Brownie Batter Dip
Makes 1 1/2C 

1 400g can of chickpeas
1/2C full fat coconut milk
1Tbsp coconut oil
1/3C cocoa powder
1/4C light brown soft sugar
3Tbsp caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp maple syrup or agave
1/4tsp salt

1/4C mini dark chocolate chips (optional)

Drain the chickpeas (save the aquafaba for making macarons or meringues!) and remove the skins. This takes abut ten minutes, but it really makes a difference to the texture of the dip. 

Put the chickpeas along with all the other ingredients apart from the chocolate chips into the bowl of your food processor and blend until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and blend again, making sure everything is well mixed. Pour into a bowl and place in the fridge to set for 30mins to an hour. 

Once thickened spoon into a serving dish and sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top. Serve with your favorite sliced fruits, pretzels, crackers or cookies!

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Bible Journaling / Restoration

I thought I'd do a little update on my Bible Journaling Journey!
The past few months have been a struggle to be completely honest. Dealing with crippling anxiety, panic disorder and a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome relapse had left me feeling pretty hopeless and for want of a better word - hollow.
I'd avoided church for quite some time due to anxiety issues, and was feeling really distant from God. Thankfully I managed to get my butt into church again a couple of weeks ago and got some prayer (a lovely lady gave a word about someone who was suffering with anxiety, hopelessness and joint, back and stomach pains - i.e: me) and honestly it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Ever since then the word RESTORATION has been popping up again and again, and I've been focusing on that in my prayer life and through Bible journaling.

I love that when I feel depressed or hopeless I can flick through my journaling Bible and see so many of God's promises to me covering the pages. One of the things I'm loving about Bible journaling is not only is it a great way to connect with God - even when I'm not 'feeling it', it's also like a record of my spiritual journey, which is why I date each page - so I can look back and remember what I was going through at that point in my life, and see how God came through for me.

I'm starting a Bible Journaling group this month and I'm really excited to see how we all grow together through creative worship. Isn't it great that you don't have to be perfect to be used by God!?

Monday, 2 May 2016

Perfect Gluten Free Brownies

I adore brownies, and since I gave up gluten I've been working away in the kitchen, trying to come up with a gluten free vegan brownie recipe that is perfect - and I think I've cracked it! For me, the perfect brownie is uber-chocolatey and fudgy, with a shiny top (and of course lots of chocolate chips!) So here it is, my Perfect Gluten Free Brownie recipe!

I've included different cooking times, depending on just how fudgy you like your brownies, so hopefully this recipe can please all brownie lovers!

Perfect Gluten Free Brownies
Makes 16

1Tbsp ground flax + 3Tbsp warm water
2C gluten free plain flour (Doves Farm or Bob's Red Mill)
3/4C cocoa powder
1C granulated sugar
1C light brown soft sugar
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
1/4tsp xanthan gum
1tsp espresso powder

1C almond or soy milk
1C + 2Tbsp oil
1/8C chickpea aquafaba*
1Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2C dark chocolate chips

*unwhipped, straight from the can!

Preheat the oven to 175/350 and line a brownie tin with grease proof paper.
In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients until well combined. 
Separately mix the flaxseed and water and leave to gel for a few minutes.

Add the wet ingredients and the flax gel to the dry and whisk until you have a gloriously smooth, thick batter. I mean look, just look at it! Try to resist sticking your head in the bowl and just eating all the batter raw if you can!

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth over with a spatula if necessary. Sprinkle over the dark chocolate chips and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25mins. (If you like your brownies on the gooey side bake for 20mins, if you like them more cake like then bake for 30mins) Once baked remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin before cutting into squares and devouring!

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.