Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Coconut and Vanilla Snowball Truffles

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So, we're in December now, so it's really OK now to talk about Christmas. My tree is up, I'm sitting here with the heating on and I'm wearing my Christmas jumper with a jingly bell on it. 

I'm totally all about Christmas now. 

And I know that for us dairy-free eaters, our options for desserts, treats and gifts are a bit limited. And it was in the local corner shop, when I saw boxes of chocolate truffles lined up on the tinsel-lined shelves, that I had the idea to make these. 

Coconut and Vanilla Snowball Truffles. 

Don't they look Christmassy? 


Coconut and vanilla snowball truffles - vegan dairy free

Now I know sleep is important. But these babies kept me awake at 2am, wondering how I could get a creamy consistency to them. Would I use just coconut butter? Mix it with something else? And in what quantities? And how could I make it look festive? 

Here's the result. 

The creamy coconut literally melts in your mouth. Slowly. The musky vanilla works beautifully,  and they're finished with a snowy dusting of desiccated coconut. 

They'd make great gifts - put a few in a gift box and tie it up with a spangly ribbon. Or just keep them in the fridge whenever sweet cravings strike. 


Coconut and vanilla snowball truffles - vegan dairy free

Coconut and Vanilla Snowballs
Makes 10
Ingredients
½ cup (120g) coconut manna
1 tsp maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tsp full-fat coconut milk
pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp desiccated coconut

Method
In a small saucepan, gently warm the coconut manna, maple syrup, vanilla and coconut milk - stirring, until melted together. Stir in the salt and then turn off the heat. Leave to cool, slightly. 

Measure out the desiccated coconut onto a plate. 

Take teaspoonfuls of the mixture and roll them into balls, coating them in the desiccated coconut as you go, and arranging them in a shallow bowl or container. Store in the fridge, allowing them to cool fully. 

To enjoy them at their best, take them out of the fridge a little whole before eating, to just take the chill off them and allow them to soften only very slightly. Store any leftover snowball truffles in the fridge until needed. 


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Monday, 5 December 2016

Smoked Salmon Sweet Potato Toasts with Dill

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Lately, I've become FASCINATED with Scandinavian food. 

I don't know whether it's because a new IKEA just opened about a 20-minute walk away from my house, and every time I go in there I'm being tempted with roasted beef, gravadlax and meatballs. 

While my husband's looking around at new kitchen units, I'm just there, in the 'Home' section, flicking through the cookbooks. And getting hungry. 

I've started recreating some Scandi-style dishes at home - the Swedish meatballs with gravy and cranberry sauce found themselves in my first AIP cookbook, AIP Paleo Comfort Food, a couple of years ago. And we still make them all the time, as you'll see from my Instagram feed. I've also made a slow cooker beef with lingonberry sauce, which was also inspired by a trip to the store. I just love it. The food is so colourful, healthy and light. 



So, after an afternoon pinning all my favourite-looking dishes on Pinterest, I decide to make a kind of an open sandwich alternative, that didn't involve bread.

These smoked salmon sweet potato toasts. 



Soft, smoky salmon. Sweet, tender sweet potato slices. Crunchy radish. Dill. 

Oh my word, we all loved these. 




Smoked Salmon Sweet Potato Toasts with Dill
Serves 4
Ingredients
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed, skin left on
1 tbsp olive oil
4 radishes
2 avocados
a handful of rocket/arugula
3-4 slices smoked salmon
a few sprigs of dill

Method
First, cut the sweet potato into thick slices, about 1cm thick. Lay them out on a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the oil so that you have a thin coating over the sweet potato slices, and then lay on a single layer in the tray. Slide the tray into the oven at gas mark 7/220ÂșC and bake until tender - about 10 minutes. 

While the sweet potato is cooking, slice the radishes and dice the avocado. 

Once the toasts are ready, allow them to cool only slightly and then place on a serving plate or board. Arrange the smoked salmon slices over the top and scatter over the radish, avocado, rocket/arugula and the dill. Eat warm. 

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