Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Paleo Pistachio Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on a link to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission that goes back into helping me keep the blog running. Thank you for your support. 

Chewy, paleo cookies. Light and meringue-y (yes I just invented that word). 

5 ingredients and all you need is about 15 minutes free to have these babies waiting for you on your kitchen worktop. 

This is what you make when your kids look up at you with their sparkly little eyes and ask for a treat while they watch a film. Whip these up, get them to choose the film while you slip the cookies into the oven and they'll be ready by the time the titles begin. 

Go on, you deserve it. 

Pistachio Butter Cookies
Makes 10-12
160g jar of pistachio butter - I use this Meridian Foods one
1 egg
half teaspoon vanilla extract
half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
for drizzling: dark chocolate and chopped pistachios


Super easy. 

Preheat your oven to 165ºC. 

Mix all the ingredients until smooth (the batter will be very sticky) and dollop tablespoon-sized blobs onto a greaseproof-lined baking tray. I used two spoons - one to scrape the mixture off the other spoon. 

Bake for 10 minutes. They will sink and crackle a bit and this is good. Allow to cool and drizzle, if you like, with your favourite dark chocolate - I like Ombar. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios for crunch and colour before the chocolate sets and you're done. 

Let me know what you think in the comments below! 

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Review of Deep Heat's Muscle Rescue

Stiff neck and shoulders? I try Deep Heat's Muscle Rescue cream and patch to try and soothe them and let you know what I think. 

A day of blogging doesn't come without some pulled and tight muscles here and there. Cooking - stirring, blending, pulsing, mashing - twisting your body into weird positions to photograph (yes, that happens) and then sitting for an hour or few editing, writing and organising the blog post and then sharing it on social media. 

Phew. It's fair to say I've had my share of tight shoulder and neck muscles during my time here at Comfort Bites. 

So when Deep Heat asked if I'd like to review their Muscle Rescue products I gave my painful left shoulder muscle a little massage and said I'd love to. 

My husband is a fan of Deep Heat from his rugby days. I'd never used it before, so when I told him I was trying it out he gave me a knowing look and said, 'Careful. It gets warm.' 

Undeterred by his playful (hopefully) jibes, I opened up the pack after an especially difficult day hunched over the computer and set it to work. 

The Muscle Rescue cream is developed especially for tight neck and shoulder muscles (hurray) and is described as a 'warming cream to ease everyday muscular tension.' It gets to work by warming up the tight muscles, allowing them to relax and un-stiffen. You just pop off the lid and there's a sponge applicator underneath. You squeeze the tube and out comes the cream, meaning you don't need to get Deep Heat all over your hands just to work it into the areas you need. Brilliant. 

I applied to my shoulder, and the beginning of the side of my neck. It took a little while to take effect - maybe a minute or two - but soon I had that warmth that hubs had warned me about. It wasn't overbearing, or too much - it was just right. The herbal, slightly menthol-like aroma was soothing, too. I loved it. The warming effect lasted a good couple of hours at least - and I'm sure it did soothe my tight muscles. 

Along with the cream, there's the Neck and Shoulder Heat Patch. It's a slightly padded, papery patch with an adhesive strip that keeps it in place on your skin. Sensitive and ageing skins, you need to apply the patch over clothing in case your skin gets irritated. The patch warms up on contact with the air, so you open the air-tight pack, peel off the strip and apply to the part of your neck and shoulder that's tight and needs some relaxing. 

I found this had much more of an effect than the cream. It warmed up within minutes, and it felt just as if there was a warm hot water bottle there. The patch keeps warm, so the pack says, for 8 hours, but don't sleep with it on. I kept mine on for about 4 hours until I needed to go out. It did work, and I would buy these again. They're good after a long day to put on while you watch TV or settle down for the evening (remember to take it off before you go to bed). The patches are odourless, and single-use. You can't heat them back up once they've cooled down, you have to discard it (one pack gives you two patches). This was the only thing I wasn't 100% comfortable about - as we're trying to limit our disposables as a family, I was reluctant to use a product again that was single use. Perhaps Deep Heat can come up with a reusable patch that you can somehow reheat again - that would make me feel lots better. But the patch itself was very effective and did soothe my tired, aching muscles and I'd definitely consider it again for occasional use.

I received the Deep Heat patches and cream from Deep Heat for the purpose of this review, and all comments and opinions are my own. Visit the website to find out more about Deep Heat's Muscle Rescue products

Tried Deep Heat's Muscle Rescue yourself? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below. 

Friday, 14 December 2018

Paleo Almond Christmas Cookies

Easy to make almond cookies - totally gluten free and paleo - and egg and refined sugar free. 

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) that goes back into helping me keep the blog going. Thanks for your support. 

If you've seen me over on Instagram, you'll have seen something like these before from a few weeks ago. I actually made a version of these cookies when I experimented with an ingredient from Waitrose, called Mango Dust. It's basically just freeze dried mango ground into a powder, and you can use it in your cakes, bakes, smoothies, sauces and icings. Whenever you want a slightly tropical, sweet flavour, you just sprinkle a bit in. 

Amazing stuff. Fun to experiment with. 

These don't have any Mango Dust. They're traditional almond cookies, which are ingrained into my DNA at Christmas time. My Mum loved marzipan, and she'd eat literally handfuls of the stuff throughout the Christmas period. I remember she had a bowl of marzipan fruit - apples, oranges, pears and a banana - that I think she won in a raffle at the school. I didn't believe her when she said they weren't real fruit. But then I was about 6 years old at the time. 

So, anyway, almond cookies. 

These are egg free, paleo and refined sugar free. And they're so easy to make. I got the idea from a recipe on the Power Hungry website, where almond flour is mixed with coconut sugar and water to make a paste, which is then baked. And no egg. I was wondering how they would bind, but they worked really well. I tried lots of flavour combos before I settled on this one. I've also used rougher, ground almonds for a more rustic texture and used a little less sugar. These are super easy and quick to make. You can get up off your chair and have warm cookies just out of the oven in 15 minutes flat. 

And the sugar dusting, that's paleo, too. Feel free to use regular icing sugar if you like, but I've used this combination of coconut sugar and tapioca starch. 


Paleo Almond Christmas Cookies
Adapted slightly from a recipe on Power Hungry
Makes 8 small cookies
100g (1 cup) ground almonds 
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon almond extract
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons room temperature water

For the snowy dusting: 
half a tablespoon tapioca starch
half a tablespoon coconut sugar

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF and line a baking tray with a piece of baking parchment. 

Mix together the ground almonds, coconut sugar, bicarbonate of soda, almond extract and the pinch of salt. Trickle in the water - don't be tempted to add any more. Mix well, mashing a little as you go, until a soft paste forms. It'll look like you need more water, but you won't - just keep mixing. Pinch little balls of the mixture, roll and place on the baking sheet. Press down with the back of a fork to flatten slightly and then bake in the oven for 10-13 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Take out of the oven and allow to cool. 

Once cooled, mix together the ingredients for the snowy dusting and sprinkle over the top of the cookies. 

Made this recipe? I'd love to see! Tag me in at @joromerofood on Instagram!

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