Tag Archives: bite sized

Tahini Balls

I love tahini.  First of all it tastes delicious, but it is also very versatile.

Well known as one of the ingredients in hommus, it can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes, added to sauces and dressings or simply spread on toast (and topped with slices of fresh tomato) for a quick and nutritious breakfast.  Mostly used in Middle Eastern cooking, it is also popular with vegetarians and vegans due to its high nutrient content, which includes iron and calcium as well as Vitamin B1, magnesium, zinc, selenium and fibre.

Tahini is sesame seeds that have been ground into a paste.  I say it is like peanut butter that is made from sesame seeds and find most people who like peanut butter will like tahini or perhaps even prefer it!

My mum first introduced me to the recipe for these balls.  I think she heard it on the radio.  It is from a well known fellow dietitian Karen Inge who originally got the recipe from Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat.  I made a few changes to the original recipe according to what I had on hand and they are so delicious.

These tahini balls are quick to make, no heating or cooking is required and you only need one bowl to mix them in, which means not much mess to clean up after making them!  That’s definitely a plus!!  Enjoy 🙂

Tahini Balls

  • ½ cup tahini (I used hulled tahini)
  • 1/3 cup honey (original recipe had 1/2 cup which I found was too sticky)
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • ½ cup LSA (a combination of linseed (called flaxseeds in America) sunflower seed and almond which is made into a ground meal; I used just sunflower seeds and linseeds, 1/4 cup of each which I ground in my thermomix)
  • 1 cup Australian dried apricots, cut into pieces (I used mostly dried apricots with a small amount of dried cranberries)
  • ½ cup chopped almonds (I used pistachios)

Mix all ingredients together to make a stiff mixture. Use more coconut if necessary. Mix into small balls and coat with coconut.

Makes 30 x 20g balls

Each ball has 337kJ or 80 calories

2g protein, 6g carbohydrate, 5g fat (0.7g sat fat), 2g fibre

and are very delicious!!

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Filed under Balls, Gluten Free, No Cooking Required

Chocolate Pecan & Cranberry Biscuits

It’s been a while between posts, but this one was worth waiting for as it’s time for a chocolate fix!

It is quite difficult to make a low fat biscuit as compared to a cake or muffin where you can use fruit purees in place of fat.  Using fruit purees in a biscuit significantly changes the texture of a biscuit however and makes it more cake-like.  This is not good!  It is also difficult to make a low fat biscuit without some butter due to the flavour and texture that butter provides a biscuit.  I was able  to cut down the amount of butter used however (important to lower saturated fat content) by using half oil and this seems to work well 🙂  I also managed to cut the sugar back a little in these, however again cutting back too much does affect the quality and makes a not-so-nice biscuit.

So after many trials and tribulations this version of delicious chocolate bikkies were a hit at work so I am confident you will enjoy them also.

They are a lovely little crisp biscuit with an increase in fibre (from using 1/2 wholemeal flour) and of course the reduced fat and sugar content as compared to a regular chocolate biscuit.  They are also rather quick and easy to make – they take around 10 minutes to mix up and I manage to do them all in one bowl (less washing up!!).  Once cold, store the biscuits in an air-tight container.  If you don’t want to cook all the mix at once it will keep in the fridge for 5 days (well covered so the mix won’t dry out) or you could try freezing it for a week.  Allow to completely thaw before baking. Most of all – Enjoy 🙂

Chocolate Pecan and Cranberry Biscuits

 

Makes 28 biscuits

  • 60g (¼ cup) butter, soft/room temperature
  • ½ cup (80g) sandy brown sugar
  • 2 Tbspn white sugar
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal plain flour
  • ¼ cup Dutch cocoa powder 
  • ¼ cup pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (craisins) or raisins (chop if large) or use half and half

Preheat oven to 170 degrees.  Line 2 biscuit trays with baking paper

In a large bowl and with a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, sugar and oil until light and creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.

Sift together both flours and cocoa. Add the pecans and craisins and stir to coat (this will evenly distribute the pecans and craisins through the biscuits). Tip flour mix into butter mix and stir through until well combined.

Place heaped teaspoons of mixture on biscuit trays, this is easiest done using 2 teaspoons – one to scoop out the mixture and the other to scoop the mix off that teaspoon onto the baking tray.  Flatten slightly and  leave a little room between each biscuit (this is important to help with even baking). Bake for 12 minutes.  They are actually best cooked one tray at a time in the centre of the oven.

Do not over-bake as they can become tough or dry.

Each 20g biscuit has 83 calories and 1.5g saturated fat

Compared with a standard chocolate biscuit (also 20g) which has approx 100 calories and more than 2g saturated fat

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Filed under Biscuits, Chocolate

Vegetable Pikelets with Avocado Topping

Avocadoes have been lovely lately and very reasonably priced 🙂

Avocadoes are a wonderful source of many important nutrients such as Vitamins A, C & E, folate and fibre.  They are also one of the few fruit that contain fat, however this is monounsaturated fat which is a healthy fat that our bodies like and use.  This fat helps to provide the creamy texture which makes avocadoes a wonderful topping on toast, bruschetta, dry biscuits and in this case, vegetable pikelets. 

The idea for these pikelets came from a visit to the Harvest Picnic in Werribee Park, Melbourne about 5 years ago!  The people on the stand promoting avocadoes could not make these pikelets fast enough.  The original recipe actually had avocado in the pikelet mix and used carrots instead of pumpkin and tomato instead of red capsicum.  I think they taste just as good my way.  Another adaptation would be to add some grated tasty or parmessan cheese to the mix.  This would however greatly increase the fat content and consequently, calories.

As it is, this recipe is really quick and easy to whip up and could also be a good one for the kids to try.  They would make a great after school snack and what a great way to get more vegies into the kids!! Enjoy 🙂

Vegetable Pikelets

1 small red onion, diced finely

1 cup of grated pumpkin

1 medium zucchini, grated

1 small red capsicum, finely chopped (1/3 cup approx)

3 Tbspn wholemeal self raising flour

1 egg, beaten

3 Tbspn low fat milk

Small amount of oil or spray for cooking (approx 2 teaspoons)

1 ripe avocado, mashed

1-2 Tbspn fresh coriander, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon or lime to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

Combine vegetables and flour.  Mix through egg and milk.  Season with salt and pepper.

Brush non stick frying pan with a tiny amount of oil or spray and place over heat.  Drop tablespoonfuls of batter into pan and cook until brown.  Flip over and cook a further 2-3 minutes. 

Place on a baking tray and bake in pre-heated moderate oven (160 degrees) for 10-15 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with avocado topping.  Serve immediately.

When it’s not avocado season you could top them with a really good tomato or mango relish

Avocado topping…

Mix coriander through avocado, then add juice to taste.  Spoon onto pikelets just before serving

Makes 20 pikelets

Each little pikelet has 188kJ or 45 calories when topped with avocado (a little less if you use relish)

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Filed under Fritters

Nigella’s Muesli (Breakfast) Bars

I am always trying to encourage kids to get in the kitchen and learn how to cook.  No matter what age, they can help and from my experience, they love it 🙂

You may remember my first ever post was for my favorite muesli bars (which are still my favorite) so why would I post another muesli bar recipe?  Because it is so quick and easy, even kids can make it.  Besides they do taste pretty good and since we all have different tastes, you may even prefer them!

A gorgeous friend of ours, Fi told me about these bars and how when making them she struggles not to eat the entire batch! That was enough encouragement for me to try them and I discovered just how easy they are. 

The original recipe is available here on Nigella’s website.

The first time I made them I changed a few things (I can’t help myself) – macadamias instead of peanuts, skim rather than full fat condensed milk and since I only had half the amount of cranberries, I substituted with sultanas.  As I prefer more dried fruit in my muesli bars, the second time I made them (seriously they are so quick and easy to whip up) I added dates and apricots.  Both my husband and I prefer them with this extra fruit.

Why not give them a go and see what you think…even better, get your kids to make them for you – just make sure they clean up after!

Nigella’s Muesli Bars (aka Breakfast Bars)

  •  2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sultanas
  • 1/3 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup sunflower kernels
  • 2 Tbspn sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup unsalted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 400g can of skim condensed milk

Preheat oven to 150 degrees.  Line a 10 inch (25cm) square or similar sized rectangular tin with baking paper.

Place all ingredients except condensed milk in a large bowl and mix until well combined.

Pour condensed milk into a heavy based saucepan (as it is less likely to catch on the bottom) and heat over a low light until warmed through.  Pour warmed condensed milk into dry ingredients and mix through until well coated.

Scrape into prepared tin and press down as evenly as possible.  Bake in oven for approx 50 minutes.   After 30 minutes, check that it isn’t going too brown on top.  If it is, cover with foil and continue baking further 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.  Remove from tin and cut into squares while still warm.  Leave to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.

If you cut the slab into 25 squares (5 x 5) each serve has 146 calories and 2g fibre

I prefer them smaller and cut it into 36 (6×6) slices with 101 calories and 1.5g fibre each

and they are a great alternative to those bought muesli bars…

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Filed under Biscuits, Slices

Mini Raspberry Jam Tarts

Who can resist a jam tart, especially a homemade one? Not me!

This recipe originally came from the Women’s Weekly Recipe site.  Women’s Weekly recipes are fabulous as they always work.  Regardless of this however, I couldn’t help myself and had to put my own slant on it.  I added a small amount of custard powder and mixed frozen raspberries in with the jam.  They aren’t one of my healthier snacks, however they are truly delicious.

Mini Raspberry Jam Tarts

Makes approx 18 little tarts

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup custard powder
  • ¾ cup plain flour
  • ½ cup raspberry jam, approximately
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease 2 x 12-hole mini muffin pans.

Mix together jam and raspberries and set aside.

Process the butter, vanilla, icing sugar, custard powder and flour until mixture comes together.

Roll level tablespoons of mixture (approx 20g each) into balls and place into pan holes. Make an indent with your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon.

Spoon one level teaspoon of jam into each tart. Bake for about 20 minutes or until browned.

Cool tarts in pans before transferring onto wire racks to cool.

When cooled, top with remaining jam (mound it up a little)

Each tart has approx 115 calories

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Filed under Tarts