Date, Fig and Nut Bites

Date, fig and nut bites

These bites are both delicious and good for you – always a winning combo!

Although I’ve seen many variations of this recipe, after much playing with different combinations and quantities of the ingredients, this one is my favourite. Feel free to change up whatever you like though to suit your own tastes.

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Pink Zebra Cake

Animals galore

The other day my friend Lynda asked me if I would make a birthday cake for her daughter who was turning 3. She was going with an animal theme and had come across the idea for a zebra-striped cake – the first time I’d heard of such a thing. Needless to say I was excited to experiment and after some research on the method, I came up with a variation that I thought worked.

Overall, I was quite pleased with the way it turned out – and of course you can’t really go wrong with chocolate icing on top! (Excuse the messy cutting here, by the way. We had 10 three-year olds running around like maniacs at the time.)

Stripey cake

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Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Healthy chocolate mousse

This is a really easy and healthy recipe that tastes very decadent, and if nobody told you, you would never guess the ingredients!

I first had a version of it on a raw food course I did several years ago, and it’s something I make often when avocados are in season (they’re just coming back here in South Africa now).

It only takes about 15 minutes to prepare but some pre-planning is needed as it’s best to use ripe bananas and avocados. It also takes a couple of hours to set so you need to allow for that too, although you can try to speed the process by putting it in the freezer for a while.

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Lemon, Almond and Ricotta Tartlets

Lemon, almond and ricotta tartlets

I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for a long time, after first tasting an Italian Ricotta cake made by Hmmm a few years ago. I found a few recipes which helped, especially this one by Cakelets and Doilies, which it seems she adapted from a Donna Hay recipe.

So basically this concept has been around the block a few times, and when you taste it, you’ll know why it’s so popular. It’s light and almondy, moist and crumbly, with a lemon flavour that can be subtle or quite strong, depending on how you like it. As a bonus, it’s gluten-free and if you wanted to make it sugar-free/paleo too, I imagine it would work very well if you used honey or something like xylitol instead.

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Shortbread Biscuits

Wrapped biscuits

I must admit that I’m not always a fan of shop-bought shortbread, or even some home-made versions, as I often find them too dry. This recipe, the original version of which I seem to remember my Mom cut out of a magazine or newspaper about 30 years ago, is a nice compromise between shortbread and a ‘traditional’ biscuit, being ‘short’ but not dry (unless you bake them too long, of course).

Other virtues of this recipe are that the dough itself isn’t too sweet and you can add just about any flavouring you like to it. My personal favourites are flaked/nibbed almonds and brandy, which are totally delicious together, or lavender, which is what I’m using here. (N.B. You need to chop the lavender flowers and leaves very finely!) Chocolate chips or any kind of dried fruit also work well, although obviously make it a bit sweeter.

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