Chocolate and beetroot cupcakes with avocado and chocolate frosting Vegan chocolate and beetroot cupcakes

Exciting news!! On Thursday I did my first recipe post for Junior’s design blog, a very trendy kids blog which my friend Julia launched recently alongside her other home blog Studio Home which has a huuuge following, and so many hugely inspiring creatives from down under. I’m going to be posting recipes weekly for fun healthy food that hopefully kids love, I am already crazy excited at the prospect of eating fun, colourful, kids party food, let alone getting to shoot with these cool army men! I will be starting a kids section to the blog but for now head on over to Junior’s to check them out

Also exciting…I had probably one of my finest moments on the Basketball court on Tuesday. We played the best team that wins every year and has ex New Zealand players apparently so there was not much hope….but we all played awesome and even though we lost about 20-60 we were looking good! Anyway my moment of glory was when I caught the ball just as the final buzzer was about to go, shot just in time from pretty far away and scored a 3 pointer!!! It was magnificent, I felt like I was in some sort of basketball movie.

Here is the recipe I did for Junior’s for some seriously good looking and delicious chocolate cupcakes that are,  shock horror…healthy! They are perfect for kids and grown ups, you honestly can’t pick out that the icing is made of avocado or that there is even beetroot in the cake., I know this because I taste tested 3 people and none of them had a scooby! The avocado icing is also flipping incredible! Vegan chocolate and beetroot cupcakes Vegan chocolate and beetroot cupcakes

makes 1 cake or 36 mini cupcakes

Cake mix
⅓ cup coconut oil
¾ cup honey or agave
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cup spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup cocoa powder
2 cups finely grated beetroot
½ tsp vanilla
2 very ripe avocados
½ cup dark chocolate, melted
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 heaped tbsp cacao powder
½ cup agave or honey
Drop of vanilla essence

Preheat your oven to 180˚C.

Grease your cupcake tin or fill with cupcake cases. I use the mini silicone trays and grease them with a little sunflower oil and sprinkle with either cocoa powder or desiccated coconut.

On a low heat melt the coconut oil and honey in a small pan. When its all melted add the almond milk and apple cider vinegar.

Put all the dry ingredients in a big bowl, mix it about and then sieve into the wet ingredients. Stir it until smooth then add the beetroot

Thats the mix done!

Now just spoon it about ⅔ rd’s full into the cupcake tins.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins, they will have risen and should be springy to touch. To test you can poke with a skewer and check it comes out clean

Leave to cool and get started on the icing

Melt the coconut oil and dark chocolate in the microwave until its runny.

Spoon the flesh out of the avocado into a blender along with all the other ingredients until super smooth. Then scrape it all out into a bowl and chill in the fridge for the minimum of half an hour.

To ice use a piping bag, if you have a fancy nozzle that will make them look great! Shake over some colourful sprinkles and party away! Vegan chocolate and beetroot cupcakesPhotos Jase Hancox Co Lab

Raw Bounty bar


Wowzers….I can honestly say these are the most silky smooth, sexy, chocolate coated, creamy coconutty, delicious things on the planet! You need to make them right now!!

I first tried them at Vudu cafe in Queenstown and thought I had been swept off to a tropical island with monkeys in palm trees and turquoise sea. Wow I am obviously missing the sun a lot! We have an inversion layer covering Wanaka at the moment and it is depressing and grey and apparently it hangs around for weeks, downside to dreamland.

This recipe is from Mondays a new cafe in Aukland started by two health food bloggers. I cannot wait to visit and try all their riduculously good looking food now that I’ve had an amazing taster! 



Makes 20 small bars

Coconut filling
2 cups desicated coconut
1 cup coconut cream
2 tbsp agave
3 tbsp coconut oil
pinch sea salt
Raw chocolate
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
2 tbsp agave
pinch sea salt
Melt the coconut oil and cream in a saucepan with the agave until it is all smooth.
Mix in with the desicated coconut
Press into a small lined baking tin, preferably with square sides so that it is about and inch high. Stick in the fridge to set for half an hour then cut into mini bars and transfer to the freezer.
To make the chocolate coating, melt the coconut oil in a bain marie with the agave and when its all melted stir in the chocolate and a pinch of salt. Levae to cool for about 5 mins off the heat.
Take the coconut filling and dip it in the chocolate sauce, because of the cold it will start to set very quickly. When coated put the bars onto a baking paper lined tray and set in teh fridge for 5 mins, then add another layer of chocolate.
Sprinkle a little coconut over the top before they set to make it stick.
Store in the fridge and enjoy your little bars of tropical heaven! 
Photos Jase Hancox CoLab Creative 

Raw peanut butter and banana cups with salted chocolate


Over the weekend it has been one big mega rain storm with howling winds. So we got a gang together and played our first game of lawn bowls, a very mature game where you roll balls (a bit like curling without the broom) and try and get it closest to the jack. It requires a fair bit of concentration and a steady lunge as well as motivation from your skip who is a team member at the other end cheering you on!. My friend Anna and I took the prize for the two best shots of the match, no talent involved just pure fluke and then proceeded to bowl the rest into the gutter. Next weekend I might have to take a little tray of finger sandwiches, biscuits and some tea, because it would be rude not too!



This morning I woke up to a a lot of excited whoops from the other side of the bed about the first snow that had fallen overnight. And low and beyond I opened the curtains and there was a big white blanket covering Wanaka which is apparently not that common, so we lit the fire, had a steaming bowl of hot cinnamon porridge and then danced on the sofa. It turns out all my living in snowy places still has not taught me to wear sturdy shoes in the snow and I wiped out big time…twice, just trying to navigate my way down the drive, then sat in the snow giggling A LOT, while surrounded by my exploded box of raw chocolates and a wet hiney.

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These little treats are inspired by these awesome similar ones that I ate in Soul Foods…my new Wanaka spiritual home, full of organicness, juices and raw galore. I managed to wangle a vague recipe out of the owner so heres my first delicious attempt.

Makes 24 mini bites

1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sliced banana
1/4 cup medjool dates
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
2 tbsp raw honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
3 tbsp cacao butter
3/4 cup cacao powder
Crunchy sea salt

Get out your mixer and using the blade whizz up the banana and dates so they are smooth

Add the buckwheat and pulse until the groats have broken up a bit.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until it all comes together

Press the mix down into either cupcake trays or a square dish that will fit all the mix in snuggly and stick it in the fridge.

Make yourself a bain marie, no naughty water touching the glass bowl on top

Add your coconut oil, cacao butter and honey to the bowl and let it all melt

Once melted stir in the cacao powder and stir in a pinch on salt, when smooth spoon it onto the top of your peanut mix

Sprinkle on a bit of crunchy sea salt and some coconut flakes.

Chill in the fridge for an hour until the chocolate has set

Snack away, and share them with your friends wahoooo

Photos Jase Hancox CoLab Creative 

RAW mint chocolate truffles

choc truffles

Are you ready for something super cool that quite possibly almost tastes like a chocolate truffle but isn’t?? I have been very unexperimental with my nutty, vegan style, sweet treats recently, but I have got back into this week with a bang.

These sumptuous goodies are inspired by a raw mint chocolate brownie I had in Copenhagen at Raw42 which was totally amazing but obviously not as good as my own little creations. These are awesome little snacks to have in your bag for hungry, sweet craving moments.

Makes 20 balls

I cup of pitted dates (if dried soak them first)
1 cup almonds
1 cup dessicated coconut
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 small thumb sized piece of banana
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp peppermint essence

Put the almonds and the dessicated coconut into the magimix and blend until finely ground. Add the cacao powder, nibs, and salt and whizz for a second before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Blend it all until it comes together and you can squidge it together and ool it into balls.

Dust with cacao powder or coconut and keep in the fridge. Yum yum in your tum!

They should keep for a week in the fridge.

Crispy, chocolate, caramel and coconut bar

I took a little break from my raw dessert experimenting and did some actual real baking over the weekend but yesterday I woke up with a totally new idea. I bought quinoa puffs ages ago and have been having some in my cereal in the morning but then “lightbulb moment” it ocured to me I could pretty much make a crispy cake bar!! This is my take on a caramel crispy bar covered in chocolate, and as I write this I am realising I should have put peanuts in it and then it would be like a snickers….damn, add peanuts it will be even more amazing!

½ cup raw almond butter or peanut butter
¼ cup coconut oil
⅛ cup maple syrup
½ cup quinoa puffs
¼ cup coconut flakes
Caramel layer
1 cup dates, pitted
1 tbsp coconut oil
Chocolate layer
⅓ cup cacao butter, melted
¾ cacao powder
½ cup agave/maple syrup/ raw honey (whatever sweetener you like)
small handfull gogi berries, chopped

Mix the nut butter with the coconut oil and maple syrup until you have a smooth sauce, then mix in the puffs and coconut and press into a mould.

In a processor mix the dates until smooth then add the coconut oil until it is combined. Smooth this on top of the crispy first layer.

Mix all the chocolate layer ingredients together until smooth and then pour on the top and sprinkle the goji berries on top with a little bit of coconut or chopped peanuts.

Cool it in the fridge for at least an hour until it has set.

Enjoy your pretend chocolate bar!

Gluten free banana and walnut bread

banana cake mont2

The seasons seem to have changed very quickly, two weeks ago I was in France in shorts, now I’m putting my snow tyres on my car and going skiing. I think my feet are very unhappy with the change of footwear, flip flops to ski boots is not an easy transition or even remotely comfortable.

However, from having withdrawals from the sun I am now ready to embrace the winter. It was the most gorgeous sunny day on Saturday, and the lifts are now open for the weekends so me and Beanie rebelled against buying a pass and ski toured up the mountain to get our well earned first turns, and hopefully firm up our bums too!

I stumbled across Hannah’s super cool blog Health Yeah the day before and tried out her gluten free banana bread recipe which turned out to be delicious, and then I naughtyfied it a bit more by making raw chocolate mousse and turning it into chocolate and banana bread sandwiches! Maybe a bit of a weird lunch choice but pretty damn good after hours of climbing up a mountain and chatting at the same time, which by the way is exhausting!

This was my first time using coconut flour which is a really amazing gluten free alternative. It’s high in protein, more than wheat flour and has ten times more fibre and is low in carbs. Because of it’s high fibre content it absorbs way more liquid than normal flour which is why you have to use 6 eggs which seems like a lot but it doesn’t taste eggy at all just bananalicious!

banana cake mont

Makes 1 cake
½ cup coconut oil or butter
½ cup raw honey, maple syrup, argave
6 free range organic eggs
¾ cup coconut flour
3 spotty ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
teaspoon of vanilla extract or half a vanilla pods seeds scraped
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1-2 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 160˚C

Grease or line a loaf tin with baking paper. Combine all the topping ingredients in a bowl and mix together with your hands until all the coconut oil is combined evenly and you have a nutty topping.

In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil with the honey or maple syrup on a low heat and then set aside.

Whisk the eggs together with the vanilla and salt, then slowly pour in the coconut oil mixture.
Sieve in the coconut flour and spices to the eggs with the mashed banana and whisk until its all combined. Stir throughout the walnuts and pour into the loaf tin.

Sprinkle the crumble on top and then bake in the oven for about 50-65 mins until the crumble is golden and a knife comes out clean.

Dance around like a girl to Bananarama and eat you cake with some tea!

Salted chocolate fudge brownies with raw chocolate icing

Last week my kitchen has turned into a raw vegan dessert experimental mess. I’m eating ice cream cakes for breakfast which is awesome and they are not even the slightest bit bad for you! It’s way too much fun playing around with recipes, especially because unlike normal baking, nothing is going in the oven, so no more hot kitchen, burns on my hands or black cakes in the oven, just a bit of music, dancing and mess.

My friends have been teasing me about the new veganism, especially because living in a ski resort the local diet is a whole load of melted cheese, bread and meat. I will have to come to terms with the fact that I am going to be blacklisted from all dinner invites in the future. However, I have been feeding them my experiments and trying to make some new recruitments. So far I have almost made one and had lots of requests for this delicious very naughty looking chocolate brownie recipe from This Rawsome vegan life so here it is! Good luck trying to not eat the mixture it’s so yummy, especially the icing which managed to get itself onto my nose and I spent hours thinking I had grown a new freckle.

Makes about 12

3/4 cup rolled oats (use gluten free if needed)
3/4 cup walnuts
1 cup dates
1 tsp vanilla extract or cinnamon
2 big tbsp cacao powder
pinch salt
small inch piece of banana or 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp of maple syrup, almond butter and cacao powder

Whizz up the oats and nuts in a food processor until they are almost a powder, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix until its all combined and sticks together. If it doesn’t add a bit more banana or coconut oil. Press down into a tin and put in the fridge.

For the icing just mix the nut butter, powder and syrup together in a bowl until its nice and runny and easy to spread on top. If it’s too thick add more maple syrup or a splash or nut milk. Store them in the fridge and they should keep for about 5 days if you manage not to eat them.

You can play around with sprinkles I used raw cacoa nibs and salt because I love salted chocolate, but you could use gogi berries, coconut flakes even orange zest if you are a fan of chocolate orange!

Bon Apetit!

Photo credit to my lovely neighbour Melody Sky

River cafe polenta, almond and lemon cake River cafe lemon and polenta cake

This week has been a bit up and down with the weather, lots of rain and then an absolute scorcher yesterday in the 30˚s. Yesterday was an especially good day because not only did I get a little bit less pasty but I also stood up on my surfboard about 10 times!! I did almost die about twice getting absolutely smashed by waves and ended up with my hair looking a bit like a loo brush but very happy!!

Since the weather has been crappy I made a huge cake, and I think this could be my newest most favourite cake I have ever made. I have been trawling through my River cafe books and there is so much amazing stuff so since I have all kinds of great ingredients on my door step I am going to go nuts and try loads this month.

Serves 12

450g unsalted butter, softened
450g caster sugar
450g ground almonds
2 teaspoons good vanilla essence
6 free range eggs
zest of 4 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
225g polenta flour or fine semolina
1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Preheat the oven to 160˚C/325˚F/Gas 3. Butter and flour a 30cm (12 in) cake tin.

Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and light. Stir in the ground almonds and vanilla. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the lemon zest and lemon juice, the polenta, baking powder and salt.

Spoon into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 mins or until a skewer poked in comes out clean. The cake will have a deep brown colour on top so don’t worry if you think its burning unless it’s going black then you probably are.