A small confession and Asian inspired chicken meatballs with cucumber and chilli dipping sauce

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Wow it’s been a stupidly long time since I last posted anything and I have been feeling incredibly guilty. My sister had been abusing me for months and friends hounding me for more recipes and stupid stories. So here I am, tail between my legs and boy oh boy has a lot happened!

Well firstly me and my man made the extremely adult move and bought a house! We are crazy happy despite moving into the cat hair infested home sporting walls from a bad acid trip, purple walls…wait, two tone purple walls, fluorescent greens, bright blues, strobe lighting, I think you probably get the picture! Now, well without blowing my own or Jase’s trumpet…wait that came out wrong, I’m blushing…. we are rocking this whole house renovation business. I have taken on the role as best painter in the world, Jase plays with a drill and I get distracted picturing Channing Tatum from the new Magic Mike film and end up dribbling paint all over the carpet. No big deal as the carpet smells like cats and the stuff that made it to the walls look fabulous. There is a lot of my handiwork that can’t be seen too as I decided to try my hand at electrics pulling off all the ugly lights from the walls and hacking at the wires with my kitchen scissors. Surprisingly I didn’t electrocute myself, Bravo!

I also travelled to South America to meet Jase after he finished a shoot for North Face doing silly things like skiing, hiking and growing a beard, all above 5000m, sometimes I think he’s mad. Anyway I intend to write some blurb on that soon so I’ll save you from thinking jeez this girl has got the verbal poops.

Oh wait there’s more …the actual coming out! Right the big reveal. Well it turns out I’ve been living a lie. Well not entirely – I did truly give the whole Vegetarian, Paleo, Vegan, every fad you can imagine a good shot over the last few years. But at the end of the day it turns out, I love bacon! And not just bacon but all meat…especially steak, bread, cheese, pasta, pizza…the lot. Gosh a giant weight has been lifted. There’s nothing like starting a healthy food blog trying to use alternatives for absolutely everything and then turning full circle. It was a gradual process since moving to New Zealand, not being helped by living with a boy who wants bacon, cheese and sriracha on bloody everything! Why does that stuff smell so damn good? However, the main thing is that my tummy (which was the reason I started all this) has decided to chill out. This has led me to behave more frivolously with my food choices, I have exciting mornings where I eat a croissant and then wait to see what happens, can you imagine the fun?! My tummy was the entire motivation to explore the wonderful vegan, gluten free world and it was a crazy discovery and I learnt stupid amounts from so many super cool blogs, and maybe that’s the reason my stomach no longer inflates like a giant balloon after everything I eat.

Just to be clear I’m still going to be posting healthy recipes to make at home, I’m not just vegging out on the sofa eating Mac n cheese, I will be spiralizing courgettes to go with my bolognaise and I haven’t turned to the mega dark side, I’m still not going to touch white sugar, I mean come on ewwww – that would be too far!

So welcome to the new blog, still healthy, just more normal and stuff!

Asian inspired chicken balls with cucumber and chilli dipping sauce

Thai chicken balls

asian chicken meatballs

Dipping sauce
 2 tbsp soy sauce
½ lime juiced
½ tsp finely chopped chilli
½ tsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp organic unrefined brown sugar
5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp finely chopped cucumber
 
Chicken meatballs
1 shallot
1 small fresh chilli, 
1 ½ tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 spring onions
4 lime leaves
 
2 chicken breasts
1 lime zested and half juiced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
 
Salad
1 carrot
½ cucumber
Handful of bean sprouts
half a lime to squeeze over

First make the dipping sauce. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Done!

For the meatballs, put the first lot of ingredients into a food processor…basically not the chicken and sauces. Whizz up until finely chopped then add the chicken, soy etc and a big pinch of salt. Pulse until all of it’s all mixed up.

Put a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat and drizzle a little sesame oil in. Now get your hands all covered in raw chicken and make some small balls to cook in the frying pan. When frying wait until they are nice and caramelised before turning. Check they are cooked by chopping one in half and if your nervous or eating them later just sear them in the pan on high heat and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes.

For the salad using a potato peeler make ribbons from the carrot and cucumber and mix with the sprouts. Serve with half a lime to squeeze over.

Serving ideas, either scrap the salad and serve them like extremely fancy nibbles at one of your raving parties, or serve all together and pour the dipping sauce over the salad. OR if your feeding a gang add some coconut rice to the mix and you’ve got yourself a pretty mean spread.

Photos by me

Zaalouk ~ Moroccan Aubergine salad

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I am absolutely loving my trip home, especially last week when my Mum, sister and I jetted off for Ladies on tour in Marrakech!! Wow it’s a cool city. I thought it was a bit like “The Lion the witch and the wardrobe”, your’ll be wandering along a street that smells like wee and not look like anything exciting is down it, then you go through a Riad door and boom, your suddenly in the most incredibly beautiful moroccan courtyard. It’s insane!

I’m going to put lots of photos and restaurant tips up soon so I won’t go into massive detail now. However, I will say that the food is pretty tasty. We did two nights of Moroccan feasts, and they really are feasts. You start with salads…not salads like we know, not many greens. Instead there are about 9 plates of different dips and veggies. The one I have made was my favourite, probably because I have a slight obsession with aubergines. With the plates you get a basket of flat breads and just dig in. Then after that it becomes a meat feast. Chicken tagine followed by lamb and cous cous, then sometimes even two desserts..pfff I had to walk around the block a few times before bed.

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Serves about 5-6 as a starter mezze plate
 
2 medium sized Aubergines
2 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 heaped tsp paprika
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 pinch cinnamon
sprinkle of dried chilli
5 medium tomatoes, skinned and seeds removed
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
glug extra virgin good olive oil
½ tsp pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
small handful of fresh coriander and parsley finely chopped

Firstly cook your aubergines. Preheat your oven to 200˚C and put the whole aubergine on a baking tray covered with some foil and bake for around an hour, turning over halfway through. The flesh should be soft all the way through, you can check by poking or stick a skewer in. Once cooked take out and leave to cool

To skin the tomatoes, score a cross on them and pour boiling water over the top. After about 10-20 seconds the skin should split and then just take them out and it’s super easy to peel off the skin. Then de-seed them and chop them up into small squares.

Add the olive oil to a medium sized saucepan and gently fry the sliced garlic until almost golden. Then add the spices for a minute giving them a good stir then add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes down for about 20 minutes until they fall apart and become a yummy thick sauce. Season the sauce and put aside.

Grab your aubergines and cut them in half lengthways and spoon out the flesh from the skin into the tomato sauce. Using a spoon poke the aubergine around a bit so it breaks up.

Stir in the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, herbs and seasoning, with a glug of good olive oil. Give it a taste and adjust the amount of lemon, herbs etc to your taste.

Serve up with some moroccan flat breads or sourdough with a mezze plate…I served it with some manchego cheese which was darn tasty.

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Behind the scenes shooting in my Mum’s greenhouse

Peanut butter nut bars with raw chocolate

IMG_2740Excuse my love affair with peanut buter at the moment but it just seems to make the tastiest treats EVER! Now I thought that the banana and peanut butter cake was the tits and then this little beauty got created yesterday and I think it easily makes the top 4 incredibly, insaneley delicious treats list! It’s a little bit sweet a little bit salty and 100% yumtastical!

So a little update on my basketball career….and unfortunately it’s bad news. We played in the semi’s this week, I’m not entirely sure why it’s called the semi finals when we were the two last teams in the league but we played and we lost which means we lost the entire competition haha!

peanut butter and nut bars Makes 14 bars

½ cup pitted dates
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup  melted coconut oil
½ cup desicated coconut
½ cup shaved almonds
½ cup of roughly chopped mixed nuts, I used brazil and almonds
¼ cup mixed seeds
pinch of salt
 
Raw chocolate
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup cacao butter
½ cup cacao powder
¼ cup maple syrup
pinch of salt
 

Put the dates in a pan with a splash of water and the coconut oil on a low heat. Cook them so they soak up the water and become squishy and start to fall apart and all the water is gone, then add the peanut butter and stir until it’s all mixed together. take off the heat and mix with the rest of the ingredients and press into a small, lined baking tin and chill in the fridge.

To make the chocolate, put the coconut oil, cacao butter and maple syrup in a bain marie until melted then stir in the cacao. Leave to cool and then pour over the nut bars. Leave to set int he fridge for about an hour then slice into bars. Keep them stored in the fridge as the chocolate melts fairly easily!

High energy power balls aka “Flossatrons”

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Woooh what a fun week. We have been filming for an Air New Zealand ad in Queenstown showing all the cool hotspots to go when you visit. Pretty much the best job ever, not so much for the boys as they were filming Olya and I getting sped around in Lamborghini’s and Porches. Then chasing each other in go karts and getting pretty out of control in dirt buggies and flipping them upside down, note to self, do not drive behind the crazy Russian again!

After the race day at Highlands park, Cromwell, we did a few wine tastings. One in the the Gibbston Valley at Waitiri Creek which is a gorgeous little church surrounded by vines. They looked after us so well and after we did a million takes of us sipping flipping delicious wine in the sun and smiling (probably because with every new take we were getting slightly more intoxicated) they brought us a massive cheese plate and a yummy wood fired pizza.

So those were the good days, the one I was least excited about was the bungy day. I can’t say I’ve ever had the urge to throw myself off a bridge but apparently it was compulsory so I manned up…or not if you watch the video of me having a very high pitched, squeaky, panic attack at the top and not jumping after the 1…2…3! Anyway I did jump, and I hated it so much I closed my eyes the entire way and then pulled my jumper up over my face to hide the view haha.

We are now back home in Wanaka after staying in the fancy St Moritz hotel in Queenstown which was very snazzy indeed. I have got to say staying in hotels rocks, I could get used to my bed being made. Jase and I had a double, super king sized bed that was so huge we had to play marco polo to find each other at night.

Thanks so much to Jase and Will at CoLab Creative for hiring me for my first slightly awkward cameo appearance!

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Now onto foooood:

Meet Flossatrons!! I promise I didn’t actually name these myself but some friends did last summer and I’m not going to lie it made me feel like my little energy balls were some sort of cool transformer superheroes and bliss balls sound way too hippy!

Anyway these little action packed balls are full of energy boosting ingredients and I normally have one in my bag for hungry emergencies. They are perfect to have before an early surf, mountain snack and general quick fixes for loading up with energy and filling yourself up…and they can fit in your pocket…cha ching!

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Makes 10
 
½ cup roasted unsalted peanuts
¼ cup hazelnuts
¼ cup oats (you can use gf oats or just swap for buckwheat, or more nuts)
¼ buckwheat groats
½ cup coconut flakes
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp cacao powder
pinch salt
½ cup dates
1 tbsp coconut oil at room temperature
½ a small banana
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Add the peanuts, hazelnuts, oats, buckwheat groats and desiccated coconut to your food processor and blend until fine. Then add the all the remaining ingredients.

Whizz until the mixture is all combined and it is easy to stick together.

Roll into balls and roll in the coconut flakes for decoration.

Raw raspberry and lemon slice

Raspberry and lemon slice

Raspberry and lemon slice

What a busy last few weeks, I think I have spent about an hour at least in the supermarket each day…groan! However cooking for the Atomic athletes has been mega fun, I got to do lots of experimenting with raw treats. Thankfully lots of the boys were into their health foods so I made all kinds of odd things like sweet potato brownies (not sure I’m convinced yet), red bean chocolate fudge and I got into making yummy cheesecake style cakes. We played fun games like guess what weird vegetable is in the pudding tonight for a prize. They probably all thought I was mad but I had a fun time.

If you have started making raw puddings you might have been freaked out a little by the big hole they burn in your pocket. So here is a more dollar friendly recipe which is quite possibly one of the most freaking delicious raw puddings I have ever made! It’s fresh and summery and you would not even remotely think that by any means it was vegan and all good for you, with that said I ate three squares after we shot the photos…yuuuum!

Raspberry and lemon slice

Base
1 ½ cups oats (gluten free ones if needed or swap for any kind of nuts or buckwheat groats)
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup dates
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
pinch salt
 
Raspberry layer
2 bananas
1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 cup desiccated coconut
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ coconut oil, melted
¼ cup maple syrup
 
To make the base just whizz everything up in a food processor until it sticks together a bit when you squish it with your fingers. If it’s too crumbly just add some more dates or coconut oil, a bit of hot water can help too. Push the base into a small lined baking tray and use a spoon to make sure it’s really pressed down and even all over.
 
For the raspberry layer add all the ingredients to your high speed blender – I use a Vitamix – on the highest level otherwise the coconut doesn’t go smooth (although it doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth).  Pour the raspberry mix over the base and sprinkle over some shredded coconut then chill in the fridge for around 2 hours until it has set. 
 

photos Jase Hancox CoLab Creative 

PARSNIP + BUTTERNUT SQUASH FRIES

healthy fries

Busy week, we had Jase’s birthday on Monday which was heaps of fun, I made a giant salad and we had a picnic on the beach. I also made a super unhealthy rocky road cake because he’s always talking about this thing called Lolly Cake, not Lollies like how I know them but as in sweets, just not on a stick. I loaded up the cake with half the candy isle until is was a total sugar bomb. Then he had a surprise birthday at a bar in town where everyone played dead on his arrival…it was ace!

At the weekend we went up to Bendigo Station, an awesome spot about half an hour out of Wanaka where there are old mines and house ruins. The purpose of the trip was so the boys could test out filming with their drone (flying heli type thing that holds a camera) it’s super cool although me and a friend almost had out heads chopped off by it doing a flyby over us, I didn’t want to look and see how close it was because I was under strict instructions as part of being a model that I must not look at the camera EVER. That damn modelling stuff is hard, apparently I won’t be hired again, maybe not Sue either after she pretended to pash me in a ruined house and we started shaking our butts having a dance party while they did a big panorama view shot. Apparently filming is serious, I’m not sure I like my man in work mode! Here is the mega pretty video though and a glimpse of the ridiculously beautiful place I now live.

Vegetable fries

IMG_9978veggie friesDrumroll for skinny, yummy, veggie fries. Easiest recipe ever, just chop and chuck them in the oven. Here is a another little kids recipe I did for Julia at Juniors design blog.

Makes 1 bowl (same size as pictured)
½ butternut squash, sliced into skinny sticks
3-4 parsnips, sliced into skinny sticks
A drizzle of veggie or olive oil
sprinkle salt

Preheat the oven to 190˚C.

Toss the veggies with a drizzle of oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until the fries and golden and delicious.

Rye and buckwheat bread

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Isn’t it cool when you discover something new and delicious that you can add to your life. I finally bought myself some Psyllium husks last week so I could start playing with making yeast and wheat-free breads, it’s pretty cool what you turn out with. First I tried Deliciously Ella’s Superfood bread which was so yummy but I was looking for a less seedy and more rye bread tasting loaf, something I could smear marmite and avocado all over….not at the same time though!

I absolutely love the dense, dark Biona breads that are perfect for eating with coconut oil and avocado but I haven’t found a replacement here in New Zealand which has been getting to me. So here was born my first attempt at a rye and buckwheat bread using the guidelines of Deliciously Ella’s recipe, and it’s pretty darn good!

This is a delicious, dense bread, high in fibre, very filling and the recipe means that you can mess about and put whatever ingredients you like in it! Buckwheat has been a new introduction to my diet and I have been buying the groats and whizzing them up in my magical Vitamix to make fresh buckwheat flour. They are a perfect replacement for flour to make gluten free pancakes etc, and they also happen to be crazy good for you, it’s a great source of protein, vitamin E and is an antioxidant. Who doesn’t love eating bread when it’s actually all good for you!

Makes 1 loaf
1 ½ cups rye flour, or kibbled rye
1 cup buckwheat flour, or buckwheat groats
3 tbsp Psyllium husks
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup walnuts
½ cup linseeds
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cold water

If you are using the kibbled rye and buckwheat groats, first put them both in a Vitamix or high speed blender and pulse until they turn to flour.

In a big bowl mix all the ingredients and then add the water and stir together. It will be really dense and not runny at all.

Leave the mix for about an hour to soak up all the water and preheat you oven to 180˚C

Line a loaf tin with baking paper and pack all the bread mix down so it’s flat on the top. Sprinkle some left over seeds on top to make it look prettier when cooked.

Bake it in the oven for around an hour. You can poke it to check it’s firm or pull the loaf out with the baking paper and have a look at the bottom. It needs to have a dark brown crust all the way around or it might crumble.

Leave to cool and to eat it slice it thinly and toast. Best eaten with some coconut oil, avocado and lime and some salt!

It freezes really well too so once cooked I sliced half of  it into nice thin slices and stored in the freezer. The rest keeps well in a bag in the fridge.

Banana and chocolate granola bars with brazil nuts and dates

www.foodfromflossie.com granola bar

Last weekend we attempted to hike to the top of Mount Roy, a mountain just outside Wanaka which loads of people climb. It was a beautiful sunny day and we plodded along up the zig zag trail to the top, playing ridiculous games…I don’t know if you know this one but we call it shag, marry, push of a cliff, then we proceed to think of three people and then make the victim choose which one they will shag, marry or push off a cliff. It’s kind of hilarious, especially when you pick really old people. So we played that for 2 hours and then realised that we were not even close to the top and we didn’t take any snacks and had a team of “hangry” hikers (a mix of hungry and angry)

We managed to get to the ridge before the top and take some pretty pictures, then some old dude in very tight hot pants told me that we were already higher than Ben Nevis which is the highest point in the UK, so I thought…job done, I have already conquered enough and we can go home because we still have a long walk down and no one likes an over achiever.

My point to that story relating to these granola bars is that if I was clever and had taken a granola bar then I would for sure have made it to the top! So make these bars and go on epic mountain climbing adventures and play my stupid game and giggle.

www.foodfromflossie.com granola bar

www.foodfromflossie.com granola bar

Makes a tray

2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 4 tbsp water
 
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup buckwheat groats
1½ cup chopped nuts, brazil, walnuts, almonds, pecans…whatever you fancy or a mix
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
 
¼ cup honey, agave or maple syrup
60g dates
1 tsp cinnamon
2 ripe bananas
¼ cup cacao powder or organic cocoa
1 cup coconut chips or desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Mix the chia seeds with the water and stir.

In a bowl mix the nuts with the oats, buckwheat and melted coconut oil.

Toast on a baking tray for about 20-30 mins stirring occasionally until they are a bit crispy and golden…a bit like granola.

Using a blender mix the bananas, cinnamon, dates and cocoa together until smooth.

When the granola is toasted mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with the soaked chia and press into a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake in the oven for about 20-40 mins…all ovens are different so it’s best to just check every 5 mins after its been 20. You want the bars to be golden all over. Leave aside to cool before slicing into hunky hiker bars.

Store in an airtight container or wrap up and freeze in a ziplock.

All photos by Camilla Rutherford

Raw Bounty bar

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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! 

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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

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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!

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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