Chocolate Squares (raw, paleo & vegan!)

BallinaGirl LOVES “chocolate squares”. She requested it as the food she wanted at her party, and loves helping me make them, advising me I had to make them to take to playgroup as our snack to share (no, a piece of fruit was not good enough apparently!).
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Raw Paleo Vegan “Chocolate Squares”
1/2 cup of assorted seeds (I used sunflower and chia seeds)
3/4 cup pitted dates (I used dried, so had to add a bit more oil for moisture)
1 tablespoon of raw cacao (or more if you like it really chocolatey)
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (as required)

Put the seeds in to a food processor and whizz until coursely ground. Add in dates and whizz again, until dates have broken up and mixture looks a bit like this
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Add cacao powder and vanilla and whizz again to mix.
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Then add coconut oil in 1/2 tablespoon increments mixing in between, until the mixture starts to stick together and sort of form a ball
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Get a long length of cling wrap and put the mixture in to the middle of it. Then fold over the corners to make and allow room for the mixture to be rolled in to a square or rectangle. Grab a roller and roll it flat.
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Put it in the fridge or freezer until it becomes firm. Then remove cling wrap and cut in to squares (or whatever shape you want).

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And you’re ready to eat! This can melt in heat, so best to keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. In winter months it seems to be fine, as long as it isn’t in direct sun. It goes fine in BallinaGirl’s lunchbox (in an insulated lunch bag).

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Whale Spotting

After a terrible morning (and missing CrossFit), and learning whales were out and about, we headed out for a walk along the heads, to see what we could see see see.

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A map showing Sharpes Beach, and our end point at Pat Morton Lookout, although, we took a different path, one along the coast – a track made in the grass, and along the beach.

We started the journey at Sharpes Beach and walked up over Skennars Head, along Boulders Beach and up to Pat Morton look out at Lennox Head (a “surf reserve”).
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The walk took a lot longer than I had thought. Firstly because of some of the walking being made at a 3 year old adventurer and explorer speed, and secondly because I didn’t remember how much space was between Skennars Head and Lennox Head, I pretty much forgot about the existence of Boulders Beach. So I had left our picnic lunch in the car, and our sunscreen… Oops!
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Luckily, both kiddies slept in a carrier some of the way, and my mum was there to help share the babywearing load.

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My little explorer took a liking to the banksia “pine cones” asking to take a photo of them on our walk

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We spotted several spouts, but it was very windy, so the ocean was very choppy. But, just before we returned to the car, a whale breached, making our walk just that little bit more special.

Fruitos Direct

Fruitos Direct delivers fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices from the farmer, to your door. Delivery (for Ballina) happens once a week, on a Friday.

There are two options, a $35 box or $55 box (which usually comes in two boxes). You can also get a dozen fresh free range eggs for $4.99.

Our first trial box was free ($35 box). Was amazing to come home to, as we were out when it was delivered, it was left on our doorstep.

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Doing the whole30, I found I was going through two $35 boxes a week (delivery used to occur twice a week in Ballina), so changed to a $55 box to see the difference. It was amazing! They include more variety and some more “upmarket” fruit and veggies.

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BallinaGirl loves delivery day. It is almost like Christmas. She loves seeing what’s in the boxes and picking out things she wants to eat.

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After my first $55 box, I started changing what I got. I requested certain herbs, kale, garlic, chilli, turmeric and even galangal, and none of other items. The amount that turned up in my box? Wow! I’m impressed, unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it all before consumption. Oops!
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You can contact Fruitos Direct on 0422 844 436. They deliver to
Ballina, to Lismore, to Ocean Shores, and most places in between. They can even send out a text on the day before the regular delivery day to ask if you want to order, and you can reply by text, which is handy for forgetful people like me 😉

For more information visit their website: http://www.fruitosdirect.com.au/

Chocolate Zucchini Bread (or cake?)

I (attempted to) got my bake on, over the weekend, trying to be prepared and have some healthy treats for everyone’s lunchboxes on Monday morning. The kids had other plans, as BallinaDaddy got called out to an emergency for work. But, I did make one (sort of two) fantastic treat, so great, in fact, that the kids from next door were begging for more (who apparently don’t like cake, don’t like “healthy things”, don’t like vegetables, and didn’t know what a zucchini was)! It also got the daddy approval, which can sometimes be harder to receive.

I was hoping to make a ‘Simple Blueberry Lemon Birthday Cake’, as it made the short list for my birthday cake recipes for my birthday earlier in the week, but had run out of blueberries, and didn’t have enough lemon. So while mum chased up my extra ingredients, I started work on the ‘Moist Chocolate Zucchini Bread’, as chocolate cake always goes down well, and I had a zucchini.

The recipe called for some sunflower butter (aka “sunbutter”), which I had none of, but had a lot of sunflower seeds, so thought I’d give it a crack. I had previously tried to make some, but had no sunflower oil, so used coconut oil, which wasn’t as nice as I had hoped, or as easily spread. So I bought some next shopping trip, and haven’t opened the bottle yet. But, I ended up finding this recipe instead, so tried this, leaving my bottle of sunflower oil, untouched and still unopened. It uses ghee instead, and is delicious! I made it up in my Bellini, and it got the stamp of approval for the kiddliwinks too. (Note that is takes longer than it says it does in the recipe, as you need to whizz it for 16-18mins, stated in the recipe)

Now, the Zucchini Bread was actually a lot more time consuming than I thought it would be. Trying to squeeze out the liquid from the zucchini killed me! Who knew they held so much?! I recommend doing it in smaller batches, as it seemed to take forever doing it in one lot, until I went to smaller amounts. It also took lots of paper towels.

The end result was great though, although sometimes I felt as though it was a bit “peanut buttery”, but then by the second bite it was delicious, so not sure what the go is there. I used cacao, so maybe next time I could add more, or use cocoa, as the recipe states which may make it a little sweeter also.

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