Dairy-free

Sunflower Seed Butter

27/02/2018
sundried tomato pesto
Serves 2 Cups
Equipment
Blender
Prep time
30m

I learnt about the Fibonacci sequence in college. I read that the seeds of a sunflower, the spirals of a snail’s shell and even the scales of a pineapple are almost always arranged in this sequence. Math in nature! Amazing! So I was just reading about sunflowers, their seeds and uses on the internet. I came across sunflower seed butter and my interest was piqued! I straight away purchased a bag of raw and shelled sunflower seeds and we totally went wild experimenting with them.

First we simply munched on them because they were so yummy. Then I roasted them on a pan, with some ghee and salt. They literally vanished right in front of my eyes!

I had missed a vitamin dose of my son. The lady there told me to give him vitamin rich foods. If he is eating sunflower seeds, then I don’t have to worry about him getting vitamin deficiency 🙂

Sunflower seeds are a nutrient powerhouse. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids. Not only do they help control cell damage, improve metabolism but also have a calming effect on the mind and body.

I finally decided to make the sunbutter before we finish all the sunflower seeds. At our home, we love everything flavoured. So I decided to make sunflower seed butter with garlic and sunflower seed butter with sun dried tomatoes. You can add any herbs that you like.

Coconut Flour Carrot Balls

17/02/2018
coconut flour carrot balls
Serves 8 medium sized balls
Prep time
45m

Ever since we came to Goa, I have seen the coconut being used in so many ways. Right from when it is taken down from the tree to the time it is consumed as sol kadhi or used in a fish curry. I am amazed by everything that it gives us. Coir, fresh/dried coconut meat, coconut milk and coconut flour. And it goes so well in all dishes, be it sweet or savoury! I have become a full fledged coconut fan.

I came to make these coconut flour carrot balls when my son refused to touch the carrot halwa that I had made. (Hubby and I loved it and devoured it.) We make it a point to make carrot halwa at least 2-3 times, when carrots are in season. It is almost a tradition. But this time I had to give it a tasty twist.

Instead of regular flours like semolina or bengal gram flour, I decided to use coconut flour because I am a coconut fan. (Did I mention that already? 🙂 ) And oh boy did it do its job! It added so much flavour to the already yummy and sweet carrots. My son was eating the mixture right from the mixing bowl! Mission accomplished! I didn’t even have to roll it into balls at that point, but did it anyway.

With these coconut flour carrot balls, I managed to not only feed him carrots but also dates, which he has a love hate relationship with. You can add more dried fruits, nuts and seeds to suit your palate. Its like a ball of nutrients all rolled together. They also make for a guilt-free post-meal dessert, or when you simply want something sweet to munch on. They are very soft and chewy and juicy.

coconut flour carrot balls

These coconut flour carrot balls also make for a good and healthy dessert at a party. You can make them in advance and serve with 2-3 different types of dips, like chocolate syrup, cheese fondue and white chocolate sauce. (I am already making a shopping list! 😉 )

Defatted, dehydrated coconut meat is used to make coconut flour. The resultant flour is low carb, high in healthy fats and high in protein. It has gained popularity over the past few years because of its gluten free nature and low glycemic index. Coconut flour is a good addition to the diets of people with Celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities and diabetics . You can read more about its benefits here.

Carob Apricot ‘Chocolate’ Bars

13/02/2018
carob apricot bar
Serves 24 squares
Prep time
45m

I still cannot get over how yum these ‘chocolate’ bars turned out. Yum does not even begin to describe them. They were ‘d-i-v-i-n-e’. After all they are packed with the goodness of Carob, Sweet Apricot Kernels and Coconut Oil. You will be pleased to learn that these bars are dairy free, sugar free and gluten free. So lets say bye-bye to any sugar rush!

The star ingredient, carob powder, is rich in iron, calcium and other minerals. And dietary fibre. And natural sugar! It also has many traditional medicinal uses, like boosting metabolism in kids and improving heart function in adults.

I am a bit wary of giving my son ready made, packaged chocolates as they are full of sugar and chemicals. But he being a kid loves it and I don’t have the heart to say no to him every time he asks for one. That’s when I started thinking hard and fast and came up with these carob apricot ‘chocolate’ bars. They look just like store bought chocolate but are full of all the good stuff and contain NO chemicals! Win-win for all!

These chocolate bars also make for a good, healthy and different gift, during the festival season. The nutty, roasty, earthy flavour of carob was so tempting we could hardly keep our hands off the chocolates long enough to take pictures. Go ahead. Try this recipe and let us know how yours turned out!