Monthly Archives: April 2012

* Banana and Coconut Pancakes with Roasted Stone Fruit and Coconut Yoghurt *


If you’ve ever had the luxury of eating banana pancakes in Thailand, you’ll know just how delectable they are.  These are a take on the pancakes I chose off the restaurant menus in Thailand time and time again.  Light, fluffy and seriously moreish, they are sure to get you in the good books with whoever put you on the naughty chair (errm, sorry about that, honey).  This recipe is perfect if you have a crowd to feed, as the pancakes keep well in a warm oven in between a couple of paper towels whilst you finish off rest of the batch.  The combination of the pancakes with the roasted stone fruit and coconut yoghurt is such a winner that this is sure to become a Sunday morning staple.

Coconut has received a great deal of press recently. as it is often hailed as a superfood but also has a high content of saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease.   However, coconut  also contains lauric acid, which is a super foodie star.  Lauric acid may help raise good cholesterol levels and is antimicrobial, which supports the immune system.  Coconut also contains vitamin C  and potassium, which coupled with potassium-rich bananas in this recipe, is sure to pack a punch. My advice is to enjoy the benefits of coconut in moderation and head out for an afternoon stroll with your honey to further cement your place in their Good Books.


3 free-range eggs

3 bananas

1/3 of a cup of coconut milk (reserve the cream at the top of the can for the accompanying yoghurt)

2 tablespoons of oat bran

1/3 of a cup of wholemeal flour

3 tablespoons of coconut flakes plus a handful for toasting

A teaspoon of baking soda

A teaspoon of cinnamon

A teaspoon of vanilla paste, a vanilla pod or 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract

Coconut oil for cooking

Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix together and form a well in the centre.   Mash the bananas and put aside.  Beat the eggs until nice and fluffy and add the coconut milk and vanilla.  Add the bananas and then place all the wet ingredients in the well and mix until combined.  Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a pan and spoon the batter into the pan.  N.b. these pancakes tend to flip better if they are smaller, usually 3 in the pan at once works a treat.  Cook until the upper side is covered with bubbles.  Turn the pancakes and cook the other side until golden brown.  Place on a plate in between two paper towels and rest in a warm oven.  Repeat with the rest of the batter until you have a mound of delicious pancakes.


Roasted Stone Fruit

3 – 4 nectarines

3 – 4 plums

A tablespoon of apple syrup, agave or pure maple syrup

1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla paste or vanilla essence

The zest of a lemon

Heat the oven to 180°C.  Cut the stone fruit into halves or quarters depending on size and place in an oven dish.  Mix the syrup/agave with the vanilla and lemon zest and drizzle over the fruit.  Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until perfectly roasted.


Coconut Yoghurt

A cup of yoghurt

A tablespoon of honey, melted

Coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk

Mix all of the ingredients together and put in small ramekins.


To serve:  Stack the pancakes on a plate, add a good serve of roasted fruit and arrange the ramekin of coconut yoghurt so that it looks pretty.  Garnish with toasted coconut flakes and a fresh sprig of mint from the garden.  Drizzle apple syrup or maple syrup over pancakes and devour.

Serves 2, with leftovers for snacking on later (if you’re lucky).


* Chocolate Spice Bliss Balls *


Bliss balls are convenient wee gems of chocolaty goodness, perfect for any time of the day (or night).  When I have them in the house, I may have one (or three) for breakfast with fruit, when I’m craving a sweetie treatie or needing some energy before I hit the gym.  They are super easy to make,  keep well and can be frozen and then eaten straight from the freezer.  I’ve adapted this recipe from a traditional bliss ball recipe I was given years ago to make them healthier and even yummier, with the addition of a dash of spice and the hint of orange.

These delightful chocolate spice bliss balls are vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free and jam packed full of energy.  They also have a high cocoa content – which means you get the chocolaty hit and numerous health benefits.  Cocoa is doing great things out there in the big, wide world – it has a large component of flavonoids , which are an effective antioxidant.  These flavonoids are known to  decrease blood pressure, improve blood vessel health and reduce cholesterol levels. Cocoa also has an uplifting effect on mood due to its content of phenylethylamine, which has a mood elevating effect somewhat akin to amphetamine-type substances. And my, doesn’t it feel good to be doing good.

Put the following dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside:

½ a cup of cocoa powder

1/2 a cup of sesame seeds

1/2 a cup of nuts of your choice (I used walnuts)

1 cup of  coconut, thread, chips or dessicated

In a saucepan, bring the wet ingredients to the boil, stirring constantly.  Continue to boil for a few minutes.

1 cup of chopped, pitted dates

1 cup of smooth or crunchy peanut butter

4 tablespoons of honey, agave or rice malt

1/4 of cup of  water

The zest of a whole orange

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 a teaspoon of mixed spice

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Form into balls as big or small as you like.  Roll in coconut, cocoa powder. sesame seeds or leave plain.

Put in the fridge on a baking paper-lined tray and allow to rest.  Enjoy any time  for a chocolaty energy hit, sans guilt and a sickly belly.

* Coconut Shimmy *


Yipee, the sun is back on!  It’s time to kick back on the patio with this tangy and über-hydrating Coconut Shimmy and make the most of these sunny afternoons.  It’s fruity, creamy and contains no sugar, soy or dairy – just pure super food goodness from the earth.  This Coconut Shimmy is especially good if you’ve just had a work out or a footloose and fancy free night on the town, as the main ingredient is coconut water and just in case you have not heard what amazing stuff this is, take note.  Coconut water is the clear liquid from young, green coconuts.  It is a natural, isotonic drink with the same level of electrolytic balance as we have in our blood, so it will replenish your body back to perfection.  Coconut water contains many essential vitamins and minerals, has a high potassium content and is oh so naturally sweet.  So, even as the nippier autumn kicks in, this dreamy refreshment will transport you back to that summer holiday by the sea, whilst giving you the bang to get outside and frolic in all of the pretty leaves.

300 mls of coconut water

1/2 a cup of fresh pineapple chunks

A few sprigs of fresh mint

A 1cm piece of ginger

A squeeze of lime or lemon juice

A few ice cubes if you need some cooling

Put all of the above ingredients in a blender and crank it on its highest setting.  Serve in the sun with your nearest and dearest.