Tag Archives: sugar free

Healthy goodie goodie recipes, plus Holsby TV new episode!!!

23 Sep

healthy goodie recipesThe thing about treats is – generally speaking – the more sugar and fat, the more delicious it is.

My weakness is ice cream, amongst others of course because I am a bit of a gluttonous foodie, but ice-cream is my one true love.

Not low-fat ice treats, not fruit based gelato, but I’m talking about the full, extra-goodness-swirled, Monty.

I really truly love it.

It has been said that watching me appreciate my ice cream cone is a crazy sensual experience because of the obscene amount of joy I get from it and the languorous way in which I approach the task. Ice cream must be savoured, never rushed, and certainly not bitten.

I think ice cream can be classified as a goodie (or goodie porn in my case.)

Goodies aren’t bad. Goodies are good.

It’s all about goodie management.

Or goodie wrangling if you prefer.

I’m not going to pretend I’m all holier than thou on the goodie front, au contraire – I’m going to admit freely that I find it easier not to have things in the house that are going to both blow my kilojoule intake sky-high, and send my kids into sugar frenzies, because we are loving on the goodies.

This doesn’t mean no treats, it just means day to day treats are smarter options. The kids don’t know the difference between a sugar laden treat and healthy snack. The options don’t have to be chocolate biscuits versus carrot sticks.

I like to think of myself as the master of illusions; a magician if you will, because my day to day goodies are actually goodie goodies, and not secretly baddies.

My theory is that by offering my kids better choices now, they’ll make better food decisions later. It kinda worked for me because my mum reared me on lentils and celery with cream cheese, and now I’m a celery munchin’ lentil lover.

As long as there’s ice cream for dessert.

I’ve done a ridiculous little experiment to prove that kids make better choices when you give them good options to choose from. Check out our work.


Here are a couple of delicious goodie goodie recipes to bust out for your fam bam if you don’t eat them all first…… you know, if you hypothetically run out of ice-cream.




Healthy goodie recipes


ChocCocoCrunch Balls

What you will need – 

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 250g pitted dates
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
  • 1/2 cup puffed brown rice, toasted
  • 2 tablespoon desiccated coconut, plus extra for rolling

What you will need to do – 

Toss all of your ingredients into the food processor and leave it wazzing until it’s really quite smooth and sticking together.

Switch off machine and using teaspoon sized chunks roo into balls before rolling in desiccated coconut.

Store in the fridge.

Healthy goodie recipes

Sugar Free Pepita Anzac Biscuits

What you will need – 

  • 125 g butter
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon soda bicarb
  • 3/4 cups desiccated coconut.
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour 
  • 1/2 cup pepita seeds

What you will need to do –  

Preheat oven to 150C

Place your butter and rice malt syrup into a saucepan over medium heat until it is all melted together and bubbling. Pop your bicarb into the hot water, and when it’s well combined toss it into your butter mix. It will foam up a bit.

Chuck all of your dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

Add your butter mix to your dry mix, stirring well to combine.

Spoon tablespoon sized dollops onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow room for spreading.



Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.

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Wholefood Salt Caramel Slice ; Simply to die for, plus a Pureharvest giveaway

11 Sep

whole food salt caramel sliceWhen I was asked if I would be interested in receiving a hamper of goodies from Pureharvest I was pretty keen. Although not traditionally a super, mega organics shopper you know I am very aware of what I feed the family, and besides I’m not one to look an organic gift horse in the mouth when it comes to products I’m actually keen to sample.

In my pantry I already stock the Pureharvest Rice Malt Syrup as it’s a low GI, complex carbohydrate blend of glucose and maltose used as a sugar alternative. I like to mix up my sweeteners and Rice Malt Syrup is considered one of the gooduns.

The argument about fructose versus glucose is a valid debate, but I’m not going to be entering into it today. Partly because I’m not that sugar-free chick and partly because I have cracked a ‘healthy’ version of a caramel slice that’s to die for and I can’t wait to tell you that instead.

I’m just going to give you a disclaimer –


Now, where were we?


whole food salt caramel sliceI met founder, Don Lazarro, at ProBlogger and he told a story of how back in the late ’70s he had a health food store that sold mostly dried legumes and seeds.

In the early ’80s Don took a punt and bought 1000L of soy milk into Australia on a big, heavy pallet to try to sell in his shop. He had no idea if it would fly, but he thought a non-dairy milk alternative was a good idea.

It was better than a good idea. It was bloody brilliant.

I’m not a fan of soy milk for loads of reasons but I’ll tell you what- Pureharvest have cracked almond milk, rice milk and Coco Quench milk. I’ve been experimenting with them in my cooking – oatcakes, French toast, scrambled eggs have all had the Pureharvest treatment and I reckon it definitely adds something good. Nuttiness? Earthiness?

D Man has gone nuts for the CocoQuench on his cereal. It’s a cross between rice milk (made from brown rice) and coconut milk. Seriously bloody yummy with great nutritional benefits.

Late the other night I made a Coco Quench hot chocolate with organic cocoa, sweetened with rice malt syrup as an experiment. I went one step further and chucked in 2 marshmallows and a fat slug of whiskey. Not sure if that’s what Pureharvest had in mind however it rocked my socks.

Will I completely switch from cow’s to these alternatives?

No. But having options and mixing it up is something I love. Options.

Anyhoo, I’ve been ploughing my way through their products but I wanted to make a little something amazing as I do see a great trend towards gluten free, dairy free, sugar stuff…. don’t screw your face up, it can be even yummier than traditional baking. Give this a shot and tell me it’s not ALL THAT.

whole food salt caramel slice

What you will need : 

For base – 

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup unsalted roasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 heaped tablespoons cacao (or cocoa powder if that’s what you have)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 270ml tin coconut cream (I like Ayam brand as it’s pure)

For salt caramel – 

  • 140 ml coconut milk
  • 2.5 tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • a big pinch of salt

For top – 

  • 2 squares of Lindt dark salt chocolate

What you will need to do :

Line a tin, I used 25 x 15, with baking paper.

Stick all of your ingredients for the base into a food processor and wazz it until it starts to stick together and clump.

Tip into your tray and press down with your fingers so it’s nice and even and then pop it in the fridge.

whole food salt caramel slicePop your ingredients for salt caramel into a saucepan on medium heat and bring to boil. Leave at a medium boil keeping an eye on it until it reduces, thickens and darkens to a rich caramel colour. About 20 mins.

whole food salt caramel slicePour immediately onto your chilled base, spreading it evenly, and using a microplane or the finest grater you can grate the salt chocolate over the top whilst it’s still hot and it will melt on contact.

whole food salt caramel sliceEnsure an even coverage and pop back into the fridge for an hour or so until all cooled.

Cut into pieces as large as you wish. It’s fairly rich so you don’t need much.

whole food salt caramel slice


Would you like some of this Pureharvest goodness for your very own?

They have offered for me to give one of my peeps a generous hamper like my own if you can just name this slice.

Gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, no bake salt caramel slice is a bit of a mouthful in more ways than one.

Leave a comment on my Facebook page or right here to go in the running. Winner will be announced Wednesday 17th September.




Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.







When life gives you lemons, make gluten- free Lemon Meringue Pie

6 Oct

lemon meringue pie ingredients

I can remember standing in our kitchen in Coffs Harbour when I was just a wee girl. At that time our kitchen was orange laminate and fake brown woodgrain linoleum on the floor. Interior design 1970’s Oz style.

I was standing in front of the wall mounted oven, on my tippy toes, (probably salivating onto the floor) trying to peer through the murky glass to see the mountain of cloud-white meringue that was inside. I knew that in just mere minutes, my mum would pull out a pie bursting with lemon curd and crumbly pastry topped with the soft, and crunchy meringue that I so adored.

I loved me some lemon meringue pie as a girl. It was my all time favorite.

lemonsAs I got into the full swing of my food nazism, that was the kind of stuff that was the first go. Too much sugar, too much butter, too much joy on a plate. It couldn’t have been good. I’ve learned as I got older that one piece of pie is not the undoing of the human body. It’s an accumulation of things over a day, day after day, after day.

Who ate all the pies?

Have you noticed heaps of wholefood treats out there lately? You no longer need to mindlessly reach for a packet of Tim Tams. You can make your own from raw and organic ingredients.

Except it’s never really quite the same. Let’s be honest.

Although reducing sugar and wheat is important, we also need to remember that substitution treats, are still not exactly salad. We’re reducing the intake of the shitty things, otherwise known as processed stuff and hidden numbers, and that’s awesome.

We are creatures geared towards hedonism enjoyment, and sweet food ticks all our boxes, and makes our brains go all pokie-machine-jackpot bells and whistles. We can substitute till the cows come home, but really sweet yummies are sweet yummies.

The body breaks down different sugars in different ways so some are ‘better’ than others, but if you eat a whole pie, it’s still a whole pie.

I read this great post yesterday, by the gorgeous Alexx Stuart, about mindful eating, which really resonated with me. I’m totally guilty of eating at my computer, and offering the kids food while they’re playing. Are you?

Food rant aside, I wanted to mess with my dear old friend, Lemon Meringue Pie, and mindfully scoff  savour as much of it as possible in one sitting.

More than anything this was a science experiment and this baby worked. It was everything a lemon meringue pie should be.

gluten free, sugar free pie crustThe issues I struggled with was getting the curd thick enough. The extra liquid from the maple syrup, and the lack of sugar messed with the chemistry, but I got there in the end. Also, it needs to be eaten immediately, because the meringue can’t hold the weight of the maple for too long and it weeps a little.

That said, it was still damned tasty the next day, just a little moist with maple goodness around the edges.

gluten free, sugar free lemon meringue pieWhat you will need :

For the base –

  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/3 cup sesame, sunflower, linseed and pine nut mix
  • 120g dates, pitted
  • 3 teaspoons coconut oil, or butter

For the lemon curd – 

  • 3 lemons, juice and finely grated rind only
  • 8 tablespoons cornflour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 80 g unsalted butter

For the meringue – 

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • a pinch salt

What you will need to do :

Lightly grease a 30cm tart dish with removable base with butter or coconut oil.

Chuck all of your base ingredients into a food processor, and blitz until it forms a sticky paste. Press into your tart dish with wet hands, ensuring it goes up the sides a little.

Pop a saucepan with water onto the stove and place a heatproof bowl over the water creating a bain marie. Add your lemon zest and juice to bowl.

In a seperate bowl, add three tablespoons water to your corn flour and stir to combine. If it solidifies too much add another tablespoon of water until you can make it into a paste. Add to lemon juice and whisk well to combine.

Add one cup of water. This is where things got a little crazy for me. I stirred and stirred and stirred and it didn’t get thick enough, but after four years (prone to exaggeration) of stirring I added more corn flour. You guys should be fine with this quantity as I did the hard yards for you – You’re welcome.

So, stir until quite thick, it will need to be quite hot, and then add your egg yolks and you butter and keep stirring like  mo’fo to ensure your curd comes together smoothly. Keep on stirring until it’s quite thick, ie when you spoon a blob out it sits on top for a minute before joining the rest.

Put into the fridge to cool.

gluten free lemon meringue pie fillingWhen it’s cool, spoon into your pie base and spread evenly. In a clean, dry bowl, beat your egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form little peaks. Slowly, slowly add your maple syrup ensuring it’s well combined. Do not over beat or they will flop like, well, a floppy thing.

Spoon on top, using the back of your spoon to create peaks. You could pipe it on if you could be arsed, but I like it a little more rustic.

trusty blowtorchTo brown the top, I used my trusty blow torch, which I recommend everyone owns, but if not you could pop it under a grill for a few minutes to brown. The grill will melt your base, however, so you’ll need to pop it back in the fridge for a minute.

I recommend you eat immediately to stop any maple weepage. Eat it all. Eat the whole pie.

Just be sure to savour it.

gluten free lemon meringue pie






I’m hooking this recipe up as part of this month’s Our Growing Edge monthly blogging food extravaganza with Bunny Eats Design and Nom Nom Cat. Check out more about Our Growing Edge here.

If you liked this post be sure to like my Facebook page or follow my twit twaddle @theholsbys to ensure you can always keep up with the Holsbys.

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