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Top five recipes for healthy and sugar-free cakes, puddings and desserts

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Having a healthy lifestyle isn’t about denying yourself, it’s about finding ways to enjoy the things you love by making them better for you and including everything in moderation. Here, writer Margie Broadhead of food blog Made by Margie suggests her top five recipes for healthy cakes, puddings and desserts that are really virtuous but taste seriously naughty. Enjoy!

Coconut milk scones and strawberries

Served with whipped coconut cream

These scones use coconut milk instead of butter and coconut sugar instead of white sugar. They are healthy, easy to make and taste gorgeous - get baking!

Recipe: Made by Margie

Ingredients

Makes 30 mini scones

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, or gluten free flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups canned coconut milk (cold)
  • ¾ cup of chopped strawberries
  • coconut milk
  • sugar

Method

1. Preheat oven to 220 C.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt.

4. Now, pour in coconut milk and gently mix with a wooden spoon until it’s just combined. Be careful not to overmix it.

5. Next, fold in the strawberries and the vanilla.

6. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and squish it around until it’s about ¾ inch thick. Then stamp out using a small cutter, about 11/4 inch wide and pop the scones onto the baking tray.

7. Brush the tops with coconut milk and sprinkle generously with coconut sugar.

8. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

9. Serve warm with dollops of coconut cream.

Guilt-free gobble chocolate

An appropriate name I think you will agree, when I tell you that you can gobble this chocolate to your heart's content because it is really as wholesome as chocolate can be.

Recipe: Made by Margie

Ingredients

Makes about 12 chocolates

  • 1 cup of coconut butter (butter not oil)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 raw cacao powder (don’t panic, if you cant find cacao, you could always just use cocoa powder - just make sure it’s unsweetened)

Method

1. Pop everything into the food processor and blend until it all comes together. This should take about 20 -30 seconds. The whizzer in the food processor will help the coconut butter to soften and create a creamy base for our chocolates.

2. Then line a little dish with baking paper and scoop in the chocolately goodness. Squidge the chocolate together and then smoosh it down, so that it’s about an inch thick.

3. It’s amazing cut into squares and eaten straight away or, if you have a little more willpower, pop in the fridge for 30 mins of so to firm up.

4. Dust with a little more cacao powder before serving. These would be great after a dinner party or just about any time you are craving something a little bit naughty.

Homemade coconut bounty bliss bars

Close your eyes and take a bite of one of these and you will float away on a Caribbean-scented cloud. These bars are refined sugar-free and are covered in a layer of dark chocolate which improves mood and brain function. As if you needed any more excuse to tuck in...

Recipe: Made by Margie

Ingredients

Makes about 16 fingers

Coconut Filling:

  • 1 cup coconut milk – use the solid coconut part from the tin
  • 4 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 200g 70% dark chocolate

Method

1. First line a small tray, about 6 inches x 6 inches with baking paper.

2. To make the gorgeous coconut filling, place the coconut milk, rice malt syrup and coconut oil in a medium sized saucepan over a low heat. Stir until all the ingredients have melted.

3. Now, pour the coconut into the lined tray and make sure to press it down well so that it all sticks together. It should be about 11/2 inch thick.

4. Then, pop into the freezer for a couple of hours until they have firmed up and you can cut them into slices.

5. Then, melt the dark chocolate and dip the bounty slices into the chocolate for pure coconutty bliss.

Chocolate fudge crispy cakes

These chocolate fudge crispy cakes will change your world. Not only are they scrummy, you can also gobble them by the tray load without a care in the world.

Recipe: Made by Margie

Ingredients

Makes about 24 squares

  • 5 cups of puffed brown rice ( I love the Rude Health)
  • 1 x 170g jar of almond butter
  • 2 tbsp of melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp of raw cacoa powder (or just unsweetened cocoa if you cant find cacao)

Method

1. Line a small tray with baking parchment. My tray was about 10 x 8 inches, but nothing bad will happen if yours is a slightly different size.

2. Pour your puffed brown rice into a big bowl. Put all of the ingredients, except for the puffed brown rice into a saucepan and heat gently.

3. Once it is all melted and gooey, pour over the waiting puffs. Stir well so that they are all coated in the chocolatey goo. They will be tingling with happiness at this point, much like a hippo wallowing in a mud bath.

4. Now, tip these into the lined tray and press them down.

5. Pop into the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up and then cut into squares and serve.

Sugar-free coconut, macadamia and cranberry flapjacks

These have that elusive gorgeous chew factor that makes a fantastic flapjack. They are sugar-free and make the most perfect mid-morning snack or afternoon pick-me-up. Packed full of oats, they will be sure to give you the energy boost you need without being laden with sugar, so you won’t get the dreaded sugar slump.

Recipe: Made by Margie

Ingredients

Makes about nine good-sized flapjacks

  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 4 tbsp fine desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp natural almond butter (available from health food shops)
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter (manna)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40g macadamia nuts
  • 40g dried cranberries

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 C.

2. Line a small baking tray with baking parchment, approximately 8 inches x 8 inches.

3. Mix the rolled oats with the coconut in a large bowl.

4. Pop the almond butter, coconut butter and brown rice syrup into a pan and gently heat until it all melts together.

5. When it’s all melted, add the vanilla and then pour over the oats. Give it a really good stir well to combine.

6. Then, pour into the tray and use the back of a spoon to press down into an even layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just turning golden brown.

7. Remove from oven allow to cool before cutting into slices and enjoying with a cup of tea and friends (friends not mandatory, I’ve eaten a batch to myself before too).

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