Fig and Dark Chocolate Hot Cross Scones

After trying out multiple “healthier” hot cross bun recipes I have given up trying to make this yeast-leavened, sultana studded treat – at least for this year. My attempts have ranged from disastrous (small sad buns so hard they could be used as a weapon) to disappointing (lovely and risen but dry and lacking salt). As a result, I have hung up my baker’s hat and relegated my box of yeast to the back of the fridge for a while. Instead I have chosen to make the cheats version of this easter staple, the hot cross scone. My rendition is generously filled with juicy pieces of dried fig, 70% cocoa dark chocolate and delicately spiced with cinnamon. Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional flavours of spice and dried sultanas but sometimes a more luxurious version is called for.

Having said that, these buns are not nearly as sinfully indulgent as they appear….

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Banana, Fig and Coconut granola

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This granola smells absolutely amazing, I made up a huge batch a few days ago. The fragrant (almost banana bread-like) smell wafted out of the oven and all through the house. It was enough to bring my housemates out of hibernation and come out of their rooms looking for the source of this deliciousness.

This is a similar recipe to my Caramel and Fig granola, it is not as sweet and uses mashed banana and a little bit of coconut oil to keep everything together rather than using a sweetener. It is also nut free so suitable for those with allergies or if you want to send it with kids to school. …

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Apricot and coconut protein balls

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Every year at christmas Mum makes her apricot and coconut balls, in fact they were one of the first things I learnt to make as a child, a great recipe for sticky fingers! Mum’s recipe requires crushed sweet biscuits, dried apricots, coconut and lots and lots of super sweet condensed milk and while the balls are delicious they are best left for christmas time. I wanted to take the traditional apricot ball and make it into a healthier snack for any day, still keeping the flavour in.

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Breakfast banana smoothie

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Smoothies make great easy breakfasts for on the go,  but sometimes they just don’t measure up. Like when its 10am and you’re hungry again and dreaming of lunch already or when its so full of fruit it would have been quicker to neck a juice.

This smoothie is different, it has enough protein to keep you satisfied for a long time, complex carbs in the form of banana and oats for energy and enough fibre from the flax to keep the blood sugar levels steady.  You can mix up the fruit a little too, add in some blueberries or a little mango to keep it interesting. My favourite addition to make this the complete breakfast is to add a shot of coffee. Amazing.

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Chewy Muesli Bars

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My sister and I would always be given a muesli bar to have for morning tea at school, that was the healthy thing back in the day. Now we realise that most shop bought muesli bars are either really high in fat or sugar or both and some have as many kilojoules as a whole meal! (which is fine if you are climbing mountains, not so great if you are a sedentary uni student). I still love a good old muesli bar to take to Uni but these days choose to make my own healthier versions. These are quick and easy to make, I basically just throw in whatever I have in the cupboard at the time meaning no two batches are the same.

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