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Cooking, Thermomix

.A Healthy Chocolate Thickshake.

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What’s this? She’s sharing a recipe?! Why yes, I am! 

Remember back in the day when I would post recipes weekly? That was fun! These days I actually don’t cook as much as did back then though. I still love to cook and bake, but I try and stick to healthier eats (well, 80% of the time!) because all of those tasty treats aren’t doing anyone in the family much good! 

Last year my sister-in-law shared this awesome smoothie combo with me and it has been my go-to ever since. I love it for a quick breakfast, it is the best way to combat that 3pm, energy slump, and awesome when you have a chocolate craving to put to rest. It also makes a great smoothie bowl base…thick and creamy ready to decorate with your favourite smoothie bowl toppings – fresh berries, coconut, buckwheat, LSA, goji berries, etc. YUM!

In the past, I have had a few bad experiences with using avocado in sweet, chocolatey dishes. I once made one of those chocolate avocado mousse dishes and it was pretty rank. Maybe there are better versions around, but this one was really bad and turned me off the avocado + chocolate combo. Until I tried this smoothie…this one is really good! 

You can play around with ingredient quantities to make the smoothie just how you like it if you want, but the recipe below is what works for me…and if you want to leave the avocado out altogether, it will still be delicious. I accidentally left it out when I made myself a smoothie today, it just meant that the smoothie wasn’t thick and creamy – more like a milkshake!



(I call it a thickshake because then the kids think there’s something special in it – like icecream…and drink it without questioning what I am trying to hide in their “smoothie”!!)

1 ripe banana (fresh or frozen…if using fresh, pop a few ice cubes in to keep the drink cold)

1/4 small avocado (I keep a bag of frozen avocado pieces in the freezer so that I can make this even when I don’t have fresh avos around)

2 Tbs cacao

1 tsp chia seeds

1 tsp sunflower seeds

1 tsp pumpkin seeds

sweetner of choice (if desired…I usually add a fresh date or 1 tsp natvia. If using dried dates, soak them in boiling water for 10 minutes first. Maple syrup and rice malt syrup are other good options)

200 grams (mls) liquid of choice (milk – any kind, water, coconut water…I usually use 100ml full-cream milk + 100ml water or 200ml almond or coconut milk)


Pop all ingredients into thermomix blender and process on speed 10 for 1 minute or until thick, smooth and creamy.

Cooking, Thermomix

.Thermomix Cooking: Birdseed Bars with NO refined sugar.

Sharing a recipe for Birdseed Bars today – with no refined sugar! And they can be nut, dairy and gluten free too if you make some simple changes. These homemade muesli bars are sweet and chewy with tonnes of flavour. I can even manage to get my pickiest kids to have a little piece with afternoon tea so that makes it an instant winner in my books! 

There are lots of recipes for homemade muesli bars out there, but most of them are laden with sugar, honey and peanut butter. Probably better than a store-bought bar, but still not ideal. These are much tastier and filling than anything you will buy in a box! The best thing about them is that you can make them with pretty much any dry ingredient you have around or want to add in…leave the oats out and replace with lots of chopped nuts, increase or decrease quantities of seeds, etc. Work with what you like to eat and what you have in the pantry!

This recipe is for Thermomix cooking, but you can easily make it on the stove too by toasting the dry ingredients in a dry pan (stir often and check that it doesn’t burn!) and then bring the wet ingredients to boil for 4 or 5 minutes in another pan.

Birdseed Bars
100g rolled oats
60g sunflower seeds
60g pumpkin seeds
40g sesame seeds
20g chia seeds
80g coconut
40g wheatgerm
120g butter or coconut oil
120g rice malt syrup
160g dried fruit, chopped (sultanas, apricots, dates, cranberries, goji berries, etc.)

Place dry ingredients (not fruit) into Thermomix bowl and toast for 5 minutes on varoma temperature, reverse speed 1. Remove from bowl and set aside.
Place butter or oil and rice malt syrup into Thermomix bowl and cook for 6 minutes on varoma temperature, speed 4.
Add toasted dry ingredients and dried fruit into bowl. Mix together for 20 seconds, reverse speed 3.
Spread mixture into a square cake tin lined with baking paper. Press down firmly.
Place in the fridge to set and cool completely. Slice. 
Best kept stored in a container in the fridge.

To make gluten-free, leave out the oats and replace with more seeds, nuts, puffed rice, quinoa flakes, etc.
As long as your dry ingredients measure about 400g, you can pretty much add anything you like to the mix!
A small handful of cacao nibs are a delicious addition.

Cooking, Thermomix

.Thermomix Cooking: Choc Peanut Granola.

The original recipe for this tasty granola comes from this great blog. I have changed things up a bit and modified the instructions to make the granola in the thermomix before cooking it in the oven.
The end result was less chunky oats and more crunchy clusters – my kids will often screw their noses up at whole oats, but made and cooked this way, they think this granola is a tasty snack! We haven’t had it for breakfast, but it is nice to grab a small handful of when you are having a craving for chocolate during the day – fills you up, satisfies the craving, and it’s good for you!
Choc Peanut Granola
2 apples, peeled
130g peanut butter (I used homemade peanut butter)
100g maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs milk 
300g rolled oats
20g chia seeds
3 Tbs cacao (or cocoa) powder
Place apples in thermomix. Chop on speed 4 for 10 seconds.
Scrape apple from sides of the bowl. Cook on 100 degrees, speed 2 for 5 minutes until soft. 
Puree on speed 9 for 10 seconds.
Add peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and milk to pureed apples. Cook on 80 degrees, speed 1 for 2 minutes.
Add rolled oats, chia seeds and cacao to wet mixture, mix together on speed 4 for 20 seconds. Mixture will be quite wet.
Spread granola onto lined baking trays.
Bake in 160 degree oven for up to 1 hour, stirring to break granola up into little clusters every 10-15 minutes.
Granola will not become hard and crunchy in the oven, it will get crunchy as it cools. To test if granola is ready, take a little bit from the tray and sit on a plate to cool. Test for crunchiness when cool and cook for longer if required.
Cooking, Thermomix

.Thermomix Cooking: Quinoa Porridge.

I always try to have a breakfast that will keep me full up until lunch time and toast and cereals just don’t cut it. CADA is still a favourite but I’ve had it so much that if I overdo it I get sick of it very quickly. A couple of times a week I’ll have porridge made with oats for breakfast. I’m not crazy about it, but I keep eating it anyway. It does fill me up, but feels really heavy sitting in my stomach and makes me feel bloated. 
Last week I decided to give quinoa porridge a try. And I’m so glad I did because it is absolutely divine! It is delicious and a bowlful keeps me going for about 4 hours with no yuck, heavy, bloated feeling. I like to sweeten mine with rapadura sugar – maple syrup is good too. You can easily customise this porridge to suit your tastes – have it with or without yoghurt, berries, fruit and nuts. At the moment I’m enjoying a simple banana – and I usually don’t eat bananas but they are really good mixed through the porridge!
Quinoa Porridge

85g quinoa
125g water
125g milk
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
100g milk
2 Tbs sultanas
sweetner of choice (maple syrup, honey, sugar)
fruit/nuts/yoghurt to serve

Before cooking quinoa, you need to wash and rinse it REALLY well to get rid of the naturally-occuring insect repellant the plant produces which causes a bitter taste. Some people like to soak their quinoa for an hour or so first, but I am never that organised so just rinse it through a fine sieve a few times.
Place quinoa, 125g water, 125g milk, vanilla and salt into thermomix. Cook for 15 minutes on 90 degrees, reverse, speed 1.
Add 100g milk and sultanas. Cook for 10 minutes on 100 degrees, reverse, speed 1.
Leave porridge for 5-10 minutes to soak up extra liquid.
Spoon into bowls and add sweetener of choice. Garnish with what ever fruit, yoghurt or nuts you like! 
This recipe makes enough for two serves. I put the second serve in the fridge and re-heat it to eat the next morning.