dairy free

Wholegrain Blueberry Banana Muffins

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

Since I’ve been pregnant I literally cannot get enough of blueberries, it’s kinda weird the amounts I’m getting through! I must say I am getting a little sick of eating them straight from the box, plus I seem to demolish packets at a time. Naturally when it comes to recipes, I’m thinking blueberry dense muffins. It’s also nice to finally be craving something sweet as opposed to my oily and salty obsessions of late (okay I admit it, I’ve been hooked on crisps or potato chips or whatever!). So it just has to be a good solid muffin. Blueberries galore of course, like too many almost.

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

But I hate (that word isn’t even strong enough) it when you get a ‘blueberry’ muffin and there’s like 3 solitary blueberries in the whole thing. It almost seems a tad on the criminal side and definitely a complete rip-off, an utter cheat. So I made sure this disaster would not happen here. Amen.

There’s actually nothing quite like warm wholegrain blueberry banana muffins, moist and fruit-packed and jam packed with the goodness of whole grains. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy sweet treats a lot more when I know they’re not full of white sugar, white carbs and toxic margarines. There doesn’t seem to be any excuses anymore as there are so many alternative flours and sweeteners out there now and not to mention a myriad of much healthier oils to substitute for margarine and butter. And I’m not saying this in a ‘oh she doesn’t know how to enjoy herself’ kinda way, but I reckon if it tastes better and it is in fact miles better for your body then it’s a no brainer, right?

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

I used xylitol to cut the energy a little but regular raw sugar, maple syrup or agave would be completely fine. If you possibly can (‘cos I cannot) allow to cool before attempting to remove from papers. Just sayin’, as it’s kind of annoying when it all gets stuck in there and nobody likes sucking on a muffin case. Although I will do this if necessary.

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

It’s one of those dry bits, wet bits, add-to recipes….easy peasy. Oh and it’s so quick, gotta love the quick ones.

It goes without saying these would be good with chocolate chips too but for me, it’s all about the blueberries right now. I’m sure it’ll be a new food obsession next week………….

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

Have a great day 😉

Wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

makes 10

dry bits:
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup xylitol
wet bits:
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 large banana, mashed (can be subbed with 1/2 cup apple sauce)
1 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
the best bit:
1 heaping cup blueberries (I used frozen)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 ÂșC + line grease or line a muffin tray with cases. Add the first 4 dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl + combine fully.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl + add to the dry ingredients to form a smooth batter.
  3. Fold through the blueberries + carefully spoon the mixture into the muffin tray to 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Remember to allow to cool or else you’ll be sucking on a muffin case!

3 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Caramels

Better than rolos 😉

 Vegan Rolos

Sometimes only caramel will do, and at other times only chocolate caramels will do. Thank heavens for these 3 ingredient beauties. Not only are they 100% plant based, but contain only 3 ingredients and take no time to put together. I reckon I can make these quicker than Russ can drive to the supermarket and buy some Rolos! But why would you anyway – these chocolate caramel treats are uber healthy, natural and perfect for an afternoon accompaniment to a cuppa tea!

vegan rolos

Have you got dates? Have you got peanut butter? What about some dark chocolate? No, well you can make your own with coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder 😉

vegan rolos

Do you have 10 minutes free today? Yep, well looks like you’ll be eating these too! Enjoy!

Vegan Rolos

3 ingredient vegan chocolate caramels

(makes 12-15 balls)

1 cup dates + pinch sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon smooth natural peanut butter
25 grams dark dairy free chocolate

Pulse/blend the dates + pb until smooth. Form 12-15 small caramel balls. Melt the chocolate. Coat the caramel balls with deliciously dark chocolate, remove with a toothpick + freeze for 15 minutes. Remove + devour. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

One Bowl Cinnamon, Apple + Hazelnut Cake

This is the kind of cake I need with a cup of good tea (or two) every afternoon. I definitely prefer a fruity spiced cake as opposed to chocolate fudge varieties. Just more to it I guess, plus the taste seems to stick around a wee bit longer, but ultimately I find it more satisfying and it’s usually spiced with yummy cinnamon (major addiction) and nutmeg. I always use a wholegrain flour such as spelt as it’s nuttier, tastier, healthier and I find I don’t get the sugar crashes you often get with white refined cakes.

vegan apple cake

Anyway, this cake has real substance with nutty spelt, sweet Braeburn apples, spiced warming cinnamon and crunchy hazelnuts.

vegan apple cake

Apple + cinnamon = can’t get enough, ever!

This is the kind of cake you eat and feel good after, after all it is:

Wheat Free
Dairy Free
Low Fat
Wholegrain
Full of fruit

vegan apple cake

I’m a sucker for a quick one bowl cake as it ultimately means there’s never any excuse not to have your cake and eat it. Minimal mess, minimal ingredients but maximum taste. You know you want it.

vegan apple cake

One bowl cinnamon apple hazelnut cake.

2 tablespoons chia seed + 2 water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup spelt flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 heaped teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups chopped apple
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup cranberries (optional)

Method:
1. Place chia + water in a bowl and allow to gel. Preheat oven to 160Âș Celsius + grease an 8 inch cake tin.
2. Add the oil, maple syrup + milk to the chia mix + combine fully. Next add the flour, baking powder, salt + spices + combine well.
3. Fold through the chopped apple, hazelnuts + cranberries if using + transfer the mix to the cake tin. Sprinkle with extra hazelnut if desired.
4. Bake for 50 minutes + serve warm. Still delicious served cool so don’t worry. Stores well in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

Dairy Free Black Bean Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

choc vegan spread

I never understood the chocolate spread hype as a kid, it always looked so wrong to me, especially in a sandwich! It just plain old freaked me out, I was (still am) definitely more of a marmite or PB & jam kinda girl. I guess I was just highly suspicious of chocolate spread squished inbetween bread, in the same way that eating tomato ketchup with cold food was (and still is) way too much for me to handle – gross! Anyway, it’s not like I don’t like ‘Nutella’ spreads, it was clearly just a weird childhood thing……these days I’d rather make my own anyway, plus it’s super easy to do. Of course a great place to start is ya straight up hazelnut butter and chocolate combo but I wanted something a little less dense and healthy as a base, so naturally……….BEANS.

chocolate spread

I love beans full stop but I’m always really surprised at how much I like them in sweet treats like brownies and cookie dough butter! And now, basically straight up Nutella but on a whole other level. A black bean level which transforms your usual chocolate spread to one that is very, very healthy and free from dairy. This super black bean chocolate hazelnut spread has:

no refined sugars
no trans fats
low sugar
lower fat
higher protein
a lot less calories.

spread toast banana

This is so much lower in calories than your average chocolate spreads that I’d actually be quite happy to eat the lot for pudding. Seriously.

I’ve put the measurements below but they are fairly approximate as I think it’s best to adjust and taste as you blend. This is fairly sweet so do reduce the syrup if you’d prefer less sweetness, or indeed crank it up if you want uber-sweet! I just so happened to have roasted hazelnuts at home but hazelnut butter would be fine or sub this for peanut or almond butter if you’re not fussed on the chocolate hazelnut combo.

vegan chocolate spread

Just throw it all in and whip it up…oh and then decide how you’re gonna eat it, straight up chocolate pudding or rich nutty chocolatey spread………..?

chocolate vegan spread

Dairy free black bean chocolate hazelnut spread

1 can black beans
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup roasted chopped hazelnuts
pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Add EVERYTHING to the blender (I use a Vitamix) and blitz to chocolate heaven.

Artichoke Spinach Spelt Crust Pizza + 5 ways to make your Pizza Healthier

In my mind pizza is a full on hassle laden thing to make, hence I rarely make it but what’s up with me? This is quicker than most evening meals I make! Oh and delicious too, really delicious. Plus there’s something therapeutic about making your own dough from scratch and flinging it around like a pro. I’ll definitely be having homemade pizza more as it is EASY! Plus we all know pizza is good. So good that no one should ever have to do without, whether you’re gluten free, dairy free or full on raw, there’s a pizza for everyone!

vegan pizza

I never did buy into the thick doughy bases with more cheese than veggies but that’s just me.

Vegan pizza
The thing is pizza can be really quite a healthy meal depending on the crust and toppings so here’s a couple of suggestions on how to lighten up your favourite pizza:

– Use half the cheese you normally would or ditch it all together. With a focus on tasty quality ingredients and a well made dough, the cheese is secondary anyhow.
– Ditch white refined bases and swap to wholewheat, spelt or wholegrain gluten free varieties.
– Make a thinner crust for a less dense and calorific pizza.
– Load it with colourful veggies and lots of fresh greens.
– Or if you really wanna lighten up the load and ditch the carbs altogether use a cauliflower crust.

vegan pizza

Just make the pizza of your dreams 🙂 This is the pizza of my cravings. Artichokes, spinach, red onion, a little dairy free ‘parmesan’ + chili. That’s it.

vegan pizza

Artichoke + spinach spelt crust pizza

(makes 2 small pizzas or 1 big one- 2 people tops)

spelt crust:
2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoons quick-rising yeast
1/2 teaspoon himalayan sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon xylitol or sugar
2/3 cup warm water

tomato sauce (shop bought or this one is nice)
toppings: cooked artichokes, spinach, red onion, olives, chili, dairy free cheese.

1. Preheat oven to 200 ÂșC (if using a pizza stone, preheat this too). Combine warm water + yeast + sit for 10 minutes. Add to the remaining ingredients, stir well, knead for 10 minutes + allow to sit for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prep your pizza topping ingredients, stretch the dough out onto a pizza stone or baking tray. I sprinkle a little cornmeal on the pizza stone to prevent sticking or if using a baking tray just a little oil.

3. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy your masterpiece!

Raw Berry Coconut Cheesecake

cheesecake vegan

So, when you’re having hardcore meat and dairy lovers round for tea, what in god’s name do you make for them and more importantly what about dessert? You make this of course, this raw berry coconut cheesecake.

Yep, it’s vegan AND raw, so I’m breaking them in gently but boy it’s good and nuts don’t need cooking. This is pure heaven on a plate and our guests thought so too. Thank the lord.

vegan cheesecake

There’s something about inviting meat eaters round for tea, like I almost feel guilty about subjecting them to plant based food as a break from their meat twice-daily norm. Really, come on, it’s not that bad – some veggies just for one meal for one day of your life. I like eating this way, I know how good you can feel so for me I just cannot believe how much of a novelty it becomes for other people. Y’know – not having meat or dairy at lunch time is like, so weird? What’s happening to the world when we can’t seem to have a couple of animal free days a week? Ah man, c’mon stop breaking my heart.

cheesecake vegan

Who were these ‘people’ anyway? Russ’s parents, who love their meat and love their dairy desserts. The thing is we don’t actually broadcast our food choices unless at family occasions where we’ll always cater for ourselves and take an appropriate dish. I gotta say people are generally OK when you’re a vegetarian, ‘but you still eat dairy and eggs, right?’, followed by a deep breath and then an ‘oh good’ when you nod yes. That’s why we haven’t gone there with family, it really feels like treading cement so when Russ’s Mum asked whether we ate dairy and Russ answered no, I really was not prepared by the reaction which was a mixture of disappointment, disapproving, judgement, bewilderment and slight anger. Really, I was cringing inside and upset for days after. It was just plain awkward.

Anyway, I had to have a show stopping dessert, a dessert that says yep there’s no egg, milk or cream in me but geez i’m the best god damn cheesecake you ever ate. Period.

This did it. Thank you raw berry coconut cheesecake. You made my day. You made that cringeworthy moment not so bad.

vegan cheesecake

Raw berry coconut cheesecake

(8 slices)

crust:
1 cup almonds
1 cup dates
1/2 cup dried coconut
pinch of sea salt

cream:

2 cups cashews (soaked for 4 hours)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup water
juice of half lemon
pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaping cup of berries (I used frozen raspberries + blueberries)

berries + raw coconut for dressing (entirely optional)

method:

1. In a food processor or blender pulse the nuts to a fine crumb. Then add the coconut, dates + salt continuing to pulse until a sticky smooth dough forms. I used a Vitamix so had the push the ingredients around a little to get it all smooth. Press mixture firmly, evenly + smoothly into a 7 inch springform pan.
2. Drain + rinse cashews. Blend with remaining cream ingredients apart from the raspberries. Pour half the mixture over the almond crust + place in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
3. Add the raspberries to the remaining cream mixture + blend to a pretty smooth mixture. Pour the pinky/purply cream over the cheesecake. Freeze for 4 hours until set or overnight.
4. Remove from freezer 2 hours before serving + top with delicious things like more berries + coconut.

 

 

Aduki Paprika Stew with Sweet Potato Apricot Dumplings (GF + Vegan)

Because food ruts happens to us all!

Russ and I can get a little stale with our vegan stews. You know how it is, if it aint broke don’t fix it and if it’s your favourite then of course you wanna eat that and not experiment with other stuff. But there’s only so much black bean squash stew and spanish chick peas you can eat before looking at each other and laugh. It’s like a food rut that you choose to be in!

Anyway, this recipe is the result of a Saturday late morning dabble, a rummage through the cupboards and fridge and this stew happened.

Vegan Aduki Bean Stew

Aduki beans, sweet potato, kale, gluten free, zero dairy. Let’s do this.

It is what it is. A healthful, superfood packed stew suitable for vegetarians, vegans, gluten free guys, lactose free kids and hell bent carnivores.

Food for EVERYONE.

aduki bean stew

The beans and mushrooms provide substance, the dumplings give good comfort and the smokey spice of the paprika and apricots give a sweet warmth. It is delicious! I still love my black bean squash stew and Spanish chick peas, I always will!

aduki bean stew

I have no more words. See you soon.

Aduki bean stew vegan

Aduki Paprika stew with sweet potato apricot dumplings

(serves me + Russ)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped finely
1 carrot, chopped into small pieces
10 mushrooms, chopped
2 handfuls kale, torn
1 can aduki beans, drained (240 grams)
1 can chopped tomatoes + 1 of water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
seasoning

dumplings:
1/2 cup GF flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 apricots, chopped finely
1 small cooked sweet potato, flesh only
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon soya yoghurt
1 teaspoon chopped dill or parsley
seasoning

method:
1. Heat olive oil over a low heat + add the first 4 ingredients until softened.
2. Add the remaining ingredients + simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
3. Combine the dumpling ingredients to form a cookie dough consistency. Form 6 small dumplings or spoon the mixture straight into the pot. Cook, cover for a further 15 minutes.
4. Serve with a sprinkle of herb + crusty bread. Why not?

 

Dairy Free Chocolate Birthday Cake

No not my birthday, mine’s July! I took this to my brother’s 40th tea party at my Mum’s house. She’s a good kid.

vegan birthday cake

So yeah, when you go over to the vegan side, mainstream cake is like really hard- eggs, butter, milk etc. It’s one big animal party in a cake. The thing is I like some chocolately dense cakeage and I knew I had to do something about it, so I made this. It really is like your average sponge, nothing ground breaking but hey I wasn’t trying to break any plant based cake ground but rather master a simple Chocolate Cake. I just swapped each animal ingredient for a plant ingredient such as coconut oil and nut milk. YUM! Of course I topped it with kiddy sprinkles, I was trying to be popular 😉 and make an appealing looking chocolate cake.

Vegan birthday cake

The other thing is I am pregnant, 5 months pregnant and I figured I will soon have the responsibility of being able to knock up a chocolate sponge that’s delicious and healthy too. C’mon, what Mum can’t make cake? Crikey, still can’t get used to that word.

I love how this is wholegrain with no dairy and no unrefined sugar. I know a few peeps who would knock me for this in a ‘oh let your hair down girl, it’s a birthday!’ I just say ‘bugger off’, life’s already short and ‘my’ cake is delicious and healthy and the bonus is it wont make you feel sluggish, collapse your bowls later in life, or cause a nice bit of type 2 diabetes. Steady on!

Vegan chocolate cake

It’s so easy too and takes 3 minutes to knock up with ALL the ingredients available at your local Sainsbury’s. The thing is if you don’t have coconut oil, use another vegetable oil such as canola, same goes for xylitol, just use raw cane sugar or maple syrup (but please do get involved with xylitol as it’s truly amazing stuff).

Not having an overly sweet tooth, chocolate cake has been on my to do list for a while, yeah who else can say that?! Anyhow, it’s done now and the result was: SUCCESS.

Vegan birthday cake

I have 4 nieces and they all ate this…..and enjoyed it too. There was a non vegan sponge and carrot cake too at the party. Fact is THIS vegan birthday cake got eaten first, seriously! Ashamed to say this recipe makes a pretty small cake, so next time I plan to double the ingredients and sandwich two seven inch cakes or make a larger single layer!

My work here is done.

Vegan birthday cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake

(8 slices, big ‘uns)

1 1/4 cups spelt flour
3/4 cup xylitol
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil

chocolate topping:

4 tbsp margarine
1/2 cup xylitol
2 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

sprinkle with anything

method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 Âș CELSIUS. Sift flour, baking powder + cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add the xylitol + salt, combining thoroughly. In a measuring jug, mix the remaining ingredients + add to the dry mix. Using a whisk, combine the mixture thoroughly resisting the urge to drink it all.
2. Transfer to a greased 7 inch cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes.
3. Remove + cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, combine all the chocolate topping ingredients in a small pan over a high heat and stir until smooth, silky + fully combined. This will thicken as it dries so glaze cake within 5 minutes + top copiously with yummy things like berries, cocoa nibs, sprinkles or anything that takes your fancy.

Christmas Stuffed Peppers

christmas stuffed peppers

Ha ha ha! Christmas stuffed peppers, I know, I know! I did this months ago (like in DECEMBER!) but then I kinda got pregnant and I felt sick. Really really sick. Like all the delicious food I lusted after I suddenly hated! I lost all my energy, I was tired and let the blog slip. I went to India in December (yes, I did go to India with horrific morning sickness and it was hardwork! This is another story) and came back in January with a nasty bug which was making good friends with pregnancy nausea. Man, I felt like shit. I let the blog go more and I found my fleece blanket, a good book, salty potato anything and turned the heating up for weeks.

But but but but…….I am FIVE months nearly and I don’t feel sick, or tired but full of energy and my love of food has returned to me! Hence, I can now look at these peppers again. God, in no way are these just for xmas but they seemed like an appropriate thing to eat on the day in place of bird and sauce.

christmas stuffed peppers

What the heck is a Christmas stuffed pepper anyway? I’m not sure either but these are damn tasty and do actually contain walnuts and cranberries which are pretty Christmassy! Oh and just red and green bell peppers too – true Crimbo colours! When you don’t eat meat you need to be a little more creative but it’s sure worth it cos these are tasty, satisfying and miles better than any sliced meat I ever had. Of course I’m going to say that, I don’t eat meat – but it’s true. Any vegetarian or vegan would be happy to be served these if you’re ever struggling to cater for these fussy fellows 😉

christmas stuffed vegan peppers

I love stuffed peppers for how easy they are and you can stuff them with absolutely anything!
Here’s to many more recipes to come!

vegan stuffed peppers

Christmas stuffed peppers

(serves many)

6 bell peppers, tops cut off + cleaned inside
3 garlic cloves
1 small onion, diced
2 cups chestnut mushrooms, chopped roughly
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 cups cooked lentils/rice
1 teaspoon each of thyme + cumin
salt + pepper
2 large handfuls kale
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup walnuts

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375 ÂșC. Prepare peppers + cook rice/lentils if not already cooked.
2. Fry onions, garlic + mushrooms until fragrant + softened.  Add tomatoes, lentils, seasonings, kale, cranberries + walnuts + gently simmer for 5 more minutes.
3. Spoon the mixture into the hollow peppers and replace the lids. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven + serve immediately on ANY day of the year, not just for Christmas.

Detox Winter Vegetable Quinoa Bowl with Cranberries + Pumpkin Seeds

roasted veg

I feel quite sorry for brussel sprouts, they have a hard life. First off, they are a hugely love/hate food and brussel sprout haters seem to feel strongly about these poor green vegetables, like there’s hatred there!! The other reason why I feel sorry for brussel sprouts is they only come out once per year for a little christmas festivity + are generally always just a token at the dinner table. I propose we grow more and eat more sprouts outside of the festive season and secondly to promote the poor brussel sprout to something other than a side to a piece of meat. Don’t get me wrong, I like a side of sprouts, especially dipped in ketchup (is that wrong?) but I just think we’re selling them short that’s all. There are endless ways to celebrate sprouts and get more involved.

roasted sprout quinoa salad

How about a winter vegetable quinoa bowl?

Hail to brussel sprouts in curries, stir fries, roasted vegetable dishes, veggie skewers, salads and vegetable hash. They are versatile little buggers.roasted veg sprout quinoa salad

These are a super dietary form of vitamin and mineral antioxidants which helping to address chronic and excessive inflammation, they provide fantastic cardiovascular support with their powerful cholesterol lowering properties and being super detoxing they’re ideal for the excesses of the holiday season. But don’t wait ’til any holiday season to enjoy the deliciousness. Have this now and detox the tasty way!

quinoa sprout veg

Winter vegetable quinoa bowl with cranberries + pumpkin seeds

(serves 2)

2 cups brussel sprouts, cut in half
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 cups chestnut mushrooms, cut in half
1 red onion, chopped into segments
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt + pepper
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
herbs + lemon juice for dressing

method:

1. Preheat oven to 200ÂșC. Prepare vegetables + spread evenly on a large baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season + roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven when softened + starting to brown.
2. Add the quinoa, pumpkin seeds + cranberries to a large serving bowl. Fold through the roasted vegetables, add a squeeze of lemon + adjust the seasoning.
3. Serve dressed with extra seeds + cranberries.

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