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Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts with Coconut Frosting ( Gluten Free + Dairy Free)

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

OK, so i’m sure you’re wondering how you make a ‘healthy doughnut’? Do they even exist? Of course! But aren’t they supposed to be an indulgent treat when you just need something sweet and comforting to eat?
Well these are both of those, combined we’ll call them a ‘healthy treat’ as they are just the treat you’re looking for with that afternoon tea or coffee – all the pleasure, none of the guilt!

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Using coconut nectar sugar, no dairy, pumpkin purée (with all the goodness of high fibre, heart healthy, mood boosting pumpkins) these are already set to be a satisfying nibble.
Always the coconut fan, using coconut oil & sugar gives these a great taste and texture alongside the cinnamon/nutmeg/vanilla – not a processed ingredient in these, too right!

The recipe makes 6 pumpkin spiced doughnuts, you may however be referring back to this recipe and letting your friends and family know that there is life beyond Krispy Kremes…

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Pumpkin spiced doughnuts

(makes 6)
1 cup oat flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger, nutmeg + cinnamon

3/4 cup pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon flaxmeal + 1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/ teaspoon vanilla extract

coconut cream frosting:
3 tablespoons coconut cream,1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon shredded coconut + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 ºC. Combine the flax + coconut water in a small bowl.
  2. Add the first 7 dry ingredients to a bowl + mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the pumpkin, oil, maple syrup + vanilla to the flax mixture + whisk well. Add this mixture to the dry bowl to produce a thick batter.
  4. Transfer the batter to a silicone or greased doughnut pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Blitz the icing ingredients together + smother. Eat any leftovers.

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Pineapple + Ginger Cake – Dairy free + Gluten Free

I’ve had this tin of pineapple for sooooo long, ages actually, ha ha! I really do love my pineapple but much prefer the fresh variety so that’s why it’s been sitting around, plus Russ is my chief pineapple chopper-upper! Don’t worry, it was still in date 🙂 The truth is, I’ve been so lazy with the blog lately and it’s been kinda hard to pull my finger out and get moving with things and when I opened the cupboard and saw this tin, my irrational pregnancy hormones got the better of me and I HAD to use it. This cake is so quick to throw together and whilst it’s cooking for an hour I have no excuse but to listen to my hypnobirthing tracks. At least I’ve finally gotten rid of that can of pineapple!

pineapple & ginger vegan cake

So yeah Russ and I will be hypnobirthing this August! So far it seems to be working really well for me and it’s already helped put some of the usual pre-birth anxieties at bay. Society seems to be full of so many negative images and messages towards birth but if you actually look past these and filter through there are plenty of positive images. Hypnobirthing teaches you to retrain your brain to see yourself as the capable, prepared, adaptable and strong person that you are, perfectly able to birth your child in a calmly excited manner. It’s surprising how much we tell ourselves otherwise, whether that originates from the media or friends and family. The only downside of hypnobirthing is that most people don’t really get it, seeing it as some sort of ‘trance induced’ birth. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s more so a preparation tool before birth to ease birthing anxieties and prepare for the physical aspects of labour by mindfulness, deep breathing and hypnosis tracks. It’s a bit of a commitment – about 40 minutes a day to be precise but I think it’ll be more than worth it come birth time. Added to that the 30 minute hypnosis track is so relaxing, I actually look forward playing it and relaxing more than I ever felt possible. I know already that this is going to help me immensely before and during the birth. In the meantime, I’ll keep reminding people that I won’t be hypnotised during labour but rather utilising the techniques of mindfulness, breathing and visualisation I’ve learnt so far.

pineapple & ginger vegan cake

Anyway, my digestion has been pretty good so far through this pregnancy but I do think I’ve been glutenizing myself a lot lately, what with toast, pittas, pasta – it’s all too much. Hence the gluten free cake plus I’ve been dying to try out Bob’s Red Mill variety of GF flours. I’ve gotta say, pretty impressed. Shame we don’t have it more readily available here in the UK but it’s easy enough to make yourself. Not being gluten intolerant I wont be swapping every time but it’s nice to make a change and cook for all sensitivities and preferences.

vegan pineapple & ginger cake

The cake’s ready and Russ is doing nursery stuff (mural, shelves and cot building) so time to make a cuppa and slice this gingery thing! See ya sooner rather than later…………..

Pineapple + ginger cake

2 tablespoons chia seeds + 6 of water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup pineapple juice (from the can)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup GF flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose)
1 heaping cup grated carrot
1 can pineapple (227grams, 137 grams drained- keep pineapple juice for recipe)
sesame seeds, optional

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180º Celsius + grease a 7 inch cake tin.
2. Add the ‘chia egg’ to a mixing bowl + allow to gel. Add the oil, syrup, juice + combine well.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl + combine well. Transfer to the greased cake tin, sprinkle with sesame seeds + bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Curried Lentil Soup with Carrot + Coriander Dumplings (Gluten Free + Vegan)

curried lentil & dumpling stew
We spent our entire saturday morning in 3 carpet/wood flooring superstores and it was sooooo bad. Bad because I hate these places at the best of times, bad because I feel I should take a greater interest and enthusiasm for the flooring that goes down in our home (especially considering the financial outlay) and bad bad bad because we just couldn’t make a choice – oh golly! Instead we left with several quotes and unfinished business but I’m never going back there, no way. I really do want some nice flooring but it’s the time (it’s a lot) and effort that goes into choosing whilst getting caught up in the maze of DIY-ers frantically filling their trolleys like they know exactly what they’re doing. I guess I just need to be one of those people, someone who loves everything DIY, but I’m not. I’m the person who likes the nice house but without ever entering a huge superstore, I’m more than happy to choose online, at home and in comfort! The thing is you just can’t choose flooring online, it just doesn’t feel right….oh I know, first world problems hey!

lentil dumpling stew

Anyway, it’s food like this that gets me through car crash mornings such as hanging out in DIY stores in a confused state!! A real good, homely, comforting, major silly healthy lentil stew with the best dumplings ever. Oh yes.

curried lentil & dumpling stew

I’m gonna put myself out there now and say this is probably one of my favourite meals just for how wonderfully feel good and delicious it is. This is a complete meal in itself with plenty of protein and four servings of veggies served with grain and dairy free dumplings. I just gotta say these dumplings are better than those dumplings you used to love…..you know the ones and with healing onion, garlic, chili, ginger and turmeric this stew is sure to warm and nourish you all winter long….spring and summer too.

Right, time to call the DIY superstore and finally make that decision!

curried lentil & dumpling stew

Curried lentil soup with carrot + coriander dumplings

(serves 2)

soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
small piece of ginger, chopped finely
2 sticks celery, chopped finely
2 large carrots, chopped into small pieces
1 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, turmeric + cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
2 handfuls greens, shredded
chili + coriander for dressing

dumplings:
1 cup chick pea (gram) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 small carrot, grated
1 tablespoon coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons soya yoghurt
1/2 cup water

method:

1. Heat the olive oil over a low heat + add the first 6 ingredients, stirring until softened + aromatic.
2. Add the lentils, broth, spices + greens, keep on a low heat for 15 minutes. You may need to add more water if it over thickens, or add a teaspoon corn flour if it needs thickening.
3. Whilst the soup is simmering make your dumplings by combining the flour, salt + baking powder. Once combined add the carrot, coriander, soya yoghurt + water to form a sticky cookie dough mixture.
4. Form 6 dumplings by hand or alternatively spoon the mixture directly into the soup. The balls should sit on top without sinking. Cover the pan + simmer for a further 15 minutes.
5. Serve dressed with chopped chili + coriander.

Simple Spiced Cookies (Vegan)

christmas spiced cookies

When I was a kid I used to make these incredible ginger, crunchy, hollow biscuits that everybody seemed to love, including me. They must have been pretty good ‘cos I was literally making them every Saturday! I miss them. Simple spiced cookies

Anyway, these are not those biscuits but I will be having a little think about sourcing that old recipe for old times sake. These are a bit different from my childhood favourite as for a start they’re softer with no crunch and don’t contain any dairy (this is a good thing of course) but they are packed full of ginger and other warming winter spices. Think Christmas cake; orange, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon……love, love, love these flavours. Oh, these are quick too, super simple to throw together and ready in a jiffy. I actually think it would take longer to drive to the supermarket and buy a packet of ginger nuts! They have currants in too, I like currants, they seemed to have been forgotten about. It’s all about raisins and sultanas so I buy currants to keep the love alive! It’s true isn’t it?Simple spiced cookies

There’s no rubbish in these either, wholegrain, low gluten and no dairy, yep just wholesome healthful ingredients. This is my kinda cookie. This should be everybody’s kinda cookie!Simple spiced cookies

Simple Spiced Cookie

(makes 12-15)

1/2 cup currants
1 cup spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon + ginger
1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg + all-spice
3 tablespoons vegan butter
1 flax or chia egg (1 tablespoon of seeds to 3 of water)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup powdered sugar
juice + zest of orange

method:

1. Preheat oven to 175ºC. Combine the first 6 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. Combine the remaining wet ingredients in a measuring jug. You will need to melt the butter for 20 seconds in a microwave.
3. Add the wet mixture to the dry + combine thoroughly to form a sticky cookie dough.
4. Using a teaspoon scoop, form small cookies + place on a lined baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool before removing.
5. Mix the sugar + enough orange juice to make a thick syrup. Drizzle over the cookies + zest the orange zest over the top.

Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal

carrot cake bake
I must admit I don’t at first think of carrots for breakfast but carrot cake, yes. Carrot cake in oatmeal form, yes oh yes. In oatmeal form topped with maple drenched salted nuts and seeds, yes, yes and yes. This breakfast is kind of a big deal for me. It tastes just like carrot cake but with all the nasties right outta there. See, it’s a big deal.A slice of carrot cake baked oatmeal

I ate this for breakfast warm and my it was sooo good. I also ate it cold the next day and it was even more delicious, cakier, sweeter, doughier, spicier. The great thing is you really don’t even need a plate and fork as it’s perfect for just picking up and eating on the go. Gosh, this kind of food is me food, me all over, in baked carrot cake oatmeal form!DSC_9363

The great thing is it’s pretty much as healthy as regular oatmeal or granola and packed full of healthy fats and protein. Plus you squeeze in a carrot first thing! This is the kind of breakfast that’ll keep you going until lunchtime, no blood sugar crashes in sight and packed full of delicious healthy ingredients. But then again this doesn’t even have to be brekkie as it’s way good enough as dessert. Amen. Delicious healthy ingredients

It was hard not to eat the whole tray. Severe restrain was exercised here. I wish I was more like Russ with his self control, maybe it’s a guy thing! Not that self control needs to be exercised as it’s so healthy but I mean I ate three pieces compared to his one………where’s the sharing eh?!! Not to worry as I’ll be making more of where this came from and might next time do an apple pie version, or pumpkin pie, or pineapple cake, chocolate brownie baked oatmeal……………………..A slice of carrot cake baked oatmeal

Here’s to having more desserts for breakfast and starting the day right with pudding!Carrot cake baked oatmeal

Baked carrot cake oatmeal

(serves2-4)

dry:
4 medium carrots, peeled + grated
1/4 cup raisins
2 cups oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg + ground ginger
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
pinch of salt

wet:
2 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons flaxseed combine with 6 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla

topping:
1/3 cup each of walnuts, sunflower seeds + pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted vegan butter

method:

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Seperately whisk the wet ingredients together fully.
2. Add the wet to the dry + combine thoroughly. Transfer mixture to a baking dish, allowing to soak for 30 minutes.
3. Combine the topping mixture + spread evenly over the oats. Bake for 25 minutes or until set + browned on top.

Healing Miso Noodle Soup (Vegan)

Healing Miso Noodle Soup
Have you ever read the back of a pot noodle pack? Don’t do it, it’s really quite scary. Instead make yourself these 5 minute instant ‘pot’ noodles that are crammed to the brim with goodness. Loads of it.

Healing Miso Noodle Soup

This is the polar opposite of a pot noodle. It’s a healing miso noodle soup!Healing Miso Noodle Soup

A soup to cleanse. Heal. Invigorate. To simply feel good. Just what you deserve.Healing Miso Noodle Soup

Buy some miso soup right away, the stuff is an amazing health tonic. Just add hot water. Chop a little veg with a little love. A lotta love. Get some really nice noodles (wholegrain always). Put it all together and smile at what you just did.Healing Miso Noodle Soup

A great big heaping bowl of healing goodness. Make this your winter soup. Your cold fighting, immunity boosting broth. Your go to ‘I need to feel good food’ food, flavoured with garlic, ginger, a little chili, onion and mighty miso. Healing Miso Noodle Soup

I defy you to eat this and not feel really good after. It’s impossible. Use this as a weapon, a powerful weapon against getting ill, run down or coldy and you’ll be smugly dodging all those seasonal nasties. Good stuff.Healing Miso Noodle Soup

Super quick + healing miso noodle soup

(serves 2)

150 grams brown rice noodles
3 teaspoons miso paste
thumb size piece ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1 carrot, peeled
large handful broccoli florets
6 mushrooms quartered
handful baby leaf spinach
1 chili, deseeded + finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped finely

Method:

  1. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions + set aside. Heat the miso paste over a low heat with 4 cups water + turn off just before it reaches boiling point. Add all the vegetables to the broth.
  2. Refresh the noodles with cold water, add to the miso broth + vegetables. Stir well to combine.
  3. Serve immediately topped with spring onion + a little chili. Actually top it with whatever you like. Smugly slurp on your own wonderful pot noodle.

Spiced Oatmeal Stuffed Bramley Apples (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Ooooooh yeah, this is so autumn. English too, yep it’s definitely English.

bramley baked spiced applesI can’t begin to tell you how good these apples smelt when they were baking away. Oatmeal, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and maple syrup – you just know it don’t you?Apples + the works

Apples. Love. Oats. Adore. Nutmeg. Get in my life. Cinnamon. Oh wow, my one true love. Ginger. Yes please. Maple syrup. Oh golly. These are a few of my favourite things.Stuffed apple pre baking Yeah, you just know how much I liked this hey?    I say forget about long winded complicated desserts, sometimes you just want some rustic, simple sweet treats with a few quality ingredients. Something like spiced oatmeal stuffed bramley apples. They’re in season so get ’em while you can and stuff ’em any way you like but I recommend the spiced oatmeal mixture, a bit like fruit cake freshly baked in an apple.

Baked + stuffed apples

This reminded me of Christmas in taste and in smell……it’s far too early I know but people are already chatting Christmas crackers.DSC_8715

Did you know that these baked apples take 5 minutes to throw together via a spiced oatmeal stuffing. Watch them in the oven cos these have a tendency to expand, oh ok explode!DSC_8711

Take them to the next level with coconut cream, ice cream, custard or just simply a drizzle of maple syrup. Always add walnuts cos it looks pretty and it’s nice to look at pretty things.Pretty fruit

Here’s to stuffing our fruit more. Say no to boring fruit.A baked + stuffed apple

Spiced oatmeal stuffed bramley apples

5 large bramley apples, cored
1/2 cup gluten free oats
2 teaspoons dairy free butter or coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each of ginger + nutmeg
1/4 cup raisins or any dried fruit of choice

Preheat oven to 150ºC. Semi core each apple being sure not to pierce through to the other side. Use the corer to make a wide whole to fill with oatmeal.
Mix all the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl + stuff each apple compactly with the mixture. Bake in an oven proof dish for 30 minutes or until softened. Enjoy hot with your favourite ice cream.

Spiced Pumpkin + Pecan Spelt Bread (Vegan)

pecan & pumpkin loafI’ve decided autumn is definitely my favourite season, the weather, the colours, well everything really – just so beautiful. If I could pause weather, cos I often daydream about this (but that would be too cool), I would pause it on a perfect autumn day – blue sky, crisp air, warm coloured vibrant leaves and comfortable outside temperatures. Perfect. Oh, and the food’s good too, I’m loving all the seasonal veggies at the mo especially the pumpkin explosion.Delicious pumpkin + pecan loaf

It really is all about the pumpkin in October which is OK with me because it’s easily my favourite vegetable after all. I love the fact that this delicious veggie can be dinner or breakfast, sweet and savoury. It’s too impressive, well in vegetable terms of impressiveness that is. Such a good job there’s sooo many pumpkins around at the moment cos I’m going to be making a lot of squash based recipes over the next few weeks, recipes like this vegan spiced pumpkin spelt bread.process 2

I’m not sure if this is pumpkin bread as it’s definitely walking the cake line so we could say it’s a kinda hybrid. Anyway, take 5 minutes out to throw this together and you’ll be rewarded with a lightly sweetened, moist, warmly spiced and very moreish loaf cake.Sliced pumpkin + pecan bread

This was made early saturday morning ready for my Mum and Sis coming round for our group hair cut. My Mum was pulling my leg the other day……saying she sees all this food on the blog which doesn’t quite make it over to her! Ooops, sorry love!Pumpkin + pecan spelt bread

Anyway, we ate it all……..well it wasn’t hard and got our hair cut too. Freshly baked pumpkin bread and a fresh haircut = a good way to spend saturday morning.

Hope you had a pumpkin packed weekend!
Pumpkin + pecan bread

Spiced pumpkin spelt bread

(12 slices)

dry:

1 + 1/4 cups spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda + 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg + ginger
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup crushed pecans/walnuts

wet:

1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax seeds + 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 175ºC  + grease a small loaf tin. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl mix all the wet ingredients until combined thoroughly.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mixture and combine thoroughly.
3. Transfer to the loaf tin + bake for 50-60 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven + allow to cool before serving. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Spiced Carrot Muffins

Carrot spiced muffin

Do you randomly reminisce about mediocre food you were fond of as a younger you? I do, all the time but come to think of it, I think about any food, all of the time! Of late it’s been the ginger biscuits I made as a kiddo, usually when I was bored or avoiding homework. They were nice but I wonder, were they really that good? I’ve been thinking maybe it’s the nostalgia that makes food seem more appealing than it perhaps was?! In their defence, these ginger biscuits were pretty popular though, my family loved them for a good tea dunking. It’s just that there really wasn’t anything special about them, they were just biscuits. But they were the first biscuit recipe I nailed and gosh was I proud! See, it’s nostalgia. They were bursting with immense gingery goodness, probably because I usually doubled the suggested 1 teaspoon to 2, well 2 1/2 actually!

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to make some gingery baked goods for a while now. I just love ginger with it’s warm, rich, spicy yet sweet flavour provoking memories of a gloriously sticky ginger pudding smothered in creamy pale yellow custard. Even a fiery Thai or Chinese stir fry packed full of ginger just makes you feel warm and comforted. Yes, I think there’s something comforting about ginger and I love that it’s good for us too. In India, ginger is viewed as a complete wonder spice and this is good enough for me (being a huge fan of all things Indian).

I used an overly-heaped teaspoon in the muffin mix because I just love the flavour and it works fantastically with the pineapple, carrot and raisins. In hindsight, these could even take some more – so if you like ginger go for 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons. Definitely a match made in heaven. I’m thinking of making oatmeal with these flavours, kind of like an exotic carrot cake breakfast. I used honey and crushed pineapple to sweeten and to ensure it retained as much moisture as possible, plus I wanted to replicate the moist and sticky ginger puddings I loved so much as a kid.

Step by step

Alongside ginger I used a teaspoon of cinnamon,  another spice I am completely obsessed with. I use  both these exotic spices most days, even just a sprinkle on cereal, toast or porridge. A few years back in the middle of some hefty marathon training  I read that cinnamon is amazing for blood sugar regulation. Obviously, eager to gain a winning edge I started stirring heaps into my breakfasts, popping it into smoothies, sprinkling on honey toast, whisking through pancake batter and adding generously to my curries, North African dishes, well anything really. I swear this carried me through the long hard training and not once did I ‘hit the wall’ as they say in running jabber. Purely psychological? Maybe, but there’s something in it, quite literally. Whenever I google ‘cinnamon benefits’ it never ceases to amaze me (same for ginger) how healing these can be! I’m pretty mindful about generous health claims but the taste, aroma and colour of these spices just make you feel like you’re doing your body a favour.

These muffins are super blood sugar regulators and high in fibre too.  Full of wonderful flavour and texture, these muffins are an acceptable breakfast snack and even a worthy pudding contender – with a scoop of ice cream or  a dollop of custard. Are you sold yet?

Carrot spiced muffin
Sticky, sweet, spiced & fruity

What was the first recipe you mastered as a kid (or adult for that matter!)?

Spiced Carrot Muffins

(makes 10-12)

1 1/2 cups of wholemeal self raising flour
1 teaspoon of ginger
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
small handful of crushed walnuts
small handful of raisins
2 tablespoons of honey
1 cup of shredded carrot
1 cup of crushed pineapple
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg

Method:

  1. Sift all the dry ingredients together and combine well. Add the walnuts, raisins and carrot.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients and mix just enough to fully combine.
  3. Place in 10-12 muffin cases and sprinkle with oats.
  4. Bake at 175 ºC for 25 minutes.

Bake for 25 minutes at 175 °C.