gluten free

Banana NiceCream – No Dairy, No Fat + No Sugar

Banana Nicecream – No Dairy, Fat or Sugar

banana ice cream

It’s that crazy time of year when everything just seems in excess; an obscenely huge selection of food, alcohol you would never usually drink (advocaat and Baileys anyone?), extravagant gifts we can’t afford, social expectations turning into obligations, shops packed to the brim with enthusiastic shoppers, television commercials telling us we need just one more thing and a minor meltdown when we realise we forgot the cranberry sauce. How could we possibly go ahead without this!? This stuff is tiring in a period of my life when I’m trying to detox in every sense of the word, embrace my inner minimalist, reduce everything, less is more as a mantra, de-clutter and simplify. Yes, simplify. Why make things more complicated than they need to be? It’s all very simple really and this ice cream is a celebration of less is more. But don’t be fooled, it’s pretty amazing stuff.

It’s free. Free from everything but wholesome goodness.

Liberated from unnecessary additives. simply banana ice cream

Completely unadulterated.

Happy to be just as it is and it doesn’t care what you think.  DSC_8905

Pure.

Raw.

You get the picture right?

1 beautiful ingredient. Bananas.just bananas, frozen bananas

Nature’s offering of whole food plant powered ice cream. It’s banana nicecream.

There’s no sugar, no dairy and no fat. Hallelujah!banana ice cream with caramel + nuts

It doesn’t get any simpler. It doesn’t get any better either.

Less is more. Most of the time anyway.

Banana Nicecream

Freeze your bananas for at least 4 hours + blend away until creamy. The Vitamix does a terrific job. Eat as soft serve or freeze for a harder consistency.

Healthy Darkest Double Chocolate Flourless Cookie Bites

carob chickpea cookieI can’t stop baking with beans, and not baked beans or pulse based curries but sweet nutty desserts bursting with the humble chick pea or fudge like black bean. It’s a pretty good feeling knowing that your sweet, dark and decadent cookie is actually 75% chick pea! Or your chocolate fudge brownie is crammed with black beans and you know that creamy cookie dough butter, yep you guessed it – it’s mainly white beans! Is it wrong to get excited over carob, chocolate, almondy, chickpea based goodies? Even the raw dough is hard to resist.

Cookie dough that's good enough to eat

Baking with beans is the way forward – who needs margarine and white flour when any pulse would do a better job, mega boost the nutritional content higher than you can imagine and transform a pretty unhealthy dessert to one which is plant based and truly good for us. Good news.Plate of cookies

And here’s a bit more good news:

flourless, no grain whatsoever so yep they’re gluten free
no dairy and entirely plant powered
so rich and chocolatey it almost hurts
so easy to make, literally throw it all in the blender and adjust ingredients for correct consistency
they really are healthy with such a tiny amount of sugar
less than 50 calories per cookie, eat lots
carob, ummmmStack them cookies up!

Technically carob isn’t chocolate but it does have a chocolatey taste with a sweeter, nuttier flavour than cocoa and it is super delicious. Also packed full of antioxidants and unlike cocoa contains zero caffiene. I absolutely love it. I use carob purely for a change of flavour as cocoa is one of my favourite ingredients ever and would work equally well in this recipe too. I do feel guilty cheating on cocoa but carob is so worth it. A plate of cookies for you!

Healthy darkest double chocolate flourless cookie bites

(makes 15-20 cookies)

1 can chickpeas, rinsed + drained (240 grams)
1 banana, peeled + chopped
3 teaspoons non dairy butter or coconut oil
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon of flaxmeal to 3 of water)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons carob powder (or cocoa powder)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons almond meal or almond flour
4 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Add all the ingredients except chocolate chips to a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir through the chocolate chips. The mixture should be a cookie dough consistency so you may need to adjust almond flour to make it drier or add a dash of almond milk to loosen it.
2. Lightly grease a baking tray + form 15-20 small cookies from the mixture. They will not spread so allow enough room to remove once baked. Flatten slightly with a fork.
3. Bake for 20 minutes until crisp on the outside. Allow to cool fully before removing from the baking tray + get stuck right in. Store in an airtight container for 7 days.

Gluten + Dairy Free ‘Snickers’ Pancakes

snickers pancakesDessert for breakfast is sometimes the only way forward. Chocolate. Peanuts. Caramel. Pancakes. I shouldn’t think it gets much better than this. Well not in pancake world anyhow! I wish I had more creativity at breakfast but I always stick to my oats and a thousand trillion toppings. It’s only when I have something like this that I tell myself – ‘eat more pancakes, you crazy person’. Everybody should be eating more pancakes….as long as they’re plant based and super good for you!snickers pancakes

So not only was I trying to jazz up my pancakes ‘Snickers’ style but was also trying to perfect my gluten and dairy free pancake and I tell you what, this was right on target. Utterly delicious actually. You know they’re a success when you literally cannot wait to make them again and eat the whole damn lot. snickers pancakes

These Snickers pancakes have an ever so slightly sweet taste (I figured they didn’t need much sugar when they’re studded with chocolate + drowned in caramel sauce!), a nuttiness from the wholesome gluten free flour, creaminess from the almond milk and flax and they rose like a treat too! So happy with that.pancakes glorious pancakes

You gotta expect a slightly denser pancake when your using GF flour and no eggs and these were still much lighter than I envisaged. Let’s face it, who wants a pancake you could break into someone’s house with? Not me and in taste terms these are miles better than any white processed pancakes I’ve had in the past. I’d always recommend using roasted nuts as the taste is way better and makes them super crunchy too. These Snickers Pancakes are really very delicious. I want them again, right now. snickers pancakes + caramel sauce

Gluten + dairy free ‘Snickers’ pancakes

(serves 2)

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I used Dove’s Farm)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts
1/4 cup dark dairy free chocolate chips
raw caramel sauce or shop bought

method:

1. Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile add the milk, apple cider vinegar, flax + vanilla extract to a jug + whisk thoroughly.
2. Add the wet mixture along with the coconut oil to the dry ingredients + mix thoroughly. Stir through half the peanuts + half the chocolate chips.
3. Grease a non stick pan with coconut oil + scoop 1/4 cup size amounts of the mixture onto the griddle pan. Allow to brown (about 2 minutes) on one side + flip for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a warm oven whilst cooking the remaining pancakes.
4. Top with the remaining peanuts + chocolate chips. Drizzle generously with caramel sauce + revel in all this snickers glory.

Mocha Quinoa Truffles (GF + Vegan)

mocha quinoa trufflesI need chocolate. Everyday. I love chocolate in all it’s raw, unprocessed and darkest glory. I think we all need chocolate, it’s good for the soul. Seriously. A bowl of mocha quinoa balls

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

Charles M Schulz

See, this man is sooooo right. Love + chocolate = just perfect. Definitely a cup of coffee too. Or even some mocha quinoa balls!Making mocha quinoa balls

When I fancy some sweet in my life I go to these delicious chocolate, walnut and coffee infused balls of goodness. An immediate snack that’s so amazingly yummy but shockingly good for you, like really, eat these mocha quinoa bites for good health. Yes, real chocolate is good for us, always has been and always will be – dark and unadulterated cocoa. So thankful.A loada balls

The great thing about and date/nut balls are they’re beyond adaptable, just see them as your sweet, nurturing, flexible and friendly snack. Any nut would work, the quinoa can be subbed for oats, more nuts, almond flour, coconut flour, if you don’t like mocha then ditch the coffee, if you hate chocolate…….only kidding, who doesn’t like chocolate, right? You get the point though – put in what the hell you want and bust some serious balls. Mocha quinoa balls

I used quinoa to pack these out and up the protein content as I had a little left over from lunch and they added a nice nutty texture but brown rice would also be good. Have you noticed how there’s never ever, like never ever any leftover chocolate? Strange……

These sweets/truffles/power balls/bites are truly free. Free from dairy, soy, gluten and processed sugar. Enjoy the purest and loveliest of plant goodness.

Easy recipe for mocha quinoa balls

Mocha quinoa truffles

(makes 16 balls)

1 cup dates
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon maca
1 tablespoon espresso/coffee powder + 1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine the ingredients in a food processor + pulse to a dough. Scrape down the sides + redistribute if necessary.
Make 14-16 balls, place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes + enjoy straight away or store in an airtight container for later.

Spiced Winter Root Vegetable Soup (Gluten Free + Vegan)

pumpkin winter soupThis isn’t any old soup but one that is packed full of nurturing + healing spices. Warming throughout winter. A hug in the guise of soup.2 bowls of soup + pumpkin seeds

Vegetables rock but root vegetables really do rock. Winter vegetables

Healthy as heck with it’s three servings of vegetables in one bowl. And pumpkin seeds too – you really gotta love pumpkin and all it’s awesomeness.Pumpkin love

Utterly delicious. Thick, smooth, creamy, spicy and oh so more-ish. Pumpkin soup + all the trimmings

Super easy to prepare.DSC_8789

That’ll do. Enjoy soup all winter long.Winter root veg soup + seeds

Spiced winter root vegetable soup

(serves 4)

1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic, cloves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 small pumpkin, peeled + roughly chopped (about 3 cups)
1 sweet potato, peeled + roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled + chopped roughly
5 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon each of cumin + coriander
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg + cayenne
1 cup almond milk
salt + pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil over a low heat + add the onion + garlic. Gently fry until translucsent.
2. Add the remaining ingredients + bring to a low boil. Simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Blend the soup until smooth + adjust seasoning to taste. Be careful of blending the soup whilst it is still very hot. Always allow to cool off before doing so. Freeze on the day, refrigerate for up to 4 days or eat straight away to keep warm!

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.

Pinto Quinoa Burger (GF + Vegan)

pinto quinoa burgerLeisurely run, lazy delicious breakfast, taking time over coffee, reading, movies, cooking, walking, a sneaky massage, eating and just general relaxation………yep, my perfect weekend. The simple things are the best, like peace, quiet and down time. This includes taking time over lunch with a pinto quinoa burger, cos let’s face it this isn’t gonna happen for a mid-week day time meal and right now there’s no chance of grabbing one of these bad boys in my local fast food joint. Not yet. pinto quinoa burger

Weekend lunches are always infinitely better, much longer, more social and just generally extra yummy. Come on, who has the time to make a burger like this for a weekday lunch? There’s an idea – let’s make triple next time, freeze them and hey presto- a delicious dirty mid week lunch. Yes thank you.pinto quinoa burger

This is one big dirty, eye-crossing pinto quinoa burger and believe it or not, it’s OK to pick up and eat, really. The addition of cashew cream and chipotle sauce takes this stack of deliciousness to a whole new level. Delicious and finger lickin’ messy. I told you it’s dirty. But I like dirty. pinto quinoa burger

D’ya know what else is great? Plant based burgers like this pinto quinoa gem are never bad for you, always packed full of goodness and dripping with health. There’s no way you can make a plant powered burger unhealthy, it  really is very hard to do. This pinto and quinoa burger is high in protein and fibre rich, it contains zero saturated fats, no sugar whatsoever, is low in sodium, great for blood sugar regulation and immensely satisfying. Feel good food is what this is. pinto quinoa burger

I’ve long been a veggie burger obsessive and am always looking for new ways to jazz them up but sometimes you just wanna plain, straight up, no frills ‘go to’ burger and this one ticks my boxes. A crunchy outside texture, creamy and mushy inside and an unbeatable mexican smokey flavour. Definitely one of my favourites so far. Luckily, there’s no such thing as too many burgers so I’ll keep going with the veggie burger trials cos a decent burger is hard to beat.pinto quinoa burger

I reckon these are at their best with some lovely salad, a sauce or dressing that makes you smile and a delicious gluten free bun like these quinoa rolls from Waitrose.

pinto quinoa burger

Oh, don’t eat this in front of somebody you are trying to impress….just take my word for it. You’re welcome.

What’s your ideal weekend?pinto quinoa burger

Pinto Quinoa Burger

(serves 2)

1 can pinto beans, drained (1 can=240 grams)
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax + 3 of water)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
small handful coriander, chopped finely
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
2 tablespoons oat flour (sub with any flour)
salt + pepper to taste

2 burger buns + tomatoes, lettuce, onion, cashew cream, chipotle sauce or whatever your heart desires

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200ºC. Add beans to a bowl + mash with a fork so that some beans are still visible. You can use a food processor too, but I find crushing with a fork allows greater control over texture.
  2. Once mashed down, add the remaining burger ingredients + combine fully to form a large burger dough.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 + form into burger patties. Place on a greased baking tray + bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Slice buns, add burgers + dress to the nines with salad, pickles + cheese.

 

Chocolate, Banana + Peanut Chia Pudding (GF + Vegan)

chia puddingMy November resolutions are to eat more chia and to get stuck into this chocolate, banana and nut fiasco at least once per week! What a combo this is and a great way to get a my chia nutritional fix. It’s not hard to stick to these resolutions at all. Easy process - chia pudding

This chocolate, banana + peanut chia pudding is super simple and can be prepped the night before for a next day nutrient dense pick me up. The chia seeds just need to soak up the lovely liquid and you’re ready to go. I blend mine for a smooth mousse-like consistency but it’s equally delicious left as is for that chia tapioca vibe. Of course it doesn’t need caramel sauce but that’s besides the point, add it anyway cos it’s beyond delicious. Just in case you wanted to know, I devoured both of these and enjoyed every last scrap.2 chia puddings

I’m monkeys, I’m nuts, just full on head over heels for this chia pudding and for very good reason too. It’s more than an instant energising and transportable snack, much much more:

gluten + dairy free
rich in omega 3
iron rich
high protein
good source of fibre
high in potassium
low in sugar
breakfast or pudding

She ticks every box. Get some chia and get chia pudding-ing. Chia pudding + caramel sauce

Chocolate, banana + peanut chia pudding

(serves 2)

30 grams chia seed
1 cup almond milk
4 dates
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup

peanuts
banana, sliced
puffed rice, granola
caramel sauce
anything your heart desires

Method:

1. Soak the chia seeds + dates in the almond milk for 1 hour or leave overnight. Add the soaked mixture to the blender with the remaining pudding ingredients + blend until smooth + mousse like.
2. Serve in a glass dish, layered with toppings of choice but my advice is bananas,  peanuts + caramel sauce. Enjoy this tonne of yumminess you just made.

Comforting Cheesy Pumpkin Sauce With Kale + Pasta (Gluten Free + Vegan)

cheesy kale pumpkin pastaI saw two ladies running in opposite directions today along the canal towpath so I nosily lingered and wondered as they fast approached each other whether they would say hello or not……..they didn’t and I wondered why. It disappointed me and made me a little sad. Two runners, a nice morning, literally elbow skimming each other, yet no acknowledgement or good morning from either. Sad times eh? Is this why I get that look of ‘are you mental’ when I strike up a conversation with a fellow strangers? I think it’s a shame. I always say hi, acknowledge others when out and about, it’s the done thing, right?DSC_8344

I have no way of introducing this recipe apart from it’s the kind of meal that puts a big crazy smile on my face. A deliciously smooth, creamy, cheesy, smokey pumpkin sauce for all your pasta needs. The kind of ‘go to’ comfort food you need when the temperature dips and the days get shorter.

Creamy, cheesy + delicious pumpkin sauce

I like to make a double batch + put it in the fridge ready and waiting for a couple of effortless mid week lunches. You can used canned pumpkin but if you wanna take the time roast your squash you’ll reap the reward of a sweeter flavour. I like rewards so I roast my pumpkin but canned is fantastic as a short cut.Cheesy pumpkin sauce with kale + pasta

Isn’t pumpkin pretty? I bloody love nature.Glorious pumpkin!

This sauce isn’t like your average pasta sauce but clearly this is in a good way. It’s low in sodium, has zero sugar and there’s no need to add a tonne of oil either. Almond milk, nutritional yeast + a touch of liquid smoke gives this pumpkin sauce a delicious creamy, cheesy + slightly smokey flavour. Nutritional yeast is mighty high in B vitamins and this sauce wouldn’t be what it is without it.

I’d definitely recommend an alternative pasta or at least whole grain as life’s too short to eat white sludge. I’m in love with buckwheat + brown rice pasta which are much better decisions, nutritionally + taste wise. They’re easily found in your local health food store or if you’re lucky in the gluten free section of your local supermarket. Winner. Oh, there’s kale in this too. Enough said.Cheesy pumpkin sauce

pumpkin + kale = happy times

kale + cheesy pumpkin sauce = very happy times

broccoli, spinach + other green things would be nice too

if you see me out running, say hello + make me smileCheesy pumpkin sauce with kale + pasta

Comforting Cheesy Pumpkin Sauce With Kale + Pasta

2 cups diced pumpkin or squash
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 cups almond milk (unsweetened)
salt & pepper
big handfuls of kale
100 grams of pasta per person

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 170ºC + place cubed pumpkin on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt + bake for 25 minutes.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to a blender with the roasted pumpkin and puree until smooth. Add more milk to loosen if needed.
3. Cook pasta per packet instructions, add kale 1 minute before the end. Drain the pasta/kale + stir through enough pumpkin sauce to coat the pasta.

Store leftover sauce in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freezes well.

Adapted from Oh She Glow’s ‘Smokey butternut squash sauce’. 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spiced Coconut Pancakes (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakesToday is mostly about delicious stacked pancakes and awe inspiring quotes. These words of wisdom made their way into my life this morning:

“Only the truth of who you are, if realised, will set you free.”

Eckhart Tolle

Deep eh? Man I gotta read ‘The Power of Now’, like now!  I love it when a quote just sparks something in me, inspires, motivates, ignites and this is definitely one of those quotes for me. Discovering and accepting our true authentic selves, existing as we truly are, the good, the bad and the ugly, practicing self acceptance and lending the same sentiment to others. It’s authenticity that I value more than anything and it’s clear to see when someone is being their true and authentic self, these people are magnets as we’re always drawn to the real. I vow never to be afraid of being the truest realest me, embracing self discovery always, because let’s face it, who doesn’t want to be free? Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

Who we are when people aren’t looking, listening, simply observing ………… well that’s how we should allow ourselves to be all the time. It’s a journey at the end of the day so let’s have some pumpkin + coconut spiced pancakes along the way. See how I did that, eh?

Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

I’m really rinsing the pumpkin thing at the mo and seeing as i’ve never had pumpkin pancakes there was very good reason to keep going with this pumpkin theme, I mean obsession. It’s hardly a crime is it?! Honestly, it’s fair to say I have a pumpkin preoccupation all year, not just halloween!Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

Well what about these then, a stacked pile of loveliness. So yum but unfortunately I didn’t make enough. Their moreishness (yes, in my world it is a word!)  plus sharing with Russ proved hard to do…..soul destroying really.Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

These pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes are oat based, eggless and pumpkin packed so they’re great for dairy and gluten free diets or for anyone who is simply cutting back on these things. I used a little coconut oil for greasing, maple syrup for drizzling and nuts for dressing. A pretty good breakfast I’d say.

Be happy and proud of who you really are and eat pancakes, often. Pumpkin spiced coconut pancakes

Pumpkin Spiced Coconut Pancakes

(Serves 2)

1 cup gluten free oat flour (make your own by processing oats to a fine flour)
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg + ginger
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup almond milk
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseeds combined with 3 tablespoons water)
pecans + maple syrup
coconut oil for frying

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk the pumpkin puree, milk + flax egg in a measuring jug.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry + combine thoroughly to form a thick batter.
  3. Using a 1/3 cup, ladle the batter into the pan + cook well on both sides. Transfer to the oven to keep warm whilst cooking the remaining pancakes.
  4. Tower the pancakes on a plate, sprinkle with pecans + drizzle with maple syrup.

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