healthy

5 Minute One Cup Vegan Loaf Cake

one cup vegan loaf cakeI adore this mix and match one cup vegan loaf cake, it’s so easy and so adaptable. If you don’t like baking then this is the cake for you. Or if you have absolutely no time whatsoever, again, this is the cake for you. It’s ridiculously simple and quick to throw together.

one cup vegan loaf cake

As the name suggests, you only need one cup and you’re good to go. No weighing, no sinkful of dirty cups and spoons, no frantic googling for conversions and no convoluted stages. Just get that bowl and that cup and go for it. You can really just adapt this according to your ingredients in the kitchen cupboards so again don’t feel like you have to stick to the recipe 100%.

one cup vegan loaf cake

One cup vegan loaf cake

1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chocolate chips or nuts or raisins (or a mix)
1 cup spelt or any self-raising flour (if using plain add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder)
1 cup sugar (coconut is good)
1 cup banana or apple puree
1 cup nut milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC + grease your loaf pan.
  2. In the large mixing bowl add the first 4 ingredients + combine. Then add the remaining fruit puree + milk to form a cake batter.
  3. Transfer to the greased pan + bake for 40 minutes. Allow to mostly cool before tucking in.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

carrot cake oatmealThere’s definitely now a chill in the air and that means porridge for breakfast. Spiced, fruity, creamy, healthy and speedy oats. I’ve always loved breakfast for pudding be it cereal, waffles, pancakes or PBJ toast but it’s always nice to actually jazz up an old favourite and make it taste better than dessert. Ok, maybe i’m exaggerating a little but this is pretty good.

carrot cake oatmealI’ve always found things more enjoyable too if something is actually good for you…..this is normal, right? For instance say there was a large piece of refined flour, white sugar, fat laden carrot cake (with not much carrot in it!) or this carrot cake oatmeal for a dessert choice, I would actually choose the oatmeal. That doesn’t mean to say I wouldn’t want a healthier ramped up carrot cake itself but I’m just saying feeling good is such a priority for me. Especially with a little one to keep my energy levels up for. Healthy food always tastes better.

carrot cake oatmealYou may be interested in this super creamy healthy bowl of carrot cake oatmeal for the following:

no added oils
dairy free
3 servings of fruit/veg
Low GI
high in fibre
10 minutes
dessert for breakfast anyone?

Right, I’m off to book my surf lesson as part of my ‘do more things outside of your baby’ plan. In truth, I kinda got side swept with being a first-time mum, exclusively breastfeeding (Eden rejected bottle from birth too) and focusing all my efforts on my princess. I wonder if it’s easy to do or if it’s just me and my personality but I’ve gotten to the point where I feel a little trapped and claustrophobic….I feel guilty even saying this as I’m sure there are plenty of Mums who wouldn’t. It’s 14 months since I gave birth and I don’t feel too good on an emotional level so it’s time for me to make a few changes. I need a break. I think I need my body back. I need a life outside of being a Mother. One thing I can say with certainty is, If it wasn’t for my healthy active lifestyle I truly believe I would be much worse off in terms of my wellbeing. I’m so thankful I have prioritised those elements, but I truly underestimated the importance of emotional wellbeing and taking care of the other stuff. That’s kinda why I’m having surfing lessons in the freezing cold (ha ha!) and also because I live 30 seconds from the beach!

carrot cake oatmealAnyway, I’m scared as it’s 14ºC but I’ll be fine I’m told………wish me luck! At least I have carrot cake oatmeal to warm me up.

Carrot cake oatmeal

(serves 2)
1 large carrot, finely grated
1 apple, grated
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup almond meal
1 cup porridge oats
2 tablespoons liquid sweetener
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cups dairy free milk (we used coconut)

  1. Add all the ingredients to a pan + cook on a low simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer to two bowls, sweeten as you wish + add desired toppings.
  3. Coconut + toasted almonds are good.

Raw Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars

There are few people you meet in life who would wholeheartedly say, “Cheesecake? Nah, I’m good thanks” (unless they’re a pure savoury addict, then I’ll let them off). Which means there’s more of this raw coconut lime cheesecake for the rest of us. Just the title makes you want to read on, check out the pictures and zoom straight down to the recipe method!raw coconut lime cheesecakeThere’s something about raw desserts that just makes me want to have more and more. Charlotte decided to make this beauty of a cheesecake, slice it all up and freeze it…I was only happy to take some photographs and test for it’s authenticity and sheer indulgent taste (without all that nasty sugar and dairy).

raw coconut lime cheesecake

As you can see from the ingredients list, the natural sweetness from dates and maple syrup are plenty to give this that satisfying sweet edge needed to be a real cake. It’s all natural and nothing processed added which means you can feel really good about asking people to give these a go (I doubt any kind of resistance will happen here).

raw coconut lime cheesecake

The lime taste that comes through is subtle enough to really taste it’s “limey” but not overpowering, and the coconut….well you know goodnessgreen’s obsession with the white stuff! Thank you nature 😉
A vegan dessert or little treat you can be proud to put out on a dish and just leave people to pick and pick. Your freezer just got real exciting.

raw coconut lime cheesecake raw coconut lime cheesecake

Raw Coconut Lime Cheesecake Bars

base:
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup oats
1 cup dates
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
pinch of sea salt
filling:
1 cup soaked (at least 6 hours) cashews
1 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
juice + zest of 1 lime

  1. Line a small baking pan with baking parchment.
  2. Blitz the base ingredients until a sticky dough forms. Press firmly into the pan + freeze.
  3. Blend the filling ingredients until super smooth + creamy. Pour over the base + freeze until set.
  4. To enjoy, remove from the freezer to thaw a little + slice away. Eat up or place in the fridge.

Chickpea Omelette (Soy, Gluten, Grain free)

It’s an omelette to me but I can see others would argue a pancake so let’s settle on pomelette…..more omelette than pancake though 😉 I love these kinds of recipes, super simple, tasty and obscenely healthy. These are a surefire way to get that lunchy brunchy savoury fix.

chickpea omelette

I love using chickpea flour in my recipes, and this chickpea omelette is further proof! In fact, I have a love affair with chickpea/gram/besan flour. It has magical versatility!!  Chickpea + water = magic! It all started with the socca which is that good I made this daily for a while there! This sweet potato omelette blows my mind still. It makes mean waffles and sweet pancakes too not to mention pasta and tofu (yes really!).

chickpea omelette

It’s just a complete bonus to me that chickpea flour happens to be an amazingly healthy ingredient. This gluten free flour is packed full of protein, iron + fibre and if that’s not reason enough to invest in a big pack of this good stuff then check out these stats on it’s amazingness in terms of health and adaptability.

chickpea omelette

Chickpea Omelette / Pancake

(makes 4/5)
2 cups chickpea flour
2 1/2 cups almond milk or water
1 tablespoon psyllium husk (optional)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
salt + pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
favourite vegetables (onion/tomato/pepper works well)

  1. Mix all the ingredients excluding the vegetables + allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile heat a non stick frying pan over a medium heat + ladle the batter to cover the pan to desired thickness.
  3. Add your prepared veg + cook for 4-5 minutes. Bubbles will form + it will be obvious when to flip the omelette or fold over for a minute or so. Both options work well.
  4. If you are making a batch, keep them warm in a very low heat oven.

Apple and Strawberry Breakfast Crumble (Dairy Free)

apple and strawberry breakfast crumble

So apparently there’s this rule that says a crumble is a dessert and is for ‘afters’? What I take from that is after you’re way too full to eat a sweet pile of something delicious, but you’ll devour anyway, causing the well-known food coma. We all have been there at some point, it simply cannot be denied!
apple and strawberry breakfast crumble

This recipe is one put together because it looks equally appetising before the day has started as opposed to at the end of the day, it’s made with healthy low gluten spelt flour and oats…so that is a good beginning to your day, right? Throw in some fruit and seeds and sprinkle on some cinnamon. And a yoghurt dollop or some banana nicecream!

apple and strawberry breakfast crumbleThis recipe is another idea for the weekend. What should we have for breakfast that isn’t something quick and convenient before it’s time to dash out the door. This is a simple recipe and can be put together easily without too much mess.apple and strawberry breakfast crumble
This is a real dessert for breakfast………enjoy 😉

Apple and strawberry breakfast crumble

Serves 2

4 apples, chopped into chunks
handful of strawberries, halved
100 grams spelt flour
80 grams oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons coconut oil
6 tablespoons maple/date syrup
2-4 tablespoons water

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC. Place the prepared apples + strawberries in an oven proof dish.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the flour, oats + cinnamon. Combine the remaining wet ingredients (you may need to melt the oil) + add to the dry to form a crumbly texture.
  3. Top the fruit with the crumble + bake for 20-25 minutes. Top with yoghurt or anything you fancy.

The Tastiest + Easiest Gluten Free Vegan Waffles Ever

My favourite breakfast recipe hands down.

Gluten Free Vegan Waffles

These gluten free vegan waffles are as light as a feather, free from oil, dairy, egg and gluten but best of all, absolutely delicious. Just as important, they are so simple I can make them in my sleep. Literally measure the whole lot into a blender + whizz away. I’m sure there’s a more technical way of preparing waffles, but why would you when these are tasty, fluffy and so simple that you really can get away with waffles for breakfast whenever you want!

Gluten Free Vegan Waffles Gluten Free Vegan Waffles

I’ve played around with the flours a lot and have settled on sorghum and millet for the taste more than anything. Oat and almond flour are also pretty good. Adding the coconut flour gives a great consistency and a hint of sweetness too, but as it makes the batter thicker please add more of the sorghum or gram flours if you are omitting. I find that once the batter sits for 5-10 minutes it thickens a little. Depending on which coconut flour/flours you use, be sure to adjust the liquid accordingly to get the right pancake consistency. I haven’t sweetened the batter as I usually don’t find it necessary as I like to smother in date syrup but if you’d prefer a sweeter waffle then add liquid sweetener of choice or some regular cane sugar.

Gluten Free Vegan Waffles

Gluten Free Vegan Waffles

(makes 10 waffles)

1/2 cup gram flour
1 cup sorghum flour (millet works well too)
2 tablespoons coconut flour (or add more sorghum or gram)
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 banana
2 – 21/2 cups dairy free milk

Method:

  1. Add the ingredients to a blender + whizz until smooth. Adjust liquid/flour until pancake consistency is reached.
  2. Heat + grease your waffle iron + cook waffles as per your maker’s instructions. Mine typically takes 6 minutes per batch.

Raw Carrot Cake Balls (Nut + Fat Free)

raw carrot cake balls

Quick, delicious, healthy on the go fuel. Carrot cake balls.

Dates, carrots, oats, coconut, cinnamon = some of my favourites. So you just know how I feel about these already. I have quite the love for cinnamon (and it’s amazing health benefits) so I used a generous amount. Also cinnamon is super good for blood sugar control so a great condiment to add to anything and everything. A quick and simple post today…enjoy your cake!

raw carrot cake balls

Raw carrot cake balls

1/2 cup soft dates
2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 cup oats
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup of carrots
desiccated coconut for rolling

  1. Blend this pile of goodness until a smooth but slightly textured dough forms.
  2. Make into as many balls as you like + roll in coconut. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.Note: You may need to adjust the milk quantities according to how much liquid your particular coconut flour absorbs. 😉

It’s time to quit coffee

An obsession. A ritual. This is how we’ve labelled coffee.
Well the time has come and we’ve decided to shake the morning routine (the caffeinated part at least) and quit coffee. Like many, our mornings consist of certain routines and one of them was a jug of freshly roasted filter coffee. Ooh the taste, the smell and if you buy decent freshly roasted beans, it really is a nice treat! But people function quite normally without the ‘energy’ hit of coffee in the mornings.

A decision was made: we needed time out. Our autopilot mode of turning on the filter jug machine and waiting for the aroma to spread around the home was making us feel ‘automatic’.

Why give up something you love, you’re already healthy people? Everything in moderation?

I’m confused either way, is it good for you or bad? It definitely feels as though coffee in the morning and a wine with dinner is an unhealthy cycle – one fuelling the other even in small quantities. Regular coffee drinking everyday, means we’re hooked, just one, two or three cups. Not good.
OK so we braced ourselves, quitting coffee meant the headaches were waiting just around the corner to lure us back into that habit!

It’s a Thursday and I’m off to Edinburgh for a couple of days work.
We’re committing – our coffee supplies are finished and the old filter jug (which has done some mileage) is in the rubbish bin. By late morning the forehead aching had begun, foggy concentration and tiredness. Has this been a wise choice? Keep it going they say – only lasts a few days right? A few days later had passed, and it’s now just tea in the mornings – Charlotte was the first to decide ‘NO, i’m either in or out’. And seeing as it’s definitely working for me, I’m taking that route too.
Wanna quit coffee? Read on some more

quit coffee

We’re continually reminded of the ‘benefits’ and ‘hazards’ of coffee, you can quite easily google them, we’re just sharing our experience here.
Here’s a quick fact anyway: the drug caffeine actually makes up only around 1 or 2% of the bean itself, hmm.

Anyway I must admit, I still enjoy the smell – you can’t really escape it working in an office environment, but the benefits of not drinking are becoming apparent:

  • No yearning for a stimulant each day to get you going, mentally that feels quite liberating.
  • If you’re having one of those hectic mornings at home, I found sometimes my cuppa was being gulped and not actually ‘enjoyed’!
  • Definitely starting to notice the body’s own energy kick in as the fatigue in the afternoon has slowly disappeared.
  • My stomach’s appreciating no more of that harsh acidic hot liquid, let’s be honest a tea or hot lemon water is more gentle!
  • We have no dependance on coffee and it’s availability whenever going outside the home – travel/appointments etc.
  • It’s a money saver – good coffee (especially in the UK) isn’t cheap!

TIP: Have some Swiss-Water decaf in the house, you’ll get the great smell and lovely taste without the hit! This will help you a lot, trust us – we did it.
😉

See, we’re not that unkind.

What we wouldn’t advise:

  • Going cold turkey if you’re really into your coffee on a huge scale – go easy, cut down to a good single cup per day or the withdrawals will be just hell and you may not continue. You can then progress from there.
  • Cutting out the coffee if you’re just about to travel for pleasure/business and you could do with sorting that temporary jet lag out, keep it moderate. You’re in control remember.

So why? Here’s some good reasons to kick it – even if it’s for only a month!

  • The caffeine in coffee can increase stress hormones, and if you’re prone to stress and/or anxiety it could really help you manage this considerably by cutting it out.
  • The acidity can cause digestive discomfort.
  • Essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium have been known to be excreted through the urine of coffee drinkers…
  • It makes you dehydrated. Aren’t we all supposed to be drinking more water anyway?
  • The urges are only temporary – so don’t get too bogged down with how you feel in those first couple of days.
  • Having a couple of weeks off resets your caffeine tolerance, so if you introduce it again – you can be gradual, and of course moderate.

A healthy replacement habit if you’re not doing so already is clearly…tea.

  • We feel much healthier drinking tea.
  • Why? Because it’s lighter in taste and caffeine (unless it’s caffeine-free altogether).
  • Tea is calmer and a more gentle way to enter each new day, the morning is such a sacred time where nature’s waking with you – treat that moment with a calming drink.
  • It’s satisfying and makes you feel strong, clear headed and prepared – you’re now using your body’s own energy.

Summary:
To continue or not? It’s going very well, so why break the new habit. The smell of coffee will be missed but this is a good thing now we have which has taken some willpower to earn.
Coffee-free mornings are now the new habit in our home.
Coffee lovers, have a go and try a month. Or quit coffee altogether… 😉

Sugar Free Chocolate Brownie Loaf

A sugar free chocolate brownie loaf, sounds good for you right? It is.
Dates, oh how I love thee. I am head over heals with dates…….on their own, stirred through porridge, in smoothies, smothered with nut butter (oh you haven’t tried this? Please do, immediately!), in ice cream, pure date paste, in caramel sauce……I just REALLY like dates.

sugar free chocolate brownie

Naturally these brownies are jam packed with date loving, making them free from nasty sugar but rather packed full of goodness. Here’s 7 damn good reason’s to eat more dates from naturalsociety.com. Oh these brownies are whole grain too :-), just sayin’. Recipes like this sugar free whole grain brownie loaf highlight how redundant eggs + dairy really are in sweet treats. Not necessary at all.

sugar free chocolate brownie

Date + chocolate = so much yum. Guilt free yum. A sugar free chocolate brownie.
And did I say how easy these are? Yep, add this little lot to a blender/processor and Bob’s your Uncle and Annie’s your Aunt.

sugar free chocolate brownie

I reckon I’ll be whipping this up for future last minute dessert ‘needs’ as they’re really tasty as hell, healthy to boot and ready in a flash.

Sugar Free Whole Grain Brownie Loaf

200 grams pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250 ml almond milk
150 grams spelt flour
50 grams cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
100 grams dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 200 ºC. Blend the dates, milk + vanilla until smooth.
Add the flours + combine thoroughly. Stir through the chips + transfer to a baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes.

Black Bean Mocha Brownies (Gluten and Sugar free, Vegan)

Black bean mocha brownies…for that day when you NEED brownies like now! Blender brownies that are not only super quick to make but oh so healthful. These are those brownies that tick every box – no dairy, grain, gluten, egg or sugar.

Black Bean Mocha Blender Brownies

But but but, honestly they are still tasty as hell. Oh, and oh so adaptable too. Swap out the black beans for white beans, sub the walnuts for pecans, tahini for PB or coconut oil, ditch the coffee altogether + sweeten as you like. See, really, these are like a brownie for anyone and everyone 😉

Black Bean Mocha Blender Brownies

Black Bean Mocha Brownies

(make 12-16)

2 tablespoons chia seeds soaked in 6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 can black beans, drained (230 grams drained weight)
2 tablespoons dark strong coffee granules soaked in 2 tablespoon hot water

Dark chocolate chips  + walnuts

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 175 ºC + line a small baking tin (8X8 inches is good).
2. Throw the lot into a blender (not the chocolate chips or walnuts) + blend until smooth.
3. Transfer to the tin, press copious amounts of chocolate chips and walnut pieces into the batter + bake for 25 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, slice + enjoy. Freeze like a dream.

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