plant based

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.

Miso + Lime Rainbow Salad (Vegan)

miso saladBig deal, yeah I know it’s only a salad and that’s just it, a salad can be just a plain old salad or it can be a taste extravaganza with multiple layers crammed with texture, colour and a nutrient density through the roof. That’s this one here. A plant based salad in all it’s raw glory, bursting with goodness.

Why oh why is salad often so redundant on the dinner table, an afterthought or something that people feel they should have to add a little colour to the meal. Let’s put a little love and affection into our salads, each and every one.

I hate to see salad as a sad side lined side. This is wrong. And why oh why is salad often seen as freaky boring health food? This is wrong too. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Never. These two salads make a right. Two salads for me......

Salad must be pretty special as it’s the one thing I crave when I’ve been deprived of freshness for a few days, often when travelling. Times when I’ve felt a little sluggish and in need of fresh, raw and nutrient dense food. and it’s always salad I want and need to make me feel alive and healthy again. It’s a huge vibrant bowl of health I crave to offset the white and brown food induced coma that extended travel at times brings! What about a salad buffet…….who doesn’t love a salad buffet? I gotta say my salad building skills are pretty impressive, I’ve even had compliments on my salad engineering before! Well, where there’s salad love, there’s always a salad way. Four words for you: ‘Whole Foods’ salad bar…….enough said. DSC_8196

I do love a good dressing and there’s something about miso paste with it’s rich, salty, earthy flavours. I always roast my seeds, you should definitely too, you wont recognise them, honestly. I always add avocado because they are the best fruit in the world, end of. Let’s just take a minute to appreciate their amazingness……….j’adore. Yummy avocado

It’s so wise to make a huge bowl and keep it in the fridge, easy to dip into and the lime and miso combination will infuse and deepen the flavours further. This is super handy for a lunchtime meal or as a side to some delicious noodles or stir fried rice or stuffed into a soft tortilla wrap and drowned in cashew cream.. Yep, I’m the first to admit this could be neater, more symmetrical avocado pieces but you know what, it’s chopped and it’s really very delicious. Don’t be so superficial, wink wink. You just know that you’ll feel amazing after eating this, it’s bursting at the seems with pure plant giving energy. Yum. Miso + lime salad

Let this be a reminder to us all, never to sell salad short but rather put some love and affection into our next salad creation. It’s so easy, grab a handful of each ingredient, mix it up, pour over dressing, mix it up more, leave it alone for 5 and dress it up!

Salad rocks. A not so boring salad

Miso + lime rainbow salad

(serves 2)

1/2 white cabbage, sliced
1/2 lettuce, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced finely
1 red chili, deseeded + finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
3 inch piece of cucumber, cut into strips
small handfull fresh sweetcorn
coriander, chopped finely
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

dress it up:
1 avocado, chopped into squares
1 teaspoon miso paste
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Throw all the salad ingredients into a large bowl. Mix the miso, lime + sesame oil together + pour over the salad. Mix thoroughly + leave to infuse for 20-30 minutes.
2. Top with pumpkin seeds + avocado. Eat it all or share it with another.

 

Healthy Black Bean Chocolate Fudge Brownies (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Black bean fudge brownie stack!Because black beans are not just for tacos!

If there’s one bean I favour it’s the little old black bean and I just love everything about them.  I’ve been blind to their amazing versatility as I usually just throw them in a Mexican stew or a big avocado salad, so I was pretty excited to combine my black bean love with my equal adoration of cocoa. I’m thinking, dark, chocolatey, fudge-like, gooey, crumbly at the sides and soft in the middle. I was right, this is exactly how they are…..were.Two black bean brownies......

Traditionally, chocolate fudge brownies are chock a block with bad fats, white sugar, digestive clogging gluten and dirty dairy but these are the perfect example of how something which really is ultra healthy can still be delicious. Let’s change all that, there really is no need to go without or crave junk when chocolate fudge brownies like this are knocking about. That’s good information to have. Make them and see for yourself, don’t take my word for it. If you don’t make them, please do take my word for it!Simple process

To achieve a fudgey brownie like texture I used agave rather than brown sugar and dotted each brownie with dark chocolate chips and pecan pieces for a richer more decadent treat. Scrap that, they’re hardly a treat with an ingredient list like this, more an everyday necessity. The black beans, chia, coconut oil and cocoa make this chocolate brownie a shining example of wholesome goodness brimming with health attributes, a brownie that kicks plant butt and makes you feel better than OK. Oh and don’t worry about eating the raw brownie batter straight off the spoon……it’s all plants so get stuck in. Just as good uncooked?

So, here’s the black bean brownie lowdown:

grain free
dairy free
gluten free
iron rich
high fibre
good source of protein
so delicious

Please try these! Black bean chocolate brownies

Healthy black bean chocolate fudge brownies

(makes 12)

2 tablespoons chia seed soaked in  6 tablespoons of water
230 gram black beans (drained weight)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons almond milk
pecans + chocolate chips to dress

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 175 ºC. Add the chia egg to your blender  or food processor + blitz for 30 seconds. Next add the remaining ingredients apart from pecans + chocolate chips + pulse until a smooth batter is achieved. The ideal consistency should be quite hard to pour but not as thick as frosting. Add more milk/water if it is too thick.
2. Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin tin. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into the tin + dress with nuts + chocolate chips if desired. Bake for 25-3o minutes. They are ready when the outside of the muffin has come away slightly from the sides of the tin but some softness in the middle.
3. Allow to cool fully before loosening the edges with a fork to remove. They are pretty delicate so handle with care.

Note: The chia seeds can be replaced by 1 egg for a non vegan version. The agave syrup can be replaced by brown rice syrup, honey (non vegan), maple syrup or 1/4 cup regular sugar.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker.

Vanilla Chia + Berry Pudding (Gluten free, Raw + Vegan)

Because PROTEIN is EVERYWHERE and plants are powerful!Delicious vanilla chia pudding

Yesterday I went for a check up at the doctors and I feel the urge to share some of our chit chat with you:

Nurse: “Make sure you eat lot’s of meat for protein”.

Me: “I don’t eat meat”

Nurse: “Oh right, so where do you get your protein from?”

Me: “Chia seeds”

Nurse: ‘What are they?”

I wont go on and yes, don’t worry I was just being a tad difficult with the whole chia seeds comment. Admittedly, I could have reeled off a whole host of ingredients she’d most likely heard of but I was having a moment and I thought that being a nurse she’d have a bit more of a grasp on non meat protein sources. Of course I explained that I eat a lot of plant based protein and it seemed like her mind was put at ease, albeit with intrigue. She really was a lovely nurse but gee whizz, I just wasn’t expecting that, not from a nurse anyway. I get asked the protein question a lot and it’s hard for me to answer without providing so much information that the other person switches off (what? I’m passionate!). Usually, I go for a simple yet adequate response to this regular question with ‘oh, lot’s of different plant sources’. I’d rather it this way than start a mini powerpoint presentation to preach on how wonderfully abundant protein is within mother nature.Vanilla chia pudding

So this vanilla chia pudding is a celebration of plant based goodness….and protein of course. There are endless fantastic plants that are an excellent source of protein but today I’m picking on chia because of it’s overall amazingness. I really do love the chia seed for it’s versatility and abundant health benefits. Chia really is the seed that just keeps on giving. Check out my post on the the health benefits of this Aztec wonder food and why it’s such a great addition to any diet.Vanilla chia pudding

Vanilla chia pudding is super easy to make and requires just a little pre-soaking before being thrown into the blender for a sweet, creamy and insanely healthy pudding. Great layered with any fruit you want but berries just fit so well and I dressed mine with cocoa nibs because they’re deliciously good for you. The little green sprig is in fact stevia. I cannot believe I found a stevia plant and it was completely by accident and at a builder’s merchants….so random! Of course I’m now looking for any excuse to use fresh stevia and this is one of those!Easiest pudding recipe ever!

Chia really does give good pudding.

So, where do ya get your protein from? Only kidding! No but seriously now, what’s your favourite way to use chia?

Peace, love and acceptance.Chia pudding + spoon ready to go!

Vanilla chia + berry pudding

(Serves 1)

1/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons maple or agave syrup
1 banana (I used frozen)
a large handful of raspberries + blueberries
cocoa nibs for dressing

Method:

1. Soak the chia seeds, milk, vanilla, syrup + banana for at least an hour in a mason jar. Soaking overnight is ideal.
2. Empty the contents into a blender + blitz until smooth. You may need to add a little more milk here for a yoghurt like consistency. Taste + adjust sweetness if necessary.
3. Layer a glass bowl or tumbler with the pudding + berries + dress with cocoa nibs or your favourite nuts.

The Very Healthy Cookie (GF + Vegan)

The healthiest cookie there is!I’m not just saying it, these are very healthy, incredibly so. I wouldn’t lie to you. A cookie doesn’t need to be rammed full of sugar and trans fats to taste great and ‘the very healthy cookie’ is proof of that.

A creamy oat base with vanilla undertones filled with gooey chocolate and chewy walnuts. Yeah, they’re really good.A very healthy cookie

I’m so over shop bought cookies, biscuits and cakes and the ‘extras’ they seem to come with. These ‘very healthy cookies’ are pure living proof that plant powered health food does indeed taste better than processed, manufactured sweets and even white sugar laden home baked goods. So easy to put together, literally throw it all in the bowl, mix and make balls. Cookie balls!Cookie process

I love using oat flavour for the texture, creamy taste and heart healthy benefits plus humble old oats are great for stabilising blood sugar and warding off sugar cravings. There’s a little sugar in these but levels can be altered to suit your tastes, I could have actually used a little less but its entirely dependant on how sweet your sweet tooth is. Although these look like quite a dense cookie, they’re in fact pretty light and not too crumbly to bite into with a softer rather than a crisper crumbly texture. You’re not left with a lap full of cookie crumbs after munching on these. Just the way I like ’em.

Perfect gluten free, whole food snacking.Cookies + chocolate chips

The Very Healthy Cookie (GF + Vegan)

(makes 15-20 small cookies)

140 grams oat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips (I used dairy free)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons almond milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 195ºC. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the mixture, mixing thoroughly to form a workable dough. The oats will soak up much of this so add more milk if required.
3. Break small pieces off the dough and roll into balls, place on a baking tray + gently press down.
4. Bake for 10 minutes + leave to cool when removed from the oven.

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