spelt

Coconut Tea Cake

Coconut Tea Cake

I’ve never been a real baker, like the kind who works hard to perfect that light airy sponge. It doesn’t interest me at all. Don’t get me wrong, I love cakes and making them, but I don’t really dig the technical side. ‘How’s the bake?’, fingers prodding here and tapping there…..kinda stuff. I’d rather concern myself with taste, health and do I feel good eating this.

I love it when something turns out particularly well, but my priorities lie more toward feeling good after and creating a balance between health and getting a sweet treat. A healthy treat! Cakes and desserts can taste equally good if not better when using more healthful ingredients such as whole ancient grains, substituting white sugar for coconut/date/maple syrup, thinking outside the box for icing inspiration (avocado, sweet potato, coconut, cashew bases) and ditching the eggs and dairy.

coconut tea cake

Now that Eden’s turning one, I feel a parental pressure to up my game and start wowing with my baking and I will…….and you can guarantee not only will it feel like a treat, it’ll be jammed packed full of goodness too.
There’s always coconut in our cupboard, so by using some of the desiccated variety, I feel makes this cake have that extra texture and taste you’re after.
This is a coconut tea cake, so enjoy the cake and enjoy the coconut with a gorgeous cuppa!

coconut tea cake

Coconut tea cake

1 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons egg replacer (I used Orgran) or use chia/flaxmeal
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut sugar-free yoghurt
1 banana, pureed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 175 °C + grease a loaf tin.
  2. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the last 3 ingredients in a separate bowl + add this to the dry mix. If the mixture is a little dry add a splash of milk.
  4. Transfer to the pan + bake for 40 minutes.

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.

Wholegrain Banana Bread – (Low Fat + Vegan)

Wholegrain Banana Bread

What to do with those old bananas? Unless you buy them super green and unripe, they don’t last long (especially when you LOVE bananas). So when they’re turning overripe, this is a simply delicious bread that will really impress!

Wholegrain Banana Bread

The good stuff:
It contains bananas!
It’s low fat and vegan.
Made using heart healthy oat flour.
An excellent source of niacin to boost your metabolism from the spelt flour.

Wholegrain Banana Bread

I know this time of year many people are interested in chocolate and savoury snacks, but this won’t disappoint. There’re too many positives about bananas: they’re really cheap, healthy and they’ll keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day.
Eat this wholegrain banana bread any time of day too – not just with that afternoon cuppa! Yummy…

Wholegrain Banana Bread

Wholegrain Banana Bread (Low Fat + Vegan).

2 cups oat flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC + grease a loaf pan. Combine the first six ingredients in a mixing bowl. I make oat flour with oats in the Vitamix on high for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the ACV to the milk + set aside. Mash your bananas to form a smooth puree or just throw in the blender.
  3. Now add the remaining ingredients to the smooth bananas including the coconut milk + mix thoroughly. Add this to the dry mix to form a smooth batter.
  4. Transfer to the loaf pan, top with brown sugar (optional but delicious) + bake for 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool a little before devouring.

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 ºC (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!

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 º 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.

Cake Batter Doughnuts with Chocolate Coconut Frosting (Vegan)

doughnut vegan
I had a Krispy Creme once and I didn’t like it, it was such a major disappointment to me. See, I was really looking forward to it, a little too excited perhaps but in anticipation for the doughnut of my life. The thing is, it was really just something and nothing, as light and airy as a feather, sickly sweet, a tad dry + very much a ‘take it or leave it’ kind of doughnut. Maybe I’m just weird but they just didn’t taste like real food.

These are NOT ‘take it or leave it’ doughnuts. Not at all.

vegan chocolate doughnuts

These have real substance, a subtle sweetness, creamy vanilla undertones and a hard crispy chocolate coconut frosting. This is the way I like my doughnuts; substantial, delicious, feel good and plant based. I made these twice in the space of two days, they really are that good. They may not be the glossy, uniformed, additive laden doughnuts from the supermarket but they are real, rustic and full of healthy ingredients.

chocolate vegan doughnut

These cake batter doughnuts are spelt based so much lower in gluten and higher in fibre which is why they’re miles more satisfying than regular doughnuts. With a lot less sugar, no dairy whatsoever and zero additives these are my doughnut of choice. Life’s too short to eat crappy fake, sugary, greasy doughnuts stuffed with who knows what and I really do care about this. Spelt cake batter doughnuts are surely the way forward, especially as they take five minutes to throw together and twenty to bake. Job done.

doughnut stack

Cake batter doughnuts with chocolate coconut frosting

(6 doughnuts)

1 cup spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon crushed flaxseeds to 3 of water)
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

frosting:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon dried coconut

method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 ºC. Combine the first four dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl + set aside.
2. Mix the remaining wet ingredients together throughly + add to the dry mixture, taking care not to over mix.
3. Transfer the batter to a greased doughnut pan + bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
4. Combine frosting ingredients and ice each cooled doughnut well. Neatness not necessary.

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.

Spicy Tomato Spelt Spaghetti (Vegan)

Spicy tomato spelt spaghetti Are you a creamy or tomatoey person? I’m definitely the latter but regardless, everybody needs a solid go to tomato pasta sauce in their life, I know I do. I’ve always loved spaghetti coated in a rich, vibrant, sweet and spicy tomato based sauce. It doesn’t get much better than that. It was one of my favourite meals as a kid, oodles of spaghetti piled high and tossed in a rich red sauce. I used to have fun eating it too, relishing in the fact the table was set with spoons and forks as opposed to the traditional knife and fork (why can’t I get excited over such things anymore?!). There’s only one thing I don’t like about this meal and that’s the noises, you know the ones – sucking, slurping, general pasta suction techniques, we’ve all done it. I can’t deal with my emotions when I’m subjected to this. Surely, you can ONLY do this when eating alone and isn’t this the reason why you never order spaghetti on a first date?Spaghetti topped with parmesan

This spicy tomato spelt spaghetti is a 15 minute meal that couldn’t be more simple. It’s too true, the simple things are often the best. This is so speedy, it’s quicker than picking up the phone, ordering take out and waiting for it’s delivery. A basic italian inspired tomato spaghetti that’s delicious as is but would work really well powered up with your favourite veg, especially chestnut mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, a handful of rocket or a sprinkle of lemon zest. It’s a truly versatile dish. I like to use spelt spaghetti for the lower gluten and higher vitamin content but any wholegrain pasta would make a worthy nutritious and filling meal.Simple spaghetti ingredients

In my book a perfect tomato sauce needs good quality tomatoes, a good glug of olive oil, generous garlic, correct seasoning, a little sweetness and some spice. I like it really spicy but then again I do have a slight addiction to all things chili so if you prefer it a little milder then use a little less spice. It’s a great idea to make a large batch of the sauce and freeze half as it’s so versatile you could use it for another pasta dish such as lasagne, mixed with butter beans, poured over veggies or as a base for stuffed veggies. Just a thought. Two bowls of spaghetti

So, are you a creamy or tomatoey pasta person?

What’s your view on spaghetti eating etiquette?Spaghetti twisted on fork ready for slurping!

Spicy tomato spelt spaghetti

(serve 2)

200 grams spelt spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chili, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano + 1/2 teaspoon crushed chili
1 can chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt + pepper
generous handful of black olives
fresh basil leaves, torn

Method:

1. Place the spaghetti into salted boiling water + cook according to packet instructions.
2. Heat the olive oil + add the garlic, chili + oregano stirring until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, sugar + seasonings simmering for 10-15 minutes.
3. Drain the spaghetti + set aside. Add some of the pasta water to the sauce if it needs a little thinning. Stir the torn basil leaves, black olives + cooked spaghetti through the spicy tomato sauce.
4. Serve immediately + garnish with extra olives + basil leaves.

Banana Spelt Bread Loaf

Better than cake!
Better than cake?

Having your cake and cheating it!

Bursting with fibre, B vitamins, potassium and low GI to boot but this banana bread could be cake it’s so good! Adding nut butter gives this a protein kick also, making it ideal for a hurried breakfast.

I’ve never eaten banana bread before! Well I have now……well actually I’ve eaten half a loaf so far and I’ll definitely be baking and eating this bread much more in the future. It’s delicious, healthy and so easy – winner!

Hands off- these are reserved for banana bread!
Hands off, reserved for banana bread!

It’s best to use really ripe bananas so this is great if you’re trying to use up old battered ones.

I stumbled across the recipe on The Healthy Foodie blog with a claim that this loaf is the best banana bread EVER. Well if I’m going to try this for the first time what better recipe to choose than the tastiest banana bread EVER!

But I can’t say whether this is the best banana bread in the world because it’s the only banana bread I’ve tried. It’s a great place to start though! Well actually it’s a gloriously tasty place to start, so tasty I doubt I’ll even try another!

I adore bread and love bananas and this loaf fools me into thinking I’m eating cake but in actual fact there’s no sugar or bad fat involved. Bonus.

A piece of cake!
A piece of cake!

Have a great day.

Banana Spelt Bread

(makes 12 slices)

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup raisins

Wet ingredients:
2 medium bananas
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 vanilla pod, deseeded
coconut, to sprinkle on top

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 ºC. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Mash bananas in a larger bowl, add the egg, buttermilk, vanilla.
  3. Use a spatula to combine wet and dry ingredients fully without over stirring.
  4. Transfer mixture to a greased loaf tin. Sprinkle with coconut and place in the centre of the oven for 1 hour or just under.  Use a toothpick to check if it’s cooked through.