spiced

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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Super Moist Wholegrain Carrot Cake + Why You Don’t Have to Ditch the Sugar!

Since being pregnant I am into Cake. Like really into it. But I’m also quite health conscious and I don’t see why my poor baby has to suffer processed white flours, refined sugars and trashy fats. But that’s fine because there is no need with cake like this, a cake that, to be quite frank is wholly acceptable to eat EVERYDAY – hell twice a day. What….I’m pregnant and finally past that nausea stage which means food is my friend again! There’s so much stuff out there suggesting we give up sugar, I agree, I really do but we don’t need to give it up 100% but rather the refined processed junk, yuk! I’m gonna tell you about sugar that is actually a health tonic- truly and sincerely. It’s all OK.

carrot cake vegan

So anyway, I made THIS fruit cake and it knocked my socks off (yeah I like old lady cakes mostly) but the thing is I ate most of it and that makes me feel bad cos it’s Russ’s favourite cake too. My excuse is pregnancy. No matter, I’m gonna make this badass snackage again and ice the hell out of it.

So this one’s for you Russ. Well just a slice or two maybe!

Sorry to go on but gosh I love small wonders like this….. a carrot cake that’s healthy as hell. Yeah yeah what does that even mean- it means this:

WHOLEGRAIN
NO REFINED SUGARS
ZERO TRASHY FATS
THERE’S VEGETABLES, OH AND FRUIT
HIGH FIBRE

vegan carrot cake

Now about the molasses…..hello…sugar with health benefits is good enough for me. This is the good stuff that’s left behind after we’ve taken the toxic stuff from sugar cane. It’s dark, rich, sweet, healthful- this IS the good, good, good stuff. With such a low glycemic load, it’s even fine for diabetics. Good for regularity if you know what I mean, owning 14% of our iron and 12% calcium needs in 1 heaping tablespoon and also linked to improved hair health. Blackstrap molasses are literally a health tonic. There you go, no need to give up sugar! Other lovely healthier alternatives to refined sugar are dates, xylitol and coconut sugar. Sugar is not evil 🙂 Just on the phone to Mcvities and Mr Kipling now to tell them, lol!

carrot cake vegan

And about the spelt flour…..I know it’s not strictly a GF flour but hey it’s pretty low in gluten and a breeze to bake with. You can literally sub white flour in EVERY recipe and it works brilliantly. It’s tasty too, like in a sweet nutty way. The truth is I wanted to add walnuts but I was out, I think I ate them on my porridge so I used coconut and I was loving it.

Fear not, it’s not one of those – ‘this tastes healthy’ cakes. It IS NOT at all.

Vegan Carrot Cake

Super moist wholegrain carrot cake

1 heaping cup coarsely grated carrot
3/4 cup raisins
1 1/4-1/2 cup water
1/2 cup molasses
30g vegan butter or coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Method:

1.  Preheat oven to 160ºC. Combine first seven ingredients in a saucepan. Stir over a low heat until smooth, simmering + the dried spices are dissolved.

2. Allow to cool. Stir in sifted flours, salt & baking powder + soda with coconut.

3.  Pour into well greased 7″ cake tin.

4.  Bake for 1 ¼ hours. Remove. cool. Tuck in. Save some for others.

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.

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 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.