vegan

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.

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies (Dairy Free + Gluten Free)

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

OK so time for something sweeter on the blog, it’s been a little while we know! These simple pumpkin chocolate brownies really have very few ingredients and are just truly satisfying. It’s getting cold outside and when someone’s made you a hot drink, these accompany that quite nicely.

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

With some pumpkin puree leftover and the urge for a chocolatey gluten free treat, these came to mind and proved a real success! Made with healthy brown rice flour and almond flour, combined with some other truly special plant based ingredients, you really do feel good eating these (well we did anyway!)

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Invite over a friend or take to someone’s and share a heathy indulgent moment or two.

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup dates
generous sprinkle cinnamon
pinch of sea salt (I used pink himalayan)
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup raw cocoa
4 tablespoons liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)

Entirely optional but you could also drizzle with raw chocolate sauce:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoons maple syrup

(just combine this little lot over a low heat + drizzle away)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC + line a small baking dish. Blitz the pumpkin + dates until smooth.
  2. Add this mixture to a bowl with remaining ingredients, combine well + transfer to the baking dish.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean. Once removed allow to stand for 20 minutes before slicing.
  4. Enjoy now as is or drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Easy Vegan Cheese (No Soy, Heart Healthy)

Easy Vegan Cheese

Why make cheese when you can go to the supermarket and buy it? Well vegan cheese is pretty good these days, it melts, it grates, it slices, it tastes good – everything cheese should do but without the dairy. In my opinion, I think everyone should be trying the alternatives and not being all cheese-snobbish about the whole thing ” but it’s not even real cheese”. We all know cheese is a love for many people (in fact virtually everyone I know), so creating this vegan version is something to be proud of.

Easy Vegan Cheese

Not only is it delicious, it’s heart-healthy – it’s made with almond milk and olive oil, grates beautifully over ya beans ‘n’ tacos and slices up a treat in a sandwich toastie with some fresh organic wholemeal bread. There’s no dairy and no soy, just flavour and a nice solid block of cheese.
This recipe is simple, it’s quick and needs nothing more than five minutes of love and care, plus a bit of space in your refrigerator. Nice.

Easy Vegan Cheese

Looking forward to attempt number two at this cheese, a few changes for flavour perhaps or a few changes for colour perhaps..?

Easy Vegan Cheese

Easy Vegan Cheese

2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon hot mustard
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4-6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons agar powder
1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)

Method:

  1. Throw all the ingredients into a pan in no particular order + whisk away for 5 minutes on a low to medium heat until the mixture thickens.
  2. Transfer thickened cheese mixture to your preferred moulds and refrigerate until set. It’s really this easy.

Wholegrain Pumpkin Vegan Sushi Rolls

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi
These pumpkin sushi rolls have been something we’ve been just dying to try, not for the pumpkin necessarily (although this time of year is all about the root veg) but because:
a). they’re vegan (and everything vegan rocks!)
b). there’s a first time for all experienced sushi rollers and this was that time in our household. Of course, this now means we’re going to become ‘experts’…

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

The pumpkin idea is simple, Halloween has been and gone and there’s a few leftover edible pumpkins left in the supermarkets (although not many) and as pumpkin is an autumn/winter seasonal veggie, why not put some in the sushi?

But, this isn’t just any kind of sushi – your standard white rice kind, these pumpkin vegan sushi rolls are made with uber-healthy organic brown short grain sticky rice. That’s what makes this extra special, knowing you’re getting all that organic wholegrain into your sushi life. When you’ve got the choice, go brown over white every time.

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

Brown sticky rice notes:
One rinsing will do before cooking,
Allow more cooking time (according to packet, around 40mins),
Brown rice does not have to be drained (unlike white),
Works best with a handing rolling mat (rice on the inside of the nori seaweed too).

Some nutritional bits for you about brown rice:
*Easier to digest as it’s much ‘lighter’
*Low GI, reducing insulin spikes (slow-release sugar)
*High in Manganese
*High fibre – good for weight loss
*A ‘whole grain’
*Rich in antioxidants
*Perfect baby ‘first food’ as it’s nutrient rich (ideal as we’re new parents!)

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

Armed with the raw ingredients including avocado, red pepper & green onion as well as a brand new rolling mat, it was time to get stuck in. It’s quite calming really once you’ve got the hang of spreading the rice thinly and evenly, as it’s something to keep a busy mind distracted as you gotta concentrate. It’s a situation whereby once you commit, you have to go the whole way much like walking into the (cold English) ocean up to your waist: 3, 2, 1 under! I found the trick was once you start rolling don’t be afraid, just carry on – who cares if it’s not perfect, that’s what the other 4 sheets of nori in the packet are for…to make more delicious sushi.

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

These sushi rolls are gluten, dairy, egg, nut, and soy-free (as long as you leave out any tofu and no tamari for dipping). However, we jazzed the serving up with a generous squeeze of wasabi and some organic tamari…just yummy. This made a great weekend lunch, and yes we’ll be making again and using some more of our 10kg stash of brown sticky rice!

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

Choose your fillings and enjoy!

Wholegrain Pumpkin Vegan Sushi Rolls

(makes 5 rolls)

1 cup of uncooked short grain brown rice, cooked according to packet instructions
5 nori sheets
1 cup roasted pumpkin, mashed
1 tablespoon wasabi
1/3 cucumber, sliced into strips
1/2 red pepper, sliced into strips
2 spring green onions, sliced into strips
1 avocado, sliced into strips
(any other filling that takes your fancy)
serve with the usual wasabi, pickled ginger + tamari

  1. Mash the roasted pumpkin + wasabi to a smooth consistency.
  2. Arrange all your prepared vegetables including your pumpkin paste, rice + nori sheets on a chopping board.
  3. Lay out your nori, spread rice thinly + evenly (rolls better that way) and lay filling on the top of the rice not quite half way up the nori sheet. Using your sushi mat start rolling your sushi according to the package instructions. Most packets have instructions, but this video was pretty useful.
  4. Slice up each roll + devour with condiments.

Go Plant Based – Get Healthier, Happier + Richer!

Who doesn’t want to be healthy, happier, richer?
I do, and it’s too easy ‘cos all you gotta do is get involved with some plants. Plant based food rocks and you don’t have to be a full blown vegan to get stuck in. It’s all about the small steps and anyway, life’s a journey hey? By adding a few extra veggies into our daily diets we’d all get a bit happier, a little healthier and life would be good…..man. Seriously, eating less meat and more plants is easier than you think.

There really is no reason to miss meat when there are endless tasty and exciting ways to create truly amazing food entirely from plants and whole foods. This is not about recreating, substituting or missing meat but rather a way to enjoy a world of plant based nutrition and making any recipe work! Being a vegan shouldn’t (and doesn’t) mean you’re missing out – quite the opposite really. It’s an opportunity to try something completely different, discover new flavours, experiment and share new meals safe in the knowledge that you are doing yourself the world of good. If you are just starting out on a plant based diet it can be a struggle at first but here are a few of my suggestions to make life easier and to offer a little inspiration.

Going plant based:

  • Learn to love your beans and of course lentils too! I’m bean mad and urge you to experiment with them. Beans are amazing in casseroles, curry, bakes, lasagnes, dips and of course most veggie burgers are bean based. There’s such a variety out there, why not try a different bean each week until you find your favourite? My top two are haricot and black turtle beans. A mexican is never complete without black beans.
  • Red, green + yellow lentils = staple store cupboard ingredient. The humble lentil has a bad rep but they are deliciously creamy and carry taste better than anything else. They’re perfect for replacing minced meat in Italian and Greek dishes and a sturdy foundation for a veggie burger. You can easily replace meat ingredients with lentils. They work a treat in lasagnes, shepherds pie too and a marriage made in heaven in curry.
  • Fancy that pumpkin sausage casserole? Why not replace the sausages with the meaty texture of chestnuts, portobello mushrooms, butter beans or simply replace with use some veggie sausages.
  • Mushrooms not only have that all important umami flavour but have that ‘meaty’ texture. There’s such a variety in the supermarkets these days just waiting for some experimentation. Pulse them up or slice them to imitate slithers of meat in a casserole or pasta sauce for that deep, rich flavour.
  • Tofu. Drain and press (with a heavy weight) for several hours to minimise water content. Slice into quarter inch strips add a robust sauce and bake. This is a great way to utilise an otherwise tasteless product. Tofu is fantastic not only in stir fries, curries and baked versions but is brilliant for making sweet treats like cheesecakes and mousses. Tempeh, Seitan (gluten wheat powder) is great for making veggie sausages and equal protein to lean meat. I’m not a huge fan of faux meat products but they can be a good solution if you’re struggling every now and then.
  • Use FLAVOUR to enhance your meals! Strong and distinctive flavours are the best way to adapt your recipes and create deeply rich layered flavours. I find that smoked paprika is perfect for replacing chorizo and a great way to add a rich Spanish flavour. Liquid smoke gives a fabulously smokey tastes to salads, beans, burgers sausages, dips, well anything really. Try it! Also, dried fruit and preserved lemons are great for creating that authentic North African and Middle Eastern flavour in stews and tagines. Indian food utilises an array of rich, warm and healing spices that lend themselves fantastically to vegan food. Veggie friendly umami flavours, chipotle, smoked paprika, harissa, garam masala. Of course the vegan umami flavours; mushrooms, fermented foods, sea vegetables, tamari and tomatoes are key in creating that all key satisfying flavour.
  • Just leave the meat out and use more of an alternative ingredient. Don’t sweat the whole protein (most people actually get way over recommended daily amounts, even by eating JUST veggies) thing anyway but if you’re concerned about levels just add some nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, quinoa or dairy alternatives to cheese. Anyway, what about some scrambled tofu……
  • Get bang into blogs. There’s lots of easy veggie recipes for endless inspiration in the blogosphere.
  • Just let your creative side take over and get involved. Fill your plate with colourful produce and creative dishes. Some of my favourite meals have been on the spot, open the fridge and make it up as you go!

plant based
Converting to a plant based diet is a wonderful opportunity to experiment with flavours and get in touch with our creative sides whilst getting healthy and reducing harm to our environment and of course, the animals.

Can you believe I’d never even purchased smoked paprika, liquid smoke, chipotle chilis or nutritional yeast (the list is endless) before I went veggie. Gosh, I really was missing out! So if you haven’t already added a few meatless meals to your week, challenge yourself and see how easy, delicious and feel good it really is. Peace 😉

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

It’s kind of cake, kind of bread. Maybe loaf cake….maybe not.

It’s kind of sweet, kind of savoury but let’s not label this beauty because it really is a gem. I love it for how adaptable it is, it really is a throw-it-together and use what ya got kind of bread……or cake….or loaf! I made this whilst Russ was on the nursery DIY duty listening to a bit of Regina Spektor. Music + baking = Bliss.

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

I used half spelt and half almond flour because I haven’t used the good stuff for ages and it ramps up the nutrient level beautifully! But this would work with whatever flour you have to hand, same with the oil, you gotta use what ya got! On the other hand if you want to cut out the oil, double the sweet potato purée and ditch the walnuts for raisins. Likewise if you have carrot but no courgette or vice versa then just use what ya got. I had an abundance of sweet potato but pumpkin and apple purée can easily replace this. See it really is adaptable!

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

I was having a bit of a dense carb craving and this defo hit the spot – healthy, hearty, easy and delicious. This is why I like wholegrain vegetable bread:

wholegrain
moist + satisfying
veggie packed
healthiest fats
ideal snackage

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

I’m quite liking vegetables in my cakes, more please 🙂

Wholegrain Vegetable bread

1 cup almond flour
1 cup spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chia plus 6-8 water
1 tablespoon molasses (optional)
1/4 cup oil (I used coconut)
1 heaped cup courgette, grated + excess juice squeezed out
1 heaped cup carrot, grated + excess juice squeezed out
1/2 cup sweet potato purée (pumpkin or apple purée would be great too)
1/4 cup water, if needed

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 º Celsius + line a loaf tin with parchment paper. Prepare chia ‘egg’ by combining the seeds with water.
  2. Meanwhile add the first 6 ingredients to a large bowl + combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients along with the flax egg + add to the dry bowl.
  4. Combine very well + transfer to the tin.
  5. Bake for 80-90 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Classic Green Smoothie Ice Lollies

I love a good smoothie and with the current ‘heatwave’ i’m taking an all time fave and making a refreshing lolly.

green smoothie ice lolly

To me this is a classic green smoothie recipe and often I find that many green smoothies are full or a myriad of random ingredients. Don’t get me wrong I love spirulina and almond butter or whatever else every now and then, but at the end of the day there’s something very tasty and simple about this. This is a smoothie I would drink daily just as a snack and I really don’t want to be over complicating things. It’s not good on time, mess or my waistline! But we’re making ice lollies here and this is also perfect as a solid, creamy, banana-packed iced treat. These are naturally way healthier than your average ice treat but definitely not losing out on flavour. They take absolutely no effort whatsoever (aside for waiting for them to freeze!) and can be adapted very easily.

green smoothie ice lolly

If I haven’t convinced you to make your own asap then this will: these are….

packed full of bananas
contain zero refined sugars
dairy free
low in fat
just sweet enough
cheap as chips

Of course the variations are endless, so have lots of fun mixing it up and trying something new. I’m thinking peach pie flavour next……..:-)

green smoothie ice lolly

Classic green smoothie ice lollies

(makes 6)

4 frozen bananas
1 cup almond milk
handful spinach
3 tablespoons maple syrup or sweetener of your choice.

Blitz away until smooth + creamy. Transfer to a popsicle maker + freeze.

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

No fish, no mercury, sustainable, 100% vegan…just healthy 😉
Vegan tuna mayo sweetcorn rolls!

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

(serves 2)

1 can chickpeas, drained
1 carrot, peeled + grated
2 tablespoons sweetcorn
2-3 tablespoons vegan mayo or make this

  1. Add the chickpeas, carrot, sweetcorn + mayo to a small bowl + combine evenly.
  2. Spread on whatever the devil you like!

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette (Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free)

The magic of plants. Is it just me or is everyone else in love with chick pea flour, or besan, gram or whatever? I cannot get enough of this stuff and there’s so much more to this amazing flour than socca, although that really does rock my world 😉 Loaded with fibre, protein and a great source of iron this creamy flour needs a little more recognition. It’s great for anyone on a restrictive diet and is really easy to bake with. Oh and makes a great omelette base too……

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette

This is super simple Spanish sweet potato omelette is free from most aggravating food stuffs. What I mean by that is, there’s absolutely:

NO SOY
NO DAIRY
NO GLUTEN

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette

Anything is possible. You could probably say this one is an omelette for everyone. An omelette to please all.

This can easily be adjusted according to what you have in your cupboard. I mean potato starch is just something I have but corn starch would be great or at a push just leave it out. I just used potato starch to thicken the mixture slightly but this would be fine without as long as you add the liquid part conservatively.

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette

This contains over 25 grams of protein, yep that is more than your average pork chop or even a 4 egg omelette. Plants are so cool. This is a complete meal and an ideal lunch, especially when served with wholegrain wraps and salad. Just an idea.

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette with Paprika

(serves 1-2)

1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small squares
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1/2 green pepper, chopped finely
handful spinach, torn roughly

batter:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 tablespoon flaxmeal
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
sprinkle thyme, salt + pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup almond milk + 1/4 cup water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 º Celsius + place a greased 10 inch pan in the oven. Combine the batter ingredients, whisk thoroughly until no lumps remain. Set aside to thicken for a couple of minutes.
  2. Prepare all veggies + add to the batter. Fold through so the veggies are evenly distributed.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven + add the mixture. Top with tomato + bake for 45-50 minutes.
  4. Remove + serve warm but also great as a cold snack.

Wholegrain Blueberry Banana Muffins

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

Since I’ve been pregnant I literally cannot get enough of blueberries, it’s kinda weird the amounts I’m getting through! I must say I am getting a little sick of eating them straight from the box, plus I seem to demolish packets at a time. Naturally when it comes to recipes, I’m thinking blueberry dense muffins. It’s also nice to finally be craving something sweet as opposed to my oily and salty obsessions of late (okay I admit it, I’ve been hooked on crisps or potato chips or whatever!). So it just has to be a good solid muffin. Blueberries galore of course, like too many almost.

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

But I hate (that word isn’t even strong enough) it when you get a ‘blueberry’ muffin and there’s like 3 solitary blueberries in the whole thing. It almost seems a tad on the criminal side and definitely a complete rip-off, an utter cheat. So I made sure this disaster would not happen here. Amen.

There’s actually nothing quite like warm wholegrain blueberry banana muffins, moist and fruit-packed and jam packed with the goodness of whole grains. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy sweet treats a lot more when I know they’re not full of white sugar, white carbs and toxic margarines. There doesn’t seem to be any excuses anymore as there are so many alternative flours and sweeteners out there now and not to mention a myriad of much healthier oils to substitute for margarine and butter. And I’m not saying this in a ‘oh she doesn’t know how to enjoy herself’ kinda way, but I reckon if it tastes better and it is in fact miles better for your body then it’s a no brainer, right?

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

I used xylitol to cut the energy a little but regular raw sugar, maple syrup or agave would be completely fine. If you possibly can (‘cos I cannot) allow to cool before attempting to remove from papers. Just sayin’, as it’s kind of annoying when it all gets stuck in there and nobody likes sucking on a muffin case. Although I will do this if necessary.

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

It’s one of those dry bits, wet bits, add-to recipes….easy peasy. Oh and it’s so quick, gotta love the quick ones.

It goes without saying these would be good with chocolate chips too but for me, it’s all about the blueberries right now. I’m sure it’ll be a new food obsession next week………….

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

Have a great day 😉

Wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

makes 10

dry bits:
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup xylitol
wet bits:
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 large banana, mashed (can be subbed with 1/2 cup apple sauce)
1 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
the best bit:
1 heaping cup blueberries (I used frozen)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 ºC + line grease or line a muffin tray with cases. Add the first 4 dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl + combine fully.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl + add to the dry ingredients to form a smooth batter.
  3. Fold through the blueberries + carefully spoon the mixture into the muffin tray to 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Remember to allow to cool or else you’ll be sucking on a muffin case!

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