whole food

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.

White Bean, Kale + Smoked Paprika Stew (GF + Vegan)

smoked paprika stewThe clocks have gone forward so it’s officially time to eat hearty stews (it’s always OK to eat big stews in my opinion)…….like this warming Spanish white bean, kale + smoked paprika one pot wonder. I’m going to do you a favour now cos I’m feeling nice. Here goes – if you don’t already have this smoked paprika in your life then get involved…….immediately.Smoked paprika

It’s Spanish, it’s sweet, it’s smokey, it’s rich, it’s burnt red, it’s magical, like in a transform a mediocre dish kinda way. And it’s just a spice so try it out for an authentic Spanish tasty addition to your fav meals. This sweet variety is not at all spicy but you can buy a hotter version also, cunningly called ‘hot smoked paprika’ – be careful which one you pick up! Smoked paprika is great in stews, in stir fried spanish style rice, dips, sprinkled over potato wedges, stirred into casseroles, in pasta sauce…………yep, La Chinata may turn into your new best friend.A big pot of smoked paprika stew

This white bean, kale + smoked paprika stew is a feel good eat, packed full of flavour, warming, nourishing -hugging you from the inside out……ahhh bless. It’s super versatile so add your favourite veggies and preferred white beans. I would suggest haricot or cannellini to anyone who’s not keen on pulses as they’re no different to the ones in a can of heinz…..this will be a lot tastier though, naturally!process

This white bean, kale + smoked paprika stew really does care a lot, with it’s 6 servings of vegetables per portion and warming smokey tones – it really is the stew that just keeps giving.

Served with socca (of course) but rice, breads or potatoes would be  nice.Smoked paprika stew + socca

White bean, kale + smoked paprika stew

(serves 2)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup butternut squash, cubed
1 tablespoon sun dried tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes + 1 can water
1 teaspoon each of dried thyme + smoked paprika
2 large handfuls kale, torn into small pieces
250 grams white beans (haricot, cannellini, butter or chick peas)

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large pan + gently fry the onion, garlic, carrots, pepper + squash for 10 minutes until fragrant + softened.
2. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, water, thyme + smoked paprika. Stir + simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add the beans, kale + season to taste. Continue cooking for a further 15 until the beans begin to soften + break down.
4. Serve immediately with warm bread or baked sweet potatoes.

 

7 Cheers for Chia Seeds – a Weight Loss Weapon

Chia Seeds 5This chia seed craze isn’t going anywhere soon, it’s here to stay. I’ve had many a fleeting affair with the latest in vogue food, some working out and others not. Sorry goji berries, it’s not you, it’s me. With chia it’s different…….I am fully committed to the humble chia seed, it won’t enter my life for a few weeks of dabbling only to be pushed to the back of the cupboard, lonely and forgotten! Chia has a firm place in my kitchen and has made itself very comfortable.

I wasn’t at first convinced when my first bag of chia arrived and as they bounced along my kitchen work top I couldn’t help but think these tiny seeds seemed a bit, well small and fiddly. And anyway, how could such a tiny seed contain so much goodness? So much goodness.

Chia is yet another amazingly nutritious food from the superfood continent South America (quinoa, maca, lucuma, cocoa nibs- why do they have all the best ingredients?). Anyhow, first recipe in I really liked them but I loved them a whole lot more when I learnt about their nutritional attributes and impressive versatility within plant based recipes. Chia doesn’t have a truly distinct flavour  but it has a unique consistency when combined with liquid, providing an excellent base to add your own flavour and experiment with your favourite ingredients. I like to think of chia as a powerhouse nutritional canvas to get creative with! Chia + liquid = very swollen seeds and a consistency that resembles tapioca pudding, all part of it’s secret weight regulating powers.

There’s a whole lot more to these Aztec wonder seeds and there’s very good reason(s) why they’re one of the big players in the realms of wellness. Here’s 7 of them:

  1. High in fibre so excellent for digestive function. Most of us could use more fibre and these contain a third of our daily requirements in just 2 tablespoons. We all know that a fibre rich diet keeps us fuller for longer, enabling us to maintain a healthy weight and beat cravings. These seeds swell to 10 times their original size when combined with water form a gel high in soluble fibre, which fills the stomach and satiates. Naturally, this fuller feeling reduces tendencies to over eat, so chia’s a weapon to any weight loss eating regime.
  2. A remarkable amount of antioxidants. Go away free radicals, ageing and cancer. Such high levels give chia a lengthy shelf life of up to 2 years.
  3. Calcium. Who needs dairy when you can get 1/5 of your daily needs from just 2 tablespoons, 5 times more than milk. These powerhouse seeds also contain sizeable amounts of magnesium and phosphorus.
  4. Good source of Protein. Made up of 30 % complete protein, containing all 9 amino acids in proper ratios,  they certainly give meat products a run for their money!
  5. No Gluten. Enough said.
  6. Brilliant egg replacer for plant based recipes. Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 of water and leave for 10 minutes to thicken.
  7. One of the richest plant based sources of omega 3’s. In fact it contains 8 times more than salmon so is super for heart and brain health.

Bonus: I find chia helps fight fatigue, keeps me energised for longer and less likely to have late afternoon lethargy. I’m a recreational runner and find I am recovering quicker post exercise. Chia is a runner’s best friend.

So get cracking with an easy, feel good, filling chia pudding, a chia studded smoothie, sprinkle on cereal or make your own egg substitute.
Vanilla chia pudding

Start the day in spectacular fashion by making a yummy chia pudding!

Let’s all chia up!