wholegrain

5 Minute One Cup Vegan Loaf Cake

one cup vegan loaf cakeI adore this mix and match one cup vegan loaf cake, it’s so easy and so adaptable. If you don’t like baking then this is the cake for you. Or if you have absolutely no time whatsoever, again, this is the cake for you. It’s ridiculously simple and quick to throw together.

one cup vegan loaf cake

As the name suggests, you only need one cup and you’re good to go. No weighing, no sinkful of dirty cups and spoons, no frantic googling for conversions and no convoluted stages. Just get that bowl and that cup and go for it. You can really just adapt this according to your ingredients in the kitchen cupboards so again don’t feel like you have to stick to the recipe 100%.

one cup vegan loaf cake

One cup vegan loaf cake

1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chocolate chips or nuts or raisins (or a mix)
1 cup spelt or any self-raising flour (if using plain add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder)
1 cup sugar (coconut is good)
1 cup banana or apple puree
1 cup nut milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC + grease your loaf pan.
  2. In the large mixing bowl add the first 4 ingredients + combine. Then add the remaining fruit puree + milk to form a cake batter.
  3. Transfer to the greased pan + bake for 40 minutes. Allow to mostly cool before tucking in.

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 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.

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.

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!

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.

Vegan Boiled Fruit Cake

I love dried fruit so it’s no shock that fruit cake is one of my favourite cakes. Actually, it IS my favourite cake. Raisins, sultanas, dates, apricots, currants, cranberries, blueberries – all of ’em, I love them. So it was hard for me growing up with a sister who picked the raisins out of her muesli, the currants out of her buns, the dates out of her puddings and turned her nose up at a moist iced wedding cake! What is she mad!? It actually stumped me because there is nothing nicer than a thick slice of fruit cake, to me anyhow. A big statement but so true.

Vegan Boiled Fruit Cake Vegan Boiled Fruit Cake

It seems that everybody’s Nan or Mum makes the best bolied fruit cake recipe ever so I’m not claiming this is the best by any means but it’s certainly free of any animal products (love that of course), is possibly a little lower in sugar, undoubtedly wholegrain too. This vegan boiled fruit cake is already a winner to me. Ok, this is better than your Mum’s and your Nan’s, sorry.

vegan boiled fruit cake

So why is this vegan boiled fruit cake better than your Mum’s?

It’s vegan- yippeee. I DON’T need cow stuff in my cake and nor do you!
It’s lower in sugar, dried fruit is pretty sweet already right?
Hello wholegrain. Spelt flour is pretty impressive when it comes to baking and much higher in fibre and lower in gluten than your average white flours. Spelt flour is a good friend.

So yeah it IS better than your Mum’s AND your Nans – so so sorry but it’s true.

vegan boiled fruit cake

Oh and another thing, fruit cake isn’t just for Christmas but all year surely. There is nothing better than a pot of tea and a wedge of fruit cake in the afternoon, or evening! Oh and the smell of freshly baked fruit cake is pretty hard to beat for me too.

Vegan Boiled Fruit Cake
Enjoy and get fruity.

Vegan Boiled Fruit Cake

120 grams vegan butter
1/2 cup raw brown sugar
400 grams mixed fruit
1/4 cup chopped cherries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1 cup almond milk
1/4-1/2 cup water
2 cups spelt flour

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160ºC + line a 7-8 inch cake tin.
2. Meanwhile add all the ingredients apart from the flour to a pan over a low heat + simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Allow to cool before adding the flour. Once the flour + fruit mixture is thoroughly combined transfer to the cake tin + bake for 1 hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
4. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

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.

Beer Bread

Perfect with a pot of tea.
Perfect with a pot of tea.

Introducing beer and bread.

Bread making looks like such a lot of work and this always puts me off making my own. Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking but not only is there already a huge variety of bread pre-made, packaged and all set for my trolley but there’s always something I’d rather make more than a loaf.  So I’ve never actually made bread and this needs to change  for several reasons. Here are three of them: 1)We all know the shop bought stuff is full of unnecessary additives. 2) I’ve heard bread making is therapeutic, who doesn’t want free therapy? 3)I just want to get good at bread!

I’m starting basic though. I thought I’d give beer bread a shot as it’s one of the few breads I can’t  find in the supermarket. Also, this beer loaf is not like those other bread recipes. No kneading, no resting and no yeast involved. How divinely simple. Sometimes you just don’t want complicated and time consuming but rather, easy and quick. Isn’t everything already complicated enough?

Easiest recipe ever, no concentration needed.

There are lots of beer bread recipes out there and most use three basic ingredients but I decided to wing it a little and came up with this. It turned out pretty good and is delicious with savoury and sweet things. Using wholemeal flour not only increases the fibre content but adds a nutty flavour too (I don’t much like white bread anyway). I brushed the top of the loaf with butter and topped with seeds mid way through cooking for added crunch and protein.  Oh, and of course I used a bottle of strong beer. I love beer and I love bread so I’m wondering why it’s taken me so long to make this easy peasy loaf!

Enjoy slathered in butter, jam or honey with a hot cup of tea.  Alternatively, serve as an accompaniment to a hearty soup.

Bread and jam collage

Now I’ve got the bread making bug. Next time I might get involved with yeast and kneading.

Beer Bread

(makes 12 slices)

375 grams wholemeal self raising flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
330 ml of BEER (I used IPA extra strength)
1/4 cup of seeds (optional but recommended!)
butter & extra seeds for coating 10 minutes before the end.

  1. Place the flour, sugar & salt in a mixing bowl and stir through the beer until well combined. If using add the seeds at this point.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a greased loaf tin and bake on 180 º C for 50 minutes. If desired remove from the oven 10 minutes before the end and brush lightly with melted butter and top with extra seeds.
  3. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.