Fudgy carrot banana cake

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I made this carrot banana cake for a picnic at the park this weekend and it’s been getting better and better as it’s been sitting in the fridge. It’s very moist and almost a fudgy-like consistency.

Ingredients:

2 large carrots grated
2 large ripe bananas mashed
3 TBS flax meal + 1/3 cup rice milk mixed together and set aside to ‘gel’. This will be the binding agent
1/8 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
Dash of maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour (I used chickpea flour, any combo of flours will work though)
1/2 cup quick rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Handful of crushed walnuts

Combine the wet ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together. Pour into a greased cake pan or loaf pan.
Bake at a low temp for about an hour.

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I highly recommend a cashew frosting made by blending a cup or so or soaked cashews + lemon juice + a couple medjool dates + vanilla + cinnamon!!

Healthy Anzac biscuits

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In honour of Anzac Day I made a healthy raw version of the traditional Anzac biscuit which are usually loaded with butter, sugar and white flour. They turned out SOOOO goooooood and take about 5-10 minutes to throw together.

Ingredients:
1 cup of oats
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 TBS flax meal
1 cup almond flour
Cinnamon to taste
1 banana mashed (or just more honey would probably work, I wasn’t planning on adding the banana at all until I realised I only had a teeny bit of honey left. However the addition of the banana I think added to the yum factor)
2-3 TBS honey
1/4 cup coconut oil

Toast the oats, coconut and almond slivers lightly. Mix all ingredients together. Form into ball-ish shapes and refrigerate. Either eat them cold or heat them slightly under the griller. Either way they are amazing!

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I don’t know how similar the taste is to actual Anzac biscuits because I haven’t had one in years, but I DO know that these puppies are delicious and will serve your body well instead of dragging it down.

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Lest we forget the Anzacs ❤

Ultimate chocolate cupcakes

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Vegan. Gluten free. Sugar free. The best thing you might ever put in your mouth.

These cupcakes prove in one bite that white sugar is simply unnecessary. They also smash any stereotypes that some people may have of what vegan baking is, and of what gluten free baking is.

There is this idea that if you’re vegan, you’re depriving yourself, that if you don’t eat sugar you can never have dessert, and if you’re gluten free then it may just be the end of the world.

I’ve been all of these things for quite sometime now, and I promise you, it’s not the end of the world, but a beginning of a whole new world really.

A world in which food becomes your fuel and your energy, your medicine, your defence against disease, your free card to longevity, a world where, free of artificial flavours, sodium and sugar, your taste buds come alive, a world where the planet doesn’t suffer because of your food choices and in a world of so much violence, promotes a little peace and love for our four legged inhabitants.
I’m passionate about this world, and I’m passionate about these cupcakes and everything that they stand for.
So please, make them, eat them, you’ll see what I mean…

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Makes 23 cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Wet ingredients:

2 cups non-dairy milk. I used rice milk
1 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil or combo
1 cup mix of honey/agave syrup/maple syrup
4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Egg replacer equivalent to two eggs

Combine and set aside

Dry ingredients:

1 3/4 cup brown rice flour
1 3/4 cup cocoa
3 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS instant coffee granules

Mix well. Add wet to dry slowly. Whisk until very smooth. Spoon into a cupcake pan. Alternatively you could make it as a cake. I’d probably make two and stack them.

Bake for about twenty minutes, until firm-ish but not too firm! They will firm up as they cool, resulting in a fudgy, moist texture that is still fluffy and soft.

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For the icing I mixed up some natural peanut butter, cacao, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, corn starch and rice milk.

Let cool before icing.

Put in your mouth, enjoy.

Raw granola bars

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I found a really yummy sounding recipe for baked granola bars but for convenience and nutritional sake I decided to adapt the recipe to a raw version. They turned out amazing and we have been happily snacking on them all week!

Recipe:

Dry ingredients:

1 cup ground flax seeds
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup walnuts
1/8 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup dried banana
1/4 cup oats

Wet ingredients:

1 1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup dried apricots
4 TBS coconut oil
2-5 TBS honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/2 TBS vanilla

Pulse all the nuts in a food processor so thy are lightly chopped up. (You can sub for any other nuts or whatever so long as the wet/dry ratio is still close to the same) place all dry ingredients in a big bowl.

Blend the dates and apricots into a chunky paste and add to the dry ingredients along with the other wet ingredients. Mix until well combined and then take out about 1 1/2 cups and place in the blender. Blend this until a sticky ‘dough’ forms (this will hold the bars together). Place back in the bowl, combine and press into a lined shallow pan. Keep in the fridge and enjoy!

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Banana bread (or muffins)

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A fruit bowl full of over ripe bananas can mean one thing and one thing only…banana bread. Or banana muffins in my case as I thought they would be a great snack to bring on the plane on Friday (yayyyyyy we’re coming home for Christmas!!!). Stay tuned for more plane snack food posts in the next couple of days; I’ve got a few yummy/portable things in mind.
This is my trusty recipe that I developed a few years ago and is adapted ever so slightly every time I make it. It is exceptionally healthier than traditional banana bread (white flour, butter, sugar yuck!!!) and is just as good, no wait, better. And I’m not just saying that. Everybody loves this banana bread, you will too!

Vegan/GF banana bread or muffins:

Wet ingredients:

2 TBS flax meal mixed with 2 TBS non-dairy milk or water ( this replaces the eggs as a binding agent whilst providing some omega’s and fibre)

1/4 cup coconut oil (or veg oil)
3 very ripe medium bananas
1/4 cup agave nectar (or brown rice syrup or honey-you might have to use a bit more though as agave is particularly sweet)

Dry ingredients:

1/3 cup teff flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 TBS corn starch
1/2 TBS baking soda
1 heaped tablespoon protein powder (optional)
Cinnamon, nutmeg to taste (I use lots!!)
Optional add ins: Walnuts, dark choc chips, pear chunks. I just added a handful of crushed walnuts.

*you can use any combo of flour you like. I used teff because it’s super high in iron and brown rice as it’s a light flour to balance out the heaviness of the teff. Amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa flour would also be good options.
*if you don’t have quinoa flakes just use more rolled oats
*I added some hemp protein powder to give them a little more staying power, obviously not essential to the recipe

Method:

Combine the flax and water and set aside.
Mash the Bananas in a medium sized bowl and add other wet ingredients and combine.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add the flax ‘gel’ to the wet ingredients and stir.
Add the wet bowl to the dry bowl and stir it up!!
Whack in a greased or lined loaf tin or muffin tin and bake in a moderate to low oven (I did about 180) for forty minutes to an hour. The muffins are a bit quicker…

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There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked banana bread!!

Some holiday baking

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There’s nothing like a bit of holiday baking to get you in the spirit!! Especially since we find it a bit hard to get in the spirit over here, what with the sub tropic temperatures and everything. Alas, only thirteen more days to bask in the sunshine before heading home sweet home for hopefully a white Christmas!

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Vegan, gluten free Ginger snaps:

Dry ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour (I used buckwheat and Amaranth, any would do though)
1/8 cup almond or hazelnut meal
1 1/2 TBS ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nut meg
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder

1 TBS grated ginger
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil (room temp, not totally melted)
1 TBS brown sugar
1tsp vanilla
Dash salt

Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients and mix together until a firm-ish but sticky dough forms.

Roll into balls, press down with fork and sprinkle with a tiny bit of raw sugar and a teeny tiny bit of sea salt.

Bake in a moderate oven for about ten minutes.

Once cooled, Store in the fridge.

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Rice Krispy squares!!

I never actually ate these much as a kid but I know they were quite popular. I don’t know how similar they are to the real marshmallow/butter/white rice bubble version because as I said I never was a rice krispy expert but they taste good, they’re healthy and they satisfy a sweet craving!

Ingredients:
4 cups gluten-free brown rice cereal
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup brown rice syrup or honey 1/3 cup peanut butter or other nut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mix the cereal with the flax
Meal (what’s up sneaky omega and fibre!!) and set aside.
In a small saucepan heat the sweetener and nut butter until liquidy. Add the vanilla and pour over the cereal. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the cereal is coated. Press into a pan and chill for at least an hour.

To take them to the next yum factor level, drizzle with melted dark chocolate or caramel sauce.

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Happy Christmas Baking!!!

Ooey gooey cinnamon buns

20121204-111415.jpgOoey gooey satisfying warm aromatic cinnamon buns; and unlike their sugar, butter, white flour laden cousin, the traditional cinnamon bun; these bad boys are high in protein, fibre and low in fat with no added sugar. The winner is clear, in my books at least!
I found the recipe here and just adapted it slightly. I’ve been searching for a healthy cinnamon bun recipe for ages and wasn’t ballsy enough to try and make one up so I was stoked when I stumbled upon the great recipe!

Combine the dry ingredients:

1 cup almond flour or hazelnut meal (or combo)
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp soy lecithin granules

Combine wet ingredients:

1/4 cup room temperature coconut oil (not melted our the dough will be too wet)
1/4 cup apple sauce (I simple blended one large apple in my food processor)
2 TBS maple syrup
1/2 TBS vanilla extract

Filling: blend in food processor until combined but slightly chunky still:

2/3 cup mix of dates and raisins
1/4 cup mix of honey and maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 TBS cinnamon

Method:

Add the combined wet ingredients to the combined dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until a dough ball forms. Place the dough in your fridge while you are Preparing the filling.

Roll your dough out into a square-ish shape onto baking paper. Cover with your date/raisin filling and a handful of walnuts and slivered almonds, if you wish.

20121204-111515.jpgCarefully roll up. I had trouble with this as it was a really hot day which makes the dough hard to work with but I just kinda rolled and ‘mooshed’ it together with my hands and they turned out great despite a few cracks in the dough. I ended up placing mine in the freezer for a few minutes halfway through rolling and then finnished with the colder dough which helped.

With a sharp knife slice the dough, about an inch and a half each roll. Place in a baking tray and bake in a moderate oven for about fifteen minutes or until turning golden. Check at the ten minute mark for sure! Mine baked surprisingly quickly.

20121204-111621.jpgThey are delicious straight out of the oven but if you want to take them to the next level here are some rad frostings options:

Caramel frosting (the one I used, inspired by the This Rawesome Vegan Life blog, makes a lot but it’s so good just as a spread on its own that you won’t mind having too much!!):

2 heaped tablespoons of honey
1 tsp of vanilla
Handful of brazil or cashew nuts
10 soaked dates
1 heaped tablespoon tahini
1 heaped tablespoon almond butter
1 1/2 TBS coconut oil

Blend until creamy

Cashew cream frosting, this frosting I made to go with my raw cinnamon buns which are also to die for.

Blend until smooth:

1 cup soaked cashews (I had mine soaking while I was making the buns)
1 TBS coconut oil
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Dash of cinnamon
1 TBS toasted coconut (I had this leftover from the creamy coconut rice I made the night before, not essential but recommended for sure!)
Dash of stevia or other sweetener
About 1/8 cup water to thin

20121204-111712.jpgAlso, they are great leftover. We have been eating them for three days now! Just store in the fridge and heat up under the griller for a couple minutes! Perfect, healthy quick breakfast or snack!

*A note about baking with gluten free flours:

The gluten in regular flour is what acts as such a great binding agent, unfortunately though gluten is really hard to digest which is why lots of people have allergies to it. This is what makes gluten free baking a bit more of a challenge. The xanthan gum and soy lechithin in the recipe act as the binding agent, holding everything together nicely. The soy lechithin also softens the bread a bit. The buns will probably still work if you leave it out, but will be more crumbly.

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Enjoy!

Almond crusted tofu and vegan chocolate cake

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We usually have a nice salad for dinner on ballet nights and last night was no exception. It turned out to be one of the best salads yet as well!! Hands down the best tofu I’ve had and the dressing was amazing.

The cake inspiration came from baking a cake with the little girl I nanny earlier in the day. It was a boxed cake with refined sugar, flour and dairy etc so needless to say I didn’t have any but it smelt pretty damn good and I was proud of myself for not even having a taste, so I decided I would have to make a ‘healthy’ vegan cake that I could enjoy after ballet.

First, the salad…

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The salad itself was made up of: lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, purple cabbage, grilled eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms. The veg combo was really good but the star of the show definitely went to the tofu closely followed by the dressing so here’s the breakdown…

Almond crusted tofu:

Drain as much moisture out of your firm tofu as possible and slice it into triangles.

In a shallow dish, mix up a marinade of:

3 TBS soy sauce
Juice of half a lemon
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 TBS sesame oil
1 minced garlic clove
Paprika, ginger and pepper

Place the tofu in marinade, covering all the sides. Leave in the fridge for as long as possible. (I put it in before work so it had a good 9 hours!)

For the almond crust:

3 TBS flax meal
2 TBS nutritional yeast
3 TBS finely chopped almonds
Himalayan rock salt and pepper

Flip the tofu around in the marinade to get all the sides wet. Press all sides in the almond crust mix and place on a lined baking tray.

We cooked ours under the griller in our oven for about seven minutes each side.

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Seriously. So. Good.

For the Tahini Miso dressing:

2 TBS Tahini
1/2 TBS Miso
Pinch of Garlic powder
1 TBS Nutritional yeast
2 tsp Ginger
Almond milk as much as you need for a good consistency
Paprika
Honey (optional if you like slightly sweeter dressing)

Whisk till smooth adding milk as you go to thin.

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Yuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmm

Alright, so the dinner was really really good and I highly recommend you try the tofu and dressing for yourself!!

After dinner I quickly made the chocolate cake as I wanted it to be done before we left for ballet so it would be cooled and ready to be frosted and mowed when we got home.

When I started baking it I thought it wasn’t going to work because the top was kind of burning and the middle wasn’t really cooking. I put some tinfoil on it and cooked it as much as I could before I thought the top was looking too burnt and left it to cool.

When we got home, after biking through a bit of a monsoon, I really wasn’t expecting it to be very good. I was wrong. It was moist, rich and delicious.

Once again I got my inspiration fromthe This Rawsome vegan lifeblog

This makes one quite small cake. If I was making it for a big group, I would double it and make a stacked cake.

Vegan chocolate cake:

Combine and set aside:

1 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Just under 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
Just under 3/4 cup raw sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

Combine and add to above mixture:

3/4 cup mix of brown rice and amaranth flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Optional:

Tablespoon or so of maple syrup (if you want it sweeter)
Tablespoon of instant coffee granules (if you dig mocha flavoured things)
1/4 tsp cayenne (If you like your chocolate with kick)

Ours was with all of the above and it was amazing. I think I will try sans cayenne next time because we were borderline about whether it added to or hindered to the flavour.

Bake at 180 for about 30-50 minutes, covered, checking often. Let cool Completely before frosting.

Frosting:

This frosting is so good, it could be a desert all on it’s own!

1/4 cup silken tofu
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/3 cup cacao
2 TBS honey
1 fig (or just add extra honey)
11/2 tsp vanilla
1 TBS instant coffee granules

Blend until creamy and smooth over the cooled cake!!!! You will probably have extra. I ate my extra by the spoonful the next day!!! Hey, it’s the healthiest and tastiest frosting you will ever encounter, it deserves to be eaten by the spoonful!

Let them eat (vegan gluten free) cake!!

Flippin fantastic fudgy fig slice.

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If you like figs, you will dig this a lot. If you don’t like figs, like Ali, you will still dig this.
It’s very simple to make and no baking required which is awesome in that: you don’t have to wait around before you get stuck in, you save some gas/electricity, you don’t cook any of the goodness out of it aaaand you don’t have to wait around before you get stuck in…
I found this recipe on a great blog byEmily at This Rawesome Vegan Life and just added a few things.

Here’s what I did:

First, soak two heaping cups of dried figs for two hours or longer

For the base of the slice:

Process until quite fine:
1 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
Add and process until sticky:
3/4 cup dates
1/3 cup raisins (sultanas)
1tsp cinnamon

Press into a shallow pan.

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For the friggen fantastic figgy centre:

Process in the blender:

two heaping cups of soaked figs
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup of coconut flakes
1-2 tsp cinnamon

Use the soaking water to facilitate blending. Pour thick figgy goodness onto the prepared base (leave about a 1/3 cup in the blender for the topping)

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For the crumbly oat topping:

Add to the blender with the remaining figs:

1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of walnuts

Pulse lightly. Stir in an extra:

1/2 cup of oats
1/2 cup of coconut flakes.

I mixed it up with my fingers and then kind of crumbled it on top and pressed it down. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon.

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Now slice and enjoy right away or practice some self control and chill it in the fridge for a bit first.

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…Or have some right away and more later once it has chilled. It does get even nicer the longer it sets in the fridge.

Enjoy!!

Quick seedy flat bread

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3/4 cup chickpea flour
2 TBS flax meal
1 TBS nutritional yeast
1 TBS sunflower seeds
2 TBS black sesame seeds
1 cup water
1/2 TBS olive oil
Seasoning (I used garlic powder, chilli flakes and Himalayan rock salt)

Mix together and pour into a shallow pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for about twenty minute 200 degrees. Flip and bake an additional 5’minutes or so.

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Enjoy with such toppings as avo and vegan cheese, nut spread, hummus etc etc !!!