Hot Cross Buns (GF, DF)

Hot Cross Buns (GF, DF)

This recipe was inspired by Nodo bakery recipe, but I tweaked it a little for my liking. I have to say, this is the first time I have actually baked anything close to a real hot cross bun using a gluten-free recipe, I could not believe how well they turned out – just like normal ones and better than 99% of the gluten-free ones in stores. Oh and if you are a weirdo who doesn’t like fruit buns – you can replace dried fruit with cholate chips.

Hot Cross Buns (makes 12)

  • 2 1/4 C Gluten-free baking flour (I used Red Mill 1-to-1)
  • 1/2 C buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 C brown rice flour
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (I did without but works better with)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husk
  • 1.5 C almond milk
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C soft margarine
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp all spice
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 200G dried fruit (I used sultanas and blueberries), soaked

METHOD:

  1. Turn the oven to 185  degrees.
  2. Activate the yeast by mixing it to warm milk in a small bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, soak the psyllium in the water and set to thicken.
  4. Mix flours, xanthan gum, coconut sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
  5. Add the yeast mix and psyllium husk to the large bowl with the flours, soft butter and the egg.
  6. Mix the ingredients by using a spatula or hand for 8 minutes scraping the bowl sides to ensure there are no dry ingredients left.
  7. Add the spices and mix the dough for another 4 minutes.
  8. Add in the soaked fruit and mix the dough until the fruit has dispersed properly.
  9. Place the dough to fridge to for an hour at least – longer the better.
  10. Transfer the rested dough onto a greased baking tray, crossing the buns with the crossing mix (see below).
  11. Use an oiled sharp knife to cut a grid within the baking tray. (my tray was a rectangle and it made a grid of 3×4 buns)
  12. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  13. Coat with glazing mix to finish (see below).

Cross mixture:

  • 1/4 C any flour
  • 3 tbsp water

Mix flour and water together in a sandwich/piping bag until smooth.

Glaze

  • 1/6 C hot water
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar

Stir together until the sugar has dissolved then brush over the freshly baked hot cross buns.

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Rose & Lemon Donuts

Rose & Lemon Donuts

This recipe was meant to be published ages ago, but I completely forgot. But better late than never so here we go!

This is my favourite donut recipe so far – they are sweet and flavoursome at once! I know it’s one of those recipes that requires a little extra effort (with aquafaba and all) but it’s a great one for special occasions and it literally serves all dietary requirements (except there are nuts!). Also, you can freeze them with the frosting on, which makes them convenient treat to have in the freezer

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Lemon and Rose Donuts (vegan, GF)

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) oat milk 
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (baby food)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • Peel of one lemon
  • 3/4 cup  almond flour 
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca starch

Glaze

  • 1/3 C cashews (soaked for few hours)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 tbs coconut cream
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp rose water
  1. Preheat oven to 190 Celcius and lightly grease a donut tray (mine is quite large and this recipe makes 6 big donuts but if you have a small one this makes 12).
  2. To a small mixing bowl, add aquafaba and use a mixer until it begins to foam, keep mixing few minutes until soft peaks form – about 3 minutes. Set aside. 
  3. To a large mixing bowl, add the melted coconut oil. Then add the coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, lemon peel and sea salt and whisk to combine. Then add applesauce and oat milk and whisk to combine.
  4. Add baking powder, baking soda, almond flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour and tapioca starch and whisk to combine.
  5. Lastly, add the whipped aquafaba and gently stir in. If the batter appears too thin at this point, add 1 Tbsp each almond flour or gluten-free flour at a time until it thickens up (keep it scoopable not pourable).
  6. Divide batter evenly between donut tin.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Check at 18 minutes though, how they look.
  8. In the meantime, make the glaze by blending all the ingredients. Tip: make a double dose and freeze for next time, it’s easier to blend larger amounts.
  9. Remove donuts from oven and let cool for few minutes. Then grab the tins with a towel and tap on the counter to loosen. Then gently invert onto an oven tray (metallic). Let cool.
  10. Spread the glaze when doughnuts are cool. Then top with crumbles pistachios or edible rose petals.
  11. Best when fresh.  Keep in the fridge for up to three days or freezer for a month.

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That creamy dreamy truffle gnocchi

That creamy dreamy truffle gnocchi

Talk about a shortcut to happiness! I love making sauces and casseroles from the scratch but not always I have the time or the desire to slave in the kitchen. But because I rarely compromise with what I eat (when I compromise it’s rice cakes and carrots with hummus for dinner or red wine and chocolate) – I have made a habit of always having a few key ingredients at home to make yummy healthy easy meals. This one is a luxury meal though – when you feel like a romantic weekend trip to Italy but it’s goddamnit a 40-hour flight away!

This recipe is made with two amazing Melbourne based products Botanic Cuisine Paleo Mushroom Truffle cashew cheese and Ardor Food Co GF beetroot gnocchi. Both are available in health shops around Melbourne but if you can’t get your hands on these – don’t worry you can use any gnocchi available in your country/city (or for example brown rice pasta or any pasta or make your own gnocchi!). Also, I have done this creamy truffle sauce without the cream cheese too and it’s this simple: mix 2-3 tbs of cashew butter with squeeze of lemon, 1/3 C of water, 2 heaped tbs of nutritional yeast, 1/2 tbs of apple cider vinegar and 1 tbs of truffle oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The sauce should be quite liquid but smooth. So no excuses, get on it!

Gnocchi with Creamy Truffle Mushrooms & Greens (for two)

250 g gluten-free gnocchi (frozen, I used Ardor Beetroot Gnocchi)
2 tbs Botanic Gardens Paleo Mushroom Truffle cashew cheese
1/3 C water
2 tbs nutritional yeast (and more to garnish)
400 g mushrooms (I used Trumpet Royale but any kind will do)
2 C chopped kale
1/4 head of broccoli chopped (optional)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp truffle oil
Salt + Pepper
Basil to garnish
(Lemon)

  1. Make the sauce. Mix the cashew cream cheese with water and nutritional yeast using a fork until smooth. Set on side.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and add minced garlic.
  3. Add mushrooms and broccoli. Keep stirring until they start to get colour.
  4. Add kale and cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. Pour the truffle oil on the vegetables and turn the temperature down.
  6. Boil water. When it boils add some salt and frozen gnocchis (don’t thaw!). 
  7. Cook for 3 minutes and pour the water out using lid (don’t strain!)
  8. Pour the sauce and vegetables into the kettle with gnocchis. 
  9. Mix and season with salt and pepper and more nutritional yeast and a squeeze of lemon if desired. 
  10. Serve immediately with some basil

Rose Raspberry Smoothiebowl

Rose Raspberry Smoothiebowl

I know – I have been lazy as and only doing smoothie bowl recipes lately. I said to my boyfriend that I don’t really see the point of even sharing them because there are so many amazing creative recipes out there for crabs. However, he convinced me that simple is what people like us need. And I actually agree – you know all those rainbow parfaits and unicorn toasts? I mean – they look amazing – but most of us have day jobs and time is valuable. My directors would be slightly unimpressed for me to turn up late at work due to arranging my peanut butter and jelly toast to look like a dog face.

For some reason, I only crave for a few things lately: pretty and yummy smoothie bowls, pizza or kimchi seaweed loaded brown rice bowls. Hmm. Not sure what’s going on here. However, I will post a yummy macro bowl recipe soon including homemade seaweed salad – as soon as I get a chance to cook it in daylight and take a decent photo!

Anyways – as I’m cutting down fructose to 1-2 portion of fruit a day (I hate it), I have been playing a bit more with other ingredients in a smoothie, which is great. I made a wonderful pumpkin spice smoothie earlier this week but I won’t post it before I have excelled it. However – this rose raspberry smoothiebowl was born as a star. It tastes like nothing else, creamy, sweet enough but still fresh and light. So here we go.

Rose Raspberry Smoothiebowl (Breakfast for one, snack for two)

1/2 C soaked cashews (overnight or 6 hours)
1 frozen banana 
1/2 C frozen zucchini (or more banana)
1/2 C frozen raspberries 
2 cubes of frozen coconut cream 
1/3-1/2 C of oat mylk
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tbs of vanilla protein powder

1. Blend cashews, bananas and zucchini with the oat mylk and rose water in the medium until smooth. Add liquid if needed.
2. Add the coconut mylk cubes at the end with the vanilla and blend more until smooth.
3. Taste. If you prefer it sweeter – add a teaspoon of xylitol or maple syrup.
4. Top with few raspberries and your favourite granola/seeds. I went with some chopped brazil nuts and shredded coconut.

Cardamom Bun Smoothiebowl

Cardamom Bun Smoothiebowl

If you are not Finnish – you may not know that every second weekend of February is dedicated for a sledding hill and cream buns! It’s the best feeling to spend all day out in the snow and afterwards have a hot drink and yummy Selma bun. Traditional Finnish cream bun, semlas, are cardamom spiced soft buns filled with whipped cream and either almond paste or rasberry jam, yum but not really in line with my gluten and sugar-free reality, at least not this year.

Also as it’s nice and summery here and I’m nowhere near snow and slides I started my day with this low sugar, nutritious smoothie bowl and it was creamy and yummy and filling and perrrrrfect way to start a Sunday.

Semla Smoothiebowl

1 tbs cashews

1 tbs chia seeds

1/3 C gluten-free oats

(Water)

1/2 frozen banana

1/2 C frozen zucchini

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cardamom

1 tbs vanilla protein powder

1/3 C oat mylk (or any plant-based mylk)

3 ice cubes + (1 cube of frozen coconut mylk or just ice)

  1. Place cashews, oats and chia seeds in a cup an fill with water until they are all covered. Let soak for an hour or overnight.
  2. Poor cashews, oats and chia mix (including the water) in a blender with banana, zucchini, protein, spices and oat mylk.
  3. When the smoothie is smooth add the ice/coconut mylk cubes and blend until smooth and thick.
  4. Enjoy with raspberry jam and chopped almonds (or brazil nuts) on top. 

Make the jam before and store in a jar in fridge for two weeks.

Raspberry Jam

2 C raspberries

1 tbs xylitol

3 tbs chia seed

3 tbs water

1 tbs vanilla extract

1. Bring all the ingredients boil in a small saucepan.
2. Mix until thickens.
3. Cool down and adjust the sweetness with more xylitol if desired.
4. Store in a air tight jar in the fridge.

For mind and body

For mind and body

Wow, it’s been a while. This blog has been an outlet of my eternal need to create all things yummy, healthy and cruelty-free. It’s my Sunday pleasure to spend hours in the kitchen baking and trying things out and I get the greatest fulfilment when I have a table full of friends who I can cook for. So simply enough – cooking and baking is my pastime, creative outlet, meditation and hobby. Last three months, life has gotten in the way and I have simply had no energy to even think of cooking, let alone take pretty pictures of food. My job has been demanding, health issues have occurred and I have found myself very stressed. I mean beyond ‘I will cook to chill out a little’-stressed, more like ‘I can’t go to bed because I’m too scared to go to work’-stressed.

I have realised that giving time to these sort of passions have an enormous impact on those stress levels, mental & physical health, and other things us corporate robots thread to say out loud at the office in fear of being considered weak and less capable (and let’s leave the female part out of this). I’m more than my job and my well-being is vital to be able to perform in any segment of my life. So hurrah for me getting back to the kitchen!

I will stop ranting now and I will share you the most brilliant dessert hack I have invented. I love desserts – love them. I could have something sweet every day. Because let’s be honest even vegan ice-cream and raw cakes are not for everyday consumption I have mastered few treats that have a nutritional level that makes them a perfect snack. I don’t usually track calories, but to demonstrate, I did it for this recipe.

So hear this out, if you enjoy this chocolate mousse as a dessert (makes four portions) one serve has 25 grams of protein, 215 calories and only 8g of sugar. If you have this as a breakfast/snack (makes two portions), you will have 50 grams of protein and 430 calories and 16 g of sugar. Also as a bonus almond butter has healthy fats to keep you full and cacao powder has great antioxidant benefits!

And that’s not even the best thing about this treat – it tastes ridiculously good and is so easy to make! I have not had one dinner party that people would not have asked the recipe before they leave our place (and they are always shocked to learn that it’s vegan, sugarfree and all in all not bad for you). It does not taste like some protein pudding but delicate chocolate mousse.

So see below a recipe to treat that smart mind of yours and to nourish that perfect body of yours!

The Chocolate Mousse (for 4 as a dessert, for 2 as a snack)

1 packet of Silken Tofu (300g)
2 tbs almond butter
5 medjool dates (pitted and soaked if they aren’t soft)
3 tbs cacao powder
1 Scoop chocolate protein powder (optional, only use if you like the flavour of your protein powder – you can also substitute with a tablespoon of almond meal and maybe a little more cacao powder- I use Prana On Hazelnut Cacao)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Optional add-ins: vegan chocolate chips, chopped hazelnuts, a one drop of peppermint or orange essential oil.

  1. Drain the water out of the tofu.
  2. Blend pitted dates, tofu and almond butter until smooth.
  3. Add in rest of the ingredients and blend until sweet.
  4. Taste. Add maple syrup or sweetener of your choice if desired.
  5. Refrigerate four 30 minutes (or not if you inpatient).
  6. Serve with fresh raspberries or strawberries.

The mousse lasts up to two days in the fridge but it’s at its best to enjoy same day.

If you are completely sugar free opt for xylitol/stevia instead of dates and if you are cutting down calories half the amount of almond butter.

Liquorice Lemon Bites

Liquorice Lemon Bites

Here we go – yet another protein ball recipe. I know I post them a lot but it’s such an easy yummy snack to take with anywhere! And you can also serve them as a dessert with a cheeseboard and other nibbles. Fellow liquorice lovers – this is for you!

Liquorice Lemon Bites

1/3 C buckwheat kernels
1/3 C pepitas
1/3 C almonds
1 tsp liquorice root powder
5 medjool dates
4 dried figs
1 tbs of lemon peel (organic)
1/2 scoop (20g) of (vanilla) protein powder
1-2 tbs water

  1. First blend figs and dates in food processor until forms a paste. Remove the paste from the food processor.
  2. Blend almonds pepitas and buckwheat in the food processor until small pieces. About 30 s.
  3. Add rest of the ingredients and blend (including date&fig paste and water).
  4. Start balling.

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Donuts Part 1. Pumpkin Spice

Donuts Part 1. Pumpkin Spice

A month ago I bought a donut tray. Since then I have been obsessed to create a perfect recipe. I was reading some blogs and Minimalist Baker was using aquafaba to her vegan donuts, I tried and it turned out to be the perfect fluffying effect donuts needed. Guys these donuts, have nothing to do with those oily deep-fried ones – but you know those ones you buy from the supermarket – dense and sweet and fluffy? I have nailed it!

I will post a series of flavours, and I will start with the seasonal one. Ps, if you don’t need gluten free – just replace buckwheat, brown rice and tapioca flours with normal baker’s flour.

Pumpkin Spice Donuts

  • 1/4 cup aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chickpeas)
  • 1/2 cup oat milk 
  • 2 tbs  melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp gingerbread spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup  almond flour 
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca starch

Glaze

  • 1/3 C cashews (soaked for few hours)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 tbs coconut cream 
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 drop orange essential oil (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 190 Celcius and lightly grease a donut tray (mine is quite large and this recipe makes 6 big donuts but if you have a small one this makes 12).
  2. To a small mixing bowl, add aquafaba and use a mixer until it begins to foam, keep mixing few minutes until soft peaks form – about 3 minutes. Set aside. 
  3. To a large mixing bowl, add the melted coconut oil. Then add the coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt and whisk to combine. Then add pumpkin puree and oat milk and whisk to combine.
  4. Add baking powder, baking soda, almond flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour and tapioca starch and whisk to combine.
  5. Lastly, add the whipped aquafaba and gently stir in. If the batter appears too thin at this point, add 1 Tbsp each almond flour or gluten-free flour at a time until it thickens up (keep it scoopable not pourable).
  6. Divide batter evenly between donut tin.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Check at 18 minutes though, how they look.
  8. In the meantime, make the glaze by blending all the ingredients (add essential oil last). Tip: make a double dose and freeze for next time, it’s easier to blend larger amounts (opt out the orange essential oil in case you want to make another flavour… wait for the lemon & rose recipe next week!).
  9. Remove donuts from oven and let cool for few minutes. Then grab the tins with a towel and tap on the counter to loosen. Then gently invert onto an oven tray (metallic). Let cool.
  10. Spread the glaze when doughnuts are cool. Then top with crumbles of walnuts and orange peel.
  11. Best when fresh.  Keep in the fridge for up to three days or freezer for a month.

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Pumpkin all day everyday

One of the reasons that Australia is such a great place to live is the pumpkin culture. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a restaurant or coffee shop without a pumpkin salad option (other one is beetroot). It is all-year everyday vegetable – unlike in Europe where pumpkins are available for autumn only. Just saying, missing out… So this is me justifying my new spring favorite breakfast – pumpkin pie overnight oats (just kidding an hour will do)!

This is not only the most delicious thing ever but also now my everyday saver. I make a batch of this and have it a t work after my run or barre class (hence the ugly photos). Most convenient thing ever! I used to make oatmeal and have it with banana and PB – but as spring is coming this is more fresh but still as filling and delicious and creamy. Nothing like some slimy overnight chia puddings, yuk.

Btw, if you want to go crazy – add some sultanas and chopped walnuts as well as a small crated carrot – and you got yourself pumpkin pie – carrot cake hybrid oats.

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

½ – 1 C butternut or kent pumpkin 
1/3 C oats
1t tbs chia
¼ C oat mylk
(1 tbs vanilla protein)
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp gingerbread spice
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp turmeric

  1. Dry roast or steam pumpkin (25-30 minutes in 200 C will do for a half pumpkin as a whole – with peel on). Let cool and chop to pieces. You can do this when ever and use the pumpkin later (one should always have roasted pumpkin in fridge to add to salads, pasta sauces, pizza toppings, smoothie bowls or sandwiches). 
  2. Blend pumpkin, banana and oat mylk until smooth (also the pumpkin peel, it’s good for you).
  3. Add rest of the ingredients in blender and pulse to mix everything. 
  4. Potentially add a dash of more mylk if too sticky.
  5. Put in a container and let sit in fridge for at least an hour.
  6. Eat with vanilla coconut yogurt.


Making friends with salad

Making friends with salad

Something fresh, yet filling, satisfying and warming? Here is a Moroccan spiced salad for any occasion – in my case for dinner. I have a feeling I will be making this a lot this summer to bring with me to barbeques!

Moroccan Salad (for two as main or four as a side)

1 fennel
4 carrots
1 can of chickpeas
Spinach (150 g)
Orange
Cumin
Turmeric
Himalayan Salt
Pepper
2 tbs Tahini
Lemon
1/2 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
Olive oil
Bunch of Coriander

  1. Heat the oven to 200 Celcius.
  2. Cut the fennel (Trim off the fennel stalks. Cut the bulb in half. Cut the halves into quarters. Peel off any wilted outer layers. Slice the fennel crosswise. Fronds can be used as a garnish later). Season fennel with cumin, salt and 1 tbs of olive oil. Move to an oven dish.
  3. Cut carrots to sticks. Season with 1 tbs of olive oil, turmeric and cumin. Place in the oven in a dish.
  4. Wash and drain chickpeas. Season with Himalayan salt & cumin. Place into the oven.
  5. Meanwhile, peel the orange and chop to pieces.
  6. Wash the spinach.
  7. Cut the orange into bites.
  8. Make the sauce by mixing tahini, 1/2 tbs of olive oil, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, juice of 1/2 lemon and salt&pepper.
  9. Mix sauce with spinach and orange.
  10. Let the roasted vegetables and chickpeas cool.
  11. Mix vegetables to the spinach mix. Add coriander.

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