Pumpkin Spice Oatgurt

Pumpkin Spice Oatgurt

Oatgurt is my take on oat based yoghurt. It’s my favorite weekday breakfast that is full of nutrition, fiber, veggies and fruit/berries depending on what you blend in. This one is pumpkin spice flavored as a hurray to October, even though I live in Southern Hemisphere. But all of us in Melbourne need a big hug with this prolonged hard lockdown so try this for breakfast to add some happiness to your day during this grim time.

Pumpkin Spice Oatgurt (GFO, Vegan)
serves 1

1/2 c oats (GF if needed)
1 tsp chia seeds (or hemp seeds)
1/2 c cooked pumpkin (oven roasted or steamed)
Handful frozen zucchini
1/2 frozen banana (or any mild flavored fruit/vegetable, I’ve tried fresh papaya and more frozen zucchini)
1-2 tbs vanilla protein powder (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

  1. Cover oats and chia with water and place to fridge for at least 1 h.
  2. Blend all ingredients. Add protein and spices last. Add more spices or add sweetener if desired.
  3. Serve with the maple tahini sauce, granola and your favorite fruit/berries.

Maple Tahini Sauce

1 tbs tahini
1 tsp maple syrup
1-2 tbs hot water

  1. Mix all ingredient in a small bowl.
  2. Poor on top of the oatgurt bowl.

You can also add maca powder or turmeric for a health boost or soak the oats in coffee/espresso to make this PSL bowl.

Vegetarian Macaroni Casserole

Vegetarian Macaroni Casserole

This is ultimate Finnish comfort food, made with love for every kid by their mums or grandmothers throughout their childhood, in my case 90s recession. In early 2000s when Finns where increasingly influenced by international cuisines and ingredients some of these everyday meals got forgotten and have reputation as a boring as everyone got into eating sushi, avocadoes and buffala mozzarella.

This dish is my hurrah to my grandmother who nourished me and my sisters through our upbringing with delicious and hearty meals. My grandmothers version included minced meat and butter but this is obviously vegetarian recipe, also a quick one as I used store-bought veggie mince. You can also make your own from mushrooms/walnuts/oats but this worked out perfect. My Australian boyfriend loves this as he is allowed to have as much tomato sauce (something that we rarely have on our dinner table) as he wishes on top of it – it’s a must!

Finnish Vegetarian Macaroni Casserole (GFO, DF)
Serves 4-6

300 g macaroni (use spelt if no need for GF, I used brown rice & millet macaroni)
400 g vegetarian minced meat (I used Veggie Delights)
1 onion, chopped small
2 organic eggs
6 dl vegetable stock (hot water + 1 cube)
1 dl oat mylk
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp white pepper

  1. Warm the oven to 200 Celsius.
  2. Cook the macaroni al dente following the instructions.
  3. In a pan cook onion in olive oil, once browned add mince and spices. Cook until brown.
  4. In a bowl, mix the veggie stock, mylk, nutritional yeast and eggs.
  5. Lightly oil an oven dish. After draining the macaroni, poor in the minced meat mix and combine. Poor the mix to the oven dish.
  6. Poor the egg mixture over the macaroni mixture evenly. Sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top.
  7. Cook in the over for 50-55 minutes. Half way through add foil on top of the dish to prevent the crust getting too brown.
  8. Serve with loads of ketchup (it’s a must!) and with a fresh green salad or steamed broccoli on side to get your greens.

Banana Cinnamon Muffins

Banana Cinnamon Muffins

This is a simple healthy recipe for everyday snacking, super comforting and tasty. The pictures don’t really do justice but that’s OK, these are your humble everyday treats – not the show stoppers at the banquets.

The muffins turned out fluffy and light, kind of like a sponge cake, but better. And don’t be scared of chickpea flour – I have only used it before for pancakes (which I love) but this was a pleasant surprise! Oh and chocolate chips would have taken these to the next level…

Banana Cinnamon Muffins (GF, DF)

2 ripe bananas, chopped
1 apple (I used granny smith), peeled
2 organic eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs maple syrup (or more to taste)
1/4 C coconut oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1.5 C chickpea flour (besan flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Heat the oven to 175 Celsius.
2. Put all wet ingredients to blender and blend.
3. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
4. Poor wet mixture to dry mix.
5. Scoop to muffin tray (use coconut oil if not silicon). Sprinkle some cinnamon on top. The muffins raise quite a bit in the oven so don’t overfill the muffin cups.
6. Bake 20-22 minutes for normal sized muffins (or 15 minutes mini muffins). The recipe makes around 12 muffins (or loads of minis).

These keep a few days in an airtight container in the room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge (the texture and flavor is better in the room temperature).

I made a mix of mini muffins and muffins and guess what we will snacking this week for morning coffee snack… I think this would be a great cake base too, but chickpea cake? Hmmm.

Fluffy Chocolate Mousse

I feel like I have cracked the da vinci code with this recipe. I love chocolate mousse and I’m obsessed with making it healthy. I have previously made one that is brilliant, but the texture is more pudding thank fluffy mousse. So take this as an upgraded version when you have that extra 10 minutes (and some extra aquafaba from a can of chickpeas).

Fluffy Chocolate Mousse, GF/DF/vegan (Serves 4 for dessert)

1/2 C aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
300g silken tofu, drained
1 tbs almond butter
2 tbs raw cacao
1-2 tbs sweetener of choice (I happened to have monkfruit and erythritol mix, normally would have used coconut sugar)
50g dark chocolate
40g (1 scoop) favourite protein powder (I used Tropeaka Salted Caramel)
Pinch of salt

1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl on top of a pot of boiling water, make sure that the bowl covers the whole pot and no steam escapes. Set aside.
2. Add tofu in a blender with almond butter and melted chocolate. Once mixed together add raw cacao, sweetener, protein powder and salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and add sweetener if needed.
3. In a separate bowl, use hand mixer to whip aquafaba to a foam. This takes about 5 mins.
4. Pour the tofu mix from the blender to the bowl and carefully fold the mixture. Do not over mix.
5. Refrigerate a few hours or overnight.

Carrot muffins

I felt like baking but had no fun seasonal ingredients and wanted to use what I have, so I decided whip something up from pantry essentials and some tired carrots and a ripe pear that I had sitting in the fridge veggie section. These turned out great, perfect midweek snacks for those home office coffee procrastination moments. Also good for kids as low in sugar and there is heaps of hidden nutrients !

Carrot Muffins (GF, DF)

2 carrots, grated
1 pear (or apple)
2 eggs (replace with flax eggs if needed)
1/2 C soy/almond/oat mylk
1/4 C coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 C maple syrup

1 C flour (I used a mix of buckwheat/brown rice/tapioca if no need for GF use spelt or oat)
1/2 C almond meal
1/3 C coconut sugar
1.5 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp ginger
1/2 C rolled oats (GF if needed)
40 g sultanas (or handful of chopped dates, seeds or nuts)

Topping (optional):
2 tbs rolled oats
1/4 C walnuts, chopped
1 tbs coconut oil, melted
1 tbs coconut sugar

1. Heat oven to 190 Celcius.
2. Place mylk, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, pear/apple chunks, vanilla and eggs in blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
4. Poor the wet mix to the bowl with the dry ingredients, mix.
5. Fold in grated carrots and sultanas.
6. Spoon the mix in a silicon muffin tray (I also used some coconut oil for oiling).
7. Mix all topping ingredients together and sprinkle on top of each muffin.
8. Bake in the oven for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the muffins. I used a small muffin trays, which made 12-16 small muffins and they were ready after 15 min, but if using large ones keep checking and bake for 25 min if required.

Rhubarb Crumble (DF, GF)

Rhubarb Crumble (DF, GF)

My one joy at the time of the lockdown has been ordering a veggie box every week from local farmers full of mystery veggies and fruits. This has forced some creativity out of me to use some ingredients that I don’t usually buy – and it has actually been quite fun!

This box often included rhubarb, and I made rhubarb jam and sauce a few times and enjoyed them with yoghurt and granola or on top of oatmeal – so delicious!

This time I wanted to bake something easy and made an old classic Rhubarb apple crumble! This could be done with just rhubarb (or apple) or by replacing apples with strawberries.  Or why not stone fruits. Great easy dessert, snack or breakfast to use whatever seasonal!

Rhubarb-Apple Crumble (Vegan, GF)

4 Rhubarb stalks
3 Apples
1 tsp cardamom
(1 tbs rose water)

1 C rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)
1/3 C buckwheat flour (any flour will do)
1/4-1/3C coconut sugar
50g coconut oil, melted
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
(optional: cinnamon)

  1. Set oven to 200 Celcius.
  2. Cut washed rhubarb to 1 cm pieces and dice apples (no need to peel, just wash).
  3. Mix in a bowl with cardamom and rose water if using.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Mix vanilla to melted coconut oil and mix with the dry ingredients forming a crumble (I used my hands to mix).
  5. Use coconut oil to lightly grease an oven tray. Poor rhubarb-apple mix evenly in the oven tray, cover with the crumble.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden.
  7. Enjoy warm with coconut ice-cream.

The recipe makes 4-6 portions as a dessert/snack (yes it’s healthy enough to be a snack – or even breakfast if you top it with coconut yoghurt!). We also had some as a pancake topping with some vanilla coconut yoghurt and it was a perfect weekend brunch treat. Reminded us of those good old days when someone else served us our brunch in a cafe shop!

Also, I used a large oven tray (not the one pictured – that’s just for reheating the leftovers), but you could use individual oven dishes if you want to be fancy!

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

IMG_5233

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.