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.

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

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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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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.

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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Not-ella

Not-ella

Because I love all things hazelnut and eating Nutella on daily basis is probably not a great idea, I gave a homemade notella a go. I saw a few recipes online but ended up just looking in my cupboard and improvising. The end result was delightful! Not too nutty but creamy and sweet with that amazing silky roasted hazelnut flavour. This is borderline dangerous to have in your fridge!

Notella

1/2 C hazelnuts
1/2 C almonds (or more hazelnuts)
7 dates
3/4 C coconut cream
1/4 C cacao
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

  1. Roast hazelnuts in the oven for 10-15 minutes (175 degrees).
  2. Put all the ingredients in a food processor.
  3. Mix until smooth. Add more coconut cream if needed.
  4. Store in the fridge up to 10 days.

And spread it on everything! My favourite companions include toast, banana and porridge. But to be honest, I love just eating this from the jar.

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Afternoon Delight

Afternoon Delight

Hi there I am here to save you with your afternoon sweet cravings or mid morning blood sugar drops! Making these balls, along with my baobab and orange ones, are my every weekend routine for the coming week to make sure I stay away from naughty snacking at work. The problem is though that they are bit too good and I eat them already in the morning and end up hangry in the afternoon anyway haha!

Once again peppermint, but it’s just so delicious with nutty buckwheat and spirulina, try yourself!

Peppermint Power Balls (about 12)

  • 5 Medjool dates
  • 1/2 C buckwheat kernels
  • 1/2 C pepitas (or any seeds)
  • 3 tbs of almonds
  • 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder (I use Prana on Vanilla Creme)
  • 1 tbs of super greens powder (or spirulina powder)
  • 2 tbsp peppermint essential oil
  • 1-3 tbs blended oats (optionally more protein powder or almond meal or if you don’t want mat finishing just leave it out)
  1. Soak pitted dates for a minimum of 5 minutes in water. 
  2. Use a food processor to grind buckwheat, pepitas, and almonds to rough even flour.
  3. Add in five dates. Save the date infused water.
  4. Blend dates with the mixture in the food processor until it is evenly chopped.
  5. Add in protein powder and green powder.
  6. Infuse 2 drops of essential oil to one tablespoon of date water. Sparkle it around the mixture in food processor. 
  7. Blend one last time with a food processor. 
  8. If the texture is not sticking together add another tablespoon of date water. Careful though not to put too much water.
  9. Move mixture to a bowl and add a tablespoon of blended oats to mix and start rolling mixture into balls.

I used this product called Puhtikaura (which is basically powdered pre-cooked oats) to roll these balls to give them powdered finish. This is optional though and like I said before, you can use blended oats or almond meal or even cacao for this.

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Snack attack

Snack attack

Accidentally nailed it. These are too good to keep in your office drawer.

Lemon meringue protein bites
1/3 C buckwheat kernels (oats or more cashews work too)
1/2 C cashews
8 medjool dates (soaked soft)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tbs of lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 C coconut shavings
1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil

  1. Use a food processor (or blender) to grind cashews and buckwheat. Add coconut. Mix until not fine but small pieces. Remove from the processor.
  2. Mix soft dates until mushy in the food processor.
  3. Add remaining incredients.
  4. Blend until even. Remove with spatula to a mixing bowl and add 1-3 tbs water until the mixture is sticky and easy to roll.
  5. Roll to balls. This makes 12-18 balls.
  6. Store in freezer or fridge.