My favourite vegan banana bread

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Yes I have made a fair few banana breads in my time & this one has been the absolute favourite over the last few months. It’s incredible simple to make, requiring no special equipment, which means its perfect to whip up when your away on holiday, at a friends or just want a quiet evening of baking.

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Maca is an ancient superfood of the Andes district where it has been consumed for thousands of years. It is packed full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes & all essential amino acids. Maca has unique alkoloids which are known to improve the function of the endocrine system. It helps to regulate hormones as well as increasing overall energy levels. Loving earth Maca is sourced directly from the organic grower in Peru therefore making it a great fair-trade choice when ensuring producers are being paid for their hard work.

Coconut sugar is the sap from coconut palm blossoms which is tapped directly from the palm tree. It’s processing is minimal which means it is left with a wide range of minerals. It is also low G.I, which helps to avoid those sugar highs & lows. In comparison to cane sugar, coconut palms can produce over 50% more sugar per acre while also requiring less water & nutrients. This make it an extremely sustainable choice.

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Cosy banana bread

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a loaf tin with baking paper (approximately 25cm x 12 cm).
  2. Peel the bananas & mash with a fork.
  3. Mix the chia seeds & water together in a jug & set aside to form a gel-like consistency.
  4. Sift the spelt flour, vanilla, bi-carb, baking powder & cinnamon into a medium mixing bowl. Add the almond meal, coconut sugar & maca powder & gently whisk to combine.
  5. Add the melted coconut oil, coconut milk & apple cider vinegar to the chia gel. Whisk to combine. Add in the mashed bananas & mix again.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry & gently fold together, being careful to not over mix.
  7. Spoon into the prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle over the chopped chocolate, press the banana into the top & sprinkle over the coconut sugar.
  8. Place in the preheated oven & bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean & the top is a golden brown colour.

Enjoy!

Chocolate chilli, baked potatoes, salsa & lime cashew cheeze

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This is a recipe that I have been making for a few years now & every time I do it is thoroughly enjoyed by all. My sister loves it so much that she will almost make it every week, especially in winter when you crave comforting food like this.

Last week, Loving Earth, an Australian company which produces a huge range of sustainable & healthy chocolate as well as granolas, kale chips, superfood powders & basics like coconut sugar & coconut chips sent me a beautiful box of goodies to play around with. I have always loved cooking & experimenting with their beautiful products & receiving a gift like this from then was just what I needed to feel inspired again. So thanks to Loving Earth, I felt like blogging again & this recipe is a savoury way of using some of their products that I love.

The black bean chilli is of course great like this stuffed in the baked potatoes & with fresh salsa but it is equally as good in tacos or over steamed brown rice. The cashew cheeze isn’t an essential element, you could always dollop coconut yoghurt or natural greek yoghurt instead but it doesn’t take long at all & is so delicious. If you have some leftover it’s great on toast with sliced tomato!

Although there is a few different parts to this recipe it really doesn’t take long at all & as you’ve got the chilli bubbling away & the potatoes in the oven, you can quickly put the salsa together.

Chocolate black bean chilli

Serves 4

  • 1 C black beans (soaked overnight)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • Mexican spice mix (1 tsp ground cummin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tbsp smokey paprika, 1 tsp chilli flakes, 1 tsp sea salt & 1 tsp coconut sugar.
  • 1 large red capsicum, diced
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 C vegetable stock
  • 20g Loving Earth dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp Loving Earth cacao powder
  1. Drain the soaked black beans, place in a medium pot & cover generously with fresh water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat before turning down to low & cooking for 40 minutes, or until just tender. Drain & set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot then add the red onion. Saute for 5 minutes before adding in the Mexican spice mix. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the capsicum, tomatoes & carrot & cook for another 5 minutes. Pour over the vegetable stock & place the lid on. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the chocolate & cacao powder & cook for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Serve hot.

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Baked potatoes

  • 6 small/medium sweet potatoes
  • 4 medium royal blue potatoes (or a similar white flesh potato)
  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Wash & scrub the potatoes before placing on the tray & pricking each with a fork.
  3. Place in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, turning once.
  4. Serve hot, cut in half & filled with the chocolate chilli.

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Corn & tomato salsa

  • 1 large cob of corn
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 400g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large bunch of coriander
  • 1 large bunch of mint
  • 2 limes
  • 1 medium avocado
  1. Peel the husk of the corn and slice downwards to remove the corn from the cob. Place in a medium salad bowl. Add the sliced spring onions.
  2. Dice the cherry tomatoes, in halves or quarters depending on their size.
  3. Wash & spin dry the herbs before finely chopping & adding to the bowl .
  4. Peel, de-seed & dice the avocado. Add to the bowl & generously squeeze over the juice of the limes.
  5. Gently toss everything to combine.
  6. Serve spooned on the chilli filled sweet potatoes.

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Lime & coconut cashew cheeze

  • 1/2 C raw cashews
  • 1/4 C Loving earth coconut chips
  • Zest of 1 lime, juice of 2 limes
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  1. Soak the cashews & coconut overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  2. Drain & place in a high speed blender.
  3. Add the lime juice & zest, nutritional yeast & garlic.
  4. Begin to slowly blend adding approximately 1/4 C water. Keep blending until a smooth & creamy texture is achieved. Add up to 1/2 C of water for a thinner consistency.
  5. Add salt & pepper to taste before giving a quick final blend.
  6. Set aside in the fridge until needed. Dollop on top of the chilli & salsa stuff potatoes.

Enjoy!

Spelt & chia hot cross buns with figs, raisins & dark choc

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These buns are filled with all the warm & comforting flavours you can imagine. A fragrant whole spelt dough scented with cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice is then combined with juicy fruit, orange zest & chunks of rich dark choc. It’s the perfect treat to wake up to on easter morning.

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I know I have left it a little late & you might already have given up on making any buns this year but this recipe was just too good not to share. So if you haven’t got plan today pop into the kitchen and you’ll be thanking me later when the smell of spicy fruit is wafting around your home. Otherwise, there is always next Easter!

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Spelt and chia hot cross buns with figs, raisins & dark choc

Ingredients

  • 1 C soy milk
  • 4 tbs raw honey (or maple/ rice malt syrup)
  • 1 tbs instant yeast
  • 2 tbs sourdough starter (if you don’t have just add 2 tbs soy milk, extra)
  • 2 tbs chia seeds, 3 tbs water (mix and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 Orange, zest & juice
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 1/2 C currents
  • 1/2 c dried figs, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 C mixed peel
  • 1 1/2 C whole spelt flour
  • 2 C white spelt flour
  • 2 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 C macadamia or extra virgin olive oil
  • Soy milk, extra, for brushing

For the crosses

  • 1/4 C white spelt flour
  • 2 tbs water

For the glaze

  • 1/4 lime marmalade

Method

  1. Gently heat the soy milk until just lukewarm. Add the instant yeast and honey. Stir, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add in the sourdough starter and set aside.
  2. Mix the orange juice & zest with the dried fruit.
  3. In a large bowl of a stand mixer combine the flours, spices and salt. Add in the soy milk mixture, chia seed mixture, macadamia oil and fruit mixture. Mix until combine in a firm dough.
  4. Need on a floured bench for 5 minutes. Cover in a large bowl and place in a warm area for 2 hours.
  5. After the 2 hours and when doubled in size knock the dough back. Roll into 16 even sized balls and place on a baking tray. Let rise, covered with a damp detail for 30 minutes, in a warm place.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  7. Mix the flour and water together, pop into a snap lock bag and cut off the corner. When the buns have risen pipe crosses onto them.
  8. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180 degrees celsius and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  9. While still warm brush with the lime marmalade.
  10. Serve warm with jam, coconut cream or coconut butter.
  11. Enjoy!

Warming chocolate muesli

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This is definitely a weekend treat, maybe even just a Sunday morning treat when you feel like being indulgent. Instead of popping out to your local cafe, wake up a little earlier and toast these beautiful whole grains with natural honey, then stir through that little bit of decadence, dark chocolate chunks. Your whole family will wake up to sweet smells of honey and cinnamon and you’ll be everyones favourite for the day.

I made this on a chilly day when the rain just seemed to keep on coming down. I felt like something warm and nourishing for breakfast but also something a little special and different from my usual oats. Popped quinoa is a fabulous addition to any muesli as it has a beautiful nutty flavour and chewy texture. Quinoa is also a good source of plant protein, so along with the healthy fats from the almonds and complex carbohydrates from the oats you will be full until lunch. I have used organic dark chocolate, 85% cacao and dairy free, I would recommend using this or cacao nibs for a healthier alternative. Of course you won’t get the same marbling affect of the warm milk and chocolate if you opt for the cacao nibs.

Once again this is not your traditional granola or musli, so definitely a weekend or special occasion treat! Now i’ll just have to hide it in the back of the pantry so my sister doesn’t pour it on her cereal EVERY morning, or eat it all straight from the jar.

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Chocolate muesli

Ingredients

2 C rolled oats, gluten free if necessary

1 C popped quinoa

1/2 C popped brown rice

1/2 C raw almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 C shredded coconut

1/3 C sunflower seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 C unprocessed local honey

1/4 C goji berries

100g dark chocolate (85% cacao or more)

Warm almond milk, to serve

Fresh berries, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl combine the oats, almonds, popped quinoa and rice, coconut, sunflower seeds and cinnamon. Pour over the honey and give it all a good mix. You will have a big sticky mess.

Carefully transfer this to your baking tray and spread it out. Place in the oven for 10 minutes before giving it all a good stir. Let cook for another 5 – 10 minutes, until its all golden and toasted. Cool in the tray.

Once the muesli has cooled stir through the goji berries and dark chocolate.

Serve in small bowl with fresh berries and warmed almond milk.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight jar for 2 weeks.

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