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!

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!

Moroccan roasted couliflower salad

Even though its the middle of Winter I still have the urge to pack up the picnic basket and head outside for a meal of complete relaxation and deliciousness. Instead of packing salads full of fresh ingredients i tend to make salads with roasted vegetables and warming spices. So even if we are freezing on the outside, at least our bellies are warm. This is one of those salad’s, made with spiced roasted cauliflower, grilled zucchini and lovely fragrant quinoa to make it a little more substantial. Its perfect for a picnic but also a casual lunch or a side for dinner.

Moroccan roasted cauliflower saladΒ 

For the cauliflower:

1 head of cauliflower

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

For the grilled zucchini:

1 medium sized zucchini

2 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

For the quinoa:

1 C quinoa (white, red or a mixture)

1.5 C filtered water

1 bay leaf

To serve:

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

1 bunch mint

2 lemons

1/4 C raw almonds

Pomegranate seeds

cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Slice the florets off the trunk of the cauliflower, reserving the stem for soup. Pop them in a bowl along with the cinnamon, cumin, olive oil and freshly ground salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat then place on a baking tray lined with baking paper in one even layer. Place into the preheated oven and roast for 20 – 25 minutes. They should be starting the crisp up on the edges when you take them out. Set aside.

Place the almonds on a small tray and roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Take out and roughly chop. Set aside.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the zucchini and place in a bowl with the olive oil and freshly ground salt and pepper. Toss to coat all slices evenly. Place the slices in a single layer on a baking tray and grill at a high temperature for 8 minutes. Turning once half way through. Set aside.

Wash the quinoa thoroughly and place in a saucepan with the water and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, turn down to very low and cook for 15 minutes. Leave the lid on for another 5 minutes before fluffing the quinoa with a fork. Once cooled slightly place it into a salad bowl.

Finely chop half the parsley and mint and add this to the quinoa. Zest one of the lemons and juice both before adding to the quinoa mix. Now top with the roasted cauliflower, grilled zucchini and roasted almonds. Pull the leaves off mint and parsley from the stems and add this to the bowl along with the pomegranate. Drizzle over a little more olive oil and pack up for a picnic or eat straight away.

Enjoy!