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!

Greenalicious pasta

Hey friends! After a very long drought from food blogging I am finally back with a new recipe. This is for all those thoughtful people who have been telling me how much they love my blog & recipes – so i’ve come back feeling very inspired to keep getting recipes out to you all! Hopefully with a little more regularity. I wouldn’t put the lack of posts down to me not cooking so much, but rather not having enough time to take all the photos and write up the recipe. I certainly have still been busy in the kitchen, making lots of hearty soups, curries (inspired by my trip to Sri Lanka – a post on that to come soon), lentil pies, warm salads and pasta. This pasta recipe in particular has been on regular rotation in our home, due to its simplicity, deliciousness and the fact that my boyfriend would eat pasta every night if I let him!

What has been keeping me busy is some very tricky chemistry units at university (who would have thought there was so much chemistry involved with Nutrition!?) and a new part-time job as a cook! So after spending most the morning cooking when I get home I just want to gobble up my food without even a thought about taking a photo.

Anyway, here it is. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family and I do, and that it might just become a delicious family staple. Plus, it’s super good this time of the year with all the garlic and kale to keep your immune system strong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenalicious Pasta

Serves 4, vegan & gluten free options

  • 375g wholegrain penne pasta (I use spelt or buckwheat)
  • 200g baby kale leaves, washed
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 C local extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large head of broccoli or romanesco, cut into florets
  • 1/2 C walnuts, toasted in a dry pan, roughly chopped
  • Sheeps milk romana or nutritional yeast, to serve

Method

  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once boiling add your kale and garlic. blanch for 2-3 minutes, until a vibrant green, no longer.
  2. Scoop out the kale and garlic and place in a blender with the oil. Add 1/4 – 1/2 C of the cooking water. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Blend until a super smooth, pourable consistency, adding more water if necessary.
  3. Meanwhile, pop the pasta in the pot of boiling water. 5 minutes before the pasta is due to be ready (according to packet directions) add in the broccoli florets. Continue to cook until the pasta is al dente. The broccoli should be just soft.
  4. Drain and stir through the blended kale sauce. Serve with the toasted walnuts and a little romano cheese or nutritional yeast. A drizzle of good EVOO is a nice addition too.

Show me your greenalicious pasta on Instagram by tagging #goodnessgraciouskitchen

Heartwarming porridge

1464226269411The last few days of Autumn are shining upon us which means my breakfasts have started to heat up. On the mornings when I don’t have to eat my breakfast post yoga & in the car, I enjoy beautifully creamy, warm oats with an assortment of toppings. Lately we have been getting the last of the passionfruit from my parents vines, lots of bananas at the markets and the first of my favourite golden kiwifruit. These make the most delightful topping on creamy coconut porridge.

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I’ve got one more week left of this semester at University then a couple of weeks of exams.  After that, my boyfriend, my parents and I will be packing our bags and heading to Sri Lanka! I’m beyond excited and can’t wait to swim in the warm ocean, walk through some splendid tea plantations and feast on fragrant curries. We’re heading through the hill country then to the east coast. I would be forever grateful if any of you have some travel advice and must see/do places. I’m also hoping to do an Ayurveda cooking class, so any information about that would be most welcome.

Anyway here is a beautifully warming porridge recipe with a little tropical inspiration.

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Creamy Coconut Porridge 

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 C rolled oats (gluten free if necessary), soaked overnight
  • 1 C coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
  • 3 passionfruit, pulp scooped out
  • 2 bananas, sliced lengthways
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 golden kiwi fruit, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes, toasted
  • Coconut milk, extra to serve
  • Coconut syrup (the sap from the coconut palm), to serve

Method

  1. Soak the oats overnight in a generous amount of water. Drain in the morning and place in a small saucepan along with the coconut milk and 1 C of filtered water.
  2. Place the saucepan over very low heat and add the vanilla, cardamon and cinnamon. Bring to a low simmer and stir for 5-10 minutes or until thick and creamy.
  3. While the porridge is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a small frypan. Sprinkle the sliced bananas with coconut sugar before placing cut side down in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Flip and cook the other side for 1 minute before turning off. Set aside.
  4. When the porridge is ready pour into your serving bowl and top with the caramelised bananas, passionfruit pulp, kiwi and coconut flakes. Serve with extra coconut milk and coconut syrup.

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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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 salad 

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!

Espresso Truffles

I have just returned home after a few weeks with my parents in the beautiful South West where I spent most of my time cooking, reading, walking on the beach and playing in the garden. My parents enjoyed many coffee breaks throughout the day and I became quite the barista. Although I don’t drink coffee I enjoy the taste and smell so I put my skills to good use and whipped up these delicious morsels!

Packed full with beneficial fats and minerals such as iron, magnesium and zinc these make the perfect healthy treat. Brazil nuts can of course be substituted with a different nut but I like the flavour and oily (the good kind) texture the brazil nuts give. Maca is a root vegetable from Peru which is high in many vitamins and minerals as well as being a great energy booster. This makes these treats a REAL pick-me-up for when you’re feeling deflated, which to be honest happens to most of us during winter.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m off to the sunny island of Bali to escape the winter chill and hopefully come back bursting with inspiration for new recipes.

Espresso Truffles

Makes ~20 medium sized balls

Ingredients

1/2 C raw brazil nuts

1/4 C desiccated coconut

1/4 C rolled oats

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp raw maca powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

10 fresh medjool dates, pitted

1 shot of strong espresso

2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil

Method

In a food processor blend the brazil nuts, desiccated coconut and rolled oats until ground. Add the cacao and cinnamon and give it another quick blitz. Then add the dates, espresso and coconut oil processing until all the ingredients come together.

Roll heaped tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place in a tupperware lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Keep leftovers stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for 1 month.

Enjoy!

P.S Don’t gobble too many of these before bed time otherwise you might have a sleepless night like I did!

P.P.S This post was meant to be published before my tropical holiday however I had technical difficulties! I am now back after a week of glorious sunshine and will have some Indonesian inspired recipes for you all very soon. X