Healthified Pancakes

I have been a pancake fan forever and I will take them any which way you give them to me.

Over the last few years though it has been a mini-mission of mine to pimp my pancakes so they pack a nutritional punch, while still being light and delicious. There have been numerous incarnations of healthier pancakes in my kitchen. But with this one I think I’ve have hit the jackpot. image

The only sweetner is banana so you can happily give them to little people, and they are easily made gluten free with the addition of gluten free posts. They come together quick smart and I can report that they were devoured by the G also (hence that half pancake on top).

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Perfect Healthified Pancakes (makes 6 smallish pancakes)

Ingredients 
1/4 cup oats
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 banana
2(ish) tbsp milk (I used almond)
1 tsp vanilla

Method
1. First up pop your dry ingredients (oats, buckwheat flour and baking powder) into your food processor and whiz them up so the oats break down a bit- they don’t have to be super fine.
2. Add everything else and whiz again.
3. Heat your pan, add a little coconut oil (or another greasing agent) and cook 2 pancakes at a time. I could have got more but it makes flipping tricky.
4. You know the drill, when bubbles start popping on the surface of your pancake flip that sucker.

Now you can enjoy these babies however you choose, but it would be remiss of me not to mention how I ate mine… As peanut butter and raspberry sandwiches. Get. On. Board. You absolutely won’t regret it!

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Lemon Pie Bites

Lemon Pie Bites
You know you’ve found a corker of a recipe when you regret not making a double batch before you’re even finished. This is exactly how I felt while whipping up Lola Berry’s Lemon Pie Bites from her 20/20 Diet Cookbook. I was inspired to head back to this trove of deliciousness in readiness for exploring her new one- The Happy Cookbook.

This recipe is SUPER easy. You’ll probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard (and substitutions are simple as… pie) and they come together in about 20 minutes. Then you just have to resist them while they set up in the freezer.

Lemon Pie Bites
Lemon Pie Bites (adapted from Lola Berry)

Ingredients
75g (3/4 cup) whole raw almonds
75g (3/4 cup) raw walnuts
45g (1/2 cup) shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp rice malt syrup (you could use honey or maple syrup too)
Juice of 3 lemons (mine were on the small side
Zest of 3 lemons (again mine were smallish, so if you’ve got bigger lemons adjust your zest… but in my opinion, the zestier the better!)
1 vanilla pod scraped
1/2 cup coconut butter
extra coconut for rolling

Method
1. Zest and juice your lemons, set aside
2. Add your almonds, walnuts and shredded coconut to a food processor, whizz it until your nuts are at a meal-ish consistency. It doesn’t matter if they’re a bit chunky.
3. Now in with all your other ingredients and blitz it baby!
4. Roll the mixture into balls and toss through the extra coconut
5. Pop them in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set
6. Enjoy! I store mine in the freezer for an icy treat

Lemon Pie Bites

And now to get my hands on a copy of The Happy Cookbook!

 

Choose Your Own Ice Pop Adventure

Summer is coming! We’ve already had a few glimpses of it here in Melbourne- our new AC units cannot be installed quick enough.

Now I am not what you call a hot weather kid, give me Autumn crispness any old day, but the warmer weather does have its perks, one of which is devouring sweet, frozen treats.

The problem with most icy poles is that they are loaded with sugar and artificial nasties, so this year I wanted to create a cleaner, healthier version.

First of course we needed the moulds. Now most of the moulds you can get here are little, kiddy type ones.  They would not do at all. Amazon naturally provides s variety of better options.

Ice pop moulds

 

Once you’ve got the hardware the rest is up to your imagination! We started with a banana smoothie pop. Then a raspberry-mint yoghurt.

Watermelon margerhita

Watermelon Margerhita- juice watermelon, lime and mint.

Pear-pine devine

Pear-pine Devine- juice pineapple, pear, apple, lemon.

Peaces 'n' (coconut) cream

Peaches ‘n’ (coconut) cream- blend peaches, add coconut milk.

The options are truly endless. All you need to do is blend, or juice, pour, and freeze! BOOM!

Chocolate Bliss Balls

Growing this baby has made my sweet tooth ramp up to formerly unknown heights. After the whole liver thing 2 years ago (I cannot believe it’s been 2 years already!?) I cleaned up my diet a lot and pretty much cut out all refined sugar. I maintained it for quite some time, taking a break at Christmas (obviously), but for the most part I was a sugar free individual.

Then we went to Europe. And, well, what’s Europe without Italian Gelato and French pastries? Nothing, that’s what. So naturally I went on a sugar bender for roughly 6 weeks, and I do not regret a minute of it.

Once we got home though, my sweet tooth was tingling and taking myself back to a sugar-free place was challenging. But I tried. Once pregnant however, I found myself making exceptions, oh some chocolate here is ok, a little this and that won’t hurt. I am pregnant after all. And cravings are your body telling you what it needs!

I am pretty sure my body doesn’t need Crunch chocolate…

So, in an effort to tame my sweet tooth I decided I needed an alternative. Enter the Chocolate Bliss Ball. I’ve made a couple of batches but this latest one is definitely my favourite. Sweet, chewy, chocolatey and rolled in coconut. How can you lose?

raw chocolate balls

Chocolate Bliss Balls
(I adapted this recipe from another one that I can’t find now… when I do I’ll be sure post it)

Ingredients
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup roasted hazelnuts
12-15 medjool dates (depending how chevy you want them)
2-3 tbsp cacao
2-5 tbsp vanilla almond milk
Big pinch of salt
Desiccated coconut (for rolling)

Method
1. Blend your hazelnuts and sunflower seeds in a food processor until crumbly looking, you don’t want them to get to a paste stage
2. Add all you other ingredients and blend. Depending on how sticky and wet you want your mix you can add a little more milk here
3. Roll your balls and toss them around in coconut to coat
4. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up

I store these babies in the freezer. They stay chewy and are sensational icy cold- I think that’s another preggo thing, really cold things.

Chocolate Bliss Balls

Anyway, a clean, vegan, refined sugar free treat that’s bursting with goodness and you don’t need to feel guilty about! But be warned… they are rather addictive!

Banana Bread (again)

Bananas

My Saturday has included
– breakfast
– baking
– a failed trip to H&M (pro-tip: don’t go on a Saturday, just don’t)
– a large hot chocolate
– vegemite and cheese toastie

The baking has been the highlight (well along with breakfast). Unconsciously I think I have been on a search for my ideal banana bread. It’s tricky. I don’t want to fill it full of sugar. I’d rather make it gluten free. Most importantly, it’s gotta be damn tasty. And I think I may have found it.

Four words.

One. Bowl. Banana. Bread.

It’s also gluten free, and has only bananas and maple syrup for sweetness. I found it on Minimalist Baker, which I have been drooling over for sometime now but have yet to jump in and make any of the creations. What better place to dive in than with banana bread. Especially when you only need one bowl.

We start where all good banana breads start… with mashed, overripe bananas

banana bread: mashed bananas

Next up we add everything except are three flours

banana bread

Once whisked it’s time to add the oats, almond meal and gluten free flour.

banana bread

We whisk again and into the greased and lined tin it goes.

banana bread

Even at this point, I’ve gotta admit it smells delightful. Into the oven it goes for 45 minutes to an hour. I probably could have left mine in a little longer but considering I am planning to toast it for breakfast I figured it didn’t matter too much.

banana bread

Banana Bread (adapted from Minimalist Baker)

Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
3.5 tsp baking soda
a big pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
3ish tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup almond meal
1 1/4 cup oats
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

Method
1. preheat oven to 180*c
2. mash your bananas in a bowl
3. add everything except the almond meal, oats and GF flour. Reserve the cider vinegar too. Whisk it up.
4. add your cider vinegar and give it another little whisk, it’ll fizz a bit.
5. almond meal, oats and GF flour are added, mix it up.
6. pour your batter into a loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

You’re done! Now all you have to do is clean up the mess created in the process…

banana bread: behind the scenes

banana bread: behind the scenes

This is pretty much how my kitchen looks every time I bake something… In my defence I did clean the whole place up afterwards!

Banana-Apple-Walnut loaf

Who doesn’t love banana bread?

But what do you do when you only have 1 over ripe banana? You scour your fridge for any other bakeable fruit, that’s what. And that’s how I ended up with this frankenstein bread-loaf creation.

I started with Teresa Cutter’s healthy banana bread recipe, but didn’t have everything I needed to got to making substitutions.

Banana-Apple-Walnut loaf

A little rice malt syrup here. A little melted butter there. Some grated apple instead of banana. And BOOM! You’ve got yourself a tasty and healthy snack.

Banana-Apple-Walnut loaf (based on Teresa Cutter’s Banana Bread)

Ingredients
1 ripe banana, mashed
2-3 large apples, grated (squeeze most of the juice out too)
3 eggs
200g almond meal
1/2tsp bi carb soda
1/2tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
1tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2-3/4 cup walnuts

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160*c
2. Combine banana, apple, eggs, vanilla, rice malt syrup, melted butter and apple cider vinegar
3. Add the almond meal, walnuts and chia seeds, mix it all up until combined
4. Spoon batter into a greased loaf tin
5. Bake for 45 minutes, test it with a skewer, if it comes out clean you’re done
6. Let it cool in the tin before removing
It should keep for about a week in an air tight container. You can also slice it up and freeze it in individual slices for a grab and go option.

Yum.

Roasted pumpkin soup

A couple of weeks ago I was wandering the aisles of Coles before work trying to decide what to have for lunch. Pumpkin soup caught my eye, delicious, right? And pair it with a cheesymite scroll, you’re onto a winner (for those of you not from Australia this is a cheesymite scroll, they’re salty, cheesy and delicious… if you’re a vegemite fan that is).

I stuck it in the microwave until it was piping hot and eagerly anticipated my first mouthful, only to be thoroughly disappointed upon it touching my lips. Let’s be real, canned or packaged pumpkin soup is, well, rubbish.

So, the following weekend I did what any sane person with a pumpkin soup craving would do, I made it myself.

I am sure there are as many recipes for pumpkin soup on the internet as there are for chocolate chip cookies, a whole lot. But I am pretty darn proud of mine, it’s hearty, satisfying, smooth, pumpkiny, and can be vegan with a switch of stock. Simple! The key, in my opinion, is roasting up all your veggies first. Roasting, my friends, makes all the difference.

pumpkin soup

Spiced and oiled and ready to roast. Oh yeah.

Roast those babies for 30 to 45 minutes. Don’t stress if they get a little black and crispy on the edges. Black and crispy leads to flavour-town.

pumpkin soup

From pan to pot.

pumpkin soup

Add your liquid. Cover your veggies. Boil and bubble. You can let this go for as long as you like really. Set it to low and let it go.

pumpkin soup

Personally I like my soup smooth, so I blend, blend, blend. This step is best done when you’ve let it cool a little, otherwise you will end up with scalding soup spitting at you. Best to avoid that.

pumpkin soup

Mmm… soup.

The best thing about whipping up a big batch of this on a Sunday afternoon is that you can eat it all week long. Or, if you’d prefer, hide a couple of servings in the freezer for a rainy day and a crusty roll. Trust me, you’ll have enough.

pumpkin soup

Rosted Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients
1 butternut pumpkin (squash)
1 wedge of japanese pumpkin
2 brown onions
garlic, the amount really depends on your taste (I used 10ish cloves)
1 sweet potato
2 parsnips/turnip/swede (parsnip is my personal favourite)
salt, pepper, paprika, Mexican chilli powder
1lt stock + enough water to cover you veggies
olive oil

Method
1. preheat your oven to 180-200*c
2. peel and chop all of your veggies into chunks, except your garlic leave that in its skin, toss them in a bowl, drizzle some oil and add your spices to your taste
3. roastin’ time, throw them into the oven for 30-45 minutes
4. throw roasted veggies into a big pot, add your stock and top up with water until the liquid covers all of your veggies. Set it to low and let it bubble away for up to 90 minutes
5. allow to cool a bit before blending
6. serve it up to devour immediately or package up for future enjoyment!