Plant based Munchies

A journey towards whole food, plant based, healthy eating….


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Vanilla blueberry muffins (GF)

Vanilla blueberry muffins (GF)

Vanilla blueberry muffins (GF)

Mr 5’s school is having a muffin breakfast for Father’s Day. He sternly told me that I am not invited, and neither is Mr 3. It is strictly just for he and his dad!

Funnily enough I was asked to make some muffins for the breakfast that I’m not allowed to go to. The mum asking me said she thought I was the “guru” on healthy/gluten free/dairy free/egg free stuff so that’s why she asked me. That’s nice. I don’t know how she knows I’m into that but I’ll take that as a compliment anyway so I stopped short of saying that husband-of-mine can cook his own muffins! Lol!

These muffins seriously puffed up and exploded over the top. I think perhaps my tray was on a lean because they all headed one direction! But I don’t mind lopsided as long as they went up and not down. 🙂

The only thing I struggled with was sweetening. Especially for a school breakfast. I wanted them sweet so that people would eat them but not with sugar. So I’ve used a combo of rice bran syrup and stevia but I don’t think I love stevia. It IS sweet but sometimes too much so and I struggle to get a balance. If I had coconut palm sugar on hand I would have used that so I’ll put in some suggested adaptions if you’re a bit stevia-shy. If not, go for it. It certainly works and is natural and wont give you the blood sugar high and crash, that’s for sure. But I think coconut palm sugar and/or brown rice syrup would be superior.

Ingredients:

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup tapioca/arrowroot flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarb soda

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups non dairy milk (plus 2 T apple cider vinegar to make it “curdle”)

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

2 T chia seeds, soaked in 1/2 cup water

1/4 cup rice syrup

3 mini spoons of stevia (or alternatively, add 3/4 cup rice syrup or coconut palm sugar substitute)

1 cup blueberries

Mix dry ingredients together then mix in wet ingredients. Stir briefly and gently the blueberries through the mix, and bake in muffin trays for 25 minutes at 180 deg C or until cooked through.

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Fruity ginger green smoothie

Fruity ginger green smoothie

Fruity ginger green smoothie

Each time I post a smoothie recipe I feel the need to reassure everyone that I am not a hard core green smoothie person. Yes, this smoothie looks thick and lush green. But no, I’m not really into kale (even though I probably *should* be) and I do.not.like beetroot in drinks. No thanks!

But I do enjoy the buzz that green smoothies give the body and I am becoming more and more in tune with when my body needs one and how it will help. So that’s good. This is a beauty if you are a newbie to green smoothies because it is just SO drinkable. It has 3 pieces of fruit so I guess that helps.

1 cup baby spinach leaves

1 ripe pear

1 green apple

1 peeled orange

1-2cm knob fresh ginger, peeled

1 handful fresh mint leaves

1 cup water

1/2 cup ice

Blend away. I tend to add the water in later because our blender works better with less liquid to purify the ingredients. But this will depend on what sort of machine you  have.

Refreshing and zingy and perfectly drinkable! Enjoy!


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Roast pumpkin dahl

Roast pumpkin dahl

Roast pumpkin dahl

I really quite like dahl, as it turns out. And pumpkin as well – well, they just go together perfectly!

You know i’m into my curries ;). Dahl is totally gorgeous to have next to a curry as an accompaniment. Different texture, different flavour and wholesome and healthy to add to a meal. Hope you love it. It’s also just great stirred through rice the next day for lunch left overs!

This recipe  comes from Veganise this. Love all these websites I’m discovering.

Ingredients:
1 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree  (1/2 butternut pumpkin, roasted then pureed)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
100g baby spinach leaves
Rinse the red lentils in a strainer until the water runs clear then place them in a saucepan with the water, vegetable stock powder and turmeric. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to the lowest possible and simmer, covered for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a frying pan on a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and when then begin to pop, stir through the onion and fry for 5-10 minutes until the onions are translucent and begin to brown. Add the cumin, chilli powder, garam masala and salt, stir the spices through the onions evenly and cook for about 2 minutes.
Mix the onions and spices through the lentils then stir in the pumpkin puree, lemon juice and spinach. Turn off the heat when the spinach has wilted and serve with rice.


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“Pop” pastry pies

"Pop" pastry pies

“Pop” pastry pies

Hah… well. Not exactly like those pop tart things I’ve heard of that you stick in a toaster. But these are close.

My sister told me how to do these recently and I cannot stress how EASY this is to do. And the possibilities are endless. They are gluten though because they involve puff pastry but are totally brilliant for kids.

My boys had an early dinner the other day so were ready for something else before bed. How’s this for an idea:

IMG_1451Instructions:
Lay 1/2 sheet of puff pastry across a toasted sandwich maker                                                                                                                           Add whatever fruit you like (banana, mango and blueberries pictured)                                                                                                                 Lay the other 1/2 sheet on top.

COOK!

It makes perfect fruit pies.

I’m thinking of savoury options for lunchboxes.

Perhaps corn and grated carrot with cauliflower alfredo sauce?

Perhaps the tomato bean base from the Shepherds pie?

Oops. I just discovered I haven’t shared the cauliflower sauce yet. Better get onto that… Let me know what you create in the mean time!

"Pop" pastry pies

“Pop” pastry pies


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DIY date ‘bliss’ balls

Date balls

Date balls

It seems we are being asked a lot how to make these date balls. These are a total staple in our house and sometimes i make them everyday because they disappear so quickly.  Other days I manage a batch big enough that we keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. They are easy to do and even easier to mix up flavours and textures so you can’t get bored. They are also delicious, nutritious and a healthy sugar free snack.

I’ve seen them in so many cafes lately called “bliss balls”. They cost the earth to buy and never ever taste as good as home made ones! There is one little place in Port Macquarie NSW that made good ones 🙂 but that’s the only one I’ve actually liked commercially.

In the past I have posted some recipes such as Seed balls and Baci balls. Really the world of date/energy/protein/chocolate balls is your ‘oyster’ (so to speak). Here’s the breakdown:

Nuts: I use a base of almonds or cashews mostly but you can add in whatever nuts you prefer.

Dates: Add in soaked medjool dates (You don’t have to soak them, but this makes processing them easier). Usually about 10 dates to 1 cup of nuts but you can mix it up.

Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are my choice but try sunflower and chia too (noting that these will make a more textured ball). Youc an also throw in goji berries.

Cacao: There’s no chocolate ball without raw cacao powder 🙂

Protein: Tao Nutrition all the way! (this will add in countless nutrients – yes, even kale 🙂 and up your protein intake

Fats: Sometimes I add in coconut oil because it gives a gorgeous texture and is good for you. And I find I lack fats in my diet so this helps too. It is not criitical to the world of date balls though.

Flavour: Vanilla extract is delicious. Or try peanut butter (100%, no added sugar), or ground hazelnuts. Or use coconut oil and desiccated coconut. Or orange peel or peppermint essence….there are gazillions of options 🙂

 

Process nuts and seeds in the food processor until fine and then add the remaining ingredients. Roll into balls and refrigerate.

Sometimes I find, because I don’t measure, that the ball mix is too crumbly. This is easily countered by adding more dates – or sometimes I add in 1 T water which softens and binds the mix enough to roll into balls.

Hope this helps!

xx

 

 

 


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Garlic bread scrolls

Garlic bread scrolls

Garlic bread scrolls

It sucks to make something that smells and looks so delicious and not be able to eat it. These are most definitely gluten…they look good, the kids like them, they have nutritional yeast in them (Vit B12), and they are a sneaky lunchbox alternative to the hotdogs that are being served at a kids party today.

Yes that’s right, I’m baking up a storm of alternative foods for the scary looming kids party. Hehe. Too many kids’ parties are missing the vitals: fruit and vegetables. Or plain crackers and hummus. You know. Healthy options. I wonder when we learnt to celebrate a child’s life with the absence of anything that promotes life?

The boys today are getting a veg/lentil/bean mix baked scrolls, garlic bread, fruit, and banana and zucchini cupcakes. (That is, instead of hotdogs and ice cream cake). Boo. We’re mean parents.

Anyhow…

These are from Veg Recipes of India which I only discovered through finding this recipe on pinterest. I will be checking out their site in full, yum! The recipe is only adapted a tiny bit and I have to say, I stuffed up the rising of my dough so I’m amazed these worked at all. I think it’s a very forgiving recipe! Next time will be even better, no doubt. (Oh, and I left out the celery but it sounds good so give it a go 🙂 )

Ingredients
for the dough:
  • 11/2 cup whole wheat flour/atta
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 150-160 ml water – approx ⅔ cup water (check notes)
  • 1/2 tbspn brown rice syrup
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp salt
for the garlic spread
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • ½ to ⅔ tbsp minced or chopped garlic or finely crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped celery
  • ¼ tsp dry oregano
  • 1 or 2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • ½ tbsp  olive oil
  • salt and pepper as required
Instructions
  1. mix the ½ tbsp rice syrup and yeast in warm water. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10-12 mins.
  2. after the yeast solution bubbled and frothy, add the flours, salt and oil to the bowl of yeast mixture.
  3. mix well and knead to a smooth and soft dough.
  4. rub oil on the whole dough and keep covered for up to 1:30 to 2 hours until leavened.
  5. beat the butter with a spoon till light and fluffy. Add the spices & herbs along with salt. Mix well.
  6. check the seasoning in the garlic spread and add more of the herbs, spices or salt if required.
  7. lightly punch the dough before making the rolls on a work surface.
  8. divided the dough into two parts.
  9. take one part of the dough and on a lightly dusted flour, roll to a round or rectangle till you get ½ inch width in the rolled dough
  10. spread the garlic butter evenly on the dough.
  11. roll the dough till the end.
  12. make a similar roll with the other part of the dough.
  13. now both the rolls are ready to be sliced.
  14. first give a cut from the center and then equally cut the two parts. so you have now 4 equal slices of the rolled dough.
  15. grease a pan in which all the 8 rolls will fit. place the rolls in the pan and brush their tops with remaining garlic butter. cover and let the rolls double up for 35-40 minutes.
  16. you can also sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of the rolls.
  17. bake in a pre heated oven for 30-35 minutes at 180 degrees C till the tops are golden.
  18. serve the garlic bread rolls with tea or coffee.
Notes
here i have added ⅔ cup water. however depending on the quality of flour, you may have to add less or more. so add accordingly.