Plant based Munchies

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


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Cucumber “sushi” rolls

Cucumber 'sushi' rolls

Cucumber ‘sushi’ rolls

Ok so there’s nothing really sushi about this except it’s bits of stuff rolled up in more stuff. But hey. I’m not even really sharing a recipe today per se but more so an idea. You can make it in whatever way works best for you.

I made these little cucumber rolls for a dinner party as an appetiser. They were so lovely and I like the idea and how fresh and adaptable they are.

Get a long cucumber (in Australia, they are called Continental cucumbers) and finely slice it length ways (or use a peeler if that works for you). The idea then is to spread a filling along the length and then roll it up. Simple!

I used two fillings. You can see the cashew cheese which is an absolute favourite of mine, although it is orange because I have taken to adding 1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes into the mix as well. Divine!

The second filling was a simple caper guacamole. Capers are not something I am used to but I quite enjoyed it! A salty little zing in a creamy avocado with lemon. Our dinner party differed in favourites of the two. Although I liked the caper guacamole, I preferred the texture of the cashew cheese (less slimy!) but others preferred that. So go with what you love, I say.

I think it would be great to do a beetroot dip and get that beautiful pink colour. Maybe next time.

Enjoy, and let me know what great ideas you come up with for this!

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Banana choc-chip cake balls

Banana choc-chip cake balls

Banana choc-chip cake balls

Ooo these are DE-licious. I can’t stop eating them! You don’t need to make balls out of these by the way. I also made a loaf tin which worked (albeit denser), and muffins will be fine too. But cake balls are fun if you have the ball mould 🙂

 

4 medium very ripe bananas

10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in hot water briefly

3/4 cup tapioca flour (starch)

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup non dairy milk (with 1 tsp vinegar added)

80 gm dark non dairy chocolate, roughly chopped

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarb soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch salt

 

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.

Blend dates, bananas, milk (and vinegar) and vanilla together until a smooth paste forms.

Combine mixtures and stir until mixed.

 

Spray an oven cake pop tin and spoon mixture in, add lid, and bake at 190 deg Celsius for 15-20 minutes (or alternatively, bake muffins in a muffin tray).

Test with a skewer and remove when cooked in the middle.

Enjoy!


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Garlic and chives cashew cheese

Garlic and chives cashew cheese

Garlic and chives cashew cheese

Ok so it looks like a green plastic sausage. I have made this a couple of times now and…we really like it…! The second time I refrigerated it in a cling-wrap-lined bowl and turned it out in a dome shape. MUCH better than a sausage 🙂

I’ve tended to steer away from “pretend” cheese but you can either think of it as a cheese, or perhaps a dip. It has a firm enough texture though that can be sliced to put on crackers – and all in all, it’s wholesome and yum! And easy to do.

 

2 cups raw cashews (presoaked, overnight is best but for at least 4 hours in water)

3 Tblspn nutritional yeast (great Vit B 12 for vegans, also important flavour for this)

2 small-medium garlic cloves (minced)

1 tsp salt (salt is important, don’t skip it!)

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup finely diced chives (or less, depending on your preferences).

Optional- shake of onion powder and or/ other herbs such as thyme.

 

Blend the cashews in a food processor. Add in remaining ingredients and turn into a lined bowl. Refridgerate until ready to eat (I would give it at least 1-2 hours.

NB. If you don’t want the cheese green, don’t blend the chives through it. You can mix them through as little green pieces after blending the other ingredients.
Thanks to Blissful basil for the recipe start.


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Brown rice and mushroom balls

 

Brown rice and mushroom balls

Brown rice and mushroom balls

 

I apologise for the iPhone, dimly lit photo. My lovely cousin was running in the Commonwealth Games (and came 3rd!) and I was super distracted by getting our little food party out in front of the TV in time to watch her run. So the photos fell to the bottom of the priority pile.
As it turns out, while Jess was running, we were munching down a delicious feast of new creations. These are brown rice balls with mushroom and natural peanut butter. You can mix these up as much as you like – the possibilities are endless, but thees are delicious as is.  Enjoy!

 

2 cups brown rice (cooked).

1 brown onion, diced

5 mushrooms, diced finely

1-2 Tblspn natural peanut butter

1 Tblspn tamari (GF soy sauce)

2 Tblspn tapioca flour

1 clove garlic, diced

1 shake of dried chilli flakes

1/2 tsp salt

 

Fry onion and garlic together with the mushrooms until reduced and cooked well. Add in tamari, chilli and peanut butter with seasoning. Add in rice, turn off the heat, and stir through tapioca flour (to help bind).

Roll into balls. Heat a small saucepan with enough coconut oil to either deep fry, or shallow fry 1/2 of the ball. When oil is very hot, place 4 balls in at a time for a minute or so each side, then turn over to cook the other side. Allow balls to drain on paper towel.

 

Serve with peanut dipping sauce.


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Almond ginger cookies (GF)

Almond ginger cookies

Almond ginger cookies

It’s been a long time since I made biscuits. We are off the sugar bandwagon with our kids but I do miss cooking with them. And last night my 3 yo was dreaming talking about ginger biscuits. He woke up asking for them! So I thought today we really need to master how to do them well without butter, eggs and sugar.

It turns out it’s possible. Oh my, we absolutely gobbled these biscuits and felt no guilt about it at all! hehe! Well, no concern about negative health impacts at least. These are full of goodness and if you were to sub in fresh ginger I’m sure the benefits would be even more so. The one thing I would say, is that we ate so much of the mixture (far out, totally moorish!) that there weren’t too many biscuits that actually got made in the end. Nevermind!

I think I might use this cookie dough in coconut ice cream at some point!

Sadly, mr 3 has asked for them in his lunch box tomorrow and of course, the school and child care centre don’t allow nuts so these will be a home based treat for us. Yay you if you’re allowed nuts in lunch boxes though, this is a winner!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups almond meal

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 tsp bicarb soda

6 dates

1 T chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup water

1/3 cup brown rice syrup

2 T melted coconut oil

1/4 cup almond milk with 1 T apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

pinch salt

Process the almond meal, buckwheat flour, bicarb and dates in a food processor until crumbly. Add in remaining ingredients and stir into a moist dough*.

Drop balls onto a lined baking tray and bake at 180 deg C for 20 minutes or until brown and reasonably firm (how long you bake them for will determine whether they hold a moist, soft biscuit texture or a firmer one).

I was tempted to make up a chocolate mix and drizzle them with chocolate syrup but hey, they didn’t hang around long enough. Next time…

*NB IF you like a more dry biscuit, lessen the milk content. It is important though to keep the vinegar to offset the bicarb.


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Double choc muffins (GF)

Double choc muffins (GF)

Double choc muffins (GF)

This recipe is YUM. There I said it. I have so much trouble getting sweetness balance right on muffins but when it is chocolate, there’s no problem because I can fill it up with date fudginess and it just works. These have the added bonus of cacao nibs which are not only good for you but give a chocolatey crunch to the muffin which is divine!

Hope you enjoy.

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

1 cup non dairy milk (plus 2 T apple cider vinegar)

2 T chia seeds (soaked in 1/2 cup water)

10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked

1/3 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup coconut cream (take the thick cream off the top of a tin, and leave the water)

2 T melted coconut oil

2 T brown rice oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup cacao nibs

Put dates and coconut cream in a food processor and blend into a paste.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and stir in all wet ingredients, then add nibs.

Spoon into muffin trays and bake at 180 deg C for 20 minutes or until cooked through.


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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.