Plant based Munchies

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

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Chocolate self-saucing pudding

Chocolate self saucing pudding

Yesterday was mothers day. And in honour of my own mother’s awesome desserts and the fact that it was Mothers Day so I decided I “deserve” whatever i felt like 🙂 I made chocolate self saucing puddings. It suits the cold wintery weather and the huge weekend we had had – warm, decadent comfort food!

As you know, I really really ‘hate’ ordinary food photography so I find myself once again apologising for the photo. It was late when we ate and we were all keen to get into it, so I took a quick snap on the dining table before digging in. Hopefully you get the gist – and next time I’ll have to try again with better lighting and effort!

My goodness, these were amazingly rich and decadent and delicious! And Mr 5 and I who made them up were surprised that they work so well. Mr 7 moaned and groaned in heaven for a while and then said “Did you make these up? You need to blog them!”.

Gluten free, totally plant based and sugar free. They just shouldn’t taste this good.

The little hole in the top is because I put a square of dark chocolate in the middle of them before baking (that bit is not sugar free) so it made an indentation in the top. You can take or leave that idea. They would look more impressive without it but it was a good surprise for the kids.



1 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/3 cup cacao

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarb soda

3/4 cup non dairy milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup brown rice syrup or agave

2 Tablespoons of grape seed or melted coconut oil

1 Tablespoon chia seeds soaked in 1/4 cup water

1 tsp vanilla extract



1 cup warm water

1/4 cup cacao

1/4 cup brown rice syrup or agave


Mix the dry ingredients and mix in wet ingredients. Divide into lightly greased ramekins. (Add in a piece of dark chocolate or raspberries into the centre now if you wish). Hold a spoon above the ramekins and poor sauce mixture onto spoon (So as not to cause a pooling in the middle- aka, the spoon will make the liquid spread out) until the sauce mixture is evenly spread across the ramekins.


Bake in 180 deg C oven for 30 minutes.
The kids served theirs with vanilla soy ice cream and Dave and I enjoyed a coconut milk-coffee ice cream with ours! Delicious – but we were each defeated! The left overs are in the fridge for todays enjoyment!!




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Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns It’s Good Friday! Thank you to my brilliant husband, Dave, for having hot, gluten free vegan hot cross buns waiting for me on my arrival home from church on this Good Friday! Wooo! And I can attest to the winning combination these tasty treats are.

Firstly, it’s probably important to understand a little about how flours work when cooking with gluten free combinations. These buns have 50% medium flours, 25% light and 25% heavy. If you don’t have the exact flours, you can look here for more suggestions on how this works and use your own combinations. I think it is always safe to use more tapioca flour rather than less so feel free to use more light flour and less medium/heavy if you want to play with it.

Or…you can just follow this recipe. De-licious!

Dry ingredients: 

Medium:                   1 cup  red sorghum flour and ½ cup brown rice flour

Light:                        ½ cup tapioca flour and ¼ cup potato starch

Heavy:                       ½ cup buckwheat flour and ¼ cup almond meal flour

2 tsp xanthan gum

½ tsp salt

1/2 tsp all spice

1 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients:

4 dates blended in ¼ cup hot water

2 Tablespoons coconut palm sugar

2 teaspoons melted coconut oil

1 ½ cup warm water

¾ cup sultanas

Combine flour mix, xanthan gum, salt, sugar and dry yeast and mix together in a bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the coconut oil, warm water and pureed dates. Add in dry ingredients and mix on high with hand beaters until well mixed. Add sultanas and mix through.

Shape into a long thick roll and chop into sections ofHot cross buns pre-cooked
roughly equal size to form into rolls.

Place rolls on a greased & floured tray, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

For the crosses, mix some brown rice flour and water together to form a paste and squeeze onto rolls in a cross formation. (You can do this by putting the paste in a snap lock bag and cutting one corner off to squeeze through)

Hot cross buns c







Bake in 200 deg Celsius oven for 40 minutes.

Brush the tops of buns with a light coating of melted coconut oil after they come out for a gloss.

Our buns were brown and crunchy (which we enjoyed) but if you prefer them softer and less crunchy, put foil over the tray after 15 minutes of cooking.

Hot cross buns


Happy Easter everyone!


Alfredo penne pasta with salted tomatoes

Alfredo pasta with salted tomatoes

Alfredo pasta with salted tomatoes

I don’t often eat gluten free pasta-type products but some days, I just crave that old pasta fix that holds something homely and comforting (comfort eating, isn’t it!). There are gluten free pastas and there are gluten free pastas! All I can suggest, if you are gluten free, is to read the labels and check that you are getting that which you are happy eating. Some are corn based, some are potato based and some are rice based. And they are all different, for sure.

Anyway onto this simple, gorgeous recipe. It’s the sort of meal that suits after an exhausting day when you can flop down on the couch in front of the TV with a bowl of pasta. (And for those of you who have small kids like I do, it’s not that straight forward, I know!).


Alfredo sauce: See here for an alternate cashew-based alfredo sauce…or below for my cauliflower one. I really love everything about cauliflower and its diversity at the moment, and it makes for a lovely, light, creamy, garlic-y sauce too!    (This is worth double or tripling if you are feeding a whole family).

2 cups cauliflower florets

2 garlic cloves, diced

1/2 leek, diced

1/3 cup non dairy milk

1/4 tsp onion powder

salt and pepper


Steam the cauliflower florets until well cooked. In a separate saucepan, saute the garlic and leek for a couple of minutes. Add cooked cauliflower florets, followed by seasoning and milk. Simmer for 10 minutes, and blend thoroughly into a creamy sauce.

*This is great to make in big batches (using  a whole cauliflower and freezing in portions so you can sneak it out for pasta, potato bakes or anything like that).


Pasta dish

Gluten free pasta

1/2 cup chopped fresh baby spinach

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

3/4 cup cherry tomatoes


Alfredo sauce


Toss 3/4 cup of cherry tomatoes in a hot, dry saucepan with a generous sprinkling of rock salt until they begin to blister or show signs of cooking. (I like mine quite well cooked and soft, you may prefer yours less so).

Cook the gluten free pasta, drain, and toss in the pan with the tomatoes, fresh basil and spinach and stir through your alfredo sauce. Delicious and simple! 🙂




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.


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Orange chocolate fudge cakes

Chocolate fudge cakes

Chocolate fudge cakes

I have always loved orange chocolate. I know it’s not everyone’s favourite but wow, I used to consume a lot of it. My favourite was about 15 years ago when Crunchies brought out an orange version. Wowww….my house mate and I used to stock up on them and lucky we did because they didn’t hang around long! We thought perhaps we were the only people buying them!

15 years later and I would get an instant migraine if I tried to eat a crunchie now anyway 🙂 And let’s face it, they are not great on a number of levels. Lucky I can cook!

Early in my blogging days I posted links to recipes relating to red kidney bean cakes and to be honest, I haven’t ever made them since. Today I thought I would dig it out and revamp the recipe. It truly is incredible to me that these work as cakes – with no butter, no sugar, no flour, no eggs. The staples. But truly, these work. And they are a brilliant fibre and protein hit for kids on the go.

I blended some dates and almond butter into a caramel and pasted them on top for “icing” but they are great without it.  You don’t have to make them orange of course. You can just do straight chocolate. Or add in some peanut butter for something different.


1 tin red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)

2 tsp vanilla extract

8 dates (pitted and soaked)

2 T rice malt syrup

2 T (heaped) cacao powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarb soda

1-2 tsp orange zest

1/4 cup orange juice

Process the red kidney beans in a food processor (keep scraping down the sides, you DONT want bean lumps in your cakes :)). Add vanilla, syrup and dates and process further. Add remaining ingredients and process until mixed.

Spoon into muffin tins and bake at 180 deg C for 25 minutes or until cooked.

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Apple, walnut and dark chocolate crumble

Apple  and chocolate crumble

Apple and chocolate crumble

If only I had a picture to actually match the heaven that is this dessert. It is one of the easiest desserts imaginable and is a  different take on the oat-butter-brown sugar type apple crumble. Oh my, it is moorish. The apple and dates are warm and sweet and soft, matched with the crunchy, flaky top that is walnuts, and the chewy, sweet dates and dark chocolate.

Ok, so the dark chocolate is not a whole food choice. But in tiny bits of joy we can cope, can’t we. And I’m told it’s good for your health in moderation.



5 green apples, peeled and chopped

6 dates, pitted and diced

1 cup walnuts

1 row dairy free dark chocolate

sprinkling of ground cloves and cinnamon


Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Steam/boil the apples, spices and half of the dates for a few minutes until softened. Drain, and place in a casserole dish. Grind the walnuts down in a food processor, stir in the remaining chopped dates and chopped dark chocolate. Sprinkle mixture over the top of the apple/date mix.

Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through and crispy on top.


And then make some more for breakfast the next day 🙂


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Caramel fudge

Caramel, the healthy way

Caramel, the healthy way

I have noticed that my blog followers are total caramel freaks. Sweet freaks generally but definitely caramel lovers and hey, I can’t blame you.

I remember as kids we used to make caramel (the burnt butter/sugar kind of caramel) and OMG how delicious was that as a teenager, scooping spoonfuls of caramel out of the fridge. I remember hoping no one would notice how MUCH of it I was eating 😉

Today…same issue but a much different version of caramel! So many of you have commented on how YUMMY the caramel is in the slice or the cheesecake so I thought it time just to serve it up direct! Yes. You can thank me later 🙂


25 pitted medjool dates (presoaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained)

1/2 cup almond spread

1 T coconut oil

And that’s it. You can add a tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. But the reality is, the caramel is caramel already. You could also add some peanut butter.

And I drizzled melted dark chocolate on top of mine to make it pretty 🙂 But all in all, that’s just dressing. You just need dates and almond spread (which is 100% almonds).
It’s soooo good. I just had a spoonful after dinner and trust me, it is SOO sweet that’s all you need!


*NB this is a gooey caramel. If you like it a little firmer, add in some blended macadamias or tahini and freeze.