Posts in breakfast
My daily boost... revealed!

This is a recipe post that's a little bit different from the norm in part because it's all shot through my iPhone, not my usual slick pics of the finished product! Also because I realised that this is something I do nearly everyday yet haven't told you about before!

I realised that sometimes I forget to tell you about the little simple things I do every day, the things that make a big difference to me yet are so simple and barely a 'recipe'... however that's probably all the more reason I should!

I don't really talk much about supplements and 'superfood' powders and I will clarify here that I do not think that either are absolutely necessary or a replacement for a heathy plant based whole food diet BUT I do think they can have a important place and I want to share with you my thoughts and how I get a boost of goodness in one easy, tasty hit!

It's not going to be a lengthy post all about supplements, I just want to mention quickly what I do you take and why. B12 (not available in non-animal products) and Vitamin D (pretty essential for climates such as the UK with little sun especially in winter!) 

I also aim to take a probiotic every day, alongside drinking kombucha and eating homemade sauerkraut when possible (great for digestion and good bacteria).  I hate pills and capsules as I just can't swallow them.... BUT top tip here! Just empty the probiotic capsules into a smoothie or the energy pudding as shown below and it's so much easier as you cant taste them and they blend right in! This was a game changer for me when I started doing this abut a year ago.

On to the 'energy pudding'. I have been buying various powders as listed below and blending my own mix made from equal amounts and storing this in a tub kept in the fridge (all powders should be kept cool for optimum freshness- fridge or freeze.) I also usually add the probiotics when I make the pudding up and I then also add a tiny bit of sweetnesss (unless I used banana to mix) often by way of 1/2 tsp sugar free jam.

I either eat this as it is for a mini snack, or if I want something more substantial I add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds and a little extra liquid and let sit to firm up for a few minutes. 

For me it's a total winner when I want a little boost in the morning but not a full on breakfast (I don't often like eating much before late morning or if i'm training first thing), or the chia pudding serves me well as a post work out snack. Or make a bigger portion and have a spoonful here of there throughout the day. Options.... options!

You can add your own powders and mix-ins of choice but I have listed my favourites below (the ones I use most often are in bold). To make life even easier, Real Food Source have just started selling a new 'Energise' blend which pre-mixes many of these powders to save you buying your own individually. I now use this as a base and add my other favourites to it.

BASE: approx. 1/3 cup soy yoghurt, coconut yogurt, one mashed banana or chia pudding

POWDER OPTIONS I LIKE:

  • acai powder
  • beetroot powder
  • raw cacao powder
  • baobab powder
  • goji powder (or whole berries)
  • maca powder
  • lucuma powder
  • greens powders (add a little at a time as this is likely to have most flavour impact)

SWEETENER: (a tiny touch to taste): fruit juice, banana, sugar-free jam, stevia, maple syrup.

TOPPINGS: if you want extra indulgence or just want to change things up a bit you can add nuts, granola, chopped fruit, or as I do my Wholeplus Toppers as a sprinkle on top!

I created a FREE recipe book for Real Food Source using their energy powder blend. Great for inspiration for using various powders as an addition to my super simple daily boost! Their blend contains: white chia, raw caca, baobab, maca and coconut milk powder for a creamy finish.

You can grab the book here!


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Blueberry & Banana High Protein Pancakes

I feel like it's been forever and a day since I've posted loads of food recipes! Once upon a time back in the early days) I was posting three or four times per week, but that's when I had nothing else to do alongside ;-)

Blueberry & Banana High Protein Pancakes

Recently I've been spending a lot more time doing my own inner work which is my track of to becoming a better person and coach. I've also been doing a lot of brainstorming- figuring out how to make my mark on this world and how best to make a difference in your lives. With the news of Scott's passing a few weeks ago it made me think more deeply about how I show up and the actions I take.

On another lighter and altogether delicious note, if you've been keeping up with me on Facebook page you'll know I have been busy creating recipes for a 'porridge' e-book to be ready for you very very shortly. Sign up to my newsletter for a special launch offer coming in the next couple of weeks!

In the meantime it's the weekend and so I reckon pancakes should be on the agenda. It's been a while!

Mmmmm pancake brunch!

These ones are super duper simple and also super duper high protein- all natural protein by way of the chickpea flour, chia seed and a little nut butter. 

I love the flavour of these, although if you are not such a fan of chickpea flour you might want to sub half with ground oats or another grain for a neutral flavour.  I have used banana and frozen blueberries, but for for an autumnal twist why not try stewed apple or pear.

If the hot sun comes out as it has done most days this week, I may well whip up another batch and sit out in the garden. Indian summer bliss!

Blueberry & Banana High Protein Pancakes

Recipe: chickpea flour pancakes

Serves 1 (3 small pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup chickpea flour (aka gram or garbanzo flour) 
  • 2 tsp chia seed (or flax)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 heaped tsp coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup water
  •  1 tbs peanut or almond nut butter 
  • toppings of choice- I used mashed banana, blueberries and soy yoghurt

Method:

Mix/mash all ingredients together until you have a thick but spoonable/runny batter. Ideally, allow to stand for 2-3 minutes to thicken a little more whilst you prepare your toppings.

Dollop into three equal sized pancakes into a large oiled frying pan. Cook for 2 minutes then flip and cook for another minute or so until both sides are golden.

Layer up with mashed or sliced banana and blueberries (or fruity filling of choice!) and a little non dairy yoghurt for extra messyness ;-)

Serve immediately.

Blueberry & Banana High Protein Pancakes vegan
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Cosy up with...pear carrot and ginger oatmeal

Just checking in with you all!

It's been ages since i've posted new recipe.... i've barely had time to experiment. My life has been consumed with website updates, Wholeplus production, coaching studies, book writing and seminar prep. I've barely ventured into the kitchen and smoothies and quick veg soups and stirfrys have pretty much been the norm for my meals of late.

carrot oats 2a.jpg

I couldn't stay out of the kitchen any longer (maybe that's procrastination trying to drag me away from 'scary stuff') so today I made two things- two super simple things!!

One I have for you today and the other hopefully early next week (thought you'll have seen it on my Instagram feed earlier today!)

After a hardcore spin session at the gym this morning I fancied something pretty substantial and full of texture instead of a smoothie. Oatmeal bumped up with veggies and fresh ginger for the anti-inflammatory kick. I often add a grated apple to my porridge but since I had a delivery of pears in the veg box this week the pear-carrot-ginger combo was born.  It was delicious, more so than I expected considering the amount of carrot I added for a single serve.

Add a drizzle of syrup to sweeten if you fancy- I used a tiny drizzle of approx 1 tsp of maple syrup for good measure. I also added maca powder as I like to add a little boost to breakfast or a smoothie during the day but again this is optional.

Back to website update! Hopefully they'll go live later tonight.... please let me know what you think, i'm feeling really nervous about this for some reason. Kind of like i'm putting myself out there before i'm ready. Though sometimes you never feel ready for the 'big stuff'.... you just have to get out there are start making your difference in the world and tweak as you grow, tweak as you grow...

...practice makes perfect!

Hope you are having an amazing weekend, whatever you get up to (I hope it includes eating this oat bowl!)

carrot oats 6a.jpg

Recipe: Pear carrot and ginger oatmeal

serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup porridge oats
  • 1 cup light coconut milk (or other non dairy milk of choice)
  • 1 medium carrot- grated
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pear- chopped
  • sweetener- optional
  • 1 tsp maca powder- optional for an extra boost

Method:

Add the oats, milk, ginger and carrot to a small pan on the stove. Simmer for 5 minutes  and then add the pear chunks, cook for a further few minutes until he carrot has softened and the oats have cooked, the pear should have also softened a little.

Remove from the heat and stir through the maca if using and serve immediately with a little drizzle of syrup if extra sweetness is desired.

 

carrot oats 4a.jpg
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Carrot cake breakfast blinis

These carrot cake blinis had not started life in my head as carrot cake blinis...

Carrot cake breakfast blinis


They were going to be some kind of gorgeously thin crepe that I could use to wrap up with a breakfast fruit compote...kindly of like these (but with carrot). But as is usually the case, I have issues making large pancakes look pretty. Actually that's not entirely true as  these were pretty good pancakes of the classic British variety, but that aside that I tend to have more success with the small blini type and for that level of perfection I find a melon baller scoops exactly the right amount of batter into the pan…just a little tip for ya!

Since I had already added blended carrot into the batter, I simply added a few extra spices and some walnuts onto the top and then we have carrot cake blinis, the walnuts were actually a really great addition since when the blinis are flipped over for the final minute of cooking it also toasts walnuts nicely.  I blended my carrot, but you could use finely grated carrot for a more visible carrot texture.

This could be served in a variety of ways, here I simply teamed mine with some satsuma slices and a little soy yoghurt but anything goes really...it's your weekend brunch after all so what would you have with them?

Oh, and it goes without saying these could easily make dessert... just layer up into mini ice-cream sandwiches and drizzle with some maple syrup on top and you're good to go. Yay!

Last note, this batter makes quite a lot of blinis but remember they are small...so don't get scared but the number! 

Carrot cake breakfast blinis

Recipe: Carrot Cake Blinis

makes approx 20 (serves 4 ish)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3 tbs ground flax
  • 2 tbs maple syrup (or a little stevia)
  • scant 1 cup water (add extra if needed)
  • 1/2 cup grated or 1/3 cup blended carrot
  • 2 tsp coconut oil- melted
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp each nutmeg and cinnamon (or to taste)
  • approx 1/3 cup chopped walnut pieces for topping

Method:

Blend together all ingredients (other than buckwheat) in a blender until smooth*. Pour into a medium bowl and add the buckwheat flour mixing until a smooth thickish batter is formed. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes to allow the flax to help thicken and bind a little.

Using a melon baller (easiest way!) scoop small dollops of batter onto a hot, lightly oiled, frying pan. add a few chopped walnuts to the top and fry until golden beneath and flip to cook for a minute on the other side.

Serve immediately. 

*Note: if you prefer the carrot more visible and a little chunky mix this in at the same time as the buckwheat.. 

Carrot cake breakfast blinis
Carrot cake breakfast blinis

 

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DAY TEN: Carrot cake baked oatmeal

The weekend before last, the morning before I was due to go on holiday…the very morning I had so much to do I told myself there was no way I would go into the kitchen and make a thing! I did venture into the kitchen, I just couldn't resist.

You see, a little idea had crept up on me, an idea that simply screamed ‘brunch’ and since I was hungry and the idea was simple I ended up in the kitchen whipping up a quick and simple baked oatmeal dish- carrot cake style. The perfect healthy filling mid-morning brunch, perfectly double portion sized so I saved the rest for the following morning for a hassle free breakfast before my flight. It was just as yummy served cold straight from the fridge! 

I’d come across various recipes for baked oatmeal in the past, not least from two of my favourite blogs Chocolate Covered Katie and Oh She Glows, but I’d never made a baked oatmeal dish of my own before. I’m often an impatient kinda girl when it comes to my breakfast so bowls of oats and two minute breakfast cookies are my usual style. But this was worth the short wait and the bonus of a ready-made breakfast the following morning... oh yeah!

You could sweeten this up with a little more agave or a pinch of stevia if you preferred, I wanted a very lightly sweetened breakfast snack so for me this was perfect. Add some choc chunks and a little more indulgence and you could also have yourself a dessert!

My oven dish was slightly too small (note the dribbles down the sides), so I packed the remaining mixture into a silicone muffin pan hence the muffin in the photos. You make all the mixture the into muffins if you fancied. I reckon this mix would make between 4 and 6 muffins depending on size of the pans.

Recipe: Carrot cake baked oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1 tbs chia/flax seed
  • 1 cup soy milk (or other vegan milk)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg or ginger
  • ½ cup oats
  • 2 tbs chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 2 tbs dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 2 tbs desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbs coconut sugar/rapadura/agave
  • Topping- sprinkling of desiccated coconut and coconut sugar

Method

Mix all ingredients together until well coated  and spoon into a greased oven dish*. Press down and smooth the top before sprinkling with a little extra desiccated coconut and coconut sugar (or other unrefined granulated sugar as desired).

Bake at 180C for approx. 20 mins until the topping is golden. Serve immediately.  This also tastes good cold the next day!

*my oven dish was approx. 20x10cm in size and I had a little mixture left over that wouldn’t fit in so I filled a silicone muffin case as well.

What Vegan MOFO means to me.

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Quinoa flake breakfast bake

I have never really baked with quinoa flakes before, mainly because I struggle to get hold of them around here. But a few a weeks ago when I visited Wholefoods on Kensington High Street in London for the very first time (much, much excitement) I picked up a bag.

So on Sunday morning when I was debating breakfast, I figured a little experimentation with my new purchase was in order! As it turned out, this little experiment became a rather yummy breakfast experience. This single serve breakfast bake will see you right through to lunch…and it’s so pretty too, the perfect start to your day. This could easily be served as dessert as well, maybe add a little more sweetness if serving as dessert as I was going for more of a ‘breakfast level’ sweetness with this bake and let the banana provide all the sweetness, other than a light drizzle of brown rice syrup on the top. You can use any summer berries you wish, I happened to have a few stranwberries to hand at the time. You could mix berries through the batter, but I would be careful not to make the batter too wet.

I mixed in a few oats with my quinoa flakes, but feel free to use all quinoa if you like (it may work with all oats as well but I haven’t tested this yet). The quinoa provides a lovely light texture in an otherwise moist and dense and bananary bread. Be sure to use a dish that allows the batter to be no more than 15mm thick as you may find it does not cook all the way through if much thicker.

I used a mini fluted ceramic pie dish (a recent new purchase that I was desperate to use for something!) and the bake was quite difficult to remove neatly. You can either it eat straight from the dish or make sure you use a greased/lined tin with a removable base which should make things much easier.

Recipe: Quinoa flake breakfast bake

serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe banana- very well mashed
  • Agave to taste if necessary (I didn’t use any extra)
  • ½ cup quinoa flakes
  • ¼ cup oats- GF if needed (or more quinoa flakes)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts of choice
  • Soy yoghurt to mix (I used approx. 3 tbs)
  • Handful of berries to decorate
  • Brown rice syrup/agave/maple syrup to drizzle

Method

Mix all ingredients (other than berries and drizzle) together in a small bowl adding the soy yoghurt last to achieve a thick smooth consistency. Spoon the mixture into a greased/lined mini pie dish  and decorate the top with the berries. Make sure the mixture is no more than roughly 1.5cm thick as it may not cook through properly.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 for approx. 15 minutes until the top is lightly golden.

Whilst still warm drizzle with a little syrup and serve immediately.

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Cinnamon challah

Hello, hello…. A second post on a Sunday? Ah, but it’s the Daring Bakers reveal date and this month’s challenge was Challah bread. A new experience for me!

May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.

Right, let me tell you one thing. Nothing went smoothly for me in this challenge. First settling on which recipe to use caused me much deliberation (ok, well that’s not exactly unusual). I had the usual task of veganizing the recipe, which it itself was not too tricky as suggestions had been given and I found quite a lot of additional inspiration from other recipes already out there (I looked at too many to name specific resources!)

Then came the debate as to how to actually make the challah. I have a Thermomix and in the Thermomix cookbook there is a specific Challah bread recipe. So, was I to go with the more traditional kneading/rising  methods and times suggested in the Daring Bakers Challenge and elsewhere  online, or was I to go with the Thermomix method (a swifter process).

So I went with the Thermomix method. In hindsight that was probably a mistake as I had no gauge against others results and it required more guess work in translating my ingredients to their (simple) method and that therefore meant more room for things going awry!

My first stumble: I killed the yeast (oops!) I added it to milk that I warmed just a little too much. Move onto second trial where I didn’t add the yeast to the liquid prior mixing.

My second stumble: On to my second attempt and it all went smoothly until the point at which I had to braid. I prepared a 4-strand braid and then realised I had no clue how to create a braid with 4 strands …ha ha! The stands got a bit stretched and mauled whilst I figured it out…I got there in the end*

My third stumble: Without having the option of using egg wash for the surface, I went for a soy milk with brown rice syrup combo. This was ok I principle I think, but I’m not sure whether it contributed to the over-browning of the top.

My fourth stumble: The cookbook I used stated bake for 20 minutes at 220C. I checked after 15 and it was very much done! I took it out at this point and it was saved…but had I left it longer….

My fifth (and final) stumble: I had added a ‘sweet cinnamon butter’ centre to the inside of each strand. I had high hopes for a lovely swirly effect when I cut into the loaf. Hmmm…not so much..it was barely noticeable.

Anyway, it was a good learning experience…and for the all the things that ‘challenged’ me there were plenty of good bits too…

The good bits:

Using the banana as a binder (instead of an egg) worked really well and assisted with the light sweetness. The addition of cinnamon and coconut sugar was delicious. I learnt how to braid with 4 strands…and you know what…

Most importantly, the bread tasted YUMMY! Yes, I said it tasted yummy…perfect when lightly toasted with a mug of tea. Let me tell you I sure needed that mug of tea!

Please feel free to have a go yourself…here is a link to the original Daring Bakers Challenge, which may assist with the process and also give other ideas for ingredients and tips above and beyond my own.

Recipe: Cinnamon challah Bread

Ingredients

  • 400g mix of white and wholegrain spelt flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 sachet instant yeast
  • 200g warm soy milk (or water)
  • 1 banana
  • 30g coconut oil
  • 20g coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • To glaze- approx. 3tbs soy milk plus ½ tsp brown rice syrup, extra coconut sugar for sprinkling
  • Filling- (optional) 3tbs melted coconut butter, 1tbs cinnamon 2 tbs agagve syrup

Method

Add all ingredients to the Thermomix and mix for 20 seconds/speed 3.

Knead for 2 mins of the dough setting. Remove the dough and place ina  large oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for approx. 1 hour.

On a flour surface, remove the dough and punch it down. Divide into 4 equal portions and roll each piece into a long sausage shape approx. 40cm long.

For a filled bread- i.e cinnamon as I have done or an alternative sweet or savoury filling, flatten the strands and add a line of filling before pinching together to seal into a thick round strand.

Press the 4 ends together and loosely plait the length of the strands before pressing the ends together to complete the braid. Form into a circle if you wish

Allow the challah to rise for approx. 30 mins and pre-heat the oven to 220C (based on my experience I would now suggest 200C I would also suggest a longer rising time of 1 hour).

Brush the bread generously with the soy milk/syrup glaze and bake for 15-20 minutes  or until the glaze is golden (keep a close eye to prevent burning).

*for a 4-strand braid, think of the 4 strands in two pairs. Cross the inner strands first (one from each pair) and then cross both of the outer stands individually (each pair), repeat the procedure with the inner strands (which will now be the other strand of each pair) then repeat with the pairs…..does that make sense. Basically you are just crossing the inners and then both outers in repetition. If you’re still confused…Google it like it did! 

 Flattened strand recieving its filling

 Flattened strand recieving its filling

barely there cinnamon butter swirls!

barely there cinnamon butter swirls!

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Apple oat bites

Oats never go away from my blog for long do they! It’s because they are always on my mind. Such a healthy, substantial, cost effective, simple, versatile ingredient…I truly believe oats are what make the world go round!

Oats are my breakfast every day, snacks in between on other days and occasionally dinner (when all I need is a quick post-gym snack). So when I need a quick and simple 2-minute breakfast, often the answer lies in my oats.

This recipe concept is based on my regular breakfast apple oats’ merged with the amazing breakfast cookieLast weekend, to shake things up a little instead of eating my regular oats as a very liquidy mix in a bowl, I reduced the liquid content right down, added some shredded coconut (for good measure) and then packed the mixture into a mini silicone muffin pan to cook them up. By the way, the mixture also tastes great pre-cooking…yes I was very hungry at that point and so very tempted to eat it all…but then I wouldn’t have any recipe for you!

Quick recap on the apple oats theory. I always grate a whole apple to mix through my morning bowl of oats for four reasons- it's a great way to get an extra portion of fruit in your day, it gives a subtle sweet taste without the need for additional sugar, it is fairly neutral so can easily accommodate other mix-ins to jazz things up, it bulks up the size of my breakfast without needing to add more oats so offers a great balance between being substantial and light.

The apple base mix is great…but what about the add ins. It’s always all about the add ins, that’s what brings sunshine and smiles to my day, amongst other silly things that make me smile….like a cat on it tiptoes drinking out of the bird bath (spotted this morning!)

So I spent a little extra time putting together a few simple flavour combos to get you started- the key thing for me is that they shouldn't take more than a minute to prepare since this is a speedy breakfast after all.  I also ran a test for microwave vs oven. I found the only real difference to be that the oven gave a dryer ‘baked’ exterior where as the microwave version stayed soft on the outside. The inside of both versions were very soft and moist. Take your pick!

You could also make a larger 'breakfast bombe' using my silicone egg poacher method.

The photo below is a plain apple oats version with extra coconut flakes on top...still super yummy without anything more!

This is a cheeky little 'bombe' version of the origial apple oats without mix-ins.

This is a cheeky little 'bombe' version of the origial apple oats without mix-ins.

Recipe : Apple oat bites

This makes approx. 6-8 mini oat bites (or a couple of breakfast bombes)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large apple grated
  • 2 tbs ground chia or flax
  • ½ cup preferred milk alternative
  • Approx. ½ cup total mix-ins

Mix-in ideas: 

  • 'carrot cake' (carrot and nutmeg)
  • date and walnut
  • 'gingerbread' (fresh, ground and crystallised ginger plus mollasses)
  • maple and cacao

....plus pretty much anything else you can think of!

Method

Mix everything together and pack firmly into silicone mini muffins trays (silicone for easy removal and microwave compatibility). Microwave on full power for approx. 90 seconds until the top feels firm.

my mix-ins of choice- I made two of each of the above listed flavour combo

my mix-ins of choice- I made two of each of the above listed flavour combo

basic mixture ingredients

basic mixture ingredients

wet basic mixture

wet basic mixture

oven version

oven version

microwave version

microwave version

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