Chickpea Banana Bread

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The next few posts will be dedicated to the humble chickpea.  Maybe the most versatile legume in existence, and definitely one of my favourites because of that.

I’m sure you’re no stranger to using chickpea flour, and if you’re gluten intolerant, you’ve probably come across it more often than not.  It’s found a lot in gf flour substitutes, and in this instance, i’m going to use it solely for that purpose.

So, before you go scrunching up your nose, I dare you to try this recipe out.  You won’t regret it!

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Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of fine chickpea (besan) flour

1 TBS baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp celtic sea salt

1 1/2 cup very ripe mashed bananas (approx. 3 large)

1/3 cup firmly packed coconut sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp of vanilla extract

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

1 banana, sliced for topping

2 TBS maple syrup for glaze (optional)

Method

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Line a loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix bananas, oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.  In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, spices and salt.  Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently with a whisk to combine all the ingredients well.

Pour into prepared loaf tin, arrange the extra banana in which ever way you like on top, and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Once out of the oven, use a pastry brush to glaze the top with maple syrup.  This is an optional step but highly recommended.

Leave in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and leave on wire rack to cool.

Because all ovens vary, start checking at the 45 minute mark to avoid burning.

Stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days, on the counter for up to 3, and frozen in slices for up to 3 months.

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Peas, love and mungbeans

 

xxb

Grain Free Banana Bread

This is a simple recipe for delicious banana bread that contains no oil, sugar or grains.

And by no sugar, I mean no sugar.  I get so frustrated when recipes say they have no sugar but then you go on to see that they do have added sugar in the form of coconut sugar, rice bran syrup, maple syrup, e.t.c.  Maybe the healthier option than refined sugar but still sugar!  I have been guilty of this also so no judgement here.

For the past 6 weeks I have been doing the Whole 30, which completely rules out all sweeteners, including stevia, which used to be my favourite sweetener to use but I have sinced changed my mind.  For the first 4 weeks, I didn’t touch any ‘natural’ sugars, just fruit (still sugar but a complete food and allowed in the Whole 30 program.  Won’t go into the difference because it’s a bit too sciency but look it up if you’re interested).   As a result, I didn’t do any baking for myself so now that the initial program is over, I have kept to it but have now branched out to make some completely sugar free goodies.  That, and my bananas were totally black and needed to be morphed into baked goods 😉

This recipe contains eggs.  I’m sure you could use an egg substitute if you wanted to but I haven’t tried it so can’t vouch for the results if you do.

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Grain Free Banana Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

1 cup of almond flour

1 cup of hazelnut flour

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt

2 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg

1 tsp of vanilla powder

1 TBS of baking soda

For the topping

chopped hazelnuts and almonds

1 banana, sliced lengthways

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.  Prepare a loaf pan with baking paper and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the nut flours, spices, salt and baking soda.  Mix well.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs into the mashed bananas until you get one homogenous mixture.  Add this to the dry ingredients and mix well until everything is combined.

Pour into prepared loaf tin and smooth the top with a spatula.  Arrange your banana slices and crushed nuts on top.

Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer placed in the centre comes out clean.

Let it cool in the tin for 20 minutes before cutting.  This bread keeps well in the fridge or frozen in pieces and toasted whenever your heart desires.

Enjoy

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

 

 

 

 

Celebration Cake

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They say necessity is the mother of invention and this is how I feel about this cake.  Basically, I had to meet my husband’s expectations about what a chocolate cake is, with my desire to make it as healthy as possible.   So, I basically just copied my vegan chocolate cake recipe and substituted the flour with gluten free flour.   Yep,  no rocket science there, but hey, it worked!

It’s everything you can expect from a cake:

decadent

chocolatey

moist (my apologies for those folk who hate that word)

There are three parts to making this cake delicious, first is the cake, second is the vanilla cream filling and thirdly is the chocolate ganache.  so, let’s get cracking!

Decadent Chocolate Cake 

makes one 20 cm round cake

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1 cup of coconut sugar

1/2 cup of raw cacao powder

1 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of Himalayan pink salt

1/3 cup of sunflower oil

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1 tsp of apple cider vinegar

1 cup of warm water

1 TBS of instant coffee granules

Vanilla Cashew Cream

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed well

1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/4 cup of rice bran syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache

Flesh of 2 medium ripe avocados

100g of Lindt 70% dark chocolate

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2/3 cup rice bran syrup

1 TBS almond butter

1 TBS arrowroot powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt

To Decorate

Berries or other fruit/nuts/seeds of choice

Method

Chocolate Cake

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients, mix well to combine.  Add coffee granules to the cup of warm water and mix until it dissolves, add this to the dry ingredients, along with the rest o f the other wet ingredients, and mix until mixture is combined and there are no lumps.  I use my stand mixer for this, one because it takes less time and two, because I’m lazy when it comes to cake mixing!

Line a round cake tin with baking paper, then pour in mixture and place cake in middle layer of oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Leave the cake to completely cool before cutting it in two separate pieces.

Vanilla Cashew Cream

Place all ingredients in a powerful blender and blend until silky smooth.  Taste and adjust sweetness if needed.  Put in glass container and store in fridge until you are ready to assemble the cake.

Chocolate Ganache

Place broken up chocolate pieces into a glass or aluminium bowl, then place bowl over a pan of boiling water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t make contact with the water or that any water gets inside the bowl containing the chocolate.  The chocolate will start melting.  Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Add all ingredients to a food processor, including the melted chocolate and process until smooth.  You will need to scrape the sides a couple of times.  Taste and adjust sweetness if required.  Place in fridge until you are ready to assemble the cake.

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To assemble cake

Place both your cake pieces, cut side up, on a clean bench or cutting board, and spread with vanilla cashew cream.  Now you have an option, you can add some thinly sliced pieces of strawberries on top of the cream which is what I did, or you can leave it as is.  Be mindful that if you decide to go with adding the strawberries, you will need to be careful when frosting the cake as the strawberries can cause the layers to slide and become a little bit unstable.

Once you’ve added your cream and optional fruit, sandwich the layers together, making sure the edges are even, and start the frosting process using the chocolate ganache.  The frosting will be thick because it’s been in the fridge so if you prefer to work with a softer consistency, just take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before you are ready to start frosting.  Now I’m no professional cake decorator, I just use a spatula to cover any exposed cake and hope for the best 😉

There will be enough frosting for the whole cake and you will probably have some left over.  YUM.

Once you have frosted the cake, add your berries or other decorations and you’re ready to serve.

Happy Celebrations!

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Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

 

Pumpkin and Coconut Bread

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Since deciding to not use processed sugar in my cooking, I’ve been playing around with lots of different ways to sweeten things up.  I can normally get away without needing much extra sweetener in raw desserts as that can be easily added with fruit and dried fruit like dates, but when it comes to baking, it’s a different story.

Apart from banana based cakes and muffins, I find that baking really needs some kind of sweetener added to make it a proper baked goodie.

So, when Natvia approached me about contributing a recipe for their e-book, I jumped at the chance.

Now, I have to admit, I have used stevia before but I normally use liquid so it’s hard to write a recipe with exact quantities as my drop might be bigger than yours, and so on.

I like that with baking stevia you can use it exactly as you would sugar, so 1 cup of stevia equals 1 cup of sugar in recipes.  So much less complicated than getting the dropper out!

There are a lot of brands of stevia out there, but I like this one for two reasons.  One, it’s 100% natural and made from the stevia plant, and two, it’s made in Melbourne which is as local as I’m going to get from Sydney. I highly recommend it if you want to give it a go and it’s pretty easy to find, I’ve seen it at my local Woolies and I’m pretty sure they also sell it at Coles.  And if you’re in two minds, just get the smaller 200 g canister that they have available, that way it won’t be a huge waste if you decide you don’t like it.

Now what to bake?  Enter pumpkin and coconut bread.

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Pumpkin and Coconut Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup spelt flour (or plain flour, or wholemeal flour)

1 cup of Natvia

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp all spice

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup of coconut milk

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup walnuts

Extra pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut and a TBS of oats for topping (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Lightly grease 1 loaf tin with coconut oil.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, add flour, Nativa, baking soda, salt, all spice, ginger, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and coconut milk, and mix until all of the flour is absorbed. Fold in the flaked coconut, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin.  Top with the extra shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds and oats.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, and cover tightly with foil.  Allow to steam for 10 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting into slices.

I served mine with freshly made roasted hazelnut butter.

YUM.

Whilst I don’t make cakes that often, I’m glad to know that there’s a good option to make a sugar free one that tastes good too and doesn’t have that yuck after taste.

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Next time, I’m going to try and make a gluten free version so watch this space.

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

 

The Perfect Bowl of Porridge

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What does it take to be a perfect bowl of porridge? The answer to this as with many other things, is that it’s different for everyone.  Some people I know love their porridge cooked with water, some salt and pepper and a dollop of butter.  Some people I know, like theirs runny, like a soup.  Personally I’m a thick porridge girl myself, preferably sweetened with fruit.

So, I’m going to give you my version of perfect oats.  My preferred method is to let the oats soak overnight with 1 cup of the water I’m going to cook them in, a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.  They say soaking helps to break down the phytic acid which can combine with minerals in the gut to block the absorption of nutrients in the grain. Soaking or fermenting the grains beforehand releases enzymes to help breakdown the phytic acid and gluten which is present in many grains, especially wheat, but oats as well. Oats contain more phytic acid than any other grain so it’s important to soak them.  Of course, if you forget, don’t worry, you won’t die.

Basic Porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup of wholegrain oats (GF if you’re sensitive to gluten)

1 cup of water

1/2 cup of milk of choice (I go between almond and coconut)

pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Method

Let’s assume that you soaked your oats with the cup of water and pinch of salt in your saucepan.  The next morning, just add the milk and cook on medium heat until the oats reach your desired consistency.  It won’t take long as they will be really soft.  Make sure you stir the oats whilst cooking, this will give it a really nice and creamy consistency.

If you didn’t soak your oats, don’t fret.  Just add all the ingredients to the saucepan and cook as above.  It may take a minute longer, just do some squats whilst you wait.

OHM Perfect Porridge:  To the above recipe, add 1 medium ripe banana before cooking.  Mash with a potato masher until it’s all incorporated with the oats.  This will add a natural sweetness so that you don’t have to add any other sweeteners.  If you’re tempted to add more sweetener, I suggest doing that with your toppings.

Now that you know how to make the basics, why not try some flavour combos by adding the following to the OHM Perfect Porridge recipe.

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Banana Chai Oats :  add 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cardamon, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1 crack of black pepper to the above recipe before cooking.  Once it reaches your desired consistency, add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.  Top with berries, goji, almonds, shredded coconut, chia, coconut yoghurt and nut butter.

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Blueberry Banana Oats:  Add 1 cup of frozen blueberries whilst the oats are cooking. Top with fresh kiwi and coconut flakes

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Pumpkin Pie Oats: Add 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree and 1 tsp of pumpkin spice mix to the oats before cooking.  Top with caramelised apples, chopped pecans and a dash of maple syrup.

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Vanilla Pear: Substitute the banana with 1 medium ripe pear, and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract to the porridge once it’s cooked.  Top with caramelised pears and seeds of choice.

So those are just a few flavours but really, the sky is the limit when it comes to coming up with some good ones.  Just think about the flavours you like and which of those go well together and bingo!

Peas, love and munbeans

xxb