Apricot & Coconut Buckwheat Granola

apricot-coconut-buckwheat-granola

I’m obsessed with granola and have been making yummy granola with oats for years (check out the recipe here) but I’ve never made it with Buckwheat before and I’m not sure why. It’s much lower GI and more easily digestible and despite having ‘wheat’ in its name, it’s not wheat at all, it is in fact a plant! I saw buckwheat groats in Planet Organic and decided to buy them and give this a go.

This turned out really delicious and you can really add anything you like to it.

Serve with chilled almond milk and it’s just divine!

Ingredients

300g buckwheat groats
50g coconut chips or desiccated coconut
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
Pinch Himalayan salt
4 tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
4 tbsp maple
Good handful coconut chips or desiccated coconut
About 10 dried apricots cut into small pieces

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan. Put the buckwheat in a large bowl and pour over the melted coconut oil along with all the other ingredients except for the apricots and mix well.

Spread out evenly on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes then stir it well, and bake for another 10 minutes.

Take it out the oven and mix in the dried apricot slices and leave to cool before putting it in a glass jar or plastic container. It will keep for a good while!

Serve with chilled almond milk.

Love & health,

Lauren

 

Healthy “Oreos”

 

My son loves Oreos, so I wanted to come up with a healthier version for him.
Buckwheat is gluten-free and is considered a wholegrain, even though it is not in fact a grain. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure; contains antioxidants and easily digestible protein; is high in fibre and helps to combat diabetes.
I’ve used coconut blossom sugar to replace regular sugar. While it is still a sugar and shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts (like any form of sugar) it is a much better option than processed cane sugar. It’s made by evaporating the nectar of coconut blossoms, so is raw, unrefined and unbleached. This means that it retains nutrients, notably zinc, iron, calcium and potassium. It also contains a fibre called inulin, which makes it much lower GI than regular sugar.
A good rule to remember is that not all calories are equal – you always want your calories to be as nutrient dense as possible. So if you are going to have a treat which contains some form of sugar, rather go for a natural form of sugar which has a higher nutritional value.

Ingredients

For the cookies:
110g organic virgin coconut oil
110g organic coconut blossom sugar
2 eggs
55g raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp organic vanilla powder or extract
1/4 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
280g buckwheat flour
2 tbsp ground flax (you can grind whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder or use pre-ground)
1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
2 tbsp water

For the filling:
1 cup raw cashews
60ml raw honey
30ml coconut oil
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp Oryx desert salt


Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Sift the cacao powder to remove lumps. Combine with the other dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the coconut oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time while beating. Add the dry ingredients and combine well. Add the water only if the dough is a bit dry or crumbly.

Dust your work surface with extra flour and roll the dough out to about 2mm thickness. Cut out into 5 or 6cm circles. Bake on a cookie tray lined with baking paper or silicone mats for 10 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool.

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Sandwich two cookies together with the filling and allow to set.
Makes 24 cookies.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Lauren & Raine

Broccoli & Pea Buckwheat Pasta

Pasta

Easy dinners, easy dinners. It’s all about easy dinners that you can just throw together quickly. Usually the meals that are considered ‘easy’ or ‘convenient’ are not particularly healthy so I’m always trying to invent new ones to add to the website so I can go back to them when I am short of time.

I’m trying to keep my folate and calcium levels up during my pregnancy so broccoli is a must-have in my diet right now. Buckwheat also helps control blood sugars which is essential during pregnancy to prevent gestational diabetes, and avocados, well, you all know how I feel about this wonder-food!

Ingredients

Enough buckwheat pasta for two people – double up all ingredients if you need more. (you can also use brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta. Try and stay away from processed pastas, even if they’re gluten free.)
A head of organic broccoli
1 cup frozen peas
1 ripe avocado
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 tbsp lemon juice
5 Brazil nuts
Handful pine nuts
1 clove of garlic
Handful fresh mint
Pinch Himalayan salt

Method

Cut your broccoli into florettes and add to a pan of boiling water. Once it’s been in for five minutes, add the peas and leave for around three minutes until all the vegetables are ready but not too soft. Drain, and set to the side until you are ready to use them. Rinse the saucepan and add the pasta and boiling water and begin to cook as per packet instructions.

While this is cooking, make your vegan pesto sauce. Add the avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, garlic, mint and salt to the food processor and process until totally smooth. If it is too thick, add a little more oil and lemon juice. Taste to see if it needs more salt or lemon.

Drain the pasta once it is ready and return it to the pan, then add in the vegetables and pesto sauce and turn heat on low just to heat the vegetables and stir to heat it all through.

Serve once hot.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Roll Up Maca Crepes

Maca Roll Up Pancakes

This morning I just needed pancakes, and energy. So I concocted this new recipe using ingredients that would give me energy, including maca powder. It’s basically the ‘original’ healthy caffeine. Just gives you that boost you need without the dip in energy later on that caffeine does to you. I also used almond butter for protein and banana, because who wants pancakes without lashings of nut butter and banana?! It’s also made with buckwheat flour so it’s totally gluten free, as well as dairy free and refined-sugar free. It’s a really quick, easy recipe and so yummy. Give it a go…

Ingredients

1 egg
1 egg white
1 banana, mashed
2 tbsp organic maple syrup
1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
1 tbsp maca powder
Coconut oil for cooking

Method

Mash the banana in a bowl, then add the egg, egg white, maple and almond milk and mix well.

Once combined, add the flour slowly, mixing the whole time, then add the maca. Mix really well.

Get a non-stick pan really hot with a little coconut oil and add 1 ladle full into the pan and flatten. These are more like crepes than American pancakes so they need to be larger and flatter. It shouldn’t take more than 40 seconds on each side with a good pan.

Serve with your choice of filling or topping from homemade chocolate sauce to almond butter or peanut butter, banana, nuts, seeds and fruit.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Valentine’s Pancakes

IMG_9595 (3)

These look like they’re filled with some sort of nasty artificial colouring, right? Wrong! Can you guess what the pink colour is? OK I’ll tell you… it’s beetroot! I love my healthy pancake recipe but I wanted to make something extra special for Valentine’s Day without using artificial colouring and all the colourings and flavours we need are already found in nature. I used my usual recipe, just added beetroot and changed it very slightly. I promise it doesn’t taste of beetroot either – they just taste like insanely yummy and fluffy pancakes. So easy to make as well, oh and they’re vegan too!

If you’re trying to be healthy but want to treat your partner to breakfast in bed this Valentine’s Day, you can’t get better than these. Yummy, nutritious – both buckwheat flour and beetroot are good for the blood and lowering cholesterol. The chocolate sauce is full of protein and is a great aphrodisiac – just what you need for Valentine’s Day!

Ingredients

Half cup buckwheat flour
1 beetroot, peeled, chopped and steamed (or ready cooked)
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
5 tbsp purified water
1 ripe banana
Half cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp maple or agave
Pinch Himalayan salt
Coconut oil for cooking

Method

First, mix the flax seeds in a bowl with the water and put in the fridge for 10 minutes to create flax ‘eggs’.

While it’s in the fridge, start preparing the rest. Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Once the flax eggs are ready, add this to the mix and blend until smooth.

Transfer this to a bowl so it’s easier to access with the ladle.

IMG_9594 (3)

Use a non-stick pan and heat some coconut oil in the middle, just a little, and when it’s hot, add a small ladle full of the mixture to the centre and spoon it over to create a pancake shape. It will only need around a minute on each side, but all hobs are different so you want it to be fluffy and cooked on the inside but not burnt on the outside. Repeat until the mixture is used up.

Top with homemade chocolate sauce or maple syrup, coconut cream or any topping of choice.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

LOVE,
Lauren

IMG_9597 (3)

Buckwheat Blueberry & Poppy Seed Muffins

Buckwheat Blueberry Muffins

Firstly, we both want to thank you all for the amazing response we’ve had to our blog after only going live yesterday – we appreciate it so much!

I really went out on a limb here today. I wanted to make blueberry muffins for my husband for the weekend as he loves them but I’ve never made buckwheat muffins so I decided to really experiment which is sometimes risky as it can go wrong and you end up throwing away a bunch of good ingredients! Thankfully though, these turned out perfectly!

Buckwheat flour is the perfect substitute for wheat flour because, although you may think buckwheat is a grain, it is in fact a fruit seed so it’s a great replacement for wheat. Buckwheat also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and contains lots of phytonutrients that act as anti-oxidants to fight fight disease. Blueberries are also brilliant anti-oxidants. I also used poppy seeds in these because they are a good source of B-Complex vitamins and I’m trying to increase my B-Complex intake to help my nerve pains, something I still suffer from as a by-product of having long-term arthritis.  Poppy seeds are in fact extracted from the pods of the opium poppy, we just don’t get the same side effects with them (!) They are high in oleic acid (a mono-unsaturated fatty acid) so they help lower cholesterol and they are high in fibre. And guess what? They’re also anti-oxidants!

Ingredients (these are gluten free, dairy free and refined-sugar free)

2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Half tsp Himalayan salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs (for vegan, substitute with 2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 5 tbsp water, mixed and left to set for 20 mins)
Quarter cup almond milk
Quarter cup agave or maple
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries
1-2 tbsp poppy seeds, depending on your preference

Method

Preheat the oven to 180.
Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add the mashed banana, then add the almond milk, agave and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. It doesn’t matter if there are a few lumps from the bananas but make sure you mix in all the flour from the bottom of the bowl. Then add the blueberries and poppy seeds.
Place around 9-12 muffin cases in a cupcake oven tray and using a large spoon, spoon in the mixture into each one, filling to nearly the top.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden and fairly moist.
Enjoy warm or cooled.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Love,
Lauren

Zucchini & Cauliflower Gluten Free Pizza Base

pizza

Mmmm pizza! It’s taken a while and a few failed experiments but I’ve finally mastered the gluten free pizza base and here it is… I had it in my head that I wanted to make the base with courgette (zucchini) and cauliflower, so if your kids (or husbands!) don’t like veggies you can always hide it in this base, although I do think it’s good for kids to see their veggies so that they learn to love them and not have to have them hidden when they grow up 🙂 This isn’t a vegan recipe, but it is suitable for vegetarians. Raine will add her gluten and dairy-free pizza shortly!

Ingredients

For the base:
1 large cauliflower
4 courgettes
2 eggs, beaten (if you don’t like using eggs use 2 tbsp flax seeds with 6 tbsp water, mixed and left to set for 20 mins)
Half cup ground almonds
Quarter cup parmesan cheese
Quarter cup grated cheddar
Salt & Pepper
1 tsp ground oregano
1 tsp ground basil

For the sauce:
1 tin of tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground basil
Pinch of salt

Topping:
Cheese, grated
Choice of vegetables

Method

Preheat the oven to 180. Chop up the courgette and cauliflower and steam together for 7 minutes. Once ready, line a colander with a thin dish cloth and empty the vegetables into this. Then you need to start wringing out all the moisture. Keep wringing for as long as possible until as much moisture as possible has left the vegetables and they look almost dry. Once you’re confident this is done, put in a food processor and blitz quickly – it doesn’t need to be completely blended.

Once blended, add to a bowl with the eggs, ground almonds, both cheeses, salt, pepper and herbs and mix well.

Smooth out onto a baking-paper lined baking tray (or a stone pizza base if you have one!)

pizza base

Put in oven and leave for around 30-40 minutes or until you can see it browning.

While it’s in the oven, make the sauce by adding all ingredients to a saucepan and simmering on low. Cut the vegetables at this time too. I used red pepper, onion, mushroom and some leftover cauliflower.

Once the pizza starts browning slightly, add the sauce and vegetables and continue baking for another 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Take out the oven, slice, serve and wait for the compliments!

Love,
Lauren