Vegan Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

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Crunchy, yet slightly gooey peanut butter cookies. What could be better?

Braxton has decided he’s on hunger strike at the moment so I’m trying to find just anything that he’ll eat and I made these in the hope that he’d like them and he did, he was very happy. Now just to get him to eat broccoli…

We are also going away soon and I wanted to test out new things that I can take as snacks on the plane. Muffins always go down well but I thought that some harder cookies would also make a nice (and less messy) snack. Trying to figure out 24 hours worth of food and snacks for a 14 month old is no easy feat!

Anyway I kind of just threw the ingredients for these together but they turned out so delicious, I’m really happy with them.

Of course, as usual, gluten free, grain free, dairy free, refined-sugar free and vegan.

Ingredients

125g buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch Himalayan salt
45g coconut palm sugar
60ml maple syrup
5 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
4 tbsp coconut oil and extra for greasing
5 tbsp peanut butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line 2 baking trays with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

In a bowl, mix together the buckwheat flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt.

In a saucepan over a gentle heat, add the rest of the ingredients except the peanut butter, and heat gently until melted.

Once melted, add the peanut butter and stir until it’s softer.

Once that mixture is smooth, add it to the dry mixture. You might have to get in there with your hands as it could get a little crumbly. If it is too crumbly and won’t stick, add more coconut oil, maple and almond milk, but not too much.

Take a small amount in your hand and roll into a ball shape, then flatten it on the prepared baking tray. Repeat until you finish the mixture.

Bake for 7 minutes. They should look golden around the edge but still white-ish in the middle as they will continue to harden when they come out the oven.

Leave to cool before removing from the trays and keep in an airtight container in a cool place.

Love & health,
Lauren

Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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(Post has been updated since Braxton’s birthday to show new pictures)

I’m starting to plan Braxton’s 1st birthday (can you believe it?!?!) and of course the menu is of utmost importance. I’m not going to feed him the way I do then all of a sudden spend a day filling him with sugar and rubbish, so I have to come up with enough gluten, dairy & refined sugar-free cake options for everyone. We’re only doing a tea party at home for family, but I want it to be special, so Daniel and I are making a lot of the decorations ourselves and of course we’re making all the food. I’m going to make him the chocolate cake that I made from grandma’s birthday, but I’ll make it a 3 tiered one with heaps of chocolate frosting and that can be the cake we put the candles on, and I’m going to make a small sponge cake with a chocolate frosting for his cake smash picture (gotta be done!) but I also wanted to make some cupcakes as everyone loves a cupcake and it just looks nice.

I first made this a few weeks ago but made it as a cake originally, and cut it into squares, but the recipe wasn’t perfect. So I tried again last night, changing the things I think went wrong last time and they really are honestly delicious, and so nice as cupcakes, especially for a birthday. I made them with eggs the first time but then thought, hey, I can easily make these vegan by using banana instead of egg and the banana goes so nice with carrot and also makes it more moist, which is essential for carrot cake.

The banana keeps it quite sweet so I used a few spoonfuls of maple in the cakes themselves and that was it, but the frosting was so easy to make thanks to Natvia! Their icing sugar came in really handy this time as I was able to make a vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free frosting with Natvia icing sugar, dairy-free spread and a bit of vanilla.

These are the ones I made with egg and I tried a soya cream cheese frosting but the sweet frosting I made with Natvia was much nicer:

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I’ll post them again when the party is over and I can take a picture of all the food together!

Original ones:

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Ingredients

150g buckwheat flour
1tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
1.5 tsp baking powder
80ml coconut oil
3 ripe bananas
7 tbsp maple
3 large carrots
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Topping:
250g organic, dairy free spread / margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
400g Natvia icing sugar
1/4 cup crushed walnuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a cupcake baking tray with cupcake liners.

Peel and grate the carrots and leave to the side.

In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and spices.

In another bowl mash the bananas then mix in the coconut oil (melted but not hot) and maple.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, adding slowly and mixing as you go along. Once it is mixed, add the grated carrot and walnuts and mix again.

Pour into the prepared tin and put in the oven for 18 minutes.

Once it’s in the oven prepare the topping by mixing the ingredients really well then leaving in the fridge.

Remove the cake from the oven and wait until it is completely cool before adding the topping. The topping will need to come out the fridge 5 minutes before you’re going to start adding it to the cakes. I did mine with piping bags but you can just spoon it on if you don’t have time.

Add some more chopped walnuts to the top.

Love & health,
Lauren

Organic Spelt Soda Bread

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I love bread! There, I said it. Who doesn’t? When you try to live a healthy lifestyle you can’t really eat many breads because they all have so many preservatives in them, as well as other nasty ingredients. As you all know from my previous few posts, I’ve started weaning my baby, and although I am spoon feeding him some food, I’m trying to do as much baby led weaning as possible – or as much as he tells me he is comfortable with… So I’m looking for as many options as possible of foods that he can hold and feed himself. Toast is a great breakfast option but store-bought breads are so full of rubbish that I really don’t want him to have them.

I saw one of Paul Hollywood’s baking shows and he was making classic soda bread. It looked so simple and I thought, I must be able to substitute the white and wholemeal flours for spelt flour, so I gave it a go and also added some other ingredients to suit my own taste.

It turned out delicious – perfect actually, if I do say so myself!

Although spelt is ‘classified’ as wheat, it’s actually not wheat at all. It’s an ancient grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years and has nothing man-made in it and although it technically has gluten in it, the molecular make-up of the gluten in spelt flour is very different to that of normal wheat flour. it is more soluble and therefore more easily digested and less likely to cause an intolerance. And from gluten to dairy… It’s not often I eat dairy but if I can get a nice cheese from a farmer’s market I’m a happy bunny and this bread is perfect with a lovely bit of cheese on top, (there is also dairy in the recipe) and let’s add to that a glass of organic wine, seeing as we’re already being naughty! Alternatively, a good dollop of almond butter will taste amazing too.

Ingredients

2 cups (a normal mug is fine to measure a cup)
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
284ml carton of organic buttermilk
1 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 200c and line a loaf tin with baking parchment and grease with coconut oil.

Sift the spelt flour through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the tiny bits of brown left over in the sieve. Add the salt, bicarb and cinnamon and mix well.

Now add the buttermilk and agave, mix it in with the spoon by folding, then use your hands to really knead it all together. You’ll have to do this fairly quickly as the buttermilk will start reacting with the bicarbonate of soda. You could sprinkle some flour onto the work surface and knead it there instead of the bowl. I find this makes it easier.

Once it’s thoroughly mixed in, shape it into the loaf tin with your hands.

Take a knife and cut a fairly deep cross into the top, then sprinkle with some more flour and put in the oven for 30 minutes. When ready the base should make a hollow sound when you tap it.

It should fall easily out of the loaf tin, then place it on a wire rack to cool a little, but you can cut into it while it’s still warm – and you’re going to want to!

Enjoy!

Love,
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

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