Blueberry Banana Bread

I had a heap of blueberries in my fridge and some ripe bananas so I thought I’d use my classic banana bread recipe and add blueberries. If you want a more chocolatey version, see here. This one is so light and fluffy and yummy and of course gluten, dairy, sugar and egg free ❤

Ingredients

3 large very ripe bananas, mashed (if they are small, use 4)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 heaped tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp flax seeds
3 tbsp filtered water
1 cup buckwheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Handful blueberries

Method

Preheat the oven to 180° and line a loaf tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Mix the flax seeds in a small bowl with the water and set aside so it can set. (this is a flax ‘egg’ and used instead of eggs.)

Mash the bananas in a large bowl and add the coconut oil and maple, then add the flax mix and mix well.

Now add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Mix in the blueberries gently and spoon into the prepared cake tin.

Put it in the oven for around 25–30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean. My oven tends to cook things much quicker than most so it’s been a bit of a learning curve, your oven may need more time.

Leave on a wire rack to cool then turn out of the loaf tin onto a plate.

Delicious served with peanut or almond butter!

Love and health,
Lauren

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Drizzled Banana Bread

This is basically exactly the same as my usual banana bread (gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and vegan), I just added a bit of peanut butter and chocolate drizzles to the top because, why not!

It sank a bit in the middle which is really annoying when you make something so pretty, but I think it was still worth a picture 🙂

Ingredients

3 large very ripe bananas, mashed (if they are small, use 4)
1 whole banana for the middle (optional)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 heaped tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp flax seeds
4 tbsp filtered water
1 cup buckwheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Chocolate sauce to coat the banana in (optional):
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp tsp cashew butter

Drizzle topping:
1 heaped tbsp smooth peanut butter
Leftover chocolate sauce from the banana coating

Method

(Quick note: if you want this to  be quick and simple, just leave out the optional chocolate-covered banana in the middle, the cake will be just as nice!)

Preheat the oven to 180° and line a loaf tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Make the chocolate sauce by melting all the sauce ingredients on a gentle heat in a saucepan. Coat the whole banana in the chocolate sauce and leave in the fridge to set. Save whatever is leftover of the chocolate in the saucepan for later.

Mix the flax seeds in a small bowl with the water and set aside so it can set. (this is a flax ‘egg’ and used instead of eggs.)

Mash the other 3 bananas in a large bowl and add the coconut oil and maple, then add the flax mix and mix well.

Now add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Move just under half the batter into the loaf tin then put the chocolate-covered banana on top. Now add the rest of the mix on top of the banana.

Put it in the oven for around 25–30 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean. My oven tends to cook things much quicker than most so it’s been a bit of a learning curve, your oven may need more time.

Leave on a wire rack to cool then turn out of the loaf tin onto a plate.

Once cool, put the peanut butter on a plate and even out so it’s quite thin on the plate, then put it in the microwave for about 2 minutes, or until it starts cracking, then, once cool enough for you to handle with your fingers, sprinkle it over the top of the cake.

Finish by drizzling the remaining chocolate sauce in the saucepan over the top.

Delicious served with peanut or almond butter!

Enjoy!

Love and health,
Lauren

Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Braxton is leaving his childminder this week and starting nursery – eek!! I didn’t know what to get the lovely ladies at the childminder so decided to make them some nice things and package them nicely as a thank you. I made them these and some chocolate truffles – I hope they like them and hope you do too!

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil
3 heaped tbsp natural peanut butter
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp almond milk
½ tsp vanilla powder
Pinch Himalayan salt
1/3 cup ground almonds
3-4 tablespoons coconut flour

Chocolate coating:
3 tbsp cacao powder
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp cashew butter
¼ cup coconut oil (add more if it is too thick)

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment and grease with coconut oil.

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and add to a mixing bowl.

Now add the peanut butter, maple, almond milk, vanilla and salt to the bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. It should start thickening a little.

Now add the ground almonds and mix really well, then add the coconut flour and mix again. If it is too runny to make into cookies, add another tablespoon. It should thicken as you mix but add coconut flour one spoon at a time as needed.

Roll into small balls and push down on the prepared baking tray but not too thin as they should be quite bulky and will be soft on the inside if they are thicker which is nice, a bit like blondies.

Put in the oven and bake for 7-8 minutes, until they have only just started browning on the edges but not more than that as they will continue to harden when they are out the oven.

While they are in the oven make the chocolate by melting all the ingredients together in the saucepan you melted the coconut oil in.

Let the cookies cool on the trays for 5 minutes then let them cool fully on a wire rack.

Once cool, dip them in the chocolate and put them on a plate and put the plate in the fridge for an hour.

You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge to keep the chocolate from melting and they should still be soft enough on the inside when they come out the fridge.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Vegan Pumpkin Donuts

donuts-edited

Yup, so this actually happened in my kitchen today!! I’d been seeing a lot of pictures of donuts around and my friend Deepa at GirlBoyFoodBaby made some healthy donuts also, so I decided to give it a go.

I wanted to make them using pumpkin (had a bee in my bonnet) so that they were autumnal (best word) and obviously now it’s made from a vegetable it’s basically like eating a salad so I can have as many as I want, right??

I found an organic pumpkin puree at Ocado which worked great. I could have pureed my own of course but these are so time consuming that I thought I’d buy the tinned one seeing as it was organic! This is the pumpkin puree I used…

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Speaking of time consumption, this deserves a warning… the donuts themselves do not take long to make at all. About 10 minutes prep and 7 minutes in the oven, but the toppings take a while. That is if you want to do different kinds like I did. If you just do one kind, you can whip it up while the donuts are in the oven and cooling and it won’t take too long at all. As usual, it’s really just the clearing up that takes up most of the time with baking… Surely I deserve to have someone to wash my dishes for me by now right?? 🙂

Anyway time-consuming toppings aside, does it really matter? I mean look how awesome they look! And they taste awesome too. Of course they taste nothing like a Krispy Kreme, but then again, I wouldn’t want it to. I want Braxton to grow up appreciating natural sweetness and natural flavours, not artificial rubbish filled with sugar and preservatives. Speaking of which, I used a lot of Biona products for these. Including their coconut palm sugar and coconut oil. I love how natural and organic their products are. Great for our health and for the environment.

You’ll need a donut tin for this, I got mine on Amazon and it looks like this…

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We took these with to our sister-in-law for dinner and everyone seemed to really enjoy them. We’ve saved one over for Braxton for a snack later (well, he’ll have a quarter) I hope you enjoy them xx

Ingredients (ingredients for toppings below at bottom of method)

1 flax egg: 1 tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 1.5 tbsp water
1 heaped cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch Himalayan salt
1/3 cup Biona coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease the holes of the donut tin with coconut oil.

First, make the flax ‘egg’ by mixing the flax seeds with the water in a very small bowl and set aside.

Now mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl: buckwheat, baking powder, bicarb, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In another bowl mix the coconut palm sugar, pumpkin puree, almond milk, maple, coconut oil, vanilla and then add the flax ‘egg’. Whisk with a fork or balloon whisk until smooth.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until totally incorporated.

Put the mixture into the prepared holes in the tin using your hands and smoothing them out on the top.

Place in oven and bake for about 7 minutes or until a fork comes out clean. They should still be moist.

Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool fully before adding the toppings.

Topping choices:
Cinnamon vanilla glaze: In a small bowl mix 3 tbsp Natvia icing sugar, 1 tbsp warm water, quarter tsp vanilla extract. Spoon unevenly over the top of the donuts, then sprinkle with cinnamon.
Cashew cream: In a small bowl mix 2 tbsp cashew butter, 1 tsp melted coconut oil, half tsp vanilla, half tsp maple syrup. Spoon all over the tops and sides of donut and top with crushed cashews.
Chocolate: 1 tbsp cacao butter, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tbsp cacao powder, 1 tsp maple. Heat gently in a saucepan and once ready, add to the top of the donuts. You can cover it then top with pistachios or almonds or you could drizzle it with a spoon.

Hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

Love & health,
Lauren

Vanilla Berry Ice Lollies

Vanilla Fruit Ice Lollies

If there is one thing I miss about dairy, it’s ice cream! Especially during hot summer days; there’s nothing better. So I decided to make my own. I’ve made smoothie lollies before and fruit lollies but I wanted something creamier, like good old-fashioned ice creams and I came up with this idea. It literally couldn’t be easier, you just need to buy yourself some ice lolly moulds in preparation. I bought BPA free ones from Amazon.

I added some edible flowers in here just to make them look more colourful, but you don’t have to do that.

Braxton loved these so much I have to make some more! They are dairy free, refined-sugar free and therefore, totally fine to give babies. They kind of taste a bit like Mini Milks, remember those?? 🙂

If you like it sweeter add the Natvia (click on this page to read more about Natvia sugar substitute and why it’s so awesome and great for diabetics).

Ingredients (makes 2 large lollies)

1 tub Rebel’s Kitchen vanilla coconut yoghurt (or plain coconut yoghurt with 1 vanilla pod scraped in)
Half cup almond milk
About 8 blueberries, squished
2 strawberries, cut in thin slices
Half tsp Natvia for added sweetness

Method

Mix the yoghurt, almond milk and Natvia in a bowl then pour the mixture into the lolly moulds and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes without adding the lolly stick.

They should have firmed up just a little bit and now push the fruit down into them and space them out.

Add the lolly sticks and put back into the freezer for 4 hours.

Remove and enjoy!

Love & health,
Lauren

Flapjacks For Breastfeeding Mamas (& everyone else!)

Sticky Oaty Flapjacks

My friend just had a baby and was really determined to make breastfeeding work. I always found that the best gift anyone could bring me after having the baby was food. And healthy food. You don’t have time to cook so you just have to take whatever anyone gives you or whatever is convenient which usually means you eat really badly for the first few months. Not only is this not good for our bodies but of course whatever you eat goes through to your milk so it affects the baby too. One of my biggest struggles after having Braxton was trying to maintain my healthy diet when I was just too exhausted to cook and of course when he slept, I didn’t want to be in the kitchen, I wanted to sleep!

I also really struggled with breastfeeding – it didn’t come easily to me at all – but I got there eventually. I was told to eat lots of oats to increase my supply so I eventually got into the kitchen to make some flapjacks as the store-bought ones are just so full of sugar. They were so yummy and such an easy snack to have next to me during those early days of being absolutely ravenous every time he even approached my boobs! So I made these for my friend also and thought I’d share the recipe.

These are also fab for baby led weaning, I’d suggest just omitting the sunflower seeds.

Ingredients

250g organic rolled oats
15 dates (if they’re big, 20 if they’re smaller)
Quarter cup ground flaxseeds
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
5 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp peanut butter
5 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 8 tbsp water

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a silicone baking tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Soak your dates for about half an hour in purified water so they soften and once they’re soaking, mix the chia seeds with the water and leave aside to set.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the peanut butter and maple. Once combined add the dates and mix, then put it all in a food processor.

Blend until smooth, then add the oats and chia mix and blitz a little bit but you still want the oats to be in solid pieces.

Tip into a bowl and add the sunflower seeds an mix around until they are evenly spread throughout the mixture.

Now spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake for 12-15 minutes. Check it at 12 minutes and see if the top is starting to go golden, if it is, take them out. They need to be moist and not overcooked.

Leave on a cooling rack until completely cool – if you cut them while they are hot they won’t stick together.

Once cool cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Mint Chocolate Energy Balls & Some Info On Essential Oils

Mint Chocolate Energy Snack Balls

I’m loving my essential oils at the moment – I’ve really been getting into EOs since finding that Frankincense helped my postpartum arthritis flare as it’s such a great anti-inflammatory. I made a Frankincense oil rub for my joints by mixing it with coconut oil (this is called using a carrier oil to dilute the EO a little) which I rub on twice a day. I add it to my diffuser so that it lets out the steam into the room and I take it internally. You can’t ingest all EOs, only high-grade ones. The Frankincense I use is from a company called Free Your Senses but another great company where you can buy a box of 10 EOs of your choice is doTERRA. You can really do so much with them: you can use them as perfume instead of putting the highly toxic perfumes on your body, you can use them in cooking, make creams, lotions, bath wash, deodorant and oils, you can diffuse them, and I even use the doTERRA lavender oil with coconut oil on Braxton’s feet each night before bed to calm him, especially if he is teething.

In this recipe I used doTERRA peppermint oil.

This is a great post-workout snack as it’s so high in plant-based protein. It’s also a great snack generally for the whole family as a ‘treat’ with no nasties.

Ingredients

1 cup almonds
1 cup dates
2 drops doTERRA peppermint oil
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Quarter cup pistachios (to roll in)

Method

First, as always, soak your almonds overnight. This is very important. Also, soak the dates for about 2-3 hours to soften them. All soaked in purified water.

Drain the almonds and pat them dry with a bit of kitchen roll and put them in the blender. At this time, drain the dates and leave them draining in the sink while you blend the almonds.

Turn the blender up and blend until the dates form a meal, and start becoming a bit buttery. Spoon it away from the edges and the blade, then add the dates and blend until totally incorporated.

Now add the peppermint oil, cacao, maple and salt and blend again. Tip into a large bowl, mix with your hands if you need to to get the last bits incorporated.

Get a plate ready and now start rolling them into small balls and place them on the plate. Once you have finished the mixture and all the balls are rolled, ground your pistachios in a pestle and mortar. They shouldn’t be ground too finely as you still want decent size chunks.

Roll each ball into the pistachio mix so it is completely covered and return to the plate.

Once they are all covered with the pistachios, put the plate in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. You can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and you can also keep them in the freezer and defrost in the fridge an hour before you want to eat them.

Love & health,
Lauren