Mung Daal (Moong Dahl)

I got tips for this recipe from a few Indian friends (everyone seems to make it slightly differently), then put my own stance on it, but only a little bit because why change something that works? So thanks to Deepa, Roshni and Abigail!

Mung beans have been part of traditional Ayurvedic diets for thousands of years and are used for their amazing nutritional values.

Not only are they absolutely packed full of nutrients (manganese, potassium, magnesium, folate, copper, zinc and various B vitamins), they are also very high in protein (a great option for a vegetarian diet) and fibre, and are a great anti-inflammatory food. When cooked with turmeric it is the perfect anti-inflammatory meal. They’re also great anti-oxidants.

One of the main reasons I made it this week is because more than anything, mung beans help digestion and after coming back from holiday and eating way too much, I needed something nutritious that aided digestion and was also filling and wholesome enough as a meal for Braxton.

It sounds like a lot of ingredients but just get all the spices out in front of you and add one by one. Just gives it the best flavour to have all the spices.

It’s such a delicious, wholesome, comforting meal and easy to make, which helps!

Ingredients – (NB: make sure to soak the beans at least overnight. You can soak them for days, changing the water each day.)

3/4 cup mung beans / moong beans
1 tsp turmeric
Choice of vegetables. I used: okra, baby corn, carrots, onion, courgette, sweet potato (could also add beetroot, pumpkin, peas, broccoli, green beans)
1 tbsp coconut oil (you can also use Ghee if not dairy free)
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
1 inch ginger, crushed
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp saffron
1/2 tsp cumin
Black pepper and Himalayan salt to taste
Handful fresh coriander

Optional spices – use what you fancy:
Cardamom, chilli, hing, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, bay leaf

Method

Once the beans have soaked for long enough, cook them. If you have a pressure cooker use this, if not, cover with boiling water, turn down the heat and put on a lid, stirring often and adding more water if needed.

Add the turmeric to the beans as they cook.

Once 3/4 cooked, add all the vegetables and continue to cook.

Once nearly ready, get a small frying pan and heat the coconut oil (and add ghee if using). Turn down the heat and add the cumin seeds and stir continuously. Once cooked, turn off the heat and immediately add the garlic, ginger and the rest of the spices except for the salt and pepper and stir. If the heat disappears too much, turn it back on to a low heat then turn off again. You don’t want the spices to burn or the garlic to brown too much.

Once cooked, add this mix to the bean mix and stir, and add salt to taste, then stir in the coriander and serve with fresh coriander and brown rice..

Love & health,
Lauren

5-Ingredient Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cups

peanut-butter-cups

I am a peanut butter fanatic and I make no apologies for that – just can’t get enough of the stuff! So growing up, Reeses Pieces would have been my ideal choice of sugary snack but just like with my mini Bounty bites, I wanted to come up with a healthy alternative and these are so unbelievably indulgent but refined sugar free, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free and vegan.

I actually  made these about 4 years ago for the first time but it was before I had the blog so I never posted a picture and obviously haven’t thought about making them again until now – heaven knows why. But a friend of mine, fashion blogger Sarah from We Are Twinset (check them out here), mentioned them so it gave me the inspiration to make them again.

They seem like they’d be really hard and time-consuming to make but I promise they are so easy! Give them a go, the kids will love them (that’s if you leave any left over for them!)

Ingredients

Chocolate layer:
4 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp cacao butter
3 heaped tbsp. cacao powder
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Pinch Himalayan salt (optional)

Peanut butter filling:
3 tbsp organic, natural peanut butter
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1-2 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)

Method

Start by making sure you have room in your freezer to place a baking tray flat.

Now line a cupcake baking tray with 12 muffin cases.

Prepare your chocolate layer by melting all the ingredients together in a saucepan over a low heat. The salt is optional so if you aren’t a fan of salted sweet snacks, leave this out.

Once ready, spoon into the muffin cases, reserving half of the mixture for the top layer. Put in the freezer for 20 mins.

At this point, make the peanut butter filling by melting the coconut oil then mixing it in with the peanut butter and maple in a bowl. Mix really well.

img_1382

Take the tray out the freezer and spoon a good dollop of this mixture onto the chocolate bottom layer and put back in the freezer for half a hour.

Once set, add the remainder of the chocolate layer to the top and put back in the freezer for 20 minutes.

Once ready, you can remove the muffin cases if you want to and store them in an airtight container in the fridge (easier to eat that way) or freezer if you want them to keep for longer, you may just have to wait 10 minutes when taking them out for them to soften a little bit.

Love & health,
Lauren

Raw Vegan Bounty Bites

raw-vegan-bounty-bites

My favourite EVER chocolate was Bounty – I’m obsessed with anything coconut so this really is an indulgence for me. I made these a few years ago before starting the blog but never photographed them or wrote down the recipe so thought I’d try to perfect them now so you can all share in their splendor! They are simply mouth-watering; so delicious but also kind of light and fluffy so they don’t make you feel sick. Everyone here loved them, hope you do too.

Ingredients

2 cups desiccated coconut
¼ cup ground almonds
½ cup coconut oil
The cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup maple
1 tsp vanilla extract

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

Method

Melt the coconut oil then mix all the ingredients except the chocolate in a bowl.

Line a plate or baking tray with baking paper then roll the mixture into small balls and put them on the prepared plate and put it in the freezer for an hour. (the baking paper will stop them sticking to the plate)

Make the chocolate sauce while it’s in the freezer. Take it off the heat once ready, take the balls out the freezer and immerse them, one by one, into the saucepan and coat them with the chocolate then put back on the plate. They will be best if you coat them twice, so once you’ve done them all once, re-immerse them.

Put them in the fridge to chill and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Summer Berry Smoothie

summer-berry-smoothie

This is basically the same as the summer berry smoothie bowl but this is more of a smoothie than an ice cream. It is our go-to breakfast most mornings, for me and Braxton, I just spoon-feed it to him. When there are no berries we just use banana and the other ingredients and it’s a great way of getting daily superfoods into us.

The Autumn is about to start so trying to get as many berries in while I can!

Ingredients

250ml almond milk (or oat, rice or coconut milk)
1 banana
Handful strawberries
Handful blueberries
1 banana
Handful redcurrants or any other summer berries you have
2 dates
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp acai berry powder
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp flax seeds
1 tsp hemp powder
2 ice cubes

Method

Blend all ingredients in the blender and pour into a cup – literally easier than making toast!

Love & health,
Lauren

Lentils, Broccoli & Cumin for Babies

Lentil Broccoli Cumin

Once again, I literally just made what I had at home! Although I do give Braxton meat (only organic, free-range from trusted sources), I like him to get a lot of his protein from plant-based sources and lentils are great for this. They are also cheap and go a long way. Broccoli is just full of bioavailable calcium, better than any sort of calcium you can get from dairy, so he has quite a lot of broccoli in his diet.

Cumin is great for digestion so it’s a really good spice to add when first weaning to help their tummies adjust. It is also an antiviral so great to give if baby has a cold.

Ingredients

1 organic broccoli
Half a cup of lentils – I used red lentils here
Half tsp cumin
1 cup of vegetable stock (homemade or low salt version if store-bought)

Method

Put the lentils in a pan with the stock and simmer until cooked – they can take a while. Add more water as needed until they are fully soft.

While the lentils are cooking, steam the broccoli for about 7 minutes. You don’t want to over-steam it.

When both are cooked, put in the blender with the cumin and blend to desired consistency.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

 

Pea & Edamame Fritters (for baby led weaning and generally humans who like food!)

Pea Edamame Fritters

You all know how much I love my weekly Abel & Cole organic food delivery and last week, I got a bag of peas in their pods which was such fun. I also had some edamame in the fridge so decided to add them and make some fritters as they are great for baby led weaning and I do like to give Braxton some food he can hold with each meal even if I am spoon feeding him also.

Ingredients

Half a cup of fresh podded peas (you could use frozen if you can’t get fresh of course)
Half a cup of edamame beans (shelled)
2 eggs
1 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp buckwheat flour
Handful chopped parsley
Handful chopped mint
Half a lime
Some coconut oil

(see below for optional dipping sauce)

Method

Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the chia seeds.  Mix, and leave to soak for 5 minutes. While they are soaking, add the peas and edamame to a saucepan of boiling water and boil for 5-7 minutes, until they have softened but not overcooked.

Drain the peas and edamame and add them to the egg mixture then add the buckwheat flour, parsley, mint and lime. You can add a little Himalayan salt if you want or keep it salt free for young babies.

Heat some coconut oil in a pan then spoon about 2 tbsp of the mixture into the pan. It will be too runny to shape it into patties, you just have to spoon it onto the pan how it is and it will take shape. Do a few at a time but don’t fill up the pan too much, you can do it in stages. They only need around 3-4 minutes on each side and remove when they are golden on both sides.

I made a little dipping sauce to dip them into by putting quarter cup olive oil, half an avocado, 6 brazil nuts, handful pine nuts, handful of mint and some Himalayan salt into the blender.

Health & happiness,
Lauren

Sauteed Suffolk Summer Squash (and some childhood memories of Suffolk)

Sauteed Summer Squash

My wonderful mummy went to visit her best friend in Suffolk last weekend. We used to spend our summers there with them. They called us The Tarmac Kids as we came from London and they lived in this amazing little village with about 10 houses, a post office that sold old fashioned penny sweets and a sweet old fashioned phone box. As kids we’d spend our days climbing over haystacks, finding little streams, collecting tadpoles and writing children’s stories about all the animals, all the while Mum sitting at the kitchen table talking to Aunty Vicky while she made jam. We’d go there at Christmas and enjoy sitting around the huge Christmas tree drinking hot chocolate and playing games. Aunty Vicky would throw a big party the week before Christmas for the whole family. We’d eat, play games, wear PJs and have the best time. They are some of the best memories of my life and I still enjoy going there to visit. It’s strange because as kids we all played together and now we all have kids of our own and I hope to take Braxton there soon and give him some of the amazing memories that I had.

Anyway, Mum went to one of their lovely farmers markets when she was there and brought me back some beautifully vibrant summer squashes and some redcurrants and said, ‘here, do something with these’! So I did! And this turned out really yummy.

Ingredients

2/3 summer squashes (depending on how much you want)
1 red pepper
2 spring onions
Generous handful parsley
1 tsp coconut oil
Himalayan salt & black pepper

Method

Peel and chop the squash, removing the soft seedy bit from the middle and put it in a bowl. Chop the red pepper into medium sized pieces and add this to the bowl with the squash.

Chop the spring onions and parsley and set them aside in another bowl.

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan and add the squash and red pepper. Give it a good mix then turn down to a low heat and cook until the squash has softened, around 10 minutes.

Once soft, add the spring onion and parsley, salt and pepper, mix, and give it another 2 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Love & health,
Lauren