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

Apple & Cinnamon Granola Bars

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These are the best things for on-the-go breakfasts for those busy mornings. You can freeze them and defrost in batches as and when you need them which also helps. They are full of slow-releasing energy and great nutrients with no refined sugar, dairy, gluten, wheat or eggs so are the perfect healthy breakfast or snack for you and the kids.

Ingredients

2 tbsp chia seeds
230g oats
140g medjool dates
3 tbsp coconut oil
5 tbsp applesauce (homemade or store-bought apple puree)
4 tbsp almond butter
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of Himalayan salt

Method

Put the chia seeds in a small bowl with 8 tsp purified water, mix until incorporated and leave for about 15 minutes until it turns into a gel. (this will be an egg replacement)

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line a 26x26cm square silicone baking tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Put the dates and coconut oil in the blender and blend until nearly smooth but there can be a few lumpy date bits.

In a bowl, mix the oats, applesauce, almond butter, cinnamon and salt then mix in the date and coconut oil mix.

Add the chia gel once it’s ready and mix well.

Spread into the prepared baking tin and press down so it’s evenly distributed and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Leave to cool fully before removing and cutting into slices or squares.

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.

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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

Classic (But Healthy) Banana Bread

 

banana-bread

Happy new year everyone! Kicking off the very cold new year with a hearty banana bread – the best comfort food for cold days. This is my classic banana bread recipe but I had loads of bananas leftover that I needed to use up so I decided to stick on in the middle (coated in chocolate of course) and see how it comes out! It was yummy 🙂

Wishing all my followers a very happy and healthy new year. Let this be the year that we respect our bodies for all that they do. We need to stop putting pressure on ourselves to look a certain way and just eat and live healthily to give our bodies the best chance. Lots of love ❤

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

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.

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.

Delicious served with peanut or almond butter!

Enjoy!

Love and health,
Lauren

Creamy Vegan Mash

creamy-vegan-mash

Mashed potatoes have to be creamy. No use having dry, lumpy mashed potatoes – it’s just not worth it! I was just using almond milk and dairy-free spread but I’ve now found a way to make it even creamier – by adding stock!

Braxton has been a little bit unwell and didn’t want to eat anything that he had to chew so I added my homemade stock to this and it really made him happy. See what you think…

Ingredients

About 7 white potatoes
125ml low sodium or homemade vegetable stock
Half a cup almond milk
2 tbsp dairy free non-hydrogenated spread / ‘margarine’
1 tsp dried parsley
Himalayan salt & black pepper

Method

Peel and chop the potatoes and put them in a pan of boiling water and bring to the boil.

Once soft, drain in a colander, holding a tiny smidgen of water back, then transfer all back to the pan.

Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and once they are as smooth as you can get them, add the stock, almond milk and margarine and mix well.

Now add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Add more stock if it is not creamy enough and just keep adding to your desired creaminess!

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Blueberry Coconut Oat Bars

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This morning I had a bee in my bonnet about wanting to make a less stodgy version of my blueberry porridge bars (not that stodge is bad, I just wanted something a bit crunchier this time!) and I happened to stumble across a recipe for exactly what I was looking for when I was scrolling through my Instagram (@theorganicspoon) courtesy of Baby Led Feeding.

They have more ingredients than the porridge bars but they are a bit more like flapjacks of some sort and made a nice change. Great to take out as a snack for the kids. Have packaged mine up ready to take out to the park with us this morning.

Ingredients

180g oats
140g buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
40g desiccated coconut
120g coconut oil
2 bananas mashed
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

280g blueberries
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. Heat the coconut oil gently in a saucepan and leave to cool.
  3. Add the oats, flour, baking powder and 3/4 of the desiccated coconut to a bowl. Give it a good stir then make a well in the middle and add in the coconut oil, bananas, maple syrup, egg and vanilla. Make sure the coconut oil is cooled first otherwise it will cook the egg. Stir well until it is fully combined and has formed into a dough.
  4. Line a square silicone baking tin with parchment paper then pour in 3/4’s of the mixture, then press it down with a spoon.
  5. Make the blueberry compote by adding the blueberries and water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to low and using a wooden spoon or masher, mash until they have broken apart, then add the chia seeds and give it a good stir.
  6. Pour the blueberry compote over the oat mixture, then dollop over the remaining mixture in small clumps until it is gone.
  7. Sprinkle over the remaining desiccated coconut then bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Cool fully before removing from the oven then slice into small baby bites and serve.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Epic Chocolate Birthday Cake – Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free

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PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS ON THIS ONE OTHERWISE IT WON’T MAKE SENSE

Here it is–Braxton’s EPIC (if I do say so myself) chocolate birthday cake. So, this is the same recipes as Grandma’s Birthday cake, except I made 3 of them so I could tier it, and I forgot to sprinkle cacao over the top. But also, I decided not to use the avocado mousse topping like I used in the other one because I didn’t think it would hold out of the fridge for the day, which this cake needed to be able to do. I did want it to be super decadent so I used 70% dark chocolate, so the frosting does have sugar in it. The cake bases themselves don’t have any refined sugar, and I used an organic, fair-trade, 70% dark chocolate.

OK so it has a bit of sugar (which we NEVER have at home), but it was a one off and it was actually so worth it because it was amazing. No one could believe that it was dairy and gluten free.

I made the same cake in a smaller version for Braxton’s cake-smash cake.

INSTRUCTIONS: Now, I wasn’t sure it would be a perfect mixture if I just tripled the mixture from my original recipe, so–and yes this does make it more time consuming so totally up to you if you want to give it a go tripling it!–I made the mixture 3 separate times. So when reading the ingredients below, you have to do those measurements 3 separate times. 

For the frosting you only need the measurements I give you as is.

Right, here it is!

Ingredients – remember, do the measurements below, 3 times

Cake bases:
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
50g raw cacao powder
125ml boiling water
2 tsp vanilla extract
150g ground almonds
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch Himalayan salt
150g Natvia or coconut palm sugar
3 free-range organic eggs

Chocolate Ganache:
500g dark chocolate
The cream from the top of 4 cans of coconut milk (full fat), room temperature
2 tbsp Natvia icing sugar (if using standard Natvia, grind it in a coffee or spice grinder)
The cream from the top of 2 cans of coconut milk, chilled

Method

Preheat oven to 170° and grease 3 25cm springform cake tins. Line bases with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Sift the cacao into a bowl and whisk in the boiling water with a fork until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny paste. If you have a Kitchenaid or electric whisk with its own bowl, do it in this; it will make it extra creamy. Whisk in the vanilla, then set aside to cool.

In another bowl combine the ground almonds with bicarbonate of soda,  baking powder and salt.

Put the sugar and olive oil into a bowl and beat together with the electric whisk for about 3 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, with a slow speed so it aerates. After the 3 minutes, add the ground almond mix, and mix until incorporated.

Finally, add the chocolate mix slowly until combined and pour into the prepared tin.

You can do all of this with a handheld whisk, a fork and spoon if you don’t have a Kitchenaid but using one will just make the mixture a bit creamier. I have done it with and without and was nice both times – just a bit fluffier with!

Bake for about 30 mins. The sides should be set but not burnt and the top centre should still look very slightly damp.

Repeat this two more times with the other cake tins. I also put them in the oven separately so I could make sure they didn’t under-cook, but you can try and put them in all together if you want.

Remove the cake from the oven. Leave to cool for 30 mins before removing from the tin.

While in the oven make the ganache:

Heat the coconut cream in a saucepan over a medium heat. Remove from the heat just as it comes to the boil. Put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl, pour the coconut cream over and stir gently with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth, thick ganache. (If some of the chocolate still hasn’t melted, add boiling water to the used pan and put the bowl on top until it melts).

Whisk in the Natvia icing sugar. Transfer 8 tablespoons of ganache to a separate, smaller bowl. Put both bowls in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Remove the smaller bowl of ganache from the fridge. Add the chilled coconut cream (discard any remaining watery liquid) and whisk with an electric mixer until it is a pale, milk chocolate shade and mousse-like in texture, with the consistency of double cream. Hold back one large spoonful of this and add it to the ganache in the fridge. Leave in the fridge.

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Go back to the pale mixture and now spread over the tops of two of the cakes, leaving a 1cm gap around the edge of the cake. Place the two cakes with the ganache, one on top of the other, then add the third one on top.

Remove the remaining ganache from the fridge and gently mix so the paler one is incorporated into the darker one spread over the cake, and using a palette knife, spread over the sides and smooth down until the whole cake is covered. The cake should now be completely covered with ganache, with no sponge visible.

Dust with raw cacao powder and decorate with strawberries if desired.

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Love & health,
Lauren

 

Thank you to Dairy-Free Delicious for the ganache recipe.