Courgette (zucchini) and carrot muffins

These muffins are a perfect healthy-ish treat if you are craving spiced baked goodies! The cool thing is that you are also getting some veggies in there, so you don’t have to feel too guilty about eating more than one 😉

Courgette & carrot muffins

3 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 c water

Wet ingredients
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c +1tbsp applesauce (mashed banana would probably work well too)
1/2 c courgette, grated (peel green outside if that would make it more appealing to kids/the family)
1/2 c grated carrots
1/4-1/2 c raisins (optional)
*optional add-in: walnuts or pecans

Dry ingredients

1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2.5 tsp pumpkin spice (or a mix of cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg)
1.5 c whole wheat pastry flour (spelt might work too, even 50-50 spelt and WW pastry flour)

1. Combine flax and (warm) water in a bowl and leave for about 5-10 mins for it to get an eggy consistency.
2. Add in the wet ingredients and mix well.
3. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to wet ingredients.
4. Bake at 350F for about 20-25 mins until fully cooked. Try not to devour all the muffins at once!

You could also try making this in all loaf tin, just bake for longer- probably closer to 50 mins.

* adapted from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan
* feel free to double the recipe if you have a hungry/large family
* I will try adapting the recipe to be refined-sugar-free and let you know how that goes!

Apologies for the slightly unattractive picture- I assure you they are lovely and moist and spice on the inside!

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Spiced rum, lime & coconut drizzle cake

This beauty of a cake is tangy yet sweet, with a hint of tropical amazingness… Probably one of my best ever creations. Check it out! Plus, it’s vegan (of course!)

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Spiced rum, lime & coconut drizzle cake

Step 1: the sponge

2 c. plain white flour (all purpose flour) – I have also used half spelt, half WW pastry flour and it worked well
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/2 c. Shredded coconut

1 c. Almond/coconut milk
1/3 c. oil
2 tsp vinegar
zest of 1 lime
1/4 c. applesauce

1. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, flax, coconut)
2. Mix wet ingredients together (non-dairy milk, oil, vinegar, zest, applesauce)
3. Combine wet + dry, but do not overmix.

Bake for about 30-40 mins at 350 F/ Gas Mark 4 (timing depends on what size tin you use).
When the cake comes out of the oven, leave it in the pan and make the syrup (step 2).

Step 2: the rum-lime syrup

1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. lime juice
2 tbsp dark spiced rum
1 tbsp water

Warm ingredients in a pan until the sugar has melted. Prick holes in the cake using a cocktail stick and then, using a pastry brush, brush the syrup over the cake (trying to make sure it goes in the holes). Make sure you do this while the cake is still warm!

Step 3: the icing

1-1.5 c. icing sugar
1 tbsp dark spiced rum
3 tbsp lime juice
Some lime zest!

About 1/4 c. shredded coconut

Combine ingredients (except for the coconut) and ice once the cake has cooled. Taste the icing to make sure it is to your preference- if you like it tangy, use more lime juice, if you want it more alcoholic, put more rum!

While the icing is still wet, put coconut on top of the cake. Yum!

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Rocket, basil & cashew pesto

The combination of random sun and rain has meant that my rocket growing in the garden has flourished.

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I started racking my brains trying to think of a tasty, simple recipe that would make the most of it, and this is what I came up with!

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Rocket, basil & cashew pesto

2 generous handfuls of rocket
1 handful of basil
1/3 c. cashews
1tbsp nutritional yeast
1/3-2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt/pepper to taste

Simply combine all of the ingredients in your food processor and blend until it’s the consistency you like. I didn’t want mine thick so I added plenty of oil, but you could definitely get away with adding less!

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Serving suggestions:

* on pasta, of course!
* as a salad dressing
* in a breakfast sandwich with veggies & maybe some tofu
* on pizza!
* on top of soup to liven it up a bit

I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure this would be delicious with almonds/brazil nuts/walnuts/hemp hearts instead of cashews!

What’s your favourite way to eat pesto? Have you dabbled in vegan pestos??

My Favourite Vegan Breakfasts- healthy, quick & easy

Have you recently become vegan and struggle to find new breakfast ideas? Look no further!

1. Oatmeal

I know, I know- what a typical suggestion. But oatmeal has to take first place for healthy, quick, easy vegan breakfasts- just replace dairy milk with a non-dairy alternative, or cook with water. Top with goji berries/fresh fruit/agave/maple syrup + PB… Add “superfoods” like flaxseeds/maca/hemp hears… Or try “boatmeal” (baked oatmeal)- check out Chocolate Covered Katie’s ideas here.

2. Chia Seed pudding/breakfast bowl

At its simplest- combine 1 mashed banana with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and 1/2 a cup of almond milk. Leave in the fridge overnight and it’ll be ready in the morning for a quick breakfast on the go! Check out OhSheGlows for the full recipe. Chia seeds are suuuuper good for you- packed with fibre, omega 3s and protein, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron and Zinc.

3. Pancakes.
Yes, you can have pancakes and still (in my opinion) count it as a healthy breakfast. Check out these spelt pancakes , put a sliced banana or some berries on top and you’ve got yourself a clean, filling breakfast!

4. Breakfast cookies.
If you’ve got extra time and you enjoy baking, why not make yourself some breakfast cookies to grab if you’re in a rush in the morning, or even as a mid-morning or afternoon snack. Basically an time of day is a good time for cookies. Don’t you think? 😉 Try these cookies from Minimalist Baker or these apple cinnamon breakfast cookies from The Healthy Chef.

5. Green smoothie.
Possibly one of the quickest and healthiest options: my basic combination would be 1-2 frozen bananas, 2 handfuls of greens (spinach), 1-2 cups of water and flax/maca/chia seeds. Add whatever other ingredients you have around, but I find the simple is best- try not to add a whole bunch of stuff that doesn’t go together because you might end up with a sludgy mess that you’d rather chuck in the sink than drink! Check these links for more tips on green smoothies:

http://secure.youngandraw.com/30daychallenge/
http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2012/03/salute-to-green-smoothies.html
http://greenmonstermovement.com/

Top tips

* keep it simple and be prepared: if you don’t have time in the morning to create something magical for breakfast, don’t worry. Prepare something the night before so you’re ready the next day. Know your schedule and don’t stress yourself out trying to push more work into it than it needs!

* try to drink plenty of water in the morning- it’ll make you feel better. You’ve gone for the entire night without drinking, so get a head start on keeping hydrated for the day!

* if you’re new to veganism, remember that substitutions for your usual breakfast are probably quite easy. Use agave instead of honey, almond/coconut/etc milk instead of dairy milk, soy yoghurt instead of normal yoghurt, etc!