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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What to Pack in Your Hand Luggage/Carry on (especially long haul flights!)

 

Toiletries:

Hand sanitiser
Face wash
Face wipes
Deodorant
Moisturiser
Lip balm
Toothpaste & toothbrush

Electronics:

E-reader
Music
Computer
Cables/chargers

Comfort!:

Underwear/clean tshirt
Scarf
Pillow
Eye mask/ear plugs

Food/drink:

Protein/granola bars
Water bottle

As well as: passport, tickets, money, destination currency, keys, phone+sim card if you have one for your destination country, etc! (the obvious stuff haha)

 

My Tips: 

* Pack liquids together so it’s not such a hassle when you go through security

* Keep cords & chargers together so they’re not flopping around at the bottom of your bag

* Bring as much stuff to keep you entertained as possible. I never know what I’ll be in the mood to do on the flight so I have magazines, books, puzzles, tv shows, homework, etc just in case!

*Check in as early as you possibly can to get the seat of your choice- I prefer the aisle so I can keep going to the toilet, stretch my legs, etc, and not bother whoever is next to me. If you don’t get your choice of seat, keep asking as you check in and later as you board the plane- one might have freed up!

 

What do you like to pack in your hand luggage on a long flight?  Do you have anything you’d add to my list?

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!

5 Tips: how to eat out as a vegan

Becoming vegan and eating in a way that is so different to conventional diets is bound to be a challenge sometimes. Eating out in restaurants is something that can be a bit tricky if you’re not used to eating in this way, but I promise it gets easier with time 🙂

1. Firstly, if you are planning a meal out, certain cuisines are a lot easier than others. I find French and often Italian food more challenging, as there is usually cheese/butter/creamy sauces on most options, with the exception of pizzas- just ask for no cheese and get veggie toppings. Thai, Indian and Mexican are some of my favourite cuisines as a vegan. Thai/Japanese/Vietnamese etc food often has plenty of tofu as an option instead of meat, and there’s pretty much no dairy used. Since Mexican food relies heavily on beans/rice, you can still have a satisfying meal that doesn’t include dairy/meat!

2. Avoid places like typical English pubs, and places that don’t cook much of their own food. This means you will have less chance of adapting dishes to what you like. Pubs often base every dish around meat, and their veggie options aren’t great. Even if they have veggie dishes, you will be unlikely to be able to get them without cheese.

3. Plan ahead: check out the menu of the place you’re going to. If they haven’t got a website, call up in advance and find out what their veggie options are and if you can get them without cheese/cream/whatever.

4. If no main courses that can be adapted to being vegan are available, check out the sides. You can still have a decent meal if there’s hummus, veg, sweet potato fries, rice, beans, etc. Get 2/3/4 sides and POW, you’ve got a nice meal made up of stuff you actually like!

5. If there’s really no chance of adapting anything whatsoever on the menu, relax. Eat something at home beforehand and if necessary, bring snacks with you even if you don’t think you’ll get hungry- you never know! At the end of the day, eating out is a social thing- go and have fun with your friends!

Finally: watch out for animal products in sneaky places: shrimp paste and fish sauce in Asian food, yoghurt/cream in Indian curries, gelatine in desserts.

What are your tips for eating out as a vegan? What types of restaurants do you tend to go to?

Sweet potato potato & coriander hummus

So, I couldn’t really call this blog “That Hummus Life” without having some pretty sexy hummus recipes on here, right?

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Hummus and sweet potatoes go together like Beyoncé and booty shaking. Aka very well. And and coriander gives it that extra layer of taste sensation… Are you salivating and dreaming up of ways to pair this hummus yet?? If not, you should be! Here’s the recipe- only vague measurements are given because you can easily alter the recipe to your tastes. Do you like the burn of raw garlic? Ok, add more garlic! If you like that extra lemony tang, add more lemon juice. If you like the sesame creaminess of tahini, add more of that.

Sweet potato and coriander hummus

1 can of chickpeas, Iiquid drained and reserved (save a spoonful of chickpeas to garnish if you want!)
1/4-1/2 liquid from chickpeas (or water)
1 garlic clove
1 handful of coriander (cilantro) roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup sweet potatoes, cooked (I roasted mine)
Pinch of salt/pepper to taste

* garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a spoonful of chickpeas and some chopped coriander

Drain the chickpeas and add to the food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Add the liquid and blend. Keep adding more liquid until it is the consistency you like. Then taste! Add whatever flavour you feel is missing, if any.

Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a spoonful of chickpeas and some chopped coriander. Serve in a sandwich/bagel with salad/roast veg, dip veg into it, put on rice crackers with avocado and tomatoes… The possibilities are endless 😉 (well, nearly). Enjoy!

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* if you are interested in the food processor I have, it is the Bosch MCM4100 compact food processor and it’s amazing, it’s my baby! Hahaha! Check it out here

My top healthy, quick and easy vegan snacks

After watching Vegucated on a whim with my flatmate, I realised that how I was living and what I was eating wasn’t right, at least for me. I’d thought about going veggie for a while, and had never been a huge meat lover, but something clicked and I decided to try to go vegan.

I found snacks the hardest. Breakfast was pretty straight forward, and while other meals were challenging to sort out in the beginning, I found it difficult to pick something healthy to snack on that didn’t contain any animal products.

So… Here are my top ideas for healthy snacks, especially if you have recently become vegan.

1. Fresh fruit!

The most simple of all snacks! Pop a banana in your bag on the way out of the house, or make yourself a little fruit salad with soy yoghurt and granola if you’re feeling fancy! For a snack that will keep you fuller for a bit longer, try mixing fruit with some nut butter- banana and PB is a classic, but you could also dabble with lesser known nut butters… How about cashew butter? Almond butter? Brazil nut butter?

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2. Hummus

I strongly believe hummus is a life-saver for vegans!

The basic recipe for me would just be:

– a can of chick peas with a few spoons of the water it came in, depending on how thick you want it.
– 1 garlic clove
– the juice of a lemon
– 1/4 cup of tahini
– salt to taste

Then just blend it all up! So simple and quick. Plus, you’re getting good protein, carbs and fibre from the chickpeas, as well as calcium and good fats from the tahini. Yum!

I would encourage you to just taste it and see what it needs. If you like it tangier, add lemon. If you like it creamier, add tahini, but be careful because it has quite a strong taste. Garlic seems to get stronger the longer its left in the hummus so leave it for a while before adding a ton more, unless you like that raw garlic burn!

If you’re feeling creative, try mixing up the flavours… How about coriander and avocado? Roasted red pepper? Moroccan spiced? Try adding hemp seeds too for extra protein!

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Hummus on rice crackers with red onion, avocado and grated carrot.

3. Granola bars


Check out the Minimalist Baker recipe for granola bars here

Remember you can always change up the nuts and put maybe cashews instead of almonds, or add some extra dried fruit/protein powder/etc, just play around with that basic recipe until you have something you love!

To make a version of the ‘Nakd’ bars, try blending 1.5 cups of cashews you have what is basically ‘cashew meal’ (i.e. tiny chunks of cashews) and then add a cup of (medjoul) dates one by one until you have a sticky dough-like texture. You could add some maca & cacao powder, or just some vanilla extract for a ‘cookie dough’ type bar. Press down into a baking tray, leave in the fridge for about half an hour and then cut up into bars, wrap them up and bam- they’re ready for you to grab whenever you need to!

4. Smoothies

I always like to have frozen bananas ready for smoothies as they add a cold creaminess to them that I LOVE! For a creamier smoothie try just coconut milk and bananas (optional coconut water too… yum!), add some greens if you’d like, but of course you could just make any kind of smoothie. Adding chia/flax seeds and/or protein powder will help keep you fuller for a bit longer, or even a bit of nut butter. Deeeelicious! Pour into a big to-go cup and take with you for a quick snack on the go.

Hope you guys found this a bit useful, feel free to comment below with more ideas that you have for quick and healthy snacks!

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Green smoothie with spinach, banana and mango.