Posts tagged #vegan

June Food Blog - Winter Warmers

Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached that dreaded time of year. That time of the year when the bikinis are shoved to the back of the wardrobe, the hot water bottle comes out, and we wake up to frost coated windows, long before even the sun has decided to have a coffee and rise for the day.

 

Ladies and gentlemen – welcome to winter!

I think I speak for most when I say that during these cooler months, motivation can sometimes disappear alongside that bikini in the back of the wardrobe. The days are shorter, the weather is…well…cold, and our rate of “comfort food” consumption tends to increase. A combination of these aspects can become deadly to the goals that we have set at the start of the year (remember those New Year’s resolution thingys? Yeah, I’m talking about them). For many, this lack of motivation can lead to their health and fitness beginning to track in the opposite direction to what they want, as they become more relaxed with their exercise and eating routines. But let me tell you a little secret…

 

Lifelong lifestyle changes don’t just exist in summer – they are very much present in winter as well!

This means that even though you may be tempted to reach for the Dominos home delivery menu – that one action may be the act that unravels months of physical and mental work that you have done on your journey towards your goals!

 

My number one tip for remaining on track with your nutrition throughout winter is to ‘cook simple, and utilise spices’. Of course, if you want to be more creative in the kitchen then go for it! But if you’re someone who just wants something warm in your belly, and to maximize the time you can curl up with your doona, pup, and spouse on the lounge, keep it simple.

 

A dish which has become my favourite, and one that I am looking forward to experimenting with more in the coming weeks is Dahl. While there is definitely a more traditional, less healthy version of this dish – it can also be made using the freshest ingredients and when seasoned to perfection, delivers some incredible flavours. Plus, it’s so quick to make! What follows is my favourite Dahl recipe, my take on classic Banana Bread, and a new Granola recipe which I threw together one recent Saturday morning.

 

Enjoy!

Recipe 1: Red Lentil, Turmeric and Spinach Dahl (serves 3-4)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red split lentils

  • 1 cup chopped spinach

  • 1 red onion

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (minced/crushed)

  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

  • 1 red chili (diced)

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • ½ tsp garam masala

  • 2 cups hot water

  • ½ cup almond mylk

  • 3-4 serves brown basmati rice (if desired)

Directions

  • Cook rice according to instructions on packaging

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan, and add onion, garlic, ginger, chili and turmeric. Cook for 2 mins, stirring frequently

  • Rinse the lentils with cold water, and drain

  • Add lentils and hot water to pan, then bring to boiling point, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10-15mins

  • Add garam masala and almond mylk, and stir to combine

  • Allow to simmer for another 5mins, or until all the liquid is absorbed, and you are left with a thick consistency

  • Serve with rice, and top with coriander and black pepper is desired!

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Recipe 2: Winter Warmer Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 medium ripe bananas (the riper the better)

  • 1 cup almond milk (or nut milk of choice)

  • 2 tbs coconut oil (melted)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 cups organic almond flour/meal

  • ½ cup coconut sugar

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp nutmeg

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a loaf tin with non-stick baking paper

  • In a bowl, mash 2 of the bananas with a fork

  • Add milk, oil and vanilla – then combine well

  • Add flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon – then combine well

  • Chop the remaining banana into smaller chunks and gentled fold through the mixture (that is if you want pieces of banana in your bread – if not then mash it at the start like you did the other two)

  • Transfer mixture to prepared baking tray, and cook for 30-40mins or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted

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Recipe 3: Vanilla Chai Spice Granola

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (yes…a whole tablespoon)

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (if you’re using it you may as well be able to taste it!)

  • 2 tbsp quality honey/rice malt syrup/maple syrup

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 5 medjool dates pitted and chopped

  • Handful chopped walnuts

  • Handful broken banana chips

  • Handful pepitas

  • Handful coconut flakes

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper

  • Combine oats, cinnamon, vanilla in a large bowl

  • In a heat proof bowl, add coconut oil and honey, then microwave for 30secs until melted (each substance will separate in the container but that doesn’t matter)

  • Add the coconut oil/honey mix to the oats and stir through until well combined

  • Add chopped walnuts and combine

  • Transfer mix to the prepared baking tray and spread out evenly

  • Cook in the oven for 25mins or until golden – removing from the oven halfway through and mix around slightly to allow even toasting

  • Remove from oven and allow to cool

  • Add pepitas, coconut flakes, and dates to the cooled mix

  • Serve immediately with nut mylk or coconut yoghurt and fruit, or store in airtight container for up to 1 week (it won’t last that long though because it is so good!)

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Posted on June 7, 2018 .

Soul Food - Sweets and Treats

I’ve come to the conclusion that people who don’t like a sweet treat every now and then,
just don’t exist! And if you’re someone who has a serious sweet tooth (like myself), the
temptations can be often too much to ignore.


Throughout my studies I have been lucky enough to have the chance to speak with and
learn from some of today’s most knowledgeable and accomplished researchers in the health
industry. Learning how our bodies work down at a cellular level is what made me come to
the realization that every single thing I consume, is what my cells use to allow me function
and build new tissue. Some of you are probably thinking “Well yeah der Steph! Of course
that’s the case!”, but I challenge you to really think about what you eat and ask yourself, ‘Is
what I am consuming, what my cells truly need? Will they thrive off these nutrients or be
deprived?’. For we are only as healthy as our cells on the inside.


Realising the extent of damage the sweets I used to eat daily had on my body, could have
led me down one of many paths:


1. I could have started to restrict everything I was eating, and developed a fear of food,
calling it a “diet” – thinking that deprivation was the only way my body would be
healthy. (For reference, this is generally the path most people go down when they
want to lose weight – and while it may work for the short term, more often than not,
restriction just leads to a binge later down the track).
2. I could have ignored all the research I had learnt and read – continuing on with my
normal day-to- day routine full of sugary, fatty foods.
3. Widened my knowledge of cooking and food preparation, to acquire a healthy
solution rather than one of obsession and limitation.


In case you didn’t already guess, I picked option 3 – and through doing so I have learnt to
create tasty, healthy treats using wholefoods that benefit the body, rather than the
ingredients that starve our cells of nutrients they require for survival. Everything I make,
starts off as a WHOLE FOOD – and the difference it has made to my body physically as well
as mentally is astounding.


I hope that throughout this food series I have been able to provide you with some
inspiration that you can take forth into your life and start to implement changes that are
life-long, not just short-term fixes. Creating a healthy lifestyle won’t happen overnight, but
just remember that every little change you make, creates a ripple for the next healthy
change, and then the next. Soon enough you won’t be calling it “eating healthy”, you will
just be living the lifestyle your body thrives off!

Recipe 1: ‘Nuts About Chocolate’ Brownies

Ingredients
- 90g good quality dark chocolate of choice (I recommend Loving Earth)
- 100g chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
- 4 chopped medjool dates
- 75g almond meal
- 70g coconut sugar

- 3 heaped tbsp. cacao powder
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp bi-carb soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a 20cm baking dish with baking paper.
- Using a double boiler, melt the coconut oil and chocolate. Once melted, remove
from the heat and stir in the peanut butter until well combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut sugar and vanilla extract. Add the
almond meal, cacao powder, and bi-carb soda until well combined.
- Add the melted chocolate mix and stir to combine.
- Fold in the chopped nuts and dates to the mixture.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
- Cook in oven for 15-20mins.
- Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares, and enjoy!

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Recipe 2: ‘Bite Me’ Berry Bites (serves 16 small bites)

Dry Ingredients
- 1 1/2cups rolled oats
- 1/2 ground flaxseeds
- 1/2 shredded coconut
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients
- 1/2cup date puree
- 2-3tbs rice malt syrup
- 1tsp lemon juice
- 1 small green apple grated
- 1/2cup berries

Directions
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Pulse dry ingredients in food processor until floury
- Transfer to medium bowl, add all wet ingredients except the apple or berries, and
combine.
- Once mixed, fold through apple and berries
- Line baking tray with baking paper, and roll out handfuls of the mix and flatten on
tray
- Place in oven and bake for 25mins or until lightly golden
- Remove and cool for 15-20mins
- Store in airtight container and refrigerate

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Recipe 3: Chunky Choc Loaf

Ingredients

- 1.5cup almond meal
- 0.5cup coconut flour
- 3 bananas (mashed)
- 2tsp baking powder
- 0.5cup date paste (or sweetener of choice)
- 1tsp vanilla essence or paste
- 0.5cup cacao powder
- 1.5cup almond milk (or nut milk of choice)
- 0.5cup melted coconut oil
- 0.5cup hazelnuts chopped and more to decorate

Directions
- Preheat oven to 175C and line baking tray with paper
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined (add in the hazelnuts last and fold
them through)
- Transfer to baking tin and top with remaining hazelnuts - Bake in oven for 45-60mins
- Remove and cool for 20-30mins

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Recipe 4: ‘RAW-some’ Blueberry Slice

For the base
- ½ cup softened dates
- 1 cup rolled oats
 Process then press into lined baking tin (I used a loaf tin)
For the blueberry layer
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked overnight in water)
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup water
- 1tsp vanilla extract
 Process ingredients and pour onto base layer
 Put in freezer for 30-60mins
Chocolate layer
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup cacao powder
- ¼ cup rice malt syrup
 Whisk together ingredients until well combined
 Pour onto blueberry layer and return to freezer overnight
To serve
 Remove from freezer and allow to defrost for 5-10mins before cutting into bars and
serving
 Keep in fridge for up to 1 week or freezer for up to 1 month

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Recipe 5: Berry Balls of Bliss (yields 12 balls)

Ingredients
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 2 tbsp cacao powder OR maca powder (if you don’t want them chocolatey)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup goji berries
- 8 pitted medjool dates
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (plus more to coat the balls)
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Directions
- In a food processor or high powdered blender - blend cashews until they form a fine
flour-like consistency
- Add in the cacao/maca powder, vanilla, and goji berries - and process until combined
and the mix is a slight pinky colour
- One at a time, add in the dates until fully combined
- Transfer mix to a separate bowl and add in the coconut - using hands to combine
- Roll out 12 balls and place on baking paper
- In a blender, blend the raspberries until pureed - then transfer to small bowl
- In another small bowl, add more coconut
- Roll each ball in the raspberry puree, then in the coconut to coat
- Once all balls are covered, transfer to the fridge for 3hrs before serving (if you want
them cold that is)

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Blog Post by Steph Harris from Feeding Energy

Posted on May 8, 2018 .