If like me you enjoy a hot breakfast with a higher plant protein content in the morning but don’t want to eat scrambled tofu every day (even though it is delicious), then this chickpea breakfast hash might just be the meal you’ve been looking for. Continue reading “Breakfast chickpea hash”
Fabulous gluten free vegan pancakes
Is it possible to make fully vegan and gluten free pancakes without a disaster in the kitchen? Yes it is! And they taste amazing too. Continue reading “Fabulous gluten free vegan pancakes”
Vegan breakfast scramble
Having a healthy, hearty breakfast is a great way to start the day. One of my favourite hot breakfasts is scrambled tofu – it’s easy to make and is a great source of plant-based protein. Tofu also contains tiny chemicals called phytoestrogens, particularly good if you are a middle-aged woman like me! Continue reading “Vegan breakfast scramble”
Oat and banana pancakes
It’s Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day. Of course, pancakes are not just for one day of the year – that would be too sad – but it’s a good day to post about them! In fact, it’s only now that I realised I haven’t shared my favourite pancake recipe – it’s time to remedy that!
Oat and buckwheat bread
If you struggle with eating ‘normal’ bread (by that I mean the supermarket offerings!), then this oat and buckwheat bread might just be the thing for you. This was last weeks live cooking session on Facebook – in case you missed it or would like the whole recipe without having to watch me jabber on for 20 minutes, here it is.
If you haven’t got buckwheat flour, then you can make your own but toasting buckwheat groats and then blending it into a flour using a high-speed blender or food processor. Alternatively, you could try quinoa, millet, spelt flour (if you don’t want to be gluten-free) or even just all oats. Be mindful about the amount of ground flaxseed you use if you are using a wheat-based flour (and therefore one with gluten) as this will help hold the bread together more. Reduce the flaxseed by 1 tablespoon otherwise your loaf will be rather dense. Plus if you need to be super-careful with gluten, then make sure use use gluten-free oats.
The seeds add extra flavour, texture and nutrients to this bread; if you haven’t got everything I’ve listed then improvise with whatever is in your cupboard, or leave them out. Baking in current times is a challenge whether it’s due to lack of stock or even just getting out to the shops. Fortunately, this recipe is very flexible, so go with what you’ve got.
Storage wise, this loaf keeps for 4-5 days, but if you know it’s not all going to be eaten then cut into slices and freeze. Then you can pull out the amount you want whenever you want it. Just defrost and use plain or pop in the toaster to perk it up.
I hope you enjoy making this bread – don’t forget to let me know how you get on!
Oat and buckwheat bread
- 40 grams whole oats
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 150 ml warm water
- 340 grams oats ground into a flour
- 115 grams buckwheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- 375 ml water
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds extra for top of the loaf
- Mix the chia seeds and whole oats with 100ml water and leave for a few minutes to thicken
- Line a 2lb baking tin with non-stick baking paper. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC./390ºF.
- Add the flour, oat flour, salt, baking powder, ground flaxseed and seeds together in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Pour in ¾ of the water and the thick paste and stir well to combine. It should come together to form a sticky but not wet mix. Add more water to get the right consistency (remember the flaxseed with absorb water so if its sticky to start it will dry out).
- Transfer mix to baking tin. Level the top and sprinkle extra sunflower seeds on top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is toasted and the bottom sounds hollow when you tap it. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Some people find changing to a whole-food plant-based diet easy, for others its more challenging. One area that seems to be a big stumbling block is breakfast. On the surface it seems easy – cereal or toast are most peoples go-to options. Continue reading “Breakfast inspiration”
Pan con Tomate (Tomatoes on toast!)
My husband travels a lot with his job. Whilst it takes him to all sorts of interesting places, some locations can be a bit challenging when it comes to finding healthy plant-based food options. Each country has its local breakfast options – this week he’s off to Bangalore and so he’s looking forward to getting a delicious masala dosa in the morning. Continue reading “Pan con Tomate (Tomatoes on toast!)”
Apple and oat muffins
Muffins were in the news earlier this year following a report that outed many shop-bought versions as being the less-than healthy option they might appear to be (click here for the link). Some blueberry ones tested didn’t have anything close to a real blueberry in them, just some synthetic sugar replacement. Plus lots of refined sugar and oils. That’s definitely not a healthy muffin! Continue reading “Apple and oat muffins”
Wholesome soda bread
There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread. It always makes my nose tingle and mouth water, but unfortunately my yeast intolerance rules most tempting loaves out. I do make a few different types of ‘bread’ myself which might be described as ‘interesting’, but the best one by far is soda bread.
I fell in love with soda bread over 20 years on a holiday in the Republic of Ireland. We went for a little road trip around the gorgeous countryside after attending a friends wedding. Sounds idyllic, but it was February and whilst the views were amazing, it was exceedingly cold. We also nearly got stranded in the snow when our very cheap hire car was no match to a sudden snow storm on a steep country hill. Fortunately, my husband saved the day and managed to get away before it all went horribly wrong! On our trip we stayed in small pubs and guest houses. Every one of them served freshly baked warm soda bread with lashings of butter and jam. It was so filling and comforting, it warmed us up ready for the freezing cold weather outside.
Soda bread is a super quick type of loaf, made with bicarbonate of soda instead of yeast. The bubbles from the bicarb gives the lift, and can be surprisingly light (but still hearty). The problem for any dairy-free diners is that it’s also traditionally made with buttermilk. Certainly any loaves I have found in the supermarket contain dairy. I made it for some time with just water, but it didn’t have the same fluffy texture inside, so was even heavier and more dense than normal. This of course was solved when I discovered how to make vegan buttermilk (as on a previous post) and now my loaves have just the right crumb.
One of the tricks with soda bread is to use just the right amount of baking soda. Too little, and it won’t rise and have texture, too much and it tastes a bit like wee! If you’ve had a pot in the cupboard for a few years, I would suggest buying a fresh one. You may be tempted to use more if it’s old, which may not give you a lift but will definitely give you the wee flavour! The other trick to get a good crust on the outside and soft bread on the inside is to place a bowl of water in the bottom of the oven whilst it bakes. This produces steam that helps create the best type of loaf.
For this recipe, I’ve used half spelt flour, half wholemeal flour, but you can use all of one or the other. I like spelt as it has a lovely nutty flavour, and being a more ancient grain it’s potentially easier to digest than some of the modern flour strains. It does still contain gluten, so if you are gluten intolerant please avoid (even though I picked up a vegan baking book recently that classified it as gluten-free). I have to admit that I haven’t tried making soda bread with a gluten-free mix so cannot say if it works or not – that will have to be an experiment for another day.
I love making this fresh for breakfast (it takes less than 30 minutes all up) or have it for lunch to dip in some tasty soup. It may not be as glamorous as some types of bread, but for the yeast and dairy intolerant eaters, it’s a fabulous alternative.
Dairy-free soda bread
200g wholemeal flour + 200g spelt flour (or just 400g of one type)
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
210ml dairy-free buttermilk (click here for recipe)
Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
Sift the flour into a bowl with the bicarb and salt. Mix together well to make sure it’s all combined – you really don’t want to eat a mouthful of soda! Carefully pour in the buttermilk, mixing together with a spoon as you go. Once the mix starts to get stiff, use your fingers to bring it together, kneading lightly for a couple of minutes, but not too much. Form a ball with the mix, then transfer to the baking sheet, moulding it lightly into a round loaf. Gently cut a large cross into the top, but don’t cut through more than the top few centimetres.
Place the loaf in the oven, with a bowl of water on the shelf below to provide some steam. Bake for 20 minutes until it’s crusty on the outside. Remove from the oven and pick up the loaf with an oven glove or tea towel. Tap the bottom – it should be firm and sound slightly hollow. If you feel your loaf is not quite ready, return to the oven for a couple more minutes.
Once ready, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or cold. To store, wrap up in baking paper and keep in an air-tight tin for up to 3 days.
Top tips for perfect plant-based pancakes
It’s Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day. Traditionally made with milk, eggs and flour, at first glance it might seem pancakes are off the menu for sensitive eaters or plant-based diners. Fortunately, that’s not the case. There’s a whole assortment of plant-based pancake recipes available that are egg, dairy and even gluten free. Continue reading “Top tips for perfect plant-based pancakes”