raspberry + rosewater (valentine) smoothie

valentine-smoothie

Valentine’s Day – it’s pretty commercial, and I’m not into that side of it – but I’m definitely ok with taking a moment to express gratitude for the friends, family, and loved-ones that constantly bring joy and love into my life. And chocolate. I’m definitely ok with the chocolate.

This past year I’ve also really woken up to the truth of loving yourself so you can better love others. So in the spirit of that intention, I’ve created a delicious (and probably over-the-top) smoothie that loves your body as much as you’ll love it (I hope). It’s packed full of raspberries, banana and pear, and made extra kitschy by the addition of rosewater. Topped with rose petals, cacao nibs and pistachios, I think it fulfils nearly every corny Valentine’s requirement.

Happy Valentine’s Day friends, whoever you’re loving. For me, I’m going to try and carry that open expression of love throughout the rest of the year. XX

valentine smoothie ingredients
rose petals
love in a glass
valentine smoothie: raspberry and rosewater

raspberry + rosewater smoothie

serves 2 as a snack, 1 as a meal

recipe notes

  • if you’re not into raspberries, strawberries are also delicious

ingredients

  • (~70 g or 1 small) frozen banana pieces
  • 1 cup (120g) frozen raspberries
  • 1 small (~90g) pear, cored and diced
  • scant 1 cup (220 ml) cashew milk (or almond/soy/oat/cow etc)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup/honey/agave
  • 1/2-1 tsp rosewater
  • to serve: cacao nibs, organic dried rose petals, chopped pistachios

In a blender, combine banana pieces, raspberries, pear, cashew milk and maple syrup (or other preferred sweetener). Blend on high speed until smooth and silky. Add 1/2 tsp rosewater, blend and then taste. Adjust sweetness if you would like it sweeter, and add more rosewater if you desire (it can be overpowering, so it’s better to start small and add a little bit at a time).

Pour into glasses and top with cacao nibs, rose petals and chopped pistachios. Soak up the love!

Advertisements

buckwheat granola + breakfast oats for one

granola

Hello – right off the bat – I missed you guys. But now my chapter is in (fucking, yeah!) and I can return to my little corner of the internet newly reinvigorated and ready to fill your screens with marvellous things. Ready?

I’ve had several little realisations lately – like that my favourite colour is yellow, not blue – or that the metal circle on the side of my toast tongs is a magnet (genius, by the way) – or that to make the perfect French press coffee you need to plunge straight away – or that granola is almost infinitely tastier and better in every dimension when you make it with buckwheat, not oats.

Madness, you say? Maybe, but the right kind of crazy, I assure you. Making granola on buckwheat requires a teensy bit more prep (soaking), and a longer, slower cooking time, but it’s absolutely, assuredly worth it. The buckwheat absorbs a lot of liquid during soaking which then evaporates in the oven, leaving crunchy crunchy deliciousness. It’s also fragrant and tasty in a way you could never achieve with oats. I’m not saying I’ll never make granola with oats again, but this buckwheat version is going to be in very frequent rotation (bonus: it’s totally gluten free!).

Now that I’m back on campus and the working year has commenced, breakfast suddenly becomes a very important part of my day. I’ve been doing lots of breakfasts in jars – make them the night before (or even days before), and in the morning you’ve already made a good choice (go you!). I can grab it out of the fridge and take it to uni if I’m in a rush, or eat it at home. Easy peasy. Soaked oats, birchers, chia puddings have all been getting a good work over in my mason jar. Here I’ve got the simplest, most basic version of soaked oats I make. Treat it as a base to use whatever fruit or toppings you have around. Berries, granola, cacao nibs, stewed plums, and almonds all make regular appearances. But spiced stewed apples or pears would also be freakin’ delicious. Make it your own, lovelies!

raw buckwheat tight
buckwheat-granola-split
mix-ins
easy breakfast
layered oats + granola
buckwheat granola
stripey stripes
buckwheat granola feast

buckwheat granola

makes ~2-3 cups

recipe notes

  • this recipe has a long cooking/prep time, but – before you run away – it’s mostly inactive – which means you can have a cup of tea and watch a movie/read a book/be awesome while the granola’s doing its thing
  • really make sure you give the buckwheat a good rinse after the first soak to get rid of the slimy coating it develops
  • if you’re not into seeds or cranberries, feel free to substitute – i’m a lazy cook, so seeds appeal to me because hey, no chopping
  • if your granola still seems too wet after 1.5 hrs, keep checking every 10 minutes or so until it seems dry enough, bearing in mind that it will crisp up as it cools

ingredients

  • 1 cup (200 g) raw buckwheat groats
  • scant 1/2 cup (60 g) sunflower seeds
  • scant 1/2 cup (60 g) pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Place the buckwheat in a bowl, cover with filtered water and soak for 1 hour. After 1 hour, drain, rinse well, and cover the buckwheat with fresh water and let soak for another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 120 C (250 F) (no fan). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and drain the buckwheat, rinsing again. Let the buckwheat sit and drain for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Once the buckwheat has drained, add it to the other ingredients, stirring thoroughly to coat. Tip the granola onto your baking tray and with wet hands, work it into as flat a layer as possible. Place in the oven for 1.5 hours. When cooked, the granola should be lightly golden and not feel completely wet to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. It should form little granola sheets as it cools. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 weeks (though mine never lasts that long).

breakfast oats for one

serves one

recipe notes

  • as I mentioned above, this recipe is a completely blank slate – do with it what you will – fruit, toppings, flavourings can all be customised to your whim. in this version I’ve topped mine with 2/3 c frozen blueberries and a decent handful of buckwheat granola.

ingredients

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • tiny pinch of salt
  • 1/2 c milk of your choice (almond, cashew, soy, whatever) or even water
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • optional: berries (even frozen – they defrost by the morning); stewed plums, apples, granola, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, ad infinitum.

In a 400 mL glass jar (with a screw top lid – mason jars are perfect), combine the oats, chia seeds and salt. Give in a quick mix, then stir in the milk/water and lemon juice. Top with some fruit, granola or your toppings of choice. Seal the jar and leave in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, it’s ideal to let the jar sit for 5-10 minutes at room temperature, but not necessary. Enjoy!

blackberry + spelt mini loaves

blackberry + spelt mini loafs

How you know you’re on holidays: You type ‘loafs’ in the title of this post, and stare at it for a good 30 seconds before realising that it’s wrong. Then having to check the dictionary just to make sure you got it right. Phew.

It’s been a big year, friends. HUGE, really. And boy, am I glad to be on holidays. That being said, I’m still going through the awkwardness of those first few days – figuring out what I’m going to do each day, trying as best I can not to set enormous list of goals, slowly relaxing and letting things go. I’m sure most people can relate. Here however, is a short précis of what I’ve got in mind: yoga. walks. beach. day trips. food. books. And Christmas (holy cow – only two weeks away!).

I made these little loaves over the weekend when I visited a friend – perfect for tea or coffee time in the afternoon. It was magic to get lost in conversation for a few hours. The loaves are soft, moist and utterly yum. There’s a slightly nutty flavour from the spelt flours, which plays off really well against the tart berryness of the blackberries. They are quick and easy to make, and if you don’t have a mini loaf tin, can be made in a muffin tin I’m sure (making 12 muffins).

If you’re not into blackberries (or don’t have any around), feel free to substitute with your favourite berry (raspberries or blueberries in particular) or even apple, pear or peach would work nicely. This recipe is more than versatile – shape it to your whim, lovelies.

My holiday brain is struggling with what else can be said – just take my word for it – they’re pretty great.

loafin' around
tea time?
mini loaf
gone

blackberry + spelt mini loaves

makes 8 mini loaves or 12 muffins

recipe notes

  • As I note above, these can be made in your standard muffin tin, and should yield 12. You will have to adjust your baking time (perhaps 20 minutes instead of 25).
  • Substitute for your favourite berry or fruit if you prefer.
  • Also – feel free to run wild with your favourite add ins – lemon zest, seeds and nuts would all work great.
  • To make one flax egg, combine 1 tbsp flaxseed (linseed) meal with 2 tbsp boiling water. Whisk with a fork and set aside for 10-15 minutes before using.

ingredients

  • 1 cup (160 g) wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup (130 g) light spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) organic panela sugar (evaporated cane juice)
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (plus extra for greasing)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup frozen blackberries

Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F) – no fan. Prepare flax eggs. Using some extra coconut oil, grease your tin.

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, salt, baking powder. Add the sugar to the flour mixture and whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together flax eggs, coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla and applesauce. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, and stir until just combined. Spoon batter evenly into prepared mini loaf tin, and gently press blackberries into the batter. Bake for 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the loaves are a light golden brown.

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, then gently remove mini loaves from the tin with a spatula. Can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.

multigrain banana waffles w balsamic strawberries

multigrain banana waffles w balsamic macerated strawberries

Anyone who follows me on Instragram will be well aware of my deep and undying love of smoothie bowls for breakfast. And that certainly is not going to drastically change any time soon, but occasionally a little variety is wanted (and needed). So then enter the waffles.

In the last 6 months, waffle recipes seemed to be everywhere I turned (The First Mess, or Oh, Ladycakes, for instance). My waffle-hunger initiated, I had no way to satisfy my desire for waffles. As, alas, I had no waffle iron! Luckily, my marvellous sister-in-law, Amy, gifted us a waffle iron as a wedding present, and it’s been getting a pretty good work-over ever since.

There is something rather fantastic about a waffle: much more interesting than a pancake, it satisfies you if you’re craving cake, or muffins, or (in this case) banana bread. And: you can reheat them in the toaster. Need I say more?

I almost called these ‘banana bread waffles’ because of their insane similarity in texture to banana bread: they’re thick, and chewy, with the edges getting nice and crisp in the waffle iron. I used a blend of four flours shown in the picture below, l-r: wholemeal spelt, amaranth, quinoa and oat. Which makes these waffles super-powered multigrain waffles! They’re not overly sweet (I save the sweetness for the toppings) but perfect with a little maple syrup.

We had a killer strawberry season this year, which meant that everywhere you turned in my kitchen, strawberries were sneaking their way into our meals. Inspired by my strawberry riches, balsamic-macerated strawberries came to top these waffles. These super flavourful strawbs are all great with a dollop of cashew cream, or coconut yoghurt, and can add sparkle to any porridge.

Wishing you tummies full of waffly-grainy-goodness! X

flour power
amazing strawberries
waffles
multigrain banana waffles
multigrain banana waffles are ready to be eaten

Multigrain Banana Waffles

makes 16 waffles

Recipe notes

  • As I note above, these are not super sweet waffles – if you desire, double the sugar.
  • You can freeze leftover waffles, and reheat them in the oven. Alternatively, store them in the fridge and reheat them in a toaster.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup flaxmeal (ground flaxseeds)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 + 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 2/3 cup mashed banana (2 medium bananas)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, combine flours, flaxmeal, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon. Whisk thoroughly to combine. In a separate bowl, mix together almond milk, mashed banana and vanilla. Add wet to dry, whisking to combine.

Heat waffle iron or maker and prepare waffles, using about one heaped dessert spoon of batter per waffle, according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries.

Once all the waffles are cooked, serve with macerated strawberries (don’t forget a spoonful of those amazing juices!), a sprinkle of flaked almonds, and maple syrup, if desired.

Balsamic Macerated Strawberries

makes about 2 cups

Recipe notes

  • These are delicious over almost anything (yoghurt, icecream, granola, porridge).

Ingredients

  • 250 g (1/2 lb) fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, stirring to coat the strawberries in the sugar. Leave to macerate for 30 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

spelt + oat soda bread w maple-vanilla berry compote

morning snack

The morning I prepared and shot this post, I was on something like a wave of inspiration and very good vibes. Along with this post, I prepared and shot two others. It was a very good morning. I was in my little cooking-vibe, jamming away in my kitchen while Adam snoozed in bed, and coming up with some delicious results. Also the light was insane (see the last photo of this post – amazing, albeit not my usual style).

Sadly, my day did not continue so well. After a glorious morning of kitchen (and photo, I think) success, sitting down at a desk to read metaphysical philosophy (screw you, Hegel) is a big come down. Some days it’s fine, but others it most certainly is not. I struggled through for a few hours before falling into a decidedly awful existential crisis at lunch. “Why do I spend my time on something that makes me so unhappy? Why am I ruining my back sitting at a desk? What am I doing with my life?! Why can’t I cook and take photos and cook all day?” In other words, a little self-indulgent funk.

This happens every now and then, and I’m usually inconsolable and horribly grumpy for a few hours. It ain’t pretty folks. Anyway, this time I worked through it. Alternating 30 minutes of Hegel with 30 minutes of photo-editing, and I got through. Sometimes working through it is what works, other times it’s a walk, or the gym, or throwing in the towel and watching documentaries in bed for the rest of the day. No judgement.

Sitting there afterwords, in the cool and quiet almost-dusk light, my little funk seemed very far away and a little silly. And I can look at the photos from that morning, and the delicious food ready to be eaten, and it makes me really happy. Just like that. This bread, friends, is a happy-making bread. My go-to soda bread recipe (one that doesn’t taste only like bicarb soda – my number complaint of most soda breads), based off this recipe from 101 Cookbooks, that I’ve altered to make it vegan. I’m thrilled to share with you.

Straight out of the oven this bread is fragrant and soft with the crunchiest crust (although a bit tricky to slice). A few hours later the crust has softened a little, the flavours of nutty spelt and oatey oats have developed. The next morning it makes sensational toast. Especially if you slather it with some maple-vanilla berry compote. Or not (this bread is equally satisfactory when dunked in soups).

Berry compote is a condiment on regular rotation in our house. Adam has it on yoghurt, or we cut up some fresh fruit and top with granola and compote for a quick (and healthy) dessert. This time I’ve thrown in a used vanilla bean (i.e. I’ve already scraped out the seeds for another use), and it made a wonderful addition. I use any berries I have on hand, and frozen berries work just as well too. Soda bread and compote speaks to me of lazy weekends, sleepy mornings filled with tea, tranquility and some calm. Enjoy!

ready for the oven
berries
maple-vanilla berry compote
spelt and oat soda bread with maple-vanilla berry compote
spelt and oat soda bread
soda bread + berry compote
soda bread with berry compote
morning sun

Spelt and Oat Soda Bread

makes one loaf

Recipe notes

  • If you’re not making this vegan, substitute the almond milk and vinegar for 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, like in the original recipe.
  • Top with any seeds you like – I’ve used sesame and nigella here, but pumpkin, sunflower and poppy would all be lovely.
  • You can buy pre-ground oats if you like, but I just grind them for use in my coffee grinder. Whatever is easiest for you!

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups rolled oats, ground fine
  • 2 1/4 cups wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2 tsp bicarb soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tbsp seeds, for top

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F) without fan. Line an 8 cup loaf tin with baking paper. In a small bowl, mix almond milk and vinegar and set aside for 5 minutes until thick and curdled.

In a large bowl, combine ground oats, spelt flour, bicarb and salt, mixing thoroughly. Stir in almond milk mixture (reserve 1 tbsp before mixing), working until a loose dough forms, then knead until it all comes together without cracks – about 1 minute. Form the dough into a cylinder shape by rolling it a few times, then lift into the tin. With a small sharp knife, make cuts in the top of the dough – this improves both the rise and the crust you’ll get. Brush the top with the reserved almond milk and sprinkle with seeds. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing and letting cool completely on a wire rack. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge) it should last 2-3 days.

Maple-Vanilla Berry Compote

makes about 1 cup

Recipe notes

  • Feel free to use whatever berries you have on hand. Here I’ve used frozen blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. But almost any berry would work!
  • Don’t be tempted to cook the compote until it’s really thick – it continues to thicken as it cools, and you want a spreadable consistency, not toffee.
  • I’m constantly finding new uses for this compote – I’d love to hear your favourites!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups of berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, red currants, blackberries)
  • 1 used vanilla pod
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the berries have mostly lost their shape and the compote has thickened. Pour into a clean glass jar. Stored in the fridge, this compote should last 1 week.

abc complete protein granola

abc granola

Maple-roasted ABC complete protein granola for the win!

I came late to my granola lovin’ ways. Here in Australia, the concept of ‘granola’ doesn’t quite exist in the same way it does elsewhere. Sure, we have muesli bars, and sugary cereal, or if you’re a health nut, muesli (usually not roasted). But nothing that really captures the same essentials as granola. (If you’re an Aussie, and reading this, and haven’t made or tried granola, please do! It cured me of all those shitty primary school muesli bars in one foul swoop.)

My general aims for a granola are: nuts that are big enough (or chopped big enough) to be picked up with your fingers (for hand to mouth snacking); a variety of nuts; good clumping factor (you don’t want everything to be separate, nor do you want enormous clumps) and a SUPER fragrant flavour.

I think, really, that this granola succeeds everytime. It’s nutty, chewy, fragrant, just-sweet-enough. I’d made a few versions of these with just almonds and cashews until, one day, a brainwave hit me: ‘Let’s add brazil nuts, and make it an ABC complete protein granola!’ Brain, sometimes you are a wonderful thing.

The combination of almonds, brazil nuts and cashews (ABC), all together provides the 8 essential amino acids (therefore, a ‘complete protein’). For those not in the wise, an essential amino acid is one the human body can’t produce by itself, so needs to source it from food. For non-vegetarians and vegetarians who eat dairy and eggs, this isn’t a problem (most animal sources are complete proteins), but if you’re vegan, soy is basically your only option. That is, of course, unless you get down and dirty with your nut mixology, like I’ve done here (variety? you betcha ya!).

ABC
abc granola ingredients
raw granola

(Not to mention all the good fats and fibre you’re getting in the granola!)

I love this served with fruit (banana is a favourite, but all berries are good – stone fruit in summer would be divine!) and almond milk, for (a quick and awesome) breakfast. Or on top of coconut yoghurt. Or over roasted fruit. Or by the handful. Any which way you want to enjoy it, this granola has got you covered.

abc complete protein granola

ABC Complete Protein Granola

makes about 4 and a half cups

Recipe notes

  • Do not copy my dumb-ass example and line your baking sheet with foil. Use baking paper. I love this granola SO much that I spent a decent ten minutes picking it off the foil. Be cool and using baking paper (I had run out, and was desperate for granola).
  • If you’re not crazy for sultanas (or raisins) you could substitute dried cranberries or dried cherries instead.
  • I eat this granola by the handful, or for breakfast (with non-dairy milk and banana slices). Whenever the mood strikes.

Ingredients

  • 2 c (200 g) rolled oats
  • 3/4 c (120 g) raw almonds
  • 3/4 c (105 g) cashews
  • 3/4 c (105 g) halved brazil nuts
  • 1/2 c (30 g) shredded coconut
  • 1/2 c (70 g) sultanas or raisins
  • 1/3 c maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground (or freshly grated) nutmeg

Preheat oven to 180 C (355 F) (no fan). Combine all ingredients in a bowl, a mix thoroughly (at least 1 minute), until everything is thoroughly coated. Spread out onto a baking-paper-lined tray in an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Should keep for 2-3 weeks.

banana, mango and strawberry recovery smoothie

banana mango and strawberry recovery smoothie

After exercise, whether that be cycling, a run or a gym session, it’s essential to have a wholesome, nutritious and restorative meal to help your muscles and body recover.

Enter the banana, mango and strawberry recovery smoothie! Quick, simple, effective and tasty. It’s high in protein (thanks to some nifty protein powder), vitamin C, and other important nutrients like folate, potassium and manganese. Perfect recovery food.

If you know you’re going to be in a rush, here’s my advice: prepare all the fruit before your workout and store in a container in the fridge. That way, when you’re work out is done, all you have to do is throw the fruit into the blender with the protein powder and water. Hey presto! You’re done.

banana mango and strawberry prep
smoothie bowl
recovery smoothie

Now, do you normally just pour your smoothie into a glass and chug it down without so much as a breath? I bet you’re left with a tummy that feels overfull and definitely sloshy. Here’s my challenge: pour your smoothie into a large soup bowl, top with some more fruit (strawberries, bananas, whatever), and if you’re really feeling crazy, some chopped nuts. Eat it with a spoon. I know this might sound bizarre, but it really improves your digestion of what is a pretty nutrient-dense meal.

Banana, Strawberry and Mango Smoothie

serves 1 as a meal, 2 as a snack

Recipe notes

  • This smoothie makes enough for a whole meal, but if you’d like to share, go ahead!
  • I use Vital Protein Pea Isolate Unflavoured, but if you have a favourite protein powder, use that.
  • I use water as the liquid, as I feel that with the protein powder, the smoothie really doesn’t need any extra creamy liquids. But, if you’re hung up on milk, you can substitute. Coconut water is another great option!

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced (frozen is fine)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 2 heaped dessert spoons (~25 g) of protein powder
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (if desired)

Place all ingredients in a blend, and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass (or bowl!) and enjoy.