Vegan Banana & Almond Bread

A slight tweak on my delicious vegan banana bread, I wanted to challenge myself to make a recipe without adding any sugar and reducing the oil. All sweetness in this recipe is naturally from the bananas, cinnamon and vanilla. I also substituted some of the flour for ground almonds, and topped with whole almonds for an added crunch. Yum!

142kcal per serving (based on 10 slices) with macro split 47%C/44%F/9%P.

Recipe makes 8-10 slices of delicious bananery heaven.

 

Ingredients:

• 3-4 frozen bananas, defrosted (~280g peeled weight)

• 150g of self-raising flour (I used gluten free flour because I’m a nice housemate)

• 75g ground almonds

• Generous sprinkle of cinnamon, to taste

• Dribble of vanilla flavouring, to taste

• 10ml of vegetable oil (olive works just fine)

• 10g whole almonds to top (optional)

 

Method:

1) Defrost and peel the bananas (instructions for defrosting can be found here).

2) In a large bowl mash the squidgy innards and add cinnamon, oil and vanilla extract. Give mixture a stir.

2) Gradually sieve in the flour, folding it into the wet mix.

3) Mix in ground almonds and give the mixture a good stir to combine into a runny batter.

4) Pour mixture into a grease proof paper lined loaf tin

5) Bake at 200c – after ~15 minutes, check on your masterpiece by sticking a spoon handle in the middle – it should come out clean if done, otherwise add another 10 minutes onto the baking time.

6) Repeat step 5 if necessary – mine took around 15mins in total, but ovens do vary.

 

Enjoy!

Chickpea & Coconut Curry

This is a creamy, indulgent dish whilst still having lots of vegetables and a good balance of macros: use reduced fat coconut milk and this one’s a guilt free treat.

The recipe below serves 6 – great for meal preppers.

For those tracking macros, 1 portion (not including rice / noodles) is 293kcal/portion with % energy split: 59C/26F/15P.

 

Ingredients:

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• 1 chopped onion

• 2 chopped garlic cloves

• 200g chopped carrots

• 200g chopped bell peppers

• 200g frozen green beans

• 1 vegetable stock cube (I used reduced salt)

• 1 can low fat coconut milk

• 1 can chickpeas

• 1 tsp garam masala

• 1 tsp black pepper

• 1 tsp coriander

 

Method:

1) Slice onion, garlic, carrots, peppers etc.

2) Gently fry sliced onion and garlic for a 1 minute or 2 before adding carrots and bell peppers.

3) Once veggies are starting to soften, add green beans and chickpeas and give the mix a stir.

4) Crumple over the stock cube, add black pepper, garam masala and coriander (or any other herbs, spices, seasonsings you fancy getting creative with!). Add 100ml freshly boiled water and mix to make a sauce.

5) Stir in coconut milk and allow to simmer gently for 5-10 minutes until the vegetables have all softened to desired amount.

Enjoy!

High Protein Vegan Stir Fry

Quick & simple. My mantra.

The recipe below serves 4 – great for meal preppers.

For those tracking macros, 1 portion (not including rice / noodles) is 126kcal/portion with % energy split: 15C/51F/32P.

 

Ingredients:

• 1 chopped onion

• 1 or 2 chopped garlic cloves

• 200g firm tofu

• Grated ginger

• Chilli flakes

• Vegetable stock cube

• Red & green peppers (I used 1 of each)

• 80g broccoli

• 80g frozen edamame beans

• Drizzle vegetable oil (olive works just fine)

 

Method:

1) Drain the tofu, wrap with kitchen roll and place on a chopping board. Place another chopping board on top and then place something heavy (e.g. a saucepan) on top of the leaning tower of chopping boards to weigh it down – the longer the tofu is pressed, the firmer the tofu will be. I recommend leaving the tofu to press whilst you prepare the vegetables.

2) Chop onion, garlic, broccoli, peppers etc.

3) Steam edamame (find out how I do this here).

3) Heat the oil in a wock and add the onions, garlic and cubed, pressed tofu. Fry for a couple of minutes before adding the broccoli, and another couple of minutes later add sliced peppers.

4) Stir in steamed edamame.

5) Sprinkle in chilli flakes, ginger and a broken up stock cube, adding a little water from a freshly boiled kettle to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan and to make a sauce.

6) Serve with boiled rice or vegan noodles.

Vegan Banana Bread

What a treat this delicious banana bread is – and a great way to use up the ‘past it’ bananas that are making your fruit bowl look sad.

 

Ingredients:

• 3-4 bananas (browner the better…if you’re like me and freeze bananas that are on the turn, defrost these (peel and all!) in the microwave for 1min30, peel, et voila)

• 225g of self-raising flour (I used gluten free flour because I’m a nice housemate)

• ~75g of caster sugar, to taste

• Generous sprinkle of cinnamon, to taste

• Dribble of vanilla flavouring, to taste

• 80g of vegetable oil (olive works just fine)

 

Method:

1) Peel the bananas and in a large bowl mash the squidgy innards (I used a potato masher which actually worked very effectively).

2) Gradually stir in the flour and sugar.

3) Add cinnamon and vanilla and give the mixture a good stir to combine into a runny batter.

4) Pour mixture into a grease proof paper lined loaf tin

5) Bake at 200c – after ~15 minutes, check on your masterpiece by sticking a spoon handle in the middle – it should come out clean if done, otherwise add another 10 minutes onto the baking time. If the top starts to burn, cover with baking parchment before returning to the oven.

6) Repeat step 5 if necessary – mine took around 30mins in total, but ovens do vary.

 

Enjoy!

Vegan Coconut Balls

An adaptation on my vegan-friendly seeded protein slice, but with the addition of toasted coconut. Yummmmmm.

 

Ingredients:

• 1 cup of oats

• 3 scoops (~75g) vegan protein powder

• Hazelnut/other dairy free milk (also works with chocolate soya (mmmm) but this will increase the sugar content slightly)

• Desiccated coconut

 

Method:

1) In a large bowl, mix together oats and protein powder

2) Gradually stir in milk until a batter is formed (I think I used about 150ml but can’t be sure so go easy)

3) Roll batter to form 16 walnut-sized balls and coat with desiccated coconut.

4) Space the balls evenly on a grease proof paper lined baking tray or loaf tin

5) Bake at 180c for ~10 minutes

Vegan Nut Roast

Oh wow.

Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.

This is a tasty one – vegan nut roast. Sunday lunch approved. Lunchbox approved. In fact, it would do for just about any eating occasion.

And as always, super simple! (I think there’s a trend starting here…)

For those tracking macros, this recipe is 348kcal/portion with % energy split: 25C/53F/22P – don’t be afraid of the fats, they’re majority healthy unsaturated fats from the nuts! This recipe is also high in protein and a source of fibre; happy days. 🙂

 

The recipe is 6 servings and I would recommend serving with a side dish of steamed veggies.

 

Ingredients:

• 1 large onion

• 1 tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil

• 20g (a generous dollop) of Marmite stirred into 1/4 pint of hot water for stock

• 200g mixed chopped nuts

• 2 tbsp ground almonds

• 100g rolled oats

• A good shake of black pepper + herbs to taste

 

Method:

1. Peel and chop the onion and fry in the oil for around 4 minutes, until softened.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (nuts + oats) and add the fried onion once done.

3. Stir in the stock – the mix will combine to some extent but don’t worry that it’s a little crumbly!

4. Press mix into a greaseproof paper lined loaf tin and bake at 180c for 20 to 2 minutes.

5. Once out the oven (and golden brown in colour…), leave to cool before slicing. I portion mine out by slicing into 6 and wrapping individual portions in foil to eat through the week, but you could refrigerate the whole thing in a Tupperware and slice as you go.

 

Enjoy!

Beany Vegan Lunch

This has been my favourite lunch option the past few weeks – (relatively) quick and easy to prep on a Sunday evening and will last most of the week. With a whopping 14g of fibre per serving your digestive system will thank you!

For those tracking macros, this recipe is 338kcal/portion with % energy split: 44C/35F/17P.

The recipe does me 4 servings but you may find slightly more or fewer work for you depending on your appetite!

 

Ingredients:

• 1 can of chickpeas

• 1 can of butter beans

• 300g frozen edamame beans

• Approximately 5 large carrots (more is better!)

• 3 tsp English mustard

• 1 tbsp walnut oil (or preferred oil to taste)

• A good shake of black pepper

 

Method:

1. Open can of chickpeas and butter beans and empty contents into a microwaveable bowl or container. Cover and heat as per instructions on can (I cook mine for around 2mins on ‘high’).

2. In the meantime you can begin grating, slicing or spiralizing the carrots. I chop off the ends then spiralize because i’m fancy, but really it’s up to personal preference / the utensils available to you. Once you have enough of a spiralized carrot haul, share between 4 Tupperware tubs (or however many portions you are going for).

3. Once the chickpea & butter bean mix is heated through, drain off the water and split the bean mix between the tubs.

4. Steam the edamame – I choose to do mine in the microwave for approximately 3 minutes by adding a little water to a glass jug (or other microwave-safe vessel), covering with clingfilm and heating on ‘high’. Drain and separate edamame between the Tupperware tubs.

6. In a small bowl or mug, whisk (or fork) together the mustard, oil and black pepper, and drizzle over the beany mix. You may need to add a touch of water too to get a drizzly consistency.

7. Once cooled, make sure to keep the tubs in the fridge to keep fresh as possible until consumed.

 

Enjoy!

All in moderation

“But fortunately, the entire world doesn’t need to convert to vegetarianism or veganism to reap many of the benefits while limiting the repercussions – Instead, moderation in meat-eating’s frequency and portion size is key.”

Very interesting read from the BBC- What would happen if the world suddenly went vegetarian?

In summary, flex veganism has some backing by environmental and social sciences!

Read the full article here.

Vegan ‘fakeaway’ curry

Lovers of curry, takeaways, simple recipes and veganism, this one’s for you. You’re welcome.

For those tracking macros, this recipe is 198kcal/portion with % energy split: 48C/25F/20P (rice, naan etc not included).

Recipe is 4 servings.

 

Ingredients:

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• 1 large onion

• 2 small sweet potatoes

• Curry paste of your choice (I personally like madras)

• 1 vegetable stock cube

• 300g frozen spinach

• 1 can of green lentils, drained

 

Method:

1) First, peel, half and chop the onion.

2) On the hob, heat a little olive oil in a medium/large saucepan over a low heat. Fry the chopped onion for around 4 minutes until it starts to soften.

3) While the onion is frying, dice the sweet potato into chunks around 5x5cm – this gives the curry a great, wholesome texture. There is no need to peel the potato but do make sure the skin is clean before adding to the pan.

4) Stir in a generous dollop of curry paste to the onions – I tend to use around 1/3rd of the jar but this is really down to personal taste.

5) Gently add vegetable stock (made up as per pack instructions) and stir to make sure onion is not stuck to the bottom of the pan. Plop in diced sweet potato and put the lid on the pan. Leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potato has started to soften.

6) If you are cooking rice or any other accompaniment to the sauce, think about preparing that around now 🙂

7) Check the potato has started to soften by poking it with a fork – if it has, add spinach straight from frozen and give the mix a good stir. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stir in drained green lentils, then leave to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve to friends and family or allow to cool before freezing additional portions in tupperware tubs to revisit later on.

Enjoy!

My definitive list of vegan-friendly milk alternatives

….scored by the attributes most important to me: price, nutrients, taste in tea, taste in porridge. Simple.

 

Please note: I always opt for unsweetened variants where possible (excluding my weakness for chocolate variants) – always check the label for pesky added sugar!

 

1. Alpro Soya Chocolate

alpro-soya-choc

Price: £1.40 / on offer for £1

Nutrients:

– GOOD: Fortified with calcium, vitamins D, B2 & B12, high in protein, low in fat & saturates

– LESS GOOD: Added salt, added sugar (but we’ll let it off as its chocolate)

Taste in Tea: Not recommended…unless you like chocolate tea?

Taste in Porridge: 9.5 / 10 – by far the best in my opinion, (see recipe for overnight oats here) yummmm!

Overall verdict: Best for porridge (Oatly Chocolate  is also great tasting)

 

2. Oatly

oatly

Price: £1.50 / on offer for £1

Nutrients:

– GOOD: Low fat & saturates, low total sugars and no added sugar, simple ingredients

– LESS GOOD: Not fortified, added salt, not a source of protein

Taste in Tea: 7 / 10 – not bad at all!

Taste in Porridge: Undetectable due to oat on oat action.

Overall verdict: Best for tea

 

3. Almond Breeze

almond-breeze

Price: £1.50

Nutrients:

– GOOD: Fortified with calcium, vitamins D, E & B12, source of protein, low in fat & saturates, low in sugar & no added sugar

– LESS GOOD: Added salt

Taste in Tea: 6 / 10

Taste in Porridge: Very slightly nutty, otherwise undetectable

Overall verdict: Second choice for tea, arguably the best nutritionally

 

4. Coconut

cocnut

Price: £1.70

Nutrients:

– GOOD: Fortified with calcium, vitamins D & B12, low in fat & saturates, low in total sugars & no added sugar

– LESS GOOD: Added salt, not a source of protein

Taste in Tea: 4 / 10  (but 7 / 10 in coffee)

Taste in Porridge: 8 / 10 – pretty darn delicious, especially with a more subtle tasting fruit such as blueberries (my boyfriend’s favourite)

Overall verdict: A close second for porridge

 

5. Rice Dream

rice-dream

Price: £1.40

Nutrients:

– GOOD: Fortified with calcium, vitamins B & D12, low in fat & saturates, no added sugar

– LESS GOOD: Higher sugar than other varieties (7g / 100g), added salt, contains oil which is kinda gross

Taste in Tea: Not bad, but slightly oily mouthfeel – this might be psychological since reading the ingredients list but all the same…I’m not a fan

Taste in Porridge: Kinda ‘meh’ – not offensive tasting but, like its name, not exciting either

Overall verdict: Pass

 

Vegan-friendly milks use less land and water and generate less CO2 than dairy milk so a simple switch can do a lot of good.

Vegan-Friendly Seeded Protein Slice

Hallelujah!

Super simple, quick, easy, tasty, inexpensive protein-packed vegan treat anyone!?

I thought as much.

For those tracking macros, this recipe is 99kcal/portion with % energy split: 46C/15F/36P.

Recipe is 8 servings.

 

Ingredients:

• 1 cup of oats

• 3 scoops (~75g) vegan protein powder

• Hazelnut/other dairy free milk (also works with chocolate soya (mmmm) but this will increase the sugar content slightly)

• Sprinkle of mixed seeds (optional)

 

Method:

1) In a large bowl, mix together oats and protein powder

2) Gradually stir in milk until a batter is formed (I think I used about 100ml but can’t be sure so go easy)

3) Press batter into a grease proof paper lined cake or loaf tin

4) Sprinkle with a handful of seeds (optional) and press them in slightly so they stick

5) Bake at 180c for ~15 minutes

 

Enjoy!

vsps-final
Enjoy!

Possibly, probably the most delicious overnight oats ever

This recipe works as a breakfast or a dessert and is utterly delicious. A great example of only a simple switch needed to make a tasty vegan-friendly treat!

For those tracking macros, this recipe is 357kcal with % energy split: 77C/14F/8P.

 

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup of porridge oats (~40g)

• 1 cup of chocolate oat or soya milk (or any other non-dairy milk of your choice but chocolate gives sweetness without having to add additional sugar)

• A generous dollop of Alpro coconut yogurt (or again, other non-dairy yogurt of your choice would work just fine)

• A handful of frozen red berries (only realised as I was eating it this mix has red grapes in!!!)

 

Method:

1. Place oats in a bowl

2. Pour in milk and dollop on the yogurt, give it a mix with a spoon

3. Add berries in a pretty layout (…or just throw on top of mix like I did)

4. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight

5. My recommendation is to take out of the fridge and leave to warm up slightly before eating as the berries are likely to still be very, very cold and could hurt sensitive teeth.

 

Enjoy!