Ultimate Banana Bread by Nourishing Amy

Hello and happy Sunday!

Today’s recipe is from my wonderful friend Amy from Nourishing Amy (@nourishing.amy) and I’m so happy to share it with you, because it’s epic.

There are arguably some recipes that we all should have in our repertoire and one of these is banana bread. We all need a good banana bread recipe for cold winter evenings and a cup of tea, just as much as for summer brunch outside, served with fresh fruit, and for that any-time-of-year moment when we realize those bananas just need to be eaten.

I’ve made this recipe several times and particularly enjoy making it before a trip (nothing better than a chocolate chip version of this moreish loaf on the train or plane 😉 ). It’s super simple, not requiring any outlandish ingredients or a special trip to the grocery store, and can easily be whipped up. It’s also a really great one to play around with – adding chocolate chips, peanut butter, fresh raspberries or all together, depending on what mood you’re in. I’ve also seen Amy do this recipe in muffin version, which always looks incredibly irresistible!

Without further ado, let’s get baking!

Nourishing Amy’s Ultimate Banana Bread

Ingredients:

WET

  • 3 large bananas (the riper the better)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (ground flaxseeds will work too)
  • 1/3 cup plant-based milk [I use rice, while Amy loves oat and almond]
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, or coconut honey

DRY

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar [I’ve also used raw cane sugar]
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour*

Optional: sliced banana for topping, ½ cup walnuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips etc. 
Optional: 1 tsp maca, lucuma

* I’ve also tried this with buckwheat flour, which worked really well too. Apparently plain flour also works well, although Amy doesn’t recommend wholemeal flour, as it was a bit too dry.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160Fan/180°C. line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Mash the banana well in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add all the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  3. Leave for 5-10 minutes, then add in the dry ingredients together and mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Add in ½ cup optional extras, if using. The mix will be very thick and seem ‘dry’ but this is perfect.
  5. Pour into loaf tin lined with baking paper, smooth over the top. Add sliced banana on top, if using.
  6. Bake for 30-40 mins, ovens vary, until the top is browning nicely and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Keep checking the cake very 5 mins if it’s not done and add some foil to cover if it is getting too dark on top.
  7. Leave to cool on a wire rack. After 10 mins, remove from the tin and peel away the parchment. Allow to cool fully before storing in an airtight container for up to 5 days. It freezes well in slices too.

To serve, eat as is, or slather on some peanut butter, chocolate and raspberry chia jam, as I like to do 😉

Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to check out Nourishing Amy for more plant-based goodness, wonderful recipes and lots of feel-good vibes!

xoxo

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Migros #Grillitarier Party

Hello and happy Sunday!

Summer is here and with it the BBQ season has started. Barbecuing is something I’ve always liked – who doesn’t enjoy soaking up the sun and spending time with family and friends while tantalizing scents of delicious food sizzling away on the grill waft through the summer breeze?? And this summer I’m seriously getting my grill on through a fun summer campaign launched by Migros. As a #grillitarier I’m loving coming up with plant-based ideas for the grill, using delicious Migros ingredients.

On Friday I had the pleasure of being invited to an amazing grill party hosted by Migros, which involved lots of food bloggers, fun and, of course, grilling! It was an absolutely stunning sunny summer evening up on the Uetliberg, and it could not have been more ideal for a barbecue. First we were treated to refreshing iced tea and nibbles (I loved the beetroot-hummus avocado slices) while getting to know the other bloggers and the lovely people from Migros. Then, we were let loose on a tempting array of fresh produce and ingredients – huge baskets of fruit and vegetables, meat and fish for the omnivores and tofu for the veggies – to make dinner with.

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Photo by @davidbiedert.

I loved the feeling that everyone was working together and bouncing off of each other’s ideas. We ended up eating our fabulous feast – various skewers, salads, grilled aubergine, stuffed peppers, hummus, guacamole and more – under a tent while listening to chilled live music.

My food favorite was probably the new Cornatur Algen Burger (a vegan burger made with algae). It’s a breaded patty and tastes a bit like fish sticks. I’ll definitely be buying it and really recommend giving it a try – as a burger or, like here, cut up and made into skewers along with aubergine and peppers.

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Photo by @davidbiedert.

And for dessert? This being Switzerland, the fondue pans came out 😀 We melted chocolate over the grill (one pot for milk chocolate and one for dark) for dipping in fruit skewers, while trying not to burn ourselves – or drop our phones into the fire!

My take-away from the evening (besides the goody bag with all the grill essentials one could need!): a strong reminder of how a barbecue offers something for everyone – from fully plant-based to the other end of the scale – and is such a relaxed and satisfying way to spend time with people and unwind from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Hope you enjoyed reading and head over to the #grillitarier Website for all kinds of BBQ recipes, sweet and savory 😉

xoxo

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Photo by @davidbiedert.

London Vegan Guide (continued III)

Hello and happy Sunday!

After an extended weekend in London, I’m back with another post about awesome plant-based food in London. If you’ve missed my previous posts on vegan eating in London, feel free to check these out too:

As all my trips back to London, this one included catch-ups with friends over as much delicious vegan food as possible. I always have fun trying to fit in as many new places as possible, although there are always favorites I could go back to again and again.

Here are some further places I can warmly recommend:

The Blacksmith and the Toffeemaker

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How much more British can you get than a pub with a quirky name? This newly vegan pub near Angel has a special place in my heart, as I used to live 5 minutes away from it. I can’t tell you how many times I walked past it, and how gladly I would have stopped by for some vegan pub grub! (Probably this way turned out better for my wallet and waistline 😉 ).

All the items on the menu sound so tempting, from the “halloumi” kimchi burger and “mozzarella” sticks to the EPIC Green Mac N “Cheese” & Marinara Sauce Grilled “Cheese” Sandwich – this is serious comfort food! I absolutely fell in love with that sandwich and the bread (they get it fresh from a bakery) was so satisfying. I also tried the polenta fries, which were nice and crispy on the outside and soft (but just a tad bland) on the inside. Not exactly health food, but on the other hand it wasn’t very greasy and didn’t leave me feeling gross after. I definitely recommend! Maybe also stay for a pub quiz sometime? 😉

 

The Canvas Cafe 

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I found out about this cute little all-vegan place off of Brick Lane because of its freakshakes, and I’m so glad I fit it in my “schedule”. I’d just had an amazing vegan burger for lunch (next recommendation) and was feeling pretty full, not gonna lie, but I knew I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I had the option of raspberry or blueberry (no surprise which one I went for), and was told the shakes are made of bananas, frozen fruit and a bit of sugar and topped with a brownie. This was quite a pleasant surprise, as I’d assumed they’d mostly be made from some sort of super-processed vegan ice cream. The smoothie tasted quite wholesome, not overly sweet, and the fudgy brownie really was the perfect cherry on top! The only regrets I have is being to full to have any of an insane-looking chocolate fudge layer cake (that we all agreed looked like the one Bruce Bogtrotter from Roald Dahl’s Matilda was forced to eat).

We sat outside in the little backyard and soaked up some sun. I found it a really cheerful place with friendly staff and amazing things on display – a great place to also just grab a coffee and little bite of something sweet. Another one I’d go back to again.

 

The Vurger Co

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Ok, now this isn’t technically new, as I’ve had these delicious plant-based burgers in the past from pop-ups and Wilderness festival, but this was my first time at the permanent location in Shoreditch that opened recently. There are four soul-satisfying burgers on the menu, although I’ve only ever tried one (it’s that good): the MLT ❤  This is a mushroom, borlotti bean and parsley patty with tomato, rocket, ketchup, cheeze and the best sundried tomato and walnut pesto and is IN-credible. I practically forced my carnivorous friend to try one and she admitted it was pretty darn good. They also serve fries (sweet potato and regular) as well as mac n cheese and coleslaw. If you’re craving something sweet, there is Miiro ice cream and housemade shakes – including an oreo one! If I hadn’t planned on having a freakshake after (see above), I would definitely have given this a try – maybe next time 😉

 

Yeotown Kitchen

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Ok, before you think this post is only about vegan “junk” food (which, I’ll admit, it kind of is) let me introduce you to a more nutritious place. Yeotown Kitchen in Marylebone is not vegan, but serves many vegan options in a relaxed environment. My friend and I went for breakfast, for which I had matcha pancakes (gluten-free) with banana, toasted walnuts, maple syrup, coconut yogurt and blueberries – divine! I also tried a pine pollen latte, which had a really mild, comforting flavor. The list of savory dishes also sounded super tempting – like the Power Poke Bowl (Hawaian style BBQ jackfruit, glazed aubergine, avocado, edamame, coriander roasted corn, cucumber, marinated seaweed, radish, shaved cabbage, nigella tomato and rocket with vegan poke turmeric dressing), lemon hummus and roasted vegetable sourdough panini or the vegan lentil burger.

This place not only nourishes your body, but also your mind, with its meditation pods on the lower floor. Here you can chill out after your meal and listen to guided meditation – how cool is that?

 

By Chloe

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This originally American restaurant/diner chain has finally come to London and of course I had to try it. (There is one in Covent Garden and one opening at Tower Bridge).

I’d heard good things about its burgers and mac n cheese, but I was honestly just too full from my burger and freakshake to verify these claims. Luckily they also have salads, so I got the Detox Kale salad from the grab-and-go section. It was just what I needed, but probably the least exciting thing on the menu, so I’d definitely recommend giving their signature dishes a go. My friend really liked his burger, and we both agreed that they had the best sweet potato fries ever!

 

Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner

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Ok, more fast food – I couldn’t help giving this place in Camden a try, as we just don’t get vegan food like this in Switzerland! My friend (check her out for more vegan food recommendations in London: @brixtonfoodfiend) and I went all out, ordering a hot dog, corn dogs, mac n cheese, the meat ball sub (their current special) and fries – a true vegan fast food feast! Although not something I’d generally be super tempted to try, the meat ball sub was SUPERB. The combo of (I’m guessing jackfruit-based) “meat”-balls on a soft roll with a delicious, flavorsome sauce and “parmesan” was just the dream – as were the fries. I can’t explain how good this was! My friend wasn’t too blown away by the hot dog, but those corn dogs were definitely something! (She also really enjoyed the mac n cheese, but personally I’d 100% say go to Wulf and Lamb for that cheesy pasta fix – trust me). This is definitely the place for some dirty vegan grub, and perfect for showing your skeptical friends how indulgent and unhealthy vegan food can be 😀

 

Pitch Coffee (at Dog House Fitness, Balham)

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On Sunday, my friend (@_lifeofleila) and I decided to go sweat it out in a boxing class at Dog House Fitness – and boy did we do that! This cardio-intense HIIT-style boxing class was an absolute killer, so we were in need of some serious refuelling after. Luckily there is a cute little health-food joint within the gym, where we were able to treat ourself to something nourishing and refreshing. I had an açai bowl with an iced oat mylk matcha – the perfect post-workout breakfast that wasn’t so filling as to ruin my appetite for burgers later 😉

The coffee shop is really relaxed and I can also recommend the gym itself (they do box, spin or stretch classes).

 

Crosstown Doughnut Cafe

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While, again, not technically new (I used to get the odd Crosstown donut at Leather Lane Market on a Friday, if the vegan ones weren’t already sold out), Crosstown recently opened a cafe with only vegan donuts, close to Selfridges. I went here for a relaxed breakfast on my last morning in London and enjoyed the peanut butter one with blackcurrant jam (the best bit was biting into the jammy center and having that epic PB&J flavor combo). I had my donut with some ginger-ginseng-lime tea from ZigZag, which was wonderful – I definitely need to stock up on some the next time I’m in the UK.

It was the perfect satisfying yet slightly naughty breakfast – and I really enjoyed chatting with the woman working there, exchanging recommendations for vegan food (her favorite is the Black Cat Cafe in Hackney – on my list!) and hearing about the local companies, such as ZigZag and Jarr Kombucha, that they work with.

Other places I went to that are in my previous recommendations are: Raw Press Co. (where I had a delicious PB&J smoothie bowl and pitaya rose latte, and picked up a healthy takeaway for the airport), Planet Organic (for a rainbow bowl, Moju Acerola shot and a cookie to eat in a park) and Whole Foods (still obsessed with their tofu!).

That’s it for this time – stay tuned for further recommendations, both in Zurich, Switzerland and back in London sometime in the hopefully-not-too-distant future.

Have a lovely evening!

Celine