Hello and happy Saturday evening!
It’s my first weekend in my new place and of course I couldn’t wait to test out my new oven 😉
As part of an ongoing collaboration with health food company Iswari (if you’re not in Switzerland, check them out here) I’ve been trying some more tasty products, one of which inspired me to make these delicious and nutritious breakfast bars.
The “Super Oats Banana Bliss” (Gekeimter Hafer Banane & Kakao in German) is made up of gluten-free raw sprouted oats, ground buckwheat, powdered lucuma, banana powder, ground almonds, cacao beans, activated buckwheat and blackberries and is such a tasty mix! I love that it’s only made from wholesome ingredients and is packed with so much flavor and nutrition. You can also add liquid to it and create an instant porridge.
Variation: If you can’t get your hands on this product, the recipe should also work with the same amount of dry ingredients, such as a mix of ground and whole oats, buckwheat flour, ground almonds, lucuma etc, but may not have quite the same depth of flavor. I’ll probably experiment with this when I run out (which is bound to happen very soon), so I’ll keep you updated 😉
Makes: 9 small bars
- 200 g Super Oats Banana Bliss* (/for non-Swiss residents: see here)
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 100 g soft dates, mashed or blended
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 heaped tbsp tahini
- generous pinch of cinnamon
* If you’re thinking of ordering this and live in Switzerland you can get 5% off (as well as on any other Iswari products) with the discount code “blueberrysmiles”. [I get a small commission on any orders placed with this code. I only promote brands and products that I genuinely love and would recommend to friends].
- Mix all the ingredients together (if your dates are soft enough, you can just mash them in, meaning you only need to use one bowl).
- Spread the mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper (it won’t fill the whole one, but that’s fine as the mixture is firm) and bake in an oven preheated to 180 °C for ca. 15 minutes. Depending on the thickness, the oven time may vary – you’re looking for the bake to spring back when you touch it.
- Leave to cool for a bit before removing from the tin and cutting into bars.
Tip: they’re even better with some tahini slathered on top 😉
Hello and happy Monday evening!
I’m back to share a new recipe with you that I’ve come up with as part of a collaboration with the health food company Iswari (if you don’t live in Switzerland, check out their international page instead). I only recently found out about them, but immediately fell in love with their product range, and was only too happy to try some of their goodies.
This weekend I got myself acquainted with their “Buddha’s Awakening Morning Protein“, made of 100% organic milled buckwheat, rice protein, banana powder, tiger nut flour, milled flaxseed, carob and activated buckwheat, and boy was I in for an awakening! As much as I liked the sound of the ingredients, I wasn’t prepared for how much I would love the taste of this nutritious combination.
It’s hard to describe, but the banana, tiger nut and carob give this mix such a wonderful, naturally sweet and also warm and slightly exotic yet incredibly comforting flavor. I decided to make the ultimate comforting treat out of this, by turning it into a mug cake. This is a super easy recipe for a protein-rich breakfast, post-workout snack or afternoon treat. I hope you enjoy!
- 1 medium-sized ripe banana
- 5 tbsp “Buddha’s Awakening Morning Protein“
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3.5 tbsp unsweetened rice milk (or almond/oat etc.)
- 1 tbsp smooth, slightly runny peanut butter
- Mash the banana and combine with all the other ingredients.
- Pour the batter into a cup. The trick here is not to overfill, as this baby will rise! For me this makes enough for about 1 small coffee cup and 1 small espresso cup, or simply one larger cup. The important thing is that the cake has space to rise above the rim (without overflowing and resulting in a funny mushroom shape).
- Cook in the microwave at high heat for ca. 1.5 to 2 minutes (times may vary depending on your microwave and your preferences – I like to have mine a little bit under-baked, so that it’s nice and gooey inside 😉 ).
- Optional: add yummy toppings – I’ve been having mine with dark chocolate (I loved this lucuma vanilla chocolate, also by Iswari) and more peanut butter, but berries or jam will work well too.
Happy Mug Cake Making!
Hello and happy Saturday!
Rarely does it happen that a bake turns out exactly as I visualized in my head, but this is one of those wonderful times. While trying to fall asleep the other night I was dreaming up recipes to use up some leftover pumpkin (who doesn’t, right?), and I’m absolutely delighted with how these little loaves turned out this morning. Soft, moist, sweet and so satisfying – with richness from the peanut butter and bittersweet bursts of dark chocolate.
I’ve already eaten three today and am seriously wishing I made more. They also received the thumbs up from my boyfriend, who had one as a post-workout snack. Whether you’re looking for an indulgent weekend breakfast, afternoon treat or something for on-the-go, these will definitely hit the spot 😉
Let’s get baking!
Makes: 5 (generous) mini loaves
- 250 g puréed pumpkin*
- 100 g soft dates – I use these Sukari ones; the 3kg box lasts me for ages and is really good value for money
- 2 tbsp chia seeds (or ground flaxseeds)
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp lucuma powder (optional)
- ground vanilla bean / seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- good pinch of cinnamon
- 130 g (1 cup) flour – I used half buckwheat, half wholemeal spelt
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup (65 ml) unsweetened rice mylk
- 1/4 cup (65 ml) unsalted, all-natural peanut butter
- dark chocolate, chopped (ca. 60-80 g, I used 85%)
* Alternatively, I could imagine puréed butternut squash, sweet potato or even mashed banana would work too. Will keep you updated if I try these versions 😉
- Mix together the pumpkin purée and chia seeds.
- Blend together the dates with the maple syrup and pinch of salt, adding this sweet mixture to the pumpkin.
- Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, (lucuma powder).
- Add the baking powder to the flour and stir into the pumpkin mix.
- Finally, stir in the rice mylk and peanut butter, before adding the chocolate chunks
- Divide the mixture into your mini loaf tins (if you don’t have any, make muffins instead).
- Bake in an oven preheated to 180° C for ca. 20 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean). Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes.
Happy baking and enjoy!
Hello and happy Sunday!
I’m back with another simple, speedy and satisfying recipe – this time for chocolate cookies. Double chocolate cookies. These came about last Saturday morning, when I realized I had just over one hour left to shower, get ready and prepare a dessert to bring along to my boyfriend’s.
Whenever I bring something with to someone’s, I tend to go with a tried and tested recipe, or something new that I’ve carefully thought out. Last week, however, I quite enjoyed wildly chucking ingredients into a blender, fueled by adrenalin and faith that, somehow, this would not be a disaster. The cookies I ended up with definitely exceeded my expectations, and got great feedback at the event I made them for.
I’ve since made them again twice, and love having a little stash of them on hand during the week, for when I want a little something sweet at work or before bed. They’re so simple to make, super soft and almost fudgy (the more so the less you bake them), and they can be enjoyed baked or raw.
Makes ca. 10 small/medium cookies (I tend to double it)
- 1 cup soft dates – I use Palmyradelights sukari, but medjool should be great too
- 3 tbsp unsweetened rice milk (or almond, oat etc.)
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup*
- ca. 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsbp lucuma powder
- 1 pinch salt
- chocolate chunks (I use 85% dark chocolate, but whatever floats your boat)
- chopped walnuts (pecans or peanuts would be amazing too)
- Variation: Leave out the walnuts and – before stirring in the chocolate chunks – add 2 tbsp smooth, slightly runny peanut butter for chocolate pb cookies. (Even better: add some chopped peanuts too!)
* The amount is totally up to you, depending on your preferred level of sweetness. The first time I used 2 tbsp maple syrup, and loved them, but they were almost a bit too sweet. I made them again with 1 tbsp, which is probably my go-to if I just make them for myself. If making them for friends who aren’t necessarily into healthy eating, I’d probably use 2 again. You can also leave the maple syrup out completely, in which case you may have more of an energy-ball situation going on. The maple syrup basically takes this from sweet snack to serious sweet treat, if you get what I’m saying 😉
- Blend together the dates, rice milk and maple syrup (this only works well with soft dates; if yours are slightly drier, try soaking them in hot water first).
- Add the remaining ingredients (pinch of salt, buckwheat flour, ground flaxseeds, cacao and lucuma) and mix till combined. It should be a thick, slightly sticky dough.
- Stir in the chocolate and walnut chunks.
- Shape the mix into equal sized balls with your hands (the mix shouldn’t be too sticky, but if it is, wet hands or adding more flour make it easier), slightly flattening to get a thick cookie shape.
- Bake in an oven preheated to 175° C for ca. 8 minutes, or eat just as they are. (Or snack on some raw ones while the rest bake 😉 )
Hope you enjoy!
P.S. If you’re interested in more healthy cookie recipes, check out my breakfast cookies.
Hello and happy Tuesday!
I’m back with another recipe – just in time for Christmas, if you still have some festive baking to do 😉
Gingerbread cookies are probably my favorite festive bake, as they’re just so much fun to make and decorate (especially while singing along to Christmas music)! Last year I was too busy trying to keep up with the demand for mince pies to make any other bakes. This year, however, I went straight in for my first ever plant-based gingerbread men. I made a batch yesterday and another today – slightly sweeter in taste and thinner and crispier in texture – which I am very happy with (as evidenced by the undisclosed amount I have already eaten).
As I didn’t want to make a traditional icing with powdered sugar, I experimented with a tahini-based one (sweetened with maple syrup and lucuma) which I absolutely love.
I hope you enjoy these cookies too if you give them a go!
Makes: ca. 12-16 cookies (medium sized gingerbread men/similar shapes)
- 130 g wholemeal spelt flour (ca. 1 cup)
- 80 g buckwheat flour (ca. 1/2 cup)
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of cloves
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 130 g soft dates (I used these Sukari dates from Palmyra – ca. 9 – but medjool would be perfect as well)
- 2 tbsp rice milk
- 6 tsp tahini*
- 6 tsp maple syrup
- 3 tsp lucuma**
- liquid food coloring
- rice milk, to make it more liquid if needed
* If you don’t have tahini or simply prefer a more neutral icing, almond or cashew butter will probably work just as well (I haven’t tried this though).
**The lucuma adds some sweetness but also acts to thicken the icing. If you don’t have any, cornflour may be a possible alternative or otherwise skip the rice milk (I haven’t tried this variation though, so just experiment until you get the desired consistency).
- Combine the dry ingredients (flours, ground flaxseeds and spices) in a mixing bowl, before adding the molasses and melted coconut oil.
- Blend together the dates and the maple syrup to form a sweet paste, before adding to the mixing bowl. Combine the ingredients with your hands, adding 2 tbsp of rice milk so that it all comes together nicely. Form the dough into a disk, cover with clingfilm and leave somewhere cool (the fridge – or outside if it’s also cold where you are!) for around 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the tahini icing by combining the tahini, maple syrup, lucuma and food coloring in a cup or small container. You can easily make more or less by adjusting the ingredients accordingly. If by the time you are ready to ice your cookies you find the icing too thick, add a dash of rice milk. (Rather add too little than too much, as it’s easier to add more liquid than to thicken the icing up again).
- Roll out the dough and cut out the desired shapes. The amount you get will depend on the shapes you use as well as the thickness of the dough. I like the dough rolled out quite thin so the cookies become nice and crisp in the oven – a thicker dough will make doughier cookies.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 175 °C for ca. 8-12 minutes (depending on the thickness).
- Leave to cool completely (on the tray for a few minutes, then on a cooling rack/ or outside) before icing your lovely cookies. (Note: the icing does harden a bit, but do be gentle with your iced cookies/ i.e. I wouldn’t recommend stacking them on top of each other).
Happy festive baking!
What on earth is a Grittibänz?! you may rightly be wondering. My fellow Swiss will, however, know these little bread men as a traditional treat we eat on December 6th, Saint Nicholas Day, along with clementines and chocolates.
Baking being something I’ve always loved, I started making them myself a few years ago, each time searching for an ever better recipe and the “right” technique to get soft and fluffy little men (and women), instead of ones that hardened as soon as they cooled.
As I was still in London this time last year, this is the first time since going plant-based that I have made Grittibänz and – I’m not saying this to be dramatic – these vegan ones are seriously the best I’ve ever made! So of course I want to share this recipe with you. Not only for all the Swiss who make these each year, but for anyone wanting a piece of Swiss culture or just a good recipe for vegan enriched bread dough. You obviously don’t have to form little men out of this dough, but can make rolls, form a plat (we call this bake a Zopf or Züpfe) or make whatever you want and eat it all year round.
The recipe I used is from the Swiss Vegan Society (Vegane Gesellschaft Schweiz). I have translated it into English and adapted it slightly (leaving out the vegan egg replacement, as I found it unnecessary) as well as changing the technique, based on my previous experience with handling dough.
- 500 g Zopfmehl – this is a special kind of flour made of white flour and spelt (which makes it more elastic); if you can’t get a hold of this, regular white flour (maybe mixed with some light spelt flour) should be fine as well
- 1 level tbsp salt
- 80 g soft margarine (I used this one by Alnatura – which also contains walnut oil)
- 1/2 40 g cube of fresh yeast (the recipe gives the alternative of using a sachet of dry yeast)
- 1/2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- 2.5 dl rice milk (lukewarm)
- To decorate: raisins, nuts, chocolate chunks etc.
- Warm the rice milk if straight from the fridge (it should not be hot, just lukewarm), add the maple syrup, if using, and crumble the yeast into the liquid.
- Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt to one side of it (you don’t want it getting in contact with the yeast at this early stage). With your hand, form a hollow in the center of the flour into which you pour the rice milk and yeast mixture. Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour on to the surface of this “lake” and let this rest for 5-10 minutes. (Ideally you’ll see some bubbles start to form).
- Next add the soft margarine and knead everything together to a smooth, elastic dough. (I used my KitchenAid with the dough hook attachment for around 10 minutes. Either way, test the dough by seeing how far it will stretch before breaking apart. It should be quite stretchy).
- Place into a bowl, cover with clingfilm, and leave somewhere warm to rise for ca. 1 hour 45 min/ 2 hours. (My oven was still a tad warm from baking sweet potatoes 2-3 hours before, so I put the bowl in there 😉 ).
- Once risen, divide the dough into four equal rounds and form into the desired shape. To make a Grittibänz shape check out this video I found, as it’s easier to see it than to read about it (skip to minute 2). Feel free to make whatever shape you desire, just note that the oven time may vary depending on how thick or thin you make the dough.
- Decorate any way you like – e.g. using raisins for the eyes of the Grittibänz – and then leave the Grittibänz to rest for about 15 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 200 ° C (not on fan).
- Optional but recommended: before putting the Grittibänz into the oven, up the temperature and put two little dishes of water on a tray and into the oven, to create some steam. This should help your bakes rise and also retain that lovely softness. Take the dishes out and switch the temperature back to 200 ° C before putting your Grittibänz into the oven.
- Brush some rice milk onto the Grittibänz and bake for about 20 minutes or until baked through. They should be a nice golden color. Leave to cool before eating.
Hello and happy Thursday!
Chilly weather, cloudy days (at least where I live) and early darkness all feed the desire for something warm and comforting, like a cup of tea. Or even better: a cup of tea with a slice of pie. Or better yet: A cup of tea with a whole (mini) pie to yourself 😀
These little pies are such a delicious treat, perfect in the afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe even a hot chocolate 😉 They’re also packed with wholesome ingredients that make them a nourishing indulgence and a steady source of energy.
This recipe came about as a replacement for my old pumpkin pie recipe from my pre-plant-based days. (We all need a good pumpkin pie recipe right?) And while I was at it, I decided to play around with the pie crust, adding pecans and cacao for extra goodness.
Ingredients (makes 6 muffin-sized pies):
- 120 g wholemeal spelt flour (or buckwheat flour, for a gluten-free version)
- 30 g pecans, ground into flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 can of puréed pumpkin (i.e. 213 g)
- 3 medjool dates (if dry, soak in boiling water for a few minutes)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (unsalted, smooth)
- 2 tbsp full-fat coconut milk (the kind for cooking)
- 3 tsp ground flaxseeds
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of cloves
- pinch salt
Optional (but trust me you want this): dark chocolate for on top
- Line a muffin tray with 6 paper cases.
- Combine all the ingredients for the crust (first with a spoon and then using your hands) and press the mixture into the cases. (Start with the base, then press bits onto the sides until they’re all covered. This takes a few minutes, but can be quite therapeutic/ a good chance to practice some mindfulness 😉 ).
- Blend all the ingredients for the filling and distribute the mixture equally among the 6 pies.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for ca. 25 minutes. (Oven times vary, so keep an eye on them). I covered mine after 20 minutes to prevent the crust getting too dark.
- Let cool in the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
- BEST WAY TO ENJOY THEM: When they are still warm, place a square of dark chocolate on top to gloriously melt (or break the chocolate into little chunks and press them into the pie for a gooey chocolate chip effect). If already cooled, heat the pie(s) up in the microwave first. Too indulgent for words.
Note: the pies freeze easily, so you can always have some on hand to heat up (and top with chocolate, if desired 😉 ) for the perfect autumnal treat.
Hello and happy Sunday evening!
It’s time to share with you another guest recipe – one that I can’t believe I’ve lived this long without: Vegan French Toast! This is something I didn’t think I would be eating after going plant-based, and it completely slipped off my foodie radar. Until, that is, I discovered Bianca Zapatka’s blog full of beautiful, mouthwatering recipes – including an irresistibly simple and incredibly delicious version of French Toast, using ingredients you probably have on hand.
I’ve made it twice this past week and it’s made me so happy both times 🙂 I’ve had it topped with sliced banana, berries/ chia jam, a drizzle of peanut butter and some maple syrup (this was more for decoration purposes, as the toast is perfectly sweet enough without it). Definitely give it a go, and don’t forget to tag @fitness_bianca if you share your toast on instagram 😉
- 2 slices toast (I used wholewheat)
- 1/2 ripe banana (you can slice the other half for decoration)
- 75 ml plant-based milk (I used unsweetened rice milk)
- coconut oil for frying
- Optional: vanilla, cinnamon, desiccated coconut
- Ideas for toppings: berries, sirup, granola
Note: I also added 1 tsp of ground flaxseed (for extra nutrition) and 1 tsp lucuma (for extra sweetness), both are completely optional however.
- Mash banana in a deep plate. Add milk, (vanilla and cinnamon) and stir. (This is also where I added the ground flaxseeds and lucuma).
- Spread coconut flakes on a baking paper. (The recipe also works without coconut). I omitted them, but if you’re a coconut lover, go for it! 😉
- Heat up coconut oil in a pan.
- Dip the toasts into the “banana milk” mixture and coat with coconut flakes.
- Fry for about 3-4 minutes from each side on medium heat until lightly brown.
- Place your french toasts on a plate and drizzle with agave syrup. Serve with berries, granola, remaining coconut flakes or other toppings as desired and enjoy!
Happy French Toasting!
Cookies for breakfast? Sure! I remember when I was on holiday as a child, my sister and I would always make a beeline for the sweet breakfast treats at the hotel buffet: pancakes, pastries, cakes and also cookies. It was so exciting to us that we could have these foods for breakfast. (My mom always made sure we ate a bowl of fruit first, though – something I appreciate today more than back then 😉 )
As much as I still love the idea of having cookies for breakfast, my tastes and preferences have changed, and I no longer consider cookies with lots of sugar and refined ingredients a great way to start the day. That’s why I’ve created this recipe – cookies so wholesome and nourishing that they really can replace breakfast, but also sweet and yummy enough to taste like a cheeky little treat.
I made these to take to a yoga brunch last weekend, and have since been eating them for breakfast as well as an afternoon snack. They’re especially perfect to have on the go, if there’s no time for a sit-down breakfast in the morning. (I tend to bring them with when staying at my boyfriend’s during the week – as we always end up rushing out the door – to eat on the tram together in the morning). They’ve also received the stamp of approval from a very tough customer – my not-at-all-fan-of-healthy-food sister. The full extent of this approval only hit me when I saw my breakfast cookie stash in the freezer had miraculously disappeared.
Luckily, they’re quick to make 😉
- 1 large ripe banana
- 1 can of chickpeas (ca. 240 g drained), drained, rinsed, skins off
- 4 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter (unsalted)
- 5 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 pinch of salt (unless using salted peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 2-3 heaped tsp raw cacao powder
- some ground vanilla beans (or ca. 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- (optional: 1 tsp carob powder)
- (optional: 1/2 cup puffed amaranth)
- Variation 1: To take these cookies from breakfast to a slightly more indulgent treat, make a thick spread by combining: 2 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter, 1 heaped tsp raw cacao and maple syrup to taste. This you can then use as a filling for the cookies (see step 4).
- Variation 2: Omit the cacao and mix in some dark chocolate chunks for chickpea chocolate chip breakfast cookies.
- Blend together the banana, chickpeas, peanut butter and dates.
- Stir in the other ingredients (salt, buckwheat flour, cacao, baking powder – and carob and amaranth, if using) and combine well.
- Roll the mixture into balls (around 20) and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Note: This is a very sticky mix, so keep wetting your hands to make it easier to roll – this will also allow you to smooth out the cookies.
- Variation 1: After rolling the mix into balls, use a finger to press down and create a little imprint in the middle. Put some of the peanut butter cacao spread in the middle (I was able to roll mine into little balls so they look like hazelnuts on the cookies).
- Bake in an oven preheated to 175 °C for about 8-10 minutes. (Oven temperatures vary, so keep an eye on the cookies. You want them to still be soft when coming out, as they harden a little when cooling).
- Enjoy them on their own, with extra peanut butter, raspberry jam, or any way you like!
Note: The unbaked batter itself is SO delicious – feel free to just eat it as is 😉 If you specifically want to make ‘cookie dough’ for breakfast, I have a separate recipe, based on this one. (See my recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough).
I’ve been sighting seductive bowls of chickpea cookie dough around Instagram, and couldn’t resist making my own. After all, who doesn’t want to feel like they’re eating cookie dough for breakfast, while nourishing and fueling themselves for the day ahead? There’s something just so wickedly satisfying about eating “dessert” for breakfast – having your cake (/cookie dough) and eating it too.
This recipe actually came about while creating breakfast cookies for a yoga brunch, when I realized I could easily just sit there and spoon the batter into my mouth instead of baking it. I’ve adjusted it slightly, and will be posting the recipe for the breakfast cookies separately, so stay tuned. (Update: I’ve uploaded the breakfast cookie recipe).
Servings: 2 (or 1, if you’re super hungry 😉 )
- 1 can of chickpeas (ca. 240 g, drained weight), drained, rinsed, skins off
- 1 large ripe banana
- 2 tbsp smooth natural peanut butter
- 2 medjool dates
- 1 pinch of salt
- ground vanilla bean (or ca. 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- (1 tsp lucuma; optional, for extra sweetness)
- dark chocolate, cut into small chunks; I used 85% Lindt chocolate
- Note: the cookie I used as decoration is the Vanilla Chocolate Chip cookie by My Raw Joy – definitely one to recommend!
- Blend all the ingredients – except for the chocolate chunks – together.
- Stir in the chocolate chunks and enjoy!
Variations: feel free to experiment, adding cacao powder for a more chocolatey version, or blueberries for a blueberry muffin batter (I think I might try that next…), chopped nuts etc. And for a thicker dough, add some flour, e.g. buckwheat flour.