Category: Breakfast

A year ago my go-to drink of a morning was a soya flat white from Eat that I would grab on the way into work. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to me, consuming soya milk on a near daily basis was giving me the skin of my sixteen year old self again (we’re talking serious pizza face.) So I ended up jacking it all in.

I wanted to make a little post about what I love to drink now – there’s no caffeine involved unless you want there to be. The base is simple and can be adapted to your own preferences.

If you’ve read any of my posts rambling on about mushrooms before you’ll know that I am a huge fan of them in a culinary sense. It’s only recently that I have become interested in mushrooms for their medicinal purposes. If you’ve read anything on the internet lately about stress or health you’ve probably heard of “adaptogens” – in herbal medicine this applies to a natural substance that helps the body adapt to stress and normalise body functions (hence the “adaptogen” term.) There are many different adaptogens but the most well known is probably ginseng.

Medicinal mushrooms are considered to be adaptogens and each mushroom has a different function within the body. Brian and I both take a powdered fruiting body (made from the mushroom itself) mixture called Sacred 7 Organic Mushroom Extract Powder.

  • REISHI – Boosts the immune system
  • TURKEY TAIL – Boosts the immune system – thought to help combat cancers.
  • CORDYCEPS – Boosts the immune system. Increases energy.
  • CHAGA – known as the “king” of medicinal mushrooms. Helps to stimulate and regulate the immune system. Reduces inflammation.
  • LION’S MANE – Boosts memory and brain function. Supports the nervous system.
  • MAITAKE – Boosts immune system. Helps to manage chlosterol and blood sugar.
  • SHIITAKE – B-complex vitamins, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.

We also add Raw Organic Cacao Powder which has a very high level of antioxidants as well as being a good source of magnesium and iron. Cacao also contains a compound called phenylethylamine which is thought to boost mood and support energy – which is why eating chocolate can make you feel happy!

If you want to learn more about mushrooms in general I recommend checking out Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Academy which is a free video based course on all things mushroom!

(For the base liquid of this drink I use hot filtered water but have also used black tea and cold brew coffee. If you want a creamier version, replace the hot water with your favourite hot non-dairy beverage.)

INGREDIENTS

  1. Either add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth OR add to a mug and then froth together using a mini whisk like the aerolatte.
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Watermelon and I have never gotten on well but now I’d like to take the time to apologise to watermelon. I’m sorry that I lumped you in with all the other melons (I’m looking at you, disgusting honeydew) when you are infact delicious. Also apologies to my husband Brian who has been telling me that watermelon is the greatest ever for like the last six years and I refused to believe him. He is right about food almost all the time and I really should just listen to him!

Now that’s out of the way – I have another snack food to review. The kind folks over at Ape sent me some of their coconut curls to try. They come in two flavours, lightly salted and lightly peppered.

They have no added sugar, are gluten-free, high in fibre and they’re dried into the curls instead of being fried! They are also under 110 calories if you’re into that sort of thing.

I really enjoyed the coconut curls – especially the lightly salted ones. They’re crunchy but not too chewy and not overly salty. After I shot the photos for this post I stuffed the rest of them into my mouth. I think they would make a really great crouton on top of a savoury salad – especially the lightly peppered ones!

I decided to make a fruit salad with the coconut curls – a nice texture change between soft mango and the icy crunch of watermelon. Watermelon, salt and lime go very well together so the lightly salted coconut curls work really well here. A refreshing summer breakfast or dessert.

You can find Ape on their website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g watermelon, cut into small chunks
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 packet of Ape lightly salted coconut curls OR 20g coconut chips + 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • Juice of half a lime
  1. In a bowl combine the watermelon, mango and lime juice. Toss together until coated. Sprinkle over the coconut curls and dig in!
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Bananas and I have reached a sort of impasse. I’ve talked before about how they are genuinely gross and I hate them…however I can stomach them baked and blended into things like pancakes, smoothies and banana bread.

Banana bread is the bomb. However, last time I made it it ended up getting all stuck in the tin and I was eating chunks of it out of there with my hands like a cave person. I wanted to make it again but in an easier and less messy way – in comes my mini muffin tray! Mini food is the best.

I’ll be eating these for breakfast a lot I reckon. Of course if you don’t own a mini muffin tin you can use a normal one – just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

This recipe makes approximately 36 mini muffins.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup soft light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup soy milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or other light tasting oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f. If your muffin tray is not non-stick, line it with mini muffin paper cases.
  2. Prepare the flax egg, mix the ground flax with the water and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the mashed banana and brown sugar and mix on low until combined.
  4. In a large jug add the soy milk mixed with the apple cider vinegar, oil and vanilla extract. Whisk together and set aside.
  5. In another bowl sift together the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the mixer, mixing on low until incorporated. It will form a soft dough.
  6. Pour in the wet ingredients and the flax egg, beating on medium until the mixture resembles a batter.
  7. Carefully spoon a teaspoon of batter into each muffin case until all are filled. Tap the tray on the counter a few times.
  8. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Leave the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then carefully remove them from the pan to cool on a wire wrack.
  10. Repeat for the rest of the batter.
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January is one of those tough months. But its also one of the best times of the year! Blood Orange season! I’m using them here with fresh turmeric root to give a anti-inflammatory, Vitamin C and Vitamin A rich juice. It also happens to be a beautiful colour!

If you don’t own a juicer you can add all the fruits and vegetables to a blender and then strain the resulting pulp through a nut milk bag.

This recipe makes enough for 3 medium sized glasses of juice – depending on how juicy your fruit is!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium blood oranges
  • 20g fresh turmeric root
  • 3 large navel oranges
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 lemon

 

  1. Peel the citrus fruit.
  2. Add all the ingredients to your juicer and juice on high.
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

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If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know I’m on a mission to eat as many different kinds of mushrooms as possible. 2015 saw me consume quite a few! My husband, being the all round sweetheart that he is, decided to increase my mushroom numbers for Christmas.

He sent me 3 huge bags of dried mushrooms – Morels (which we first foraged from the wild on our honeymoon), Chanterelles (which I first tried at Rowena’s dinner) and Candy Caps which I’ve never tried.
Candy Caps are extremely weird – the aroma from the SEALED bag was almost overwhelming – they smell and taste exactly like maple syrup. Some people also believe they have a slightly cinnamon like taste. I’m a huge maple syrup fan – I would pour it on anything, I no longer consume honey and frankly I don’t need it when my girl maple is around!

Coincidentally it’s my husband’s birthday this month and I sent him a giant box full of goodies that he likes (like decent British tea!) and I decided he really should get to try the Candy Caps. One of the things he really loves is granola, so this is for him!

If you can’t find whole Dried Candy Caps or the mushroom powder, reduce the olive oil by 2 tbsps and sub for maple syrup.

Sometimes on this blog I’ll include a product that I’ve used in a recipe. When Camano Island Coffee Roasters contacted me about using some of their coffee I was really interested (because I’m a total freak for coffee) – I’ve decided to pair the Papua New Guinea (medium roast) coffee they sent me with this granola. Perfect for a snappy morning pick-up! The maple sweetness of the granola contrasts perfectly with the chocolaty light acidity of the coffee I think.

Camano Island Coffee is roasted in Washington, it’s shade-grown, organic and ethically traded. I really liked the idea of the coffee being ethical! Being vegan I think we need to be aware of our human friends as well as our animal friends when it comes to being mistreated or abused!

If you’re lucky enough to own a Chemex the guys over at Camano have sent me a brew guide to help you get the most out of it. I brewed my Camano beans in a Hario V60 – a beautifully smooth cup with a low acidity, a very good cup of coffee. You can find Camano on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as well as online.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free certified if needed)
  • 1 cup puffed quinoa
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dried candy cap mushroom powder
  • 1/2 cup light soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f. If using whole candy cap mushrooms, grind them in a spice or coffee grinder until they become a fine powder.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients, mixing well to combine.
  3. Spread the granola on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven when golden brown and allow to cool completely before storing. Serve with your favourite nut milk.
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I’m on a personal challenge of sorts to try to eat as many unusual mushrooms as possible. Ever since my husband found us wild morels during our honeymoon earlier this year I’ve tried chanterelles, enoki, shiitake, oyster and chicken of the woods.

I managed to find fresh ceps (or porcini) on sale yesterday! One of my favourite things to eat for breakfast is mushrooms on toast – usually chestnut mushrooms so I decided to work on a fancy version using the porcini.

If you can’t find porcini, sub them with a blend of fleshy mushrooms such as oyster or chestnut.

INGREDIENTS

  • 140g fresh porcini mushrooms, dry brushed and scraped of any dirt
  • 50g asparagus, cut into thin ribbons (I use a vegetable peeler)
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 small sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp vegan butter
  • 2-3 slices toasted sourdough bread (mine was a wholemeal sourdough)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. If your mushrooms are dirty, use a dry pastry brush and sharp knife to gently scrape away any dirt or grit. Cut the mushrooms into slices and set aside.
  2. Heat a completely dry cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed frying pan on a low heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes or until some of the mushrooms take on a little colour. If your mushrooms are very big, they may release some liquid. Boil off the liquid for about 2 minutes.
  3. Whilst the mushrooms are cooking prepare the asparagus, snap off the tough ends of the stem and discard. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into thin ribbons.
  4. Once the mushrooms have taken on some colour, add the butter, asparagus and minced garlic. Stir well to make sure the butter is evenly distributed.
  5. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and a little golden on the edges.
  6. Sprinkle on the fresh thyme, season with salt and pepper and serve on toasted sourdough bread!
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Last week the lovely people over at Drink Maple sent me a whole bunch of delicious maple water.


If you’re not familiar with maple water – it’s exactly what you think. Water tapped from the maple tree! It has a subtly sweet maple undertone and a refreshing water taste.
Maple water has more manganese than a cup of kale and half the sugar of coconut water as well as 46 nutrients. It’s also a good source of calcium and iron so bonus for us vegans. It’s basically a delicious tasting nutritional powerhouse!

I’m using it here to make an overnight bircher muesli – perfect lazy people breakfast food. Feel free to sub the cranberries and pecans for whatever dried fruit and nuts or seeds you like.

You can find Drink Maple on social media here: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup rolled oats or gluten-free certified oats
  • 1  small apple, peeled and grated
  • 3/4 cup maple water
  • 1 tsp ground flax seed
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp pecans
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon (optional)

  1. Peel and grate the apple.
  2. Mix the rolled oats, maple water and flax seed together in a bowl. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. In the morning, in a dry pan over a medium heat toast the pecans. If the muesli is too dense, thin a little with some more maple water.
  4. Top the muesli with the dried cranberries and toasted pecans. Sprinkle with the cinnamon.
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It’s PUMPKIN TIME!

Now that I’m one half of a UK-US power couple I figured it was time to bring out the big guns. I definitely bought 4 cans of pumpkin this week.

These are overnight cinnamon rolls, meaning you mix up the dough the night before and leave it to rise in the fridge over night. In the morning, with a little bit of time and patience you can have fresh cinnamon rolls which is perfect for lazy people like me.

INGREDIENTS

For the cinnamon roll dough

  • 3 tbsp vegan butter (I use Pure or Earth Balance)
  • 170ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 340g self raising flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp dried active yeast

For the filling

  • 3 tbsp softened vegan butter
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the cashew frosting

  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked 1 hour in boiling water
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 140-150ml  almond milk

  1. The night before you wish to eat the cinnamon rolls begin the dough. In a small pan on a low heat melt the butter. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add the flour, salt and yeast to a big bowl and mix well. In a jug add the cooled butter mixture, pumpkin puree, vanilla and almond milk. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Make a well in the flour, add the pumpkin mixture and mix using a wooden spoon. The dough will be sticky.
  4. Once the dough has come together, tip onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth.
  5. Return the dough to the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in the fridge over night.
  6. The next morning lightly flour your work surface and remove the dough from the fridge. It should have doubled in size. Using your fingers punch the dough down to remove the air.
  7. Roll the dough out into an approximately 18 inch rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough making sure to reach the edges. Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle it evenly over the butter.
  8. Starting from one end, roll the dough up into a large sausage shape. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into 1 inch sections. Repeat until you have used all the dough.
  9. Grease a baking dish and arrange the rolls so that they are touching. Cover the rolls with a dish cloth and leave for 1 hour to rise.
  10. Whilst the rolls are rising preheat the oven to 350f/180c. Prepare the glaze, drain the cashews. Rinse them and add them to the blender. Blend on high until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla. Slowly add the almond milk until the frosting is smooth.
  11. Scrape out the frosting into a container and refrigerate until time to use.
  12. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Pour over the cashew glaze!
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I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve failed at making nut butter in my blender. When I’m with my husband in the U.S we have the Vitamix and it’s a total beast. It makes butter in about 3 minutes flat. Over here, I have a not-at-all powerful food processor and a Magimix blender. I tried making it in the food processor and the nuts just whirled around looking all sad.

Today I finally cracked making it in the Magimix! Here’s to the forthcoming 20lbs of almond butter I’m going to stuff into my face. I used pecans here because they are the CANDY of the nut world and I don’t see pecan butter in the shops at all. I also added some cashews to make it a little bit creamier. IT TASTES SO DAMN GOOD.

Then I spread it all over some gluten-free chia crackers and topped it with nectarine slices and hemp seeds. Bliss. You can obviously eat it however you like!

This recipe makes one small jar. If you feel like having more around just increase the pecans to 2 cups and the cashews to 1 cup. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4-1/2 cup neutral tasting oil such as vegetable or sunflower
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Begin by roasting the nuts. In a dry pan over a medium heat add the nuts. Stir occassionally, until the nuts begin to release their smells and turn brown. They will colour quickly – be careful not to burn them. Remove from the heat.
  2. Pour the nuts into the blender, add 1/4 cup of oil and begin blending. At first you may need to push the nuts into the blender blades. I used a rolling pin for this.
  3. Scrape down the sides then continue blending on high for about 3-10 minutes depending on your blender. If the mixture is still lumpy and doesn’t flow around the blades smoothly, add a little more oil. It will feel like the nuts will never, ever blend but they will!
  4. Once the nuts are blended into a smooth butter consistency, add the salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Blend on low to combine.
  5. Pour the butter into a jar and allow to cool before slathering on everything.
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Recently I had my first taste of cold brew coffee. It was love at first sip. I don’t know why but cold brew doesn’t effect me the same way as normal coffee does – usually I get super anxious and have general feelings of death but with cold brew I feel like a slightly more caffeinated normal person! Which makes no sense because it supposedly has more caffeine. Whatever body, you do what you want.
The other good thing about cold brew is that it isn’t one of those watery iced coffees. You know when you go to a coffee shop and ask for an iced latte…then you see the barista chuck a bunch of ice on top of your hot coffee…all that water. No thanks.

I ended up searching all over the damn place for someone who sold bottled cold brew because I really needed to try it again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I managed to find it in a lovely little coffee place near where I work.

But a girl can’t be spending all her money on cold brew so I decided to make my own. I’m using a french press to make mine but you can just do it by straining it straight from your brewing container. Just make sure you strain it a couple of times!

Walnut eating spoon is from the talented Sophie of Grain and Knot

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup ground good quality coffee (I used this)
  • 36 oz cold water
  • French press
  • Nut milk bag or  sieve lined with coffee filters

  1. In your french press add the coffee and pour over the water. Stir with a spoon to make sure all the grounds are moistened.
  2. Put the french press lid on but don’t press down the plunger. Leave the cold brew at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
  3. When you are ready to strain, push down the plunger on your french press. Line a large jug with a nut milk bag or with a sieve lined with coffee filters. Slowly pour the cold brew into the jug.
  4. If your brew is clear and free of coffee grains, you can bottle it and store it in the fridge. If it is murky, repeat step 3 until it is clear.
  5. Serve cold with nut milk or add boiling water for a hot brew!

 

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