Tag: breakfast

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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About a fortnight ago the kind folks over at Frill contacted me to see if I’d like to try their range of frozen smoothies. Obviously I said yes because 1) smoothies 2) it’s frozen so ICE CREAM 3) it’s vegan! 4) the packaging has a hella cute bear on it.
Frill were really great in getting the products to me (considering they are frozen!) in a little bag complete with Frill sticker. I looked seriously cool on the tube home that night.

At the moment Frill comes in three flavours: Intense chocolate, Bursting Berries and Refreshing Green. Crunchy Nuts and Fresh Strawberry are coming soon!
As well as being completely vegan and gluten-free,Frill has the added bonuses of having 10 x the fibre of regular ice cream and half of the sugar. All the sweetness in Frill comes from the sugars in fruit – so there’s no added sugar!

You can eat Frill straight from the freezer or leave it in the fridge to soften it up. It also tastes great blended with juice or nut milk to make a smoothie!

I’ve really enjoyed trying Frill. I kicked off with the Intense Chocolate which was definitely intense! I’m a huge dark chocolate fan and this had a really distinct and rich chocolate taste. My mum loved it too and said you couldn’t tell it wasn’t dairy ice cream. I don’t think this flavour will last long in the house.

The Bursting Berries is equally delicious albeit not as rich tasting as the chocolate! I feel like it would make a great post-extravagant dinner treat where you want something sweet but don’t want to feel bloated or sad!

Chocolate  and berries aside, Refreshing Green is probably my favourite. It’s packed with fruit and vegetables including spinach, celery, avocado, basil, dates, apple, pineapple and mango. It has a really bright, fresh taste. I’ve whipped up a quick smoothie bowl using Refreshing Green which I will post below!

One of the things I really love about Frill is the convenience. I get jealous of a lot of people who have time to make elaborate smoothies and “nice creams” and all that jazz before work. With Frill all I have to do is scrape it out of the container into a bowl and I know I’m getting a whole bunch of fruits and veggies into my diet.

Would I buy Frill again? I can say with confidence I definitely would! I just need to remember to carry that Frill freezer bag with me!

If you like what you’ve seen here, you can find Frill on sale in Waitrose and Wholefoods stores in London. You can follow Frill on their social media at:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

FRILL BOWL (Refreshing Green Smoothie Bowl)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Refreshing Green
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Toppings of your choice: fresh fruit, hemp seeds, nut butter, granola etc.

  1. In a blender, add the Frill and almond milk. Blend on low for 20-30 seconds until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with your favourite smoothie bowl toppings!

 

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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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I don’t eat gluten-free very often. I happen to be quite a big fan of it (hello seitan) but I understand that it can make some people pretty ill!

These breakfast cookies take about 20 minutes to make. Sweetened with maple syrup and golden raisins! Because of the quinoa flour these cookies have the bonus of having protein – so you can shove one of these cookies in the mouth of the next person that asks you where you get your protein from!

(The beautiful walnut scoop and pinch pot I’m using in these photos is from Luke of Hope in the Woods)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup Gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup Grade B Maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup Coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup Almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Golden Raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f. In a saucepan add the coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Heat on a medium heat until all the ingredients are melted together. Whisk until smooth.
  2. In a bowl add the quinoa flour and oats. Pour in the melted mixture and stir together. Add the golden raisins and mix to combine.
  3. Scoop out  two teaspoon amounts of mixture and roll into a ball using your hands. Place on a silpat or baking parchment lined tray and then press them down using a fork.
  4. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, rotating half way until they are golden and firm to the touch.
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Breakfast is always a constant battle for me. I love to eat it but I lack the time in the morning – in reality I have about 10 minutes to make it. I tend to go with the easy option of toast more often than not. Sometimes if I’m organised the night before I’ll make oatmeal and stick it in my trusty Thermos flask so it’s still warm in the morning.

Recently I was thinking about muesli – I love it but I find the store bought stuff so boring! Dusty oats with hard dry raisins…no thanks. So I decided to make my own.
This muesli is packed with all the goodies I enjoy. It’s also naturally gluten-free and refined sugar free!

 I’m using dehydrated strawberries but if you don’t own a dehydrator feel free to sub with freeze dried or store bought!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups rolled oats or gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup puffed quinoa (you can find it online here)
  • 1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup dehydrated strawberries (cut into chunks, dehydrated for 18 hours at 45c)
  • 1 cup dried white mulberries (find them online here)
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts

  1. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Mix with a spoon or your hands until everything is well combined. Store in an airtight container or jar. Serve with cold non-dairy milk or yogurt.
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At the moment the fruit and veg man at my local tube station has a box of 2kg of cherries for £7. Obviously I couldn’t resist. But then came the problem of what to do with them all. I thought about dehydrating them but I couldn’t face the idea of how many trays I’d need to rotate.



So I decided to use 1kg to make jam! I set up my pitting station in front of Orange is the New Black and got to work. Whilst you are pitting the cherries, reserve the kernels from about two dozen – you will need the pectin in them later. I ended up with 3 large jars and one small jar.

INGREDIENTS
Adapted from Taste.com.au

  • 1kg of cherries, pitted
  • Two dozen cherry kernels wrapped in a muslin bundle
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, split
  • 1kg sugar

  1. Preheat your oven to 200f. Wash your jars in hot soapy water then place them side down inside the oven. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes then turn off the heat and leave them inside until needed.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan add your cherries, using a fork or potato masher mash the fruit to break it up. Turn the heat to a medium low and add the lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. Cook for about 3 minutes then add the kernel bundle, turning the heat up to medium. Cook the fruit for 15 minutes until soft. Remove and discard the kernels and the vanilla.
  4. Add the sugar slowly, stirring all the time. Cook the jam for about 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved then bring it to a boil.
  5. Boil the jam for up to 25 minutes, checking to see whether it is set every 5 minutes. Place a saucer in the fridge. Spoon a little jam onto the saucer, return it to the fridge for a few minutes. Using your finger, drag it across the jam, if the jam puckers and wrinkles it is ready.
  6. Remove the jam from the heat. Using a metal spoon carefully scrape the white scum from the surface. This will stop your jam from becoming cloudy.
  7. Remove your jars from the oven and carefully ladle in the hot jam. Immediately seal with the lids and leave to cool completely. Store in a dark, cool place.



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