Saturday, 3 September 2016

Fruit-sweetened, gluten-free, vegan coconut-berry cake


Hello, my lovely friends. Would you like to have a slice of this beautiful, tender cake studded with raspberries and happiness? Oh, you do? Hah - I have eaten it all.

Sorry. 

I have just began school, and thus cake has never been so needed. 

Yesterday was Friday, thank the gods, and I faffed around for like 2 hours in the kitchen making this cake!! Don't worry, though: it actually takes about 10 minutes for a normal person. I'm just a very slow (words like annoyingly sloth-like have been thrown around) human in the kitchen. It was so worth it, though! I'm pretty sure this cake is my favourite thing, like, ever. I used rice flour because that is what David from Green Kitchen Stories used, and he is awesome, but I'm pretty sure you could sub with wholewheat. The texture is so tender and moist, and while remaining light and fluffy, the ground almonds give it a substantiality and a delicious nutty flavour. Along with the light coconut undertones, and just a smidge of lovely cardamom, I am in heaven. The NO SUGAR (what??) element and the bites of juicy red berry you get in the cake are just too much. 

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) my littlest sister refused to try it on account of it "looking like burned porridge." But I think all porridge should get love. So behold the beautiful burned porridge cake!



Berries are excellent for your body, as they have an incredibly low sugar content (plus, they're so pink and purty). They're also full of antioxidants that can help you relieve stress (I'm not sure if this is somewhat lessened by the fact that they have been dunked in cake batter). Also, since only dates, banana, and berries sweeten the recipe, there is no added sugar. When we have such beautiful, sweet fruits surrounding us, why do we need to eat sugar that we have processed ourselves? I'm not talking cut out ketchup (mmm), and go on a sugar detoxification rampage, because being too crazy about not eating extra sugar is just exhausting, and when you're exhausted you won't want to continue! It's our lifestyles that we need to change. Sugary drinks (the #1 obesity contributor), chocolate bars, anything processed; that's where the problem lies. To be honest, as long as you're making your own cakes, meals, and more cakes, you are so on the right track! Anything made at home is way better than what you'll find at the supermarket. You don't have to freak out and start making vegan, no-sugar stuff (though I do support this! :). Just focus on whole foods, that make you feel GOOD after you eat them. 

Like this cake. 


Look at that face! That is the face of joy. AND I got to eat her berries (she is averse to anything moist). A win-win situation, my lovelies. 

Can I please mention the labour of love that went into this? My kitchenaid blender (DO NOT buy one) released a firework show of sparks into my peach smoothie the other day, and thus I had to grind almonds with only a marble rolling pin and a little hand blender. But it totally worked. 



 Delish texture shots. 




What more can a girl ask for? 




Only someone to share it with. 

But before you get any ideas, those two slices were for me. 



Peace out, my lovelies! Have a fab weekend xo 

VEGAN COCONUT BERRY CAKE (adapted from the lovely Green Kitchen Stories, Elsa's cupcakes) 

Ingredients: 
3/4 cup almond 'butter'milk (3/4 almond milk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice) 
14 dates (if dried, quick-soak in hot water for 15 mins and then de-pip) 
1 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut 
1 ripe banana
4 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
3 chia eggs (3 tablespoons chia + 11 tablespoons water) 
Handful raspberries

Method: 
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. 
2. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
3. Whizz the dates to a paste. Using some of their soaking water can help, and doesn't dilute flavour too much!
4. Add in your peeled banana and coconut oil to the dates. 
5. Add the date mixture and the chia eggs to the dry mixture. I know my chia egg recipe is a bit off from the norm, but I find it to be a much looser egg that works better in baking. 
6. Stir it all together!
7. Put in a 12-inch circle pan and stud with raspberries. 
8. Bake for 27 minutes, or until golden, and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
9. Try to wait for it to cool, and then devour!! 

Note: this would taste lovely if topped with banana + peach ice cream. Oh man. 

xx




Thursday, 18 August 2016

Chocolate-orange frozen bananas


I don't really have any chocolate recipes on this blog yet. It's high time, friends. Let's stuff our faces.

Whenever these babies are in the fridge, I just can't stop myself. Well I can, really, but I don't want to. They're so simple they make me wanna CRY because I can legit make them in 5 minutes and then eat them immediately, or freeze them to make 'em like ice cream. I kid you not. The chocolate is orangey and silky against the creaminess of the banana, and taste excellent in quick succession.


Very quick succession.


But I'm sure they don't mind.

Mmm, summer continues to be delicious. Today the sea was so wild and beautifully moody, and I watched it stormily from my room as I sat on my ass and studied. I had this romantic vision of me going down to the beach across from my house with a cute sweater all pulled over my knuckles, a good book in my chipped-nail-varnish tumblr hands, and a thermos of hot black tea.

But lol I tried to go and they wouldn't let me go. I forgot we're not allowed to bring food in, because there's a restaurant on top :( :( And it was so hot, so I started sweating. A lot. And I had to study biology. A lot of that, too.



So I settled for staying at home. And eating these pops.

xo sam

Frozen Chocolate-Orange Banana Pops

INGREDIENTS*

Raw Chocolate:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons cacao
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Zest of one orange
Juice of half an orange

Banana pops:
2 bananas, sliced in half horizontally and quartered


1. Mix all together in a bowl.
2. Dip bananas in beautiful mixture. Warning: the orange juice makes the chocolate go a little lumpy, but the flavour is worth it.
3. ROLL IN TOPPINGS! I enjoy using broken up walnuts, pecans, almonds, and raisins so it tastes like a fruit & nut ice cream. But desiccated coconut, coconut shavings, goji berries, cranberries, and really anything you want would probably taste awesome too!

*I often double, triple, or quadruple this recipe to make a biiig batch of banana pops :)




Saturday, 6 August 2016

Strawberry, coconut & banana popsicles


Boy, do I love a good popsicle. And these, my friends, tick all my boxes. 





They are icy and delicious and fresh and perfect for summer. Also no sugar and no bad stuff, so I can eat the whole tray, right?


This is the fun part of being vegan. I can eat a freaking HUGE bowl of salad with yummy dressing and hummus on the side and feel totally satiated and happy and not overfull. I'm not saying this in a TEEHEE I CAN'T HELP IT I'M SO HEALTHY (Laura Miller TM. I love her so much) way but in more of a I LIKE TO STUFF MY FACE HOW CAN I DO IT WHILE STILL BEING ABLE TO FIT THROUGH DOOR. Ya know? Anyway. These are popsicles. So like frozen strawberry salad.






They were gone so fast, I didn't even have time to say "I love you."

When I was little, there was a fridge in our big garage next to our yellow house, and it always contained popsicles. Green ones that tasted like lime, blue ones that tasted of blue, cola ones, and my most favourite: pink ones with a creamy ice cream middle. OMG THEY WERE SO GOOD.

I ATE SO MANY.

PINK FOOD OF THE GODS.

I have a little obsession with pink.

Anyway. Make these popsicles. Love life. Live good.

xx sam

STRAWBERRY, COCONUT & BANANA POPSICLES
Serves: 8 (depending on your popsicle mould)

INGREDIENTS:
Banana layer:
2 frozen bananas
1/2 can coconut milk

Strawberry Layer:
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
Juice of 2 oranges

1. Blend bananas and coconut milk together. Pour in mould.
2. Blend strawbs & oranges. Pour in mould.
3. Freeze, baby, freeze!
4. Eat happily.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Delicious zucchini-banana bread (absolutely no sweetener/sugar!)

Hello, everybody!!



I am sorry for the little hiatus. I've been scrambling to finish my extended essay, which I gave in two days ago (whoop whoop!) and lying on the beach.

I love summer. I'm drinking my water out of big-ass jars as I do a little bit of maths homework, a lot of daydreaming. I'm also so frustrated with myself because I had my mind made up to be so productive this summer, but instead I'm just loafing around eating the sugary vegan cookies that my Mum bought that AREN'T EVEN THAT GOOD, and trying to evade another breakdown that results from thinking about all the artwork I still haven't started. It seems insurmountable, you know? I know there are so many more problems out there, though, so I just have to remember how lucky I am to have two arms and two legs and the ability to move and do whatever I want.

Anyway, I made this awesome zucchini-banana bread today which is SO FREAKIN' GOOD because it has NO SUGAR (apart from a bit of vegan dark chocolate) and such a lil' bit of coconut oil. It's so moist and yummalicious, you'd never guess it was healthy. I hope you all love it. I personally hate finding a delicious-looking no-sugar  cake and then finding out it has a ton of maple syrup in it!! Not today, friends. Not today.





Just look at that moistness. What's not to love? I made it yesterday and there is only a sad little wedge left. My family are animals.

On another note, I am trying to do yoga everyday as it is too hot to go an run outside (and I'm a lazy lump) and I LOVE IT! However, I am as flexible as a board and as graceful as a truck, thus becoming a bendy, glam yogi will be a long journey. But I can now touch my toes!  :)

Peace out, lovelies!


ZUCCHINI-BANANA BREAD*

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup coconut oil
2 mashed, ripe bananas
1 grated zucchini (a little round one, or a small long one, will make about 1 & 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose/wholewheat flour (they really are interchangeable. I love them both! Pictured is the all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
A shake of cinammon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 big squares of vegan dark chocolate, chopped

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 180 C
2. Sieve all the dry ingredients into a bowl.
3. Add all the other ingredients and gently fold.
4. Put all of that in a pan! A round 9 & 1/2 inch pan will bake up in 35 minutes, while a 9 inch loaf pan will take about 40 minutes.
5. Eat all! After all, after a whole cake, you've had 1 and a half veggie servings for the day ;)

*loosely adapted from the eggless cooking bae, http://www.egglesscooking.com/eggless-chocolate-chip-zucchini-bread/


Love sam x


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Sunshine Granita (carrot, orange, peach, pineapple)





Ughhhhh this granita tastes like sunshine! Which is fitting because... SUMMER IS HERE, MY BABIES! I am incredibly happy. Guess what? This crazy lil woman (that would be me) passed all her exams! So the mint hit stress-borne smoothie was unneeded (hahaha. Such lies. We all need it). In celebration of this beautifully sticky summer that is stretching in front of us, eat frozen carrot granita. Nom nom. It is lovely and fresh. And also orange. You can only taste the carrot pulp a little, because when its frozen the texture really changes, but if you're really picky about that you can strain it. However, keepin' all the pulp in really amps up the nutrition and you feel like an orange goddess while chowing down. And really, who doesn't want that?



On another note, I just recently went to France with my Dad, sisters, and lil brother. It was really stressful sometimes, because taking care of my little brother is a big undertaking, but it was also so lovely in the morning when I'd wake up to his little face next to mine, shouting "FAM! WAKE UP!". Ahh. I'm going to do a post about vegan and not-so-vegan eating in Normandy soon, so stay tuned! And eat granita. Lots of granita.

xx Sam

SUNSHINE GRANITA

Ingredients
2 carrots
2 tablespoons canned pineapple
Juice of 4 oranges
1 peach

1. Peel and grate the carrots.
2. Chuck all the lovely stuff in a blender.
3. Blend to your heart's content (or until everything is smooth).
4. Pour into a container and pop in the freezer. Stir every hour until frozen.
5. Serve immediately. However,  you can also make this in advance and about half an hour before you serve, take this out to melt a little, and then cut it up into slabs and re-blend. It'll turn into a granita-ish texture. I've tried both, and I loved both ways. The second way just means its a lil more chunky.


Saturday, 11 June 2016

Mint Hit Smoothie






I would say I'm sorry for all the smoothies, but babes, I am sooo not.

It is so hot here, these are all I want to drink! And sometimes I want them to taste just a little green, because we totally take advantage of spinach and just cover her up with so many other flavours. Let the green SHINE, baby! I have a little mint bush growing in the garden, and none of us have killed it yet! Hallelujah!! This smoothie is amazing and green and tastes like a sweet vegetable patch in your mouth.

I whipped it up when I woke up a couple mornings ago, after dreaming about how to edit my internal assessment (IB kids can relate). Suddenly, the idea of studying and exams and flashcards and numb butts from too much sitting made me feel so sad and depressed that I made banana oat bars (recipe comin' soon!) and nestled my forehead on the oven handle as they baked. The reality that I am a junior in high school slapped me in the face. Tbh, reality must have been really annoyed because I have now been a junior for eight months, and I have happily ignored that fact for as long. I know that I won't even remember what I got in my real IB exams in a few years time, and I know that there are much worse things in other people's lives than a bunch of tests, but in that moment, I felt so completely and utterly lost. I've never been good at studying, so I've managed to scrape through high school with the minimum -  but now, I had to knuckle down and just DO it. I could hardly bear the idea. Managing to revise would mean I was - am - growing up, and I really don't want to grow up right now. The oven handle was comfortingly warm. I ate almost all of the bars myself before my afternoon exam, and I drank this minty smoothie with it. In fact, I'm not sure my family knows this smoothie - or the bars - ever existed. MUAHAHAHA!!

Needless to say, I felt better. My momma weaned me on food comfort. What can I say?




But let's talk about yay! things. I'm really looking forward to a party that one of my friends is having next week, 'cause we're just gonna camp out, drink some good stuff (not alcohol ;) and roll in the sand. Someone I haven't seen in a while is coming, and I'm really excited. Or nervous? I once read that the reactions in the body for both of those emotions are the same, so I could be either - or both! One thing I know for sure is that I really miss him.

Anyway: drink your troubles away, my lovelies. It is summer, we are alive, and if that isn't good enough, then what is?

xx sam


Mint Hit Smoothie

Ingredients: 

A few sprigs of mint
Big handful of spinach
Juice of one orange
Half a banana 

Method

1. Blend it all up, baby, and slurp! 





Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie



Just look at this. It just looks like a freakin’ pink hug in a mug. Or jar. Does it really matter? IT’S A PINK HUG PEOPLE!!
When I was younger, I LOVED CHARLIE AND LOLA. I was a normal child and referred to strawberry milk as strawberry milk until I heard Lola say it was pink milk. From then on, it all went downhill. An 11-year-old saying ‘pink milk,’ guys.
….
Note, I still insisted on drinking pink milk just so I could say it, even though I HATED the stuff.


But this? I love.
I actually tried to recreate it after I went to Greece for Easter and we found this adorable tiny shop selling smoothies! I went berserk!! I went for the almond-milk-berry combo (playin’ it safe) after a flirt with a miso, maca thing. Don’t want me none o’ that. They gave it to me in a tall glass filled with the most beautiful pale pink liquid, and I was 11 again. Pink milk has never been so fabulous.
Recipe
(serves one)
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
Cherries/granola (optional, for sprinkling)
Method

  1. Blend it all up, baby. Just blend (But not the cherries and granola).
  1. Eat happily.
Behold the little drowning strawberry :'(