Spiced Chickpea & Spinach Patties – Easy Vegan Recipe

Spiced Chickpea & Spinach Patties – Easy Vegan Recipe

Chickpea & Spinach Fritters


While it feels like the whole world’s gone crazy for home baked sourdough and banana bread during this COVID-19 quarantine time, I’ve had rather a different baking obsession going on in my kitchen for chickpea & spinach patties!

This hasn’t been met with quite as much enthusiasm by my husband, but for a non vegan he’s been a good sport and endured many a vegetable patty lunch and dinner 😉

If I’m totally honest, my obsession for vegetable patties started well before lockdown when I was trying to come up with interesting ideas for plant based/vegan meals. 


Chickpea & Spinach Patties


What I love about vegetable patties is they’re completely adaptable to whatever you have in your fridge or pantry, which is pretty key in these crazy quarantine times when it’s not so easy to get out to the supermarket. Once you’ve decided on a base ingredient such as chickpeas, lentils, beans or quinoa (to name a few), you can pretty much add any combination of vegetables and spices depending on what you’ve got in your fridge or pantry.

Vegetable patties have already made a few appearances on Swoon Food. These Sesame & Red Lentil Patties use red lentils as the base and these Cashew Kumara Patties with Coriander, Ginger & Chilli use soaked cashews.

Today’s patties use chickpeas as the base ingredient and unlike the previous two recipes, the added vegetables are simply grated and don’t require any prior cooking, making them even quicker to whip up!

I’ve also added flaxseeds for a healthy dose of omega’s, ginger, garlic and turmeric for their anti-inflammatory properties and flavour, and they’ve got a generous serving of leafy greens from the spinach.

Serve these chickpea & spinach patties warm with a drizzle of tahini or dollop of hummus and a big side salad. You can also use them as burger patties or simply eat them straight as a snack.


Chickpea & Spinach Patties


I hope you enjoy this gluten free vegan recipe, and if you make these chickpea & spinach patties, let me know!

Leave a comment below and tell me what you think, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook.


Chickpea & Spinach Fritters

Makes: 10 fritters
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

1 can chickpeas
1 cup chopped spinach
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini
1 large handful chopped flat leaf parsley
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2cm fresh ginger, finely grated
2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/3 cup chickpea flour
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
pink Himalayan salt & freshly ground black pepper

*avocado or coconut oil for cooking

To make the fritters:

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Transfer the mix to a food processor and blend until it just comes together nicely.
Depending on how large your food processor bowl is you may need to do this in two batches.
Shape the mix into 10 fritters and place on a plate or tray ready to cook.

To cook the fritters:

Heat a spoonful of oil in a heavy based fry pan over medium low heat.
When the pan in hot add the fritters in batches cooking a couple of minutes each side until golden brown.
Remove from the pan and serve warm.


Chickpea & Spinach Patties

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Apple & Cinnamon Donut Pancakes


I was looking over my pancake recipes the other day and realised I still hadn’t posted a fully vegan and gluten free pancake recipe!

My two favourite pancake recipes to date have been these Cinnamon Bun Pancakes, which are super fluffy, donut-like pancakes with swirls of cinnamon and a sticky bun glaze. And these Spiced Carrot Cake Pancakes which are similar, but lower in sugar as they’re sweetened with carrots.

To create a fully vegan gluten free pancake recipe I used these two recipes as a base. I swapped the eggs for a combination of stewed apples (or applesauce) and nut butter, made a few little tweaks here and there, and the result is these Apple & Cinnamon Donut Pancakes!


Apple & Cinnamon Donut Pancakes


Why donut pancakes?

Because the texture reminds me of those amazing cake donuts that have a beautifully thick, fluffy texture with hints of nutmeg and cinnamon. The bonus about these pancakes of course, is that they’re much lower in sugar than your average donut as they’re sweetened with apple sauce, yoghurt and a little coconut sugar.

Buckwheat flour gives them lightness, while coconut flour helps them hold their shape. Using these two flours also means as well as being gluten free, these apple and cinnamon donut pancakes are also grain free.

Serve these pancakes hot straight from the pan with a drizzle of maple syrup and dusting of cinnamon, or for a low sugar option a dollop of your favourite coconut yoghurt.

These pancakes keep well in the fridge for a couple of days so that’s breakfast and snacks sorted, and if you make a double batch stick half in the freezer and your future self will be thanking you later!


Apple & Cinnamon Donut Pancakes


If you make these Apple & Cinnamon Donut Pancakes, let me know!

Leave a comment below and tell me what you think, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook.



Apple & Cinnamon Donut Pancakes

Makes: 18-20 small pancakes
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

Dry Ingredients
150g buckwheat flour
50g coconut sugar
10g coconut flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch salt

Wet Ingredients
100g stewed apple (or apple sauce)
75g coconut yoghurt
50g almond butter (or nut/seed butter of your choice)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 Tbsp rice syrup or pure maple syrup
150g nut milk or drinking coconut milk

*extra coconut oil for cooking

Topping Suggestions:
pure maple syrup
coconut yoghurt
fresh berries or pomegranate seeds

To make the pancakes:

Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well to combine.
Combine all the wet ingredients in a second bowl and use a hand whisk to combine.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
The mix should be quick thick which creates a nice thick pancake. If it’s so thick it won’t come off a spoon, add a little more milk, or if you prefer flatter pancakes add extra milk accordingly.

To cook the pancakes:

Heat a spoonful of coconut oil in a heavy based fry pan over medium low heat.
When the pan in hot add spoonfuls of pancake mix and shape into round circles.
When you see bubbles appearing all over, flip the pancakes to cook the other side adding more coconut oil as you need it.
Keep an eye on your pan heat, if it gets too hot the pancakes will burn quickly.

To serve the pancakes:

Pile the warm pancakes up on a plate, drizzle with pure maple syrup and top with berries, pomegranate seeds and cinnamon.


Apple & Cinnamon Donut Pancakes Apple & Cinnamon Donut Pancakes

Apple & Cinnamon Donut Pancakes

Hot Cross Buffins (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Hot Cross Buffins (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Hot Cross Buffins


Easter is just around the corner and one of my favourite things about this time of year is hot cross buns!

There’s nothing quite like the smell of a hot cross bun warming in the oven. Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice mixed with sweet sultanas fill the kitchen, hinting at what’s to come.

The perfect hot cross bun hot cross bun doesn’t need to be heated for long. It only needs 5 minutes in a hot oven so that it comes out ever so slightly crispy around the edges, with insides just warm enough to melt a slice of butter.

That is, if you eat butter. And gluten. And refined sugar.

Ironically I don’t eat any of the above any more, which means the mouthwatering hot cross bun smell is as far as my Easter bun enjoyment went – until now!

I’ve yet to come across a gluten free hot cross bun that’s also dairy free/vegan, AND doesn’t feel like you’re eating a heavy rock cake. So I decided this was the year to make my own.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with different combinations of gluten free flours, and in particular, trying to find a completely grain free combination that works nicely in baking. What I can tell you so far is it’s not as easy as you might think!

After a few failed attempts at making a completely grain free, vegan hot cross bun minus the yeast, I decided a hot cross muffin would be much easier and way more delicious.

We’re in week 2 of the COVID-19 lockdown here in NZ, so my husband has been working from home and very kindly took on the role of chief hot cross bun taste tester 😉

When I explained what he was taste testing “a hot cross bun crossed with a muffin” he said “oh you mean a buffin?!”and of course the name stuck. A quick google search confirmed my suspicion that we were not the first by any means to come up with this name, but it describes them prefectly.


Hot Cross Buffins


This hot cross buffun recipe is so simple you might be tempted to question whether it will work as well as I claim, but I can assure you it will! Simply mix all the ingredients together, pour into a muffin pan, pipe some crosses over the top and bake. 

These hot cross buffins are completely gluten, grain, dairy and refined sugar free, plant based and vegan. The only thing they’re not free of is nuts. They contain both almond flour (ground almonds) and almond butter.

You could substitute the ground almonds for something of similar texture like oat flour, and the almond butter for another type of nut or seed butter, but the almond combination I’ve shared in the recipe below really does work the best so I can’t guarantee any substitution results.


Hot Cross Buffins


Eat these hot cross buffins straight out of the oven while still warm with a slice of your favourite “butter” or spread.

They’re equally delicious at room tempearture, and when stored overnight in a sealed container they get a little sticky and remiscent of sticky date puddings.

I’ve yet to try toasting them but suspect their delicate crumb might be a little too fine for a toaster. However you can definitely heat them up in an oven to get the same toasted hot cross bun effect.


Hot Cross Buffins


If you make these Hot Cross Buffins, let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook. Enjoy!

Hot Cross Buffins (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Makes: 12

Prep time: 15 minutes  Cook time: 20-25 minutes

Dry ingredients:
160g ground almonds (almond meal)
50g buckwheat flour
30g coconut sugar
100g sultanas
2 Tbsp mixed spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
zest of 1 lemon or orange (optional)

Wet ingredients:
120g rice syrup or pure maple syrup
130g almond butter
220g coconut milk

2 tsp coconut flour
2 Tbsp coconut milk

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Either lightly grease a standard 12 hole muffin pan with coconut oil, line with paper muffin cases, or use a non stick silicone muffin mould.

Make the cross mix by combing the ingredients, stir well and set aside.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well until evenly combined.

Make a well in the middle, add all the wet ingredients and stir until evenly combined.

Spoon the mixture evenly into your prepared muffin pan.

Give your cross mixture a final stir then either place in a small piping bag or a small ziplock bag and cut the corner. Pipe crosses onto the buffins.

Place pan into the centre of the oven to bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes (this may vary according to your oven).

The buffins are ready when they bounce back to a light touch, a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean and the tops turn a light golden colour.

After removing the muffins from the oven allow them to cool in the pan to prevent sinking.

Serve the buffins warm with a slice of “butter” or our favourite spread.

Store any leftover buffins in an airtight container at room temperature where they’ll will keep for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.


Hot Cross Buffins

Immune Boosting Pink Pitaya Smoothie

Immune Boosting Pink Pitaya Smoothie

Immune Boosting Pink Pitaya Smoothie


When it comes to smoothies I’m team green all the way, and preferably with as little fruit as possible. This hemp seed & kale green smoothie is the perfect example. The only fruit it contains is lemon, yet it has a beautiful mellow flavour and is still one of my all time favourites.

But every now and then I get inspired to create something different and it’s usually something much more indulgent like this super creamy hot cross bun smoothie, or this spicy warm apple pie smoothie.

Recently I saw some spectacular looking pink dragon fruit in our local grocery store and knew I had to make a smoothie with it.


Immune Boosting Pink Dragon Fruit Smoothie


Aside from being one of the prettiest fruits around, dragon fruit (or pitaya) are packed with so many amazing goodies.

They’re a source of prebiotics which boost the good bacteria in your gut, and they’re abundant in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, which supports your immune system and is amazing for your skin.

Dragon fruit are high in fibre which is great for digestion and helps balance blood sugar. They’re a good source of iron and magnesium, and pink fleshed dragon fruit is particularly high in betalains which are responsible for the pink pigment and can help reduce LDL cholesterol.

Makes you want to eat dragon fruit every day right?! Luckily for those that don’t have access to the fresh version, you can also buy it in dried form as pitaya powder.


Immune Boosting Pink Pitaya Smoothie


Given all the COVID-19 craziness going on at the moment, what better time to fill your body with as many of natures immune boosting goodies as possible. So I decided to create a supercharged, immune boosting smoothie with pink pitaya.

To keep your smoothies looking beautiful it’s best to stick to ingredients with a similar colour palette. I also like to keep my smoothies on the low sugar side which means choosing low fructose fruit. Raspberries and blueberries fit the bill perfectly and blend beautifully with pink pitaya. Also, by using frozen berries you can create a lovely thick texture.

Lastly I added fresh turmeric and ginger root for their amazing anti-inflammatory properties, and a little unsweetened coconut yoghurt for creaminess and probiotics.


Immune Boosting Pink Pitaya Smoothie


If you’d like to turn this immune boosting pink pitaya smoothie into a more filling meal you could add a spoonful of hemp seeds or hemp protein, the seeds being the milder flavour choice for those who like their berry smoothies to remain tasting like berries.

You could also add a spoonful of your favourite nut or seed butter, and if you’re a green fanatic like me you could also sneak in a handful of spinach leaves for some extra antioxidants.


Immune Boosting Pink Pitaya Smoothie

When you make this Immune Boosting Pink Pitaya Smoothie let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or Facebook.

Looking for even more smoothie inspiration? 

Check out Swoon Food’s drinks recipe section, download my free Inspired Smoothies ebook, or join my free 5 Day Green Smoothie Challenge.

Immune Boosting Pink Pitaya Smoothie

Makes: 1 large smoothie
Prep time: 5 minute

1 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 fresh pink pitaya or 1 tsp pink pitaya powder
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut yoghurt (I’m loving Coyo vanilla)
2 cm fresh ginger root, peeled if not organic
2 cm fresh turmeric root, peeled if not organic
+ a little water to get the blender going

Place all the ingredients into a blender. Note, if using a fresh pitaya (dragon fruit) cut it in half, scoop the flesh out and discard the skin.

Blend on high speed until smooth and then pour into a serving glass.


Consistency: If you like your smoothie extra thick only add a tiny bit of water to get the blender going, and for a more liquid smoothie be generous with the water.

Lemon: If you like your smoothies tangy, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or if you’re really keen add a whole peeled lemon. Lemon is a great source of vitamin C and is also very cleansing for the liver.

Extra protein: Want to turn your smoothie into a meal? Simply add a spoonful of your favourite nut or seed butter, or a spoonful of hemp powder or seeds. Note, hemp seeds have a much more neutral/mild flavour than hemp powder.

Greens: If you want to sneak in some extra greens by all means add a handful of fresh spinach leaves. Just don’t go too crazy or you’ll lose the pretty pink colour and end up with a murky brown.

Storage: If you won’t be drinking this smoothie straight away, store it in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 days.


Pink Pitaya (Dragon Fruit)

Sesame & Red Lentil Patties

Sesame & Red Lentil Patties

Sesame & Red Lentil Patties


I have to confess, before creating these patties I hadn’t cooked many (if any?) lentil dishes from scratch!

I like my recipes to be quick and easy, so ready to use lentils (i.e. the ones that come in a can) were as far as I got, like in this Roast Pumpkin & Lentil Salad with Lemon Chilli Dressing.

Had I know how easy they were to cook, especially the red kind which only take 10 minutes, I would have started a lot sooner!



Lentils are a fantastic source of plant based protein and fibre, as well as folic acid, iron and magnesium. Being a plant, they’re also naturally also full of antioxidants and phytonutrients – so all round quite a fabulous little legume.

Red lentils are the seeds from legume plants that split in half after hulling. As such they don’t take long to cook and turn into a thick paste when done. This makes them idea for soups, curry’s and patties!

My aim for this recipe was to make plant based patties that are so delicious AND nutritious, you can easily eat them on their own. So I crammed in as many extra veggies as I could such as zucchini, sweet potato and carrot, then added some of my favourite spices to give them a middle eastern flavour reminiscent of falafel.

Because these sesame & red lentil patties are so delicious on their own, they make perfect finger food when you need a quick snack or are entertaining guests. Equally, add these little patties to your favourite nourish bowl for a delicious lunch or dinner, or make the patties slightly larger and turn them into burgers!


Sesame & Red Lentil Patties


If you make these sesame & red lentil patties, let me know!

Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag any pictures you share #swoonfood @swoon.food so I can come and admire them. Enjoy!



Makes: 12 patties
Prep time: 30 minutes  Cook time: 40 minutes

1/2 cup red lentils
250g sweet potato (approx. 1 medium red or orange sweet potato)
2 tsp avocado, macadamia or coconut oil
1 red onion
2 coves garlic
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch cayenne pepper
pink Himalayan salt + black pepper to taste
1/2 cup white sesame seeds
1/2 cup black sesame seeds

To serve:
Salad Greens
Your favourite dressing (see below for mine) or hummus


Place the lentils into a pan and add 1 1/2 cups water. Peel the sweet potato and cut into 2 cm chunks then add to the pan of lentils.

Cover with a lid and place the pan over medium heat. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the lentils have softened and you can crush the sweet potato with a fork.

Pour the lentil and sweet potato mixture into a fine sieve and allow the liquid to drain out.

While the lentil mixture is cooking, peel and chop the onion into small pieces. Heat the oil in a small fry pan and add cook the onion until soft – about 5 minutes or so.

Peel the garlic, mince with a garlic press and add to the onions. Cook for another minute or so and then turn off the heat.

Peel and grate the carrot and zucchini and add to a mixing bowl along with drained lentil mixture, the onion mixture, nutritional yeast and spices. Use a fork to crush the sweet potatoes and mix everything together.

Preheat the oven to 180C fan bake.

Shape the mixture into 12 patties then combine the sesame seeds on a plate and dip each patty so they’re nicely coated.

Place the patties on the lined oven tray and into the centre of the oven to bake for 40minutes. The patties are ready when the sesame seeds turn a light golden colour.

Serve the patties with a large green salad, your favourite dressing, and a side of sauerkraut. They also make fantastic burger patties, in which case shape them into 8 larger patties before cooking.

These patties will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days and make a great leftover breakfast or lunch the next day.

My Favourite 2 Minute Dressing:
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp tahini
pink Himalayan salt + black pepper
Combine the ingredients in a jar and shake well.


Sesame & Red Lentil Patties

Hemp Seed & Kale Green Smoothie with a dash of Coconut Yoghurt

Hemp Seed & Kale Green Smoothie with a dash of Coconut Yoghurt


Spring is finally here and as if by magic, the change of season has also reignited my desire for green smoothies!

Something happens during the winter months that makes green smoothies become less and less appealing. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re cold and my body is craving something warm, or whether it’s because their ingredients are raw and my body wants something cooked – perhaps it’s both.

Either way, I tried to keep up my routine for a little while, but after pouring one unfinished green smoothie after another down the sink, I finally listened to my body and gave them a rest for the remainder of the winter months.

But now that the weather has started to warm and the days are getting brighter, I’ve jumped back on the green smoothie train and have created some inspired new recipes I think you’re going to love!



I’ve written quite a few posts about why these green drinks are so good for you, and this most recent post sums it up nicely.

If you’re like me and green smoothies have taken a back seat lately, here’s a quick reminder of why they’re so amazing:


Green smoothies are a simple way to give your diet and health a boost!

They’re an amazing way to get a lot of nutrients into your body in one go and are a really simple and inexpensive way to boost your diet naturally.

Green smoothies get your digestion flowing!

Just about everybody who does my 5 Day Green Smoothie Challenge reports back they’ve never been so regular, thanks to all that amazing fibre and hydration.

Green smoothies leave your skin glowing!

Good digestion is one of the keys to having glowing skin, the other is hydration which green smoothies provide in volumes. They also contain an abundance of antioxidants which protect your cells from free radical damage and ultimately the ageing process.

Green smoothies can boost detoxification and healing!

Because the ingredients are already partially broken down by the blender, your digestion doesn’t have to work quite as hard, so your body can put more time and energy into detoxification and healing. Also because the ingredients in green smoothies are plant based and raw, the nutrients and enzymes in those ingredients remain intact and unaffected by heat. As a result your body is better able to digest and absorb them, which can help boost the body’s natural detoxification and cell renewal pathways.

Green smoothies can help keep you healthy!

These fabulous green drinks contain an abundance of phytonutrients, which are the chemical compounds unique to plants that give them their vibrant colours, tastes and smells. In humans phytonutrients have the ability to promote healthy cell function and have some very unique roles in preventing disease.




So now that you’re completely sold on all the reasons why green smoothies are amazing for you, lets talk about this hemp seed & kale green smoothie recipe I know you’re going to love!

It’s completely raw, plant based, dairy, gluten and sugar free. This green smoothie doesn’t contain any fruit except for lemon, and just happens to be one of the delicious recipes from my 10 Day Sugar Cleanse program. Despite the lack of fruit, it’s surprisingly sweet thanks to the lemon and coconut water. Of course if you disagree, feel free to add some green apple, kiwifruit or mango.

What this green smoothie does contain is hemp seeds which are one of my favourite ingredients. They have a unique, beneficial fatty acid ratio and are a great source of dietary fibre and plant based protein. In fact, hemp is one of the few complete plant based protein sources which means it contains the 9 essential amino acids that your body can’t make.

Hemp is also a fantastic source of vitamin E, phytosterols, carotenes, lecithin and chlorophyll – and you can read a whole article about hemp here.

If you make this Hemp Seed & Kale Green Smoothie with a dash of coconut yoghurt – let me know!

Leave me a comment below and be sure to tag your creations with #swoonfood @swoon.food.



Makes: 1 large or 2 small smoothies
Prep time: 10 minutes

3 to 4 kale leaves
1 handful fresh parsley
1/4 cucumber (peeled if not organic)
1 lemon (peeled if not organic)
4 slices fresh ginger
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
pinch cinnamon
250ml unsweetened coconut water

To serve (optional):
2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut yoghurt


Wash the kale leaves and parsley well, then leave to drain while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Peel the cucumber and lemon if not organic, and place in your blender jug along with the remaining ingredients.

Blend on high until smooth.

If you’re using the coconut yoghurt, dollop two spoonfuls into the bottom of your serving glass and pour the green smoothie on top.

Enjoy immediately or if saving for later, store in a sealed jar or bottle in the fridge for up to 3 days.


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