Kumara Chickpea Cakes with Dukkah Avocado (Vegan, Gluten + Sugar Free)

Kumara Chickpea Cakes with Dukkah Avocado (Vegan, Gluten + Sugar Free)

Sweet Potato Chickpea Cakes with Dukkah Avocado

 

Inspired By Our Local Deli

The inspiration for these Kumara Chickpea Cakes with Dukkah Crusted Avocado came from the same local deli that inspired me to recreate their amazing Moroccan Carrot & Kale Salad with Preserved Lemon & Sumac Dressing.

As well as amazing salads, the deli makes a variety of pies, pastries and hash cakes, and their vegan sweet potato and chickpea hash cake is SO good I’m guilty of popping in just to see if they have them.

 

What’s So Good About These Kumara Chickpea Cakes?

These are not your average hash cakes.

For starters, they’re made with kumara (sweet potato) instead of regular potatoes, and kumara have so many amazing health benefits that you can read more about below.

These hash cakes are also contain a rainbow of vegetables such as roasted red and brown onion, garlic, spinach, kumara, and of course, chickpeas!

Whether it’s the combination of roasted vegetables and chickpeas, the dukkah crusted avocado on top, or the spoonful of home made sweet chutney in the between they’re the best hash cakes I’ve ever eaten! And they inspired me to recreate my own version to share with you.

 

Benefits of Kumara (Sweet Potato)

Sweet potatoes have been applauded for their nutritional benefits for years and it’s easy to see why. They’re very high in beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant important for maintaining eye sight, as well as anti-ageing and disease prevention. Beta-carotene also gives orange sweet potatoes their colour.

These humble root vegetables are also a great source of vitamin C (another powerful antioxidant), vitamins B3, B5 and B6, and minerals manganese, magnesium, potassium and copper.

Despite their sweet flavour, sweet potatoes rate low on the glycemic scale due to their high fibre content which slows the absorption of any sugars present.

 

Sweet Potato Chickpea Cakes with Dukkah Avocado

 

More Sweet Potato Recipes

Sweet potato is such a versatile vegetable that’s easily used in savoury or sweet recipes.

For example, this Maple Roasted Kumara and Spinach Salad with Fresh Ginger and Seeds is an easy throw together salad that really packs a flavour punch and never fails to get compliments when I take it to gatherings.

These Spiced Sweet Potato Pancakes use the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes so that no added sugar is required. They make a great breakfast option if you’re on a sugar free diet or participating in my 10 Day Sugar Cleanse program.

If you like rich and decadent, these Sweet Potato Chocolate Brownies definitely fit the bill. They’re super dense and fudgey with a rich chocolate flavour thanks to a full cup of raw cacao powder. Or for a completely sugar free treat try this Sweet Potato Chocolate Mousse that will satisfy chocolate cravings without leaving you on a sugar high.

 

Benefits of Chickpeas

Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) are a great source of plant based protein, complex carbohydrates and fibre.

Fibre is essential for digestive health, and because it leaves you feeling full for longer (as does protein), it can help curb cravings and prevent over eating.

Complex carbohydrates are the ideal type of fuel for your body because they’re slow burning which means no unwanted blood sugar spikes and a sustained fuel source over a longer period.

Chickpeas are also high in betacarotene, vitamin A and zinc, which are beneficial for eyes and skin. They’re a fantastic plant based source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin K and manganese, which are all important for bone and cartilage health.

 

Chickpea Recipes To Try

One of my all time favourite ways to cook chickpeas (which I do on a weekly basis) is to drain a can of chickpea, toss with spices and bake them in the oven until crisp. You can then eat them as a snack, sprinkle them over a salad or use them in these 2 hour baked Caramelised Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chickpeas &  Creamy Cashew Sauce.

Some other great chickpea recipes are these fragrant Chickpea and Spinach Patties which are packed full of spinach, carrot, zucchini and parsley, or these Collard Greens Falafel Wraps which are filled with nutty green chickpea felafel, fresh vegetables and tahini sauce.

 

Sweet Potato Chickpea Cakes with Dukkah Crusted Avocado

 

Dukkah Crusted Avocado

I wish I could say dukkah crusted avocado was my idea, but full credit to whoever invented it because it’s genius. Crunchy, spiced dukkah combines so perfectly with the mellow, creamy flavours of avocado, it really is a match made in heaven.

Of course, the avocado topper is completely optional. But if you have the ingredients on hand it only take a couple of extra minutes and really turns these chickpea cakes into something special.

To serve, top the chickpea cakes with a spoonful of your favourite kraut, kimchi or chutney, a couple of slices of dukkah crusted avocado and fresh greens for the ultimate whole food, plant based meal that’s completely gluten/grain and sugar free.

 

I hope you love these Kumara Chickpea Cakes, and if you make them be sure to leave me a comment down below and tell me what you think!

Enjoy!

 

Kumara Chickpea Cakes with Dukkah Avocado (Vegan, Gluten + Sugar Free)

Makes: 6
Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes

2 large sweet potato
1 red onion
1 brown onion
4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp avocado/macadamia/coconut oil
1 bunch of rainbow chard/silverbeet or spinach
2 cans chickpeas (or 2 cups freshly cooked chickpeas)
2 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pink Himalayan salt & black pepper

Dukkah Crusted Avocado
1 ripe avocado
2 Tbsp dukkah (store bought or homemade)

To Serve
Green leaves (I used beetroot leaves)
Kraut/Kimchi/Chutney (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Place the sweet potatoes on a lined oven tray and spike a couple of holes over the top with a sharp knife. Place the tray into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until you can easily pierce through the sweet potato with a small knife. 

While the sweet potato are baking, prep the onions and garlic. Peel the onions, chop in half then into thirds. Leave the skin on the garlic but remove excess. Toss the onion and garlic with 1 Tbsp of oil, place on a lined oven tray and bake for 30 minutes, or until the onion has softened and started to caramelise round the edges. You’re also aiming for the garlic to be roasted.

Drain and wash the chickpeas and set aside.

Wash the chard/silverbeet/spinach and finely slice. Wash the parsley and coriander and roughly chop.

Combine half the chickpeas, one sweet potato (skin removed), garlic (skin removed), curry powder, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until it just comes together but is still a bit lumpy.

Scoop the mix into a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients, breaking the second sweet potato into bite sized chunk. Stir well to combine.

Form the mixture into 6 cakes using a round cylinder if you have one, if not just use your hands .

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a fry pan and fry the chickpea cakes until the top and bottom turn a golden brown. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until fully heated through.

While the chickpea cakes are cooking make the avocado. Place the dukkah into a small bowl. Remove the skin and stone from the avocado and cut into slices. Dip the slices in the dukkah and toss until full coated.

Serve the chickpea cakes warm, topped with a spoonful of your favourite kraut, kimchi or chutney, a couple of slices of dukkah crusted avocado and fresh greens.

Store any leftover chickpea cakes in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

Sweet Potato Chickpea Cakes with Dukkah Avocado

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7 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Autumn/Fall

7 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Autumn/Fall

Photo by Jasmine Coro on Unsplash

 

Today I’m sharing 7 of my favourite, healthy pumpkin recipes with you to keep you inspired this pumpkin season!

Pumpkins are traditionally harvested in Autumn through to early winter. In the U.S. and Canada this coincides with Halloween and Thanksgiving which means pumpkin season is often associated with jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin pie, and all things pumpkin spice!

Here in NZ we have a number of different varieties of pumpkin, many of which are available all year round. But we do tend to eat pumpkins mainly in the colder months which means lots of warming soups, vegetable bakes and pumpkin pie lattes.

Despite finding pumpkins in the vegetable section of the supermarket, these winter squash are in fact classified as a fruit because they contain seeds in their centre. But unlike most common fruits, pumpkins are nowhere near as sweet because they contain barely any fructose at all.

Pumpkins are considered a fibre-rich carbohyrdate made up mostly of water, as such they only contain a minimal amount of protein and fat.

Their nutritional value mainly comes from their high vitamin A content in the form of beta-carotene, a carotenoid that gives them their orange colour. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A in the body and helps maintain healthy skin and eyes. Beta-carotene is also an important disease preventing antioxidant that aids in the repair of oxidative stress. Pumpkins are also abundant in vitamins C and E, potassium, riboflavin, copper, and manganese.

So without further ado, here are my top 7 pumpkin recipes that you need to make this pumpkin season:

 

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Crunchy Cauliflower & Popped Lentils

 

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils

Starting off this pumpkin recipe round up is this beautifully thick and creamy Pumpkin & Kumara Soup. This soup is full of amazing spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and garlic, which mean it’s deliciously warming while also providing some powerful anti-inflammatory, calming and restorative qualities.

The secret to the amazing texture of this soup is all in the cooking. By using roasted pumpkin and kumara (sweet potato) you create the perfect base for a super smooth, thick soup. It also means it’s very filling while still very light on the digestion because it’s made simply of blended vegetables.

Oven roasted, crunchy, spiced cauliflower and popped lentil toppings provide a delicious contrast in texture, as well as an element of plant protein to this vegan, grain, and sugar free recipe, which also happens to be 10 Day Sugar Cleanse approved.

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

Caramelised Pumpkin Pancakes

If you’re a pumpkin pie lover then you’ll adore these Pumpkin Pancakes! They have such a lovely soft texture with a sweet caramelised, pumpkin pie flavour. Best of all, you’d never guess they’re sweetened solely with pumpkin!

The secret to their natural caramel flavour is cooking them in coconut oil which gives the pumpkin a caramel-like quality. Add a little ginger and cinnamon to the mix and you have some seriously addictive pumpkin pie pancakes that will fast become a favourite.

I like using butternut squash for this recipe because it has a lovely light flavour and can be much easier to cut than some of the larger varieties of pumpkin. But there really isn’t much difference between a squash and a pumpkin so these pancakes can easily be made with either.

When I created these pumpkin pancakes I wanted a Sugar Cleanse approved recipe, so these pancakes are dairy, grain and sugar free. They’re also perfect for anyone who doesn’t like bananas or can’t eat other kinds of fruit sweetened pancakes.

 

7 Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Fall

 

Roast Pumpkin & Lentil Spinach Salad with a Lemon Chilli Dressing

This was one of the first recipes I created after going completely plant based. Changing my diet inspired me to get more creative in the kitchen, particularly at dinner time, and this Pumpkin and Lentil Salad was the first of my creations that got the thumbs up from my not-so-plant based husband!

This salad combines sweet caramelized pumpkin with nutty brown lentils and a zesty chilli dressing. Best of all, it’s unbelievably easy to whip up! The hardest part is cutting open the pumpkin, from there all you need to do is roast the pumpkin, make the dressing and toss it all together.

You can serve this pumpkin and lentil salad warm or chilled, and it makes the most delicious leftovers. I love prepping a batch at the start of the week so we have lunch/dinner sorted for a couple days, because it’s so great being able to reach into the fridge and find something delicious all ready to eat.

 

7 Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Fall

 

Pumpkin Pie Granola

Pumpkin season definitely can’t go past without a jar full of this wholesome Pumpkin Pie Granola on the breakfast table! A delicious combination of oats, cashews and pecans, combined with pumpkin pie spices, pure maple syrup and golden roasted pumpkin.

Because pumpkin is the main sweetener in this granola it’s a lot lower in sugars than regular granolas, and is naturally packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. If you can’t tolerate oats simply swap them for another grain or pseudo grain such as quinoa flakes or buckwheat groats.

Serve this crunchy granola with a dash of milk and dollop of your favourite yogurt, sprinkle it over smoothie bowls or ice cream, or simply eat it by the handful like a trail mix.

 

Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry

 

Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry

This Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry is still one of my go-to, made from scratch weeknight meals. You can whip it up in under 30 minutes and it makes fabulous leftovers for lunch the next day.

It’s completely plant based, gluten/grain, dairy & sugar free, and also just happens to be one of the recipes from the Plant Based Menu in the 10 Day Sugar Cleanse program.

Even though this curry only takes 30 minutes to make, it doesn’t call for any curry paste or store bought sauces. Instead it’s simply a clever combination of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices, and the red lentils make it deliciously thick and creamy while providing a source of plant based protein.

You can adapt this curry to be as spicy or mild as you like with the amount of fresh chillies you add, and likewise, feel free to adapt the vegetables to whatever you have in season or to hand.

 

7 Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Fall

 

Pumpkin Pie Spice Peanut Butter Fudge

A pumpkin recipe roundup wouldn’t be complete without a velvety smooth, no bake fudge recipe!

This moreish Pumpkin Pie Spice Peanut Butter Fudge is packed full of warming pumpkin pie spices with subtle hints of peanut butter, and you’d never guess it’s sweetened solely with pumpkin and rice syrup.

It might just be the easiest fudge you’ll ever make, once you’ve made (or bought) the pumpkin puree, it’s simply a case of combining the remaining ingredients in a blender, pouring it into a tin and then into the fridge to set.

This low sugar fudge recipe is vegan and gluten free, making it the perfect Autumn/Fall treat.

 

7 Pumpkin Recipes You Need To Make This Fall

 

Pumpkin Pie Custard Squares

When the creamy custard filling of a pumpkin pie meets a blondie, this is the result!

A silky smooth custard slice with just a hint of pumpkin spice, it’s hard to believe these treats are sweetened only with pumpkin puree with no additional sweeteners. They’re also gluten and grain free, and vegan.

Find the recipe for these sugar free pumpkin pie custard squares in my Inspired Desserts e-book – Whole Food Sweeteners Edition, which you can download for FREE here.

 

That sums up my round up of the 7 best healthy pumpkin recipes you need to make this Autumn or Fall. I hope you enjoy them and be sure to leave me a comment below and tell me which of these 7 low sugar pumpkin recipes you’ll be making first!

Enjoy!

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Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

How To Create A Really Thick, Creamy Soup

I created this Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup one evening after being inspired by a deliciously thick soup I’d had at a local cafe. The soup was so thick you could literally stand a spoon up in it, which got me thinking about how I could replicate it.

To create a really thick soup the obvious choice are vegetables such a pumpkin or squash (even though they’re technically a fruit) and kumara aka sweet potato.

Lately I’ve been enjoying these vegetables baked whole in the oven. I like this method of cooking because it doesn’t require any oil and all the vegetables nutrients are retained (not lost in cooking water). Best of all, they caramelise ever so slightly and develop a beautiful, rich flavour.

Using this cooking method seemed like the perfect way to create a really thick soup. Once the vegetables are baked simply blend them with a little liquid and some seasonings, and the soup is ready to eat!

 

Why Soup Is So Fantastic

Soup really is an allrounder meal that can be enjoyed any time of the year, but is especially delicious on a cold day as it warms you from the inside out!

Although soup is usually served for lunch or dinner, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy this soup at breakfast too, as you would Vietnamese pho or Japanese miso.

Soup is really easy to make (at least all my recipes are ;)) and you almost always end up with leftovers/rollovers, which means lunch and dinner is sorted for days. And while soups are very filling and nourishing, they’re also light enough that your digestion will love you for it.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

My Favourite Soup Recipes

Some of my all time favourite soup recipes on here to date are: Creamy Spinach & Root Vegetable Soup which gets its creaminess from the vegetables without the addition of any coconut cream or plant milk. I love that this recipe can be adapted to any vegetables you have in your pantry or fridge or whatever’s in season.

Another favourite is this adapted Pho Ga recipe because it was inspired by our travels in Vietnam. I’d just completed my Sugar Cleanse Program when I created this recipe so I substituted the traditional rice noodles for zoodles. Now that I eat a plant based/vegan diet I would also use vegetable stock instead of chicken and sub out the chicken pieces for tofu, tempeh or toasted cashews for a soy free version.

One of the most popular soup recipes on here to date, also happens to be the first soup recipe I ever posted. This Carrot, Pumpkin & Turmeric Soup with Spicy Black Bean Topping has a real ginger kick to it and the black bean topping creates a delicious contrast in texture as well as a plant based protein element. The topping idea was inspired by the amazing Green Kitchen Stories who create some of the most amazing vegetarian soups around.

 

Full Of Anti-Inflammatory Spices

Which brings me to this recipe for this Roasted Pumpkin & Kumara Soup. This beautifully thick and creamy soup recipe is full of amazing spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and garlic. These flavourings mean this soup has very warming qualities, not to mention a heap of anti-inflammatory, calming and restorative properties.

Because it’s uber thick it feels very filling while you’re eating it, yet it’s still very light on the digestion because it’s simply blended vegetables.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentil Toppings

I’ve been loving roasted cauliflower florets with a spicy almond and chickpea flour coating which gives them a delicious crunch on the outside that yields to a soft, sweet cauliflower inside.

When thinking about what to top this super thick soup with, these little flavour morsels immediately popped into my head.

I also wanted to make sure there was a good plant based protein element in this soup so my other favourite topping is oven popped lentils! These couldn’t be easier to make. Simply drain a can of lentils, toss with spices and then bake in the oven until crunchy and just starting to “pop”. If you prefer to cook your lentils from scratch then even better!

Both these toppings are completely oil, sugar, gluten and grain free, and really pack a flavour punch!

 

Adaptable To Any Vegetables In Season Or Your Pantry

Like most of my soup recipes, this one is no exception and is another very adaptable recipe where you can swap in or out any vegetables of your choice according to what’s in season or in your pantry. Some other great root vegetable options are parsnip, carrot, beetroot (although your soup will turn red!) and potato.

This roasted pumpkin & kumara soup recipe is completely plant based/vegan, gluten/grain, dairy and sugar free, and also just happens to be another 10 Day Sugar Cleanse approved recipe.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

 

I hope you love this nourishing Pumpkin & Kumara Soup recipe as much as I do, and if you make it be sure to leave me a comment down below and tell me what you think.

Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin & Kumara Soup with Spiced Cauliflower & Popped Lentils (Vegan/Gluten Free)

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes

1 small pumpkin or squash
1 extra large kumara (sweet potato)
2 cloves garlic
5 cm piece fresh ginger (or 1 tsp powder)
5 cm piece fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp powder)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pink Himalayan salt & black pepper
400 ml can coconut milk

Crunchy Cauliflower
1/2 head cauliflower
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup chickpea flour
2 tsp spicy curry powder
1/4 cup water

Popped Lentils
400 ml can lentils (or 200g freshly cooked lentils)
2 tsp spice mix (I’m loving Jen’s Goan Xacuti curry powder from Farro, but you could equally use any savoury spice mix of your choice)

To Serve
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 180ºC fan bake. Cut the pumpkin or squash in half, and place the cut side down on a baking tray. Place the kumara on the same tray and spike a couple of holes over the top with a sharp knife. Place the tray of vegetables into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until you can easily pierce through the vegetables with a small knife. 

While the root vegetables are baking, prep the toppings.

If using canned lentils, drain, then wash to remove any unwanted debris and drain well. If cooking your own lentils, soak for 2 to 3 hours then wash well. Add to a pot of boiling water and simmer 20-25 minutes, or as per the instructions on the packet. Drain well.

Toss the lentils in the spice mix and sprinkle over a lined baking tray. Bake at 180ºC fan bake for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the lentils start to crisp up and pop.

Wash the cauliflower and chop into small florets. Mix the cauliflower seasoning together in a bowl to form a thick paste. Toss the cauliflower florets in the paste until full coated and place on a lined baking tray. Bake at 180ºC fan bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower turns a light golden brown.

When the root vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off the kumara and place in a large high speed blender jug. Peel the skin off the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and place in the blender jug. Peel and crush the garlic and add to the blender along with the rest of the spices and coconut milk. Blend on high until you have a smooth, thick soup.

At this point if the soup is a little cold and you’re serving it straight away, simply pour it into a pan and heat until you reach the desired temperature. Alternatively, transfer the soup to a sealed container and store in the fridge until required. To reheat simply place in a pot and bring to a simmer.

Serve the soup in bowls topped with a handful of crunchy cauliflower, a sprinkle of popped lentils and some freshly chopped parsley.

Store any leftover soup, cauliflower and lentils in separate sealed containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. The soup will also freeze well for up to 1 month.

 

Roast Pumpkin & Kumara Soup

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Hemp, Flax & Basil Seed Porridge with Roasted Pear & Raspberry (Oat Free)

Hemp, Flax & Basil Seed Porridge with Roasted Pear & Raspberry (Oat Free)

 

A Nostalgic Oat Free Porridge Recipe

Porridge is such a nostalgic breakfast, but not everyone can tolerate oats these days. Which is why I created this Hemp, Flax & Basil Seed Porridge. It’s the perfect recipe for anyone looking for an oat free porridge, that’s gluten/grain and sugar free, and full of plant based goodness.

In wintertime back when we were kids, Dad would always have a big pot of steaming porridge bubbling away on the stove without fail. He’d perfected his recipe over many years to make the smoothest, creamiest porridge around.

I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me sharing his secret with you now, which was to use a hand beater right at the end to whip out any remaining lumps. This would ensure there’d be no complaints of lumpiness or excuses not to finish!

At the table we’d dig our spoons deep into the sugar jar and sprinkle our steaming bowls with a generous amount of brown sugar (so generous I now cringe haha), hoping to score some brown sugar lumps that would slowly melt into the creamy oats. But we didn’t dare add any cold milk to the mix as this would dilute the sweetness, and most importantly ruin the porridge’s sugar melting ability.

 

Soaking Grain Free Porridge

These days eating a gluten and mostly grain free diet means traditional oat porridge is no longer on my menu, but I haven’t let that stop me from enjoying the porridge tradition.

I’ve created a couple of oat free porridges to date including this Buckwheat Basil Seed Porridge with Cardamom & Vanilla and this Activated Nutty Paleo Porridge.

Both these recipes require some preparation by way of a couple of hours of soaking time, followed by rinsing then blending, in order to activate the nuts, seeds and buckwheat and create a creamy porridge consistency.

The aim of activating these nuts and seeds is to make them more easily digestible and the nutrients more readily available. Soaking also softens them and helps to create a lovely thick porridge consistency!

Of course activated nuts and seeds don’t like heat so when using them in a warm porridge recipe it’s best to keep heat to a minimum to ensure you don’t destroy all the freshly activated enzymes.

 

 

The Quickest & Easiest Grain Free Porridge

What I love about this new recipe for Hemp, Flax & Basil Seed porridge is you don’t have to soak it for hours or even overnight if you don’t have time or simply don’t want to! There’s also no rinsing or blending required.

This new oat free porridge recipe doesn’t contain any buckwheat or nuts, which means it doesn’t require a minimum of 2 hours soaking time in order to make them digestible and soft enough to be blended into a porridge.

 

Hydrophilic Seeds Are The Secret

Instead, this porridge is made up of three seeds, two of which (flax and basil) are hydrophilic which means they’re water loving and are able to rapidly absorb a large amount of water in a short time.

This means if you’re short on time or didn’t remember to prep ahead, you can throw this porridge together in 10 minutes and still enjoy a lovely thick, porridge consistency.

If you do have more time or want to reap the maximum benefits of these seeds, then feel free to soak them overnight. This allows the basil and flax seeds to fully absorb all the liquid, their inherent enzymes become fully activated and their phytic acid levels decrease, allowing their nutrients to be more bioavailable.

 

 

Packed With Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Protein & Fibre

Speaking of nutrients, flax, basil and hemp seeds are all considered to be super foods which means they deliver the maximum amount of nutrients with a minimum number of calories.

All three of these seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids which support heart health, healthy skin, hair, and nails. They’re high in fibre which is essential for healthy digestion and preventing blood sugar spikes, and are a great source of plant based protein.

 

Chew Your Porridge!

You’ll note I’ve specified ground flax seeds in this recipe. This is because in order to reap the maximum benefits of flax seeds they need to be cracked open before you ingest them, otherwise they’ll likely pass straight through you in their whole form!

As soon as flax seeds are ground, however, their fats start to oxidise and they can go rancid in a matter of weeks. So if you’re not grinding them fresh or you buy ready ground, be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge and use them as fast as possible.

Likewise with basil and hemp seeds, in order to access their full nutritional value, be sure to chew them properly – or in other words, chew your porridge! This will also get your digestive juices flowing and make the whole process more efficient.

 

 

Porridge Toppings I Love

I like to top my porridge with a warm berry compote made by simply heating fresh or frozen berries with a little water. Berries are naturally very low in sugars so by combining them to this sugar free porridge you’ll create a very healthy, low sugar breakfast.

If you’d like a more substantial fruit topping you could roast some pear or seasonal stone fruit such as peaches or nectarines. To do this simply cut them in half, remove any stones and roast in a preheated oven for around half an hour. Either keep the warm fruit half whole or chop it into bite sized pieces before placing on top of your porridge, then drizzle with pure maple syrup and sprinkle with extra hemp seeds.

Of course, toppings are only limited by your imagination so feel free to mix it up and top with whatever takes your fancy!

 

 

I hope you love this oat free porridge recipe, and if you make it let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Hemp, Flax & Basil Seed Porridge with Roasted Pear & Raspberries (Oat Free)

Serves: 2
Prep time: 10 minutes  Soak time: 10 minutes  Cook time (for fruit): 5 to 30 minutes

1/2 cup plant milk
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
2 Tbsp basil (or chia) seeds
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

Topping Suggestions
1 roasted pear
1 cup raspberries
extra hemp seeds
extra plant milk
pure maple syrup drizzle

Heat the milk and water by placing in a small pan set over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Alternatively, use a kettle and milk frother. Add the seeds and spices to the warm liquid and stir to combine.

Leave the porridge mix to stand for 10 minutes (or overnight) until the seeds have swelled and absorbed the liquid. If it starts to look undesirably lumpy, add more warm liquid to get your desired porridge consistency. While the porridge is resting prepare your toppings (see recipes below).

Transfer the porridge to serving bowls and top with roasted pear and warm raspberry compote. Pour a little plant milk round the edges, drizzle with pure maple syrup and sprinkle with hemp seeds.

Any leftovers will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. This porridge can be enjoyed warm or chilled. To reheat, simply place a serving of the porridge in a small pan with a little liquid and gently heat while stirring until the desired temperature is reached.

Prep Ahead

Mix up a couple of servings of the seeds and spices and store in a jar. Simply heat your liquid and add the porridge mix. You can also make the porridge and leave in the fridge overnight to allow full activated of the seeds.

 

Roasted Pear

Cut 1 pear in half, place on a lined baking tray into the centre of a preheated 170°C oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, this will depend on how firm/ripe your pear is to start with. The pear is ready when it’s softened and juices start oozing out.

Quick Raspberry Compote

Place 1 cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen) in a small pan with a little water. Heat gently until the raspberries defrost/soften and come to a simmer. Your compote is then ready to use! Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

Anti-Inflammatory Cauliflower, Coconut & Turmeric Dhal – Vegan/Gluten/Sugar Free

Anti-Inflammatory Cauliflower, Coconut & Turmeric Dhal – Vegan/Gluten/Sugar Free

Cauliflower, Coconut & Turmeric Dhal

 

The Easiest Red Lentil Dhal Recipe

I created this Cauliflower, Coconut & Turmeric Dhal one evening when I wanted something easy, warming and nourishing for dinner.

For some reason I always thought lentils were a hassle to cook. Perhaps it was because you have to cook them first before adding them to a recipe (unless you use canned of course), and seeing as I’m all about quick and easy recipes I never used them much.

But since discovering that red split lentils (also known as red split peas) can be thrown straight into a recipe while it’s cooking, they’ve become one of my go to plant based proteins!

Red split lentils are part of the legume family, so as well as being an excellent source of protein, they also a great source of several important minerals, B vitamins and fibre. They have a mild nutty flavour and cook very quicky, so are great for making dhals, curries and even plant based patties.

 

My Favourite Red Lentil Recipes

I’ve posted a couple of red lentil recipes such as these Sesame & Red Lentil Patties, which are still one of my go-to plant based patty recipes. They’re packed full of veggies and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or even as a quick protein filled snack.

Another favourite red lentil recipe is this Pumpkin & Red Lentil Coconut Curry. This is a very versatile curry recipe that can be adapted to whatever fresh vegetables you have in your fridge or pantry. It’s very quick and easy to make and keeps well in the fridge, making great leftover or rollover meals.

 

Cauliflower, Coconut & Turmeric Dhal

 

Fragrant Anti-Inflammatory Herbs & Spices

Which brings me to this recipe for Cauliflower, Coconut and Turmeric Dhal. This beautifully fragrant recipe is ready in under 45 minutes, and is full of amazing herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, mustard seeds and chilli. These flavourings give this dhal it’s authentic flavour, not to mention a heap of anti-inflammatory, calming and restorative properties.

 

Adaptable To Any Vegetables In Season Or Your Pantry

If you’re a fan of spicy food then feel free to up the spice factor by adding extra fresh chillies. Or vice versa, if you’re not a spice fan then feel free to leave them out. This is another very adaptable recipe where you can add or subtract vegetables according to what’s in season or in your pantry/fridge.

This dhal recipe is also completely plant based/vegan, gluten/grain, dairy and sugar free, and also just happens to be another 10 Day Sugar Cleanse approved recipe.

 

Cauliflower, Coconut & Turmeric Dhal

 

I hope you love this nourishing cauliflower dhal recipe as much as I do, and if you make it be sure to leave me a comment down below and tell me what you think.

Enjoy!

 

Cauliflower, Coconut & Turmeric Dhal

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes
1/2 cup red lentils (I like Ceres Organics)
2 Tbsp coconut, avocado or macadamia oil
1 brown onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 pumpkin or squash
2 carrots
1/4 cauliflower head
1/4 head broccoli
1 zucchini
400 ml coconut milk (I like Chantal Organics)
1 lemon, juiced
5 cm piece fresh ginger (or 1 tsp powder)
5 cm piece fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp powder)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp savoury yeast flakes
1 fresh chilli or 1/2 tsp chilli powder
pink Himalayan salt & black pepper

To Garnish:
1 large handful fresh coriander
hemp, mustard or basil seeds

 

Wash the lentils under filtered water to remove any unwanted debris and set aside.

Prep the vegetables by peeling and slicing the onion into small pieces. Peel and crush the garlic. Cut the skin off the pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut into bite size pieces. Peel the carrots, remove the ends and cut into bite size pieces. Wash the cauliflower and broccoli and chop into small florets. Wash the zucchini, remove the ends and chop into bite size pieces. Juice the lemon, grate the ginger and turmeric and chop the chilli into thin slices (if not using powdered).

Heat the oil in a large fry pan or pot and when hot add the onions. Stir fry for a few minutes until they start to soften, then add the garlic, followed by the carrot and pumpkin. Cook a couple minutes then add the cauliflower, broccoli and zucchini. Add 1/4 cup of water to create some steam and continue to cook for a few more minutes.

Next add the coconut milk and red lentils, then the spices including the yeast and mustard seeds, and season with salt and pepper. Finally add the lemon juice. Allow the coconut milk to come to a simmer, stirring occasionally, ensuring the lentils remain submerged. If the liquid barely covers the vegetables or looks too low, add another cup of filtered water. Cook for around 20 minutes or until the firmest vegetables can be easily cut with a butter knife and the lentils are soft.

Serve the dhal in large bowls sprinkled with fresh coriander and hemps seeds if you wish.

Store any leftover dhal in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.

 

Cashew Ricotta Black Bean Noodles

Cashew Ricotta Black Bean Noodles

 

These creamy cashew ricotta black bean noodles have been my go-to lately when I want something really quick and easy, but totally delicious and healthy!

Essentially, they’re an even simpler version of one of my most popular recipes: Basil Pesto Zoodles with Roasted Tomatoes.

What I love about these two recipes is they can be enjoyed warm or chilled, and they keep well in the fridge making great rollover meals. While they’re a meal in themselves, if you need more servings you can easily bulk them up with extra vegetables and/or protein.

To keep these cashew ricotta noodles super simple I use store bought black bean noodles that I toss with (store bought) vegan ricotta cheese, and then add sautéed broccolini, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

Of course, the vegetable component is completely adaptable to whatever you have on hand or in season, or really whatever takes your fancy.

 

 

One thing to note when buying your noodles is that not all black bean noodles are created the same.

I found this out the hard way after wondering why I always felt bad after eating one particular brand of black bean noodles. After reading the ingredients it turned out this particular brand was actually made with black soy beans instead of black beans. So depending on your dietary requirements, it’s worthwhile checking the ingredients label.

Another tip for these noodles is to use a mix of zucchini noodles aka “zoodles” and black bean noodles. Zucchini has a high water and fibre content, yet is very low in carbs which means zoodles are a great option if you’re on a low carb or sugar free diet. By using a combination of zoodles and black bean noodles you can further increase your vegetable intake, and the contrasting textures of these noodles blend together perfectly.

For the vegan ricotta cheese I like using Savour’s cottage style cashew ricotta which (aside from tasting amazing), is completely plant based, organic and a source of probiotics. If you can’t get your hands on Savour’s cotta cheese, or you don’t need it to be dairy free or vegan, then you could easily use regular ricotta or any other creamy cheese substitute.

 

 

I hope you love this easy vegan, gluten free pasta recipe, and when you make it I’d love to hear from you!

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

Cashew Ricotta Black Bean Noodles with Broccolini, Mushrooms & Cherry Tomatoes

Serves: 2-4
Prep time: 30 minutes  Cook time: 5 minutes

Sautéed vegetables
1 red onion
1 bunch broccolini
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
pink salt + black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
coconut/avocado/macadamia oil for cooking

Noodles/Zoodles
1 packet black bean noodles
Optional: 2-4 zucchini (approx. 1 zucchini per person)

Cashew Ricotta
100-200g Savour cotta cheese (depending on how creamy you like it)

To make the basil pesto:
Wash the basil and spinach leaves well, drain and place in a food processor with the garlic and salt. Pulse/blend until they resemble coarse crumbs.

Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine but be careful not to over blend. You ‘re aiming for a pesto which should be chunky, rather than a smooth sauce.

Store the pesto in a jar in the fridge for up to 5 days (can also be frozen for up to 3 months).

To sauté the vegetables:
Wash all the vegetables well. Chop the red onion into small pieces, chop the broccolini into bite size pieces, slice the mushrooms, halve the cherry tomatoes and crush the garlic.

**At this point put on the water for the noodles**

Heat a little oil in a fry pan and sauté the red onion for a couple of minutes until it begins to soften. Next add the broccolini, cook a couple of minutes then add the mushrooms, and finally the tomatoes and garlic.

Add the spices and season with salt and pepper, and continue to sauté until all the vegetables are cooked. Turn off the heat and set aside.

To cook the noodles:
Fill a pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the black bean noodles and simmer 2 minutes until soft, then drain well.

If making the zoodles as well, wash the zucchini, cut off the ends and use a spiralizer to turn them into noodles. Add the zoodles to the boiling water, cook a couple of minutes until they begin to soft, but still retain their bright green colour. Drain immediately.

To assemble:
Combine your noodles/zoodles with the sautéed vegetables either in their pan or a large mixing bowl. Add a generous amount of cashew ricotta and toss everything together until well combined.

Serve the noodles in large bowls and eat while warm. Any leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge and eaten cold or gently warmed the next day.

 

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