Basil & Pea Fritters with Hummus & Dukkah

Basil & Pea Fritters with Hummus & Dukkah

 

The inspiration for this recipe came while we were spending time with friends in Sydney, Australia at the beginning of the year. We were taken to a cool little cafe overlooking Bondi beach that was famous for its pea pancake.

The day we went also happened to be their reopening after a closure due to fire, so we were lucky to get a table as it was heaving with locals all eager to get a spot in their favourite cafe.

Ironically I didn’t actually order their famous pea pancake that day because our waiter couldn’t confirm whether they were gluten and dairy free, so instead I had their green breakfast bowl.

But when the food came I had some serious ordering envy. The green pea pancake came as one large pancake that was perfectly crisp on the outside and full of vibrant greenness on the inside, and was topped with a poached egg, avocado, courgette strips and pea sprouts. My breakfast bowl was good too, but I knew I was going to have to try and recreate their pea pancake when I got home.

 

 

For tha past week I’ve been making various versions of green pea pancakes, and we’ve been eating them mainly for dinner or leftover lunches! But I think that’s a great testament to the fact they’re perfect for any meal of the day.

When looking up the name of the Bondi cafe that inspired this post (Porch and Parlour) I also found they’d posted the exact recipe online – and would you believe it was in fact dairy and gluten free! Interestingly enough, despite not seeing the original recipe before I made my attempts, my version is very similar except it’s also grain free and a bit more herby.

I also decided to call my version fritters because it’s much easier to make several smaller ones instead of one large one. I also flavoured them with basil and spring onion, and because I thought the original probably had cheese in it I added nutritional yeast to create a slightly cheesey flavour. Needless to say, both versions are damn delicious, so you really can’t go wrong whichever one you make.

Enjoy!

 

 

BASIL & PEA FRITTERS WITH HUMMUS & DUKKAH

Makes: 6 fritters/2 generous serves
Prep time: 20 minutes  Cook time: 20 minutes

2 cups frozen peas
1 spring onion
1 handful fresh basil leaves
2 eggs
2 Tbsp ground almonds/almond meal
1 tsp nutritional yeast
pink Himalayan salt + black pepper to taste

coconut, avocado or macadamia oil for cooking

To serve:

Hummus of your choice
Dukkah (either bought or homemade)
Extra basil leaves

 

Defrost the peas by leaving to stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, or place in a small saucepan with just enough water to cover, bring to a simmer then remove from heat immediately. Drain the peas and rinse under cold water to keep their colour.

Transfer the peas to a mixing bowl and use a potato masher or the back of a fork to smash roughly half the peas. You’re aiming for a mix of whole and broken peas.

Chop the spring onion into small rounds and roughly chop the basil leaves, then add to the pea mixture.

Lightly whisk the eggs and add to the pea mixture along with the remaining ingredients. Stir well until all evenly combined.

Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a heavy based fry pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot drop spoonfuls of mixture into the pan and shape into round fritters. Depending on how big you want your fritters, you’ll likely need to add a couple of spoonfuls per fritter.

Cook the fritters for a couple of minutes until you can see the edges start to brown, then flip them over to cook the opposite side.

To serve, spread a dollop of hummus on a serving plate, lay the fritters on top and garnish with dukkah and extra basil leaves.

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

 

 

 

How To Make A Low Sugar Super Antioxidant Açai Bowl

How To Make A Low Sugar Super Antioxidant Açai Bowl

How to make a low sugar super antioxidant açai bowl

 

Even though açai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) bowls have been around for ages, I only recently got into them while holidaying in Noosa. Noosa’s main beach strip is full of amazing healthy food cafes, so after walking along the coastal track each morning we’d treat ourselves to breakfast. Almost every single eatery has an açai bowl on the menu and it was hard not to admire these pretty bowls being carried out to customers.

If you’re also new to the acai party too, an açai bowl is essentially a frozen smoothie bowl made with raw açai berry pulp.

 

Açai berries are naturally sugar free, both most açai bowls aren’t

Açaí is an ancient berry that grows along the banks of the Amazon river on açai palms. Açai berries naturally contain very little sugars (if any), and because of this the raw açai pulp is traditionally blended with guarana syrup, which is a sugar syrup with guarana extract, to give an açai bowl it’s creamy texture and distinctive flavour.

What I didn’t know was most of the açai bowls found in cafes or juice bars are also blended with sweeteners, such as apple juice and banana, in order to create a more appetising blend. So there I was, on holiday in Noosa thinking I was having a super healthy smoothie bowl for breakfast, only to realise it was loaded with fructose! No wonder they tasted so damn good.

 

Low Sugar Super Antioxidant Açai Bowl

 

The health benefits of açai

The reason açai bowls have become so popular is because açai berries are widely believed to contain more antioxidants than any other fruit in the world. Regular servings of antioxidant rich fruits is thought to slow down the ageing process, lower cholesterol levels, improve circulation and help prevent disease.

However, there seem to be a lot of differing opinions about which fruit does in fact have the highest level of antioxidants. Many claim wild blueberries in fact have the highest, pomegranate and goji are also in the running, and recently I read an article saying it was in fact New Zealand grown blackcurrants that have the highest level of antioxidants!

So how do we know who to believe and which fruit is the best?!

 

Which fruit truly has the highest level of antioxidants?

In lieu of an extensive worldwide, super fruit antioxidant study, I think it’s fair to conclude that ALL these fruit contain amazingly beneficial levels of antioxidants. Perhaps what it should come down to, is which of these fruits are most readily available to you.

It seems almost every country has a fruit that can compete in the super antioxidant category, but it’s equally important to consider the fruit’s sustainability, and try to eat as locally as possible to reduce your carbon footprint.

 

How to create an açai bowl without loading it with fructose

So with that in mind, I set about creating my own super antioxidant, low sugar, açai bowl blend. I decided to use a combination of açai, blueberries, raspberries and blackcurrants, because they’re all readily available here in New Zealand, they’re very high in antioxidants and very low in fructose.

Instead of any syrup or sweeteners I added a little lemon juice and passionfruit pulp, as these combine so well with the berries and add an extra flavour dimension. Of course, feel free to mix up the berry combination to whatever you have to hand or can easily source, and use the quantities in the recipe below as a guide.

 

Could açai bowl toppings be the best part?!

Another bonus of keeping the sugar content low in your açai blend is that you can then go to town on the toppings! Firstly you’ve gotta have some kind of crunch, like a granola or even just toasted nuts. Some of my favourites are this Blackcurrant & Coconut Buckwheat Granola or this no bake hemp seed crumble! After that a dollop of coconut yoghurt, a sprinle of fresh berries and maybe some edible flowers if you’re feeling fancy. The possibilities are endless, so I’d love to hear your suggestions!

And of course,  if you make this low sugar, super antioxidant açai bowl, come back and tell me what you think! Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or FacebookEnjoy!

 

Low Sugar Super Antioxidant Açai Bowl

Serves: 1
Prep time: 5 minutes

1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen blackcurrants
1 packet unsweetened frozen açai
1/4 cup fresh or frozen passionfruit
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp water to blend

Topping ideas
Blackcurrant and Coconut Buckwheat Granola (Raw Activated)
hemp seed crumble
Dried coconut
Flaxseeds
Hemp Seeds
Toasted Nuts
Sunflower/Pumpkin seeds
Chia/Basil seeds
Freeze dried raspberries/strawberries/blueberries
Edible flowers

Place all the smoothie ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Take care not to over blend as you want the smoothie to remain relatively frozen so that it’s thick and spoonable.
Pour the smoothie into a bowl and sprinkle with your favourite toppings.
Eat immediately with a spoon.

 

Tip: to ensure you have a lovely thick smoothie bowl try freezing all the ingredients. E.g. freeze lemon juice and passionfruit pulp into ice cube trays and buy ready frozen açai and berries.

 

Low Sugar Açai Bowl with Yoghurt Swirl

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