Delightful Dairy Free Muffins

I love baking….even when I did not love cooking as much as I do now. For this reason I always try my hardest to avoid baking unless I know someone else is going o enjoy it…because I’m weak to pastries of all kinds.

My friends really find it hard to believe that I can make dairy free breads, pastries of all kinds, but it’s truly possible. I’ll teach you how starting with this recipe:

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour  (insert whatever flour you have here)

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or your preferred sugar)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. all spice

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup apple sauce

3/4 cup non dairy milk

1/3 cup maple syrup or honey

1 tsp. vanilla

Fruit of your choice (I put figs…you can do blueberries, dried cranberries or raisins)

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 350*. Have a muffin pan with cupcake liners ready or simply use the muffin pan direct and spray with oil to coat them to ensure they do not stick to the pan.

Next, mix the flour, the spices and salt, baking powder. Sift the mix until well combined in a large bowl.

In a smaller bowl, mix the liquid ingredients; honey, applesauce, milk and vanilla extract. Mix it up.

Now mix up the wet mixture with the dry and combine. Next add the fruits (blueberry or figs or fruit of your choice). The batter will be thick. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake liners or directly to the muffin pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until when a toothpick is inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Breakfast Day 1 – Chia blueberry and banana pancakes

One of the reasons I started eating plant-based actually stems from the fact that my skin was totally frustrating me. I was breaking out left, right and center. I finally decided I had to change my skin regimen. In my quest to find a solution to my skin, I came across a company that created products for sensitive skin, which I have. It’s known as Pai Skincare. This company’s philosophy had me so wowed…it was the fist time I connected with a company and all that it stood for, because I was experiencing pain from having tried all these products that promised to deliver amazing skin results only for me to react adversely within a few short hours.

The founder discussed  the importance of their customers knowing what they put on their face.  Being able to pronounce the ingredients. I was in so much awe because isn’t it so true, many times we have no clue what the ingredients to our moisturizer and toner and face scrubs are. For the first time when I bought Pai products I knew what i was putting on my face.

As you begin to transition to a plant-based diet I would want you to ask yourself and think about learning about foods and ingredients. Do you know what has been included in the food that you are buying? Can you pronounce the ingredients? If not, put the item down and take a peek at the produce aisle. How do those vegetables look? are they calling out your name yet? lol…if not, do not fret, you will hear them soon enough…for now you can simply go by, take a look at them and see what tickles your fancy. What vegetables do you already like? what recipes can you think of making? If nothing comes up, jump onto pinterest when you get home and look up those items and get some ideas of some simple foods that can be made. the idea is to slowly start getting out of your comfort zone. This is what being a nomad is all about. Our green food safari will have bumpy roads ahead, because let’s face it, that’s just how life is..but we will get through it. We will prepare for those days so we can keep striving towards a healthier you. We want to be adventurous when it comes to our food journey.

I did not wake up a cook. In fact I used to hate the kitchen, now you have to get me out of the kitchen because my mind is always racing. I can honestly say that I can cook a variety of foods compared to then.That is what happens when you start eating plant-based. You become more curious about different vegetables. Your taste buds and palette begins to change. At first you may not think that it will, but it will and I want to be here to guide you and help you however I can, starting off with breakfasts. I already have a few options on here such as the scrambled eggless eggs I want in the next few days give you various options of what you can make for breakfast during the week and even the weekend. Let me know if you want more recipes, if they are helpful or anything else you want to see from me in the comments section.

We are going to start off with Chia blueberry and banana pancakes. Pancakes are loved by nearly everyone and you can actually make them dairy free and they will still taste very good. these pancakes will give you loads of energy thanks to the chia seeds,  boost your fiber as well as your protein. Preparation time will be around 30 minutes.

Preparation ahead of time if you are making from scratch

Buy or make your own oat flour. To save on money you can use a food processor or even a blender and grind it into flour.

Buy or make your own chia seeds or flaxseedsthis will serve as an egg replacer.You can also grind chia seeds or flax seeds with a blender or a food processor.

Almond Milk or other plant-based milk. You can make your own by soaking almonds in water for about an hour or 30 minutes. I prefer to soak overnight. Then go ahead and blend and you can add dates and a pinch of salt. Strain the milk using a nut milk bag or whatever strainer you have handy. Alternatively you can go ahead and buy almond milk from the store.

 

Pancake Ingredients

1 ripe banana

1 cup oat flour

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Pinch of salt

1/4 Tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 cup almond milk

Coconut oil for cooking

Toppings

Bluberry Jam

Banana

Crushed Almonds

Honey or coconut sugar

1Tbsp. of lemon juice

1/3 cup of water

Directions

To make the pancakes, add the banana, oat flour, chia egg replacer, baking powder, Almond milk into a bowl and blend until smooth. You may find you need to add almond milk as the chia seeds tends to thicken the batter

Pour 1 Tbsp of coconut oil for each pancake. Alternatively use a non stick spray over medium heat. Pout the batter into the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side.

Enjoy with the suggested toppings of blueberry chia jam, bananas and crushed almonds.

To make the chia jam

Get about a cup of blueberries or any other berries you may have on hand. Add 1/2 a cup of water.

Let the mixture simmer on a stove top, making sure to add the honey or coconut sugar and chia seeds. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. When the water starts to reduce, mash up the berries  and let it continue to simmer for about 2 minutes.Lastly add the lemon juice.

Take it off the stove and let it cool. Once cooled, transfer it to a jar or other storage container. Store in the fridge for about two weeks.

 

Moringa Bread

I get so excited with the plant moringa and I always add moringa powder to my smoothies, without fail. Moringa is native to northern India, Pakistan, the Himalayan region, Africa and Arabia, but is now cultivated more widely throughout the tropics.

Also known as drumstick tree or horseradish tree, moringa trees grow quickly, reaching a height of between 15 and 30 feet within just a few years. The leaves, fruit flowers and immature pods of the tree are eaten as nutritious foods.

Beyond the flavor and nutrition, moringa offers healing benefits. Virtually all parts of the plant are used to treat inflammation, infectious disorders, and various problems of the cardiovascular and digestive organs, while improving liver function and enhancing milk flow in nursing mothers.

The leaves seem to be getting the most market attention, notably for their use in reducing high blood pressure, eliminating water weight, and lowering cholesterol. The liver-protective activities of the leaf and its extracts could make it a staple component of bitters formulas and various cleansing preparations.

Beyond adding it to smoothies I decided to try to make bread with moringa. I saw this after getting the idea from a cookbook Caribbean Vegan by the wonderful Taymer Mason. It was my first time making any type of bread and I really enjoyed it. I wish I could make bread daily for my family. This way i know what goes into the bread..but I know my kids will not have it lol.

So here is the recipe as I made it as I had to substitute some things because I did not have everything required in the book but I made it work and it was wonderful. So please feel free to do the same and substitute where necessary and let me know how you like it.

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached flour

1 cup sprouted spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup moringa powder

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar

2 tsp. arrowroot powder

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. instant yeast

1 tsp. pink himalayan salt or sea salt

1 cup almond milk

1/4 cup olive oil

warm water as needed

Moringa Herb Oil Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove pressed

1 tbs dried dill

1 tbsp. fresh mint or parsley

1/2 tsp moringa leaf powder

Preparation

Mix up all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead until smooth. Add the liquids as will allow to make the dough come together.

Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel and let it sit somewhere warm for 1 hour.

After an hour and dough has doubled in size.  Knead it again for 5 minutes until soft and smooth.

Pre-heat the oven to 400*

Shape the dough and put it in a lined cooking sheet or on a loaf pan for 20 minutes

After the 20 minutes. Take the oil ingredients and whisk. Brush the loaf with oil and return to the oven for about 10 minutes or until brown.

Wait for about 20 minutes or until it cools after you take out of the oven.  Enjoy

Bread blog 3Bread Blog 2

 

 

Fresh Spring Rolls with Avocado Dip

There is no better way to up your intake of vegetables than combining your favorite vegetables and making a delicious spring roll. The best thing about spring rolls is that they are so easy to make. You will love preparing these for road trips, picnics and even for parties. They are also a great alternative to fried spring rolls.

I chose avocados quite simply because I did not want them to get spoilt..lol. But in all seriousness go ahead and become friends with avocado, they have one of the highest amino acid contents of all fruit, building protein in the body. Also please do not avoid them completely because you think they are simply fat. The raw plant fat in avocado is digested very efficiently and is extremely nutrient dense per calories. In other words avocados are a great beauty food.

They are also full of  compounds that nourish skin health and maintain youthful sin tone. They are also rich in the skin smoothing vitamins: A, C E and K They have antioxidant enzymes and amino acid to help protect the skin from environmental damage.

So here we go:

Ingredients

3 spring roll sheets

1 cup shredded zucchini or spiralized zuchinni

Carrots

Celery

1 red bell pepper

1 avocado

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 lemon

1 tsp. white sesame seeds

1 tsp. black sesame seeds

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp cayenne

salt for tasting

Directions

  1. Cut the celery, carrots, red bell pepper length wise into long strips and set aside. Shred the zucchini or spiralize the zucchini and also set aside.
  2. Next take the avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, paprika, cayenne, lemon and salt. Blend them altogether, adding water if necessary to make it smooth.
  3. Next take some warm water and place it in a large bowl. Take one spring roll, dip it in water for 30 secs. Place the spring roll on a flat surface and place a small handful of the shredded and cut up vegetables. Roll the spring roll over the vegetables making sure to tuck in the sides and place aside. Repeat the process with as many spring rolls as you would like to make until you have enough.
  4. Take the sesame seeds and sprinkle on top of the spring rolls.

Enjoy.

Let me know how you like these spring rolls in the comment box below.

spring roll 2

Eggless Scrambled Eggs

Eating plant based can be fun especially looking at the different ways, you can substitute certain foods to make a plant based meal.

If you would like to find an alternative to eggs and have been craving for scrambled eggs but did not want to have eggs, please try chickpeas scrambled eggs. I know I know…sounds very odd, but you are in for a treat.

When making chickpeas please ensure that you soak them overnight before cooking and that also makes for easier digestion. Hope you enjoy the meal.

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ brown onion, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper (capsicum), diced
  • ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • ¼ tsp tumeric
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • fresh parsley
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 – 2 tomatoes, halved

Directions

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the diced onion and green bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes
  3. In a small food processor combine the chickpea flour, cayenne, turmeric, paprika and salt. Pulse to combine. Slowly add the water to create a batter. Add the chickpeas and gently pulse to mash, ensuring you keep the texture, you want the chickeas chopped up  Add the crushed garlic and parsley to the mix.
  4. Add the chickpea mix to the pan with the onion and bell pepper and cook as you do regular eggs – mixing, separating and scrambling.  Cook for about 15 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pan into a bowl and set aside, keeping the pan on the heat.Add the halved tomatoes last and serve

I grew up in Kenya and one of the things I learned how to prepare first was of course spaghetti. I was very independent at a young age, I think that is the case with most kids growing up in Kenya, you are expected to know your way around the kitchen.

Learning my way around the kitchen would come in handy when I did not like the food of the day and I would have preferred to eat spaghetti, I would take myself to the kitchen and prepare what I wanted. My Mum’s rules were simple, you eat what has been prepared for the day or you can go hungry or make your own food. I chose the latter on days such as these. It was nothing personal, I loved my Mum’s cooking or my sister’s cooking as might be the case. I think I was just obsessed with how spaghetti looked and tasted. That is how my love for spaghetti began.

With my move to the West one of things I have had to curb is Spaghetti. I can’t eat as abundantly as before. For me it adds too much weight, especially the way I would eat it.

If you are looking for a great alternative to spaghetti, try zucchini instead. It’s such a great alternative to add to eating healthy and I promise you, you will not miss spaghetti as much.

Zucchini is a great alternative as it helps you maintain a healthy weight. Zucchini is extremely low in calories, but it gives you the feeling of being full. Therefore, zucchini is a great way to satisfy your appetite without grabbing calories and starting a crash diet plan. Apart from the low-calorie count, zucchini has a high water content and is rich in fiber. 

It is also great for your heart health. Zucchini is rich in nutritional value, especially during the summer, when it delivers countless advantages to the body. It has an abundance of manganese and vitamin C that helps to keep your heart strong. The magnesium content notably reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. In combination with potassium, magnesium also helps in reducing high blood pressure.

Tips for buying Zucchini:

  • When you buy zucchini, ensure that it’s young and sweet in taste. The zucchini squash that has flowers attached are the real fresh and juicy examples.
  • Also, check if the one you are buying is sleek, smooth and firm and has bright-colored skin
  • It is always advisable to store zucchini in perforated plastic bags inside a refrigerator drawer.
  • Try not to keep zucchini stored for more than 3 days, since they can get damaged in overly cold temperatures. If damaged, you will notice hollow pits in the skin surface of the fruit after you take it out of the refrigerator.

How to prepare Zucchini:

  • While you are eating this fruit, do not remove the skin because it comprises the important nutrient beta-carotene, the vitamin component acting as an antioxidant thereby protecting cells from oxidation damage.
  • One of the easiest ways of having zucchini is by sprinkling grated zucchini or other varieties of summer squash on salads and sandwiches. You can also add zucchini to your favorite bread recipe; thereby reducing the amount of liquid in the recipe.
  • You can also make a great zoodles with zucchini. No need for cooking. All you need to prepare this meal is featured below.

Recipe

Ingredients:

Zucchini

1/2 avocado

sun-dried tomato

cherry tomato

Basil

1/2 lemon

Salt to taste

Direction:

You will need a spiralizer to prepare the zucchini for them to look like noodles as pictured. If you do not have one, do not even fret, simply use a grater. (We want you to eat the raw zuchinni, we do not want you to give up on eating healthy because you do not have a gadget, cut them in squares if you have to, but let’s go ahead and eat zucchini :o) )

Now let’s make the sauce, simply put all the ingredients apart from the zucchini and cherry tomatoes. Now mix up them up in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Serve and enjoy!!

 

Pasta

 

Sweet Mini Pepper Poppers with no guilt

So I love getting sweet peppers when I do my grocery run but never seem to have many ideas for what to do with them other than add them to my salads. Well this time I decided to curb my hunger with them by making some delicious poppers and filling them with cashew cream.

As you may or may not be aware I’m trying my hand this year at eating mostly plant-based foods. So I am always looking for interesting ways to add vegetables to my diet. I know how easy it is to get into a slump and think that all you can eat are salads, but that gets boring real fast.

So let’s get started on making these amazing poppers that you can make for your guests as appetizers or as a meal to eat on the go, especially for busy people who never seem to have a moment to sit down and have a meal (please don,t make that a habit..make time to enjoy your meals).

Ingredients

6-7 Sweet Peppers

1 cup cashews (soaked and rinsed)

1/2 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

coriander for garnish

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 tsp.cayenne

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. garlic powder

scallions

panko bread crumbs

oil for drizzling

Set your oven to 375*

Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Make the cashew cheese by blending the water,cashews, soy sauce, cayenne, salt and pepper, garlic powder, hot sauce in a blender or food processor until they get smooth. Taste the cashew cream and make sure it tastes just right for you. The cashew cream is the star of this meal so make sure you like it.

Now go ahead and spoon the cheese into the individual peppers and sprinkle some panko bread crumbs into each of the individual peppers. Lastly drizzle some oil and place them in a baking dish and into the oven for 15-20 minutes.

When ready, take them out of the oven and garnish them with scallions and you can even add some herbs you like. I love cilantro…so I always garnish everything with cilantro lol. Hope you enjoy the quick meal. Let me know how you like them in the comment section below.

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