Vegan Banana Walnut muffins

Okay so I’m keeping this post short and sweet, just like the recipe! I’ve put a lot of time into developing this recipe because I am a huge fan of muffins, they are the perfect grab and go snack and thats why I always make sure I have a batch at home. So I’ve made these probably about 15 different ways, and have finally perfected it. It’s a nice and easy one bowl recipe, and really makes the most delicious, moist muffins.

Now when I mention large bananas in the ingredients list, I’m talking like medium Large here, nothing from Ripley’s believe it or not, and we want them to be very ripe! The method is straight forward, and theres not much explaining to do, but you’ll see once you’ve mashed the bananas and added the bicarbonate of soda, the mixture sort of starts to fizz and “froth” (which always makes me feel like a mad food scientist) This is actually helping to soften and break down the banana even further.

So all the ingredients go straight into one bowl, and then into the muffin tins to bake for 20-25 minutes. Thats Vegan banana walnut muffins done!

Vegan Banana Walnut Muffins (makes 9)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 very ripe bananas (use 4 if they are very tiny)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (honey if not vegan)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (mild tasting)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup nutty wheat flour (oat flour for gluten free, see notes)
  • 100 g chopped walnuts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190c and Spray and line muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flaxseed and water until you have a paste, leave to sit for about 5 mins.
  3. Add bananas, and smash them well with a fork, add baking powder, bicarb and salt. Mash it all together until well incorporated.
  4. Next add vanilla, sugar, maple syrup, olive oil and cinnamon, whisk to combine.
  5. Once combined, add the almond flour and the nutty wheat/oat flour, stir well. Fold in most of the chopped walnuts, leaving some to scatter over the top later.
  6. Pour mixture into the muffin tin, filling each space to about 2/3 full, and scatter with reserved walnuts.
  7. Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown ( mine’s usually closer to 20 mins, check with a skewer for doneness). Remove from oven and allow to cool down slightly before removing muffins from the tin.
  8. Serve with some tasty nut butter, vegan margarine or just enjoy as is!

*Notes: You can make your own oat flour by adding the amount needed to a food processor, and blitzing until you have achieved a fine flour like consistency, this works well and tastes delicious, but you will have a flatter looking end result.

Store in a covered container at room temperature, or in the fridge if your planning on storing it for longer. These also freeze well, and can be defrosted at room temperature!

Vegan Dark Chocolate Tart

This tart is all about the silky smooth, velvety dark chocolate filling. It’s a no frills/fuss recipe, and thats one of the reasons I love it so much. Everybody needs an array of classics they can depend on, and this is one of those recipes that I’m sure you will use time and time again.

Another thing I love about this recipe is how fast and simple it is to make, making it perfect for those last minute dinner parties or even midnight cravings 😉

The tart shell just so happens to be gluten free and is a lot healthier than most. I have kept it basic with just a few ingredients: Desiccated coconut, almonds, pecans, salt and sugar – whizz it all up in your blender and mix in the melted margarine, presto she’s ready for the oven!

Now, for the star of the show, the chocolate ganache filling! All we do here is melt loads of decadent dark chocolate over a bain marie with some almond milk, sugar and coconut oil. As I said before, we all need those classic, timeless recipes so I wanted to keep the flavours clean. The fun part is that you can dress it up any way you want, I love pairing mine with seasonal berries for brightness and a burst of freshness, but a bit of whipped coconut cream and a drizzle of caramel would be just as divine!

Vegan Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart

Tart shell:

  • 100 g desiccated coconut
  • 50g almonds
  • 50g pecans
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 40 g melted vegan margarine

Dark chocolate ganache:

  • 300 g dark chocolate ( I use Afrikoa 70%)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp sugar

Tart shell:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease tart tin.
  2. Add all the ingredients apart from the margarine to a food processor and blend until fine, but not oily. Add melted margarine and mix in until well combined.
  3. Press the mixture into the prepared tart tin and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until slightely browned (keep an eye on it towards the end so it doesn’t burn) Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Dark chocolate ganache:

  1. Prepare a bain marie, and add all the ganache ingredients to the top bowl. Stir until you have a smooth, completely melted mixture.
  2. Pour the ganache into the cooled tart shell and chill for 4 hours to set.
  3. Decorate with berries, caramel or a sprinkling of nuts, it’s totally up to you!

*Notes: When serving, always use a hot sharp knife to cut your slices, this will give you the best presentation!

Praline Nice Cream

I love this recipe, because you don’t need a fancy ice cream maker, and you can use the base and flavour it any way you want! The base consists of coconut cream, vanilla and frozen bananas, and as if thats not delicious already, we’ll fold in some pecan and almond praline paste right at the end.

So thats toasty caramelised nuts scattered with sea salt, creamy coconut, banana, and vanilla.. sounding pretty good right? I love these flavours together, it’s a real match made in heaven and I’m sure you will love it too. Because we’re not using an ice cream maker, you have to get the mixture out of the freezer and give it a good stir every now and then, but this only takes a few minutes. I’ve included a few notes below before you get started.

Delicious caramelised pecans and almonds, ready to be blended into a paste, and folded into our nice cream

So before you decide to make this recipe, you’ll need to do a little bit of prep. I ALWAYS have a few cans of coconut cream in the fridge, as well as some sliced bananas in the freezer, but if you don’t, this is the first step. Place your cans of coconut cream in the fridge overnight, this is so the creamy part and the clear, watery part separate. We will only be scooping out the thick, creamy layer for this recipe, I like to pour the watery layer into ice trays and then use them for smoothies later.

Next on the prep list is to slice the bananas and freeze them, the finer you slice the banana into coins, the easier it is to blend. I don’t have the strongest of blenders and I tell you know now, theres a huge difference in throwing in a whole banana and chopping it into fine coins, that extra effort at the start will save you plenty of time screaming at your blender later 😛

That’s the prep work done, now you can get nice cream making!

Salted Praline Nice Cream

Nice cream base:

  • 2 cans coconut cream (creamy part only)
  • 3 medium  frozen bananas (diced into thin coins)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp almond milk

Praline paste:

  • 100 g almonds
  • 100 g pecans
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • Sprinkle of sea salt
  • ½ vanilla bean pod
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Nice cream base:

  1. Add frozen bananas, coconut cream and vanilla to a blender and blend for 2-4 minutes until smooth and silky. If you are having trouble getting a smooth consistency, add the almond milk to help it along.
  2. Once nice and creamy , pour into a freezer safe container/bread tin.  In the meantime, start your praline, just remember to give the mixture a good stir with a fork after 30 mins, repeat this process twice.

Praline paste:

  1. Preheat oven to 160c and spread nuts out on a baking tray. Roast for 10-15 mins and let cool down.
  2. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Give the pan a swirl every now and then, it should take around 7 minutes to reach an amber colour. Once it has reached this stage, add the nuts and stir them all in.
  3. The mixture will harder up very quickly so work fast here, pour mixture out onto a baking tray, try spread it out so the nuts are lying in a single layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and allow to cool down completely.
  4. Once cooled, break the praline into pieces and throw into blender with vanilla pod. Give the mixture a few pulses and set aside half of the praline to stir into the nice cream later (we want  these chunkier pieces for texture)
  5. Continue to blend the remaining half of the mixture, first you will obtain a powder, then crushed nuts, and finely it will turn into a paste, if you are having trouble, add the vegetable oil to help form a paste.
  6. Fold paste and slightly chunky pieces into the nice cream mix and return to freezer to chill. Cover with clingfilm and freeze at least 3 hours.

*Notes: Since this nice cream does contain frozen bananas, it takes a while to thaw to a scoop-able consistency, so take it out about 25 minutes before serving time.

Vegan Choc Chunk Oat Cookies

This recipe is really easy, it just takes a bit of prep the night before, but nothing major.  All you have to do, is drain a can of chickpeas and reserve the leftover liquid in the fridge, you call this “Aquafaba”  and it is absolute magic! This will be the binding agent for our cookies, and it also helps the outside crisp up nicely.

I love the heartiness that the oats adds, and oats in the morning for breakfast is so engrained in my memory, it almost tricks me into thinking I can have a few alongside my morning tea, and actually why not? These aren’t overly sweet, and the light hint of cinnamon just ties it all together.

It’s a pretty sticky situation once you start forming the cookies into balls, so embrace your inner child here. Shape them between your hands like patties and then give them a gentle smash to flatten them out, don’t skip the refrigeration step because it helps a lot with the shaping! The cookies need a bit of time to cool down and then firm up after you have removed them from the oven, although I usually cant wait that long and start snacking while they are still warm and gooey! As they cool down they will become crispy on the outside and stay nice and chewy on the inside. Once they are cool, store them in an airtight container.

Vegan Choc Chunk Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats (use gluten free if desired)
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup finely chopped chocolate
  • ¼ cup aquafaba
  • ¼ tsp cream tartar
  • 3 tbsp almond butter (use peanut butter if you don’t have)
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190c. Line a pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine almond flour, oats, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and chocolate chunks.
  3. Beat the aquafaba and cream of tartar together until soft peaks have formed.  Add in almond butter, oil and vanilla, and beat until just combined.
  4. Mix together wet and dry ingredients, and cover the bowl with clingfilm. Refrigerate mixture for at least 1 hour, but the longer the better.
  5. Scoop out the mixture and form into balls, then flatten between your hands. Place on prepared baking tray.
  6. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake on middle rack for 14 minutes ( checking towards the end so cookies don’t burn, sometimes mine are already golden by the 11 minute mark)
  7. Allow cookies to cool down so they can firm up, and enjoy!

Vegan double chocolate mousse cakes

Before I started following  a plant based diet, I had a recipe for these chocolate mousse cakes that would be my showstopper dessert at every dinner party. I would be requested to make these for all the family events we would go to, and everyone that ever tasted it would ask me for the recipe. So needless to say, I simply had to “veganize” this dessert!

Nutty chocolate base, two layers of mousse, topped off with ganache AND chocolate crumble!

It consists of a raw chocolate base, and then you can choose to keep the white mousse layer as coconut and vanilla, or if you have a sweet tooth like me, amp it up with some white chocolate. The dark chocolate mousse layer as well as the ganache, helps keep this dessert balanced as they offer more bitter notes. I usually have some crumb left over from the base, so I like to make a crumble and scatter it over for a nice crunch, but you can totally use coconut flakes or garnish with whatever your heart desires!

 I like to use little ring moulds to make individual cakes, but if you don’t have at home,  I have also used a spring form cake tin which works perfectly fine. In theory you could also line a bread tin with clingfilm hanging over the sides, and just lift the cake out then slice, however I have not tried this method.

I always have a few tins of coconut cream standing upside down in my fridge for when I need it. For the mousse layer, you’ll be scooping out the thicker creamy part and using that for this recipe. Reserve the rest of the liquid for smoothies by freezing it in an ice cube tray.

Vegan Double Chocolate Mousse Cakes (makes 8)

Base:

  • 200 g pecans
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • 7 medjool dates (if you cant find fresh, soak in boiling water for 25 mins)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp coco powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (cold state)

Mousse:

  • 120 ml aquafaba (chilled liquid from tin of chickpeas)
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tins coconut cream (only use the thick solid creamy part)
  • 100 g dark chocolate (I use Afrikoa 70%)
  • 100 g white chocolate (optional)

Ganache:

  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 130 g chocolate
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Base:

  1. Add pecans to a food processor and blend well. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until everything is well combined. It should clump together when pressed, if its too dry add another date.
  2. Transfer mixture to lined springform tin or ring moulds, pressing firmly to form a solid base. Reserve leftover crumbs for topping.

Mousse:

  1. Whip the aquafaba on high speed until foamy, add cream of tartar and gradually add in sugar. Continue to whip until stiff peaks have formed. Transfer to a new mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Whip coconut cream with vanilla until soft peak stage,  fold this mixture in with the aquafaba from the previous step.
  3. Divide the mixture into 2’s.

White Mousse Layer:

For plain coconut flavour, use mousse as is. For white chocolate option: In a heatproof bowl, Microwave white chocolate in 20 sec increments until melted, and fold into half of the mousse mix. Spread onto base and freeze for at least 30 mins.

Dark Chocolate Layer:

Repeat above process with dark chocolate and spread over white mousse layer, freeze at least 30 mins.

Ganache:

  1. Add all ingredients to a bowl and melt over a bain-marie until smooth. Allow to cool down slightly and pour over mousse. Return to freezer at least 1 hour.

Crumble:

If you have base mixture left over, Preheat oven to 170C and spread out so you have a crumble. Bake for 30 mins and allow to cool down before you garnish. Alternatively decorate with chocolate shavings or toasted coconut flakes.

To serve:

1. Remove from the freezer. With warm hands or heated cloth, heat up moulds slightly and loosen springform tin/press out from bottom of ring moulds using your hands (like a push-pop)

2. Move cake to refrigerator to thaw and and to carry on setting for at least 4 hours before serving, use a warm hot knife to cut slices.

Vegan mushroom burger

When Clemi and I were on honeymoon in Cambodia, we came upon a little restaurant serving mushroom sliders, and they were so heavenly! Since that day I have been trying to replicate the recipe, and I think this is as close as I will ever get!

Garnish and add any toppings you enjoy. I love adding a good tomato relish, fresh rocket, avo, vegan cheese, and vegan chipotle mayo.
Drool, am I right?

This is one of my favourite week night meals to make! You basically throw everything in a pan, then you get out your trusty food processor, form patties and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them in the oven, and it’s as easy as that!

This mushroom patty is seriously a juicy flavour bomb, the mushrooms have such a delicious earthy flavour, and they soak up all the tasty juices and spices while simmering away in the pan. It’s important to use brown mushrooms here, as the white mushrooms don’t have nearly as much flavour.  I love making a vegan chipotle mayo with my burgers, the recipe I’m sharing with you is tangy, ultra creamy, slightly sweet and a little bit spicy!

Form into 4 large, or 5 medium patties. If you find it too hard to shape them, add a few more tablespoons breadcrumbs.

I have made this burger a few times without the flaxseed mix, but I prefer the texture with it, it also holds together a lot better. I’ve stated it as optional, because it will still hold together and taste good if you don’t use it, but for best results, definitely include the flaxseed mix.

Vegan Mushroom Burger (makes 4-5)

Mushroom patty

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 500 g mushrooms (any brown mushrooms)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce/tamari
  • 2 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • a few drops liquid smoke (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh dill or basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed, and 5 tbsp water (optional)
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C
  2. Add flaxseed and water to a cup and stir, set aside (we will use this as a binder later)
  3. Finely dice the onion and garlic, add to a pan with a good glug of olive oil and fry on medium-low heat until onions are soft.
  4. Roughly chop mushrooms (we will blitz them in a food processor later)  and add them to the pan, stir 5 mins.
  5. Add the soy, tomato sauce, spices and a few drops liquid smoke (if using) Stir so everything is combined.
  6. Crank up the heat to medium-high, now we want the mushrooms to start releasing all their juices (it will look very watery)
  7.  Give it a stir every 5 mins or so until the mushrooms have soaked up almost all the juice and sauce (I have added a photo above so you have reference) This process will take about 25 mins, then set aside to cool down and taste for seasoning.
  8. Add walnuts, oats and breadcrumbs to a food processor and pulse, we still want it to maintain texture, then transfer to a large bowl.
  9. Add flax mix to the food processor with half the mushrooms, pulse until just combined (we don’t want it becoming a paste) and add to the bowl of dry ingredients. Repeat with remaining mushrooms.
  10. Finely chop Dill/Basil and add to the mixture. Mix everything together well, I like using my hands.
  11. Form balls with the mixture, then flatten and shape between your hands (If you’r finding it sticks to your hands too much, add 1 tbsp breadcrumbs until it’s easer to shape) Place on a baking tray brushed with olive oil/spray.
  12.  Cover the patties with foil and leave in fridge for at least 30 mins or leave for later.
  13. Remove the foil and transfer the baking tray to the oven, bake for 25 minutes, flip carefully halfway through.
  14. Remove from the oven and allow 5 minutes cooling time for the patties to firm up before any handling.
  15. And you are done!

Vegan chipotle mayo (makes enough for 5 burgers generously)

  • ½ cup avocado oil/ canola oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (honey if not vegan)
  • 3 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp chipotle seasoning
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender cup, place your immersion blender inside and give it a few pulses. Once the mixture has started emulsifying, move the blender up and down to incorporate any oil that is still at the top.
  2.  Garnish burger with mayo, or  keep stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

Vegan seedy peanut butter squares

These squares were inspired by one of my favourite snacks, loads of good old peanut butter on a piece of toasted seed loaf bread! I had so much fun creating these, and after a few failed attempts I finally nailed it. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do, I’m sure once you’ve tried them, they will become one of your go to snacks too!

Crunchy seeds, creamy dreamy peanut butter AND silky chocolate, whats not to love?

I chose a mixture of seeds that I enjoy, however the recipe will work just as well with whatever you have in your pantry as a substitute.  These are pretty rich, so when you are making your slices, just bear that in mind, a little goes a long way here. Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Vegan Seedy Peanut Butter Squares

Seed layer:

  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup heaped pitted dates (if dried, soak for 25 mins in boiling water then drain)
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/8 cup peanut/almond butter
  • 1/8 cup maple (use honey if your not vegan)

Peanut butter layer:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup (honey)
  • ½ cup coconut flour

Chocolate layer:

  • 120 g chocolate ( I use Honest chocolates 70% slab)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Seed layer:

  1. Heat up a pan over medium heat and toast the oats until golden, then set aside in a medium mixing bowl. Next add all the seeds to the pan and toast until fragrant (keep an eye on them, they can burn easily) Add to the bowl and allow to cool.
  2. In a blender, process the dates until it’s all chopped up, transfer to the bowl with oats and seeds.
  3. Pour maple syrup and peanut butter into a heatproof mug, and microwave in 20 sec increments, stirring until smooth.
  4. Add the peanut butter mix to the oats, seeds and dates, and mix until it’s all incorporated and deliciously sticky.
  5. Pour the mixture into a prepared baking tray ( with parchment paper going all the way up and over the sides, I used a large bread loaf tin) and smooth with a wet spatula. Make sure to get it nice and tightly packed, you want the base to hold together well.
  6. Chill in freezer for at least 30 mins to harden while preparing next layer.

Peanut butter layer:

  1. Add the peanut butter, coconut flour and maple syrup to a bowl. Fold with spatula until you have a very thick mixture that clumps together (it should almost resemble a sturdy cookie dough)
  2. Once the mixture is combined, spread onto the seed layer with a spatula, and once again press down well.
  3. Place back in the freezer while you make your last layer. Almost there!

Chocolate layer:

  1. Chop up the chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl with the coconut milk and coconut oil. Microwave in 20 sec increments, stirring until melted and combined (don’t microwave it for longer stretches, because the mixture could split)
  2. Pour over the peanut butter layer and garnish with chopped peanuts and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt if desired. Leave in refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours.
  3. Lift out the parchment paper, and slice into squares or slices using a dry hot knife. Enjoy!

*Notes: Once set, you can keep these in the fridge, or store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.