Nutella Pancakes

I’ve been playing around with coconut flour a lot lately and it’s definitely one of my favourites with it’s subtle but tantalising taste. Made from ground and dried coconut meat it is gluten and wheat free, high in fibre, protein and healthy fats and low in sugar, making it a delicious weekend brunch treat!

A little goes a long way with coconut flour and you can substitute it for white flour in any recipe with 1/4 to 1/3 cup of coconut flour for every 1 cup of white flour, but you will need to increase the number of eggs used.

In this recipe I used a vegan hazelnut and chocolate spread from Teo & Bia, from Organik in the U.A.E, who kindly sent me some free samples but any Nutella-style, chocolate hazelnut spread from your local health food store or a homemade  version will substitute perfectly.

Ingredients:

4 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsps Teo&Bia vegan chocolate spread (or Cleantella/pick up a healthier Nutella alternative in your local health food store)
1 cup milk (I used Oatly oat milk)
1/2 cup coconut flour
Pinch of sea salt
Coconut oil for frying
2 bananas
1 punnet of blueberries
Maple syrup (optional)

Place the eggs, baking powder, cinnamon, chocolate spread, milk, coconut flour and salt in a food processor and blend to make a wet but thick brown batter.

Heat 1 tsp of coconut oil on a medium-high heat. (You will probably need to add a little more oil after the first 1-2 pancakes)

Using a large spoon or jug, pour your desired pancake size amount of batter onto the pan – bearing in mind that it does spread. I made mine smaller and thicker.

Place a few blueberries on top of the cooking pancake and once you can see bubbles forming on the surface (as seen below), then flip.

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Remove the pancake from the pan once cooked on both sides to a plate and add another layer of chocolate spread and slices of banana .

Repeat with the next pancake until all the batter is used and you have your dreamy stack!

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I decorated mine with a drizzle of maple syrup and some toasted coconut flakes to finish but you can add anything you like.

And there you go – Saturday morning breakfast sorted! ❤

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Choco-Coffee Breakfast Shake

Recently I received some samples of Organo Gold coffees and teas to sample. Thing is – I’m not a coffee drinker. Yes I love the smell of it and yes I have previously worked in a coffee shop but I have just never taken to ordering a big mug of the stuff.

Yet what intrigued me about this brand was that they add Ganoderma Lucidum to all their drinks. I first came across Ganoderma in Kuala Lumpar last year when I was in contact with a doctor specialising in Chinese medicine. Ganoderma is a type of mushroom that has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine and is known as the “King of the Herbs”, it is used to treat a variety of health conditions. Some benefits include the high level of antioxidants it contains, how it is an anti-inflammatory and it boosts the immune system.

 

So, determined now to try the drinks for myself I decided to brew one of the coffee sachets then once cool I placed in a sealed container in the fridge. Next morning, I added some of the cold coffee to my breakfast smoothie and it was amazing! I had also received a sample of Teo&Bia vegan chocolate spread this week too so I added that into the mix and the result was an amazing coffee nutella flavour sensation! To replicate, please see below.

Ingredients:

50-100ml coffee (brewed and cooled over night; adjust the amount depending on how much coffee you like/caffeine you need in order to function!)
1 heaped tbsp teo&bia
1 cup oats
1 frozen banana
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp cardamom
200-300ml approx. oat milk
3 ice cubes

Blend all in a smoothie maker & enjoy!

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Here is a selection of some of the other samples of Organo Gold I have yet to try!

 

*Featured image courtesy of: https://pixabay.com/en/photos/coffee%20time/

Chili Chocolate Granola

This recipe actually happened by complete accident. While in glorious Bali I had picked up some fresh grated and toasted coconut made by a local lady at the Ubud market.

Upon returning I started to whip up a batch of granola and freely dumped the entire bag of grated coconut into the mix. Needless to say I was somewhat alarmed when I saw little red flecks staring back at me which I hadn’t noticed when it was in it’s packaging! Panic ceased when I realised they were chili flakes but I was now left with the dlemna of what to do with chili in my morning granola?!

*Ding* – light bulb moment – make like the Mayans and add chocolate! Chili & chocolate make delicious amigos. So there we have it, the recipe was born. Plus the great thing about granola is you can throw in just about anything that tickles your fancy or that you have in the fridge.

Ingredients:

400g Oats

200g Desiccated Coconut

1 tsp Red chili flakes

50g Walnuts

200g Flaked almonds

2 heaped tbsp Cacao powder

1 heaped tbsp Maca powder

1 tsp Cinnamon

2-3 tbsps Coconut oil

Chili chocolate granola

 

Mix all ingredients except the chili flakes, cinnamon, maca and cacao powders and place on a baking tray.

Bake until golden brown – approximately 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.

Allow to cool then transfer the baked mixture to a large mixing bowl and all the remaining ingredients. Mix well. Dig in!

Absolutely delicious with nut, oat or coconut milk, pineapple and banana.

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Overnight oats & chia seeds soaked in Oat milk with banana, blueberries & Granola (this time with whole almonds)

Curried Okra & Roast Tomato Frittata

I love it when what begins as a random throw-together of ingredients becomes something delicious! I usually make a curry when cooking with okra, or ‘lady’s fingers’, but this time I tried my hand at something a little different.

Truth be told I’m not a big tomato fan but I had some big organic tomatoes from the farmer’s market that needed to be used up so I halved them and popped them into the oven with some olive oil to roast – which for me makes them instantly more appetizing! How long they take depends on their size but after approximately 20 mins at 200.C flip them so they roast evenly on both sides then return for another 15 mins.

Then I set about frying 2 cloves of garlic in 1 tsp coconut oil with some sea salt over medium heat. After 1-2 minutes I added a chopped fresh red chili (seeds and all!). Once the garlic had started to turn golden I added 1 tsp of curry powder for 1 min, to release the flavour, then I added 1kg of chopped okra and 1 tbsp coconut oil. These veggies really soak up the oil and in order to get them soft and tender more oil than I would usually use is needed.

Leave the okra to cook over medium-low heat, tossing continuously for 25-30 mins.

Once the tomatoes are roasted, make space to fit them, flat side down on pan and continue to cook over a low heat for a further 10-15 mins. **Note: Don’t turn the oven off – you’ll need it again soon!

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Also, throughout this recipe, while the veggies are cooking you don’t need to stay tied to the stove – leave them to cook while you go about your business in the house and just toss occasionally to ensure they are cooking evenly and that the temperature is not too high.

Finally, crack 6 eggs into a bowl and whisk then pour over the okra and tomatoes so that all are covered and transfer the pan from the stove top to the oven to bake until set (approx. 6-8 mins).

Allow to cool slightly then slice and enjoy! Or this recipe also tastes great re-heated the next day so bring leftovers for lunch 🙂

Indian Pancakes

After moving to Al Barsha area this year I have become obsessed with the all-veg Indian restaurant chain, that is, Saravanna Bhavan, and their lust-worthy dosa. In less than 3 weeks I have visited 5 times – I know.. I may be O-D-ing but it is just so simply good – and only a 5 minute walk from my apartment!

So you could imagine my delight when I found stocked in the Blue Mart supermarket, next to my apartment, the Saravanna dosa pre-packaged dosa and idly mixture!! ❤

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Now admittedly mine are not a patch on the thin, crispy crepe-like dosas that Saravanna are serving up but it was fun for me to experiment and try my own take on Indian pancakes!

The mixture is also very simple to replicate at home consisting of rice flour and water with some salt, pepper and fenugreek for flavour.

There is a considerable amount of mixture in the bag and because I made them thicker than usual dosas and bigger than usual idlys, I trialled a few different versions, including stuffed, served with okra curry and Sri-Lankan egg hopper style, but the general method remains the same.

Heat oil in a pan. Pour the rice mixture in a swirl so it covers the entire pan.

For the first version I added some kale leaves then folded half the pancake over, cooking until golden on both sides.

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In the meantime I re-heated some Okra I had cooked with chillies and coconut milk and I served them together with some fresh basil and dill.

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Version two started the same as above but instead of adding kale I instead made a slight well in the centre of the pancake and inside cracked two eggs and added a sprinkle of curry leaves and ground paprika.

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 I then placed the lid on the pan so the eggs would steam-cook.

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Once the whites were set I removed the pan from the heat.

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Transfer to a plate, add some more fresh herbs and DIG IN! If you want your yolks set just leave for another 2-3 minutes on the heat but I love them runny!

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Coconut Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

I’ve been getting back into my baking mojo lately and when I do bake coconut flour is one of my favourite gluten and wheat free alternatives to use. Higher in fibre, protein and healthy fats but lower in sugar it’s perfect for those with gluten sensitivity, leaky gut, nut allergies or paleo dieters.

They are super moist and make a great mid-afternoon treat or breakfast on the go.

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Makes 10-12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup of coconut flour
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk of choice – I use oat, almond or coconut & all work well
1 tsp baking soda (gluten free)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
1 over-ripe banana
Pinch of sea salt

Place all the ingredients in a food processor to form your muffin mixture. Once all ingredients are blended together the mixture should be wet and thick but not runny, if it is add a bit more flour then mix again.

Once happy with the consistency add a generous handful or two of blueberries and divide the mixture into your muffin cases. (Remember they will rise when they bake so don’t over-fill the cases our you’ll have over-flowing muffin tops!)

Sprinkle some flaked almonds on top for crunch and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200.C You’ll know they’re done when you can pierce them with a knife and it comes out clean.

Place on a cooling tray and  allow 5 minutes before devouring! Then store in an air-tight container and they will keep for 2-3 days, but let’s be real they’re never going to last that long! 😉

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Carrot & Walnut Breakfast Muffins

This is a recipe I tried and slightly adapted from Rozanna Purcell’s Natural Born Feeder food blog.

The recipe said it would make 6 large muffins but mine were 6 small-medium muffins. Anyway the taste was as they should. A nice fluffy muffin, unsweetened as I like them, ideal for starting your day off on a lighter note.

Muffin ingredients:

40g oats

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp freshly grated cinnamon

1 large grated carrot

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp honey or maple syrup

2 egg whites

250ml coconut milk

30g walnut halves

Icing ingredients:

100g cashews (Not mentioned in Roz’s recipe but always soak overnight as otherwise these nuts are toxic in your system)

1 tbsp organic honey

A pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup of water

1 tbsp coconut oil

Vanilla – optional

 

What to do:

Blitz the oats to a fine flour in your processer then transfer to a bowl and whisk in all the other ingredients, except the walnuts, with a fork.

Once whisked together then add the walnuts and pop into your muffin cases in a baking tray.

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Bake for 30mins at 180-200.C – check by inserting a knife into the muffins, if it comes out clean – they’re ready. Roz recommended to take the muffins out of the baking tray after 15mins and allow to cook on the oven rack. I tried half of the muffins like this and left half on the baking tray and there was no difference in cooking but the oven rack did mis-shape the bottom of the muffins I did remove.

Make your icing while the buns are in the oven.

Drain the water from the soaked cashews and transfer to a high power blender. Add the other ingredients and blend at high power for a number of minutes.

Patience is the key to a smooth creamy icing! Some blenders take longer than others so ensure you regularly scrape down the nuts from the side of the blender so all are combined.

Wait for the muffins to cool, then ice!

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A Paleo Breakfast – Carrot & Chia Hash with Poached Eggs

The perfect light, but filling, alternative to bread with added chia healthy bonus points!

Ingredients:

1 carrot

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tsp coconut oil

2 eggs

Dash of nut or rice milk

1 bunch of asparagus

 ***

Grate 1 carrot into a bowl, add the chia seeds and a dash of milk so the seeds can absorb the liquid and bind the grated carrot pieces together. This will take a couple of minutes so shape into your desired hash size/s and leave to firm while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Wash, dry and cut the end stem from the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with 1 tsp coconut oil and grill for 4-5 minutes under medium-high heat.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil then reduce to a simmer, this will be used to poach the eggs in a moment.

At this point you can add the other 1 tsp coconut oil to a pan over a high medium-high heat and begin to try your carrot-chia hash/s.

While the hash/s are frying and asparagus are grilling, poach your eggs. Crack the eggs into a cup or milk jug first. Swirl the now simmering water in the pan with a spoon to create like a whirlpool. Gently pour the eggs into the centre of this whirlpool, this will help to keep the eggs together. Cook until the whites are set – less than 3-4 minutes.

While the eggs are busy poaching, flip your hash/s nd your asparagus should now be ready to remove from the grill. Transfer to a heated plate and enjoy as a side. Once the eggs are cooked, serve immediately on top of your hash/s.

Carrot & chia seed hash with egg & asparagus

Bon appetito!

Foul Madammes

On a recent trip to Oman I had some delicious food including Gulf Shakshouka in Muscat, fresh Kingfish in Tiwi and Foul Madammes in Ras Al Jinz.

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Foul Madammes, or Ful Medames, originates from Eygpt and I have had a few versions of the dish since moving to the Middle East where it is commonly found on breakfast menus. Some versions are spicier than others but this version I have made has a more mellow and sweeter flavour thanks to sautéed onion and garlic and then depending on your tastes you can optionally add chilli upon serving.

Foul Madammes

You will need:

A mixture of Fava beans, Kidney beans & Chickpeas – buy them pre-cooked or luckily for me my local deli has a self-service salad counter that allows you to choose your own quantity of these pre-cooked which I did so thereby I cannot tell you exactly how much I used but it was roughly 2-2.5 cans worth of cooked beans.

1 red onion

2 cloves of garlic

4 tomatoes

1 tsp cumin

1 tbsp coconut oil for frying

I find the beans own natural taste salty enough so I didn’t use salt and pepper in this recipe but feel free to adjust seasoning to your own taste preferences.

What to do:

Sautée onion and garlic in 1 tbsp coconut oil over medium heat.

Add the chopped tomatoes and allow to simmer and cook down for 10 minutes with the saucepan lid on.

Remove the lid and add the beans, mixing well and allow to cook for another 5-10 minutes on low-medium heat stirring frequently.

To Serve:

Enjoy as I did with fresh parsley, a sprinkle of chopped chilli to add some heat, a boiled egg and a slice of my Wheat-Free Bread for dunking in and mopping up the tasty tomato sauce.

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Alternatively you could make a well in the beans while still in the pan crack an egg into this space and have your own Shakshouka/Skillet Eggs Dish, like one I previously post about. Find that recipe here. 

Incognito Chocolate Smoothie

It’s not secret how much I love my cacao, or chocolate smoothies, so I now reserve them as my weekend post long-run breakfast and make a mega portion! Post-run/exercise though, spirulina I find cannot be topped for aiding recovery; because it is in powder form once added into a smoothie it is immediately ready to be absorbed by the body, getting to cells ASAP. Protein sources in food however take time to first be broken down and then absorbed.

Spirulina has a 60% protein content – take that red meat! Which weighs in with only 27% protein and takes much longer to break down. It also has iron, calcium and magnesium which are vitally important for muscle and joint repair.

All that said, some people don’t like the taste much. Personally I don’t notice it but then I started toying with the idea of adding my secret ingredient cacao so that the taste would be chocolatey-amazingness but the green pigment and goodness would remain. Thereby fooling all your friends into thinking you are drinking a boring old green juice when in fact you have the smoothie of dreams!

How to make:

Half a heaped tsp of spirulina

1 tbsp cacao powder

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 medjool dates

2 frozen bananas

A pinch of sea salt

Dash cinnamon

Almond/cashew milk up to 700ml

Ice

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Voilá!