Hummus 2 Ways

IMG_7692 My bread with roast carrot hummus

The perfect dip or spread on breads, I love making different types of hummus.

My go-to flava-flaves are beetroot and roasted carrot, as seen above on my Wheat-Free bread. I love these versions, not just for thire flavours or their awesome colours but beetroot also has a number of health benefits including improved oxygen delivery to muscles – great for those exercising, as well as helping to manage blood pressure and increasing blood flow to the brain in the elderly- which may combat dementia; while the humble carrots we all know are great for our eyes as well as our skin thanks to the vitamin A it contains.

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For Beetroot Hummus:

Simply blend 1 x 400g tin of drained chickpeas (retain some of the water from the tin to use for making a smooth consistency when blending), with one medium sized piece of cooked beetroot – you can use the pre-cooked vacuum packed beetroot (just make sure it’s not the pickled version!) or wash and boil your own.

Then add 1 tbsp of tahini, the juice of half a lemon & some of the retained chickpea water if needed to make a smoother consistency. Blend once more and season if desired. Canned chickpeas are already quite salty so taste before adding any seasoning.

Beetroot Hummus

For carrot Hummus:

Follow the same recipe as above just swap the beetroot for 2 medium carrots chopped and roasted in the oven with a little oil and seasoning until golden and brown.

And that’s it folks!

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Sweet & Nutritious Homemade Almond Butter

Almonds are an excellent dietary addition for everyone. They are a source of calcium, great for vegans or those restricting dairy from their diet, they contain healthy fats to boost your brain and metabolism and they are a provide protein for recovery after exercise, also helping you to stay fuller for longer.

I love to make my own almond milk (recipe here) and butter – the taste is so much better and you can adapt the texture to your own preference.. creamy, crunchy! You get my drift.

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For this recipe, you will need:

1 bag of unsalted almonds

Cinnamon

Coconut oil

 Adding cinnamon and coconut oil to this recipe not only packs more nutritional benefits. Cinnamon regulates blood sugars and can help boost metabolism, while coconut oil provides even more beneficial fats for healthy hair, skin and nails and can help with fat metabolism. All those benefits aside, they make the butter so deliciously sweet and yummy that you may find yourself just digging into a jar of this stuff with a big spoon.

Homemade almond butter

Great ways to enjoy this tasty little number is:

  • smeared on apple or pear slices
  • in a smoothie
  • on oatmeal or rice cakes with banana
  • almond butter sambo
  • on pancakes (Check out my baked version here)

Cashew Nut Cheese

A dairy-free version of a soft cheese this is absolutely delicious. I enjoyed it poured over a freshly baked sweet potato á la Deliciously Ella (pictured below) once before and have seen continued making and using it in many other dishes of mine such as on my Wheat-Free Bread, as a salad dressing, as a stir-sauce and as a spread in my Nori Seaweed Wraps.

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 Picture courtesy of http://www.deliciouslyella.com

To make the cheese:

1 cup of cashews

1 tablespoon of tahini

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/4 cup of water or cashew milk

Salt & pepper to taste

Pop all of the above in your blender and blend into a smooth consistency. This should only take 2-3 minutes depending on the strength of your blender. Or blend for a shorter length of time for a cheesy-nutty dip (see below).

Nori rolls & cashew nut cheese dip

Above I left my cashew cheese recipe nice and chunky by blending for a shorter length of time and making it more of a crunchy-cheesy dip than a soft cheese spread! 

Cheesy Pea Dip

The nutritional yeast used in this recipe gives a really delicious cheesy taste to this dip as well as providing a punch of B12 vitamins. Depending on what milk you use it can also be quite a creamy dip, for example if using coconut or almond which I like to.

Simply blend all ingredients below for a creamy dip or sauce. I particularly love this dip with roasted sweet potato wedges or poached eggs for a lighter avocado & eggs alternative.

Ingredients:

1 cup of frozen peas (defrosted)

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp tahini

1 clove of garlic (raw or cooked)

Dash of any milk of choice just enough to allow ingredients to blend if making into a dip or add until sauce is at your desired consistency

Salt & pepper

IMG_7890 (2)Pictured above as a side dip for my quinoa salad.

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As a sauce for my buckwheat noodles, with some whole peas added back in & seared tuna on top

Baked Sweet Potato Falafels with Carmelised Red Onion Relish & Whipped Green Tea Mousse

Makes 12 falafel

What you need..

For the falafel:

  • 3 large/4medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 can of cooked chickpeas
  • Sesame seeds
  • Salt & pepper

**This recipe can be done by hand or using a blender.

For the green-tea avocado mousse:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 green tea bag
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan/sea salt
  • 1 tsp Green pesto (optional)

For the caramelised red onions:

  • 3 large red onions
  • 1 tsp honey

What to do:

First, peel & chop the red onions as these take the longest. Place the cut onion in a pan with 1 tsp of honey evenly distributed over them. Add a little water – just enough to cover the base of the pan but shouldn’t be visible above the onions.

**Do not add any oil – the onions will caramelise in their own juice & the water will prevent them from sticking to the pan.

  • Cover the pan and cook on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, to ensure even cooking and that the onions are not sticking to the pan – if so, add a little more water and re-cover. If there is too much water and onions are stewing rather than caramelising, remove lid and increase the heat while you stir for 1-2mins and allow some of the water to evaporate. Then re-cover and reduce the heat once more.
  • The onions should take approx. 45mins or until soft and muted brown/purple in colour. Taste them to double check; they should taste sweet, like a relish. Once cooked to desired taste, remove from pan to prevent sticking.

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  • Next, peel and chop the sweet potatoes into roughly equal sizes so they cook in the same length of time.
  • Steam the potato chunks until tender and can be pierced with a fork.
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl/blender and leave to cool for 5mins.
  • Add2/3 of the chickpeas to the potatoes and mash both ingredients using fork/potato masher or blend all ingredients in a food processor until well combined.

*Don’t worry if it’s lumpy it doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth.

  • Add the other 1/3 can of chickpeas (these will provide some textural bite to the mix) and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Using wet hands to a small handful of the mixture and roll it into your desired size falafel balls.
  • Place sesame seeds in a clean bowl and roll falafel ball in them until fully coated and no excess falling off. Repeat until all mixture is used.

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  • Place the sesame-rolled falafel on a lined baking tray and bake for approx. 30mins, turning halfway, at 200.C, or until starting to turn golden-brown and crisp on the outside.

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  • While the onions are caramelising and the falafels are now in the oven. Boil the kettle & soak one green tea bag in approx. 1inch of water. Leave to infuse for 5mins in which time you can prepare the other ingredients.
  • Cut an avocado in half, remove the centre stone and scoop the insides into a blender with a pinch of salt and 1tbsp nutritional yeast.
  • Discard the green tea bag and add the green-tea water to your mixture in the blender. Blend until light and whipped in consistency (add more water if necessary). Sometimes at this point I like to stir in 1 small tsp of green basil pesto to the mix for extra kick. Transfer to a dipping bowl ready for when falafel and onions are cooked.

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To serve, simply spoon some of the red onion relish on top of each falafel and serve alongisde your green-tea mousse as a tasting and cooling dip for the hot, crunchy falafel!

 IMG_5020**Apologies for the extremely ugly cutlery – Problems of moving to a new country!!**

Use left-over sweet potatoes and/or onion relish the next day and make a new dish like the one I show below. I roasted spare sweet potato chunks and then topped with soft goat’s cheese and caramelized onions re-heated on the pan for a delicious light snack.

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Quick & Easy Wheat-free Bread

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One thing that is particularly had to find when eating wheat-free is good bread. Admittedly, I’m not the biggest bread eater or fan anyway but my Mam and Grandmother are phenomenal bakers and the smell of their bread straight from the oven would convert anyone! Now living away from home I like to bake my own bread to create that same ‘freshly-baked’ homely smell in my apartment.

This recipe not only smells and tastes delicious but is really filling and packed full of healthy fats. I usually bake one loaf then once cool, slice to desired size and then place in a lunchbox or zip-lock bag in the freezer so whenever I do fancy a slice I can just grab it and it defrosts in a short number of hours. (Alternatively if in a rush, pop it into the microwave to defrost and the bread will be nicely warmed too – just how I like it!)

Ingredients:

200g oats

150g sunflower seeds

100g pumpkin seeds

1 egg (or if you want to make it vegan – 2 tbsp chia seeds)

150g buckwheat or quinoa flakes (both work well)

2tbsp coconut oil

1tsp salt

400ml water

Method:

  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl first, then add the wet. Transfer the mixture once well combined to a bread greased/baking paper lined tin. I use a silicone mould which I love as you don’t need to line or grease it, the bread will pop straight out once baked.
  • Leave in the tin/mould to sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 200.C and bake for approx. 1hour – This time and temperature may vary depending on the oven you are using.

Keep an eye on the bread every so often. Once it looks like it is set and starting to crisp on top, get a knife and insert it into the bread – If it comes out clean the bread is ready, if it comes out with dough on the knife, return to the oven. If your oven is heated like mine from the bottom I usually bake the bread on the tray nearest the bottom so that the bottom cooks evenly with the top and there is no need for me to flip the bread mid-bake. However if using a fan-oven  I would advise half way through baking to flip the bread onto an oven rack and return to the oven to continue to cook ‘upside-down’.

Once cool – slice and enjoy!

Pre-bake

Post-bake

 

Here are some ways I enjoy eating mine:

  • Sprinkle with bee pollen, cinnamon and a drizzle of coconut oil for sweeter breakfast treat
  • Spread goat’s cheese and sliced black olives
  • Hummus – plain, carrot or beetroot are my go-to’s!
  • Mashed banana and blueberries/raspberries with peanut/almond butter for a healthy DIY peanut butter & jelly treat!

 

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My bread with roast carrot hummus