French Toast with Raspberry Compote

I absolutely love weekend breakfasts. At the moment, my weekday breakfast is the exact same thing everyday. It tastes delicious but I like spending time in the kitchen and creating something a bit different to my usual.

French toast is super easy and always guaranteed to be tasty! Very minimal prep time and ingredients required. I had some leftover frozen raspberries that I had been meaning to use for a while and figured it would be a good pair with the toast.

And to finish, I added a generous drizzle of 70% dark chocolate. The combination of raspberry and chocolate works a treat if you’ve never tried it, you should.

French Toast with Raspberry Compote (yields 1 serving)

What you’re going to need

2 slices bread, sliced into large triangles

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

25 g dark chocolate, melted

1/4 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)

1 tablespoon maple syrup (plus additional for serving)

20 mls water

Method

  1. In a small saucepan, prepare the raspberry compote by adding the raspberries, water and maple syrup. Keep on a low simmer unless mixture reduces and thickens. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, vanilla extract and cinnamon until well combined.
  3. Heat up a fry pan on a medium heat. Dip each triangle of bread into the egg mixture then place in the fry pan. Cook for approximately 2 minutes each side or until golden brown.
  4. Serve toast hot with melted chocolate drizzle and raspberry compote on top. Optional: Add maple syrup over the top as well.

French Toast

Homemade “Cocoa Pops”

Cocoa pops have been a childhood favourite for years. However they have been banned from my house since I was about eight years old! Recently, I haven’t really been the biggest fan of cereal but I figure that I may as well create one of my old faves with the abundance of puffed rice I had around the house today (which is super cheap by the way, only about $3 a bag).

So commenced the experimentation of making these tasty treats. I followed the same kind of approach as I would with making a baked granola just without the nuts. Super easy and simple with only 4 ingredients which are all conveniently gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. I reckon that these matched up with vanilla unsweetened almond milk are a match made in heaven so be sure to try that.

Homemade “Cocoa Pops”

What you’re going to need

3-4 cups of puffed rice

2 tablespoons organic cacao powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

pinch sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 140 degrees Celcius.
  2. In a large bowl, add the puffed rice, cacao powder and salt and stir until well combined
  3. Add the maple syrup and stir through until it all comes together and the mixture is wet. (if there are parts that are dry and you bake it, it will not taste great…)
  4. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes on a low shelf in your oven.
  5. Leave out to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

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In other news, I am lucky to be the host of this month’s Growing Edge blogging community event themed “Festive Feeds”. If you would to share your creations, please submit your post via the following link: Festive Feeds Submission. Looking forward to seeing all the wonderful festive inspired creations for both the summer and also from my friends in the Northern Hemisphere. I will be sharing a compilation of all the submissions in early January. Merry December everyone!

Chocolate Pancakes with Peanut Butter

Here we go again… chocolate and peanut butter. It will take a lot for me to give up this addiction so glad to say it’s here to stay!

When the pancake cravings strike, you really just have to get on top of it and so I chose to change up my go to pancake recipe by adding cacao powder to make them chocolate.

These measurements below are a rough guide. I have a tendency to forgot to measure my ingredients when I am making things but with this mixture, it’s important to have an equal balance of wet and dry ingredients. You don’t want the batter to be super runny or super thick.

You will notice that there is both self raising flour and baking powder in this recipe. I wanted to give the mixture as much lift factor as possible without using eggs (I normally make really small quantities and so an egg would overpower the batter).

These are conveniently dairy free and egg free!

Okay here I present to you…

Chocolate Pancakes with Peanut Butter (yields 6)

What you’re going to need

1/2 cup self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder (or a “pinch”)

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup non dairy milk (rice, oat, almond)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

peanut butter (I used Pic’s Crunchy PB for these)

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and cacao into a bowl
  2. Add the wet ingredients and whisk until mixture is well combined without any lumps.
  3. Allow mixture to sit for a few minutes before heating up a flat pan on a medium heat.
  4. Place even amounts of batter onto the pan. Flip when you see the top is covered in bubbles.
  5. Serve in a stack with peanut butter in between each layer!
  6. Top with some dairy free chocolate (optional)

 

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Protein Choc Chip Pancakes

So some of us out there absolutely hate the taste of protein shakes. Alas, a great way to get extra protein into your diet if you feel like you are not eating enough protein rich food is to put it in your own cooked goods! A friend of mine suggested I try protein pancakes! I had some leftover dairy free choc chips so thought I would put them to good use! These were divine and best of all, the only added sugar was the chocolate chips! The batter has no added sugar. These are dairy free and egg free pancakes too!

Protein Choc Chip Pancakes

What you’re going to need

3/4 cup plain flour

2 scoops protein powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup non dairy milk (rice, almond, soy)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

pinch salt

2 tablespoons dairy free choc chips**

Method

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients minus the choc chips.
  2. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Once combined, stir in the choc chips until distributed well through the batter (aside: if you want, leave the batter to stand for 5 minutes so that the baking powder and liquid have time to react and will therefore lead to fluffier pancakes)
  3. Heat up a non stick pan and pour even amounts of batter spaced apart enough to give room to flip. Cook on each side for approximately 2 minutes
  4. Serve with additional choc chips and maple syrup!

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** I found dairy free choc chips at my local Coles supermarket. I am not sure if they are sold overseas. If you can’t find them, you could cut up some dairy free chocolate into small chunks and mix through the batter. You will end up with a similar result! 

PB Choc Smoothie

The weather’s warming up and all of the amazing summer fruit is finally in season and alongside the purchase of a new blender, smoothie production is in full swing at the moment! Smoothies are a great way of sneaking in extra fruit and vegetables into your day if you are not a big eater of them in a snack form.

So generally speaking, most people would rather sleep in than get up super early and prepare a full on breakfast. However, to escape the boring and repetitive cereal and toast regime, smoothies provide a quick, easy and healthy breakfast. They are great both at home and on the go. As for your ingredients and what to put in, that is completely up to you! Some good staple ingredients to keep on hand are: your liquid of choice (I use either soy milk/rice milk/coconut water), frozen bananas that have been sliced before freezing so they’re ready to go and plenty of fresh in season fruits and vegetables (as these will always be cheaper than out of season produce).

If you want to jazz it up a bit, you can invest in a bag of chia seeds. If you use them as frequently as I do, I would recommend going onto eBay and purchasing a bulk bag – knocks some much needed dollars off the price and some offer free shipping too! Another good investment is raw cacao powder. The most pure form and zero added sugar. I also found this in bulk on eBay and it was a great price and much cheaper than buying the $9 100 gram packets that I have seen around… One last smoothie add in that I love is cinnamon! I don’t have this in bulk but we always have some handy at home. Just a few shakes into your mix and it just adds a wonderful flavour!

So now onto today’s smoothie creation. Simple yet delicious flavour combination of peanut butter and chocolate. You cannot go wrong and this combo will work in a cake, biscuit and of course smoothie just to name a few. So if you want to try this out for yourself, here is what you need to do!

PB Choc Smoothie

What you’re going to need

1 cup liquid (water, milk, non dairy milk)

1 frozen banana

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1/4 avocado

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

dark chocolate, for decoration (optional)

Method

  1. Using a sturdy blender that will blend frozen fruit, load in your ingredients. (My blender works best if you put the ingredients in the order of softest to hardest. So for this I put milk, the powders, peanut butter, avocado then the banana)
  2. Blend until smooth, with no lumps and nothing stuck on the sides of the jug.
  3. Serve immediately or store in a mason jar with lid for portable consumption!

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Check out my Instagram for more smoothie creations! 


Note: You can prepare smoothies the night before to get that extra 5 minutes of sleep. However, the longer they are left in their smoothie state, the more nutritional value that is lost from the fruit and also the taste will change. 

Quick and Easy French Toast

It’s been an eternity since I’ve posted (apologies). Alas, now I have all the time in the world and so catching up on some much needed writing. Strictly speaking, I am not sure of the traditional method of preparing French toast, however the general concept is sweet eggy toast. I’m really into the “less is more” approach for food at the moment and just really going back to basics, keeping it simple and healthy! This recipe is dairy free. Here’s what I did!

Quick and Easy French Toast

What you’re going to need

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 slices bread

Cinnamon

Maple syrup

Strawberries

Coconut chips

Method

1.Cut slices of bread into triangles

2. Crack two eggs into a small bowl and whisk in the vanilla extract

3. Heat up a small fry pan. Dip each triangle into the egg mixture making sure it’s completely covered.

4. Place into the pan. Repeat with the rest of the bread. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

5. Plate up with toppings such as maple syrup, cinnamon, strawberries and coconut chips! (Obviously these are optional and just ideas for you to try)

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Blueberry Muffins

Muffins of any kind are a great, light breakfast option if you’re stuck for time and need to eat on the run. They’re also perfect snacks and an excellent solution for 3:30itis. My goal with these muffins today was to get the crispy muffin tops which can only be achieved by cooking the whole muffin. If anyone out there has seen Seinfeld, there is an entire episode dedicated to Muffin Tops. I put this batch in the oven and hoped for the best and to my surprise, they came out with crispy tops! For all of you that want blueberry muffins with crispy tops, this is how I did it!

Blueberry Muffins

What you’re going to need

1 cup blueberries

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 tablespoons olive spread, melted

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius

2. Grease your muffin tins with cooking spray (or can use pattie pans)

3. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Then, add all the other ingredients and mix together until well combined

4. Spoon mixture into muffin tins (mine yielded 6 as I wanted bigger muffins and crispy tops, but you could easily stretch the mix to make more)

5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of one of the muffins

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Egg Free Pancake

So since I had already eaten a stack of eggs this week, thought I should cut down for a little bit and so this gave me the chance to experiment with homemade pancakes without eggs. This is also great if you run of eggs during the week and still want pancakes for breakfast! These were so easy, I couldn’t believe it! But me being me, I was really indecisive with what flavour pancakes I wanted so I made two kinds!

Chocolate and Vanilla Egg Free Pancakes (yields 6 – 3 chocolate, 3 vanilla)

What you’re going to need

1 cup flour

1 cup soy milk (keep handy because you might need it again later)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cacao powder (keep aside for now)

Method

1. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl

2. Add the milk and vanilla extract and whisk until mixture is smooth and combined

3. Warm up a non stick pan on a medium heat. Use a ladle to add 3 equal portions of batter on the pan whilst keeping half of the mixture in the bowl

4. Once bubbles start forming, flip over and cook for another minute or two (I noticed these pancakes cook a lot quicker than any other pancakes I’ve made). When cooked, set these aside.

5. To the remaining batter, add the cacao powder and whisk until combined (I found that I needed to add a little bit more milk here because the batter was way too thick otherwise)

6. Cook the same as the first batch by creating 3 equal portions on the pan and flipping when the bubbles appear.

7. Serve with fruit and maple syrup!

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Banana Based Smoothie Bowls

I know this is not a new revelation but it is in my household. Breakfast is now my favourite meal of the day because I just let all my creative juices fly. There are a zillion and one recipes for smoothie bowls but if you’re stuck on ideas here is one that I whipped up the other morning before work! This is budget friendly and something that everyone can whip up at home with these ingredients or any fruits that you desire! Always make sure you shop around for your food and remember to buy in bulk where possible.

What you’re going to need

Smoothie component

2 frozen bananas (rookie mistake I made the first time was not pre-cutting the banana before freezing so make sure you do that! Cut your banana into about 5-6 chunks about the size of ice cubes)

1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder

pinch cinnamon

1-2 tablespoons soy milk (or any milk really but not full cream because it will be super rich)

Toppings

3-4 tablespoons granola (recipe for the one I made is a few posts back)

1 tablespoon coconut

handful walnuts (or any nut of your choosing)

Method

1. Use a food processor (not a blender, I tried this and the banana chucks were just spinning around and around) and add all of your ingredients. Process until a smooth consistency is achieved. Run a spoon through the mixture to check there are no chunks left.

2. Pour into a bowl and add your toppings!

I love this recipe and method of makings smoothies because you don’t need to add ice or anything to keep it chilled. Also it makes breakfast so much more beautiful and exciting! So here are pictures of bowls I’ve made so far! There are many more to come but just a preview of my creations so far.

Chocolate and Coconut Granola

Today, my challenge was to create a nutritious yet delicious granola using only ingredients that I had available at home. Granola is quite a genius creation as you can throw whatever you like in the mix and it will most likely still taste fabulous. The granola that I have created is vegan and refined sugar free!

Chocolate and Coconut Granola (makes 2 cups)

What you’re going to need

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup puffed rice

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

1/3 cup raw mixed nuts, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons rice malt syrup

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees

2. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, puffed rice, coconut and nuts.

3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until all the dry mix is evenly coated.

4. Spread the mix evenly over a lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and mix the tray with a spoon periodically.

6. Store in an airtight container for up to a week!