Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal with Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

I had an exciting day yesterday for my blog.  I was included in this list of 20 Best Vegan Instagram Accounts to Follow on metro.co.uk along with some amazing bloggers that I love like Oh She Glows and Jack Monroe.  I was also shortlisted for the her.ie Blog Awards, which is a real honour.  The blog awards are sponsored by Aussie (a part of P&G) and I used this opportunity to highlight the fact that this company as well as many others carry out animal testing and to share my thoughts on that.  You can vote for me here if you like.  I’d really appreciate it.  I also have some really exciting news coming up in a few weeks, that I can’t wait to share with you all.

The weather has been really nice here in Ireland for the last few days, so we’ve been making the most of it and going to the beach and the park a lot.  We tidied up our garden and cut the grass and next week I’m getting a picnic table for the garden so we can have vegan barbecues and eat outdoors all the time.  I’m really excited for summer to start.

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Oran waiting patiently for his breakfast

 

But today the weather has turned a bit bad again, so I felt like a warming breakfast.  I had half a tub of Violife vegan cream cheese in the fridge, which inspired me to make this Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal to go with it.  But you can use any brand of vegan cream cheese or leave it out altogether if you don’t have it.

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I’m so glad I did cos it was really, really delicious!  And the kids loved it.  It’s really healthy, full of goodness from the oats, carrots and raisins.  It’s naturally sweet with just a little bit of agave syrup added, as the carrots, raisins and mixed spice make it sweet enough.  It’s crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside, with lots of nice textures.  And is an easy way to sneak veggies into kids.

And the absolute best thing about making baked oatmeal is that you can get other stuff done while it’s baking, like the washing up that I left from the night before, or just sit down and relax!  Oh and it makes your kitchen smell really nice.

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I realise that I make a lot of oaty recipes on this blog, but you can’t have too much oats right?  They’re really nutritious, yummy and cheap.  I always think that you don’t need super grains like quinoa all the time.  Oats and other whole grains are just as good!

This recipe can also be completely gluten free if you use gluten-free oats, so suitable for us coeliacs.  It can be nut-free or soy-free depending on what plant milk you use.  It would also be really good with some walnuts or pecans in it, but I didn’t have any.  Just chop the nuts up small if you’re serving it to young kids.

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Ingredients:

Serves 4

For the baked oatmeal

3 cups of oats (gluten free if required)

2 medium carrots, grated

1/2 cup of raisins

Optional:  Pecans or walnuts

The zest of 1 orange

2 tsps. mixed spice

1 tbsp. agave syrup

2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (or other plant milk)

For the cream cheese frosting

100g vegan cream cheese (I used Violife brand)

1 tbsp. agave syrup

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How it’s made:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix in the agave syrup and almond milk thoroughly.

Press the mixture into a loaf tin or cake tin.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown on top.  The inside will be soft and moist.

For the cream cheese frosting, cream together the cream cheese and agave syrup.

Spoon the baked oatmeal into bowls and serve with a dollop of cream cheese frosting on top.  You can serve it in a bowl with almond milk too if you want.

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3 Ingredient Vegan Oat & Yoghurt Bread

This is the most simple bread recipe I’ve ever made and one of the most nutritious.  You don’t even need weighing scales, it takes two minutes to mix and pop in the oven, and doesn’t even have to be kneaded.  It also tastes really good!

One day when Vegan Daddy was in our local supermarket buying some gluten-free bread for me, they had no bread left so he had to ask at the deli counter because they have some there for making sandwiches.  He got in a conversation about gluten-free food with the woman working there, who gave him this recipe written on the back of a paper bag.

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I made it later that week and instantly loved it.  It has become one of our favourite breads since then.  Recently I’ve seen other people making a similar recipe but I make it with vegan soy yoghurt instead of dairy yoghurt of course.  I like to use Tesco Free From alternative to plain yoghurt, because it has no added sugar, but have also made it with Alpro plain soya yoghurt, which is lovely too.  I make it gluten-free but if you don’t need it to be gluten-free then you can make it with regular oats.

You can add extra stuff like seeds, nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, etc. to make loads of different variations.  I like it with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, raisins or blueberries.

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With fresh blueberries

 

Ingredients:

1 500g tub of plain soya yoghurt

Oats

1 level teaspoon baking soda

A large pinch of sea salt (optional)

Extras like seeds, raisins or berries (optional)

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With sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds

 

How it’s made:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Use a non-stick loaf tin or line a loaf tin.

Pour the soya yoghurt into a large mixing  bowl.

Rinse out the yoghurt tub and dry it.  Fill it with oats twice and pour them into the mixing bowl.

Add the baking soda and salt (and any extra stuff you want) and mix thoroughly.

Press the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes on the bottom shelf.

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Apple and Blackberry Breakfast Muffins

Another breakfast muffin recipe, this time with apple, cinnamon and blackberries.  These muffins are moist, subtly sweet, and a bit tart from the berries.  They remind me of apple and blackberry crumble and would be lovely to make in the autumn (and cheaper if you have can forage some apples and blackberries).  They’re quite healthy, oil-free, refined sugar-free and full of oats and fruit, so make a nutritious breakfast or healthy snack for kids.  They’re also nice warm with some vegan custard or cream!

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Ingredients:

2 cups of self-raising flour

1 cup of oats

A dash of cinnamon

2 tbsp. agave syrup

1.5 cups of unsweetened soy milk (or other plant milk)

2 grated eating apples

125 blackberries

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How it’s made:

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Use a non-stick cake tin (lightly oiled if you want) or silicone muffin cases.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, oats, agave syrup, cinnamon and milk with a spoon.

Gently stir in the grated apple and blackberries.

Fill the muffin cases up to the top.

Bake for about 25 minutes in the oven until golden brown on top.

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Raspberry and Almond Crumble Squares

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These raspberry and almond crumble squares are like really nice fancy flapjacks, but pretty healthy.  They have no oil,  no refined sugar, contain loads of goodness in the raspberries, bananas, almonds and oats, and are very much mini-vegan approved and mammy approved.  Me and the kids had to test lots of them for the blog, and the rest keep disappearing from the fridge now!

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They are also handy for baby led weaning, and the raspberries make them wonderfully messy!  They’re a great treat for toddlers, and good for picnics or lunchboxes.  We eat them for breakfast or as a snack or even dessert.

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This can also easily be made gluten free by using a gluten-free flour mix (I used Dove’s Farm gluten free plain flour) and gluten free oats.  Or you can use normal wheat flour or a mix of white and wholegrain flour would be lovely.

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Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour

2 cups oats plus a handful for the crumble

1 cup ground almonds

4 bananas

4 tbsp. agave syrup (maple syrup or date syrup will work too)

125g raspberries

A handful of flaked almonds

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How it’s made:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Line a square cake tin with greaseproof paper or use a non-stick tin.

In a large bowl mix the flour, 2 cups of oats, and ground almonds.

Mash or blend the bananas until fairly smooth.  Mix the banana and agave syrup into the flour mixture.  I find it easiest to mix it with my hands to really smoosh it all together.

Press the mixture into the cake tin and press down on it using your fingers or the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle the raspberries on top.  Slightly press them into the mixture so they stick.

Bake for 10 minutes until the oven.

After the 10 minutes, sprinkle a handful of oats and flaked almonds on top and return to the oven for 10 more minutes until the almonds are toasted, keeping an eye on it so the almonds don’t burn.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Then slice it into squares and take out of the tin.

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Healthy Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

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These muffins are really healthy so great for babies, toddlers or any age.  With the bananas, blueberries and oats, they make a great breakfast or nutritious snack.  They have no refined sugar, using a little maple syrup instead to sweeten them.  You could leave out the maple syrup if you’re making them for babies, but I like a little sweetness and don’t mind giving them to my baby in moderation.  My kids love them and so do I!

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Ingredients:

(Makes about 6 large muffins or 9 smaller muffins)

2 cups self-raising flour

1 cup oats

2 bananas

2 cups unsweetened soy milk (or other plant milk)

2 tbsp. maple syrup

100g blueberries

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How it’s made:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Use a non-stick muffin tray or line the tray with silicone/non-stick muffin cases as they might stick to paper muffin cases.

Add the oats and flour to a large bowl.

Blend or mash the bananas until smooth.

Add the blended bananas, soy milk and maple syrup to the bowl and mix with a spoon.

If it’s a bit dry then add a splash of soy milk, or if it’s a bit wet add a little extra flour.

Mix in the blueberries gently.

Put the mixture into the muffin tin, filling up to the top of the muffin cases.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top (depending on size of your muffin tray, they could take longer or shorter for bigger or smaller muffins).

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Healthy Blueberry Waffles

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These waffles taste great and also make a really nutritious breakfast, snack or dessert.  They’re really quick to make and have only five ingredients.  They have loads of goodness from the oats, bananas and blueberries, and contain no added sugar or oil.  I don’t even add any natural sweeteners to the batter.  The bananas make them sweet enough for my kids even without any maple syrup on top, but I do like maple syrup on mine!

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Ingredients:

(Serves 4)

1 cup of oats

1.5 cups of self-raising flour

2 bananas

2 cups of unsweetened soy milk (or other plant milk)

100g blueberries

Maple syrup to serve

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How it’s made:

Grind the oats in a food processor or blender until they form a powder.  Or alternatively you can leave them whole.

Add the flour and oats to a large mixing bowl.

Mash the bananas or blend up in a food processor.

Add the bananas and soy milk to the bowl and whisk everything together.

Add the blueberries to the bowl and mix in.

Cook in a waffle maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Serve with maple syrup if you like.  For kids you can serve them without the syrup if you want them to have less sugar.

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Vegan Frittata Muffins

I’ve seen a lot of people making frittata muffins so decided to come up with a vegan version.  They taste so good and really quite egg-like.  We love these for breakfasts, snacks, picnics and lunchboxes.  They’re great for kids and my two love them.  I love to make a big batch of them to have for quick breakfasts.  You can also make them in mini-muffin tins for appetisers or party snacks (just bake for a shorter time) or in a cake tin for a large frittata that you can slice up (just bake a little longer).  They have loads of protein from the chickpea flour and tofu, and loads of goodness from the veg.

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I use Cauldron brand of tofu which is firm but mashable, but if you have silken tofu that would work well mashed up too, or if you only have firmer tofu then dice it up finely.  If you have kala namak (black salt) then you can add a bit of that to give it an eggy taste, but it’s not necessary since it tastes lovely anyway.

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You can add whatever veg you feel like or have in the house, but some of my favourite combinations are:

Grated courgette, peas and fresh mint,

Sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper and pine nuts,

Roasted butternut squash and chestnut mushrooms.

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Ingredients:

Makes 12 frittata muffins

1.5 cups of chickpea flour/gram flour

Sea salt and black pepper

1 heaped tsp dried mixed herbs

A dash of turmeric (for colour)

A dash of paprika

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)

1 clove of garlic

400g of tofu

Vegetables of your choice such as finely chopped raw red pepper, tomato, courgette, spring onion, shallot, leek, broccoli, kale, green beans, frozen peas, frozen sweetcorn, grated raw carrot or courgette, roasted aubergine, roasted butternut squash, cooked potato or sweet potato, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs.

(For one batch on mine I added finely chopped raw shallots, diced red pepper and quartered cherry tomatoes.

For the other batch I added finely chopped shallot, chopped green beans, and chopped tender stem broccoli.)

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How it’s made:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Whisk the chickpea flour with 1.5 cups of water until smooth.

Add the mixed herbs, sea salt, black pepper, turmeric, paprika and nutritional yeast and mix.  You can leave out the salt if you want to serve these to young children, and after putting their portions into the muffin tin, add salt to the rest of the mixture if desired.

Peel and crush or finely chop the garlic and add to the mixture.

Mash the tofu roughly, or if using firmer tofu then chop finely.  Mix into the chickpea flour mixture gently.

Finely chop or grate the vegetables that you are adding, if needed, and stir into the mixture.  You want about 50% vegetables to 50% batter.

Oil a muffin tin with a little olive oil, or if using a silicone muffin tin or non-stick muffin tin, you might not need to oil it.

Spoon the batter in to the muffin tin to fill up each space and press down lightly on it with the back of the spoon.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, checking every so often, until firm and golden brown on top.

Carefully take the muffins out of the tin and eat warm or cold.

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