Blueberry Yoghurt Flapjacks

 

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I feel like this has been a really productive morning!  By 9am I had already made and photographed this recipe for a blog post.  Then I wasted about an hour and a half reading things online before actually getting around to writing the post…but here it is!

 

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I’ve made this before a few times and always meant to post it on the blog.  I made it before with coconut oil, but have changed a few things this time to make an oil-free recipe, with the addition of almond butter, which I think gives a really nice flavour and adds more nutrients than just using oil.

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These are really healthy, quick and easy to make, and make a lovely breakfast or snack.  They’re really handy for picnics or school lunches too.  They’re not too sweet, and my kids love them and so do I!  They provide lots of goodness from the oats, blueberries, almond butter and soya yoghurt.

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I made them with Alpro plain soya yoghurt, which has a little added sugar, but you could also make them with a plain soya yoghurt that has no added sugar.  You might want to add a little extra maple syrup if you do.  They’re definitely not as sweet as most flapjack recipes, but are much healthier!

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Ingredients:

2 cups of porridge oats

1/2 cup of plain soya yoghurt (plus extra to drizzle on top if you like)

2-3 tbsp. maple syrup

2 tbsp. almond butter

100g blueberries (fresh or frozen)

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How they’re made:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

In a large bowl, whisk together the soya yoghurt, maple syrup and almond butter until well mixed.

With a spoon stir in the oats and blueberries even well mixed so that the blueberries are fairly evenly distributed.  If there are a lot of blueberries in one of the flapjacks, it might not hold together so well, but will still taste great!

Spread the mixture evenly into a lined baking tray or cake tin and press it down firmly.

Bake for about 30 minutes until light golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool a bit before slicing.

Serve with extra soya yoghurt if you like.

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Mini Spinach and Pea “Omelettes”

I wanted a new idea for a savoury breakfast so came up with these mini vegan omelettes and they were a huge hit with my kids.  They use chickpea flour instead of eggs so are really healthy and still contain a lot of protein.  You can add lots of veggies so are especially good for kids who need convincing to eat more vegetables.  My favourite way of making them so far has been with wilted spinach, peas and a handful of grated vegan cheese.  I use Violife original cheese for these, which makes them really delicious!  The peas add even more protein and spinach adds more iron, so they’re really great for kids.

They’re quick to make so easy to make in the mornings and are even good cold at lunchtime if you have leftovers so would be great for lunchboxes.  The mini size makes them easy for kids to eat and fun.  Rian calls them pea pancakes!

You can add any other veggies if you like, just chop them up small and fry them for a few minutes before adding to the batter.  Veggies like peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, mange tout and courgette all work great.

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Ingredients:

1.5 cups of gram flour/chickpea flour

1 flat tsp baking powder

1 tsp nutritional yeast

A dash of turmeric

A dash of paprika

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

Salt and pepper

A handful or two of peas, frozen is fine

A few handfuls of fresh spinach

Vegan cheese (optional but delicious, I used Violife original)

Olive oil for frying

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How it’s made:

Sauté the spinach and peas in a pan for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted and peas are cooked.

Grate the vegan cheese if using it.

Meanwhile, add the gram flour, baking powder, nutritional yeast, turmeric, paprika, herbs, salt and pepper to a mixing bowl.  Add in 1 cup of water and whisk until it makes a smooth fairly thick batter.  You can add more gram flour or more water if you think it’s needed, or double the quantities if you want more.

Stir in the cooked vegetables and a handful or two of grated vegan cheese.

Heat a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.  Spoon 1/4 cupfuls of batter into the frying pan to form the mini omelettes.

Fry for a few minutes either side until golden brown and cooked through.

They’re delicious served with a green salad or whatever you like.

Healthy Vegan Protein Pancakes

I love pancakes for breakfast.  It always feels like a treat and the kids always eat them, even when they’re really healthy!  I like to try to make them as healthy as possible, not too much sugar, and lots of nutritious stuff added.  I’ve seen a lot of people making “protein pancakes”, and wanted to make a healthier and vegan version!

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I’m not usually a fan of regular protein powders.  I think we can usually get enough protein from our food.  But I do love adding seeds and nuts to food to provide more protein and healthy fats.  That Protein sent me some of their pumpkin and chia seed protein powder to try out, and I was very happy to see it was simply made of pumpkin seed protein powder and whole chia seeds.  To make the pumpkin seed protein powder, they cold-press pumpkin seeds to partially remove the fat, but keep some fat to provide omega 3, then they grind them up.  The chia seeds are whole and are also a great vegan source of omega 3.  Pumpkin seeds also contain all the essential amino acids.  So this sounded like a really healthy product that I would be happy to eat, and seemed really handy to use to add to meals or smoothies.  I decided to try it out in these protein pancakes and it worked really well.  It added a lovely slightly nutty taste.  I also tried it in smoothies, and it tasted great and didn’t give that powdery texture that some protein powders can have.

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You could also simply grind up your own seeds for this recipe if you like.  I would use pumpkin seeds, a little flax seed, and some chia, whatever else you like too.  I used nut butter or tahini in the recipe to add some extra protein and healthy fat too.  I added a little maple syrup to sweeten these, but not too much, so you can add extra maple syrup as a topping afterwards if they’re not sweet enough.  I add some maple syrup to my portion but not for the kids and they are happy to eat them without it.  The oats make them extra healthy, as well as some banana, and coconut oil is a healthier oil to fry with.  You could use wholegrain, spelt or gluten free flour (and oats) if you like.

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Ingredients:

1 cup of oats

1 cup of self raising flour

1/4 cup of vegan protein powder or ground seeds (chia, pumpkin, flax seeds, etc.)

1 mashed banana

1 tbsp. nut butter or tahini

2 tbsp. maple syrup

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

Coconut oil (for frying)

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How it’s made:

Grind the oats using a food processor (or use oat flour, a bit less than a cup)

Mix the ground oats, flour and protein powder/ground seeds in a large bowl.

Add the mashed banana, nut butter/tahini, maple syrup and milk and whisk until combined.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and oil it lightly with coconut oil before frying each batch of pancakes.

Pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the frying pan for each pancake.

Fry each pancake for a few minutes either side, until lightly brown on either side.

Serve with fruit, maple syrup, nut butter, etc.

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Oat & Banana Breakfast Cookies

I have found yet another way to combine oats and bananas to make a yummy, healthy breakfast!  And blueberries and chocolate for good measure.  These are so simple, you can add whatever you want, and they only take 10 minutes to bake, which is good because Rian really loves them now and keeps asking me to make them, so it’s only 10 minutes of listening to “Mommy, I want cookies!”

 

I really like them with blueberries.  They’re really delicious and I can’t stop eating them!  Rian likes the chocolate and coconut ones.  Oran loves them both.

They’re just made of oats and banana (with whatever other things you want) so are really healthy.  They’d be perfect for snacks for kids, for lunchboxes, picnics, or just as an easy breakfast.  They’re great for baby led weaning too.  We’ve been having them as a snack before bed all week.

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They’re soft and chewy, naturally sweet and filling.

You can put the ingredients in a food processor to blend it all up, or simply mash the bananas and mix with oats if you like an oatier cookie.  I blended up the ingredients with a hand blender and that worked really well too.

Rian’s serving suggestion is to dunk them in a glass of soy milk.

Try them with raisins, dark chocolate chips, dried cranberries, orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla extract, raspberries, chopped dates, cinnamon, grated apple, chopped nuts, seeds, or anything else you feel like.

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Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

Makes about 6 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup of oats

1 banana

A small handful of fresh blueberries

How it’s made:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Either mash the banana and mix with the oats or blend them both together with a food processor or hand blender.

Stir in the blueberries.

Line a cookie tray with a non-stick baking paper.  Place spoonfuls of the mixture on the baking tray and slightly flatten.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

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Chocolate and Coconut Breakfast Cookies

Makes about 6 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup of oats

1 banana

1/8 cup of cocoa powder

1/8 cup of desiccated coconut

How it’s made:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Either mash the banana and mix with the oats, cocoa powder and coconut, or blend them all together with a food processor or hand blender.

Line a cookie tray with a non-stick baking paper.  Place spoonfuls of the mixture on the baking tray and slightly flatten.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes.

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Overnight Oats with Blueberry and Banana

I’m so glad I decided to make overnight oats last night before bed.  The boys didn’t sleep that well, which meant I didn’t sleep that well, and I don’t feel like doing anything much today!  We usually have porridge for breakfast but since it’s getting more summery I thought we’d switch to overnight oats.  It wasn’t the best morning really, but the sun is starting to appear now.  And the overnight oats were delicious anyway!

There are lots of recipes for overnight oats online, but it’s just so quick and simple to prepare that I had to include it on my blog.  It’s the perfect recipe for anyone who doesn’t have much time in the mornings but still wants a filling breakfast, so any parents really.  It’s basically oats soaked in plant milk overnight.  I keep it really simple and do equal parts oats and plant milk, measured in cups.  I usually do one cup of each per person, which is quite big portions, but I’m always really hungry in the mornings!  And you can keep any leftovers for a snack later.  The oats soak up all the plant milk and make a creamy and delicious breakfast.

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I like it best with blueberries, bananas and a drizzle of agave syrup.  But you can use any fruit you want, and any sweetener you want, or no sweetener if you like.  I don’t add any sweetener to the kids’ portions and they don’t mind at all.  You can also add natural soya yoghurt, coconut yoghurt, fruity yoghurt, seeds, nuts, raisins, nut butter, anything you like. If you have kids you can let them pick out their own toppings, which is fun.  It’s really versatile.  Some people add the fruit and stuff the night before, but I like to add it in the morning.  It’s entirely up to you.

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Holly came over to see what I was doing while I was taking photos.

Ingredients:

Serves 1 hungry person

1 cup of oats

1 cup of unsweetened soy milk (or other plant milk)

Handful of blueberries

1 sliced banana

Drizzle of agave syrup (or other sweetener)

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How it’s made:

The night before, put the oats and plant milk in a jar or other container.  Mix them together a bit and store in the fridge overnight.

In the morning put the oats into a bowl and top with the banana, blueberries and agave syrup and eat!

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I have loads of ideas for recipes for the next few weeks so will be posting a lot.  Also it’s 10 days until Oran’s first birthday (today is a year since his “due date”) so I’ll be doing a healthier vegan baby smash cake soon, which I’m really excited about!  I don’t think we’ll be having a party cos loads of our family are away, so we might just have a little picnic at home or go out for the day or something.  But I’ll be sure to post about what kinda food we eat and the cake recipe!  And lots of photos of Oran on his big day.

Chocolate Orange Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is still one of my favourite breakfasts.  So warm and comforting and delicious, but healthy too.  I had a bowl full of oranges and was craving chocolate so made these this morning.  I love orange and chocolate together so much!  The oatmeal has cocoa and fresh orange juice in it, it’s topped with a slice of fresh orange, and baked in the oven.  I made it in individual portions, you can use mini casserole dishes, ramekins or a muffin tin to do this.  Or just put the whole lot in a loaf tin or cake tin, and bake for about 5-10 minutes longer.  Rian loves this breakfast and thinks it’s chocolate cake!

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I always say this, but it’s just so handy to make baked oatmeal, just mix it up, put it in the oven and get other stuff done (or relax) while it bakes.  Easier than standing over a pot of porridge stirring it.  While it was cooking, I made fresh orange juice for me and Rian and then put the orange skins in some water to boil for a while so the house would smell even more orangey!

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Here’s a photo of Holly and Fred being cute this morning, just because.

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Here’s what it looks like baked in a cake tin as well.  So pretty.  It can be sliced up into wedges, which would be good for picnics or even a very healthy dessert.

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Ingredients:

Makes about 6 portions

3.5 cups of porridge oats

1/4 cup of cocoa powder (or cacao powder)

Juice of one orange (about half a cup, or store bought orange juice)

1.5 cups unsweetened soy milk (or other plant milk)

2 tbsp agave syrup (or other sweetener)

2 fresh oranges

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How it’s made:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Use ramekins or line a muffin tin, loaf tin or cake tin.

Mix the oats, cocoa, orange juice, plant milk and agave syrup in a bowl big.

Put the mixture into the ramekins or tin you’re using and press it down.

Slice up the fresh oranges and cut off the skin.  Press the slices lightly into the top of the oatmeal mixture.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes if doing individual portions, and 25- 30 minutes if doing one big tin of baked oatmeal.

 

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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