Food

Smokey Refried Black Beans (Oil-free)

These black beans are a forever-favourite in our household. They're creamy, rich and full of aromatic flavours. Delicious served up in corn tacos, with cashew cream and spicy vegetables. We normally make a big batch of these beans and store some in the freezer - it's a joy finding them when you're running low on inspiration/ingredients and want to make something quick. We sometimes eat them stuffed inside a roasted sweet potato, or even for breakfast if we feel like something savoury. Like I said, they're a staple recipe for us and we hope you find them just as delicious!

Smokey Mexican Black Beans
Smokey Mexican Black Beans

A quick word on some of the less-known ingredients:
If you haven't discovered black cardamom pods yet, we urge you to go find some!  We first smelt them in a little spice shop in Delhi and have been obsessed ever since. They add such an aromatic, smokey flavour and are unlike any other spice we've tried. You can normally find them in asian supermarkets, spice shops or online. 

Asafoetida powder is another famous ingredient from India, which has a strong flavour and is similar in properties to garlic. In ayurveda, asafoetida is renowned for aiding digestion and to relieve cramping. It's a common ingredient in bean and lentil dishes in India and it's a must-have in our spice cupboard!

Smokey Mexican Black Beans

Ingredients
500g dried black beans (soaked in water overnight)
2 litres of water
1 large sliced onion
3 black cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
1/3 teaspoon of asafoetida
1 tablespoon miso paste
1/2 teaspoon of mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
approx 12 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon of good quality salt

 

Method

1. Soak the dried beans overnight, then drain and rinse 2/3 times when ready to prepare.
2. Put the drained beans, onion, black cardamon, bay leaves, peppercorns and asafoetida and in a large pan with all of the water.
3. Bring the mixture to the boil and then lower the heat to a simmer, cook for 2-3 hours until the beans are completely soft. 
4. When the beans are cooked add the garlic/mustard powder, miso and salt and continue to cook for a final 5-10 minutes. At this point it should be quite thick and creamy, you can help this along by mashing some of the beans with the back of a spoon, or keep cooking slightly longer until it reaches your desired consistency. 

Smokey Mexican Black Beans
Smokey Mexican Black Beans
Smokey Mexican Black Beans
jack fruit beans.jpg

What's your favourite way to cook beans?
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Sprouted Buckwheat Granola (Raw)

We both normally start the day with a big smoothie, or something cooked like mushrooms/avocado/greens when we have more time at the weekends. But recently in the midst of a busy week when we wanted something quick to prepare, we were craving bowls of crunchy granola topped with fruits and nuts. So we set about creating a granola recipe using our new dehydrator ... we wanted the deliciousness of granola but without using all the oil or refined sweeteners that are included in so many recipes.  We are so happy with the result! This raw granola is a new favourite for us and we plan to make it for many years to come. It's both chewy and crispy in texture, with an amazing naturally sweet flavour from the dates, cinnamon and banana. 

Sprouted Buckwheat Granola Raw

Sprouting the buckwheat is a labor of love and needs preparing a couple days in advance. But we promise this is worth it as it makes the buckwheat more nutritious and much easier to digest. If you're new to the idea of sprouting and all of its health benefits, then check out our guide to sprouting here. Once your buckwheat is ready, the granola is very easy to prepare and uses really affordable ingredients. 

Ingredients
350g of dried buckwheat groats
4 large ripe bananas
1 cup of dates, soaked in hot water
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
optional extras: raw cacao nibs, nuts, seeds, dried fruits. 

Method
Sprouting the buckwheat:
1. Soak the buckwheat groats overnight in water. 
2. In the morning, drain your groats and rinse 3 times (buckwheats can be quite slimy so need thorough rinsing).
3. Leave in your sprouting jar, rinsing them well every 3-4 hours. If you don't have a sprouting jar, you can use a normal jar leaned at an angle with a cheesecloth around the mouth (so it can drain). 
4. The groats will eventually form little sprouted tails, like in the photo below. Our groats normally take between 36-48 hours to sprout, but yours may be different depending on climate/water/age of groats etc. 
5. Once the groats are sprouted you can prepare the rest of the granola ingredients... 

Making the Granola
1. Soak the dates in hot water for 15 minutes or more. This makes them softer for blending. 
2. Add your bananas to a food processor and blend until liquid. 
3. Drain your dates and add them to the banana along with the cinnamon and salt. Blend until smooth. 
4. In a mixing bowl, combine the sprouted buckwheat with the banana/date mixture. Mix well. 
5. Spread the mixture onto your dehydrator sheets (see photo below). You can use a butter knife or spoon to evenly spread it out. 
6. If you want to keep them fully 'raw', dehydrate them at 45 degrees. If you want them to dry quicker you can set it higher (we normally dry ours at 55 degrees and it takes 24-36 hours). Once it is dry on top, peel the granola from the sheet, flip it over  and continue dehydrating. This ensures that the bottom dries and the granola is crispy. 
7. When the granola is dry and crispy, remove it from the sheets and break it into small chunks. Store it in an air tight jar where it will keep for a few weeks. Enjoy with other toppings such as cacao nibs, nuts and seeds. We love to serve ours with homemade hemp milk!

Sprouted Buckwheat Granola Raw
Sprouted Buckwheat Granola Raw
Sprouted Buckwheat Granola Raw
Sprouted Buckwheat Granola Raw
Sprouted Buckwheat Granola Raw
Sprouted Buckwheat Granola Raw
Sprouted Buckwheat Granola Raw
Sprouted Buckwheat Granola Raw
Sprouted Buckwheat Granola Raw

Have you tried sprouting before? We'd love to hear your experience. 

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No Bake Vegan Snicker Slices

We hope everyone is having a great Summer. After a very busy July working we've landed back to a calmer August and are feeling more refreshed and inspired. These no-bake snickers slices are our latest obsession... we think you will love them too! They're the perfect combination of peanut butter, sticky salted date caramel, crisp dark chocolate and a shortbread style base. Each layer is delicious in its own right, but when put together they create an incredible mixture of textures and tastes. 

No bake vegan snickers

We love to eat these straight from the freezer, so to keep the base firm and the chocolate crispier. If peanut butter isn't your favourite, then feel free to swap this for another nut butter. We think almond or hazelnut butter would work nicely. We like to make our desserts messy and natural, but if you want yours to look neater then you can score the chocolate before it sets so that it doesn't crack so much (see step 9 of the instructions). 

We hope you enjoy this recipe! If you try it then we would love to hear from you...

No bake vegan snickers
No bake vegan snickers
No bake vegan snickers
No bake vegan snickers
No bake vegan snickers
No bake vegan snickers
No bake vegan snickers
No bake vegan snickers

Ingredients (Makes 16 slices)
For the base:
2 cups oats
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup dates (soaked in hot water for 10-15 mins before)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon peanut butter
Pinch of salt

For the caramel:
1 cup dates (soaked in hot water for 10-15 mins before)
1/2 cup peanut butter
pinch of salt

200g dark chocolate (homemade or bought)

Method:

1. Add the oats to your food processor and blend to flour-like consistency.
2. Add ground almonds and salt and blend to combine.
3. Drain the dates well (1/2 cup) and add to the processor along with the peanut butter and coconut oil. Blend until well combined. The mixture should be fairly sticky and stay together when pinched between your fingers.
4. Line a square baking tray (ours is 8x8 inches) with baking paper, using your fingers spread the mixture onto the tray and press down to form an even base. Put the base in the freezer for an hour so or to harden.
5. While the base is in the freezer make the caramel. Drain the rest of the dates (1 cup) and blend together with the peanut butter and salt.
6. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie.
7. Remove base from the freezer and spread the caramel over evenly, you can do this with a butter knife or with your fingers.
8. Finally pour over the melted chocolate to cover and place the whole tray back in the freezer to set.
9. When the chocolate is set (30 mins-1 hour) remove from tray and cut into 16 slices. To make this easier you could score the chocolate with a knife before its completely set but its not totally necessary. You can store the slices in the fridge or freezer, we prefer the latter option which keeps the base firmer and the chocolate crunchier! 

No bake vegan snickers
No bake vegan snickers

We hope you enjoyed this recipe!

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