Food

Chocolate Chip Spelt Banana Bread

We hope everyone has had a beautiful Summer (or Winter if you’re in the southern hemisphere!) It’s been a busy one for us and things are finally starting to slow down a little as we approach the Autumn. So far, August has been a month of very rainy days and cosy moments inside. Quite the opposite from our expectations of the Summer, but the plants are happy and we can’t help but feel grateful in comparison to other countries experiencing draughts and fires. This somewhat grey weather has of course influenced what we’ve been eating, and instead of cooling smoothies & frozen snacks, we’ve been craving comforting foods like this Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.
We’ve been trying to create the perfect banana bread for quite a while, and we can confidently say that we’ve finally found ‘the one’ with this recipe. We’ve used dates in the banana bread instead of a liquid sweetener or sugar, which give it such a delicious texture and a flavour that isn’t overly sweet. Of course, chocolate chips are an essential for us and they go incredibly gooey when you warm a slice of the bread before serving. Depending on the bar of chocolate you use, this recipe is potentially sugar free, which is pretty cool considering how delicious it is. We hope you love the recipe, let us know if you make it in the comments below. Banana bread blessing to you all x

Chocolate Chip Spelt Banana Bread Sugar Free Vegan
Chocolate Chip Spelt Banana Bread Sugar Free Vegan
Chocolate Chip Spelt Banana Bread Sugar Free Vegan
Chocolate Chip Spelt Banana Bread Sugar Free Vegan

Chocolate Chip Spelt Banana Bread (Sugar Free and Vegan)

Servings: makes 1 large loaf

Ingredients:

  • 4 large, very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups of spelt flour (we use wholemeal but you could use white)
  • 1 packed cup of dates
  • 1/4 of a cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of oat milk
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 100g of dark chocolate, broken into chocolate chip sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Soak the dates in boiling water for 15-20 minutes, to ensure that they are soft for blending.
  2. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 4 (350 f). Line the bottom of a loaf tin with a rectangular piece of baking paper. Grease the sides with a little coconut oil.
  3. To a large mixing bowl add the flour, cinammon, baking powder, chocolate pieces and salt. Mix well.
  4. To a food processor add the bananas, dates, coconut oil and oat milk. Blend until very smooth.
  5. Add the wet mixture to the mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
  6. Pour the mixture into your loaf tin, making sure it's spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 50-55 minutes until golden on top. If you're unsure whether it's ready, ou can test it with a cocktail stick. If the stick comes out fairly clean (melted chocolate aside) then it should be cooked.
  8. Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a drying rack.
Chocolate Chip Spelt Banana Bread Sugar Free Vegan

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Vegan Ferrero Rocher Bars with Hazelnut Butter

Say the words ‘hazelnut’ and ‘chocolate’ together and I’m instantly interested. These bars are inspired by a past infatuation with Ferrero Rocher chocolates that I’m sure many people can relate to. There’s something about the combination of crunchy hazelnuts, chocolate & hazelnut butter that’s so irresistible. This is definitely one of the most decadent & delicious dessert recipes we’ve ever posted and we’re very excited to share them with you! The bars are compiled of 3 layers - the first being a chocolate oaty base, followed by a hazelnut butter & date caramel and finally topped with chocolate & roasted hazelnuts. This is one of those recipes where texture plays a big role - in fact, our favourite part of the slices is the crunchy nuts on the top.

Vegan Ferrero Rocher Bars with Hazelnut Butter

Vegan Ferrero Rocher Bars with Hazelnut Butter

Servings: 24 small bars

Ingredients:

For the base:

  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1 cup of ground almonds (can substitue for extra oats)
  • 1/2 cup of dates (soaked in hot water for 10-15 mins before)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of hazlenut butter
  • 3 tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 3 tablespoons of oat milk
  • pinch of salt

For the caramel layer:

  • 1 cup of dates (soaked in hot water for 10-15mins before)
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnut butter
  • small pinch of salt

For the top layer:

  • 200g of dark chocolate (homemade or bought)
  • 125g of hazelnuts

Instructions:

  1. Add the oats to a food processor and blend to a flour-like consistency.
  2. Add the ground almonds, cacao powder and salt and blend again.
  3. Drain the 1/2 cup of dates and add to the food processor with the hazlenut butter, oat milk and coconut oil. Blend until well combined and the mixture is fairly sticky. It should stay together when pinched between your fingers.
  4. Line a square baking tray (our is 8x8inches) with baking paper or beeswax wrap. Spread the mixture onto the tray and press down with your fingers to form an even base. Put the tray in the freezer for an hour or so to harden.
  5. Now make the caramel: drain the rest of the dates (1 cup) and blend together with the hazelnut butter and a pinch of salt.
  6. Roast the hazlenuts on gas mark 4 for around 10-15 minutes, until golden. If they have skins on them, then remove them when cool. Fold the hazelnuts into a clean tea towel and crush them using a rolling pin or your utensil of choice. Set the hazlenuts aside for later.
  7. In a bain-marie, melt the chocolate.
  8. Remove the base from the freezer and spread the caramel over evenly.
  9. Pour the melted chocolate over to cover evenly. Sprinkle the roasted hazelnuts on top.
  10. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature and then cut into 24 bars before placing the tray in the freezer. Cutting them before freezing makes it easier to remove them from the tray.
  11. The bars are now ready to enjoy! You can either store them in the freezer or fridge depending on your preference.
Vegan Ferrero Rocher Bars with Hazelnut Butter

What’s your favourite dessert?
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Tandoori Masala Marinade for Tempeh or Tofu

A few weeks ago we posted a guide on how to make tempeh with yellow split peas. As we mentioned in the post, tempeh has been one of our favourite things to make recently and it’s been fun experimenting with different flavours & ways to cook it. We’re excited to share this delicious tandoori masala marinade which is made with coconut cream and a mixture of herbs and spices. Ingredients like tempeh or tofu are notorious for being quite bland on their own, and although our homemade tempeh has a delicious nutty flavour, it’s even better when marinaded for a few hours before cooking. This Indian-style recipe has a lovely balance of flavours from the coconut combined with tandoori spice mix, which is traditionally made from cumin, coriander, ginger, paprika, turmeric & cayenne. We love it topped with toasted sesame seeds and mixed into a big salad with fermented veggies!

Tandoori Marinaded Tempeh
Tandoori Marinaded Tempeh
Tandoori Marinaded Tempeh

Tandori Masala Marinade for Tempeh or Tofu

Servings: Makes enough to marinade 250g tempeh/tofu

Ingredients:

  • 250g tempeh, cut into approx 16 pieces (you can substitue this for one block of firm tofu that has been thoroughly drained)

For the Marinade:

  • 200ml coconut cream (the cream from one can of coconut milk + the coconut water if you need to make it up to 200ml)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, chopped
  • 3 tsp good quality tandoori spice mix
  • small bunch fresh coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 fresh green chili, seeds removed (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor blend together all of the ingredients for the marinade
  2. Spread out the tempeh pieces in a shallow dish or tupperware, pour over the marinade and gently turn the tempeh over so that they are fully covered.
  3. Cover the dish and leave to sit for at least 2 hours, alternatively leave overnight in the fridge.
  4. Transfer the tempeh pieces to an oven tray, spooning over any extra marinade from the dish. Bake at gas mark 6/200 degrees C for approximately 20 minutes or until beginning to dry out and turn golden

How do you normally prepare tofu or tempeh? We’d love to hear your suggestions below!

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Easy Kimchi Recipe with Turmeric

Our fermented broccoli recipe is without a doubt the most visited page on our blog. We love that fermented foods have become so popular and that the connection between gut health & overall health is gaining more mainstream attention. Be sure to look at some more of our fermented recipes to read more about how these foods can help improve our digestion and benefit our health on all levels. It’s pretty amazing and delicious stuff!
When we first fell in love with fermented veggies a few years ago, Kimchi was one the first experiments we tried in our little Colombian apartment. To be totally honest, it was quite a disaster and one that we look back on and laugh at. Let’s just say that we were naively enthusiastic with the quantities of chilli, ginger and garlic we used. Combined with tropical heat and a really strong fermentation, our entire home was infused with intensly funky smells for days and we almost blew our heads off trying to eat this spicy concoction. We’ve since adjusted our recipe and found a balance of flavours that’s much kinder on tastebuds and body…

Easy Kimchi with Turmeric

Many traditional kimchi recipes contain vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and a paste made of garlic/ginger/chilli, but we’ve steered away from the traditional method in order to create a really simple recipe that still has a lot of flavour. This easy kimchi is made in a really similar way to sauerkraut , but has some extra ingredients that give it a stronger and spicier flavour. We’ve also used white cabbage because it’s grown locally to us and is what we have available.

How much salt to use when fermenting:

Vegetable to salt ratio - the magic formula for ferments
After a lot of experimenting, we've reached a good understanding of the salt/vegetable ratio for pickles and ferments. As a general rule of thumb, we always weigh our vegetables, then add 1.75% of this weight in salt. For example, 1kg of cabbage will need roughly 17.5g of salt. 500g of cabbage will need roughly 8.75g of salt. For reference, 1 teaspoon of finely ground salt is approximately 5.7g. 


Easy Kimchi

Servings: makes 2 large jars of kimchi

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of white cabbage, sliced finely (roughly 2 small cabbages, but make sure you weigh them before you start)
  • 17.5g of good quality salt (this is 1.75% of the cabbage weight, if you are making different quantities you can calculate it for your amount of cabbage)
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 teaspoon of turmeric powder or 1 two inch chopped turmeric root
  • 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped (adjust depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, chopped finely
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 6-7 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 onion, diced finely
  • 2 large sterilised jars (you can sterilise them with boiling water)

Instructions:

  1. Before you chop your cabbage, peel away 2-3 of good quality outer leaves and put to one side for use later.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except from the chilli. Make sure that the salt is thoroughly mixed with the cabbage. If you have time, leave it for 15-30 minutes - this will help draw the moisture out of the cabbage.
  3. With clean hands (or with gloves if you don't want turmeric stained fingers!) begin to mix and massage the kimchi. Continue for around 5-10 minutes, until liquid squeezes out of the cabbage. This liquid will help the fermentation process.
  4. Add the chilli to the bowl and stir in with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the kimchi to your sterilised jars, pusing down as you go so that no air is trapped in the bottom of the jar. Keep pushing down as you add more kimchi (the back of a wooden spoon is really helpful for this). The idea is to pack the kimchi tightly into the jar.
  6. Once you've filled the jars, continue to push the kimchi down until the cabbage is submerged in some of its liquid. If the mix seems dry, leaving the jar for an hour or so between pressing down can allow more liquid to release.
  7. Fold the cabbage leaves that you set aside at the beggining to form a 'lid' that will fit into your jar. This stops little bits of cabbage floating to the top.
  8. Place the lid on top of the kimchi and again, push the kimchi down with the back of a wooden spoon. The 'lid' should be submerged in liquid.
  9. If you can, put a weight on top of the kimchi to keep it submerged in the liquid. We use a small glass with a weight or pebbles inside.
  10. Cover the jar with a fine cheesecloth and secure with an elastic band.
  11. Now it's time to let the kimchi ferment. Around 7 days is a good amount of time, but some people will prefer more or less. If you live in a very hot climate then you will probably need less time. Everyday, check on your jars and firmly push down the kimchi with a wooden spoon. You should see air bubbles rise from the bottom of the jar and the kimchi should remain submerged in liquid.
  12. After around 7 days, taste the kimchi to see if it suits your taste buds. If it tastes too strong or salty you can leave it a few more days.
  13. Once your satisfied with the flavour, secure the jar with a lid and store in the fridge. It's now ready to be eaten and should last for months if sealed well. We find that the flavour generally improves after the kimchi has been in the frige for a few days.
Easy Kimchi with Turmeric

Have you ever tried making Kimchi? We’d love to hear your experience!

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