vegan breakfast

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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Cardamom Chia Pudding with Mango

We normally try to source our veg/fruit as local as possible, but alphonso mangos are our biggest vice. This time of year, we buy boxes of them from the Indian supermarket where we live, and eating them is such a joyful experience. Every time we eat them, we're transported back to our time in India, where we'd feast on them all day long.  If we had to pick a favourite fruit, it would definitely be these juicy, sweet, sunny delights.  

Something else we've been loving recently is this cardamom chia pudding, which pairs so well with the mangoes (but is also delicious solo or with other fruits!) Chia seeds are such a super-ingredient and are an incredible source of fibre, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Combining the chia with nut milk and ground cardamom is a good way to add a lot of flavour to the otherwise bland tasting seeds. It's a very gentle meal for your stomach to digest so it's a really great, filling breakfast option. Plus, it's quick to make and easy to make a big batch for the week ahead! 

Cardamom Chia Pudding with Mango

Ingredients (makes roughly 4 portions)
1/2 cup of chia seeds
2 cups of nut milk (coconut, oat or cashew would work well)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut (optional)

Topping ideas
Mango, grated apple, flaked almonds, berries, cacao nibs, banana etc... 

Method
1. Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Leave for at least 1 hour, until the chia seeds absorb most of the liquid. It should be a gel-like consistency.
2. Top with your desired fruit/nuts and enjoy! You can store the pudding in the fridge and use it throughout the week.

Cardamom Chia Pudding with Mango

What's your favourite way to use chia seeds?

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Plantbased Meal Inspiration for #Veganuary

Over 50,000 people have signed up for Veganuary this year - a UK campaign that's encouraging people to go vegan for one month. That's an incredible amount of people! 

We realise that many people struggle with the idea of totally giving up meat and dairy. It can feel like an enormous change, and I think there's this huge misconception that vegans only eat salads & so called 'rabbit food'. It might seem overwhelming making the leap, but it's an amazing thing to do for the environment and your health... we promise there are so many incredible meals and treats that you can enjoy! Eating plantbased should never have to feel like you're depriving yourself of something... in fact, it's the complete opposite if you choose to nourish your body with vibrant, delicious foods. 

Vegan Oatmeal (Plantbased meal ideas for veganuary)

We've compiled this list of meal ideas, our favourite sites & resources to help anyone who needs some extra inspiration! Even if you're not ready to try a whole month fully plant-based, we encourage you to get informed & even just try swapping a couple of meals a week for something vegan. As we realise a lot of people are short for time & looking for easy ideas - we've tried to keep things simple & include affordable, easy-to-make recipes. 

Vegan porridge (vegan meal ideas)

Breakfast Ideas

Our go-to breakfast this time of year is a simple, delicious porridge. It's really affordable, healthy & quick to make on busy mornings! Try swapping cow milk for a plant-based alternative. We love using Oat Milk (Provitamel & Oatly do great ones with simple ingredients), but there are a ton of nut mylks on the market (Rude Health are a great brand with no added nasties). For extra protein & vitamins, try adding a spoon of nut butter, coconut oil or chia seeds to your oats. This will make it more filling, more nourishing & tasty! 

For something extra delicious, try our Banana Oat Pancakes

Our Chickpea Frittata is a great savoury option too. You can make the batter the night before, & prepare it in the morning. This is a really nice option for lunch too!

Chickpea Frittata (Vegan omelette)

Lunch & Dinner Ideas 

As we mentioned earlier, meal times don't have to mean plain salad. Think colourful meals with lots of vegetables, beans & different spices to add flavour. Here are some of our favourites:

Homemade Falafel Burgers - we make a big batch of these and store them in the freezer! 

Sprouted Chickpea Falafel

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Butternut Squash Wedges 
Easy to prepare & so tasty for lunch or dinner. Make a big batch and store in the fridge for throughout the week. The quinoa can be replaced with spelt couscous, millet, rice or buckwheat!

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad Vegan

Sweet Potato with Tamarind & Coconut
 This is one of our favourite recipes on the blog. Such a tasty, filling dish inspired by our time in India. 

Sweet Potato with Tamarind and Coconut

Some more ideas:

Three Pulse Stew with Sumac & Thyme
This is a really rich, satisfying option with so many great flavours! You could serve with with rice or pasta, or eat on its own
Creamy Coconut Curry
Yellow Dal with Curry Leaves
Roasted Celeriac with Lentils & Tahini

Sweet Treats & Baking

Going vegan doesn't mean saying goodbye to tasty treats & chocolate! There are so many healthy alternatives, which won't make you feel rubbish & leave you feeling unsatisfied  

Quick and Easy flapjacks vegan
Gingerbread Oat biscuits vegan
Nourishing Banoffee Pie Vegan


Get Informed

If you're looking for some reasons on why to go Vegan or for some motivation to keep going, we really recommend the following documentaries: 
Cowspiracy - this is such an interesting & inspiring environmental documentary, exploring how the meat/dairy industry is one of the most destructive industries facing the planet. It's really well made, informative, on Netflix & Leonardo Dicaprio is the Exec Producer. 
Food Inc - also on Netflix & Youtube, this is a great documentary looking at health impacts of consuming so much meat/dairy. 

What are some of your favourite vegan meals or food blogs? Are you joining in for veganuary?

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Vegan Banana Oat Pancakes

Autumn is arriving with all of its beauty; the leaves dancing through their days alongside a brisk, awakening wind. I have to admit, after a year travelling and living in 35°C heat, we're both struggling a little with this seasonal change. I'm writing this somewhere beneath a huge pile of blankets, no kidding! All this cold means that warm, cosy breakfasts are a saviour right now. Especially these pancakes, which are a favourite to make no matter what the weather. They also happen to be incredibly easy and cheap to make,  with really basic ingredients transforming into a comforting, delicious meal. I love how pancakes lie somewhere between breakfast and dessert - there's no rules, just tastiness...  

vegan banana oat pancakes

Batter Ingredients (Makes approx 12 small pancakes)
1 cup of oats
1 ripe, medium banana
1 full cup of liquid (we use half oat milk & half water.... but can substitute with any nut milk or just water!) 
1 tablespoon of chia seeds (egg replacement)
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
A pinch of sea salt

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process into a smooth batter. 
2. Let the batter sit for around 30 minutes. This step is important so that the chia seeds can bind the batter together! We put ours in the fridge but it's not totally necessary. If you're very prepared, you can make your batter the night before.
3. In a medium non-stick pan, heat 1/2 tsp of coconut oil on a low heat. Once the pan is hot, pour your batter into circular pancake shapes. We normally fry 3 small pancakes at a time. Fry until golden on both sides. 
4.Once ready, it's time for toppings! This stage is completely up to you - nut butters, cacao nibs, chopped nuts, extra cinnamon, coconut oil, berries, banana, honey, maple syrup .... whatever you fancy to set you up for a great day <3

What breakfasts/foods do you crave as the seasons change?