Oat Milk

My little miss loves her oat milk. We have found a great brand that is unsweetened and free from weird additives …. my only problem is the price. $3/L or more …. eek!!!!! Works out to over $430 a year!

Not helpful for this tight budget. So, from this month we are leaving those 12L on the shelf and making them ourselves.

So easy and so cheap!! You do need a good high powered processor and a nut milk bag or a cheese cloth for straining.

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 cups water (boiled and cooled)

Optional extras:

  • pinch pink salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla beans paste
  • 1 tsp maple syrup OR date paste

Place oats in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Allow to sit for about 15 mins before draining and rinsing gently. ** You can skip this step if you are in a hurry, but you might find that your milk is a little slimy in texture.

Place soaked and drained oats and all remaining ingredients into your blender/processor and blend on high speed until very smooth. (Start on speed 5, working up to speed 7 for about 20 seconds).

Strain the mix through the milk bag into your milk bottle/container and use your hands to squeeze out any excess.

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You can discard the remaining pulp, or to get the very most of your money and your food, spread it out on an oven tray and dry it out on a low heat in the oven then use it in baking (works like almond meal).

Just like the life of the store bought milk, this will store in the fridge for 3-4 days – shake well before use.

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lIt is creamier and thicker than the store bought variety so you may want to thin it out by adding a little extra water if that suits your taste preference.

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This makes 1L.

Enjoy 🙂

Choc Banana Breakfast Bars

Well, breakfast, or any time you need a filling snack to fuel you well!

These are a twist on my Banana Oat Biscuits. Super easy to make from stuff I always have in my pantry and quick enough that you can have a batch knocked up for breakfast in 5 minutes!

The fibre, great fats and protein help to boost your energy levels and keep you full for a while and the cinnamon in the mixed spice is useful for stabilising blood sugar levels … what’s not to love?!

See below the recipe for a Coeliac version and a few extras.

  • 2 large bananas, very ripe
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 heaped tbsp sunflower seed butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup of my choc protein mix  **
  • 3 tbsp milk of choice (unsweetened vanilla almond is great here)
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba OR 1 whole egg
  • Pinch pink salt flakes

**If you haven’t made this powder you can roughly replace it with 1 tbsp cocoa, 1 tbsp coconut sugar and 2 tbsp nut or seed meal.

In your blender/processor/bullet/thermal cooker add the bananas, milk, aquafaba and seed butter until smooth. (Speed 3 working up to speed 5 for 15 seconds).

In a large bowl use a whisk to mix together the remaining dry ingredients.

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Pour the wet mix into the dry and fold together until well combined.

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If using your blender or thermal cooker or processor to combine the two mixes use a low speed, so that you don’t shred the oats.

Place into a lined baking dish (mine is 25cm x 18cm), smooth and press down firmly.

Place into a preheated moderate oven for 20 minutes.

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Allow to cool before slicing. Makes about 12 bars.

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Store in an airtight container in the fridge or even in the freezer.

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Extra Options:

To make these coeliac friendly use 2 cups puffed rice and 1 cup rolled quinoa in place of the oats.

For an extra ‘chocolatey’ version use some of my chocolate hazelnut spread or chocolate seed spread in place of the sunflower seed butter.

For a sweeter option you could mix through some chopped dried fruit (dates or sultanas are my favourite but cranberries or apple work too)

 

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This little dude takes aaaages to get going in the morning so breakfast is often ‘on the go’ for him – these are perfect!

 

Enjoy 🙂

Honey Almond Biscuits

These ones are a little twist on my Tiny Teds.

They’ve had a bit of a nutritional boost but they still passed the taste test from my very perceptive and discerning Harry 😉

No-one messes with his favourite bikkies and gets away with it …. or do they?! He has happily eaten many of these and literally jumped up and down in the kitchen when he has seen that there were more stashed away in the pantry!!

See below the recipe for nut free and Coeliac friendly versions and a ginger snap option too.

These are super delicious and quick to make – and everyone loves home made bikkies!

  • 30g Vegan Butter
  • 30g Sunflower seed butter (or other nut butter that suits)
  • 140g honey/maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 215g plain flour of choice
  • 50g almond meal
  • 3/4 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

In a saucepan, over a medium heat, melt together the butter, honey and vanilla (100C, speed 2 for 2 11/2 mins or until completely melted). Remove from stove.

Use a whisk to mix the bicarb, almond meal, cinnamon and flour together and then add to the wet mix (Speed 4 for 8 seconds with the bicarb, then add flour and speed 5 for 15 seconds). If your mix feels too wet, add in 1 tsp more of flour at a time and pulse to combine).

Mix gently until combined.

Tip out on to a silicone mat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

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Roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 2-3mm thick (much thicker and you get a softer biscuit rather than a crunchy one).

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Use a shaped cutter to cut our your desired shapes (today we went with farm animals) and lay on a lined baking tray.

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Place in a preheated moderate oven for about 8-9 minutes, or until golden brown. My oven in fan forced so I do them for 8 minutes.

Leave on tray to harden and cool. Store in an airtight container for about a week.

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Makes about 40-50, depending on the sized cutter you use … and how much dough your 3 year old helper eats in the process 😉

*Some tips

  • If this dough cools too much it can become a little stiff and crumbly, a couple of seconds in the microwave will soften it and make it more workable.
  • If you don’t have time to cut out the whole batch (it happens!), you can save half of this dough, tightly wrapped in the fridge for several days, before bringing it back to room temperature and gently warming it.

Enjoy!

For a Coeliac friendly option: switch to a gluten free flour mix, and use only 190g

For a Nut free option use a roasted seed meal (sunflower and pumpkin seeds are a great combination) in place of the almond meal.

To make a ginger snap version of these bikkies: Replace the honey with equal weight of maple syrup and replace the vanilla with 1.5 tsp ground ginger and an 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. These are a much quicker to make than traditional gingerbread but very similar in taste.

Cheesey Sprinkles (vegan Parmesan cheese substitute)

Cheese replacements are tricky for us. The 3 boys eat dairy cheese now, but I don’t eat much dairy and Ellie can’t tolerate any.

All of the delicious creamy nut based cheeses are out for us and we try not to eat much soy. Hm.

Little miss has adapted beautifully to eat Bio-Cheese …. but …. for those of us who have actually eaten cheese in the past, it is really not that palatable an option. So if we are all eating the same dinner, we don’t use bio-cheese, instead, often making a cheesey tasting sauce with nutritional yeast flakes.

Then I was on a recipe sharing FB page and I saw one of the ladies mention that she made a dairy free Parmesan with Cashews and nutritional yeast and salt. I was so intrigued and started tinkering with a version that was safe for us.

And here it is! Such a cheesey flavour and aroma, and SO simple!

  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup roasted almonds OR roasted sunflower seeds
  • 2tbsp, heaped, nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1tsp pink salt flakes
  • Few grinds black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian herbs

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Place all ingredients into your processor/bullet/thermal cooker and pulse until you get a nice crumbly consistency.

Store in an airtight glass jar. Leave it in the fridge if you’ll use it up within a week or so. We don’t so I pop it in the freezer to avoid the oils from seeds or nuts going off.

Sprinkle it on to your Lasagne or your Bolognese. I found that its cheesey flavour together with the creaminess of my avocado dressing was a real winner on our pizza too!

I’ll be using it as a topping for some savoury crackers next!

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Enjoy 🙂

Creamy Avocado dressing

Salad dressings are bit of a challenge when you are dealing with food allergies, or if you want healthier options! The store bought variety are mostly loaded with sugars plus stabilisers and emulsifiers that we tend to avoid when possible.

As such, we  have just mostly avoided dressings – when I do use them, a vinaigrette of some description is my normal ‘go-to’, but occasionally the mood strikes for something a bit different and creamy!

This super simple dressing is amazing! Creamy and rich, it holds beautifully to salads that you toss through it and it’s delightful  drizzled on salmon or chicken … maybe even lamb or beef, but I haven’t tried that yet!

  • the flesh of one avocado, very ripe
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp fresh chopped dill
  • a good pinch pink salt flakes
  • a few grinds of black pepper

Optional: If you want a more liquid version of the dressing, add in 1 tbsp of Aquafaba (liquid drained from a can of chick peas)

Place all ingredients into your blender/processor/bullet/thermal cooker and process until smooth. (Speed 5, 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

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Oops – I forgot to take a photo of the whole batch!

Tonight we tossed a good tablespoon of the dressing through a raw broccoli and beetroot salad and then topped our baked salmon with some more! Divine!

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This quantity of dressing is probably enough for 5-6 people, and lasts a couple of days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy 🙂

Chocolate protein hotcakes

Hotcakes are a very popular weekend breakfast in our house. I love that they can be loaded with goodies to make them nutritious and filling. This version is a twist on my Vanilla Almond hotcakes.

They got absolutely demolished …. 4 very full little people at the end of breakfast!!

  • 1 1/2 cups, wholemeal spelt flour OR 1 1/3 cups plain GF flour mix
  • 1/2 cup of my chocolate protein drink mix*
  • 2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice – I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk (add an extra splash if you use GF flour)
  • 1 small overripe banana
  • 1 heaped tbsp sunflower seed butter (or other nut butter that your diet allows)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba (liquid drained from a can of chick peas) OR 1 whole egg
  • vegan butter/butter/nut butter to serve

*If you haven’t made the Choc Protein Drink – then you can roughly replicate it with 1 tbsp cocoa, 1 tbsp coconut sugar and 2 tbsp almond or seed meal.

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For a nut free/lunchbox safe version make sure you follow the nut free version of the Protein Drink mix

For a more chocolately version, replace the sunflower seed butter with some of my chocolate seed spread or choc hazelnut paste!

In a large bowl whisk together all of your dry ingredients (Speed 4, 10 seconds). Then set aside.

In a blender/food processor/bullet/thermal cooker, place the banana, milk, sunflower seed butter, vanilla, aquafaba/egg and blend until well combined (Speed 6, 10 seconds)

Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and whisk well to combine. (Speed 4, 10 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

Pour the batter into a hot, lightly greased frying pan, wait until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip and cook until both sides are a deep golden brown.

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Top with butter of choice and serve warm.

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They freeze well too – I make double batches and freeze sandwich style with a filling in between for an easy, filling, low mess snack.

Enjoy 🙂

Date and carrot loaf (or muffins)

We have busy afternoons after school most days. Filled with activities for very boisterous, active kids! The parents at these activities are forever digging into their bags for goodies to fend off the cries of “I’m huuuuuungryyyyyy”. A while ago, a friend had date loaf for her kids to keep them going at Jujitsu (Hi Kylie!).

It inspired me to have a go at my own. I’d grown up with my Mum’s version, but these days I’m after less oil, sugar and refined ingredients …. and look for any excuse to hide bonus goodies. So these ones were created. Hope you enjoy them – they’re are like a cross between traditional date loaf and a carrot cake!

  • 10 medjool dates
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1tsp instant coffee (optional)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce*
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 1/4 cup wholemeal spelt/ rye flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats/quinoa/desiccated coconut
  • 1 rounded tsp GF baking powder
  • Pinch pink salt flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts OR 1/4 cup each roasted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

* To make my apple sauce I just core my apples and cut them into quarters (don’t peel – keep the benefit of the skin’s nutrients!) and steam them until soft with a little bit of water and a pinch of cinnamon and then blend or process until you reach the consistency you like. (Speed 2, Steam Temp for about 10-12 minutes, then turn off temperature and increase speed gradually up to 6). I make it in bulk and store it in reusable squeezy pouches in the freezer.

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Remove and discard the seeds from the dates, then place them in a bowl, sprinkle over the coffee (if using) and bicarb soda and then pour over the boiling water. Set aside.

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Use your processor to blitz the oats into a flour (Speed 6, 8 seconds) then set aside

Grate or process the carrot until fine (drop onto blades spinning on speed 5, then up to speed 6 for 8 seconds).

Add the apple sauce, vanilla and all of the date mixture to the processor and process until smooth and well combined (start on speed 4 then gradually work up to speed 6 for 15 seconds).

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In a separate bowl, whisk together the oat flour, flour, baking powder, salt and seeds/nuts. If you haven’t used the coffee, an added teaspoon of cinnamon here.

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Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and fold together until combined.

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Spoon into a lined loaf tin or muffin holes. Place into a pre heated moderate oven, until well risen and golden. Takes about 25 minutes for the muffins or 50 minutes for the loaf.

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Allow to cool. Makes about 14 muffins.

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Toddler tick of approval – My cheeky boy as he pinches his 3rd one!!

If you want a sweeter more desserty kind of treat, you can top them with an icing made from whipped cream cheese (dairy or soy), sweetened with maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. A scattering of extra nuts or seeds on top is yummy too.

Enjoy 🙂

I haven’t made a coeliac friendly version of this one yet. I’d try 1 cup of a GF flour mix, and maybe have another tablespoon of flour to add in if it looks too thin. Let me know if you try!