Easy, healthy, vegan banana and oat bread

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It’s for some settling down, I reckon. I’ve been traveling and jumping from one event to the next like a headless chicken–all the while keeping my precious startup afloat and running.

I can with all the confidence in the world say that quitting my 9-6 was the best jump into oblivion I’ve ever made. I can also say with all the confidence in the world that it is NOT easy. Some days are gloriously productive and you feel like every inch in this beautiful Universe is mustering up the absolute energy to help you shine indefinitely…other days, I don’t have time to brush my teeth, the gas on my cooker finishes right in the middle of a shoot and my clients just aren’t happy with the copy they’ve gotten.

At the moment, I’m trying my best to harvest all my energy into making those seemingly ‘crappy days’ tolerable. I try to remind myself that they’re but inevitable snags in an otherwise tight-knit sweater with all the trimmings that I’ve ever wanted.

I’m not quite sure if my verbal diarrhea makes any sense to anyone that is not inside my head, but what I’m trying to get at is that I’m trying desperately to teach myself that life isn’t only about waiting and anticipating to experience one cool thing and then desperately wait for the next, it’s about taking in that exciting new trip, harvesting it, letting it soak in, letting it change you in some profound way and then channeling that energy, that change into something that translates and permeates your life so that the days of mundanity are also glorious.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, what a bunch of bull crap, where’s the recipe for the banana bread I was promised…and to that I say, hold your horses, it’s coming right up. It’s simple, quick, vegan and healthy. It’s full of fiber, no added processed sugar. From start to finish, in an hour you’ll have gloriously spiced banana bread–but more importantly, the most pivotal ingredient in this recipe is that you need overly ripe bananas. So essentially, you need something you thought you didn’t. Something that’s shelf life you thought was over. Something you no longer found importance in.

Just like everything you’ve ever had part of your life, not everything you no longer see importance in is garbage. Let’s you and I, work together, to find out what it is in our beautiful selves that is worth keeping, worth growing, and worth discarding.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup of organic maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup of almond or coconut milk
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of oat flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseeds mixed with 6 tablespoons of warm water (set aside for 5 minutes)

 

 

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (approximately 300°F).
  2. In a large bowl mix together the oats, oat flour, cinnamon, sea salt and ginger.
  3. Add the mashed ripe bananas, maple syrup, flaxseed mix, milk and mix well.
  4. Add the baking powder and baking soda and mix just until incorporated.
  5. Let the mixture set for 5 minutes so the baking soda can start reacting with the mixture.
  6. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and pour the mixture into it.
  7. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until knife runs clear.
  8. Let cool and enjoy J

Oh and since you’re here, follow me on Instagram, por favor! ❤

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The easiest soba noodle salad in just 15 minutes!

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So I’m frantically packing for my last-minute trip to Jordan courtesy of Movenpick Dead Sea and Petra, but I need to fuel my body..I need to have lunch or else I won’t remember all the important things I need to pack, right?

With an almost empty fridge, I was left to rummage the cupboard to see what I could make to nourish my body and here’s what I came up with, an easy, quick and healthy soba noodle salad that I could even save in the fridge for lunch the next day!

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Ingredients:

Noodles:

  • 1 pack of soba noodles
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • Chopped coriander
  • 1 cup of toasted cashews (in a pan with no oil)
  • 1/2 cup of toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 red chilis (depending on how hot you like it)
  • Almost 2 cups of chopped mushrooms (whatever kind you have), cooked in a pan with no oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic cooked in sesame oil till nice and golden and crispy

Dressing:

  • 1 large tablespoon of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 thumb of ginger, grated
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • Rice vinegar to taste
  • About 3 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • About 1/2 cup of warm water from the soba noodles (adding a little bit at a time)

 

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. First, you need to toast the cashews, sesame seeds, garlic and garlic in pans individually (do not put them together in one pan because you’re lazy, they can and will burn)
  2. Then boil a pan of water and when the water comes to a boil, cook the soba noodles for 5 minutes (or read pack) and then drain and wash with cold water
  3. In a large bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients. Add some of the hot water from the noodles a little bit at a time and keep mixing till the dressing is nice and creamy
  4. Add all the ingredients into the bowl and toss till the noodles are mixed with the dressing
  5. ENJOY!

 

Please give this recipe a shot, it’s even easier than it sounds, I promise. Plus it’s perfect for lunch the next day!

It’s healthy, quick and easy! Go Straight-up Bananas with me and give this recipe a shot. Also, please follow me on Instagram by clicking this link 🙂

 

 

Vegan, healthy and quick pasta primavera

Primavera means spring in Latin. And a pasta primavera is quintessential for any Italian spread during the spring–filled with everything green and plenty of cream, it makes for the ultimate comfort food.

Fortunately for me, my newly-started vegan diet to atone for the food that I ate during the weekend, forced me to come up with my new plantbased spin on the famous Italian dish.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you a foolproof, quick and easy vegan pasta primavera.

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Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 chopped garlic
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 2 sprigs of spring onions
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • Sea salt and pepper

Pasta:

  • Buckwheat pasta
  • 3 cloves of garlic, fried till golden in a pan
  • 1 handful of spinach roughly chopped
  • 1 handful of baby asparagus, grilled
  • Zucchini ribbons (you can make these by peeling off the skin of the large zucchini with a peeler)
  • Red chili flakes
  • Sea salt and black pepper

 

How to make it:

  • Make the sauce by mixing all it’s ingredients together and blending with a handmixer till smooth and creamy
  • Cook the buckwheat pasta according to the instructions
  • In a pan, sautee the asparagus first (because it needs more cooking time), then cook down the spinach for a minute.
  • Turn off the heat, and add the zucchini ribbons
  • Remove the veggies and cook the garlic until nice and golden brown
  • Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the pan along with the fried garlic and veggies
  • Turn off the heat, and add the pasta to a plate with the avocado sauce and mix well
  • If you allow the avocado sauce to touch the heat, it’s vibrant green color will fade
  • Enjoy!

Super simple and super good for you, this plant-based vegan avocado pasta primavera is packed with vitamins and is crazy easy to make. Also, it tastes AMAZEBALLS!

It’s really versatile as well . The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever green ingredients you have in your fridge on that day: peas, green string beans…

Go Straight-up Bananas with me and give this recipe a shot! And also, since you’re here, maybe check out my Instagram by clicking this link here? Thank you!

10-minute coconut healthy ice cream

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So I’m sure you’ve seen ‘nice cream’ photos plastered all around Instagram and were wondering what the heck it is. Well, it’s basically a healthy alternative to ice cream using frozen fruit and a plant-based milk. You can add whatever your heart desires, top with some fresh fruit, nuts or any super seed and you’re on your way to healthy body and a satisfied sweet tooth!

It couldn’t be simpler to make, the only prerequisite is ripe frozen bananas. And I know for a fact, you’ve thrown out black bananas because you thought they’re time was over. If you’ve got black and bruised mushy bananas lying around…ever…just stick them in ziploc bag and put them in the freezer and you’re one step closer to ice cream for breakfast.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 can (or a cup and a half) of organic coconut milk (almond or soy milk work as well)
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup ( date syrup or honey work just as well)
  • 1/2 cup of oats (to give it body, this is optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of milled flax seeds (also optional,  but a good boost of omega for your body in the morning)
  • 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 papaya (also optional)

So the concept for this tropical nice cream served in a fresh papaya boat is an ode to my Puerto Rican grandmother, Heidi–who always used to prepare papaya, cinnamon and coconut milk smoothies for us.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Grab all the ingredients (except the papaya) and place in a food processor or blender and blend together till creamy.
  • Scoop out the seeds of the papaya with a spoon and place the nice cream inside the papaya.
  • Top with whatever you feel works that day. I added toasted coconut, goji berries, chia seeds.

I think it’s worth mentioning that the good base to ANY nice cream is frozen bananas, milk and a sweetener–the rest is alllllll you. Add whatever you want, the possibilities are endless: peanut butter, chocolate, strawberries, blueberries…

Go straight-up bananas with me and give this dead simple recipe a shot! I’d love to hear from you! Oh, and since you’re here…why don’t you follow me on Instagram by clicking this link.

Super simple and healthy breakfast smoothie

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I’ve featured my super easy and healthy breakfast smoothies on the blog countless times and that’s because they are an absolute classic! No fuss, two dishes and they’ll give you that jump start you need for your day!

You could play this recipe however you like. If it’s chocolatey goodness you crave in the morning add cocoa, a banana and maybe some peanut butter? If it’s something fruity (like the picture above) add whatever berries you’ve got and whatever nuts you like! Easy peasy!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 ripe frozen bananas
  • 1 cup of frozen fruit (I used strawberries)
  • 2 tablespoons of grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of flaxseeds
  • 1 cup and 1/2 of soy or almond milk
  • About 1/4 a cup of maple syrup, agave syrup or honey (whatever you’ve got on hand)
  • 1/3 cup of breakfast oats (this adds more body to the smoothie and will help fill you up. But, it’s absolutely optional)
  • A strong-ass blender!

How to get it done, son:

  • Ready? Grab all your ingredients and stick them in the blender. Blend the living daylights out of it until it’s nice and creamy with an ice cream-like consistency (nice cream, get it?)
  • Pour it in a bowl and top with whatever you want.

I topped yesterday’s with almond, chia seeds, strawberries and kiwi.

Remember, the smoothie can and will melt or discolor if you don’t eat (slurp) it immediately. I mean, it’s ice cream so I’m not quite sure what you were expecting…

Happy eating, ya’ll and go straight-up bananas with me and follow me on Instagram by clicking this here link and on SnapChat (Ahlam.al1).

 

5-ingredient healthy sweet potato brownies

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“Eat your vegetables.” she said, “You need fiber in your system to grow up to be big and strong.” Little did she know that I was researching the crap out of how to somehow incorporate the veggies I needed to “grow big and strong” with brownies.

This here recipe is my rendition of one I saw on Healthy Holistic Living. It’s super easy to make, super healthy and it takes no time at all!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of mashed, boiled sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (organic)
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter

Here’s how to pull it off:

Brownies:

  1. Preheat your oven to medium heat (or about 150 c)
  2. Grease a loaf pan
  3. On low heat, melt (soften) the almond butter (so it’s easier to mix with the rest of the ingredients)
  4. Mix together the mashed sweet potatoes, maple syrup, almond butter and cocoa powder
  5. Pour mixture into loaf pan
  6. Put in oven for about 20-25 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and let cool

Peanut butter topping:

  1. Mix the peanut butter with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey) and a splash of hot water.
  2. Mix the ingredients well until they become nice and creamy and spreadable.
  3. Spread on brownies.

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These brownies are as moist and fugdy as can be, I kid you not. Plus, you can have them breakfast and not worry about a damned thing. DO YOU HEAR WHAT I’M TELLING YOU!? You can have healthy vegan brownies for breakfast and absolutely NO ONE is allowed to judge you! You’re welcome. 🙂

Oh and since you’re here, why don’t you follow me on Instagram by clicking this link here and on SnapChat (Ahlam.al1). Please and thank you!

 

Quick and healthy chocolate pudding bars

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Ramadan. The season of spending your day thinking about food, dreaming about food, cooking food, eating food and contemplating what food you’ll eat tomorrow.

For those of you who know me, you know that an Ahlam who hasn’t slept well or ate well is not a fun Ahlam. My brain gets super foggy…I’m double checking everything I’m writing right now for typos knowing fully well, that months from now I’ll look back at this post and wonder what I was on when I typed it and how any agency every hired me as a copywriter lol. I promise it’s the hunger. And the sleep.

For some reason, though, the only part of my brain that’s still A-Okay during Ramadan, is the part in charge of cooking and thinking of recipes. My culinary creativity just comes alive in Ramadan!

Anyway, long story short, I made these AH-MAZING raw vegan chocolate pudding bars for dessert–they were super easy to rustle together, they taste great and they’re good for you.

If sweet cravings are your thing when you’re fasting, then boy have I got the solution for you!

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Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup of pitted dates
  • 1/2 a tablespoon of organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup of almonds (walnuts or pecans also work)
  • A sprinkle of sea salt

Pudding:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or honey, date syrup or agave) (add the sweeteners to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • Strawberries for topping (you could substitute with any fruit, or none at all)

 

How it’s done:

  1. Grab a pan (Whatever shape you want the bars to look in the end) and line it with cling film–this will help you transfer the bars onto a plate to cut without having them crumble.
  2. In a food processor, place all the crust ingredients together and pulse until almonds form a soft meal and the ingredients come together.
  3. Throw the crust ingredients into the pan and press down until the crumbly mixture becomes firm and solid.
  4. Place the crust in the fridge to firm up even further while you make the filling.
  5. In a food processor, mix all the pudding ingredients together until well incorporated and forms a beautiful, silky chocolate pudding.
  6. Pour the pudding over the crust and allow to set in the fridge for at least two hours.
  7. Top with whatever you’d like when serving and cut up into bars.
  8. Enjoy!

 

As far as I’m concerned, there is absolutely no recipe that is set in stone. Go straight-up bananas. Play with it. Add whatever you’re feeling that day! Life’s too short to stick to the stupid rules, especially when it comes to what you want to stuff in your mouth, man.

Just a little heads up, sometimes the dates for the crust can be a bit dry and you’ll find the crust won’t come together–if that’s the case, just add some more coconut oil. If you accidentally add too much coconut oil, then add more almonds to even it out. You got this!

Oh, and since you’re here, why not follow me on Instagram, by clicking this here link?

K.Thanks.Bye.