Healthy plant-based spiced chocolate tart with figs

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Something really strange has been going on with my Instagram lately — it seems the algorithms have changed (again) and smaller pages such as mine are lagging behind (again) unless they pay to have their posts boosted — sucks for me and my numbers, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to stop posting my recipes and photos; even if it’s only little ol’ me looking at them.

Ladies and gents, I give to you this beautiful plant-based chocolate tart with fresh figs on top. With no added processed sugar, this decadent beauty is the perfect chocolate fix and the best thing is…you could even have it breakfast if you felt like it.

It takes about 30 minutes to put together and about 2 hours to set in the fridge/freezer.

Here’s how I made it:

Ingredients:

For crust:

  • 1 cup of date paste (alternatively, you could soak about 20 dates in warm water, pit them and make into a paste in your food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1 cup of salted pecans (you use any kind of nut you like)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla pods
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter

For filling:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/3 cup of tahini paste
  • 1/4 cup of date syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
  • 1/3 cup of organic cacao powder
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

For topping:

  • Any fresh fruit you’d like.
  • Cashew cream (optional)**

The method to my madness:

  • First things, first. In your food processor, process the oats, cinnamon, ginger, and pecans into a fine flour.
  • Then, add the dates, honey, almond butter and vanilla and process all together until it forms a dough-like ball.
  • Take out the crust dough and with your hands knead it until it becomes nice and sticks together.
  • In a serving plate lined with wax paper, form the ball into a circular crust (or whatever shape you’d like) using your fingers and pressing down firmly. I created a little pool-like dough so the chocolate doesn’t pour out.
  • Place the dough in the freezer to firm up as you make the filling.
  • In a food processor (sorry, you’re going to have to clean it:)), throw together all the filling ingredients and blitz until it’s nice and creamy — taste it and see if you need to add anything (more honey, more cinnamon…)
  • Pour the filling mixture into the dough and put back in freezer to set (for two hours), or overnight in the fridge.
  • To top, you could make a simple cashew cream by placing 1 cup of raw cashews into a bowl with boiling hot water on top and let sit for two hours. Then blitz all together with a hand blender. I like to add two tablespoons of honey, vanilla paste and a little squirt of lime.

 

That’s it. Super simple. Super healthy. Super beautiful. No nasty processed additives that’ll have you feeling terrible after, this plant-based chocolate tart is just what I needed this hectic Sunday!

Since you’re here, why not follow Straight-upBananas on Instagram, too!

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Easy potato, leek and butter bean soup

 

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Have I ever mentioned that I originally wanted to blog ONLY about soups…? Dumb, I know. But I’m an avid fan of everything slurpy and thought it would be a good idea to dedicate a website to my slurping obsession. Then, that same day, I was watching an episode of New Girl and Jess tells Schmidt that she’s “Straight-up Bananas, yo” and I literally popped my laptop open and bought the domain on spot. Fast forward four years and here we are…with a thriving Instagram account (have you followed me yet?), and less than impressive website (help meeeee)

Long story, short: I love soups. Probably way more than I should. Now add Ramadan and my constant need to break my fast with any kind of soup and you’ve got some good old-fashioned improv happening in the kitchen.

And the leek, potato and butter bean soup was born.

Super simple to make and MEGA good — it tastes creamy and cheesy for some reason without an ounce of either.

It takes about 20 minutes to put together and then you just puree it with a handy, dandy hand blender and you are good to go, mi amigo.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Leeks
  • 1/2 kilo of potatoes, skinned and diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 can of fullfat coconut cream
  • 2 organic stock cubes
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
  • 1 can of white butter beans
  • 1 liter of boiling water
  • Dill, coriander or spring onion for serving (optional)

How to make it:

  • First, make sure you clean the leaks as they sometimes can be gritty
  • Put 1 liter of water to boil in a kettle
  • In a pan, melt the tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Slice the leeks, garlic, and spring onion and add to the pot to saute a bit
  • Then add the diced potatoes, stock cubes and boiling water and bring to a boil
  • Once up to the boil, lower the heat and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes (or until potatoes are completely tender…like mashed potato tender)
  • Add the can of butter beans and cook a bit more (1 minute or 2)
  • Turn off the heat and add a cup of coconut milk and the juice of the lemon
  • With a hand blender, blend the mixture until completely cream
  • Serve with freshly cracked black pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and some dill or any other herbs.

This soup is easy, delicious and perfect for Ramadan — you’re going to love it, I promise!

While you’re here, why not check out my Instagram account and follow me!

Roasted coriander and pepper baby potatoes

Roasted baby potato side dish straightupbananas

So Spinney’s was gracious enough to invite me to their Virtual BBQ a few weeks ago, they sent me a hamper with all the essentials for a great BBQ at home. We set a time and a few hashtags, invited a few friends over and put together a beautiful feast full of fun and delicious food.

One of the jewels of this gathering was the roasted baby potatoes spiced with garlic, coriander, red chili peppers, lemon and chipotle tabasco sauce. I usually opt in for a side dish of roasted potatoes anytime I have a gathering — they’re always one of the first things to go!

Super simple, deliciously crispy and no deep frying involved — this perfect side dish to anything could be ready in less than twenty minutes as you go about cooking the rest of your meal!

Ingredients:

  1. 1 lb of baby potatoes (the whole sack)
  2. 8 cloves of garlic (leave the skin on)
  3. Coriander (to taste)
  4. Chipotle Tobasco sauce
  5. 1 lime
  6. sea salt
  7. olive oil
  8. 1 liter of boiling water

 

How to make it:

1- In a large pot, bring the water to boil and drop in the potatoes and the cloves of garlic (skin on). Cover and boil for about 10 minutes or until you can pierce it with a fork.

2- In a pestle and mortar, bash together the coriander leaves and chili peppers, then add some olive oil, lime juice, sea salt and chipotle sauce.

3- Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them really well and leave in a colander till they’re completely dry.

4- Bring a large pan to hight heat, add some oil and add the completely dry baby potatoes.

5- Allow the potatoes to get nice and crispy.

6- Squeeze out the soft garlic from the skin and add to the potatoes to fry (holy smokes will this spell AMAZING)

7- Once the potatoes have gotten beautifully golden and crispy, add the coriander, chili and chipotle mixture and let the sauce coat the potatoes and fry for another minute.

 

These potatoes are fluffy and floury on the inside, and crispy and spicy on the outside — everything you’d ever want from a potato, man.

 

Give it a try and follow me on Instagram since you’re here!

Fresh Citrus Salad

Citrus Salad StraightupBananas

Here it is, ladies and gents — summer in a single salad.

Fresh, insanely easy to put together and nice and light — you can’t go wrong with serving this nice citrusy salad with any meal.

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 grapefruit
  2. 1 navel orange
  3. pumpkin seeds
  4. fennel
  5. chili flakes
  6. watercress (arugula, baby spinach or chard works fine)
  7. olive oil
  8. sea salt
  9. mint leaves

 

How to make it:

  • First, slice the grapefruit and orange as thin as you can without chopping off your fingers.
  • Then, place on the plate you’re going to serve it in.
  • Slice the white part of the fennel onto the citrus
  • sprinkle on the watercress leaves, chili flakes, mint leaves and sea salt
  • drizzle on some olive oil and you’re good to go!

 

That’s it, you’re done! It’s gorgeous, amazingly fresh and the kick of the chili adds just the right flavor to bring this fresh salad all together!

 

Give it a try and follow me on instagram, folks: @straightupbananas

Vegan Spiced Pumpkin Bowl

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So I’m an avid fan of all things pumpkin spiced and ’tis the season, my friends. ‘Tis the season.

This recipe is perfect as a healthy breakfast or a healthy dessert option. It’s super simple and ridiculously quick to put together. Another of my favorite things about is that it requires frozen very ripe (almost black) bananas that would have otherwise been thrown away!

Ingredients (for one bowl:

  • 2 frozen bananas (as ripe as you can get them)
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (either canned or homemade, doesn’t matter)
  • 1/2 cup of Greek style coconut yogurt (you can use regular yogurt, just make sure it’s got some probiotics/live cultures)
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A splash of soy milk (to get the food processor moving)

Method:

  1. Throw everything into your food processor and blitz till nice and creamy
  2. Top with anything you’d like. I’ve added salted coconut chips, pumpkin seeds and chia seeds.

 

I kid you not, this stuff is as good as ice cream of frozen yogurt ANYDAY! Give it a try, it’s the perfect healthy breakfast or dessert option.

Since you’re here, check out my Instagram account–purrty paleez?

 

Easy healthy vegan fudge squares

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After almost two weeks of being ill, I am finally back in the kitchen and couldn’t be happier.

After hours of thinking of new recipes to feature on my blog and without the will power to put pants on and go out to get some groceries, I rummaged through my cupboards and fridge and decided to test something out…luckily it proved to be one of the most successful recipes yet…no joke.

They’re crazy simple, really quick to make and are healthy as hell!

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The beauty of this recipe is that you can just store in a container in the fridge and you’ve got a chewy, fudgy snack ready for you at any time.

So I may or may not have cheated just a tad. Last Ramadan Mohanned made an impulsive purchase of date paste. Which is basically dates that’ve been pitted and formed into a paste. I don’t know why it took me so long to venture out and make a dessert using them, but they save LOADS of time. I actually cut the block (which is 1 KG) into fourths and will use one fourth each time I make this recipe. And I will be making it, many, many times. 🙂

I think the beauty of this recipe is that it’s so easy and really versatile. I mean, I literally threw whatever I had in the food processor and so can you (as long as you feel the flavors go together).

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 of the packet of date paste (about a quarter of a KG)
  • 1 handful of toasted coconut
  • 1 handful of granola (or toasted oats)
  • A sprinkle of goji berries
  • 1 handful of banana chips
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini sauce (sesame paste)
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons of carob powder

 

How to make it:

  1. Throw everything into your food processor
  2. Blend together till everything is nice and crumbly and you can easily form it into a ball with your hands
  3. Line a container with parchment paper
  4. Throw the mixture into the container that’s lined with parchment and press down until firm
  5. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes and then cut them into small squares

As long as you keep these babies in the fridge and properly covered, they’ll be chewy and wonderful for a long time.

Check out my Instagram account, since you’re here 🙂

Easy, healthy, vegan banana and oat bread

vegan-banana-and-oat-bread

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! ❤