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 🙂

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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.

Easy and healthy beetroot hummus

Easy beetroot hummus - Straight up bananas

Now he’s a recipe that’ll have your Arab grandmother pulling out her hair!

Like any other patriotic Palestinian, I heart hummus–unconditionally and eternally. If it were up to me, I’d probably have it on the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No joke. But alas, this crazy little thing called life doesn’t always go as planned *cue dramatic music

Sometimes, to trick myself and my husband into not realizing that we’re having hummus (yet again), I like to mess with the color and taste of it.

Ladies and gents, I give to you a two-dish, 15-minute beetroot and hummus recipe that is so good, you’ll be licking your fingers after it. Plus, it’s pretty as heck!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A can of chickpeas (preferably an organic brand)
  • Half a clove or garlic
  • The juice of one lime/lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of tahini sauce
  • Some olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Slices of pickled beetroot (until you get the pink that you like)

And here’s how to get it done, son:

  • Stick everything in the food processor and blitz till nice and creamy
  • Arrange nicely in a plate or bowl and top with some olive oil
  • Serve with some toasted pita bread and you’re good to go!

 

Now how simple was that?!

Give this recipe a shot, please. You won’t regret it.

Oh, and since you’re here…I reckon you should follow me on Instagram by clicking this here link…and maybe Snapchat (Ahlam.al1)  while you’re at it?

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).

 

Tropic Fruit Rolls with a Yogurt-Turmeric Sauce

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I’ve got a real issue when it comes to fruit–I love ’em, but sometimes that sad little old orange could sit in the fruit bowl for days on end without me touching it only because I can sometimes, sorta be a lazy bum. If it’s washed, cut and ready in front of my face, I’ll have at it, if it’s not, I procrastinate until the poor little old orange whithers away and dies. Morbid…I know.

With Ramadan right around the corner, and plenty of Ramadan menu tastings happening, I’m trying my best to eat clean (especially the days I work from my home office).

Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you these beautifully satisfying healthy Tropic Fruit Spring Rolls–TADAAAA!

Here’s what you’ll need:

For fruit rolls:

  • Any fruit you’ve got on hand, sliced very thinly. I used bananas, kiwis, orange and strawberries
  • Rice paper

For sauce:

  • 1/3 a cup of cultured yogurt
  • Organic maple syrup (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of organic turmeric powder

 

How to make ’em:

  1. Fill up a big ol’ bowl of hot water and leave to cool down just enough for you to be able to put your hands in it and not boil your fingertips
  2. Grab your rice papers and submerge in the water for about 30 seconds or until the edges start to curl up a bit
  3. Carefully take the rice paper out of the water and place it on a plate
  4. Layer your fruits on to the rice paper
  5. Start rolling by bring in the sides and roll
  6. For the sauce, dump all the sauce ingredients into a little bowl and mix
  7. Serve, grab and dunk in sauce–good times..

Easy raw strawberry fig cashew bars

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So I’ve made quite a few cashew bar posts over the years, but it’s only because I love them and they’re so utterly versatile you can make with whatever fruit you have in season–now, why wouldn’t I keep posting them, hmmm?

These easy, raw vegan strawberry and fig cashew bars could be in and around your mouth sooner than you’d think.

INGREDIENTS:

Crust:

  • ½ dates
  • ½ almonds
  • pinch of sea salt

Filling:

  • ¾ cup of raw soaked cashews
  • ¼ cup of agave nectar, maple syrup or honey if not vegan.
  • ½ the juice of a lemon
  • ¼ + 1 tbspn of full fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1 tspn of vanilla extract
  • Frozen strawberries
  • Fresh figs or strawberries for topping

Top with any fresh fruit you’ve got on hand. I topped some with figs.


HERE’S HOW IT’S DONE, SON:

1) Line you loaf tin with cling film so that you can easily remove the cashew bars from the mold without it crumbling into  pieces.

2) In your food processor, process the dates, almonds, and salt until it forms a crumbly crust.

3) Throw crust into the loaf tin and press down until very firm.

4) In a blender, blend all the filling ingredients for 2-3 minutes until silky smooth and poor over the crust. If you’d like to make two layers like the picture above, just blend everything except for the strawberries together and pour half of the mixture into the loaf tin, then add the strawberries to the remainder of the cashew mixture (now it should be nice and pink) and pour on top of the white cashew mixture.

5) Bang the tin on your counter top a few times to get any air bubbles (and aggression) out.

6) Top with the fresh figs or strawberries and cover with cling film.

7) Place in the freezer to set for 4-5 hours.

8) When you’re ready to have a piece, take it out at least 15 minutes before eating so that it doesn’t freeze your teeth off.


There! Easy, peasy! Please, please give it a go and let me know how you liked it.

Oh, and follow me on Instagram since you’re here @straightupbananas

Tropical-fruit mango and turmeric vegan cheesecake

Vegan turmeric mango cheesecake

Yes, it’s yet another raw vegan cashew cheesecake, folks. And you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t like them just as much as I do, now would you?

This cheesecake is processed sugar free, colorant free and full of healthy goodness like the mega antioxidant turmeric and mangos.

Once you get the flow of these raw vegan cheesecake recipes, it’s so easy to pimp it up as much as you want. I love it, it’s like the perfect base for so many things!

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup of pitted dates
  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
  • A sprinkle of sea salt

For the filling:

  • 4 tablespoons of turmeric
  • 1 can of fullfat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup of maple syrup, agave nectar or honey
  • the juice of one lime
  • 250g (a whole pack) of cashews soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 2 mangos
  • fresh fruit for topping
  • a pinch of sea salt

How to get it done:

First things first, you’ll need one of those cake or tart tins with a removable bottom.

Place all the crust ingredients into a food processor and blitz till nice and crumbly.

Put the crust mixture into the tin and press it down firmly.

Then, in a blender place all the filling ingredients EXCEPT for the turmeric, mango, and fruit for topping.

On a high speed, blend the ingredients together till creamy and no longer lumpy.

Pour half of the mixture into the cake tin and then add the mango and turmeric to the remaining mixture and blitz again till mango and turmeric are combined. (You should get a yellow shade of cashew cream)

Pour the yellow cashew cream on top of the white, and swirl around as much as you’d like to get the marbled effect.

Place in freezer for about 4 hours.

Before slicing and serving, take out of the freezer and let the cheesecake thaw out at least 20 minutes (no one wants to bite into ice. Oh and please don’t forget it out or it will collapse).

When ready to serve, add your choice of fresh fruit on top.

There you go! Easy Peasy! You’re going to love this cake. And no one needs to know that: A) It’s good for you. B) It’s not a real cheesecake. C) It’s got turmeric in it, ’cause that’ll just turn people off from the idea of having dessert for some reason.

Try this easy, quick and healthy raw vegan mango and turmeric cheesecake now! All the ingredients can be found in any regular supermarket in Dubai, it doesn’t necessarily call for a trip to the Organic Shop or whatever.

Go straight-up bananas with me and give this a try.

Oh and my Instagram account awaits a new follower in the form of you! Click this here link, matey. Aaargh.