Banana-Pecan Cake

What do you do when your bananas are starting to brown? Make Banana and Pecan Cake, of course. This one is oil-free, relatively lower in sugar than other banana cakes or breads, and yet the flavour and texture don’t suffer as a result.

Ingredients:

2 overripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda (also called bicarbonate of soda or bread soda)
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch cloves
Pinch nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup pecans (1/4 cup chopped; the rest left whole)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Grease or line an 8″ loose-bottomed cake tin.
2. Add all of the ingredients apart from the pecans to a large bowl in the order listed above. Mix well. Stir in the chopped pecans.
3. Transfer the mix to the baking tin and top with the pecan halves.
4. Bake at 10 minutes for 200C. Reduce the heat to 180C and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the cake is cooked and a knife inserted comes out clean.
5. Because ovens can vary, if your cake is over-browning on the top, cover it with foil.

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

Ideal for those who don’t like to cook, this is more a breakfast suggestion than a recipe. It’s really simple to put together, and although it’s a single-serving, it’s easily doubled or even quadrupled for a great family breakfast.

Ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate almond milk (or other chocolate plant milk)
1/4 tsp fairtrade vanilla essence
1 banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
Cacao nibs or suitable-for-vegan fairtrade chocolate chips to garnish, if desired

Method
1. Stir the milk and vanilla essence through the oats. Leave to soak overnight or for at least 20 minutes.
2. When ready to serve, add a little more milk through the oats, if desired. Layer with peanut butter and banana, and top with chocolate chips.

Speedy Chocolate Mug Cake

Rich, spongy, sticky: this chocolate mug cake is wholewheat and free from refined sugar. However, if you’re feeling decadent, you can serve it with some suitable-for-vegans chocolate sauce and/or peanut butter. Serves 1-2, depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have.

Ingredients

Suitable-for-vegan spray oil, for greasing the mug
1/2 small banana
70g dates, pitted and soaked for 5 minutes in boiling water, then drained
4 tbsp wholewheat flour
1 tbsp fairtrade cocoa powder
3 tbsp plant milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp bread soda/bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1/4 tsp vinegar

1. Grease the mug with some spray oil, or a kitchen towel dipped in a little vegetable oil
2. Blend the rest of the ingredients until smooth.
3. Transfer to the mug, and microwave on full power for 2-3 minutes until cooked.

Banana-Blueberry-Walnut Muffins

Perfect for breakfast or a sweet snack, these muffins are oil-free and quite easy to make.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups oat flour (I ground down 1 cup oats in the blender)
1/2 cup oat bran
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk (or other all-plant milk of choice)
1/2 cup liquid sweetener (e.g. brown rice syrup, date syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a silicone muffin tin with paper or silicone cases.
2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, bran, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and mixed spice.
3. In another large bowl, mix the bananas, plant milk, sweetener, vanilla, and vinegar.
4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well to combine.
5. Add the blueberries and the walnuts and fold in, being careful not to overmix.
6. Fill the muffin tins with the mixture, and bake until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

Strawberry-Chocolate Parfait

Although this breakfast seems decadent, it takes under 10 minutes to prepare and will make enough for 4-6 servings. The strawberry cream, chocolate cream, and granola keep well in the fridge in separate containers. This is “technically” breakfast because it’s full of fruit and cereal, but it also makes a really delicious dessert.

Ingredients

2 cups frozen strawberries (or substitute with other frozen fruit, if you prefer)
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups suitable-for-vegan muesli or granola
300g silken tofu (available in your health-food shop, or in the Japanese aisle of your supermarket)
1 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 pear per serving, chopped

Directions

1. Place the strawberries and 2 tbsp maple syrup in a bowl in the microwave and zap for 2 minutes, until the strawberries start to thaw and soften. If you have got a microwave, you can use a saucepan over a medium-low heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan over a medium heat, toast the muesli until golden brown (2-3 minutes).
3. Transfer the strawberries to the blender with the tofu and lime juice, and blend until smooth.
4. Remove half of the strawberry mix and set aside. To the rest, add the cocoa powder, the peanut butter, and the remaining 1 tbsp maple syrup. Blend again.
5. Layer a glass or bowl with alternating layers of pear, strawberry cream, muesli, and chocolate cream.Top with some granola, and some more chopped frozen strawberries.

Triple scoop blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry frozen dessert

Sometimes you need all three.

Ingredients

3/4 cups frozen blueberries
3/4 cups frozen raspberries
3/4 cups frozen strawberries
3T lemon juice each, separated
1 1/2 cups frozen banana, separated
1/2 cup soft, dried dates, pitted and chopped (or to taste)

Optional: 1t powdered maca root if you like. You could add a little chopped chocolate to the strawberry, ginger to the blueberry, a splash of white wine or 1T roasted red pepper to the raspberries to make the dish more ornate, or just keep it simple. You can leave the bananas out if you prefer or for a more sorbet like texture, but in that case, you may need to reduce the lemon juice a little and/or date more dates to taste.

Method

If your dates are quite dry, soak them a little ahead of time. Puree each set of berries separately with 1T lemon juice, 1/2 cup bananas and 1/3 dates. Scoop out and enjoy!

Ginger, coffee, and walnut nice cream sweetened with dates

A rich, lightly spicy treat.

Ingredients

3 medium frozen bananas (about 2 cups)
1 shot espresso (short)
1t fresh ginger, grated and minced (or to taste)
1/4 cup dried, soft dates, pitted and chopped
1T walnuts chopped with 1t reserved for garnish

Optional: 1t maca powder.

Method

Blend everything but the garnish until smooth. Scoop out, garnish with the walnuts and serve. If your dates are hard, soften them in the coffee then blend.

 

 

Peanut butter, chocolate breakfast bar with dates and figs

Simple, nutrient dense, no baking, no gluten, no added sugar, no added oil, and covered in chocolate.

Ingredients

1/4 cup whole grain teff
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1T cocoa powder (I use a Dutch-processed, fair trade brand)
A pinch coarse sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1/4 dried, soft figs, stemmed and finely chopped (I use calimyrna)
1/4 dried, soft dates, pitted and finely chopped (I use medjool)
2T boiling water
1T tapioca flour dissolved in 2T  water
80g dark chocolate (I use a fair trade, organic bar)

Optional: Add a little chili to the chocolate. Double the chocolate for more of a dessert. Use cashew or macadamia nut butter or even sesame seed butter as an alternative to peanuts. Add a tablespoon or two of coconut sugar for a sweeter tooth.

Method

In a small, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, toast the teff on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the water and bring the pan to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and and simmer for about 20 minutes (until the teff is pulling away from the sides of the pan), stirring more frequently at the end).

Add the plant milk and cocoa powder. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium low. Simmer another 5 minutes. While the teff finishes, add the boiling water to the figs and dates and rehydrate a little. Add the tapioca mixture to the teff slowly, stirring continuously until it thickens. Remove from heat.

Mix the peanut butter in with the dates and figs but leave it marbled rather than fully combined. Pour into a 3″ x 9″ loaf pan and let cool 1 hour to setup.

When the bar has setup, turn out of the pan onto plastic wrap top down. Let stand about 15 minutes. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler, two doubled up pans, etc. When the chocolate has melted, turn the bar over. Spoon the melted chocolate over the bar and spread evenly.

Let stand about 30 minutes at room temperature for the chocolate to firm up. Chill uncovered about an hour. Wrap with plastic and chill until ready to serve (at least a few hours, or overnight).

Vanilla cashew frozen dessert with salted date caramel and pecans

A simple but luxurious dessert.

Ingredients

For the bananas
2 medium frozen bananas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1T cashew butter
1/4t vanilla extract

For the caramel
1/4 cup large, soft dates, pitted and chopped
1/4t vanilla extract
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/4 cup hot water

For garnish
1-2t pecans

Method

Soak the pitted and chopped dates in the hot water with the vanilla and sea salt for about 10 minutes. Puree with the vanilla until smooth. Add the sea salt. Puree the banana with the cashew butter and vanilla. Add one tablespoon of the banana mixture to the caramel and stir to combine. Swirl about 1/2 of the caramel with the bananas and stir a little to marble. Spoon out the remainder into an appropriate glass. Garnish with the remainder of the caramel and pecans and serve.

Blueberry, lemon frozen dessert sweetened with dates

A simple, refreshing treat.

Ingredients

2 cups frozen blueberries
1 medium frozen banana (about 3/4 cups)
1T lemon juice
1/3 to 1/2 cup soft, dried dates, pitted and chopped

Optional: 1t powdered maca root. Add more dates for a sweeter dessert.

Method

Blend the blueberries and lemon first. Add the dates and blend. Then blend in the banana. Blend in the maca if you’ll be using it. Spoon out and enjoy.