For me this means thick woolly socks, enjoying steaming cups of tea in bed, oversized sweaters, warming veggie soups, long baths, and of course, big bowls of porridge.
My go-to porridge recipe is my Basic Oats Recipe, but sometimes I feel like something a little extra.
Enter Maple Cinnamon Roasted Pears. These pears are a perfect way to spice up a bowl of oats. The cinnamon spice and the maple bring out the rich, sweet flavour of the pears – taking a wholesome bowl of porridge to another level of deliciousness.
But these Roasted Pears aren’t reserved for Porridge alone. They are a beautiful accompaniment atop pancakes or simply as a dessert with a scoop of yogurt or icecream and a drizzle of date syrup.
Maple Cinnamon Roasted Pears
2 ripe pears
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pure maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
Preheat your oven to 180c and line a baking tray with baking paper.
In a shallow bowl, combine the cinnamon, maple syrup and coconut oil. Cut the pears in half and evenly coat the pears in the thick maple mixture.
Now place the pear halves with the cut side facing up on to the baking tray and put them in the oven. After 10 minutes, flip the halves over and roast for another 10-15 minutes, or until lovely, golden and soft.
Meanwhile, make your porridge using my Basic Oats Recipe.
Once the pears and porridge are ready, serve the porridge in a bowl and place two halves of the Maple Cinnamon Roasted Pears on top – don’t forget to drizzle the lovely sweet syrup from the baking tray.
I made a batch of these chickpea brownies and gave one for my boyfriend to try – failing to mention that their chief ingredient were chickpeas. He ate the whole thing, remarked that they were delicious and grabbed another one. I was shocked! I was completely convinced that he, being a healthy dessert skeptic, would be able to tell. I knew then that I was on to a winner with these brownies.
These brownies have all the requisite qualities you look for: they’re fudgy, dense, sweet and rich. They also happen to be high in protein thanks to the good ol’ chickpea and almond butter, as well being as gluten-free, vegan and refined sugar free. It seems too good to be true, I know, but it’s true.
I’ll stop blabbing now. Here’s the recipe!
Flourless Double Chocolate Salted Caramel Chickpea Brownies
Makes 16 brownies.
400g can chickpeas
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup brown rice syrup (or maple syrup)
1 tbsp almond milk
1/4 cup cacao powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup* roughly chopped loving earth salted caramel chocolate
1/4 cup* roughly chopped 90% dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chunks, until smooth and creamy. The batter is absolutely delicious at this point, so try and save some for baking! Now gently fold in the salted caramel and dark chocolate pieces. Pour the batter into an 8×8 baking dish lined with baking paper and smooth with a spatula. Then pop the brownies in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out mostly clean. Leave the brownies to cool for 20 minutes, then slice into 16 pieces and tuck in.
* Alternatively, you could use 1/2 cup of one type of chocolate, I just wanted to vary it.
My next festive themed recipe are these super simple raw gingerbread men. Alongside chocolate chip, baked gingerbread cookies are up there in my cookie favourites, so I thought it would be fun to make a raw version of these Christmas treats. They’re easy to prepare, don’t require baking (obvs, hence the title) and have that familiar spicy sweetness which evokes all those warm, nostalgic festive feelings and memories.
Raw Gingerbread Men
Makes 16-20 mini gingerbread men
1/2 cup (5-6) medjool dates
2/3 cup raw almonds
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/2 – 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses (depending on how much molasses you like)
Cover the dates in a small bowl with water. Grind almonds in a food processor until it forms a crumbly flour. Now add in the remaining ingredients, including the soaked dates, and process until the mixture is well combined and sticky. Put the mixture between two sheets of baking paper and roll out the mixture so it’s about 1-2cm thick. Place in the fridge for about half an hour to help the mixture firm up and make it easier for cutting. Use mini gingerbread men cookie cutters (or regular cookie cutters – this will result in less gingerbread men) to cut out the gingerbread men. Store them in the fridge and enjoy!
The festive season here in Australia is quite different compared to the northern hemisphere. Instead of celebrating Christmas surrounded by snow and ice, we celebrate by the ocean and on the sand. It’s beautiful, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t wish I would wake up on a December day, look out my window and see snow covering the earth and the trees. But that doesn’t mean we don’t get into the festive spirit! As part of the ASOS Xmas advent campaign, I’ve decided to make four festive treats. First off is this creamy hot chocolate, made dairy free with the use of almond milk and refined sugar free by using coconut sugar. I may be overheating slightly while I drink it but boy, is it delicious. I hope you enjoy it too!
Creamy Hot Chocolate
Makes one mug
1 cup soy milk (or any other milk of choice)
1 heaping tbsp sifted cacao powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp coconut sugar
In a small saucepan on medium heat, whisk together the almond milk and cacao powder until it begins to simmer. Turn the heat to low and add in the remaining ingredients, stirring often until the hot chocolate has thickened up slightly. Pour into a mug and enjoy cuddled up in bed with your favourite book.
These muffins are next level amazing. Although I wish I could, I can’t take credit for these blissful muffins — they are adapted from the amazing Angela (aka Oh She Glows) Blissful Blueberry Banana Spelt Muffins recipe. This recipe post is primarily to feature Angela’s recipe and to offer a slightly different variation. For this version I’ve decreased the sugar (don’t worry, they still taste deliciously sweet), used an oat flour and spelt flour mix, and added dark chocolate for an extra layer of decadence.
Blueberry + Dark Chocolate Spelt Muffins
Makes 9 large muffins
2 medium mashed bananas
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup light spelt flour
1 cup oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
1 cup blueberries
For the method, head over to the original recipe page here. I hope you enjoy these muffins, as I’m sure you will!
To put it mildly, I’ve a been a bit of a peanut butter fanatic lately. It seems I’m always having PB with banana + cinnamon on toast, dolloping it on top of steaming porridge and naturally, eating it straight from the jar with a spoon. I was recently kindly sent some jars of Ridiculously Delicious Nut Butter. It was as though they knew my peanut butter supplies were running low. Needless to say, the peanut butter is ridiculously delicious, not to mention natural and free from any nasties. With an overwhelming amount of peanut butter before me, I decided to put one of my favourite flavour combinations — peanut butter, banana and cinnamon — into the delicious form of a muffin.
These muffins are perfectly fluffy, moist and full of peanut buttery, banana-y goodness. They also happen to be gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. I hope you enjoy these muffins as much as I am right now.
Banana + Peanut Butter Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
1 & 1/4 cups oat flour
1/2 cup whole rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 tbsp coconut sugar
2 overripe bananas mashed
2 Medjool dates
1/3 cup almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (or 350 Fahrenheit) and grease a muffin tray.
Make your oat flour by processing 1 & 1/4 cups of oats for around one minute. In a large mixing bowl add the oat flour along with the whole rolled oats and the remaining dry ingredients.
In your processor blend the bananas, dates and milk until it becomes a deliciously sweet runny paste. Add this mixture to another bowl and whisk in the egg, vanilla extract and peanut butter.
Now add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and combine well.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray and place in the oven for 12-16 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Enjoy these plain for a snack or breakfast on the go, but if you’re addicted like me, slather on some extra peanut butter for good measure.