Raw Chocolate Banana Pudding (gluten free and soy free)

Went dairy free or vegan and thought you would never again enjoy chocolate pudding? Well I did, until I discovered an abundance of vegan chocolate puddings using tofu or avocado. I decided to try it make it myself. I can’t remember where I saw adding banana to make a raw chocolate pudding. I was a bit worried how it would turn out. However it turned out really, really delicious! The banana, avocado, peanut butter and coconut oil really made it creamy and thick. The cacao, cinnamon and sweetener really helped give it that decadent chocolate taste. It had a mild taste of banana, but you would never know there was avocado in here. It was a bit hit with the family. Can’t wait to make it for the mini-Marcos.

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Raw Chocolate Banana Pudding (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 large ripe banana

2 small avocados

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons cacaco

2-3 tablespoons liquid sweetner (I used Sweet Freedom Natural Syrup)

2 tablespoons almond milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in the Vitamix/high speed blender. Whiz until smooth.

2. Eat immediately or chill in the fridge till your ready for dessert.

*Serves 3

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Coconana-chia Cake

Apparently I don’t make sweets enough. Marco promised me he won’t have his nightly chocolate binge if I make home sweets. So I made an effort to make him a cake this afternoon. My cake is oil free and has no added sugar (except for the icing). This cake is sweet enough with out the icing. But I went all out tonight. Its sweet, moist and utterly delicious!

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Coconana-chia Cake (vegan, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 cup self raising flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup white chia seeds, ground into a flour

1/2 cup moist coconut flakes or desiccated coconut

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 overripe banana

1 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoon agave or other liquid sweetener

20g vegan butter

1 cup icing sugar

3 tablespoons coconut milk

2-3 tablespoons shredded coconut, toasted

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease a ring tin.???????????????????????????????

2. In a large mixing bowl, sift self raising flour and baking powder. Then add coconut sugar, ground chia seeds, coconut flakes and shredded coconut. Whisk well and break down any large balls that may of formed.???????????????????????????????

3. In a small mixing bowl mash the banana so its nice and creamy, then add coconut milk, vanilla extra and agave. Whisk so that its nice creamy and thickened.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon.

5. Place the cake batter into the ring tin and make sure that it is level all the way round.???????????????????????????????

6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Take the cake out of the oven and leave in tin for 10 minutes, so that it hardens a little.

8. Place the cake on a drying rack for 20 minutes or until the cake has cooled down.

9. Place butter and sugar in a small bowl and mash together with a fork. Then gradually add the coconut milk.???????????????????????????????

10. Whisk the icing well so that its nice and runny.

11. Drizzle the cake with the icing and top with some toasted shredded coconut.

In search of good Indian food and experimenting with Tofurky Smoky Maple ‘Bacon’

Hi all! I haven’t blogged in a few days. I have been busy with work and uni. Since making Indian food a few day back I have been craving more, so I have been out to eat to Indian a couple more times. I checked out Top in Town Pure Vegetarian at Mt Gravatt, but to be honest I wasn’t terribly impressed. It wasn’t that the food was bad, but it wasn’t great either. The service wasn’t very good and the food was just from a hot box and the samosa we ordered was microwaved. I guess it was very cheap, but not good enough to recommend.

We were still craving good Indian food, so last night we took Marco’s niece and nephew to A Night in India at Carindale. These kids have never tried Indian food before and ???????????????????????????????are usually a quite a bit picky with stuff they haven’t tried, like most kids. Recently we have taken them a couple of times to a Chinese restaurants and they love fried rice and bubble teas. The little boy loved it so much that China is now his favorite country. So we thought we would see how they would go with Indian food. First the papadums came out and I told them it tastes like a big potato chip. So they hesitantly tried them and before long they were all gone. Then the curries came out with the rice and the naan bread. They were a bit hesitant to try the curries as well, since they haven’t seen anything like that before. But they agreed to try a tiny bit. I was surprised how much they loved the curry. They ate what was on their plates and then went for more. They also loved the rice and naan. The rice they would eat with the curry, but dipping naan into the curry was a bit too strange for them. I was really proud of how grown up they were and happy that we have some new food buddies for when we need our Indian hit.

Last night I decided to try something I haven’t had before. Alu Dhall Palak is now my favorite curry. Its got dhall, potatoes and spinach in a fragrant spiced sauce. It was rich and saucy and was loved by the whole table.

Alu Dhall Palak

Alu Dhall Palak

Something else I wanted to share with you guys was my review of Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh, that I bought last 00150-A Coconut Curryweek end from the Green Edge. I have never been a huge bacon eater, as I remember my mum telling me when I was little that bacon and butter is bad for your heart and the fat with suffocate it. She was saying that for my brothers benefit, who from a little boy would want to have a man size Sunday breakfast. But I was the only one that those kind of comments usually actually effected. So going without bacon (as great as it smells) hasn’t been too hard for me. The only vegan bacon I have tried previously is  Redwood’s DSC00408Cheatin’ Rashers, which I posted about a while ago (Fakin Bacon). That one didn’t have that strong taste or smell of bacon, but had a kind of rubbery texture liked overcooked bacon.

So what do I think about Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh? I loved it. The texture is not bacon like at all, it is tempeh after all. But the flavor of it is amazing. It’s not as sweet as I thought it would be, rather it has a delicious smokey savory flavor. Although it doesn’t taste like bacon, the after taste does, which was a bit strange, but good. It feels like I just ate bacon, except without the guilt.

So far I have made tried it grilled in a skillet with olive oil and topped on a salad of mixed salad, tomato, red onion, cucumber, vegan mayo, vegan cashew parmesan and mango. This salad was so delicious on its own, but the ‘bacon’ took it to a whole new level and the protein from the tempeh kept me full for hours.

Mixed Salad, with Mango and Maple Smoky 'Bacon'

Mixed Salad, with Mango and Maple Smoky ‘Bacon’

For brunch today I made Banana Wholemeal Pancakes, topped with pan fried ‘bacon’, agave and strawberries. I have never had bacon with pancakes before. In fact I think its kind of weird, but I thought why not be different for once. It was deee-lusicous! I can see why this savory and sweet combination is so popular, except mine was guilt free.

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Banana Pancakes with Smokey Maple ‘Bacon’  (soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 overly ripe bananas

1.5 cups wholemeal, spelt or unbleached white flour

2 cups plant milk (coconut, rice or oat;  almond or soy if you can tolerate)

3 tablespoons brown rice syrup (or other natural sweetener)

canola spray oil

Tofurky Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh (or home-made)

agave or maple syrup

fresh fruit to serve (optional)

Method:

1. Peel the bananas, then place the flesh into a bowl and mash the banana with a fork. Continue to mash till most of the lumps are gone. If can want you can blend them to make them less lumpy.

2. Place the mashed banana in a mixing bowl then sift in the flour. Stir it through well. Then add the soy milk and brown rice syrup. Whisk until it is a consistent batter.

3. Heat a non-stick pan and add spray oil. Then ladle the batter into the pan and cook on both sides for 2-3 mins or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.

4. Heat the Smoky Maple Bacon in a not stick pan with spray oil. Cook on both sides for 1-2 mins.

5. To serve place pancakes on a plate, then add the Smoky Maple Bacon, top with agave and fresh fruit (optional).

* Makes 8-10 pancakes

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Risotto alla zucca, Brazil Nut Parmesan, Zucchini Fritters with Mint and Banana Blueberry Overnight Oats

Good evening or morning guys. Tonight I made another Italian traditional dish. In the north, pumpkin is plentiful and in the past was typically eaten by the poor farmers. In Mantova this dish is very popular. I have previously made some dishes from this city, including Tortelli di zucca and Sbrisolona in past posts.

I veganised a recipe from the Italian website Giallo Zafferano. Instead of using rosemary, I used thyme, which gave it a beautiful fragrant flavor. I topped it with Brazil Nut Parmesan. This Parmesan was just as good as Cashew Parmesan. It is really creamy and savory. I am addicted!

I also made these zucchini fritters. Marco didn’t like the mint, but I think it gave it a really nice fresh taste. If you don’t like mint, add basil or italian parsley. There are no eggs needed in this recipe. The moisture from the zucchini, flour and touch of soy milk is enough to bind the fritters. These can be made gluten free by just using gluten free plain flour.

This afternoon we went to the Rocklea Markets and got this delicious loaf of Organic Spelt Bread. We also heaps of vegetables. I can’t believe for $17 I managed to fill a whole box of food. So if you live in Brisbane I really recommend doing your food shopping here and see how much you save.

Lastly, I wanted to share these delicious overnight oats I had for breakfast. Our bananas have been going nearly off, as no one has been eating them, so this was a perfect way to use them. Overnight oats are really filling and a perfect quick way to start the day. For more flavor ideas check out my Recipe Index.

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Risotto alla zucca (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons vegan butter

1 brown onion, diced

350g pumpkin cut in small cubes

500g arborio rice

1-2 tablespoons thyme leaves

1/2 cup white wine

1 litre vegan chicken/vegetable liquid stock

vegan parmesan

Method:

1. Heat vegan butter in a pot, then add onion. Cook for 4 mins or until the onion has soften.???????????????????????????????

2. Add pumpkin and cook for 5 mins so it has softened.

3. Add rice and thyme cook for 10 mins. Constantly stirring. While it is cooking boil liquid stock.

4. Now begin ladling hot liquid stock, one spoon at a time. Constantly stiring. Continue adding stock till all has been absorbed and rice is cooked.

*Serve with vegan parmesan

Serves 6

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Brazil Nut Parmesan (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

1 cup brazil nuts

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Method:

1. Grind all the ingredients till ground.

*Makes 1 cup

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Zucchini Fritters with Mint (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini

2 garlic cloves

1 handful of mint

1/2 cup wholemeal (or gluten free flour)

1 tablespoon unsweetened plant milk (oat or rice; soy or almond if you can tolerate)

sea salt to taste

olive oil to fry???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. Grate zucchini and garlic. Chop mint roughly.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well so all the flavour goes through.

3. Make small patties and fry in hot oil. Cook patties for 1-2 mins on both sides or until browned.

*Makes 10

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Banana Blueberry Overnight Oats (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup instant or rolled oats (preferably organic)

1/2 cup plant milk (coconut, rice or oat; almond or soy if you can tolerate)

2 whole overripe bananas

1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 tablespoon maple syrup (I used blueberry maple syrup)

Method:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a container and stir through.

2. Cover and place in the fridge over night.

*Serves 2 or 1 big serve

Summer Protein Smoothies

These are some of the smoothies that I have been making to cool me down and fill me up first thing in the morning in this summer heat. I don’t even feel like I need the coffee after I have one of these. Because of my pyroluria, protein is very important for me to have in the morning to kick start my brain. Since I don’t eat eggs anymore, I try to find other foods that are rich in protein, such as nut, nut butters, nut milks, grains, legumes and avocado. A really quick and easy way to get the protein I need to to put it all in a smoothie, with other fruits and vegetables.

The Protein that I have been using in my smoothies is Vanilla Vital Protein Pea Protein Isolate. It is vegan, 82% Vegetable Protein and is world’s highest source of vegetable protein. It is downloadgluten free, lactose free, GM free. It is also 88% Bio-available Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Level 0.1%, , Low Allergenic, Low in Anti-Nutritional Factors, High Tolerance, 100% Vegetable Origin, Balanced Amino Acid Profile, Not deposited in the body as fat, Rich in valuable Amino Acids for weight control, sports or medicinal purposes; High-digestability (98%), Amino Acid Score 0.9 (norm FAO 1991), High Alkalinity level (ph 7.5).

I have only found a couple of protein products available in Brisbane that are vegan. Such as  Tony Sfeir’s Pea Protein Isolate, Lotus Australia Organic Brown Rice ProteinHemp Foods Australia Hemp Protein.

What protein do you use?

How do you use it (smoothies, baking, etc)?

Do you have any good recipes?

Here are some of the smoothies I have been making over the past weeks. If you are a bit hesitant like I was to add some vegetables to your smoothies, I promise you won’t notice them in these recipes. These are what I call “Marco friendly” smoothies. He always gets nervous when he sees what I am putting in, but he ends up loving them.

Dragon Cherry Protein Smoothie- 1 small Dragon fruit, 1/2 cup cherries 3 dessert spoons vanilla protein, 1 cup almond milk, agave to taste (1-2 serves)

Spinach & Summer Fruit Protein Smoothie– 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen nectarine, 1/2 cup frozen grapes, 1/2 cup baby spinach, 2 1/2 cups almond milk, 9 dessert spoons vanilla protein, agave to taste (3 serves)

Green Minty Cooldown Protein Smoothie– 8 grapes, 1/2 lebanese cucumber (peeled), small handful of baby spinach, leaves from 2 sprigs of mint, 1 cups almond milk, 3 dessert spoons vanilla protein, agave to taste (1 serves)

Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie– 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup grated carrot, 1 teaspoon diced fresh ginger, 2 tablespoon ground pecans/walnuts, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 3/4 cup almond milk, 6 dessert spoons vanilla protein, agave to taste (2 serves)

Dragon Cherry Protein Smoothie

Dragon Cherry Protein Smoothie

Spinach & Summer Fruit Protein Smoothie

Spinach & Summer Fruit Protein Smoothie

Green Minty Cooldown Protiein Smoothie

Green Minty Cooldown Smoothie

Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie

Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie

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Raw Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge

I discovered a new way to prepare buckwheat for breakfast. I saw this recipe, for Raw Buckwheat Breakfast Porridge, on Oh She Glows and finally got the courage to make it. I love Angela’s recipes. I have been a fan of hers for some time. She has some of the most creative and inventive vegan recipes I have ever seen. She also has an amazing story, so check her out.DSC02642

I was a bit worried that I didn’t have the right buckwheat. I never knew before that soaking them would make them go soft. I just had organic raw buckwheat from Woolworths. They looked the same as the ones Angela used, so I left them over night to soak and this is how they looked. They were tender, but if you apply a bit of pressure to them between your fingers they break.DSC02647

I actually made a half portion of this recipe, as I only had 1 cup of buckwheat left. Other then that I followed her recipe all the same. Once I rinsed the buckwheat well, I put them in my processor and added soy vanilla milk (use rice, oat, almond or soy), chia seeds, agave, vanilla extract and cinnamon. I processed them till the entire thing is nice and smooth.

To serve it I just added slices of banana, toasted slivered almonds and toasted shredded coconut.

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Later, when Marco came home I made him a portion as well. He wanted it to be more like a dessert, so made a Raw Chocolate Coconut Buckwheat Porridge. I added cocoa powder, more agave and toasted shredded coconut. He really liked it too, so I think this will be a regular for a while.

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Toasted Almond & Coconut Gelato

I can’t believe its Christmas in 2 days. I went Christmas shopping yesterday and I was meant to get the last minute presents for my family. But I ended up coming home with only a  pair of Guess Jeans for me. Have to do some last minute shopping tomorrow, as well as plan what I am going to cook for Christmas. Usually we do it here, but this year we are going to my cousins house. They are big meat and dairy eaters so I want to bring something I can eat and they can also enjoy. Not sure what I’ll make but I better think of something soon.

Last night I made this gelato. It didn’t stay in shape for too long since it is so hot here at the moment, but it was really good. It was also very sticky and got stuck in the the crevices of my processor. It got into places are really hard to clean and I don’t know how it happened. Luckily I already know what I am getting for Christmas from my mum. She is getting me an ice cream machine and a dehydrator. So I can start making real ice cream soon. I can’t wait to try out some new flavors and not rely on frozen bananas.

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Toasted Almond & Coconut Gelato (gf, sf)

Ingredients:

3 frozen bananas

1 can coconut cream

agave/maple syrup to taste

hand full of almonds

handful of dried shredded coconut

Method:

1. Cut the almonds roughly, then dry toast in a pan and then set to the side.

2. Dry toast the shredd coconut and set to the side.

3. Roughly chop up the banana and place into the processor

4. Spoon out the cream from the coconut cream (discard the water) and place into the processor.

5. Turn on processor and while it is mixing add the agave.

6. Once all the banana has been blended, add most of the almonds and coconut. Only pulse so it mixes through.

7. Serve with the toasted almonds & coconut on top.

Today was Marco’s birthday lunch with his family, so I prepared some dishes to take. I made a few things from Chloe’s Kitchen recipe book including Sweet-and-Sour Party Meatballs, Rosemary Tomato Galette with Pine Nut Ricotta and Chocolate Walnut Fudge. The meat balls were delicious and really easy to make. They were made of tempeh, walnuts and lentils. They tasted and smelled more like meat then other recipes I have tried, but texture in the center was a bit soft, more like a processed meat. The sweet and sour sauce was really easy to make and it was a bit like the McDonald’s nugget sauce. The galette turned out really well. It really paid off refrigerating the dough 3 times before baking it. The pastry was more like a short crust pastry and had a much better texture then the other galette I have made previously. The pine nut ricotta was really really good. I was more like a pesto. It had roasted garlic, soaked pinenuts, oil and lemon juice. I found I had to add a bit of water to make it really creamy, but definetely something I want to make again, even if its just to have on toast. The fudge was the most wicked I have ever made. It called for 3 cups of chocolate (I used Sweet William), 1 can of coconut milk, cocoa, 3 cups of powdered (icing) sugar and toasted walnuts. Unfortunately I didnt realised till I had made it, with only 30 mins till I had to be at the party, that I realized it was meant to set in the fridge for up to 8 hours. I don’t know how I forgot about that. So it wasn’t exactly set when it came time to eat it. We still tried to eat it though. It was so rich and decadent, the photos don’t do it justice. Not sure I will make this again. Too fattening! I am not sure if I will bring it to Christmas or I will freeze it and allow Marco a small piece once a month.

Marco’s sister made toasted pita bread with oregano with a chickpea and roasted capsicum dip, which was really good. They also had their traditional salads, of tomato and onion, and cabbage with vinegar and roasted chicken with mayo and gherkins. For main course they made roasted pork, chicken and vegetables. I managed to stay away from the meat and ate my meat balls. I love the way they do their vegetables though. I’m not sure how they get them to taste so good, but they are always perfect. For dessert there was also a serbian cake made of nuts, plasma biscuits and egg whites. It is a serbian cake they always make for celebrations. I did have a bit of that, since it was dairy free. They also had baklava. I am not a big fan of that, its too sweet for me. It was nice to bring somethings though. So I could have a proper meal and not have people worrying about that I’m not eating. I was really happy they they also had the food I made. I think some vegan foods freak some people out. But what I love about Chloe’s recipes is that they don’t look ‘vegan’, they just look and taste delicious.

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Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs

Rosemary & Tomato Galettes

Rosemary & Tomato Galettes

Pine nut Ricotta

Pine nut Ricotta

Toasted Pita bread with Oregano

Toasted Pita bread with Oregano

Roasted Meats & Vegetables

Roasted Meats & Vegetables

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Plasma Cake

Plasma Cake

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Baklava

Banana Chocolate Espresso Shake

Ok so I made my first Espresso Shake. I kept it simple, since I was a bit scared how it would taste. But now I think that espresso can be added to just about any milky smoothie. So no more having to choose between soy cap or fruit smoothie for breakfast anymore.  Only thing I would do differently is put some ice so that it is more cooler. The espresso warms there cold milk, so it becomes room temperature.

I am trying to cut down my caffeine consumption so maybe this will just been for my really sleepy mornings. I use to keep it to one a day, but then I went to Italy and go influenced by my aunt who lived on coffee and cigarettes. It was normal to have 3-6 shots a day and for some strange reason it didn’t stop me sleeping. But now in the real world I don’t sleep if I have coffee too late. Below is some pros and cons about coffee.

Banana Chocolate Espresso Shake (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 banana

1/2 glass plant milk (coconut, rice or oat; almond or soy if you can tolerate)

1 shot of espresso

1 teaspoon raw cocoa powder

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Method:

1. Blend all the ingredients and serve.

Chocolate Peanut Banana Gelato

After a long awaited lunch today, we were still hungry. Marco offered to go to the shops and buy some more tofu to fry (he’s addicted), but I thought that would be a little unhealthy  So I decided to try vegan gelato again. I didn’t have any coconut cream, just a small can of coconut milk. I was worried it wouldn’t work, so I decided if we weren’t having gelato then we were have dessert smoothies. Coconut milk worked out fine, so I think I’ll try almond milk next time. The secret must be the frozen fruit that gives the texture of gelato. For most of the vegans I’m sure vegan gelato is nothing new, but for me and the rest of the people that I will be telling this too, this is ground breaking news. All my dairy free and vegan books don’t mention making gelato without a ice cream machine. In fact when I was in Italy, I wrote an essay (in italian) on the history of gelato and how to make it. All the info said that you need a special machine. I would like to see what happens if I try to freeze a big batch of it. That’s if we can actually leave some….

Today I also discovered something else very special, Espresso Shakes! I was reading Ruth Tal’s reFresh: Contemporary vegan recipes from the award winning fresh restaurants and discovered I can have my coffee and drink it too. Even though I love morning smoothies, there have been many mornings when I give into my morning coffee for breakfast or I have both. I was thinking the other day why not combine the two, but I thought it may be a bad idea. Well now I know its not a bad idea, in fact its a fantastic idea! So I will be looking forward to experimenting this week and combining my two loves. I also have to start juicing again. There are no more excusing now!

Have any of you made Espresso Shakes with fruit and coffee?

Chocolate Peanut Banana Gelato (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon cacao or cocoa powder

165ml coconut milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Method:

1. Roughly chop up the banana and place into the processor.

2. Add peanut butter and cocoa and turn on processor.

3. While it is mixing add the maple syrup. Spin for 3-4 mins or until  the mixture is without lumps and serve immediately.

*Serves 3

Butternut Pumpkin Gnocchi, Cinnamon and Cumin Spiced Pumpkin seeds and Banana Gelato

I love gnocchi. In fact ‘gnocchi’ was my first word, when I was a baby. I don’t eat it as much anymore since the store-bought gnocchi has heaps of nasty preservatives and usually gnocchi from restaurant are not dairy free. So tonight I decided to make my own. I’m running out of food at the moment, but luckily I had some butternut pumpkin left in the fridge.  So I thought I would try using them to make gnocchi. I decided to roast the pumpkin with a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg and bind the dough with a bit of vegan butter and flour. The mixture was very sticky, so I added a truck load of more flour. To form the balls I had to roll them on the board with  flour, so that the mixture wouldn’t stick to my hands. Other then being a bit sticky they were really easy to make. I just served them with a simply olive oil, herb and mushroom sauce, so that the pumpkin would be the star of the dish.

Tonight I also made some Cinnamon and Cumin Spiced Pumpkin seeds. The last two batches I have made got severely burned. Luckily tonight I didn’t forget them in the oven and they were a success. I only found out last year that I can cook pumpkin seeds. I use to always throw them out. They are so delicious and healthy and a great snack when you are waiting for dinner.

Lastly, I made my first vegan gelato. I read a while back about making gelato with frozen bananas, but I never got around to it. Luckily last week mum had a whole heap of bananas, which were going brown and I remembered to put them away in the freezer. I was a bit skeptical that frozen bananas could be turned into gelato. However, I was pleasantly surprise. I can’t believe how much it tasted like real gelato. After living in Italy for 5 months and eating gelato  just about every day, I certainly know what it taste like. This recipe gives the same texture of gelato, which is like a custard that is cold but not quite frozen. So if you haven’t tried this I really recommend it. Now all I can think about is all the new flavours I’m going to try to recreate.

Butternut Pumpkin Gnocchi  (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

800 g butternut pumpkin

olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons vegan butter

2 cup unbleached plain flour (use gluten free flour if you prefer)

3 garlic cloves

1/2 cup dry shitake mushrooms (pre-soaked for 15 mintues)

handful of herbs (I used sage, tarragon and thyme)

sea salt to taste

Method:

Chopped pumpkin, before roasting

1. Preheat the oven 200 degrees.

2. Chop butternut pumpkin into thin slices and place on a tray with baking paper.

3. Add olive oil and sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg and sea salt. Cover the baking tray with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 30 mins or until pumpkin is soft.

Roasted pumkin

4. Wait until pumpkin stops steaming (I put mine in the fridge for 10 mins) then put into the processor with 1 cup of flour and vegan butter. Blend until all the ingredients are combined into a dough.

Dough

5. On a floury board, add more flour to dough so that it is not too sticky. Then form small balls and place on baking paper. Press a fork on the top of the balls so that they form an oval.

Uncooked gnocchi

6. In boiling salted water cook gnocchi for 3 mins or until they are floating on the top of the water. Then strain and put to the side (rinse with cold water to stop them cooking).

7. In a large pan heat olive oil and add garlic, mushrooms and herbs. Cook until garlic is browned and herbs are crispy.

Cooked gnocchi

8. Add the gnocchi to the pan, add salt and cook till heated through, then serve.

* Serves 4-5. If you have extra gnocchi, don’t cook it. Just put it in a tray and place in the freezer for 10-15 mins. Then put gnocchi into a freezer bag.

Cinnamon & Cumin Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

pumpkin seeds

olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Rinse and clean pumpkin seeds.

2. Take a tray with baking paper. Add pumpkin seeds, olive oil, cinnamon, cumin and sea salt.

3. Cook in oven at 200 degrees for 4-5mins or until golden brown. (Careful not to burn!)

Banana Gelato (vegan, raw, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

3 frozen bananas

1 can coconut cream

3 tablespoons maple syrup

Method:

1. Roughly chop up the banana and place into the processor

2. Spoon out the cream from the coconut cream (discard the water) and place into the processor.

3. Turn on processor and while it is mixing add the maple syrup.

4. Serve once all the banana has been blended and eat immediately!

*Serves 4