Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | gluten free | vegan

Mornings are hard. Let’s all acknowledge that and move on because I have found the solution: make a breakfast that you can’t wait to leap out of bed to eat! Cue my latest, and greatest, granola recipe: Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola! Get those bowls and spoons ready folks!Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI got very excited in a health food store the other day. I’m sad to report that this happens quite often, and not just in health food stores. The abundance of awesome new ingredients to try in a different grocery store has me busting into rhyme, and the taste of the first sweet summer peaches can induce worrisome dancing. If you’ve been around me and food, you have seen some manifestation of the excitement that comes from me finding something tasty or new. Anyway, what had me excited this particular afternoon was the discovery of buckwheat flakes! As in, buckwheat kernels that have been rolled into wholesome oat-like flakes, but not oats! As soon as I had a box in my hot little hands I just knew that I wanted them to feature in a new granola recipe.Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis gluten free, vegan granola recipe is an absolute winner and probably my best granola recipe ever. Ever. Just look at those clumps! I love chunky, clumpy granola and this recipe is perfection! It starts with a base of super gluten free grains. The aforementioned buckwheat flakes, which behave like oats in this recipe and provide a super stable base to build on, are joined by buckwheat groats (for super crunch), and raw quinoa. So much the crunch.Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTo these grains of goodness (actually, both buckwheat and quinoa are seeds) we add walnuts, chia seeds, mashed banana, a touch of maple syrup, cocoa powder, and a dash of instant espresso powder because some mornings we need to put the coffee in our breakfast as well. Granola is one of the best things to make for yourself. Not only do you save money but you can customise it to suit your tastebuds. This granola was exactly what my tastebuds wanted. It’s crunchy and interesting, every bite brings something different. There’s crispy bits and the slightly chocolaty binding holding it all together and it’s a not too sweet a start to your morning. I paired mine with tart protein-rich Greek yoghurt and some sweet seasonal blueberries. It’s also great for snacking on, or for dessert with a sneaky square or two of dark chocolate.

Come on folks, take back your mornings and get a great start with my Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola!Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola

Gluten free | Vegan | Makes about 5 cups | Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Note: If you do not require a gluten free diet, or you can buy certified gluten free oats where you live, you can substitute the buckwheat flakes for 1 cup of rolled oats.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat flakes (see note)
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats (kernels)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 large banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons rice bran oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup banana chips (about 100 grams)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C (320F) and line a large, rimmed, baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl mix together buckwheat flakes, buckwheat groats, quinoa, walnuts, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa powder until very well mixed.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together mashed banana, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and instant coffee powder until very well blended.
  4. Pour wet mixture over dry blend and mix well with a wooden spoon until there are no pockets of dry mixture.
  5. Spread out over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the wooden spoon. This will help the clumps to form.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Switch the position of the tray halfway through baking time to ensure everything browns evenly.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, break into clumps and mix banana chips through the granola.
  9. Store or serve and enjoy!

Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

If you are looking for more granola inspiration check out these delicious nibbles around the ‘net:

Orange Hazelnut Quick Bread | Gluten Free

My new favourite quick bread recipe. Each bite is earthly sweet with hazelnut meal, brightened with winter sunshine captured in home grown oranges, and fluffy, light, and tender as can be. Orange Hazelnut Quick Bread  | Gluten Free |Thoroughly Nourished LifeSaturday morning in Toowoomba dawned cold and bright. Chris and I snuggled in a cloud of blankets and squishy pillows, still lulled by glasses of Jameson and slices of cheesy pizza the night before. When we tiptoed down the hallway we were instantly sighted by Tilly (the energetic black staffy owned by Chris’s sister Rosie, and her boyfriend Jordan) who shot towards us like a bullet and gifted us with a flurry of puppy kisses. There’s no greeting like a puppy greeting. Warm mugs of sweet English breakfast tea in hand we stood out in the fresh morning air and looked out over the fields behind their house. The mist of the morning clearing under the warm steady strength of a winter sun. Warm from the inside out with a cool breeze on our face. It was a moment too good to ruin with Instagram. The world was at peace.Orange Hazelnut Quick Bread  | Gluten Free |Thoroughly Nourished LifeBefore we left for Brisbane that day Jordan harvested oranges and lemons from his flourishing citrus trees and even a dusky green head of broccoli. Bounty from family gardens is a special gift. Imperfect globes, nubbly, and all manner of shapes. They are garden perfect and sweet.

Sunday morning in Brisbane dawned cold and bright too. While Chris snuggled in I set out for a walk along the bay. I tipped my face up to the sun and let the sea breeze carry me all the way home. All the way home to my warm little kitchen with the windows open to the ocean and the sun-warmed porch and chair. Home to grate orange zest and rub it into sugar to help it release precious aromatic oils, to beat together eggs, yoghurt, and milk. Pour into a bowl with hazelnut meal and wholemeal flours. Spread into a pan, baked while I read in the porch chair curled tightly into the story of Werner and Marie-Laure. The bread rises and bakes through, and steams when I cut the first slice, which I eat standing in the kitchen, smelling oranges and feeling the world, my little world, totally at peace.Orange Hazelnut Quick Bread  | Gluten Free |Thoroughly Nourished LifeI love making gluten free quick breads. They are so easy and the flavour options are endless. They make great weekend breakfasts, or weekday lunch box treats. With few ingredients and a simple method, quick breads are a great place to start your gluten free baking journey. My Orange Hazelnut Quick Bread is based on, you guessed it, hazelnut meal, and the hazelnut flavour is further enhanced with a touch of Frangelico. You can leave out this hazelnut liqueur if you would like. Just replace it with a tablespoon of orange juice instead.  Orange zest is our second major flavour. The secret to bright orange flavour? Rub the orange zest into the sugar to help release the essential oils! Like many of my quick bread recipes yoghurt keeps this bread light and airy, but moist, with a slight tang. Greek yoghurt is a major player in successful gluten free baking as it replaces some of the protein (usually provided by gluten) that is important for structure in baked goods.

This moist and airy gluten free quick bread is best on the day it is made, or the next day. It is also delightful sliced, toasted and spread with butter. And, if you have some, this bread would be brought to heavenly heights with a swipe of Nutella…Orange Hazelnut Quick Bread  | Gluten Free |Thoroughly Nourished Life

Orange Hazelnut Quick Bread

Gluten Free | Makes 8-10 slices | Will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to three days | Freeze well-wrapped for up to two months

Ingredients

  • 100 grams brown rice flour
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • 100 grams hazelnut meal
  • 60 grams buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • Zest 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek/natural yoghurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons rice bran oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon Frangelico (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Butter and line a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin. Set aside until required.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together brown rice flour, white rice flour, hazelnut meal, buckwheat flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a separate medium mixing bowl rub orange zest into caster sugar until combined. This helps release the oils from the orange skin and enhances flavour.
  4. Add milk, yoghurt, eggs, rice bran oil, vanilla essence, and Frangelico (if using). Whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared tin and smooth top slightly.
  7. Place in oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Remove loaf from oven and allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool on a rack before slicing.

Orange Hazelnut Quick Bread  | Gluten Free |Thoroughly Nourished Life

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free

Celebrate your Mum this weekend by baking her a batch of indulgent, fluffy scone filled with chunks of dark chocolate, sweet dried apricots, and roasted almonds. For bonus favourite-child points serve them as breakfast in bed with a pot of her favourite tea (or coffee) and the promise that you will take care of all the dishes.

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe older I get, the more I want to praise my Mum for all that she has done, and continues to do, for me from the first moment she knew she was going to be a mother. From sheltering me inside her own body, to sheltering my heart when it has been damaged by the world she has shown love every step of the way. She is only love. Thank you Mama for showing me that love is a verb, love is many verbs, and that the more love you give away, the more you have to give. Love is elastic. Happy Mother’s Day.

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMy Mum is the Queen of Scones in these parts. No one has her light as the wind touch, her cool hands, or her exacting knowledge of how to create perfect pearls of butter within the dough for a flawless rise and cloud-like crumb. These Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones are fluffy, but I know that I am only an apprentice of the scone compared to my Mum. My scones are a little more nubbly, nutty, more American scone than Australian scone.

These scones are full of hidden treasures. Each bite is filled with sweet, plump dried apricots, and crunchy roasted almonds. I love this combination so much! There’s almond meal in the scone dough too which adds an extra richness and depth to the flavour of the scones. These are perfect served with a slathering of butter and a large mug of sweet black tea. My Mum, sister, and I are going to enjoy ours at the farmers market for a pre-Mother’s Day breakfast tomorrow. It might not be breakfast in bed, but it is special time together with a delightful sweet treat just for Mum. And, I’ve already done the washing up 😉

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThere are a few technical things to remember with this gluten free scone dough. Firstly, the dough is quite a bit wetter than other scone doughs. Gluten free flours are often greedy for moisture, and the wetness of this dough means you don’t end up with a crumbly, dry outcome after they are pulled from the oven. Secondly, they will not puff quite as much as a wheat based scone, but the crumb is not dense and glue-like, rather moist and fluffy and nubbly with almond meal. Thirdly, please, please freeze your butter – it makes incorporating it into your dough so much easier! My scone dough is also enriched by the addition of an egg, which isn’t traditional in scone recipes. Here the egg provides extra protein to the dough – important for binding the gluten free flours together.

Now you are ready to make your Mum a delicious, gluten free breakfast!

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones

Gluten Free | Makes 8 wedges, easily doubled | Best eaten on the day they are made, but can be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to two months. Reheat in the microwave for 1 minute.

Ingredients

  • 80 grams sorghum flour
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • 80 grams almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 75 grams butter, frozen
  • 1 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt, reserve 1 tablespoon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together sorghum flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, almond meal, baking powder, caster sugar, and salt.
  3. Use a box grater to grate frozen butter into the flour.
  4. Add frozen butter, whisk lightly with a fork, and then use your fingertips to gently ‘rub’ the butter into the flour mix until incorporated and the mix resembles large rough breadcrumbs.
  5. Mix grated chopped almonds, apricots, and chocolate chunks through the flour and create a well in the middle.
  6. Whisk yoghurt, egg, vanilla and almond extracts together.
  7. Add yoghurt mixture to the flour mix and stir from the middle to the outside to create a wet shaggy dough.
  8. Gather dough into a ball and place onto the lined cookie sheet. Pat the dough into a circle about 1-inch (2.5cm) thick.
  9. Cut the circle into 8 wedges and separate the wedges so that the hot air can circulate and bake the scones properly.
  10. Brush the tops with the reserved yoghurt and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  11. Place scones into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on your oven) or until scones are risen and the tops are golden.
  12. Remove and serve with jam, cream, and butter.

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan

Indulge in a healthy retreat to the tropics with my latest gluten free granola recipe. Filled with plump dried apricots, crunchy quinoa flakes, toasted coconut, and roasted cashews this is a little taste of the islands that will make your breakfast into an escape to a faraway locale.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI have found the secret to enjoying Monday mornings. Three little things that make the start of the working week a pleasurable experience rather than something akin to ripping a bandaid off a blistered foot. Firstly: set your alarm for ten minutes before you actually need to get up. That way you can hit snooze and not feel guilty about it. I am loving having those extra ten minutes to snuggle under the covers with Chris and I wake up feeling happy and loved. Secondly: make it easy to get out the door. Make your lunch, pack your bag and iron your clothes (or if you are like me, don’t iron your clothes) on Sunday afternoon so that on Monday morning you just need to roll out of bed, shower, and get out into the world! Thirdly, and most pertinent for today: have a delicious breakfast to look forward to when you do manage to get out of bed. Enter: Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis crunchy, coconut-infused, quinoa flake granola had me bouncing out of bed this morning with a smile on my face. I knew that once I fought the traffic and made it to my desk that I had a superb, healthy breakfast waiting to fuel me through the morning. Plump, sweet dried apricots and chunks of roasted cashews are in generous supply and contrast with strands of toasted coconut, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. This mixture is coated in a touch of richly sweet golden syrup, mild olive oil, and coconut and vanilla extracts before spending some time getting golden and crispy in the oven. The result: light, crunchy mouthfuls of crispy quinoa flakes soaked in tropical coconut flavouring with a hint of sweetness from the chewy apricots and golden syrup counteracted by buttery roasted cashews and strands of toasted coconut.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeQuinoa flakes are a great alternative for people who cannot tolerate oats. I have to say, the tiny crunchy flakes are just as delicious as the traditional oats usually found in granola. This is my new favourite breakfast formula! I love my granola served over thick Greek or natural yoghurt, or eaten in sneaky handfuls after I get home from the gym at night. It makes a great car tip snack too! So jump on board the granola train and make your Monday mornings shine!

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola

Gluten Free | Vegan | Makes about 2 1/2 cups | Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cashews
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots

Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together quinoa flakes, cashews, sesame seeds, salt, and cardamom until well mixed.
  3. In a small jug whisk together olive oil, golden syrup, vanilla extract, and coconut extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
  5. Spread granola over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the spoon to encourage some clumping.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes to ensure the granola does not burn.
  7. In the last ten minutes of cookies (about 20 minutes into the cooking time) stir in shredded coconut.
  8. Once cooked, remove from oven, stir in dried apricots and allow to cool completely before serving or storing.

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan

The crisp, cool weather has finally arrived and you need a homemade breakfast that will warm you up and keep you energised with healthy, good for you whole grains, nuts and seeds with a sprinkling of sweetness to keep the autumn chill at bay. My Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa and Blueberry Granola is your new seasonal breakfast favourite (and you can have chocolate for breakfast!).

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeDid anyone else read the ‘I Spy’ picture books as a kid? They were a hot commodity in my school library, and had to be patched and repaired by the librarians as they passed from hand to hand and generation to generation. I always feel like eating granola is sort of like playing ‘I Spy’. How many goodies can you spot in each spoonful? If you look closely at my new favourite granola recipe you will see delightful morsels in every bite!

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI’ll go first! I spy with my little eye something beginning with B! Buckwheat! Whole buckwheat groats make up half the grains in this granola mix. The heat from the oven crisps them up and gives this breakfast a crunchy base and buckwheat is high in slowly digested carbohydrates, protein, iron, zinc, and selenium. Did you spot something beginning with A? That would be the almonds! Coated in spices and maple syrup they boost the protein and healthy fats, including Vitamin E, which is important for healthy skin, eyes, and hair. And what about the letter S? Seeds! Of three different kinds: chia, pumpkin, and sunflower! A triple-treat of vitamin-boosting, fibre-containing, cholesterol lowering delight!

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe buckwheat base is boosted with gluten free rolled oats, but you could use quinoa flakes if you do not tolerate oats. The oats, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds are tossed with cinnamon-spiced cocoa and then mixed with a kiss of maple syrup and olive oil for sweetness, stickiness, and crispiness. An important note: If you like your granola extra chunky then do not stir your granola during baking time. Press it down with the back of your spoon and just check to make sure it isn’t burning at regular intervals (see recipe below).

The chocolate here is subtle, but feel free to throw in some dark chocolate chips for an extra sweet chocolate boost. I gave a jar of this to Mum as a chocolate alternative for Easter, and even if you are over chocolate (is anyone ever over chocolate, really?) for a little while, a cheeky little cocoa treat at breakfast is just the thing to warm you up at the start of leaf change. Serve it with yoghurt and a little fruit for a quick breakfast, or grab a handful as a healthy snack on the go. This Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola is sure to become a favourite in your house too.

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola

Gluten Free | Vegan | Makes about 2 1/2 cups | Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup buckwheat groats (uncooked buckwheat)
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries

Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together oats, buckwheat, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, salt, and cinnamon until well mixed.
  3. In a small jug whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
  5. Spread granola over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the spoon to encourage some clumping.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes to ensure the granola does not burn.
  7. Once cooked, remove from oven, stir in dried blueberries, and allow to cool completely before serving or storing.

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Butternut Pumpkin and Zucchini Crustless Quiche | Gluten Free | Vegetarian

Sweet roasted butternut squash and fresh zucchini are baked in eggs mixed with herbs and garlic for a flavoursome, filling, and healthy meal. Try a generous serving of this crustless quiche with a crunchy green salad for an easy gluten free, vegetarian dinner or weekend brunch.

Butternut Pumpkin and Zucchini Crustless Quiche | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeLast week was all about this cake, my sister’s ultra decadent chocolate caramel slice, my Mum’s sweet and chewy pavlova, and a few big slices of a special cake I am going to share with you next week. Therefore, this week is about leafy greens, wholegrains, and smart snacking. Life is all about balance. Once upon a time following a week like last week’s birthday week palooza I would have restricted my eating severely, exercised until I dropped, and beaten myself up for enjoying and embracing the feasting and decadence. This year, I made a bargain with myself: I could eat whatever I wanted for my birthday week so long as I didn’t serve myself a heaping plate of guilt afterwards. Striking this deal with myself encouraged me to be truly present with these treats: to taste every dollop of cream, absorb every crunch of fried polenta chips, and admire each swirl of chocolate buttercream on my fork. At the end of the week I felt…not a drop of guilt, not an ounce of beating myself up. I enjoyed every single bite of risotto, sip of champagne, and bowl-licking session. Balance.

Butternut Pumpkin and Zucchini Crustless Quiche | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAt the end of the week I stocked our fridge with my favourite fruits and vegetables, bought a giant sack of quinoa, and made sure we had an abundance of healthy snacking options (almonds for the win) and a few healthy indulgences (you can’t take my Lindt 90% away ever). The weather this week has been cool and rainy, and my body is craving comfort. In the spirit of keeping things balanced but comforting I whipped up this vegetable filled crustless quiche and served generous slices of it alongside a green salad. Eggs mean comfort to me, and when they are combined with sauteed onion and garlic and a blend of fragrant thyme, oregano, and rosemary, they satisfy and celebrate the first chilled hands and comfort food craving of winter.

I know this flavoursome, vegetable-filled dish would be a welcome addition to any Easter brunch table, and I’ll be making another one to guarantee healthy, delicious, protein-packed lunches all next week.

Butternut Pumpkin and Zucchini Crustless Quiche | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Butternut Pumpkin and Zucchini Crustless Quiche

Serves 2-3 generously | Gluten Free | Vegetarian

Ingredients

  • 600 grams butternut squash
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Peel butternut squash and cube into dice-sized pieces. Place on baking tray and bake until butternut squash is tender. This should take about 30 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. While the pumpkin is roasting, peel and dice red onion and crush garlic.
  4. Preheat oil in a small frying pan and saute onion and garlic with dried herbs, salt and pepper until onion is translucent. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. Dice zucchini into dice-sized pieces. Gently mix pumpkin, onion and garlic mixture, and zucchini together until well combined. Tumble into a small baking dish (about 10 by 7 inches).
  6. Beat eggs with salt and pepper and pour over vegetables. Gently tap the dish on your bench to get rid of any air bubbles.
  7. Sprinkle cheddar over the top of the mixture. Bake until set, about 40-45 minutes.
  8. Serve with a crunchy green salad. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator in a well-sealed container for up to three days.

Butternut Pumpkin and Zucchini Crustless Quiche | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free

I think our granola jar is going to be empty very, very soon. I can’t get enough of this spicy, honey, crunchy, munchy, nutty granola! Oats and buckwheat make friends with pecans, coconut, and dates for a healthy, gluten free breakfast that will help you nourish your mornings.

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI have become very fussy about what I share with you here on my precious internet home, which is why this post is coming to you today instead of yesterday. I had a muffin recipe all ready to go, and they were good, but just not good enough. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t going in the bin, they have been stashed in the freezer for quick snacks throughout the week. But I don’t want to share just ‘good enough’ recipes with my big internet Thoroughly Nourished Life family. I want to share the tastiest, the most nourishing, recipes you get excited to step into the kitchen to make. A Thoroughly Nourished diet is one that makes you inspired to eat delicious, healthy food every day with a liberal sprinkling of sugar to keep life sweet. So, no more ‘good enough’ food – just thoroughly nourishing, thoroughly inspiring food for every time of day.Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTuesday night, after my average muffin effort I knew I had to get back into the kitchen to make something truly amazing so I didn’t lose my kitchen mojo (it’s that little sparkle in every baker’s step). As I was getting breakfasts and lunches ready for the next day I realised that I didn’t feel like my usual oatmeal and fruit, or yoghurt and fruit combinations. I’m not usually an exciting weekday breakfast eater. I stick to those two combinations on rotation and just adjust the fruit to suit the season. So, it’s time to shake things up, time to have another Thoroughly Nourished option: bring on the granola! One of the reasons I stopped eating store-bought granola/muesli is that the gluten free options are Expensive (yes, with a capital E) – my favourite gluten free brand is $10 a box. Not happening.

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe result of breakfast boredom + frugality + Nourished Life necessity = Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola. This granola is addictive, and if you squint, it’s kind of like eating a spicy, nutty, coconutty cookie. The buckwheat kernels become toasty and crunchy in the oven, and are a nice addition to the typical oats.  Dates are caramel in fruit form, add some roasted pecans and toasted coconut curls and this is one indulgent and naturally sweet and healthy breakfast sprinkle. Because that’s what granola is: healthy breakfast sprinkles!

I am the only granola eater in our house (Chris is solidly sworn to the toast and peanut butter tribe) so I didn’t want a giant jar of granola that would go off before I had the chance to eat it all, or got bored and moved on to something else for breakfast. So this is a petite jar of granola. Perfect for a week or two, depending on how many granola lovers you have in your house. If you are making granola for more than one or two, this recipe is easily doubled or tripled. It also makes a great gift!

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeA few important notes:

  • If you are using pecans or coconut that are already roasted you should add these at the end of the baking time when you stir in the dates.
  • If you like your granola extra chunky then do not stir your granola during baking time. Press it down with the back of your spoon and just check to make sure it isn’t burning at regular intervals (see recipe below).
  • If you don’t like pecans or dates feel free to switch them out for your favourite nut and dried fruit combination! Let me know what combinations you try!
  • If you want to make this vegan, you can swap the honey for maple syrup.
  • If you can’t find the buckwheat, feel free to leave it out or substitute another 1/3 cup of rolled oats.

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifePecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola

Gluten Free | Vegan option | Makes about 2 1/2 cups | Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat groats (uncooked buckwheat)
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut chips (or shredded coconut)

Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together oats, buckwheat, pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, salt, and spices until well mixed.
  3. In a small jug whisk together olive oil, honey and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
  5. Spread granola over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the spoon to encourage some clumping.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes to ensure the granola does not burn.
  7. During the last ten minutes of cooking stir in the dried dates and coconut and return granola to oven.
  8. Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving or storing.

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Zucchini, Carrot and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free

Zucchini bread and carrot cake united in pancake form! Puffy, fluffy, thick pancakes with chunks of toasted walnuts inspired by a cafe favourite, but easy enough for everyday.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI ate a two tall stack of these while reading the newspaper on Sunday morning. Does anyone read the newspaper anymore? I like to grab a copy on the weekend after a long walk and settle in at the kitchen table with a late breakfast and read about what’s happening in the wide world that’s fit to print and, of course, do the crossword. The sun streams in the window and a light bay breeze tickles the leaves of the bougainvillea vine that grows over half of the house. It’s a moment of bliss to be grateful for. On a normal day the internet and the radio are my source of information about the world, but on a Sunday, with a stack of pancakes, the smell and smudge of newspaper print fits perfectly.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese pancakes are packed with cafe-favourite inspired flavours. Carrot cake and zucchini bread combined and smashed into pancakes! Which lends you totally legitimate reason to smother them in maple syrup, or your choice of pancake topper (almond butter, jam, honey, butter – whatever your pleasure), I like to think of it as frosting for your pancakes. Sweet carrot, mixed with cinnamon and crunchy toasted walnuts, all wrapped up in the warm cloud of maple syrup kissed pancake batter: Sunday morning bliss.

Now, I like my pancakes fluffy but substantial and these puffy, flavoursome delights deliver on both fronts. The batter features one egg and two egg whites for extra fluff, and a mix of milk and plain Greek yoghurt for added thickness and a tender crumb. True zucchini bread/carrot cake flavour is represented by a respectful dose of cinnamon, vanilla, and toasted walnuts.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTo tell you a secret though: there is only a small amount of brown sugar in the mix, and no added fat at all. This is a cafe brunch that won’t have you weighed down for the rest of your weekend, and is perfect for weekdays too. The leftovers from this batch are tightly wrapped in my freezer and are steadily making their way to work in my lunch box as a morning tea treat. Unfortunately no-one has invented a desk-sized bottle of maple syrup. Now that would be newsworthy.

These are a great idea to make with little nourished lifers too! Get them to help with mixing and stirring the batter, and show them how the bubbles on the pancake mean its time to flip it over. I have great memories of making pancakes with my parents, which is probably why they are my Sunday newspaper breakfast of choice. Enjoy!

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeZucchini, Carrot and Walnut Pancakes

Gluten Free | Makes about 12 (10cm/4-inch) pancakes | Recipe easily halved
Leftovers will keep, well-wrapped, in the freezer for up to two months

Ingredients

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 80 grams almond meal
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 80 grams buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yoghurt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Method

  1. Use the large holes of a box grater to coarsely grate the zucchini and carrot. Wrap grated vegetables in a few layers of paper towel and squeeze to remove some of the moisture. Set aside until required.
  2. Place walnuts under broiler and turn broiler on medium-high. Cook for 6-7 minutes, shaking tray occasionally to turn walnuts over. Once toasted, remove from the broiler and allow to cool before roughly chopping to use in pancakes.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together almond meal, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl vigorously whisk together yoghurt, milk, egg and egg whites, vanilla essence, and brown sugar until well incorporated.
  5. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  6. Using a wooden spoon mix in grated zucchini and carrot and toasted, chopped walnuts.
  7. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  8. Using a large ice cream scoop portion out pancake batter onto pan. Use the back of the scoop to encourage the batter to spread into a circle. Remember to leave plenty of room between pancakes for spreading and flipping. I cooked one pancake at a time on a small pan but to speed up the process use a larger frying pan.
  9. Cook pancake for three minutes on one side. Small bubbles will begin rising to the uncooked surface. Once most of these have popped, flip the pancake and cook for another two minutes on the second side. Transfer to a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter.
  10. Once all pancakes are cooked serve with your favourite toppings.

Zucchini, Carrot, and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

 

Parsley Ricotta Fritters with Balsamic Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Breakfast for dinner has to be one of the greatest inventions of the modern world, and a lifesaver for busy after work dinners or lazy Sunday nights. Fritters are the perfect choice for a breakfast styled dinner: all the happiness of a stack of pancakes (minus the sugar) with a satisfyingly savoury styling (plus the bonus of vegetables).

Parsley Ricotta Fritters with Balsamic Roasted Grape Tomatoes | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

These fritters made an appearance on our table early this week and they have already become a favourite. They are a blank canvas for whatever toppings you most desire but, if you want my honest opinion, you need to make the balsamic roasted tomatoes as a chic breakfast-for-dinner take on sloppy diner grilled tomatoes. These tomatoes are the window dressing that spice up the soft, cheesy fritters. They only take 30 minutes to roast in the oven (plenty of time to make the fritters and assemble a salad) but they taste like they have been blistering for hours. The trick is to coat them lovingly at a high heat in balsamic vinegar and oil, and to choose small, sweet tomatoes. The heat from the oven will bring forth the sugars stored within the tomatoes. When you pair the sweet tomatoes with the tart balsamic vinegar you create a fritter topping that will have you craving more. If you end up with leftover tomatoes, try them stirred into freshly cooked pasta and topped with a shower of cheese, or top your morning avocado on toast with a pile of these sweet and tart gems.

Parsley Ricotta Fritters with Balsamic Roasted Grape Tomatoes | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Parsley isn’t the most loved of herbs, and not my favourite, but I love this slightly outmoded curly leaf for its bright green, flamenco curled leaves and clean, slightly grassy taste. When parsley meets cheese (in this case ricotta and cheddar) magic happens – there is a reason Mama always said to stir parsley into your cheese sauce. Then the whole lot is spiced up with a decent dose of fresh ground black pepper – my favourite ingredient for adding spice to any meal.

These fritters are my offering for Weeknight Nourishment this week. Breakfast for dinner is the first thing that comes to mind when I am trying to think of a quick dinner that both of us will enjoy, and fritters are the ultimate in breakfast for dinner that still includes vegetables and feels slightly grown-up. The batter comes together easily, and if you don’t have parsley in the fridge, just throw in whatever herbs you have at hand. I serve mine with a salad, and some crispy bacon on the side for Chris. And bonus – leftovers make great lunches.

Parsley Ricotta Fritters with Balsamic Roasted Grape Tomatoes

Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Makes 8 fritters and about 2 cups tomatoes (both easily multiplied)

For serving: a runny poached egg would take this meal to the next level and for omnivores perhaps add some crispy bacon.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup low fat smooth ricotta
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar
  • Cooking spray (spray olive oil in our house)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and spread tomatoes out in one layer. Pour over olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Gently shake baking sheet to ensure all tomatoes are coated. Bake for 3o minutes or until the skins of the tomatoes start to split.
  2. While tomatoes are cooking: in a medium mixing bowl whisk together white rice flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, salt, and black pepper.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together ricotta, eggs, and milk.
  4. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  5. Add parsley and cheddar to batter and stir gently to fully combine.
  6. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking oil.
  7. Place heaped tablespoonfuls of batter onto pan two at a time, allowing room for the batter to spread.
  8. Cook for 3 minutes on the first side or until small bubbles have risen to the surface of the uncooked side. Flip fritter and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm while cooking the remaining batter.
  9. To serve: Place fritters on plates, spoon over roasted tomatoes and their juices. Try serving with a green salad and some butter avocado.

Parsley Ricotta Fritters with Balsamic Roasted Grape Tomatoes | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Blueberry Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes

Long weekends and pancakes go together like pancakes and maple syrup. Or pancakes and honey. Or pancakes and golden syrup. Or pancakes and – I think you get the point. Long weekends are my favourite time for making a pancake breakfast. I can take a long walk down by the water and think about how we are doing as a world and a species at the moment, and realise that even though there are some big rifts in the fabric that binds us all, that there are things that each of us can do every day, and in the moment, that can effect change on a small scale. Like taking the time to make our families a pancake breakfast and sit down together to talk about how important it is to extend a hand of kindness, or to lift someone up when they are low.

Blueberry Pumpkin Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

One of the best things about a long weekend pancake brunch is that you are eating pancakes on a Monday. Monday pancakes taste the best, because its like you are cheating on your other Monday morning breakfasts and treating your tummy to some holiday goodness. Holiday Monday brunches also mean more time to patter about in the kitchen, taking care that each pancake is cooked to perfection, and then revelling in some newspaper time between bites of these cakey, pumpkin-spiced, blueberry-bursting, pancake  towers. And these pancakes are gluten free so everyone in the family can enjoy them!

Blueberry Pumpkin Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

These pancakes are puffy and fluffy for several reasons: puréed pumpkin, baking powder, brown sugar, and an extra egg white. Once you bite into the soft crumb you notice the spices. I love the combination of cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger especially with pumpkin and blueberries. I don’t like my pancakes overly sweet because I enjoy accessorising my pancakes with different kinds of sweeteners – usually jam or golden syrup – and because I have found that sugar in a pancake doesn’t give as much sweetness as a syrup added at the table. For these pancakes I poured golden syrup over my stack and let the sweetness trickle through.

Blueberry Pumpkin Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

For my northern hemisphere friends, these are the perfect way to welcome a season of pumpkin laced goodness, for my southern hemisphere pals we can use that extra pumpkin puree that is lurking in our freezers….or is that just me? If blueberries aren’t in season where you live, you can leave them out, or replace them with chocolate chips, dried fruit, or even some chopped pecans. Wherever you are, I hope you enjoy these little treats for breakfast soon!

Blueberry Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes

Gluten Free | Makes approximately 8 pancakes | Leftovers keep well wrapped in the freezer up to 2 months

Note: If you do not require these to be gluten free, simply use 170 grams (1 1/4 cups) plain flour instead of the first three ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 100 grams buckwheat flour
  • 40 grams almond meal
  • 30 grams white rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinammon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 punnet (~3/4 cup) fresh blueberries
  • Favourite topping for serving

Method

  1. In a large bowl whisk together buckwheat flour, almond meal, rice flour, spices, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a separate smaller bowl whisk together pumpkin puree, milk, egg, egg white, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until no lumps remain.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray.
  5. Using a large ice cream scoop portion out pancake batter onto pan. Use the back of the scoop to encourage the batter to spread into a circle. Remember to leave plenty of room between pancakes for spreading and flipping. I cooked one pancake at a time on a small pan but to speed up the process use a larger frying pan.
  6. Dot the uncooked top of the pancake with a few of the fresh blueberries.
  7. Cook pancake for three minutes on one side. Small bubbles will begin rising to the uncooked surface. Once most of these have popped, flip the pancake and cook for another two minutes on the second side. Transfer to a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter.
  8. Once all pancakes are cooked serve with your favourite toppings.

Blueberry Pumpkin Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tell me, dear readers, what are your favourite long weekend breakfasts? Your favourite pancake toppings?