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

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling

Now that I live away from home I really look forward to visiting my parents. We have always had a special relationship and I view them just as much my friends as my parents. When I walk through the door it’s like being enveloped in a big warm hug, well usually it involves multiple big warm hugs and lots of slobbery kisses from one three-legged rascal dog. When I come home, I try never to come empty handed because I know by the time I leave the next day I will usually have a bag full of extra groceries that Mum ‘just happened to have’ and useful bits and bobs (like a toolbox) that Dad ‘thought might come in handy’. How do you thank two people who have taken care of you since before you were even in the world and keep doing so every single day?

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

My  answer is cookies (or cake, or slice – you get the point). I bring my offering to the door of the people who have loved me longest and best because that is all I can do in the face of this enormous love.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Last weekend I brought these buttery chocolate chip shortbread sandwiches along on Saturday night for a treat for the three of us (Chris was out with the boys). I usually enjoy a firmer shortbread but these were slightly softer and oh so cocoa-y. There are only eight ingredients (or six if you don’t need it to be gluten free) in this easy to make shortbread and you will love the fact that you can make the shortbread dough up to a month ahead of time, and freeze it for when you need it. Chilling the dough has the purpose of ensuring the cookies are flaky because of the solidified buttery pockets inside the dough, and also means that you have cookies on hand whenever you require them. On second thought, that could be dangerous knowledge. Like the fact that freezer brownies taste even better. Now that you know it, you can’t forget it.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies 3

The bitter-sweet shortbread was the perfect foil to the sweet salted caramel filling inside. Speaking of the filling. I could eat this off a spoon by itself. I may have eaten it off the spoon by itself at one point. It’s so easy to make too: I took the caramel from my Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Slice, omitted the peanuts, cooled it to room temperature, and then spread it generously between these biscuits. And then I ate them. Well, my fair share at least.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling

Makes 10 sandwich cookies | Gluten Free | Egg Free | Adapted from BBC Good Food

Note: if you do not require these to be gluten free, you can substitute 200 grams (~1 1/2 cups) plain flour for the almond meal, white rice flour and buckwheat flour.

Storage: Unbaked dough can be wrapped carefully in clingwrap and frozen for up to a month. Baked and filled cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 175 grams (3/4 cup) butter, softened
  • 85 grams (1/3 cup + 1 tbs) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 50 grams (1/3 cup) white rice flour
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) almond meal
  • 100 grams (3/4 cup + 1 tbs) buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the caramel

  • 400 gram tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tbs) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl using either a wooden spoon or a handheld mixer beat together butter, caster sugar, and until creamy and smooth.
  2. Whisk together cocoa powder, white rice flour, almond meal and buckwheat flour and add to creamed mixture. Mix in well.
  3. Add chocolate chips and incorporate into dough. This will be quite stiff so you may have to use your hands to get the chocolate chips fully incorporated.
  4. Split the dough in half. Roll each into 5 cm round logs and wrap tightly in baking paper and clingwrap. Chill for at least an hour or up to 3 days.
  5. Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 160C (320F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  6. Slice dough into 1 cm thick rounds and place on baking trays leaving 5-6 cm between to allow for slight spreading.
  7. Place cookies in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will still be quite soft so allow them to cool completely on their trays before spreading with salted caramel and sandwiching together.

To make the caramel:

  1. place sweetened condensed milk, golden syrup, and butter into a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until butter is melted and caramel is golden brown in colour and thickened slightly.
  2. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla essence and salt.
  3. Pour into a heatproof container and allow to cool to room temperature before using to sandwich cookies together.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Raspberry and Coconut Loaf (gluten free)

Chris and I are going away later this week. We are not travelling far, nor for very long, but we are taking a break and getting out of town. We need some time away from our respective offices, ringing phones, and schedules. Some time just to walk on the beach, lie about with a book, and snooze in the midday sunshine. We are lucky enough to be able to go up to the Sunshine Coast and spend a few days there in a midwinter recharge before we come back and finish off our holidays with a few days of stay-cation.

Usually when I have a few days of holiday I set myself lofty goals to achieve, and I end up stressing myself out when I don’t achieve them all. This time I am setting myself only one goal: take each day as it comes and treat each one as a gift. I am going for low stress, high relaxation reward and maximum time in the winter sunshine.

Raspberry and Coconut Loaf | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I baked this loaf last Friday night while I was home alone rattling around in the kitchen listening to podcasts. Jess and I enjoyed thick slices with our warm beverages on Saturday morning at the markets and the rest of the loaf is tightly wrapped and waiting in the freezer for slow, lazy holiday breakfasts where I have time to linger with a book and a whole pot of tea to myself. I might even pack a slice or two to nibble when I get back from a morning beach walk. It feels like a holiday bread: coconut and fruit always remind me of waving palm trees and cool waves lapping against the sand.

Raspberry and Coconut Loaf | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

The coconut in this cake is subtle but layered. Coconut milk, coconut essence, coconut flour, and toasted shredded coconut are all featured and the creamy sweetness is paired with slightly tart raspberries in a breakfast bread that is not too sweet. The crumb is fluffy from the presence of the coconut milk and coconut flour, the top of the bread is browned and sweet like all good crusts should be. Each bite is filled with strands of toasted coconut that lend a little crunch. It pairs perfectly with a cappuccino, or a pot of Irish breakfast tea. This is a quickly made quick bread too. I whisked the ingredients together in about 15 minutes and the largest amount of time was taken up by the baking, which the oven took care of while I put my feet up and started a new book.

Raspberry and Coconut Loaf | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

A few notes before baking: this loaf is gluten free, so that everyone in my house (especially me) can enjoy a slice. If you do not require it to be gluten free you can always use 280 grams (about two cups) of plain flour in place of the brown rice flour, white rice flour, and almond meal. I would not suggest replacing the coconut flour as it is important to the texture and flour of the loaf. Coconut flour is becoming easier to find now too. You can buy it from health food stores, and recently I discovered two different brands in my local supermarket. If you are using frozen raspberries do not thaw them before adding them to the mixture. When thawed they are very fragile and break up easily, which will discolour your batter. You can buy pre-toasted coconut strands in the supermarket, but I save my money and toast my own. Simply spread out onto a cookie sheet and toast in the oven as it preheats. Shake every minute or two to ensure the coconut colours evenly. Toast until most strands are changed from white to a light tan. Remove from oven and allow to cool until required. Now, I think you’re ready to get into the baking!

Raspberry and Coconut Loaf | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Raspberry and Coconut Loaf

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 + 1 tablespoon extra
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • 100 grams almond meal
  • 60 grams coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk (not coconut cream)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon coconut essence
  • 2/3 cup toasted shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries fresh or frozen (not thawed)

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, almond meal, coconut flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Reserve 1 tablespoon of coconut to top the bread and whisk the remainder through the dry ingredients.
  4. In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together milk, coconut milk, eggs, caster sugar, rice bran oil, vanilla essence, and coconut essence. Whisk until well combined.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. In a small bowl combine raspberries and extra tablespoon of brown rice flour. Shake until all berries are covered. This will stop them from sinking in the batter.
  7. Gently stir berries into batter. Take care not to break them up too much.
  8. Pour batter into prepared tin and smooth top slightly. Sprinkle reserved coconut across top.
  9. Place in oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Remove loaf from oven and allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before removing and allowing to cool on a rack before slicing.

Raspberry and Coconut Loaf | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

I am a full-disclosure kind of lady. It takes a lot of self-restraint for me not to just pour out the contents of my heart and mind when I am talking to someone.

Also, I like to know what I am getting into in most situations. The ‘most’ caveat covers such things as the Apple conditions of use page. No one on earth has time to read that when they are madly trying to update their phone while making breakfast and put their pantyhose on. No one.

In the spirit of full disclosure I have to tell you I listen to the BBC and NPR and I’m more of a country or classical girl than Top 40.

I also have to tell you that I’m just not into this whole mass of new young adult dystopian fiction that seems to be flooding the market. Sorry to all the teenagers/lovers of YA. I’d rather have my depressive darkness in a translated Danish form, or a classic love story.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

In the spirit of full disclosure I have to tell you that I actually hate cauliflower. I may be the only (former) dietitian who feels this way. I’m sorry, I know it’s a brassica vegetable. I know that y’all love it instead of rice or mashed potato when you are trying to avoid carbs (note: I am never trying to avoid carbs. Like, ever). I just can’t get past the notion that I carry in my brain that cauliflower tastes like an unflattering bodily emission that rhymes with art. You know what I mean.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I got it into my brain that I just needed to make cauliflower soup. I cannot pinpoint the genesis of this thought, but once it was there, it was there and it all culminated in the purchase of a cauliflower at the farmer’s market last weekend. With cauliflower purchased very little stood in the way of my cauliflower soup vision.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Full disclosure: I am glad that I got that cauliflower ear worm. A steaming bowl of this garlicky, creamy soup was the perfect antidote to a Tuesday night. We all know that Tuesdays are harder than Mondays.

Full disclosure: there is no cream in this soup. The creaminess of the title is contributed by a can of cannellini beans blitzed into white, mushy oblivion in the soup. Cannellini beans add protein and body to this soup – and as they render cream unnecessary (here, not in other delicious confections, obviously) this soup is completely vegan.

In full disclosure: when you saute the garlic, celery and onion together you will want to dive into the pot and abandon all thoughts of making soup. They are the necessary flavour backbone of this bowl of heaven.

Full disclosure: I am looking forward to the leftovers of this for dinner tonight. Also, I may be rethinking my stance on cauliflower.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Serves 2-4 | Vegan | Gluten Free | Leftovers freeze up to 1 month or refrigerate for up to 3 days

Tip: I made the soup up to Step 5 and allowed it to cool in the refrigerator overnight. The next night I continued from Step 6.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower (about 750 grams cauliflower), cut into small florets
  • 1 medium white-skinned potato
  • 400 gram can cannellini beans
  • 3 cups salt reduced vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves

Method

  1. Mince garlic. Peel and chop onion. Thinly slice celery.
  2. Heat oil in a large sauce pan. Add garlic, onion, celery, nutmeg, pepper, oregano, and rosemary. Sauté until onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add cauliflower florets. Wash potato and dice into small chunks. Add potato to pot.
  4. Drain cannellini beans and rinse well. Add to pot along with vegetable stock.
  5. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes or until potato and cauliflower are softened and cannellini beans have started to disintegrate.
  6. Remove from heat. Use stick blender to purée soup until smooth. Alternately, allow soup to cool to room temperature and use a blender to puree in batches. Replace soup into pot and heat before serving.
  7. To serve: spoon soup into bowls and sprinkle with toasted walnuts and parsley. Serve with toasted bread.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Peanut Butter and Millet Muffins (gluten free)

Thanks to all your kind comments on my last post and the decision I have made regarding university and choosing to pursue my writing goals instead. Each one meant so very much to me.

Peanut Butter and Millet Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeIf we were having a coffee date this morning I would tell you all sorts of things. I tend to share deep thoughts with people very quickly. Susan Cain would tell you that this is because I strongly identify as an introvert. My Dad would tell you its because in my family no topic is off limits. Both of these things are true. I don’t do very well with sticking to moderate topics of conversation for very long, and give me too many glasses of wine and very shortly I will start asking you all sorts of questions that get down to the deep and sticky parts that make you who you are. Lucky for me I met Chris, who is also a deep and sticky sort of conversationalist. Made for each other I tell you. Sometimes talking this way makes people uncomfortable. I think that if you enter into deep conversations without judgement, and give people a willing ear, then they are more likely to open up and tell you the truth that perhaps they have been longing to speak, but just haven’t found the right person to listen to them.

If we were having coffee this morning I would also be sure to bring along a plate of these muffins fresh from the oven. We would tear them open and smell the cinnamon in every crumb. We would enjoy the crunch of the seeds inside the soft fluffy gluten free crumb and ‘mmmm’ over the peanut butter background. Once we had eaten our fill I would tuck the rest of the muffins into a napkin for you to take home, because that is how I would say, without words, that I care about you.

Peanut Butter and Millet Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I made these muffins with a new-to-me peanut butter from a company called ‘Blessed & Lucky‘. A friend (with whom I have had many deep conversations over coffee) recommended their cinnamon spice nut spread to me. After eating spoonfuls out of the jar as a dessert treat over the past couple of nights I really wanted to try to bake something with it. These gluten free muffins are the perfect morning tea treat. They are sweet from the apple purée and brown sugar, and moist from the smooth peanut butter. Each bite is filled with crunchy millet, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds. I used a combination of flours here, and a combination of baking powder and baking soda means the muffins rise high above the papers. These muffins are not like other gluten free creations that turn out stodgy and sticky and glue like on the interior. No, these are bakery level fluffy, moist and flavourful.

Won’t you come over for coffee?

Peanut Butter and Millet Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Peanut Butter and Millet Muffins (gluten free)

Makes 8 medium muffins | gluten free | freeze well wrapped for up to 2 months

note: you can use 150 grams of plain flour to replace the total amount of flours and almond meal instead | if you cannot find Blessed & Lucky Cinnamon Spice Nut Spread, just increase the cinnamon to 1 teaspoon and use unflavoured peanut butter instead

Ingredients

  • 30 grams brown rice flour
  • 40 grams white rice flour
  • 40 grams sorghum flour
  • 40 grams almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup apple puree
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Blessed & Lucky Cinnamon Spice Nut Spread
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons millet (uncooked)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190C (375F) and line 8 holes in a 12-hole (1/3 cup capacity) medium muffin tray with muffin papers. Set aside until required.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together brown rice flour, white rice flour, sorghum flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together apple puree, milk, egg, vanilla extract, nut spread, and brown sugar until smooth and no lumps of nut spread remain.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.
  5. Add 1/4 cup millet, and pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
  6. Divide batter between muffin papers. Sprinkle reserved millet seeds over the tops.
  7. Bake muffins for 15 – 20 minutes. Rotate tray halfway through cooking time. Muffins are done when you can touch the tops lightly with your fingertip and they bounce back.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to two days. Best eaten on the day they are made.

Peanut Butter and Millet Muffins | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Breakfast Bread

Now that I live out of home (yes, I am a late bloomer) I look forward to sleepovers at my parent’s house (still home in my mind) all the more. I look forward to snuggling in my bed, which is temporarily housed there until we move into our new home. On Saturday mornings, especially in late autumn, I look forward to rugging up in a jumper or two and heading out to the farmer’s markets with Mum and Jess for breakfast and lady talk. We have been market regulars for nearly five years now and we are firmly settled into our routine: Mum gets the newspapers and finds a table, Jess gets her giant bucket of tea from the Dutch pancake people, and I line up for Mum’s and my cappuccinos. Then we all congregate around the table Mum has found and share stories of our week, problem solve any issues that are pending in our lives, and eat something to fortify us before we forage. Mum is a free spirit and wanders off to try something new for breakfast every week while Jess and I tend to eat something that I have baked and brought from home. On the menu this week is this soft banana, peanut butter and mixed fruit enhanced Breakfast Bread.

IMG_2600

I baked this loaf late last night and wrapped it up safely this morning for its journey home. It feels like a breakfast bread, peanut butter, bananas, and dried fruit; the weight and heft of the slices call for chilled morning air and cold hands wrapped around a warm beverage. Quick breads take very well to being made gluten free and this one is moist and soft. No worry about dry crumbly bread here with bananas, eggs, peanut butter and almond meal in the mix. The overripe mashed bananas are the backbone of the sweetness in this loaf, with a touch more being added by the brown sugar. There’s the goodness of crunchy peanut butter in there and if you toast a slice of this and slather some extra peanut butter on there you might just find nirvana. I love a good dried fruit mix especially in dense sweet breakfast bread like this, but if you don’t (like Mum) you can leave it out, or swap it for the same amount of chocolate chips. This bread, if made on a Friday night or Saturday morning will see you all the way through a late autumn weekend: with tea and butter for breakfast, a sneaky slice for morning tea, and then another to tide you over until dinner. A healthy snack for kids, who especially like the version with chocolate chips, or so I hear.

IMG_2613

Breakfast Bread

Gluten Free. Makes one 9 x 5 inch loaf. Around 8-10 slices.

Ingredients

  • 100 grams brown rice flour
  • 70 grams almond meal
  • 70 grams sorghum flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 large very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup mixed dried fruit

 Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a 9 x 5 inch baking tin with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together brown rice flour, almond meal, sorghum flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together milk, bananas, eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract, and brown sugar. Make sure there are no lumps of brown sugar hiding in your mix.
  4. Add peanut butter to the egg mixture and beat until smooth.
  5. Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Stir until just combined.
  6. Gently stir in mixed dried fruit until distributed. Do not over mix.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  8. Place in preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. If it starts to brown too quickly cover the top with some aluminium foil.
  9. The bread is done when a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove and allow to cool on a rack.

Bread will keep in an airtight container for up to three days or sliced, wrapped and frozen for up to two months.

IMG_2607

Vegan Black Bean Chilli

Chris and I ate so much of this chilli the other night that we gave ourselves stomach aches. On Sunday after Mother’s Day breakfast, a quick run, two hours spent cleaning the oven, and a smoothie for lunch, I needed to set something bubbling away on the stove while I got down to some dissertation writing business (some of the aforementioned activities may have been procrastination tactics…). This is the second time in as many weeks that I have made a big pot of this vegan black bean chilli. The first time I greedily kept it all to myself. When Chris finally managed to scavenge a bite out of the last bowl he said ‘mmm good chilli.’

Vegan Black Bean Chilli | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Now, when your meat-loving, bacon-snuggling, chicken-chomping darling boyfriend expresses interest in your vegetarian – nay, vegan – dinner, lady, you better pay attention and make another pot of chilli – stat!

This is one of those best dishes layered with spices and filled with vegetables that makes your house smell like a home. As you ladle the thick, chunky stew into bowls and sprinkle it with coriander and spring onions you can feel a blanket of cosiness wrapping around you and your loved ones. Add some toasted bread, or some crackers, even some avocado chopped on top would go well. Then take yourself to the comfiest spot in the house, curl up beside the one you love, and nourish body and soul with a bowl of this vegan chilli.

(In the spirit of full disclosure, the boyfriend did end up having some roasted chicken breast stirred through his, which was enough to fill the ‘meat category’ for dinner.)

Vegan Black Bean Chilli | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Vegan Black Bean Chilli

Adapted from Cookie + Kate’s Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chilli. Thanks Kate for letting me feature my adaptation here.

Serves 6 | Vegan | Gluten Free |

I used dried black beans that needed soaking overnight. If you want to use canned black beans or even kidney beans, just skip the soaking step. If you wish for a milder chilli you could leave out the chilli flakes and decrease the chilli powder to 1 teaspoon. 

You could serve the chilli with these scones, or this cornbread if you feel like doing some baking while your chilli bubbles away. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried black beans
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • ½ medium red capsicum
  • 2 stems celery
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • Sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 800 gram tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Chopped coriander, spring onion, avocado and other toppings to serve

Method

  1. Place beans in a medium size bowl, cover with water, add baking soda and stir. Allow to soak for 8 hours, or overnight.
  2. Dice red onion, carrot, capsicum, and celery. Peel sweet potato and chop into small chunks.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or small stock pot over medium heat.
  4. Add vegetables to sauce pan. Sauté vegetables for a few minutes or until onions start to go clear and carrots begin to soften.
  5. Crush garlic and add to pot along with spices, tomatoes, and vegetable stock.
  6. Drain beans and rinse very well. Add to pot.
  7. Give everything a big stir and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for up to two hours. Stir every so often so that the chilli does not stick to the bottom of the pot. The liquid will reduce to a gravy-like consistency and the vegetables will soften during cooking time.
  8. Ladle into bowls, top with garnishes of choice and enjoy.
  9. Chilli will keep in the fridge for 3 days in an airtight container, or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Vegan Black Bean Chilli | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Despite our Sunday night stuffed-with-chilli tummy aches, we will definitely be making several more batches of this during the next few chilly months (oh, a pun at the end!).

Oat and Apple Pancakes with Stewed Apple

Sunday was one of those quietly blessed days. The sky was a bright blue glass dome and the sunshine was a water-colour stripe across our sunroom floor. We slept easily and well as the sun crept into our bedroom and lit the walls and the wind brushed the leaves of the tree outside against the window panes. We rose, we pottered around and introduced ourselves into the world on that bright cold morning. We escaped from the thickening crowds and entertained ourselves inside our own four walls for the remainder of the day. I stayed close to the stove all day. Warming my body and warming my soul with old favourites and new ideas. It was a simple kind of day. It was a deeply enriching simplicity where you realise that all you have right now is all you really need to make you happy and nourished forever if only you remember to look through the eyes of gratitude.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI dreamed of these pancakes all week and Sunday felt like a brunch day. Too late home from an early morning errand to be breakfast and too sweet and cake-like to be called lunch. I whisked together the batter, waited patiently for each pancake to bubble and be flipped and then wait for its siblings to join it in the plate to keep warm. I listened to Edith Piaf and Dean Martin and padded across the wooden floors on bare, cool feet. A gift of apples from a friend-in-passing became the caramelised topping for the substantial but fluffy pancakes. When all was complete I curled up in a sun-washed chair and devoured my oat and apple pancakes. I looked out across the bay and realised that my heart was calm, my mind was completely in the moment: I felt thoroughly nourished.

These are thick, cake-y pancakes. Hearty, winter morning pancakes for mornings where you linger in a sunny spot with a book and a pot of tea. They are filled with all the best winter things: oats, apples, cinnamon and stand up very well to reheating for an afternoon snack (or second breakfast helping). They also do well when cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer. Perfect for those extra lazy winter mornings, or for a lunch box friendly snack. These Oat and Apple Pancakes are perfect for cooking with children, and you can even make the batter the night before and leave in the fridge overnight. Then all you need to do is heat the pan and cook them in the morning. The stewed apples are worthy of multiplying. Any leftovers are delightful reheated for dessert topped with a scoop of ice cream or some thick Greek yoghurt.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Oat and Apple Pancakes

Gluten Free. Makes 8 large pancakes.

Ensure your quick oats are gluten free. I used Freedom Foods Free Oats. I topped mine with stewed apples, you may wish to add a dollop of thick yoghurt, some golden syrup, or for extra indulgence, some ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 80 grams almond meal
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 70 grams buckwheat flour
  • 70 grams quick oats
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup greek/natural yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 medium apple, grated
  • Stewed apples to serve, recipe below

Method

  1.  In a medium size bowl whisk together almond meal, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, quick oats, cinnamon, gluten free baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together yoghurt, milk, eggs, vanilla and brown sugar until well combined. Gently stir in apple.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add apple mixture. Whisk until just incorporated.
  4. Heat a non-stick heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat and add a little olive oil or butter to grease the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add approximately 1/4 cup of batter to the pan. You may have to spread the mixture out a little in a circular shape. Cook until bubble appear on the surface of the batter, about two minutes, once most of the bubbles have popped, flip pancake over and cook for another two minutes on the other side.
  6. Transfer pancake to a plate and keep covered while you repeat with the remaining batter. You may be able to cook more than one pancake at a time depending on the size of your frying pan.
  7. To serve, top with with stewed apples and other toppings if desired.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Stewed Apples

This recipe is easily multiplied. I suggest making at least a double batch. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon water

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Place over a low heat and cook, covered until apple is soft.
  2. Uncover and cook until juices have thickened slightly. Serve with pancakes.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup

The act of making soup in the middle of the week is a perfect relaxant, no drugs required. Even though a bowl of hearty nourishing soup can take just 45 minutes from chopping board to table you feel like you have accomplished a task that should have taken all day. We are just recovering from the shock of going back to work after two long weekends back-to-back – serendipitous events of the calendar happen every now and again – and that shock requires soothing, seemingly labour-intensive-but-not-really recipes to help us sink back into the rhythm of the week.

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegan | Gluten Free

When I saw this easy spicy carrot soup recipe while paging through a neglected cookbook that has now found itself shuffled over to the cottage by the bay I knew I had the perfect back-to-work dinner recipe. All the ingredients were in the cupboard already and I had only to chop and sauté for a few moments before I could leave the pot bubbling away merrily to itself. A shower and change out of my running clothes, and a welcome home kiss for Chris later and the soup was thick and ready to be ladled generously into bowls and be anointed with a final drizzle of coconut milk. In the dark of the night in our little house we slurped and dipped and nourished ourselves with conversation and spicy sweet soup. Every day is like a weekend when you share a meal with the one you love.

This Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup is thick and slightly chunky, layered with spices, and slightly sweetened by light coconut milk. It comes together in barely the time it takes to unpack the groceries. Once you have softened the onions and leeks you add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer away. Thirty minutes later you add the coconut milk, ladle the soup into your favourite bowls, and serve with an extra drizzle of coconut milk and maybe some toast (or bacon as Chris enjoyed his). Then, enjoy.

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegan | Gluten Free

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup

Adapted from Delicious: Home Cooking by Valli Little

Vegan. Gluten Free. Serves 4 generously.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks (white parts only), chopped
  •  5 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder (I used Keen’s)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk, plus extra to serve

Method

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and leek and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until the onion is softened but not colouring.
  2. Add carrots, garlic, spices, tomato paste, lentils, and vegetable stock. Stir well.
  3. Bring soup to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. When the carrot is well softened and the tender red lentils have broken down the soup is ready. I mashed mine slightly with a potato masher, you can use a stick blender to purée to a smooth consistency, but I like my soup a little chunky and textured.
  5. Stir through coconut milk and ladle into bowls. Drizzle over extra coconut milk to serve.
  6. The leftovers will keep for 2 days covered in the refrigerator. Reheat well before eating.

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegan | Gluten Free

Random Thoroughly Nourished Family story: When my mother was born the doctor thought she was jaundiced because she was orange all over; however, it turns out it was actually carotenaemia caused by my grandmother’s insatiable appetite for carrots while she was pregnant. Or so the family legend goes. The result of this incident is that my mother now refuses to eat any orange vegetables: pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots – anything that lies on the spectrum between red and yellow is not on her menu. Except pumpkin soup (secretly I think this is because it is an excuse to eat lots of bread and butter all in the name of ‘dipping’…this may be genetic…).

Carrot, Zucchini, and Thyme Muffins

We are at the tender part of autumn right now. The ferocity and passion of the summer season has passed and the heat lingers gently like the last parting kiss of two lovers. The morning light is a little dimmer; the scent of oncoming chills fills the air.

These are my favourite mornings for being outside. I run through the few leaves that have started to fall and take deep breaths of the air that has lost the stickiness of summer.

I walk, long strides through the grass that grows tall and golden on the untamed verge and feel the wind cooling my skin as it shimmers through the trees.

Carrot Zucchini Muffins (gluten free) | Thoroughly Nourished Life

On the weekends I feel that I can walk forever. My soul feasts on the freedom from four walls and necessary sedentariness. I gather the boundlessness closely; try to imprint the feeling of this blessing for the days when I am trapped inside.

Autumn calls my innermost self to hibernate, to start pulling inward, to curling up and preparing for winter.

I want morning walks followed by pots of tea and muffins, and a big thick book, and warm arms to hold me while I nap.

When we have a quiet moment those are my tender autumn weekends.

Carrot Zucchini Muffins (gluten free) | Thoroughly Nourished Life

These are the muffins I made this last tender autumn weekend. They were quiet, all-consuming, gentle to make. Grating zucchini, carrot, and cheese takes only a moment and is stirred into a batter that goes from thought to reality in no time at all. A dash of dried herbs and into the oven they go. By the time I have selected a book to read while I eat breakfast they are out of the oven.

All they need is a little dob of butter and tender weekend morning perfection is achieved.

Carrot Zucchini Muffins (gluten free) | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Carrot, Zucchini, and Thyme Muffins

Gluten Free. Makes 12 muffins.

Muffins are always best on the day they are made, but these freeze very well and are a welcome accompaniment to a midweek dinner of soup or stew, or simply pop into lunchboxes for a savoury snack.

Ingredients

  • 100 grams sorghum flour
  • 100 grams buckwheat flour
  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds + 2 tablespoons extra
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 small zucchini

 Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and thoroughly oil one twelve-count muffin tins with spray oil.
  2. Roughly grate carrot and zucchini on the small holes of a box grater. Place gratings between two paper towels and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Set aside until needed.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together sorghum, buckwheat and rice flours. Add salt, baking powder, pepper,  and dried herbs and whisk until well combined.
  4. In a separate medium size bowl whisk together eggs, milk, honey and oil.
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Add sunflower seeds and carrot and zucchini gratings. Stir until distributed.
  7. Gently stir in crumbled feta.
  8. Spoon mixture into muffin tins. Fill each cup to ¾ full. Sprinkle extra sunflower seeds on top.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until tops are golden and bounce back when lightly touched.
  10. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan before turning out.

Serve with butter and a large pot of tea or coffee.

Carrot Zucchini Muffins (gluten free) | Thoroughly Nourished Life