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:

Spicy Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | gluten free | vegan

You need to make these tonight. Spicy peanut sauce coats zucchini noodles stuffed inside sweet roasted capsicums for a vegan, gluten free dinner that tastes sinful, but is secretly healthy – and super easy!Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI love peanut sauce dishes. You can just put another notch in the ‘Things Amy loves that contain Peanuts’ list that I’m sure everyone is keeping. Basically the list reads: everything. If there is a way to add peanut butter to a dish I will find it. This dish is no exception. The peanut sauce that coats the zucchini noodles is everything a peanut sauce should be: deeply peanutty with a hint of sweetness, a dash of astringency, and a good dose of spice. I have so many memories of a peanut satay sauce that my sister and I were both in love with during high school. I don’t think either Mum or Dad were particularly fond of it, but they let us ride out our teenage cravings. Plus, they were getting dinner cooked for them, so I guess that was a win on their behalf 😉Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeFast forward to today and I’d much rather create my own sauces than get them from a bottle – it’s all about customisation, and avoiding any unnecessary additives, right? And making your own spicy peanut sauce is easier than getting the ‘safety plastic’ off a shop bought bottle. Anyone else unable to get that stuff off? Just me? Moving on.

These roasted capsicums are fancy enough to serve to company, but easy enough for everyday, and while the peanut sauce is decadent, they are actually quite healthy! Rather than using noodles I made zucchini ‘noodles’ and coated them in the peanut butter sauce then stuffed them inside the roasted capsicums. Result: delicious and healthy.Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe spicy, savoury peanut sauce coated noodles are a great contrast to the sweet roasted capsicums. And the capsicums act as perfect containment for every single drip of peanut sauce. You can’t let that deliciousness escape!Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis dish comes together in six simple steps:

  1. Cut capsicums in half and remove seeds.
  2. Bake.
  3. Prepare noodles and sauce and mix.
  4. Stuff capsicums.
  5. Bake again.
  6. Serve.

Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeFor those six simple steps you are rewarded with layers of flavour in every single bite. To take this to the next level I couldn’t help but garnish it with extra salted peanuts and some chopped spring onions for a little extra crunch. Every bite is a mouthful of molten sweet roasted capsicum, spicy peanut sauce soaked zucchini noodles, crispy spring onions and salty-crunchy peanuts. It’s everything a Wednesday night needs without being so heavy you want to hibernate for the rest of the week. Bonus: your kitchen will smell like the best Asian restaurant in town as these flavours mingle in the oven.Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums

Gluten free | Vegan | Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a light meal or appetiser | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium size red capsicums (bell peppers)
  • 1 large zucchini (or 2 medium)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (ensure this is gluten free)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • Sprinkle of chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Cut your capsicums in half and remove the core and seeds. I like to leave the little green tops because I think they look cute.
  3. Place capsicum halves cut side down in an ovenproof baking dish. Mine was about 6 x 8 inches.
  4. Bake capsicums for 20 minutes and then remove from the oven.
  5. While the capsicums are baking, prepare your filling.
  6. Using a vegetable spiraliser or a julienne peeler create long thin ‘noodles’ from your zucchini.
  7. Crush garlic into a medium mixing bowl and whisk together with peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar, grated ginger, and chili flakes.
  8. Toss zucchini ‘noodles’ with peanut sauce gently but thoroughly until they are coated in the mixture.
  9. Pile zucchini into capsicum halves. Spoon any extra sauce over the noodles.
  10. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the tops of the noodles are golden.
  11. Remove capsicums from oven. Toss together salted peanuts and spring onions and top the capsicum halves.
  12. Serve with a green salad and enjoy!

Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan

This fusion of flavours creates a bowl of creamy, savoury broth filled with zucchini noodles, quinoa, corn and spring onions that will have you begging for seconds. And it’s perfect for weeknight meals – you can have this gluten free, vegan meal on the table in under 20 minutes!Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOur new neighbourhood smells good. Not just like night breezes stirring jasmine into the air good, but like ‘I want to eat whatever our neighbours/the people down the road/that amazing looking restaurant is making tonight’ good. In less than five minutes no matter what we are craving Chris and I can find cuisine from all over the world. There is a cluster of shops down the road from us that are all Korean: coffee shops, supermarket, barbecue, and amazing takeaway. Then there’s the larger intersection that is suburban dining bliss with cuisine from India, various Chinese provinces, Japanese (not just sushi), and a random Italian restaurant. Our neighbourhood smells awesome. But, being mostly reasonable people (unless there happens to be chocolate ice cream in the house), we try to limit our takeaway and dining out to once a week for the good of our wallets and our wardrobes.Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeLiving in this divine smelling neighbourhood has made me more interested in combining interesting flavours and branching out from my usual Mediterranean/Australian slanted cooking. I’m taking baby steps to find new ingredients in not only our local big chain supermarket but also in the little ethnically themed grocery stores that are all over our neighbourhood. I’m inspired to take the new flavours and marry them with old, comforting familiar flavours – and give them the Thoroughly Nourished Life healthy twist.Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis weekend started some new flavour adventures with my acquisition of some white miso. I’ve only rarely had miso soup in the past (sometimes it is neither gluten free nor vegetarian) but I found a brand in our local store that fits my requirements! I was inspired to create my own version of this recipe that would be perfect for umami craving nights when takeaway tempts from outside the door.Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI used zucchini noodles for that all important slurp factor, fresh sweet spring corn, heapings of garlic, and added some quinoa for garnish and extra protein. This soup was ready in under 20 minutes and the flavour combination delivered big time! Tahini contributes a creaminess without the heaviness of cream and with the added health benefits of being high in calcium and other nutrients. Miso is the ultimate background umami and savoury flavour: deeply satisfying and hits all the flavour buttons we are searching for when sometimes we crave not-so-good-for-us foods. I slurped up a big bowl of zucchini noodles and savoured the creamy, savoury broth with its garnish of quinoa, spring onions, and sesame seeds. I can’t wait to make this again!

This soup is really adaptable to whatever you have in your fridge too. If you don’t have leftover quinoa you could use leftover rice or millet. If you have omnivores in your house this would go wonderfully with some cooked, shredded chicken. Just get ready to slurp up your zucchini noodles and beg for more!Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2 (easily multiplied)

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup white miso paste (ensure this is gluten free)
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cob of corn
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa (or other leftover grain)
  • 1/3 cup chopped spring onions (about 1 spring onion)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method

  1. Use a julienne peeler or vegetable spiralizer to turn your zucchini into long thin ‘noodles’. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Crush garlic and saute until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Increase heat to medium. Add miso, tahini and water and cook until miso and tahini are dissolved, about three minutes.
  4. Add zucchini noodles and cook until they start to soften, about three or four minutes.
  5. Chop kernels from the cob of corn and add to the broth. Cook for another two minutes.
  6. Divide between two bowls and garnish with cooked quinoa, spring onions and sesame seeds.

Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan

Spicing up weekday meals is easy with these Spicy Chickpea Tacos. Filled with chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, capsicum and onion and finished with a lime and coriander spiked guacamole, these prove that everyday food can be super special too.Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOur house is filled with half-stuffed boxes, Mum and Dad have more boxes ready for me at their house, I have lists upon lists in every conceivable place, and our keys are probably being cut right this moment! That’s right! We are almost on the move! Thank you all so much for listening to me get excited about the events of the next few weeks for the last eighteen months. Thank you for coming along for the ride, and all the encouragement you have given us along the way. There is always a spare seat at the table.Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOf course, getting prepared to move – and filling in all the paper work – no one warned me about all the paperwork! And having marathon meeting days at the office leaves very little time for thinking about dinner. I am happy with salad most nights when I have been busy, but there are nights when I want my leaves wrapped in a corn taco, my chickpeas seasoned heavily with spices, and a big dollop of creamy, coriander and lime scented guacamole right on top. These tacos are essentially one of my favourite salads wrapped up in a gluten free corn taco for easy handheld convenience – no fork necessary, which is a good thing because I think they’re next on the packing list!Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNot only are these tacos super easy to eat, they are a snap to prepare and super healthy! You can have these on the dinner table in under 30 minutes, which makes them perfect for quick weeknight meals. These gluten free, vegan tacos are packed with lean protein (chickpeas), heaps of veggies, and healthy fats (avocado) these are a healthy fast food option for when you want dinner on the pronto without sacrificing your healthy eating goals. Let’s review: easy to eat, easy to make, packed with healthy ingredients. Oh and what about flavour?Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWe start with a plain corn taco. Not much to see here, but a great foundation for layering our flavours onto. Add some fresh, crispy lettuce. I used baby cos – bright, green, and crunchy! We sauté canned chickpeas with capsicum, spring onions, garlic, sundried tomatoes, chilli flakes, cumin, and paprika – this chickpea is filled with the best savoury and spicy flavours! And the crowning glory of this flavour creation: creamy avocados, whipped with garden fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime juice. These tacos might be simple, but they hit every flavour and texture note required for true satisfaction: crispy, creamy, salty, savoury, sweet. My Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole have it all!Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole

Gluten Free | Vegan | Serves 2

Note: I served mine with some grated cheese. If you are vegan, leave this out or use your favourite ‘cheese’ product.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 400 gram can chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/2 medium red capsicum, diced into small pieces
  • 2 spring onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup (packed) coriander leaves
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 1/2 small red onion, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and black pepper

To serve

  • 4 small (6 inch) soft corn tacos, heated
  • 1 small baby cos (or other crispy green salad leaves)
  • Grated cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add capsicum and garlic and saute until capsicum is softened.
  2. Add chickpeas, spring onions, sundried tomatoes, paprika, cumin, and chilli flakes (if using). Cook, stirring, until chickpeas are warmed through.
  3. While chickpeas are cooking, make guacamole. Place avocado, coriander, lime juice, and onion into a small food processor and process until avocado is mostly smooth. I leave a few chunks for interesting texture. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To serve, place a taco on your plate, top with lettuce, chickpea mixture, guacamole, and cheese (if using).

Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSo, dear reader, any smart packing tips? Any favourite taco flavours?

 

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Roasted Poblano Sauce | Gluten Free | Vegan

Crunchy toasted tortillas filled with sweet roasted butternut pumpkin, hearty black beans, creamy avocado, and spicy coriander and roasted poblano sauce. This vegan, gluten free dish makes a great week night meal, or a memorable winter lunch with friends!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeGrowing up ‘Mexican-inspired food’ meant one of two meals: beef tacos, or taco spuds. I still love a good taco (now with beans) and taco spuds are one of the true pleasures in life, especially when piled high with cheese and really fluffy guacamole. Now, my definition of Mexican-inspired food has grown considerably, thanks to lots of American friends on the internet, and some time in California, spiritual home of the taco and tostada.

I love the ease of tostadas – just a really crunchy tortilla or soft taco really. You can top them with any combination of vegetables, beans (or meat), cheese, and sauce that you like, then fold and crunch your way through. Or, you know, be ladylike and eat them with a knife and fork. I prefer to eat these with my hands. It’s so much more fun that way!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeWhen I think of Mexican food I usually think first of bright red sauce, fresh tomatoes, and salsa. But there is so much more to explore in the fusion of Mexican and other cuisines, or taking inspiration from the seasons. Winter heralds the season of sweet, dewy butternut pumpkins and creamy plump avocados, both of which pair beautifully with smoky black beans, and my bright roasted poblano, coriander, and lime sauce. It’s not exactly authentic, but these vegan, gluten free tostadas celebrate winter’s seasonal produce and have all the elements that will have your taste buds craving for just another messy delicious bite.
Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeMy roasted poblano sauce is bright with fresh coriander and lots of lime juice. The roasted poblanos are a soft heat. If you want more spice, try dicing up a green chilli and adding it to the blender with the coriander. This sauce would also make a great addition to guacamole, or as a quick topping for grilled vegetables or meat. In these tostadas the sweet cubes of roasted butternut pumpkin combine with creamy chunks of avocado and spicy poblano sauce in every bite and assault your tastebuds from every angle.

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeThese Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Roasted Poblano Sauce do make a great week night meal, but add a few margaritas (or a sweet dry white wine), maybe some salsa and chips, and you have the perfect menu for a sunny winter lunch with friends.

There’s something endearing about this sort of get your hands dirty food. People have to drop pretensions and just come to the table just as they are. Dig your hands in, connect with your food and just have some fun. Connecting through food with the people you love, now that’s the most authentic dish no matter where you are.
Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten Free

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Roasted Poblano Sauce

Serves 2-3 | Gluten Free | Vegan

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 2 poblano chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup (packed) coriander leaves
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Small onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To assemble

  • 500 grams butternut pumpkin
  • 6 small gluten free corn tortillas (I used these ones)
  • 400 gram can black beans
  • 1 small avocado

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. First, make the sauce. Place chilies onto one of the baking trays. Roast until the chili’s skin has softened and blackened. This will take about 30-40 minutes. Turn the chilies over every ten minutes. Once chilies are cooked allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Place chilies into small food processor (or a blender) and add garlic, coriander, and lime juice. Process until combined but still a little chunky. Dice onion and stir through the sauce along with the salt and pepper. Set sauce aside until needed.
  4. Peel butternut pumpkin and cut into playing dice-sized pieces and place them on the baking tray. You can re-use the chili tray and paper (it makes for less clean up!).
  5. Roast until the pumpkin is soft to the centre, about 20 minutes. Keep warm until serving.
  6. Place corn tortillas in a single layer on the second baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes on one side, then flip over and bake for 5 minutes on the second side. This will crisp up the tortillas.
  7. While the tortillas bake, drain and rinse black beans. Place in a small sauce pan and warm gently over a low heat.
  8. Dice avocado in preparation.
  9. To assemble: place a tortilla on your plate, top with roasted pumpkin, warmed beans, and dice avocado. Drizzle roasted poblano sauce over the top. Dig in!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten Free

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Gluten Free | Vegan

Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little baked treats are made of. In my house, spice reigns supreme especially when the nights grow darker and winter deepens. Warm yourself by the oven and make a batch of my Ginger and Apple Muffins to share with some sweet friends.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWere you taught the ‘what little girls are made of’ rhyme as a child? I remember hearing ‘sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of’ now and again as a little girl. As a grown woman, I like to think that I have grown up to be a good mix of sugar and spice, but I just know my personality errs on the spicy side most of the time. Oh, and I have a surprisingly salty vocabulary (that’s what comes from being an ex-Navy cook’s daughter) that comes in handy from time to time (especially when you forget to use a tea towel to grab a sheet pan out of the oven…

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten FreeWhen it comes to baking I am definitely a spice lover. Opening each different jar or grating and grinding the fresh spices instantly whisks me away. Spices connect us to other places and times. The scent of cardamom is my Danish grandmother’s kitchen where abelskiver are cooking on the stove. Cinnamon is the bakery in New York where my best friend and I recovered from a long flight. And ginger, ginger is my Mum dunking gingersnap cookies into ice cold milk on a summer afternoon. Ginger is home.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese muffins are for cold mornings in the kitchen, tramping around in stocking feet and brewing strong black builder’s tea, chopping dusky skinned apples and waking up slowly to the aroma of ginger and brown sugar warming in the oven. These Ginger and Apple Muffins are damp and sweet from brown sugar and golden syrup and studded with chunks of tart apple. They bake up tall and generous and make a house smell like home. Invite someone over, anyone, these muffins are gluten free and vegan so everyone can enjoy them, or eat them alone with only a book and the slow-rising sun for company.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Ginger and Apple Muffins

Vegan | Gluten Free | Makes 12 large muffins

Ingredients

  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 80 grams buckwheat flour
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup rice bran oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil e.g. grapeseed)
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 100 grams brown sugar
  • 2 medium apples (Sundowner are my favourites)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a 12 cup muffin tin with baking papers.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, white rice flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together almond milk, oil, golden syrup, and brown sugar until smooth and well combined.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Quarter and core one of the apples, and chop into cubes. Mix into batter until distributed.
  6. Divide batter between muffin papers.
  7. Quarter and core the second apple. Cut into thin slices and place a few on top of each muffin.
  8. Bake muffins in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove. These are best eaten the day they are made, but can be wrapped in plastic wrap (once completely cooled) and frozen for up to two months.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | 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

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free

Our autumn has finally arrived and the time has come for big pots of soup filled with sweet, blistered, roasted vegetables and hearty warming spices. This Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup is my latest favourite and the chickpeas, quinoa, and roasted sweet potato, capsicum, and parsnip make the perfect antidote to the cold dry winds whispering through our creaky bay cottage.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI moved in full-time with Chris nearly a year ago to the day. Last night I found myself nesting in what has become our little home, and the beginning of our story together. I tidied and fussed and plumped up pillows until Chris finally said to me ‘you are really comfortable here now aren’t you?’. As I stirred a big pot of vegetable and quinoa soup on the stove I realised how at peace I am here now. After living with my parents my whole life, without even a move away for university, I was unsure and a little nervous when I first moved in with Chris. I knew the idiosyncrasies of my parents and they knew mine. I had all of my things, and all of my routines. And I had no idea how to live with someone else.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSharing your space with someone you are in love with places you on a steep learning curve, especially if you want to be successful. You learn their routines, their patterns, and habits very quickly. There is some tip-toeing at first, but you have to be brave enough to open yourself up to critique and learn to make the space your home too. Over the past year Chris has seen me through the every day muck and mire, through the singing in the kitchen while cupcakes bake to the crumpled on the bed in tears because I can’t make the clouds in my head go away. There have been early morning races to the emergency room, midnight runs to the local ice cream shop, and sunset walks where we argue about gender politics, action movies, and everything in between. I have brought my books into the house – the one thing that makes a space truly mine, and worked out a truce with the postage stamp kitchen – cleaning up as you go is key. These four walls have become my house too, but the man beside me, eating soup and laughing at John Oliver, is what really makes this house a home.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis hearty vegetable, quinoa, and chickpea soup was born out of an abundance of autumn vegetables hanging around in our refrigerator at the end of the week. The flavoursome vegetable foundation of the soup is all of my favourite autumn vegetables: capsicum, sweet potato, carrot, and parsnip roasted with fresh rosemary, oregano, and thyme. While the vegetables were cooking I boiled up some quinoa and sauteed red onion, a decent dose of garlic, and a rich array of spices. Once the vegetables and quinoa are cooked, the whole lot is combined in the pot and gently warmed. The scent of roasted herbs and warmed spices will fill your house and chase away any chill. Turn your house into a home with big bowls of this belly warming soup served with love to the ones who make that house a home.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 6 | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in a saucepan over a gentle heat until bubbling.

Ingredients

  • 2 small sweet potato (~250 grams each)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium capsicum
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1.5L vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400 gram (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Peel and dice your sweet potatoes (about the size of a playing dice). Chop up carrots, parsnip, and capsicum into medium chunks. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft in the centre and starting to caramelise on the edges.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the quinoa. Rinse quinoa thoroughly and place in a large saucepan (about 3L capacity) with 2 cups of room temperature water. Bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside until needed.
  4. Peel and dice red onion and crush garlic cloves.
  5. Using the same large saucepan heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Saute onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add cumin, paprika and coriander and cook until fragrant ~ 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, vegetable stock, and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Add chickpeas, roasted vegetables (and any juices from the pan), and cooked quinoa. Cook until warmed through. Serve.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | 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

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic-Thyme Millet | Vegan | Gluten Free

Creamy, curried pumpkin soup will keep out the autumn chills. My Curried Pumpkin Soup is heartily spiced, and the roasted garlic flavoured millet is the perfect compliment. This meal is healthy, hearty, easy to prepare, and the perfect way to warm up at the start of the season.

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Thyme Millet | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe first pot of pumpkin soup in autumn is a precious celebration in anticipation of what the season will bring. Autumn is the season of true bounty. We get the best of the final blush of summer – the ripest stone fruits, the sweetest final watermelon harvest, the juiciest tomatoes begging to be made into passata; and we also get the first harvest of the hardy fruits and vegetables that will see us through the cold winter months – creamy sweet potatoes, the crunchiest apples, sweet heavy grapes, and pretty smooth-skinned butternut pumpkins.

My Mum has made a version of this curried pumpkin soup since I was a child. Coming home from school on rainy winter days to a pot of gently bubbling soup and thickly buttered bread was a childhood delight, and something that still warms me down to my soul as an adult. Soup is pure comfort. And making soup from my Mum’s recipe is an extra layer of warmth. I know this soup is going to appear on our table frequently throughout the coming season. I have been coming home to leftovers of this soup since I made a big pot on the weekend. When I walk through the door, I know I am coming home to a bowl of comfort.

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Thyme Millet | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMum uses a curry powder mix, but when I ran out and was at home on a rainy Sunday craving this soup, I didn’t want to venture to the shops so I broke the mixture down to its essence and put my own twist on a family tradition. My soup is a little spicier than Mum’s owing to my inclusion of chili powder. If you don’t want the soup too spicy or you are serving it to little kids, you can leave out the chili powder and I can promise you the soup will still be just as flavoursome. The chili powder is joined by ground dried coriander, turmeric, cumin, garlic, and black pepper for a fragrant bouquet of flavours. Along with your spices, butternut pumpkin, carrots, and onion, and a good quality vegetable stock are all you need to create this soup for dinner tonight. The millet is a filling addition, and the roasted garlic and thyme add a soothing element to the spicy soup. If you don’t have or like millet you could use quinoa or rice to the same effect.

Get ready to snuggle up with your beloved and a bowl of soup, and rest happily in the comfort that these bowls are full of thoroughly nourishing ingredients that will keep you healthy all winter long. This soup is creamy, but there is no cream required: butternut pumpkins bring their own special creaminess when simmer low and slow. Millet, as we’ve spoken about before is a buttery ancient seed that provides good amounts of iron and other minerals. This soup is the healthy comfort food answer to lengthening autumn nights, long runs in the drizzle, and a craving for comfort.

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Thyme Millet | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic-Thyme Millet

Gluten Free | Vegan | Serves 4 generously | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to three days.
Reheat gently over a low heat, or in the microwave in short bursts

Ingredients

For the soup

  • 1 kg (2 pounds) butternut pumpkin
  • 2 medium brown onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons dried coriander
  • 3 teaspoons dried ground cumin seeds
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4-1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 4 cups reduced salt vegetable stock

For the millet

  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 3/4 cup dried millet
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Method

  1. Peel and de-seed pumpkin and chop into cubes (about 2.5cm/1 inch). Peel and dice onion. Dice celery and carrot.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over a medium heat. Add crushed garlic, onion, celery, carrot, turmeric, coriander, cumin, black powder, and chili powder. Saute until the onions are become clear and the spices are fragrant.
  3. Tumble in your pumpkin cubes and stir until everything is well mixed.
  4. Add vegetable stock and bring soup to the boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cook until pumpkin is very soft and is disintegrating in the stock. This will take about an hour.
  6. While the pumpkin is cooking preheat your oven to 180C. Wrap garlic in aluminium foil and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cloves are softened. Allow to cool.
  7. Rinse millet and place in medium saucepan along with vegetable stock. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover the saucepan with a lid. Allow to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, stand for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Keep covered until ready to serve.
  8. Once soup is cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Use a stick blender to blend until smooth. Alternately you can puree this soup in a blender. WARNING: ALLOW SOUP TO COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE BLENDING. DO NOT BLEND HOT SOUP. Reheat over a low heat on the stove top.
  9. Mash roasted garlic together with fresh thyme and olive oil. Mix through millet.
  10. Ladle soup into bowls and top with spoonfuls of millet and extra fresh thyme if desired.

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Thyme Millet | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life