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:

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones | Gluten Free

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Almond, Apricot and Chocolate Chunk Scones

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

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

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan

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

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

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

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

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

Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

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

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

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

Zucchini, Carrot and Walnut Pancakes | Gluten Free

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

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

 

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free

I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow morning! A warm, jammed and buttered scone filled with dried cranberries and scented with orange peel is the perfect way to start Christmas Day. You will love how easy these are to put together while everyone wakes up and makes their way to the table.

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Happy Christmas Eve morning everyone! Today is the beginning of my family’s festivities and we will continue through tomorrow with Chris’s family lunch and dinner. We are lucky to be surrounded by so much love and joy at this special time of year. Before Chris and I travel to his family for lunch and dinner tomorrow we will be gathering around the table with my family for Christmas morning breakfast. I am so fond of sharing special breakfasts, and Christmas morning breakfast has to be one of my favourites. Everyone gathered around the table in their pyjamas with sleep-tousled hair and eyes that have been awakened to the new day with carefully selected gifts. It’s the one time of the year that my little sister eats chocolate before she has her breakfast (stocking sweets are totally on the breakfast menu).

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese buttery scones are scented with orange peel, and spiked with dried cranberries before being topped with a crunchy coating of raw sugar crystals. They are wonderful plain when freshly pulled from the oven, but pair them with a smidge of butter and generous lathering of jam for a truly festive breakfast.

You have to know a few things about this recipe. Firstly, the dough is quite a bit wetter than other scone doughs. Gluten free flours are often greedy for moisture, and the wetness of this dough means you don’t end up with a crumbly, dry outcome after they are pulled from the oven. Secondly, they will not puff quite as much as a wheat based scone, but the crumb is not dense and glue-like, rather moist and close and filled with the scent of oranges. Thirdly, you must not leave out the ground chia seed. Chia provides the structure to the dough that when coupled with the moisture, binds together your dough to create scone perfection. Fourthly, (that word always looks weird to me) please, please freeze your butter – it makes incorporating it into your dough so much easier! Especially when you are fighting against 35C (95F) weather, or central heating. Just place a block of butter in your freezer at least an hour before you are going to make these, or if you are like me you can keep one in there permanently for spontaneous scone baking sessions (they happen).

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI’ve been scared to attempt gluten free scones (even more than gluten free pastry, and that’s working out okay at the moment) because my Mum makes the best scones in the world (according to my CWA raised, ex-cook Dad, so that’s saying something). But after watching her delicately turn out fluffy, beautiful scones last weekend, I just knew I had to attempt a gluten free version. I missed my long summer afternoon teas on my parent’s verandah. Sitting in a chair positioned to just catch the breeze with a jam and cream heaped scone in one hand and cup of sweet Irish breakfast tea in the other. Those are my Christmas memories, and I am glad to say that this scone recipe brings all that rushing back.

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCranberry Orange Scones

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

Note: Chia seeds are best kept in the refrigerator. Grind them as you need them as this will ensure their freshness. You can use a spice or coffee grinder, or even a mortar and pestle (if you’re old school/ can’t find your coffee grinder like me). Frozen butter is easy to grate using a box grater, just watch your fingers! Grate first, and then weigh the amount required.

Ingredients

  • 60 grams buckwheat flour
  • 60 grams sorghum flour
  • 60 grams white rice flour
  • 60 grams brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 75 grams grated frozen butter
  • Finely grated zest one orange
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup cold buttermilk + 2 tablespoons extra
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 220C (430F). (A hot oven means a happy scone says Mum.) Line a cookie sheet with baking paper and set aside until required.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together buckwheat, sorghum, white rice, brown rice, caster sugar, ground chia seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add frozen butter, whisk lightly with a fork, and then use your fingertips to gently ‘rub’ the butter into the flour mix until incorporated and the mix resembles large rough breadcrumbs.
  4. Mix grated orange zest and cranberries through the flour and create a well in the middle.
  5. Add 2/3 cup of buttermilk to the flour mix and stir from the middle to the outside to create a wet shaggy dough. If the dough still appears too dry to come together into a ball, you can add the remaining buttermilk up to 3/4 cup.
  6. Gather dough into a ball and place onto the lined cookie sheet. Pat the dough into a circle about 1-inch (2.5cm) thick.
  7. Cut the circle into 8 wedges and separate the wedges so that the hot air can circulate and bake the scones properly.
  8. Brush the tops with the reserved buttermilk and sprinkle with raw sugar.
  9. Place scones into oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven) or until scones are risen and the tops are golden.
  10. Remove and serve with jam, cream, and butter.

Cranberry Orange Scones | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

 

Blueberry Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes

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

Blueberry Pumpkin Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

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

Blueberry Pumpkin Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

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

Blueberry Pumpkin Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

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

Blueberry Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes

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

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

Ingredients

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

Method

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

Blueberry Pumpkin Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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