Healthy Vegan Banana Bread

 

I am head over heals about banana bread! I think its the yummiest breakfast or snack which is also super healthy and gives you tons of energy! Win win!

This banana bread is extremely easy to prepare and you’ll love how comforting the flavours are. The texture of the bread is spongy and slightly firm on the outside with a slight crunch from the caramelised topping of walnuts. I love to spread some peanut butter on top for some extra deliciousness!

Ingredients

  • 4 over ripe bananas
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup brown flower
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup + 1 tablespoon for topping
  • Coconut oil to grease the loaf tin

 

Method

 

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 150c.
  2. Place the almonds and pecans in a food processor and blend for about 20 seconds until it forms a flour.
  3. Then place the flour mixture into a large bowl and add the vanilla powder, chia seeds, cinnamon, brown flower and last the maple syrup.
  4. In another bowl mash the bananas until they are smooth. Then add the banana mixture to the large bowl and mix everything together well until it forms a sticky mixture.
  5. Grease in your loaf tin with coconut oil and simply pour in the banana bread mixture.
  6. As a topping break the walnuts into a few smaller pieces (in half or in 4) then place them in a small bowl. Add about a tablespoon of maple syrup and mix until all the walnuts are covered with syrup.
  7. Simply place the syrup covered walnuts on top of the banana bread.
  8. Place it in the oven for about 1 hour.
  9. You know your banana bread is ready when its slightly golden and when sticking a knife in it comes out clean!

 

 

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Vegan Chocolate Mousse

 

For any chocolate lover (like me) this is the ultimate recipe!

This chocolate mousse is so smooth, flavourful and if you are looking to satisfy your chocolate cravings then this is definitely the most healthy but also the most satisfying dessert you could ever make.

It may seem strange at first to be making chocolate mousse with avocado, but it actually gives the mousse a very smooth texture. All the other ingredients will also overpower the avocado flavour so I’m sure no one will even believe you have used avocado’s in the first place!

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 banana 
  • 1 large avocado
  • 4 teaspoons cacao 
  • 80 ml almond milk 
  • 8 medjool dates
  • Pinch of salt 

 

Method

 

  1. First, pit your dates and soak them in boiling water for at least 10 min, so they get nice and soft. 
  2. Then place all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until everything is smooth. 
  3. Place your mixture into bowls and leave in the fridge to set. 
  4. When serving top of with a spoon of coconut yoghurt and sprinkle with cacao nibs. 

 

 

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The best vegan ice-cream on the lake in Como, Italy.

 

When you’re in Italy you can expect to be finding yourself stuffing your face with ice-cream, lets be honest here. My diet has consisted of espresso’s, pasta and ice-cream in the last few days and apart from going for that extra run I feel great! Being vegan in Italy has always been seen as a very difficult task. But that’s not always true. I have been going to Italy for quite a while and have found some amazing Italian meals that even I can order in a restaurant or cafe. Nevertheless, I have recently discovered an ice salon which is now one of my favourite spots in Como.

 

What I like

In a small side street you will find a spot named Vanilla BioVanilla Bio is an ice salon which only sells vegan and bio ice-cream. Two bubbly girls make you try all the flavours you want and make you even more indecisive as everything you taste is as good as the other. However, if you want to dulge in delight you have to try two of my favourite  flavours, ‘coconut’ and ‘chocolate’. They are both vegan and absolutely delicious. Imagine a crispy cone with the most creamiest and flavoursome ice-cream, all plant based.

When you visit Como you can’t miss out on this spot, and trust me you wont be returning just once.

 

Where to go

They are open everyday and the address is Via fontana 15 in Como, Italy.
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The ultimate Chickpea burger

 

Who doesn’t love a good burger. Especially being vegan I’m guilty of fancying a delicious burger especially knowing that vegan burgers are actually very healthy and nutritious and at the same time really comforting. Especially in the summer I love to sit outside on a warm evening with friends and get our hands dirty. Whenever I fancy a burger it’s this recipe that I love to make as it’s easy, healthy and absolutely delicious. It’s always a winner!

 

Ingredients

Makes 6 medium burgers

  • 1 tin (340g) sweetcorn
  • 1 tin (400g) chickpeas
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ a bunch fresh coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • nut oil
  • 3 tablespoons wholemeal flour
  • 6 wholemeal burger buns
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • ½ medium white onion
  • 2 hands full of spinach
  • salt and pepper

 

Method

  1. First drain the chickpeas and sweetcorn, make sure no water remains. Then place them in a food processor.
  2. Then also add the spices, flour, coriander, grate in the lemon zest and season with some salt and pepper.
  3.  Pulse this mixture until everything is combined, but not smooth – you want to retain some texture.
  4. Dust a plate or a surface with flour and scoop out your mixture with a spoon shaping them into 6 individual burgers. Try to make them equally sized.
  5. When done leave them in the fridge to firm up for about 30 min.
  6. Put some oil in a large pan over a medium heat and bake your patties for about 8-10 min, until they are golden brown on both sides.
  7. Slice your union and tomatoes into slices, and wash your spinach.
  8. First toast your burger buns and then you’ll be ready to create your burger!
  9. Get the bun and place your patty on the bottom,then layer with slices tomato, onion and spinach. Add some ketchup or vegan mayo for the ultimate delight.

 

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Crispy tofu sandwich

Being Dutch I grew up with a love for bread. A standard breakfast and lunch consisted of thick slices of fresh bread topped with a thick layer of butter and my favourite Dutch delicacies such as Maaslander Cheese, Old Amsterdam or Hagelslag (Dutch Chocolate Sprinkles). Bread has become something very authentic and special for me and will always bring me back to my Dutch roots.

Now a days I’m still a huge fan of having thick freshly made bread for both lunch and breakfast and that’s why I love making this ‘Crispy Tofu Sandwich’ to spice things up a little! This sandwich is full of different flavours and textures and also has the right vitamins and fats to give you some energy for the day! Plus, it’s super yummy!

Ingredients

Serves:  1

  • 4/5 slices of tofu
  • 4 chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon humous
  • handful of iceberg or rocket salad
  • 2 slices of chunky bread (Rye bread)

Method

  1. Drain the tofu and wrap it in some kitchen paper or a kitchen towel to get rid of any excess liquid. Leave for about 10 min.
  2. Spread the honey evenly over the tofu slices.
  3. Heat up some oil (I use coconut oil) in a pan and fry the tofu slices for about 5 min on each side until slightly golden and crispy.
  4. Remove the tofu from the pan and add the mushrooms, cook for about 3-5 minutes. Season with some salt and pepper.
  5. Toast your bread.
  6. Now get ready to put your sandwich together! Spread a thick layer of humous on one piece of toast. Then add a layer of iceberg or sprinkle some rocket salad. On top of this add your tofu slices. Slice the avocado and place these on top, season avocado to taste with salt and pepper. Then add the mushrooms and top of your sandwich with the other piece of toast.

Now get ready to get stuck in! Enjoy!

 

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What are the health benefits of ginger?

When waking up early I sometimes feel a little drowsy and tired. Both my mind and my body sometimes need a little longer to wake up after what may have been a short night. Its at these moments where I absolutely love my morning routine, as I feel that my body needs a little wake up call!

As soon as I get up I make myself a cup of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon and fresh ginger! The lemon gives a little kick but trust me, so does the ginger! We all may know that ginger is supposed to be a healthy product. But what exactly are the effects that makes it so healthy for us?

Well, continue reading to find out!

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Ginger may protect against Alzheimer’s Disease and improve brain function

Antioxidants and bioactive compounds that are found in ginger can inhibit inflammatory responses that may occur in your brain. A study showed that ginger may even enhance brain function directly which include benefits such as anti aging, improving memory as well as reaction time!

Helps lower cholesterol levels

Ginger helps reduce the level of blood triglyceride as well as LDL cholesterol levels.

Helps your digestion

Compounds found in ginger are known to stimulate saliva and bile production as well as helping to promote regular digestion and metabolism of your food. This helps to relieve the gastrointestinal of irritation.

Ginger Contains Gingerol

This substance is filled with antioxidants and strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Helps treat nausea and morning sickness

It is thought that active components such as gingerol has an affective effect on the digestive and central nervous system, which helps prevent nausea.

May reduce menstrual pain

Ginger is known for its anti-pain property. Especially ginger powder is known to help reduce menstrual pain. Its know to even be as effective as painkillers such as ibuprofen.

Has anti-inflammatory effects

This means it can help fight infections and reduce symptoms of a flu and colds. When you feel ill it is great to drink ginger tea as it warms the body from within, which promotes sweating.

May reduce muscle pain and soreness

Ginger is a great substance to take after exercise as it may reduce your muscle pain up to 25%. Also, there are some studies that show that ginger can help reducing symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Could drastically lower blood sugars

Supplements in ginger help lower the risk of blood clotting and has been show to reduce blood sugars, which improve heart disease risk factors! A study has shown that 2 grams of ginger powder per day can lower your blood sugar by 12%!

Helps protect against and improve diabetic complications

Gingerol is known to improve diabetes and enhance insulin sensitivity.

May prevent certain types of cancer

Gingerol found in ginger helps delay the growth of colorectal cancer cells. It also appears to work beneficial towards your enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase. And may also help to increase the motility through the digestive tract. All these benefits help towards fighting colon cancer, and may even prevent the illness all together. Supplements in ginger also help reduce risk of colorectal cancer, which was established by research done by Cancer Prevention Research. 

Are you running towards your local supermarket already to get yourself a bag full of ginger? – I know I am!

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Not such a big fan of ginger (yet)? No worries, there are definitely some ways to still get your daily doses of ginger without tasting its overpowering flavour too much!

Here are some of my favourite ways!

Smoothie

Blend a little piece (depending on how much of a ginger lover you are) through your smoothie. If you use plenty of fruit and/or veggies the ginger flavour will be overpowered by the other flavours!

Soup

If you are making your own home-made soup you can always add a little ginger. If you are making a creamy soup and blending your ingredients together then add a little piece of ginger while blending it. Or if you are making a stock for your soup, add some ginger and leave it to infuse the water together with the other ingredients.

Sauce or dressing

If you are making a fresh salad dressing or a thick sauce to wok your noodles in, you can always add a little ginger! Here are some simple recipes to get you started!

 

Simple Ginger Salad Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger root
  • 2 tablespoon low salt soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients together and whisk together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste then simply drizzle over your salad!

 

Simple Teriyaki Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger root
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup low salt soy sauce
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds (toasted)

Add all ingredients together in a hot sauce pan. Let it simmer and stir often for about 5 min, until its smooth and thick. Drizzle over some veggies, rice, or noodles and you’ve got yourself a delicious ginger rich sauce!

Ginger tea

If you are a ginger lover like I am you can always just simply add slices or grated ginger to a hot cup of water and make your own ginger tea. Add some mint, lemon or agave syrup if you want to add some flavours!

Enjoy!

 

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