Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf

It’s my first week back in Melbourne since my travels and it’s been absolutely FREEZING! I’ve been drinking lots of herbal tea and making winter meals to keep me warm. Here’s something many of you didn’t know about me, I’ve never actually had a ‘proper’ winter before. Yes I’ve visited places during the winter and have seen snow multiple times but to live in a city where I can wear a winter coat and boots day in, day out is quite exciting for me.

Along with embracing the winter fashion I’ll also be making plenty of hearty meals that are full of nutrients. If you would like to be the first to receive these healthy yet hearty meals straight to your inbox, just hit ‘follow’ and enter your email on the right side of this page –>

So, here’s just a few things that I’ve been making/buying this week.

Healthy Winter Dinner. Emma Lauren Food.

Easy winter dinner

The above meal is one of my go-to weeknight dinners as along with being healthy it is simple, quick and tasty. After a busy day at work and in this cold weather all I’ve been craving is warming foods. By adding warming spices such as cinnamon and cumin to the sweet potato it really brings out the flavour of the vegetable – try it out next time you’re roasting some!

Healthy Pantry. Emma Lauren Food.

Stocking up my healthy pantry

This week I’ve been stocking up my healthy pantry – two of the health food stores in my area have had ‘super saver’ days (one 20% off and the other 15% off) so how could I not buy anything?! Although initially it is quite an outlay, these products will last me a long time and I know I can make/create a lot of different recipes with this selection.

Healthy Pantry. Emma Lauren Food.

Another healthy haul!

As I’ve moved to a new area in Melbourne, one of the first things I did was check out my local health food store and find out when their ‘super saver’ days are. It is common for health food stores to have 15% off on the first Saturday of every month, but make sure you ask and put it in you calendar as you can make a real saving!

Almond milk latte. Emma Lauren Food.

Almond milk latte from Organica, Melbourne

Before heading to the Prahran Markets to buy some fresh produce for the week, I stopped by Organica for an almond milk latte. It was just what I needed as it was quite cool – as you can see by the number of layers I’m wearing! I haven’t eaten there yet, but they have some great raw vegan slices, healthy salads and soups and takeaway meals.

Roasted pumpkin stuffed with moroccan spiced lamb. Emma Lauren Food.

Saturday night dinner

This was last night’s dinner and boy did it go down well. Made with organic grass fed lamb mince and fresh vegetables all sourced from the markets it was just what I needed. You too can make this roasted stuffed pumpkin with moroccan spiced lamb – it’s actually one of my favourite recipes. The best part is I have plenty of leftovers so tonight’s dinner is sorted.

Now for the vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf recipe. I made this at the start of the week as a quick breakfast option and to enjoy at morning tea. It’s actually a vegan and gluten free version of this loaf.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Dry ingredients

Almond meal is a light flour that’s also gluten free and grain free (it’s basically ground almonds). The additions of chopped almonds add a crunchiness, the coconut adds a slight chewiness and the quinoa flakes add bulk to the loaf.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Chia ‘egg’

As I’ve mentioned previously, a chia ‘egg’ is just chia seeds mixed with water. It’s a vegan substitute that acts as a binding ingredient just like a regular egg does – plus it has the added nutritional benefits of chia seeds!

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

In separate bowls

Once the dry and wet ingredients have been separately mixed, it’s time to combine them. Make sure you gently fold them together in the larger bowl so the blueberries don’t break/bleed their colour too much.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Loaf mixture

All mixed together now and you can really see the different elements that make up this deliciously healthy loaf.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Prepared loaf tin

I always line my loaf tins to ensure the baked good can be easily removed. Plus, it means less cleaning up as you just need to wash it in hot soapy water without having to scrub bits of loaf off the tin.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to be baked

The loaf needs to be pressed into the tin to ensure a nice, even top. I sprinkled a few extra chopped almonds on top just for decoration, feel free to do the same!

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Golden on top!

Just how a loaf should look – golden and crunchy on top! Enjoy a slice of this healthy loaf with some almond butter and a cup of tea, or just by itself.

Make sure you allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing as it is quite delicate!

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to be devoured

This loaf will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 6 TBSP water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt*
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease or line loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Combine almond meal, baking soda, shredded coconut, almonds and quinoa flakes in a large bowl, set aside.
  3. Combine chia seeds and water in a bowl, set aside for 2 minutes or until liquid has absorbed.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract, coconut oil, coconut yoghurt and blueberries into chia ‘egg’ bowl.
  5. Fold wet and dry ingredients together.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared loaf tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely in loaf tin.
  7. Slice with a bread knife and enjoy!

Notes

    • Substitute the coconut yoghurt for 1/2 cup mashed bananas
    • Make sure you allow the loaf to cool completely otherwise it may crumble.

I’ve already sliced the up into individual portions and have them all wrapped up, ready to take to work for the week!

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Vegan french toast

There’s something so relaxing about Sunday mornings, I think it’s because you’re able to ease into the day at your own pace – no matter how fast or slow. Today I started mine slowly with a beach swim, delicious breakfast followed by some writing.

Enjoying my Sunday morning…

A couple of weeks ago I injured my back, resulting in me having to take it easy – this meant no cooking! Such a difficult thing for me to do as I love cooking; this also explains my absence in regards to recipe posts. However, I’m well and truly on the mend now and have been enjoying creating recipes once again.

Batter.

As breakfast is my favourite meal of the day I’ve been creative in the kitchen this past week – my favourite of them all has been french toast! I’ve only ever enjoyed french toast a handful of times however since creating this recipe and knowing how easy it is, I will be making it more often.

Soaking up all the flavours

It’s such a versatile breakfast as it can be enjoyed with a variety of toppings – fruit, nut butters, yoghurt, maple syrup and chocolate sauce just to name a few!

Make sure you coat both sides!

This batter is not your traditional french toast batter as it is made without eggs, making it vegan. It’s quite light yet the cinnamon and maple syrup lend a subtle sweet earthy flavour to the french toast. I will definitely create a batter with eggs in the coming weeks as an alternate option!

Crisping up

Once cooked, the toast takes on a beautiful golden colour and as it’s fried it becomes quite crunchy, YUM!

Beautiful breakfast

The french toast is best served immediately otherwise it will lose its crunch. The batter can be made the night before to save time in the morning – store this in a sealed container for up to two days.

Vegan french toast

Serves 2 – 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of gluten free bread
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 TBSP buckwheat flour
  • 1 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Coconut oil for frying

Method:

  1. Whisk together the almond milk, maple syrup, buckwheat flour, cinnamon and vanilla extract in a shallow dish.
  2. Place each slice of bread into the batter and allow it to soak for 1 minute each side.
  3. Heat coconut oil in a medium-size frypan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, place the bread slices in the pan and cook for a few minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Serve with chia blueberry jam, fresh fruit, coconut chips and almond butter – also, extra maple syrup if you like! Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Substitute the almond milk for another dairy free milk.
  • Substitute the buckwheat flour for another gluten free flour – quinoa or plain gluten free.
  • Substitute the maple syrup for honey (however this won’t be vegan)

I’d love to hear what breakfasts have you been enjoying lately?!

Superfood fruit and nut loaf

The Gold Coast Marathon was on this morning and I wanted to bake something portable for breakfast so I could cheer the runners on. I took a slice of this loaf and an almond milk latte down to the race and was very content!

This superfood fruit and nut loaf was beyond what I had imagined it to be. It’s quite dense and is full of good fats, fibre and flavour.

Soon to be applesauce!

By cooking the apples down they turn into an applesauce which provides a natural sweetness to this loaf.

Dry loaf ingredients

The chia seeds and flaxseed meal are binding agents which keep the loaf together.

As I used spelt flour this loaf isn’t gluten or wheat free. However, spelt is an ancient grain with quite a nutty flavour and the way that it’s processed generally enables those who are allergic to wheat to tolerate it.

Chopped nuts and fruit

The best part about this loaf (besides the taste) is that the ingredients are easily interchangeable. As long as you use the same quantities you can change the type of nuts and fruit you use. However, I would recommend keeping the dates as they too add a natural sweetness.

Applesauce

This is what the applesauce looks like once cooked down and whisked.

Ready to be mixed in

Be sure not to over mix the loaf as the gluten in the spelt flour breaks down fairly easily meaning your loaf will become crumbly in texture.

Baked loaf

It’s so tempting to cut the loaf fresh from the oven and taste your delicious creation but allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes. This cooling time ensures your slices do not crumble and fall apart.

Muffins

As I made a double batch I decided to make muffins instead of another loaf.

Portable breakfast!

This photo was taken right before I headed downstairs to cheer on the marathoners!

The loaf and muffins will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days.

Superfood fruit and nut loaf

Makes 1 loaf and approximately 7 muffins or 2 loaves

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, washed and diced
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups nuts, chopped (1/2 cup each of brazil, almond, walnut and macadamia)
  • 10 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup goji berries
  • Pumpkin seeds/pepitas for topping the loaf

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Place diced apple in a small saucepan with a dash of water. Simmer with lid on for 10 minutes, or until soft enough to whisk together to make applesauce.
  3. Mix spelt flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, flaxseed and chia seeds together in a large bowl.
  4. Add water and carefully mix until well combined.
  5. Fold in the nuts, dates, prunes, goji berries and applesauce.
  6. Spoon into prepared tin, top with pumpkin seeds and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  7. Cool for 3-5 minutes, slice then enjoy with a tea or coffee!

Notes:

  • To make oat flour blend/process 2 cups of oats until a flour-like consistency.
  • If you don’t have flaxseed meal and chia seeds you could just use 1/2 cup flaxseed meal or 1/2 cup chia seeds instead.
  • You can top the loaf with extra chopped nuts if you don’t have pumpkin seeds.
  • If you’re making muffins bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Halve the mixture if you don’t want to make two loaves.
  • You can toast a slice of this loaf then spread it with some nut butter!

How did you start your Sunday morning?

Blueberry coconut oat breakfast loaf

There’s nothing better than baking early in the morning. I love the smell of freshly baked food wafting throughout the house and I’m sure my family enjoys waking up to the smell knowing there is something tasty in the oven!

I think it’s about time I tell you a little something about myself: I dislike bananas immensely! I’m not sure if you’ve already noticed but none of my recipes have banana in them. Ever since I can remember, I just haven’t liked them.

This can sometimes be difficult when wanting to make a cake or slice as bananas are a really useful wet ingredient. However, I think I have found the perfect alternative: coconut yoghurt!

Dry ingredients

Almond meal is a great base for this loaf as it’s gluten free yet still really filling.

Wet ingredients

I’ve been eating coconut yoghurt for the past 18 months and actually hadn’t thought of cooking with it before. Silly me! You will probably see me bake with this little gem more often!

Fold in ingredients

The blueberries, almonds, oats and coconut give this loaf substance and all nourish the body.

Ready to be baked!

It looks slightly blue but I can assure you this is from the blueberries!

This loaf doesn’t have any sugar in it however if you prefer some sweetness just add some honey or 100% pure maple syrup to taste.

Freshly baked!

This loaf will keep for four days in a sealed container in the fridge.

Blueberry coconut oat breakfast loaf

Mades 1 loaf

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease or line loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Combine almond meal and baking soda in a large bowl, set aside.
  3. Whisk eggs in another bowl. Stir in vanilla extract, coconut oil and coconut yoghurt.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in blueberries, coconut, almonds and oats.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared loaf tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. Slice and enjoy!

Note: you can substitute the coconut yoghurt for 1/2 cup mashed bananas

What do you eat for breakfast on the go?