{Vegan MoFo} Freaky Friday: A hearty soup, pumpkin coffee, and chocolate for breakfast

Today, on Freaky Friday, I highlight recipes from three bloggers who are participating in Vegan MoFo.

First cab off the rank…

Homestyle Split Pea Soup by Vegan Flavorista.

When cooler weather and strong winds descended this week, this simple and tasty soup brought much comfort.

The recipe consists of carrot, celery, onion, vegetable stock, garlic, and green split peas. My pantry was a little low on green split peas, so I made up the difference with yellow split peas and red lentils.

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The recipe requires 1 pound of green split peas (approx. 450g). I used 250g green, 170g yellow, and 30g red lentils. I also increased the garlic content from 1 clove to 3, and the liquid content from 6 cups to 7.

This soup cooks in a slow-cooker (crockpot), but could easily be adapted to stove-top cooking. My slow-cooker had not made an appearance during winter, so it was a novelty to bring it out of captivity. The delicious smells of soup wafted through the house.

The recipe directs readers to cook the soup on low for 4 – 4.5 hours. We cooked our soup on low for 5 hours, then turned the slow cooker onto the high-setting for 3 additional hours (a total of 8 hours cooking time).

Tiny Vegan, 6 years old, inspected his soup, and announced enthusiastically: ‘This looks like it tastes nice’. And it did! It was tasty and satisfying.

The recipe is available here.

***

Pumpkin Spiced Cappuccino by Two Cups of Love.

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Pumpkin and coffee?! It sounds strange to me.

As someone who uses pumpkin in soups and curries, or roasts them with other vegetables, I was intrigued when I saw this recipe at Two Cups of Love. 

You could call this drink a pumpkin-spiced espresso smoothie.

To a high-speed blender, I added: organic soy milk; a shot of freshly brewed coffee; mashed, cooked pumpkin; ice cubes; a combination of spices: ginger, allspice, cardamon, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

I poured the drink into a tall glass, added a couple of ice cubes, and sprinkled some freshly grated nutmeg across the top.

Unexpectedly delicious! And refreshing. The combination of coffee and spices is delightful.

The recipe is available here.

***

Chocolate Overnight Oats by Carrie On Vegan

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Today, my daughter and I enjoyed chocolate overnight oats for breakfast.

A friend met me at my house early this morning, and we drove to a nearby beach side town for a morning of ocean kayaking.*

Last night, as I was preparing my gear for the kayaking trip, it occurred to me I would need a decent, filling breakfast that was simple and quick to prepare. A green smoothie was not an option, as I didn’t want to risk waking the rest of the family with a noisy, whizzing Blendtec.  I recalled Carrie’s chocolate overnight oats recipe, and it seemed like a perfect occasion to try overnight oats for the first time.

The recipe consists of: goji berries, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, cocoa, cinnamon, blueberries, soy milk and oats (I used ‘gluten-free’ oats).

I doubled the soy milk, added frozen organic raspberries, reduced the quantities of blueberries and goji berries, added rice protein powder, and used raw cacao powder (doubled) rather than cocoa.

The oats were satisfying, decadent and scrumptious. The perfect fuel for a morning of kayaking.

The recipe is available here.

***

* Before our kayak adventure commenced, an instructor told the group there was a 90% chance of spotting dolphins. Approximately 400 dolphins live in the area. He also told us there was a really good chance we would see a humpback whale (or whales), as it is peak whale watching season.

Well, we didn’t see any dolphins. Not one. Not a fin.

We did see a whale from the shore during our ‘tea break’, but he or she decided to vacate the area when the crazy bunch of paddling humans entered the water again. Someone may have seen a green turtle’s bobbing head.

We saw a butterfly. Who knew they flew so far out from the shore?

The kayaking tour company offers a ‘wildlife-spotting guarantee’. So, my friend and I are able to book in on another occasion – at no cost. 🙂

{Recipe; Vegan MoFo} Carob Cinnamon Chia Pudding

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I served the tiny vegans a decadent breakfast today. Yes, on a weekday morning. Weren’t they lucky?!

Thanks Vegan MoFo for keeping me motivated and inspired to experiment with new recipes. Even at 7am. 🙂

The tiny vegans usually eat porridge (oatmeal) for breakfast, with soy or rice milk, ground flax seeds, ground chia seeds, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Sometimes they have toast. Occasionally they have porridge, followed by toast. You get the gist. 🙂
chiapud2Today they all had Carob Cinnamon Chia Pudding. I whipped it up in less than 5 minutes in a high-speed blender, and refrigerated it for 20 minutes before serving.

This is my first experience with chia pudding. I was delighted by the simple and quick preparation.*

When I first read about chia pudding, I was a little underwhelmed. But I have since discovered that a mediocre sounding dessert actually makes a fancy breakfast. 🙂

chiapud3The pudding contains almond milk (unsweetened), medjool dates, raw carob powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract, black chia seeds, and white chia seeds.

I made a few changes to Dreena Burton’s Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding. Her recipe is available here.

The changes include:

  • Using raw carob powder instead of cocoa powder.
  • Omitting the shredded coconut from the pudding mixture.
  • Adding 1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon to the blender jug with the other ingredients.
  • Dividing the mixture between 3 small serving dishes prior to refrigeration, rather than adding it to a single, large bowl.
  • Sprinkling the top of the puddings with desiccated coconut and almond meal prior to refrigeration, and adding sliced strawberries prior to serving.

Also, I opted to use only (medjool) dates to sweeten the pudding, and did not add the ‘optional’ coconut sugar, maple syrup or choc chips. I used a combination of black and white chia seeds.

The recipe makes 3 small (child-sized) serves.  Next time, I’ll double the batch to ensure that the adults don’t miss out. I had to be content with devouring the pudding mixture left behind in the blender jug. 🙂

This is definitely a viable weekday breakfast option, and I am keen to try other flavour combinations.

The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

My daughter was the first to discover that chia pudding awaited her on this glorious spring morning.

Her verdict: ‘This is the BEST’!

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Look at that determination!

I gave Little Baker a couple of tablespoons worth (that I pinched from 4-year-old Tiny Vegan’s dish), and he went to work on it enthusiastically.

6-year-old Tiny Vegan requested additional strawberries.

4-year-old Tiny Vegan was thrilled to be given something resembling dessert for breakfast.

6-year-old Tiny Vegan appeared to be taking his time. After eating about a third of his pudding, he announced:

‘Mummy I do like it… but you know when you eat too much of something you like that it starts to taste yucky’.

Perhaps it was too rich for him.

It appears to be quite filling. My daughter and 4- year-old Tiny Vegan did not require additional breakfast.  6-year-old Tiny Vegan had a small bowl of porridge.

Little Baker, his face smeared in pudding, called out ‘more’, ‘more’, so we gave him his brother’s leftovers. That worked out well. 🙂

* The photography took longer than the active preparation stage. 🙂

What mediocre dessert do you regard as a decadent breakfast? 

Ally

{Recipe} Almond-Goji-Cacao-Buckwheat Muesli

Yes, the name of this muesli (granola) is a mouthful!

But, it is a mouthful of deliciousness.

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This muesli consists of oats, whole almonds, sprouted buckwheat groats, dried goji berries, cacao nibs, coconut, and pumpkin seeds (pepitas). It is sweetened with maple syrup, and flavoured with cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg.

Serve after a light roasting in the oven or – for a raw version – after dehydration.

Buckwheat Groats

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Buckwheat groats (or buckwheat kernels) are available at ‘health food’ stores. Despite the name, buckwheat is wheat-free and gluten-free. It is not a grain. Buckwheat is derived from the seeds of a flowering plant, and is related to rhubarb.

I prefer to use sprouted buckwheat in this recipe, as sprouting enhances the nutritional value. For directions on how to sprout buckwheat, click here.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to sprout the buckwheat, an overnight soak is sufficient preparation. After soaking, ensure that you rinse and drain the groats adequately before using them in this recipe.

Cacao Nibs

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Cacao nibs are available in ‘health food’ shops, and some supermarkets. They have a very bitter taste, and are a good source of magnesium. In my opinion, they add ‘decadence’ to this muesli. Chocolate for breakfast!

Goji Berries

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Ah, goji berries.  Depending on who you talk to they are either a superfood or an over-hyped food! They are available in ‘health food’ shops, and supermarkets – usually in the ‘health food’ aisle. They add vibrant colour to this muesli blend.

Pumpkin Seeds

pepitas

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are a good source of iron, zinc, and magnesium. They add a delicious crunch to each spoonful.

***

Five years ago – for my birthday – Mat gifted me with a ticket to a weekend raw food preparation course in Brisbane. We traveled there with our two little ones, and I attended the course for two days while Mat and the kids explored Brisbane.

The recipe booklet distributed at the course contained many tasty and simple recipes, including a raw muesli.  The muesli recipe was my inspiration for Almond – Goji – Cacao – Buckwheat muesli. 

If you would like to make a raw version of this muesli, you could replace the rolled oats with oat groats; the maple syrup with agave syrup. Spread the muesli over the dehydrator trays and dehydrate on 115F/46C for about 24 hours (yes, for readers not familiar with raw food prep, 24 hours. That is not a misprint!).

Ingredients

Serves 5

1 cup sprouted (or soaked) buckwheat groats

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup raw almonds

3/4 cup rolled oats

4 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp cacao nibs

2 Tbsp dried goji berries

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Method

1.Pre-heat oven to 100C/212F.

2. To a large mixing bowl, add buckwheat, coconut, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and oats. Mix well.

3. Add the maple syrup, and mix well.

4. Spread the mixture evenly across a lined baking tray, and place in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

6. Return the mixture to the mixing bowl, and add the cacao nibs, goji berries, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well.

7. Serve with nut milk or other non-dairy milk. Top with fresh, seasonal fruit and a sprinkling of chia seeds.

Store leftovers in an airtight container.

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The tiny vegans’ verdict:

The tiny vegans love this muesli! My 9-year old daughter prefers to eat it without milk, as she feels that it is more flavoursome that way. My sons prefer to eat it with soy or rice milk. My 4-year old son recently ate 3 bowlfuls in a row!

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What is your favourite breakfast meal?

Ally

Each Monday, I feature a scrumptious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my own family  – I hope your family enjoys it too.

Submitting to Healthy Vegan Fridays.

{Recipe} Wholemeal Spelt and Chia Pancakes

In my household, breakfast pancakes are whipped up on birthday mornings, usually by Mat (unless it is his birthday). The birthday boy or birthday girl is served first, and the rest of the family members gaze on greedily as the pancake is topped with fruit and drizzled with pure maple syrup.

A chorus: Hurry up daddy! Where’s mine? Is mine ready yet? Patience and manners are the first casualties of pancake mornings.

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Sometimes a double batch is prepared, and pancakes make a welcome appearance in school lunchboxes for a day or two. Pancakes also feature on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Sometimes they make an appearance on lazy Sunday mornings.

Our preferred pancake recipe is Banana Oat Pancakes.  This recipes uses oats and wholewheat flour, bananas and walnuts. It is nutritious and tasty.

I wanted to prepare a wheat-free pancake that maintained the nutrition and taste aspects of our favourite pancake recipe.

pancakes2

I referred to a few cook books, and was ultimately inspired by Dreena Burton’s Whole-Grain Chia Pancakes (in Let Them Eat Vegan).

Consequently, Wholemeal Spelt and Chia Pancakes were born (whisked? 😉 ).

These pancakes are wheat free, sugar free, and oil free. Apple sauce is used as a sweetener. They are packed with chia seeds, providing essential fatty acids and a pleasant popping sensation as you munch on your pancake.

The kids haven’t had to wait until their birthdays for these pancakes! I’ve made them at least four times in the past fortnight. Maybe someone will make them for me on Mother’s Day on Sunday 😉

pancaked

Ingredients

(Quantity: 13- 14 pancakes)

1  3/4 cups wholemeal spelt flour

2 Tbsp whole chia seeds ( white or black, or a combination)

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 generous tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 Tbsp of flaked almonds OR chopped nuts (eg. walnuts, pecans)

2 cups protein-enriched rice milk (or other plant-based milk)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp apple sauce (unsweetened)

Method

1. Add  all of the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

2. Whisk the rice milk, vanilla extract, and apple sauce together in a small mixing bowl.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir well. Set the bowl aside as you prepare the fry pan (skillet). The batter will thicken a little during this time.

4. Optional: Smear the surface of a fry pan or skillet with a small amount of coconut oil. You can skip this step if you use non-stick cookware.

5. Heat the fry pan, then use a 1/4 metric cup to scoop the batter onto the fry pan. Cook each pancake until bubbles appear on the surface, then gently flip and cook for about a minute on the other side.

6. The batter will continue to thicken in the bowl as you are cooking the pancakes. Add additional rice milk to thin it out again. (I usually add an additional tablespoon of rice milk after making the 5th pancake.)

7. Serve pancakes with sliced banana, berries (frozen or fresh), and pure maple syrup. My four year old son enjoys his pancake smeared with apple sauce.

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***

pancakelunchbox

When making pancakes for the kids’ lunch boxes, I use a metric tablespoon to measure out the batter. This also makes a good toddler-sized pancake.

I am excited about participating in my first Virtual Vegan Potluck this weekend! The potluck will go live on Saturday at 12.01 am Eastern time in the USA (Saturday afternoon in Australia and NZ). About 150 blogs are participating! I’m bringing a main dish to the potluck.

What vegan meals do you like to take to potlucks?

Ally

* Due to the time that I will be dedicating to the VVP, I won’t be posting a recipe next Monday.

[edited on 7 May to update VVP info]

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