Tag Archives: Healthy Snacking

Vegan Gingerbread Waffles – Suma Blogger’s Network

The waffle obsession continues! And for this month’s Suma Blogger’s Network entry, I thought I’d share another one of our favourite vegan waffle recipes. Filled with the warming spices of cinnamon, ginger and Blackstrap molasses, these waffles are perfect for this time of year  

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I wrote about the amazing nutritional profile of Blackstrap molasses in this Gingerbread Cookie post. With just one tablespoon containing 3.6 mg of iron (more iron than 1/2 cup of cooked lentils, beans or spinach), it’s easily one of my favourite ways to boost iron levels.

The recipe is largely an amalgamation of our favourite gingerbread and banana pancake recipes, with a slight reduction of the liquid to make a sturdier batter. Banana acts as a great binder for the waffles and adds a touch of extra sweetness.

Gingerbread Waffles

I’ve really enjoyed reading about your favourite waffle toppings under last week’s Easy Vegan Waffle Post. As I would have expected, maple syrup came out on top. Nuts, banana and chocolate were very popular too, and I’m totally with you on those. One of my favourite lazy Sunday breakfast/brunches is these Gingerbread waffles, served with banana slices, chopped walnuts and pecans, and a big drizzle of chocolate sauce.

Gingerbread Waffles with Chocolate Sauce

Sometimes I make the chocolate sauce myself, other times I simply grab a bottle of Sweet Freedom Choc Shot. Have you tried Choc Shot before? As well as tasting yummy, I love the fact that it contains all natural ingredients, is free from cane sugar and has a low glycaemic load (GL). Can you see how shiny it is too? It’s got the most awesome sheen!

And if I’m going all out, I’ll also top them with a sprinkling of desiccated coconut.

Pure. Waffle. Heaven

Gingerbread Waffles with Chocolate Sauce

Products used in this recipe
Doves Farms Gluten Free Brown Bread Flour  or Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain White Flour
Meridian Organic Blackstrap Molasses
Sweet Freedom Choc Shot

And now for my favourite part of the photo shoot. Tucking in time! 😛

Gingerbread Waffles with Chocolate Sauce

 

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Filed under Breakfast & Elevenses, Healthy Snacking

Quinoa Super Salad with Ginger Lime and Sweet Chilli Dressing

When The Health Bay invited me to take part in a January healthy recipe challenge, I knew which recipe would be perfect for sharing this month. It’s one of my family’s all-time favourite salads, packed with vibrant colours, contrasting textures and dressed in the most delicious tangy vinaigrette. It also happens to be brimming with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, so it’s great for keeping our immune systems strong and warding off those nasty Winter bugs.

Quinoa Rainbow Salad

Forget chips and chocolate, this is the food I most often crave. Every time I eat it, I feel so energized. My body feels like it’s literally zinging from all that goodness. Lil’ L absolutely loves it too and it sure does brighten up his lunchbox!

The salad contains two complete sources of protein – quinoa and edamame beans – which, combined with the healthy fats in the dressing, help to keep you feeling full up for longer. You don’t normally think of salads as being filling, but this one definitely is!

Quinoa is widely available these days. You can even buy ready-cooked pouches, which could be a useful starting point if you’re a newbie to this super seed. Though more expensive and a little more difficult to find, I love the tri-colour quinoa. Not only is it pretty, but it also has a lovely, slightly crunchy texture.

Tri Colour Quinoa

To save time in the week, I often cook a double batch of quinoa, then we use one batch for salad and the other for a hot main meal. However, if you’re starting this salad from scratch, you can prepare the other ingredients and dressing while the quinoa is cooking.

Boil or steam a cup of edamame beans for 3 minutes.

Edamame Soya Beans

Deseed and finely chop a sweet romano or bell pepper.

Sweet Romano Pepper

Finely julienne a carrot.

Carrot Julienned

Roughly chop some fresh coriander leaves and spring onions.

Coriander Leaves

Whizz all the dressing ingredients together until smooth.

Ginger, Lime & Sweet Chilli Dressing

Once the quinoa is cooked, I like to stir through a couple of teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. I find this greatly enhances the texture and flavour of the quinoa.

Quinoa Cookied

You then simply need to combine all the salad ingredients and stir in the dressing until the quinoa is fully coated.

Time to tuck in!

Quinoa Rainbow Salad

 

 

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Filed under Lunches & Light Dinners, Super Salads

Healthy Snacking – Home-Made Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn

When I was younger, I used to love going to the cinema and munching my way through a bucket of popcorn. It didn’t taste ‘fatty’ or even that ‘sugary’ so I was shocked when I later read an article on the nutritional profile of movie popcorn. Unbeknown to me, the manufacturers had taken this little wholesome grain and literally drenched it in oil and sugar, transforming it into a calorie-intensive, unhealthy snack. I discovered that the shop-bought brands didn’t fare well either and in addition to the fat and sugar, they often contain other undesirable, unnatural additives.

Popcorn 1Image courtesy of Pyato / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

It’s such a shame that it’s been given such a bad rep because, in its natural state, popcorn is a great, low calorie, cholesterol-free, nutrient-rich snack. It’s high in fibre and complex carbohydrates (which means that it provides slow release energy and keeps you feeling full for longer). It also contains protein, B vitamins, and a wide range of minerals including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.

For a good few years now, I’ve ditched the commercial brands of popcorn and pop my own corn instead. It’s easy to make, quick and cheap. And if you’ve ever had the pleasure of making your own popcorn, you’ll know just how good it makes the house smell!

Popcorn 2Image courtesy of Kromkrathog / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

We tend to make a huge batch of popcorn every weekend. It makes a great snack to munch on while movie watching, surfing the web, reading and playing games. It’s delicious when freshly eaten warm from the pan, but it also stores well in an airtight container. It makes a great school snack and Lil’ L loves to take a bag with him to share with friends at playtime.

Popcorn

Source

 

Popping Corn
Since I don’t have a popcorn maker, I use my trusty old stainless steel pan instead. Here’s how I make it:

1. Brush the bottom of a large, heavy bottomed saucepan with canola (rapeseed) or olive oil.

2. Heat the oil on a medium heat then add the popcorn kernels (enough to cover the bottom of the saucepan in a single layer). Give the pan a quick shake to coat the kernels in the oil, cover with a lid and wait for the popping to begin.

3. Now and then, shake the pan to make sure that any unpopped kernels fall to the bottom, and tilt the lid slightly to allow the steam to escape.

4. As soon as the popping has stopped, take the pan off the heat. Tip the popcorn into a large bowl and add your desired flavourings.

I love experimenting with different natural flavourings for popcorn. Two of my favourite savoury toppings are cashew “parmesan” (made with ground cashew nuts, nutritional yeast and sesame seeds) and chilli and fresh lime. But when it comes to sweet toppings, for me, nothing beats cinnamon sugar. Have you ever tried it before? It’s so good!

Cinnamon Sugar Popcorn
I make my own cinnamon sugar using a blend of ground cinnamon and coconut sugar, which is a low GI, nutrient-rich, diabetic-friendly, natural sweetener. It’s particularly rich in potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron, and also a good source of B vitamins. (I’m not sure if there’s any other sugar that has a nutrient profile quite like this one!)  Coconut sugar also has the most wonderful, caramel-like flavour and melt-in-your-mouth texture. It’s a bit pricier than cane sugar, but it’s so worth it!

Coconut Sugar

[Source]

 

To make your own cinnamon sugar, simply add the sugar and ground cinnamon in a grinder and pulse into a fine powder. I use a ratio of 2 tbsp coconut sugar: 1 tsp ground cinnamon.

When the popcorn is ready to serve, lightly spray it with canola (rapeseed) or olive oil, sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar and give it a good stir to ensure it’s evenly coated. You can either use your hands (like I do!) or place the popcorn in a sealed bag or box and give it a good shake.

And there we have it. A delicious, healthy, nutrient-rich snack.

Happy popping everyone! 🙂

Do you make home-made popcorn?  If so, what’s your favourite topping? Do you have an air popper or do you use a pan? 

[This recipe has been submitted to Ricki Heller’s #Wellness Weekend]

 

Thank you to binguez for sponsoring this post.

 

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Filed under Healthy Snacking