Sultana Banana Mini Pancakes (Vegan)

Today I’m sharing a recipe for Sultana Banana Mini Pancakes ❤️ They are quick, easy to make and use basic pantry ingredients. They’re perfect for serving as a weekend breakfast or for ‘elevenses’. Me and Lil’ L have made them three times so far and they have proven to be a big hit with the family.

Have you tried adding sultanas to pancake batter before? They work beautifully in these American-style fluffy pancakes. In fact, I loved them so much that I ended up adding more than the original recipe called for.

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Fresh Vegan Magazine & Day Radley’s Banana Notella Pancakes (Vegan and Gluten-Free!)

Fresh Vegan is a digital food magazine for the UK and Europe. Launched in Winter 2013, the magazine will appeal to anyone interested in plant-based eating, whether they be omnivores, vegetarians, vegans or the health conscious.

Fresh Vegan Spring 2014 Magazine Cover 300

The magazine’s 100+ pages are jam-packed with features, interviews and recipes from chefs, restaurant owners, street food vendors, food writers, authors, bloggers and food producers from all over the UK and Europe.

Oz from Sultan's Delight at Street Diner
Here’s the lovely Oz from Sultan’s Delight in Brighton (one of the contributors in the Spring issue)

The magazine also has great features on where to eat, sleep and shop for vegan goodies in locations around Europe and the UK. In the Spring issue, the spotlight was on beautiful Cornwall, Prague and Germany.

Prague
LoVeg vegan restaurant in the stunning old city of Prague

Alongside the features, the contributors share one or more of their favourite recipes. One recipe in the Spring issue that caught my eye was Day Radley’s Banana Notella Pancakes, which happen to be both vegan and gluten-free! I’ve had success with gluten-free American-style pancakes before (my favourite is this Blackstrap Ginger Cookie Pancake), but I’ve never tried a crêpe-style (ie. folding) gluten-free pancake before. Since Lil’ L is such a ‘pancake monster’, I knew this would be a great recipe to share with the family.

The pancake was filled with home-made vegan nutella. While I’ve made lots of versions of dairy-free nutella in the past (using both raw and roasted nuts), I’d never made one the same way at Day. I was intrigued to give it a try!

Healthy Vegan Nutella

And the verdict? Both the pancakes and the ‘notella’ were a big hit with the family! The banana pancake had a nice texture and flavour, and while much thicker than a classic crêpe, I was still able to fold it. I trialled the pancakes using Doves gluten-free plain white and brown bread flours, and both worked.

Vegan & Gluten Free Banana Nutella Pancake

The ‘notella’ was really yummy! Day recommends using a blender but I knew my blender wouldn’t be up to the job, so I used the food processor instead. I did need to add more water to achieve a smooth, spreadable consistency and I also added some vanilla extract, but that was just down to personal taste.

The ‘notella’ is also scrumptious served on warm toast

Here’s Day’s lovely recipes (with my notes and ‘tweaks’ in brackets)

Healthy Vegan Nutella

SPECIAL OFFER: Fresh Vegan is offering Bit of the Good Stuff readers the chance to download the Spring 2014 issue in PDF format for just £1.95 (usual price £3.95). Click here to purchase. Offers end Sunday 25th May 2014.

And keep a look out for the Summer issue of Fresh Vegan. You must just spot a familiar face in there 😉

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! xx

Vegan Crepe-style Pancakes

I’ve posted a few pancakes recipes on the blog, including some of our all-time favourites like Apple Cinnamon, Banana, and Blueberry pancakes. However, I’ve never got round to posting our favourite crepe recipe. It’s high time that I put this right, especially as it’s Shrove Tuesday tomorrow!

Vegan Crepes with Lemon and Sugar

It’s a common misconception that eggs are an essential ingredient in pancakes. I’ve been making eggless pancakes for years, and I’ve not had one pancake fail yet! If anything, I find the vegan crepes are more robust than the traditional ones. I’m one of those people that’s utterly rubbish at flipping pancakes, so I much prefer a slightly more robust batter that can easily be flipped over with a slotted turner.

These crepes are delicious served as a dessert or treat. The traditional way to serve them is with lemon and sugar.  You could use ‘regular’ (cane) sugar, but my all-time favourite is coconut sugar. It has the most beautiful, caramel-like flavour which works so well in crepes. As an added bonus, unlike cane sugar, it’s low GI and nutrient-rich. It contains B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron!

Vegan Crepes

Lil’ L loves to serve his crepes with a drizzle of Sweet Freedom Choc Shot. We tried Choc Shot for the first time last month when it arrived in our subscription box from The Vegan Kind. While it tastes decadent, I was pleased to find that contains only natural ingredients, is free of cane sugar and low GI

Another of our favourite fillings is Nature’s Store Hazelnut & Cocoa Spread. It tastes just like Nutella… but it’s vegan! In the UK, it’s currently available in Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons. I especially love it as a crepe filling with sliced banana. It’s so good!

Happy Pancake Day everyone! xx

Do you celebrate Shrove Tuesday (fondly referred to as ‘Pancake Day’)? If so, what’s your favourite toppings? For me, just for this day, it has to be the traditional lemon and sugar! 😛

 

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Bluebells Galore! & Lil’ L’s Top Eats of the Week

Hi everyone!  I hope you’re having a great week so far 🙂

We’re doing okay, although the weather is a bit of a drag.  It’s just rain, rain, rain here 🙁  I mustn’t complain though as we’ve had beautiful weather for weeks and the country’s got a water shortage.   

Although I definitely don’t fancy going out on my bike in this weather, I am happy to walk about in the rain.  In fact, it can be pretty refreshing.  I love the smell of fresh rain and, providing you’ve got a big umbrella, it can be quite cosy and fun.

On Saturday, we decided to take a trip to West Woods in Wiltshire to check out the beautiful bluebells.  It rained on and off, but that didn’t matter. 

If anything, it made the trip even more magical as we were pretty much the only ones there.  It was so peaceful!

The bluebells were truly stunning! 

We noticed that there were quite a few bridleways through the forest so, as soon as the tracks dry out, we’ll take our bikes for a ride round.

The market town of Marlborough is not far from the woods so, after our walk, we popped there for a coffee.  It was market day so before we headed home, we managed to bag ourselves some great value fruit and veggies, including 10 bananas for £1!

WIAW – Lil’ L’s Favourite Eats of the Week

Since our return from Lanzarote a week and a half ago, I’ve been enjoying cooking some of the family’s favourite meals.  Just for a change, for this week’s WIAW party, I thought I’d ask Lil’ L to list his favourite breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert that he’s eaten since we’ve been home. 

Here’s a rundown of his favourite eats:

Breakfast – Banana Pancakes
I made a batch of these on Saturday morning and Lil’ L had them for breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday. These are his number one favourite pancakes.  I’ve recently updated the recipe to bring it into line with my other pancake recipes. They are so simple to make; you just throw all the ingredients into the blender and pulse it a few times.

At the weekend, we topped the pancakes with chopped pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds, ground linseed and a drizzle of agave syrup

Lunch – Scrambled Tofu Pitta Pocket
Since returning from our holidays, we’ve been on a mission to liven up lunch boxes.  Lil’ L mentioned that he would love to try scrambled tofu in a pitta bread for his school lunch.  On Sunday, we made scrambled tofu on toast for our lunch and then saved some for packed lunches on Tuesday. 

This time round, in addition to the tofu and spices, we added a few veggies – finely chopped red onion, red pepper, sliced mushrooms and flat leaf parsley.

Lil’ L absolutely loved the scrambled tofu pitta pocket and said it was one of the best packed lunches he’s ever had.  We’ll definitely be making this one again!

Dinner – Home-made Pizza, Mexican Fajitas & Vegetable Korma
Lil’ L had difficulty choosing one favourite dinner as we’ve had three of his favourites this week, so he asked whether I could feature all three. 

On Sunday we had the home made ‘confetti’ pizza (which we ate whilst watching the very bizarre film ‘Coraline’)

On Monday, we had Mexican veggie fajitas.  This dinner only takes 8 minutes to make!  It’s perfect for Monday nights when Lil’ L has to eat an early dinner before cubs. 

To make them, I stir fried bell  peppers, courgette (zucchini), mushrooms, baby corn, avocado, julienned carrot sticks, roasted broccoli (a left over from the weekend) and pumpkin seeds in a little oil and a sprinkling of fajita spice mix. I also added half a packet of Fry’s Vegetarian Chunky Strips (bought from Holland and Barratt).  We served them in warmed tortillas, and M and I chose to spice ours up with a drizzle of Linghams Chilli Sauce.  Delicious!

Yesterday, my mum came to visit us for the night, so we decided to cook one of the family’s current favourite meals – Veggie Korma with home made chapattis.  This time round, we used 7 different vegetables in the curry – red onion, garlic, celery, carrot, parsnip, savoy cabbage, and mushrooms, along with cashew nuts and sliced almonds.  Lil’ L enjoyed it so much that he asked for seconds!

Dessert – Chocolate Banana Chia Pudding
This was our dessert from Monday night.  Another really simple recipe which takes about a minute to prepare, providing that you’ve remembered to pre-soak the chia seeds.

It’s been another week of great eats 🙂  We’ve had lots of old family favourites  and I’ve also been trialling some new recipes which I’m looking forward to sharing with you…. especially the home made veggie pasties, which are totally lush!  

Right, time to head over to the WIAW party to check out this week’s delicious eats.   Thanks as always to the lovely Jenn for hosting this great event.  I hope to see you there! 🙂 xx

Mothering Sunday, a Visit to Lacock and a delicious Veggie Korma!

Hi everyone!  Hope you’re having a great week so far!

For this week’s WIAW party, I’d like to share our eats from last Sunday, which was Mother’s Day here in the UK.  According to the results of a nationwide survey, what most mothers really want on Mothering Sunday is a lie-in and a home-made card.  Well, I can happily report that I got both, so I was one very happy mum indeed! 🙂

Check out what Lil’ L wrote inside the card.  It’s really sweet (and amusing)!  People that know me will laugh at pretty much all the qualities he listed, especially the last one!  The only one I can relate to myself is no 3.  Isn’t it wonderful though that, at the age of 8, our kids still think of us as superstars!  I wonder how long that will last!

Last weekend, M’s parents came to stay, so Mother’s Day was doubly special.  After our lovely lie-ins with cups of tea and coffee, we all opted to have different breakfasts.  Cereals and home-made pecan & maple nut granola for M’s mum and dad, porridge for M, and pancakes for me & Lil’ L.  However, when M saw how nice the the pancakes looked, he decided that he’d like some as well.  Luckily, I’d made a huge batch so we had a couple spare 😉

This Sunday, we had blueberry pancakes (recipe here) made with the new Alpro Almond Milk (delicious!),  topped with organic strawberries, pecan nuts, ground linseed and a drizzle of agave syrup.  Both Waitrose & Tesco are selling organic strawberries half price at the moment and they are super sweet and totally scrummy!

Lil’ L was put out at first when he saw the strawberries on top, but he was willing to give them a try, with the response “I’ll give anything a try if it’s on top of a pancake”.  I must remember this 😉

He ended up eating the whole lot, which is fantastic for this former fruit dodger.  That’s another fruit to cross off the ‘won’t try/don’t like’ list 🙂

After breakfast, we went to visit Lacock, a village in Wiltshire just a few miles from where we live.  This ancient village is a pretty special place, and has the most incredible old houses.

Lacock Village High Street (c) Ian Petticrew

It’s been used as the backdrop for a number of films and TV series, including Cranford and Pride & Prejudice.  Lacock Abbey is also the setting for a number of the interior shots in the Harry Potter films.

Lacock Village (c) Pam Brophy

On Sunday, there were lots of little craft shops open for us to browse, as well as a craft fayre in the village hall.  For lunch, we stopped at the village bakery for a delicious veggie pastie.

Lacock Bakery (c) Jonathan Billinger

We had a lovely afternoon at the village and are planning to return in early summer with M’s parents to visit the Abbey and its grounds.  From the photos I’ve seen on the web, it looks absolutely stunning!

Lacock Abbey (c) Gary Brothwell

For dinner, we had leftovers from Saturday night’s meal, which had been so delicious that we didn’t mind eating it on two consecutive nights.  We had veggie korma, coconut dhal with butternut squash, brown rice, chapattis (made by M!), and mini poppadoms.

The veggie curry was really well received by M’s parents, which was a relief as I often wonder whether M, L and I have different taste buds to people that eat ‘typical’ Western diets.  I think veggie curry is a great dish to serve when you have guests (whether they’re veggie or meat eaters) for these reasons…

  • With the simple addition of chapattis, poppadoms, naan breads, the curry can turn into a delicious feast.
  • Pretty much everyone I know loves curry, and as long as you don’t make it too hot, then it’s fine for the children too.  When Lil’ L was younger, I simply used to roughly blend the veggies so that they were less chunky and blended into the korma sauce.
  • The dishes can be prepared in advance (big advantage in my book as I don’t want to be slaving in the kitchen when we have guests!)  The dishes can even be prepared the day before and simply heated through on the stove.

The veggie korma we made on Saturday included my all-time favourite combination of veggies for curries.  It’s quick and incredibly simple to make.  Here’s the recipe:

For dessert, we had mango hedgehogs 🙂

So that’s what we ate on Mothering Sunday.  We didn’t go out to a restaurant and pay the inflated Mother’s Day prices, but instead we stayed in and ate one of the tastiest Indian meals I’ve ever had 🙂

It’s now time for me to pop over to Jenn’s site and check out all the delicious WIAW entries.  A big thank you to Jenn for hosting this great foodie party and for all the inspiration for new eats.

I’d love some more ideas for dishes to serve for a mix of veggie and non-veggie guests.  I often end up serving veggie lasagna, Mexican burritos/ fajitas/ enchiladas, or veggie curry.  What dishes would you recommend?  I’d love to hear your ideas and please do send links to recipes if you have them.

Happy Wednesday everyone! xx

 

 

Banana Pancakes and Bike Adventures!

Sunday’s special weekend breakfast was one of our all-time favourites … banana oat pancakes.  I’ve been wanting to post this recipe for a while now, but Lil’ L has always managed to eat the pancakes before I’ve got round to taking the photo!  This time, I made a huge batch so he could be happily munching his way through three pancakes while I took a photo of the others. 😉 

We like to serve these pancakes with pecan nuts, blueberries and a light drizzle of agave syrup.

Wanted to get another photo in of the cute plate Sandra bought me 😉

Not only are these pancakes delicious, they’re also super healthy and highly nutritious.  Lil’ L describes these pancakes as ‘glorious!’ and gives them 5 stars. 🙂  The recipe can be found here.

We’ve finally got round to buying a roof rack for the new car, which means we can start going on bike adventures further afield again.  Hurray!  This Sunday, after our fill of pancakes, we loaded the bikes onto the car and decided to go to Longleat in Wiltshire.

We parked the car at Nockatt Coppice car park (love that name!)  The trail starts up high, with a beautiful view of Longleat House and grounds.

 There was an interesting sculpture that was just begging to be laid on. 😉

Let the adventure begin!

There are many trails round Longleat.  The one we chose today took us through an amazing woodland.  Lil’ L’s reading Enid Blyton’s ‘Folk of the Faraway Tree’ at the moment, and he said that this tree was exactly how he imagined the Faraway Tree to look. 😉

Apparently the next section of the wood looks just like the Ewok’s forest in Star Wars. 

After following the trail through the woods, we popped out by the lake at Shear Water.  There was a very cute cygnet with its mum and dad. 

After consulting the map, we were pleased to find that there was a cafe less than a mile away.  Bike rides are always more fun when they involve stops at cafes. 😉 

The cafe turned out to be a very cute tearoom in a thatched house.

My beloved Marin took a well-earned rest on the grass.

We had our fill of beans on toast and coffee, then we headed back to Nockatt Coppice.  It was a great day out!  I’m already looking forward to our next bike adventure. 😉