Banana & Mixed Seed Oatmeal

I came up with this new oatmeal recipe after speaking with my dad. As part of his new year’s resolution, he’s decided to eat healthier and start eating some vegan meals. So, I began to think of some healthy foods that my dad enjoys and thought about their delicious combinations. Bananas are one of his favourite fruits, so I paired it with mixed seeds for some protein. I also thought agave syrup would make a great addition as it is a healthy unrefined sweetener that I find really compliments the creamy taste of bananas, without being too overpowering. If you’re looking for a fantastic balanced breakfast that will provide you with all the nutrients you need to start the day well and feel full for longer, then this is for you!

seededoats

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 50g of oats
  • 200ml of almond milk (or another dairy free milk of your choice)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsp’s of mixed seeds (I used sunflower, pumpkin and poppy seeds)
  • 1 tbsp of agave syrup (or another sweetener of your choice, such as honey or maple syrup)

Method

  1. Place the oats and almond milk into a pan and simmer over a medium heat. The mix should be regularly stirred so that the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture has thickened to your preferred consistency (which can take between 5 to 10 minutes depending on your preferences), take the mixture off the heat.
  2. Put your oatmeal into a serving bowl.
  3. Slice the banana into slices.
  4. Top your oatmeal with the banana slices, mixed seeds and then drizzle with agave syrup and enjoy!

Strawberry & Cashew Oatmeal

Honestly, you can’t get a better meal than a balanced one. That’s why I think that this strawberry and cashew oatmeal is the perfect start to the day. It’s got protein (the cashews), wholegrains (oats), 1 of your 5 a day (strawberries) and fibre! I think that the cashews and strawberries go so well together because the cashews provide both a creamy texture and taste. For me, it tastes like a healthy, vegan alternative to strawberries and cream, so why not give it a go and give yourself a guilt-free nutritious treat for breakfast?

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Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 50g of oats
  • 200ml of cashew milk (or another non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract (optional)
  • A pinch of salt
  • A few cashews (around 5-10)
  • A handful of strawberries (Around 5)
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup (optional)

Method

  1. Add the oats, milk, vanilla and salt to a pan and place over a medium heat. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes depending on your desired consistency.
  2. Once the oats have cooked, place them into a serving bowl.
  3. Roughly chop the cashews and then slice the strawberries in half. Top your oatmeal with the cashews and strawberries. Drizzle with maple syrup for sweetness.

 

Banana & Yogurt Oatmeal

When I was younger, my mum would often make me and my siblings bowls of banana with yogurt and honey for dessert. This inspired me to combine this recipe with oatmeal, as I thought it would make an exciting breakfast option, but also give me an excuse to eat dessert first thing in the morning! The yogurt provides a refreshing contrast to the sweet banana and honey, whilst the banana also enhances the creaminess of the yogurt. Although I love my mum’s traditional recipe, I chose to use agave syrup instead of honey as it provided a more neutral flavour that didn’t overpower the taste of the oats and bananas.

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Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • 50g of oats
  • 200ml of almond milk (or another dairy free milk of your choice)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tbsps of dairy-free yogurt (I used soy yogurt, but coconut yogurt works just as well)
  • 1 tbsp of agave syrup (or another sweetener of your choice, such as honey or maple syrup)

Method

  1. Place the oats and almond milk into a pan and simmer over a medium heat. The mix should be regularly stirred so that the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture has thickened to your preferred consistency (which can take between 5 to 10 minutes depending on your preferences), take the mixture off the heat.
  2. Slice the banana into slices, and then put your oatmeal into a serving bowl.
  3. Top your oatmeal with the banana slices and yogurt, then drizzle with agave syrup. If you prefer your oatmeal cold, then you can place it in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

Fig & Chestnut Overnight Oats

When the temperature begins to drop, everybody begins talking about ‘winter warmers’ for breakfast, such as hot oatmeal, poached eggs and pancakes. They can all be great options, but sometimes you just need something cool and refreshing to wake you up in the morning. Overnight oats are the perfect option because they are eaten straight out of a cold fridge, yet they are still filling and comforting. I’m also a fan of eating overnight oats in the winter because you can eat them ‘on the go’ without having to cook anything in the morning, so if you’re in a hurry after oversleeping (which often happens to me because I find it so hard to wake up when its dark outside!), you can still have a satisfying and nutritious meal without spending ages in the kitchen before work.

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Ingredients

  • 30g of oats
  • 2 tbsp of coconut yogurt (soy yogurt can be used instead)
  • 150ml of non-dairy milk (I used Alpro coconut milk, but any will do)
  • 1 fig
  • 5 cooked chestnuts
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup

Method

  1. Place the oats into a serving bowl, then add the yogurt and non-dairy milk. Then, combine the mixture before putting the bowl in the fridge, so that the oats can absorb the milk and soften up overnight.
  2. In the morning, prior to serving, slice the fig into quarters and roughly chop the chestnuts.
  3. To finish off, add the fig and chestnuts to the oatmeal, then drizzle with maple syrup for sweetness.

Mediterranean style scrambled eggs

You say brunch, I say scrambled eggs! Nothing beats scrambled eggs on toast when you’re looking for convenience, nutrition and comfort.

Before I went lactose-free, I used to love the traditional British silky smooth scrambled eggs made with butter, or even sometimes crème fraîche or cream. So when I ditched the dairy, I had this conundrum – how could I make great scrambled eggs without using dairy? The obvious choice would be to use dairy substitutes such as vegetable butter, or soy cream, but I am not a fan of using substitutes as they very rarely taste like the real deal, and I much prefer finding new and improved methods of making my favourite dishes.

However, my problem was solved when I spent a summer in Spain. My grandmother offered me a plate of scrambled eggs. I apologised and said I couldn’t eat them because they would have dairy in them. She looked at me with surprise and told me that in Spain, they very rarely ever used dairy products in their scrambled eggs. Looking at the plate skeptically, I took a bite, and was surprised to find that the eggs tasted creamier and smoother than I was used to despite the absence of dairy products! I begged her to tell me how she made them, and I was shocked to discover that the only real differences were that the eggs were cooked in olive oil and that they were cooked over a low heat for less time, resulting in a silky texture. So now I’m going to show you how you too can make the ultimate batch of scrambled eggs.

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Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning
  • 1 slice of wholemeal seeded bread (Optional)

Method

  1. Whilst you wait for your frying pan to warm up to a low heat, whisk both the eggs together in a bowl. Then, if desired, toast your slice of bread.
  2. Add the olive oil to the pan and once it’s gained some heat, add the whisked eggs.
  3. With a spatula or wooden spoon, make circular motions throughout the pan, so that the eggs don’t stick to the bottom and overcook. Keep doing this without stopping so that you can get the smooth finish.
  4. Once the eggs no longer appear to be a liquid and you can see that some parts of the egg are beginning to solidify, take the eggs off the heat.
  5. Make sure not to keep the eggs inside the pan for too long as even if the pan is no longer over the heat the eggs will continue to cook because the pan will still be warm. Quickly scrape the scrambled eggs onto a plate or onto your piece of toast, then season with salt and pepper.

Weetabix with summer berries

Most days, I like to have oatmeal for breakfast, but if I’ve forgotten to make overnight oats and I don’t have time to make oatmeal from scratch, then cereal is a great alternative. It’s also a lighter option if you aren’t keen on eating something as filling as oatmeal. One of my favourite cereals is weetabix because it’s not only very healthy for you because of its wholegrains, fibre and low fat content, but it can also serve as a blank slate for all your creative cooking ideas. For example, you can top your weetabix with fruits, nuts, yogurt, nut milks, or even eat them like toast by spreading jam or nut butters on them. It can also be a great option if you’re looking for breakfast ideas on a budget. In order to save money, I bought a bag of frozen summer berries and thought that it would make a healthy and tasty topping for my weetabix. However, as berries can be quite tart, I felt that a sweetener needed to be added. I decided to use maple syrup because it’s a great natural alternative to refined sugar, and it compliments the berries very well. I also used coconut milk rather than other nut milks, such as almond milk, as I find it to be thicker and creamier, which helped to enhance, rather than diminish, the flavour of the weetabix.

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Ingredients

  • 2 weetabix (or oatibix) (You can also use another cereal of your choice if you prefer)
  • 150ml of coconut milk
  • 1 handful of summer berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1tbsp of maple syrup (or another sweetener of your choice)

Method

All you need to do, is put the weetabix in a bowl, add the coconut milk, then the summer berries, and finish by topping your cereal with maple syrup (or another sweetener of your choice). If you are using frozen summer berries, make sure to defrost them before adding them to your cereal.

Raspberry, coconut & cashew oatmeal

Personally, I think that one of the most satisfying breakfasts a person can make is a nutritious bowl of homemade oatmeal. There’s just something so comforting about a warm bowl of creamy oats in the morning and I love how versatile they can be. You can top your bowl of oatmeal with whatever you fancy, whether it be something savoury like chopped chives, avocado and a poached egg, or something sweet like fresh fruit, maple syrup and nut butters.

As I am a huge fan of summer berries, I decided to come up with a recipe that incorporated them. One of my favourite berries are raspberries, but as I am not a huge fan of adding refined sugars to my breakfasts, I found that just plain oatmeal with raspberries was too tart and that it lacked a depth in flavour. As a result, I decided to make my oatmeal with coconut milk rather than soy milk as I find that coconut milk is creamier, sweeter and can compliment the taste of the raspberries better. I chose to add a coconut sugar and raspberry compote to the oatmeal so that I could add some additional sweetness without using refined sugars. However, when I tasted the oatmeal, I felt that something was still missing. All the textures were similar, which I found to be quite boring as I quite like some diversity in my meals. By adding the crushed toasted cashews, the taste and texture of the oatmeal became much more interesting and complex. If you’re a fan of eating something sweet for breakfast, yet crave for something healthy and nutritious, then I would definitely recommend this oatmeal recipe!

raspoatmeal

Ingredients

  • 50g of oats
  • 200ml of coconut milk (+ extra for serving if desired)
  • 100g of raspberries
  • 10 cashews
  • 1 tsp of coconut sugar (Or sweetener of your choice)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Place the oats and coconut milk into a pan and simmer over a medium heat. The mix should be regularly stirred so that the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture is thickened to your preferred consistency (which can take between 5 to 10 minutes depending on your preferences), take the mixture off the heat.
  3. Put half of the raspberries and the coconut sugar (or another sweetener of your choice) into another pan and place over a low heat. Mix together until the mixture has softened into a compote.
  4. Spread out the cashews onto a baking tray and place in the preheated oven. Toast for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Then, take the cashews out and once they have cooled down enough to touch, roughly chop them up into pieces. (By toasting the cashews, it enhances their naturally bland flavour, so I would recommend not to skip this step)
  5. Add the oatmeal to a bowl, then top with the raspberry compote, toasted cashews and remaining raspberries. I prefer to add extra coconut milk as well, but this is an optional addition.