Healthy & Easy Vegan Smoothie Bowls

It seems as though this week, all of Europe has been experiencing better weather, but London does not want to play along! It’s been drousy, grey, rainy, basically everything we don’t want. As we had a few really lovely days, I got excited and immediately started making smoothie bowls again. Summer ’18 was all about the smoothie bowl, and they’re still my go-to whenever the sun comes out. They are so refreshing and versatile. So today, I will show you two of my favourite smoothie bowls that I eat to stay cool in hot summer weather. Or as an antidote to London’s boring grey skies.

Number one: the infamous Berry Bowl! Now, I think perhaps every food blog features this one. You can’t blame any of us bloggers, because the gorgeous colours of this smoothie bowl are too good not to share.

As I will describe below in the recipe, these bowls are super easy to make. They literally take 5 minutes. You do need a blender or kitchen processor to make your life easier. And the best thing is: I always use the same base for my smoothie bowls, and I add anything I want to it from there. This means you can very easily customise this recipe to suit you!

Number two: my lovely Mango & Fennel Seed smoothie bowl. This one is inspired by my favourite drink at Dishoom London. Dishoom is an Indian restaurant that I love to go to. I always order the Mango Lassi, which is a really thick and creamy yogurt smoothie. Mango is one of the traditional flavours to use, but at Dishoom they add some fennel seeds on top. The anisey flavour of the fennel works so well with the creaminess of the yogurt and the sweetness of the mango, it’s just perfect! I like to add some turmeric to this bowl for an extra Indian spice punch, plus turmeric has numerous health benefits like I talked about in my Turmeric & Apple Pancakes recipe.

Easy 5-Minute Vegan Smoothie Bowls

This smoothie bowl recipe is:

  • Healthy
  • Easy
  • Customisable
  • 100% Vegan
  • Delicious!

The method is really easy. Just add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, transfer to a bowl and top off with your favourite toppings! If you are a very hungry person in the morning, simply double the smoothie recipe and you’re good to go. You can also easily prepare the smoothie base in advance by pre-blending the smoothie base and storing it in your fridge for ±4 days max. Ready-made smoothie bowls for day after day! Also, this recipe is perfect for people who like to use protein powders. Add a scoop of your favourite protein powder to the smoothie base and you’re done. Same for any superfood powder you use; I love to add 1 tsp of Spirulina powder sometimes because it’s a natural source of Vitamin B12 and it’s rich in plant protein.

Ingredients

The essentials:

  • 1 banana in slices, frozen
  • 150 ml soy yogurt (Berry Bowl) or coconut yogurt (Mango Bowl)
  • 50 ml unsweetened plant-based milk of your choice (I used almond milk in these bowls)

Add-ins for the Berry Bowl:

  • 1/2 cup (a big handful) of mixed frozen berries

Add-ins for the Mango & Fennel Bowl:

  • 1/2 cup ripe mango
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

Toppings for your bowl:

  • Home-made or store-bought granola
  • Any fresh fruits (I like blueberries and raspberries)
  • Fennel seeds for Mango Bowls!
  • Chia seeds or flax seeds
  • Dessicated Coconut
  • Any dried fruits (I like chopped dates)
  • Edible blue corn flower

I hope you enjoy trying out smoothie bowls at home. Be sure to tag me on Instagram @bakingstori in your smoothie bowls, I would love to see them! Have a nice week everyone. X Tori

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Cheesecake for breakfast? Hell yes.

This recipe is going to change your life. Trust me. This cheesecake is so healthy, you can actually eat this for breakfast and not feel bad about it. You don’t believe me? Just keep on reading and find out for yourself.

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I had a dilemma, which was the following. I love to bake, but I also love to stay healthy. These two are of course easily compatible, unless your name is Tori. Hello, my name is Tori & I am addicted to sugar, fat, and everything that’s bad for you. Forgive me for over-exaggerating a little here. Anyways: I decided it was time for me to start making my bakes more healthy and nutritious, since I am baking so much lately. If you make something every now and then, it’s perfectly fine to use all the sugar and butter you want. But it started to become a daily thing for me and I actually gained some pounds because of it. Which is totally okay in winter, but it did get me thinking: can I find ways in which I can continue to bake all the things I love, but make them nutritious enough to serve as a proper meal? 

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So there was my challenge! I wanted to bake a pie that could serve as breakfast, and as I normally eat some homemade granola with Greek yoghurt for breakfast, I figured: why not bake a cake that is just granola & yoghurt in disguise?! And that’s how this lovely cottage cheesecake with granola crust was born. The crust is made of the ingredients I typically use for my granola: oatmeal, nuts, dates and coconut oil. The filling is made of cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt and eggs. Honestly, I didn’t even miss the cream cheese! If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought this was an actual cheesecake made with cream cheese.

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Using cottage cheese and Greek yoghurt made this cheesecake so incredible fresh, making it even more perfect for a breakfast dish. There was literally no unnecessary sweetness in it. The dates in the bottom provided all the sweetness you need together with the lovely blueberries and blackberries on the top. Did I mention cottage cheese is amazing? It’s super high in protein (>10 gr/100 gr) but is low in calories (<100/100gr), making it the ideal weight loss food too. I don’t know why it’s not more popular. I read online that it used to be.

Cottage cheese used to be even more popular than yoghurt in the mid 1970’s.

In Holland, there is this pie called ‘kwarktaart‘, which was also an inspiration for this cheesecake recipe. It’s a pie made with kwark, which is like a really thick yoghurt. Do the English call it quark? I don’t know. Anyway, you don’t have to bake kwarktaart: just put it in the fridge with some gelatin and it will set perfectly. But as I wasn’t able to buy kwark in the UK, I figured a mix of cottage cheese and thick Greek yoghurt would do the trick just as well. And that way I could bake it like a traditional cheesecake without needing any gelatin! #veggie

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You can serve this cheesecake without the extra topping and leave the gorgeous blueberry marble pattern exposed. But if you want to incorporate some extra fruits in your breakfast, go ahead and top it with a blueberry sauce and some fresh blackberries like I did. By the way: that marble pattern is honestly the easiest thing ever, don’t let it scare you off!

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Let’s get to the recipe for this amazing breakfast. I am not eating anything BUT pie for breakfast anymore, believe me!


Healthy Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake with Cottage Cheese & Greek Yoghurt and Granola Crust

Serves: 8 – Preparation time: 50 mins – Baking time: 35 mins – Total: >10 hrs (set overnight)

Ingredients (filling – crust – blueberry swirl – topping)

please note that you can double the amount of ingredients for the filling for an extra high cheesecake, but be sure to increase the baking time accordingly!

  • 2 cups + 1 tbsp (500 gr) low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup (200 gr) low-fat Greek yoghurt (make sure it’s a thick one)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla pod
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 cups finely ground oatmeal flakes
  • 1 cup ground nuts of choice
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 6 medjool dates
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • fresh blackberries (optional)
  • powdered sugar (optional)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius and take all of the ingredients out of the fridge so they can come to room temperature. Then start by preparing the crust. Finely ground the oats, nuts and dates together in a kitchen processor. If you don’t have one, you can chop everything yourself with a sharp knife, but make sure it’s very fine because that way the crust will stick together more easily. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the coconut oil (melted), honey (optionally), cinnamon and salt. Give it a good stir. Get a quiche pan with high edges or a normal round cake tin. Line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the edges any way you like: just make sure to do this properly so your cheesecake won’t stick to the pan. Transfer the mixture to your pan and press down firmly, going up just slightly at the edges. Pre-bake your crust for 10 mins in your 175 degree oven. You can blind-bake the crust if you want, but I didn’t do that. Let the crust cool on your counter while you proceed with the cheesecake filling.

Turn down the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Take your cottage cheese, which should be at room temperature and try to remove the lumps in it by pressing it down with a rubber spatula. It may take some time to make everything smooth this way, so I just put the cottage cheese in my kitchen processor for a few seconds. You can also use a blender. Mix the smooth cottage cheese with the Greek yoghurt and lightly beaten eggs. Blend using a whisk. Then add the orange zest and vanilla. You can use half of the beans of a fresh vanilla pod for a real kick of vanilla, but vanilla extract does the trick too.

Heat up the frozen blueberries in a small saucepan with a splash of water. Add the grated orange zest. You can also use a splash of fresh orange juice instead of water for an extra orangy twist. Cook for 3 mins while stirring and set aside to cool down.

Pour the cheesecake mixture over the granola crust. Flatten the surface using a rubber spatula. Put some dollops of blueberry sauce on top of the cheesecake using a spoon. Then, just swirl through it with a knife until you’re happy with the marble pattern. You might not want to use all of the blueberry sauce, but save some for later if you wish to top off the cheesecake with fresh fruits.

Bake the cheesecake for 35 minutes, or until the cake has set but the middle is still slightly wobbly. Be sure to turn the cake around in your oven if your oven doesn’t very bake evenly like mine. For an extra professional result, you can bake this cheesecake in a water bath, but I only do that if I am serving my cake to guests. 😉 Let the cake cool for 30 mins with the oven door halfway open. Then transfer to your counter until completely cooled to room temperature, after which the cheesecake has to sit in the fridge for at least a few hours, but overnight gives the best results!

The next day, serve with your left over blueberry sauce, fresh blackberries and a little dusting of powdered sugar.


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That was it guys. Please let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it out! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Bon appétit! XOXO Tori

Gingerbread Spice Courgette Loaf

Good morning everyone!

During my trip back home to Amsterdam, I managed to get my loaf tin back. I missed it so much for my baking here, because I used to make so many banana breads in that tin. But today I won’t be sharing a banana bread recipe (although I’m sure that will come around some time…) but another quick bread/loaf.

This gingerbread-spiced loaf is packed with courgette. I love to use courgette in my baking, because it adds so much moist. Any quick bread will have cake-like structure if you add courgette I think, which is basically amazing, because you trick your mind into thinking you’re eating an oil-packed cake when it’s just super healthy. Grated courgette is also amazing to add to red velvet cake, just so you know. Also, the little green dots look gorgeous in the baking.

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You can experiment with this loaf as much as you want. I am trying to find the healthiest version without compromising on taste and texture. I’ve found that this recipe is the perfect balance! It has just 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, but you might even be fine without any oil at all. It’s also completely up to you how sweet you want this cake to be. If you plan on eating this cake for breakfast, I suggest just using 1/4 cup of agave syrup or honey and leaving out the 1/4 cup of brown sugar. But of course you can add as much sugar as you want, especially if you want to serve this as an afternoon treat/coffee cake.

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I used 4 eggs for this loaf, which sounds like a lot, but I sometimes like to add an extra egg to my breakfast loaf because I am a vegetarian. I try to sneak extra protein into my meals wherever I can, so if I have the chance to add an extra egg to my baking, I just go ahead. I started out with 3 eggs but found the batter a bit too thick, so I added another one. If I were you, I’d just start with 3 eggs and see where that gets you. Especially if you are just using plain flour and no oats & spelt flour like me, I think 3 eggs will be plenty.

To add a gingerbread flavour to this loaf, I added cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger. These spices gave this loaf so much warmth, it made me feel like it’s already Christmas. Perfect for any cold mornings coming up. Feel free to just use 2tsp of cinnamon if you don’t have the other spices in your cabinet; it will still taste amazing.

Gingerbread Spice Courgette Loaf

Yield: ± 10 slices  – Prepping time: 15 mins – Baking time: 55-60

Dry ingredients

  • ½ cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 cup wholegrain oats + 1 tbsp for decorating
  • 1 tsp baking soda (=bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice/mixed spice
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Wet ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup melted vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup agave syrup
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (I used dark brown natural unrefined cane sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (you need the acidity as a reactor otherwise the baking soda doesn’t do anything, you can also use some honey or lemon juice)

Filling

  • 2 cups grated courgette (±2 small to medium-sized courgettes)
  • small handful chopped walnuts
  • small handful chopped pecans + some extra for decorating

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

Sieve all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and combine well.

Grate the courgette and drain well from extra liquid, but it’s okay if you leave just a bit because this provides extra moist to the loaf. Stir in the chopped nuts and set aside.

In another bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir everything together with a spatula. Finally, add the courgette & nuts and fold into the mixture.

Spray a loaf tin with some baking spray (I use coconut oil spray), or alternatively just grease the tin with butter. Line your tin with parchment paper and spray again. Then, pour in your batter. Your batter should be just liquid enough to pour in your tin with some help of a spatula to flatten everything out! Top the loaf with some whole pecan nuts and a sprinkle of oats. Cover the top of your loaf with aluminium foil but be sure to leave enough room for the loaf to rise.

Bake the loaf for 45 minutes. Then take it out of the oven, remove the aluminium foil and check how far along the loaf is. Place back into the oven without the foil so the top of the loaf can become golden brown. My loaf needed another 15 minutes, so it baked for a total of 60 minutes. You can try to reduce your baking time by increasing the heat of your oven to 190 degrees Celsius, but I didn’t want to risk ending up with an uncooked inside but burnt top.

Let the loaf cool in the tin for 10 minutes before easily removing it by pulling on the parchment paper. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for at least another 10 minutes before cutting into it.

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Have a lovely week everyone and be sure to share picture with me if you do try this recipe! 🙂

Love,

Tori

3 Ways of Oatmeal for Autumn

As soon as the temperature drops, my breakfast habits change. Whereas in summer, my breakfast mostly consists of yoghurt & fruit bowls, in winter I like to start my day with warm comfort food. A steaming bowl of porridge is my go-to every day. It’s so easy and quick, yet delicious! However, sometimes I want to get a bit more creative with my oatmeal because it can get a bit boring otherwise. So I bring you my 3 favourite ways of preparing an oatmeal breakfast perfect for those cold autumn mornings!

1. Baked Banana Oatmeal

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Ingredients (for 2 portions)

  • 1 cup oats (90 gr)
  • 1 cup boiled water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp vanilla aroma
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Method

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Mix the oats and the water. While you wait for the oats to soak up the liquid, mash up half of the banana and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Then, add everything together and place in an oven dish. Pour the almond milk on top and spread the banana slices evenly on the oatmeal. Bake for 20-25 minutes and serve while hot!

2. Apple & Jam Oatmeal Cups

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Ingredients (for 4 oatmeal cups)

  • 1 cup oats (90 gr)
  • 1 cup warm almond milk
  • Non-stick baking spray
  • 1 grated apple
  • 4 tsp jam (I used blackberry)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp raisins (optional)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Pour the almond milk on top of the oats and let that sit for a few minutes. While you wait, grate one large apple. Then stir in the apple and cinnamon and optionally add some raisins. Spray 4 cups in your muffin tin with some baking spray and scoop in the oats mixture. Put 1 tsp of jam on top of each cup. Bake the cups in your pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes. If you let them cool off for a while, they will become more solid instead and you can remove them from your tray easily without them falling apart! The hot jam pouring out of these cups when you eat them is to die for. You also don’t need to add any sweetener because the jam is sweet enough of itself!

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3. Overnight Oats with Dates

Warning: this recipe takes a bit more time as you have to soak the oats overnight! This makes for an extra thick and smooth oatmeal.

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Ingredients (for 1 portion)

  • 1/2 cup oats (45 gr)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 medjool dates
  • small handful of hazelnuts

Instructions

Take your breakfast bowl of preference and combine the oats, chia seeds and cinnamon in this bowl. Pour the almond milk on top and mix. Pit the medjool dates and chop them up finely. Stir in the date pieces. Put your bowl in the fridge overnight. If you feel like the mixture will be too thick, you can add an extra splash of milk. The next morning add some hazelnuts and dust the top of the overnight oats with some extra cinnamon. Enjoy this dish cold, but of course have a warm cup of coffee next to it! These overnight oats are also amazing with some fresh fruit on top.

 

So, those are my 3 ways of changing up my morning oatmeal. Of course, you can change up everything in these recipes. If you don’t have almond milk, any other type of milk will do just fine. And all the fruit (banana, apple) can be substituted for any other fruit you like. These are just my preferences. 🙂 And if you have more of a sweet tooth, feel free to add some honey or agave syrup to any of these recipes. Thanks for reading!

Stay warm,

Tori

 

 

 

Fluffy American Coconut Pancakes with Chunky Apple & Caramel Sauce

Hi guys!

I can’t believe it’s already Sunday. This week went so fast! What better way to relax than to have an amazing Sunday brunch? One of my favourite things to eat when I want to have something special, is pancakes. As a little kid, my mum would make Dutch pancakes sometimes for dinner. The best part was that we could eat the left-over pancakes for breakfast the next morning. 😉 Although I’m a big fan of the Dutch style really big but thin pancakes, I prefer the fluffy American pancakes for brunch. They just look so cute stacked on top of each other. I like mine even better with coconut flour because it adds so much flavour AND it’s a lot healthier than eating plain flour all the time!

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Now, I don’t want to brag, but let me tell you: these pancakes taste just as good as they look. And they’re so incredibly easy to make! Let’s get to the recipe shall we?

Coconut Pancakes topped with Apple & Caramel Sauce

Total prep. time: 20 minutes – Yield: 1 portion as shown on the picture – 500 kcal total

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

For the sauce:

  • 1 apple
  • 20 grams of butter
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon almond flakes

Instructions

Remove the skin of one apple and cut the apple into chunks. Set aside for later use.

Separate the egg white and yolk. Beat the egg white until firm. In a different bowl, mix the egg yolk with the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir in the coconut flour and baking powder. Then, using a spatula, fold in the fluffy egg white. If your egg white has started to separate again, give it a few extra beats before mixing it in. This will make your pancakes extra fluffy!

Place a frying pan over medium-high heat and add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to the pan. If you want to, you can also add 2 teaspoons of extra coconut oil to your pancake batter for extra moist, but if you don’t want the extra calories it works just fine without. When the oil is hot, bake 3 to 4 (depending on the size of your pan) small pancakes at a time. I use one 1 tablespoon of pancake batter for each pancake. Bake for 3 minutes on each side. You know the pancake is ready to flip when it starts to get bubbly on top. Transfer your pancakes to a plate and stack them on top of each other. Not only does this look pretty, it also helps to keep them warm.

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While your pancakes are baking, you can prepare your sauce. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; you don’t want the butter to turn brown. When it’s fully melted, add the chunks of apple. Then add the cinnamon and sugar and stir. Let the sauce boil for a few minutes while you keep stirring to make sure nothing burns at the bottom of your sauce pan. When the sauce comes together and it is a sticky caramel substance, it’s all done!

Pour the sauce on top of your pancakes and sprinkle some almond flakes on top for an extra crunch.

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Just look at that.

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You know why I love these pancakes, besides the fact that they’re obviously from heaven? You can top them with basically anything you like. The possibilities are endless, you will never be bored. A week or so ago I served these with some fresh berries and golden syrup. But you could even eat them just as they are as a snack. Anything will do! I am definitely doing a Pumpkin Version soon, because I saw the most delicious pumpkins at Borough Market last weekend. Be sure to keep an eye out for those on my Instagram!

Thanks for reading guys and I hope you all have a lovely Sunday!

Best, cheftori