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

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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

 

 

 

Autumny Pumpkin Muffins with Spelt & Oats

Hi guys!

I’m back with another recipe. I cannot describe how much in love I am with these healthy-ish pumpkin muffins. They make me so excited about autumn.

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As I mentioned in my last post, I went to Borough Market last weekend. Borough Market, a fresh local food market just south of the Thames, has got to be my new favourite place on earth. The products on sale there are just so gorgeous. I bought the most beautiful graffiti aubergine and rainbow chard, just because I couldn’t resist the look of them. When I tasted them, I couldn’t believe how sweet and juicy the veggies were. Because autumn is definitely on its way, pumpkins are hard to miss these days too.

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I just knew I had to bake something with pumpkin upon seeing them. And who doesn’t love a gorgeous fall-inspired pumpkin muffin? I attended an event by my university’s baking society last week, and a girl had made de-li-cious pumpkin muffins. So I figured I’d give it a go myself! My recipe is an adaption of her recipe & two other recipes I found online. It was kind of a gamble, because I wanted to find a way to make these babies a bit more healthy than normally. I wanted to be able to eat these for breakfast, so I decided to work with wholemeal spelt flour and wholemeal oats instead of 100% plain flour. That would make them more filling & suitable for an actual meal instead of just a snack!

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Now, I think it’s fair to say they turned out pretty well. They were a bit more dense than purely flour-based muffins, but they were soooo moist and fluffy at the same time. I also found that the sweetness of these was just perfect. They just taste like autumn. Let’s get to talking about how to achieve that!

Pumpkin Muffins with Spelt Flour & Wholemeal Oats

Prepping time: 15 mins – Baking time: 24 mins – Total time: ±40 mins – Yield: 12 large muffins – Calories per serving: 180 kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 banana, overripe for extra sweetness
  • 1/2 cup (80 grams) vegetable shortening or vegetable oil (I used Trex)
  • 1 tin (425 grams) pure pumpkin puree, no additives
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) almond milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

 

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup wholegrain oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions

First, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature as this will make it easier to blend everything together without getting any lumps. You want the smoothest batter you can get! You can use a mixer if you like, as this will definitely make this easier, but I don’t have a mixer so I just went for it using a whisk until my arms hurt like hell. Another note before you get started: if you are having trouble getting your hands on pure pumpkin puree, you can order it online or you can make some yourself. Just bake a sugar pumpkin (other kinds won’t get the same result), cut in two halves & deseeded, in a 220 degrees Celcius oven for 40 minutes. Peel off the skin and mash it up to get a puree and you’re all done!

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius.

In a large bowl, mash together the eggs and the banana to make a soft puree. Then, add all of the other wet ingredients and stir for ±2 minutes to combine everything. If you’re not using a mixer, it might be easier to add the ingredients bit by bit, so you can blend everything more easily. Once all your wet ingredients have combined nicely, combine all your dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Give it a quick stir to combine the different kinds of flour. You should have around 2 1/2 cup of flour in this bowl. Now, start adding the flour mixture to your wet ingredients, mixing well as you go along. Please note that I ended up only adding 2 cups of my flour mixture, as I wanted my muffins to be dense and moist. But feel free to add all of the flour mixture to your wet ingredients. It just depends on what you want! Next time, I might add 2 1/2 cups to try the difference.

Line a muffin tin with muffin cups, or just spray the tin with any oil you like. Scoop in the batter way up to the edge of the paper liner to create lovely huge muffins. If you want smaller muffins, this recipe should be enough for 16 small ones instead of 12 big ones.

Bake the muffins in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, just stick in a fork to check on them. If the fork comes out dry, the muffins are done. At 20 mins, there was still some batter stuck to my fork, so I put them back in for another couple of minutes, checking them at each 2 minute interval. My muffins were in the oven for exactly 24 minutes! Let your muffins cool in the muffin tin for 5-10 minutes, then move them to a rack to cool for another 5-10 minutes before indulging in them.

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I hope you liked this recipe and please let me know if you do try these out yourself!

Best, Cheftori

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

Savoury Cheddar Pumpkin Scones

Hi guys, I’m back with another scone recipe. I just can’t stop making them and I keep getting ideas in my head of ingredients to use in my scones. Even though I love sweet scones with cream and jam, this time I felt like having something more salty. I had some leftover pumpkin from my dinner last night, so I figured I could use that and some cheddar. Believe me… these scones are SO. GOOD. They’re more bread-like in structure because they contain no sugar. Definitely worth giving this a go yourself!

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Savoury Cheddar & Pumpkin Scones

Preparation time: 80mins – Baking time: 13 mins – Total time: 93 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup cubed cold butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
  • ½ cup grated matured chedder
  • 1 pumpkin to make pumpkin puree (or ½ cup store-bought pumpkin puree)

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cut the pumpkin in large cubes and bake them in the oven for at least 45 minutes (I let them sit for an hour). Let the pumpkin cool off. Now, peel off the pumpkin skin. This should be fairly easy if your pumpkin cubes are soft enough! Mash the pumpkin with a fork until a puree starts to form or use a blender or kitchen processor if you prefer. Set aside ½ cup of your fresh pumpkin puree for later use. Alternatively, just use ½ cup store-bought pumpkin puree, but make sure it is not too sugary and sweet as we’re making savoury scones.

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Get a large bowl and mix the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the cubed butter and work the cubes into the flour mixture using your hands until you get coarse crumbs. Then add 1 cup of buttermilk (save just a tiny bit for glazing the scones) and 2 tbsp of milk and mix that in with a fork, but be careful not to overmix! It’s no problem if your mixture is not smooth, those lumpy bits will make the scones even better and it makes them look more artisan 😉 Now add the pumpkin puree and cheddar cheese and work that into your dough with your hands. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 3cm thick.

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This is what the dough looks like!

Using a round cookie cutter (I just use my measuring cup turned upside-down, works just fine too!), divide the dough in circles. Lightly glaze the scones using your left-over buttermilk. Bake for 13mins in the oven on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, or use a muffin tray like me if you have one. Let the scones cool for 5 mins before transferring them to a cooling rack for another 5 mins.

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Let me know which one you prefer: sweet or savoury scones? Comment down below 😀

Best, cheftori