Brownies are definitely my weakness. Especially if they are soft and moist, with a full chocolate flavour. I simply can’t refuse. I could even eat them for breakfast. In fact, that wouldn’t even be that bad, if you’re otherwise watching what you’re eating and following a healthy and balanced diet. Yet there is always that little voice in my head: shame on you! Well, then there’s only one option: creating a healthier version. And I think I (finally) managed: Vegan Breakfast Brownies.
Cheese – that’s this month’s theme at the FOODBLOG EVENT organized by Foodbloggers BENELUX. And that theme can be interpreted in the broadest sense of the word. So, anything goes. I’ve thought long and hard about what I could make with cheese. Should I make something sweet of rather go for savoury? What kind of course will it be? Should I cook or bake? What kind of cheese should I use? There are so many ways to go with cheese!
Roasted Carrot Hummus
It’s almost April and King’s Day is approaching fast. Many schools in the Netherlands have held the King’s Plays last Friday and everything turned orange. We are not such King’s Day fanatics, partly because we are living in Belgium since a couple of years and the kids attend school here. The 27th of April is just a normal day for us.
That doesn’t mean we’re not participating in all that orange madness, though. I am again participating in the Foodblog Event organised by Foodbloggers BENELUX and the theme this time (obviously) is: King’s Day. The colour orange is quite essential then. And I came with a recipe I had never made before: Roasted Carrot Hummus.
This nut bread was actually an experiment that turned out extremely well. As I was sorting through my baking ingredients, I found several open bags of nuts, all just scraps. Didn’t want to throw them out though. I could have just put them in a bowl and snack my way through it, but I figured that I could use them in a recipe.
Lonely ripe banana
There was also this lonely, overripe banana lying in the fridge. Yes, you read that right, in the fridge. I always keep banana’s in the fridge. Although there are tips on how to keep bananas from getting brown and turn from green to overripe overnight, like wrapping cling film around the crown, none ever works very well. It prolongs the suffering maybe for just one day. Keeping them in the fridge does not prevent them from getting brown, but it does slow down the ripening process significantly.
Kruidnoten are a traditional spiced, bite-sized cookie that is eaten around ‘Sinterklaas’ in the Netherlands. Sinterklaas is based on Saint Nicholas, who was the patron saint of children. Sinterklaas is the feast that celebrates Saint Nicholas’ name day on the 6th of December. It is often celebrated by giving presents and sweet treats to children on the 5th of December, Saint Nicholas Eve.
Did I mention yet it’s pumpkin season? Now you don’t need a reminder, do you? I just love, love, love pumpkin recipes. And since it’s October and we now can officially enjoy anything pumpkin, I’ll throw in another delicious recipe: pumpkin pancakes! Because we also love pancakes. For breakfast, lunch or dinner.
These pumpkin pancakes are very easy to make, especially if you have pumpkin puree ready to use. You can use canned pumpkin, but fresh homemade pumpkin puree, without any additives, is so much better. These pancakes are so light and fluffy. And, they are also gluten and dairy free.
Yeah, it’s Fall! And you know what that means? Well? No, I don’t mean it’s getting cold, wet, windy, dark… No no no, I mean it’s PUMPKIN SEASON! Actually, it’s pumpkin season all year round for me, especially when my freezer is stacked with my homemade pumpkin puree. But we can officially jump on the pumpkin wagon now (like with these pumpkin doughnuts), without getting weird looks, like if it’s a crime to have something pumpkin during summer.
Banana recipe #… I know, another banana recipe. And guess what, I still have a bunch of recipes I want to share with you. So stay tuned if you like banana bread and similar recipes. This recipe is really different from all the other recipes. Why? Because it’s made with ground hazelnuts.
Gluten & sugar free
As I’ve used ground hazelnuts instead of flour, it’s gluten free and fairly low-carb. Fairly low-carb as it doesn’t have any flour, but probably still too carby for those on a strict low-carb diet, due to the banana. But low-carb or not, this cake is definitely worth a try. It tastes amazing and is super light and fluffy (due to beaten egg whites added to the batter). And, I did not use any added sugar or sweetener. The bananas and the ground hazelnuts are sweet enough together.
Chai Spiced Banana Bread. I know that many will associate chai with hot drinks, like a Chai Latte. Chai. Comforting, warming spices. Not something you might expect in the middle of summer. But believe me, this is good. Those who follow me for a little while now, know that I use a lot of banana’s in baking. It started out as a necessity to use up overripe banana’s, but it has started to become a regular item in my baking and cooking adventures. Bread, cookies, bars, drinks, desserts, even waffles. Banana’s are quite versatile and due to their natural sweetness (the riper, the sweeter), you’ll need less sugar or sweetener in your recipe.
National and World Food Days
Do you keep track of all the national and world food days? I don’t. Well, I didn’t. I have now made a list of all the national and world food holidays and hopefully, I will remember to look at it in time. Most of them are celebrated mainly in the US, but are getting more known all over the world. Foodies are more and more taking these food days to promote their dishes and recipes. So how can I not do this and stay behind?
Practically carb-free and high in protein, these ‘cloud bread’ buns are soft and pillowy, just like little clouds!
Cloud bread. I’ve been holding it off for quite a while, but I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Just google ‘cloud bread’ and you’ll get over 24 million hits! If it’s shared so many times, there must be something good about it right? I mean, something else than just being virtually carb-free and a good source of protein. And… it’s super easy.
Soft, tender banana muffins made in the blender. Tasty can’t get any easier!
I make a lot of banana bread. I bake one almost every week. We don’t like to eat ripe banana’s, and even though I keep my banana’s in the fridge to prevent them getting ripe within two days, I still have loads of banana’s that are too ripe for our taste. So I make banana bread a lot. If I still have banana’s left, I cut them uo and freeze them to use in milk shakes, smoothies and instant ice cream.
So yesterday, I made black bean brownies. Much to my husband’s dismay, who doesn’t like chocolate cake or brownies. Yes, I know, how is that even possible. He was hoping I would make something that he would like as well. The disappointment written all over his face.
But he was intrigued by the fact that I had made brownies using beans instead of flower. He wondered whether I could make a white cake as well. As in: anything but chocolate cake. Man, I had just cleaned up everything. Then he simply looked at me with puppy eyes, pleading… Alright. How about white bean blondies instead of black bean brownies.
We love shawarma. But we hardly ever eat it. Traditionally, it’s eaten with pita bread, with the meat stuffed inside the bread, along with lettuce, coleslaw and sauces. So, the biggest part of that meal, is a bread.
Just until recently, the boys didn’t care much for pita bread. And as I try to balance my carb intake, I’m not too keen to eat bread for dinner (I’m not strictly on low carb, though). But when I did our groceries, I got drawn to this week’s promo… 1 kg of shawarma. I couldn’t help myself, I had to buy it.
How do you like to eat banana’s? I don’t like to eat ripe banana’s. I don’t like the texture and the sweet taste. They don’t even have to be ‘overripe’, if they start to get yellow, they are already too far gone for me. I like banana’s if they are still a bit greenish, firm and not sweet at all. I actually keep banana’s in the fridge. The skin does get brown spots, but inside they keep fresh for a longer period of time.
Christmas is upon us. It’s such a wonderful time. I really love this time of year. And yes, it may be a little tacky, but I also love all that Christmas music you hear everywhere. All day long on the radio. I think I’ve heard ‘Driving home for Christmas’ by Chris Rea at least 20 times today! No Christmas without Chris Rea :).
Too bad we don’t have snow at all this year. Actually, we’re breaking records here every day. It was already the warmest November since they’ve started to record the weather. Now, it also is the warmest December.
It’s just confusing. For nature as well. Trees are butting, we need to mow the lawn. Weeds are growing all over the garden. It’s like we’ve skipped winter and gone straight from Fall to Spring.
I have always loved pasta and rice dishes. I still do. I could eat them every single day. Several times a day. Comforting Italian pasta dishes, spicy Asian rice dishes, there are so many great recipes. But when you’re trying to cut down on your carb intake, those dishes won’t exactly help you with that.
However, there is a great alternative. Cauliflower!
Growing up, I only knew one way to eat cauliflower and it actually made me hate it: cooked to mush and smothered in a floury béchamel sauce. It wasn’t until sometime in my twenties, that I discovered also other ways to eat cauliflower. Raw with a dip, cooked al dente with various spices and sauces, au gratin… And so I learned to appreciate this veg. But never would I have thought that cauliflower, one day, might become one of my favorite vegetables. Yet it just might get there.
While I could eat anything pumpkin all year round, fall and winter especially call for pumpkin recipes. Over the last years, pumpkin has become more popular around these parts, but it’s still a fairly unknown ingredient. Many people simply don’t know what to do with it. And it’s so versatile! Soups, stews, roasted, grilled, sweet, savory, drinks… The list is endless.
But… cutting and peeling a pumpkin is a tedious job. And potentially dangerous! Seriously dangerous. My knife (huge, sharp chef’s knife)
often always gets stuck halfway through and as I can’t seem to move the knife in any direction, I end up ‘banging’ the pumpkin on the counter, like I was cleaving a piece of wood with an axe. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Right? Anyway, dangerous. In my mind, I already see a pumpkin flying through the kitchen. A disaster waiting to happen.