Spirulina spiked peanut butter banana flapjacks

Ever bought a green powder like spirulina, used it once then left it in the back of the cupboard not knowing what else to do with it? I know loads of people who’ve done this or don’t know what else to add the powders to other than smoothies so here’s one of my favourite ways to use the algae spirulina.
This recipe is a great way to use and mask the unique flavour of spirulina because of the dominant tastes of banana and peanut butter, plus there’s a good thick texture from the oats too which tops it all off.

Spirulina spiked peanut butter banana flapjacks Breakfast Lunch snack vegan

Nutrition
Different brands of spirulina will have different levels of nutrition as this depends on where it was grown but in general it’s a source of Vitamin B12 (although not all of it in an easily used form so not to be the only B12 source in a diet), other B vitamins, iron, vitamin A, magnesium and chlorophyll, hence its dark green colour. Algae such as spirulina are concentrated into supplements in order to provide plant sources of the essential fatty acids EPA & DHA which would otherwise need to come from oily fish sources.
Some animal studies also suggest that it’s beneficial for heart health by improving blood pressure and cholesterol. Scientists have even fed it to malnourished children in Africa, so while you can’t expect it to work miracles if the rest of your diet and lifestyle is awful it can definitely be a good nutritional, body booster.

Spirulina spiked peanut butter banana flapjacks Breakfast Lunch snack vegan

Sourcing
Make sure to buy quality, organic spirulina that has gone through testing for contamination, EU brands have to follow certain regulations which is a good safety net but if you’re unsure then ask the brand before you buy, better safe than sorry.

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Leftover pumpkin mac and cheese

Got leftover pumpkins/pumpkin flesh from Halloween and don’t want to waste it?
Whip up this comforting, nutritious, healthier mac and cheese in under 30mins then feel smug because you didn’t waste any of that pumpkin!

Comfort food with benefits
The combination of melted cheese and pasta makes this dish proper comfort food during colder weather but you also get nutrition from the pumpkin, fibre from the wholegrain pasta and I share a tip on how to maximise the benefits from the garlic, also make sure to include the black pepper as it helps the absorption of other nutrients so you can really maximise the goodness of this dish.

Leftover pumpkin mac and cheese Dinner Lunch

For other pumpkin/squash recipes check out my savoury chilli cheese scones  or pumpkin bars with chocolate ganache or no bake pumpkin brownies 

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Savoury chilli cheese pumpkin scones

Savoury scones with a hick of chilli to complement the cheese and pumpkin.
I’ve wanted to do a savoury scone for a while now and this seemed like a good combo, I’ve been cooking with a lot of pumpkin and squashes as it’s nearly Halloween time so there’s an abundance of them around and this is a good way to use them up, especially if you’ve leftover pumpkin innards from carving.

Savoury chilli cheese pumpkin scones Breakfast Lunch snack

I’ve made my scone recipe many times and tried various flours but the one I always come back to is spelt, it’s wholegrain meaning high fibre, it has some gluten but less than wheat flour meaning you still get good texture but is easier to digest and doesn’t absorb as much liquid as other flours and has a nice flavour when cooked.
You can now find spelt flour in lots of places including supermarkets and health food stores.

Tip
A tip on cooking your pumpkin flesh, I found it best to steam it, this introduces more moisture than baking it which then gets added to the flour mix and helps it stay more moist and also means it blends better so that you won’t get any big lumps of pumpkin in your bite of scone!
You can also do this on a night where you’re steaming other veg then leave it to cool and store it for a few days in the fridge until you’re ready to make this recipe.

Savoury chilli cheese pumpkin scones Breakfast Lunch snack

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Super quick curry carrot lentil salad

This recipe really is super quick to make, I always have a pack of puy lentils in my cupboard for quick meals like this and this recipe is naturally nut free if you use the tahini option (this is ground sesame seed paste, it’s like the seed version of nut butter) which you can find in the world food section of the supermarket or at health stores but you can always just use almond butter if you aren’t allergic to nuts.
Furthermore, this meal counts as 2/5 a day with barely any effort, hooray for lazy girl cooking!

Super quick curry carrot lentil salad Dinner Lunch vegan

If you aren’t making this for two people then the second portion makes a great lunch for the next day too.
Let me know what kind of curry combos you guys use if you try it.

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Moroccan lentil omelette

Tired of your boring same old omelette?
Then spice it up (literally and metaphorically) with this Moroccan version which uses cumin, hummus for creamy decadence and added lentils which not only bulk it out with added veg but provide some plant protein and fibre to the dish as well!

Moroccan lentil omelette Breakfast Dinner Lunch

Brilliant beans and lovable lentils
Lentils and pulses/beans are such a great food staple, they’re cheap, packed with a type of fibre that your gut loves and most give a decent protein hit too which all means they also keep you full.
Another bonus is that beans and pulses can blunt energy release when paired with high carb foods, so if you’re having that white rice then one way to blunt the insulin spike is to add beans, which is a delicious way if you ask me.
This is because the beans will block an enzyme that’s needed to break down the starch and carbs in the other foods meaning you don’t get as much of an energy spike, woo!
A study across various countries examining bean/pulse intake in elderly people found that regardless of what country they came from (which is interesting as diets can vary widely) for each 20g increase in bean/pulse consumption this led to a 7-8% decrease in mortality, so eat up folks!

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Chickpea veggie slices

I often wonder if it’s just me but when I make food into slices it automatically makes it seem more interesting/fun, but what I also love about this recipe is that it’s so easy to throw together, is jam packed full of plants and spices plus it means you can use up whatever veg you have lying around the fridge or freezer.

Chickpea veggie slices Dinner Lunch snack vegan
Gram Flour
For this recipe I used mostly chickpea flour/gram flour which can be easily found in the World section of the supermarket so don’t fret and is quite cheap too as it’s made from chickpeas (can also include split peas) but also gives extra fibre and protein to the recipe which is a bonus. I wouldn’t recommend substituting this flour as it’s quite absorbent and gives a thickness to the recipe which is fairly unique and can’t really be mimicked by any other flour that I’m aware of.

Chickpea veggie slices Dinner Lunch snack vegan

Chickpea veggie slices Dinner Lunch snack vegan

Mix of split peas & chickpeas

Serving suggestion: I like to serve these with a drizzle of chilli infused oil or hummus and an extra sprinkling of nutritional yeast on top of some salad leaves. You can also use a thick yogurt & chipotle paste dip.

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