15

Easy Vegan Carrot Walnut Cake

Veganopoulous_Easy Vegan Carrot Walnut Cake

My grandmother used to make a carrot cake I loved. I remember her calling my mum and telling us to go over after she’d baked a cake. When my grandmother died, we found the recipe written, in Greek, on a scrap of paper. This is that recipe though there are a few changes. The original calls for four eggs and 1.5 cups of oil so I had to both veganise it and cut way down on that oil!

My past experiments involved going all out with aquafaba, using the liquid from canned chickpeas but while the cake tasted fine it was kinda a bit too delicate. My grandmother’s cake was really hearty and that’s what I wanted to keep. I also wanted to stay true to her recipe as much as possible but in the end I decided to go with two bananas and using a little oil. I anticipated having to call this cake Carrot Banana Walnut Cake but I was surprised that it still tasted far more walnutty and carrot cakey than banana. My bananas were only slightly ripe though so if you use very ripe bananas the banana flavour will likely be stronger.

I rarely ice cakes at home so this cake lacks a traditional frosting plus my grandmother never iced cakes either. I really prefer this cake plain but of course feel free to frost away with your favourite plant based cream cheese style top!

You can reduce the sugar if you like and I would be happy dropping it by a quarter next time I make this. I especially love the walnuts though and was happy to see the toasty walnut taste came through brilliantly.

A common theme on my blog is how I start mixing up ingredients before realising I’m all out of something halfway through. That’s what happened with this cake, I thought I had enough white spelt flour but ran out and used wholemeal spelt for the rest. The result was actually pretty great so here’s the recipe, mistakes and all!

Veganopoulous_Easy Vegan Carrot Walnut Cake

 

Easy Vegan Carrot Walnut Cake
Print Recipe
A vegan carrot walnut cake using bananas and aquafaba in place of eggs and lots-of-oil. The cake is plain with no icing but feel free to add your own if you prefer. Cooking times may vary due to your oven and size of your cake tin.
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Easy Vegan Carrot Walnut Cake
Print Recipe
A vegan carrot walnut cake using bananas and aquafaba in place of eggs and lots-of-oil. The cake is plain with no icing but feel free to add your own if you prefer. Cooking times may vary due to your oven and size of your cake tin.
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to moderate (about 180C). Prepare your favourite cake tin. I used a round 23cm cake tin.
  2. In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients (not the carrot).
  3. In a blender, whiz up the bananas, aquafaba and oil until well blended.
  4. Add the blender contents to the dry ingredients and combine without over mixing. Gently fold through the carrots. The batter will be quite thick.
  5. Pour in to your prepared cake tin and bake for approximately one hour, checking at the 45 minute mark. Cooking times may vary so please keep an eye out for the cake browning too much.
  6. Remove when done and leave to cool a bit before turning the cake out on to a cooling rack. Best served once it has cooled down completely.
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10

Vegan Oil Free Almond Pear Muffins

Veganopoulous Blog oil free almond pear muffins

I am linking this recipe up with Healthy Vegan Fridays, hosted by Kimmy over at Rock My Vegan Socks.

This is one of those recipes that came about because I was cleaning out the freezer and found stuff that needed to be used: pear sauce I’d made slightly too long ago in the past, just by stewing pears in a little water then pureeing without sweetener, and some almond meal.

When I bake muffiny kinds of snacks for the kids, I prefer to dial the oil way down and often omit it entirely. I’m not a fan of using margarines or the vegan butters in my cooking, instead opting for aquafaba or a pureed fruit.

The problem with this, sometimes, is that the resulting baked goods have Health Food Taste. And often, Health Food Texture. You know what I mean? Of course there’s nothing wrong with ‘health food’ but hhhnnngggghhhh if I was to be making muffins or cakes for guests I wouldn’t be using my oil free variations unless they were specifically requested!

Now, that’s not to say oil free baking sucks across the board. It doesn’t! And I’m pleased to say I was mighty happy with these oil free almond pear muffins. They’re nice and light with a bit of substance and are perfect snacks for my kids who are always hungry.

Veganopoulous Blog oil free almond pear muffins

Making the pear sauce was really easy. Get the overripe pears that you bought with every intention to eat but never did so now they have to be used TODAY. Peel, core and dice them, put them in a pot with a good splash of water, stick a lid on the pot and let them stew over a low to medium heat until softened. Let them cool a bit and puree.

Veganopoulous Blog oil free almond pear muffins

And that’s really it! Of course you can swap flavours around or use apple sauce instead, or whatever fruit puree floats your fruity boat 🙂

Vegan Oil Free Almond Pear Muffins
Print Recipe
An oil free vegan muffin perfect for breakfast or a light snack. Pear sauce is used in place of oil or melted butter making this a healthier alternative if you're watching your oil consumption!
Servings Prep Time
18 mini muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 mini muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Vegan Oil Free Almond Pear Muffins
Print Recipe
An oil free vegan muffin perfect for breakfast or a light snack. Pear sauce is used in place of oil or melted butter making this a healthier alternative if you're watching your oil consumption!
Servings Prep Time
18 mini muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 mini muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: mini muffins
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to a moderate temperature (about 180C).
  2. In a small bowl or mug, combine the ground flaxseed with the 3 tablespoons of water and set aside.
  3. Sift the flour in to a large bowl. Sift in the salt, baking powder, cinnamon. Add the almond meal and coconut sugar, sifting if you have lumps.
  4. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the pear sauce and plant milk. Whisk in the flaxseed mixture so everything is evenly mixed through.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine without overmixing. Spoon in to your muffin containers and top with some oats (or coconut or flaked almonds-- whatever you like).
  6. Bake at 180C (a moderate oven temperature) for approximately 20 minutes. Cool before eating! I used silicon cups and had to wait until they had cooled significantly, otherwise the muffins may split when removing from the cups.
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4

Super Simple Peachy Melba

vegan Simple Peachy Melba

Did you know it’s Peach Melba Day today? That’s according to the highly official website http://www.daysoftheyear.com. Peach Melba is a great summer dessert– peaches, raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. At school camps we had the somewhat stripped down version which was a tin of diced peaches plopped on some cheap nasty icecream.

 

The Peach Melba was created by French chef Auguste Escoffier at London’s Savoy Hotel in 1892 or 1893, in honour of the Australian soprano Nellie Melba. Auguste also created the Melba Toast when Nellie was very ill.

vegan Simple Peachy Melba

I wanted to create a simple version for the kids, just to keep it more wholefoods based and also ridiculously easy. In the traditional recipes, the peaches are poached in a sugar syrup (or poached in water then simmered in the syrup). Here I’ve simply halved and grilled the peaches and made a quick basic raspberry sauce . The ice cream isn’t exactly like the traditional recipe, it’s ah, regular banana nice cream with vanilla but feel free to use whatever ice cream you like. On stinky hot days like today (41C/105.8F) I often break out some banana nice cream, made by whizzing up chopped up frozen bananas in my blender with some cinnamon.

We always have a stash of frozen bananas in the fridge so this came together quickly. The raspberry sauce was the most time consuming part, but really it was just standing there stirring the puree in the sieve to get out all the bitty bits.

vegan Simple Peachy Melba

Like the title says, super simple (to the point where I feel a bit embarrassed to even be including it as a recipe on the blog).

And here’s the bonus round! If you have leftovers or just don’t like it (like my kids… they only ate a bit)? Stick it all in a blender for a Peachy Melba smoothie! That’s my breakfast tomorrow.

Super Simple Peachy Melba
Print Recipe
A quick, simple veganny (the ice cream!) take on the classic Peach Melba.
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Super Simple Peachy Melba
Print Recipe
A quick, simple veganny (the ice cream!) take on the classic Peach Melba.
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat a grill pan to hot. Brush your halved peaches with a little oil. Place cut side down on the hot grill and cook until they soften slightly and have the pretty grill marks.
  2. While the peaches are grilling, start your raspberry sauce. Put the raspberries in a small to medium sized pot with the vanilla pod seeds, the cinnamon stick and the optional sweetener. Cook on a low heat until the berries break down and release their juices (roughly five minutes). Strain the berries through a fine sieve, pushing down with a spatula or stirring gently and pressing with a spoon (as I did). Discard the bitty seed bits.
  3. For the nice cream, simply add the chopped bananas to a blender (capable of doing this!) with the ground cinnamon. You can add a dash of vanilla extract too. Whiz it all up, stopping and scraping down the sides if necessary, until you get a smooth creamy consistency.
  4. To assemble, divide the banana nice cream among four serving dishes. Drizzle over some raspberry sauce then place two peach halves on top. Sprinkle with flaked almonds if you like, and enjoy!
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8

Blackstrappy Gingerbready Breakfasty Smoothie

blackstrap gingerbread smoothie

Maybe it’s the time of year and being in denial that my Christmas gingerbread has long vanished, but I’m all about gingerbready flavours right now. In the past I’ve made those pumpkin pie kinds of smoothies but today I wanted my regular banana breakfast smoothie with a gingerbread makeover. I’ve also been adding blackstrap molasses to my smoothies because I’m low in iron (from long before I was vegan! Gotta throw that in because you know, people blaming a vegan diet blah blah…).

For breakfast I usually have overnight oats or a smoothie with oats thrown in, so there’s a bit of a porridge element here too. And as always, I have a banana in my smoothies, either fresh or frozen.

Blackstrap molasses can taste quite strong and frankly quite urgh, but I don’t mind it in this smoothie. I also like to use a fair bit of ginger and spices. Feel free to play around with the amounts!

Want a pumpkin pie smoothie? Throw in a nice big chunk of cooked pumpkin, or use it in place of the banana.

 

 

 

 

Blackstrappy Gingerbready Breakfasty Smoothie
Print Recipe
Porridge meets gingerbread meets banana smoothie! Feel free to play around with the spices-- add as much or as little as you need!
Servings
1 serving
Servings
1 serving
Blackstrappy Gingerbready Breakfasty Smoothie
Print Recipe
Porridge meets gingerbread meets banana smoothie! Feel free to play around with the spices-- add as much or as little as you need!
Servings
1 serving
Servings
1 serving
Ingredients
Servings: serving
Instructions
  1. Throw everything in to your blender, blend and guzzle!
Recipe Notes

You can add some pumpkin for a pumpkin pie spiced flavour.

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10

Aquafabulous Pecan Tahini Sweet Potato Banana Bread

Aquafabulous Pecan Tahini Sweet Potato Banana Bread by Veganopoulous

This banana bread (with a whopper of a title…sorry) was a bit of an experiment– in other words, I had stuff I needed to use up like aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas), bananas, wholemeal flour and a sweet potato I’d roasted a few days ago. Whenever I have bananas getting overripe, I always go for a banana bread but this time I wanted to just throw stuff in to a bowl and see how it worked out, without following a recipe. Maybe with a touch more fancy in it. Fortunately it didn’t end up being a recipe for disaster and instead I ended up with a banana bread that is really pretty ace.

I did plan on making it with wholemeal spelt flour but urgh, had none in the cupboard. That’s when I spotted some wholemeal flour next to the plain flour. I don’t cook much with wholemeal flour but if I do, it’s usually mixed with another lighter flour. Because I only had plain flour (all purpose) I went with that. In the future I’ll try this with gluten free flours like buckwheat, maybe some millet though my previous gluten free banana bread attempts have been a bit forgettable.

If you’re a lazy cook like me, you might like the use of the blender. Mashing banana by hand always leaves me with a layer of banana at the bottom of a cake no matter how much I mash. Problem solved with the blender!

The inclusion of the roasted sweet potato probably isn’t that necessary (it can be boiled or steamed), or you can add in extra banana instead of the sweet potato. Do roast the pecans beforehand though, it adds a lovely flavour and lets you tick a fancy-cake checkbox.

My tahini is one with a lot of oil on the top, so if you have a drier tahini you may want to consider adding a little oil of your choice if you think the bread will be too dry. I like to avoid adding oil where possible so if I had to use a drier tahini, I probably wouldn’t add any oil but that’s all down to personal preference!

You can play around with the recipe– want a stronger tahini flavour? Add more! Use walnuts instead of pecans. Take half the batter and mix some raw cacao through it to make a chocolate batter, then make a marbled loaf. Add chunks of store bought halva (that’s what I’m doing next). Make a marbled loaf with chunks of halva. Etc etc etc!

Check out the official Aquafaba website, or head over to the Vegan Meringue Hits and Misses Facebook group where people continue to come up with all kinds of amazing stuff. Do that while you’re eating a piece of this bread that’s thickly coated with tahini!

Aquafabulous Pecan Tahini Sweet Potato Banana Bread by Veganopoulous

 

 

 

 

Aquafabulous Pecan Tahini Sweet Potato Banana Bread
Print Recipe
A vegan banana bread using aquafaba that's taken up a notch with the addition of tahini, roast pecans and roast sweet potato. I've listed 10 slices as the serving size but of course that's up to you 😉
Servings Prep Time
10 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Aquafabulous Pecan Tahini Sweet Potato Banana Bread
Print Recipe
A vegan banana bread using aquafaba that's taken up a notch with the addition of tahini, roast pecans and roast sweet potato. I've listed 10 slices as the serving size but of course that's up to you 😉
Servings Prep Time
10 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (moderate oven temperature).
  2. In a bowl, sift together the plain flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt. Add in the pecans and stir to combine.
  3. In a blender, whiz up the non-dairy milk, unbeaten aquafaba, tahini, bananas, sweet potato and raw sugar. Whiz until the liquid is smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and give it a good stir but don't overmix.
  5. Pour the batter in to a loaf pan. Mine is a silicon loaf pan that measures 22cm x 12cm (8.5" x 4.75") on the bottom. There was a lot of batter and the loaf pan spread out a bit. If you're using a metal tin, you may want to line the sides with sticking-up baking paper just in case.
  6. Cook in a moderate oven (about 180C) and check at the 45 minute mark, then keep checking. All up mine took about one hour to bake until a skewer came out crumb-free (it had a little moisture which was fine). Leave the bread to cool a while on a cooling rack before slicing.
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