Light & Fluffy Pumpkin Spice Pancakes (Vegan and Gluten Free!)

Make the most of seasonal produce and warming spices with these light and fluffy pumpkin pancakes – not only are they vegan and gluten free, they’re also low on sugar and feature the bright orange superfood that’s packed with fibre, vitamin A and antioxidants.

Plus, they’re easy to make, requiring just 20 minutes, one bowl, and no fancy ingredients – just pantry staples like apple cider vinegar, almond milk, spices and maple syrup.

INGREDIENTS

To serve:

 

METHOD

  1. Combine milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for five minutes to curdle.
  2. Add pumpkin, butter, vanilla and sugar, and whisk to combine.
  3. Sift together flour, salt and spices and add to wet ingredients. If the batter appears too thin, add a bit more flour. If too thick, add a splash of milk. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Melt butter or coconut oil in a pan and cook ¼ cup measurements of the batter on medium-high heat. Flip when bubbles appear and cook for a further 1-3 minutes on the other side.
  5. Serve with butter or coconut oil, maple syrup and pecans.

*To make candied pecans, combine 2 Tbsp coconut sugar, 2 Tbsp water and a pinch of salt. Toast 1 cup of pecan nuts in a pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add sugar water to nuts and stir until thoroughly coated. Spread on a piece of parchment paper to cool.

Warming Breakfast Bowls for Winter

Looking for something to brighten a cold, dark morning but tired of your standard Oats-So-Easy? These nourishing breakfast bowls are packed full of superfoods, ensuring your brain and body will function at their best all day long. How about a bowl of creamy oatmeal with coconut milk and cinnamon? Or warming quinoa studded with hemp seeds and dark chocolate. This is porridge at its best – nutrient-rich, hearty, and delicious. Tuck in!

1. Toasted Coconut Breakfast Bowl

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

To serve

METHOD

  1. Bring the coconut milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the quinoa and salt and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the water, oats, cinnamon, and salt, and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the oats are soft.
  3. Divide between four bowls and serve with more milk if desired, toasted coconut, fresh fruit and a dash of cinnamon.

 

2. Super Green Breakfast Bowl

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

To serve

METHOD

  1. Add all smoothie ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
  2. Add more milk if needed.
  3. Divide between 2 serving bowls and serve with fresh berries, nuts and seeds.

 

3. Chocolate Goddess Breakfast Bowl

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

To serve

METHOD

  1. Heat almond and coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add quinoa and a pinch of salt, and stir.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, remove from heat and add cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla. Stir to combine and add a splash of almond milk if needed.
  4. Divide between two bowls, top with dark chocolate, and serve with your choice of toppings.

Recipes adapted from local food-styling whiz Lisa Clark.

Antioxidant-Rich Matcha Chia Pudding

We challenged local foodie Caralishious to come up with something delicious using Lady Bonin’s Matcha Green Tea. This is what she came up with:

I am always inspired to create sumptuous yet simple recipes that provide great nutrition for the body and a little creativity for the mind. I especially love playing around with new ingredients and flavours, and of course trying, testing and introducing them to you!

This past weekend, I acquainted myself with matcha, a finely milled green tea powder that has put a spring in my step (and stained a number of my mugs bright green). I’ve tasted matcha in beverages before, but I hadn’t worked with it myself now. Truth be told, I’m not a huge green tea lover (I usually have to sweeten it quite a bit to enjoy it). But matcha green tea? Game changer.

I love the taste, which seems to shift from grassy to sweet. Because you mix whole ground matcha directly into hot water, rather than steeping a teabag, matcha is said to be significantly higher in antioxidants and chlorophyll than other forms of green tea. It packs a powerful, yet mellow caffeine punch (a teaspoon of matcha is comparable to a cup of coffee in terms of caffeine) and it also contains Vitamin C, potassium, and amino acids, including L-Theanine, which is said to promote relaxation and calm. (I always feel more invigorated than tranquil after I drink matcha, but I don’t feel jittery, either.)

Matcha is a bit of an investment, however Lady Bonin’s Matcha Green Tea is reasonably priced on Faithful to Nature’s online store. The good news is that you only need about a half teaspoon to make one cup of strong tea, so a container will yield you a large number of servings.

Delightful as freshly brewed matcha is, I was inspired to try it in a chia pudding (my standard rotation of chocolate, berry and vanilla chia is getting a little old). Mixed with a cup of gojis and cranberries, this breakfast packs a major antioxidant punch – not to mention calcium, protein, and healthy fats from the chia seeds. What an energising way to start your day! I hope you enjoy it – and that you get to know matcha a little better along the way.

Anti-Oxidant Rich Matcha Chia Pudding

Serves 2 | Ready in 10 mins

INGREDIENTS

TO SERVE

METHOD

  1. Combine chia seeds, almond milk, matcha and a little water in a medium sized bowl. Stir well, cover and allow to soak in the fridge overnight (about 8 hours).
  2. Remove from fridge and blend with vanilla, tahini, peanut butter, xylitol, pecans and cinnamon for 1-2 minutes. If mixture is too thick, add small amounts of almond milk for a smoother consistency.
  3. Place flaked almonds at the bottom of each serving dish, spoon over a layer of pudding and sprinkle with cranberries and goji berries. Repeat until mixture is finished, and sprinkle with almond flakes, cranberries, goji berries and sesame seeds.
  4. Serve chilled and enjoy!

This recipe first appeared on Caralishious’ blog.

Buttery Indian-Spiced Vegan Potato Curry

We’ve rustled up this Indian-inspired vegan potato curry with hints of coconut and ginger to warm up even the greyest day.

Not only is this tasty, spice-rich dish the ultimate comfort food, it’s super quick and easy to prepare, too – simply fry some onions, pop all the ingredients in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Add some perfectly cooked basmati rice, quinoa or other grain of choice and – voila! A healthy and delicious weeknight dinner.

Feeling inspired? Up the ante with your own homemade rotis or naan bread with this gluten-free premix made with macadamia flour from the Red Basket Food Company.

INGREDIENTS

To serve:

METHOD

  1. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium heat, add garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add coconut milk, tomatoes and spices and stir to combine.
  3. Bring to a low simmer and add the potatoes. Cover and let simmer until potatoes are softened, 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add frozen peas, stir, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with cooked basmati rice and fresh coriander. This tastes even better the next day!

Recipe adapted from One Green Planet.

10 Natural Antibiotics our Ancestors Used Instead of Pills

You can protect your body against infections and bacteria based sicknesses by taking advantage of these safe and natural antibiotics and remedies that are available in the average kitchen. Protect your body without the use of prescription drugs by using simple remedies such as honey, oregano, garlic, Echinacea, and turmeric.

1. OREGANO OIL


Beyond its antibacterial properties, oregano oil can help with digestion and aid in weight loss. An oil that is found in oregano, Carvacrol, has been found to fight the bacteria that can lead to infections. The oil of oregano has been found to treat digestive infections, and even one particular yeast infection.

2. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR


The far-reaching benefits of daily doses of apple cider vinegar include antibiotic and antiseptic properties, naturally alkalising your system, and can aid you in everything from managing your weight to lowering cholesterol and your risk of cancer. A chemical-free astringent, apple cider vinegar can be used topically to disinfect and sterilise.

3. HONEY


Ancient Romans used honey on the battlefield to treat wounds and prevent infection. An enzyme found in honey releases hydrogen peroxide. This process helps your body fight infection and prevents the growth of bacteria. Soothing to the digestive system, honey removes toxins from the blood and helps your liver operate more efficiently.

4. TURMERIC


This spice isn’t just rich in colour and flavour, but it also products your body against harm. Turmeric and be both consumed and applied externally, making it a great choice for fighting against bacteria. For extra benefit, from combining two bacteria fighting substances, you can mix turmeric with honey and create a paste to apply to infected areas on your skin.

5. GARLIC


Garlic can fight such simple infections as the common cold, pushing the germs away before they have a change to disrupt your life. Using the allicin that it contains, garlic protects against yeast, parasites, bacteria, and more. If you are looking for a simple way to live healthier, add more garlic to your diet.

6. GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT


The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study that found grapefruit seed extract effective against more than 800 forms of viruses and bacteria, more than a hundred strains of fungus, and many parasites. High in many antioxidants, GSE boosts immunity, alkalises the body naturally, and aids in digestion by improving your beneficial gut flora.

7. ECHINACEA


Taking Echinacea has been found in studies to reduce the incidence of infections such as colds and flu by up to 58% by boosting your immunity. Echinacea stimulates the cells in your body responsible for fighting infections so that they become super-efficient. It’s not only great for cold and flu viruses, but also helps your cells attack abnormal cells like cancer.

8. CABBAGE & FERMENTED FOOD 


What many people don’t realize is how much vitamin C is found in cabbage – one cup provides 75% of what you need every day. It can also improve digestion, prevent disease, and even manage your weight. Unpasteurised cabbage, kombucha, kefir and probiotic yoghurt all renew our intestinal flora, protect us from cancer and keep our bodies fit to fight off infections.

9. EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL


There is not enough that can be said for the benefits of coconut oil. It has naturally occurring anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties and is packed with antioxidants. Use it to boost your immune system, balance thyroid, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, and even improve brain function. Stir a spoonful into your morning coffee for added energy and a clearer head all day.

10. COLLOIDAL SILVER


Colloidal silver works to strengthen the immune system, and it’s better for you than cortisone or conventional antibiotics, because pathogens aren’t able to develop a resistance to it. Colloidal silver is amazingly versatile, with powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It’s proven to be useful in treating a wide variety of ailments.

10 Awesome Alternatives to Coffee

We all know the feeling that too many cups of coffee can bring: Nervous, jittery energy followed by an adrenal crash later in the day. Worse is your inability to function without your daily hit of caffeine – and addiction in any form is bad for your health.

If you’re feeling motivated to quit the black stuff but can’t quite face the day without a jolt of pure energy to get you going in the morning, here are 10 natural coffee alternatives that are not only powerful energy boosters but good for you, too.


Theonista Rooibos & Naartjie Kombucha, from R33

Theonista Rooibos & Naartjie Kombucha is a healthier take on your favourite morning coffee – it’s not only smoother and less acidic, but brimming with the living goodness of fermented probiotics. Unlike soft drinks, this fizzes because it’s really alive and filled with minerals, organic enzymes and vitamins for a happy, healthy gut and body.


Skinny Coffee, R190 for 14 sachets

Skinny Green Coffee is made from raw unroasted coffee beans that are rich in both Caffeine and Chlorogenic Acid, which both have compounds that help boost the metabolism and inhibit fat absorption. Evodiamine speeds up your metabolism and results in more calories being burned, while Yerba Mate that is rich in anti-oxidants and gives you an energy boost.


Taka Turmeric Golden Latte, from R34

Turmeric has so many benefits for your health, it’s like gold from the spice treasure chest. This creamy Golden Latte is a convenient and delicious way to drink a daily dose of this health-promoting and nurturing wonder spice. It’s free from any artificial additives, sweeteners, dairy or caffeine, so it can be a wonderful bed-time drink for kiddies too.


Woody Cape Chicory, R15

Woody Cape Chicory is a healthy, 100% pure roasted and ground chicory product that is completely caffeine free. It is derived from the root of the chicory plant, which after being dried and roasted consists mainly of fructose, protein and natural fibre. Chicory is prebiotic, which helps cleanse the body of toxins, and has a soothing effect on the nervous system.


Wazoogles Superfood Protein – Kungfu Coffee, from R25.50

Wazoogles Superfood Protein Shake is a delicious blend of some of the most vibrant and nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Ideal as a quick breakfast smoothie or meal replacement, or alternatively as a pre/post   workout shake for sustained energy and optimum recovery. Perfect for elevating your daily nutrition intake or to use as high performance athletic fuel.


Dr Boxall’s Green Coffee Bean Extract, R245

Taken together with a calorie-controlled diet, this green coffee and raspberry ketone combination is one dynamic duo that will help improve your energy levels and stamina, increase your metabolism of fats and even decrease your appetite. This is your ideal natural 2-in-1 solution for getting in shape and shedding those extra unwanted kilos.


Yerba Maté SA – Pajarito Organica, R104

Yerba maté is a natural antioxidant-rich tea known for its ability to boost metabolism, curb appetite, aid digestion, improve stamina, lift energy levels and improve focus. Hailing from South America, this Pajarito Organic Yerba Maté has been certified by the IMO as an industry benchmark. The flavour of the tea is mild and woody with citrus notes, making it perfect for first-time maté drinkers.


Lady Bonin’s Matcha Green Tea, R362

This magical Matcha is a Japanese green tea of the highest quality. It has a distinctive bright green colour, a fine talc-like texture and an unforgettable earthy flavour. Sip a calming cup and you’ll soon understand why it’s the drink of choice for Zen Buddhists before beginning a meditation session. This gorgeous green brew is just what you need to alert and refreshed but completely calm – without the caffeine jitters.


Flora Force Siberian Ginseng, R119

Flora Force Siberian Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb with the fantastic ability to uplift and restore you when you are exhausted and lacking vitality. Whether you have over-exerted yourself, are under stress, or are recovering from illness, Siberian Ginseng will support your body to adapt, restores sleeping patterns, strengthens your heart and regulates your hormones.


Superfoods Organic Maca Root Powder, from R136

Not only does Maca give you a sustained energy boost, it’s an adaptogen too – meaning it helps the body adapt to stress. Maca will provide you with more energy if needed, but won’t overstimulate you. Because of its oxygenating effect on the blood, it has also gained a reputation for being a natural Viagra or aphrodisiac.


 

What do you think? Ready to give up coffee? We can’t promise it’ll be easy but there’s nothing like the feeling of more natural energy, better sleep, healthier skin and less anxiety once you’ve kicked the habit. Let us know how it goes!

Healthy Packed Lunch Idea: Salad in a Jar

Our lovely buying assistant Collette recently joined the Faithful to Nature team, and we’ve been given a serious case of food envy by the lunch she brings into the office every day – a beautiful, layered salad in a jar.

Packing salad in a consol jar seems like a great idea – it looks vibrant and inspiring, and you don’t have to worry about ending up with soggy leaves by the time 12 o’ clock rolls around (since the dressing stays at the bottom), and it’s an easy, spill-proof way to transport your lunch. Plus, if you’re ultra-organised, you can get all of your jars ready at the beginning of the week, so you don’t have to think about what to pack for lunch each day.


Consol Jar with Black Clip-Top Lid 2L
Consol Jar with Black Clip-Top Lid 500ml R33

Chef’n Palm Zester R109
Chef’n Palm Zester R109

Salad Love - David Bez R315
Salad Love – David Bez R315
[add-to-bag productid=”4991″ variantgroup=”820″ variantvalue=”2696″] [add-to-bag productid=”9133″] [add-to-bag productid=”7038″]

Here’s Collette’s step-by-step guide to assembling a salad in a jar:

  1. Add the dressing

The secret to a consol jar salad is layering. Start with the dressing on the bottom. Use about 2 tablespoons per 500ml jar. (It’s also helpful to place onions at the bottom, if using them, because soaking them in the dressing helps dilute the strong onion taste and prevents onion breath at work.)

  1. Add your base layer

Next add some salad ingredients that won’t soak up the dressing, such as carrots, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, or chickpeas.

  1. Continue layering

Continue to layer your salad with your chosen ingredients. Pack the layers as tightly as possible — the less air between layers, the longer your salad will stay fresh.

  1. Top with greens

Finally, layer on your lettuce or salad greens. By ending with the greens at the top, you’ll create a moisture barrier that prevents the entire salad from becoming soggy. If you are including cheese, nuts or seeds, add them last.

  1. Ready to serve

Twist on the top to seal your salad, place the jar in your fridge, and you’re good to go! If you want to include a protein such as chicken, hard-boiled egg or tofu, add them to the top in the morning of the day you’ll eat it. When you’re ready to eat, pour your salad into a bowl and toss to mix the dressing throughout.


5 Awesome recipes to inspire you

You don’t need to use a recipe to make a salad jar – just layer your favourite salad components using the formula above. But if you’d like to get gourmet, here are some recipes to inspire you:

Mexican burrito bowl – via Deliciously Ella (made with black beans, quinoa, fresh salsa and guacamole, and a yummy cashew cream made with cashews and tamari).

Mexican burrito bowl – via Deliciously Ella

Asian soba noodle salad – via Food52 (made with colourful veggies, soba buckwheat noodles, sesame seeds, and tofu marinated in orange juice, ginger, sesame oil, maple syrup and cayenne pepper – delish!)

Asian soba noodle salad – via Food 52

Vegan Caesar salad – via Oh She Glows (made with kale, romaine lettuce, spicy roast chickpeas, vegan Caesar dressing and ‘Parmesan cheese’ made with raw cashews, hemp seeds and nutritional yeast)

Vegan Caesar salad – via Oh She Glows


You could even pack breakfast in a consol jar:

Fruit breakfast parfaits – via Iowa Girl Eats (made with Greek yoghurt or your own homemade yoghurt, granola, chia seeds and fresh fruit)

Fruit breakfast parfaits – via Iowa Girl Eats

Overnight oats – via Jeanette’s Healthy Living (made with organic oatsmaple syrup, milk or milk substitute, chia seeds, vanilla, toasted nuts and fresh fruit)

Overnight oats – via Jeanette’s Healthy Living


Have you made a salad in a jar before? What do you pack for lunch each day?

Fudgy vegan beetroot cupcakes

Fudgy Vegan beetroot cupcakes

If you haven’t been previously warned about beets, consider this your official warning. They. Are. Messy. Especially after going all soft and gooey in the oven. But that’s exactly what makes them so perfect for adding to things like cupcakes – they don’t have a particularly strong flavour, they add a ton of moisture to baked goods, and best of all, they’re chock full of nutrients.

Loaded with vitamins A, B and C, beetroots are also high in fibre, manganese, folate and are a rare source of phytonutrients called betalains, which have been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification qualities.

All of that goodness inside these cupcakes? Who would’ve thought?

Fudgy vegan cupcakes with pureed roasted beetroots and a dusting of cocoa powder.

Makes 10 cupcakes

Ingredients

Method

  • Preheat oven to 190°C.
  • Remove stem and root from beets, scrub and wash clean.
  • Drizzle on a bit of coconut oil and roast for at least one hour until tender. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Once cooled, finely grate or purée beets. Measure out ½ cup and set aside.
  • Line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  • Whisk almond milk and vinegar in a large bowl, then set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add sugar, oil, vanilla and ½ cup beets and beat until foamy.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and slowly add to the wet mixture, stirring as you go. Beat until no large lumps remain.
  • Pour batter into liners, filling them ¾ of the way. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool.
  • Once cooled, dust with cocoa powder and store in an airtight container to keep fresh.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker.

Irresistible Avocado Cheesecake Recipe

Life changing Avocado Cheese Cake

Free from refined sugar, flour, vegetable oils and dairy, this incredibly creamy and indulgent cheesecake will leave you wondering how anything this tasty can be so nutritious.

A blend of toasted pecan nuts, cacao nibs and coconut forms a wonderfully nutty, chocolaty base that’s good enough to eat on its own, while the whipped lime-flavoured filling is sweetened with dates, honey and stevia to create a zesty, decadent mousse.

Try making these into little squares to serve as individual desserts, or spoon the avocado lime mixture into small glasses, crumble over the base mixture and drizzle with a little melted 85% dark chocolate for a ‘deconstructed’ take on the traditional cheesecake.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 12

FOR THE BASE

FOR THE FILLING

  • 560g avocado flesh (from about 5 avocados)
  • 200ml lime juice (8–10 limes)
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 190g raw honey
  • 175ml coconut oil, melted and at room temperature
  • A few drops of stevia to sweeten (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C. Line the base and sides of a springform or loose-bottomed 18cm round cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Toast pecan nuts and desiccated coconut on a lined baking tray and place in oven for 7–8 minutes until golden. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  3. Transfer to a food processor and add dates, cacao nibs and coconut oil. Blend until mixture is crumbly and holds together when pinched – don’t let it go completely smooth.
  4. Tip base mixture into prepared tin. Press down firmly with the back of a spoon, ensuring it is neat and flat where it meets the sides of tin. Transfer to fridge while you prepare the filling.
  5. Place all the filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and silky. Check for taste and add more lime juice, zest or stevia according to preference (it’s best to keep it deliciously tangy).
  6. Remove cake tin from fridge and pour filling over the base. Cover the tin with a plate and return to the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight, if possible, to set.
  7. To serve, run a knife around the inner edge of the tin and carefully push the base up from the bottom. Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.

Adapted from The Coveteur, with thanks to Hemsley & Hemsley

We Can’t Get Enough Of These Chai Spiced Energy Balls

Energy Balls

When you’re in need of an energy boost, these warming, chai spiced energy balls will keep you going. They’re packed with protein-rich hemp seeds and almonds, and filled with fibre from the coconut and dates.

The signature chai spices — cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and black pepper — are warming, grounding, and soothing. Not only that, but many of them can help to promote digestive health, balance our blood sugar, and boost immunity.

They’re great as a breakfast on-the-go, mid-afternoon pick-me-up, or indulgent dessert (just add 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder). What are you waiting for – give them a try!

RECIPE

Makes 18 – 20 bites

Note: Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list – you should have most of these items already in your pantry. And if not, you can stock up right here at Faithful to Nature – we guarantee you’ll find lots of delicious ways to use them!

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

  1. Toast 2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut until lightly browned.
  2. Pulse almonds and ½ cup desiccated coconut in a food processor until completely ground (no chunks of almonds!).
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the 2 tablespoons of toasted coconut, and blend in the food processor until all ingredients are combined into a dough-like consistency.
  4. Press chunks of the dough into a ball in your hands, then roll dough into balls with the palms of your hands. If you’d like, roll them in the toasted, desiccated coconut.

Store in the refrigerator in a glass container. They will firm up in the fridge because the coconut oil will cause them to “set” at that cooler temperature.

If you want them to be a little softer, feel free to set them out on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes before eating. As you chew them slowly, they will feel like they are melting in your mouth.

Adapted from: Mind Body Green.