Delicious Vegan Smoothie – Banana, Pear and Flax

This delicious vegan smoothie is quick and easy to make. It is perfect for quick breakfast or healthy snack any time of the day. There is no need to peel the pear, just remove the stalk and core if desired before adding to the other ingredients. This vegan smoothie is also gluten free.
Serves 1

1 pear
1 banana
150ml non-dairy milk
2 tbsp vanilla soya yoghurt
2 tbsp linseeds

Place all ingredients into a blender or smoothie maker and blend until smooth.

 

Swaps

  • Use plain, strawberry or coconut yoghurt instead.
  • Use different milks such as soya, rice, almond, coconut or hemp.
  • Use other seeds or even nuts in place of the linseeds.

 

Hints and Tips

  • Freeze into delicious and healthy smoothie pops or ice cream.
  • Can be kept but will turn brown after a while. Even if this happens the smoothie is still ok to drink.
  • For lower powered blenders use ground flaxseed instead of linseeds. These could be swapped for ground almonds or other nuts and seeds.
  • Add a couple of strawberries or use a very ripe banana for a sweeter smoothie.

 

Pear

Pears are available in a variety of types and can be soft and sweet or firmer and crunchy. They are packed full of health giving nutrients including fibre, antioxidants, vitamin C, copper, iron, potassium and B complex vitamins making this vegan smoothie a great and healthy choice.

Banana

Bananas are a healthy choice when looking for energy rich foods. They also help to give this vegan smoothie its creamy smoothie texture. Bananas are soft and easily digestible so are a great choice for children, the elderly or anyone who is unwell. They are a good source of vitamin-B6 and also contain vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, fibre and manganese.

Linseed

Linseed, or flaxseed as it is often known are packed full of nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, riboflavin, thiamin, folate and pantothenic acid. These chewy seeds also contain a range of minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium.

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Ten Easy and Vegan Ways to Use Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is a great vegan alternative to dairy milks and has a range of uses. It is available in tins and this is generally a thicker milk that is perfect for curries and a thinner milk for drinking can be bought in cartons. It can be used to replace dairy milks in hot drinks, for putting on cereal or making porridge and coconut milk also makes a delicious and creamy hot chocolate.

1. Tinned coconut milk can be whipped like dairy cream to use on desserts and hot drinks. Refrigerated a can of coconut milk until well chilled (overnight is also ok). Now open the can and carefully remove the thicker layer that has settled on top, stopping once you reach the thinner water underneath. This thick creamy layer can be whipped using an electric beater or hand whisk just as you would double cream. Sugar and flavorings can also be added if desired. The thin watery liquid left in the bottom of the tin can be drunk or added to fruit juices or smoothies.

2. Add to soups when recipes call for dairy cream.

3. Mix tinned coconut milk with passata to create a dairy free pasta bake sauce. Pour over cooked pasta and bake until heated through and slightly crisp on top. The bake could be topped with vegan cheese.

4. Add to mash potato instead of milk and dairy free spread. This also works well with other mashed root veg such as carrot and swede, sweet potato and squashes.

4. Add to banana, mango, pineapple and kiwi for a delicious tropical smoothie. Coconut milk and pineapple juice also makes a refreshing and delicious drink.

5. Tinned coconut milk can be used to make a quick and easy curry when combined with the curry paste of your choice.

5. Cook rice in coconut milk to add n exotic flavour.

6. Dissolve cocoa in a little hot water and pour in hot coconut milk to create a creamy dairy free hot chocolate.

7. Use tinned coconut milk to create dairy free vegan fudge. An example recipe can be found here.

8. Use coconut milk in place of other milks when making rice pudding. The thinner drinking type is best for this.

9. Make great healthy ice lollies for children (and adults!) by blending coconut milk with fruits and then freezing in lolly molds.

10. Make coconut ice cream.

 

Ten Easy uses for coconut milk

Photo Source: Nize, [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

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Quick and Easy Gluten Free Vegan Dahl Recipe

Gluten free vegan dahl

This recipe for gluten free vegan dahl is highly adaptable and can be made with pretty much any vegetable you wish. Swap the ingredients for whatever you happen to have in the fridge and this is also a great recipe for using up small amounts of leftover veg. To enure even cooking cut the vegetables into small even sized pieces. This gluten free vegan dahl can be served on it’s own, with other Indian dishes or as simply with some warm pitta or nann bread. If desired the dah could be served with rice, cous cous or even pasta.

 

Serves 4

1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 green chilli, finley diced and deseeded (for a hotter dahl add the seeds to the dahl as well)
1 carrot, finely diced
5 cherry tomatoes, finely diced
50g butternut squash, finely diced
1 spring onion, finely sliced
Olive oil, for frying
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
150g red lentils
900ml vegetable stock or water
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a little oil in a pan until hot. Add the vegetables and chilli and then reduce the heat a little. Cook gently for five minutes.

2. Stir in the spices and cook for a further minute.

3. Add the lentils and stock or water to the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are soft.

 

 

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How to Create a Gemstone Angel Keyring

Angel keyring

This step by step tutorial will show you how to create a pretty angel keyring using gemstones and silver findings. I have chosen to use snow quartz beads as I made the angel keyring as a winter holiday gift. Any gemstone or other bead in the right size will work fine for creating the angel keyring so feel free to use your favourite stone. The keyring could be customised by using a favourite stone or combination of stones, birthstones or stones that are relevant due to their healing properties.

These angels can also be made using gold plated findings or indeed any of your choice. Black coated findings would be nice with some gemstones such as clear or rose quartz, amethyst or tigers eye. Hair or a hat can be added to the angels using decorative bead caps. Oval shaped beads could also be used to create an angel with a longer body shape. However in this case, depending on the length of bead chosen; a longer headpin may be required.

 

Tools

Wire cutters
Round nosed Pliers

Materials

Split ring with chain keyring
2.4cm angel wing
4.5cm head pin
6mm snow quartz bead
8mm snow quartz bead

 

1. Create the angel by placing the beads onto the headpin in the following order: 8mm snow quartz bead, angel wings and then finally the 6mm snow quartz bead.

angel keyring

 

2. Bend the end of the headpin over above the 6mm bead and trim so that there is approximately 1cm remaining.

angel keyring

 

3. Using the round nosed pliers, create a loop in the end of the headpin.

angel keyring

4. Open the ring on the end of the keyring finding chain. Attach this ring to the loop created in step 3. Close the ring.

 

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Vegan Rice and Greens. A Twist on Rice and Peas

I created this vegan rice dish based on the Jamaican rice and peas. Rice and peas came be found in many variations but the basic ingredients are rice and beans – often kidney or black beans. Chillies are often included as well as herbs and flavours such coconut.

One of my favourite vegan rice meals to make is stir fried basmati rice with mixed veg. I prefer basmati rice as it has a nicer texture and I also find that is less soft once cooked, but any rice will work fine. I stir fry the previously cooked and cooled rice with whatever vegetables I happen to have in the fridge. Frozen mixed veg are also a great stand by for making this in a hurry.

Spring onions and peas are two of my favourite veg so I decided to combine them with some leftover rice and rice and greens was born! When I cook rice I often cook extra and then freeze this in one portion sizes to be used later. The packages are prefect for if I am only cooking for myself or for reheating with leftover curry or chilli. If you want to save rice once it has been cooked it should be cooled as quickly as possible. The rice should then be stored in the fridge or placed in the freezer.

Recipe notes

This recipe is also gluten free if you use tamari sauce. If you do not need to avoid gluten or wheat the tamari can be substituted with soy sauce.

If you prefer you can swap any vegan oil for the sunflower oil. However some may change the end taste of the recipe.

Vegan Rice and Peas

Serves 2

150g (6oz) basmati rice, cooked and cooled
100g (4oz) spring onions
80g (3oz) frozen peas
1 tbsp. tamari
Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp. sunflower oil

1. Slice the spring onions and place in a bowl with the peas. Mix to combine.

2. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the rice, peas, spring onions and tamari and cook stirring until hot and the peas are completely cooked.

3. Season to taste with freshly ground salt and pepper.

 

vegan rice

 

 

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NaNoWriMo 2014 is Here! Time to Get Writing.

NaNoWriMo

It’s November which means it is NaNoWriMo time again. I completed the challenge in 2012 but was unable to take part last year due to time constraints. In 2012 I wrote a draft of a novel that I haven’t gotten back to since and am still not sure what I want to do with. If anything at all. This time round I am going to join the Rebels and write my 50,000 words but not as a novel. Instead I am going to write a mixture of recipes, Hubs, tutorials, blog posts and articles on a range of subjects. I am a little behind as my laptop broke so I only got started yesterday but hopefully I will be able to catch up ok.

A few weeks ago I made a list of ideas that I could use a start point for NaNoWriMo which should be a big help. I have found that joining is great motivation too, especially once past the half way point. In 2013 I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo twice and wrote 10,000 words for the first and 15,000 the second time round. For both I wrote a combination of material and projects.

 

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50 Quick and Easy Vegan Snack Ideas

Many people think that vegan food is complicated, expensive or even boring. In fact nothing could be further from the truth.

This list of fifty vegan snack ideas shows that it is possible to eat a huge variety of meals and foods. This list of vegan snacks also shows that many everyday foods are already vegan. In other cases there is a large range of alternative vegan versions of foods. These include non-dairy milks, yoghurts, condiments such as mayonnaise and breads.

%0 vegan snack ideas

Photo source: Fir0002, [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons

1) Banana on toast
2) Granola bars
3) Stuffed mushrooms
4) Stuffed peppers
5) Potato hash
6) Sweet potato fries
7) Vegetable tempura
8) Stir fried veg
9) Rice with mixed veg
10) Trail mixes
11) Dried fruit and nuts
12) Tortilla chips and salsa
13) Peanut butter and banana sandwich
14) Fruit salad
15) Sliced apple sprinkled with cinnamon
16) Nachos
17) Pasta salad
18) Baked beans on toast
19) Avocado chocolate mousse
20) Pancakes
21) Popcorn
22) Roasted vegetables
23) Kale chips
24) Roasted chick peas or beans
25) Soya yoghurt
26) Fruit leathers
27) Pitta bread and hummus
28) Instant noodles
29) Rice crackers with peanut butter or jam
30) Vegan ice cream
31) Cereal
32) Oatmeal or porridge
33) Vegetable sticks and dips
34) Smoothies
35) Vegetable crisps
36) Mushrooms on toast
37) Baked bananas with toffee
38) Vegetable soups
39) Bean chilli
40) Falafel
41) Salad
42) Potato salad
43) Mushrooms fried with garlic and olive oil
44) Pasta with pesto
45) Lentil dhal
46) Carrot sticks and hummus
47) Bruschetta
48) Crackers with vegan cheese and salsa
49) Sweet pizza
50) Baked plantain chips

 

Vegan dahl. 50 vegan snack ideas

Vegan Dahl

 

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Vegan Protein Banana and Berry Smoothie

Vegan Protein Smoothie

A delicious smoothie with a bit of a vegan protein kick that could be great for a quick vegan breakfast or snack. The smoothie is gluten/wheat/soya and nut free and lasts well for a day or two in the fridge. Be sure to place it in a sealed container or bottle as the berries mean that it can stain if spilt.

Makes approximately 500ml/2 servings

Ingredients

1 cup water
1 average sized banana1 cup summer fruits
1 tbsp. vegan protein powder
1/2 cup spinach

In order, place the ingredients into a blender jug. If your blender has a setting for smoothies select that and blend. If not simply blend the vegan protein smoothie until smooth.

Strain through a muslin, jelly bag or fine sieve to remove the seeds, if desired and serve.

 

Hints and Tips

If you do not have a high powdered blender you may need to remove the spinach stalks before adding them to the jug.

If you like your smoothies thicker you can reduce the water to 1/2 cup. Using a larger banana will also produce a thicker smoothie though will also give it a more banana taste.

For a thinner smoothie simply add more water at the start or after blending. If you unsure how much extra water to add then it is best done after blending as you can stir in small amounts at a time and monitor the thickness easier. Make a note of the total water used for an easier smoothie next time you make this vegan protein smoothie.

If you have a high powered blender capable of crushing ice you can also add 2-3 ice cups to the recipe to thin it or make an ice cold smoothie.

3

 

Vegan Protein Powders

There are several different protein powders available that are suitable for vegans. These include pea protein, soya, hemp and rice proteins. It is also possible to buy a mixed protein that is made from a variety of ingredients including lentils, beans and seeds. Each powder has a different nutritional profile and the protein content can vary, along with the amount of carbohydrates, fat and calories in each serving. Price also vary depending on type and brand. Some of the powders, such as hemp have a distinct taste of their own whereas pea protein for example is more neutral. In some cases vegan protein powders can be bought ready flavoured. These can be great for making quick shakes just buy mixing with water or dairy free milk or can add additional flavour to smoothies and green shakes.

Although not entirely vegan, this men’s fitness site has some more detailed information on many vegan and vegetarian protein powders.

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One Pot Vegan Vegetable Biryani Recipe (Gluten Free)

one pot vegan biryani

This delicious one pot vegan biryani is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It is also free from many foods people are commonly allergic or intolerant too including wheat, gluten, soya and nuts. The recipe is completely dairy free and contains no animal products.

It is a great recipe for using up those little bits of veg leftover from other recipes. Feel free to use whichever vegetables you like best or happen to have that need using up. The recipe freeze well and this one pot vegan meal can also be eaten cold.

Prep time: 15 min     Cook time: 30 min     Ready in: 45 min     Yields: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups basmati rice, cooked (see note)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water, hot
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 2 cups vegetables of your choice
  • 1/2 can chickpeas or other pulse

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add turmeric, salt, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne. Cook stirring for 1 minute.
  2. Pour in the hot water and add all of the vegetables and chickpeas. Stir well and cover.
  3. Simmer gently until all the vegetables are tender. Add more water during cooking if needed and salt to taste.
  4. If you feel there is too much liquid left once the vegetables are cooked, 1tbsp cornflour mixed with a little cold water can be used to thicken the sauce.
  5. Stir in the cooked rice and serve.

 

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