Smoothie Bowl with Homemade Granola

¡Hola Pola Granola!

This granola has got a story to it, and I’ll start this new year by telling you about my spiritual and healing journey through the universe and layers of time and … no, wait. Just kidding. I’m not really that spiritual. -bummer. But I did do some “crazy” things in 2015!

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So, some time ago, a friend of mine that studies Journalism had to make a documentary as a part of one of her graduation tasks. She decided to go with the topic of Superfoods and the hype that’s been created around it.
We thought it would be fun to do a little experiment by putting me on a Superfood diet for a month, and thereby proving its effectiveness.

Turned out it wasn’t that fun at all.

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I’m not gonna bore you by telling you about how I came to hate “superfoods” in the end (not all of them ofcourse) – you’d have to watch the documentary for that. But I can say that this granola has been a life saver and something that I could eat everyday for a month straight -with “superfoods” in them- without wanting to throw it out of a window. Together with the delicious vegan Lovechock chocolate ❤ and piles of fruit.

But let’s talk crazy delicious granola for now.

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I think by now everybody knows how much I like change, and you can pimp this granola up with so many ingredients, that it turns out to be like the god of all granola recipes. Or something like a chameleon granola or whatever. I’ve already made this recipe with honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, pistachios, mashed banana, pecan nuts, pumpkin spice, faerie dust, chocolate chips, and so on. The possibilities are endless.

And the great thing is that you can eat it for breakfast with some yogurt and fruit, as a snack with a fruit bowl and chocolate, for dinner, for lunch, for pre-lunch, for after-lunch, for dessert; basically just all through the day – and it’s quite a healthy snack too! So no stuffed turkey feeling or sense of guilt, just plain granola.


This recipe is only a guideline to how you could make your granola (it’s how I like it most), but you can easily use different types of nuts, spices or seeds, to whatever suits your mood.

Homemade Granola {Vegan & Sugar-free}

Ingredients

  • 135 g (1 & 1/2 cup) -instant- oatmeal flakes
  • 40 g (3 tbsp) coconut oil
  • 50 g (2/3 cup) agave -/honey/maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 45 g (1/2 cup) pecans -/walnuts/almonds
  • 45 g (1/2 cup) pistachios
  • 3 tbsp puffed quinoa
  • 4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • a pinch of salt
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) dried cranberries + 1 tsp coconut oil

Instruction

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350F
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the coconut oil together with the agave (or substitute) and vanilla extract. Remove from heat when the coconut oil is melted and pour in the oatmeal flakes. Mix all the dry ingredients together on a chopping board -except for the cranberries -, chop them into coarse chunks, and pour them into the oatmeal mixture.
  3. File a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture evenly onto the sheet.
  4. Bake the granola for about 17 – 23 minutes, but make sure that you check your bake now and then to make sure that the edges don’t burn. If the edges tend to get dark brown but the center is still blank, just take the granola out of the oven, cut the edges off and lay them aside, and put the baking tray back into the oven.
  5. Put the dried cranberries and the tbsp of coconut oil in a little ramequin or something heatproof and put it in the oven with the granola for the last 5 minutes. You could also use other dried fruits or berries.
  6. Once the granola looks golden brown, remove it from the oven, wait until it has cooled off a bit, and add the cranberries. If you don’t like your granola chunky, give it a good toss to break the clumps.
  7. When completely cooled down, store in an airtight container or jar, and devour whenever you feel like it. The granola can be stored for up to a week without losing its crunch!

Smoothie bowl

Simply blend frozen blueberries, raspberries, 1 banana, some Greek or vegan yogurt, and water until smooth, and cover with passion fruit, sliced banana, slices figs, chocolate chunks, or whatever you desire. Making smoothie bowls is a matter of testing out what ingredients you like best and how thick/thin you want your mixture to be. There’s no right amount of fruit or yogurt to use, so knock yourself out on experimenting!

 

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Granola {Vegan & Suikervrij}

Ingrediënten

  • 135 g havermout
  • 40 g kokosolie
  • 50 g agave siroop (/honing/esdoorn siroop)
  • 1 tl vanille essence
  • 45 g pecannoten (/walnoten/amandelnoten/…)
  • 45 g pistachenoten
  • 3 el gepofte quinoa
  • 4 el pompoenzaad
  • 1 el lijnzaad
  • snuifje zout
  • 50 g gedroogde veenbessen + 1 el kokosolie

Instructies

  1. Verwarm de oven voor op 175°C
  2. Doe de kokosolie, agave (of vervanger), en vanille extract in een pan en verwarm op een laag tot medium vuur. Haal van het vuur wanneer de kokosolie gesmolten is en voeg de havermout eraan toe.
  3. Meng de droge ingrediënten -behalve de veenbessen- en hak ze in grove stukken op een snijplank. Voeg ze bij het havermoutmengsel.
  4. Bedek een bakplaat met bakpapier en spreid het mengsel gelijk over de plaat.
  5. Bak de granola 17 – 23 minuten in de oven, maar hou het baksel in de gaten aangezien de randen nogal snel verbranden. Als de randen donkerbruin beginnen te worden maar het midden nog wit is, haal dan de plaat uit de oven, snij de randen van de granola en leg ze opzij. Steek de bakplaat terug in de oven en wacht tot de rest goudbruin is alvorens ze opzij te zetten om te koelen.
  6. Doe de gedroogde veenbessen en el kokosolie in een vuurvast kommetje en steek het de laatste 5 minuten in de oven bij de granola. Je kan natuurlijk ook andere gedroogde vruchten gebruiken!
  7. Als de granola lauw is kan je de veenbessen eraan toevoegen en, afhankelijk of je graag een fijne of grove granola hebt, de granola wat opbreken in stukken en door elkaar mengen.
  8. Wanneer de granola helemaal is afgekoeld kan je ze bewaren in een luchtdichte container of glazen pot, en ze opeten wanneer je maar wil. Ze kan ongeveer een week bewaard worden voor ze haar krokantheid verliest!

Smoothie

Doe bevroren (of verse) bosbessen, frambozen, 1 banaan, wat Griekse of vegan yoghurt , and wat water in een blender en mix het tot een glad mengsel. Voeg er daarna passievrucht, stukjes banaan, stukjes vijgen of wat chocolade aan toe en geniet.
Een goede smoothie maken hangt af van welk fruit je zelf graag eet en welke consistentie je graag drinkt (dik of lopend), dus er bestaan niet echt vaste hoeveelheden voor. Experimenteer en personaliseer je smoothie naar hartelust!

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Credos to myself for taking the pictures! I took them on my doorstep dressed in my onesie while the temperate was like 7°C, so yeah, I deserve a pat on the shoulder.

The original recipe is adapted from http://minimalistbaker.com/banana-bread-granola/ and let me tell you that the version with mashed bananas isn’t that bad either, so try it out! 😉

The chocolate (vegan & sugar-free) is from a Dutch brand named Lovechock (http://www.lovechock.com/en/) and it’s incredibly tasty!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cake

I now declare pumpkin season officially open!

Let’s pumpkin everything! Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Pumpkin cookies, Pumpkin pie; bring it on! Because pumpkin spice and everything nice, that’s what fall is made of.
Or not. Because I live in Belgium.
We ain’t got pumpkin spice mixes or canned pumpkin over here, and that’s why I spent my weekends peeling and cutting up pumpkins the entire fall. Not that I don’t like it, because there are worse veggies to be cutting, such as onions. And I even dare say there’s a certain art to cutting up these orange spheres of loveliness, but nothing beats creating a good ol’ pumpkin shaped pumpkin cake with pumpkin frosting. I just love making things that are made out of things and filled with things. There’s no holding back in pumpkin season!

Oh I’m definitely not holding back, and neither should you. So start baking already!

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This cake may seem like a lot of work but it’s actually a piece of cake (<- see what I did there?).
The only things you’ll need are the right baking tins, the ingredients, and a pack of orange fondant. I bought my baking tins of 10cm/4 inch diameter at Dille & Kamille (http://www.dille-kamille.nl/nl/shop/c/102/a/5123/tulbandvorm-anti-aanbak-10-cm) and when you put them on top of each other, they form a perfect sphere, doing a pumpkin right.

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The batter is just a regular spiced batter that doesn’t need a lot of time to bake, and the frosting is also just a regular frosting, mainly to keep the fondant in place. Beware of the frosting though. The ingredients really need to be at the same (room)temperature for it curdles quite quickly. And trust me when I tell you this. I’ve already made about a million batches of buttercream, and half of those curdled because of my inability to wait.

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Another potential tricky part of assembling the cake might be putting on the fondant and making sure it doesn’t get damaged during the process.
I rolled out mine pretty thin, so I had to put it over the sphere in one time because once the frosting sticks to the fondant, it kind of melts into it, and when it does and you’re not prepared, you’re doomed. But don’t worry! If you just follow the instructions, you’ll have a lovely little cake to present at your Halloween party. It’ll be yummy and totally fit the theme at the same time.

composition


Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients

Cake

  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 g (1 & 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 90 g (1/4 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 125 g (3/4 cup) pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Buttercream frosting

  • 110 g (4 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 30 g (1/8 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 g (1 cup) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Orange and black fondant

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F and butter 4 mini bundt cake tins.
  2. Cake: Mix together butter, sugar, and salt until creamy. Add the eggs one by one, and mix until well incorporated. Add the flour, cinnamon, and baking powder, and then the sour cream and pumpkin puree. Pour the cake batter into the cake tins and bake them for about 25 – 30 minutes. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before taking it out of the tin.
  3. Frosting: Make sure that all ingredients are on room temperature and the room you’re in isn’t too hot. Then just mix the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy, and add the powdered sugar. Again, mix well until creamy.
  4. Construction: Take 2 bundt cakes and smear them all round with buttercream. Place them on top of each other (as shown on the picture), and then place the sphere on a platform that would make it easy for you to top the cake with fondant. For example, I’ve put it on the bottom of a wine glass.
  5. Roll out the fondant and drape it over the cake sphere. Gently streak out any bumps and make sure the fondant is evenly distributed. With the back of a knife, gently carve in the ribs of the pumpkin. Create a stem with the black fondant and put it on top of your bake.
  6. Et voila! You can cut into your very own sweet mini pumpkin.

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Pompoen Cake

Ingrediënten

Cake

  • 113 g ongezouten boter, op kamertemperatuur
  • 200 g kristalsuiker
  • 1/2 tl zout
  • 2 grote eieren
  • 150 g bloem
  • 1 tl kaneel
  • 1/2 tl muskaatnoot
  • 1/2 tl kruidnagel
  • 1 tl bakpoeder
  • 90 g zure room, op kamertemperatuur
  • 125 g pompoenpuree (1 kleine pompen volstaat)
  • 1 tl vanille aroma

Frosting

  • 110 g roomkaas, op kamertemperatuur
  • 30 g ongezouten boter, op kamertemperatuur
  • 100 g bloemsuiker
  • 1/2 tl vanille aroma

Oranje en zwarte rolfondant

Instructies

  1. Verwarm de oven voor op 175°C and vet 4 tulbandvormige kleine cakevormpjes in.
  2. Cake: Mix de boter, suiker, en zout tot een glad geheel. Voeg de eieren 1 voor 1 toe en mix tot een glad geheel. Doe de bloem, kruiden, en bakpoeder bij het beslag, en voeg vervolgens de zure room en pompoenpuree toe. Meng tot alles geïncorporeerd is, en verdeel het beslag in de verschillende cakevormpjes. Bak ze ongeveer 25 – 30 minuten en laat ze 10 minuten afkoelen alvorens de cakejes uit de vormen te halen. Laat ze daarna volledig afkoelen.
  3. Frosting: Zorg ervoor dat alle ingrediënten op dezelfde (kamer)temperatuur zijn, en dat de kamer waarin je de frosting maakt niet te warm is. Mix de roomkaas en boter tot een glad geheel, en voeg er daarna de suiker geleidelijk aan aan toe.
  4. Construction: Neem 2 cakejes en smeer ze volledig in met een (dunne) laag frosting. Zet ze op elkaar, als getoond op de foto’s, and zet de cakebol vervolgens op een verhoogje om de fondant aan te brengen. Ik heb mijn cake bijvoorbeeld op de onderkant van een wijnglas gezet.
  5. Rol de fondant plat en drapeer ze over de cakebol. Strijk eventuele oneffenheden voorzichtig weg en zorg ervoor dat de fondant over heel de bol verdeeld is. Je kan een teveel aan fondant wegsnijden, maar wees voorzichtig dat je ze daardoor niet scheurt. Maak daarna met de achterkant van een mes de inkepingen van de pompoen na en vorm een steeltje met de zwarte rolfondant.
  6. Voila! Klaar om je zoete mini pompoen te presenteren.

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PUMPKIN! Okay that was the very last time I said it. From now on I’ll just start calling it the P-word. Not to be confused with another P-word ofcourse. Oh lord, stop taking over dirty mind!

Sorry not sorry that this cake turned out quite bumpy and the pictures aren’t that nice, but at least I’ve got something to present at Halloween 😉 .

I adapted the original recipe from http://www.grandbaby-cakes.com/2014/10/pumpkin-pound-cake/ and I’m quite certain that this cake is at least as good with the brown butter glaze. So do not hesitate to try this, and let me know ofcourse.
The frosting is from http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/12/08/gingerbread-cupcakes/ and I even added some more pumpkin puree, a tbsp of flour, and spices to the frosting, just to give it that little extra P.

Happy Halloween y’all!