Anna Vrakas

BERRY & BANANA BREAKFAST LOAF

The best thing about this recipe is that you can literally throw in whatever fruit you have lying around. I had bananas and berries so that’s what I used, but you could easily substitute them for something else. I usually make it on a Sunday evening so I don’t need to think about breakfast on a Monday morning.

Berry and Banana Breakfast Loaf

250g ground almonds
½ tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
50g butter or coconut oil
4 eggs, separated
3 tbsp palmyra jaggery natural sweetener
1 ripe banana, mashed
handful of blueberries
handful of raspberries

Start by preheating the oven to 160 degrees. You’ll also need a loaf tin that you should cover in greaseproof paper.

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together: ground almonds, baking soda, pinch of salt and Sugavida palmyra or alternative.

Melt the butter or oil over a very low heat, being careful not to burn it. Pour it into the dry ingredients and give it a quick mix.

Then add in your berries and mashed up banana.

Separate your 4 eggs. Put the egg yolk into the almond flour mixture and beat them in well. Place the egg whites into a separate bowl.

Using an electric hand whisk, you’ll need to whisk your egg whites until they form soft peaks. Add quarter of the egg whites into the mixture and beat them in, then add another quarter and continue to beat in.

Add the third quarter but this time gently fold in, then fold in the last bit. This is what will help your loaf rise beautifully so don’t be tempted mix it in anymore then you need to.

Pour the mixture into your loaf tin and bake for an hour.

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Serve warm fresh from the oven or store in an airtight container. 

Enjoy
Anna x

CHICKPEA PASTA

Pasta has always been my ultimate favorite food. In my house we famously have our pasta Mondays and if I miss it, then pasta is definitely on the menu for Tuesday (and Wednesday and Thursday… just kidding). However the more I learnt about nutrition and over processed white flour, the more I began to look for alternatives to my pasta staple. Chickpea pasta is just as versatile, but much higher in fibre and vitamins. 1 cup of chickpea pasta could give you around 50% of your iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. It also has a delicate nutty flavour that I just love!

Chickpea Pasta

350g gram flour (chickpea flour)
4 eggs
pinch of salt

Run the gram flour through a sieve into a large bowl, add the salt and make a well in the centre of it.

Then crack the 4 eggs into the centre of the well and begin to mix it in. You can do this with a wooden spoon, but I always prefer to get stuck in there and use my hands. Mix it all in so that it forms a ball of dough.

Sprinkle some extra flour on your counter and begin to knead your dough. The more you knead it the more you will build up elasticity. I would recommend kneading for at least 10 minutes.

Divide your dough into 4 and flatten one piece out with your fingertips, then pass it through your pasta machine on the largest setting. Then fold it out into 3 and pass it through again. 

After a couple of times, set the pasta machine to the smaller setting and repeat the process.

You’ll need to keep doing this until it passes though the smallest setting with ease.

Now its time to cut your pasta. When I made mine I cut it into long strips (tagliatelle) using a pizza cutter.  You can get pasta cutters that will make your strips nice and even, but if you don’t have one, it’ll just make them look more homemade. Alternatively, you could even cut them into shapes or use them as lasagna sheets.

Dust your strands with some more flour and place them on a tray until you are ready to cook.

To cook, boil the water with a pinch of salt, then throw the pasta in. Depending on how thick you have rolled it out it can take anywhere from 5-8 minutes to cook. You’ll need to just keep an eye on it and do a little bit of tasting along the way.

I served mine with some fresh tomatoes and basil sauce, but can easily substitute these into any of your favorite pasta recipes.

Let us know how you get on. 
Anna x

 

 

 

RAW RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE

I honestly believe this is one of the most delicious raw desserts I have ever made. It’s lucky there was anything left to layer on top of the base as I came close to eating it straight out of the bowl. It’s hard to believe this isn’t just healthy, but actually packed with nutrients. It’s indulgent, light and definitely a show-stopper.

RASPBERRY & MATCHA RAW CHEESECAKE

  • 250g cashews (soaked in hot water for at least an hour)
  • 150g almonds
  • 8 medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4-heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1tbsp Sugavida (Palmyra Jaggery)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 large handfuls of raspberries
  • 1 tsp good quality matcha tea
  • edible flowers to decorate with

You’ll need a round cake tin (preferably 22inch) with greaseproof paper on the base.

For the base, start by placing the almonds in a food processor and blitzing until they are broken down but not completely powdered. Then remove the pip from the centre of the dates, roughly chop them and blitz them with the almonds and coconut oil. When I made this it was pretty hot so my coconut oil was liquid. If yours is solid, pop it in the microwave for a couple of seconds.

You’ll need to blend this until all the almonds and dates are fully mixed into a sticky mix. Then spread it out on the base. You’ll probably need to use your fingers or whatever you can get your hands on. Just make sure it’s compactly pushed in and as flat as you can get it.

Next, drain the soaked cashews and place them in the blender along with 3 of the 4 tbsp of natural yoghurt (keep 1 tbsp to the side) and 1 tbsp of Sugavida. You’ll need to blend this until it’s a smooth cream with as few cashew lumps as possible.

Then take out half the cream from the blender and put it in a bowl to the side. Add in the raspberries and continue to blend it until the raspberries are all blended up. You’ll need to then spread that out on top of the base.

To the other half of the cream add the remaining yoghurt and the tsp of matcha and mix it until it’s evenly distributed.  Then spread this on top of the raspberry layer.

You can then decorate it with edible flowers, extra raspberries, nuts or whatever else you have lying around. Pop it in the fridge to firm up a bit before you try to remove it from the cake tin. 

Enjoy! 
Anna x

CHIA SEED BISCUITS

These biscuits are utterly addictive and they were created on a whim. I was having a bout of the cookie cravings and decided to mix some almond and buckwheat flour with some chia seed pudding I had left over from my breakfast. To my surprise it turned into really easy to use dough, which baked into incredibly crunchy biscuits. They are gluten free, refined sugar free and dairy free. Not too shabby for a chocolate biscuit.

Thanks to the Palmyra Jaggery they’ll satisfy your sweet cravings without feeding an unhealthy sugar addiction as well as providing you with 15 different minerals and vitamins.

for the biscuits
makes 18-20

  • 3 tbsp chia seeds (soaked in the almond milk for an hour)
  • 150 ml almond milk
  • 100 g buckwheat flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp Palmyra Jaggery (sugavida)
  • seeds of one vanilla pod

    for the chocolate
     
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form)
  • 1 ½ tbsp raw cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp Palmyra Jaggery

Method

Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

If you haven’t already soaked your chia seeds, add the almond milk and seeds into a bowl and leave them for an hour until they turn gloopy. Then split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Add those to the chia seed mix.

Preheat the oven to 150˚C.

In a bowl, sieve the flour and ground almonds then add the soaked chia seeds and start to combine those ingredients until you have a dough.

To make it easier to roll out the dough, place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

Sprinkle some flour on your surface, and start to roll out the dough. You’ll need to roll it out to about ½ cm thick. To make sure it doesn’t stick to your surface, I usually lay out a sheet of baking paper under the dough before I start to roll it out.

Then using a pizza cutter, cut it into rectangles of around 2cm by 4cm and lay them out onto a baking tray.

You’ll then need to bake them for around 16 minutes until they get crispy (depending on your oven they may need a little longer) but keep an eye on them as they can burn pretty quickly. Once they are ready, put them on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes.

To make the chocolate coating, pop the coconut, cocoa and Palmyra Jaggery in to a ban marie and gently stir it until it melts. Once it's fully melted, put it to the side to cool down a little.

You can then either dip half the cookies or use a brush to brush it on, then pop it back on the rack to dry.

Enjoy! 
Anna x

CHOCOLATE & STRAWBERRY CAKE

In this second recipe by Anna Vrakas from Conscious Food, we can enjoy the taste of summertime with ripe strawberries and the unexpected addition of MCL favourite superfood, avocado. You really can have your cake and eat it...

Ingredients

cake

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 75g Palmyra Jaggery
  • 175g buckwheat flour
  • 25g raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 200ml almond milk
  • 75g softened butter

frosting & filling

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 40g butter or coconut oil 
  • 100g dark chocolate (highest cocoa content you can find) 
  • 2 tbsp Palmyra Jaggery
  • 50ml almond milk
  • handful of strawberries

Method

Preheat the oven to 160˚C. Grease two 15cm baking tins and line with baking paper.

Start by mixing the avocado and Palmyra Jaggery together using either a food processor or an electric hand whisk. Once they are well combined add in the rest of the ingredients and continue to mix for a couple of minutes.

Divide between the two tins and bake for around 25 minutes. To test if they are ready, stick a knife into the center and see if it comes out clean.

Put the cakes on a rack to cool while you make the frosting.

Firstly, melt the chocolate and butter over a ban marie, then put to the side.

Mix the avocado and Palmyra Jaggery using an electric hand whisk and slowly add the milk. Once that’s well combined, pour in the chocolate and continue to whisk. Then slice the strawberries.

Take one of the cakes and spread half the frosting on the top and spread the strawberries out. Then place the other cake on top and spread the rest of the frosting on top.

You can decorate it with some extra strawberries or some nuts.


This cake can be kept in the fridge for a few days (if it lasts that long!)