VEGAN RHUBARB LAYER CAKE + SUPPER CLUB ANNOUNCEMENT WITH SALVIA LIMONE (V+, ChF, GF)

VEGAN RHUBARB LAYER CAKE + SUPPER CLUB ANNOUNCEMENT WITH SALVIA LIMONE (V+, ChF, GF)

These past few weeks I've felt like a little school girl, desperate to spill the beans but bound to secrecy. (Though if left to my own devices, I would have told ALL in a blink of an eye.) So what is it that I've been dying to tell you? Well, if you don't live in or around London, let me warn you, this is gonna be a little bit of a letdown. And if you DO live in London but aren't available on Thursday the 27th of April, 2017 then this will be an even bigger letdown. OK so, pre-warnings done and dusted....

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VEGAN CHESTNUT CHRISTMAS COOKIES DIPPED IN POMEGRANATE GLAZE (ChF, V+) WITH TWIGG STUDIOS

VEGAN CHESTNUT CHRISTMAS COOKIES DIPPED IN POMEGRANATE GLAZE WITH TWIGG STUDIOS (ChF, V+)

As I woke the morning of Tuesday, November 8th, I was feeling pretty antsy, unsettled. And as the day progressed my unease grew into unmeasureable stress; my tummy felt like it was tied in a knot and by the end of the day I felt physically sick. Why? Cuz I knew there was a real chance that Trump could win. I dare not have said it out loud that faithful day, but I was well aware that it wasn't unimagineable. Till now I'm not sure how the man and the boy in my life managed to put up with me on the 8th or the days that followed for that matter as I was not myself, stressed beyond belief. But, in fairness I had good right to be, cuz when I woke in the odd hours of the morning Wednesday, November 9th (UK time), my worst fears were turning into reality - Trump was leading, taking all the key state along with him.

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VEGAN MINI LAYER CAKE WITH CREAM 'CHEESE' FROSTING + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (ChF, GF, NF, V+, V)

VEGAN NAKED MINI LAYER CAKE WITH CREAM 'CHEESE' FROSTING + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (ChF, GF, NF, V+, V)

SIDENOTE: If you are looking for the gluten-free version of this cute little cake, then please head over to Heal's blog for the full recipe + a handful of other pictures. Heal's kindly provided the totally lush grey linen you see in the pictures here and I'm super grateful for their generosity in making this blog post what it is :).  

ON TO THE MAIN SHOW ;): It's hard for me to believe that it's been less than a year since I met Aimee from Twigg Studios for the very first time. But despite our relatively new-ish friendship, it feels like we've known each other FOREVER. I mean we've baked together, we've been to France together, we hitch-hiked together and Aimee's been to stay so often that the guest bedroom in our house is now referred to as 'Aimee's room'. So when Aimee told me her second book Aimee's Perfect Bakes was on the verge of hitting the bookshelves and subsequently asked me to feature it on my little blog, you can bet your bottom dollar I shouted a loud, resounding YES!

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VEGAN CINNAMON APPLE ROLLS WITH SALVIA+LIMONE AND TWIGG STUDIOS (V+, ChF)

VEGAN CINNAMON APPLE ROLLS WITH SALVIA+LIMONE AND TWIGG STUDIOS (V+, ChF)

Two weeks ago I had the joy of working on not one, but TWO collaborations with some of the best food bloggers I know. First, at the start of the week I invited Aimee R. from Wallflower Kitchen into my home and together we made these fluffy vegan pancakes. (Sooooo yummy!) Then, later that same week Silvia from Salvia+Limone and Aimee T. from Twigg Studios popped by to bake today's insanely yummy vegan apple cinnamon buns.

Those of you who read the blog regularly or follow me on instagram will know that Silvia, Aimee T. and I baked together once before earlier this year when we created this vegan matcha pistachio tres leches cake. So gorgeous, right?! We promised one another that very day we'd meet and bake together again and true to our word, we did! 

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VEGAN MATCHA AND COCONUT PANNA COTTA WITH GREEN LEAF MATCHA (V+, ChF, GF, GrF, NF, P)

VEGAN MATCHA AND COCONUT PANNA COTTA WITH ORGANIC PREMIUM GREEN LEAF MATCHA (V+, ChF, GF, GrF, NF, P)

Hi everyone. Thanks for finding your way back again to my little corner of the blogosphere :). Thanks too for all the AMAZING comments on my last post about working with brands. Both in the comment section itself and on instagram you had heaps to say about the matter and lots of tips to share, which made me feel like it was right to release that blog post into cyberspace. Moreover, ironically, I had tons of brands contact me since I unleased that blog post, which made me giggle. The universe has such a funny way of working ;).

BUT in the midst of all the e-mails one company totally stood out - Green Leaf Matcha. The company is a small start-up dedicated solely and completely to the most gorgeous organic matcha tea I have EVER tasted. Like I said, I felt like a fairy scattering precious gold dust when I was working with Green Leaf Matcha tea, it''s so lush.

The owners explained to me that they chose to sell this particular tea because it was important to them to have an organic super premium ceremonial matcha tea; they'd not settle for anything less. Interestingly, the tea leaves stem from Uji, Kyoto in Japan; this variety of leaves has been cultivating there since the 13th century. Subtle but important nuances in taste sets this tea apart from any other. It also packs a kick-a**-antioxidant- high-level-chlorophyll punch. Plus the colour is just to DIE for!

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GLUTEN-FREE RICE FLOUR MATCHA WAFFLES + SUMMER FRUITS WITH THE SUNSHINE EATERY (V+, ChF, GF, NF)

GLUTEN-FREE RICE FLOUR MATCHA WAFFLES + SUMMER FRUITS WITH VIOLA FROM THE SUNSHINE EATERY (V+, ChF, GF, NF)

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where –” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.” - Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Caroll (1832 -1898)

I kinda feel like Alice at the moment, which is why this quote really resonated with me when I spotted it on Jessica's instagram feed a few days ago. See with all the joy that's come from finishing my nutrition course, I am now faced with the reality of saying goodbye to my student status and getting serious about working again, of finding something 'real' to do. But what do I want to do? Where do I want to get to? I wasn't so sure...

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HIBISCUS POACHED BERRIES WITH VEGAN CASHEW CREAM (V+, V, ChF, GrF, GF) + THOUGHTS ON FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY 4

HIBISCUS POACHED BERRIES WITH VEGAN CASHEW CREAM + THOUGHTS ON FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY 4

Hey everyone! It's another fact filled blog post today, which I'll break into 3 sections for ease. Meaning that you can just skip to the bits that you're most interest in. Sound good?

Great, so in today's blog post I'll be talking a little more about some key food photography lessons I learned during my #InFranceWeCook workshop. You can find the corresponding blog post and all the photos taken during the workshop here AND you can also see a little behind-the-scenes video at the very bottom of this blog post :).

Secondly, I'm over the moon to tell you that I'll be co-hosting a food photography, yoga and creative gathering event in North Devon with Aimee from Twigg Studios and Carole from Mademoiselle Poirot. If you're interested to learn more and wish to join us then do read on ;).

Finally, I'll sharing today's vegan recipe which I developed together with Carole from Mademoiselle Poirot at her gorgeous South London home. Therefore, if you'd like just came for that, I suggest you scroll down to the very bottom of the blog post to find what you're looking for ;)

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RAW VEGAN TURMERIC CHIA PUDDING + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (ChF, GF, NF, R, V+, V)

RAW VEGAN TURMERIC CHIA PUDDING + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (ChF, GF, NF, R, V+, V)

Hi everyone. Hope you're all well :)

I've got LOTS in store for you this week. which is why I thought it would be helpful if I break this week's blog post down for you, so you can skip to the bits you're actually interested in ;). Cuz - just so you know - this is a looooong one and I don't want you getting bored ;).

This week you can find info on...

1. SUPERFOODS
I've been dying to write about superfoods ever since I started my little plantbased blog and with turmeric as the star ingredient in this week's vegan recipe, I coudn't think of a better time to share my thoughts on superfoods. This means I'll give you a list of the 7 superfoods that I believe truly live up to their name and should appear on your plate every single day! 

2. BLOGIVERSARY + A COOKBOOK GIVE-AWAY!
It's actually my blogiversary this week. Eeeeek! I STILL feel like a novice, but here I am finishing my second year of blogging. Crazy stuff! To celebrate I'm giving away a copy of Jessica Sepel's new book The Healthy Life. This give-away is open to UK and EU residence, so do check it out:). I'll provide a short review of the book and then I'll let you know what you need to do for a chance to win it.

3. TURMERIC RECIPES
I'm sharing 2 superfood recipes this week. One is this healthy raw vegan breakfast come snack recipe (the BOMB by the way). Two is a crazy sexy superfood Turmeric Cinnamon Tea on the Rocks recipe which you'll find over on Heal's blog this week. Just cuz turmeric is SO good, I had to create 2 easy and delicious recipes so you've got no excuse not to give this spice a go ;).

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RAW VEGAN ACAI SMOOTHIE BOWL + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (V+, V, ChF, GF, GrF, P, R, NF)

RAW VEGAN ACAI SMOOTHIE BOWL + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (V+, V, ChF, GF, GrF, P, R)

I posted the following statement under this image of Xochi Balfour's new healthy lifestyle book 'The Naturalista' on instagram the other day:

'FACT I get lots of cookbooks sent to me. FACT I buy lots of cookbooks,. FACT I'd never recommend something I don't wholehearted believe in.
So if I say that the healthy living book 'The Naturalista' by @xochibalfour is INSANELY AWESOME you better believe it's true. I hope this treasure gets the attention it so deserves when it comes out at the end of April. @xochibalfour you should be darn proud of this looker.'

And, though it's been a few weeks now since I first received the book, I still feel mega excited about it and super duper lucky to have been given a copy. Yup, it's THAT good. So, what about it is so special, you might wonder? Well, ...

1. The voice behind the book - Xochi is engaging, genuine, so, so sweet and I read the story of her journey to health with great interest. It's one that so many of us can relate to. (I'm not telling you more. You just gotta buy the book ;)). Plus, I've had the pleasure of meeting Xochi in person and I can tell you, she's not a brand. She's the real deal :). 

2. The stunnig, healthy and most importantly achieveable recipes - I have literally bookmarked every other page - banana almond pancakes, kale and avocado rice with pickled carrots, smoky beet hummus etc.. I mean there are soooo many recipes to get excited about and most of them require ingredients that are easy to come by. However, please be warned - there are a few non-vegetarian recipes in this book. It doesn't bother me as you can count them on 1 hand, but I'm aware that for some of you this may be a deal breaker, which is why I'm pointing it out.

3. Drop dead gorgeous photography - In case it's not totally obvious from the hours I spent writing about it, I'm obsessed with good food photography. And this book's got some of the most stunning shots I've seen in a long, long time. In fact, if I ever photograph a cookbook I kinda want the pictures to look like the ones in Xochi's book *blush*. 

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VEGAN MATCHA PISTACHIO TRES LECHES CAKE WITH TWIGG STUDIOS AND SALVIA+LIMONE (V+, V, ChF, GF, R)

VEGAN MATCHA PISTACHIO TRES LECHES CAKE WITH TWIGG STUDIOS AND SALVIA+LIMONE (V+, V, ChF, GF, R)

I am never sure how I come across on social media. If the person you envisage me to be, is anything like the person I really am. If you hear my voice in your mind the way it actually sounds (deep-ish, subtle American accent, that's gone a bit British – think Madonna in her Guy Richie days) or if you're totally off the mark ;). So in case it's not blatantly obvious – and just for your info - I am a social creature. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE my own company and have no problems being alone, but I thrive mostly in social situations. Hence going from a busy office full of chatty, like-minded social workers to a quiet studio (AKA the guest bedroom) where I work in solitude has been an interesting change. I am extremely happy I followed my heart and moved into blogging/food photography/recipe development (you can read more about that change here), but that's not to say being on my own during the day hasn't required some getting used to.

Consequently, I relish any given opportunity to replace my hours of solitude with moments of chatter and laughter surrounded by talented, creative and lovely women. Women who are eager and open to share their special gift and unique talent with me (I feel so lucky!). Women whose generosity made today's blog post possible.

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VEGAN SOURDOUGH SPELT WAFFLES (V+, ChF, NF)

VEGAN SOURDOUGH SPELT WAFFLES (V+, ChF, NF) + REVIEW OF NO-MESS SAGE WAFFLE MAKER

A few days ago my son turns 6. Can you believe it, 6! I know it sounds so cliché, but time truly does fly when you're having fun. And when you have children you can actually see the physical evidence of life's continual forward flow, which is quite grounding as well as - for me on this occasion - really upsetting. (I so wish my blog platform did emojis cuz I'd insert that crying face with buckets of tears streaming out of its eyes right here).

It's not that I miss the baby stage, I don't at all and every day, every week and every year that passes by I enjoy motherhood more and more. But it's that realisation that everything is just temporary and that I can't hold on to the here and now forever, not even for my little boy. And that recognition left me feeling a tiny bit lost the other day. I don't know, but I just felt emotional.

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GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD DOUGHNUTS + A GIVEAWAY! (V, GF, ChF, NF, V+)

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD DOUGHNUTS (V+, ChF, NF, GF, V) + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY!

Before I started writing my blog, I read blogs. Loads of them. All the time. And what I noticed as I did so, was that many of the food bloggers I followed got cookbooks send to them. For free!!!! Sometimes even before they were released in the shops!!!! I mean if getting free cookbooks isn't the best thing EVER about food blogging, I don't know what is. And (confession time!) though the hope of receiving free cookbooks wasn't the main reason I started The Little Plantation ;), it sure did play a teeny tiny role (*blush*).

So when insanely talented food photographer, stylist and blogger Aimee, from Twigg Studios, asked me if I wanted a copy of her brand new cookbook, Love Aimee x, to review on the blog, I don't think I actually even let her finished her sentence before shouting a loud, resounding YES!!! In fact when Aimee asked me, I may or may not have nearly choked on the toast I was munching on as we sat in a quaint little cafe in the heart of East London's Spitalfields. And, in case you're wondering, yes, she is just as sweet in real life as she comes across on her blog ;).

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VEGAN MALAWI COFFEE ICE CREAM WITH SALTED CARAMEL SWIRL (V+, ChF, GF, GrF, P)

VEGAN MALAWI COFFEE ICE CREAM WITH SALTED CARAMEL SWIRL (V+, ChF, GrF, GF, P)

To me a food blog is not 'just' a place to gather pretty and delicious content. Sure it helps and it's important but I think a food blog can be sooo much more than that. For example it can be a place from which we send out positive energy into the world, a place from which we initiates change, spark an exciting idea, celebrate creativity or ignite a sense of compassion. Big stuff, right?

So with that in mind, I thought the month of December during which we aim to spread love and joy, would be the perfect time to host a virtual blog party entitiled #loveMALAWIcoffee. I am well aware that a virtual blog party might sound like a random event completely unrelated to the message normally associated with December. But rest assured there is a connection... 

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MINI VEGAN PUMPKIN AND ORANGE LAYER CAKE WITH RAW ALMOND FROSTING (V+, ChF, GF, R)

MINI VEGAN PUMPKIN AND ORANGE LAYER CAKE WITH RAW ALMOND FROSTING (V+, ChF, GF, R)

'' In the last few months I feel I have been peeling away layers, layers of who I think I was or wasn't, layers of (limiting) believes and convictions. I didn't know much about myself apparently. Maybe I still don't. The process felt and still feels so hard. And, that outer shell was so cozy, so protective. But inside I hope to discover a soft core, full of life and beauty.'' - quote slightly adapted from Silvia Bifaro

I quit my job. And though I felt relieved and elated when I handed in my notice, I also felt terribly sad. That surprised me.
I kept trying to figure out why I had felt a little upset that day and why I still continue to feel sad in the run up to my last day in the office (which is this Thursday BTW). I mean I hadn't been enjoying my work for a long time anymore therefore, surely, I should feel nothing other than joy, right?

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RAW VEGAN COOKIE DOUGH + BERRY BARS (V+, ChF, GF, P, R, GrF)

RAW VEGAN COOKIE DOUGH AND BERRY BARS (V+, ChF, GF, P, R, GrF)

Warning: This is yet another long post about food blogging. (Sorry I know I sound like a broken record). If foodie talk is not what you came for, just scroll down to the end of this blog post and you'll find the recipe. No offence taken.

Gosh so what am I on about this time? Well, to answer that question I need to take you back a few weeks to late June . It was the My New Roots Cookbook Supper Club, which I attended with two friends, one of whom knows me really well. Seeing this was a supper club hosted by gorgeous plant-based blogger Sarah Britton, it was impossible to escape food blogging talk. So when I was asked about my blog I mentioned nonchalantly that it was a lovely, pleasant hobby of mine, but certainly nothing else. My friend interrupted, looked me straight in the eye and said: 'But Kimberly, The Little Plantation means soooo much more to you than that.'

What? What was she talking about? I just shrugged it off at the time and thought nothing more of it.

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SIMPLE VEGAN BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE (V+, V, GF, ChF, NF)

SIMPLE VEGAN BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE (V+, V, GF, NF, ChF) 

WARNING: This is a long post mainly about food blogging, food styling and food photography whilst abroad. If that's not what you came for, feel free to scroll down to the recipe. I won't be offended ;).

As those of you who read the blog regularly know, I'm on a 6-week adventure this summer. My first stop gap was the beautiful island of Curaçao where I stayed for a week. Thereafter, my son and I continued our journey and headed to our second destination for the summer: Ecuador. Our first week was spend in Quito, the capital city where we stayed with numerous relatives and friends. It was a joy seeing my son run riot with his cousins, but I was starting to miss my time in the kitchen and the creative process of blogging.

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During our second week in Ecuador, we moved further north to a small, ancient indigenous market town called Otavalo, which is where my husband is from and where we set up camp for 2 weeks. Throughout that period we stayed with my mother-in-law and for the first time during our travels I felt able to allow myself to dream of writing a blog post or two.

VEGAN MANGO AND COCONUT FLOAT (V+, P, GF, GrF, NF, ChF)

VEGAN MANGO AND COCONUT FLOAT (V+, P, GF, NF, ChF, GrF)

As you read this post I'm either at the airport, perhaps I'm even on a plane high up in the sky or maybe I've already landed in my first destination. Either way, I won't be in London. In fact I won't be in London for the next 6 weeks (eek!). Needless to say I'm excited and not just because it's a holiday and a nice long one too. Nope, it's more than that. Actually it's really all about my son. He's just finished his first year in school and with me being so busy over the last 12 months, we've not seen each other as much as we we did before he was in full-time education. So, I though it was worth making the most of the school holidays and spending the entire time together. 

During the first week of our journey, we will be on the gorgeous island of Curaçao which forms part of the Dutch Antilles. Curaçao has the most beautiful beaches I know and it's also the place my mother is originally from meaning that part of my roots as well as my son's roots are from this stunning little country too.

EASY CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY TART WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE MATCHA GLAZE (V+, ChF, GrF, GF, V, P)

EASY CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY TART WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE MATCHA GLAZE (V+, ChF, GrF, GF, V, P)

In many ways I have always been a city girl at heart. I was born in a big city - New York in case you were wondering - and have lived in countless cities all over the world. My frequent moves were partly the result of my parents' work (they were in the airline industry when I was growing up) and party the result of my gypsy ways getting the better of me in adult life.

After spending time in the lovely, small and quaint Williamsburg, Virginia (of all places right?!) for my undergraduate studies I knew with every bone in my body that I desperately needed to get back to the bright lights of urban life. Hence it's no coincidence that after a few detours here and there, I eventually landed in London.

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MUSHROOM SERIES 1: LEMON, POPPY SEED AND CHAGA MUSHROOM COOKIES (V+, NF, ChF, GF)

MUSHROOM SERIES 1: LEMON, POPPY SEED AND CHAGA MUSHROOM COOKIES (V+, GF, NF, ChF)

Let's talk about the elephant in the room, shall well? Mushrooms in cookies, what's up with that? Before I explain, let me just say:

1. No, I'm not going mad. Not yet anyway ;)
2. These cookies taste AMAZE!
3. Your kids won't know there are mushrooms inside these cookies, I promise. 
4. And YES, it's TOTALLY worth adding in this weird but wonderful Chaga mushroom.

As you may remember I am not a massive fan of the 'superfood' tag. Basically I feel it's so overused. BUT after my encounter with a raw food expert (more about that in this blog post) and a fascinating lecture about medicinal mushrooms (not magic mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms ok?:)), I can honestly say that I am completely sold on them. So much so, that the next 4 recipes I'll post here on the blog (this one included) will contain a different medicinal mushroom.

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GLUTEN-FREE NO-BAKE GRANOLA BARS (GF, V+, ChF, NF)

GLUTEN-FREE NO-BAKE GRANOLA BARS (V+, GF, NF, ChF)

"I know one thing: that I know nothing" - Plato

It's MEAT-FREE WEEK here in the UK and guess what? I'm in. Wholeheartedly. Completely. Totally ;)!

So I gotta thinking how best to use this really cool and important week in the foodie calender. Of course I'm gonna share a cracking plant-based recipe with ya'll, right?! But I also thought it would be a great excuse to finally talk in detail about the what, why and how I eat. I've been meaning to do this for donkey's years (ok, maybe just 10 months aka since launching this blog), but up until now it didn't seem like quite the right time. As my readership has grown though I feel it's so important for me to continue to be open, honest and transparent about my food philosophy. I owe that to you, my readers and I owe it to the integrity of my blog :).

To be clear, I'm under no illusion that my writing in this post is 'the ultimate truth'. It's just my personal view as I hold it in the here and now. However, I'm always open to learn and explore other ideas and thoughts; I want to keep developing my knowledge about food and hence should I learn something that challenges what I presently think, I'll be sure to let you know ;).

WARNING: This is a long post. Please skip to the recipe section at the bottom if you want to. I won't mind :)

COLLAGEGRANOLA


Are you a raw foodist?
I LOVE raw food and I strongly believe that everyone can benefit from increasing the amount of raw plant based foods in their diet, which is why there are lots of raw recipes on this site. But I don't exclusively eat raw foods. I did a blog post a while back about why. Check it out here if you want to :).

Are you a vegan?
Nope, I'm not a vegan.

So are you a vegetarian then?
Nope. Like 'vegan' it's a title that doesn't fit me 100% and actually doesn't quite describe what and how I choose to eat. So, I'm uncomfy with it.

What about paleo?
You'll find lots of paleo recipes here, but that label definitely isn't 'me'. I ADORE legumes and grains. They form a major part of my diet.

But you constantly use hashtags like #vegan, #vegetarian and #paleo on instagram and twitter. Isn't that a bit misleading?
I hope not. I use these hashtags to help people who are curious about vegan, vegetarian and paleo foods find my recipes. If a recipe is vegan, I will use the vegan hashtag; so in essence I'm trying to describe the food, rather than define who I am with the chosen hashtags. Does that make sense?

I occasionally use the hastag veganmom not because I am a veganmom, but because the recipe is especially family and kiddie friendly and something I think a vegan parent would like.

So how DO you describe yourself?
Firstly, I'm a human being ;).

Secondly, if I HAVE to put myself in a foodie camp, I'd say I eat a mainly whole food plant-based diet. This means that the fast majority (around 95%) of what I eat are seasonal, local, organic, whole, plant-based foods such as veggies, fruits, legumes, grains, etc.

And what makes up the rest of your diet?
I LOVE honey and bee pollen, which aren't strictly 'vegan' foods. I can also be a bit naughty and bake cakes that includes refined sugar or be really naughty and have something pretty vile like ketchup (I LOVE that stuff) or soya products. I eat eggs, probably 1-2 every week, and use mayonnaise occasionally. A couple of the ingredients I cook with might not be organic or seasonal and sometimes you'll even see me nibble on a piece of raw, oily fish. Not often, but it can happen.

Fish? Isn't that cruel? Doesn't it go against everything the blog stands for? How do you justify eating that?
Some people choose to eat a vegan or plant-based diet because their main concern is the welfare of animals. Though it is something I think about A LOT, it's not how I ended up where I am now. Instead my drive towards a plant-based diet came out of my desire to be healthier. I suffered from really bad constipation after having my son and was eager to try and figure out what was going on with my body. Furthermore, when my son stopped breastfeeding and moved on to finger foods, I wanted to be sure I was giving him the best and healthiest meals possible. One thing led to the next and before I knew it, I'd read every book about food and health I could get my hands on.  

The more I read, the clearer it became to me that a whole food, plant-based diet was the way forward. I tried it and felt like a million dollars. I haven't looked back. Now I'm in my second year of retraining as a nutritional therapist and the course has just confirmed what I already experienced for myself: that the power of plant-based food is fascinating cool and super healthy!

The second most important driving force towards the diet that I presently follow has been my deep love for Patch Mama (Mother Earth). She feeds us and looks after us and you know, we need to respect, honour and care for her. Eating a whole, seasonal, organic plant-based diet – I feel – is the best way to do that.

Lastly, I did a lot of reading about farmed animals, their suffering and you know what? I just didn't want to be a part of that. I don't judge anyone who is. And I don't believe that omnivores are 'cruel' or 'bad' or 'ignorant' or that vegans are necessarily more 'enlightened', 'compassionate' or 'better' human beings. I have met lots of omnivores (including my husband) who have a heart of gold. (Though rest assured, I'm working on him ;).)

More importantly, I think it's my role as a plant-based blogger to spread love and acceptance, not hate and anger, which is something I know many other plant-based, vegan and vegetarian bloggers are commited to.

Which leads me to the issue of eating fish. It's a very tricky one for me. Because healthwise, I feel that the small amount of raw fish that I do eat has more positives than it does negatives. In particular fish's vitamin D content is something that does me good.

I feel that eating more than the occasional piece of wild fish puts a tremendous pressure on our oceans. It breaks my heart that we're depleting our marine resources the way that we are. And hence - despite my joy of eating fish - I know I need to keep it in close check. Will I give up fish completely? I don't think so. Do I feel eating fish is cruel? Honestly, I don't. But things shift and change so watch this space.

Any more confessions?
Nope, but I will do a post about how I feed my family at some point as that's a whole different topic in itself...

Just for the record though I don't do red meat, chicken, turkey, duck etc. And I am really not into dairy. I can't see that ever changing. But something like this could happen, right!? Other than that, you can safely bet your bottom dollar you won't see me sneaking a piece of spam into my mouth;). 

Finally, does that mean you'll include egg or fish recipes on your blog?
I have unintentionally never included (free range, organic) egg recipes, but I will because I do eat them and find them very versatile. My baking recipes however will remain 100% egg-free.

I can promise that you won't see fish here. 


They say boredom is a great excuse to eat. So let's eat, shall we?
Thanks for reading everyone.

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GLUTEN-FREE NO-BAKE GRANOLA BARS (V+, GF, ChF, NF)


IMPORTANT: This recipe is adapted from one I found in Angela Liddon's truly wonderful book The Oh She Glows Cookbook. It's a firm favourite! Also, please check the tips at the end of the recipe for substitutions and other suggestions.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12 scrumptious bars

Ingredients:

½ cup (65g) (organic) sesame seeds
1 ½ cups (125g) (organic) gluten-free oats
1 ¼ cup (180g) (organic) buckwheat
¼ (25g) (organic) goji berries
¼ cup (35g) (organic) raisins
1tsp (organic) ground cinnamon
¼ tsp pink Himalayan Salt
½ cups (120ml) maple syrup
¼ cup (60ml) light tahini
1 tsp pure (organic) vanilla extract

Instructions:
Get all the ingredients out onto the kitchen counter and ready to use.
Line a square baking tray with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the oats, buckwheat, goji berries, raisins, cinnamon and salt.

In a little pot, gently heat the maple syrup and tahini until nicely combined. Take this mixture of the heat and add the vanilla.
Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and combine well.

Transfer this onto the prepared baking tray, spreading the mixture as evenly as you can. (Feel free to use your fingers if need be).
Pop in the freezer for 20 minutes or until set.

Remove from the freezer and cut into 12 bars.

You can store the bars in the fridge, but I'd recommend storing them in the freezer (for up to a month) and taking one out when you fancy it. They are GREAT for breakfast on the go or as a filling snack.

Tip 1: When you take a bar from the freezer wait 5-10 minutes before eating. However, I did notice if I left it out too long, it didn't hold together that well. When that happened, I transformed the bar into a chunky granola and enjoyed it with some almond milk. Yummy.
Tip 2: I used toasted buckwheat, but you could use raw buckwheat too. Just soak them overnight before using.
Tip 3: I know some people who are gluten intolerant don't do well with oats, regardless of whether the oats are gluten-free or not. If that's you, just swap them with millet flakes.
Tip 4: I used black sesame seeds, but there's nothing stopping you using white ones.

Looking for more breakfast ideas? Just click here:)

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