Healthy Banana, Sultana and Walnut Cupcakes

Vegan

Preparation time – 15 minutes; Cooking time – 15 minutes

Makes 12

I love cupcakes. I could eat ’em for every meal, every day of the week if I had a better metabolism. But I am pregnant at the moment so I guess I get a temporary reprieve. But still – it is always good to be healthy where you can so I made up this recipe and packed it full of fruit and nuts which meant I wouldn’t have to feel quite so bad about cupcake time! (Cupcake time – in case you wish to join me – is Monday through to Sunday from 4am – 11:59pm).

The great thing about using fruit in your baking is that it acts as a binder which means you don’t need any eggs and they also sweeten the muffins so you don’t have to add extra sugar. And to be extra healthy and cute I carved out little red apple hearts for a garnish and took them to my mother-in-laws for Mothers Day. All in all – cupcake win!

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Wholemeal Flour
  • 2 tsp of bicarb soda/baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 120ml of oil (use coconut if possible, otherwise any vegetable will do)
  • 4 x very ripe banana’s
  • 3 T crushed pineapple
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 Cup of raisins
  • 1 standard size tub of vegan cream cheese (Tofutti is available at supermarkets nowadays!)
  • 1 Cup icing sugar (give or take depending on taste)
  • 1 x red apple or some strawberries to garnish – OPTIONAL

Method

1.   Preheat your oven on 180Celsius / 360F

2.   Add wholemeal flour, bicarb soda, cinnamon, lemon zest of half a lemon (save the other half) and walnuts into your mixing bowl

3.   Place oil, pineapple, banana’s, maple syrup and juice of one lemon into a bowl. Mash until the banana’s don’t look like banana’s anymore!

4.   Pour your wet mix in with the flour mix. Put on medium speed until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

5.   Add the raisins and fold into the mixture. It will be quite a thick mix.

6.   Spoon these straight into your greased baking tin (You can use cupcake liners if you’d like but I really think they are a bit of a waste of paper!   Do you really need them?)

7.   Bake for about 15 minutes – checking with a skewer into the centre of one of your cupcakes.

8.   Once they look like beautiful golden mountains bring them out and allow them to cool.

9.   In a food processor add your vegan cream cheese, sugar and the lemon zest of the saved half of the lemon and mix until smooth. Taste test to see if you need more sugar or lemon.

10.   Spread the cream cheese frosting onto your cupcakes. If you want to be cute, you can cut out little lovehearts from red apples or strawberries and use them as a garnish.

Thai Citrus Pumpkin Curry

Vegan – Vegetarian – Gluten Free

Preparation – 20minutes; Cook time – 10minutes
Serves 6

This curry was fresh, delicious and made completely from scratch within half an hour. As I mentioned in my Green Curry Paste recipe, I hate using premade curry pastes or sauces. They rarely taste the same and are often hiding preservatives and/or animal products. So I am super excited that this quick curry sauce is so easy to make! As well as being made from all fresh ingredients this curry has some vegetable super heroes in it. All the orange fruits and veg are full of beta-carotene, minerals (like magnesium and iron) as well as vitamins A, B and C. All in all it is a fragrant curry that was easy to make and I am really chuffed to add it to my repertoire. Give it a go…

Ingredients

Curry Sauce

  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 red chillies (can use green or 2 teaspoons sambal oelek)
  • 1 can coconut cream (reduced fat is fine)
  • 2½  tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • 2½ tablespoons Tamari (or soy if you use it)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • Juice of a medium orange (keep the peel to use the zest later on)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/3 red onion, roughly chopped

Curry

  • ½ small Kent pumpkin OR 1 small butternut pumpkin
  • 1/2 medium sweet potato
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 1 capsicum, sliced (pick your fave colour – I used green)
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • ½ can chickpeas (make sure you rinse!)
  • 2 tablespoon orange zest
  • Brown rice or Quinoa
  • OPTIONAL GARNISH: Basil, coriander, roasted pepitas or nasturtium flowers

Method

Simple Curry Sauce

  • So simple. Place all curry ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Voila!
  • Set aside.
  • Pour yourself a glass of wine.

Curry

  • Put your base on (rice or quinoa)
  • Peel and cube the pumpkin, sweet potato. Save the pumpkin seeds for roasting later if you like! (they take about 30 minutes to roast so you will have to save these for another meal)
  • Slice the carrot and capsicum. Rinse the cherry tomatoes (slice some in half if you like)
  • Put your wok on high heat and add sauce, pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot
  • As soon as the sauce starts to boil reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables have softened (took about 10 minutes)
  • Add the capsicum, cherry tomatoes, chick peas and orange zest and stir
  • Simmer for 2 more minutes
  • Taste test and balance the flavours with soy, chilli, sugar or lime. I like my curries quite fragrant so I added an extra squeeze of lime.
  • Serve! I garnished mine with fresh basil leaves from the garden and some pappadums (my husbands’ fave). You could also serve with roasted pepitas, chopped coriander or even a simple vegan sour cream or raita. Try new things each time.

Notes

  • It was an absolutely delicious curry but next time I must admit I will use less root vegetables so it is a bit lighter. I would substitute the sweet potato for broccoli and would probably leave out the cherry tomatoes too. But hey, it’s all down to your preferences.
  • I can see the curry sauce becoming a stalwart in my house. I will in future make it in bulk and then freeze half (for up to 3 months).
  • Grated cauliflower as faux rice works a treat and it quadruples your fibre content!