Best Vegan Banana Bread Recipe!

(flour free – oil free – sugar free – dairy free – gluten free – vegan)

I cannot take all the credit for this awesome recipe, however I did tweak ever so slightly on just a few things, and will talk you through exactly how I made this awesome, wonderful, amazing banana loaf!

So first of all you will need to gather together all of your ingredients:

  • 3 Ripe bananas
  • 2 Cups of oats (normal or gluten-free or whatever oats you prefer to use or pre made oat flour)
  • 12 Big juicy pitted medajool dates (I use the tesco organic ones you find in the fruit and veg section, usually with all the nuts)
  • 1/2 cup of non dairy milk (I used rice milk)
  • 2 tbsp of flaxseed or chia seeds (I used flax)\
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Cinnamon (kinda just poured a load in, maybe 2 tsp)
  • Mixed spices (same as above)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • A loaf tin
  • OPTIONAL – Raisins, dark chocolate chips, crushed nuts.

PRE HEAT YOUR OVEN TO 150! (Make sure you bake this on a lower heat and for a longer time than it says on the original recipe, which I have linked at the bottom of the post)

First of all: Take your flax seeds and mix them with 6 tbsp of cold water and set to one side.

Then – Take your oats and grind them up in a food processor or blender, or use the nutribullet milling blade.  Once you have done that it is important that you sieve the oats, seive them as much as you can and you will be left with some gritty bits.  Just chuck them away or feed them to the birds (tweet tweet) :O) It does take a little while but I feel it is quite an important part for creating the end result.

Add the other dry ingredients – spices, baking soda, baking powder and mix.

Next step – Take your blender.  I use a Magimix food blender.  Add the banana, the dates, milk, flaxseed/water mixture, apple cider, and blend until smoooooooooth.

Then all you need to do is combine the dry, the wet and mix well.  I used a wooden spoon and allowed air to get into the batter.  From here add crushed nuts or dark chocolate chips or dried fruit.

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The mixture is quite a thick batter, you will not be able to just pour the mixture into the tin, you will have to use a spoon, so you are not looking for a really runny consistency.

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Then all you need to do is stick it in the oven.  I do not have a fan oven.  I baked it on around 150 for 50 minutes, then I checked it and re set the timer for another 20 minutes, checking it periodically.  You will know when it is done because a knife will come out clean and the top goes really crispy and brown.

 

Leave to cool – or if you are like me, don’t leave to cool!! because it smells to freeking nice, I just couldn’t.  It was straight out the tin and into my mouth.  P.S  This loaf cut perfect the next day when it was totally cool, it wasnt sticky or under cooked.

Perfect tea loaf, or breakfast loaf, or whatever time of day loaf :O)

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ENJOY!

Thank You!

<<http://sweetsimplevegan.com/2015/10/date-sweetened-banana-bread/>&gt;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you find the time?

The concept of time is made up by Man to make sense of the world around him. Without Man, the universe will proceed with or without structured Time. It is man that came up with the concept of a Day, who then proceeded to divide that into hours, mins and seconds.
I quite often get asked how I find time to eat the way I do. To which I don’t really understand, people find time to eat whatever they eat, it all comes down to a matter of choice and what we choose to eat. My meals take no longer to make if not are considerably quicker to make than any other meal.
 
Food is our life source it is something we have to do to survive and be healthy. We must prioritize in other ways and make time for the things we do around eating. I don’t feel like eating and making food is something I need to make time for because it is a part of my day.
 
A lot of this is habit, and creating a lifestyle that is sustainable and simple. Don’t complicate your mind with breakfast, lunch and dinner, or eating after a certain time, or eating too many carbs or not enough protein, or feeling like you must have breakfast ect. Eat food! get up in the morning and eat once your are hungry and make it a meal that will give you energy, even if its oats in a tub that you take to work with you and eat at your desk of on the go or just a large selection of fruit, and eliminate the things you know you aren’t good for you, because most people are aware of the initial things they need to stop or change.
 
Look at how you do your food shopping and the things you choose to buy each week, this may need to change for you to start creating change in your life around nutrition. It literally takes 10 minutes to chuck a huge salad together with avocado and beans or tofu and some brown rice pasta. It takes 2 seconds to stick a jacket potato in the oven and set a timer and let it cook, use 10 minutes to prepare a nutrient dense salad to have with it and when it’s cooked chuck in some mixed beans or mashed avocado. The muesli in the picture below took me about 60 seconds to make and it is nourishing and full of goodness and energy.  Whatever shifts you work or hours you work, however big your family is or how manic your life is it all boils down to choice.  An apple or a kitkat.  Jacket potato or oven chips.  Grapes or skittles.  Microwave meal or wholemeal pasta with veg (both of these probably take the same amount of time to make, one just being far more healthy)
If you are overweight or unhappy with your nutrition, then  keep a food diary of everything you eat and see how you are finding time to eat the things you do eat.   Doing this will give you perspective.
 
To change we have to be open-minded and invite new things and ideas into our life with open arms and embrace it. We have to take responsibility for our own choices even amongst having a family, a husband or kids.  We can’t always expect them to take on board the changes you want to create so we need to adapt our mind.
You want to create something sustainable and ongoing, something that can slowly evolve into a new normal.

Banana and Muesli Cookies (vegan)

I love creating recipes by using the natural sweetness in fruit and grains.   I was in the car today and got the urge to make some cookies, but something slightly different to the usual banana foundation/base.  I wanted to add a little fat as well so I can use them for long runs as  a fuel source.  I usually make bars and add some kind of nut butter to them, so these are pretty similar.

I also wanted to add apple to make them extra sweet, as I knew the apple would caramelize and make them a little crispy on the edges as they cooked.

So for the prep I headed to Tesco and brought some ripe bananas (reduced to 58p as they were extra ripe – doesn’t beat Asda though, I got loads for 18p in there last week lol)  I also got a bag of cashew nuts, two jars of apple baby food ( Hipp Organic) as I was being lazy lol! definitely make your own, it’s so easy to stew up some apples and puree them.   I was also on the look out for some no added sugar muesli which in my own experience is usually really hard to come by, or it is sweetened with honey, which I don’t eat! However Quaker seem to have upped their game a little bit and I managed to get some, which you can see below:  I will look forward to having this for breakfast too with some rice milk and frozen fruit.

That was all I needed to buy so headed home and got too it.  I kinda just chucked it as per usual but kept an eye on measurements this time so I could blog it, as I had good thoughts about this one lol!

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The ingredients are:

  • 3 Ripe bananas
  • 2 small jars of just apple (Hipp Organic) baby food
  • 1 cup of cashew nuts
  • 2.5 cups of muesli
  • half a cup of ground up oats
  • half a cup of dried fruit. I used raisins and some diced dates
  • cinnamon to taste.  I used about 2 teaspoons

METHOD:

Pre heat the oven to 160 (mine isn’t a fan oven so may vary)

Put the banana, nuts and apple jars (not the actual jars, just their content haha) into a high speed blender and blend until smooooooooooth.  It will literally go like a thick pancake batter.

Pour the batter into a large bowl.

Add the muesli and ground oats, cinnamon and dried fruit and mix together with a wooden spoon, or metal spoon or any spoon you like :O)

 

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IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS

Then simple mould the cookie to whatever size you like.  I used an 1/8 cup to scoop out the mixture onto the tray.

 

Then just wack in the oven and cook for 20 minutes – you can vary this depending on how you like them.  Longer for extra crispy, or less time for a gooeyer cookie.

Use variation as well, so add dark chocholate chips if you like, or use a different dried fruit, or no dried fruit, or extra walnuts.

ENJOY!  Please share your feedback on my social media if you decide to make them.  Feel free to friend me or follow my AimHigh-BeStrong page – Both links are below.

https://www.facebook.com/rachy.pixie.1

https://www.facebook.com/aimhighbestrong/?fref=ts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Works?

Almost every single person I come across are seeking a diet “that works” and the only reason why I am writing about this is because I used to search for a diet that worked as well, and now I don’t. So maybe when you tell someone you are on a diet, maybe the response should be “a diet of what?”

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I feel like I have been in a lot of people shoes and I have experimented on my own body with high this and low that. This many calories and that many calories, that I know how it feels!!! Yes! It’s bloody tiring I know!  I have weighed out my food, carrots and potatoes and even put one carrot back to make the amount exact because I thought something would happen if I ate “over” on a specific food group.

I can’t even remember when the transition happened, all I know is that it has been a slow transition over the period of about 3 years, maybe a little more.  My interest in nutrition and health has just grown and grown right from the start of my journey.

One of the major aspects for me was how people are healing themselves from Cancer and heart disease and other diseases by eating a whole foods plant-based diet, cutting out animal products, eating for health and longevity and reversing diseases.  Nearly all disease is brought on by poor dietary choices, so to me it is only common sense that they can also be reversed by dietary choices.  Please take some time to watch the video in this link, it will give you an insight into what I see.  It is the reason why I am venturing into nutritional medicine because I want to help the ones who want to be helped, and it can be a lot easier than we are led to believe.

The biggest transition for me was the volume of fruit and veg, grains and beans I started eating that kind of replaced the other food I was eating before and I found myself actually feeling “satisfied” and when I say satisfied I mean my body was getting exactly what it needed from the food I was eating.  I make huge green salads and struggle to finish them.

I was talking with a client last night about this, and literally sat there and thought “what do omnivore’s eat?”  Because I know for me before going plant-based my diet hugely lacked any source of fibre, vitamins and minerals.  Fruit and veg rarely went into my trolley and if it did it would go mouldy in my fridge! I guess I used to eat a lot of processed food as well as meat dairy and eggs.  They would dominate my plate.

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This is a way of life and I feel for most it’s a struggle or it’s restrictive, or it’s too complicated! But it is a way of life I have had as a goal, to me it is just food, it hasn’t come overnight and I have invested my whole self into changing.  Not just in what I eat but in who I choose to be around, what I choose to do as a job, how I choose to move.

You can ignore the ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ aspect of why I choose to eat this way because for me health overrides any of the other reasons, and for me it is difficult and painful to see how much people abuse their body to get to their “Goal Weight”

People are obsessed with what they eat!  everyone has different ethical views, different bias, different opinions and views on what health is, what health looks like.  Most like the idea of moderation, yet is it effective for weight loss?  Moderation can be seen as holding onto habits that really need to be said goodbye too, demons that will eventually come back and bite you in the bum.

Keeping your previous needs topped up whilst trying to create change, some may call it a vicious circle!  You might be better just creating new choices around the moderation, scrap the moderation and make the changes you actually need to make, to be where you want to be on a long-term basis, rather than having a goal weight as a finish line, then putting it all back on again, which in most cases is what happens.

When you see food as “food” so one ingredient item, whole foods.  Nothing added, no added sugar, just natural sugar already inside the fruit or vegetable. When you see that protein is in everything you are able to let go of “adding protein” to meals! you do not need to add anything to meals.  By eating whole foods you are getting proportion, amino acids, fat and energy, and you also get to feel satisfied.  When your body says to you “aahhhh yes I needed that” and it stays like that for a good while, if you are eating the right kinds of food you should never feel hungry after eating a meal, because you aren’t hungry, you have just eaten a nutritious meal.  Eat a meal that lacks nutrients yet packed with calories you may feel bloated and full and a bit “stuffed” yet your body will still be hungry, because you haven’t given it what it needs.

Most of the time the body is craving rather than hungry (over fed under nourished) type thing. So the body is hungry for nourishment rather than calories. But then people just grab any old thing, pumping in more calories rather than what it needs, then round we go again.  So an obese person can be just as malnourished as an underweight person just through the food choices they make.

Why feel hungry when you have access to food pretty much 24/4. I believe food is massively over thought about and complicated, it really is very simple, but in front of the simplicity we have addiction, impulse, social pressure, family pressure, wants, needs, tradition, moderation (which ethically generally does not work in the long run) Let go of all these and it all appears very differently.

Use your body as a guide, eat whole foods.  An abundance of dark leafy greens, mushroom, bulbs and vegetables.  Add energy were needed, beans, legumes, lentils, fruits (including dried fruit like dates, figs and apricots) veg, potatoes, wild rice, whole grains.  Eat nuts, seeds and flax daily.  Just go into a supermarket and look at how much choice there is around whole foods. Please also download the Dr Gregor Daily Dozen app its awesome!  Introduce these things into your day, and allow the animal products to reduce.

Ultimately you have a choice with everything, what you choose is up to you.  This picture below was a “I’m in a real rush and need to grab something quick to eat” moment.  Something I hear a lot from people.  Generally this would look like crisps and a packaged sandwich for most people.  This is the other option, fruit dates and nuts! perfect combo! and I felt satisfied after eating it.

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Ask yourself these questions.

What do you think your body looks like? Write it down now……….

What do you think other people see when they look at your body?  Write it down now…….

What do you think your children see when they look at your body? Write it down now……

What do you want? Write it down now……….

When you get what you want, then what? Write it down now………….

What does your ‘Goal Weight’ look like?  Write it down now…………

How will your ‘Goal Weight” feel?  Write it down now……..

When you reach your ‘Goal Weight’ then what? Write it down……..

What are you prepared to do to get to your ‘Goal Weight’? (realistic or unrealistic) Write it down now………..

What does health feel like to you?  Write it down now…………

 Then just read the answers and see how you feel, reflect on them.  Why do people over think food when there is so much choice out there.  Why are you forever searching for something that works, to me there is only one way to eat food, and that is to just eat “food” – look deeper into what I am saying, not just what it appears like on the surface.

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My thoughts on B12

B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is critical for the correct functioning of the brain and nervous system and also the formation of red blood cells, so it is essential that vegans or non vegans ensure they get the right amount of vitamin B12

First of all, I just want to say that having to take a natural supplement does not make a plant-based diet deficient.   B12 is probably one of the only supplements that I advise vegans taking on top of an optimum caloric nutrient and energy dense lifestyle (which varies with everyone) unless they are demonstrating symptoms of any other deficiency.

B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is critical for the correct functioning of the brain and nervous system and also the formation of red blood cells, so it is essential that vegans or non vegans ensure they get the right amount of vitamin B12, non vegans become deficient as well, not as many of them, in fact the percentage is small compared to vegetarians and vegan, however they still do, although it is probably more down to absorption rather than anything else.

B12 is synthesised in bacteria, so is found in areas of bacterial growth, most commonly in soil and dirt. B12 is also synthesised inside the small intestine, however cannot be not reabsorbed into the body, otherwise no one would have to supplement because we would be able to use our own supply.  So to be able to sufficiently supplement the body with B12 using our own synthesised supply it appears that we would need to eat our own poop! and studies have been carried out showing this being done, and to be very successful!

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Soil degradation or otherwise known as the ‘silent disaster’ is a very real problem.  We cannot rely on our soils as a source of B12 as we may have done many years ago due to where it are so damaged.  Farmers will have used animal manure to fertilise soil and crops, even by doing this they are getting dirty,  dirt gets under the nails ect!  This fertilised soil is what our root vegetables and grains would have been grown in.

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So you may be wondering where do the animals get their B12 from? it certainly doesn’t just naturally produce.  Animals get their B12 exactly the same as we do.  It is to my knowledge that most animals do actually eat their own poo (coprophagia), and we already know from the study linked above that eating poo is an awesome way of getting adequate B12! However that’s pretty gross right?

Animal products contain very high levels of B12.  Could this be present based on the process the meat goes through? once the animal dies, the body of the animal starts to rot and decompose.  This process will naturally generate bacteria, with the knowledge that B12 cannot be absorbed via the colon it puts into question the whole concept of animals ‘naturally’ synthesising B12? Do they? Yes they will have a supply in their colon but similar to humans this will not be absorbed back into the body.   It is also a common practice in current years for farmers to inject their cattle with B12.  Animals also eat a LOT of soil and dirt, bugs and insects and grass.  Humans do not!

“In over 60 years of vegan experimentation only B12 fortified foods and B12 supplements have proven themselves as reliable sources of B12, capable of supporting optimal health. It is very important that all vegans ensure they have an adequate intake of B12, from fortified foods or supplements. This will benefit our health and help to attract others to veganism through our example.”

“vegans are taking their B12 from the same source as every other animal on the planet – micro-organisms – without causing suffering to any sentient being or causing environmental damage.”

For the everyday reader just wanting some simple easy information regarding B12, my advise to you is, don’t try to be a hero! use your common sense, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone and it doesn’t make you any less superior to anyone else, if you take a B12 supplement.  Yes you can get B12 if you eat meat and dairy, and it is generally nothing to worry about for omnivores, however, along with the B12 you are getting the baggage and byproducts of meat and dairy.  The saturated fat, IGF-1 cancer growing hormones, the carcinogenic compounds in meat, higher diabetes and heart disease risk, and the catastrophic impact that animal agriculture is having on our environment.  I know what I would rather do!

There is not enough evidence based information out there to convince any plant-based doctor or dietician to not supplement with B12, so who am I to advise clients or friend and family any other way, and to be honest, it’s just not worth it.  The repercussions and health implications of a B12 deficiency can be pretty serious.  So just play it safe, make it a daily practice to ensure you eat some kind of fortified food and take a supplement.

Ways of supplementing B12 are:

Take a daily supplement – You can see what the daily requirements are using this link, it will take you to the vegan society website which holds most up to date information.

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Supplementation also comes in the form of a spray or injection you can request at your doctors.  You may also want to make it a regular practice to get your B12 levels checked each year to ensure the supplement you are using is actually being absorbed by the body, there are different variations of B12 – and there are different variations of humans, check you are using the right one for you.

Fortified foods like, non dairy milk, whole grain cereals, marmite and nutritional yeast.

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Or you could just eat your own poop!

You can view several short videos by Dr Gregor regarding B12 which will just add to your understanding, then I guess you are just left with your own choices.

Click the image below for more videos from Dr Gregor regarding vitamin B12.

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I would like to leave this article up to discussion, and if anyone is being advised by their doctor, nutritional therapist or dietician that they do not need to supplement with vitamin B12, I would really really appreciate your comments.  I would be interested in listening to them regarding why they advise this.  They may have some data they can send me to look and that I can pass on to get looked at too.  I am yet to find any valid information saying it is safe to not supplement.

I hope you enjoyed this blog.  I just wanted to send something out that demonstrates common sense, and offers really simple, easy to read information that just an every day person will understand.