Breakfast jars

Firstly, Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful Mum and all the amazing Mum’s today! I hope you’ve had a wonderful day surrounded by your loved ones. Unfortunately I was unable to spend the day with mine but last weekend I surprised her in Sydney for early celebrations and what a weekend it was!

Brunch at Bread & Circus. Emma Lauren Food.

Brunch at Bread & Circus

On Saturday morning we went for brunch at Bread & Circus in Alexandria and I had the ‘summer on toast’ – it was honestly the best brunch I’ve had in a long time! Such simple ingredients yet so delicious – goats chevre, heirloom tomato, torn basil, chilli flakes and lime on essene bread with a side of eggs. Perfection.

This definitely provided me with more than enough fuel for a full day of shopping with Mum!

Sydney. Emma Lauren Food.

Stunning Sydney day

After a busy shopping day on Saturday, Sunday was more low-key with a family lunch. Sydney really turned on the weather – it actually felt like I was back on the Gold Coast…

Almond milk latte from Anvil Coffee Co. Emma Lauren Food.

Sunday morning coffee

My younger sister and I enjoyed our early morning coffees and a walk around the beautiful Kirribilli streets before heading to the family lunch. In Kirribilli, Anvil Coffee Co is a great cafe located on the wharf. Much to my surprise they served almond milk and had quite a nice menu too – I gauged this only from reading it not actually eating anything.

It was really special to spend quality time with my family last weekend as it’s such a rarity these days; but I can assure you we definitely make the most of our time together when it does happen.

Anvil Coffee Co, Sydney. Emma Lauren Food

Quality sister time + coffees

I cannot believe it’s been one month since I moved to Melbourne! My morning routine has completely changed – from early morning exercising, cooking a big breakfast and driving to work I now exercise in the evenings, eat breakfast out of a jar (most days) and take the tram to work.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed my multiple breakfast jar posts, such as the one below…

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Fig and tahini breakfast jar

These have become my go-to breakfast as I make them the night before and grab it on my way out in the morning. I use a jar as it’s easy to carry and the food travels well in it, plus I like to make my food look appealing so the clear jar assists with that!

As you can see in the photo above there are a number of elements to my breakfast jar – granola, fruit, cinnamon, yoghurt and nut/seed butter.

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

The ‘granola’

This granola only takes 5 minutes to make and you can add in whatever granola ingredients you have in your healthy pantry. Lately I’ve been using buckwheat groats and chia seeds as the base as they absorbed the liquid and provide bulk to the granola. The pumpkin seeds add a crunch and the coconut, well I really just love coconut… so I add it in for extra flavour.

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready for assembling

Once the fruit is cut and the granola is made, it’s time for the fun part! A little tip, if you’d like your breakfast to look artistic use a teaspoon when layering the ingredients as they won’t end up on the sides of your jar if you’re careful enough.

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Tomorrow’s breakfast is made

For the jar, I actually use an old nut butter jar – about 400g. Just thoroughly clean it out and peel off the label then you have a non-toxic way to enjoy your breakfast!

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Cacao avocado spread + figs

Here’s some flavour inspiration for you! The cacao avocado spread + figs has probably been one of my favourite combinations so far – I think it’s the decadence of having chocolate for breakfast that gets me time and time again! Plus, the avocado really makes the spread creamy so it’s indulgent yet guilt-free!

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Chocolate tahini spread + strawberries

This will keep in the fridge for up to two days (depending on the fruit used) in your sealed glass jar!

Breakfast jars

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 2 TBSP coconut flakes
  • 2 TBSP buckwheat groats
  • 2 TBSP pumpkin seeds
  • 2 TBSP almond milk/milk of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP nut butter or this or even this
  • 2 TBSP coconut yoghurt/yoghurt of your choice
  • Fruit of your choice, sliced

Method:

  1. Place chia seeds, coconut, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds and almond milk in a bowl to make the ‘granola’.
  2. Mix until well combined then set aside for two minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Layer, in a glass jar, the nut butter, granola, cinnamon, fruit and yoghurt until filled to the top.
  4. Place lid on tight and store in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can add any ingredients you like to the ‘granola’ – goji berries, bee pollen, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, quinoa flakes, oats, etc. would all work well!
Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Chocolate tahini spread + blueberries + plums

The colours in this jar are so vibrant and make me enjoy breakfast that little bit more…

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Blueberries + apple + chocolate tahini spread

What are your thoughts on the breakfast jar?

Buckwheat frypan granola

Most store bought granolas and cereals these days contain copious amounts of sugar, often disguised under names we don’t recognise. This is the main reason I stopped eating them, plus it’s a lot cheaper to make your own.

Frying the buckwheat

Buckwheat is a great base for this granola as it’s gluten free – actually it’s a fruit seed, related to rhubarb. It’s high in fibre and contains all eight essential amino acids (meaning the body doesn’t naturally produce these amino acids, we have to get them from the foods in our diet).

IMG_1641

This granola is really versatile so you can basically add whatever you like (e.g. dried fruit, chopped nuts, cacao nibs, etc) to make it your own.

All cooked!

The granola will keep in a sealed container in the pantry for up to one week.

Buckwheat frypan granola

Makes 3.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut or desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP rice malt syrup

Method:

  1. Place a large frypan over medium heat and add coconut oil to melt.
  2. Add buckwheat groats and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add shredded coconut and pumpkin seeds and cook for a further 2 minutes, until they start to turn golden in colour.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir through chia seeds, cinnamon and rice malt syrup.
  5. Allow to cool before storing! Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Make sure you keep stirring the granola as it burns easily.
  • You can replace rice malt syrup with honey or 100% pure maple syrup.

Enjoy this served with coconut yoghurt or almond milk and topped with fresh fruit – or see below for more inspiration!

Served with coconut yoghurt, papaya and rhubarb!

Served with strawberries and my cacao avocado coconut spread!

Served with buckwheat pancakes, strawberry chia jam and almond butter!

Served in a parfait of coconut yoghurt, papaya, strawberries and macadamia butter!

How do you enjoy your granola in the morning?

Paprika chicken, sweet potato, parsnip, lime and basil salad

I love making salads that are complete meals, not just an accompaniment to a meal. This makes life so much easier and encourages people to eat more vegetables.

This salad is full of contrasting flavours which somehow all come together to complement one another. It’s a tasty salad that can be served all year round.

Paprika sweet potato

Paprika is an earthy spice that really gives this salad depth and an element of warmth.

Paprika chicken strips

The chicken adds an element of protein to the salad. If you don’t have any or want to make it vegan, you can use chickpeas instead.

Parsnip and sweet potato all cooked

I think people often overlook cooking with parsnips. This vegetables belongs to the carrot family and is high in vitamin C. When cooked it takes on a sweet nutty flavour which really complements the flavour of the sweet potato.

Vibrant greens

The green beans, basil and spring onion really bring a freshness to this salad, both in colour and taste.

Tasty, healthy salad

This salad can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two days.

Paprika chicken, sweet potato, parsnip, lime and basil salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 organic chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 4 TBSP paprika
  • 1 large sweet potato, washed and finely sliced
  • 1 parsnip, washed and finely sliced
  • 4 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 cup green beans, washed and ends cut
  • 4 sprigs of spring onion, washed and finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 TBSP pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Coat parsnip and sweet potatoes in 2 TBSP of paprika and 2 TBSP coconut oil.
  3. Place on prepared baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, turning them over at 10 minutes.
  4. Coat chicken strips in 2 TBSP paprika.
  5. Heat a large frypan over medium heat and add 2 TBSP coconut oil.
  6. Cook chicken strips for 5 minutes or until golden and no longer pink the middle.
  7. Combine green beans, spring onion, basil and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Then add cooked sweet potato, parsnip and chicken and toss until well combined.
  8. Whisk lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper together. Then pour dressing over salad.
  9. Enjoy!

Do you prefer to make salads as a complete meal, or as an accompaniment?

Vegan chickpea patties

When I have a busy week ahead I always make sure my food is prepared in advance. This is to prevent me from reaching for anything in sight when hunger strikes.

These chickpea patties are great to have on hand to add into salads, used as a filling in a wrap or top with hummus or pesto for a delicious snack.

Main ingredients

The main ingredients in the patties are chickpeas and pumpkin seeds. They are both full of protein and fibre which will keep you fuller for longer.

Adding some colour

The carrot and parsley not only add colour but extra nutrients to the patties.

‘Flax egg’ as a binding agent

As I’ve mentioned before here, flax eggs are a vegan replacement for eggs. They act as a binding agent and help keep the patties together.

All set for baking

These chickpea patties can be cooked in a frypan however I prefer to bake them as it means no extra oil is required.

Dinner is served

These patties will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to four days.

If you want to freeze them, do so before baking and layer between baking paper to prevent them from sticking together. Defrost the patties before baking and do so as per the instructions below.

Chickpea patties

Makes 11 medium-sized patties

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 250g cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, washed
  • 1 TBSP macadamia oil
  • 3 TBSP flaxseed meal
  • 1 TBSP water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix flaxseed meal and water together in a bowl to make the flax egg. Set aside for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Place chickpeas and pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Process for 2 minutes or until smooth.
  4. Add carrot, garlic, parsley and macadamia oil. Process for a further 2 minutes or until combined.
  5. Add flax egg and process for a final 2 minutes or until all combined.
  6. Roll into balls, place on prepared baking tray and press down gently to flatten.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes then flip and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with salad and enjoy!

Colourful dinner

I always try to eat a rainbow everyday!

How do you plan ahead with your food for a busy week? I’d love to hear any hints you might have!

Superfood fruit and nut loaf

The Gold Coast Marathon was on this morning and I wanted to bake something portable for breakfast so I could cheer the runners on. I took a slice of this loaf and an almond milk latte down to the race and was very content!

This superfood fruit and nut loaf was beyond what I had imagined it to be. It’s quite dense and is full of good fats, fibre and flavour.

Soon to be applesauce!

By cooking the apples down they turn into an applesauce which provides a natural sweetness to this loaf.

Dry loaf ingredients

The chia seeds and flaxseed meal are binding agents which keep the loaf together.

As I used spelt flour this loaf isn’t gluten or wheat free. However, spelt is an ancient grain with quite a nutty flavour and the way that it’s processed generally enables those who are allergic to wheat to tolerate it.

Chopped nuts and fruit

The best part about this loaf (besides the taste) is that the ingredients are easily interchangeable. As long as you use the same quantities you can change the type of nuts and fruit you use. However, I would recommend keeping the dates as they too add a natural sweetness.

Applesauce

This is what the applesauce looks like once cooked down and whisked.

Ready to be mixed in

Be sure not to over mix the loaf as the gluten in the spelt flour breaks down fairly easily meaning your loaf will become crumbly in texture.

Baked loaf

It’s so tempting to cut the loaf fresh from the oven and taste your delicious creation but allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes. This cooling time ensures your slices do not crumble and fall apart.

Muffins

As I made a double batch I decided to make muffins instead of another loaf.

Portable breakfast!

This photo was taken right before I headed downstairs to cheer on the marathoners!

The loaf and muffins will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to three days.

Superfood fruit and nut loaf

Makes 1 loaf and approximately 7 muffins or 2 loaves

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, washed and diced
  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups nuts, chopped (1/2 cup each of brazil, almond, walnut and macadamia)
  • 10 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup goji berries
  • Pumpkin seeds/pepitas for topping the loaf

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Place diced apple in a small saucepan with a dash of water. Simmer with lid on for 10 minutes, or until soft enough to whisk together to make applesauce.
  3. Mix spelt flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, flaxseed and chia seeds together in a large bowl.
  4. Add water and carefully mix until well combined.
  5. Fold in the nuts, dates, prunes, goji berries and applesauce.
  6. Spoon into prepared tin, top with pumpkin seeds and bake for 40-45 minutes.
  7. Cool for 3-5 minutes, slice then enjoy with a tea or coffee!

Notes:

  • To make oat flour blend/process 2 cups of oats until a flour-like consistency.
  • If you don’t have flaxseed meal and chia seeds you could just use 1/2 cup flaxseed meal or 1/2 cup chia seeds instead.
  • You can top the loaf with extra chopped nuts if you don’t have pumpkin seeds.
  • If you’re making muffins bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Halve the mixture if you don’t want to make two loaves.
  • You can toast a slice of this loaf then spread it with some nut butter!

How did you start your Sunday morning?