Carrot Coconut Loaf

Apologies for the week long hiatus - to say this past week has been hectic would be an understatement.
But I'm back, and back with a bang! This carrot coconut loaf is hearty, wholesome, wholegrain, oat-y, moist and best of all, will make you feel good! It's chock full of carrot, raisins, oats, wholewheat flour, coconut and spices.

The spices, coconut and carrot form such an aromatic combination and this is sure to make your home smell amazing when it's baking! When baked, this loaf produces a delicious brown crust that envelopes a moist cake within. It doesn't need any frosting or glaze - it's great just as is!

It's perfect with tea, coffee, milk or just on it's own. It's worthy of being breakfast, a teatime treat or midnight snack.
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup baby oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup unrefined sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup milk of choice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups grated carrot
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 170 C. Line a loaf baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking soda, baking power, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the baby oats.

In a separate, larger bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Add milk and applesauce and beat again.

Gently mix in the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the carrot, raisins and coconut. Do not over mix!

Pour into prepared baking pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!


Apple Cinnamon Oat Streusel Cake

Expect the unexpected.
Yup. That's right. Deep, meaningful and poignant. This apple cinnamon oat streusel cake is just that. You know when you're baking and you expect the final product to be good, but not amazing, and then it's better than amazing and your day just gets a million times better? Well, even if you don't, use your imagination.

This loaf cake literally knocked my socks off. It is to. die. for. Healthy enough for breakfast, hearty enough for an afternoon snack and decadent enough for dessert (topped with some vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce maybe? I'm definitely not trying to hint that this is what I did or anything..).
Just look at that streusel.  Are you drooling yet?

I'm just going to keep this super short and let the pictures speak for themselves. Let me just assure you - you will not regret making this. What you will regret is not making this.  Don't let the seemingly long(ish) list of ingredients put you off! They're all pretty much pantry staples, and if not, should be!

What are you waiting for?

For the cake:
1 cup oat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk of choice
2 cups diced apples

For the streusel:
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
3 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp unrefined sugar

Preheat the oven to 165 C. Line a loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (oat flour to nutmeg).

In a separate medium bowl, beat the eggs and a sugar until pale and creamy. Add in the  honey, coconut oil, vanilla and milk and beat again.

Create a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Stir until just combined. Finally, fold in the apple chunks.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.

In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the streusel topping. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the batter.

Bake for 60 minutes or until top is (slightly darker than) golden brown, streusel is crunchy, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Slice and serve warm out of the oven. Enjoy!


Crunchy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Back at it. That's the caption I shared when I snapchatted a picture of these cookies. And it's true. When I'm at uni, I generally take a break from blogging. I do bake once in a while, but rarely to I have a chance to take nice pictures - be it time constraints or the fact that I baked a cake for a friends birthday one night, and I can't just hold it till the next morning to snap a good photo (lighting's the issue here!).
When I'm home for vacation, then, is the only real chance I get to post. Thankfully, that's a lot of the time! It may seem ludicrous, but I've done the calculations, and I actually spend more time at home than I do at university...

Anyways, I was spending a (much-deserved) lazy Saturday afternoon at home, and the baking pangs hit. We already had some of this date cake lying around, so I didn't want to necessarily bake something that 1) was too similar and 2) wouldn't last too long. Cookies it was! The great thing about cookies is that they have a super long shelf-life (by super long I mean a week or few, not months or years - these are freshly baked, after all!).

We've been keeping our stash of chocolate chip cookies replenished for the past few months, and it felt like time for a change. Oatmeal raisin was the answer! Oatmeal raisin cookies are often overlooked, because they seem so old-fashioned or boring, but that definitely should not be the case. They are delicious, hearty and full of flavor - especially these ones because they're filled with oats, cinnamon and whole wheat flour!
These cookies are crispy/crunchy, because I felt they'd be great that way. Feel free, however, to bake them for a shorter time and see if they turn out soft and chewy. If you try them this way, be sure to leave a comment! This would also be great with the addition of chopped walnuts, and I'd definitely try them this way if you like nuts! If you've been following my other posts, you'll know that we generally keep things walnut-free, as my sister is allergic to them.

These cookies are super simple, require the most basic ingredients, and take probably 30 minutes end-to-end. If you're in the mood for an afternoon pick-me-up that requires minimal effort, clean-up and lots of deliciousness, this is the treat for you!

Makes 15-20 reasonably sized cookies
2/3 cup unrefined sugar
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
3 tbsp coconut oil, at room temperature but not melted
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 cup whole rolled oats

Preheat the oven to 175 C. Line a cookie baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

In a large bowl, beat together the sugars, coconut oils, egg, vanilla and salt.

Next, add the flour, cinnamon and baking soda and stir until well combined.

Mix in the raisins and oats. The dough should be relatively moist and sticky. If the raisins and oats are not holding together with the dough, add in a little more coconut oil, only a few drops at a time, until a the dough resembles cookie dough consistency.

Using your hands, loosely roll the dough into balls, flatten them slightly and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for around 15 minutes, or until cookies are a gorgeous golden brown (probably slightly darker as the dough itself is slightly dark due to the brown sugar and cinnamon).

Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy with milk, tea, coffee, or on their own!


Rasberry Banana Ombre Layered Smoothie

For the first time, I am posting a "recipe" while at uni! I think this calls for celebration. Oh wait - I already celebrated... By drinking this smoothie!

This is not really a recipe (just being honest here), but with the warm weather coming (hopefully), I hope this inspires you to embrace a healthy, balanced lifestyle and experiment with your own creations! This smoothie is absolutely delicious, creamy, cold, refreshing and downright gorgeous! Do you not agree?

What's better than sipping on a sweet, yet tart smoothie that just screams sunshine? Nothing? Yup, that's right! And not only does it look good, it'll make you feel you and it's good for you! It just needs a few simple ingredients, a tiny bit of planning ahead (to freeze the fruit!) and a blender or food processor!

Freezing the fruit is almost a must for this recipe, as it's what lends the dessert-y, ice-cream-like texture. And as a personal preference, I need my smoothies ice cold, so... Freeze the fruit!

1 ripe frozen banana (peeled, sliced into chunks and frozen)
1/2-2/3 cup frozen raspberries
1/4-1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup greek yogurt (make sure to use greek as it's much thicker than regular!)
drizzle of honey (optional)

Place the milk and frozen banana (and honey) in your blender and blend away until smooth and dreamy. Grab your smoothie glass, jar, jug or mug and fill it till it's 1/3 full.

In the blender jug with the remaining banana mixture, add in half of the raspberries and half the greek yogurt. Blend again until smooth. Grab your smoothie "vessel" and pour the new light pink mixture in until your glass is 2/3 full.

Head back to the blender, add in the remaining raspberries and greek yogurt and blend once again. Pour the final stunning pink deliciousness into your glass until it is full! If there's any leftover in your blender jug, sneak sips/spoonfuls right away or pour into another, smaller glass to enjoy as well!

Grab a straw and drink up! Enjoy!