Last Day of MoFo

Hi all, and thanks for sticking with me through my attempt at MoFo this year. Given that I chose to sign up last minute leaving little time for planning, I had pretty low expectations for myself to continue posting throughout the month. I decided to set myself a target of 3 posts per week, though even that I was skeptical about being able to make. Well, now we’ve arrived at the end of the month and I’ve basically done it – 3 posts a week (except for this short week, d’oh!)

So I didn’t really plan a post for today that could fit in with the theme, so instead I’m going to link you back to a couple of cookie recipes from last MoFo. Because for the holidays, you can’t go wrong with cookies.

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These are my great Nanna’s shortbread biscuits, veganised. You can find the recipe here. Along with gingerbread, shortbread always reminds me of Christmas. I love these dipped in dark chocolate with some sea salt, but I think some rosemary would be lovely too, or you could do what we did as kids and make little hollies out of red and green glace cherries.

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Last MoFo I also made these hazelnut choc chip cookies. Hazelnut and chocolate are a match made in heaven, and while they are not particularly festive themed I would never turn my nose up at them at any time of year. I used aquafaba in these, but as I said in the original post, I am not sure how much of a difference it made. Perhaps I should try them without and compare.

Aaaand that’s about all I have – I really need to get some more cookie recipes going! Happy MoFo everyone! I’ve really enjoyed being involved again, and as I do each year I’ve discovered a bunch of new awesome blogs/instagrams. It’s also been great having the motivation to post somewhat consistently again, and while I definitely won’t be doing 3 posts per week from here on out, I hope to continue somewhat regularly. Let’s hope for irregularly regular posts hey? Until next time…peace out MoFo’s!

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Lemon Saffron Yoghurt Cake with Lemon Yoghurt Glaze

I’m running with this week’s theme (rainbow week) pretty loosely – everything is a colour right? I had big plans for the multicoloured prompt to make a rainbow masterpiece, however as always happens midway through MoFo, I’ve been pressed for time, even with only been putting out a handful of posts per week. For the multicolour prompt, please refer back to my tacos from yesterday….they are quite bright. I suppose today’s lemon cake could fit in with the monochrome prompt from today as it is mostly yellow, with a golden orange crust….lets just roll with it okay?

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Now saffron is not something I cook with often, mainly because of the hefty price tag that comes with it. It’s certainly a sometimes food for me, but it does give a beautiful taste to whatever it touches. This would also be nice as a lemon yoghurt cake alone, but if you happen to have some lying around or can splash the cash, the saffron definitely gives it a lovely depth of flavour. This one is not super sweet, so it’s perfect as a tea cake. You could also just sift a little icing sugar over it in place of the glaze if you’d prefer, but I do like the tanginess of the glaze.

I also want to point out the beautiful plates that the cake is served on. These belonged to my great Grandma (mum’s mum’s mum). Apparently she used them daily way back when, though I don’t remember as I was only a little one and/or probably did not have the same appreciation of crockery as I do now. They are Mikasa Japanese stoneware (how I love Japanese stoneware!) and my Granny (mum’s mum) gifted them to me when I was last in Perth. So beautiful! Only one matching mug survived the years, so I will have to try to scout out some replacements. It feels really special to be able to use them just like my Grandma did 20-30 years ago. I hope they will continue to last so that I can pass them on to another generation one day.

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Lemon Saffron Yoghurt Cake with Lemon Yoghurt Glaze

3/4 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1/2 cup nuttelex (or other non dairy butter substitute)
1/2 cup non dairy yoghurt
2/3 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bi carb soda
1/2 tsp salt

Glaze
1/4 cup non dairy yoghurt
1 1/4 cup icing sugar
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Pour milk into a saucepan. Rub the saffron between you fingertips to crush it a little and let drop into the milk. Heat over low heat until milk starts to bubble at the edges. Take off heat and set aside until completely cool.

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 20cm (8inch) springform pan.

Cream nuttelex and sugar together until it has light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat to combine. One by one, add yoghurt, saffron milk (when cool) and lemon juice and beat until well combined after each addition.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Add wet mixture, and stir until just combined – don’t overmix. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 50-60 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the glaze, whisk together ingredients until smooth. Once cake is cool, pour glaze over the top.

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Hazelnut Choc Chip Cookies

I haven’t done much (read: any) experimenting with aquafaba until now, and I wouldn’t even say that this was very experimental, considering the meringue stuff that has been going on (SRSLY!). I did attempt a sponge cake in which I got to whip the aquafaba up and see it form peaks – a pretty amazing sight indeed. The sponge cake itself wasn’t what I had hoped, it was still dense rather than the light and fluffy I was going for. In these cookies, I had hoped the aquafaba would create this mad chewiness, but it didn’t happen to the extent I had intended. I don’t really think the aquafaba is even that necessary here. Regardless, these cookies are damn delicious.

What (insert well known person) would eat if they were vegan.

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So who would I be feeding these delicious cookies to, you ask?

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ZOMG! It’s Cookie Monster! Everyone knows Cookie Monster loves a good old choc chip cookie, but the addition of nuts suits his personality down to a T. I only hope he’s brought his cookie eating game cos we are getting pretty damn good and wolfing these babies down.

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No seriously, blink and you will miss them.

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Hazelnut Choc Chip Cookies
(makes about 28-32 cookies)

2/3 cup vegan butter
½ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup raw sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp chickpea juice
1 ¾ cups flour
1 ½ ts p baking powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup choc chips
½ cup hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 180, line a tray with baking paper. .

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars with electric beaters for a good couple of minutes. Add vanilla, chick juice and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients except for choc chips and hazelnuts. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to combine, before adding the rest along with the choc chips and hazelnuts and stirring to form a dough.

Taking heaps teaspoons, roll into balls then flatten into discs on the tray. Bake for 10-12 mins until bottoms slightly golden (on the shorter side for chewier cookies, longer for crispy). Allow to sit on the tray for a couple of minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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Nom nom nom nom…

broccoliweb

Music for your Mouth: Custard

DAY 30!!!

Can you even believe it? What a month it’s been! Although I planned to attempt a recipe per day for the month, I never expected I would stay on top of it. But here I am – day 30 of 30. I am actually quite proud of my efforts.

I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with food and music this month, although it has also taken a bit out of me. I had thought with a tiny bit of pre-planning, the whole event would be a cinch. Not the case. There were definitely ups and downs, mini kitchen meltdowns and whole recipes thrown away. Not to mention the extra expenses involved – I didn’t see that one coming! Perhaps next year my theme will have to be cheap eats…But anyway, we made it. Hoorah! I think we all deserve a big pat on the back.

Not only have I had my own cooking fun, but I’ve also loved connecting up with the worldwide vegan community. I’ve kept up with many of the blogs I usually read, but also pretty much doubled my reader with brand new (to me) blogs from all over the place. I still haven’t quite made my way through the MoFo Around the World page, but will hopefully get a chance to over the next week or so. It’s been so nice meeting you all and I want to thank you all for the lovely comments you’ve been leaving.

In the next few days I’ll do a round up of sorts and reflect on the month just gone, but for now I have one last musical treat for you. CUSTARD! I’m bring it back to home base with these guys, who are an Australian band that formed in the ’90s. To be honest, I don’t really know how big the band was worldwide, but I remember a whole stack of songs from them from the ’90s – they are so catchy. The most popular, Girls Like That (Don’t Go For Guys Like Us) has such a catchy riff and was played a lot on Rage and I think even Triple J – if you haven’t heard it, give it a listen below.

custard2 This was one of the recipes that took me a few gos. I had never tried to bake soy custard before, and so firstly decided to attempt a custard mix using silken tofu. I used beautiful rhubarb from my mum and dad’s garden, however the custard didn’t quite cut it – was too spongy – and the crust was too thick.

custard3This time I just used the basic custard recipe from the custard powder box (check that you get a vegan brand as some have milk or egg in them), popped some berries in it (after running out of rhubarb) and chucked it in the oven. It turned out better than I expected. Probably could do with some more tweaking, but uh, it’s DAY 30 MoFo’s!!!

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Custard and Berry Tarts
(makes 6)

Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup nuttelex, cold
2 Tbsp icing sugar
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp ice water

Filling
1/4 cup custard powder
3 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups non-dairy milk

Handful of mixed berries – about 1/3 cup plus extra for topping

Mix flour, salt and sugar together in a bowl. Add nuttelex in small chunks, then rub together with your fingers until mix becomes like crumbs. Add water one tablespoon at a time until mixture can form a ball. Cover and chill in the fridge for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C and grease six small tart tins. Separate dough into six balls. There may even be enough dough for a seventh, however I only had six tins so ya know. On a floured surface, roll each piece of dough out into a circle, about one centimetre thick. Press dough into tins, cutting off any extra. Make a couple of fork pricks in the bottom of each tart, then put some pastry weights on top of each and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and remove pastry weights.

In a saucepan, stir together custard powder and sugar. Add a couple of tablespoons of milk and whisk into a thick paste. Add remaining milk slowly and put over medium heat. Stir continuously with a whisk as the mixture begins to thicken – it is amazing how quickly lumps form if you get a bit lax. Once mixture has thickened – about ten minutes – stir in vanilla. Remove from heat.

Place a couple of berries in the bottom of each tart shell. Distribute custard amongst tart shells, then return to oven for fifteen minutes, until custard sets.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the topping, I grabbed a few extra berries, one teaspoon of agave and a dash of vanilla and cooked down into a sort of coulis.

custard7Gotta love an inside shot. It reminds me of Peter Everett on Ready Stead Cook. My, how he loved to see food ooze.

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What the hey, it’s the last day, here’s another one!

Congratulations everyone, it’s been a blast! Peace ouuuwwwwttttt!

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Cake

Who doesn’t love CAKE? Am I talking about the band or the food? I don’t know! Both! Another band that reminds me of the ’90s, with their funky base lines and deadpan vocals. I am into it.

Naturally, today’s recipe is for cake. This particular cake (or a version of it) is one that I used to make aaaaall the time as a child (in the ’90s!) – it was my favourite recipe from a kids cooking book that I had. I just loved the fruity combination of banana and pineapple, and cream cheese icing has always been my favourite.

If you like light and fluffy cakes, this may not be the cake for you – this bad boy is dense, moist and sweet.

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Banana Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

2 cups spelt flour
3 medium bananas, mashed
3/4 cup crushed pineapple
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Icing:
1/2 tub tofutti
2 Tbsp nuttelex
1 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and/or line a 23cm round baking tin.

In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, bicarb soda,salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a medium bowl or jug, combine banana, pineapple, coconut sugar, coconut oil and vanilla. Stir through apple cider vinegar milk.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the wet mix in, stirring until just combined. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and turn out onto a rack to cool.

For the icing, combine tofutti and nuttelex in a bowl and beat with electric beaters for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla juice, lemon and beat to combine. Add icing sugar bit by bit, and beat until combined. Place icing in the fridge to firm up a little until your cake is cool enough to ice.

cake3I kind of just slopped this icing on, cake still slightly warm as I was seriously running out of time to photograph this before nightfall – hence the crappy lighting and the taking the cake outside to catch some natural light as well, haha.

cake2I love watching the people listening and grooving to the song – and love the fact that it’s been played on a discman. Yeeehah!

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Martha and the Muffins

Holy moly there’s some great alliteration going on in the title today. A mouthful of muffins!

I had heard of the band Martha and the Muffins in passing before now, but didn’t really think I knew who they were. I did a bit of the old internet research, and the first song that came up on youtube was Echo Beach. As soon as I started playing the song I recognised it – it is so familiar, I just have no idea where from. The Bear felt the same too…perhaps it is in a movie or something? 

Regardless of where it’s from, it’s a catchy tune with a perfect 80s film clip – the outfits, the hair styles, the split screen shots – it’s all there! I probably should have made some daggy 80’s cookbook muffins to match, but I will leave that to Hasta La Vegan, who is doing a spectacular job of with her theme of Bizarre and Outdated Cookbooks. Check. It. Out. Some serious dishes happening over there.

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Zucchini and chocolate are the perfect partners in crime in the creation of lovely moist cakes. Not only that, but using veggies in sweets is a great way to sneak them in for those who do not look so kindly upon them. I reckon that if I had zucchini-hating children, I would definitely test this recipe on them – I bet they would barely notice the vegetables in amongst all that delicious chocolate.

marthamuffins4I don’t know what it is about muffins, but Ruby can never seem to keep her eyes off them. She is definitely my dog! Or maybe it’s the sneaky cats on the tea towel that she’s got her eye on this time…

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Chunky Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
(makes 12)

1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup overripe banana, mashed
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flaxmeal = 3 Tbsp water)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180C and lightly grease or line a muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cacao, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the banana, vanilla, oil, sugar, flax egg and milk.

Stir zucchini into the wet mix, then pour the whole lot into the dry mix and stir until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Fold through choc chunks.

Spoon into muffin tray and bake for 20-25 mins until they bounce back when you press them lightly. Allow to cool slightly, then turn onto a cooling rack.

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veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Bread

It’s that special time of the year – Vegan MoFo is back, and so too am I for my second go at it. This year, my theme is Music for your Mouth (pretend you can see a spiffy banner which will hopefully be ready by tomorrow). Oooh, ahhhh!

Yes, Music for your Mouth – this month I’m dedicating all my posts to bands with food-y names. And what better way to start than with this classic – Bread!

No prizes for guessing what I made to match this band – a good old fashioned loaf of bread. Now this loaf of bread ain’t perfect, but since it’s MoFo, there’s no time for messing around so I’m going to post it anyway (this month will probably see a lot of ‘it’s not perfect but…’ from me). I wouldn’t really eat this bread as bread, as it is super dense – I think it is best suited to toast. It has a rich, dark, sweet flavour from the molasses, and lots of nuttiness from all the seeds. It reminds me of all the beautiful artisan loaves we used to get in Tasmania (in appearance at least!)

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Seeded Spelt Bread

500g spelt flour
300ml warm water
2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 pack dry yeast (approx 7g
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil + extra for bowl
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Top:
2 Tbsp non dairy milk
1 tsp rolled oats
1 tsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp sunflower seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds

Firstly, proof your yeast by dissolving molasses into water, adding yeast and setting aside for 5-10 mins. This is not totally necessary, but it’s fun watching the little explosions of yeast bubble to the surface.

In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Add the yeast mix along with the olive oil and stir as long as you can with a wooden spoon, then turn the dough out onto a floured bench top.

Start kneading away, adding flour if the dough is too wet or extra water if too dry. Knead for 10 minutes, then make into a ball. Get a clean bowl and swish some oil around in the bottom so that your dough doesn’t stick. Put your dough in the bowl, cover with a clean damp tea towel and set aside to rise for a couple of hours (I did two here).

Punch your dough, then knead again for another 2-3 minutes. Shape into a logish loaf shape, then place on a greased baking tray. With a sharp knife, do a couple of slashes along the top of the dough, so that you don’t have any explosions or deformations in the baking process. Set tray aside and allow dough to rise for another hour or so.

Preheat oven to 200C.

Brush dough with milk, then sprinkle seeds over the top. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when you knock on it.

Allow to cool on rack before slicing.

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As I said, this bread totally works best as toast. It’s perfect for some avo, chilli and lemon on top. Nothing really beats the satisfaction of eating a slice of bread that you made by hand, it really feels wholesome or something.

Now please enjoy the sweet sounds of bread as you munch away on this.

veganmofo

Baked Falafel with Quinoa Tabouli

I freaking love falafel, and for some reason I’ve always enjoyed the baked kind more than the fried. Maybe it’s memories of greasy kebab shops with crispy oily falafels that leave a coating in your mouth. Maybe it’s the fact that you can put them in the oven and leave them be to do their thing without too much worry. Whatever the reason, they rock.

I actually made this recipe back in Gympie when we were living in the van. Oh, how it seems so long ago…cooking in our tiny fold out kitchen on the side of the road or in the bush. Those were the days! I didn’t have an oven then to bake them, but have since made the recipe again and enjoyed it as much.

What I liked about these is how moist they are, they don’t dry out even when baked. Rather than being like dry biscuits, they are like mouthfuls of creamy hummus. And who doesn’t love hummus?! They are also one of those magical foods that taste even better the next day, so they make great leftover lunch.

Of course, tabouli is the perfect match for falafels, and I love the hint of mint hidden away in it – so fresh and zangy. Oh and the parsley helps with the garlic breath you may find you have after eating all this. You’re welcome.

falafelBaked Falafel with Quinoa Tabouli

Quinoa Tabouli:
(serves 4 as a side dish)

1/3 cup uncooked quinoa
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 bunch flat leafed parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of one lemon
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt

Rinse and cook quinoa according to instructions. I usually do 1 part quinoa to 2 parts liquid. Allow to cool.

Add quinoa, tomato, cucumber, red onion, parsley and mint to a bowl and toss to combine.

Whisk garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a small bowl. Pour over tabouli and mix through.

Ta-daaaaa! Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Baked Falafel:
(makes 12-14 small falafels)

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
2-3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 brown onion, diced
2 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp hulled tahini
3 Tbsp chickpea flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C and lightly grease a tray.

Blend onion, garlic, parsley and coriander in a food processor or blender.

Add half of the chickpeas, cumin, paprika, lemon juice and tahini and mix until well combined.

Add the remaining chickpeas, and pulse until just combined. I like to leave half of them kind of chunky.

Transfer mix to a bowl, and stir in flour and baking powder. The mix should be like a thick paste or soft dough and you should be able to roll it into balls without making too much of a mess. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour. If too dry, try adding some more lemon juice or water.

Roll mixture into balls and lay out on the tray, press slightly to flatten into disc shapes. Spray or brush lightly with olive oil (optional).

Cook for 15 minutes, then carefully flip each falafel over. Bake for another ten mins, until golden brown.

Serve with tabouli and dressing of choice – here I whisked together some tahini, white wine vinegar, water and smoked paprika, then topped with some hot sauce (of course!)

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Banana Choc-Chunk Muffins

Lately I’ve been bagging some awesome deals on overripe bananas. I doubt I need to explain what I have been doing with said bananas. It’s winter! I’m getting my banana-bake on.

One of my favourite treats that mum would make when we were little was banana choc chip muffins. There was also a banana date version that I recall enjoying (though we all know that dates are not chocolate). I can still picture the muffin recipe book that she used to cook from! So for me, banana choc chip muffins have a really strong taste-memory attached to them, the kind where you take a bite and an image immediately pops to the forefront of your mind. I love it.

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I’ve done a few different versions of these over the past fortnight and distributed them among the masses, the ones below are definitely my favourite.

Unfortunately for Ruby Tuesday, she was not amongst the masses. This did not impress her.

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Try explaining to a dog why there is food within reach but they are not allowed to touch it.

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Sorry Rubes!

Sad puppies aside, these muffins are absolutely divine straight out of the oven, all soft and oozing chocolate. Mmm…oozing. They are also incredible once they’ve cooled down, and the chocolate gets all chunky. I honestly can’t decide how I like them better – I will have to do some further research and get back to you.

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Banana Choc-Chunk Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)

1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bi-carb soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt
4-5 small-medium overripe bananas
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 flax egg (1Tbsp flax meal + 3 Tbsp water)
1/3 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180C, and lightly grease a muffin tray (or line with papers).

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas up with a fork. Add coconut oil, sugar, vanilla and the flax egg and stir with a fork until well combined.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. If the mix seems to dry, add a dash of non-dairy milk. Fold through chocolate chunks, being careful not to overmix.

Distribute evenly among the muffin pan, then whack them in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until slightly golden and they bounce back when you touch them. Do the old skewer test if you need to check.

Devour.

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