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Breakfast, Vegan &/or Raw

4-Grain Porridge

People want three things in life. To be happy. To be healthy. To be rich.

I can’t make you rich, but two out of three ain’t bad! This blog is all about food to make your taste buds break dance, without making you fat or ill. It’s about paying the grocer, not the doctor. It’s about taking the hell out of healthy.

Everyone digs porridge; the steaming bowl of goodness before that icy walk to work; the comforting smell of the kitchen as your oats happily burp on the stove; the sweet syrupy mess you so love to launch on your hot porridge, like a giddy conductor with ADD.

This 4-Grain Porridge is kickass comforting. The best part? It’s a complete source of protein too.

 

4 grain porridge recipe

 

By socialising oats with other grains such as amaranth, buckwheat and chia seed, we achieve a full quota of essential amino acids that otherwise would have fallen short of the bench presser’s Sweet Spot.

This is real cereal, not that sugary nonsense the word ‘cereal’ has come to represent. Whole, unrefined, unadulterated yumness that takes minutes to prepare, but parties in your body all day long.

And yes, oats often contain gluten. I need you to collect yourself. Ready? Gluten is not a poison. Such is the misinformation surrounding gluten, my poor husband thinks we should be taking an insurance policy out against it.

And our neighbour thinks gluten is something that wild teenagers sniff.

If you want to evict something in your diet, ditch the processed cereals and mass-produced granola. Let’s decriminalise gluten. I’ve never seen a herring so scarlet.

 

4 grain porridge4 grain porridge susan jane white

 

4-Grain Porridge
Makes 1kg

 

625g regular oat flakes
125g buckwheat flakes 
125g milled chia seed (not a grain)
125g amaranth flakes
3 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

 

I find the best way to make this is by asking 2 different pals to purchase the buckwheat flakes and the milled chia. I buy the amaranth flakes. Then we all swap 125g each.

Add the listed ingredients together in a 1kg Kilner or other jar. Shakey shakey shakey.

Store this way for up to 6 months.

When you fancy a bowl of 4-Grain Porridge, just treat the mix like regular oats. We like using 1 teacup of this 4-grain mix to 2.5 teacups of plant milk (oat’s milk is particularly good).

Simmer gently for 10 minutes, until glossy and creamy. Serve with sticky set honey.

 

 

Breakfast, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

2016 Chocolate Seed Soldiers

Coconut flour is quite the diva. It’s the Gordon Ramsay of flours. You can’t substitute it with any other flour. Try to, and your baked goodies will throw a hissy in the oven. This is because coconut flour demands alarming quantities of liquid in comparison to plain white flour.

I’m prepared to put up with coconut flour’s shenanigans because it makes a really great alternative to gluten or grain flours (hello paleo, hello coeliac). You won’t beat this flour’s fibre content either, ringing in at a whopping 42% (bye bye, haemorrhoids).

Extra bonus? You don’t even need to cook it.

Coconut flour works balistically well in this recipe, alongside cashew nut butter and a platoon of seeds. You can make great ‘cookie dough’ with it too, by combining the flour with some maple syrup, chocolate chunks, and nutbutter. No need to cook. Just roll into grenades and taunt the children into thinking it’s junkfood. They’ll love it.

 

seed soldiers the virtuous tart susan jane white
2016 Chocolate Seed Soldiers

The 2014 version is here which still knocks us sideways, like a puppy who ran into his birth brother. The 2016 ones are more wintry with orange zest, sea salt and creamed coconut.

 

The base:
1 cup (140g) dates, chopped
Just under 1 cup (100g) of milled flax or milled sunflower and pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup (55g-65g) coconut flour
1/2 cup (75g) raisins
1/2 cup (140g) almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew nut butter
Up to 1/2 cup (125ml) maple syrup or agave (honey doesn’t work)
3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
2 tablespoons goji berries
2 generous pinches of sea salt flakes
zest from 1 unwaxed orange

 

To top:

100g bar of 75% dark chocolate
1/2 block of creamed coconut (only 1 euro in specialist Asian grocers)
Handful of goji berries or dried mulberries
Some raw cacao nibs
Blue cornflowers (for a touch of Mary Poppins, but you can’t taste them)

 

In a food processor (a simple fork and a temper will also work), combine all the base ingredients until gorgeously gooey.

Spoon it out over a parchment-lined shallow tin. The perfect size tin is a 20cm x 25cm rectangular one, a little larger than the traditional 20cm x 20cm square brownie tin. I place another piece of parchment paper on top of the base mixture, pressing down firmly with my fingers. Once the base is smooth, you can ditch the top piece of parchment. Chill in the fridge.

Meanwhile, slowly melt the chocolate and creamed coconut in a bain-marie. This is basically a pot of simmering water, 2.5cm in depth, with a heatproof bowl sitting on top where a lid might otherwise have gone. The contents of the bowl will gently melt from the steam of the water underneath. The trick is not to let the water boil or let the bottom of the bowl touch the water underneath.

Smother the chilled base in this coconut and chocolate ganache. Parachute a couple of goji berries, cacao nibs, mulberries and blue cornflowers on top for colour. Refrigerate overnight. I doubt you’ll need an alarm clock to wake you up in the morning.

 

the virtuous tart cookbook

 

This weekend with The Sunday Independent, you’ll find my final Sugar Feature. Diets suck. That’s why I don’t do them. And guess what? I’ve never been so healthy or so happy. Once you master how to turn your pesky sugar cravings into a nutritional slam dunk, you’ll be levitating with satisfaction!

 

 

Breakfast, Lunchbox, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

Milf Muffins – with chocolate chips

I wasn’t going to call them vuffins (vegan muffins) or millet n’ teff muffins. Maybe Milf muffins have been invented before, but I ain’t brave enough to Google the phrase.

Check out this recipe’s armament: chickpeas, teff, raspberries, millet, psyllium, olive oil and almond milk. A balistically good way to foxtrot some goodness into your system. Lots of anti-aging allies in there too. In theory these muffins don’t keep longer than two days. In practice, they won’t keep longer than two minutes.

I made them on TV3 tonight, with Lucy Kennedy and Martin King. Tune into The Seven O’Clock Show, to catch a playback of the demo, and I’ll join you in your kitchen!

 

milf muffins the virtuous tart
the dry ingredients:

up to 1 cup (100–140g) coconut sugar or jaggery powder (or whatever darn sugar you fancy)
1/2 cup (75g) teff flour
1/2 cup (55g) sorghum (sweet millet) flour
1/2 cup (55g) chickpea flour (brown rice flour will also work in this instance)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1–2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
palmful of dried mulberries and / or a generous palmful of dark chocolate chips

For the plant-based ‘buttermilk’:
1 1/2 cups (375ml) almond or other plant milk
1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons psyllium husks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

 

Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F. Line a 12-mould muffin or fairy cake tin with cupcake cases.

To make the ‘buttermilk’, whisk the plant milk, olive oil, psyllium and vanilla with a fork, then leave to rest while you get jiggy with the other ingredients.

In a food processor (or with a whisk and tenacity), blend all the dry ingredients except the mulberries together so that the baking powder is distributed evenly. If you have potato flour loitering in your pantry, you can replace half the sorghum with it. Very nice.

Add the plant ‘buttermilk’ and beat or purée until smooth. Avoid tasting the batter – wet chickpea flour tastes and smells like cat’s pee. The cooked result is awesome though, so do persist! Stir in the dried mulberries and / or chocolate chips.

Divide the dough between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for 28 minutes. When the muffins spring back to the touch, they’re ready. Remove from the oven, turn the muffins out of the tray and let them cool on a wire rack.

These are best eaten within 1-2 days, but I doubt that’s going to be a burden.

 

milf muffin the virtuous tart

 

From The Virtuous Tart cookbook, on sale on Amazon and all good bookstores across Ireland and the UK.

 

Taking the hell out of healthy.

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