09 January, 2014

Veganuary - Going Vegan for January

For a long time now I have been intrigued to give 'being vegan' a go. We eat out at a lot of Vegan/Vegetarian places already and the food I have there are some of my favourites. A few of my friends are also vegan or dairy free and rave of its health benefits so when someone brought 'Veganuary' to my attention I thought I'd give it a whirl.

The concept of Veganuary is to be vegan for the month of January. This means you will not consume any food derived from animals, this includes all meat, dairy and eggs. Seeing as I'm not a big meat eater anyway and rarely eat eggs (unless hungover) I am actually looking forward to the rest of this month.

We're 9 days in now and I have to admit I've taken to this Vegan lark like a chickpea to hummus. We've had a veggie chilli, smoothies, sweet potato cakes, cauliflower base pizzas, leek and bean stews, homemade hummus and lots and lots roasted veg.

I've even attempted some vegan baking. One of my favourite Gluten Free blogs is Gluten Free Vegan Girl - so now it's even more appropriate for my little challenge.

This recipe is for her Banana Bread:

2-3 cups certified gluten-free oat flour (or make your own by placing oats in a blender/food processor
1 cup dates
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk (or other plant-based milk)
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

  1. In a food processor/blender add in the dates, soy milk and vanilla, and blend this until completely smooth. In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients, before stirring in the blended ingredients and mashed bananas (and whatever optional ingredients you wish). Start out with using 2 cups oat flour and if the dough is too thin, gradually add in 1 cup more. The dough should be somewhat like a thick pancake batter.
  2. Pour the batter into a bread pan (non-stick or with a baking sheet underneath), and cook for about 60-90 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember to check on the bread regularly by carefully poking it with a small knife every once in a while. When it comes out clean, and the bread has “let go” of the pan edges, the bread is done. Sometimes this even takes 2 hours! Remember to let the bread rest on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before cutting into slices, otherwise the slices might crumble slightly.
It is so chewy and delicious and whats more you wouldn't even notice it is missing gluten, dairy or any added sugar. There are hundreds of amazing recipes on her blog and if you have an interest in being Gluten Free or Vegan that I urge you to take a look - http://www.gluten-free-vegan-girl.com/

I'll be posting a few more of my favourite vegan recipes throughout the month so be sure to check back if you are after some inspiration.

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