Tag Archives: Protein

Banana Quinoa Cake Recipe – Gluten-free and vegan

Have you ever tried baking with quinoa flour?

It’s gluten free for a start and all the protein in the quinoa helps to give the bread some of its structure.

In reality, because gluten is a form of protein, you’re just replacing one form of protein with another. Almond, Amaranth, Buckwheat, Soya and Chickpea are all protein rich sources of flour you might want to consider using.

This recipe for banana quinoa cake is a good place to start because it’s so easy and has a lovely fluffy texture. The other advantage is that it uses no eggs, so it’s vegan too.

quinoa cake recipe vegan and gluten free

Using quinoa adds structure to your baking

banana quinoa cake (Gluten-free and vegan)

100g Quinoa flour
60g Brown sugar
40g Almond flour
2 tsps Baking powder
1 Ripe banana
4 tbsps Coconut oil
1 Orange
Handful of Pumpkin seeds or Linseeds (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C or Gas 4.
2. Mix together the flours, the baking powder and the sugar.
3. Mash the banana in another bowl.
4. Melt the coconut then add it to the banana and stir well.
5. Juice the orange and cut the skin into small pieces, then mix both in with the banana.
6. Mix in the prepared flour.
7. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment and pour in the mix.
8. Sprinkle the seeds on top and bake for about 45 minutes.

Calling all Vegans – Complete Protein sources here

If you’re a vegan, did you know that a peanut butter sandwich is a fantastic combination for a source of complete protein? (Provided you use wholemeal bread.)

Or how about rice and peas, or humus and pita bread?

Most vegans know that protein is abundantly available in lots of foods, however the real challenge is to make sure you mix up your daily menu to get the range of proteins into your diet. It’s easy to just rely on tofu but there’s lots more out there, especially if you mix and match.

Quinoa  - a vegan and gluten free source of complete protein

Quinoa is a great vegan source of  vitamins, minerals and protein

Give Quinoa a Try

Quinoa (keen-wa) is well known as a complete protein and is super nutritious, but few use it because they don’t know how to cook it properly (the secret is to rinse and soak first).

Fortunately, you can use Express Quinoa which comes ready to eat hot or cold. (For hot, simply pop them in the microwave for a couple of minutes.)

Naturally gluten free and organic, Alice & Oscar’s Quinola Mothergrain make both a quick-cook red & white quinoa or black & white quinoa to try – depending on how you like your quinoa to taste. They also have the individual quinoa grains available in nutty red, crunchy black or smooth white for those who know they can cook up a proper dish of quinoa without any trouble.

Discover them all at GoodnessDirect.


Nutritious snacks from North Wales

If you’re active in sports it’s likely that you’ve heard of the 9bar.

Wholesome snackbars made from seeds and nuts, supplying you with the protein energy you need, including the 9 essential amino acids. There are no artificial ingredients, just lots of nutrition including vitamins, minerals and omega oils.

It makes them perfect for vegan athletes and they’re approved by both the Vegetarian and Coeliac Societies. They come in many flavours, including the Original and Pumpkin bars.

Wholebake, the company behind the 9bar also make a range of traditional, but wholesome flapjacks with a range of toppings and interiors.


Handmade flapjack made with whole oats

Featuring indulgent flavours like Apple & Raspberry, Caramel Fudge, Ginger & Dark Chocolate or Raspberry & Strawberry, it’s amazing the flapjacks can claim to be naturally made. But the ingredients are carefully chosen and the bars handmade in North Wales to give you a veritable feast of a snackbar.

Whether you are sporting or not this flapjack has enough density about it not to fall apart easily on an afternoon’s excursion. It’s moist and sweet and perfect for a day out in the sun.

Health bragging rights with Bragg’s

Liquid Aminos for protein

Nutrition you need – taste you love

That annoying question vegetarians get asked…

“What about the protein?”

It’s never really been an issue, especially if you know about Bragg’s.

Bragg’s was a driving force in health food before we were born. One of his famous products includes Liquid Aminos, a kind of all purpose seasoning made from soy protein. It includes 16 of the 20 amino acids which our body needs.

So it makes a wonderful top up for anyone seeking to include more protein in their diet (though it should never be used to replace other sources of protein). It also tastes great, adding a savoury touch to any food you may care to add it to. Not to mention that it’s gluten free, so a useful alternative to soy sauce for coeliacs.

Bragg’s also do a great line in cider vinegar – famous for its health benefit with diabetes, digestion, calcium intake, weight loss, blood pressure etc. Bragg’s cider vinegar can come plain or sweetened with stevia or grape or boosted in its healthfulness by ginger or acai.

You know what they say: look after your body and your body will look after you.

Tigernuts, the original superfood?

Peeled tiger nuts

Tigernuts are choc-full of goodness

It seems that the designers of the paleo diet have got it wrong…

The major food in our ancient diet wasn’t meat or berries or nuts.

According to Oxford University it was in fact tigernuts (which aren’t nuts at all, but a kind of superfood tuber or herb).

But this isn’t as terrible as it sounds. Tigernuts (or is it tiger nuts?) are actually quite sweet, almost almondy, and full of nutrition.

In fact, the list of nutritional benefits is quite big (not surprising if it was the caveman’s basic food). They are high in fibre and protein and have equal or greater amounts of iron, zinc, copper and magnesium than milk. Tigernuts are also high in calcium, iron, phosphorus and thiamine. They are cholesterol reducing, prebiotic and rich in fatty acids, vitamin C and E. Gram for gram, these tiny titans contain almost twice the starch of potatoes, making an excellent appetite suppressant.

For those with allergies, tigernuts can be made into a naturally sweet milk and, because they are also naturally gluten free, they lend themselves to baking as a flour. They also make a simple alternative to using nuts in meals, but they need to be soaked first.

Tigernuts are also known as chuffa nuts, earth almonds, rush nut, Florida almonds and yellow nut grass. At GoodnessDirect they are available whole or peeled, and as a flour or milk.

Free from treats – the best things come in small packages

Simple pleasures. Ever noticed how it can be those little snacks that get you through the day?

Simple, as long as the ingredients are okay for you.

Dairy Free chocolate buttons are a great example. They have been popular ever since I started work in the health food business.

Mums love them, because their children love them. Humdinger makes them as milk or white chocolate and, you won’t need me to tell you, they’re perfect for cakes.

Another great example is Mini Moo’s Bunnycomb Bar. It’s dairy free again and organic, but the pleasure comes from all those little honeycomb pieces littered over the top of the chocolate.

If chocolate isn’t your thing, then adults and children alike love those Slightly Sour gummy bears, properly titled Vegebears as they’re vegan. In fact there’s a whole range of organic Vegebear sweets from Just Wholefoods to check out.

For the tiniest treat of all you might be interested in Beond’s Organic Blueberry Bite. At only 57 calories this smallest of snacks not only looks cute, it’s a pleasure for those who are gluten free, soya free or on a vegan or raw diet.

But going back to chocolate, Pulsin have brought out a Vanilla Choc Chip protein snack. It’s still small and simple but it’s potent, packed with 12g of protein, low GI and yet gluten and soya free and ideal for vegans.

Good things still come in small packages.


Chia is becoming increasingly available

white chia

Chia: full of Omega 3

I’m very glad that chia seeds are becoming more readily available.

They are very high in Omega 3, in perfect balance with Omega 6, and are brim-full with nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fibre.

We’ll increasingly see it become available in foods such as Biofair’s organic Palitos, a gluten free, nut free and vegan South American snack made from chia and quinoa.

Chia is seen as useful to athletes, diabetics and dieters because of this way it affects the digestion of nutrients. So much so that the grain company, Linusit, recommended that you consume a maximum of 15g of chia a day and only with 150ml of water.

The seed can be used with yoghurt and cereals or sprinkled over soups, vegetables, salads or desserts. Chia can even be used in home baking for breads, cakes and biscuits.

While chia seed can be used as a wholegrain, Linusit offers both whole and milled white chia seed. They also guarantee their seed is gluten and lactose free.