Bananananana

Out of all the baking, I think I make banana bread most often. It’s a great thing to make when you have ripe bananas (which I always have), it’s easy and everyone loves it. This is why it is so so weird that there isn’t a single banana bread recipe on my blog yet! How is this even possible?? That needed to change. So I made my favourite ever banana bread, to share it with you. I think it’s a great autumn recipe too, with lots of delicious cinnamon. I do not always feel like it, but you can also add 1/2 a tsp of ginger powder or all spice, to get the taste of autumn a little bit more. It’s up to you! This banana bread recipe is free from refined sugar and made with coconut oil. I don’t think I will ever call it healthy, but let’s say that it is not that bad for you. Unless you eat it with (plant based.. duhh!) vanilla ice cream, like I often do (sooo good!). Just an extra tip.. after it is all cooled down, slice it up and freeze them separately. This way you can have a fresh slice of banana bread for snack whenever you want to.

BANANANANANA

Serves: 8-10

Dry Ingredients:
1,5 cup flour
2 tbs custard powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1,5 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Wet ingredients:
1 cup medjool dates
3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup oat milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs ground flaxseed

Extra:
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 tbs pumpkin seeds
2 tbs sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup raisins
1 small banana (finely chopped)
1/3 cup chocolate (chopped, optional)
1 banana (cut in length, optional)

-Preheat the oven at 180C.
-Mix all the dry ingredients.
-Mix all the wet ingredients and slowly mix this into the dry ingredients.
-Mix in all the extra things, except the banana you’ve cut in length.
-Grease a baking tin and divide the banana bread mixture in the tin.
-Put the cut banana on top and press it lightly into the mixture.
-Put it in the oven for 55-65 min.
-Let it cool down before slicing it up. 

Do you love banana bread? It’s a great thing to make and to share! Please show me your creation. You can do this by tagging e or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

BERRYLICIOUS

I love berries! Doesn’t matter what kind of berries, I love them all. As it’s blackberry season at the moment and there are huge huge bushes all around my van, I decided to make a cake with them. It’s to celebrate that my van is all finished now (I will dedicate a special post about my van soon)! Yay! Finally! I already live in it for over a year, but there were still a lot of things that needed to be done. All done now! Woohoooo! The first time I only used blackberries, but I thought it would be even nicer to use different types of berries. So I added some blueberries and one of my all time favourite, raspberries. I played a little bit with the ingredients and the result was mind blowing. I think this might be the best cake recipe I’ve ever created. It is a must try! Especially with the yogurt-cinnamon topping. It’s such a good combination.. the moist, soft cake, the sweet and sour berries and the fresh creamy yogurt on top. Gosh!

BERRYLICIOUS

Serves: 8-10 

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbs custard powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt 

Wet Ingredients:
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup oat milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 tbs lemon (juice) 

Berries:
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup raspberries 

Topping:
1/2 cup soy yogurt (unsweetened)
1/4 cinnamon
1 tsp lemon (juice)
extra berries (optional)
mint leaves (optional)

-Preheat the oven at 180C.
-Mix all the dry ingredients together.
-Mix all the wet ingredients together.
-Gradually mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth (preferably with an electric mixer).
-Use a spoon to carefully mix in the berries.
-Grease a cake tin with some extra oil and pour in the mix. Make sure the cake mix is nice and even.
-Put the cake tin in the oven for 45-55 min.
-In the meantime mix the yogurt, cinnamon and lemon juice.
-Before serving (and when the cake is all cooled down) you can add the yogurt topping, the extra berries + mint leaves. 

Are you going to make this Berrylicious cake recipe? Please let me know if you liked it. I would also love to see a picture of your creation! You can do this by tagging me on Instagram or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

Quinoa Start

Did you have quinoa for breakfast before? It’s not something you will think of as a breakfast, but it’s actually a perfect start of your day. Quinoa is super healthy! It’s high in protein and also contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids. That is not all, it also contains magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and it’s high in fiber. Oh and it’s gluten free! I often cook some quinoa in the beginning of the week and keep it in the fridge. This way I can use it in salads etc. during the week, but also for this recipe. Quinoa is actually a seed and it has quite a neutral taste, this is why it’s perfect to enjoy in savoury and sweet dishes. I’m sure that if you’ve had quinoa before, you probably had it for lunch or dinner in a savoury dish, but why not try it like this?

QUINOA START 

Serves: 1 

1 cup quinoa (cooked)
1/2 cup oat milk
2 tbs porridge oats
1 tbs maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
fresh berries

-Put everything in a pan, mix it up and let it come to boil on a medium heat.
-Lower the heat and let it simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Keep stirring!
-Put it in a bowl and add some delicious fresh berries.

Are you going to try this for breakfast? Please let me know if you liked it and what toppings you chose. You can do this in the comments below, by tagging me or by using #planetmanel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Quick Start

The easiest breakfast ever! You probably heard about overnight porridge already. It’s the best, easiest and fastest breakfast you can make and it’s also nutritious and it releases its energy slowly. What more do you want?! The recipe I’m giving you is quite a basic recipe, but it’s how I make it. You can make lots of varieties. This one is a bit like a chia pudding too. Chia seed is full of fiber, protein, omega-3 and it has various micronutrients. This makes it a perfect way to start your day. The best is that it’s very easy to make. You make it before you go to sleep (will only take 1 minute, don’t worry!) and it’ll be ready for you the next morning. What means that even when you’re in a rush, you can still enjoy a nutritious breakfast that will keep you going all morning.

QUICK START 

Serves: 1

base
1/2 cup oats
1 tbs chia seed
1 cup plant based milk

toppings
fresh fruit
dried fruit
cinnamon
nuts/seeds
maple syrup 

-Mix the oats, chia seed and milk in a container (with lid) and put it in the fridge overnight.
-In the morning: give it a good mix and add any toppings you like.

Are you going to try this recipe? Please let me know in the comments below and show me your beautiful and yummy creations. You can do this via Instagram by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Pink Morning

A very pink morning to you! Did you have breakfast this morning? Or at what time do you break your fast? I often do this between 10:00-12:00 as I like intermittent fasting. Breaking my fast is always a nice moment. If I don’t drink a big glass of celery juice first, I like to start with this pink goodness. It’s a great way to get some extra fruit (vitamins!) and some healthy fats and protein into your system, what means that it’s a great start of your day. I can easily keep going on this for several hours. This is why I tend to have something like this when I break my fast early (10:00). Don’t worry about it not filling you up, because it’s a large portion. You can just sip on it whilst commuting or working or split it in half and drink it as a snack later in the morning or afternoon. This is definitely one of my favourite smoothies!

PINK MORNING

Serves: 1

1 cup yogurt
1 cup plant based milk
½ cup oats
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 ripe banana
1 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs flaxseed
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbs agave nectar (optional)
extra plant based milk (optional)

-Blend until smooth. I like to add some extra plant based milk after it’s finished.

Are you going to try this recipe? Please let me know in the comments below or show me your beautiful and yummy creations via Instagram. You can do this by tagging me or by  using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

French Castle

A while ago I made this for the kids (I’m a nanny) and when I put some pictures on Instagram, I got a lot of reactions. So I made it into a proper recipe and now you can enjoy it too! It’s the perfect recipe to make for a brunch. And you can make ‘the castle’ even bigger if you like, it will look so impressive and festive. Personally I looooove french toast and a lot of people think you need egg to make it, but that is not necessary at all. You can perfectly enjoy it without and it’s super tasty! Instead of topping it with maple syrup, you can also use some butter (I recommend Vitalite butter) and some soft brown sugar. Yum!

FRENCH CASTLE

Serves: 3-4 people

6-8 slices of bread (lightly toasted)
1,5 cup oat milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tbs nutritional yeast
1,5 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
Oil for frying
1/2 mango (chopped)
4-6 strawberries (chopped)
1 cup blueberries 
Maple syrup

-Mix all the ingredients (except the bread, duhh!) in a bowl.
-Heat a frying pan on a medium-high fire.
-When the pan is hot, pour in at least 1 tbs of oil.
-Let the oil get hot and dip the toast into the mixture.
-Fry the toast until golden brown on both sides.
-Put them all on top of each other and top with the fresh fruit and maple syrup.
*Also nice with butter and brown sugar! 

Do you love French Toast and did you know it’s this easy to veganise it? When you make the recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, so I can give you a shoutout! You can also use #planetmanel if you like. Thank you! X

Packaging Free Shopping in London

A while ago I was in London again for a few days. Even though I live fairly close to London, I’m there a lot less than I expected to be. I’ve had a great time being in my beloved city and I went back home with lots of inspiration. I stayed with my employer’s family, around Battersea, which is  a lovely area. The 2 most important things on my planning were, to visit Unity Diner (which I did, but will write a separate article about) and to visit the Whole Foods Market. I always go to the Whole Foods Market when I’m in London, because that is the shop I miss the most. They offer quite a range of products which you can buy in bulk and package free and that is exactly what I wanted to do. They have dried fruits, different types of rice, beans, seeds, nuts, oats, herbs and spices etc. I had a real purpose this time and I planned to do this on the last day, just before I’d go home.

On Saturday Portobello Road was on my to do list. This is my favourite part of London. Notting Hill is so pretty and there is so much life, inspiration and lovely things on Portobello Road. Especially on Saturday. It’s busy though, because on the weekend most of the people are tourist. I love all the market stalls, where I used to get lots of my fruit and veggies. It’s something else I miss. Where I live in the county side, weird enough, is no good farmers market, but in London there are so many. I wish I could carry it all home. I love to see new cafe’s, shops and (vegan) options everywhere and ever time I come to this lovely street, there are some. This time, the one that made me the happiest (apart from the vegan donuts) was a little shop called: Liberté Chérie.

Liberté Chérie is a zero waste, plastic and packaging free, shop! I obviously needed to go inside. There was only one other person inside and when she left, I had a lovely chat with the owner. A very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly Frenchman. He told me that they just opened this morning (how lucky was I?!) and that most of the products he sold were grown in England. A few were from France and elsewhere though: things that can’t grow in England or are not available (like almonds or certain peas for example). Also some of the herbs and spices came from countries like India or Turkey, but his aim was to have as much as possible from England. Even though it was a tiny shop, they sell quite a lot of different things. Of course there are the beans, rice, oats and seeds etc, but also oils, different types of vinegar and even soap nuts. Next to the pantry products, there is a small range of waste free/plastic free products like water bottles and lunch boxes etc. you can buy. It is a lovely shop, set up with a lot of passion. There was such a lovely atmosphere and I felt like I never wanted to leave again. Haha! I could have stayed there, staring at all these lovely products, listening to the stories of inspiration behind it all. I had more things to do though, so we exchanged Instagram profiles and I said my goodbyes. Unfortunately it was only midday and I didn’t want to walk around with lots of (heavy) things for the rest of the day and so I decided not to buy anything. Next time when I’m in London with my van, I’ll definitely get some lovely things here. Did I mention that the prices were quite compatible as well? Whenever you are around there or you live nearby, please visit this lovely shop.

It was such a coincidence, because on that same morning, when I walked towards the bus stop, I had to wait at a traffic light and when I looked up I couldn’t be any happier. Right in front of me, on the other side of the road, was a zero waste/plastic free shop! It was called ‘The Source’, what I think is a perfect name for a shop like that. It was closed though and I was on my way to visit the girls I looked after before. So I couldn’t wait for it to open (even though it was gonna open in 5 min). I promised myself to come back the next day. Now you understand that it was an extra nice treat for me to discover ‘Liberté Chérie’ a few hours later. Anyway, the next morning, I had to take the same bus from that same bus stop and so it was a perfect, cuz I was able to quickly pop in. I was so excited, that I was a little early and Nola (my dog) and I had to wait a little bit. When it opened we went straight in and it was heaven!! There was soooo much! It is quite a big shop and there are so many containers with so many different things. I didn’t know where to look and what to do first. The owner told me that they normally don’t allow dogs inside, but luckily Nola is very small and I carried her whilst we had a little chat. They also have a shop in Chiswick and so, from what I know of, there are 4 options in London to shop zero waste and plastic free. That is amazing! It makes me so happy that shops like this exist and can exist. He told me that it was going well and it was busy.. YES! I asked if I could take some pictures and that was fine. It’s a good thing that I was early, so I was able to take some nice pics, without having to wait for people to finish. Haha! They sell so many things.. too many to write down. One of the nicest things, was that they did freeze-dried veggies. I really wanted to buy things and I even brought my zero waste bags with me, but I was carrying too many things (3 bags and Nola) already. I still had the whole day in front of me and so I couldn’t. I should have brought my backpack, silly me! Later I did regret not getting a little bit of those freeze-dried veggies though, cuz they would have been light and easy to carry around. So next time, I’ll definitely get those. So for those of you who live in or around Battersea, please go and visit ‘The Source’ (and tell me how good those freeze-dried veggies are!).

Please, when you live in London, try to make trips to shops like this. These are the shops we want to support. This is the future. This is the way to no more plastic, a lot less waste and lovely wholesome and healthy food. Even when you don’t live very close to one, just go once in a while and buy in bulk. It will save you money too. Try to think of a way to go and help to make these shops work!

The Whole Foods Market: 63-97 Kensington High Street, W8 5SE.
Liberté Chérie: 291 Portobello Road, W10 5TD.
The Source Battersea: 99 St John’s Rd, SW11 1QY.
The Source Chiswick: 24 Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick, W4 1QP.

Do you already shop at shops like this? Are there any shops near you where you can shop waste free and without plastic? Or do you live in London and are you shopping at one of these amazing shops? I’d love to hear about it! You can do this in the comments below or via Instagram. Thank you! X

Honest Heart

What is better than a caramel covered heart? Well, I guess that would be a heart that truly cares about your heart. Isn’t that where love is all about?! Caring for each other. Real, honest love. Valentine’s Day is nice and all, but it’s also quite commercial. Make sure that the day of love isn’t ending in something superficial, but show the people you love how much you really care about them. You can start with making them this caramel heart. Hehe.. A pure honest heart, because there aren’t any bad ingredients in here. All healthy and good for you. In fact, the first ingredient you will see, are chickpeas! Sending you lots of love from me to you!

HONEST HEART

serves: 6-8

Cake
1 can chickpeas (drained)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup of maple syrup
6 soft medjool dates
Splash of milk
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
4 tbs cacao powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Caramel Topping
10 medjool dates
1/4 maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Dried (or fresh) berries (optional)

-Preheat the oven to 180C.
-Mix all the wet ingredients in a food processor until a smooth paste: peanut butter, maple syrup, dates and a splash of milk.
-Add all the dry ingredients to the paste: almond flour, coconut, cacao powder, baking soda and the salt. Blend until you have a sticky dough.
-Put the the dough onto the baking tray and shape it into a heart (2-3 cm thick). Put the tray in the oven for about 20-25 min.
-Mix the ingredients for the caramel sauce in a food processor until a smooth sauce.
-Let the heart cool down and put the caramel sauce on top. Decorate with fresh or dried fruit.

Are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? Are you celebrating with your lover or with all the people you love? Whatever you do, spread the love!! I’d love to see your creations of this Honest Heart. Please show me on Instagram, by tagging me or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

0Waste #3: On The Way Swaps

Assuming you’ve read my ‘0Waste #1: Intro‘ and ‘0Waste #2: Kitchen Swaps‘, I’d now like to introduce you to some simple things everyone can do to produce less waste on the way!

STRAWS
Everyone knows they are the worst! Avoid plastic straw at all cost. They are the reason many turtles and other wildlife die. It’s so not necessary. If you really want to have a straw for a smoothie for example, choose reusable straws. There are many types: metal, glass, bamboo, silicone. I have silicone ones myself and I love them. I don’t think I’d choose them again (I bought them about 3 years ago) as they’re not recyclable, but I must say that they are great quality. I love the feel of it on my lips in comparison with the harder materials. Invest in a good (set of) straw(s) and make sure you always have on in your handbag if you like to use straws on the way. I’d go for metal ones if I’d choose again now.

CUTLERY
You can of course carry around a set of your kitchen cutlery around and that is totally fine. This is helpful whenever you want to buy something from a market stall or from the supermarket that requires cutlery. Though I invested in a travel spoon and fork (in one), made out of titanium. One side is a fork and the other side is a spoon. I totally love it! I keep it in my handbag and it has been super useful. It’s easy to clean and light + small to carry around. There are also complete travel sets including a full set of cutlery (made of metal or bamboo) and a straw. I think it’s a personal choice and also I think different people have different needs. Do a little research and find out what will work best for you.

TRAVEL CUP
I used to always drink my tea (sometimes every day, shame on me!) in a take away cup. So much waste! And then I’m especially talking about the lids. All plastic! So a few years ago I bought myself a travel cup. I saw it and fell in love with it, so I didn’t mind investing in it at all. My one is just so pretty. I bought my one at Starbucks and it’s in my favourite pink colour. I don’t drink coffee (yuk!), but I use my one for tea, so I’m very happy with a medium size. There are so many brands selling travel cups though and as a coffee drinker you might want a smaller one. So go and explore the options. A great thing about getting your coffee/tea in your own cup is that in many coffee shops you actually get a (often 25p) discount. Yay!

WATER BOTTLE
An easy one! Using a reusable water bottle. Luckily many people are using one already. Are you as well? If not, please invest in a nice water bottle. I used to have a Bobble Bottle. I had many to be honest, because of heavy use they broke after a while. I love them, because they make water taste sooo much better. Especially here in the UK, because I think the water here tastes like swimming pool water. The downside is that they are made out of plastic and when they only last for about half a year, I was creating plastic waste. So I bought a metal one instead and dealt with the taste (I now add pieces of ginger and lemon to mask the flavour and it’s so much better!). I totally loved the bottle, but after a few weeks the water started to taste like metal, because inside the bottle it started to oxidate. What made me buy the HIP bottle, which I totally love, but is also a plastic one. This one will for sure last very long, because when I drink it keeps the shape. It’s also recyclable, but I do love to get a metal one again when I’m in need for a new one, as I think they are most durable. So tips are welcome!

I hope this was helpful and will motivate you to swap (some) things in your every day life. Do you have more tips or more things you can change/swap on the way, please let me know in the comments or contact me via Instagram (@planetmanel). Thank you! X

Bloody Mess

It’s almost Halloween!! Notttt really my thing, but I do really like to create recipes with a theme. There are a lot of Halloween recipes that are everything but healthy. That’s why I wanted to create something that looks scary, but is not scary to eat, haha! I really like the outcome, because I love chia pudding and in combination with the fruit and the cinnamon it’s so tasty. You can use any plant based yogurt, but I used the plain version of the Coconut Collaboration. I love this yogurt anyway, but especially in this recipes it just works really well.

BLOODY MESS 

Serves: 2

1 cup red summer fruit
1 tbs goji berries
1/2 tbs agave nectar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
250gr yogurt
1/3 cup rice milk
3 tbs chia seed

-Put the yogurt, rice milk and chia seed in a bowl and mix it well. Then put it in the fridge for 2 hours (or overnight).
-Put the fruit in a sauce pan and warm it on medium heat, until it starts to be like a sauce. Keep stirring. (For frozen fruit it’s about 5 min. For fresh fruit about 3 min.)
-Take the fruit off the fire and add the goji berries, the agave nectar, the cinnamon and the vanilla extract. Mix well and let it cool down.
-Mix the chia pudding before dividing it into 2 glasses.
-Put the fruit mixture on top and use the back of a spoon to draw the lines down the pudding.
-Add some extra goji berries on top if you wish.

Do you like Halloween? Will you make this recipe? Please let me know! You can do this in a comment below or tag me on Instagram. When you do, I’ll repost it! You can also use the hashtag #planetmanel if you like, so I can find your picture and comment! Thank you! X