raisins

Raisin bread rolls with whole wheat flour, cinnamon and grape molasses, sugar-free - Σταφιδόψωμα με αλεύρι ολικής, κανέλα και πετιμέζι, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Whole wheat, raisin bread rolls with grape molasses, sugar-free

Very popular in Greece, raisin bread is a type of bread made with with sultanas and flavored with cinnamon. Usually it is made with white flour, sugar and some variations may include honey or eggs.

Since we love raisin breads, I usually make these healthy, vegan raisin bread rolls, with whole wheat flour, local, organic raisins and grape molasses, a healthy and delicious alternative to refined sugar, widely used in traditional Greek baking and cooking.

I usually eat mine for breakfast, almost right from the oven and actually they are lovely served freshly baked, as they are, or split open and spread with vegan butter and a marmalade of your choice.

Raisin bread rolls with whole wheat flour, cinnamon and grape molasses, sugar-free - Σταφιδόψωμα με αλεύρι ολικής, κανέλα και πετιμέζι, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) grape molasses
  • 4 cups (600 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • almond milk or water and sesame for sprinkling

Raisin bread rolls with whole wheat flour, cinnamon and grape molasses, sugar-free - Σταφιδόψωμα με αλεύρι ολικής, κανέλα και πετιμέζι, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. In a cup put half of the warm water, yeast and a spoonful of flour and leave the mixture for 15-20 minutes in a warm place to activate the yeast. If the yeast is active you will notice that many dense bubbles will be formed on the water surface. Otherwise throw the mixture away and repeat the process with another sachet of yeast (yes I know that it is difficult to throw it away but you need an active yeast to make bread!).
2. In a large bowl or in the kneading machine mix the yeast mixture, the rest of the water, salt, spices and grape molasses, and slowly add the flour, kneading constantly, until a soft dough is formed. Continue kneading for another ten minutes (if using kneading machine it takes less). The more we knead the better texture and elasticity the dough will have. Add the raisins and knead until they are fully incorporated.
3. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a wet towel or clear film to protect the dough from dehydrating. Let it rise for 4-5 hours at room temperature (slow fermentation gives a unique taste and flavor to your bread. You can see also lagana bread recipe).

4. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead again, folding and kneading several times to form a roll. Separate into eight equal pieces and knead them to form eight small rolls.
5. Put them in a pan lined with parchment paper, leaving at least 3 cm space between each other. Spray your rolls with water or brush with the almond milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let them rise in a warm place until they double in volume. It will take about fifty minutes. I usually let them rise in the oven at 40 oC.
6. Bake at 200 oC for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

 

Raisin bread rolls with whole wheat flour, cinnamon and grape molasses, sugar-free - Σταφιδόψωμα με αλεύρι ολικής, κανέλα και πετιμέζι, χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

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Chocolate and hazelnut energy bars (raw vegan, gluten free, sugar-free) - Μπάρες ενέργειας με σοκολάτα και φουντούκι χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Chocolate and hazelnut energy bars (sugar-free)

Well, today I decided to make these delicious, vegan, chocolaty energy, hazelnut bars because I was seriously hungry. I don’t know if it happens to everyone or it’s just me, but as far as I can remember, during winter I add at least an extra snack in my daily menu since, when the weather is getting colder, my appetite increases. Sometimes I tried to avoid eating this extra thing, in order to keep my calorie intake balanced but eventually the hunger was coming unannounced and when I wasn’t organized properly, I was ending up eating anything available. At home it was not so difficult to choose some fruits and nuts, but at work I would choose between chocolates, crackers and pretzels, ending up with 2 more pounds until the end of the winter even if I was trying to eat healthy. However lately I try to organize better my snacks firstly by preparing them at home.

Chocolate and hazelnut energy bars (raw vegan, gluten free, sugar-free) - Μπάρες ενέργειας με σοκολάτα και φουντούκι χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

A delightful idea for snacking are these homemade vegan energy bars made with cereals and nuts, as they are filling and easy to carry in my bag. What I like most is that, apart from keeping me full, they also provide a sufficient amount of essential omega-3 fatty acids that are found in the flaxseeds. Besides their sweet taste, thanks to the raisins, especially when combined with cocoa and hazelnuts give the sense of a yummy, chewy dessert rather than a snack, although the recipe is sugar-free. As these chocolaty energy bars only take few minutes to prepare, you can make a batch in advance for snacking during week! In this recipe I love to roast the nuts for a while in the oven in order to highlight their wonderful aroma, but you can also skip this step to keep your energy bars 100% raw.

Chocolate and hazelnut energy bars (raw vegan, gluten free, sugar-free) - Μπάρες ενέργειας με σοκολάτα και φουντούκι χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (150 g) raisins
  • 1 cup (100 g) rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup (30-35 g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts, divided (¼ + ¼)
  • 1 tbsp water (if necessary)

Chocolate and hazelnut energy bars (raw vegan, gluten free, sugar-free) - Μπάρες ενέργειας με σοκολάτα και φουντούκι χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Soak the raisins in water for fifteen minutes and drain well. Bake hazelnuts for fifteen minutes at 150 oC, allow them cool slightly and rub them with your hands to remove the brown outer skins. Some skins may remain, but that’s fine as long as most of them are removed as they may make your bars taste bitter.
2. Put the raisins in the food processor and process for 2-3 minutes until mashed. Add the oats, flaxseeds,  ¼ cup hazelnuts and the cocoa powder and keep processing. If your mixture is not consistent enough, add a spoonful of water and process for one more minute.
3. Lay a medium-sized (21x11x6), rectangular cake tin with parchment paper. Transfer the mixture in the tin, press with your hands to the bottom and flatten the surface. Finely chop the remaining hazelnuts, sprinkle them on top and press them a little bit to stick. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
4. Remove the mixture from the tin and cut vertically. My cake tin is 21 cm long so I made three centimeters long cuts, ending up with seven bars. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge.

Chocolate and hazelnut energy bars (raw vegan, gluten free, sugar-free) - Μπάρες ενέργειας με σοκολάτα και φουντούκι χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan in Athens

Note: This time instead of ¼ cup hazelnuts, I used the same amount of raw cacao nibs to top my bars for a more intense chocolate experience.

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Beet and strawberry smoothie - Σμούθι με παντζάρι και φράουλες - Veganinathens.com

Beet and strawberry smoothie

Making smoothies is a fantastic and easy way to… drink your vegetables! Although I am a person who loves eating raw salads and I try to have at least one big green salad daily, sometimes I just don’t have the time or maybe the only thing I want to do is to have a refreshing smoothie and relax on the couch.

Vegans should consume even more green leafy vegetables in order to fulfill their daily needs in several vitamins and minerals such as calcium. So, if you aren’t exactly a “green salad” person or you want to reassure that you consume enough greens, one or two green smoothies daily could be a wise and definitely healthy choice.

Since red is my favorite color, today for my smoothie I used a whole beet (root and greens) blended with some fresh, fragrant strawberries. Beet greens are actually the most nutrient-dense part of the plant since they are rich in minerals such as calcium and vitamins, while beet roots give their subtle sweet taste together with considerable amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. In order to make my energizing smoothie even more nutritious I added some flaxseeds and 2-3 medjool dates for their sweet taste. Beyond its great taste, this smoothie can serve as a nutritious and filling snack between meals.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup raw beetroot peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup tender beet greens, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups strawberries fresh or frozen
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2-3 dates or 2-3 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed

Method

  1. Wash the dates or raisins, remove the seeds, soak them in ¾ cup of water for half an hour or more and keep the water for using it in the recipe. If you have a really powerful blender you can skip soaking and add all the ingredients in the container.
  2. Add all the ingredients in the blender and blend at high speed for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Serve immediately.

Note: If you like frozen smoothies, put the strawberries in the freezer for at least two hours and use cold water or maybe some ice cubes.

 

 

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