Sprout ratatouille & PB banana choc tops
There are only a few days left of Veganuary, and for those of you who’ve stuck out your plant–based pledge for the last four weeks, we salute you. A record-breaking 560,000 people around the world signed up for the month-long challenge this year – a massive increase upon the 3300 people who participated during Veganuary’s launch in 2014.
Research conducted by The Vegan Society has found that the majority of people who turned vegan for January say they were inspired by someone else to take on the challenge. Thirty-one percent say it was down to a friend, with the same number saying it was because of their other half. Another 22 percent cite vegan campaigners and animal activists as their reason for taking it on, and just three percent made the decision by themselves.
It’s a slightly different story for those who follow a vegan lifestyle throughout the year. For 26 percent of these people, activists had the most influence over their decision to become vegan, followed by partners (23%), friends (21%) and parents (19%).
Since it’s our last recipe for Veganuary, we’re bringing you dinner and dessert. Aren’t we nice? For starters, we have a ridiculously healthy (and delicious) sprout ratatouille, created by food blogger Sarah MacDonald. Along with the goodness of fresh vegies, it uses sprouts for added crunch and nutritional oomph, which includes plant-based protein and fibre, along with vitamins C and K, folate and iron.
For afters, treat yourself to a peanut butter banana choc top. This recipe, from Emma Maertens of Power Through Plants, uses Mayver’s peanut butter, coconut cream, nuts and Aussie bananas. As well as being vegan-friendly, they’re also free from gluten, dairy and sugar, while the PB and nuts provide a protein punch and the bananas give you energy from healthy carbs and potassium for healthy muscles and blood pressure.
1 packet Aussie Sprouts crunchy combo sprouts
1 large red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup roughly chopped kale or baby spinach leaves
1 sachet/tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (or one normal tomato, roughly chopped)
½ tbsp Mexican or Cajun seasoning mix
½ tbsp sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant.
2. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, sprouts and spices and sauté for a few minutes.
3. Add the tomato paste and 1-2 cups of water, until there is about 1-2cm liquid in the pan.
4. Simmer, adding more liquid as required to maintain the same level of liquid, until the vegetables are soft.
5. Add the kale or spinach and stir through for a few minutes until it wilts.
6. Serve with fresh avocado and herbs on top.
Peanut butter banana choc tops
For the pops
½ cup canned coconut cream
¼ cup Mayver’s Smooth Peanut Butter
2 cups frozen bananas
½ tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp ground cinnamon
For the choc top
1 block vegan chocolate
1 tbsp canned coconut cream
Handful of crushed nuts of your choice
1. In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients for the pops and blend on high speed until combined and smooth.
2. Pour into icy pole moulds, and place in the freezer to set for 8 hours, ideally overnight. (If your moulds don’t come with built-in sticks, freeze the pops for about two hours, then gently slide in paddle pop sticks and continue freezing.) The next day, remove the icy poles from the moulds and place them back into the freezer so they don’t melt.
3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water or in the microwave. Once runny, add the coconut cream and mix until combined.
4. One by one, dip the pops into the chocolate and place them flat onto a tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle over some nuts and repeat the process. Use leftover chocolate to drizzle over the rest of the pops. Place in the fridge to set for 10 minutes before serving.