the taste space

Chocolate Maca Raspberry Smoothie

Posted in Breakfasts, Desserts, Drinks by janet @ the taste space on May 13, 2011


I have been a recent convert to breakfast smoothies.

I never quite understood why I would want to drink my breakfast. However, chilled smoothies filled with fruit and seasonings have been perfect before and after my bicycle rides.

I am currently testing recipes for Tess Challis‘ upcoming superfoods cookbook and have been loving her smoothies! Her “Maca My Day” smoothie is what got me hooked, and it is wonderful with frozen bananas and the malty goodness from maca. She has a few delicious smoothies planned for the cookbook, and I took some liberty to create my own variation.

Perfect for breakfast, a delicious treat for dessert, enjoy this smoothie guilt-free as it is packed with frozen banana, raspberries, chia seeds, toasted carob and vanilla.

Chocolate and raspberry pair well together. Except I didn’t use chocolate. I used toasted carob powder, which has a flavour similar to chocolate without the caffeine.  Carob is a bit sweeter than cocoa, and definitely sweeter than raw cacao, so I didn’t feel like this smoothie needed any additional sweetener, but add to taste.  Maca is also wonderful in it, but completely optional.



This is my submission to both Ricki and Kim’s vegan SOS challenge featuring carob and to this month’s Breakfast Club featuring fairtrade ingredients.

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Indian-Spiced Superseed Porridge

Posted in Breakfasts by janet @ the taste space on March 27, 2011


Amaranth and quinoa are two seeds that were once considered sacred by the Aztecs and Incas. They were used in ceremonial rituals before their cultivation were forbidden by Spanish colonizers. Certainly these are powerful foods: armed with more calcium than milk and high in protein, fiber and other minerals, and feared by the Spanish. ;)

Then there are chia seeds, which I routinely add to my oatmeal and overnight oats, that are packed with healthy omega-3s and fiber.

I have been trying to incorporate more of these “high-yield” superfoods into my meals. What better time to start your day with a breakfast filled with these seeds. While eating quinoa for breakfast is not new to me, I was interested in combining all of these ancient Latin American seeds into a tasty breakfast.


Initially spotted in Radiant Health, Inner Wealth (also posted here), I modified Tess’ recipe to include chia seeds and therefore also changed the fluid volume.  With both currants and raisins, you don’t need to use much agave nectar (or maple syrup), so certainly add to taste. The Indian flavours of cinnamon and cardamom worked well with the sweetness from the agave and raisins.  The porridge had more substance, slightly more body from the pebbly grains which was a nice change from my smooth oatmeal.


This is my submission to Breakfast Club featuring whole grains, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Fridays and AWED featuring Indian cuisine.

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Portable Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oats

Posted in Breakfasts by janet @ the taste space on March 23, 2011

A great breakfast always starts your day on the right track. But what to do when you are travelling? Hotel buffets are typically laden with picks like bagels, muffins, pancakes or standard cereal, which don’t interest me these days. Fruit can be hard to find, and if you have oatmeal, it is usually the quick-cooking oatmeal filled with sugars and flavourings. So what’s a travelling girl to do?

Luckily, I knew I had a refrigerator at my hotel, and I knew the hotel breakfast would include fruit (standard across the Drury chain). I loaded up on apples, bananas and oranges in the morning and then devoured them along with my portable overnight oats. The benefit of nondairy milk in tetrapacks is that I can travel with it very easily before it has been opened (no refrigeration needed).

Before I left home, I created a dry mixture for my overnight oats, including rolled oats and chia seeds. I decided to flavour it with cocoa, dried cherries and a touch of cinnamon. Each night, I added 1/4 cup of the mixture to 1/2 cup of almond milk and let it chill overnight in the fridge. Sometimes I would add more milk the following morning, depending on whether I wanted it more runny. Combined with fresh fruit, I was a happy camper. Healthy breakfasts can be easy while travelling! :) This is also an easier way to create them at home, so that you don’t have to measure out the ingredients every time.

I found the dried tart cherries to work incredibly well with the cocoa flavour, but dried cranberries could work, too – they would just be a bit sweeter.

This is being submitted to this month’s Breakfast Club, featuring whole grains (hosted by me this month).

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Avocado Overnight Oats

Posted in Breakfasts, Desserts by rszumlak on February 15, 2011

Avocado Overnight Oats

Hi! It’s Rob again for one last item in my short series of posts here on the taste space.

After crafting the delicious avocado chutney last week, I was left with a couple of leftover avocados. I was perplexed. What should I do with them? I didn’t want to make guacamole. I wasn’t prepared to produce a salad with them. In Australia I learned how amazing avocado is in sandwiches or hamburgers, but that wasn’t the direction I wanted to go either.

I KNOW! I would devise a new variation of everyone’s beloved overnight oats! I was very excited. Overnight oats are great, but wouldn’t they be better if they were filled with tropical fruits?

I’ll be honest with you. I hold tropical fruits in very high regard. As such, I pine to travel to the tropical regions where these fruits are cheap, fresh, and plentiful. I’ve been to a few of these places, but my yearning to go to more is unceasing…

I still think fondly of the Cook Islands where I enjoyed the best papaya I ever had, topped with grated coconut and lime juice.

I still remember the glee I felt when I arrived in Fiji at the height of mango season. They were so ripe that they fell from the trees and landed at my feet, begging to be devoured.

I still recall the wonder I felt while roaming the streets of Bangkok and marvelling at the carts of the street vendors showcasing pineapples, artfully cut and ready to take away with little packets of salt and chili.

At this time, however, I had no papaya, mango, or pineapple. Instead, I used an avocado, coconut flakes, and a banana. It all came together very well. What a fantastic breakfast!

This is being submitted to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs). (more…)

Gingerbread Pumpkin Vegan Overnight Oats

Posted in Breakfasts, Favourites by janet @ the taste space on December 19, 2010

Let me let you in on a secret. I actually haven’t done any holiday baking yet. I made the Key Lime Meltaways last year for Christmas. It took me nearly a year to post all my cookies from my holiday baking escapades, and one vegan cookie that wasn’t worthy of being posted (no one liked it!).

While I am still plotting my attack of Middle Eastern-inspired cookies for this year (feel free to recommend your favourites!), my current decadence has been over breakfast. But this decadence is guilt-free.

Adapted from Oh She Glows, this is a version of overnight oats that I have been eating for breakfast some time now. The premise of overnight oats is that you mix rolled oats with milk overnight to create a creamy pudding of sorts. I also add in chia seeds, which are tasteless but feel like small tapioca pearls after they have absorbed the milk. Chia seeds are great because they are relatively low calorie while providing a good source of omega-3s, fiber, protein and other vitamins. After a few hours, the chia seeds plump up nicely and add body to these overnight oats.

In this version, the pudding is fortified with pumpkin puree, savoury spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger) and the gingerbread taste comes from blackstrap molasses. Not to be confused with typical molasses (which is what typically goes into gingerbread cookies), blackstrap molasses are more bitter, as it is derived after the third extraction of sucrose.  Therefore it is less sugary and more nutritious. It is a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. Rolled oats, chia seeds, pumpkin, blackstrap molasses… all excellent foods and great together for a healthy breakfast treat.

This is my submission to this month’s Breakfast Club, featuring healthy breakfasts. (more…)

Whipped Banana Oatmeal with Cranberries

Posted in Breakfasts by janet @ the taste space on September 16, 2010


Rolled oats are no stranger to the breakfast table and oatmeal is a regular standby in my morning routine. After the Nutrition Action Health Letter (aka the Consumer Reports of healthy foods), deemed Bob’s Red Mill Country Style Muesli their favourite, it became my new breakfast.

Oatmeal is cheap, healthy and relatively quick.  It is great since it is a whole grain, fiber-rich, and lowers cholesterol. When you cook traditional oats, you also have no added sugar or salt (can’t say the same for the instant, flavoured varieties). But let’s be honest: when you cook rolled oats with water and a dash of salt, they aren’t that tasty. You can make oatmeal more flavourful by adding in your own sweeteners, fruit (dried or fresh), nuts, seeds, peanut butter, etc. The possibilities are endless.


This recipe for whipped banana oatmeal is a great way to make a creamy bowl of oats without any cream at all. The magic comes from a ripe banana that melts seamlessly into the oats, imparting both sweetness and creaminess. It is a bit more involved than your standard bowl of oats, as you need to whip everything together, but it is worth it.  I liked the addition of dried cranberries, but feel free to add in your favourite fixins.  I spotted and then adapted the recipe from Macheesmo, who adapted it from Kath Eats’ Tribute to Oatmeal.


This is my submission to this month’s Breakfast Club, featuring British breakfasts (the Brits call this porridge).  This recipe, coupled with Peach Blueberry Raspberry Crumbles, is my entry to Blog Bites 7, Iron Chef-style, where we use one ingredient two ways! My ingredient: oats!

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