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3 Simple Plant-Based Brunch Recipes From Zero Waste Chef Max La Manna

For some, our weekend rituals are not complete without a good brunch. And while smashed avo on toasted sourdough may reign supreme, there is a multitude of easy recipes that are as cost-effective as they are tasty.

Taken from the zero-waste and vegan chef Max La Manna’s cookbook More Plants, Zero Waste – these three simple plant-based recipes are the perfect addition to your brunch menu repertoire.

BANANA BREAD GRANOLA

“Over a hundred million tons of bananas are discarded in factories before they even reach our supermarkets due to their ‘undesirable’ wonky, imperfect shape; if one banana in the bunch is too small or shaped differently – the whole bunch is thrown away. Let’s not add to this devastating statistic – there are so many opportunities to utilize this amazing fruit.”
 

INGREDIENTS
 
Makes about 500G

2 ripe bananas
300g rolled oats
1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
100g pecans, roughly chopped
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
40ml coconut oil
60ml maple syrup or coconut nectar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
½ tsp salt

METHOD

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Mix the oats, cinnamon, sugar, salt, hemp seeds and nuts in a large bowl.

Put your coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla into a small saucepan over low heat and mix until the oil has melted.

Pour the melted oil mix into a mixing bowl and add the banana. Smash the banana with a fork or hand blender until very slightly chunky. Next, combine your wet and dry ingredients and mix well.

Spread the mixture evenly over a baking sheet – make sure it doesn’t get crowded; you may need to use another baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. If you need more time, bake for another 5 minutes, or until crisp.

Remove from the oven and toss the granola a bit to release a bit of heat. Allow it to completely cool on the baking sheet. Store in a sealed container or Mason jar – it should keep for a couple of weeks.

DO IT YOURSELF BAKED BEANS ON TOAST

“I’m aware that beans on toast is something of a British staple, but a lot of canned products are heavy in salt and often contain preservatives and additives. Cooking your own beans is definitely healthier and will work out cheaper if you make them in bulk.”
 

INGREDIENTS

Serves 2-3

2x 400g cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
400g tomatoes (fresh or canned)
120g mushrooms of any variety, diced
½ onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil

To serve

4-6 thick slices of bread
Aquafaba butter, olive oil or avocado
Fresh coriander to garnish (optional)

METHOD

Put a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion, garlic, chilli flakes and paprika. Stir occasionally until the onions are translucent and the garlic begins to brown lightly.

While you wait, blend the tomatoes, tamari and apple cider vinegar until completely smooth. Add your mushrooms to the saucepan and stir well. Reduce the heat, then add your puréed tomato mixture. Add the brown sugar and stir for 2-3 minutes. Fold in the beans and stir well for 3-5 minutes over low heat until the mixture thickens a little.

Toast your bread and spread it with aquafaba butter, olive oil or avocado. Add heaped spoonfuls of the beans – if you have coriander laying around, chop finely and sprinkle it over for the final touch.

ONE-BOWL BANANA BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES

“These pancakes are life-changing. Remember the convenience of instant pancake mix where you just add water? This is the zero-waste version of that, but much fluffier and definitely more delicious.”
 

INGREDIENTS

Makes 8-10

1 medium ripe banana (brown and spotty is better)
280g flour (half oat, half buckwheat is a good option)
25ml oil or coconut oil, plus a little extra to grease the pan
25ml maple syrup (any liquid sweetener will work)
240 – 300ml milk
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
45g dark chocolate chips (optional)
A handful of fresh berries (optional; frozen work too)

To serve

Your choice of toppings; aquafaba butter, fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, nut butter, or maple syrup

METHOD

In a bowl, mash the banana. Add the oil, maple syrup, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. Add the milk slowly and mix.

Add your flour to the bowl and mix – be careful not to mix too much. You are aiming for a thick but pourable consistency. If it’s too dry and not scoopable, add a splash of milk to loosen it; if it’s too wet, add a small amount of flour. You want your batter to be thick, but pourable. Add chocolate chips or berries now and gently fold them into the mixture.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Once ready, pour your desired amount of batter into the heated pan and repeat according to how many you can in your frying pan. The batter will begin to bubble and the edges will appear to be drying after about 1-2 minutes. Next, carefully flip the pancakes to a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep warm until serving.

Serve each stack as you like – perhaps with a light spread of butter, fresh fruit, chopped nuts and seeds, maybe even some nut butter and maple syrup.

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