Dandelion Vegan Honey

If you love your lawn chances are you hate dandelions, but after you try this Dandelion Vegan Honey recipe, I’m pretty sure you will no longer view them as nothing but a pointless weed.

This is a wonderful activity to do with children.  Give them a basket and ask them to fill it right to the top with dandelion heads.  I suggest picking from a field that is not likely to have been sprayed with pesticides or used by dog walkers.

I have seen other recipes for Dandelion Honey that say to pick out the dandelion petals and discard all the green parts otherwise it will leave a bitter taste, I however don’t do this and just pinch the stalk with my finger nails which takes out most of the stem. This is faster, works well and won’t leave it tasting bitter.

 

IMG_3939

 

 

IMG_3955

honey

 

Ingredients 

  • 150g Dandelion heads
  • Half an unwaxed organic lemon, cut into slices
  • One vanilla pod cut down the middle
  • 1 Litre of water
  • 250g Organic unrefined Sugar

Directions 

  1. Discard the stem and stalk of the flower (see above)
  2. Place the dandelion heads in a saucepan along with the water, lemon slices and vanilla pod.
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover with a lid and let sit over night.
  4. Over a bowl or jug, strain the liquid through a cheesecloth and discard the dandelion heads.
  5. Place the liquid back into the saucepan and bring it to a gentle boil.
  6. Gradually add sugar, stirring until dissolved.
  7. Lower the heat and let it simmer uncovered until it reaches the desired syrupy thickness and drips slowly off a spoon. This will take approximately 2 hours.
  8. Pour into a warm sterilised jar and leave to cool.

 

– ENJOY –


Gooey Vegan Beetroot Brownies

Recently I shared a photo on Instagram of these glorious gooey Vegan Beetroot Brownies, spread thickly with a ganache like topping (which is actually made from avocado) and garnished with bright pink beetroot powder.

A few of you wanted to know the recipe.  So as promised, here it is.  Oh and did I mention this recipe is also wheat-free?

When making the vegan ganache, make sure you pick a perfectly ripe avocado.  If you see any of those black stringy bits in it, then use it for something else.  It really makes all the difference.

If, like myself you are trying to cut down on the white stuff (I’m talking sugar) then you can skip using it in the brownie mixture. You will be surprised how great it tastes without any, however the choice of course is yours.

 

beet2

 

Ingredients

Wet:

  • 1 medium organic raw beetroot (chopped into small chunks)
  • 125ml almond milk or milk alternative of your choice.
  • 125ml melted coconut oil
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp finely ground flaxseeds with 3 Tbsp of warm water. Let sit for 15 minutes before using )
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • *Optional* 3-5 tbsp of unrefined sugar (such as brown or coconut)

Dry:

  • 4 tbsp ground almonds
  • 100g cacao powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Ganache: 

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 3 heaped tbsp of cacao powder
  • 4 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 6 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C
  2. Blend the chopped raw beetroot along with almond milk, vanilla extract, flax egg, coconut oil and salt in a high-speed blender until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the ground almonds, cacao powder and baking powder.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and pour into a lined brownie tin (I used an 8×8 inch tin) and bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 35-40 minutes. Be careful not to over bake!
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, before placing in the fridge.  *important* – the brownie must be completely cool before placing the ganache on top.
  6. While the brownie is cooling, make the ganache by putting all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until you reach a thick glossy consistency and you can no longer see any green avocado bits.
  7.  Spread the ganache evenly over the brownie, garnish with beetroot powder and place back in the fridge to set.
  8. Once set, I would recommend storing in an air-tight container at room temperature.

 

 – ENJOY –


Vegan Turkish Delight Latte

I have a small (border line, obsession) with making vegan lattes that do not involve coffee…

Since my first chia latte a few years ago, I have been *latte-ing* the shit out of everything. Spinach lattes, cauliflower lattes even banana lattes – not recommended. Anything you can add hot streamed soya milk too pretty much qualifies!

There is something quite feminine about this Vegan Turkish Delight Latte, with its adorable bright pink colour and floral fragrant notes. Idea for Mothers Day, your Nanna, or for anyone who loves turkish delight (boys welcome to, of course)

You may look at the ingredients and think ‘how does that work’ but trust me, it does and hopefully you’re going to love it.

 

 

Ingredients:  

Makes 1 Cup

  • 1 Cup of Organic Unsweetened Soya Milk
  • 1 tsp Beetroot Powder
  • 1-2 tsp of Maple Syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • half a tsp of Rose Water

Directions: 

  1. Place the beetroot powder and maple syrup into a cup and mix into a thick paste, then add the rose water and mix again.
  2. On a medium heat slowly warm the soya milk, until just boiling.
  3. Remove from the heat and pour into a jug. Use a hand-held electric milk frother (or frother of  choice) for a couple of seconds – try to avoid to many bubbles. Once you have reached your desired consistency, pour over the paste. Alternatively if not using a milk frother pour hot soya milk straight over the paste.

– Enjoy –

 


Vegan Butter in a hurry

“Make your own butter?! Who the hell has time for that!” I hear you say.  However, don’t you worry, I have your back.

Lets face it, butter is an essential part of the kitchen and it can be tricky with out it when you are on a dairy-free diet.  This is why I’m excited to share this vegan dairy-free butter recipe, its like sooooo super easy to make and it takes no time at all.  You will most likely have the ingredients in the cupboard already, or you can easily pick them up in the supermarket.

I recommend using between 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt for this recipe, but play around with the amount and adjust it to your own taste.

Re-use an old butter tub for your vegan butter or find yourself a nice butter dish, charity shops are the perfect place for this… I picked mine up for a squid!

Soft, tasty and easy to spread, I don’t think this recipe will disappoint.

 

butter3_final

 

buttfinal

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp ground almonds
  • 5 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1-2 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • 1 tsp organic apple cider vinegar
  • 4oz of coconut oil. Melted
  • 3 Tbsp of good quality olive oil
  • pinch of turmeric – for colour

Directions:

  1. Slowly melt the coconut oil on a medium heat, then set aside to cool a little.
  2. Mix the almonds and almond milk into a thick paste, then add the salt and the apple cider vinegar.
  3. Pour the coconut oil over the almond paste, mix, then add the olive oil and a pinch of turmeric. Pour into your chosen butter dish and chill until set. Approximately 30 minutes.

 

Enjoy –

 


It’s a dirty word – Consumerism.

Happy New Year!

Love it or hate it, I’m a big fan of new year resolutions. I like the concept of goals being put in place and the opportunity to reflect, to move forward and to grow.

This year I have set myself a small, yet challenging resolution, NOT to buy a single item of clothing from high street stores.  Instead I aim to buy only second hand and with it being my best buddies and baby bro’s wedding this year, it ain’t gonna be easy!

My idea for this year’s resolution came about after briefly catching a discussion on the radio while driving home from work.  It was about British January sales and how most westerners can’t resist the temptation to ‘grab that bargain’,  although many of us don’t actually need the crap purchased in the first place.  One gentlemen phoned in to say that he refused to get caught up in the madness of consumerism around this time of year and rather than trolling the shops he would spend it with his family.

It’s a dirty word isn’t it?  Consumerism.

Got me thinking… would I shop less if the perfect Christmas,  perfect life-style marketing tactics weren’t shoved down my neck at every opportunity?!  Is the urgency to buy quick and get that bargain even genuine!

Truthfully the majority of the time it is completely unnecessary.  So now – being a better time than any,  I am going to take note of my bad shopping habits and be more conscious of the environmental impact of consumerism and how my choices today effect the planet in the future.

Recently I came across a saying,  “We vote with our wallets” and I find some truth to that saying.  Just imagine if we all changed the way we shopped, more money would  be put back into the community, more recycling , less waste and no doubt you would save yourself some dosh.

After all, sooner or later we’re gonna need to need less.

stocksnap_i9ikgwxryk


Vegan Autumn Spiced Breakfast Bowl

Woohoo!  It’s Autumn, my favourite time of year, I just love waking up to fresh crisp mornings.

I have been making this vegan ‘Autumn breakfast bowl’ recipe recently.  It is a mixture of walnuts, apples and spices.  Completely wheat-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and therefore a great option for a vegan/vegetarian breakfast or accompaniment for a vegan/vegetarian dessert.  I would say that it is similar to that of a smoothie but ‘heavier’, more dense, keeping you full for longer!  I like to eat it cold, but it is just as enjoyable warmed.  However, keep an eye on it when heating, as it can get very hot, very quick.

This recipe is made the night before.  So, with breakfast ticked off your to-do list, yon can gain some extra time snuggled up in bed. That is, if the dog doesn’t decide to jump on the bed,  joining the cat that has already jumped on the bed and is clawing at your face, claiming neglect and food!.

img_2733

img_2735

Ingredients 

  • 80z Walnuts (soaked for an hour)
  • 8oz Prunes (soaked for an hour)
  • 3 Apples chopped (No need to peel)
  • 1 Banana
  • 6 Tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1tsp Cinnamon or spice of your choice.

Directions

  1. Place walnuts into a bowl and soak in filtered water for at least an hour. In a separate  bowl place the prunes and pour just enough water to cover them and soak for an hour.
  2. Once soaked, drain the walnuts and place into a blender, along with the prunes and their liquid, apples, banana, chia seeds and blitz. You may need to add a little more water as you go.
  3. Arrange into dishes and leave overnight in the fridge. Alternatively (if serving warm) pour the mixture into a jug (or saucepan) and keep in the fridge until ready to heat. Top with seasonable blackberries, maple syrup or some local honey.

 

– Enjoy –

 

 


Raw Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake

It’s rare to have good consistent weather here in the UK and although normally I have no problem spending time in the kitchen I do find it particularly difficult on sunny days.

The beauty about this attractive Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake is that you can freeze it. I suggest making a couple of them in advance, as it keeps well in the freezer and that way after a long days escapade soaking up some of the sun’s rays all you have to do is open the fridge door and wellah, dessert is done.

Bursting with fresh fruity citrus flavours,  a charming soft body and crunchy biscuit like base, served in the garden with family or friends this is a perfect end to a lovely summer’s day.

 

img_0977

 

img_0976_fotor

 

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 4oz chopped dates
  • 4oz whole almonds, chopped
  • 4oz quinoa
  • pinch of salt

Lemon Layer:

  •  2 cups of soaked cashews
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
  • zest of one lemon

Blueberry Layer:

  • 8oz of frozen organic blueberries, plus a handful of blueberries to garnish.
  • 1/4 of the lemon cheesecake mixture
  • 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup

 

Directions 

To make the crust: process the dates, almonds, salt and quinoa in a high speed blender until it resembles a crumb base.  You may need to add a little water (but don’t over do it) until the mixture becomes sticky.  Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and put in the freezer.

To make the lemon layer: blend the cashews and honey/maple syrup in a blender until you get a smooth cheesecake consistency.  Reserve 1/4 of this mixture for the blueberry topping. Place the rest back into the blender and add the lemon juice, blend until combined then mix in the lemon zest. Pour onto your crust and place back into the freezer.

To make the blueberry layer: blend the blueberries with the reserved cheesecake mixture in your food processor until creamy.  If desired add a handful of whole blueberries and combine by hand. Spread this over your cheesecake  base and keep in the freezer overnight or for at least a couple of hours. I suggest waiting a day before serving,  as it will deepen the flavours of the fruit.  When ready to serve leave to thaw for about 20 minutes and garnish to your choice, I used a little bee pollen.

 

– Enjoy –

 


Chocolate Date and Peanut Fingers

We all have those days when we feel a little down in the dumps and it can be difficult to find motivation or even attempt to bake, right?

I tend to crave sweet things when I feel tired (and hormonal) and this is one of my ‘go-to’ recipes when I’m feeling a little low.

It’s quick, simple and the ingredients you will more than likely find in the cupboard. I use Medjool dates over regular dates as they offer that extra toffee like squidginess but both work well here, so use what you’ve got.

I recommend dusting with cocoa powder and cut into small finger slices as it’s fantastically rich.

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

 

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Ingredients:

  • 350g pitted Medjool Dates
  • 100g of melted good quality dark chocolate (I use Lindt 90% Dark)
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 3 tbsp 100% peanut butter (I use Meridian Peanut Butter)
  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil

 

Directions:

  1. Line a small cake tin (I used a 2lb loaf for mine), leaving excess parchment paper hanging over the edges to help with lifting out later.
  2. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler and leave to cool.
  3. Blend the dates in a blender until you get a fairly smooth paste.  Add the melted chocolate, oats, peanut butter and coconut oil. Blitz together.
  4. Spread the mixture out evenly into the prepared tin and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  5. Lift out of the tin, dust with cocoa powder and cut into fingers. Served best with pyjamas, chunky socks and a movie.

– Enjoy –


Fruity Almond Pulp Bars

 

milk

 

If you’re a fan of almond milk or any nut milk, I suggest you consider making your own (if you don’t already) for two reasons. One, its cheaper than buying from the supermarket and two (more importantly) home-made almond milk won’t contain additives such as Locust Bean Gum, Gellan Gum and Sunflower Lecithin that the shop bought varieties do. Although there seems to be some controversy about whether such additives are harmful for the body or not, personally I would rather play it safe and stick to making my own, besides, it’s so damn easy.

So if you haven’t before, try it!  You will find dozens of videos and recipes on the net or click on this link to get a heads up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeZCMNB2YO0

Right, so after you have made your amazing almond milk (it wasn’t hard was it?)  you will find that you are left with some almond pulp. Don’t throw this away because here is an easy peazy recipe for Fruity Almond Pulp Bars.  Speedy, hassle free to make and these vegan bars are baked without a trace of refined sugar.

I’ve been eating these little darlings for my breakfast…rather a lot!  They’re soft, naturally sweet, elegantly modest mouthfuls of fruitiness.  I really hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

milk2

 

Ingredients:

  • 8oz Almond pulp
  • 6oz Oat flour (make your own my blitzing up organic porridge oats)
  • 2oz Dried apricots
  • 2oz Sultanas
  • 4 Dried figs chopped
  • 100ml Maple syrup
  • 200ml Melted coconut oil

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4 and line an 8 inch cake tin with parchment paper.
  2. Place the almond pulp, oat flour and dried fruit into a bowl and combine.
  3. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and mix together.
  4. Pour into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin before removing and cutting into slices.

Sugar Free Vegan Mini Easter Eggs

On a recent shopping trip I came across some cute little Easter Egg moulds which gave me the idea of making healthier Easter Eggs that aren’t full of sugar, artificial sweeteners and E numbers.  I also thought this would be great for anyone on a dairy-free diet, as it’s cheaper than buying super market dairy-free versions (that still contain a lot of sugar).

I had so much fun making these little Eggs.  If you have kids, trust me they will love getting amongst the action too, although this runs the risk of chocolate finger prints all over the house – you’ve been warned!

The coolest thing about making your own, is that you can create a variety of different flavoured eggs using the same batch of chocolate mix.  I made Plain Chocolate Eggs, Bee Pollen Chocolate Eggs, Coconut filled Chocolate Eggs and White Chocolate Eggs.

The possibilities are endless, for example you could add peppermint or orange extract to either the coconut or chocolate mix. You could use goji berries or nuts instead of Bee Pollen or have one side of the egg white and the other plain…

You will get between 100 to 120 mini Eggs with this recipe. Once made place in little baskets, mini felt bags or in my case these adorable little pink rabbits. You will have some lovely little Easter treats that aren’t all that bad for you.

 

Sugar Free Vegan Mini Easter Eggs

IMG_3144

 

IMG_3143

 

Ingredients:

Chocolate Mix:

  • 150g Cocoa Butter
  • 3 0z Cocoa Powder
  • 1-2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 6 Tbsp Maple Syrup

White Chocolate Mix:

  • 150g Cocoa Butter
  • 1-2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 6 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Coconut Mix:

  • 6 Tbsp Coconut Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Directions:

Plain Chocolate Eggs:

  1. Melt the cocoa butter on a double boiler and remove from the heat.
  2. Add the cocoa powder and 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (depending on your taste) and 6 tablespoons of maple syrup stirring until combined.
  3. Leave to cool for a few minutes before pouring the mixture into the egg moulds. Remember to reserve some of the chocolate mix for sticking the two egg halves together or if you wish to make different flavoured eggs.
  4. Place the moulds in the fridge until cooled and set (I left mine for an hour).
  5. Once set carefully remove the eggs from the moulds and set aside.
  6. You will need to reheat the remaining chocolate mix as it would have set hard. (Do this with the double boiler again)
  7. Spoon a small amount of chocolate mix onto the flat side of one egg, then carefully  stick the other half on top.
  8. Place back in the fridge for another hour to set, and that’s it…enjoy x

White Chocolate Eggs:

  1. Melt the cocoa butter on a double boiler, then remove from the heat.
  2. Add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract (depending on your taste) and 6 tablespoons of maple syrup, stir until combined.
  3. Leave to cool for a few minutes before pouring the mixture into the egg moulds. Remember to reserve some white chocolate mix for sticking the two egg halves together.
  4. Repeat as above.

Coconut Mix:

  1. Place the coconut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup in saucepan and slowly melt over a low heat.
  2. Leave to cool for a few minutes before pouring the mixture into the egg moulds.

 

IMG_3141

Happy Easter X