Ginger and Apricot Breakfast Bread

Quarantine Kitchen Series

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 I have been *more than usual* thinking about the types of food to feed my family. Although I have a small library of cookery books, it’s proving to be of little value since I can’t shop in the way I otherwise would.

So I’ve been putting my creative head on and coming up with recipes that still provide all the right vitamins and minerals, but can be created from the store cupboard and will keep.

I’ve been quite enjoying the challenge and my latest creation I’m pretty proud of. Hence me using this space to brag about it!!!

You can really taste the fiery ginger in this recipe, it’s perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the apricot, but if heat isn’t your thing half the amount of ginger and you should be fine.

I have chosen apricots as they are rich in vitamin A and added the ginger, primarily because my Nanny used to tell me it was super good for you, and she was right about most things!

However if you don’t want to take Nanny’s word for it, I have added a link below giving much more detail on the matter of wonderful ginger.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-benefits-of-ginger#section7

Ingredients

  • 500 ml hot, strong black tea
  • 250g dried apricots chopped
  • 100g crystallised ginger chopped
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 200g self-raising flour (I used Doves wheat-free flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 Tbsp of sunflower oil
  • 1 flax egg (2 Tbsp ground flax, mixed with 5 Tbsp water, stand for 10 mins)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 170c/Gas Mark 3. Pour the tea into a bowl and add the apricots, ginger and porridge. Let sit until the ingredients soak up the tea.
  2. Line a 1kg loaf tin with baking parchment. In a separate bowl add the flour and baking powder.
  3. Once the tea mixture has cooled, add the oil, flax egg and mix.
  4. Add the tea mix to the dry flour mix and combine well. Then pour into the prepared tin.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, then cover the top with foil and bake for a further 10 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin. Cut into slices, add butter, jam or whatever you like. You can store this in the fridge to keep longer, or cut into slices and freeze.

Date and Prune Brownies

Chunky but light! I believe this recipe was originally taken from the Vegan Society which *like most recipes* I have added, subtracted and generally done my own thing until I feel it reflects me and my naughty little taste buds.

You can add a topping of your choice, almonds, a dusting of cocoa powder perhaps? I found an half eaten bit of white vegan chocolate in my cupboard, so I had to use it!

Ingredients

  • 8oz organic wheat-free plain flour
  • 250ml soya or nut milk of choice
  • 50ml sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • 4oz prunes
  • 3oz dates
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp carob powder
  • 8oz coconut sugar or 6 Tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 180c and line a baking tin (8×8 inch is what I used) with parchment paper.
  2. Place the dates and prunes into a tea cup and add boiling water, just enough to cover the fruit. Leave to cool.
  3. Take a couple of tablespoons of the flour and put into a saucepan, over a medium heat, gradually add the soya milk and continue to stir until it thickens. Take off the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. In a blender, add the oil, sugar, vanilla essence and add the cooled dates and prunes along with their water and blend.
  5. Add the flour, cocoa and carob powder to the blender and blitz until smooth.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25-35 minutes, until firm and springy.
  7. Leave to cool in the tin and serve

 – 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.

 

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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 Butter in a hurry

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.

 

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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 –

 


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.

 

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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

 

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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.

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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

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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.

 

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Happy Easter X

 

 


Mothers Day, Earl Grey Cake with Lemon Frosting

The smell of Earl Grey tea reminds me of my Mama, as far back as I can remember it has always been her choice of a tea blend. With this in mind, I thought what better than to bake her an Earl Grey Cake for Mothers day, finished with a light layer of fresh lemon frosting to perfectly compliment the delicate bergamot flavour of the tea. Try adding lavender or rose petals for a touch of femininity.

This is a delightful soft cake, that is vegan and wheat free.

Fingers crossed a slice will be saved for her number one daughter!?

 

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Ingredients:

  • 10 oz  Self-Raising Wheat Free Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 4 oz organic Coconut Oil, Melted
  • 8 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 3 Earl Grey Tea Bags
  • 8oz of mixed fruit
  • 8ml/220ml of Boiled Water
  • 2 Tbsp of icing sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 Unwaxed Organic Lemon
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 1lb loaf tin.
  2. Pour 8fl oz/220ml of boiled water into a jug with 3 Earl Grey tea bags and the mixed  fruit. Leave to cool.
  3. Place the flour, baking powder and zest (reserving some if you wish to garnish the cake) into a mixing bowl and combine.
  4. Once the tea has cooled remove the tea bags from the jug and add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
  5. Combined the wet mix (tea mix) with the flour and baking powder and pour into a prepared loaf tin.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the centre springs back when lightly touched. Leave to cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack.
  7. Meanwhile place the icing sugar into a small bowl or a cup and slowly add the lemon juice. You will only need a bout 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice.
  8. Once the cake has completely cooled, spread over the lemon frosting and garnish with the reserved lemon zest.
  9. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea and a smile.

Vegan Pistachio, Fig and Nutmeg Cake

This is a lovely tasty simple cake to bake.

I have experimented with both fresh and ground nutmeg and both work well but if you really want that aromatic flavour I would suggest using fresh nutmeg.

Unfortunately my photographs do not do this cake justice as the pistachios really give it a vibrant burst of bright green.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 5oz (¾ Cups) Unsalted Chopped Pistachio Nuts
  • 4oz (1 Cup) Wheat-Free Self-Raising Flour Blend
  • 3oz (5/8 Cups) Ground Almonds
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 5oz (1 Cup) Chopped Dried Figs
  • 150ml (2/3 Cups) Apple Juice
  • 120ml (½ Cups) Melted Coconut or Sunflower Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 5 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the Oven to 180c/ Gas Mark 4 and line a baking tin with grease proof paper (I used an 8 inch tin).
  2. Place the figs in a pan with the apple juice, cover and gently simmer for 5 minutes until soft, then leave to cool.
  3. Place the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and grated nutmeg into a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and fig mixture.
  5. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and place into the prepared cake tin.
  6. Sprinkle with the pistachios and bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes.
  7. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin .
  8. Serve with a nice cup of tea. X

 

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Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

Like many, I overindulged this Christmas.  I just couldn’t resist all the wicked desserts and mulled wine!

So I am starting 2016 off with plenty of good food choices but I still have cravings for cakes and biscuits!

To help with this small inconvenience,  I’ve made some delicious sugar free, vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies.

I keep them in the freezer, that way when I have the urge to bury my face in a bowl of chocolate all I have to do is open the freezer door and bingo, I will be saved from sin!

I adore these little cookie bites, so simple but deliciously mouth watering.

If you too have made resolutions to eat better this year, I hope these beauties will help you stick to your goals !

We can do this!

Happy 2016 Beautiful People x

Vegan Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies

Makes 9

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Ingredients:

  • 8oz / ¼ cup of Almonds
  • Half a jar of 100% Peanut Butter (I used Merdian)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Raw Organic Coconut Oil

Chocolate Topping:

  • 2oz/ ¼ cup of Raw Organic Coconut Oil, melted
  • 5 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup or Honey.

 

Directions:

  1. Soak Almonds for a couple of hours or preferably overnight in water. Drain and place into a blender  with 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil and whizz until combined.
  2. Take a small amount of the mixture and roll into a ball then flatten. Place on greaseproof paper and repeat until all the mixture has been used, it will make approximately 9 cookies.
  3. Spoon Peanut Butter on top of the cookies and place in the freezer for at least an hour.
  4. Melt the Coconut Oil in a saucepan on low. Remove from the heat, add the Cocoa Powder and Maple Syrup or Honey.  Leave to cool for a couple of minutes (Don’t leave too long or the chocolate will harden.)
  5. Remove the cookies from the freezer and spoon over the chocolate mixture. Place back in the freezer for another hour.
  6. They can then be left in the freezer and taken out as needed or kept in the fridge.