Sea Salt Nutella Granola (GF, Vegan)

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‘There is beauty in simplicity’

I like to make my own granola for health reasons but also for taste. I love sweet salt umami for example, so adding salt accentuates that element. Mr. B loves all things chocolate and hazelnut (Nutella), so I use hazelnuts as the nut in this mix. You can change these elements based on your own taste and you will have something just for you and your loved ones.

I honestly never thought I would be someone who made my own granola. It was something that people used to joke about, calling the more naturalistic in a crowd, ‘crunchy granola’. Looks like my inner hippy is coming out these days, making bread, granola, yogurt and pasta by hand using old fashioned granny methods and ingredients from the farmers market. I personally think maybe they had it right all along. A simple life, old fashioned values and plenty of love and respect for the ingredients and environment around you.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients apart from the chocolate chips
  • Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, mixing half way through
  • Take out of the oven and let cool
  • Add chocolate chips and store in a glass jar….Or put  a ribbon on and give to a friend
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Raw Pistachio and Rose Avocado Cake (Raw, V, DF, GF)

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“Good food is all the sweeter, when shared with good friends”

This is a beautiful light dessert, with the sweet fragrance of a souk from the rose petals and pistachios. It is an easy blender recipe, with the base made mainly of dates and nuts and the topping 90% avocado. I served it at the end of my plant to table dinner and the guests loved the way it looked, the subtle sweetness and it’s delicate nature after a 3 course meal.

Ingredients

Crust

  • ½ cup raw pistachios
  • 6 soft Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Filling

  • 2 medium avocados, de-seeded and peeled
  • 6 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. rose water
  • ¼ cup pistachios
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Place all the crust ingredients apart from the maple syrup into the blender and process to a crumble
  • Add the maple syrup and process again to a sticky crumble
  • Transfer the mixture to a 5-inch springform pan
  • Press the mixture into the bottom
  • Place in the freezer whilst you work on the filling
  • Blend all the filling ingredients apart from the pistachios, make sure the mixture is well combined
  • Add the pistachios and blend again, but not until fully blended, as you want to see visible specs in the mixture
  • Add to the base and smooth the top over
  • Add toppings, I used rose peals and more pistachios
  • Place in the freezer for at least 4-5 hours
  • If you have leftovers, keep them frozen otherwise the mix will oxidise and change color

Mini Pistachio Baklavas (Vegan)

Mini Baklava

This is one of those desserts…. one bite and addictive!

‘I don’t often eat Baklava, but when I do, I eat the whole tray…’

Here is an easy, peasy, lemon squeezy recipe for you to try out at home. It is such a beautiful taste and the smell of toasted pistachios is an added bonus. I used creamed honey from the farmers market as it is a little mellower, but any high quality honey will work.

This is a little healthier than your normal Baklava as it doesn’t have multiple layers of syrup. It is also easy to serve with cocktails as a canapé. I’d suggest adding a little rose water to some prosecco would be a good pairing, bringing out the fragrance and smells of a souk in both.

Ingredients

  • 15 mini tart shells
  • 3 tbsp. vegan butter
  • 1 cup raw unsalted pistachios
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. cardamom
  • Pinch salt

Method

  • Bake the tart shells
  • Melt the butter in a medium pan, add pistachios and stir for c. 2 minutes until they start to have a nutty aroma
  • Add the honey, cardamom and salt
  • Take off the heat and mix
  • Use two spoons to scoop the filling into the shells
  • Cool before serving and make sure you don’t get any sugar on your skin as it will be super hot (I may be talking from experience…)

Cardamom Ice-cream (Vegan, DF, GF)

Cardamom Ice-cream (Vegan, DF, GF)

Cinnamon Icecream

I love the simplicity and pureness of this recipe, filled with amazing ingredients straight from Mother Nature’s door!

I adapted this recipe from my plant lab raw desserts classic, bringing a little Indian Flair with the cardamom. If you don’t like cardamom, cinnamon works well or vanilla if you’d prefer a less dominant flavour profile

Did you know Cardamom has impressive medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It has antioxidant and diuretic properties, which are said to stop the growth of tumours, lower blood pressure, prevent inflammation and act as an antibacterial.  Cinnamon has similar such properties, so you are good either way. Mr B doesn’t like Cardamom, so I tend to use cinnamon for him or during the holidays a little pumpkin spice (a US classic. I can not account for the medicinal properties I am afraid, just the smile invoked by the scent of the holidays)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup soaked cashews
  • ½ cup. Young coconut meat or coconut cream
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp. crushed cardamom seeds or cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup agave
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Blend all the ingredients together until smooth, except the coconut oil
  • Stream coconut oil in last
  • Process in an ice cream maker, or if you don’t have one (like me), place in a tub and freeze

Chickpea Blondies (Vegan, DF, GF)

Chickpea Blondies (Vegan, DF, GF)

Blondie Brownies

Oh so gooey, tasty, yummy, fudgy brownie blondies..

This is an easy blend and bake recipe, so you can do it when whilst you are waiting for the kettle to boil or whilst you are making the kids lunches

The Japanese tend to use sweetened bean pastes, like red bean, in their pastries and this is a nice parallel. It has the texture of a fudge brownie and is sweet but not too sweet, making it great for a midmorning snack

This recipe is super high in protein from the chickpeas and triple use of almonds in the almond meal/flour, almond butter and almond milk. It is gluten free also with the almond flour the only flour used

Mr B has a prolific sweet tooth and he loved these and found them more satisfying in a way as they kept him fuller for longer, whilst still satisfying that sweet craving in a natural way

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2, 15oz cans of organic chickpeas
  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Method

  • Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until well combined
  • Pour into an oiled bread tin
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

 

Toffee Apples (Vegan, DF, GF)

Toffee Apples (Vegan, DF, GF)

Raw Toffee Apples

‘Here’s to the crazy one. The misfits, the rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They are not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. Some may see them as the crazy some genius. But it is only those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, that do’

Matthew Kenney was one such crazy person, who created a plant-based culinary nutrition education program. He is a true believer that food is our medicine and through his own personal experience has seen a plant based diet bring him back to life. His culinary school is dedicated to showing the world that healthy, plant-based foods can be delicious, sexy, vibrant, beautiful and can be consumed without compromise.

I am a true believer in this philosophy and whilst not 100% plant based, I am making my way down this path. My dream is that food is used to fuel our body, minds and souls and the more I learn about the nutrient content of our basic plant friends, the more I feel like our health care is easily accessible and available to all.

Of all the courses that the PlantLab Culinary school runs, the one I choose to start with was their raw desserts course. You can do it online over 6 months, so pacing it with your own schedule. Desserts have always been my weakest point; due to my body not reacting well to gluten and dairy, so this course is an eye and palate opener. Mr B who loves his desserts is super happy too as he can now eat dessert for breakfast.

This was the first recipe I used at my vegan dinner party and the guests where in love with it. The whole plate was dairy, gluten and nut free and they were super surprised that it was a possibility. I hope Chef Kenney is proud of the impact he is having, I believe this revolution and evolution has just begun!

Ingredients

Apples

  • 1 apple

Caramel

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted and soaked
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1/3. Cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. mesquite or maca powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. Water

Pumpkin seed crunch/raspberries

  • ½ cup, plus 2 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • Freeze dried raspberries

Method

  • Using a melon baller, make apple balls, place in a bowl with some lemon water to make sure it doesn’t brown. Place to the side
  • Blend all the caramel ingredients until smooth. Pour caramel to the side and move to the side
  • Grind all the pumpkin seed ingredients together, place in a bowl and move to the side
  • Crush the freeze dried raspberries, place in a bowl and move to the side
  • Take one of the apple balls, dry off, place a toothpick through the center, roll in the caramel, roll in topping of choice
  • Place in fridge to set (min 5 minutes)
  • Serve once set

 

Healthy Pop Tarts (GF, DF)

Healthy Pop Tarts (GF)

Pop Tart

Who would have ever thought you could make such a thing as a healthy pop tart?? It sounds like a contradiction in terms

The pop tart for those of you who don’t know was introduced to the world in 1964 by Kellogg as a pre-baked toaster convenience food and soon became popular as a kids breakfast. It is made out of two layers of pastry and has a sweet filling inside. The basic pop tart without frosting has approximately 16g sugar and 200 calories

The reason I know anything about Pop Tarts at all is due to Mr B, who recently admitted to me that when he is stressed at work he goes to the vending machine and liberates a pop tart. This surprised me, as Mr B is a firm believer in clean eating, and generally sticks to that during the week

I therefore decide to seek out the ultimate treat for him. A pop tart that he could eat, that would be healthy and clean but taste just as good. This recipe is adapted from Lexiscleankitchen.com and doesn’t disappoint. It has Pataya, blueberries, chia and almonds as the main ingredients and so has plenty of antioxidants. It is sweet, but the sugars are natural. The biggest difference is that unlike the shop bought version, it wont outlast a nuclear incident, but given how quickly Mr B ate them, that was rather unlikely anyway!

Ingredients

For the tart

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large egg

Homemade Chia Jam

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds

For the glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. cashew milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. pataya powder

Method

  • To make the dough, combine all the ingredients in a blender and leave to chill in the fridge (very important)
  • To make the jam, put all the ingredients in a deep pot and cook on a low heat until broken down, be careful not to burn
  • Turn off an let cool
  • Combine the glaze ingredients and set aside
  • Between two pieces of parchment, gently roll out the dough and cut out rectangles using a sharp knife
  • Place half the rectangles on parchment paper, place a teaspoon of the jam in-between, wet the edges and press down with a fork to close
  • Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill and preheat the oven
  • Once the oven is hot, bake the tarts for 12-15, until golden brown. Let cool
  • Once cooled use a pastry brush to add the glaze
  • I added the pataya later after brushing first so that I had two different colours and used the glaze as a drizzle

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