Snacks

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies (Dairy Free + Gluten Free)

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

OK so time for something sweeter on the blog, it’s been a little while we know! These simple pumpkin chocolate brownies really have very few ingredients and are just truly satisfying. It’s getting cold outside and when someone’s made you a hot drink, these accompany that quite nicely.

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

With some pumpkin puree leftover and the urge for a chocolatey gluten free treat, these came to mind and proved a real success! Made with healthy brown rice flour and almond flour, combined with some other truly special plant based ingredients, you really do feel good eating these (well we did anyway!)

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Invite over a friend or take to someone’s and share a heathy indulgent moment or two.

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies

1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup dates
generous sprinkle cinnamon
pinch of sea salt (I used pink himalayan)
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup raw cocoa
4 tablespoons liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)

Entirely optional but you could also drizzle with raw chocolate sauce:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 tablespoons maple syrup

(just combine this little lot over a low heat + drizzle away)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC + line a small baking dish. Blitz the pumpkin + dates until smooth.
  2. Add this mixture to a bowl with remaining ingredients, combine well + transfer to the baking dish.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean. Once removed allow to stand for 20 minutes before slicing.
  4. Enjoy now as is or drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Easy Vegan Cheese (No Soy, Heart Healthy)

Easy Vegan Cheese

Why make cheese when you can go to the supermarket and buy it? Well vegan cheese is pretty good these days, it melts, it grates, it slices, it tastes good – everything cheese should do but without the dairy. In my opinion, I think everyone should be trying the alternatives and not being all cheese-snobbish about the whole thing ” but it’s not even real cheese”. We all know cheese is a love for many people (in fact virtually everyone I know), so creating this vegan version is something to be proud of.

Easy Vegan Cheese

Not only is it delicious, it’s heart-healthy – it’s made with almond milk and olive oil, grates beautifully over ya beans ‘n’ tacos and slices up a treat in a sandwich toastie with some fresh organic wholemeal bread. There’s no dairy and no soy, just flavour and a nice solid block of cheese.
This recipe is simple, it’s quick and needs nothing more than five minutes of love and care, plus a bit of space in your refrigerator. Nice.

Easy Vegan Cheese

Looking forward to attempt number two at this cheese, a few changes for flavour perhaps or a few changes for colour perhaps..?

Easy Vegan Cheese

Easy Vegan Cheese

2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon hot mustard
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4-6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons agar powder
1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)

Method:

  1. Throw all the ingredients into a pan in no particular order + whisk away for 5 minutes on a low to medium heat until the mixture thickens.
  2. Transfer thickened cheese mixture to your preferred moulds and refrigerate until set. It’s really this easy.

Wholegrain Pumpkin Vegan Sushi Rolls

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi
These pumpkin sushi rolls have been something we’ve been just dying to try, not for the pumpkin necessarily (although this time of year is all about the root veg) but because:
a). they’re vegan (and everything vegan rocks!)
b). there’s a first time for all experienced sushi rollers and this was that time in our household. Of course, this now means we’re going to become ‘experts’…

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

The pumpkin idea is simple, Halloween has been and gone and there’s a few leftover edible pumpkins left in the supermarkets (although not many) and as pumpkin is an autumn/winter seasonal veggie, why not put some in the sushi?

But, this isn’t just any kind of sushi – your standard white rice kind, these pumpkin vegan sushi rolls are made with uber-healthy organic brown short grain sticky rice. That’s what makes this extra special, knowing you’re getting all that organic wholegrain into your sushi life. When you’ve got the choice, go brown over white every time.

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

Brown sticky rice notes:
One rinsing will do before cooking,
Allow more cooking time (according to packet, around 40mins),
Brown rice does not have to be drained (unlike white),
Works best with a handing rolling mat (rice on the inside of the nori seaweed too).

Some nutritional bits for you about brown rice:
*Easier to digest as it’s much ‘lighter’
*Low GI, reducing insulin spikes (slow-release sugar)
*High in Manganese
*High fibre – good for weight loss
*A ‘whole grain’
*Rich in antioxidants
*Perfect baby ‘first food’ as it’s nutrient rich (ideal as we’re new parents!)

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

Armed with the raw ingredients including avocado, red pepper & green onion as well as a brand new rolling mat, it was time to get stuck in. It’s quite calming really once you’ve got the hang of spreading the rice thinly and evenly, as it’s something to keep a busy mind distracted as you gotta concentrate. It’s a situation whereby once you commit, you have to go the whole way much like walking into the (cold English) ocean up to your waist: 3, 2, 1 under! I found the trick was once you start rolling don’t be afraid, just carry on – who cares if it’s not perfect, that’s what the other 4 sheets of nori in the packet are for…to make more delicious sushi.

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

These sushi rolls are gluten, dairy, egg, nut, and soy-free (as long as you leave out any tofu and no tamari for dipping). However, we jazzed the serving up with a generous squeeze of wasabi and some organic tamari…just yummy. This made a great weekend lunch, and yes we’ll be making again and using some more of our 10kg stash of brown sticky rice!

Pumpkin Vegan Sushi

Choose your fillings and enjoy!

Wholegrain Pumpkin Vegan Sushi Rolls

(makes 5 rolls)

1 cup of uncooked short grain brown rice, cooked according to packet instructions
5 nori sheets
1 cup roasted pumpkin, mashed
1 tablespoon wasabi
1/3 cucumber, sliced into strips
1/2 red pepper, sliced into strips
2 spring green onions, sliced into strips
1 avocado, sliced into strips
(any other filling that takes your fancy)
serve with the usual wasabi, pickled ginger + tamari

  1. Mash the roasted pumpkin + wasabi to a smooth consistency.
  2. Arrange all your prepared vegetables including your pumpkin paste, rice + nori sheets on a chopping board.
  3. Lay out your nori, spread rice thinly + evenly (rolls better that way) and lay filling on the top of the rice not quite half way up the nori sheet. Using your sushi mat start rolling your sushi according to the package instructions. Most packets have instructions, but this video was pretty useful.
  4. Slice up each roll + devour with condiments.

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

It’s kind of cake, kind of bread. Maybe loaf cake….maybe not.

It’s kind of sweet, kind of savoury but let’s not label this beauty because it really is a gem. I love it for how adaptable it is, it really is a throw-it-together and use what ya got kind of bread……or cake….or loaf! I made this whilst Russ was on the nursery DIY duty listening to a bit of Regina Spektor. Music + baking = Bliss.

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

I used half spelt and half almond flour because I haven’t used the good stuff for ages and it ramps up the nutrient level beautifully! But this would work with whatever flour you have to hand, same with the oil, you gotta use what ya got! On the other hand if you want to cut out the oil, double the sweet potato purée and ditch the walnuts for raisins. Likewise if you have carrot but no courgette or vice versa then just use what ya got. I had an abundance of sweet potato but pumpkin and apple purée can easily replace this. See it really is adaptable!

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

I was having a bit of a dense carb craving and this defo hit the spot – healthy, hearty, easy and delicious. This is why I like wholegrain vegetable bread:

wholegrain
moist + satisfying
veggie packed
healthiest fats
ideal snackage

Wholegrain Vegetable Bread

I’m quite liking vegetables in my cakes, more please 🙂

Wholegrain Vegetable bread

1 cup almond flour
1 cup spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chia plus 6-8 water
1 tablespoon molasses (optional)
1/4 cup oil (I used coconut)
1 heaped cup courgette, grated + excess juice squeezed out
1 heaped cup carrot, grated + excess juice squeezed out
1/2 cup sweet potato purée (pumpkin or apple purée would be great too)
1/4 cup water, if needed

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 º Celsius + line a loaf tin with parchment paper. Prepare chia ‘egg’ by combining the seeds with water.
  2. Meanwhile add the first 6 ingredients to a large bowl + combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients along with the flax egg + add to the dry bowl.
  4. Combine very well + transfer to the tin.
  5. Bake for 80-90 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Classic Green Smoothie Ice Lollies

I love a good smoothie and with the current ‘heatwave’ i’m taking an all time fave and making a refreshing lolly.

green smoothie ice lolly

To me this is a classic green smoothie recipe and often I find that many green smoothies are full or a myriad of random ingredients. Don’t get me wrong I love spirulina and almond butter or whatever else every now and then, but at the end of the day there’s something very tasty and simple about this. This is a smoothie I would drink daily just as a snack and I really don’t want to be over complicating things. It’s not good on time, mess or my waistline! But we’re making ice lollies here and this is also perfect as a solid, creamy, banana-packed iced treat. These are naturally way healthier than your average ice treat but definitely not losing out on flavour. They take absolutely no effort whatsoever (aside for waiting for them to freeze!) and can be adapted very easily.

green smoothie ice lolly

If I haven’t convinced you to make your own asap then this will: these are….

packed full of bananas
contain zero refined sugars
dairy free
low in fat
just sweet enough
cheap as chips

Of course the variations are endless, so have lots of fun mixing it up and trying something new. I’m thinking peach pie flavour next……..:-)

green smoothie ice lolly

Classic green smoothie ice lollies

(makes 6)

4 frozen bananas
1 cup almond milk
handful spinach
3 tablespoons maple syrup or sweetener of your choice.

Blitz away until smooth + creamy. Transfer to a popsicle maker + freeze.

Pineapple + Ginger Cake – Dairy free + Gluten Free

I’ve had this tin of pineapple for sooooo long, ages actually, ha ha! I really do love my pineapple but much prefer the fresh variety so that’s why it’s been sitting around, plus Russ is my chief pineapple chopper-upper! Don’t worry, it was still in date 🙂 The truth is, I’ve been so lazy with the blog lately and it’s been kinda hard to pull my finger out and get moving with things and when I opened the cupboard and saw this tin, my irrational pregnancy hormones got the better of me and I HAD to use it. This cake is so quick to throw together and whilst it’s cooking for an hour I have no excuse but to listen to my hypnobirthing tracks. At least I’ve finally gotten rid of that can of pineapple!

pineapple & ginger vegan cake

So yeah Russ and I will be hypnobirthing this August! So far it seems to be working really well for me and it’s already helped put some of the usual pre-birth anxieties at bay. Society seems to be full of so many negative images and messages towards birth but if you actually look past these and filter through there are plenty of positive images. Hypnobirthing teaches you to retrain your brain to see yourself as the capable, prepared, adaptable and strong person that you are, perfectly able to birth your child in a calmly excited manner. It’s surprising how much we tell ourselves otherwise, whether that originates from the media or friends and family. The only downside of hypnobirthing is that most people don’t really get it, seeing it as some sort of ‘trance induced’ birth. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s more so a preparation tool before birth to ease birthing anxieties and prepare for the physical aspects of labour by mindfulness, deep breathing and hypnosis tracks. It’s a bit of a commitment – about 40 minutes a day to be precise but I think it’ll be more than worth it come birth time. Added to that the 30 minute hypnosis track is so relaxing, I actually look forward playing it and relaxing more than I ever felt possible. I know already that this is going to help me immensely before and during the birth. In the meantime, I’ll keep reminding people that I won’t be hypnotised during labour but rather utilising the techniques of mindfulness, breathing and visualisation I’ve learnt so far.

pineapple & ginger vegan cake

Anyway, my digestion has been pretty good so far through this pregnancy but I do think I’ve been glutenizing myself a lot lately, what with toast, pittas, pasta – it’s all too much. Hence the gluten free cake plus I’ve been dying to try out Bob’s Red Mill variety of GF flours. I’ve gotta say, pretty impressed. Shame we don’t have it more readily available here in the UK but it’s easy enough to make yourself. Not being gluten intolerant I wont be swapping every time but it’s nice to make a change and cook for all sensitivities and preferences.

vegan pineapple & ginger cake

The cake’s ready and Russ is doing nursery stuff (mural, shelves and cot building) so time to make a cuppa and slice this gingery thing! See ya sooner rather than later…………..

Pineapple + ginger cake

2 tablespoons chia seeds + 6 of water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup pineapple juice (from the can)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup GF flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose)
1 heaping cup grated carrot
1 can pineapple (227grams, 137 grams drained- keep pineapple juice for recipe)
sesame seeds, optional

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180º Celsius + grease a 7 inch cake tin.
2. Add the ‘chia egg’ to a mixing bowl + allow to gel. Add the oil, syrup, juice + combine well.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl + combine well. Transfer to the greased cake tin, sprinkle with sesame seeds + bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

No fish, no mercury, sustainable, 100% vegan…just healthy 😉
Vegan tuna mayo sweetcorn rolls!

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

(serves 2)

1 can chickpeas, drained
1 carrot, peeled + grated
2 tablespoons sweetcorn
2-3 tablespoons vegan mayo or make this

  1. Add the chickpeas, carrot, sweetcorn + mayo to a small bowl + combine evenly.
  2. Spread on whatever the devil you like!

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette (Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free)

The magic of plants. Is it just me or is everyone else in love with chick pea flour, or besan, gram or whatever? I cannot get enough of this stuff and there’s so much more to this amazing flour than socca, although that really does rock my world 😉 Loaded with fibre, protein and a great source of iron this creamy flour needs a little more recognition. It’s great for anyone on a restrictive diet and is really easy to bake with. Oh and makes a great omelette base too……

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette

This is super simple Spanish sweet potato omelette is free from most aggravating food stuffs. What I mean by that is, there’s absolutely:

NO SOY
NO DAIRY
NO GLUTEN

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette

Anything is possible. You could probably say this one is an omelette for everyone. An omelette to please all.

This can easily be adjusted according to what you have in your cupboard. I mean potato starch is just something I have but corn starch would be great or at a push just leave it out. I just used potato starch to thicken the mixture slightly but this would be fine without as long as you add the liquid part conservatively.

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette

This contains over 25 grams of protein, yep that is more than your average pork chop or even a 4 egg omelette. Plants are so cool. This is a complete meal and an ideal lunch, especially when served with wholegrain wraps and salad. Just an idea.

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette

Spanish Sweet Potato Omelette with Paprika

(serves 1-2)

1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small squares
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1/2 green pepper, chopped finely
handful spinach, torn roughly

batter:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 tablespoon flaxmeal
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
sprinkle thyme, salt + pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup almond milk + 1/4 cup water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 º Celsius + place a greased 10 inch pan in the oven. Combine the batter ingredients, whisk thoroughly until no lumps remain. Set aside to thicken for a couple of minutes.
  2. Prepare all veggies + add to the batter. Fold through so the veggies are evenly distributed.
  3. Remove the pan from the oven + add the mixture. Top with tomato + bake for 45-50 minutes.
  4. Remove + serve warm but also great as a cold snack.

Wholegrain Blueberry Banana Muffins

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

Since I’ve been pregnant I literally cannot get enough of blueberries, it’s kinda weird the amounts I’m getting through! I must say I am getting a little sick of eating them straight from the box, plus I seem to demolish packets at a time. Naturally when it comes to recipes, I’m thinking blueberry dense muffins. It’s also nice to finally be craving something sweet as opposed to my oily and salty obsessions of late (okay I admit it, I’ve been hooked on crisps or potato chips or whatever!). So it just has to be a good solid muffin. Blueberries galore of course, like too many almost.

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

But I hate (that word isn’t even strong enough) it when you get a ‘blueberry’ muffin and there’s like 3 solitary blueberries in the whole thing. It almost seems a tad on the criminal side and definitely a complete rip-off, an utter cheat. So I made sure this disaster would not happen here. Amen.

There’s actually nothing quite like warm wholegrain blueberry banana muffins, moist and fruit-packed and jam packed with the goodness of whole grains. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy sweet treats a lot more when I know they’re not full of white sugar, white carbs and toxic margarines. There doesn’t seem to be any excuses anymore as there are so many alternative flours and sweeteners out there now and not to mention a myriad of much healthier oils to substitute for margarine and butter. And I’m not saying this in a ‘oh she doesn’t know how to enjoy herself’ kinda way, but I reckon if it tastes better and it is in fact miles better for your body then it’s a no brainer, right?

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

I used xylitol to cut the energy a little but regular raw sugar, maple syrup or agave would be completely fine. If you possibly can (‘cos I cannot) allow to cool before attempting to remove from papers. Just sayin’, as it’s kind of annoying when it all gets stuck in there and nobody likes sucking on a muffin case. Although I will do this if necessary.

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

It’s one of those dry bits, wet bits, add-to recipes….easy peasy. Oh and it’s so quick, gotta love the quick ones.

It goes without saying these would be good with chocolate chips too but for me, it’s all about the blueberries right now. I’m sure it’ll be a new food obsession next week………….

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

Have a great day 😉

Wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

makes 10

dry bits:
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup xylitol
wet bits:
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 large banana, mashed (can be subbed with 1/2 cup apple sauce)
1 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
the best bit:
1 heaping cup blueberries (I used frozen)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 ºC + line grease or line a muffin tray with cases. Add the first 4 dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl + combine fully.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl + add to the dry ingredients to form a smooth batter.
  3. Fold through the blueberries + carefully spoon the mixture into the muffin tray to 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Remember to allow to cool or else you’ll be sucking on a muffin case!

3 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Caramels

Better than rolos 😉

 Vegan Rolos

Sometimes only caramel will do, and at other times only chocolate caramels will do. Thank heavens for these 3 ingredient beauties. Not only are they 100% plant based, but contain only 3 ingredients and take no time to put together. I reckon I can make these quicker than Russ can drive to the supermarket and buy some Rolos! But why would you anyway – these chocolate caramel treats are uber healthy, natural and perfect for an afternoon accompaniment to a cuppa tea!

vegan rolos

Have you got dates? Have you got peanut butter? What about some dark chocolate? No, well you can make your own with coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder 😉

vegan rolos

Do you have 10 minutes free today? Yep, well looks like you’ll be eating these too! Enjoy!

Vegan Rolos

3 ingredient vegan chocolate caramels

(makes 12-15 balls)

1 cup dates + pinch sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon smooth natural peanut butter
25 grams dark dairy free chocolate

Pulse/blend the dates + pb until smooth. Form 12-15 small caramel balls. Melt the chocolate. Coat the caramel balls with deliciously dark chocolate, remove with a toothpick + freeze for 15 minutes. Remove + devour. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

1 2 3 4 5 9