Chocolate Coconut Flour Mug Cake (No Dairy, No Egg, Paleo)

Before going fully vegan I was kinda hooked on coconut flour mug cakes……like eating them every day type hooked. The trouble they mostly contain egg so I’ve been meaning to, for like ever, get experimenting with a vegan chocolate coconut flour mug cake. I’m now done. And it’s good. Really good.

chocolate mug cake paleo vegan

A few minor points first. I no longer have a microwave so this was cooked in the oven………and not in a mug but more a generously proportioned ramekin dish. So this is kind of like a selfish single serving of moist chocolatey coconut cake! However, I have high hopes you can in fact put this in a mug and then the microwave 😉 and voila – a selfish single serving microwave mug cake!

chocolate mug cake paleo vegan DSC_2222

Besides, the cooking method this is a real gem of a cake. I’m in love:

a truly healthy snack
no grain – low carb
higher in protein + fibre than your average ‘cake’
low calorie, if that’s your thing
super quick, like super, super
full of the goodness of cocoa + coconut flour
rich chocolatey cake texture + taste

By the way, there’s never anything wrong with chocolate sauce on top. Never.

chocolate mug cake paleo veganchocolate paleo vegan mugcake

Chocolate Coconut Flour Mug Cake (No Dairy, No Egg, Paleo)

(for just you)

1 vegan Orgran egg (1 heaped teaspoon egg replacer : 2 tablespoons water)
3 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 heaping tablespoon coconut flour
optional (but probably wise!): dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 190ÂșC + add the egg replacer to a small ramekin pot or mug.
2. Add the remaining ingredients + make sure the mixture is a smooth consistency. Fold through chocolate chips if using.
3. Bake for 20 minutes + devour after a little cooling.

Notes: As I no longer have a microwave I decided to use the oven as it really doesn’t take that long. However, my previous mug cake was cooked in the microwave (800w for 90 seconds on high). I’m almost certain this would work here but as I haven’t tried it I can’t make that a promise 😉

Sugar Free Breakfast Oat Cupcakes

Breakfast to go, well actually healthy breakfast to go…..AND in cup cake form too. It’s as good as it sounds, honestly.

breakfast oat cupcakes

The amount of sugar-laden cereal ‘breakfast’ bars out there are really NOT breakfast at all and kind of just rude. These beauties use very few easily accessible ingredients that actually make a ‘breakfast to go’ worth shouting about. Really.

I’ve never been the sort of person to miss breakfast as I absolutely love breakfast foods!………….BUT…………………

breakfast oat cupcakes

If you struggle for time in the morning, no need to miss breakfast with these simple, healthy breakfast oat cup cakes to go. A couple of these (yeah, maybe make double!) combined with good coffee (our current favourite: UK-based Smokey Barn), maybe a banana there’s no need to EVER miss breakfast again! They can even be frozen so go ahead and make a month’s worth 😉

breakfast oat cupcakess

So let’s look into some of the lovely things up close.
They’re easy + healthy,
sugar free,
gluten free,
dairy free,
under 90 calories,
and they’re take away.

The apple can be subbed with banana puree and if you do need that little extra bit of sweetness then some maple syrup or stevia would be healthier alternatives to the crunchy white stuff.

breakfast oat cupcakes

Sugar free breakfast oat cupcakes…to go

(makes 12 but in hindsight not enough!)

2 1/2 cups oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup apple puree (ripe banana puree would be good too)
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 cup water + a splash more
optional: sweetener of choice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips

  1. Line a muffin tray with 12 liners + preheat oven to 190C.
  2. Combine first two dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine all remaining wet ingredients in a jug.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix until fully combined. Of course feel free to add any additional extras- cinnamon, raisins + walnuts would be too good. If the mixture seems a little dry add a splash more water.
  4. Transfer mixture to muffin tin + bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave until fully cool (overnight) + enjoy breakfast on the go.

Breakfast Oat Cupcakes adapted from this awesome recipe at Chocolate Covered Katie.
Amazing coffee, online (UK) here Smokey Barn Coffee.

Vegan Soft Cheese With Pumpkin + Sun Dried Tomato (Soy, Nut + Gluten Free)

Like our cheesecake recipes, we made one version of a vegan cheese – amended it slightly and here is the next attempt…this time it’s vegan soft cheese, low fat and has gorgeous sun dried tomatoes in.
Clearly from the images you can see it’s been sliced (straight from the refrigerator) but this really is a soft and tasty cheese. Ready to spread or whatever you like!

vegan soft cheese

Combined together with oats, nutritional yeast and cooked pumpkin (or puree), this is a very healthy vegan soft cheese – you just have to look down at the basic ingredients list to see for yourself.
Treat this as a simple go-to recipe for a vegan, dairy-alternative to homemade soft cheese!
Enjoy 😉

Pumpkin + sun dried tomato vegan soft cheese

1 cup water
1 cup pumpkin puree/cooked pumpkin
1 cup oats
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
6 sun dried tomatoes (I used tomatoes preserved in oil)
1 teaspoon himalayan sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup water

1 1/4 cups water
2.5 tablespoons agar POWDER

Method:

  1. Add the ingredients in the order listed (not the agar + 1 1/4 cup water) + blend until very smooth with zero lumps.
  2. Heat the water + agar over a low heat until it becomes very thick + gloopy. Once thick, transfer to the cheese base + pulse until fully combined.
  3. Transfer the cheese to a mould of your choice. I used a loaf tin.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using + store in the fridge for 5-7 days.

Adapted from Vegan paprika cheese from Cooking with Plants

Vegan Cupcake Cheesecakes

vegan cupcake cheesecakes

We did a raw berry coconut cheesecake recipe once before and it turned out to be a real success – especially as a first go! So the thinking behind this recipe was to carry on with the cheesecake theme using coconut + berries and put a twist to the whole idea. Born were vegan cupcake cheesecakes.

vegan cupcake cheesecakes vegan cupcake cheesecakes

For regular visitors you’ll know that we think coconut is just amazing – and that flavour really comes through with these little gems. Producing cheesecakes with no cream cheese is so simple and this will most definitely impress all cheesecake lovers (and possibly convert them to the idea of using dairy-free baking ingredients, ha ha).

vegan cupcake cheesecakes

As it’s still January, people are giving the whole veganuary thing a shot (keep it going – you’re doing great) so why not give these sweet little treats a whirl…Mmmm!

vegan cupcake cheesecakes

Useful link: Veganuary – it will put your curious mind at ease…

Vegan Cupcake Cheesecakes

base:
1 cup oats
7 dates, no stones
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup flax meal

filling:
1.5 cups cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 lemon, juiced

optional:
berry compote, chocolate, nut butter

Method:

  1. Prepare 12 silicone moulds (cupcake liners would also work) ready for your cheesecakes.
  2. Blitz the base ingredients + divide amongst the liners. Press down hard to compact with a glass or something like that. Place in freezer until set.
  3. Blitz the filling ingredients + spoon on top of the base. Decorate exactly as you fancy: some berry compote, caramel or alternatively flavour the filling with a nut butter or dark chocolate melted.
  4. Place in freezer for a 3-4 hours until set. These can be thawed for 15 minutes prior to eating or eaten straight from the freezer. Enjoy.

Recipe for vegan cupcake cheesecakes adapted from Minimalist Baker + My Whole Food Life. 

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts with Coconut Frosting ( Gluten Free + Dairy Free)

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

OK, so i’m sure you’re wondering how you make a ‘healthy doughnut’? Do they even exist? Of course! But aren’t they supposed to be an indulgent treat when you just need something sweet and comforting to eat?
Well these are both of those, combined we’ll call them a ‘healthy treat’ as they are just the treat you’re looking for with that afternoon tea or coffee – all the pleasure, none of the guilt!

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Using coconut nectar sugar, no dairy, pumpkin purée (with all the goodness of high fibre, heart healthy, mood boosting pumpkins) these are already set to be a satisfying nibble.
Always the coconut fan, using coconut oil & sugar gives these a great taste and texture alongside the cinnamon/nutmeg/vanilla – not a processed ingredient in these, too right!

The recipe makes 6 pumpkin spiced doughnuts, you may however be referring back to this recipe and letting your friends and family know that there is life beyond Krispy Kremes…

Pumpkin Spiced Doughnuts

Pumpkin spiced doughnuts

(makes 6)
1 cup oat flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon ginger, nutmeg + cinnamon

3/4 cup pumpkin purée
1 tablespoon flaxmeal + 1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/ teaspoon vanilla extract

coconut cream frosting:
3 tablespoons coconut cream,1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon shredded coconut + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 ÂșC. Combine the flax + coconut water in a small bowl.
  2. Add the first 7 dry ingredients to a bowl + mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the pumpkin, oil, maple syrup + vanilla to the flax mixture + whisk well. Add this mixture to the dry bowl to produce a thick batter.
  4. Transfer the batter to a silicone or greased doughnut pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Blitz the icing ingredients together + smother. Eat any leftovers.

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Wholegrain Banana Bread – (Low Fat + Vegan)

Wholegrain Banana Bread

What to do with those old bananas? Unless you buy them super green and unripe, they don’t last long (especially when you LOVE bananas). So when they’re turning overripe, this is a simply delicious bread that will really impress!

Wholegrain Banana Bread

The good stuff:
It contains bananas!
It’s low fat and vegan.
Made using heart healthy oat flour.
An excellent source of niacin to boost your metabolism from the spelt flour.

Wholegrain Banana Bread

I know this time of year many people are interested in chocolate and savoury snacks, but this won’t disappoint. There’re too many positives about bananas: they’re really cheap, healthy and they’ll keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day.
Eat this wholegrain banana bread any time of day too – not just with that afternoon cuppa! Yummy…

Wholegrain Banana Bread

Wholegrain Banana Bread (Low Fat + Vegan).

2 cups oat flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ÂșC + grease a loaf pan. Combine the first six ingredients in a mixing bowl. I make oat flour with oats in the Vitamix on high for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the ACV to the milk + set aside. Mash your bananas to form a smooth puree or just throw in the blender.
  3. Now add the remaining ingredients to the smooth bananas including the coconut milk + mix thoroughly. Add this to the dry mix to form a smooth batter.
  4. Transfer to the loaf pan, top with brown sugar (optional but delicious) + bake for 50 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool a little before devouring.

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 180ÂșC + 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.

Go Plant Based – Get Healthier, Happier + Richer!

Who doesn’t want to be healthy, happier, richer?
I do, and it’s too easy ‘cos all you gotta do is get involved with some plants. Plant based food rocks and you don’t have to be a full blown vegan to get stuck in. It’s all about the small steps and anyway, life’s a journey hey? By adding a few extra veggies into our daily diets we’d all get a bit happier, a little healthier and life would be good…..man. Seriously, eating less meat and more plants is easier than you think.

There really is no reason to miss meat when there are endless tasty and exciting ways to create truly amazing food entirely from plants and whole foods. This is not about recreating, substituting or missing meat but rather a way to enjoy a world of plant based nutrition and making any recipe work! Being a vegan shouldn’t (and doesn’t) mean you’re missing out – quite the opposite really. It’s an opportunity to try something completely different, discover new flavours, experiment and share new meals safe in the knowledge that you are doing yourself the world of good. If you are just starting out on a plant based diet it can be a struggle at first but here are a few of my suggestions to make life easier and to offer a little inspiration.

Going plant based:

  • Learn to love your beans and of course lentils too! I’m bean mad and urge you to experiment with them. Beans are amazing in casseroles, curry, bakes, lasagnes, dips and of course most veggie burgers are bean based. There’s such a variety out there, why not try a different bean each week until you find your favourite? My top two are haricot and black turtle beans. A mexican is never complete without black beans.
  • Red, green + yellow lentils = staple store cupboard ingredient. The humble lentil has a bad rep but they are deliciously creamy and carry taste better than anything else. They’re perfect for replacing minced meat in Italian and Greek dishes and a sturdy foundation for a veggie burger. You can easily replace meat ingredients with lentils. They work a treat in lasagnes, shepherds pie too and a marriage made in heaven in curry.
  • Fancy that pumpkin sausage casserole? Why not replace the sausages with the meaty texture of chestnuts, portobello mushrooms, butter beans or simply replace with use some veggie sausages.
  • Mushrooms not only have that all important umami flavour but have that ‘meaty’ texture. There’s such a variety in the supermarkets these days just waiting for some experimentation. Pulse them up or slice them to imitate slithers of meat in a casserole or pasta sauce for that deep, rich flavour.
  • Tofu. Drain and press (with a heavy weight) for several hours to minimise water content. Slice into quarter inch strips add a robust sauce and bake. This is a great way to utilise an otherwise tasteless product. Tofu is fantastic not only in stir fries, curries and baked versions but is brilliant for making sweet treats like cheesecakes and mousses. Tempeh, Seitan (gluten wheat powder) is great for making veggie sausages and equal protein to lean meat. I’m not a huge fan of faux meat products but they can be a good solution if you’re struggling every now and then.
  • Use FLAVOUR to enhance your meals! Strong and distinctive flavours are the best way to adapt your recipes and create deeply rich layered flavours. I find that smoked paprika is perfect for replacing chorizo and a great way to add a rich Spanish flavour. Liquid smoke gives a fabulously smokey tastes to salads, beans, burgers sausages, dips, well anything really. Try it! Also, dried fruit and preserved lemons are great for creating that authentic North African and Middle Eastern flavour in stews and tagines. Indian food utilises an array of rich, warm and healing spices that lend themselves fantastically to vegan food. Veggie friendly umami flavours, chipotle, smoked paprika, harissa, garam masala. Of course the vegan umami flavours; mushrooms, fermented foods, sea vegetables, tamari and tomatoes are key in creating that all key satisfying flavour.
  • Just leave the meat out and use more of an alternative ingredient. Don’t sweat the whole protein (most people actually get way over recommended daily amounts, even by eating JUST veggies) thing anyway but if you’re concerned about levels just add some nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, quinoa or dairy alternatives to cheese. Anyway, what about some scrambled tofu……
  • Get bang into blogs. There’s lots of easy veggie recipes for endless inspiration in the blogosphere.
  • Just let your creative side take over and get involved. Fill your plate with colourful produce and creative dishes. Some of my favourite meals have been on the spot, open the fridge and make it up as you go!

plant based
Converting to a plant based diet is a wonderful opportunity to experiment with flavours and get in touch with our creative sides whilst getting healthy and reducing harm to our environment and of course, the animals.

Can you believe I’d never even purchased smoked paprika, liquid smoke, chipotle chilis or nutritional yeast (the list is endless) before I went veggie. Gosh, I really was missing out! So if you haven’t already added a few meatless meals to your week, challenge yourself and see how easy, delicious and feel good it really is. Peace 😉

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