Coconut Lemon Triangles

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Thanks to my new Kindle I can now photograph my creations! Hurrah!

 

A 21st century version of a recipe from the classic ‘Vegan Cooking’ by Eva Batt.

 

You will need:

85g coconut oil, melted if necessary (my kitchen tends to be rather cold as it has no central heating – for some unknown reason – so I do find that I have to pop the required amount of coconut oil in the microwave* for 30 seconds to soften)

85g plain flour (I use unbleached flour)

85g millet flour

85g ground almonds

Juice of one lemon, plus grated peel

2 tablespoons rice malt syrup

 

1. Mix all ingredients together using a food processor or wooden spoon (and hands) until a dough is formed.

2. Press into two round 7″ cake tins.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25 minutes or until golden.

4. Remove from the oven and cut into triangles, then leave to cool, et voilà!

 

TOP TIPS

*From an environmental viewpoint microwaves are excellent because they use far less energy than a conventional cooker to perform the same task. This also lessens electricity bills, which is always good 🙂

Heavenly Healthier Chocolate Cake

I have been experimenting with gluten free, grain free and dairy free cakes for a while now, and I think I’m finally getting the hang of it.

Lower in fat and sugar than typical chocolate cake this recipe even contains fruit, yet still tastes decadent with its blend of vanilla, cinnamon and coffee. It also contains cacao powder, which is a good source of nutrients and is naturally sweet. Go ahead: try it warm from the oven with homemade yoghurt and blueberries. Mmm…

You will need:

4 small apples

1 tbsp lemon juice, fresh or bottled

2 tbsp coconut oil, softened (vegetable oil will work here too)

2 tsp instant coffee (I use cafedirect fair trade organic decaffeinated  coffee – caffeine doesn’t like me)

3 medium eggs

2 tbsp powdered stevia

30ml almond milk

2 tbsp rice malt syrup

65g coconut flour

50g raw cacao powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

7″ baking tin with a removable base, lightly greased

 

1. Chop the apples and remove the cores. Put the oven on to 180°C (160°C fan).

2. Place apple pieces in a small saucepan with the lemon juice and just enough water to cover.

3. Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 10  minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a food processor place the coconut oil, coffee, stevia, rice malt syrup, milk and eggs. Whizz on a high speed until well combined using the blade attachment.

5. Add to the food processor the flour, cacao, baking powder, vanilla extract and cinnamon.

6. Strain the cooked apples and add to the mixture.

7. Whizz again for a full minute, scraping down the sides as needed.

8. You should have a soft dropping consistency. If not, add a tablespoon of almond milk or apple water.

9. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven for 35 minutes or until a metallic skewer comes out clean. The top of the cake should be crackled but not burnt.

10. Store in the fridge (if it lasts that long).

 

adapted from this recipe: 

http://www.theculinaryjumble.com/2016/02/24/deeply-rich-chocolate-cake/

VEGAN SULTANA SCONES

Sunday tea wouldn’t be the same without a freshly baked treat. These scones are light and fluffy as well as inexpensive. For a real treat serve with clotted cream and jam or freshly sliced strawberries. I don’t eat dairy and I can attest that these taste  l o v e l y  smeared with just jam or fruit spread.

You will need:

565g self-raising flour

1½ teaspoons cream of tartar

1 heaped teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

40g fair trade caster sugar (this recipe uses less sugar than standard scone recipes)

150g sultanas

150g margarine (I use vitalite)

450ml unsweetened almond milk

1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda and sugar.

2. Using a teaspoon, dot the margarine around on top of the mix.

3. Using your fingertips, rub the margarine into the flour mix until it resembles breadcrumbs.

4. Add the sultanas.

5. Gradually add the almond milk and mix to form a sticky dough.

6. Either roll out on a floured surface and cut into rounds, or shape roughly into circles on baking tray. Makes about 12 large scones.

7. Bake for 22 minutes at 200°C. Best served while still warm.

Summer Refresher

In an attempt to boost my family’s ‘five-a-day’, I recently bought a juicer. This is one of my best recipes so far. I urge you to try it. It’s gorgeous. Who knew healthy eating could be so much fun? 🙂

Serves 2

You will need:

100g watermelon (not including rind)

100g raspberries

200g carrots

1. Wash your fruit/veg.

2. Place the watermelon into the juicer, followed by the raspberries and finally the carrots.

3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

TOP TIPS

Wash the juicer straight away after use, other wise the pulp can become difficult to clean off and could lead to staining or rust.

Although the recipe says to remove the watermelon rind, it is not necessary to remove the seeds.

Scarlet Blast

I made the following smoothie this morning for breakfast and it was so good that I didn’t even notice that I’d forgotten to take my medication.

Handful fresh spinach

Handful blackberries

Handful raspberries

400ml water

2 small dessert apples, chopped

2 tablespoons lime juice (I cheated and used bottled lime juice)

1 tablespoon agave syrup

1. Place ingredients in blender.

2. Blitz until smooooooth.

3. Drink straight away otherwise the liquid separates from the solids and it’s not so nice.

Serves four (unless you’re greedy and only share it between two, like we did)

TOP TIPS

If spinach, raspberries and blackberries are not in season, you can use frozen versions. When using frozen, I use spinach direct from the freezer, but usually defrost any fruit overnight in the fridge. 

Ice would also go well with this, especially on a hot day.

Nutty Chocolate Brownies

Adapted from a recipe in ‘Vegetarian Cooking Without’ by Barbara Cousins.

 

 

You will need:

370g chopped dates

250g dessert apples, grated (weighed after grating)

water

120ml vegetable oil

5 medium free range eggs

250g brown rice flour*

70g fair trade cocoa powder

 2 tsp vanilla extract or chocolate flavouring

2 tsp baking powder

4 tbsp light tahini**

50g hazelnuts

handful of toasted flaked almonds

1. Put 250g of the dates into a saucepan with the grated apple and 360ml water.

2. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until it has turned into a browny mush.

3. Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together with the vegetable oil.

4. Gradually add the flour, baking powder and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract, whisking well each time.

5. Add the hazelnuts, apple and dates and stir to combine.

6. Cut two rectangles of greaseproof paper and use to line two large roasting tins.

7.  Spoon the mixture into the two tins using a metal spoon and smooth it down so that the mixture is evenly spread.

8. Bake at 200ºC (180ºC for a fan oven) for 20 minutes.

9. Leave to cool.

10. Meanwhile, make the topping.

11. Place the remaining 120g of chopped dates into a saucepan with 20g of the cocoa and 250ml water.

12. Stir to combine.

13. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until it has turned to mush just like you did with the apples and dates.

14. Remove from the heat and stir in the tahini and 1 tsp of the vanilla extract or chocolate flavouring.

15. Mix well to combine, then using a spatula spread evenly over the cooked brownie mixture.

16. Spinkle with the toasted flaked almonds.

17. Cut into slices, and store in the fridge for up to three days, or seal and freeze for up to 3 months.

18. 3 months?! In our house they’re gone in two days!

TOP TIPS

*Wholemeal or plain flour can be substituted for the rice flour and are easier on the pocket.

**Tahini is made from sesame seeds and it seems to be one of those things where you either love it or hate it.

Peanut butter can be substituted for the tahini in this recipe. You could even make your own – see here for recipe.

You could try adding a tablespoon of grated orange peel for extra flavour; mix in just before baking.

Sugar Free Oaty Treats

Easy peasy and a great alternative to flapjacks or other sugary snacks. The kids will love them!

 

Ingredients:

3 medium, ripe fair trade bananas

298g tin mandarins in juice, drained

400g oats

1 tablespoon fair trade cocoa

100g sugar free chocolate drops (or sultanas)

CAM00078

Ta daa! I’ve finally figured out how to upload photographs.

1. Whizz the bananas and drained mandarins in a blender.

2. Put into a large bowl.

3. Into the banana and mandarin mixture stir the cocoa, oats and chocolate drops.

4. Place onto a baking tray lined with a silicon liner or greaseproof paper.

5. Bake in the middle of a pre-heated oven for 40 minutes at 170ºC.

6. Allow to cool. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Bread Pudding – The Stale Bread Saver

Easy as pie pudding

I hate wasting food. There are so many people who have next to nothing that to waste food is anathema. But what if <cue chilling music> despite your best endeavours your bread is stale? Fear not! Just have a go at this recipe. It’s a very simple way to use up stale bread. It’s also very versatile, making a good breakfast on a chilly morning served with milk or natural yoghurt; it can be sliced and eaten for a filling accompaniment to lunch; it can be dished up with piping hot custard for a wonderful winter warmer pud.

Bread Pudding, courtesy of wiki

You will need:

10 slices stale bread (medium sliced value/economy loaf)

milk/soya milk (or water)

130g sugar* (brown works well but caster sugar is fine)

70g suet/vegetable suet

200g dried fruit** (I used a mixture of sultanas, raisins, blueberries and apricots)

2 teaspoons mixed spice

Two  greased loaf tins

I’ve not priced this one up yet, but all the ingredients are relatively inexpensive, so the price per portion must be small.

1. Break bread into smallish pieces (1 inch/2.5cm) and place into a mixing bowl (you could use breadcrumbs).

2. Cover sparingly with the milk and press the bread down so that the bread begins to absorb the liquid.

3. Leave for 15 minutes.

4. Have a cuppa while you’re waiting.

5. Tip the mixture into a sieve or colander and squeeze excess moisture out. It needn’t be dry, just not dripping. If you were careful with the milk you shouldn’t be left with too much to squeeze (and hence, waste).

6. Place squishy bread in a big mixing bowl.

7. Add the sugar, fruit, suet and spice. Mix well.

8. Tip half into one loaf tin and half into the other.

9. Bake on a very low heat 100ºC for about 3*** hours.

10. Serve on its own, or with milk, yoghurt or custard.

TOP TIPS

Fair Trade – because they’re worth it

*Sugar – it is so easy to by fair trade sugar nowadays that this is an obvious choice for a recipe such as this. If it’s fairly traded, no one will have been ripped off. And ripping off poor people is nasty.

** Dried fruit – if you’re strapped for cash, go for sultanas. It won’t make any real difference in flavour.

*** You can cook this in the slow cooker overnight on ‘low’ or, if you have an oven which turns itself off, you can make it before bed, set the timer for 3 hours (knowing that the oven will turn itself off in the meantime) and look forward to a yummy breakfast, which makes a nice change from porridge or toast  🙂