Cranberry, orange and pistachio biscuits

Monday, 19 December 2016
Vegan cranberry, orange and pistachio biscuits recipe

I first made this recipe last year, before I was vegan, but it was shortbread rather than biscuits. It turns out that baking vegan shortbread is really bloody hard and despite using the same recipe and trying it a few times, I kept baking biscuits rather than shortbread. It's okay, though, because the flavours are so good. They taste so Christmassy, the slightly sour cranberries give a little kick alongside the festive spices and sweetness from the orange. I just love them, even if they aren't shortbread as intended. 

Vegan cranberry, orange and pistachio biscuits recipe

You will need (makes 14): 
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup dairy free spread (I use vitalite)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup pistachio kernels
zest of 1 orange + juice of half the orange 

Method: 
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Finely chop the cranberries into little pieces and roughly chop the pistachios. Zest the orange and set all these ingredients aside while you prepare the biscuit mixture.
- Add the flour, cinnamon, mixed spice and sugar to a large bowl and mix together. Add in the spread and rub in using your hands. The mixture should begin to resemble breadcrumbs as it combines.
- Add the cranberries, pistachios, orange zest and juice of half the orange and mix together using your hands, being careful not to overwork it.
- Put the mixture out onto a floured surface and roll out using a floured rolling pin until it's around 1cm thick. Cut out biscuits using a cookie cutter and then place these onto a lined and greased baking tray. The mixture should make around 14 biscuits.
- Place into the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

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Vegan cranberry, orange and pistachio biscuits recipe

Maple cinnamon roasted cashews

Thursday, 15 December 2016
Vegan maple cinnamon roasted cashews recipe

Honey roasted cashews used to be one of my favourite ever Christmas snacks before going vegan. I could so easily sit and munch my way through a whole tub of these little gems in one sitting. They are dangerously addictive. So I had to create a vegan version and I think they are maybe even better than I remember. This recipe is so simple and you only need four ingredients. I'm planning on making a few batches of them to put into jars and give as Christmas presents too because I think handmade presents are just the cutest. I just need to find some nice jar lids or coverings to hide the fact that I've eaten many, many jars of peanut butter this year...

You could use this same recipe with any nuts you like, cashews are my absolute fave but I reckon this would also be wonderful with almonds or peanuts, oh or maybe a mix of all three - I need to try that!

Vegan maple cinnamon roasted cashews recipe

You will need: 
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

Method:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- In a bowl, mix together the maple syrup, cinnamon and mixed spice.
- Add the cashews and mix until they are all coated with the maple mixture.
- Put the nuts onto a lined baking tray and roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes, giving them a mix halfway through.

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Vegan maple cinnamon roasted cashews recipe

Gingerbread cupcakes

Monday, 12 December 2016
Vegan gingerbread cupcakes recipe

In the spirit of the festive season, I wanted to share some Christmassy themed recipes. The first I'm sharing today is for these super spiced gingery cupcakes. I've made these quite a few times over the past few weeks and just adore them. They taste just like gingerbread, but in cake form. Plus, the icing is incredible and I may have just eaten a load of it out the bowl with a spoon until I felt a little unwell... so worth it. 

Vegan gingerbread cupcakes recipe

You will need (makes 9): 
for the cakes 
2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup light muscovado sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 chia egg (1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water)
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup coconut oil (solid)
1/2 cup soya milk

for the icing 
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup dairy free spread
2 teaspoons ground ginger

Method: 
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Make a chia egg by mixing 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Leave this to the side while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking soda, ginger and cinnamon) and then sieve this through to get rid of any lumps.
- Add the coconut oil and blackstrap molasses to a pot and heat gently until combined. Add this to the dry mix along with the soya milk and chia egg. Mix well.
- Split into cases (I used around 2 tablespoons of mixture in each case) and bake for 20 minutes.
- While the cakes are baking, make the icing by combining the icing sugar, dairy free spread and ginger together in a bowl and mixing until smooth.
- Spread the icing onto the cakes once they are completely cool.

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Vegan gingerbread cupcakes recipe

Smoked butter bean stew

Monday, 5 December 2016
Smoked butter bean stew with baked potato

This week's recipe is a little different from the usual. I was asked to take part in a recipe campaign for Paymentsense and create a recipe that feeds four people for £5 (easy). Their research found that a third of people change their eating habits towards the end of the month because they find themselves with less money left than they need. So, they want to put together a pack of recipes to show people that they can still eat nice, tasty meals even when money is a bit tight. There seems to be a bit of a misconception that eating vegan can be expensive, which is so far from the truth. Generally, vegans eat a lot of veggies, fruit, whole grains and legumes, which are some of the cheapest foods you can buy. This smoked butter bean stew tastes so good, costs very little to make and is a really nice hearty meal for a cold winter night.

Smoked butter bean stew with baked potato

You will need (serves 4-5): 
3 carrots (20p)
2 leeks (34p)
1 courgette (36p)
1 red onion (10p)
4 cloves garlic (10p)
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes (62p)
1 400g tin butter beans (50p)
1/2 cup pearl barley (10p)
2 vegetable stock cubes - I use the Kallo low salt ones (20p)
3 teaspoons smoked paprika (15p)
1 teaspoon oregano (5p)

4 baking potatoes to serve (79p)

Total cost: £3.51 for four people (and some leftover stew for someone's lunch the next day - win!) 

Method: 
- Finely chop the garlic cloves and chop up the onion and leek. 
- Put a little hot water into a large pot and add the onion and garlic. Fry this off for 3-4 minutes. 
- Add the leeks and fry for a further 2 minutes until softened. 
- Dissolve the stock cubes in a little water and add this to the pot along with the chopped tomatoes, smoked paprika, oregano, pearl barley and 3 + 1/2 cups of water. 
- Bring to the boil for 10 minutes and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.
- Chop up the carrots and courgette into small chunks. 
- Add the carrots, courgette, and butter beans to the pot and leave to simmer for a further 30 minutes.
- If serving with baked potatoes, pop these in the oven to bake while the stew is cooking. They will take 50 minutes to an hour.

You can serve the stew with whatever you fancy. I like using it as a baked potato filling but you could also serve it with rice, pasta or just a lot of crusty bread!

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Smoked butter bean stew with baked potato

Apple, blueberry and cinnamon porridge

Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Vegan apple, blueberry and cinnamon porridge recipe

A big bowl of hot porridge when the mornings are dark and cold has to be one of the most satisfying this. Add the warming deliciousness of cinnamon to the equation and you are onto a total winner. Paired with apple and blueberry, this porridge makes me feel all autumnal. It also makes a nice change from my usual banana based oats.

Vegan apple, blueberry and cinnamon porridge recipe

You will need (serves 1): 
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup soya milk 
1 apple
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds 
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 tablespoon date syrup 
2 tablespoons sultanas 
a handful of blueberries
1 tablespoon Linwoods milled flax, chia seed, apple and cinnamon mix (optional but highly recommended, this stuff is a dream)

Method: 
- Grate or chop the apple up into small chunks. 
- Add all the ingredients, except the blueberries, into a pot along with 1/2 a cup of water.
- Simmer over a low-medium heat, stirring regularly, for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the blueberries and mix through. Allow to simmer for a further two minutes, or until the porridge reaches your preferred consistency - add more water if required.

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Vegan apple, blueberry and cinnamon porridge recipe

10 minute tomato pasta sauce

Monday, 14 November 2016
10 minute easy vegan tomato pasta sauce recipe

I've always been a firm pasta lover. When I was at university I practically lived off the stuff, partly due to my lack of cooking skills back then and partly because I just absolutely loved it and it was cheap. Even through all the chat on how you should avoid pasta because carbs, I've always stuck by it because how can anyone avoid something so bloody amazing. Maybe it's a comfort thing. Throughout my childhood pasta was a firm staple in our house and both of my favourite meals that my dad cooked were pasta. So basically, I eat a lot of pasta and it's delicious. 

Normally, I would spend an hour one day making up a big batch of tomato pasta sauce that I would then freeze in batches to be taken out when needed. I still do sometimes but after coming home one evening and having those pasta craves but no sauce in sight I thought I'd try to throw together something quick. It came out so good that my carefully prepared sauce has been shunned in favour of this super lazy 10 minute method. This sauce is filled with flavour with a nice kick from the chilli flakes and a hint of cheesiness from the nutritional yeast. I've made it every week for the past few months! 

10 minute easy vegan tomato pasta sauce recipe

You will need (serves 1): 
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped 
1 grated carrot 
3 tablespoons tomato puree 
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs 
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion granules 
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes 
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules 
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
a handful of spinach (optional) 

Method: 
- Put the cherry tomatoes into a pot with a little water and fry for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat. 
- Add the tomato puree, sundried tomatoes and all the herbs and spices with a little extra water to make a paste. Leave this to simmer for around 1-2 minutes. 
- Add the grated carrot and 1/2 a cup of water and leave to simmer over a low/medium heat for 5 minutes. 
- Stir through the nutritional yeast and spinach if adding and then pour over some cooked pasta.

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10 minute easy vegan tomato pasta sauce recipe

Cinnamon apple crumble

Monday, 31 October 2016
Vegan cinnamon apple crumble recipe

My current obsession is fruit crumble. There's just something about autumn and winter that makes me want to eat all the crumble all the time. This cinnamon apple one has become one of my favourite breakfasts at the moment. Yes, breakfast. When I tell people I have crumble for breakfast they look at me like I'm mad but this recipe isn't really sugary like a dessert crumble is so you can totally have it for breakfast and it is so good. Serve with some soya yoghurt or a little milk and it makes the perfect breakfast for a cold and dark morning.

Vegan cinnamon apple crumble recipe

You will need (serves 2-3 as breakfast or 4 as a dessert): 
for the fruit layer
5 apples (I use Gala)
1/2 cup sultanas 
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 teaspoon mixed spice 
1/4 cup water 

for the crumble topping 
1 1/2 cups oats 
1/2 cup oat flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil 
2 teaspoons maple syrup 

Method:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. 
- Chop up the apples into chunks and pop into a pot with the sultanas, cinnamon, mixed spice and 1/4 cup of water. Put this over a low heat with a lid on and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. 
- While the apples are cooking, make the crumble topping. Put the oats, oat flour, cinnamon and flaxseed blend into a bowl and mix. 
- Melt the coconut oil and then pour this along with the maple syrup over the oat mixture. Mix well to ensure everything is coated. 
- Once cooked, pour the fruit mixture into a baking dish and then top with the crumble. 
- Pop in the oven the bake for around 25 minutes.

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Vegan cinnamon apple crumble recipe

'Nutella' filled banana muffins

Monday, 17 October 2016
Vegan Nutella filled banana muffins recipe

A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for vegan chocolate hazelnut spread, or 'Nutella', and having made a lot of it because it's so good, I thought I'd try using it in a recipe rather than just eating it all out of the jar with a spoon (no regrets). These filled banana muffins were the result. The chocolate hazelnut spread goes so well with the moist banana muffin, especially when eaten warm from the oven. You can also use this recipe without the nutella spread to just bake banana muffins, which are delicious too. 

Vegan Nutella filled banana muffins recipe

You will need (makes 6): 
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup coconut oil (solid) 
3 tablespoons soya milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
chocolate hazelnut spread (recipe

Method: 
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Combine all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. 
- Mash up the bananas and melt the coconut oil. Combine these together along with the soya milk and vanilla extract. 
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine together gently.  
- Line a muffin tray with six cases and spoon around 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each case. Add 1 tablespoon of the chocolate hazelnut spread into each case and then add the rest of the banana mixture on top. 
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Vegan Nutella filled banana muffins recipe

Lentil and spinach curry

Monday, 10 October 2016
Vegan lentil and spinach curry recipe

I've made quite a few different vegan curries this year, always trying out different spices, vegetables and pulses in search of that perfect combination and this one is by far the best I've come up with. Making this was the first time I had tried cooking with creamed coconut rather than coconut milk and I think it works much better. It's also much more cost effective as I managed to make this curry four times using one block, which was the same price as one tin of coconut milk. I am absolutely in love with this dish and have made it so many times already. It's definitely become my go-to curry and probably will be for a long time to come! It's great for cooking in a big batch to eat throughout the week and it also freezes really well so I always pop a portion or two away for another day. It's just so yummy!

Vegan lentil and spinach curry recipe

You will need (serves 4): 
1 onion 
2 carrots 
1 cup red lentils 
200g spinach 
50g creamed coconut 
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1/2 vegetable stock cube 
2 teaspoons mixed herbs 
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric 
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules 
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes

Method: 
- Finely chop the onion and peel and chop the carrots into small chunks. 
- Add a little water to a large pot and fry off the onion for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat. 
- Add the carrots, tomato puree and all the herbs and spices to the pot to make a paste. Add a little extra water if required and fry all this together for 4-5 minutes. 
- Add the chopped tomatoes, lentils, creamed coconut and the stock cube to the pot along with 2 1/2 cups of water. 
- Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. 
- Stir through the spinach.

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Vegan lentil and spinach curry recipe

Banana bread energy balls

Thursday, 29 September 2016
Banana bread energy balls recipe

These energy balls are inspired by my absolute love for banana bread. I love anything banana flavoured, they are such a staple in my diet, so I'm always trying out new recipes using them. These energy balls are so easy to make and taste just like banana bread, just in a slightly different texture and form. My fridge has been stocked with a tub of these for the last few weeks, I'm a little obsessed.

Banana bread energy balls recipe

You will need (makes 10 balls):  
1 small/medium ripe banana
5 Medjool dates
1 cup oats
3/4 cup cashews
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method: 
- Start by pitting the dates and then add these along with all the other ingredients to a food processor.
- Blend everything together until the mixture combines and starts to stick together.
- Roll the mixture into 10 snack sized balls and pop in the fridge for a few hours to set. Store in the fridge in an airtight container.

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Banana bread energy balls recipe


Chocolate hazelnut spread

Monday, 5 September 2016
Vegan chocolate hazelnut spread recipe

Who else used to adore Nutella before going vegan? Nutella used to be what peanut butter is to me now - the kind of food you ate on everything and could easily sit with a jar and a spoon and be blissfully happy. So, this is my attempt at a vegan Nutella of sorts. The texture is a bit rougher and it is thicker, but it tastes pretty similar and you still get that feeling of wanting to sit and eat the whole lot out the jar with a spoon, so I'd call that a success. It's so yummy spread on strawberries or banana slices, on toast or swirled into porridge. This recipe makes a jar worth, but if you are anything like me then half the mixture will be gone before a jar is even taken out of the cupboard...

Vegan Nutella recipe

You will need:
1 cup hazelnuts* 
8 Medjool dates 
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla paste 
3/4 cup water 

Method: 
- Roast the hazelnuts at 180 degrees celsius for 10 minutes. 
- Remove the skins from the nuts if required and then pop them into a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. 
- Blend until smooth - this takes around 10 minutes to get the right consistency.

*I use hazelnuts with the skins still on to make this recipe because they are cheaper to buy and the skins come off so easily once the nuts have been roasted (just rub the nuts and the skins flake off - the skins don't need to be completely off as long as most of them are) but you can also use blanched hazelnuts if you prefer. 

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Vegan chocolate hazelnut spread recipe

Butter bean dahl

Monday, 29 August 2016
Vegan butter bean dahl recipe

I love making dahl because of the amazing flavours, but also because it is so easy, only taking about 10 minutes of prep and then it's just a case of leaving it to cook away. The beans and lentils make this a really satisfying and filling meal while the tomato sauce and spices give it a lovely flavour. It's really delicious served with rice but I quite often eat it on its own for lunch because I just love it so much! 

Vegan butter bean dahl recipe

You will need (serves 4): 
1 tin butter beans (400g)
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (made using 1/2 a veggie stock cube)
1/2 cup red lentils 
1 onion
1 carrot 
1 courgette
10-12 cherry tomatoes 
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules 
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence 
1 teaspoon paprika 
2 teaspoons gram masala spice blend 
a large handful of spinach 

Method:
- Finely chop the onion and chop the carrot and courgette into chunks and the cherry tomatoes in half. Drain and rinse the butter beans in cold water and leave to one side. 
- Fry the onion in a little hot water in a large pot for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat. 
- Add the carrot, courgette and cherry tomatoes to the pot and mix everything together. 
- Add the tomato puree, herbs and spices and fry everything together for a further 2-3 minutes, adding extra hot water if needed so the veggies don't stick to the bottom. 
- Put the vegetable stock, chopped tomatoes, butter beans and lentils into the pot and mix everything together. 
- Bring to the boil and then reduce to a low heat and allow to simmer for 40-45 minutes. 
- Stir through the spinach a few minutes before the end of cooking.

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Vegan butter bean dahl recipe

Berry overnight smoothie oats

Monday, 8 August 2016
Berry Overnight Smoothie Oats

I love this breakfast so much right now! I got the idea for it one night while I was trying to get to sleep and thinking about the next morning's breakfast, as I usually do while trying to get to sleep. Does anyone else think the best thing about going to sleep is that when you wake up it's breakfast time? I've made overnight oats lots of times and always really love them so I thought why not try making overnight oats but with a smoothie instead of milk? I definitely felt like a genius for this idea, although I have since seen a few similar things on Instagram... I'm still proud though as I did think of the idea before seeing anyone else do it so to me it's original.

This recipe is made with a banana and berry smoothie but you could use any smoothie you like. It's so good and is perfect for when you know you will be short of time in the morning as all the prep is done the night before. You can make it in a jar and just grab it out of the fridge in the morning to take with you. It's also like summer's answer to porridge. If you're a regular reader then I'm sure you know how much I love porridge so you'll know how happy I was when I came up with this one! It's so refreshing and always fills me up until lunch.

Berry Overnight Smoothie Oats

You will need (serves 1):
1 ripe banana
6 frozen strawberries*
a handful of frozen raspberries*
1/4 cup milk of your choice (I like rice or oat) 
1/2 cup oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
fresh fruit to top

*I use frozen berries because they are cheaper but fresh would work perfectly too. 

Method: 
- Mix the oats and chia seeds together in a bowl.
- Pop the banana, strawberries, raspberries and milk together into a blender and blend until smooth. 
- Pour the smoothie over the oats and chia seeds and mix together.
- Cover and leave in the fridge overnight to set.
- Serve topped with fresh fruit in the morning. My favourites at the moment are peaches, berries or apple chunks.

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Berry Overnight Smoothie Oats

Sweet potato and black bean chilli

Monday, 25 July 2016
Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli

I make chilli a lot and so I love coming up with new flavour combinations to keep it different while still being the same, if that makes any sense. Sweet potato and black bean is my latest creation and it is so good! The sweet potato makes it a little sweeter than usual, but the spices still give it that fiery chilli kick. I'm also really into black beans at the moment, which make a nice change from the usual kidney beans you tend to find in chilli.

Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli

You will need (serves 3-4): 
1 large sweet potato
1 x 400g tin black beans 
1 large carrot 
1/2 cup sweetcorn
1 onion
2 cloves garlic 
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes 
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (made with 1/2 stock cube)
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon dried chillies
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence 
1 teaspoon oregano 
ground pepper to taste

Method: 
- Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic. Peel the sweet potato and carrot and chop into chunks.
- In a large pot over a medium heat, fry the onion and garlic in a little water for 3-4 minutes until softened.
- Add all the herbs and spices to the pot (chillies, paprika, cumin, herbs de Provence, oregano and black pepper). Fry these off for 2-3 minutes, continually stirring. 
- Add all the other ingredients to the pot (except the sweetcorn) and mix together. 
- Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30-35 minutes. 
- Stir through the sweetcorn and allow to heat through for a few minutes before serving.

I served this with some fresh homemade guacamole, which is super easy to make and so much tastier than buying a supermarket one. I just mashed up one ripe avocado and then added a little lemon juice, ground pepper, salt and chilli flakes - yum!

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Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli

Chickpea and mushroom burgers

Monday, 11 July 2016
Vegan Chickpea and Mushroom Burgers

This is a bit of a strange recipe for me because I don't really like mushrooms. It's a bit odd, I do like the taste but I'm funny with the texture. However, a little while ago I had a chickpea and mushroom burger while eating out and it was so delicious that I was determined to try recreating it at home. I've tried making veggie burgers a few times before but they never seem to turn out just how I want them to, that was until I tried these ones - maybe mushrooms were the missing ingredient all this time?

Vegan Chickpea and Mushroom Burgers

You will need (makes 6 burgers): 
1 x 400g tin chickpeas
200g (around 2 cups) baby mushrooms 
1/3 cup sweetcorn
1 cup oats
1 tablespoon tomato puree
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules (or two minced cloves)
1/2 teaspoon dried chillies
a sprinkle of salt and pepper

Method: 
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Add the oats to a food processor and pulse into a flour.
- Add all the other ingredients into the food processor and pulse until broken down and combined, but still has some chunks - the burgers work best when the mixture still has some texture to it. You can add extra oat flour if you find the mixture is too wet. 
- Shape the mixture into six burgers and place onto a lined baking tray.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning half way.

Download this recipe 

Vegan Chickpea and Mushroom Burgers

Raspberry and coconut crumble bars

Monday, 4 July 2016
Raspberry and Coconut Crumble Bars

Fruit crumble, in a bar - the dream! I love fruit crumble a lot but it's pretty impractical for when you want to take it on the go, which is where these bars come in. I've wanted to try creating something like this for ages and had the idea written down for a long time before actually giving them a go a few weeks ago. They are divine. I feel like fruit crumble is quite an autumnal thing, something comforting and homely to put a smile on your face during the dark and cold nights. These bars feel much more summery, though, with the raspberry and coconut flavour combo. The recipe is really easy and you only need a few ingredients, in fact, the bulk of these bars is simply made up from oats (because oats are life) and raspberries.


Raspberry and Coconut Crumble Bars


You will need (makes 10): 
for the crumble
3 1/2 cups oats 
1/2 cup desiccated coconut 
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil (solid)
3 tablespoons soya milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

for the jam filling 
2 cups frozen (or fresh) raspberries 
2 tablespoons maple syrup 
3 tablespoons water 
1 tablespoon chia seeds 

Method: 
for the crumble
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.  
- Put 2 1/2 cups of the oats into a food processor and pulse into a flour. 
- Add the coconut oil, sugar, desiccated coconut and vanilla into the processor and pulse until the mixture starts to clump and stick together.
- Stir in the remaining cup of oats and ensure they are well distributed in the mix. 
- Line and grease with a little coconut oil a baking dish (the one I used was 22cm x 14cm) and add about two-thirds of the crumble mixture to this. Press down on the mixture to create a firm and even base layer for the crumble bars. 
- Place the base in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, leaving the rest of the crumble mixture to the side. 

for the jam 
- While the base crumble layer is baking you can make the jam for the middle. Put the raspberries, maple syrup and water together in a pot. Place this over a medium heat until it begins to boil and then reduce to a low heat. 
- Allow the jam to simmer for 6-8 minutes and while it is cooking, press the raspberries against the side of the pot using a wooden spoon to break them down a little. 
- Add the chia seeds and stir through. Leave the jam to simmer for a further 10 minutes until it has thickened. 

to make the crumble bars
- Once the base has been in the over for around 20 minutes it should be starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven and then add the raspberry jam on top, spreading evenly across the whole base. 
- Add the rest of the crumble mixture on top of the jam layer and gently press down on it with a spoon so the crumble sticks into the jam - this makes the bars a little less crumbly and more solid. 
- Pop the bars back into the oven for 20-25 minutes until the crumble topping is golden brown.

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Raspberry and Coconut Crumble Bars

Curried sweet potato soup

Monday, 27 June 2016
Vegan Curried Sweet Potato Soup

I first tried curried sweet potato soup a few months ago when I was on a little overnight stay with a friend. We came across a lovely cafe in a tiny village, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It was the cutest place, filled with vintage decor, bright colours, and a really homely atmosphere. The soup of the day was curried sweet potato and it was the most delicious soup I'd tasted in a long time. The contrast between the sweetness of the potato and the spicy Indian flavours from the curry was just wonderful and I knew I had to try recreating it at home.

I love this soup and have been making it every few weeks. I sometimes eat it by itself with some bread as a lunch, but more often I eat it as a dinner, adding rice, broccoli, sweetcorn and spinach to it. That maybe sounds a little odd but trust me, it is so good! It also works out to be a really cheap meal as the ingredients are so basic, and you probably have all the spices and herbs in your house already so you just need to pick up the veggies. It makes a huge pot so it will last you for the whole week, or you can freeze it and use it at a later date. 

Vegan Curried Sweet Potato Soup

You will need (serves 6):
2 large sweet potatoes
3 carrots
1 onion
1/2 cup red lentils
7-8 cups vegetable stock made with 1 1/2 stock cubes (add more water if you prefer a thinner consistency of soup)
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
ground pepper to taste

Method
- Cut the sweet potatoes and carrots into largish chunks and finely chop the onion.
- In a large pot, fry the onion in a little water for 2-3 minutes to soften it.
- Add the herbs and spices and fry off for 2-3 minutes. 
- Add the stock, sweet potatoes, carrots, and lentils to the pot and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 40-45 minutes.
- Using a hand blender, blend until smooth. If you find the soup is too thick for you then add some extra water.

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Vegan Curried Sweet Potato Soup