Category: Spring

Nettle & Wild Garlic, Buckwheat Crêpes

Last month I wrote about the impending hungry gap when I posted a recipe for a tagine using the last of Winter’s root vegetables. We’re now well into April and the hungry gap is definitely upon us. The Winter crops have come to an end and there’s little in the way of new season produce to fill our bellies. But it’s not all doom and gloom, if you happen to be partial to a spot of foraging there is plenty to be had at this time of year and fresh young nettles are just perfect right now.

I’m no foraging expert (so you’ll have look elsewhere for comprehensive guidance) but with a little know how and a little common sense you can find yourself enough to rustle up something resembling a meal in no time.

I managed to find the perfect spot of nettles that had just started to come up in a park where a hollow had been left to go wild. Pinch off just the young tops of the nettles (whilst wearing gardening or rubber gloves obvs!) as these taste better and one the nettles flower and start to go to seed, the leaves can irritate the urinary tract and no-one wants that! I’ve also included wild garlic in this recipe as it’s abundant right now. I’ve been getting lots in my veg bag at the moment so didn’t forage for mine but it’s the perfect time to go and find some whilst you’re out looking for nettles, which lets face it, won’t take long.

I should also mention that I actually wanted to share this recipe with you last year. Unfortunately I hadn’t quite perfected my vegan crêpe recipe. I have since found that buckwheat flour creates the perfect crêpe batter so don’t try substituting it out for another flour because you’ll end up in a right old mess.

Nettle & Wild Garlic Buckwheat Crepes

Vegan Buckwheat Crepes

Nettle and wild garlic, buckwheat crêpes

For the crêpes:

100g Buckwheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1tbsp ground flax seed
3tbsp water
1/2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
400ml non-dairy milk
Coconut oil for frying

For the filling:

1 small onion
300g young nettles
300g spinach
2-3 wild garlic leaves
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season

  • Begin by making the crêpe batter. Whisk the ground flax seed with the water and set aside for a few minutes until it become gloopy and gelatinous.
  • Measure out the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
  • Pour in the lemon juice, oil, flax egg and a little of the milk and stir together. Slowly add in the remaining milk a bit at a time, incorporating more flour as you go.
  • Set aside the mixture for 30 minutes whilst you prepare the filling.
  • Wash the nettles thoroughly in  bowl of cold water and pinch off any thick stems. Wearing rubber gloves of course.
  • Wilt them together with the spinach in a large frying pan with a splash of water on a high heat for around 5 minutes until most of the water from them has evaporated.
  • Set aside into a bowl. Add a little oil to the frying pan, lower the heat and fry the onion until soft and brown. Add the nettles and spinach back into the frying pan along with the nutmeg and the fennel seeds after being crushed slightly in a pestle and mortar.
  • Roughly chop the wild garlic and stir in the mixture. Leave the mixture on a very low heat whilst you make the crêpes.
  • Place a medium-sized frying pan on a high heat and add a little coconut.
  • Pour in 1/4 cup of batter and quickly swirl around the pan.
  • Leave for a minute of so until it starts to brown then using one of those super awesome pancake/ crêpe spatulas, loosen the crêpe from the pan and flip over. Leave the other side to brown lightly for another minute and place on a plate and keep warm.
  • Repeat for the remaining crêpes, it should make roughly 6.
  • Take the filling mixture of the heat and spoon onto the crepes and roll.
  • Serve with a salad for a lunch or light dinner.

Amy x

 

Hot Cross Loaf

Easter wouldn’t be Easter in our house without hot cross buns. I’ve not come across any vegan ones in shops but even if I had, no doubt they’d only be made with white flour and full of sugar so we’ve come up with a super simple recipe that’s healthy and quick to make. In fact it’s so easy to make that you can be enjoying spiced Easter bread goodness in less than an hour!

Spelt easter loaf

The basic recipe is a spelt soda bread so it doesn’t require any kneading, proving or rising time. And to make it even simpler no need to even form it into buns just one giant loaf which can be torn apart and shared.

Hot cross soda bread

It’s gone down so well in our house that I’ve taken to making double the quantity then splitting the dough to form two loaves.

Spiced spelt soda bread
Hot Cross Loaf

150g Spelt Flour
100g Buckwheat Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Xylitol Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1/4 tsp Allspice
Zest of half an orange
80g Currants
Pinch of Salt
150ml Non-dairy milk or 75ml of both non-dairy milk and yogurt
1 tbsp Molasses

  • Measure out all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together.
  • Make a well in the middle, add the molasses and some of the milk. Slowly stir the molasses and the milk together, incorporating the flour a bit at a time.
  • Continue to add the milk bit by bit until the mixture just comes together into a slightly sticky dough, being careful not to over work it.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well flour surface and press it down with your finger tips into a circle about 1cm thick.
  • Fold one edge into the centre of the dough, turn the dough clockwise slightly and repeat folding the edge into the centre until you’ve formed the dough into a round.
  • Turn the dough over, flatten slightly so it is about 2 cm thick and dust with flour.
  • Place onto a backing tray and cut a deep cross into the loaf using a serrated knife.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack, it should sound hollow when you tap the base.
  • Enjoy still warm with a bit of non-dairy margarine, because it is Easter after all!

Amy x