Tag: Sugar free

Raspberry Cheesecake [vegan and gluten free]

What’s going on with this heat? Last week we were moaning that it felt like winter, now we’re in the midst of a bloomin’ heatwave! I’m definitely NOT complaining. I love the heat. I love having all the doors and windows open. Love the amazing sunsets. And love actually wearing my summery clothes. When the weather reaches these dizzy heights I cling onto my childhood memories, when I’m sure summer holidays were definitely sunnier than they appear to be these days. Perhaps I have a rose tinted view of those idealistic days, when the only care was what time the ice cream van was rocking up, or which tree we’d be climbing. But, summer memories definitely involve summer berries that’s for sure. And what better way to enjoy the raspberries you’ll be a picking than in this super tasty Raspberry Cheesecake. 

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Raspberry Cheesecake
For the base:
150g medjool dates
100g almonds
60g oats
50g coconut oil (melted)

For the filling:
1 block firm tofu
225g raspberries
50g coconut oil
1 tbsp rice/fruit/agave syrup

  • In a food processor, blend the dates, almonds and oats until thoroughly chopped. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan on a low heat and blend with the nut mixture, it should combine slightly.  
  • Add to your tin (I used mini tart tins), press down firmly using your hands and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
  • Drain the tofu, and blend in the processor until smooth. Add the raspberries, and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Melt the coconut oil and add along with the syrup and blend once more until combined.
  • Spread evenly over the base and leave in the fridge for another few hours until firm.
  • Top with fresh fruit.

Get picking those raspberries 🙂

Veronica x

Strawberry Ice Cream

Despite the weather being a bit very crappy during June it looks like Summer has started to arrive. Wimbledon marks the start of Strawberry season for me, and hopefully all the rain won’t ruin crops this year, because we’ve got A LOT of strawberries to eat!

This creamy strawberry ice cream is the perfect dessert to cool down on a hot summer’s evening especially with some more strawberries PLUS it’s so easy to make. I always thought of ice cream as being a pain in the butt to make, but this is super simple. Just make sure you’re not rushing out so you can keep going back to the freezer for the first few hours to whip it up and ensure you have a creamy ice cream.

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Strawberry ice cream
600g strawberries
800ml (2 tins) coconut milk
100g xylitol
2 tbsp agave syrup
1 tspn vanilla extract

  • Wash and de-stalk the strawberries.
  • In a food processor, empty the coconut cream and mix until smooth.
  • Add the strawberries and mix together with the coconut cream until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the xylitol, agave syrup and vanilla extract and blend through.
  • Empty into a suitable tub/tin that will survive in the freezer and pop in the freezer.
  • Every 30 minutes, stir through to stop large crystals forming, you’ll need to do this four or five times, basically the more times the better – you’ll get a smoother creamier texture and thank yourself when eating it.

Happy summertime 🙂

Veronica x

Gingerbread Granola Bars

It’s nearly Christmas!!!! Woohoo! I’m mainly excited about the time off work – not having a routine, going for dog walks and watching loads of films. I know my motto most Christmasses has been to eat, drink and be merry, but that does nothing for my tummy and I end up in agony and feeling pretty unmerry. I’m running the London marathon again next year so I’ll be starting my training over the festive period, which will mean I won’t just be feasting in front of the telly. 

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve started a 5k to Couch training programme at my work, in the hope of raising a bit of money to go towards my fundraising target and to help get people moving. After all, anyone can run you just need to start and it’s always a bit more fun in a group! I think it will definitely get a bit more popular in the new year, but there is no reason to put it off until then especially when you’re loafing around the house over Christmas. These tasty gingerbread granola bars are perfect to fuel your runs, and I’ll be eating them at work to fuel my 5k to couch sessions.

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Gingerbread Granola Bars

100g Rolled oats
20g Pumpkin seeds
20g Sunflower seeds
50g Almonds
2 tsp Ground ginger
1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground cloves
1/4 tsp Ground nutmeg
150g Almond butter
1 tbsp Ground flax seeds
3tbsp Water
2 tbsp Coconut oil
2 tbsp Maple syrup

  • Whilst the ground flax seeds and water together in a cup and set aside.
  • Roughly chop the almonds and mix together with the rest of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Gently heat the almond butter, maple syrup and coconut oil together in a saucepan on a low heat until well combined.
  • Remover from the heat and stir in the flax seed mixture.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together well.
  • Spoon the mixture out onto a lined baking tray and press down firmly.
  • Bake for 20 mins in a pre-heated oven at 180C.
  • Remove from the oven, cut into bars whilst still warm and leave in the tray to cool.  

Enjoy a fabulous Christmas!

Veronica x

On The Go Apple Recipes

Last Saturday we had an amazing day at the first ever Vegan Futures event. The one day lifestyle festival was packed full of inspiring talks and workshops. We were kindly asked by one of the organisers, Damien, to share our vegan journey and share some recipes in a food workshop. 

It was amazing getting the chance to share our story, why we went vegan and what has changed for us since that decision. We also spoke about the reactions we had from those around us and how that led us to set up the blog as a way to share our story and recipes with friends and family.

But the best part was getting to meet and talk to people about their experiences. Lots of people identified with our struggles with digestive issues and acne, and wanted to know more about going sugar, gluten and alcohol free. 

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So we made a little pledge straight away to share more sugar and gluten-free recipes here on the blog to help you (and us) keep focused on whole and healthy, vegan food that makes us feel good from the inside out!

On the day we shared two really quick autumnal, apple recipes perfect for busy people wanting integrate healthy vegan food into their diet. Whilst they both contain natural sugars from fruit, they are certainly a step in the right direction away from pre-made, shop bought, sugar-laden alternatives.

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Apple Overnight Oats

I make this recipe a few times a week, normally when I know I’m going to be pushed for time in the morning (which, yes is just most days!). Soaked overnight, the oats and apple become so delicious and creamy that you will actually want this for breakfast everyday, rush or no rush!

Serves 2

100g Porridge oats
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1 Apple, grated
250ml non-dairy milk such as almond or oat

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
  • Peel and grate the apple and add to the dry mixture.
  • Pour over the milk and mix thoroughly. Add a little more milk or water until you have a nice wet consistency that isn’t too runny.
  • Leave covered in the fridge overnight or separate into two jars or containers that you can grab as you run out the door in the morning.

Apple-&-Hazelnut-Bites

Apple Energy Bites

These are great to make at the weekend and store in the fridge for the week ahead. If I know I’m heading to a long meeting or somewhere I’m unlikely to come across and healthy vegan snacks, I always take my own! It makes everything it a whole lot easier to turn down a Danish pastry when you have a delicious treat with you in your bag!

Makes 10

75g Dried apple
75g Dried dates
40g Hazelnuts
2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground cloves
1/4 tsp Ground nutmeg

    • Roast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan on a high heat until the skins start to blacken and crack. Put into a clean tea towel or some kitchen roll and rub the skins off. Set aside to cool.
    • In a food processor roughly blitz the hazelnuts into smallish chunks and set aside.
    • Put the remaining ingredients into the food processor and blend until it comes together into a ball.
    • Add in the hazelnuts and blitz until combined.
    • Taking 1 tbsp of mixture at a time, roll between the palm of your hands to form a ball.
    • Store in the fridge for up to week.

 

Both these recipes are quick and simple to make in advance when you know you are going to be short on time. The easiest time to lapse from a well intentioned vegan or sugar-free diet is when you’re in a rush and convenience wins.

But with recipes like these to hand and being just a little bit prepared you won’t be tempted to sway from your choice to go vegan and/ or refined sugar-free.

It really was awesome to be a part of Vegan Futures and share these recipes and our journey. It was such an inspiring day, hearing not only stories of people’s journeys to veganism but journeys to health and happiness through adopting a more compassionate lifestyle.  The Vegan Futures team did an amazing job organising the day and we hope to be part of it again next year.

Amy x

Cinnamon & Raisin, Gluten-free Pancakes

Just in case you hadn’t noticed last Tuesday was Shrove Tuesday, better known as Pancake Day! I have recently become pancake obsessed and love nothing more than having them at the weekend for breakfast or lunch, or dessert, or for a snack! Hah, told you, obsessed! So I certainly wasn’t going to miss out on having pancakes on their very own day just because I normally can’t summon the energy to make them mid-week.

I had a big old bag of buckwheat flour that had been sitting in my cupboard unused for a while so thought it was about time I put it to use and that’s when I threw together this batter and it just so happened to make the best pancakes I have ever made! I was so pleased with myself I have made them twice since, partly just to check it wasn’t a fluke… but it wasn’t! Who knew, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free pancakes could be so awesome.

Now, no pancake set up would be complete without a delicious topping. Mine normally range from something as basic as lemon juice, to mashed banana and maple syrup or a fruit compĂ´te. So I decided to use up the last of my frozen berry stash which I picked last summer and make this yummy compĂ´te to drizzle over them. After all, Spring is on its way right…

vegan cinnamon pancakes

pancakes with berry compote

vegan pancakes

Cinnamon and raisin, vegan, gluten-free pancakes
Makes 6 large pancakes

1/2 cup raisins
2 tbsp flax seeds
90 ml water
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup almond milk
Coconut oil for frying

Frozen summer berry compĂ´te

1 cup frozen berries (I used red currants and raspberries)
1 tbsp maple syrup

  • Soak the raisins in a small bowl of warm water and set aside.
  • Finely grind the flax seeds in a spice grinder or high-speed food processor, whisk together with the water in a small bowl and set aside. The mixture should become gloopy and gelatinous.
  • Mix the remaining dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Before you mix in the wet ingredients, begin heating a frying pan on a medium-high heat and put the frozen berries in a small saucepan on a low heat. Stir occasionally and add in the maple syrup whilst you continue making the pancakes.
  • Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the flax mixture and half the almond milk. Using a fork mix together the flax and milk and slowly begin to incorporate the flour. Add the remaining milk a bit at a time until everything is combined.
  • Put 1/2 tsp or so of coconut oil in the hot frying pan and pour in just under half a cup of the pancake batter. Fry for about 2 minutes until the bottom has browned nicely then flip and further for a further minute or two.
  • Keep the pancakes warm under the grill until you have fried them all. Serve warm with the berry compĂ´te.

Enjoy! A x

Vegan, Gluten-free Brownies

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Have you ever made brownies then felt great disappointment when you taste them and they are dry and cakey, not dense and gooey as a good brownie should be? Never fear, I can guarantee chocolatey gooeyness with these guys.

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Not only are these absolutely delicious, they are really easy to make and a healthier alternative to your regular sugar laden brownie plus they’re gluten free too! Seriously what more do you want from us!

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I’m not one to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend but if you are…..these would be the perfect choice! Go on indulge yourselves!

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Vegan & gluten-free chocolate brownies
Makes 15 brownies

1 cup of dates
1 cup of raw almonds
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup ground almonds
45g chopped dark chocolate (sugar free)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp milled chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water (or use flax seeds)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray (i used an 11″x 7″ one) with greaseproof paper.
2. In a saucepan add the dates and cover with water, cook down for 10-15 minutes on a medium heat until soft and gooey.
3. Into the blender add the whole almonds and blitz for 30 seconds. Add the cocoa power, ground almonds, dark chocolate and walnuts and blitz together until the walnuts are chopped up.
4. In a small bowl mix together the milled chia seeds and mix with water. Add to the blender along with the maple syrup.
5. Once the dates have boiled down add to the blender and mix everything together.
6. Spread the mixture evenly in the baking tin and bake for 15 minutes.
7. Leave to cool in the tray and once cooled cut into squares. Keep in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Veronica x