Is it me or is Christmas getting earlier each year? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, but just not in November. I’m about to contradict myself majorly because this loaf cake is PERFECT for Christmas, and technically we’re not quite in December territory yet…my bad!
I’m not a massive fan of dense fruit cakes, although I’ve got a great Christmas cake recipe if that’s what you’re looking for, but I think this is perfect if you’re looking for a lighter alternative! This recipe is pretty low in sugar, just using dates, a little maple syrup and a tad of caster sugar for your orange drizzle. That’s right, it’s got an orange drizzle running through it to make it super (apologies for using this word) moist!
Cranberry and Orange Loaf
100g rice flour
100g buckwheat flour
50g spelt flour
150g fresh cranberries
Zest of two oranges
1 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking powder
125ml vegetable oil
300ml oat milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
50g caster sugar
Juice of two oranges
- Grease a 2lb loaf tin with margarine or oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flours along with the xantham gum and baking powder
- Add the fresh cranberries and coat in the flour, along with the zest of the oranges
- Finely chop the dates and stir through. Gradually add the vegetable oil, oat milk and maple syrup and mix thoroughly until everything is mixed together
- Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and spread evenly
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean
- Pierce with a skewer all over
- In a bowl mix the caster sugar with the juice of the oranges, pour over the cake and leave to cool in the tin
- Once cooled, store in an air tight container
Just because we’re well and truly into soup weather doesn’t mean we have to totally give up on salad, plus I’m totally not lying when I say this is the pumpkin and kale salad is nothing but delicious…it’s ALL about the dressing!
I’ve been swamped with work recently and just when I needed to be on my A game, BAM along comes a cold to laugh in my face, and one that I’m still battling the remnants of. So, I’m loading on vitamin packed foods and this will definitely ensure you’re packing in the nutrients needed to fight any germs that are always lurking at this time of year.
Squash and Kale Salad
Serves 2 people
5 stalks of red kale (de-stalk)
1/2 medium pumpkin/squash
1 red onion
8 cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
Handful of coriander
For the dressing:
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tspn peanut butter
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tspn dried chilli flakes
- Halve and de-seed the pumpkin or squash and roast in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil for half an hour or until soft.
- Wash and de-stalk the kale and chop into fairly small pieces. In a large mixing bowl drizzle the kale with the olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves with your fingertips. Leave to soften for 15 minutes.
- Toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan on a medium heat for 5 minutes until slightly browned.
- Slice the red onion and add to the bowl, along with the cherry tomatoes, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.
- Finely chop the coriander leaves and stir through.
- In a small bowl, add the sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter and maple syrup along with the chilli flakes and stir until smooth.
- Once the pumpkin is soft, add it into the salad and pour the dressing all over it and stir to coat it all.
Enjoy and keep well!
I’ve out done myself! These Apple Cinnamon Scones are too good not to share. I’m a big fan of a scone….and yes, I say scone as in s-cone not s-con, that may make me a bit posh, but it’s how it’s said..alright?!
I have mixed feelings about the recent clocks going back. I love the extra hour to catch up on some serious zzzzs….I mean, I’m not going to complain about that! I also love the cosy dark nights, curling up under a blanket on the sofa and Netflixing my way through autumn/winter (currently obsessing over Bloodline). But, I don’t like coming home from work in the dark, or battling the low light to take photos of recipes, such like the one below at 2pm!
I served these with some delicious strawberry jam and some coconut yoghurt – a perfect vegan alternative to cream. These also are so full of cinnamon apple flavours they taste pretty darn good on their own too!
Apple Cinnamon Scones
Makes about 9
50g dairy free margarine
100g self raising flour
150g spelt flour
25g caster sugar
1 tspn cinnamon
100g stewed apples (I used normal eating apples, so they held their shape once cooked)
150ml oat milk (alternative plant based milk)
- In a mixing bowl, rub the margarine into the flours using your fingertips, until breadcrumb-like
- Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir through
- Add the stewed apples, along with the milk
- Combine until a dough has formed (you may need to add a little more four of the mixture is quite wet, depending on your apples)
- On a floured surface, gently work the dough so you can cut out the scones using a cutter (the trick here is not to handle the dough too much and to keep it quite thick so you have nice sizeable scones)
- Cut out the scones, and place on a greased baking tray, brush with milk and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top
- Place in the oven for 15 minutes at 210C
- Leave to cool on a wire rack
I’ve got another delicious pumpkin recipe this week. I still had half a pumpkin leftover from last week and hadn’t quite got round to using it up, but I don’t think you can ever get too much pumpkin at this time of year!
300g risotto rice
2 cloves of garlic
5 or 6 stalks of cavolo nero
1 litre vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
- Peel and cube the pumpkin and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan on a medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Chop the onion and garlic and cook in the pan until softened.
- Add the risotto rice to the pan and coat with the oil and onion.
- Add a little of the vegetable stock, and stir continuously until the stock as soaked up, keep adding the stock a little at a time and repeat until nearly all the stock has gone.
- Chop and wash the cavolo nero and add to the risotto, along with the roasted pumpkin.
- Continue stirring and add the remaining stock.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Super tasty and warming autumnal dinner.
Yes, now I can make soups for lunches! In the summer I’m all about salads, but now I’m all about staying warm, and soup is what I’m craving on these chillier autumnal days.
I’ve massively got into pumpkins and squashes over the last few years, especially with the different varieties you can now get in the shops and in your veg boxes. The one thing that I can simply not deal with is how difficult they are to cut up! I’ve got a good knife, and still I nearly give myself a hernia dealing with this nemesis veg! If you’ve not got a sharp knife, you seriously need to invest in one, because squash prepping life was definitely MUCH harder with a blunter cutting implement.
This is soup is filled with flavour; the perfect amount of sweetness and spiciness to warm your cockles.
1 tspn cumin
1 tspn dried chilli flakes
A bunch of fresh coriander
- Cut the pumpkin and parsnip into smallish cubes. Pop into a roasting dish with a drizzle of olive oil, roast in the oven for 25 minutes at 180C.
- In a large saucepan, gently soften the onions and leek. Add the roasted pumpkin and squash.
- Sprinkle the cumin and chilli flakes and coat the vegetables.
- Add the vegetable stock.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Add the coriander, and then blend until smooth using a stick blender.
- Season with salt and pepper.
I know this is totally not seasonal and I’m not sure if anyone other than me is looking to make a lemon meringue pie at the moment but what can I say, I got inspired by the Bake Off! I was watching it the other week, and knowing the awesomeness that is Aquafaba (chickpea water), I just had to work out a way of getting the chickpea water into a meringuey gooey pie of dreams. And I did! And it was super easy! It didn’t quite crisp up as you’d expect an egg-based meringue too, but it delivered a sweet marshmallowey texture and with the contrast of the sharp tangy lemon it did the job!
Lemon Meringue Pie
For the pastry:
200g plain flour
70g caster sugar
70ml oat milk (or any dairy free milk)
For the lemon filling:
Juice and zest of 3 lemons
500ml oat milk
1 tbsp vegeset (vegetable gelatin)
For the meringue:
1 tin of chickpea water
100g caster sugar
1 tspn xantham gum
1 tspn lemon juice
You’ll need to make the pastry and filling the day before to allow it to set.
- In a mixing bowl, sieve the flour and rub the margarine into fine breadcrumbs with you fingers. Stir through the caster sugar and then add the oat milk until a dough comes together. Leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface with a rolling pin until 5mm thin, and carefully transfer to your flan tin, patching up any holes. I used an approx 20cm tin.
- Blind bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes. Trim off an Leave to cool.
- In a saucepan, add the lemon juice, zest, oat milk, sugar and vegeset and bring to the boil slowly, stirring constantly. Your mixture should start to thicken, leave to cool slightly and then pour it onto the pastry and ensure it is evenly spread. Leave to set overnight.
- Drain the chickpea water and using a hand whisk mix together, it should start to froth up, gradually add the sugar and continue whisking. Once all the sugar is added it should be thickening up, add the xantham gum and lemon juice, and it should form stiff peaks.
- Spread over the lemon filling and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown at 180C.
I think this tastes better a day or two later, so don’t feel you need to eat it all in one go!
Now, I promise I’ll get into Autumn mode soon!
Apologies for my long time absence. Things have been hectic over here mainly because I’ve been moving house. But, now things are starting to bear a semblance of normality, and I’m getting my butt back into blogging. How’s things with you guys, what have I missed?
Looking back at my last post, we were well and truly in summer, but those days definitely feel over so I’m going to embrace these more autumnal days. The other weekend I went out and picked some blackberries and if you’re quick you can still get some too! My parents have an awesome apple tree and they’re so tart…so apple and blackberries scream pie or galette (posh sounding easier to make pie)!
Blackberry and Apple Galette [vegan]
170g spelt flour
75g xylitol or sugar
70ml cold water
1 tspn ground cinnamon
- In a mixing bowl, add the flour and margarine and rub together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, add 25g xylitol or sugar.
- Add the cold water (the colder the better)and stir until it comes together to form a dough.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface, until about 5mm thin.
- Grease a baking tray, and transfer the rolled out pastry onto the tray.
- Peel and thinly cut the apple and lay onto the pastry along with the blackberries and coat with the remaining xylitol or sugar.
- Fold the pastry edges into the edge of the filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- I served with dairy free ice cream.
You may have noticed some changes over these sides – if anyone does read these ramblings! Amy has taken a step back from the blog, she is no longer fully vegan (due to some health reasons) and felt the time was right to step away. You can read more about it here. So, now you’ve just got me and I hope we can get to know each other a bit better!
When I made these ice lollies we were in the midst of a sunny spell. These sunny spells don’t last long in good old Blighty and it’s definitely not the weather for these refreshing ice lollies.
I bought myself some the ice lolly moulds for the summertime and then they took about two months to arrive, just in time for Autumn, that’ll teach me for resorting to Amazon! Anyway, if the warmer weather does make a reappearance get your melons out and try these bad boys!
Watermelon and Lime Ice Lollies
1 lime juice
1 tbsp agave syrup
- Slice and de-skin the watermelon, then in a food processor blitz until smooth.
- Add the lime juice and agave syrup and blend together.
- In your ice lolly moulds pour the liquid and freeze overnight.
- Makes 6 ice lollies.
A super speedy recipe to liven up your houmous. You can’t beet some roasted beetroot AND garlic, and this makes a really sweet flavour combination. Forget your pickled beetroot THIS is where you can truly appreciate the awesomeness of beetroot.
Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Houmous
240g (1 tin) chickpeas
2 tbsp tahini
3 cloves garlic
1/2 juice of lemon
Handful of fresh coriander
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp water
- Peel the beetroot and chop into small chunks. In a baking tray, roast the beetroot and garlic cloves in the oven for 35 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil.
- Meanwhile, blend the chickpeas in a food processor along with the tahini. Add the lemon juice.
- Once the beetroot is cooked, add it to the chickpea mix. Peel the skin of the garlic cloves and pop in the mixture, and drain any excess olive oil into the processor too.
- Blend until smooth, this may take awhile depending on the power of your blender.
- Add the coriander and season with salt and pepper.
I’m not sure if this is best described as a cake, it is probably more of a pudding. Whether you’ve got peaches or nectarines to hand, this tasty upside down cake is so fruity, plus the lemon zest gives the sponge an extra zing! I think it is definitely best eaten whilst warm from the oven, but you can always add some custard to warm a cold slice up.
We are in the midst of the british blueberry season, so make sure you grab a couple of punnets and stock up your freezers.
Blueberry and Nectarine Upside Down Cake
120g spelt flour
120g self-raising flour
60g caster sugar
1 tspn baking powder
200ml oat milk
70ml vegetable oil
2 x nectarines
2 x handful blueberries
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Line the bottom of a 7 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper and oil the sides of the tin. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Slice the nectarines and lay them and a handful of blueberries in the bottom of the tin.
- In a mixing bowl – add the flours, sugar and baking powder. Stir in the oat milk and oil and add the juice and zest of the lemon, plus another handful of blueberries. Once mixed together pour over the nectarine and blueberries.
- Bake for 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.