Thursday, 20 November 2014

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas



chickpeas

Snacks! Possibly one of the most difficult areas of my diet. I’m a picker. I pick at food, I’d rather graze on little bits of food constantly rather than have one massive meal.

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It’s an area I’m trying to fix. Trying to make healthy choices. As we all know this is a million times easier said than done. Especially this month as I am trying to do so many things at once.

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My problem is, that I don’t strive well under stressful conditions. I know some people need a little stress to motivate them. I, on the other hand, break down under stress. I stop doing things all together. This is not necessarily a good thing! If I know what I am supposed to be doing; I have a plan; I have an itinerary, I work fine. When things start piling up, I stop functioning.

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My fiancĂ© and I, have recently started house hunting. Stressful enough as it is, mortgages, loans, savings . . . it adds up. I don’t even want to think about it anymore, but it’s something that we need to do. I hate the thought of us just throwing money away to a land lord. Especially with our electric and gas providers. (for the rented houses, they are on a fixed tariff, the higher tariff!) On top of the expenses, we have no room whatsoever. We basically live in a two room apartment. (with a tiny showerless bathroom and a kitchen you can’t even swing a cat in!) Speaking of cats, my little kitty child Dexter Morgan roams these rooms, and it’s getting a tad claustrophobic. Sometimes, you want to sit in the office on your own. Only our office is the corner of our living room. So trying to do work to the sound of FIFA or NBA is difficult and rather off-putting!

Rants aside. Ive been loving these roasted chick peas. Really simple to prepare, and really tasty. I can think of a ton of different spice mixes I’d love to give a go. Simple, is good.


Recipe:

1 can of chickpeas – drained 

½ tbsp chilli powder

1 tbsp Turmeric

1 tsp parsley flakes



1. Add the chickpeas and spices into a small bowl, mix to thoroughly coat the chickpeas with the spices.

2. Arrange the coated chickpeas on a baking sheet.

3. Bake at approximately 160 degrees centigrade for 10-15 minutes.

4. Remove from the oven and leave on the baking sheet until cooled.

5. Baked chickpeas will keep for approximately a week in a sealed container.






Substitutions// Notes

I have used dried chickpeas, the only problem is that you have to soak them overnight and cook them first. I have also found that dried chickpeas are firmer than the tinned variety.

A variety of different spices can be used, and I also think that it might be nice to use different beans. Edamame, black eyed or black beans perhaps?

Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan

#SuperSimpleVegan

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dexter's Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie titles

OK so I admit it. 

I am 100% obsessed with the television programme Dexter.

I am 100% in love with the character of Dexter.

I am also a cat lady (how is that relevant? keep reading!!)

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I love cats. My mother, grandmother, rest of family hates cats. I was brought up in a cat-hating environment. The house I lived in wouldn't allow pets. So I've never really had the oppurtunity to have a cat. Until now. 

I've decided to name my ginger cat. Dexter. Because I am just that cool!

Anyway. What does Dexter and Cats have to do with Key lime pie you ask? well. There is an episode of Dexter (read :best show ever) where the character of Dexter hunts for the best key lime pie before his friend dies.

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I had a yearning for damn key lime pie after that.

but. . . . 

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Traditional key lime pie, which was created for the sailors, used condensed milk (Uber sugary. . .eek) and other such ingredients you could get hold of. . . on a boat!

But my scurvey preventing dessert called to be made healthier, and sans dairy products!

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Plus, we have a glut of coconut ice cream hanging around now from my ice-cream projects!

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And what goes well with ice cream?! yea, you know, pie. 

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Traditional pies have pastry (which I really hate) so, I'm really quite OK with key lime pie, no pastry and all that. 
If I had a little more patience I would totally have made some thick soy cream and piped something round the edge, 1980's dinner party style (which I think is the best era for dinner parties, this was totally not a dig!)

We are currently decorating our bathroom and hallway, trust me when I say you really do not want to see it before. It has never (in 5 years) been decorated, and the woman who lived there before, really had zilch decorating taste.

As I was sanding off the bright red (!!) paint from every visible surface in the hallway (splatted on woodwork, doorframe, ceiling) I found a pencil drawing of a cat (it also said "F*** off underneath, what a lovely person right?!) and I am taking that as destiny for me to have my cat! Pete has agreed, and shook on it, so there's no going back now! There is just something comforting about having another life force around, especially since I work from home, and Pete works CRAZY (and I mean crazy) shifts.

Anyway, here's my recipe for Key lime pie, #AccidentalVegan style! 



Recipe :
1/2 block of Tofu (approx 1 cup) (see notes)
Juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp Agave
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 cup Oat flour
1/4 cup Almonds (see notes)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp stevia (see notes)
zest of 2 limes


1. first prepare the base by pulsing the Almonds in a food processor until they are roughly pea sized.
2. Mix the oat flour, almonds and stevia in a bowl. Add the coconut oil. The mixture should resemble wet sand. Press this into a greased 7" loose bottomed tin.
3. Add the tofu and lime juice to a food processor and process until combined.
4. Stir in the coconut oil and agave, then pour over the base.
5. Bake in the centre of a 180C oven for approximately 20 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and let completely cool, before transferring to the fridge. Chill for a couple of hours before removing from the tin.
7. To serve, sprinkle the lime zest over the top and serve with coconut icecream (or any other ice cream!) and soy cream!!





Substitutions :
Almonds - Walnuts would be really nice here, or hazelnuts. I wouldn't suggest anything too strong in taste as it may play oddly against the lime taste.
Stevia - Sugar, Aspartame, or any other form of sweetener could be used, I would even say that liquid sweetener such as agave, maple syrup or honey for non-strict vegans could be substituted.



Notes :



Tofu - I understand that there are many different types of tofu. The only type I can get is . .  .Tofu! It doesn't specify the type, however from what I can ascertain, it is really close to silken tofu.


Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan  

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Coconut Ice Cream


Ice cream titles

OK, so it may not quite be the time of year for ice cream yet. . . but it sure is close!

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If anyone has seen my old blog. .  . before I became fully vegan, way back in the beginning when I began exploring different vegan food, you will have seen my first attempts at vegan ice cream.

I made one with coconut milk, and one with rice milk (I called it "rice cream" ; yeaa I know, I'm witty!).

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I'd managed to get the texture about right, but when it lived in the freezer, you needed to let it defrost for about 15 minutes before you served it, mainly because it froze SOLID almost like a sorbet.

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Then a couple of weeks ago I saw Ashley's post on ice cream and I had a bit of a "dammit! why didn't I have that genius idea??!?" moment. 

VODKA

What a bloomin genius move!

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in adding the alcohol (it's only a minute amount) the freezing point is lowered slightly, and doesn't freeze like a block.

In all honesty as much as I love Ashley's blog. . . I was slightly jealous I hadn't thought that one through. 

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I didn't decide to make ice cream to keep in the freezer until summer. . . oh no!. I'm currently having a few problems with my wisdom teeth *sad face*! They've been coming through for yeeearrrsss. . and every now and then decide that they want to come through a little more. 

To be honest with you, I've been getting a little bored of eating on one side of my mouth. . it's awkward! (a lot of banana smoothies have been consumed of late!)

So whilst everyone is still waiting for summer. . . I'm going to eat ice cream! . . . in spring!




Recipe :
1 tin coconut milk
400 ml Soy milk
(see notes)
1/3 cup Kithul treacle (see notes)
1 tbsp Arrowroot powder (see notes)
1 tbsp vodka


1. Stir the arrowroot powder with a couple of tbsp's of the soy milk in a small bowl.
2. Add the remaining milk to a pan with the coconut milk, heat gently over a medium heat.
3. Pour the Kithul treacle into the pan with the arrowroot powder mixture, stir well and continue to heat until the mixture thickens. This won't take long.
4. Remove the pan from the heat and cool the mixture to room temperature. This will take about an hour.
5. Stir in the vodka and add the entire mixture to an ice cream maker.(see notes)according to your machines instructions (see notes).
6. When frozen, transfer to a freezer safe container and place in the freezer.





Substitutions :

Soy milk - I have used rice milk in the past which works really well because it is naturally sweeter than soy milk. I think it would be possible to use any non-dairy milk here.

Kithul treacle - Non-strict vegans could use honey, you could also use maple syrup, agave or coconut nectar.

Arrowroot Powder - Cornflower works really well here too.


Notes :



I have an ice-cream maker which doesn't require the bowl part being pre-frozen (it's a bit of an industrial model) but I know a lot of home ice cream makers do require the bowl to be frozen overnight before hand. If you don't own an ice cream maker it is still completely plausible to make this ice cream.
When the mixture is cooled transfer to a freezer proof tub. At hour intervals for the first three hours, take a fork and whisk the mixture to break up large ice crystals forming.





Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 



Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Chia Walnut Granola.


Granola Titles

"Breakfast: The fifth most important meal of the day!"

OK so I may be quoting a film. A film I saw over a decade ago. Surprisingly it stuck, with both me and my brother. We've been quoting it to each other periodically since then!

I know some people eat constantly, and possibly do have that many meals a day! I don't! haha! : just a small disclaimer there!

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xylitol! - is soooo funny. You can't make a syrup like you normally would be able to do with sugar. The minute the syrup gets too cool it crystallises. And becomes pretty unusable. It's easy to fix, you simply add a little more water in, and heat gently until it dissolves again. 

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I currently have quite a few different food obsessions. Chia seeds are one of them! I absolutely love how you can use them in so many different ways. They are brilliant "thickeners" for jams or sauces. They are so much fun when used to make puddings, but I also really like them in granola.

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I have to admit. I'm not the best when it comes to remembering to eat breakfast, however I have been trying. I've been finding that keeping a jar of granola on hand has been really helping (I tend to bounce between two households - which means knowing what food is available is a little difficult)

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I know I've mentioned it before, but my love is a little. . . bad at eating properly. He does coffee in the morning. Nothing else. I have sneakily left pots of this by the kettle with the hope that he picks it up at some point! 

I think I may make a feast of a Sunday brunch this weekend, convince him to eat. . . breakfast in bed?!

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Whilst typing up this blog post, I got thinking about different combinations I could try. I think that a hazelnut and cacao nib granola would be divine. And this has also made me slightly hungry!

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When serving, coconut yoghurt, blueberries and an optional drizzle of dark agave are absolute musts!




Recipe :
1/4 cup xylitol (see notes)
1/4 cup water
2 cups Rolled Oats
(see notes)
1/2 cup walnuts (see notes)
12 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup cacao nibs (see notes)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp sesame seed



1. Add the xylitol and water into a pan, heat gently until it reaches the boil. Remove from heat to cool slightly, however don't let it cool completely.
2. Obliterate the walnuts into pea sized pieces in a food processor.
3. In a bowl mix the walnuts and Oats until combined, then pour in the slightly cooled xylitol mixture.
4. Tip onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper. Bake at 180c for approx. 10 minutes or until browned. Be careful not to burn it.
5. When cooled, mix in the dates, coconut, cacao nibs, chia seeds and sesame seeds.






Substitutions :

Xylitol - can be substituted for sugar, I just try and stay clear of it. I have also considered using coconut nectar, or Agave, but I haven't actually tried it yet.

Walnuts - Walnuts are just the nuts I had on hand at the time, however I think this would be lovely made with hazelnuts, a sort of nutella granola!

cacao nibs - I love cacao nibs. Pure and simple. However if you were being naughty you could use chocolate chips, or substitute in more fruit.



Notes :


Rolled Oats - Make sure you use "Old fashioned oats" and not "quick cook" varieties.

If you let the xylitol and water mixture cool too far, it will begin to crystalise again, if this happens, add in another 2 tbsp of water and heat gently until it dissolves again.
I don't personally like to cook the fruit with the oats, because sometimes I feel like it burns quickly.

Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 




Party! :
Having a little link up with melt in your mouth monday!

Juice!


juice titles

Hello y'all!
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good night (or if you are like me, you're probably reading this at half past two in the morning!). Whatever time of day it is where you are!

So I thought I'd do something a little different a couple of days ago. This time of year really depresses me! I know that's a tad odd. . . most people start to feel better at this time of year. You know, when there is more sunlight, more time in the day (well not really, but it sure feels like it) You can wear less layers when you venture outside! 

But, I'm a little strange. I really don't like the summer months. I don't like waking up at three in the morning and hearing the birds. I don't like being hot. I really don't like being hot. I'm a winter baby through and through. 

I decided to do a bit of a mini juice cleanse, to get myself out of my little funk. . . and then I discovered my love of making juice! I love blending, so it didn't really come as much of a surprise!

Just see what I mean. I went for a walk the other day, and some of the trees outside look like this :

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and some look like this! 

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. . . don't get me wrong, I love blossom on trees! - it's absolutely gorgeous. 
it's not nature I'm against. I think it's just . . . oh I don't know. I don't think I ever will, all I know is I love the end of summer when it starts getting cooler!

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Woah.

Wait.

You're telling me you don't drink your juice out of a champagne glass??! You should. It makes it feel special! Being that I don't drink wine/ champagne / hardly any alcoholic beverage at all, champagne glasses don't get much of an outing in our house! I'll probably end up toasting my marriage with a glass of beet and raspberry juice! Not that I'm complaining, can you picture a party, baby shower or something with champagne glasses of brightly coloured juices? beautiful!

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It's sooo much fun juicing, you can get carried away. But there are so many different combos, and it's super easy to hide extra veg ("nutrients" as my man calls them. He lives on a diet of carbs and fat. I'm trying to fix it!) in glasses of juice as well. Have fun! and if you come up with any delicious combos. . . let me know! I'm always in need of new recipes. 

Much love!


Recipe :
Carrot, ginger and orange
3 carrots
3 oranges
thumb sized bit of ginger



Kiwi, apple and lime

1 apple
2 kiwi's
1 lime



Beet, raspberry and lemon
1 cooked beet
1 cup raspberries
1 lemon.


1.JUICE!!





Notes :

Obviously the best way to obtain juice from fruits and vegetables is to use a juicer designed for the job! However I know some people don't have a juicer.  
The best way I have found without using a juicer is to chop the ingredients up into thumb sized pieces and process well in a food processor. Some of the vegetables, like the carrots for instance sometimes require a bit of water ( approx. 1/4 cup) to get them going.
Once you have achieved a nice smooth paste, place a fine mesh sieve inside a bowl, and then lay a piece of muslin (usually used in jam making) inside the sieve. 
Pour the paste through the muslin. You may have to squeeze it through!



Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 


Sunday, 30 March 2014

3 Ways With Raw Dough


Turkish Delight Brownies Titles

Raspberry Titles

Monkey Balls Titles



I absolutely love the versatility of raw dough's made from dates and nuts. You can substitute in a million and one different combinations of different dried fruits and different nuts. I love using walnuts and cashews. These are three of my favourites. 


Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 

Turkish Delight Raw Brownies



Turkish Delight Brownies Titles

When I was little I remember having Turkish Delight with my Grandad. 

Not the chocolate covered, gelatine filled version sold in every corner shop, instead the traditional version gently flavoured with rose water. 

The fact that I shared it with my Grandad, makes it somewhat more special. I've tried to make it, both the traditional way, and other ways for him many different times. I still haven't succeeded. 

We've had Turkish Delight sauce.

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One of my favourite recipes I found on Pinterest years ago. Courtesy of Judita via Pure Mamas

I love it, and I've adapted it a million different ways since then. I highly recommend trying the original recipe at least once (even if you do halve it. . . the quantities are massive!)

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The whole concept of raw interests me so much. I'm currently just not ready to attempt it, nor do I have sufficient knowledge to go that way!

Is anyone out there Raw? I'd love to hear from you, tips/ tricks/ favourite recipes etc!

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Until I know enough, I'm going to continue educating myself  (I did read about warm raw soup. .  I didn't really understand it. . . although I do know that there is a certain temperature things aren't supposed to go over)

And I'm going to educate myself with more of this!

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I made a batch of this for an 80th birthday party. . . sometimes I add 1 tbsp of Carob in, but I've learnt that people of that generation can be quite blunt and cutting. They say what they mean without thinking twice. I've also learnt that if they don't like something. They'll let you know. 

Carob is so subjective. I know most find it crazy bitter. (I love it - I took most of the refined sugar out of my diet, and I have less of a sweet tooth now. Since January all I have eaten is one doughnut, and I really didn't even enjoy it. It sounds ridiculous I know, but I'm more than content with these raw brownies, which are, FYI, amazing!)

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If you're not a fan of rose water, just replace it with vanilla, and these will make some delicious raw chocolate brownies. 



Recipe :
for the base

1 1/2 cup cashews (see notes)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/3 cup apricots (see notes)
1/3 cup dates
1/3 cup cacao powder
1 tsp rose water (see notes)
2 tablespoons water


for the glaze


1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp agave
(see notes)
1 tsp vanilla
rose coloured food dust (optional!) (see notes)



1. In a food processor, blitz the cashews, apricots and dates until it looks like wet sand.
2. Add in the almond meal and cacao and pulse a little more until combined. (it will be a little drier, but don't worry)
3. Add the water and rose water to the food processor and pulse once more. The mixture will be sticky and often rolls up into a ball of it's own accord. If it doesn't stick together and is still a little too dry, add in some more water, 1 tsp at a time until a dough is formed.
4. Press the mixture into a 9" cake tin, lined with greaseproof paper.
5. Once the mixture has set ( most probably a couple of hours in the fridge will be long enough) mix together all of the ingredients for the glaze. Pour into the cake tin on top of the dough mixture and roll the tin from side to side until all of the top is covered.
6. Place back in the fridge to set, usually for about 10 minutes. Then, remove from the tin and cut into desired shapes.
7. For a little extra touch, (and because I love playing with food colours!) I dusted the tops of the slices with a rose coloured dust using a paint brush.





Substitutions :
Cashews - whole almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts all work really well here.


Apricots - This recipe is pretty flexible and a lot of different dried fruits work. I have tried many different variations of this, using raisins (as the original recipe does), apricots, cranberries and even dried apples.


Agave - Agave can be substituted for maple syrup or even honey if you are not a strict vegan.

Notes :

Rose water is SO hard to find. I remember when I was younger and me and my mother had spent days trying to track it down. Since then I've been able to find it in one of the more expensive super markets near to where I live. However the other day it became apparent to me that it is actually often sold in health food shops. I had a look and it's true. It is. Not only is it there, it's in a much bigger bottle and is much cheaper. So if you are struggling to locate it, I suggest the health food shop is your first port of call. As a last resort, Amazon sells it!

The coloured food dust I used is intended for use with roll out icing. It's for colouring during sugar-craft without adding any more liquid to the mixture. It's almost like really really fine edible glitter (which I think would look super pretty too!). Don't try to use food gel or food colouring for this, because as much as I love them, they really wouldn't work here!

Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 


Raspberry Breakfast Bars


Raspberry Titles

OK, so it is a well known fact that I am the worst person in the entire world for eating breakfast. 

My excuse was that it takes time for my stomach to wake up. . . If I eat when I just get up, I end up feeling really sick for the entire morning.

One of my New Years Resolutions was to make time for eating breakfast,  only, we don't always have time to wake up in the morning, spend an hour or so, then have something to eat, then get ready. On the weekend, it's fine, but sadly, not every morning is a weekend morning!

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That was a very rambly way (I'm good at rambling!) of saying that portable breakfasts are saviours!

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Our freezer is full of literally nothing but fruit. 
fruit. fruit and a bit more fruit.
My brothers nightmare!

I've been slowly working through the bags of frozen berries, trying to use them up. This is one of my favourite recipes. I'm not entirely sure where it has evolved from, but I'm almost 100% certain it will be a mixture of recipes from my own head, Katie and Angela

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Flax.
What do you do with flax?!

I know some people mix it with warm water and drink the goopy mixture. Can't say that particularly appeals to me. At all. And truth be told I'm not too fond of the taste. 

For some unknown reason,  I decided to combine the flax with this raspberry protein bar recipe. I really like the outcome (I've made multiple times. Can't complain!)

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I also love wrapping up little parcels. I.e. I like to mess around with my food. 
I had way too much fun wrapping them all up.
Trust.

This really did inspire me to try a little harder with breakfast. In fact I'm considering making a fresh batch tomorrow to take to my loves house. (he never eats. unless it's fried.) I'm currently trying to improve his nutrition. We are both on a mission to get healthy. 
Nutrition.
Exercise (check!)

Now I just need to stop smoking and doing drugs. *

*please excuse my terribly sarcastic sense of humour. I am fully aware there are only a handful of people who find me funny. One of those is me. 




Recipe :
2/3 cup walnuts (see notes)
2/3 cup cashews
3/4 cup dates
1/2 cup raspberries (see notes)
1 tbsp agave
1 tbsp flax
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp freeze dried raspberries, to serve


1. In a food processor, grind the walnuts and cashews until they look like (gritty, stony) wet sand! (see notes)
2. add in the dates,raspberries,agave, flax and cocoa, and continue to pulse until a dough forms.
3. Press the dough into a tin, approx 9" square, lined with greaseproof paper, and sprinkle over the freeze dried raspberries.
4. Leave to firm up, usually overnight in the fridge.
5. Tip the mixture out, and using a pizza cutter (see notes) slice into bar shapes.




Substitutions :
walnuts/ cashews - really a lot of different nuts can be substituted into recipes like these. You could try whatever you felt like, although I recommend nuts with a milder flavour.


Notes :



Raspberries - depending on how fresh your fruit is, you may find that you have too much water in your dough, therefore sometimes I find that I need to add a couple of tbsps of almond meal in as well.

Wet Sand! - You can leave your nuts as chunky as you wish, I just prefer them finer (I came to this conclusion today, the chunkier versions get stuck in my teeth!)

Pizza Cutter - I just find it SO much easier to cut mixtures like this (and get a relatively straight line) with a Pizza Cutter.

Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 


Monkey Balls


Monkey Balls Titles

I'm such a child I find this title massively amusing!

I'm not sure what that says for my sense of humour. . . but I can tell you that it probably isn't a good thing!

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I know I'm not the only person who likes to have some food to pick at. When you're not hungry enough to make something more substantial, but you really want to eat something. 

Believe me I know, this is where people usually end up eating junk. This is where my Pete would end up eating an entire package of cookies. (at least) 

One of the ways I've found quite effective to stop the need to eat rubbish, is to nibble at something like this!

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And come on. I know I'm not the only person who absolutely loves blending. 
I made a comment the other day that it made me feel like a mad scientist. Hey, what can I say blending is fun!

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In other news (I just spelt 'news', 'knews' and couldn't work out exactly what was wrong. I'm an English Literature graduate. That's embarrassing!) I am obsessively listening to Shakira's new album (I can now proudly say I own all of her albums, including a lot of her original, older stuff). 

I have a bit of an obsessive personality. I find something that I love, and go full pelt at it, then I lose interest and find something to obsess over. A fleeting obsessive personality maybe?

There are a few things which I have obsessed over, which I have stayed in love with. Shakira. Is one of those things. I have a hilarious memory of me and my mother stood in our apartment in Cairns (Queensland) when I was about 10/11, in front of Shakira's music video to Whenever, Wherever, trying to belly dance like she does.  Needless to say, we never got it down. My dad, brother and sister found it hilarious. Looking back it is funny!

This album, is my new workout album! It puts me in a ridiculously good mood and makes me want to dance (which is not very common)

Well either that or I wish I was Shakira (if she was 2' taller!)




Recipe :
1/2 cup dried bananas (not the chewy kind)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/8 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup dates (see notes)
coconut water


1. In a food processor, grind the dried bananas until the majority are of a meal-like texture. It's ok for there to be a few larger pieces.
2. Add in the dates and pulse until combined with the bananas.
3. Combine the date and banana mixture with the cacao and almond meal.
4. Stir in enough coconut water (1 tsp at a time) to bring the mix into a dough.
5. Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls. I used a tsp measure to maintain size (more or less!)





Substitutions :

Dates - As a general rule, dates are fairly easy to get hold of, and really quite inexpensive. They also have a nice natural sweetness, no overpowering taste and are so versatile. However I have been known to use prunes (which are waaay cheaper). However I would suggest that if you go down the prune road, you probably won't need the coconut water.

cacao - You can substitute the cacao for carob. I really like the bitterness of carob powder, but I know a lot of people don't.

Notes :


If your dates are really dried, boil some water and soak the dates for 10 minutes in the freshly boiled water. Drain and then use as directed.

Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Cherry "Cheescake"


Cherry cheesecake titles

Happy #MeatFreeMonday of #MeatFreeWeek!

Monday 24th of March until Sunday 30th of March is Meat free week! 

OK OK so for me every week is meat free! - Only I quite like the idea, the challenge if you will for people to try and give up meat. If only for a week.

The most common thing I hear from people when they ask me about veganism is 
"I could never give up meat/cheese/milk etc"
I think most people would surprise themselves at how easy it is. . . mainly because there are so many awesome (if not awesome-er) alternatives!

This cheesecake is totally inspired by two things.
1. Bakewell tarts - almonds. cherries. childhood
2. Mango cheesecake I saw on instagram one day (If I can find the link I will link it here)

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One of my New Years resolutions was to stop or at least significantly reduce my refined sugar intake. I discovered that dates were awesome and their versatility is totally suited for making 'biscuit' bases for cheesecakes.

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Obviously there is no cheese here! Cashews are used to make the cheese, and I love this technique, the first time I tried it I didn't think it was ever going to get smooth, but the minute you add in a tiny bit of coconut oil, it smoothes immediately. I used my magic bullet (BEST GADGET EVER!!) which you may know doesn't run for a very long time, so quick pulses were plenty to make this smooth cashew nut cream.

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This is a must try recipe! 

The quantities I specified only makes two 4" cakes (which my family and I cut in half, to make four servings - my brother doesn't do fruit!! so it was all we needed!)



Recipe :
For the crust
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup dates
1/8 cup dried cherries (approx 4!)
(see notes)

For the "cheese"

1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight (see notes)
1/2 cup fresh cherries (frozen is OK too!)
1/8 tsp Almond essence
2 tbsp coconut oil
1. Place the cashews into a food processor and pulse until a biscuit crumb texture is reached.
2. Add the dates and cherries into the processor with the cashews and continue to pulse. Don't worry if the mixture doesn't appear to be sticking together.
3. Tip the mixture into two 4" cake tins (see notes) and press together. Place in the fridge to set a little whilst you prepare the cheese mixture.
4. In the food processor, blitz the drained, soaked cashews. They more than likely will not become smooth on the first process, don't worry.
5. Place the cherries and almond essence into the processor and puree together with the cashews.
6. Add the coconut oil and continue to process until smooth.
7. Pour the cheese mixture onto the base, return to the fridge for a couple of hours.
8. Before serving, loosen around the edge with a knife and remove from the tins.




Substitutions :
Cherries - Really any fruit will work, unlike some traditional cheesecakes set with gelatine, the enzymes in some fruit (such as mango) won't prevent the cake from setting.

Cashews - I'm not sure if any other nuts will soak like cashews do, other than walnuts

Coconut oil - I have seen some people use nut butters to set cheesecakes, however I know a lot of nut butters, are really quite liquid at room temperature, some people do keep these cakes in the freezer, but I prefer them somewhat warmer!!


Notes :


The tins I used were actually not tins, but rings, that is why they are placed on the baking sheet. If you use traditional tins, I suggest either line the bottom with greaseproof paper, or use a loose bottom tin.

Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 

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