Mint Chocolate Mousse and N’ice cream layered dessert – dairy and gluten free


Does anyone else remember those mint chocolate swirled mousse/ice cream dessert things we used to have as children? They came in a little pot, they were mostly sugar and air but they tasted amazing! I’m such a massive mint choc fan and was feeling a little nostalgic so thought I’d see if I could recreate something similar but a little more classy.

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This would make a great dinner party pud – it looks fab and tastes amazing. You can prepare the mousse and the n’ice cream in advance and then put it together in a few mins. It’s also a great healthy, high protein treat for you or the kids on summer evenings.

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This also gave me a chance to use the yummy choc shot I was sent my the lovely people over at sweet freedom for something other than pouring liberally over my porridge and soya yoghurt :)  The mousse recipe is based on Colette’s recipe from The Pure Form Fitness Kitchen and the n’ice cream is my recipe from the other day (here) which I’ll re-post below for ease.

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This will make approx 2 large layered desserts.

For the mousse you will need:

1 packet of Silken tofu

2 tbsp Cocoa powder

2 tbsp sweet freedom Choc Shot (you may want to add a little extra if you want it sweeter)

Natural peppermint extract (to taste)

Pop all the ingredients except the peppermint extract in to your blender/processor and mix well until combined. Have a little taste and add a little more choc shot if you feel you need it. Then add the peppermint extract to taste and mix. Store the mousse in the fridge until you’re ready to prepare the dessert (it will last up to a week – it may separate a little but just stir it before you use it).

For the n’ice cream you will need:

Frozen bananas – I used 4 medium bananas

Handful of spinach (adjust according to how green you want it!)

Couple of tbsp Cacao nibs (or you can use any dark chocolate – sugar free or not – your choice)

Natural peppermint extract (to taste) (or fresh mint leaves if you happen to have some)

Pop the bananas in to a high speed blender – I use my trusty vitamix but any blender that can handle ice will do, and blitz it to start to break up the bananas. Once they start to smoosh up (technical term ;) ) add the spinach a little at a time. Then add a few drops of peppermint extract – the amount will depend on how minty you like it! You don’t want it tasting like mouthwash though so go easy to start with! Keep blitzing it and stirring it in until the spinach is combined and the colour you want. Remove from the blender and stir the cacao nibs/chopped chocolate through it.

It melts fast so if you’re making it just before you serve it then that’s fab, but if not then you can refreeze it – ideally refreeze in ice cube trays (or small portions) and then when are ready to put the dessert together pop the cubes in to the blender and give it a very quick blitz!

Assemble the pud

Add a layer of mousse, then a layer of n’ice cream and top with another layer of mousse in a glass, sundae dish or bowl. Top with a sprig of fresh mint and enjoy!

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Mint choc chip N’ice cream – dairy, gluten and sugar-free!


Now it’s getting warmer I’m craving ice cream and I absolutely love mint choc chip ice cream so I thought I’d whip up a batch of a slightly less naughty version!

This is as good, if not better, than the traditional stuff and only has four ingredients!

The ingredients below made about 5-6 generous scoops but it will depend on the size of the bananas so you may need to adjust quantities a bit. Don’t be scared about the spinach – you really can’t taste it at all and it gives not only a great nutrient boost but a lovely green colour :)

I always have frozen bananas in my freezer for smoothies, banana bread etc. I don’t like over ripe bananas so if they ever start to get too ripe I chop them up and pop them in freezer bags. Then they’re ready to use any time! So first things first – freeze some bananas!

You will need:

Frozen bananas – I used 4 medium bananas

Handful of spinach (adjust according to how green you want it!)

Couple of tbsp Cacao nibs (or you can use any dark chocolate – sugar free or not – your choice)

Natural peppermint extract (to taste) (or fresh mint leaves if you happen to have some)

Pop the bananas in to a high speed blender – I use my trusty vitamix but any blender that can handle ice will do, and blitz it to start to break up the bananas. Once they start to smoosh up (technical term ;) ) add the spinach a little at a time. Then add a few drops of peppermint extract – the amount will depend on how minty you like it! You don’t want it tasting like mouthwash though so go easy to start with! Keep blitzing it and stirring it in until the spinach is combined and the colour you want. Remove from the blender and stir the cacao nibs/chopped chocolate through it and serve!

It melts fast so get in quick! You can refreeze it – ideally refreeze in ice cube trays and then when you want to eat it pop the cubes in to the blender and give it a very quick blitz!

How easy was that? :)

Rhubarb and Cinnamon Cake – Dairy and Gluten free


After very kindly being given some freshly grown rhubarb (thank you Des and Lisa :) ) I thought I would try to do something different with it, rather than the classic crumble and came up with this little beauty! This is a moist but light cake and the tartness of the rhubarb goes so well with the warmth of the cinnamon. I choose to poach the rhubarb lightly first as I find it ensures it is non-stringy and deliciously soft.

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You will need:

Approx 350g Rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces

3 tbsp Apple juice and 1 tbsp Coconut sugar (for poaching)

1 1/4 cups of Gluten free self-raising flour (or you can make your own using plain gluten free or spelt flour plus 1 3/4 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt)

1/2 cup Ground Almonds

1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1/3 cup of Golden caster sugar (or other unrefined fine sugar)

1/3 cup Coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar)

3/4 cup Almond (or light Olive) oil

Up to 1 1/4 cup of Almond milk or Soya milk (or any other non-dairy milk)

2 tbsp Cider vinegar

2 heaped tsp ground Cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 160 C.

First you need to poach the rhubarb. Pop it in to a roasting tin (so it’s only one layer thick) and add the apple juice and 1 tbsp sugar. Cover with foil and bake for approx 15 mins (or until the rhubarb is a little soft – the time will vary depending on how thick your stalks are). Remove from oven, strain and set aside (keeping the juice – we need that later). Leave the oven on but increase it to 170 C.

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Place the flour, sugar, cinnamon and ground almonds in to a bowl and mix together.

Pour the juice from the poached rhubarb into a measuring jug (if there isn’t much don’t worry – use it anyway) and then add enough milk to give 1 1/4 cups in total of liquid. Add the vinegar and stir. Then add the bicarbonate of soda and mix (it will fizz!). Add this to the dry ingredients, and then add the oil. Stir it well and finally fold in the rhubarb.

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Pour in to a tin (I used a 20 x 20 cm tin) lined with greaseproof paper and pop in the oven for 35 – 45 mins (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins, then place on a wire rack. Cut and serve! :)

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Vegan Tuck Box – a review


I’ve had the pleasure of trying another fab little vegan subscription box – this time from The Vegan Tuck Box. 

This is a great little box of vegan treats that you can subscribe to and be sent monthly, or buy as a one off box for yourself or as a gift. This is very much a treat box and full of exciting snacks from around the world. They specialise in sourcing the more unusual, hard to find treats. They also offer a gluten-free version of the box so there’s something for everyone. You don’t need to be vegan to enjoy the treat – they’re delicious regardless.

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The selection is a surprise but is a range of snacks, chocolates, crisps and even drinks. What I also love about them, is not only do the products not harm animals, they actually donate 20p from each box to Hillside Animal Sanctuary so are actively helping animals too!

There are various options of box – classic boxes, mini boxes, vegan starter boxes, chocolate lovers box etc (more info here)!  I was sent a mini-box to try.

In that months box I got:

– NoNos – Peanut Butter

– Chia Charge – Protein Bar

– Freedom Mallows – Mallow Choc Dip

– TreeHugger – Gumballs

– Soypresso – Medium

The box arrived safely and well packed and I was excited to try these treats. A treat is so much better shared with a friend so I shared these with my friend Colette from The Pure Form Fitness Kitchen.

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These were like mini smarties I guess, but with a peanut butter filling. I love peanut butter and was excited to try these. There were smaller than I expected which meant we wolfed them down! They were very more-ish and very sweet but not that peanut-buttery really. In fact they reminded me more of a white chocolate/caramel flavour. They were still nice though so don’t be put off if you’re not a huge peanut butter fan as they don’t taste that peanutty! They would make an excellent alternative chocolate treat for kids too  – they’re colourful, fun, sweet and creamy.

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Chia Charge – Protein Bar

I’m a big fan of healthy, natural sources of protein to eat on the go so this was always going to be a winner for me. Love the combo of flavours – cacao and cranberry – choclately, tart but tasty. It’s sweet but not too sweet and packed with fab ingredients. It feels like a treat, but is nice and filling. Both Colette and I loved this but we did spend a fair amount of time picking chia seeds out of our teeth! Worth it though as it’s so good for you :)

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Freedom Mallows – Mallow Choc Dip

How fab to have some vegan marshmallows, and gluten free too! :) These were fun – I really enjoyed sharing them with Colette – they were yummy and definitely felt like a naughty treat! They’re super sweet so definitely best shared with a friend or loved one, but are delish. They’d be even better dunked in toasted coconut afterwards (in fact I may try that next time!).

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TreeHugger – Gumballs

Gosh we had such fun with these! They were a great little treat to have in our box. I hadn’t had bubble gum since I was a teenager so we had a laugh trying these. They are vegan but despite not having any gelatine in them they last just as long as “normal” bubble gum. . The flavours are natural but tasty and juicy. The bubbles weren’t a huge success but I think that may be more to do with the bubble blowers than the gum itself ;)

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Soypresso – Medium

This reminded me of being in Indonesia where cans of coffee drinks are all the rage (you can read more about my Indonesian monkey exploits over on my other blog – here). The cans over there are all dairy based so I was excited to try a Soya version. It’s creamy and has a strong coffee flavour which is fab. It’s rather sweet but in the summer, over ice, this would be a fab treat and if you usually sweeten your coffee you will love this! We were feeling generous so shared this with Colette’s husband Rod too. We all enjoyed it :)

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So all in all I would really recommend these boxes – they’re a fab way to explore and try new vegan treats that you won’t find in the shops. Do check them out (http://www.vegantuckbox.co.uk/) and you can even get 10% off subscriptions by using the code “blog10″ – so no excuses now! :)

Enjoy!

Apple and Coconut Cinnamon Caramel Swirled Loaf – Dairy free, Gluten Free and Vegan


This may be my best loaf recipe yet… This was so good I had to make it twice, in two days.. and it didn’t last long!


I was sent a bottle of this fab Coconut Syrup, which I was already a big fan of, and I’m really enjoying playing around with date caramel at the moment, so I thought why not combine the two in an appley-caramely-coconutty-squidgy loaf! The coconut syrup adds a lovely richness to the loaf which is fab. The syrup is great for drizzling over yoghurt, sweetening smoothies or pouring over your finished slice of loaf too! You can find out more here – Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup.


I’ve even done a little video too! :)


You will need:

2 cups Gluten-free flour or spelt flour
1 cup coconut palm (or any unrefined) sugar (plus a little extra to sprinkle on top)
1/4 cup Coconut Syrup
1/4 cup and 2 tbsps almond oil or olive oil
3/4 cup apple purée (make your own – instructions here)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut (plus a little extra to sprinkle on the top)
1/2 cup date caramel (recipe here)
1 tbsp Cocoa powder
1 small apple – diced
1/4 cup soya milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp himalayan rock salt

Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C. Line and grease a small loaf tin (approximately 8 inches x 4 inches).

Mix the flour, baking soda, coconut, cinnamon, allspice and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix the oil and sugar together until well combined. Add the apple purée and the soya milk (to which vinegar has been added), the coconut syrup and the vanilla extract. Add this mix to the flour mixture and stir well. Add the diced apple and stir well.

Remove about one cup of this batter and put it in a separate bowl. Stir the date caramel in to this mix. Add the cocoa powder and mix well – this adds a lovely richness to the batter and also darkens it to make the swirls more obvious, without giving a Chocolate flavour :)

Start by adding a layer of the plain batter in your loaf tin. Drop a few spoonfuls of the caramel batter and use a fork to marble it, then add another layer of plain batter. Continue to layer and marble the batters until you’ve used it up! Sprinkle with a little coconut sugar and desiccated coconut.

 


Place in the oven for an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

This is absolutely divine when warm and if you have any spare date caramel I highly recommend smearing some on top!

You can easily freeze this too – it keeps brilliantly.

A host of Easter Treats


With Easter upon us I thought I’d share a few of my favourite, slightly healthier but equally yummy Easter recipes.

So if chocolate is your thing then why not try some quick, raw chocolates like these chocolate coconut treats, or the raw chocolate filled eggs and fruit eggs, or if you fancy something with a little more kick – why not try the chilli chocs.

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Or how about whipping up some quick, cute, marzipan bunnies!

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What about creating a quick batch of Easter spiced biscuits, or some fresh, light lemon and chia cookies to dunk in your afternoon tea on Easter Sunday.

If you’re feeling adventurous you could try my coffee and amaretto cupcakes (using any instant coffee you have to hand).

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And finally..it wouldn’t be Easter without some hot cross buns right? Try my better bun recipe for some hot cross fun! :)

Happy Easter! :)

 

 

 

 

 

Caramel Buckwheat Crispy Squares – Dairy and Gluten free


When I was at school I used to take a Kellogg’s Rice Krispie Marshmallow square with me every day for my breaktime snack. Does anyone else remember them? I was addicted! All gooey and sweet… and delicious…but so full of rubbish…..

So I thought I’d recreate a healthier version of them! So I’ve had a play and come up with  Caramel Buckwheat Crispy Squares. Super easy to make and really scrummy! You could use any puffs you like – buckwheat, spelt, quinoa, rice…. These are better than the originals I think and not half as bad for you :)

You will need:

10 -12 medjool dates

2 tbsp Cashew or almond butter

1 – 2 tbsp warm Water

1 – 2 cups of Buckwheat (or any) puffs

Optional Chocolate for decoration:

1/2 cup Coconut oil (melted)

1/3 cup Cacao/cocoa powder

1/4 cup Coconut syrup

Start by making your caramel. Pit and chop the dates and pop them in to your blender together with the nut butter. Add a little of the water and blitz. You want to nice smooth caramel which is thick enough to hold the puffs together, so you may need to add a little more water but not too much. I have to say, watching the caramel in the blender is very pleasing… look….

Once you have a smooth but sticky caramel remove it from the blender. You will probably have more caramel than you need but that’s ok as you can use it for some other yummy treats like my apple cinnamon smoothie or homemade toffee poppets.

Put your puffs in a bowl and add a few spoonfuls of caramel. Stir it through and keep adding caramel until you have a sticky mess! Line a tupperware pot or tray with some baking paper and press the caramel puff mess in to the tray and push down well.

Pop in the freezer for at least an hour to set. It won’t set firm – it will be all sticky and chewy :)

Once set remove from the freezer, slice and serve!

If you want to decorate with raw chocolate then combine the coconut oil, cacao powder and coconut syrup and whisk with a fork. Drizzle the chocolate over the bars and then pop back in the freezer briefly to set. Enjoy!

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