Treating myself – Divaliciously Raw, a review


Every now and then it’s important to look after yourself, so when I stumbled across this site -Divaliciously Raw and all Gail’s amazing goodies I decided I should most definitely take the opportunity to treat myself to some deliciousness! I couldn’t decide what to try so went for the Valentine’s box, which gave me a taste of all her main products. Although that box won’t always be available as a package, all the contents are. They are all raw, gluten, wheat and egg free and vegan!

It arrived so beautifully packed – it really was like receiving a valentine’s gift! There was even a card!

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And then just look at how stunning these cakes look! I couldn’t believe it! Wow – just wow!

IMG_1275So in my box of goodies I got:

Raspberry Rapture Love Bomb

Magical Mint Love Bomb

Oriental Orange (Orange and Ginger) Love Bomb

Two Goji Bites

Ultimate bar

Zinger Bar

Unconditional Love Cake

Now where to start…Firstly they were all beautiful so it was really hard to know what to try first! I ended up going for the love bombs.

The love bombs were just perfect – lovely chocolatey coating, moist cake inside and then a surprise creamy filling. The flavours are really good in these and they really feel like a decadent dessert. They have a great nuttiness to them and a texture that really works. The creamy filling is definitely the best bit and it was hard not to eat them all at once! I’m not sure which my favourite flavour was to be honest – they were all so good!

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Goji bites – these were a lot larger than I expected – which was great! They’re a little harder in texture than the bombs and kinda crumble in to your mouth – which i really liked. Lovely flavours – nutty and with enough goji to really taste it and balance the chocolate.

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Ultimate bar and the zinger bar – these were both delish. The ultimate bar has mulberries, goji berries and buckwheaties in which give it a fantastic crunch and sweetness – this was great dipped in a cup of tea! The Zinger was just bursting with flavour from the Incan (golden) berries which were a great balance to the dark raw chocolate.

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Last and by NO means least – the unconditional love cake! Sharing is caring so I did share this – not only with my very good friend Colette, but also with my husband. And we all agreed this was out of this world. Raw chocolate, filled with raw chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, caramel and a malted cashew cream. Oh my word! This was just amazing! Definitely my favourite!

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So there you go! That was one big, delicious treat for me! I highly recommend you check out Gail’s page on facebook and place an order. The cakes aren’t cheap but the amount of love, care and sheer dedication that’s gone in to them mean they are most definitely worth every penny and they’re not small either so you’re getting a lot of cake for your buck! Do let me know if you try any!

 

 

Green Goodness Protein Smoothie


Starting today with this delicious, fully loaded, green glass of wonderfulness!

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If you’re worried about the kale and spinach – don’t be – you can’t really taste them. They just give the smoothie a lovely freshness and of course are packed full of fab nutrients.

I made up a batch of smoothie to last a couple of days so this will serve 2 – 4.

You will need:

3 bananas

2 cups of Almond/Soya milk

4 Tbsp Vanilla protein powder (I used Pure Form Fitness Protein Powder)

generous handful of Spinach

generous handful of Kale

handful raw Cashews

1 Tbsp Cashew butter (just to add a little extra creaminess but you could just add more cashews)

1 cup Ice

Optional – a drizzle of coconut syrup if you need it

Blend in a high speed blender and serve!

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A wonderful bowl of love! Chia pudding :)


I thought I’d treat myself with this gorgeous bowl of love!

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Mixed berry chia pudding swirled with chocolate coconut pudding, topped with cacao nibs, desiccated coconut and berries.

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For the berry pudding you will need:

2 tbsp Chia seeds
1 cup mixed Berries
1/2 cup Almond or soya milk
Liquid sweetener to taste (I used coconut syrup)

For the chocolate coconut pudding you will need:

2 tbsp Chia seeds
1 tbsp Cocoa powder
1/2 cup Coconut milk
1 tbsp desiccated Coconut
1 tsp Lucuma (or vanilla powder if you don’t have this, or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
Sweetener to taste ( I used a drizzle of coconut syrup)

For the topping:
Cacao nibs
Desiccated coconut
Berries

For both puddings mix the dry ingredients together well then add the wet ingredients. Mix really well and then allow to sit in the fridge for at least an hour before checking. Adjust the amount of liquid to suit – add more if it’s too thick or if too think you can add some more chia seeds. Let it sit for at least another hour.

Spoon the berry pudding into a bowl, add a couple of spoonfuls of chocolate pudding and then swirl through the berry pudding. Sprinkle with cacao nibs and desiccated coconut and add berries. Serve! :)

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Chia Threesome! Chocolate, Vanilla Caramel Cinnamon and Berry Pud


I thought I would have a little fun with some chia puds yesterday and what better, given it’s nearly Valentine’s day, than a decadent looking and tasting, yet totally healthy threesome pud!

I can almost feel the love! ;)

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This is super easy to make. Of course you don’t have to make three flavours – you can make two, or one! whatever you like! If you don’t have lacuma you can leave this out of the chocolate pud, and for the caramel one you can use maca instead (though go easy and keep tasting to get the taste you want, or use vanilla instead).

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For the Chocolate chia pud you will need:

5 tbsp Chia seeds

1 1/2 cups of Almond or coconut milk (or soya milk if you prefer)

1 tsp liquid sweetener (to taste) – you can use coconut syrup, maple syrup, agave, rice malt syrup – your choice

1 tbsp Raw cacao powder

1 heaped tsp Lacuma

 

For the Vanilla caramel cinnamon pud you will need:

5 tbsp Chia seeds

1 1/2 cups Coconut or almond milk (or soya milk if you prefer)

1 heaped tsp Lacuma

1 tbsp Mequite powder

1 tsp Cinnamon (to taste)

2 tsp liquid sweetener (to taste)

 

For the Berry chia pud you will need:

4 tbsp Chia seeds

1 1/2 cups of berries – I used blackberries, blueberries and strawberries

1 cup Almond or Coconut milk (or soya)

1 heaped tsp of Vanilla powder (if you don’t have this then use 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)

Liquid sweetener – to taste (I didn’t bother using any as I like my berries tart :) )

For each of the puds pop the chia seeds into a bowl (one bowl for each flavour), mix the dry ingredients in and then add the milk and liquid sweetener and mix really well with a fork. For the berry pud I pureed the fruits in a blender – blitzing them for a few seconds, then poured that straight over the seeds.

Make sure you mix really well and then cover and leave in the fridge to set for a few hours (at least). Check after an hour and give another stir. If you prefer a thicker texture add a little more chia at this point. If you want it a bit more liquid add a little milk.

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Once set remove from the fridge and layer in to your bowl or jar. Sprinkle some desiccated coconut on top and a couple of berries to decorate and enjoy!

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Pancakes! Super quick dairy and gluten free pancake recipe


I’d been having cravings for pancakes for weeks so the other weekend I whipped up a quick batch of these lovely gluten-free, dairy free fluffy pancakes!

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I used rice flour because it’s what I had in the cupboard but you could use buckwheat, coconut flour, spelt flour (if you’re not fussed about gluten) etc – just adjust the amount of milk if needed (with coconut flour you will need more).

You can serve these with anything you like – I went for berries, coconut syrup and banana ‘nice’ cream (frozen bananas blitzed in my vitamix). They’re also lovely with banana, chia jam and lemon curd – yum yum!

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You will need:

1 1/4 cup rice flour
1 tbsp Coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon (optional)
1 1/4 cup Soya/almond/coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp Almond oil (or another light oil)
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl.
Mix the wet ingredients in another and then add to the wet mixture. Stir well.
Heat a frying pan with a little oil – drop a good dollop of batter in, allow to cook, turning so both sides are done.

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Coconut Collaborative dairy-free yoghurts review

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I’ve waited until after the Christmas/ new year palava was all over with to post this – but I’ve been bursting to share it with you all!

The very lovely people over at the Coconut Collaborative were kind enough to send me some pots of their recently launched range of dairy-free coconut yogurts for me to try. This is truly a yoghurt for everyone – it’s free from dairy, soya and gluten so perfect for anyone with food allergies or following a dairy-free/vegan lifestyle.

They’re available in a few varieties- natural, raspberry (natural with a layer of raspberry compote), mango and passion fruit (natural with a layer of tropical fruit compote) and natural with berries and seeds (which comes with a little bag of seeds and berries for sprinkling).

They’re free from nasty additives and are made with only live coconut milk, dairy-free cultures and some starch to thicken them. The fruit compotes are natural too with no artificial sweetners etc. Best of all they are full of coconut fat – but it’s fat I hear you cry?! Yep but coconut fat is one of the best fats you can eat – it’s full of medium-chain fatty acids which means it’s a great fat to eat as it’s broken down and used for fuel, rather than being stored as body fat. Yay! :)

I was sent the raspberry and mango and passion fruit yoghurts to try. Both were simply delicious. The raspberry one is lovely – a little sweetness from the raspberry and a lovely light yoghurty tartness from the coconut yoghurt.

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The mango and passion fruit one is also really good and I had this with some tropical granola which was a divine combo! Once again  – it wasn’t too sweet but had a lovely tangy taste. These are a fab option for dairy-free yoghurts, and unlike other coconut yoghurts they’re not too rich which means they’re good any time of day – for brekkie, a snack, or even dessert.

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I’ve tried the natural one myself too and that’s also delicious and would also make a great alternative to sour cream on savoury dishes e.g. my pumpkin chili (posted over at The Pure Form Fitness Kitchen). On top of all of that they are also beautifully packaged!

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You really must try these – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The yoghurts are available from Waitrose, Ocado, some Tescos, Itsu stores, Daylesford Organics, Harvey Nichols and some local healthfood shops. They also make the most delicious ice cream too – so if you see that then grab yourself a pot as it’s amazing!

Check out their facebook and twitter accounts for more info :)

Nancy’s Mince Pies! gluten and dairy free!


It’s mince pie time again! whoop! It’s so hard to find plant-based, dairy and gluten free mince pies that don’t taste like cardboard so I decided to make my own and boy are they good! I could eat these by the dozen… and in fact I do!

This recipe has been posted here before but has recently been featured over at Pure Form Fitness Kitchen so I thought I’d repost for you :)

and here’s a little video of me making them too :

For the Pastry:

4 oz Buckwheat flour
2 oz ground Almonds
5 tbsp Agave nectar
Up to 6 tbsp Water

For the Mincemeat:

3 oz Bramley apples, cored and finely chopped
6 oz Mixed dried fruit (I prefer raisins, currants, cranberries and apricots)
1 oz Vegetable suet
2 oz Raw sugar (coconut palm or dark raw muscovado)
Juice and grated zest of half an Orange
1 level tsp of ground allspice
1 pinch ground Cinnamon
1 pinch ground Cloves
1 pinch grated / ground Nutmeg
1 small handful chopped Almonds
1 tbsp Date syrup

Make the pastry first. Put the buckwheat flour and ground almonds in a processor and add the agave. Pulse and gradually add the water until it forms a dough. You may find you need more or less water. If it is too wet add a little more flour. Once it is forming a firm dough remove, wrap in cling-film and place the mixture in the fridge. You can do this by hand if you prefer – just ensure you mix the flour and almonds thoroughly.

Put all the ingredients for the mincemeat into a saucepan. Cook on a low heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the apple is soft and the mixture is thick – it may take some time. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ gas mark 6.

Lightly oil a mini muffin tin with almond, coconut or hazelnut oil. Remove pastry from the fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Roll it as thin as you can – a few mm. Use a round biscuit cutter to cut out the bases. Place them in the tin. Place in an oven to blind bake for 5–10 mins. Keep an eye on them – this pastry browns quite fast. Once the edges are brown and the middle is firm remove them. While the cases are in the oven take a smaller star shaped (or any shaped) biscuit cutter to cut out the “lids”.

Roll and cut out the pastry cases and lids

Roll and cut out the pastry cases and lids

 

 

Place a generous helping of mincemeat in each of the cases and place your chosen “lid” on top. Lightly oil and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and raw sugar.

Fill the cases and add the lids

Fill the cases and add the lids

Place the pies back in the oven and bake until golden (5 – 7 mins but check regularly). Keep a careful eye on them. You want the tops to brown but be careful the bases don’t burn. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 mins, then remove and place on a wire cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Enjoy!