Lemon Chia Muffins (dairy-free, gluten free)

I’ve got a bit of a busy weekend and my kitchen cupboards are woefully bare so I wanted to see what I could whip up that wouldn’t take long and used what I had left in the fridge and cupboard. These muffins are the result!  It’s been such lovely weather this week here that I was really in the mood for something light and refreshing and something lemony seemed to fit the bill. These muffins use courgette but don’t let that scare you – you really can’t taste the courgette. It gives them a lovely moistness though and quite a cool greenish hue! 🙂 Chia seeds are my egg replacer of choice here – they work really well in muffins and they’re packed full of goodness so there’s an added bonus there. These take only a few minutes to make so are perfect for a busy saturday afternoon and would be great for a picnic.

200g Courgette (grated – you can peel it if you want but I don’t bother)

2 tbsp Chia seeds + 6 tbsp water

120g Unrefined golden caster sugar (you can substitute this for 100g honey/sweet freedom/agave)

Zest of 1 Lemon

150g Rice flour

50g Ground almonds

2 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Golden icing sugar

a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Chia seeds for decoration

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Put the 2 tbsp of chia seeds and 6 tbsp water in a bowl, give them a good stir and leave to soak until the chia seeds have absorbed the water (this may take up to 10 mins and they will end up jelly-like). Put the sugar (or sugar substitute) in a bowl and add the soaked chia seeds and mix well. Add the lemon zest and grated courgette and mix with a fork. Add the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix well. If using sugar the mixture may be a bit dry, add 1 – 2 tbsp water if so. Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in a muffin tin (this should make approx 12 small muffins) and place in the oven for 30 – 40 mins until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out pretty much clean.These muffins are quite moist so there may still be some mixture on the skewer. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing mix the golden icing sugar with a few drops of lemon juice (to taste) and water until a smooth paste is formed. Wait until the muffins are totally cool before icing, then ice and sprinkle with chia seeds. These muffins can be frozon before being iced and will last a few weeks in the freezer (just ensure they’re inside a plastic bag or container to prevent freezer burn!).

Enjoy! 🙂


I can’t wait to try these – they sound fab and a great alternative to a normal creme egg! 🙂

Fork and Beans

So here is the where the post originally headed:

These Cadbury Creme Eggs really turned out beautifully. If only things taste as good as they look.  Kinda like my Lucky Charms. I just loved their look but truth be told, there really is no turn-on for tons of powdered sugar. Same with these eggs. They just did not taste good. At all. I tried to create a recipe and failed twice and then I veganified this recipe {which yielded these pictures} but 3 cups of powdered sugar in a recipe = unedible, in my opinion.

But I didn’t want to give up. It’s Easter, for God’s sake! Cadbury Eggs are a must, so I set out to make a raw version that was not only edible, but also didn’t leave a horrible aftertaste in your mouth. Oh, and were actually something that you would want to eat. Though they are definitely not as pretty, they…

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Fun Fairy No-dairy Cakes – for you and the kids (or just you..!)

Everyone loves a fairy cake don’t they? And I bet you all remember the first time you made them with mum, or dad, or gran or the cat! 😉 I certainly do and whenever I see them now they take me right back to those days – the excitement of watching them rise in the oven, getting to lick the bowl, and the best bit – icing and decorating them! So I thought, as spring is in the air, Easter is coming up, and school holidays are on the horizon that it was about time to post a fun recipe for fairy cakes that’s dairy free and low gluten for you to make with the kids. It’s not just for kids though – I don’t have kids and I still loved making them (not sure what that says about me though 😉 ) and better yet they’re only about 125 kcals each!

These went down well with my tasters Colette (from Pure Form Fitness Kitchen) and her hubby Rod, “better than normal cupcakes” apparently :). My Gran (who is 97 and an amazing baker) told me it was the best cake she’d tried so I take that as a good thing 🙂 See what you all think 🙂

1 cup of non-dairy milk (I used Soya milk but you could use almond milk or coconut milk if you prefer)
1 tsp Cider apple vinegar
1 1/4 cups Spelt flour
2 Tbsp Cornflour
3/4 cup Raw unrefined sugar/ coconut palm sugar
3/4 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
1/3 cup Olive oil
2 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
Raw golden icing sugar/normal icing sugar – enough to ice them!
Juice of half a lemon (if you want lemony icing)
Decorations – mini eggs, flake, smarties, your choice of non-dairy chocolate, sugar balls etc
Kids (optional 😉 )

Preheat oven to 350 F. Put the soya milk and vinegar together in bowl and whisk together, then leave to curdle for a few minutes. Add the soya milk mixture, oil, sugar and vanilla extract to a large bowl and mix together. Sieve the flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the liquid mixture and stir well until no large lumps remain. Pour into cupcake liners in a muffin pan – this should make approximately 15 cakes. Place in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once done place on a wire rack to cool.

Easter fairy cakes 🙂

Wait until they’re really cool to ice them. Mix up some icing using the icing sugar and a few drops of fresh lemon juice (if desired) and water until you get a paste-like consistency. Ice the cakes and then let the fun begin – decorating! The world is your oyster – you can do whatever you like. For Easter why not try making some little chocolate birds nests or flowers, or you can have a go at a little bunny. To make the ears slice the top off one of the cakes (inevitably you will have one that has risen too high so you can use that) and carve into ear shapes. Ice lightly and then stick on with more icing. They tend to flop a bit but I kinda like that! 🙂 Then eat!

Dairy-free, Spelt Shortbread

I have some friends who love shortbread so I thought I’d try to make some dairy-free, “healthier” shortbread for them. I’ve stuck with spelt flour here as it’s easier to work with than the gluten free flours but I may have a play around with gluten free blends later 🙂 This recipe was a little too sweet for my primary taster so if you don’t like things too sweet reduce the sugar to 1/3 cup. If you like things sweet then up the sugar to 3/4 cup 🙂

wholewheat shortbread

For my first attempt I used white spelt flour and olive oil, for my second batch I lowered the sugar to 1/3 cup and used wholewheat spelt flour and a mix of almond and hazelnut oil. I think I prefer this version – it’s nuttier and the wholewheat gives it a real crunch. It would be better with only almond oil I think but I didn’t have enough! 🙂

1 1/2 cups and 1 tbsp Spelt flour
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp Rice flour Rice Flour
1/2 cup Raw unrefined sugar (golden cane sugar or coconut palm sugar)  (plus some to sprinkle on top)
1/8 tsp Himalayan rock salt
1/4 tsp Baking powder
2/3 cup Olive oil / Almond oil / Hazelnut oil/ Canola Oil  (Or butter 5 1/2 Oz)
2 tsp Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 F. Line an 8″ sponge tin (or shortbread tin) with greaseproof paper. Put the sugar in a food processor and pulse until it’s more of a powder. Don’t worry too much if you can’t get it really powdery – just make sure it’s broken down a bit. Mix the flours, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and add the sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and vanilla extract, then combine well using a metal spoon. Keep going until you have a smooth dough then transfer it to the pan and press it down firmly. Using a fork make holes in the top and with a knife score the shortbread lightly into 8 segments. Sprinkle the top with raw sugar if using.

Place in the oven for 40 – 45 mins. Remove and allow it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes then score it again. Take it out of the pan and break the wedges apart and leave to cool on a wire rack. Stored in an airtight container. It can also be wrapped in clingfilm and frozen at this stage – just make sure when you defrost it you defrost it on a wire rack, outside the container you froze it in.

These are perfect with a cup of coffee and also make a fab gift for Easter, Christmas or any time in fact! 🙂

Marmalade Loaf – low gluten, dairy-free

My mum makes excellent marmalade, marmalade so good even Paddington Bear would be licking his little furry lips 🙂 Soooo as it’s mother’s day weekend and in honour of my amazing Mum and her expert culinary skills I’ve decided to use her yummy marmalade and make a marmalade loaf! This is dairy-free and low-gluten. The oil makes it super moist and the tanginess of the marmalade really goes well with the sticky sweetness of the loaf. If you liked my scrumptious carrot cake or Banana bread you will definitely like this 🙂 If you find marmalade a bit too bitter for your liking, just up the amount of icing sugar in the glaze, or use a different preserve for the glaze.

200g Spelt flour (you could use a gluten-free flour mix if you prefer)
100g Raw golden caster sugar
1 tsp ground all spice
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
zest of 1 Orange
zest  of ½ Lemon
100g Currants, raisins and sultanas
140ml Olive oil or Almond oil
5 tbsp Homemade seville marmalade
125ml Soya milk
1 tsp White wine vinegar
2 tbsp Raw golden icing sugar
1 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar/ raw unrefined sugar

Pre-heat oven to 150 – 160C. Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.  Put the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, ground allspice, caster sugar, orange and lemon zest and dried fruit into a bowl with a pinch of salt and mix together. Put the oil and 2 tbsp of the marmalade in a pan and heat very gently to soften the marmalade. Don’t let the mixture get too hot. Once the marmalade has melted stir in the milk (it won’t combine properly but just give it a good mix). Pour all this into the flour mixture, add the white wine vinegar and mix well. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and place in the oven for an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the loaf is cooking you can make the glaze. Add 3 tbsps marmalade and 2 tbsp water to a pan. Heat gently and add the icing sugar. Stir and continue to warm gently until it’s bubbling and syrupy. You may need to add more icing sugar to taste and to ensure it goes sticky. Whilst warm it will be runny though so allow to cool slightly if unsure. You can always reheat to make it liquid again.

When the loaf is cooked remove from the oven and pour the glaze onto the top of the load and sprinkle with the coconut palm sugar. Let it cool in the tin and don’t try to cut it until it’s cool (or if you’re like me, ignore that last bit of advice and have fun picking up all the crumbly bits as it falls apart 🙂 )

Better Buns! Hot cross ones that is…

Last week I posted a recipe for dairy-free, gluten free hot cross buns. The taste was spot on but they were a little dense for my liking. I’ve still not worked out the best gluten-free flour mix to use but I had a go with spelt flour and tweaked the recipe just a tad and these are great! They’re not gluten-free, but they are low gluten and spelt flour is often tolerated much better by people with gluten intolerance than normal flour so they’re not awful 🙂

So basically I used white spelt flour, instead of the rice flour, corn flour and xanthan gum and upped the yeast a bit…and….. we have… yummy buns! 🙂 woohoo! 🙂


Healthy Ice Cream!

This is so simple I’m embarrassed to call it a recipe! I love ice cream – on it’s own, with cake, in a cone, on a stick – it’s all fab! Sooo I’ve had a go at a healthy version and I’ve surprised myself!

All you need to do is take sone bananas, chop them into slices and freeze for at least an hour. Once frozen pop them in a blender, food processor or vitamix and blend! It will take a while (5- 7 mins) but you’ll end up with an ice cream like consistency. Pop it in a bowl and eat! It’s lovely on it’s own or you can drizzle date syrup over it, or add some raw cocoa powder for a chocolate ice cream, or even other frozen fruits (berries work best)! Yummy! 🙂


Chunky Cherry Chocolate Mini Loaves

This is another one of Isa’s recipes – it sounded so good I just had to try it and it definitely doesn’t disappoint! You don’t have to use mini-loaf tins for this, you could just use muffin tins but loaves taste better for some reason! You can get the tins here.

I won’t waste anymore time talking about these – just get stuck in! 🙂

1/2 cup Apple puree

1/4 cup Almond butter

1/3 cup Cocoa powder

1/3 cup Almond milk/soya milk/any non-dairy milk

1/3 cup + 2 tbsp boiling water

3/4 cup Coconut palm sugar/ unrefined raw sugar

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1 tsp Chocolate extract (if you don’t have this then use another tsp vanilla extract)

1/8 tsp Almond extract

1 1/2 cups Gluten-free flour mix (or spelt flour if you’re not worried about gluten-free)

3/4 tsp Bicarbonate soda

3/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt

4 oz Chocolate chopped into chunks (use vegan chocolate if you want to keep this dairy free – my favourite vegan recommends green and black’s)

1 cup chopped Sweet cherries

Preheat oven to 175 C and boil the kettle (no, not for tea – though that wouldn’t hurt!).

Put the apple, almond butter, milk and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Add 1/3 cup boiling water and mix quickly with a fork to make a thick chocolate sauce. Add the sugar and extracts and mix well. Sieve half the flour, bicarbonate soda and salt into the mix and mix gently. Add 1 tbsp boiling water and mix again. Add the rest of the flour mixture and another tbsp boiling water and stir until smooth. Go gently – don’t over mix. Finally add the chocolate chunks and cherries and fold in to the mixture.

Pour into the tins (this recipe will give approx 8 – 9 tins) and put in the oven for 25 – 30 mins.

Fresh out the oven

Check they’re done by sticking a skewer in the centre, if it comes out clean they’re done (bear in mind you may hit a cherry or chocolate when you do this so you’re looking for a lack of cake dough on the skewer – chocolate or cherry juice is fine!). Allow to cool in the tins for 10 mins then take out of the tins and cool on a wire rack. They really need to be eaten warm so the chocolate is all melty! 🙂 Yum Yum Yum! 🙂


Hot Cross Fun!

Another weekend and another challenge! This time to have a go at some “healthy” hot cross buns!

So here goes – gluten-free, dairy free hot cross buns! If you’re not fussed about gluten free you could substitute the cornflour, rice flour and xantham gum for spelt flour. If you like it you can use candied peel instead of the orange and lemon zest too. I don’t think this recipe is quite right yet – the flavour seems to hit the mark, and they look ok (if a bit “rustic”) but they are quite dense. I willl have another play around with the recipe next weekend I think and see if I can impove it. I do wonder if it’s the flour mix causing the denseness? I’d be interested to hear how others get on if they try these 🙂 Being a little dense isn’t too much of a bad thing – I still managed to devour 3 of them in one sitting! 🙂

150g Cornflour

100g Rice flour

1.5 tsp Dried yeast

0.5 tsp Xanthan gum

2.5 tbsp Coconut palm sugar / unrefined raw sugar

0.5 tsp Himalayan rock salt

1 tsp Mixed spice

0.25 tsp Ground cinnamon

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 orange

50g  Olive oil

225 ml Warm water

100g Raisins / currants

For the Cross (optional)

4 tbsps Rice flour

1.5 tsps Cornflour

pinch of Xanthan gum

1.5 tbsps Coconut palm sugar/ unrefined raw sugar

enough water to make a pipeable paste

For the glaze: 3-4 tbsps Golden syrup

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Put the flours, yeast, xantham gum, spices, sugar, salt and orange and lemon zest into a bowl and mix well. Next add the oil and then start to add the water gradually, mixing as you go using a wooden spoon. The mix will have the consistency of a cake batter. Beat until all the lumps are gone. Finally stir in the raisons/currants. Scrape the mixture into the centre of the bowl and cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for approximately 10 mins. It won’t rise dramatically but it will bulk up a bit.

The proof is in the pudding.... or the hot cross bun dough!

While you wait you can make the dough for the cross. Put the flours, sugar and xantham gum into a small bowl and add enough water and mix to make a pipeable paste. Put this mixture into a piping bag, or if like me you don’t have one just pop it in a small plastic sandwich bag and then cut off the corner to pipe through.

After the dough has sat for 10 mins spoon it out onto a baking tray. Try to give your buns as much height as possible when you put the dough out. Pipe the white cross over them. Cover the tray loosely with clingfilm and leave to prove in a warm place for another 5 mins.

Place then in the oven for 10 – 15 mins. Check them regularly – the tops should start to brown and they should sound hollow when tapped on the base! Once done remove from the oven and allow to cool. If you want to glaze them then gently warm the golden syrup and then paint over the top while the buns are cooling (warning it makes them deliciously sticky!).  Allow to cool.

These are definitely best eaten warmed or toasted with some lovely home-made jam! 🙂

Munchie buster! Raw Cocoa-orange balls!

These are a perfect snack if you want something chocolatey but a little more filling. You can use orange zest or natural orange flavouring – whichever (or both if you like it really orangey). You can also leave out the orange altogether and just have them plain chocolate. They are around 158 cals per ball, but it very much depends how large you make them of course! This recipe makes approx ten.


You will need:

175g cashews

200g Medjool dates, pitted

20g rasins

30g cocoa powder (plus a little extra for rolling)

Zest of 1 orange or natural orange flavouring 

Pop the cashews food processor and pulse until they’re in small pieces.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the processor and pulse until you have a sticky dough. 

It’s very sticky at the moment so scoop it out into some cling film and pop in the freezer for around 20 mins. 

Once it’s a little firmer, remove and roll into small balls. Roll the balls in cocoa powder and then store in the fridge in an airtight container. 

Enjoy 🙂