Almond Caramel N’ice Cream – quick, healthy and delicious


You can never have too much n’ice cream! Dairy, gluten and added sugar free – this is guilt free loveliness. I think this may be my favourite flavour yet! This is really scrummy and tastes divine. It doesn’t need any extra sugar as the bananas and date caramel give it tonnes of rich sweetness and creaminess. It’s also pretty quick to make. I usually make up a big batch of the date caramel so I can use it for other stuff (or just eat it by the spoonful!).


You will need:

8 – 10 Medjool dates (this will create extra caramel so reduce if you don’t want any spare)

1 tbsp Almond butter

1 tbsp hot Water

4 frozen bananas

Handful almonds

Drizzle of coconut, maple or date syrup

It’s best if you peel and slice your bananas for freezing as it makes it easier for the blender to handle so make sure your bananas are well frozen first.

First caramelise the almonds. Pop the almonds into a dry frying pan, add a good drizzle of maple, coconut or date syrup and heat. You need to keep an eye on this – you want it to start to bubble and thicken but not burn. Keep stirring so they don’t catch. Once the syrup is reduced down and they’re well coated tip them out in to some baking paper and allow to cool. You can break them apart once cool.

  

Then make the caramel. Chop the dates and pop in to a high speed blender together with the almond butter. Depending on how dry your dates are you may not need all the water so start with half. Process well, adding the rest of the water if necessary, until you have a smooth caramel. Remove this from the blender (don’t worry about getting every last bit out and there’s no need to clean the blender).

Pop your frozen bananas in to the blender and pulse to blend the banana. Once it’s almost smooth add a tablespoon or so of the caramel back in to the blender with the bananas (add as much as you want – to taste). Blend well and then serve with the almonds sprinkled in top. If you want to serve it later freeze in small portions (plastic food bags or ice cube trays work best) and reblend briefly before serving to remove any large ice crystals.


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Peanut butter and blueberry n’ice cream


Nothing beats a nice cold, creamy ice cream on a warm afternoon and this combo works so well together. If you’ve got bananas already frozen this only takes a few minutes to make! 🙂

Freeze your bananas ready diced – it makes blending them easier. Freeze for a few hours, ideally overnight if you can. They will stick together so give them a bash before you blend. If your blender can’t handle them then try blitzing in short pulses or add a very small amount of non-dairy milk,  but the juice from the blueberries will help anyway 🙂

You will need:

4 or so frozen bananas

1 cup blueberries or berries of your choice

1 – 2 tbsp peanut butter

Take half the bananas and pop in to a high speed blender / vitamix with the blueberries and blitz until smooth. It will melt fast so pop in freezer once done while you make the peanut butter one.

Take the other half of the bananas and 1 tbsp peanut butter and blitz. This will be thicker so you may need a small dash of milk. Once blended have a taste and add more peanut butter if you want. Blitz.

Serve together 🙂

If you want to keep it for later pop in the freezer – ideally in ice cube trays then pop out and re-blend briefly to eat (this breaks up the ice crystals that may have formed).

Homemade n’ice cream ‘Nobbly Bobbly’ – easy, healthy but super tasty!


I confess, I have a problem. I am addicted to Nobbly Bobblys. So to save myself from myself I’ve created my own version. These are divine! For me they hit that Nobbly Bobbly spot but with way less guilt! They’re dairy, gluten and sugar free (if you want them to be – with the exception of those little sugar balls on the outside which if you didn’t want to use you could substitute with desiccated coconut or chopped nuts or something instead :)). I didn’t use any sweetener in the chocolate coating as I find the sugar balls and natural sweetness of the n’ice cream is enough for me but its personal preference so if you want it a little sweeter then I’ve added the details below.


These are easy but take a little time. You are going to need quite a few frozen bananas and some lolly sticks. I got mine from Amazon but places like Lakeland or other baking stores will have them, and you may also find them in craft stores. If you have a lolly mould you can use this for the first layer too (I tried using a mould and moulding them without – both worked).

This amount made me 4 pretty large Nobbly Bobblys and I had some n’ice cream and chocolate to spare for a quick pud afterwards but it will depend how big you make them.


You will need:

For the chocolate layer 

4 frozen bananas

4 tbsp Cocoa powder

For the Strawberry layer 

4 frozen Bananas

4 large ripe Strawberries

6 – 10 Raspberries (you can use more strawberries instead, I just like the colour and flavour the raspberries give)

For the chocolate coating

1/2 cup Coconut oil (melted)

1/3 cup Cocoa powder

Optional – 1/4 cup Coconut syrup/ maple syrup/ rice malt syrup / any liquid sweetener

Sugar balls or dessicated coconut or nuts etc (if using sugar balls you’ll need at least a full pot, probably two if you’re as messy as me 😉 )

First clear some space in your freezer and find a suitable tray to lay the ice creams on. Cover it in baking paper and have your ice cream sticks handy.

Start with the chocolate layer. Pop the bananas and cocoa into a high speed blender (I use my vitamix) and blitz until you get a smooth consistency – you will need to do it in bursts and keep stirring in between. Remove from the blender and then as quickly as you can mould your first layer around the lolly sticks (Or in the mould if you’re using one). Place on the tray and in to the freezer. Leave for at least an hour. If they’re s bit messy don’t worry you can tidy them up with a knife before the next layer goes on.

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Next make the strawberry layer. Pop the bananas, strawberries and raspberries into the blender. Blitz until smooth. You will need to work quickly now. Remove the frozen chocolate layer from the freezer (tidy them up if you want to) and using a spatula add a layer of the strawberry n’ice cream all over and then pop back on the tray and get them back in the freezer for another 40 mins or more.

    

Once they’re frozen you can coat them. Mix the coconut oil and cocoa powder together with a fork or whisk (add the sweetener if you want to). If the coconut oil is very hot allow it to cool a little – it will stay liquid for ages so there’s no rush. Place on one side and pour your sugar balls (or whatever you are using) into a tray or plate and have it handy.  It’s best to work with one lolly at a time as they melt so fast. Warning this may get messy 🙂


Take your lolly and spoon the chocolate over one side and immediately press in it the sugar balls (or pour them over the top). Repeat over the whole lolly then get it straight back in the freezer on the tray asap. Do this for all your lollies.

  

Allow to freeze initially for at least 20 – 30 mins on the tray and then you can transfer them to a Tupperware box to keep them in the freezer until you want to eat them! Then enjoy! 

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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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!

Frangipane Mince Pie tarts


I know Christmas is over, but I never tire of mince meat! I did actually create these before the big day but didn’t get a chance to post the recipe until now. This was created on request from a special friend for her discerning hubby, and they seemed to go down well … in his words “this is the best thing you’ve ever baked”…! 🙂

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So if you have some leftover mince meat then give this a go! These include a layer of marzipan which is optional but I think adds a fab extra almondy loveliness! Make your own (recipe here) or buy a block of plain marzipan – but do buy the good stuff (Neideregger is a great brand).

The frangipane does contain egg but I’ve also posted an egg-free version below too! 🙂

If you fancy making up a batch of mince meat specially then the recipe is here

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For the pastry you will need:

4 oz Buckwheat flour

2 oz ground Almonds

5 tbsp Agave nectar

Up to 6 tbsp Water

For the frangipane you will need (this will be enough for 4 small tarts – 5 – 6cm diameter):

65g unrefined Raw sugar or Coconut palm sugar

100g Ground almonds

1 Egg

50 ml Almond oil (you can use mild Olive oil if you prefer)

1/8 tsp Vanilla extract

1/8 tsp Almond extract (if you have it)

Ground cinnamon (for dusting)

Flaked almonds (for decoration)

125g Marzipan (optional)

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 for 20 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven to 175 C.

Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out as thin as you can. Line mini tart cases (or one large flan/tart tin) with the pastry (you will probably have spare pastry left over). Brush with a little almond oil and then place in the oven to blind bake. They only need a few minutes – just until they start to brown very slightly at the edges.

Meanwhile make the frangipane. Pop the sugar and almond oil in a bowl and mix well together. Add the egg and extracts and mix again. Gently fold in the ground almonds until well mixed.

Once the pastry cases are starting to brown a little remove from the oven. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then spread a thin layer of mince meat (enough to cover the base). Thinly slice the marzipan and layer over the top.

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Then cover with a generous layer of the frangipane.Sprinkle flaked almonds over the top and a dusting of cinnamon. Then place in the oven for 15 – 20 mins or until the frangipane is cooked and a lovely golden brown.

Delicious served with custard or soya yoghurt at any time of year! 🙂

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Egg free frangipane recipe:

6 tbsp Coconut Oil (don’t melt it)
2/3 cup Coconut Palm Sugar / Unrefined Raw Sugar
1 and 1/4 cup Ground Almonds
2 tbsp Cornflour
pinch salt
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
2/3 cup Almond Milk
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract

Put the coconut oil, sugar, ground almonds, cornflour, cinnamon and salt in a food processor and pulse until well combined and all crumbly. Slowly add the almond milk, vanilla extract and almond extract whilst still pulsing the food processor until it forms a thick batter. This frangipane takes a bit more baking than the one above so keep an eye on the tarts and just remove when done.

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Mince Pies! Gluten and Dairy Free!


It’s mince pie time again! whoop! This year I’m trying out some mini ones – almost as I type! 🙂 but for now I thought I’d post my recipe for mincemeat and gluten and dairy-free pastry in case you fancy making a batch this weekend 🙂

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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.

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 & flour a 12 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 12 bases. Place them in the tin. Lightly brush with oil and use a fork to prick the base. 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 circular biscuit cutter to cut out the “lids” or you could use star shapes/ holly leaf shapes/lattice pattern – whatever takes your fancy 🙂

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. Place the pies back in the oven and bake until golden (10–20 mins). 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.

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