Raspberry and vanilla heart biscuits 


I thought I’d have a go at some cute valentine’s biscuits this year. These can be gluten free or not depending on what flour you use. They’re dairy free but do contain eggs. They look fab and are a lot simpler to make than they look!


Give them a go this Valentine’s 🙂

You will need:

300g plain flour (or plain gluten free flour)

200g dairy free margarine 

120g golden caster sugar

2 egg yolks

30g freeze-dried raspberries

2 tsp vanilla extract

Put the flour and margarine (chopped or in small bits) in a food processor and pulse until it forms a crumb-like texture. Add the egg yolks and sugar and then pulse again until it forms a dough. 

Take 1/3 of the dough and put in a separate bowl. Add the vanilla extract to the remaining 2/3 and pulse again to combine. Then remove that dough and leave it in the fridge to chill. 

Put freeze dried raspberries into the processor and whizz until a fine dust. Add the 1/3 of the dough you removed to the raspberries. Pulse to combine.  Put the dough in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. 

Once chilled roll out the raspberry dough and cut out small heart shapes (I used a small 3cm heart cutter). It doesn’t matter exactly how thick they are as you will take all the cut out hearts and stack them together. Press them carefully together, ensuring you maintain the heart shape. Wrap in cling film and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours (you can do all this but one day and leave it overnight too).

When you’re ready to make the biscuits take the heart-roll out the freezer and the vanilla dough out of the fridge. Make three cylinders of the vanilla dough that are the length of the heart-roll. Stick them on to the heart-roll and carefully press them around it until you have completely covered the hearts in a circle. 


Wrap and pop in the freezer for 20 mins or so, then remove and cut into 1cm slices. 


Place them on a baking tray and pop them into a preheated oven at 170 C for 20 – 25 mins or until the edges start to turn golden. Allow them to cool on the tray for ten mins and then transfer to a wire rack.


They’re crumbly and yummy! Enjoy with a cup of tea or give them to someone you love!

Chocolate and Nut butter molten pud – dairy and gluten free


Sometimes you just need a bit of chocolate pud and this little beauty is quick and easy to whip up, tastes amazing and has a respectable 14g of protein to boot!

You can use any nut butter you like in this (or you can leave it out completely) – I used normal peanut butter for two, and then cos my hubby isn’t a fan of peanut butter I put some ‘hognuts’ choc mint flavoured almond butter in the others – which I have to say, was AMAZING! These are best served immediately but aren’t too shabby when left to cool either 🙂 


You will need:

120g Ground almonds

2 Eggs

4 tbsp Cocoa powder 

6 tbsp Soya/almond/oat milk

2 tsp Vanilla extract

1 tsp Baking powder

4 tbsp Coconut or Maple syrup

4 small tbsp Nut butter of choice

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Put the almonds, cocoa powder and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. Add the two eggs, coconut syrup and vanilla extract and mix really well so there are no lumps.  


Grease four small ramekins with a little almond or olive oil and divide the mixture between them. Add a tbsp of your nut butter of choice in the middle and place in the oven for approx 15 – 20 mins. Start checking at 15 mins and remove when a skewer comes out clean. 


Eat whilst still warm! 

Apple, Plum and Blackberry Almond Cake 


I love this time of year – all my favourite fruits are just coming in to season. I was lucky enough to receive some delicious homegrown plums from my mum’s garden, some apples from my lovely friend Mandy, and we foraged for some wild blackberries locally so I couldn’t resist putting them all together in this yummy almond cake!

It’s so quick and easy to make and is gluten and dairy free too!


You will need:

125g unrefined Raw sugar or Coconut palm sugar

200g Ground almonds

2 Eggs

100 ml Almond oil (you can use mild Olive oil if you prefer

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

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

Late summer fruits of your choice – plums,apples, blackberries etc 

Ground cinnamon (for dusting)

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and line and grease a 20cm cake tin – if you have a springform tin then use that as it makes it easier to get it out without it breaking. If not a loose bottom tin is the best option.

Add the oil and sugar to a bowl and use a hand mixer to beat together (you can do it by hand with a fork if not). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Then add in the extracts and mix well. Fold in the ground almonds with a metal spoon. Once mixed pour in to the tin.

Prepare your fruit. Half (or quarter if they’re big) the plums, remove the stone. Peel, core and slice the apples, wash the blackberries. Place the fruit in to the batter. Push them down a little bit so they’re well bedded in there. Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon.


Pop in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. It is worth starting to check it at about 20 minutes. Once a skewer comes out clean then it’s done. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then carefully remove it and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!🙂

Ape Crispy Coconut Curls – A review of a delicious savoury snack!


Well these kinda won me over right from the off – the anthropologist and monkey Dr in me was naturally drawn straight to any snack called Ape Crispy Coconut Curls and thrilled to be sent some to try. They’re made by a small london based company which also ticks lots of boxes for me as I’m always keen to support small businesses.

IMG_1804

So unlike most coconut-based snacks these are actually savoury, not sweet – which is fab! Finding a healthy, tasty alternative to things like crisps can be really tough and I’ve tried lots of savoury snacks in the past but I think these hit the spot the best. They are little bags of delightfully crispy coconut shavings with either a light dusting of black pepper or salt.

IMG_1807

Coconut is an awesome thing to snack on – it’s full of fibre and has more protein and less carbs than other savoury snacks like popcorn or potato crisps. They’re also full of good fats – medium-chain triglycerides which are linked to lots of healthy benefits increased calorie burning and make a great fuel as they’re easy for the body to metabolise. They also have antioxidant, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

So on to the curls themselves. They’re completely natural with only two ingredients – the coconut and seasoning and are dried, not fried. I tried both flavours and loved both of them! So much I wolfed them down!

IMG_1812

The slightly peppered flavour has just enough punch to give you a peppery hit without being overbearing and is super tasty. The lightly salted variety is also delicious – again not too salty but just enough to hit any savoury craving. The packs do look small so I was a bit worried they wouldn’t be enough but actually because coconut is so filling it was the perfect portion size.

IMG_1817

I will definitely be getting these again – they’re a brilliant on-the go snack, they’re only 107 – 109 kcals and are gluten-free and vegan so everyone can enjoy them! Grab yourself a few bags and start munching happy!

If you want to find out more check out their website www.apesnacks.com or their facebook page  and look out for them in Ocado, Morrisons, Planet Organic, As Nature Intended, Revital and Nourish (as well as some independent cafes etc).

 

Raw Halo raw chocolate bars – a review


I’ve been dying to tell you all about these delicious raw chocolate bars from Raw Halo. I was lucky enough to be sent three beautifully presented little bars: Pure Dark, Mylk + Crispies and Dark + Sour Cherry and Almond.

IMG_1784

First off they are so wonderfully packaged – they look beautiful and like a real luxury treat – which  I love! The design is so lovely – modern, classy and yet still indulgent. They are hand wrapped and feel that way – I feel a little like Charlie unwrapping his Wonka bar and finding a golden ticket when I open them!

I tried the Pure Dark first – this was silky smooth and lovely and thin. It had a really intense flavour. It’s nutty and slightly fruity and just a little bit bitter. A really lovely texture too – melts in the mouth, just like you want chocolate to.

IMG_1803

The Mylk + crispies bar was next. It has half the amount of sugar compared to other raw chocolate bars which is great! And is sweetened with coconut sugar and lucuma. This one is totally dairy free yet still so creamy. The cripsies are buckwheat and add a really lovely crunch to the bar. Again this is really smooth and thin and melts in your mouth. Super yummy! Even better if dunked in a cup of tea (very quickly!!).

IMG_1786

Last but by no means least the classic combination of Cherry and Almond – this is definitely my favourite flavour. The sourness of the cherries is just right – not too sour but a lovely sweet hit and deliciously chewy. This is balanced with the nuttiness of the almond extract and the intensity of the dark chocolate. I didn’t want this bar to end! So many flavours in such a small bar – but they work perfectly! Again this is especially good with a cup of tea  🙂

IMG_1790

I really enjoyed all of these bars and can’t wait to try the rest of their range – which sound amazing (see them all here). I love that they are raw and vegan (apart from their Mylk + Salted Caramel flavour), they’re gluten-free, GM free and lactose free. They feel like such a treat and would make a perfect gift for someone. It’s so hard to find raw chocolates presented in such a beautiful way and with christmas on the horizon I’ll certainly be ordering some of these as gifts for friends and family.

 

 

 

 

Coconut Apple Bites – a delicious alternative to apple pie!


These are absolutely delicious – quick and easy to make and so much better than a slice of apple pie – but taste just as good – if not better!

IMG_1774

Depending on how large your apples are you may need more or less of the crust – you may just have to adjust. Don’t worry about having to buy oat flour – you can make your own – just pop some porridge oats in to a blender and blend until fine.

Here’s a video showing you exactly how to make them 🙂

You will need:

1 cup Oat flour

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 cup Desiccated coconut

4 tbsp Coconut syrup (I use Bali Nutra)

1 – 2 Apples (depending on size. I used Bramley’s)

Warm water – up to 4 tbsp

IMG_1775

Pre-heat the oven to 175 C.

Peel, core and dice your apples – you want chunks about an inch square. If you don’t want them to go brown you can pop them in cold water with some lemon/lime juice in. I don’t really mind if they go a little brown so I don’t bother.

Pop the oats and coconut in a bowl, mix the spices in and stir together. Add the coconut syrup and mix to form a dough. You need a workable but sticky dough so you may find you need to add a little water. I prefer not to add more coconut syrup as it gets too sweet but it’s up to you.

IMG_1776

Take a spoonful of the crust mixture and flatten in your hand. Pop a piece of apple in the middle and cover it in the crust dough.

IMG_1766

Pop on a lined baking tray. Once all the apples are covered pop in the oven for 10 – 15 mins – turning once. You want them to crisp up and go golden brown.

IMG_1778

Eat warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container for later.

IMG_1770

Wild blackberry Banana N’ice cream


That time of year has come around again – wild blackberry foraging time!  We went for a lovely walk yesterday and got a huge box full so I thought I’d better start using them.

The sun was shining earlier and that obviously put me in the mood for ice cream so I whipped up a quick batch of wild blackberry n’ice cream.

Super easy as always – you just need  3 – 4 frozen bananas (peeled and chopped before freezing) and a good handful of blackberries. Pop the bananas in the blender (a high speed one) and blitz until they start to form a creamy mixture. Throw the blackberries in and blitz again. I like to leave some of the blackberries as pieces so I don’t blitz fully but it’t up to you.

Delicious as it is, or even better sprinkled with my cinnamon spiced coconut caramelised nuts (recipe here). Enjoy!