Raw Vegan Salted Caramel Slices

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These Raw Vegan Salted Caramel Slices are heaven! Three layers made up of wholesome, refined sugar-free ingredients but absolutely no sacrifice on taste. The first layer is a soft oaty biscuit, the second is a rich date and tahini caramel and the third layer is dark homemade chocolate. These taste just like the caramel slices I used to buy at school only (in my opinion) better!

Ingredients

Biscuit Layer

100g Ground Almonds

100g Rolled Oats

2 tbsp Coconut Oil

1 tbsp Maple Syrup

Caramel Layer

200g Medjool Dates

1 tbsp Tahini

1 tbsp Coconut Oil

3 tbsp hot water

pinch of Salt

Chocolate Layer

100g Coconut Oil

60g Cocao Powder

4 tbsp Maple Syrup

1 tsp Vanilla Extract / powder

pinch of salt

– Using a food processor blend all of the biscuit ingredients together. Transfer to a lined 8inch square tin, pressing down the mixture evening so that it is compact. Place in the fridge to set while you make the caramel.

– Pit the dates and then whizz them up in the food processor until finely chopped. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to process until a smooth caramel is formed. It should be thick but spreadable. Evenly spread the caramel over the biscuit layer and place back in the fridge while you make the chocolate.

– Melt the coconut oil in the microwave and then add the rest of the chocolate ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Pour over the caramel layer, tap the tin a few times off the bench to evenly spread and burst any air pockets. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until the top layer has compete set and you are able to slice.

Enjoy!! X

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Nutty Chocolate Breakfast Bars 

Sweet, nutty, chocolatey, chewy…oh boy, these are good! These breakfast bars are great for when you are on the move, you can just pop them in your bag and eat them on your way to work if need be! They are delicious, filling and nutritious and the best thing is that you can experiment with what fruit and nuts you include. There’s no exact science with this, that’s why I just throw in the fruit and nuts as I please – you can find the combination and quantities that work best for you!

Ingredients – makes up to 8 bars

150g oats

5 neglet dates, chopped

Handful of almonds, chopped

Handful of raisins

Handful of pumpkin seeds

3 tbsp peanut butter

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

Simply put all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Melt the coconut oil and add this along with the maple syrup, peanut butter and flax egg to the mixture. Combine well and then transfer to a lined 20cm tin. Press down the mixture tightly, making sure the sides have defined edges. You might doubt whether the mixture will set at this point but when the coconut oil solidifies in the fridge the bars will hold there shape perfectly. Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours before cutting into bars.

Enjoy!

Recipe. Taste. Repeat

So this week I wanted to share with you some of the meals / desserts i’ve been loving lately. I’m making these things over and over again because 1) they are delicious 2) easy to make – win win!

First up – the pizza. Well me and Chris have dabbled in a bit of fake cheese in the past but to be honest, I wasn’t feeling it. I’d much prefer to make something different than try and replicate with a poor substitute. So I came up with a ‘recipe’ for a cheese free pizza, I use the word recipe loosely as I used a store bought pizza base mix (you just add water) ha! I added chilli tomato paste, nutritional yeast, onions, sundried tomatoes, lots of chopped garlic and then drizzled cheese-free pesto mixed with extra olive oil all over the pizza. I then put it in the oven on 180 degrees for about 10 minutes.

I find that the extra oil keeps the pizza moist and indulgent – standing in for the cheese. I can honestly say, hand on heart that we didn’t miss the cheese one bit. The pizza was absolutely delicious and went well halved with some home made chips! Well, it was Saturday 😉

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Deliciously Ella’s Chickpea, Quinoa and Turmeric Curry.

Oh this is very good, very good indeed. You can just throw everything in and within the hour you have a delicious and nutritious curry which will make six portions. We’ve been taking this to work for our lunch and I was surprised to see how well it reheats. It also keeps well in the fridge. Another bonus is that you don’t need to cook rice or cous cous in addition to this as it already has quinoa in. It’s an all round super curry, really.

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Deliciously Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies

When I first heard about these I wasn’t completely convinced they would be for me as I have love hate relationship with sweet potato but I gave them a go and today I’ve just made my third batch – so good! You forget that there is sweet potato in them but they add a moistness to the brownies. They are also very chocolatey, which is great. I would recommend buying a good quality cocao powder as it makes all the difference. For the second batch I made a chocolate frosting to go on the top which was amazing. For the frosting I used 1 tbsp cocao powder, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tbsp of pure maple syrup and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt. Mix it all together and spread on the brownies once they have cooled, then pop in fridge to set. We’ve been taking these to work for breakfast as they give us loads of energy and fill us up until lunch. I think these will be a staple in our house for the months to come.

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Can’t Get Enough, Raw Brownies

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I just can’t get enough of these raw chocolate brownies from Deliciously Ella’s first book. As I’ve mentioned before I have a sweet tooth, especially on a morning, so I have been loving having these for breakfast! With the brownie tin I use, the recipe makes 9 large brownies which will last me and my husband the working week (we take it in turns who gets to have the last one on a Friday morning!).

These brownies are moist, sweet and nutty with a hint of chocolate running through. They are satisfying and filling and will keep your energy levels up due to the natural, unrefined ingredients used – but by no means do these brownies taste ‘healthy’.

Since becoming vegan 5 weeks ago I have been really enjoying raw desserts and have found that my taste buds and cravings have changed considerably. It’s been really surprising to find that I’ve not been craving the dairy milk chocolate and cakes I’ve been used to all these years. I think because I know I can’t have most cake and desserts that’s available in the supermarket it takes all of the temptation away in a,’that’s not mine to take’ kind of way.  I will be making lots more vegan desserts and I currently have my eye on a Key Lime Pie Cheese Cake that I would like to recreate so watch this space for that one!

 

 

 

 

The Mae Deli

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While we were in London last week for an ACDC concert we visited The Mae Deli and it was definitely one of the best cafes I have ever been in. Deliciously Ella is one of my favourite food bloggers and I cook from her books regularly so I was really excited to check the cafe out. With its clean and bright interior and relaxed atmosphere it really is the perfect place to visit if it’s a healthy breakfast or lunch you’re after.

We visited the cafe around 9pm on the Saturday morning, there were a few people already seated having breakfast and we were welcomed by a friendly face. There was so much choice and the presentation of the food behind the counter was beautiful. Some of the options included porridge with compote and lots of toppings, avocado on toast and lots of cake and desserts. We decided to go for two different cakes to share and iced coffee. The service was quick at the counter and we then made our way downstairs to a lovely homely room which could probably seat around 20 people. The decor is fresh and minamilist but at the same time very personal and well thought out. The cakes we tried were out of this world – sweet, filling and nutritious. Washed down with the iced coffee, it was the perfect Saturday morning breakfast!

We would have loved to go back for lunch during our stay, I have seen amazing pictures on Instagram of the options available but unfortunately it was just a fleeting visit. We will definitely be returning here (multiple times) on our next trip to London, I think we may need to stay in a hotel nearby! 😉

Banana Oat Cookies

I was feeling experimental and had some bananas that needed using up so I got to work on making some oaty cookies. I was hoping they would be a bit more pleasing on the eye but delighted to report that they taste pretty good! They are extremely filling and hearty due to the oats and nuts so would be great to have for breakfast or to have around 3pm to avoid a mid-afternoon slump. These cookies are dairy and refined sugar free and should last around 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. I would recommend warming the cookies up in the microwave for 20 seconds as they are better served warm.

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Recipe

  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1 cup of mixed nuts (I used almonds and walnuts)
  • 3 bananas
  • 1 cup of ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (I use Rude Health)
  • 1 tsp of fruit sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocao nibs (I use Sevenhills)

Leaving the cocao nibs to one side, put rest of the ingredients into a food processor until the mixture has become the consistency of cookie dough. My dough was a little wet at first so I added ground almonds. Lastly, mix the cacao nibs through the mixture with a spatula. The mixture will make 8 large cookies or 12 small. Put the cookies onto a tray with parchment paper and into a 180 degree preheated oven for 30 minutes.

The cookies are really soft on the inside and to be honest are more like the consistency of cake! I spread Meridian peanut butter on mine this morning and it went down a treat!

Sourced Box Subscription 

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I had been humming and harring about whether to subscribe to the Sourced Box service for a couple of months as I wasn’t sure it would be worth the money but I did really like the idea of having some tasty treats delivered to work each month. I’m really pleased I gave Sourced Box a go! The snacks included are seriously delicious, not to mention all natural and refined sugar free.

Sourced Box contains ten to eleven snacks, from dark chocolate to vegetable crisps. The contents of the box changes each month so you never know what you are going get- a nice surprise! As you can see from the picture above, there is a good variety and I liked everything included in my first months box, in particular the Rude Health Beetroot bar.

There are three options available to you when you visit the Sourced Box website.

  • a one-off box £21.95
  • a monthly subscription £18.95
  • a yearly subscription £189.95

I chose the monthly subscription but it is worth bearing in mind that if you chose the yearly subscription option you are getting two boxes for free. Sourced Box allows you to cancel your subscription at any time. I have been really impressed with the service I have received so far; I had quick responses to a couple of emails I had sent and the box arrived ahead of schedule.

It can be hard to find healthy snacks on the go which are free from unnecessary chemicals and sugar, so for me this service is a real game changer. I did sign up to this with the intention of making the box last me a good few weeks but in reality it lasted me 5 working days (oops!).

 

Feel Good Recipes #SweetToothEdition

Banana Bread – Cookie and Kate Recipe

I have mentioned before that I have a major sweet tooth, especially in the morning. I have to stop myself from going into Marks and Spencers every morning to get a Pain au Chocolat, now its strictly a Friday treat (ahem). So I was looking for something to satisify my breakfast cravings which wasn’t going to make my sugar levels suddenly crash at 10am. I thought a healthy Banana bread might be the answer and came across Cookie and Kate’s recipe.  Theres no refined sugar in this recipe, only honey. The recipe states that you can use coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. I used the olive oil option as that was all I had in the house. The olive oil and bananas keep the bread extremely moist and this is the type of bread which gets better after a couple of days as the bananas ripen further. I added chopped walnuts which go perfectly in banana bread but I think some dark chocoalte chips would be amazing in this recipe! So if you’re looking for a moist, healthy sweet treat on a morning, why not try Cookie & Kates receipe?

Date Energy Balls

I’ve recently purchased the Magimix 3200XL Food processor and because of the price, I was hoping it will be a good investment – so far so good! Before it arrived I did my research and came across some healthy snack ideas which I could whizz up when it arrived. I liked the idea of the ‘energy balls’ I had seen so much of Instagram and YouTube but I was a little put off by all the coconut oil and maple syrup which were being used. I really didn’t think they were needed due to the sticky, sweet nature of the date.

When the Magimix arrived I thought I would create my own take on energy balls and I am happy to say they were a success! With only 3 ingredients to chuck in and go – you can’t go wrong really. With this kind of recipe I really don’t think you need to follow strict measurements as its not being baked. It’s just a case of checking you have the right consistency to roll the mixture into balls. If too dry, add another date or a little water. If too wet add a few more nuts or some more Cocao powder – I use this one. As a guide I roughly used the following to make around 8 balls.

4 Medjool Dates

50g Almonds (or any nut you prefer)

1 tbsp Cocao

Once whizzed up to the right consistancy and rolled into balls you can then roll them into some chopped hazelnuts, chia seeds or anything that takes your fancy!

I took three of these balls to work for my breakfast and found that they kept me full until lunchtime. They are great to use as a snack and they keep for up to a week in the fridge.

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Raw Carrot Cake – by Lorraine Pascale

I love me some carrot cake, it must be my favourite type of cake! And you guessed it, I was looking for a healthy alternative. This recipe by Lorraine Pascale happens to be raw, vegan and gluten free which is great for those with intolerances or perhaps you just prefer to eat this way. As this is a raw cake there is no baking involved and all the ingredients can be whizzed up in a food processor. The icing is made from soaked cashews, dates and vanilla extract and I was amazed at how good this tasted! I think this icing would be a great, refined sugar-free addition to lots of different types of cakes and desserts.

Lorraine this recipe is genius!

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