Curried Squash & Leek Soup

FAE055D1-284B-457A-9C2B-29EAA17FEC71During the block of snowdays recently, we did a lot of baking and soup making (see Our Snow Days Became Baking Days – Is The Gym Open Yet?), the kitchen became a hive of activity, partly to keep warm and partly for something to do! I’m going to attempt to post some of the recipes; I hope I can remember, or at least decipher the brief notes we scribbled down at the time! I always think the photos will be enough, or my Instagram posts listing the ingredients, but then I forget the quantities. So bear this in mind and don’t take the recipes too literally if you try them.

This soup came about because we had a butternut squash from our organic veg box that had been waiting a while to be used, but it was small, and I had bought some much-reduced leeks that needed using, plus there were a couple of cauliflower florets left from Sunday, when we’d used the rest of it, and the middle bit of a bunch of celery. They turned into a lovely warming soup on a freezing, snowladen day. My husband also made bread rolls that morning, which you can see in the photo, but they weren’t gluten-free, so I’m not featuring them here.

This soup is full of healthy ingredients and is anti-inflammatory. (Butternut squash provides vitamins A and C, B6, potassium, magnesium, iron and calcium, as do leeks). No cream or butter, just a little coconut oil.

As always, the recipes are vegan and gluten-free, organic where possible.

Makes enough for 4 servings.

Ingredients

Coconut Oil for frying

1 Small Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 Leek, trimmed, washed and sliced (keep as much of the greenery as is usable)

2 Cauliflower Florets, chopped

3 Large Carrots, scrubbed and chopped (peeled if not organic)

The middle stalks of Celery with leaves, chopped

Approx. 1.5 Pints Vegetable Stock, with 1 Tsp Yeast Extract dissolved in it

Half a Tsp each of Cumin, Ginger, Turmeric & Curry Powder

 Black Pepper

Pink Himalayan Salt if required for taste when cooked

D3C44198-2988-4D9D-A048-C401850C4360Method

Melt the oil until hot but not smoking

Add the spices and all the veg, mix well, add black pepper, place the lid on and sweat for a few minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally

2B810F41-36DB-40BA-8413-01CC69A4E2C3Add the hot stock with the yeast extract, enough to cover the veg

Replace the lid, and cook on a low heat until the veggies are soft but not mushy, stirring occasionally.

Blend with a stick blender, leaving some texture to it, taste and adjust the seasoning

Serve with warm rolls or flat bread

 

Copyright: Chris McGowan

 

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Vegan & Gluten-Free Oat Crumble Scones

In my previous recipe for Vegan Gluten-Free Mango & Raisin Crumble, I used leftover crumble topping to make scones, and they turned out well, far exceeding expectations. All I did was add almond milk (or was it tiger nut milk?!) to the mix until it made a sticky dough. Any plant milk will work – tiger nut is sweeter and creamier – even coconut milk. (See below for posts on how to make dairy-free and some nut-free plant milks). There was only enough left to make two, but I’ll certainly be making them again.  You can see them to the right of my husband’s bread rolls on the cooling grid:

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They’re not the prettiest, but if you like wholefoods, and texture, and a high nutritional content, then why waste the leftovers?

I’m short on time as my mum is coming to stay, so I won’t write out the whole crumble recipe again, you can click the link above if you’d like to try them, and enjoy the relief of a short post from me for a change 😉

0D9D9516-E038-4A4C-AB3D-0D226EF4EF3AI had them with some vegan spread (I rarely use it, but when I do I use Pure), and St Dalfour Strawberry Spread, which has no sweeteners at all.

They were delicious, crumbly on the outside but moist on the inside. Full of texture and flavour.

Next time I might try adding some dried fruit. I wonder what my mum would make of them. Not exactly the Cornish cream tea she’s more used to when scones are involved! I’ve always preferred wholemeal scones to the traditional bland and textureless white kind, like you get in supermarkets. Many people have problems making scones, but for me they are the easiest and quickest of things to bake. The trick is for the dough to be sticky and to cut them very thickly, at least an inch. If they come out a bit dry and over-baked, cover them in fruit spread and thick yogurt for a healthier cream tea.

Here are some links to other scone recipes and how to make plant milks:

Vegan Gluten-Free Almond & Apricot Scones – oh yes!

Savoury Vegan Glutenfree ‘Cheese’ & Herb Scones

Vegan Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Scone Recipes: 1 Sweet, 1 Savoury

How to Make Cashew Nut Milk & Why You Should!

How To Make Almond Milk

Horchata (aka Tiger Nut Milk)

Smooth and Creamy Hemp Milk

 Copyright: Chris McGowan

Monday Meditation: Vegan Gluten-Free Mango & Raisin Crumble

F285BFFB-8C3A-4FB1-8B4F-3B9714EEC31BAn unusual topic for a Monday Meditation, but if left to my own devices, I find baking a very meditative occupation.

I don’t particularly enjoy the hustle and bustle of a crowded busy kitchen, needing to produce several different items in record time! I do however enjoy creating recipes using just what I find in my cupboards or fridge/freezer, often using up small amounts of this and that, so as not to let them go to waste.

I can let go. I can relax. I can enjoy the sun streaming through the kitchen window even on freezing cold snow days, as this one was. I can play my favourite music and sing along at the top of my voice or enjoy the quiet and let my mind wander where it will, with no demands made of it. I can be as creative as I like and no-one is going to pull a face or disapprove. I like experimenting and rarely make the same thing twice with exactly the same ingredients. I’m not one for following recipes, even my own!

I’ve been asked for recipes for the baking I did during our week of snowdays, so I’m gradually working my way through them (see Our Snow Days Became Baking Days – Is The Gym Open Yet?)I made only sketchy notes or sometimes asked my husband to write things down and his notes are usually only compehensible by himself alone! So I’ll do my best, but all quantities are approximate.

I love mangoes. The fragrance, the juiciness, the soft flesh. They are high in vitamins A and C, and also contain some B6, iron, calcium and magnesium. Great on their own, in smoothies or ice-cream.

However, I find mangoes as frustrating as avocados. You wait forever for them to ripen and just when you think it will be perfect, it’s gone. They are best kept out of the fridge to allow the ripening process to continue, which I did, but this one was defying all the laws. It appeared to be ripe on one side, unripe on the other and developing a black spot on the end. I decided to peel it and see.

It was too unripe to use straightaway and I didn’t want to waste it. I had never heard of mango being cooked before but I decided I had nothing to lose, so I chopped it up onto a pan, added a little apple juice and some raisins – I may have used a little maple syrup too – put on the lid and cooked it on a low heat.

I didn’t want to use it immediately and so I put it in the freezer – and forgot about it! I found it on a snow day and decided to try and make a fruit crumble with it.

86B02C47-8A7C-4C21-AEE2-2FB40AE6A223I let it thaw for a couple of hours – it doesn’t look very appetising, but it tasted good. I then devised the crumble topping.

Here’s what I came up with:

2oz Tiger Nut Powder*

4oz Self-Raising Gluten-free Flour

2oz Poridge Oats (I left them whole as they were quite small, but you could grind them to a flour if preferred)

2oz Vegan Spread (I used Pure)

2oz Coconut Sugar**

Method

7394C255-4B0D-49A2-9249-9C594B5DDD8DMix together the flours, sugar & oats, rub in the spread with the fingertips until it resemble thick breadcrumbs.

Place the mango and rasin mixture in an oven dish and top with the crumble.

Place in a medium hot oven and cook until golden and bubbly.

9D4DC69F-4FDA-467C-A5E2-65F1ED6E4392We had it first with coconut yogurt and then next morning, having got up late, we had it with homemade custard while we sat huddled in front of the woodburner!

Homemade custard:

This was made using cornflour, a little coconut sugar and a drop of vanilla extract, which was mixed to a paste with a little almond milk, then I poured in some warmed almond milk, stirred and returned it to the pan and heated, stirring until it thickened.

I used some leftover crumble mix to make scones, see next time!

Vegan, Gluten-Free Plum Crumble – Nice, But Not Too Naughty!

‘What Do You Eat If You Can’t Have Anything Naughty?’ – What Vegans Eat

*The Tiger Nut Company

*The Raw Chocolate Company

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Our Snow Days Became Baking Days – Is The Gym Open Yet?

4A91CBDC-D755-49B3-8CF1-F433031E30F4I spent an entire week confined to barracks because I can’t bear the minus temperatures and icy winds, or risk a fall on the ice. My husband couldn’t go out on his usual bike rides and we’d also chosen this week to have the hall parquet flooring restored, which meant open external doors. We had blizzard conditions here and the woodburner was our best friend. So was the oven. We spent the whole week cooking, but mostly baking, and if the weather doesn’t improve soon, I’ll be needing a bigger size in jeans!

This was just one day’s production line:

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D14E5C63-6F6C-4E66-A9C5-39B82C1583B2My husband made bread rolls (and next day a wholemeal loaf), I made a Mango & Raisin Crumble with Oaty Topping, some Scones from the leftover crumble and some Curried Squash Soup! The next day I made a Coconut Cake.

9D4DC69F-4FDA-467C-A5E2-65F1ED6E4392My husband, on finishing the cake said ‘We should do this every week,’ to which I replied ‘I don’t think so, there’s no more room for my waistline!’ We even had crumble with Coconut Custard for late breakfast one morning, very decadent.

At the beginning of the week, I’d attempted to make flapjacks. The mixture looked amazing in the tray. Tasted good, too. Unfortunately, I spent far too much time talking to the floor man and didn’t keep my eye on it, so it was a tad overcooked and I forgot to cut it up before it went cold. So it became granola!

(The floor turned out nicely, though:

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Thankfully, it was a much easier task than the other two rooms we’d had done in previous years as it didn’t have to be relaid. It was finished in two days).

My husband made some Welsh cakes – a bit like fruit scones – and our son jokingly said, send some down! So we did, with some granola. However, they were snowed in, there were no shopping deliveries and no mail deliveries until 5 days later! We were convinced they would go straight in the bin, but my son gave them the thumbs up and was very appreciative.

719CAC7A-861A-4A48-8CAE-9F7A86FDE4F0On Friday morning, my husband walked the mile to the gym in snow and icy winds for a spin class, but the only exercise he got was the walk there and back and the half hour in between, clapping his arms around his body trying to keep warm! The class was cancelled due to the snow, but the instructor was unable to contact him. He did get a free session out of it for the next week, though.

As for me and my waistline, well, I surprised myself when shortly after the thaw, and despite the still chilly temperatures, I managed to walk My First 10,000 Steps.

*Since I wrote this, the snow decided to pay another visit at the weekend, and this was the result:

From left, clockwise: Chocolate & Coconut Tarte, Gingerbread Ducks & Chicks, Vegan, Gluten-free Pizza.  There has to be an end to snowdays soon, surely?

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Dairy-Free Frozen Chocolate-Flavoured Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

16D342DD-5171-499D-A90A-59CCFB55A00DI keep rescheduling this post because the weather insists on returning to winter temperatures!  Plus, I think the colour and the fact that it has spinach in it may put you off. If I hadn’t written ‘smoothie’ in the title, you would probably have thought it was soup!

However, I’m relegating porridge bowls for now, I need a change, and I have to hope that things will warm up sooner rather than later.

Admittedly, this smoothie doesn’t look very appealing, but appearances can be deceiving and it is chock full of the good stuff.  Using frozen instead of fresh banana makes the smoothie thicker and creamier. Slice over-ripe bananas and freeze them in the amounts you’ll want to use them. Bananas that start to have black spots on them are much easier to digest, fresh or frozen.

Use less milk than you would for a normal smoothie in a glass.

Vegan, Gluten-free and can be Nut-free.

All quantities approximate.

Ingredients

1 Banana (frozen)
½ cup of Blueberries, washed
1 small handful of Spinach, washed
2 Tbsp Peanut (or any nut or seed) Butter
1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder*
½ cup of Tiger Nut Milk (or any plant milk, click link for how to make)
Optional: 1 Medjool Date, but as I’d put one in the milk, I didn’t add another
Optional: 1 Tbsp Moringa**, or a scoop of Vivolife ‘Thrive for Her’ Green Superfood, Wild Berry flavour*** or any other flavoured Protein Powder
Toppings: I went for a crunchy mix to offset the creamy texture of the smoothie. Chopped nuts (I used Walnuts here), Mixed Seeds, (I used Sunflower, Pumpkin & Chia*), Cacao Nibs*, Blueberries or other berries, Buckwheat

Blend until smooth, but don’t overdo it or it will become too thin.

Sprinkle with chosen toppings.

Nutrients include: antoxidants, b vitamins, iron, magnesium, prebiotics, probiotics, protein, calcium, zinc, potassium, healthy fats, dietary fibre. Great for breakfast, dessert or a healthy pick-me-up.

Here are some links to other smoothie recipes:

Frozen Mango, Banana & Passionfruit Protein Smoothie

Monday Meditation: Two Year Old Frank’s Berry Good Smoothie – Made With Love & Smiles

Almond, Chia & Spinach Super Smoothie

Heart-Healthy Carob, Walnut & Lucuma Smoothie

Monday Meditation: Indulgent No-Banana Cherry & Chocolate Smoothie

The Mood Booster: Raw Chocolate Mulberry, Banana & Walnut Smoothie

Kumquat & Cacao Protein Smoothie

*I buy from The Raw Chocolate Company, their products are Vegan, Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher, Gluten-free, high quality, ethically-sourced and made in the UK.

**Also Vegan, Organic, Gluten-free & Kosher Aduna support African small businesses, often run by women.

*** From Vivolife also Vegan, Organic, made in the UK and Carbon Neutral.

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Colourful Mixed Veg, Mushrooms & Puy Lentils with Spicy Caulifower Rice

547C7F73-757B-4E26-960F-CC4935551645Having spent all Sunday afternoon composing Monday Meditation: Relax with these Raw Tiger Nut, Cacao & Coconut Treats , I realised I hadn’t given a thought as to what I was going to have for dinner and my husband had pre-empted me by getting some of his frozen curry from the freezer. I stood in the kitchen gazing at the contents of the fridge, opening and closing cupboard doors. It was growing late, I was hungry and thought I’d end up making a salad. However, I knew that when I smelled my husband’s curry, I’d wish I had done something similar. I didn’t really want brown rice and there was a lovely caulifower calling out to me, so I decided on spicy cauliflower rice.

I put some puy lentils to soak while I got everything ready – you don’t have to soak them, but it makes them easier to digest.

I decided on cumin, which I love, to flavour the cauliflower ‘rice’, and turmeric, both for it’s anti-inflammatory properties and the lovely colour it would produce. Digestion begins with the eyes and I like to make food as colourful and appetising to the eyes as the mouth. The beetroot makes the carrot hold its colour and adding the frozen veg at the end makes this a bright, colourful dish.

This takes about an hour from start to finish – it sounds complicated written out, but if you pre-cook the lentils and process the cauli before you begin cooking, you don’t have to balance so many items at once. It really is easy.

It made enough for 2, with a little mixed veg and lentils left over for next day (see later).

  Vegan, Gluten-free and Dairy-free.

Ingredients

All quantities are very approximate

1/4 Cup Puy Lentils + reserved cooking water

Half a Cauliflower

Coconut Oil

Cumin

Turmeric

Optional: Dried Apricots

Mixed Veg – I used:

Small Beetroot

Large Carrot

Onion

2  Chestnut Mushrooms

Frozen Peas & Sweetcorn

Vegetable Bouillon Powder

Black Pepper

Optional:

Pine Nuts

Vegan ‘parmesan’: Almonds ground with Nutritional Yeast & a pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Method

Rinse and soak the lentils, then drain and cover with water, cook beforehand or while preparing the veg. Don’t overcook as they will be reheated in the veg mix. You want them to keep their shape and not become mushy.

Reserve the cooking water.

Process the cauliflower florets for a few seconds until it looks like rice and set aside.

Chop onion, beetroot, carrot, mushrooms.

Melt a little coconut oil in a frying pan, stirfry first the onions, then the other veg for a little while with some black pepper, add a few spoons of the lentil cooking water, cover and cook on a low heat. Make sure it doesn’t dry out.

3CBB91DD-1176-4FFD-AE9C-9148DFF29F59When almost done, sprinkle on a heaped teaspoon of  vegetable bouillon powder and mix in, adding the peas and sweetcorn and a little more lentil water. Cover.

Meanwhile, heat a little coconut oil in another frying pan, add the cumin and turmeric, stir round and add the cauliflower rice. Mix well, stirring and turning it over all the time. Add some black pepper and a couple of spoons of lentil water to keep moist.

On this occasion I didn’t add dried apricots to the rice as my husband doesn’t like apricots, but when he tried some ‘rice’, he surprised me with ‘it would be nice with apricots!’ 

When the ‘rice’ is ready, with as much or as little bite as you prefer, add several spoons of lentils to the veg and gently mix well, making sure they are heated through without overcooking everything. Spoon the ‘rice’ onto a plate with the mixed veg on top.

I forgot to add the pine nuts and ground almonds with nutritional yeast and cayenne before I took the photo of the cauliflower rice dish, but I added them when I had the leftovers next day accompanied with sweet potato mashed with almond butter, and some steamed broccoli.

A8C64AC9-EE34-4177-B62F-5E18927D6A43

The cauliflower rice dish was really good and tasty, even my sceptical husband had a small helping in addition to his own curry!

These meals have so many vitamins and minerals, different complementary proteins and healthy fats, and are very satisfying.

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

Nourishing Green Vegetable Noodle Soup with Basil & Puy Lentils

0A5AA3AF-CA63-4E1E-A365-7FFDAF6282EFWe are in the middle of some arctic weather, with snow, hail, icy winds and below zero temperatures, so I thought I’d post a recipe for a nourishing soup to warm us up, rather than the frozen smoothie bowl I had planned!

This doesn’t look pretty, but it tastes great and is very filling, having plantbased noodles as well as lentils in it. It’s a good way to use up small amounts of green vegetables that you have left over. In my case, I also had some precooked puy lentils in the fridge from the previous 2 days’ meals as I had seriously over-bestimated how many lentils to cook!

Lentils are such a good source of complex carbohydrates which boost metabolism and can help to control weight. They contain a large amount of dietary fibre, which helps to control cholesterol and stabilise blood sugar. They provide protein, folate and magnesium, are heart healthy, and keep you fuller longer.

We all know we should eat our greens, and this is a good way to do just that. You can use any lentils, or mung beans.

Ingredients

(Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairyfree)

Amounts are very approximate.

Precooked Puy Lentils – reserve some of the cooking water

Coconut Oil

Half a head of Broccoli florets

Small amount of White Cabbage

 Handful of Celery Tops & Leaves

Fresh Basil

1 Leek

Stock cube + water, plus a cup of lentil cooking water

Some Organic Endamame Spaghetti* or other good quality plantbased thin noodles, broken up

Method

Chop and sweat veg and celery leaves in coconut oil with black pepper

Cover and simmer on low heat until just cooked

Add broken up Endamame spaghetti or any other thin noodles

When done, blend slightly with stick blender to thicken a little

Place a few spoonfuls of cooked lentils in the bottom of a warm soup bowl and cover with soup

1BE925F2-9489-46AF-9620-9262C9AFA287Serve with fresh basil leaves and warm bread or toast, or you might like to try Savoury Vegan Glutenfree ‘Cheese’ & Herb Scones

or Vegan Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Scone Recipes: 1 Sweet, 1 Savoury

*I got mine from Aldi UK

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

Brown Rice with Sweet & Spicy Stir-Fry Veg Topped with Spicy Vegan Parmesan

58197828-76D9-4D3D-B040-375D681ECE95Our son and youngest grandchildren had been here all weekend and much as we love them and we have great fun, there is always a lot of tidying up of toys, books, games etc. and stripping of beds afterwards. Come dinner time, we were all ship-shape but tired, we wanted a quick and easy dinner.

My husband wanted rice so he put some brown basmati rice to soak while we sat down and had a cup of tea to get our breath back and for me to come up with whatever was going to accompany the rice!

Stir-fry is often my go-to option, I don’t like standing a long time waiting for different elements of a meal to come together, it’s not good for my back and I don’t have the patience!

I don’t cook on a very high heat like most people when cooking a stir-fry, I don’t think it’s healthy, I tend to part stir-fry, part steam, just adding a spoonful of liquid and some tamari and/or lemon juice to help it along without destroying nutritional content.

The rice is always soaked for an hour and then strained and rinsed thoroughly to remove as much arsenic as possible. Even organic rice takes up some arsenic from the groundwater.

On this occasion, we had some mixed beans to use up, and I had already made a jar of vegan parmesan a few days beforehand, so there was only the broccoli and apricots to chop.

Beans, rice, peas and nuts are an excellent vegan protein combination, and with the veg provide b vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, and dietary fibre.

Ingredients

A little Coconut Oil

 Broccoli, chopped finely

Frozen Peas, allowed to thaw

Tinned Mixed Beans, rinsed

Grated Carrot

Spoon of hot Water Or Stock

Tamari

1 Tsp Maple Syrup

Lemon Juice + a little zest

Black Pepper

 Chopped Dried Apricots

Homemade Vegan Parmesan: Almonds ground with Nutritional Yeast and in this case a little Cayenne Pepper

Method

Put the rice on to cook. Don’t overcook it.

About ten minutes before it’s ready:

63675337-1B81-48C7-A925-4BF820E4D877Heat the oil and stirfry the broccoli without burning it, add the peas, the tamari, black pepper, mixed beans, water, a squeeze of lemon, maple syrup, half of the carrot, cover and cook for a few minutes.

Add the cooked rice with the rest of the carrot, apricots and some lemon zest, mix well but gently so the rice doesn’t go all mushy. Adjust the seasoning, bearing in mind there is a little cayenne pepper in the parmesan!

Serve in/on a hot dish or plate, with vegan parmesan sprinkled on top and a green salad.

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 Copyright: Chris McGowan

Monday Meditation: Relax with these Raw Tiger Nut, Cacao & Coconut Treats

9D53B3F2-CD26-408F-8731-EA58B260A9E2When life is relatively calm, ie no family crises, and I find myself alone with no urgent tasks, I like to sit down and just let my mind wander where it will. I might close my eyes and just wait for my breathing to slow, or I watch the birds, or just take in my surroundings: the paintings, the family photos, the gentle flames of the woodburner.

When I am completely relaxed, I might get the urge to be creative. This can mean painting rocks, making cards, or even writing a letter – the old-fashioned way! But often, I like to bake or cook. It needs to be simple, quick, and not require that I keep several plates spinning at once, and definitely no interference.

Cooking on my own at leisure is a different experience from the pressure cooking of doing a meal with other bodies around and people requiring my attention or getting in my way. I like to be free to select whatever appeals, create something for my own pleasure and not have to be mindful of others’ pernickety tastes!

B2D4B8E0-1499-443E-962E-920F164433FEI rarely follow a recipe, or if I do, it’s more of a starting point that inspires a variation of the original, as with these no-added sugar energy balls. I fancied a little something with my cup of tea and didn’t really know what the result would be, but on looking in the cupboards I found some Tiger Nut Powder that needed using and remembered a recipe on The Tiger Nut Company Instagram page for Tiger Nut Macaroons by Eve Kalanik.

I used the general measurements, but made some substitutions: almond butter for the cashew, cacao nibs for the coconut chips and coconut water for the plain water in the original recipe. I also added some wild berry-flavoured supergreen powder.

These take literally seconds to make in the food processor and once in the fridge, by the time you’ve cleared up and put on the kettle, they are ready to eat.

It’s easy to make your own substitions so long as they’re like for like, but the texture or flavour will be different.

These easy raw treats are Vegan, Gluten-free and can be made Nut-free if you use Seed Butter. 

Please note: Tiger Nuts are Tubers, Not Nuts.

Ingredients

100g Tiger Nut Powder

45g Desiccated Coconut 

1 Tbsp Raw Cacao Nibs, for a bit of crunch

2 Tbsps Almond Butter 

A pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt

4g Vivolife ‘Thrive for Her’, Raw Green Superfood Powder, Wild Berry flavour

Approx. 4 Tbsps Coconut Water (or water or apple juice)

Pulse all ingredients except water for a few seconds. Add water and process for a couple of seconds to mix.

Scoop spoonfuls of the mix and roll into balls.

Makes about 10.

Place in the fridge to set.

Keep for days in an airtight container in the fridge and for a long time in the freezer if you can resist!

So much healthier and satisfying than a shop-bought biscuit or pastry to have with your afternoon cup of tea, and will give you a lift, making you more alert and energised without the inevitable slump afterwards.

The tea, by the way, is Pukka Herbs’ Licorice and Cinnamon. A perfect relaxing combination on your own or to share with a friend.

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Copyright: Chris McGowan

Easy Vegan, Gluten-Free Pink Pancakes!

img_3293We first made these 2 years ago when I discovered the basic recipe at Masala Vegan and although I’m not a big pancake-lover, my husband is and it’s Pancake Day, so we revisited these lovely Pink Ones.

We were better at cooking them this time, they were crisper and thinner.

Last time we had them with blueberries and Coyo coconut yogurt, this time we went with homegrown apples stewed with raisins and cinnamon, topped with Sojade soya yogurt and an optional small drizzle of organic maple syrup.

The original recipe calls for Xylitol as a sweetener, but I don’t like it and we prefer to add the sweetness via the fruit on top, and if you have a particularly sweet tooth, there’s always the maple syrup.

The recipe is very simple, all measurements are very approximate:

Ingredients

2 Cups of blended Watermelon Pulp

1 1/2 Cups Gluten-free Self-Raising Flour (last year we improvised with cornflour and gluten-free baking powder as we didn’t have the SR flour, it worked fine)

Coconut Oil for cooking

We added a pinch of salt

We also think they’re good with a pinch of spice, ground ginger or cinnamon, or baobab powder.

Method

In a large bowl, gradually whisk the flour into the watermelon pulp.

Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil until a drop of the batter sizzles.

Add 1/4 Cup of batter at a time and swirl around until it is thin. Cook until golden and crispy on the bottom, gently lifting the edges and turn over to cook the other side.

This amount made 8 small pancakes, we reneged after 3 each! Very filling and very tasty with the topping.

(See This Spicy Watermelon & Grapefruit Juice Will Help Stave Off Those Winter Bugs! for information on the many health benefits of watermelon – and grapefruit).

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Copyright: Chris McGowan