This granola is super easy to make and can be adapted with your choice of nuts and seeds; I particularly like this variety as the cacao nibs add a hint of chocolate which pairs really well with the coconut flavour. If you want to keep it vegan serve this with seasonal fresh fruit, nut butter and coconut yoghurt or enjoy as a sprinkling on top of an Acai bowl.
400g whole oats
75g pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds)
75g chia seeds (or poppy seeds)
75g hemp seeds (or flax seeds/ sesame seeds)
100g cacao nibs
100g pecans (or brazil nuts/walnuts/hazelnuts)
1tsp mixed spice
175g coconut oil
250g coconut nectar (or agave syrup/honey)
100g coconut shavings
Line a large high sided baking tray with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 160c.
Place the oats, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs and spices in a large bowl and stir to combine. Put a saucepan over a medium heat and add the coconut nectar and coconut oil- melt these together and once you have a lump-free liquid remove from the heat.
Pour the melted liquid into the dry ingredients and stir together until everything is evenly coated. Tip this into the prepared tray and spread out then bake for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to make sure the edges don’t catch.
When the granola is almost ready add the coconut shavings and bake for a further 10 minutes- it’s important you add these near the end as they don’t need too long to colour.
Once the granola is golden and has dried out a little, set aside to crisp up and cool then tip into jars and use as required.
This is my first successful foray into the vegan cake world. It’s a space I’ve steered clear of for quite some time, half because I’m not vegan and have had a bit of an ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ attitude to baking, and half because I’ve tasted some very cardboard-esque vegan bakes in the past that have put me off.
This cake, however, contains aquafaba (that starchy water you get in a tin of chickpeas) and it’s a real game changer; just whisk it up in a stand mixer and it thickens like egg whites, bringing a great lightness to sponges. It’s worked particularly well in conjunction with banana in this recipe and the resulting sponge is moist, light and delicious- helped along with a few rum soaked raisins and a generous swirl of coconut icing for good measure. As a complete experiment this has worked really well and I hope some of you try it out over the next few weeks, vegan or not.
For the cake
150g mixed raisins and sultanas
4tbsp dark rum
350g self-raising flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1tsp mixed spice
100g caster sugar
100g soft light brown sugar
75g pecans, roughly chopped
125ml aquafaba (i.e. the drained starchy water from a can of chickpeas)
250ml olive oil
4 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
For the icing
3-4 tins coconut cream (I used 160ml tins but if you are buying different sizes just make sure you’ve got roughly 600ml overall)
2-3tbsp icing sugar
juice 1/2 lemon
Grease and line two 8 inch cake tins. Preheat the oven to 180c. Put the raisins, sultanas and rum in a bowl and let them soak for 10 minutes (stir occasionally to make sure they’re all plump and well flavoured).
In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, mixed spice, both sugars and chopped pecans. Tip the aquafaba into the clean bowl of a stand mixer (alternatively use a handheld electric whisk) and whisk until frothy (about 5-10 minutes). Set aside.
In a large jug mix together the olive oil and mashed banana then add in the thickened aquafaba. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add in the wet. Carefully fold the ingredients together until you have a batter free of flour lumps then stir in the soaked raisins and sultanas along with the rum.
Split the batter evenly between the two prepared cake tins and bake for 30-40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. At this point pop the coconut cream tins in the freezer (trust me, it makes the cream much easier to separate from the water and makes for a thicker icing).
Once the cakes are baked leave them to cool completely in the tins and move onto the icing. Retrieve the coconut tins from the freezer and scoop out the hardened cream from the tops. Place this in a stand mixer along with 3tbsp coconut liquid (from the bottom of the tin). Whisk with the icing sugar and lemon juice until smooth, thick and lump free (add another tbsp of liquid to loosen if necessary but you shouldn’t need it) then place in the fridge to firm up a little.
Once the cakes are completely cool and the coconut cream has firmed up slightly you’re ready to assemble. To do this just even off the cakes if necessary then spread a generous layer of icing over the first, sandwich on the second and repeat, creating a swirl design on top, if you like.
Garnish with pumpkin seeds, pecans, banana chips and cinnamon.
These dark chocolate covered bars are packed with nuts, seeds, fresh blackberries and oats; they’re essentially loaded flapjacks without the refined sugar and dairy, so you can feel a little better about having that extra piece (plus they’re vegan and absolutely don’t taste like those cardboard-esque ‘healthy’ alternatives to baked goods- you know the ones I mean).
175g coconut oil
175g your favourite nut butter (I used a combination of almond and peanut)
175g agave syrup
400g oats (I used Royal Oats Jumbo variety which you can find here)
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
50g chia seeds
150g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
200g fresh raspberries
200g fresh blackberries
150g dark chocolate
freeze dried raspberries (optional)
a few chopped pistachios (optional)
Preheat the oven to 170c (325f/ gas mark 3). Grease and line a square brownie tin (about 22x22cm).
Place the coconut oil, nut butter and agave syrup in a saucepan and heat gently until everything melts together, then set aside.
In a large bowl stir together the oats, spices, salt, seeds, pistachios, blackberries and raspberries. Pour the slightly cooled nutty liquid into the bowl and mix until the dry ingredients are all evenly coated (don’t be too rough with the berries as they can break up quite easily- you want some to remain whole!).
Tip the oat mix into the prepared tin and pack down with the back of a spoon. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Once baked, leave the traybake to cool completely in the tin. When it’s cooled and set up a little melt the dark chocolate (either in a ban marie or in short blasts in the microwave) and spread evenly all over the top. Sprinkle on the freeze dried raspberries and chopped pistachios (if you’re using them) and chill until the chocolate has set. Slice into bars and enjoy!
I’ve been making granola at home for a while, but I usually throw in a load of sugar and butter to make it taste more like crumbled up flapjack than a nutritious breakfast essential (don’t judge, I don’t eat it everyday). This one, however, is made with peanut butter in place of dairy and agave syrup to cut out the refined sugar- it’s really delicious and packed with protein. I like it on top of yoghurt and fresh fruit but it’s also great with porridge or warm stewed apples.
350g porridge oats
2tsp ground ginger
50g roughly chopped almonds
75g mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
75g chopped dried figs
50g dried cranberries
1tsp vanilla extract
30g coconut oil
100g peanut butter (or your preferred nut butter)
100ml agave syrup
Preheat the oven to 140c. Line a large tray with greaseproof paper.
Place the oats, cinnamon, ginger, almonds, seeds, figs and cranberries in a large bowl and mix together.
Gently melt the coconut oil, vanilla, peanut butter and agave together in a saucepan until smooth. Pour into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together until all the oats and seeds are coated in the peanut butter mix.
Tip the granola mix onto the prepared baking tray and spread into an even layer. Bake for 40 minutes, turning every 10 to get an even colour on the oats.
Leave the granola to cool down then store in an airtight container until required.
This dairy and gluten free upside down cake will brighten up your winter meals with it’s perfect balance of sweet and citrus flavours. The polenta gives it a course texture but the oranges and almonds make it moist and it’s perfect paired with a big dollop of (dairy free) creme fraiche.
2tbsp vegetable oil, for greasing
3tbsp runny honey
1 whole orange, sliced
5 eggs, separated
225ml sunflower oil
225g caster sugar
zest 1 orange (reserve the juice)
zest 1 lemon
200g ground almonds
1 1/2 tsp (gluten free) baking powder
For the syrup: 1 pomegranate (seeds only), 200ml reserved orange juice (top up with water if you don’t have enough), 50g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 180c. Generously grease an 8 or 9 inch cake tin with the oil and place a disc of greaseproof paper in the bottom.
Drizzle the base with the honey and arrange the slices of orange on top.
Place the egg yolks, oil, 175g of the caster sugar and the orange/lemon zest in a bowl. Beat until thick and pale then add the polenta, almonds and baking powder and stir together.
In a separate (very clean) bowl, whisk the egg whites until they come to soft peaks then add the remaining 50g caster sugar and whisk until medium/stiff peaks form. Put one large spoonful of the egg white into the other ingredients and mix to loosen, then fold the rest in.
Carefully scrape the finished cake mix into the prepared cake tin (don’t drop it in from a height or you will push out all the air you’ve incorporated!). Level off the top carefully and bake for 30-40 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted).
While the cake is baking, make the syrup. Simply place the orange juice (and water if needed) and sugar in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved bring to the boil for about 5 minutes- once the syrup has thickened slightly take off the heat and add the pomegranate seeds. Set aside.
When the cake is ready, turn out of the tin and drizzle with syrup. Arrange the pomegranate seeds on top.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a spoonful of dairy free creme fraiche/yoghurt.