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.
Yep, I’ve jumped on the detox January bandwagon, and here’s the first of my healthier bakes; butternut squash, date, blueberry and cinnamon muffins. A quick scroll through my blog and it won’t come as a shock that I’m a bit clueless when it comes to ‘free from’ baking, but I’ve actually surprised myself with what can be done without the conventional sugars and flours I’m used to. The fruit in these muffins add sweetness and the almonds create a moist and soft texture making them a great (and still tasty) alternative to the sugar packed treats I’m sure we’ve all indulged in over Christmas. Give them a try!
Ingredients (makes 12):
200g finely grated butternut squash
100g melted butter
100g chopped dates (softened in a little boiling water)
2tsp baking powder
1tsp mixed spice
60g ground almonds
175g buckwheat flour (or self raising if you don’t need a GF option)
200g fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 180c. Line a muffin tray with paper cases.
Place the squash in a bowl along with the melted butter, dates, date water and eggs. Mix together thoroughly.
Add the baking powder, spices, ground almonds, flour and blueberries. Stir gently into the wet ingredients until just combined then distribute evenly between the muffin cases.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown.