vegan baking – flapjacks

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I’ve been advised by my gp and specialist to go dairy free and follow a more alkaline diet.  Given that I’m addicted to tea, it was a very tricky change, a good cup of tea can solve may things.  So I’ve switched to almond milk, making our own nut butters and reading labels like never before, so many products contain dairy and lots of the non dairy alternatives contain palm oil [i try super hard not to buy any palm oil products].  I’ve been trying some interesting recipes and have found a few I like and this flapjacks recipe is a firm favorite, gluten, dairy and sugar-free ad so simple to make.  It makes way more than the 10 – 12  servings suggested and comes from Honestly Healthy by Natasha Corrett & Vicki Edgson, this is my version – contains a little less honey than the original recipe.

175g pitted dates

450mls water

150g raw cashews

150g raw hazelnuts

300g porridge oats

150g raw pumpkin seeds

150g raw sunflower seeds

454g runny honey – agave syrup can be substituted.

75g mixed raw seeds – I use lidl mixed seeds.

 

pre-heat oven to 160′

  1. Place dates in a saucepan with 225ml water, bring to the boil and then simmer until the dates are soft.
  2. place the oats, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a food processor and blitz until roughly chooped.  Then transfer to a large bowl.
  3. place the dates and stewed water into the food processor and blitz to a soft paste, then decant into the bowl with the oats mix.
  4. place the cashews and hazelnuts into the food processor, along with remaining 225ml water and blitz until a smooth cream.  decant into the bowl with oats & date mix.
  5. add in the honey to the other ingrediebts and mix well.
  6. transfer the mix into a parchement lined brownie tin, smooth over and sprinkle the 75g of raw seed ix on top.
  7. place in the oven for 30 mins – or until golden.
  8. leave to cool in the tin and then cut into bars.

These are filling and utterly delicious, perfect afternoon pick me up or 11’s treat.

Homemade Almond Butter

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Have played with making homemade nut butters, natural with no added extra’s.  Almond butter is a staple at home, we have been eating more vegan meals and always try to be as natural as possible.  Almond butter is expensive to buy and so super easy to make, so I thought I’d share the recipe I use.

200g Almonds (raw)

place almonds on a baking tray and pop into a pre heated oven at 170′ (fan) 180 (regular).

bake for 8 – 10 mins, watch carefully as you don’t want them to burn.

take out of the oven and leave to cool for 20 – 30 mins.

place into a food processor with a pinch of maldon salt and blitz for 10 mins or so.  Stop every few mins to scrape the sides and hey presto almond butter.

homemade alond butter

Breakfast Granola | homemade

Granola recipeI’ve been in search of a delicious healthy breakfast cereal and started to experiment with recipes.  My starting point was a granola recipe in Tessa Kiros’s, Apples for Jam.  I do love this cookery book, lots if delicious recipes and they work out brilliantly.  The Guardian has an interesting article on making the perfect granola including their recipe, and the Honestly Healthy alkaline has a vegan version.  If you’d like my recipe Granola recipe click here.

granola recipe

I think with this batch I did slightly over bake, but still deliciously crunchy.  It’s a basic granola recipe and you can change nuts & seeds to suit your taste, thought I’d use cashews next time instead of walnuts and a dash of allspice.

granola recipe

The honey I used was from Little Apiaries, I bought it in Sainsbury’s where it was on special offer yesterday.

beekeeping_beehives

For years I have like the idea of keeping bees and for one reason or another it hasn’t happened.  But after moving to my new home this has become a real desire, Omlet has a fun and practical solution.  Do any of you keep bees’ or tried?  What have been your experiences, do you think living in central London and being a total novice its a good idea?  Any advice welcome!

Wednesday

Anzac biscuitsWhen life gets quite stressful I bake, the sweet soothing properties of sugar I supose.  With Australia Day last week, Anzac biscuts seemed a good Idea.  The monster likes them and a batch is always too many for just the two of us, so I look most of them to work.  I work with one Australian who liked them but said mine were chewier than the Australian version, although did laugh when I told her where I found the recipe – Australian Donna Hay!  If you like a chewey oat/coconut buscuit these are for you and if you prefer more crunch try this BBC Good Food recipe.  I prefer recipies that give a weight of golden syrup, rather than a table spoon – as I have still to repace my spoon measures from the things that went missing when we moved last summer.  I have a fab little cup measure,

eddingtons mini measurebrilliant for teaspoons, tablespoons and small amounts of liquid – but not great for golden syrup.  I think I found it in Divertimenti.  Sewing wise I have been repurposing a vintage linen damask tablecloth I inherited last year, it had been damged over time and I have now made 8 large naplins, a pinny and 2 tea towels – not bad really.  Have had a little fun embroidering the napkins with a monogram and are just for everyday use at home.  The edges were overlocked with a rolled hem and I used a fun Urban Threads alphabet.

vinatge damsk napkinsThe red thread was a nod to a small red cross stitch monogram that the tablecloth had on one corner, a laundry mark I assume.  Todays’s sewing task is to hunt down a shirt pattern for the monster, she chose a Parsons Gray fabric from the John Lewis sale.  Any suggestions for a good shirt pattern?

simply the best gingerbread biscuit recipe, ever

gingerbread menI have finally found a brilliant, easy recipe that bakes well and works!  Over the years had quite a few disasters with gingerbread recipes and gave up.  This year I found Donna Hay’s recipe and it’s brilliant, they taste great – at work & home they were devoured with relish.  I use a small gingerbread man cutter from David Mellor, bite size I supose and they keep really well.  Now I’m not the best biscuit decorator so mine are plain, although I am planning on learning the art of decorating in 2015.  My nephews raved about the Biscuiteer on Christmas day, so I may well take them with me as a birthday treat – them or me I’m not sure!

the biscuiteer gingerbread menIMAGE | The biscuiteers

If you can’t get to london to visit the Biscuiters here’s a fun YouTube clip on how to decorate

Donna Hay’s recipe is a free printable, so if your going to be baking for a New Year’s Eve party or just want a batch of delicious bisucits do try them!  I thougth I’d make some with 2015 and peoples names, or try wine glass tags?  What would you do?