Boozy Truffles (Vegan)

I made a batch of these chocolate truffles at Christmas and they went down such a treat  I thought it was finally time to share. The most challenging part of this recipe is pateince. I suggest making them the night before so you don’t spend half your day running to the fridge to see if they’ve set (that’s how my afternoon would be spent anyway!)

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Bonus of this recipe is that there is no added sugar, apart from what is in the chocolate already, I don’t think they need anymore than that. You can make these with regular cream if that’s your jam but the coconut milk works really well here and means that you cover most dietary restrictions. I’ve used orange zest to flavour the milk but you can really use whatever you fancy, vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom the list goes on. As for the booze, go wild with your favourite liqueur.

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Ingredients:

300g Dark Chocolate, Minimum 75% cocoa solids

300ml Coconut Milk (full fat please, I use this one)

Peel of one small  Orange

¼ teaspoon of Salt

3 generous tablespoons of Grand Marnier/Cointreau

Optional coatings: cacao, cacao nibs, ground pistachios

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Method:

  • Pour the coconut milk and orange peel into a heavy based saucepan and set over a medium heat. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, don’t let it boil, and then remove from the heat, setting aside for 10-15 minutes to allow the orange flavour to infuse.
  • Chop the chocolate into fine pieces, the smaller the better, and place into  a mixing bowl.
  • Once the coconut milk has had it’s 15 minutes remove the orange peel from it and discard.
  • Place the coconut milk back on the heat and  bring back to a simmer.
  • Pour the hot coconut milk over chopped chocolate and stir until all the the chocolate is melted and you have a silky mixture.
  • Now add in the salt and booze, stir to combine.
  • Allow the mixture to come to room temperature before placing in the fridge overnight of for at least 3 hours to set.
  • Once completely set and chilled remove the mixture from the fridge.
  • Take small amounts of the truffle mixture, around 10-15g,  and roll into balls using the palm of your hands.
  • Toss the truffle in your choice of coating and place on a tray. Continue to do this with the rest of the mixture.
  • Place the truffles back in the fridge to allow them to firm up before serving.
  • These can easily stay a week in the fridge or you can pop them in the freezer and remove a couple of hours before you want to serve.

Enjoy x

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Double Chocolate Banana Bread

I couldn’t decide if I should call this bread, cake or brownie. All I know is it’s fudgey, delicious and you need it in your life.

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I’m always intrigued by new ingredients and working in the field that I do I always try to experiment a bit to cater for all. I found coconut flour in the supermarket and decided to give it another whirl in baking. I had tried it before and the results were awful. Although it may seem like only a small amount in this recipe it soaks up so much moisture that a little really does go a long way.

This is best served warm either on it’s own or with big dollop of yoghurt (chocolate coconut yoghurt if you want to keep the theme going!)

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Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Ingredients:

3 Medium Ripe Bananas, mashed

4 Large Eggs

50g (¼ Cup) Dairy Free Margarine or Coconut Oil, melted

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

50g (¼ cup) Soft Brown Sugar

25g  (3 tablespoons) Coconut Flour

60g (¾ Cup) 100% Cacao Powder

¼ teaspoon of Salt

75g (½ cup)Dark Chocolate, chopped into chunks

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180 ℃
  • Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  • Separate the eggs. Place the whites in one large mixing bowl and the yolks into another  mixing bowl. Set the bowl of  whites to the side for the time being.
  • To the egg yolks add the mashed banana, melted margarine, vanilla extract and soft brown sugar. Whisk everything together until combined.
  • Now sift the coconut flour, cacao and salt until you have a smooth chocolate batter.
  • Go back to the egg whites and whisk these in a separate bowl until they form stiff peaks.
  • Add ⅓ of the egg whites into the chocolate batter and whisk through.
  • Now add another third of the egg whites into the mixture folding through with a metal spoon so as not to knock out the air.
  • Fold through the final third of the egg whites into the mixture. Make sure you don’t over stir! Now finally fold through the chocolate chunks, gently does it.
  • Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and place in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes. A knife or skewer should come out clean.
  • Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool. Remove from the tin, slice into thick slice and serve with a cup of strong coffee 🙂

 

Orange and Cardamom Bliss Balls

Bliss balls are probably one of my favourite on-the-go snacks. Sweet and chewy with a salty edge, is there anything more satisfying? I find them perfect for when I just need a little somethin’ sweet , which is me ALL the time FYI. Though chocolate orange is still one of my ultimate favourite flavours this orange and cardamom combo is strong contender.

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Orange and Cardamom Bliss Balls (Makes 10)

Ingredients

½ Cup Almonds

½ Cup  Walnuts

½ Cup Medjool Dates

Zest of ½ an Orange

5 Cardamom Pods

¼ teaspoon of Salt

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Method

  • Remove the seeds from the cardamom pods and place them in a pestle and mortar or coffee/spice  grinder until they form a powder
  • Add the almonds and walnuts to the bowl of a food processor and blitz until they are rough powder, make sure you leave a bit of texture.
  • Now add in the dates, orange zest, ground cardamom and salt.
  • Blitz until everything is combined
  • Remove the mixture and roll into bite size balls, as equal in size as you can.

 

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I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. As always if you make them do leave a comment or tag me on social media @nourishandlfow

Soft Baked Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

It’s no secret that I am beyond obsessed with oats. They’re so versatile and go far beyond their use at the breakfast table, though there they will remain a staple.  To showcase their use in sweet treats I present to you these soft bake cookies spiked with dried cranberries, orange zest and cinnamon, a delicious afternoon pick me up. Best served warm from the oven with a big mug of coffee, though I’m sure my Dad would suggest sandwiching them around a scoop of vanilla ice cream. He might be onto something there you know.

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I’ve made these using dairy free margarine and flax egg but you can easily use softened butter and egg if that’s what you have to hand. The mixture is really sticky so the chilling process is essential to be able to roll them into cookies- patience is key.

Soft Bake Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies (Makes 10 cookies)

Ingredients

125g Dairy Free Margarine, at room temperature

100g Soft Brown Sugar

1 x Flax Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

100g Oats

100g Wholemeal Flour

½ teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon of Salt

1 teaspoon of Orange Zest (zest of approximately ½ and orange)

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

75g Dried Cranberries

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Method

  • Make the flax egg- place the ground flaxseed in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside for 15 minutes to form a gel.
  • Put the margarine into a mixing bowl and beat around with a wooden spoon until it is soft and fluffy.
  • Add in the soft brown sugar and again beat until it is fluffy.
  • Now add in the flax egg and vanilla, stir to combine.
  • In a separate bowl add the oats, wholemeal flour, baking soda, salt, orange zest and cinnamon. Lightly mix to combine everything.
  • Add the above dry ingredients into the butter mixture mixing thoroughly to combine.
  • Add in the dried cranberries, mix through so they are dispersed evenly through the mixture.
  • Place the cookie mixture in the fridge for a minimum of 60 minutes but overnight works best.

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When you are ready to cook the cookies.

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take approximately 1.5 tablespoons of the mixture and roll into a ball. Then press the ball  between your palms to flatten into a cookie shape. The cookies will spread slightly during cooking.
  • Place the cookies on the baking tray, making sure to leave some space between them, and place into the oven for 8-10 minutes. Check after 8 minutes, they should be starting to turn golden and crisp.
  • Once cooked remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Yogurt Cake (Vegan)

This is my other half’s favourite cake which ,of all the cakes possible, I always thought was rather disappointing. That said it’s become a staple in our household as an “everyday cake”. We almost always have the ingredients to hand so in a cake emergency this is my go to.  I decided it was time to make a plant based version replacing regular yogurt with soya yogurt and eggs with even more soya yogurt! The result is a deliciously moist cake which we’ve decided almost tastes like doughnuts ,in a really good way. You can jazz it up in anyway you fancy once you keep the basic ratio of flour, yogurt, sugar and oil the same.

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You could easily make this cake with no fruit but I just think it takes it to next level deliciousness. Here I’ve used plums but I’ve also made it with raspberries, blueberries and cherries, all equally moreish. Use whatever you have going, frozen fruit works great too!

This is honestly one of the easiest cakes to make and I urge you to give it a go.

Yogurt Cake (Serves 6-8)

Ingredients

1 Cup of Soya Yogurt

½ cup of Sugar

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Zest of ½ Lemon

¼ cup of Sunflower Oil, you can use any oil here with a mild flavour

1 ½ cups of Flour

1 teaspoon of Baking Powder

Fruit of choice- approximately 1 cup of berries or 4 plums or other stone fruit, sliced in half.

 

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Method

  • Preheat oven to 180℃
  • Grease and line an 8 inch tin, square, round, whatever you fancy.
  • Add the yogurt, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and oil into a mixing bowl, stir together.
  • Now sift the flour into the yogurt mixture and stir until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • If you are using berries, mix them through the mixture at this stage.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out into one even layer. If you are using stone fruit place the halves on top of the cake mixture and press them gently in so they are snuggled in.
  • Place the cake in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes, testing after 30 minutes.
  • Once cooked remove from the oven and allow  to cool before removing from the tin.

For an extra bit of pizzazz sift over some icing sugar, cut into slices, serve with a big mug of coffee and enjoy! x x

Wholewheat Banana Bread

Banana bread was one of the first things I remember baking all by myself (That and chocolate  chip cookies, gosh they were good too).  I used to bake it a lot (A LOT) and It’s still one of my favourite treats to rustle up. It’s also one of the easiest things to bake so there is an excuse for a bad loaf .

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You might be wondering if the original recipe I used is so good then why change it? Well, I work with a lot of clients with food allergies. Genuine food allergies, often multiple. This can be incredibly difficult to manage particularly in children.  Though the  range of products available in the supermarkets is getting much better, they can come with a heavy price tag. So, I’ve set myself a mission to come up with some easy, delicious and low cost recipes that the whole family can enjoy, allergies or not.

This is also a great option if you are watching the waistline with it being free of added fat and  lower in free sugars then your standard recipe.  This does not mean eat it by the bucket load (though trust me you’ll want too). Like all sweet treats enjoy in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet.

This recipe is dairy free, egg free, nut free and vegan (provided you don’t use honey)

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Wholewheat Banana Bread

Ingredients:

⅓ Cup Apple Sauce (Homemade or Shop bought)

¼ Cup Brown Sugar/ Honey/ Maple Syrup (40g)

¼ Cup Unsweetened Oat Milk (You can use any plant based or dairy milk)

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 very ripe medium Bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons of Milled Flaxseeds

6 tablespoons of Water

1 ¾ Cups Wholewheat Flour

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon of Cinnamon

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 165℃
  • Grease a 2 litre loaf tin with vegetable oil and line with baking parchment.
  • Mix the milled flaxseeds and water together and set aside to form a gel- approximately 15 minutes.
  • Whist the flax gel is forming mix the apple sauce, brown sugar, oat milk, vanilla extract and mashed bananas together.
  • Once the flax eggs are ready mix them in with the above mixture.
  • Now add in the wholewheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • Stir the mixture until everything is combined and pour into the prepared loaf tin.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to one hour, test after 50 minutes- a knife should come out clean.

This is delicious just by itself but you could have it with some coconut yoghut, tahini or if you have no allergies some delicious nut butter! x x

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Okay so It’s no secret that I am a nut butter addict, I know I’m not alone. Peanut butter is my number one.  I used to hate the all natural stuff, Instead I’d opt for something that had more palm oil and sugar than peanuts. Thankfully over time I managed to convert myself over (for the most part). Though don’t the processed stuff still has a place in my heart.

Moving on. Here’s my fall back smoothie when you just want a slap of something delicious. I’m all about adding greens into my smoothies but sometimes they just don’t have a place.  This really ticks all the boxes for me-sweet, creamy and slightly salty.

I’ve listed some optional extras which I’ll be honest I always add in. I get that protein powders and cacao nibs don’t float everyone’s boat so the choice is yours!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Ingredients:

1  Frozen Banana

2 tesapoons of Cacao Powder

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon on Peanut Butter

1/2-1 cup of Milk, quantity depends on how thick you like it.

Optional:

1 tablespoon of Cacao Nibs

1 Shot of Espresso

1 Scoop of Protein Powder (I like this one)

Method:

Place all ingredients into the blender, I use my beloved nutribullet, any blender will work fine. Whizz together until all the ingredients are combined and the smoothie is thick and creamy. Serve it up.

Cashew,Brazil and Vanilla Butter

I’m a nut butter addict, it’s no secret. If I see a new nut butter on the shelves I have to have it, regardless of how many half eaten jars there are in my cupboard. I’d never really thought about making my own nut butter. I thought why bother when I can buy perfectly good peanut butter from the supermarket. Enter the influence of social media, I saw so many people making their own I just had to see what all the fuss was about. The great thing about making your own is you can really jazz up the flavours as much as you want, and I love jazzy flavours.

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Every time we go to the supermarket we buy bags of nuts and ultimately we end up with lots of half eaten bags. I wanted to use up what we had and thus Brazil and Cashew Butter was born. You could of course keep this raw and not roast the nuts at all, but roasting the nuts gives the nut butter a much more intense flavour which I personally prefer.

Cashew, Brazil and Vanilla Butter ( Makes 2 x 200ml Jars)

Ingredients:

2 cups of Cashew Nuts

1 cup of Brazil Nuts

1 Vanilla Pod, or equivalent of extract or paste, chopped into pieces

½ teaspoon of Sea Salt Flakes

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃
  • Toss the nuts onto a baking tray and spread out evenly.
  • Place the nuts into the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until they turn slightly golden, keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn.
  • Once roasted remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • When the nuts are cool place them in a food processor along with the vanilla pod and sea salt. Blend until a nut butter forms. This can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes depending on your blender. If it gets a bit stuck you can always add in some oil to help it along but I find cashews and brazil nuts blend quite easily.
  • Pour the nut butter into jars and hide in a deep dark cupboard to stop yourself eating the whole batch.

If you want to make this sweeter you can always add in some honey, maple syrup or other sweetener to taste. I like it just as it is 🙂

Spiced Carrot and Apricot Bites

 

You may or may not have realised that I love my raw food bars or energy bites. The best grab and go snacks out there that aren’t full of junk. At the moment I’m running from one job and another with little time in between. I need something quick that’s going to give me a good boost of  energy but also something that isn’t going to be super heavy in my stomach. Especially important if I’m going to practice/teach yoga or go for a run.These bites are packed quick and slow release carbohydrates making them perfect choice and a perfect furl for a workout.

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I wanted to make some nut free bites for a change, though you can always add a handful in or sub the tahini for your nut butter of choice. I love cardamom and will always put in 4 pods. If your not so swung on it start with 2 pods and increase to your own taste.

Spiced Carrot and Apricot Bites (Makes 12)

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Oats

½ cup of Medjool Dates (Roughly 5 dates)

½ Cup “ready to eat” Dried Apricots

½ tablespoon of Tahini or Coconut Oil

¼  teaspoon of Lemon Zest

¼ teaspoon of Salt

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

2-4 Cardomom Pods, seeds removed

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg

¼ teaspoon of Ground Ginger

½ cup of grated Carrot

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Method:

  • Place the oats in a food processor and blend until they form a flour. Tip the flour out into a bowl and set aside.
  • Now place the rest of the ingredients, except the carrot, into the food processor. Blend until a rough paste is formed and the ingredients and completely mixed.
  • Now you can add the oat flour and grated carrot into the mixture and  blitz until everything is combined.
  • Take a small spoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands. Continue to do this with the rest of the mixture.
  • Place on a plate (or into a lunchbox) and allow to cool in the fridge, option always to skip this step and chow down on them straight away.

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I grab two of these for a snack on my way out the door in the morning or evening. They’re great crumbled into yoghurt for an easy breakfast or more substantial snack.

Have a great week! x x

Lemon and Almond Cookies

It’s no secret that I love lemons, I’ll add lemon zest into pretty much anything I can, sweet or savoury. I made these cookies after a clear out of my cupboards uncovered several open bags of ground almonds with no more than a few tablespoons in each. Never one to waste anything I set about making these cookies and they turned out not so bad at all. They’re so quick and easy to make you’d be foolish not to try them at least once.

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Don’t be fooled by the ingredients list. A cookie is still a cookie and these cookies still have free sugars and they still have fat. Basically enjoy them in moderation and don’t go eating the whole batch on me.  These are perfect with an afternoon (large) coffee, crumbled over Greek yoghurt or served hugging a great big scoop of ice cream. 

Lemon and Almond Cookies  (Makes 12)

1 Cup of Ground Almonds

Zest of 1 Unwaxed Lemon, approximately ½ a tablespoon

⅛ teaspoon of Salt

¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3 tablespoon of Coconut Oil or Butter

2 tablespoons of Honey

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  • Preheat the oven to 180℃. Line  baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the almond, lemon zest and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Place the coconut oil and honey in a pot over a medium heat and melt together. Once melted remove from the heat and add in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the these wet ingredient in on top of the almond mixture and stir until everything is combined.
  • Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball between your hands and flatten slightly. Place on the lined baking tray and then flatten each biscuit with the back of  fork making a criss cross pattern on top.
  • Place the biscuits in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until the are slightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and then place on a wire rack to cool.

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These are actually my favourite little treat at the moment. Give them a go and if you make them tag me #foodiedee. I’d love to see any recreations! Have great weekend! X x