Monday, 19 June 2017

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream Milkshake


I don't often crave non-vegan food anymore but I have to admit that recently, with the arrival of warmer weather, I've wanted nothing more than to treat myself to an ice cold vanilla milkshake. Luckily, they can be quite easily made at home (and veganised!), with just a couple of ingredients - dairy-free ice cream, dairy-free milk and any other extras you want! I served mine with date syrup, vegan marshmallows and some strawberries because #health amirite? 


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Saturday, 6 May 2017

Vegan Chocolate & Peanut Butter Oat Cookies


Oh my goodness, you guys - I can’t even begin to describe to you how addictive these cookies are! The combination of peanut butter and chocolate is always a winner and when you put them both into a cookie then it creates the ultimate snack or dessert. I used dark chocolate to make these (most dark chocolate is vegan but make sure you check beforehand!) because it’s cheaper and easier to source than other vegan chocolate but you can use whatever type you wish!

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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Healthy Vegan Blueberry & Banana Flapjacks

Flapjacks have always been one of my favourite snacks and they were the very first thing I learned to bake as a child. The process of making them was very therapeutic; melting the butter and syrup in the saucepan, mixing in the oats, eating the leftover mixture in the bowl and on the spoon, and, of course, tasting the finished product! However, the flapjacks I made all those years ago weren't exactly what you'd call healthy, so I thought I'd have a slight throwback to my childhood and try and create a flapjack recipe that was as similar in method and taste as possible - the only difference being that these flapjacks are plant-based and are full of nutritious ingredients! Oats are the base of the recipe - they're full of complex carbohydrates and fibre, meaning they'll give you long-lasting energy and they'll keep your digestive system happy too! The bananas and date syrup are used to sweeten the recipe, so there's no need to use any unrefined sugar, and the coconut oil helps everything stick together while providing healthy fats. The result is a treat which is sweet and crumbly, bursting with juicy blueberries and finished off with a hint of banana. Believe me when I say that they're definitely my new favourite snack! 

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Monday, 6 April 2015

Salted Caramel Bliss Balls and a Creative Nature Discount Code!


Last week I was lucky enough to receive an exciting parcel from the lovely people at Creative Nature containing lots of wonderful superfoods and some of their delicious snack bars, so throughout this week I'll be posting various recipes which make use of all the fab items I was sent; all Creative Nature's products can be bought through their website and, if you're in the UK, at Tesco and Ocado. They've also been kind enough to give me a discount code for you all - simply enter the code 'MEGHAN15' at the checkout of their website!

Today I'm sharing a recipe for some incredible salted caramel bliss balls - I used Creative Nature's Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt combined with medjool dates and maple syrup to create a nutritious replacement to a typically unhealthy treat. The maple syrup is used purely for taste (rather than as a sweetener) to add an extra caramel flavour to the bliss balls but if you don't have any or don't wish to use it then just leave it out without a substitution - the dates are sweet enough on their own!


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Monday, 23 March 2015

Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free)


Cookies are by far one of the most common comfort foods and almost everybody loves them, but unfortunately it's very difficult to buy vegan and gluten-free cookies which are also refined sugar-free. As with most plant-based treats, it's usually easier and more cost-effective to make your own at home; however, as much as I love baking, sometimes I just feel like throwing a bunch of ingredients together without having to worry about getting oven times and temperatures right - that's where these raw vegan chocolate chip cookies come in! They only contain five ingredients and they require very little time and effort to make, but they're still incredibly tasty. Technically they aren't 100% raw if you use regular rolled oats but fully raw oats are available to buy if you want to use those.


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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Back From a Break and a Lemon & Coconut Bliss Ball Recipe


Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been blogging recently - in fact, the last post I wrote was over two months ago! I decided to take a bit of a break due to various things that were going on in my life; I started a new job at The Lovely Room (which I adore!), moved out of my parents' house and into my very own home and I was just feeling quite stressed about everything. But now I'm ready to get back into blogging and I'm really looking forward to posting lots of recipes for you again!

Today I'll be sharing a recipe for my favourite flavour of bliss balls - lemon and coconut; I've mentioned before that bliss balls are a perfect snack because of the combination of dried fruit, healthy fats and protein that they provide, and I still hold to that. A lot of bliss ball recipes use nuts but if you need to avoid nuts then you can always replace them with seeds of your choice (sunflower seeds are a good substitution). Lemon and coconut is always a wonderful pairing, as evidenced by these pancakes and overnight oats. These bliss balls are incredibly delicious and they're a fab snack if you're in the mood for something with a refreshing flavour - plus they only contain four ingredients!


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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Carob and Goji Raw Chocolate


It's no secret that I absolutely love chocolate - I add cacao powder to my smoothies, pancakes and oatmeal, sprinkle cacao nibs on everything I can get my hands on, make and buy raw chocolate on a weekly basis and regularly open my precious tub of raw cacao butter just to inhale the gorgeous scent of pure chocolate (seriously, it smells amazing!). However, not everyone is quite as enthusiastic about chocolate as I am; some people are incredibly sensitive to theobromine (an alkaloid that is found in cacao - you can find more information here) and don't react well to it at all, some people may own a dog and don't want to risk having chocolate around the house (cacao and cocoa are poisonous to our furry friends so make sure you keep anything containing them well away from your pets) and some people just don't like the taste (as hard as that may be for me to understand!). 

Luckily for these people there is an alternative to cacao powder which doesn't contain theobromine, isn't toxic to dogs and has a slightly different taste to cacao with more of a natural sweetness - this alternative is carob powder. Carob powder comes from carob pods and has a unique but delicious flavour which most people describe as tasting like a mixture of coffee and chocolate. It doesn't have the same rich taste that cacao does but it still makes a wonderful replacement and the slight sweetness is incredibly appealing to a lot of people. You can buy raw or roasted carob powder - I tend to use the raw type because I prefer the taste but it's completely up to you which you use! 

I usually use raw cacao powder in my homemade chocolate recipes but after trying an incredible bar of carob chocolate a few weeks ago I decided to experiment with it myself. Adding goji berries to the mix really took things to the next level and the alternating textures of smooth chocolate and chewy gojis was a match made in heaven!




Ingredients
Makes 8 - 12 chocolates
  • 1/2 cup (50g) goji berries
  • 1/2 cup (70g) carob powder*
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup (4 - 8 tbsp) liquid sweetener of choice (maple syrup, rice syrup, coconut nectar etc.), to taste

* I used raw but you can used roasted instead if you're not bothered about the chocolate being raw




Method


Place 8 - 12 cupcake cases (use 8 cases if you want the chocolates to be quite chunky like the ones in the pictures, and use more if you want the chocolates to be slightly thinner) onto a baking tray or plate and divide the goji berries equally among them, spreading them evenly across the bottoms of the cases.

In a small bowl mix together the melted coconut oil, carob powder and liquid sweetener (add 1/4 cup at first and then a tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired sweetness). Pour the mixture into the cupcake cases then place the tray or plate in your freezer and leave it for 2 - 3 hours until the chocolates have set.

Once they've set remove them from the cases and enjoy! You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. 



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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Peanut Butter Granola Bars with Spoon Cereals Cinnamon Granola


Buying pre-packaged granola is usually a mistake if you want to eat a plant-based diet filled with wholesome foods because they tend to be filled with unhealthy ingredients such as refined sugar and hydrogenated vegetable oil and unethical ingredients like palm oil (for more information about why I avoid palm oil visit this website and read this article). Even granola which is advertised as being 'healthy' is usually made with honey which, as a vegan, isn't an option for me. In fact, most of the time I'd encourage someone to just make their own granola at home because it's healthier and cheaper than buying it from a shop, you can choose exactly what ingredients to put in it and it's super simple! However, when Spoon Cereals asked if I'd like to try some of their Cinnamon Granola and use it in one of my recipes I was more than happy to oblige because their products are vegan-friendly and aren't full of junk. For example, the granola I was sent contains jumbo oats, coconut flakes, hazelnuts, maple syrup, rapeseed oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt; I love the taste of maple syrup and definitely prefer it to refined sugar, agave and honey, and even though rapeseed oil wouldn't usually be my first choice (I'm a coconut oil kind of girl) I see no issue in consuming it occasionally. I managed to control myself and refrain from eating the whole bag of granola in one go (seriously, it's absolutely delicious!) and decided to use it to make some delicious and nutritious no-bake granola bars which are full of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein - a perfectly balanced snack! I thoroughly recommend having a look at Spoon Cereals' website and products because they're a wonderful British company who make incredible breakfast food.




Ingredients
Makes 12 granola bars
  • 2 cups (270g) granola*
  • 1/2 cup (135g) natural runny peanut butter (or other nut butter of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup (120g) liquid sweetener of your choice**

* I used Spoon Cereals' Cinnamon Granola but if you don't have access to it then you could make your own (try this recipe) 
** I used rice syrup because it has a very subtle sweetness (the granola was already quite sweet on its own)




Method

Line a deep baking tin with greaseproof/baking paper (I used a 9 x 9" square tin) then put the nut butter and liquid sweetener into a small saucepan, mix them together and gently melt them over a medium heat until the mixture is smooth and runny. 

Place the granola into a mixing bowl and add the heated sweetener and nut butter. Stir well until everything is incorporated and a sticky mixture is formed, then pour it into the lined baking tin and flatten it down, smoothing the top over with a spatula or knife. Put the tin in your freezer for an hour or two to allow the mixture to set. Once it's set, remove the mixture from the tin and cut it into 12 bars. Store the bars in an airtight container in either the fridge or the freezer and enjoy!





Note: I was sent this product to review and use in a recipe and all opinions expressed are my own.
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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Basic Chia Pudding


I absolutely adore chia puddings; they're the perfect size for a snack and you can also double the ingredients and add various toppings to make a filling and energising breakfast. In the past I've posted recipes for a banana chia pudding and a chocolate chia pudding, but I've never posted one for a basic version. You can add whatever flavours you like to this pudding, or you could just eat it as it is! If you don't add anything else to this recipe then the milk you use is important to consider - I love using coconut, almond or rice milk when I make it but oat milk probably wouldn't work as well because it doesn't have as strong a taste as the others. But no matter what milk you decide to use this will still be an amazing meal to start your morning with or a great snack to keep you going throughout the day!


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Friday, 15 August 2014

Two Juicy Recipes: Beautiful Beet & Ginger Zinger


I recently treated myself to a juicer which I'm very excited about because it means I can have my all-time favourite carrot, apple and ginger juice whenever I want! I know there's a lot of controversy around juicing with one group of people arguing that it removes all the goodness and fibre from the fruit and veg, is full of sugar that will rot your teeth and is generally pointless, and the other group claiming that it cures all illnesses and is excellent for getting heaps of nutrients into your body in a short space of time. All I know is that I love freshly pressed juice and I think it's a fab addition to a balanced diet - if you enjoy something that is essentially just fruit and vegetables then I don't see what's wrong with having it, whether it's occasionally or on a daily basis! As well as the carrot, apple and ginger juice I've also made a beetroot, strawberry and apple flavour, which is the most gorgeous shade of pink and tastes absolutely divine!



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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Chocolate Chia Pudding


Chia puddings make a perfect and balanced snack or meal due to the fact that chia seeds are full of protein, fibre and healthy fats; they're also a wonderful source of Omega 3 so they're a great addition to anyone's diet. I've written a post about how amazing chia seeds are here so if you want to find out more about why they're so good for you then definitely have a read of that! This chocolate chia pudding is rich, creamy and tastes utterly decadent, whilst at the same time being ridiculously good for your body, so it's a win-win creation! You could eat it on its own as a snack or dessert, or top it with coconut milk yoghurt for a filling and delicious breakfast to start your day with. Either way, it's certain to nourish both your body and soul and will also satisfy any chocolate cravings you may have!


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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Peanut Butter & Goji Berry Fudge


I'm not sure about you but seeing the words 'peanut butter' and 'fudge' in the same sentence just makes me drool. This fudge has a melt-in-your-mouth consistency with just the right amount of sweetness and a hint of chewiness from the goji berries; it's not sickly sweet like regular fudge so it won't make you feel lethargic or uncomfortably full, and it's packed with healthy fats to help promote super shiny hair and great skin. If you don't like peanut butter, don't worry - you can replace it with any nut or seed butter and it will still taste fabulous! 


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Monday, 4 August 2014

Raw Bounty Bites


Call me crazy but I used to love Bounty bars; whenever my family had a box of Celebrations I'd always be the one to eat the Bounty chocolates - in fact, I'd always eat the coconut flavour in any box of chocolates! Ever since I was young I've adored both coconut and chocolate so they were basically my idea of heaven. Now that I'm vegan and rarely consume anything containing refined sugar I don't eat Bounty chocolate anymore, so I decided to create my own natural and nutritious version of it; these wonderful bites are little balls of heaven and you'd never guess they're raw and vegan! I was so pleased with how they turned out because, like the best recipes always are, they were a complete and utter experiment. If you too were a fan of the Bounty but would rather nourish your body with wholesome foods then you'll absolutely love these beauties!


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Popped Quinoa Chocolate Crispy Cakes


I'm sure most people made some variation of no-bake chocolate cakes (using either Rice Krispies or Cornflakes) when they were younger. They were at every bake sale, school fair and birthday party when I was a child so there's a lot of nostalgia connected with these bite-sized creations. However, as tasty as they may have been when I was young they're definitely not the most nutritious of desserts; luckily, like a lot of sweet treats, they're easily made nutritious and vegan simply by swapping the regular milk chocolate for homemade raw chocolate and the sugar-laden cereal for a more natural version, such as popped quinoa. If you don't have any popped quinoa then other popped/puffed cereals or grains would work just as well - make sure they only contain one ingredient though (i.e. the cereal/grain itself) in order to retain the nourishing properties of this dessert!



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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Acai & Blueberry Smoothie Bowl


This acai and blueberry smoothie bowl is the perfect refreshment for a summer afternoon - acai berries contain heaps of antioxidants so the powder is a wonderful addition to smoothies if you're feeling in need of a nutrient boost. Plus it creates an absolutely gorgeous purple colour which is enhanced by the blueberries, and we all know that food is so much more fun to eat when it's super colourful! 


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Saturday, 31 May 2014

How to Make Raw Chocolate and a Sour Cherry & Vanilla Raw Chocolate Recipe


Ahhh, chocolate. Almost everyone I've ever met absolutely loves the stuff and who can blame them? It tastes delicious and as I've mentioned before in this post it actually has the ability to boost your mood! However, most of the chocolate you can buy in shops is full of unnecessary ingredients that negate all the good work that raw cacao is capable of doing. Raw chocolate is much more beneficial to your health and I personally think it tastes far better than contemporary chocolate; however it does tend to be quite expensive and unfortunately it still isn't widely available. So why not make your own? All you need is raw cacao powder, coconut oil and a liquid sweetener of choice and you can create your own little bites of heaven. Raw cacao powder can be quite expensive if you're on a budget but it's cheaper in the long run than if you were to just buy lots of bars of raw chocolate, plus you can make so many other things with it such as baked oatmeal and pancakes! If you're in the UK I recommend this brand. Coconut oil is fairly easy to get your hands on nowadays - I've seen it in most supermarkets and big health food chains such as Holland and Barrett (in the UK) also stock it. This raw chocolate recipe takes about five minutes to make, contains a small number of pure ingredients and tastes absolutely incredible! Who knew that something this indulgent could be so good for you?



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