Mini Pumpkin Pies W/ Homemade Gluten Free Pastry & Vegan ‘Condensed Milk’!

Healthy Recipes

Yields: 26 mini pies
Serves: 26
Prep:10-15 mins
Chilling: 30-60 mins
Assembly: 30-40 mins (Dependent upon skill and the number of kitchen helpers!)
Baking: 20-23 mins
Type: Dessert
Tools: Food processor, spatula, kitchen film, mixing bowl, muffin tins, palate knife, cooling racks

Notes:

Delicious pumpkin pie! Yes, a sweet dessert pie with a spiced, pumpkin-based custard filling. Although not traditional to the UK, it still can be a great alternative to those that like traditional baked goods (mmm pies!) during the festive season because not everyone is keen on brandy butter, mince pies, Christmas cake, stollen or even chocolate desserts!

We fancied something different this year and saw the ‘always slightly over-priced tin of pumpkin pie filling’ at Tesco; unless you live near a farmers market, it can be tricky to source pumpkins past Halloween, at least in our parts (it’s ridiculous!). We’ve tried adding butternut squash to baked goods before, but feel that it’s just too sweet! By all means, use some freshly cooked pumpkin if you prefer!

Using the brand named tinned pumpkin puree as a ‘rough’ guide, we managed to create the perfect, plant-based ‘mini’ version, complete with homemade, gluten free pastry and vegan ‘condensed milk’. There was minimal added salt, no added eggs or dairy to the filling or pastry and we adjusted the spices and cooking times to suit our baking needs!

Our crust is not too sweet and has a lovely (slightly) flaky crust. The pie filling is only mildly sweetened’, we didn’t add ¾ cup sugar like the tin suggested; per serving each pie has about 3.5g of added sugar! We think that this actually makes them more user friendly, as no one needs and not very one enjoys sickly sweet baked goods. People can a dash of DF cream or vanilla yoghurt if they want a bit more sweetness!

A few good things to note:

  • After experimenting with the ‘condensed milk’, it weighed 420g, but in this case we only needed 340g. Ironically if we had just gone ahead and ‘used the lot’, we would have gotten 26 pies! Of course we have adjusted the recipe for you. 
  • As it was our first time experimenting with this condensed milk, we do not know all of it capabilities. Would it still have worked in the same manor if it wasn’t chilled? Perhaps. Would it have tasted the same and have gone further? More than likely, but unfortunately we don’t have the time, budget or desire to go up three trouser sizes to find out! haha! If someone wants to experiment with this, they can let us know! 🙂
  • If you’re planning on making a standard pie, you’ll need 1½ to 2 times the amount of dough (depending on the size of your dish and/or what type of topping you are creating). If you are using the entire quantity of pie filling, you will need to double the dough; one batch of dough makes a baker’s dozen.
  • The pie crust and filling it fairly easy to assemble. The mini pies will take a bit longer to assemble than a standard pie will, but you can take consolation in the fact that they will spend less time in the oven!
  • After baking, the filling was firm to the touch with a custard-y centre. If you want to try achieving a firmer centre, you could always refrigerate the pre-made pies for 30 mins prior to baking! 
  • It’s been taste tested by two people, both of which could have easily eaten more! 

We hope that everyone enjoys this recipe as much as we did, whether you make a full-on pie or these dainty miniature versions!

We’d also just like to take a moment to say that this is our last recipe before Christmas, but hope that everyone has a lovely holiday period- whatever you might be getting up to!

Eat, drink, be merry and stay safe everyone! 🙂

 

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Prepare the pie crust. If your food processor is only small (like ours!) you will have to create one batch of dough at a time. Place 150g margarine, 1 ½ tbsp fruit sweetener and 30g coconut oil into your food processor. Then add 300g GF flour, ¾ tsp xanthan gum and 1-2g ground cinnamon. Pulse and process until the mixture has combined and has come together.

 

 

2. Use a spatula to scrap down the sides of the processor’s bowl. Carefully remove the blade. Transfer the dough onto three pieces of kitchen film. Shape each portion into a ball. Wrap, seal and then press each ball into a flat disc.

 

 

3.Place the dough into a refrigerator for a minimum of 30 mins to ‘firm up’ and to help make the dough easier to work with. If necessary, repeat the first two steps until you have created another batch of dough. Tip: If you have the time, leave the dough in the fridge for 60 mins; thirty minutes is OK but sixty minutes is even better! 

 

 

4. In the meantime, prepare the pie filling. Clean out your food processor. Place the chilled ‘condensed milk’ into it. Process until it becomes ‘relaxed’ and smooth. Add the baby food pumpkin puree, 1-2 tbsp fruit sweetener (more or less depending on preference), a pinch of salt and 3-4g ground cinnamon, 1-2g ginger, ¼ tsp nutmeg and ¼ tsp cloves. Process until it’s thoroughly combined and uniform in colour. Tip: You might have to use a spatula to occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl to help make sure it’s thoroughly combined!

Transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Cover with kitchen film and refrigerate it until you are ready to fill the pie cases.

 

 

5. Grease 1-2 standard muffin tins with a little margarine or rapeseed oil. Depending on your oven and how fast you think you’ll prepare the pie crust, you might want to start preheating the oven to 180ºC/350°F now.

 

 

6. Prepare a clean and floured work surface. Remove one disc of dough from the fridge. Remove and discard the kitchen film. Place it onto the floured surface; knead it a little to slightly ‘relax’ it. Roll it out to a ¼ cm thickness. Cut out a circle shape large enough to cover the top of your muffin tin casing. Place it into the centre of the muffin mould. Gently press it down into the base of the tin. Continue to press and shape it, forming a pie crust that takes up about ¾ of the depth of the muffin mould. Repeat until all of dough has been used. Tip: If the dough tears, just add a little more to patch it up- it’s very forgiving! 

 

 

7. Fill each casing with 1- 1½ (large ‘eating spoonful’s’) of the pie filling. Once you have filled all of the moulds, lift your muffin tin and then gently knock it against your table. Tip: This will help to smooth and release some of the air bubbles in the filling.

 

 

8.Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 10 mins. Increase the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F. Turn the tray around. Bake for a further 10-13 mins, or until the filling and pastry are firm to the touch and the pastry has turned a light, golden colour. Remove. Allow the pies to cool in the tin for 10mins. Remove and place them onto a cooling rack. Tip: We used a palate knife to help remove them. Allow to cool slightly before eating and/or completely before freezing (if applicable).

 

 

9.Serve slightly warmed or at room temperature with a dollop of chestnut, vanilla or cashew cream (or yoghurt), standard store-bought DF cream or a small scoop of a vanilla and cashew-based DF ice cream!

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate the pies in an air-tight and resealable container; serve warm or at room temperature and eat within 4-5 days. Alternatively, individually wrap each pie in kitchen film and/or foil; store in an air-tight and resealable container and freeze; defrost and reheat within 2-6 weeks.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Vegan Truffles (without a coconut aftertaste!)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 30
Prep: ≤15 mins
Chilling: 75 mins
Assembly: 35 mins (Dependant on skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Tools: Pot and bowl (or a double broiler!), spatula, whisk, a large/wide dish, cling flim, teaspoon or melon baller, parchment paper, mini muffin casings.

Notes:

This recipe is a real gem for those looking for a great ‘Free From’ Christmas alternative. It’s a dairy free, soya free, gluten free, nut free and ‘coconut-tasting free’ chocolate dessert- our silky smooth and deviously rich vegan truffles! 

This type of of dessert recipe is not something you will see frequently or typically see on our blog, because let’s be honest, consuming these everyday, week or month is not eating2health! However, it is Christmas and we wanted to help provide you with another vegan/dairy-free recipe that the whole family can enjoy without a huge price tag! Forget paying a small fortune on brand name dairy free truffles, these are a fantastic, cheap and an easy alternative!

After doing some cursory searches, it seems that there is more dairy free truffles with coconut cream and/or coconut oil (as you can infer from our recipe title- we’re not big on coconut!) as opposed to DF cream alternatives- and were not talking about the ‘health food versions’! After a tasty trial run (with oat cream!), we have created our own take on vegan truffles! A few good things to note about this recipe include:

  • Overall, the prep is ridiculously easy. The oat cream (as it contains a bunch of natural and added thickens), thickens the chocolate truffle mixture straight away. As a result, the mixture sets quite quickly in the fridge; it took one hour and fifteen minutes; faster than most vegan truffle recipes out there! As for the assembly, turn it into a family event; having a little helper(s) will help speed up the assembly!
  • A ‘melon baller’ is the perfect size scoop for these truffles. We initially tried using an ice cream scoop, but it was too big! We were more successful using a small teaspoon to gather some of the mixture; we created thirty bite-sized truffles!
  • When shaping the truffles, mould the mixture gently and quickly in your hands (as it has a tenancy to go a little slimy with body heat) – which is why we don’t recommend ‘rolling’ the mixture in between your hands!
  • If you mould and shape a bunch of truffles before coating them in one of your delicious toppings, you’ll notice they’ll start forming a thin skin, but this is OK! They will still be a bit ‘tacky’, but this will actually make the dipping and coating process a little easier! 
  • The kid in you will want to dip and coat your truffles in some random OCD pattern (it is Christmas afterall!), however it’s quicker to dip several truffles in one topping and then move onto the next one… but this is only a suggestion! We are not trying to be a Christmas Grinch! 😛
  • The flavouring of this mixture is versatile! Instead of vanilla, add a drop of brandy, rum or coffee, use a flavoured bar of chocolate instead of plain, push a small nut or dried fruit into the centre of your prepared truffles, add crushed nuts to the truffle mixture before setting it, or simply mix it up by using numerous toppings. We opted for stem ginger, toasted coconut, cocoa powder, roasted hazelnuts and toasted pistachios! We aimed for a balance of flavours and textures; they are all tasty, but nuts are definitely our favourite! Mmm, hazelnut!

These truffles are great for dinner parties, seasonal holidays and/or when you are looking for a great, personable and edible gift! Just place the truffles in some fun and festive mini muffin casings and then gift them in a small and decorative box- your friends will be so pleased! This recipe is also great for those that want a ‘little something’ at Christmas, but do not want to be faced with four pounds of leftovers to finish off or to push onto others before the New Year! #excessive-baking-doesnt-help-anyone

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Odourless coconut: it’s steamed to remove it’s coconutty taste, it’s just a shame that it doesn’t reduce it’s saturated fat content too!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++300g      70% Dairy Free Dark Chocolate
+++++++++++++++++60g        Odourless Coconut Oil (at room temperature)
+++++++++++++++++170ml     Oat cream (at room temperature)
+++++++++++++++++1 tsp        Vanilla Paste

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

 

Directions

  • If applicable, fill your double broiler with some water and melt the chocolate according to your manufacturing guidelines. If you’re like us (and do not own one!), find a suitable pot and bowl and create an impromptu DIY broiler! Depending on the size of your pot, fill it with ¼ cold water, then place a bowl that is large enough to sit over the top of (not inside) of the pot NB: We used a small pot and filled it with about one inch of water; we didn’t have any larger bowls or pots that ‘matched’ in size, but use a larger combination if you have it. Tip: Only put enough water to gently heat and melt the chocolate; the water should not be touching the base of your bowl whilst cooking!
  • Place the pot and bowl over a medium-low heat. Break up the chocolate and add it into the bowl. When the water boils, reduce to a simmer and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring it with a spatula or spoon as it does. Tip: If you’re using a standard pot and bowl, this can take about 6-8 mins, so be patient.

 

Once the chocolate has melted, remove the broiler or pot and bowl from the heat. Add the coconut oil and stir through until it is completely melted. NB: We added it after transferring the chocolate into a dish (as you’ll see in the next step); it’s recommended in this order because the chocolate will start cooling down quite fast once it leaves the ‘warm bowl’ and it’s important to melt all of the oil! 

 

 

  • Carefully remove the bowl from the pot (it will still be hot!). Pour the mixture into a large and wide dish (we used a casserole dish!). Use a silicone spatula to help scrap out all of the melted chocolate. Tip: A large and wide dish makes it easier for when you need to scoop out your mixture, it will also allow it to set quicker in the fridge and this type of dish (at least for us) fits into our fridge with more ease.
  • Whilst whisking, pour in your oat cream. Whisk until the cream is thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla paste and fold it through with your spatula. Use the spatula to scrape down the sides, so that all of the chocolate is at the base of the dish. Cover with a sheet of cling film. Place into the fridge for 1h15mins or until the mixture is firm yet pliable.

 

In the meantime you can:
  • prepare any tasting toppings you might be using!
  • find your mini muffin casings.
  • line a plate with some parchment paper .
  • get a separate tray or plastic container to transfer the prepared truffles ready.
  • wash your dishes!

 

 

Remove the truffle mixture from the fridge.

 

 

Scoop some of the mixture using a teaspoon or melon baller. Place it into the palm of your hands and shape/mould it into a ball. Place it onto the lined plate until you roll it in your toppings! Once you have quite a few, dip and coat them into your toppings (if applicable); gently roll the truffle between your hands to secure any larger toppings (like nuts!) Place the truffles into mini muffin casings and then onto your separate tray (or into a container as appropriate). Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Tip: We made thirty small truffles! 

 

 

Place the truffles into an air tight and resealable container and return them to the fridge for about 15 mins to firm up.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate the truffles in an air tight and resealable container (layer between sheets of parchment paper if necessary); best consumed within 7-10 days.

 

*Nutritional Info/(approx. for 30 servings): 83 Kcal, 1g Protein, 3.6g CHO, 3g sugar, 6.8g Fat, 4.3g S/Fat, 0.02g Salt
*NB: Based on using our ingredients without any added toppings. Looking for a topping that is lower in fat and sugar, dust with some cacao powder. For some lower-fat nut options, stick to  ground almonds, peanuts, chestnuts or pistachios. Alternatively, placing one nut into the centre of each truffle will contain less fat than coating it in chopped nuts!  

Pistachio, Cranberry & Chocolate Biscotti [Vegan & Gluten Free!]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 12
Prep: 30 mins
Cooking: 40-45 mins
Tools: Chopping board, food processor, spatula, mixing bowl, baking tray, parchment paper, rolling pin and a sharp knife.

Notes:

Delicious biscotti! Generally we cannot have coffee shop or store bought varieties because they contain egg and/or milk powder, but these types of trivialities have never stopped us before. Baking without eggs, milk and/or gluten has never been easier!

We’re not in the habit of making these delicious, crispy Italian biscuits very often, but we happened to make our first batch five Christmases ago and fancied some again. We found that they were relativity easy to make, although you do need quite a few ‘tools’ and they will take just over an hour of your time, but it cannot be helped as they are ‘twice baked’. Under baking creates a chewy biscuit, which will occur if you try to cook the dough ‘faster’ at a higher temperature (it won’t work!) or for a shorter time at the recommended temperature; there are no short-cuts! 

Nuts and dried fruits are our favourite combination of biscotti ingredients. We’ve never used chocolate before, but added a delicious ginger-based one this time; it’s a messy business! After baking, the chocolate smears and although delicious, it looks rather unsightly! If we ever fancied using chocolate again, we’d omit it from the dough and then dip one of the baked (and cooled) biscotti ends into some melted chocolate instead; it could then cool and set in the fridge and not all over our hands!

We think that combination of xanthan gum and the aquafaba worked a treat. The biscotti (when sliced) slightly crumbled on the ends, but we think that this was possibly down to the fact that there were a few too many added ingredients and/or our GF was predominately rice-based! As these biscotti do not rise as much as ‘standard’ ones, perhaps there is less room for added ingredients?! Don’t get us wrong, the combination was delicious, just maybe a little congested- but that is also down to your own personal preferences! As gluten free products go, they do not turn into saw dust and have a good crunch, but maybe they need one to two minutes less in the oven? 

You’ll notice that although nicely baked they look a bit anaemic; typically the added ‘egg’ in biscotti would provide a nice golden hue as it bakes. As these are vegan, you could try baking them with a darker sugar and/or spices to help give yours more colour!

None the less, they are lovely baked goodies that go perfectly with a nice cup of tea or strong coffee (we wouldn’t want you breaking a tooth after all!), and with Christmas and festive parties around the corner, they would also make a great, edible gift!

So although we wouldn’t recommend eating then daily (there’s about 3 tsp of sugar per biscuit and slightly more with the chocolate!), they’ll definitely be great for keeping your Christmas momentum going; enjoy one mid-morning on Christmas when you are hard at work preparing your delicious festive feast!  

Have a good weekend everyone and happy baking! 😀

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++50-60g   Deshelled Pistachios
+++++++++++++++40g          DF Dark Ginger Chocolate, about 4 squares (*optional)
+++++++++++++++125ml       Aquafaba (chickpea brine!)
+++++++++++++++120g         Unrefined Golden Cane Sugar
+++++++++++++++1 tsp         Vanilla paste
+++++++++++++++340g        Self raising Gluten Free Flour*
+++++++++++++++1/8 tsp     Salt
+++++++++++++++1 tsp         Baking Powder (or 2 tsp if you’re using a plain GF flour!)
+++++++++++++++1/2 tsp     Xanthan Gum
+++++++++++++++50g          Dried Unsweetened Cranberries
+++++++++++++++NB: *If using standard baking flour, you may need less of it.

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Place the nuts onto a chopping board and roughly chop them. If using, place the chocolate onto the chopping board and chop it into small pieces. Tip: We’d recommend that you chop these ingredients smaller than we have shown here!

 

 

2. Open and drain the chickpeas into a colander over a large bowl, reserving the brine. Tip: You can use the chickpeas in a tasty recipe! Remove ½ cup of the brine (the aquafaba!) and transfer it into a food processor. Add the sugar. Process until it’s uniform in colour and ‘frothy’. Add the vanilla paste. Pulse to combine.

 

 

3. Place the flour, salt, baking powder and xanthan gum into a large mixing bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine.

 

4. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.

 

5. With the food processor running, add the flour mixture a little at a time until all of it has been added and the mixture comes together, forming a slightly tacky dough.

 

 

6. Using a spatula, transfer the dough into the mixing bowl. Add the nuts, chocolate (if using) and the dried cranberries. Use your spatula and fold the ingredients evenly throughout the dough.

 

 

7. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll it out into a long and narrowish log about 12″ X 3½”.

 

Transfer it onto the baking sheet. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 25 mins.

 

 

8. After 25 mins, reduce the oven temperature to 160ºC/325ºF and then remove the baking tray. Place it onto a cooling rack and allow the dough to cool for 10 mins.

 

 

9. Transfer the ‘cooled’ dough onto a chopping board. Using a sharp or segregated knife (we used a bread knife!), gently cut it into about ½” thick slices (diagonally). NB: We got about twelve pieces.

 

 

Place the slices back onto the baking tray (cut-side down).

 

 

10. Place the tray back into the oven and bake for 8-10 mins. Remove the tray and turn the pieces over. Place the tray back into the oven. Bake for a further 8-10 mins or until lightly tanned and crispy. Remove. Transfer onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before eating. Tip: You may have to adjust the baking times; we baked ours for 10 mins on each side, but would definitely aim for 7-8 mins next time (as least with our gluten free bakes!). All of our ‘standard flour’ bakes have cooked perfectly at the recommended times!

 

Enjoy!

 

Store your spare biscotti in an air-tight and resealable container; it’s best consumed within seven days. Alternatively you can individually wrap the biscotti in kitchen film and then store them in an air-tight container or freezer ‘baggie’; freeze for up until 2-3 months and defrost thoroughly before eating.

 

Have you ever made biscotti before? What’s your go-to flavour(s) and tips??

Vegan Bread Stuffing

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6-8
Prep: 20-30 mins (Dependent upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Cooking: 40 mins
Type: Side Dish
Tools: Pot, mixing bowl, a large baking tray/tin or casserole dish, aluminium foil

Notes:

We hope that all of your festive planning is finally coming together? If you’re still deciding on some simple, tasty or perhaps traditional Christmas side dishes, check out or Vegan Bread Stuffing! It’s a ‘healthier’ holiday ‘comfort food’- one that is modernised, easy, cheap, simple and that everyone can enjoy!

My original recipe came from my mother; I had no idea how ‘old fashioned’ and/or popular this recipe was until I did a cursory search! I took the original and made a few tweaks including: adding more vegetables and herbs, making sure it was completely plant-based and of course using less oil/fats! 

Typically this stuffing would end up stuffed inside a turkey, but not in this case! It’s a deliciously seasoned and toasted mixture of bread and veggies that goes great with a tofu loaf, mushroom gravy and roasted Brussels sprouts!  😛

If you are after a GF version, swap standard bread for some GF bread or bread rolls instead. Just bear in mind that as GF bread tends to be smaller, you might need to use a bit more of it and/or a little less stock or water in the preparation and baking stages.

If preferred (or if you have them to hand), use all fresh herbs instead! Also, we think that the addition of apple and/or toasted walnuts (or pecans) would also go down a treat! 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

++++++++++12                Slices Stale Bread
++++++++++1                  Garlic Clove (a fat one!)
++++++++++1                  Brown Onion (or 2 banana shallots)
++++++++++2                 Bell Peppers (Red & Yellow)
++++++++++5                 Sticks Celery
++++++++++3                 Medium Carrots
++++++++++1                  Sprig Fresh Rosemary
++++++++++5-6 tbsp    Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++                   Salt & Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++10 tbsp       Vegetable stock (low-salt) or Cold Water (approx. 3/4 cup)
++++++++++2g                Dried Sage
++++++++++2g                Dried Thyme
++++++++++¼ tsp          Asafoetida (or onion powder)
++++++++++5g               Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley (*optional)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Chop the bread into 1″ cubes (or smaller if preferred) and set aside. Tip: If your bread isn’t quite stale enough, toast it in a toaster on the lowest heat setting for about one minute.

2. Peel and dice the garlic. Peel and finely chop the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell peppers. Wash, trim the ends and then finely chop the celery. Wash, peel, trim the ends and finely chop the carrot. Wash the rosemary, remove the leaves from its stem and roughly chop them.

3. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Get out a large baking tray, tin or casserole dish; line with foil or parchment paper (if necessary). NB: We used a casserole dish!

4. Heat 1 tbsp of oil (or spray some low-fat cooking oil instead) in a large, non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the bell pepper, celery and carrot. Gently fry for a further 3-4 mins of until just softened. Remove from the heat. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Tip: If preferred, you could ‘steam-fry’ the vegetables instead at this stage!

5. If you are using vegetable stock, prepare it now.

6. Place the bread into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle over 2g dried sage, 2g dried thyme and ¼ tsp of asafoetida (or onion powder). Season it with ¼ tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss together (with your hands or salad tongs) to thoroughly coat. Pour over 7 tbsp of the stock (or water). Tip: If you are not using stock, make sure to season it with a little more salt and pepper instead and if you are using fresh herbs, the more the merrier!

7. Add the fried vegetable mixture into the mixing bowl. Drizzle over 3-4 tbsp of rapeseed oil. Toss to thoroughly coat and combine.

8. Transfer evenly into your baking tray, tin or casserole dish. Sprinkle over the rosemary. Cover with a sheet of aluminium foil. Place into the oven and bake for 25 mins.

9. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Drizzle over the remaining stock (3 tbsp) and add an additional 1-2 tsp of oil (if preferred). Toss and coat. Place back into the oven. Bake the stuffing for an additional 15 mins or until the top is lightly browned and crispy. Remove. Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley leaves (if desired).

10. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container. Reheat and consume within 3 days. NB: Best reheated under a grill or on a low heat setting in the oven; microwaving it will make the bread soggy!

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Medley [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Type: Side Dish
Tools: Sharp knife, chopping board, baking tray, colander, cheese grater

Notes:

Are you a Brussels sprouts lover or hater?!

For us, Christmas just wouldn’t feel the same without them! So if you’re looking to give them another try or are just in need of a different (and easy!) recipe this year, than look no further! Get your knives and forks ready for some roasted Brussels sprouts with a twist!

We took a lovely bunch of festive flavours and ingredients to produce a seriously tasty and wholesome mix of roasted veggies! Yes, delicious British sprouts, which, let’s be honest, always taste sensational when slow roasted with a little oil and seasoning anyways, become part of an infusion of great flavours in this vegetable medley; apples, chestnuts, shallots and stem ginger- the foundations of this delicious dish! 

The result is beautifully roasted veggies with flavours that work in perfect harmony; a caramelised and creamy vegetable medley that could easily convert anyone into a sprout lover!

We loved it; a great combination of flavours, textures and overall satisfaction! The only modifications we’ll make during the festive season is to add a little more ginger- not because we didn’t include enough the first time around, but simply because we cannot get enough of it! 

So if you need a tasty side dish, than we’d suggest you give our Brussels sprouts a try! Impress your family and non-vegan friends; let face it, who really needs a ‘festive bird’ on the table when even your side dishes are this tasty?!  #veganchristmasrecipes  

 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++500-600g   Brussels Sprouts
+++++++++++++++++400-500g   Braeburn (or cooking) Apples
+++++++++++++++++320g             Banana Shallots
+++++++++++++++++1                    Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++1                    Clementine (juice and zest)
+++++++++++++++++50g               Stem Ginger (in syrup)
+++++++++++++++++2-3 tbsp       Rapeseed Oil
+++++++++++++++++2 tsp             Ginger syrup
+++++++++++++++++                      Salt & Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++++++++++60g               Walnuts (*optional)
+++++++++++++++++200g             Roasted Chestnuts, peeled
+++++++++++++++++                      Flat Leaf Parsley (*optional)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºF/400ºF. Get out a large baking tray (or roasting tin).

2. Soak and wash the sprouts. If preferred, remove any soiled outer leaves.

3. Wash, remove the core and then chop the apples into wedges.

4. Peel and roughly chop the shallots into ‘chunky’ pieces.

5. Peel and finely dice the garlic.

6. Wash the clementine, grate some zest and then juice it.

7. Remove some ginger from its syrup and finely chop it. NB: We used two small pieces.

8. Place the sprouts, apple, shallot and garlic onto the baking tray. Drizzle over the oil. Toss to coat.

9. Pour over the juice and 2 tsp ginger syrup (from the bottle of ginger). Sprinkle over a little zest (if preferred). Season it with a little salt and a few grind of black pepper to taste. Place it into the oven and roast for 30 mins, tossing the mixture at least once. Remove.

10. In the meantime, toast some walnuts in a dry frying pan (until lightly golden) and then roughly chop them (if applicable). Roughly chop the roasted (and peeled) chestnuts. Wash the parsley, remove its leaves from the stems and roughly chop them (if using).

11. Before serving, garnish with the walnuts, parsley, zest (if using) and the chestnuts. Tip: If you have any spare ‘orange zest’, or dried cranberries, sprinkle them over (just before serving) to provide an extra pop of colour and festive finish! 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat (if preferred) and consume within 3 days.

Mince Pies [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 16 -26 (*Dependant on the pastry.)
Prep & Chilling Time: 40-45 mins
Cooking:15-16 mins
Type: Dessert
Tools: Manual juicer, grater, food processor, kitchen scale, measuring jug, silicone spatula, kitchen film, pot w/lid, wooden spoon, rolling pin, muffin tins, cooling rack

Notes

Here’s another great Christmas recipe that you can make in advance- mince pies! Tick them off your holiday check-list early this year; bake, freeze, defrost and reheat them over the xmas holidays! In fact, they might even last a tad bit longer; they take about thirty minutes to defrost, so that may help to defer all the ‘little elves’ from munching through them so quickly!

When we make ours, we always create our own shortcrust pastry, especially with ground almonds and almond extract (so delicious!), but we’ve never taken the time to make the filling, silly eh? We always succumb to the convenience of prefabricated jars of mincemeat which are just far too sweet and always make you regret eating it! So this year we stopped being silly and made our own; if we only knew how easy it was we would have started this tradition ages ago! 

With the aim of reducing the overall ‘added sugar’ content in these beauties, we opted to omit the sugar from the pastry completely…and keeping with the Christmas theme, substituted it with an orange juice mixture. However, we have added sugar to the list of ingredients, so the choice is yours. Our pastry uses standard vegan margarine; if you are after a flakier/gluten free pastry, try using come vegetable shortening/fat (as you’ll need about twenty percent less than margarine), a mixture of both or even some odourless coconut oil, but just be mindful of the saturated fat!

Our filling, well it’s quite red, but that because there is a lot of cranberries! You can use less and/or substitute for another fruit(s) (cherries and red currents would be nice), or more dried fruit instead. The great thing about using cranberries is that they are relatively cheap and help to offset some of the sweetness of the dried fruit and sugars!

We have tried to mimic our favourite Christmas-y/brand name mince pie flavours; the wine was added on a whim as we were originally going to add juice (you can thank the supermarket sales for that gem!). If you don’t fancy wine, try substituting it for some fresh orange, apple  or pomegranate juice, plain water, or dietary preferences depending, mulled wine, brandy and/or port- just adjust the quantities to your own personal taste and potency! 

*One top thing to note is that our filling makes enough for about twenty-six pies (the cooked weight yields 700g!), but our pastry only stretches into sixteen! So you can: increase the pastry mixture, slightly reduce the filling mixture or save and bottle the remaining mince pie filling in a sterilised bottle. 

Overall these little pies were lovely and nothing quite beats making your homemade shortcrust pastry and filling! If you’re a fan of these delicious morsels, you should really try giving it a whirl! It’s time consuming (well a little), but not too difficult. Just crank up the festive tunes and imagine how good your house will smell with the aroma of fresh, buttery, hot out of the oven shortcrust pastry and wafts of spiced and boozy fruit! Delicious!

Make sure to keep watching this space for more delicious/festive recipes next week! 

Have a great weekend and happy baking everyone! 😀

 

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here 🙂

 

Directions

Wash the orange, grate the zest and then juice it (reserve the zest for the filling later on). Place the juice, almond extract, ¼ tsp salt and 2 tsp of unrefined cane sugar (if desired) into a large measuring jug. Mix together, dissolving the salt and sugar.

Place the margarine, flour, ground almonds and xanthan gum into a food processor (or large mixing bowl if you do not own one). Pulse until the texture is similar to fine breadcrumbs and comes together. Tip: Alternatively mix the mixture with your hands or a large fork until the same texture is produced. Pour the orange juice mixture into the food processor. Process until combined; the mixture will be quite chunky, but not dry (if yours is dry add 1-2 tsp of cold water). Tip: You will have to use a spatula to help remove some of the mixture from the sides of the container as you process it, back down into the centre as it has a tendency to ‘bunch up’.

 

 

Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide it into three portions. Roll into balls. Place each ball onto a sheet of kitchen film; wrap and seal. Flatten each ball into a disc. Transfer into the fridge and refrigerate for 30 mins. Tip: Refrigerating the dough will help make it ‘firmer’ and easier to work with. 

 

 

In the meantime, prepare the filling. Wash the cranberries in a colander. Wash, peel, remove the core and then dice the apple. Juice the satsuma.

 

Next, place a non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add the wine and sugar. Stir together. It will start to simmer quite quickly, when this happens add the cranberries, apple, satsuma juice, dried fruit, orange zest, spices, sweetener, vanilla paste and almond (or lemon) extract into the pot. Stir to thoroughly combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid. Cook for 20 mins, allowing the flavours to meld, the cranberries to burst and soften and the mixture to slightly thicken. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Leave the lid ajar and allow it to cool.

 

 

Meanwhile, grease or line a mince pie or standard muffin tin with a little oil or margarine or a liner. On a clean, floured surface place one disc of pastry (leave the remaining pastry in the fridge until you are ready to use it). Gently knead and soften it with your hands for a minute. Roll it out to a ¼ cm thickness. Use a small tumbler or something suitable for the size of your tin to stamp out 16 discs. Tip: Measure the top of your tin with a small glass to make sure it is not too big or too small; it should be roughly the same size as the tin.

Gently press each pastry disc between your fingers (slightly stretching it) before placing it into the base of the tin. Gently press and shape it into the base. Tip: Use a little pastry to patch up any tears of holes that might appear (this is OK!). Repeat until all sixteen discs have been placed.

 

Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Roll out the remaining dough to a 1/8cm thickness and then cut out the shapes to top your pies- we opted for modern stars!

 

Fill ease pie case with  about 1 heaped dessert teaspoon of pie filling. Place the top shape over the filling. Gently press and seal the edges. Tip: If you are completely covering the top of your pies, pierce it with a fork a few times to allow the steam to escape whilst it’s baking!

Some of these are overfilled! We had to scoop a little out to make sure the lids attached!

 

 

We baked the remainder in this silicone muffin case; we wouldn’t recommend it as they do not bake as well!

 

 

Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 12-16 mins or until lightly browned around the edges and firm. Remove and transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly before eating. NB: We cooked ours for 18 mins- but this was too long (the pastry was a little hard… but it’s nothing that a little oat cream won’t fix)! We’ll try 13-15 mins next time and then leave the pies in the tins for 3-5 mins once they’re removed from the oven.

Enjoy!

 

Store in an air-tight and resealable container and consume within one week. Alternatively, wrap and store them in an air-tight and resealable container; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

 

Nutritional Info (approx. per pie w/o sugar added to the pastry):
175kcal, 1.7g protein, 24.5g CHO, 8g Sugar, 7.2g Fat, 1.3g S/fat, 1.2g Fibre, 0.3g Salt
**Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Gingerbread Men [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: 36-38 cookies*
Serves: 30
Prep: 10 mins
Chilling Time: 45 mins- overnight
Cooking Time: 7-13 mins
Type: Dessert
Tools: Small dish and fork, food processor, silicone spatula, large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, kitchen film, baking trays, parchment paper, rolling pin, cookie cutters, cooling racks

Notes

Christmas doesn’t need to be complicated, especially when it comes to enjoying some free from goodies! So we’ve gone and created a simple and tasty gingerbread recipe (vegan & gluten free) that anyone can throw together with ease!

Perfectly ginger and fantastic for those that love a one-bowl recipe! Well, technically it’s two bowls (or one bowl and a food processor!); we’ve advised to premix the dry ingredients (separately) to ensure everything is thoroughly combined; no nasty lumps of baking soda please! 

The dough is great for ‘cookie-cutter cookies’ and is best suited for cookies ¼ cm thick; if you roll the dough out thicker or thinner, adjust the baking times accordingly! *We managed to roll and stamp out: two large cookies, seventeen medium cookies and fifteen small ones! 🙂

It’s good to note that a quarter of the dough makes about eight to ten cookies and you shouldn’t need more than three baking trays to bake them. We’d recommend baking them for slightly longer if you prefer a harder/crisper cookie (we baked ours for eight minutes) and to place a dish of water at the base of your oven to prevent the top surfaces of your cookies from extreme cracking! This is a tip that we acquired last year after producing some really ugly cookies (haha)! One last nugget of baking wisdom- everyone should listen to some Christmas music whilst making these! #neverbakeinabadmood (…Your cookies will taste terrible!) 

Watch this space as we’ll be providing you with a few more Christmas recipes over the next week!

Happy baking everyone! 😀

 

Ingredients

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

Prepare the ‘flax eggs’! Place 16g flaxseed and 6 tbsp of water into a small dish or bowl. Stir to combine. Leave to rest for 5mins.

Very gelatinous after 5 mins!

 

 

  • Meanwhile, place the margarine and sugar into a food processor (or use a mixing bowl if you do not own one). Cream together; pulse the food processor or (if using the traditional method) use a large wooden spoon or spatula. Add the date syrup, cream and vanilla paste. Process (or mix) until combined. Tip: the mixture might look curdled, especially if your margarine is not as room temperature, but this is OK!
  • Add the flax eggs into the food processors pour spout whilst it’s still running. Process until combined.

 

 

Place the flour, ground almonds, baking soda and powder, xanthan gum, ground ginger, cinnamon cloves and nutmeg into a separate mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt. Mix until thoroughly combined.

 

 

  • Spoon in the flour mixture into the food processor’s pouring spout (with the machine still running), a little at a time until the mixture comes together and is thoroughly combined.
  • Carefully remove and transfer the dough onto a sheet of kitchen film. Wrap and seal. Place into the fridge and refrigerate for 45 mins (or overnight if preferred). Tip: the dough will ‘firm up’ and is easier to use once refrigerated. 

 

 

When you are ready to roll and cut out the cookies, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.  Line 2-3 baking trays with a sheet of parchment paper.

 

On a clean, floured surface, place 1/4 of the dough. Re-wrap the remaining dough and place it back into the fridge to help stop it from drying out. Knead the dough slightly and then gently roll it out until its ¼ cm thick. Cut out your gingerbread men or any preferred shapes! Tip: use a palate or large knife to gently loosen any ‘stuck’ pieces of dough from your counter surface.

 

 

Transfer the shapes onto the baking trays leaving at least a 1 cm gap in between the cookies. Tip: If you have thick and thin cookies, try to keep them on two separate trays to have cooking ease! Place the trays onto the middle and lower oven shelves. Bake for 7- 13 mins, depending upon on how hard you want your cookies! Tip: Place a large-ish oven proof dish with water at the bottom of your oven just before baking to help prevent the top surface of your cookies from cracking!

 

 

Remove the trays from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking trays for 5 mins (they will continue to ‘firm up’). Transfer onto cooling racks. Allow to cool for further 10 mins before eating; they will continue to firm up as they cool.

 

Enjoy!

 

Store the cookies in an air-tight and resealable container and consume within 5-7 days. Alternatively wrap in some kitchen film and freeze in an air-tight and resealable kitchen ‘baggie’ or plastic container; defrost and consume within 4-6 wks.

 

Nutritional info/(approx. for 30 servings): 97 Kcal, 1.2g Protein, 15g CHO, 5.3g sugar, 3.6g Fat, 0.7g S/Fat, 0.1g Salt
NB: 1 Serving is approx: 2 small cookies, 1 medium or 1/2 a large.

 

**Recipe updated: 19/02/16