Blueberry Coconut Oat Bars

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This morning I had a bee in my bonnet about wanting to make a less stodgy version of my blueberry porridge bars (not that stodge is bad, I just wanted something a bit crunchier this time!) and I happened to stumble across a recipe for exactly what I was looking for when I was scrolling through my Instagram (@theorganicspoon) courtesy of Baby Led Feeding.

They have more ingredients than the porridge bars but they are a bit more like flapjacks of some sort and made a nice change. Great to take out as a snack for the kids. Have packaged mine up ready to take out to the park with us this morning.

Ingredients

180g oats
140g buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
40g desiccated coconut
120g coconut oil
2 bananas mashed
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

280g blueberries
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC
  2. Heat the coconut oil gently in a saucepan and leave to cool.
  3. Add the oats, flour, baking powder and 3/4 of the desiccated coconut to a bowl. Give it a good stir then make a well in the middle and add in the coconut oil, bananas, maple syrup, egg and vanilla. Make sure the coconut oil is cooled first otherwise it will cook the egg. Stir well until it is fully combined and has formed into a dough.
  4. Line a square silicone baking tin with parchment paper then pour in 3/4’s of the mixture, then press it down with a spoon.
  5. Make the blueberry compote by adding the blueberries and water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to low and using a wooden spoon or masher, mash until they have broken apart, then add the chia seeds and give it a good stir.
  6. Pour the blueberry compote over the oat mixture, then dollop over the remaining mixture in small clumps until it is gone.
  7. Sprinkle over the remaining desiccated coconut then bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Cool fully before removing from the oven then slice into small baby bites and serve.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Epic Chocolate Birthday Cake – Gluten, Wheat & Dairy Free

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PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS ON THIS ONE OTHERWISE IT WON’T MAKE SENSE

Here it is–Braxton’s EPIC (if I do say so myself) chocolate birthday cake. So, this is the same recipes as Grandma’s Birthday cake, except I made 3 of them so I could tier it, and I forgot to sprinkle cacao over the top. But also, I decided not to use the avocado mousse topping like I used in the other one because I didn’t think it would hold out of the fridge for the day, which this cake needed to be able to do. I did want it to be super decadent so I used 70% dark chocolate, so the frosting does have sugar in it. The cake bases themselves don’t have any refined sugar, and I used an organic, fair-trade, 70% dark chocolate.

OK so it has a bit of sugar (which we NEVER have at home), but it was a one off and it was actually so worth it because it was amazing. No one could believe that it was dairy and gluten free.

I made the same cake in a smaller version for Braxton’s cake-smash cake.

INSTRUCTIONS: Now, I wasn’t sure it would be a perfect mixture if I just tripled the mixture from my original recipe, so–and yes this does make it more time consuming so totally up to you if you want to give it a go tripling it!–I made the mixture 3 separate times. So when reading the ingredients below, you have to do those measurements 3 separate times. 

For the frosting you only need the measurements I give you as is.

Right, here it is!

Ingredients – remember, do the measurements below, 3 times

Cake bases:
150ml extra-virgin olive oil
50g raw cacao powder
125ml boiling water
2 tsp vanilla extract
150g ground almonds
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch Himalayan salt
150g Natvia or coconut palm sugar
3 free-range organic eggs

Chocolate Ganache:
500g dark chocolate
The cream from the top of 4 cans of coconut milk (full fat), room temperature
2 tbsp Natvia icing sugar (if using standard Natvia, grind it in a coffee or spice grinder)
The cream from the top of 2 cans of coconut milk, chilled

Method

Preheat oven to 170° and grease 3 25cm springform cake tins. Line bases with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Sift the cacao into a bowl and whisk in the boiling water with a fork until you have a smooth, chocolatey, still runny paste. If you have a Kitchenaid or electric whisk with its own bowl, do it in this; it will make it extra creamy. Whisk in the vanilla, then set aside to cool.

In another bowl combine the ground almonds with bicarbonate of soda,  baking powder and salt.

Put the sugar and olive oil into a bowl and beat together with the electric whisk for about 3 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time, with a slow speed so it aerates. After the 3 minutes, add the ground almond mix, and mix until incorporated.

Finally, add the chocolate mix slowly until combined and pour into the prepared tin.

You can do all of this with a handheld whisk, a fork and spoon if you don’t have a Kitchenaid but using one will just make the mixture a bit creamier. I have done it with and without and was nice both times – just a bit fluffier with!

Bake for about 30 mins. The sides should be set but not burnt and the top centre should still look very slightly damp.

Repeat this two more times with the other cake tins. I also put them in the oven separately so I could make sure they didn’t under-cook, but you can try and put them in all together if you want.

Remove the cake from the oven. Leave to cool for 30 mins before removing from the tin.

While in the oven make the ganache:

Heat the coconut cream in a saucepan over a medium heat. Remove from the heat just as it comes to the boil. Put the chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl, pour the coconut cream over and stir gently with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth, thick ganache. (If some of the chocolate still hasn’t melted, add boiling water to the used pan and put the bowl on top until it melts).

Whisk in the Natvia icing sugar. Transfer 8 tablespoons of ganache to a separate, smaller bowl. Put both bowls in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Remove the smaller bowl of ganache from the fridge. Add the chilled coconut cream (discard any remaining watery liquid) and whisk with an electric mixer until it is a pale, milk chocolate shade and mousse-like in texture, with the consistency of double cream. Hold back one large spoonful of this and add it to the ganache in the fridge. Leave in the fridge.

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Go back to the pale mixture and now spread over the tops of two of the cakes, leaving a 1cm gap around the edge of the cake. Place the two cakes with the ganache, one on top of the other, then add the third one on top.

Remove the remaining ganache from the fridge and gently mix so the paler one is incorporated into the darker one spread over the cake, and using a palette knife, spread over the sides and smooth down until the whole cake is covered. The cake should now be completely covered with ganache, with no sponge visible.

Dust with raw cacao powder and decorate with strawberries if desired.

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Love & health,
Lauren

 

Thank you to Dairy-Free Delicious for the ganache recipe.

 

 

Golden Linseed Oat Cookies – Full of Omega-3 and Great for Baby Led Weaning

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As you all know by now, I usually make sure to make a batch of something sweet but healthy once a week (ish!) so that I don’t have to give Braxton anything processed or filled with sugar. I don’t give him sweet things every day (apart from fruit), but I do like to give him things like this every few days now he’s nearly 1. It keeps him quiet for 5 minutes, that’s for sure! 🙂 But the main point is that I like to make sure I fill any snacks I make with superfoods.

Making cookies like these is a great way to be able to add things like linseeds, which are a great vegetarian source of the Omega 3 essential fatty acid, Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). Our bodies can’t make ALA, so it is ‘essential’ that we get them from our diet. These essential fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties, so aside from making sure he gets essential fatty acids in his diet, I’m also giving him anti-inflammatory properties which, in our situation, is imperative.

Suffice to say these were very well received! Soft on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside and easy for Brax to chew. Sweet but not too sweet and of course, free of gluten, wheat, dairy, refined sugar or eggs.

Ingredients (makes 12 cookies)

1 cup ground almonds
1 ½ cups organic rolled oats
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch Himalayan salt
5 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 tbsp almond butter
¼ cup almond milk
1 tbsp golden linseeds

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c and line 2 baking trays with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Mix all the dry ingredients, except for the linseeds, in a bowl.

Add all the wet ingredients to the blender and blend until combined.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the linseeds and mix.

Form into balls with your hands and press down on them on the prepared baking trays and bake for 10 minutes.

Put the baking sheets with the cookies on them on a wire rack or on top of some towels on the work surface (the surface they cool on shouldn’t be cold) to cool away from the heat of the baking trays so they don’t crisp up too much. Once cool put in an airtight container.

Love & health,
Lauren

Raw Vegan Bounty Bites

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My favourite EVER chocolate was Bounty – I’m obsessed with anything coconut so this really is an indulgence for me. I made these a few years ago before starting the blog but never photographed them or wrote down the recipe so thought I’d try to perfect them now so you can all share in their splendor! They are simply mouth-watering; so delicious but also kind of light and fluffy so they don’t make you feel sick. Everyone here loved them, hope you do too.

Ingredients

2 cups desiccated coconut
¼ cup ground almonds
½ cup coconut oil
The cream from the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk
¼ cup maple
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate coating:
3 tbsp cacao powder
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp cashew butter
¼ cup coconut oil (add more if it is too thick)

Method

Melt the coconut oil then mix all the ingredients except the chocolate in a bowl.

Line a plate or baking tray with baking paper then roll the mixture into small balls and put them on the prepared plate and put it in the freezer for an hour. (the baking paper will stop them sticking to the plate)

Make the chocolate sauce while it’s in the freezer. Take it off the heat once ready, take the balls out the freezer and immerse them, one by one, into the saucepan and coat them with the chocolate then put back on the plate. They will be best if you coat them twice, so once you’ve done them all once, re-immerse them.

Put them in the fridge to chill and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Chocolate Covered Figs

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Check out the post I made about the awesome plant-based restaurant in Marbella, Gioia. They gave me the idea for this super easy dessert. It really is an excellent addition to any dinner party table, and couldn’t be easier to make. Also nice for kids as it’s fruit – but it’s chocolatey! 🙂

Ingredients

Chocolate sauce recipe
4 fresh figs
Handful almonds, crushed

Method

Make the sauce in a small saucepan then pour it over the figs.

Top with the crushed almonds and leave in the fridge to set.

Love & health,

Lauren

 

Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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(Post has been updated since Braxton’s birthday to show new pictures)

I’m starting to plan Braxton’s 1st birthday (can you believe it?!?!) and of course the menu is of utmost importance. I’m not going to feed him the way I do then all of a sudden spend a day filling him with sugar and rubbish, so I have to come up with enough gluten, dairy & refined sugar-free cake options for everyone. We’re only doing a tea party at home for family, but I want it to be special, so Daniel and I are making a lot of the decorations ourselves and of course we’re making all the food. I’m going to make him the chocolate cake that I made from grandma’s birthday, but I’ll make it a 3 tiered one with heaps of chocolate frosting and that can be the cake we put the candles on, and I’m going to make a small sponge cake with a chocolate frosting for his cake smash picture (gotta be done!) but I also wanted to make some cupcakes as everyone loves a cupcake and it just looks nice.

I first made this a few weeks ago but made it as a cake originally, and cut it into squares, but the recipe wasn’t perfect. So I tried again last night, changing the things I think went wrong last time and they really are honestly delicious, and so nice as cupcakes, especially for a birthday. I made them with eggs the first time but then thought, hey, I can easily make these vegan by using banana instead of egg and the banana goes so nice with carrot and also makes it more moist, which is essential for carrot cake.

The banana keeps it quite sweet so I used a few spoonfuls of maple in the cakes themselves and that was it, but the frosting was so easy to make thanks to Natvia! Their icing sugar came in really handy this time as I was able to make a vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free frosting with Natvia icing sugar, dairy-free spread and a bit of vanilla.

These are the ones I made with egg and I tried a soya cream cheese frosting but the sweet frosting I made with Natvia was much nicer:

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I’ll post them again when the party is over and I can take a picture of all the food together!

Original ones:

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Ingredients

150g buckwheat flour
1tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
1.5 tsp baking powder
80ml coconut oil
3 ripe bananas
7 tbsp maple
3 large carrots
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Topping:
250g organic, dairy free spread / margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
400g Natvia icing sugar
1/4 cup crushed walnuts

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a cupcake baking tray with cupcake liners.

Peel and grate the carrots and leave to the side.

In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and spices.

In another bowl mash the bananas then mix in the coconut oil (melted but not hot) and maple.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, adding slowly and mixing as you go along. Once it is mixed, add the grated carrot and walnuts and mix again.

Pour into the prepared tin and put in the oven for 18 minutes.

Once it’s in the oven prepare the topping by mixing the ingredients really well then leaving in the fridge.

Remove the cake from the oven and wait until it is completely cool before adding the topping. The topping will need to come out the fridge 5 minutes before you’re going to start adding it to the cakes. I did mine with piping bags but you can just spoon it on if you don’t have time.

Add some more chopped walnuts to the top.

Love & health,
Lauren

Lemon & Coconut Energy Balls

Lemon Coconut Energy Balls

So I was attempting to make some almond butter but my Vitamix stopped working so before the almonds got smooth enough I was left with a thicker butter. I didn’t want it to go to waste so I just mixed them with dates and other bits to make some energy balls.

I love the combination of lemon and coconut – it’s so summery and refreshing.

Ingredients

1 cup almonds (soaked for 6 hours)
1 cup dates
2 tbsp maple syrup or 1 tbsp Natvia (for lower GI or diabetics use Natvia)
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp desiccated coconut and more to coat

Method

After the almonds have soaked, rinse and pat them dry, then put them in the blender and blend until a thick buttery consistency forms.

Now add the dates and blend until incorporated.

Add the maple, zest, lemon juice and coconut and blend until combined.

Spoon the mixture into a bowl as it’s easier to work with than when it’s in the blender. Get a clean plate and start rolling the mixture into small balls in your hands and put them on the plate.

Once they are all made, sprinkle the desiccated coconut over them and roll them around to coat them completely.

Chill in the fridge for 4 hours before eating and keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes

Buckwheat Maca Pancakes

Sunday mornings should really be all about pancakes, and my baby boy deserves the best! Such a great baby-led weaning food as it’s so easy for them to hold and feed themselves. This recipe uses only healthy, natural ingredients so it’s still full of nutrients, especially as I added a load of maca powder in there.

Braxton absolutely devoured these – and Daniel and I had no problem polishing them off!

I topped it with some almond butter and homemade chocolate sauce but you can use anything you like.

 

Ingredients

2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 2 tbsp water)
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
1.5 ripe bananas
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)
Coconut oil for cooking

Method

Make the flax eggs by mixing the flax seed with water in a small bowl and leaving it to the side.

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and wizz until smooth.

Heat some coconut oil in a pan and when hot, add a small ladle full of the mixture in a pancake shape. It will only need about a minute, then flip it and do another minute, or until you think it’s cooked through.

Continue until the mixture is finished.

 

Top with almond butter, homemade chocolate sauce or maple syrup (or all 3!)

Love & health,
Lauren

Apple & Redcurrant Crumble

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Following on from the post about my mum going to the farmer’s market when she was in Suffolk, other than the summer squashes, she also bought me some lovely redcurrants. I have to say it’s not something I usually buy but they are so pretty and I had loads of apples (and was entertaining, as usual!) so I thought, why not make a crumble. It’s a real British dessert and redcurrants are typical of the ‘English country garden’ so it worked really well.

Just like the Natvia natural sugar substitute I use in this (and many other) recipe, redcurrants have a lower glycemic index value than many other fruits. They are also really good for the hair and skin and, just like its cousin the blueberry, the redcurrant is a great antioxidant. All in all I’d say this crumble is essential for your general wellbeing!

Ingredients

For the fruit layer:
A large handful of redcurrants, picked off the stalks
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Juice of 2 oranges, reserve the zest of 1 orange
1 tsp Natvia
2 tbsp honey

For the crumble:
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup almonds, soaked for 6 hours
60ml coconut oil
40ml raw honey

Method

Firstly, remember to pre-soak the almonds. Drain, rinse & pat them dry.

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

In a saucepan combine all the fruit layer ingredients. Simmer for around 10-15 minutes until tender. Once softened, pour into an oven-proof dish.

For the crumble, put the oats, ground flaxseed, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest and almonds into a food processor. Process until a crumb-like texture forms. Add the coconut oil and honey and combine well. Spread over the rhubarb mixture.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the crumble is golden and the sauce is bubbling up around the edges. Best served warm, but also delicious served at room temperature for breakfast the next day, with some coconut yoghurt. This was Braxton’s breakfast for 2 days in a row!

Apple & Redcurrant Crumble 2

Love & health,
Lauren

Vegan Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I love muffins and cupcakes, but I try to stay away from the ones packed with refined sugar, gluten and dairy these days. My favourite was always lemon and poppy seed so I thought I’d try to make my own today. I’m loving using my Natvia natural sugar substitute and wanted to try it in muffins and they turned out beautifully – a real indulgent afternoon snack with a cup of herbal tea!

Ingredients

2 flax eggs (mix 2 tbsp ground flax seed with 5 tbsp water and leave aside in a bowl)
¼ cup vegan margarine / non-dairy butter/spread (room temperature, soft)
¼ cup Natvia
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup (optional, omit for diabetics or low GI)

Frosting:
2 tbsp non-dairy butter / marge at room temperature
2 tbsp Natvia
2 tbsp lemon juice

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a cupcake / muffin baking tin with cupcake cases.

Prepare your flax eggs by mixing the flax seeds and water in a bowl and setting aside.

Put the margarine in a bowl and whip with a fork or a handheld whip.

Add the Natvia and mix, then add the flax eggs and mix until totally combined.

Add the vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and combine.

Now add the buckwheat flour, slowly, and mix as you go until you have added it all, then add the baking powder, then the almond milk and poppy seeds and mix until incorporated.

Spoon the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake for around 12 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean but they are still fairly moist.

Love & health,
Lauren