Chocolate Covered Figs

chocolate-figs

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

10

(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:

carrot-cake

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

Original ones:

carrot-cake-cupcakes-vegan

 

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

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

Summer Squash, Sweet Potato & Turmeric Baby Blend

Sweet potato summer squash turmeric

And another use for those summer squashes my mum brought back from Suffolk! This time in batch cooking for Braxton. He’s old enough to be eating proper solid food now but I still make the odd bit of mush to mix in with it as he likes it, and also it’s a great way to get things like turmeric into him for anti-inflammatory goodness.

Ingredients
2 summer squashes
2 sweet potatoes
1 tsp (if powder) or 4 tbsp (if liquid) homemade or organic, low salt vegetable stock
1 tsp turmeric

Method

Steam the vegetables for about 10 minutes or until soft then put them in the blender with the stock and turmeric and blend until you reach desired consistency.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Apple & Redcurrant Crumble

Apple & Redcurrant Crumble 1

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

Vanilla Berry Ice Lollies

Vanilla Fruit Ice Lollies

If there is one thing I miss about dairy, it’s ice cream! Especially during hot summer days; there’s nothing better. So I decided to make my own. I’ve made smoothie lollies before and fruit lollies but I wanted something creamier, like good old-fashioned ice creams and I came up with this idea. It literally couldn’t be easier, you just need to buy yourself some ice lolly moulds in preparation. I bought BPA free ones from Amazon.

I added some edible flowers in here just to make them look more colourful, but you don’t have to do that.

Braxton loved these so much I have to make some more! They are dairy free, refined-sugar free and therefore, totally fine to give babies. They kind of taste a bit like Mini Milks, remember those?? 🙂

If you like it sweeter add the Natvia (click on this page to read more about Natvia sugar substitute and why it’s so awesome and great for diabetics).

Ingredients (makes 2 large lollies)

1 tub Rebel’s Kitchen vanilla coconut yoghurt (or plain coconut yoghurt with 1 vanilla pod scraped in)
Half cup almond milk
About 8 blueberries, squished
2 strawberries, cut in thin slices
Half tsp Natvia for added sweetness

Method

Mix the yoghurt, almond milk and Natvia in a bowl then pour the mixture into the lolly moulds and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes without adding the lolly stick.

They should have firmed up just a little bit and now push the fruit down into them and space them out.

Add the lolly sticks and put back into the freezer for 4 hours.

Remove and enjoy!

Love & health,
Lauren

Apple Pear Blueberry Vanilla Baby Blend

Apple Pear Blueberry Vanilla

Braxton is 9 months now so he’s eating a lot more ‘solid’ food but he also loves these sort of things for breakfast so I still make them. You can give these purees from the beginning of weaning – although I am a strong believer in waiting until 6 months before introducing solids as it reduces chances of allergies or autoimmune diseases by giving the gut time to mature before introducing anything new.

This is super sweet and delicious and the vanilla gives it such a yummy flavour. It’s one of Braxton’s favourites! The blueberries are a great source of antioxidant so try giving them a few times a week when they are in season.

Ingredients

1 apple
1 pear
A handful of blueberries
1 vanilla pod or half tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tbsp almond / oat / rice / coconut milk (whichever is your preference)

Method

Peel, core and chop the apple and pear and wash the blueberries.

Put them in a saucepan with the almond milk and open up the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds, or add the vanilla bean paste.

Simmer on a medium heat until soft – around 8-10 minutes, then put in the blender and serve once it’s cool enough.

Love and health,
Lauren & Braxton