Kathy Hester’s Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce & Vegan Slow Cooking Book Giveaway!

Say hello to the latest addition to my household…

Morphy Richards Slow Cooker

yes, it’s yet another gadget for my ever growing collection of kitchen appliances!

I wasn’t intending to buy a slow cooker, but I was recently sent a copy of newly published Vegan Slow Cooking For Two – Or – Just For You by Kathy Hester (best selling author of The Vegan Slow Cooker and the Healthy Slow Cooking blog). I did warn the publishers that I didn’t own a slow cooker, but they sent me a copy anyway. Maybe they knew what would happen 😉

Vegan Slow Cooking For Two Kathy Hester

Before reading Kathy’s book, I always thought slow cookers were for cooking stews and casseroles. However, Kathy has totally blown my preconceived ideas out the water. She seems to cook everything in her slow cookers – porridge, fondues, dips, tapenades, pasta, baked potatoes. She even has a recipe for a full Thanksgiving dinner that’s cooked in just one slow cooker pot!

Kathy describes these as ‘Breakfast Burritos’ but I’d happily eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Kathy describes these as ‘Breakfast Burritos’ but I’d happily eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Kathy’s latest book is specifically designed for single and couple households, and includes over 100 recipes for the smaller 1.5 litre slow cookers. The majority of the recipes take 7-9 hours, so you can quickly prep the ingredients in the morning, then come back from work to find your dinner ready and waiting for you. The breakfasts also take 7-9 hours, so you can switch the slow cooker on before bed, then wake up to a warm bowl of ready-made porridge.

Vegan Slow Cooking - Oatmeal

Kathy’s recipes are simple to follow and she provides soy-free, gluten-free and oil-free options for each meal.  Most of the ingredients she uses are easy to purchase in the UK.  There are a few recipes that call for ingredients such as vital wheat gluten flour or liquid smoke, but these are available from online stores, including Amazon.

Vegan Slow Cooking - Portobello Dinner

After reading Kathy’s book, I couldn’t resist ordering a slow cooker so that I could try out her recipes for myself.  The idea of slow cooking on days when we have after-school activities especially appeals to me. When we get back home, rather than having to start cooking (and invariably eating late into the evening), dinner will be ready and waiting for us. We won’t even need to warm it up!

On my study class night, I’m usually rushing around at the last moment, trying to get dinner cooked for the boys and grabbing a quick bite for myself before running out the door, but not this week! I spent 10 minutes in the morning prepping the ingredients for a curry based on Kathy’s Navratan Korma recipe and threw the ingredients in the slow cooker. Dinner was sorted! It was delicious too!

Vegan Slow Cooking - Navratan

Last Friday, I made another of Kathy’s recipes and, this time, I chose something from the ‘Sweet Treats’ section… Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce.  As soon as I read the ingredient list I knew that I was going to love this sauce. It includes some of my all-time favourite spices – cinnamon and cardamom – and with the addition of pureed pumpkin, it has got to be the perfect sauce for this season.

Kathy recommends that the sauce be cooked on low for 7-9 hours but I just couldn’t wait that long to try it, so I cooked it on medium/high for 3 hours instead.

Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce copy 400

And the verdict? This sauce is scrumptious! After testing it, Lil’ L declared it to be “very Autumny!”

In the mornings, we’ve been stirring a couple of tablespoons of the sauce into our porridge/oatmeal. It’s warming, sweet and, for me, it’s the most perfect porridge flavouring for this season.

Porridge with Coconut Pumpkin Caramel Sauce copy

We’ve also been enjoying the sauce in our apple & yoghurt compotes for dessert.

The recipe quantity yields 3 cups of sauce. Kathy tells me that the sauce will keep about a week in the fridge, so I’ve frozen half of it in ice cube trays. That way we can be enjoying the sauce for the next couple of months (and it will stop me from devouring the whole lot in one go 😉 )

Here’s Kathy’s recipe, reproduced with permission from Fair Winds Press:


Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce (Soy-free / Gluten-free / Oil-free)

Kathy says:”This rich, gooey sauce embodies fall. It’s lightly spiced and perfect in a cup of coffee. But don’t limit yourself – try it on vegan ice cream, dip cookies into it, or stir a bit into your morning oatmeal.”

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 7 to 9 hours
Yield: 3 cups (700 ml)

1 can (13.5 oz / 400ml) full-fat coconut milk
1 cup (225 g) packed brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1 cup (245g) pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom*
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice (I used mixed spice instead)
pinch cloves (omitted, as I used mixed spice)

*Ground cardamom isn’t readily available in UK supermarkets. I’ve heard that freshly ground cardamom is the best anyhow, so I grind my own. I simply remove the cardamom seeds from the pods, lightly toast them for 2-3 minutes until they are fragrant, then pulse them in a grinder into a fine powder. 1 tablespoon of cardamom pods makes about 1.5 teaspoons of ground spice. I store the spice in a glass jar in the fridge.


Add all the ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours. Store in the fridge and use a few teaspoons (15-20 ml) in your hot or iced coffee.

Per 2-tablespoon (28ml) serving: 42.9 calories; 0.5g total fat; 0.4g saturated fat; 0.2g protein; 13.1g carbohydrate; 0.4g dietary fiber; 0mg cholesterol

Products I used
– Chaokoh Coconut Milk, from the World Food aisle at Tesco. I like this brand as it doesn’t contain any strange preservatives, thickeners or E numbers.
– Coconut sugar, available from online stores, including Elements for Life and Amazon
– Libby’s 100% Pumpkin Purée, purchased from Waitrose



Are you already a fan of slow cooking? Or, like me, are you a newbie that’s intrigued to try it out? Either way, Kathy’s latest book is bound to give you lots of inspiration. Would you like to check it out for yourself? If so, I’m very pleased to tell you that the publishers have kindly offered me a second copy to give away 🙂

The main way to enter the giveaway is to leave me a comment below, answering the question featured in the Rafflecopter. Do make sure you tick the box in the Rafflecopter to register that you have done so!

If you’re new to Rafflecopter, it’s pretty easy! You simply ‘log in’ by clicking the ‘Use Your Email’ button and entering a name and email address (which won’t be published anywhere) or you can log in via the Facebook button. A quick demo of how to use Rafflecopter can be accessed via this link.

There are a number of additional ways you can enter in order to increase your chances of winning. You will find these listed in the Rafflecopter. All entries will be verified prior to the winner being selected.

The giveaway is open to residents (aged 18 and over) living in the UK, USA & Canada

The closing date is Thursday, 31st October 2013 at midnight GMT.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck everyone! 


Please note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links – if you click on the link and purchase something I will receive a small percentage from Amazon which will goes towards the development of Bit of the Good Stuff. Thanks in advance!


77 thoughts on “Kathy Hester’s Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce & Vegan Slow Cooking Book Giveaway!

    1. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your book Kathy, and I’m so pleased that I took the plunge and bought a slow cooker. Looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker now 😉

  1. Hi! I don’t own a slow cooker but if I did , I would be making this Pumpkin Coconut Caramel Sauce straight away!

    The book looks fantastic so wish me luck!

    Great post!

    1. I didn’t own a slow cooker until last week either 😉 I’m already hooked on it though & have used it almost every day. Definitely worth the money!

  2. I haven’t got one….Yet think I will this winter as everyone who has ones says they are great and hey if I win I would need one!

    1. I always thought they’d be expensive (similar price to blenders/food processors) so I was surprised to find they only cost around £20. I’ve already used it 5 times (in one week), so it’s definitely going to pay for itself 😉

  3. Another newbie here, been checking them out for a while now but didn’t think it’d be really worth it ( another gadget taking up space in my small kitchen?) and i also wondered if it would be heavy on the electricity bill? You might just make me change my mind 😉

    1. Hi Simona! The smaller 1.5 litre size slow cooker could be perfect for you! From what I’ve read on the internet, leaving a slow cooker on all day uses the same electricity as keeping one light on. If it’s true, I don’t think that’s too bad at all!

  4. I usually use my slow cooker to cook beans. Then I’ll use the beans for different recipes like bean burgers, etc. Sometimes I make a vegan “stew” with beans and all the traditional stew veggies. Lots of spices make it extra good!

    1. I’m looking forward to trying dried beans in the slow cooker. I’ve got packets of them in the cupboard which I rarely get round to using as I find the kitchen feels up with steam when I boil them. How long do you cook them for in the slow cooker? Is they’re a specific ratio of beans/water that you use? x

  5. I usually use about 2 cups of beans to about 6 to 8 cups of water. You don’t have to pre-soak the beans. Just rinse them and dump them in the water and cook on high for 6 or 7 hours. If you’re going out, I would add more water.

    1. Thanks so much Annie for sharing your tips. I now know where I’ve been going wrong… I tried to cook black eye peas the other day and after 8 hours they were still crunchy. I had the temperature set on low instead of high! I’ll have another go tomorrow x

  6. I do own two slow cookers actually but they are both quite large. I would have to get a smaller one for this book but I’d be willing to in order to make that sauce!

  7. This looks fantastic – a great blending of fall and dessert and I bet a little bit goes a long way! Can’t wait to try it!!

  8. I do not have a slow cooker but I could really utilise one. I make bean & lentil stews which are better if cooked over a long period of time, but the problem is that I have to keep checking it has not stuck to the bottom of the pan. Usually the barley that does.

  9. I do not have a slow cooker myself yet, but when I am able to, I love using my mother’s slow cooker to make warm ,soft, gooey, cinnamon-y apples 🙂

  10. This recipe is right up my street, can’t wait to try it. I’m glad to see that I can get pure pumpkin puree online (I’ve been looking for it as I can’t find any locally), I also found it on okado. I’m new to slow cooking but very excited and keen to try new things, thank you!

  11. I love my little slow-cooker! I had no idea there were so many possibilities with it though. I just use mine for cooking beans from scratch, soups and porridge overnight. I’d love to win a copy of the book 🙂

  12. My very close friends are vegan and are always looking for new recipes. This cook book looks very interesting.

  13. I’ve been looking for a scrumptious & healthy caramel sauce & I just found the perfect one! Thank you for sharing, Kathy’s book makes me want to put my slow cooker on right now!

  14. I own a slow cooker and love it. Like to use it for a big batch of chili, or an African peanut/sweet potato soup. Also for cooking steel cut oats so they’re ready for breakfast in the morning.

  15. we do hubby has just been doing a new recipie beef and bean stew tried it with chicken but the beef was better

  16. It’s kind of funny: I was about to say I didn’t own a slow cooker, but then realised that wasn’t true… I *do* own one, that I’ve gotten as a Christmas present a few years ago, but no wonder I had forgotten about it, as I’ve never used it, not even once! This has got to change! Seeing your review, I’ll put The Vegan Slow Cooker on my list of books to buy – I’d go for that one since mine is a bigger slow cooker, but I’d still be absolutely delighted to win the book you’re giving away: making bigger batches of those smaller recipes wouldn’t be a trouble at all!

  17. My favorite recipe in the slow cooker is my grandmothers homemade chicken noodle soup, it reminds me of a winter cold night and of course her.

  18. I like to make ratatouille in a slow cooker. Not a big fan of aubergine generally, but when it’s been cooked slowly the texture is so much nicer! This book looks awesome, intrigued by the baked potatoes..

  19. I used my slow cooker quite a bit to make rice porridge in the winter time… I set it up at night and wake up to a hot breakfast the next morning! Yum!

  20. I couldn’t live without my slow cooker. A nice batch of apple sauce cooking as I type, ready for your apple and cinnamon pancake recipe at the weekend.

  21. I do own a slow cooker. My favorite recipe is Kathy Hester’s Chickeny Bouillon recipe from The Vegan Slow Cooker

  22. We own a slow cooker and love it! We would love to have more dinner recipes that use it, so thanks for this chance to win! Right now our favorite dish to make in the crockpot is a mixture that we serve over mashed potatoes/cauliflower. It has soybeans, lentils, red pepper, vegetable broth, oregano, garlic, and tomatoes–really simple. 🙂

  23. This book looks SO fantastic! I am still waiting to really dig into the Bean Book–would love to have this one, too! And I guess it’s time for me to get slow cooker, eh (I don’t own one)? I could really use the convenience factor. 😉

  24. My latest kick has been just cooking beans in the slow cooker. I can control the spices, and it’s SO much cheaper (and better for you) than canned. But if I had to choose a recipe, it would be vegan spinach and artichoke dip!!

  25. My favorite is a chickpea curry with coconut milk, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes and chickpeas! Thanks for a USA giveaway!

  26. We used to own a slow cooker but gave it away to a relative – we didn’t really know what to cook in it so didn’t have much use for it.

  27. I do own a slow cooker, but I’ve hardly used it for anything other than vegetable broth. Just haven’t found a recipe that spoke to me yet.

  28. I dont have a slow cooker but love cooking currys for my family that way (their all meat eaters and adore a slow cooked chicken curry)

  29. I don’t unfortunately but know that I need one! I can sometimes just make a slow cooker recipe in my regular pot and keep it covered and that works for stews or soups but doubt it would work for the really good recipes like this caramel!

  30. I’ve just become vegetarian as I have just undertaken a Buddhist commitment ceremony. I don’t eat cheese, so am finding it difficult to find recipes to suit me! Transitioning to an almost vegan diet is challenging for me at the moment!

    I do have a slow cooker, but its sadly neglected!

  31. i dont have a slow cooker and did not think you could make many vegetarian dishes in it. I thought that slow cookers were more for chicken, beef, beans etc that needed longer cooking times. Amazing recipes in the preview section. Very interested.

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