* This recipe was originally posted in March 2014. The page was updated in February 2020.
It’s Shrove Tuesday tomorrow and I am really looking forward to making a big pile of my family’s favourite vegan crepes. They are so easy to make and use basic pantry ingredients. We don’t even use an egg replacer! I’ve always loved French-style crepes but I love this vegan version even more. They taste amazing and they’re cruelty-free too ❤️
If you’re looking for a special occasion dessert that is super easy to make but has the ‘wow’ factor, then today’s recipe is for you! It’s a rich chocolate torte, consisting of a silky smooth ganache set on top of a biscuit base. There is no baking involved and it only takes around 20 minutes to prepare. The hardest part is waiting for it to set before you can dive in!
* This recipe was first published in December 2017. The page was updated in December 2019
Hello everyone! I hope your preparations for the festive holiday are going well. Hopefully you’ve been a bit more organised than me. As usual, I’ve left a lot of shopping and food preparation to the last minute, so today – Christmas Eve – is going to be one very busy day for me! However, before I crack on with the preparations, I thought I would share one last recipe on the blog before 2017 comes to a close. The recipe is for a giant-sized mince pie, which is just perfect for sharing with friends and family this season. I’ve already made three of these pies in the past week, and no doubt I will making more in the lead up to the New Year.
During the festive season, my family loves to have home-made mince pies for dessert, drizzled in custard or cream. However, while they taste delicious, individual mince pies do tend to look a bit lost on dessert plates and aren’t what I would consider ‘special enough’ to serve to dinner guests. To resolve this, I’ve played around with my favourite mince pie recipe and created a family-sized pie instead, which can be sliced and served on a plate with a more appealing presentation.
In this month’s Vegan Life magazine, one recipe that instantly caught my eye was Niomi Smart’s Banana Mocha Ice Cream Cups.
I love chocolate banana ice cream! It’s so simple and cheap to make (costing literally a few pence per serving), yet it feels like a real treat. It also happens to be packed full of healthy ingredients, including an array of minerals and antioxidant goodness.
Healthy, decadent, cheap and quick. No surprises why this is one of my favourite desserts to make!
I’ve been making banana ice cream for a few years now, and have learnt a few tricks along the way to make the process even quicker and easier. For example, I used to slice the bananas and arrange them in single layers in freezer bags prior to freezing, however I’ve since discovered that bananas can be sliced from frozen using a sharp knife. These days, I simply pop whole bananas in the freezer stacked in plastic containers with a layer of parchment paper in between to stop them sticking together.
In today’s post, I’m sharing a recipe for an easy vegan pecan pie. This dish will be perfect for serving in the upcoming festive season. It looks impressive and slices beautifully.
Pecan pie hails from the southern US states. After a google search, I discovered that it’s traditionally made with eggs, butter, refined sugar and corn syrup. I decided to ditch all of these and use some of my favourite plant-based ingredients instead.
For the crust, I use my ‘go to’ sweet pastry recipe (which I first shared in my Mince Pie post). I’ve never had a fail with this pastry and I love how crisp it turns out. Unlike many pastry recipes, it’s also palm-oil free as it uses coconut butter (the aroma-free/culinary kind) instead of dairy-free spread/vegan butter.
I first shared a recipe for chocolate orange chia pudding back in February 2012 and, to this day, it remains one of my family’s favourite desserts ♥ It’s such a simple pudding to make and, since I originally posted the recipe, I’ve refined the method so that it’s even quicker. Honestly, this recipe could not be more easy! The original photo I took doesn’t do this pudding justice, so I thought it was time for a re-post with the updated recipe and some shiny new photos.
Since that original post, chia seeds have become much more popular here in the UK. You can buy them in most health food shops, and even supermarkets have started stocking them. They’re also widely available (and often much cheaper) from online stores. I find they can vary a lot in price, so I always shop around for the best deal.
Since I use them daily in smoothies and puddings, lately I’ve been buying the Sevenhills 1kg bags as they work out much better value. You can buy them in a range of quantities though, so it’s probably a good idea to start with a smaller bag if you’re trying them for the first time (Holland & Barrett are currently selling a 100g bag for £2.49).
So why do I love chia seeds so much?
Well, there are two main reasons. The first is their amazing nutritional profile. Chia seeds are very high in dietary fibre, a good source of ‘complete’ protein, and rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids. They’re also hydrophilic and can absorb around 10 times their weight in water, thus helping to keep us nicely hydrated. Their fibre, fat and protein content, along with these hydrophilic abilities, means that the seeds are a great source of slow release energy, they help to balance blood sugar levels, and they keep us feeling full up for hours. Adding a spoonful to smoothies is a great way to keep hunger pangs at bay.
Chia seeds contain a range of trace minerals, and are especially rich in manganese, phosphorus and calcium, which are all important for good bone health. A 28g / 1 oz serving provides 30% of the manganese RDA, 27% of phosphorus, and 18% of the calcium RDA. The seeds also contain a multitude of antioxidants, including the flavonoid quercetin, which has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties.
The second reason I love chia so much is that they make the most incredible chocolate puddings! Once blended with some cacao or cocoa powder and a little liquid, they transform into a delicious, silky smooth pudding that will easily rival any shop-bought chocolate dessert. And unlike the shop-bought varieties that tend to be laden with sugar and little nutritional value, these chia puddings are refined sugar free and packed with nutrition.
I used to soak the chia seeds in liquid for an hour or so until they’d transformed into a gel-like substance before blending them up, but these days I literally throw all the ingredients straight in the blender. High speed blenders are best for this job as they’ll blend the seeds smooth in a matter of seconds. Since I’ve had the Froothie, making chia puddings has been a breeze.
Lil’ L absolutely loves these puddings and sees them as a real treat. It’s great to be able to treat him to something that’s so nutritionally packed and full of healthy goodness.
80ml / ⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (1-2 juicy oranges)
300ml / 1¼ cups non dairy milk
64g / 6 TBSP chia seeds
30g / 4 TBSP cacao powder (or regular cocoa powder)
4 soft pitted dates (e.g. Medjool)
½ tsp orange extract
Maple syrup (or agave syrup), to taste
Dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated
Place the orange juice and milk in a powerful high speed blender, followed by the remaining ingredients (I use my Froothie 9400). Give them a stir until they are coated in liquid, then blend until silky smooth. Stop now and then to scrape down the sides. Taste test and add a touch more orange extract or sweetener, if desired.
Pour into small ramekins or cups, sprinkle on the garnish and chill until ready to serve. It will keep for up to five days in the refrigerator.
Have you tried chia puddings before? If so, what’s your favourite flavour combo? If you’ve posted any recipes or pics, please do share the links below x