Category: Snacks

Bananas and I have reached a sort of impasse. I’ve talked before about how they are genuinely gross and I hate them…however I can stomach them baked and blended into things like pancakes, smoothies and banana bread.

Banana bread is the bomb. However, last time I made it it ended up getting all stuck in the tin and I was eating chunks of it out of there with my hands like a cave person. I wanted to make it again but in an easier and less messy way – in comes my mini muffin tray! Mini food is the best.

I’ll be eating these for breakfast a lot I reckon. Of course if you don’t own a mini muffin tin you can use a normal one – just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

This recipe makes approximately 36 mini muffins.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup soft light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup soy milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or other light tasting oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f. If your muffin tray is not non-stick, line it with mini muffin paper cases.
  2. Prepare the flax egg, mix the ground flax with the water and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the mashed banana and brown sugar and mix on low until combined.
  4. In a large jug add the soy milk mixed with the apple cider vinegar, oil and vanilla extract. Whisk together and set aside.
  5. In another bowl sift together the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the mixer, mixing on low until incorporated. It will form a soft dough.
  6. Pour in the wet ingredients and the flax egg, beating on medium until the mixture resembles a batter.
  7. Carefully spoon a teaspoon of batter into each muffin case until all are filled. Tap the tray on the counter a few times.
  8. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Leave the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then carefully remove them from the pan to cool on a wire wrack.
  10. Repeat for the rest of the batter.
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Edible gifts! The perfect gift for when you have no idea what to get for people! These also make sweet little favours to tie onto gift wrapping if you’re skilled at that. My wrapping skills are atrocious so I’ll leave that to the pros.

You can air dry these over a period of days, (around 2-3 depending on how humid your house is) and then dip them or if you’re lucky enough to own a dehydrator you can dehydrate them for 4 hours at 30f and then a final hour at 40f to firm them up.

INGREDIENTS

For the candied orange

  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white cane sugar

For the chocolate

  • 80g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan add the water and the sugar. Heat on high and bring to a boil.
  2. Prepare the orange. Slice the nubs off both ends then slice the orange in half. Lay each half on the cut side and using a very sharp knife cut the orange into thin slices. Repeat with both sides of the orange.
  3. Once the sugar-water is boiling, carefully lower the orange slices into the pan. Boil for 5-10 minutes, turning them once.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the oranges for 30 minutes or until the syrup has reduce, turning them once or twice.
  5. Turn the heat down to low and leave the oranges for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Prepare two wire wracks, placing baking trays underneath to catch any syrup.
  7. Turn off the heat and allow the oranges to cool for a few minutes.
  8. Carefully lift the oranges out of the syrup and place them on the wire wracks. The syrup can be used for whatever you like – I bottled mine and added it to fizzy water!
  9. Allow the oranges to drain. If you don’t own a dehydrator, the oranges will now need to air dry for 2-3 days depending on how humid your house is. If you do own a dehydrator, dehydrate the oranges in a single layer for 4 hours at 30f and then a further 1 hour at 40f.
  10. When you are ready to dip the oranges, place a heat proof bowl of a pan of boiling water. Add the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring until melted. Carefully dip half of each orange slice into the chocolate. Leave to cool on a lined baking tray.
  11. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to gift!

 

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I know, I know…another pumpkin recipe. I hope you’ll forgive me! These are mad good!

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 4 tbsp peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin puree

  1. First prepare the chocolate. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler on a medium heat.
  2. Line a muffin tray with paper muffin cups. Divide the melted chocolate in half and then using a teaspoon scoop the melted chocolate into the muffin cups. Make sure the chocolate is spread evenly on the bottom and then put the tray into the fridge for 10-15 minutes to harden.
  3. Whilst the chocolate is hardening prepare the filling, in a bowl add the peanut butter, pumpkin and vanilla powder, stirring well with a spatula until fully incorporated. Taste and add sweetener if desired.
  4. Remove the muffin tray from the fridge and using a teaspoon spread the peanut pumpkin filling over the chocolate. Use the spoon to smooth it out slightly.
  5. Cover the filling with the other half of the melted chocolate and place in the fridge to set completely.
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I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve failed at making nut butter in my blender. When I’m with my husband in the U.S we have the Vitamix and it’s a total beast. It makes butter in about 3 minutes flat. Over here, I have a not-at-all powerful food processor and a Magimix blender. I tried making it in the food processor and the nuts just whirled around looking all sad.

Today I finally cracked making it in the Magimix! Here’s to the forthcoming 20lbs of almond butter I’m going to stuff into my face. I used pecans here because they are the CANDY of the nut world and I don’t see pecan butter in the shops at all. I also added some cashews to make it a little bit creamier. IT TASTES SO DAMN GOOD.

Then I spread it all over some gluten-free chia crackers and topped it with nectarine slices and hemp seeds. Bliss. You can obviously eat it however you like!

This recipe makes one small jar. If you feel like having more around just increase the pecans to 2 cups and the cashews to 1 cup. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4-1/2 cup neutral tasting oil such as vegetable or sunflower
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Begin by roasting the nuts. In a dry pan over a medium heat add the nuts. Stir occassionally, until the nuts begin to release their smells and turn brown. They will colour quickly – be careful not to burn them. Remove from the heat.
  2. Pour the nuts into the blender, add 1/4 cup of oil and begin blending. At first you may need to push the nuts into the blender blades. I used a rolling pin for this.
  3. Scrape down the sides then continue blending on high for about 3-10 minutes depending on your blender. If the mixture is still lumpy and doesn’t flow around the blades smoothly, add a little more oil. It will feel like the nuts will never, ever blend but they will!
  4. Once the nuts are blended into a smooth butter consistency, add the salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Blend on low to combine.
  5. Pour the butter into a jar and allow to cool before slathering on everything.
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I’ve wanted to make my own yogurt for a long, long time. Most of the vegan yogurts you see online are made from Thai young coconut meat – but I’m scared of trying to crack one of those babies open and I’ve never actually seen one in the shops…

I recommend using the Megaflora brand of probiotics for this. After you blend the cashews you MUST use glass and wood utensils and bowls! No more metal!  Metal will kill the nice friendly bacteria that are going to make the yogurt.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of cashews, soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Powder from 2 probiotic capsules
  • 2-3 tbsp Grade B maple syrup

  1. Soak the cashews in warm water for 8 hours overnight. If you are in a pinch, soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse the cashews. Add to the blender with the water and the maple syrup.
  3. Add the blended cashews to a glass bowl. Sprinkle the probiotic powder on top of the cashew mixture then stir in with a wooden spoon.
  4. Cover the bowl with muslin and leave it in a warm, dark place for 24 to 48 hours.
  5. After 24 hours try the yogurt, it should have a foamy texture and taste slightly tart. You can leave for another 24 hours if you like your yogurt a little tarter. At 48 hours the yogurt will have a strong sour taste.
  6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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At the moment the fruit and veg man at my local tube station has a box of 2kg of cherries for £7. Obviously I couldn’t resist. But then came the problem of what to do with them all. I thought about dehydrating them but I couldn’t face the idea of how many trays I’d need to rotate.

So I decided to use 1kg to make jam! I set up my pitting station in front of Orange is the New Black and got to work. Whilst you are pitting the cherries, reserve the kernels from about two dozen – you will need the pectin in them later. I ended up with 3 large jars and one small jar.

INGREDIENTS
Adapted from Taste.com.au

  • 1kg of cherries, pitted
  • Two dozen cherry kernels wrapped in a muslin bundle
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, split
  • 1kg sugar

  1. Preheat your oven to 200f. Wash your jars in hot soapy water then place them side down inside the oven. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes then turn off the heat and leave them inside until needed.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan add your cherries, using a fork or potato masher mash the fruit to break it up. Turn the heat to a medium low and add the lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. Cook for about 3 minutes then add the kernel bundle, turning the heat up to medium. Cook the fruit for 15 minutes until soft. Remove and discard the kernels and the vanilla.
  4. Add the sugar slowly, stirring all the time. Cook the jam for about 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved then bring it to a boil.
  5. Boil the jam for up to 25 minutes, checking to see whether it is set every 5 minutes. Place a saucer in the fridge. Spoon a little jam onto the saucer, return it to the fridge for a few minutes. Using your finger, drag it across the jam, if the jam puckers and wrinkles it is ready.
  6. Remove the jam from the heat. Using a metal spoon carefully scrape the white scum from the surface. This will stop your jam from becoming cloudy.
  7. Remove your jars from the oven and carefully ladle in the hot jam. Immediately seal with the lids and leave to cool completely. Store in a dark, cool place.
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Yesterday I was doing a clear out of one of our food cupboards and I found about seven jars of nut butters. Shameful.

I also found a tub of cold pressed cacao butter and as a chocolate addict you can probably guess what happened next. You can of course use regular chocolate if you don’t want to make your own – just melt it on a double boiler and pour that into the muffin cases.

You can obviously sub any kind of nut butter for almond – I think cashew would be delicious! Feel free to top them with anything you like as well – shredded coconut, goji berries, all the magical stuff like that.

I’m using regular sized muffin cases but I think mini versions of these would be so cute!

Just a warning – because of the cacao butter and coconut oil these melt incredibly fast – so shove them into your mouth quick. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g cacao butter
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 4 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 2-4 tbsp maple syrup or liquid sweetener, depending on how sweet you like it
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 40g nut butter of your choice – I used almond
  • Hemp seeds, to top
  • Cacao nibs, to top

  1. Melt the cacao butter. Place a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and add the cacao. Stir until melted. Add the cacao powder and stir until combined.
  2. Add the maple syrup, maca, vanilla and salt. Taste, adding more maple syrup if desired.
  3. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cases and spoon 1 tbsp of chocolate into each one.
  4. Set in the fridge to harden, about 20 minutes.
  5. Once hardened, using a teaspoon measure add 1 tsp of almond butter on top of the chocolate and smooth it out.
  6. Spoon more chocolate over the top of the almond butter, sprinkle on the hemp seeds or cacao nibs.
  7. Put the almond butter cups into the fridge to harden. Once hardened, remove them from the muffin tray and store in an airtight container to keep fresh.
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Since the dawn of aquafaba and the vegan meringue bandwagon I’ve been using a lot of cans of chickpeas. Usually, I’m more bothered about the liquid than the chickpeas themselves. This weekend, I was doing some recipe testing using aquafaba as an egg replacer and ended up with a can of chickpeas that I had no use for.

Normally I would make Isa’s chickpea of the sea faux tuna salad but I had been thinking about protein rich work snacks and so the spiced roasted chickpea was born. You can use these as a salad topping (hello, protein crouton) or just eat them as a snack!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 350f. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, add the chickpeas and spices. Pour over the coconut oil and stir thoroughly until the chickpeas are well coated in spices and oil.
  3. Bake on a non-stick baking tray for 20 minutes or until golden and crispy, turning half way.
  4. Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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Just before our honeymoon my husband (!!!) and I hit up a local health food shop. As we were browsing around picking out goodies (Hello, beast burger sliders) I spied the Bee Free Honee. I’d been dying to try it since I had first heard of it way back when but couldn’t find it in the UK! We snapped it up. It definitely has a honey taste (from what I can remember), my husband says it has an apple honey kind of flavour. It also has the viscosity of honey which is great – I find maple syrup can be a little too thin sometimes.

Then cashew pieces were on sale at Sprouts and we have a Vitamix so this basically had to happen.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup roasted unsalted cashew pieces or whole cashews
  • 2 tbsp neutral tasting oil – we used canola
  • 4 tsp bee free honee or sub brown rice syrup or light agave
  • 1 tsp sea salt ( do not add if your cashews are already salted)

  1. Put your cashews, salt, oil and bee free honee into a high powered blender or food processor.
  2. Start blending on low. If using a blender, use the tamper to push the nuts into the blades. Once the nuts begin to liquefy turn the blender up to high.
  3. The blades will make a chugging noise and then run free of the butter. Once it is smooth, it’s ready!!

Variation: For cinnamon honee cashew butter, add in 1 tsp of  ground cinnamon whilst blending. It tastes incredible, I promise.

Note: I haven’t been sponsored by Bee Free Honee for this post – I just think they’re awesome!

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This recipe is mostly inspired by trips to Sprouts Farmers Market with my fiance. We always swoon over the bins of chocolate covered nuts and fruits. The best so far have been the chocolate covered blueberries and the pecans. Seeing as though Sprouts is about 5000 miles away, I had to improvise – here’s my slightly less commercial looking version. I was also lucky enough to get 3lbs of blueberries for £2.50…2 cups of which went into this recipe!

Just a note, you can use fresh blueberries instead but I would try to use dried or dehydrated ones if you can. The blueberry flavour is much punchier when dried!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of blueberries, pierced and dehydrated 8-12 hours at 65c
  • 170g/1 cup dark chocolate (70% or up)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Grease proof paper

  1. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Stir in the vanilla, coconut oil and salt. Stir until nicely combined.
  3. Take the bowl off the heat and pour in the blueberries. Stir with a spatula to coat. Try to coat all the berries evenly.
  4. Using a fork and a spoon, scoop out the blueberries and arrange them on the paper. Try to make sure they are evenly spaced and not touching.
  5. Once the tray is full, put it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  6. Remove the tray from the fridge, and break apart the blueberries.  Your hands will probably get a little messy!
  7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge to use for later! They taste amazing on top of ice cream or granola!
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