Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Vegan Summer Fruit Shake

I thought I had better write this recipe up quickly before the sun disappears from the sky and an autumn chill creeps across the land. There was a little mini heat wave at the weekend though, and after an afternoon of gardening in the sunshine I was in need of some cooling refreshment. And so I raided the freezer and the fridge and whizzed just three ingredients together to make a summer fruit shake. And rather than the usual milk and ice cream added to a shake I used up some of my frozen banana stock and almond milk to make a vegan friendly beverage!


85g frozen banana
50g red berries of your choice (I used frozen summer fruit mix)
200ml almond milk

Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until blended.

Transfer to a glass and enjoy.


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Vegan Chocolate Courgette (Zucchini) Cookies

My patio plant are currently laden with bulging crops of mange tout, potatoes and carrots. My tomato plants are only just beginning to flower however and my cucumber and courgette seedlings didn’t survive beyond the slug and snail massacre of the spring. Some of my colleagues with larger gardens (and better slug deterrent methods) are currently drowning in the produce and have been sharing courgettes with the rest of the lab. I love courgettes and have already added these grateful gardening gifts to risottos, ratatouille and curries.

Courgettes also make great additions to baked goods providing moisture in cake and bread recipes. I decided to try something a little more alternative with the remaining courgettes hanging around my kitchen and opted for a biscuit recipe instead. I took inspiration from this recipe over at Two Peas and Their Pod making a few adaptations so that the recipe was vegan friendly. On leaving the oven these chocolaty treats properly resembled a fudgy cookie but after a day in the biscuit tin they took on a much more cakey texture (although still as delicious), and either way a great way to get some of your 5 a day into a sweet treat.


225g flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
100g vegan friendly spread
60g cocoa powder
150g caster sugar
50g soft brown sugar
75ml coconut milk
120g grated courgette/zucchini

Pre-heat the oven to 175°C / 350°F.

Line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper or non-stick baking parchment.

Melt the vegan spread in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Once melted remove from the heat and add both sugars and the cocoa powder and stir until a thick paste-like consistency is reached. Then add the coconut milk to the mixture and stir until well combined.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into the saucepan and stir until combine, then fold in the grated courgette until evenly distributed among the mixture.

Take a large desert spoons full of the dollop onto the baking tray, leaving a little room between each cookie for the mixture to spread a little.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until firm.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Sesame, sunflower and ginger snaps

I love sesame seeds and I am partial to the odd sugary treat so adore a sesame snap. And what is even better is that they only contain sugar and sesame seeds so are vegan and gluten free and as I recently found out really even easy to make. I decided to spice my snaps up a little with the addition of a little ginger as well as some sunflower seeds and sent some of these off to my recent foodie pen pal. The remaining snaps were used to fuel myself and my friends through a recent bog snorkelling competition…..and on that note here is the recipe!


100g sesame seeds (toasted)
40g sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons ground ginger
225g caster sugar

Line a baking tray with non-stick baking parchment and grease the paper with a little vegetable oil to prevent the snaps from sticking.

Place the caster sugar in a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Leave the sugar until it start to turn golden around the edges and then stir until all of the sugar has melted and a golden caramel has formed.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the sesame and sunflower seeds and the ground ginger.

Stir together using a wooden spoon or spatula that has also been lightly greased with vegetable oil.

Spoon the mixture out into the prepared baking tray and smooth out using the spoon/spatula. Score the top of the mixture with a sharp knife marking out rectangles and leave to set. Once set snap along the scored lines into separate portions.