Saturday, 4 July 2015

Choc Choc Chip Icecream-raw, sugar free, gluten free, soya free

...Choc choc chip, because unlike mint choc chip, there's no mint, just more chocolate. You could call it double choc chip, I suppose, but then it would sound more like a cookie than icecream. This dessert is pretty indulgent and made with some premium ingredients like cacao nibs, so for that reason  I've written the recipe up to make about 400ml, but in actual fact before it even got to the freezer, I'd doubled up, and a good thing too, as there was barely even enough left to photograph once we'd all had a taste!
What I like about this ice cream is that it has a really soft texture due to the fat content, and is easy to scoop. Make sure you melt your creamed coconut (or just make it on a hot day like I did!) to get it thoroughly blended in. You don't need to use an icecream maker; a blender will do, especially a high speed one.
Now, does anyone have a vegan cone recipe or know any vegan UK brands?

175g cashews
50g creamed coconut, melted
1 cup (250ml) water
3 1/2 level tabs cacao
60g coconut sugar
3 tabs agave
1/2tab cacao nibs

  • Grind the cashews with the water and creamed coconut in your blender. 
  • Add everything else except the cacao nibs and blend again.
  • Put in the freezer for an hour or so, then remove and blend.
  • Stir in the cacao nibs and freeze until solid.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Inspired by..... 7: Sweet Potato Poutine- can be gluten free

Koko's Kitchen is a fantastic vegan blog from Canada that is often raw, super healthy and 100 percent delicious. Koko also runs her own fresh juice company. I've been a regular reader for some time now, and I don't think I ever saw a recipe of hers that I didn't absolutely love the sound of! The other day she posted a poutine recipe to celebrate Canada Day. (Poutine, fyi, is a traditional Canadian dish comprising chips (fries) in gravy with melted cheese on top. It was not the first time I'd seen it veganised, but  Koko's lovely pictures and mouthwatering words made me decide once and for all to have a go at a Yogi Vegans version. I've used coated orange sweet potatoes for the baked "fries" and almond and tahini cheeze instead of cashew cheeze as we were out of cashews. I also omitted the garlic from the miso gravy. It's not a fussy dish to make, and our recipe serves 2-3 as a main meal, 3-4 as a starter or snack. Scroll down below the next picture for the recipe:

For the "fries":
4 medium-sized orange sweet potatoes, cut into slim "French fries"
2 tabs olive oil
1/2-1tsp seasalt or Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp coarsely-ground black pepper
4 rounded tabs potato flour

  • Pour the oil onto a large baking tray and toss the fries in it.
  • Meanwhile, mix the potato flour, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Toss the sweet potato in this mixture and return to the tray, spreading them out into a single layer- you may need more than one tray to do this.
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 200C until chewy/ crispy.
For the gravy:
2 tabs mugi (barley) miso
250ml (1 cup) warm water
1 tsp paprika
1/2tsp compound hing
1 tab tamari sauce (optional; it does increase the saltiness)
1tab olive oil
1tab wholemeal flour or gluten free flour
  • Make a roux with the oil and flour, using a balloon husk over a gentle heat.
  • Remove from the heat and blend in the miso, tamari, hing and paprika.
  • Return to a low heat and gradually whisk in the warm water. The gravy will thicken up if you leave it to stand, so you may want to dilute it before you heat to serve.
For the cheese:
125g whole almonds
225ml water
1rounded tab yeast flakes
2 tabs lemon juice
1scant tsp sea salt
1 flat tab tahini
  • First grind the almonds using a high speed blender or a grinder.
  • If you don't have a high speed blender just whisk in the remaining ingredients. If using a high speed blender,just throw them all in and whizz up for a few seconds on the high setting.
To assemble:
Just pour gravy over the fries, top with the cheese and grill if you want. Garnish with curly or flat-leaved parsley, or even coriander, like I did.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Fresh this Month: Mangetout

This (see picture) is exactly the beautiful sight I came home to the other day; an offering of freshly-picked mangetout wrapped in a rhubarb leaf sitting there in the sun on the kitchen worktop. Truly a sign that midsummer has arrived! Green and juicy from a recent wet day, their crunchy sweetness invites you to just take a bite then and there- and that's the beauty of mangetout: they are a great raw snack, either with a dip or alone. Of course, they are awesome in a stir fry, shine in salads and are superb sweated with home grown tomatoes as well.
Mangetout means "eat all" in French, and indeed you can; from the crisp green tender pods to the sweet little peas inside. Their other name is snow peas- but I'm not sure why.
Before we go any further, let's be clear that the mangetout out I'm taking about are the flat pods, not the plumper ones which are called snap beans. Our home grown mangetout grow up little sticks or fencing in our allotment, and we've even managed to get some early ones by sowing in our polytunnel, though their season tends to be short as they don't seem to like too much heat. They are such attractive little plants with their delicate white flowers and curling tendrils that I've never had the heart to take them when small, though I know pea shoots are a delicacy.
Nutritionally, mangetout are a real bonus, and children find them appealing because of their sweet taste. (My daughter used to graze on them in the allotment when she was small!) as well as plenty of dietary fibre, mangetout contain Vitamin C, Folic acid (a B-complex vitamin) and Vitamin K. They are also a source of cancer-preventing flavonoids and Vitamin A.

How do you like yours? As they come, fresh from the garden, or cooked in some way?