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Healthy Flapjack Recipe

Healthy Flapjack Recipe

There are certain times when your body craves sweet foods. No matter how hard we try to fight it by eating healthier alternatives, we just can’t shift that craving. Our Oestrogen levels are through the roof and our body simply craves sugar. Instead of constantly trying to fight that craving, if you succumb to it and eat what you fancy, the craving goes away. As a result, you stop walking back and forth to your fridge or cupboards in the hope that something will just pop up that wasn’t there two minutes ago.

I have a huge sweet tooth so I always have to have something sweet ready to hand. I live with my parents at the moment and them Lotus biscuits they have in the cupboard are far too tempting when there’s nothing else for me to satisfy my sugar craving!

This week I made some flapjack because that is exactly what I fancied. You can easily make a vegan alternative of flapjack with vegan butter, golden syrup and oats; simple! However, I don’t like to eat golden syrup or vegan butter because I choose to eat whole plant foods instead. They’re better for our health and that’s what I enjoy to eat. So, it is up to you to which you prefer, and if you prefer the healthy option, keep reading and try these!

I’d have taken better photos for you but the honest truth is, it was dark when I made them and with the help of my family they were all eaten within about 3-4 days. I’ve been busy on the go lately and couldn’t find time to take good pictures, but that doesn’t alter the taste right? 🙂

So, enjoy and I hope you like them!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 360g rolled oats
  • 6 tbsp. date syrup (or maple syrup, honey, your preference)
  • 6 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil
  • cinnamon (optional!)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 (180 degrees).

Place the oats in a mixing bowl.

Mash the bananas with a fork and add them to a saucepan with the peanut butter, coconut oil, syrup and cinnamon (if using cinnamon). Heat at a low temperature until all combined and delicious.

Pour mixture gradually into oats and combine well.

Once all mixed, grease your baking tray with coconut oil and then transfer your oat mixture into the tray. Press down with fork or spatula until all neat and firm, then pop into the oven.

Cook for 15-20mins, until the top looks nice and golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool (or if you’re like me, eat when hot).

 

Side note:

These can be eaten hot or cold, but a great indulgence tip. Try mixing together date syrup (or whatever syrup you used for the recipe), raw cacao and boiled water to heat it up a bit. This makes a delicious chocolate sauce. Pour over heated flapjack (I cooked for 30seconds in microwave). It is incredible. Pure indulgence!!

The chocolate sauce, ratio is 1:1:1 (i.e. 1tsp cacao, 1tsp syrup, tsp hot water). Add quantities as desired, you may want to double the sweetness if you prefer it more sweet, its entirely up to you, but just a guidance 🙂

 

Vegan friendly chocolate

Vegan friendly chocolate

Vegan friendly chocolate.

There seems to be a misconception that when you turn vegan you suddenly stop eating chocolate; this is not the case. There are many brands of chocolate offering dairy free options which don’t have to come from the “free from” section. If you like dark chocolate then you will find the transition easy. If you don’t enjoy dark chocolate it could take a while to make the transition however over time you will get used to the taste and start to love it.

It is possible to get milk and white vegan chocolate however it does have to come from the “free from” section because it isn’t naturally made dairy free. As a result the cost will be a bit higher than your regular chocolate bars.

Things to note:

  • not all dark chocolate is vegan so always double check the label.
  • dairy products are mostly always in bold however “butterfat” is sometimes not highlighted; so again double check the label.

Some facts about chocolate:

Chocolate is made from the cacao plant which in its most natural state is actually a health food. Not to be confused with cocoa, cacao is naturally high in antioxidants and has numerous health benefits. Alongside a healthy diet, cacao has the ability to balance blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduce arterial plaque and ultimately reverse heart disease.

Other health benefits:

  • Its high in magnesium which increases energy levels and protects against osteoporosis.
  • Cacao boosts serotonin levels and endorphins which improve mood and balance mood swings.
  • It contains healthy fats which create chemical reactions for growth, immune function and metabolic function.

I have accumulated a section of photos on my trip around Tesco, finding all the vegan chocolate I could. Other supermarkets and health shops have more choice so you’re never short of options. These are mainstream brands, where as health shops have great raw chocolate varieties (and more!) but at a higher cost.

Other alternatives include raw cacao powder (to create your own great vegan desserts/ treats) and cacao nibs (to add to snacks, smoothies and oats).

Find some of your mainstream varieties below.

Green & Black’s

Tesco’s Own

Lindt

Green & Blacks Thins

Tesco Finest

Bournville

Ritter Sport (not their mint variety)

BENDICK’S

 

To find out more about how chocolate is made, go view my post on how I made chocolate in the Amazon!

Cuppa Tea and a Biscuit?

Cuppa Tea and a Biscuit?

Cuppa Tea and a Biscuit anyone?

I mean, who doesn’t love a cuppa tea and a biscuit?!

I try to make transitioning into a plant based diet easy for everyone and I understand that not all of us have time to make our own alternatives. Making plant based biscuits by hand are definitely a healthier alternative to shop bought, but I know this isn’t convenient for everyone. As a result I have accumulated a bunch of photographs for you for some shop bought biscuits which are all vegan and easily accessible.

The Oreo’s I noticed contain vegetable oils including palm oil. This actually makes them non-vegan! I’m not 100% sure about ingredients for them around the world but this left me a bit suspicious. Oreo’s have always been known  as a vegan go-to biscuit/ cookie so I’m left wondering.  I will leave this up to you to make your own opinion but as for ingredients otherwise, they’re definitely plant based; no dairy.

I want you to know that a vegan/ plant based diet doesn’t have to be time consuming or difficult. If you do have time to make your own biscuits then I’d definitely recommend doing this! However if you have a party to go to and need to take something, these could be useful. Alternatively you may have children who still want their biscuits as a treat and this way you can feed them vegan foods without them knowing the difference.

Whatever works for you is what is most important and there are lots more on the market so do keep an eye open for them.

Things to take into account:

Recipes change all the time so always double check the packaging. For example: Jaffa Cakes and After Eights used to be vegan and now they are NOT.

Brands differ. For example: Regular digestives are NOT vegan, but some cheaper brands ARE.

Just because biscuits say chocolate or cream, it doesn’t always mean it isn’t vegan. You’ll be amazed by what is vegan so always check the packet first.

OREO’S: so far I have found that all varieties are dairy free apart from the Peanut Butter brand.

These are not a “health food”: although the biscuits are vegan and/ or plant based they contain oils and unhealthy sugars. If you do choose to eat them then do so in small amounts.

 

Selection:

   

The British Classics

    

 

Oreo’s – the “Vegan” favourite

   

Childhood favourites

 

Like I say, these are just a few I found whilst out shopping today. Always double check before you buy, dairy products are written in BOLD so are easy to find.

Good luck!

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes

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Raw vegan carrot cake cupcakes? Yaaaaaay !!

So, I have made a couple of batches of these cupcakes to try and get the consistency more cakey, however I have come to the realisation that they’ll never quite be a cupcake consistency as they are raw of course, and carrot pulp is wet, therefore I’m working towards something that can not be achieved whilst keeping the taste on point.

I’m sharing this recipe with you because for me they taste awesome, they’re a healthy and delicious alternative to regular carrot cake and although not quite a “cupcake” texture, they look like a cupcake and they taste lovely regardless, ha ha!

I hope you can enjoy them too so let’s get into the recipe.

(Makes 5-6 Cupcakes)

NOTE: This recipe involves juicing carrots. If you do not have a juicer try blending the carrots first in a food processor or blender and then use a muslin cloth to strain as much juice out as you can.

INGREDIENTS:

Carrot Cake Base

  • 1 Cup Carrot Pulp (roughly 3 large carrots juiced)
  • 1/2 Cup Soft Sticky Dates
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans
  • 3 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut
  • 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Ginger

Cream Frosting

  • 1 Cup Cashews (soaked either overnight or 6-8 hours)
  • 3 Soft Sticky Dates
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut water

METHOD:

Carrot Cake Base

  1. Start by juicing roughly 3 large carrots, this will give you a cup of carrot pulp.
  2. Add carrot pulp into food processor with all other ingredients and combine into cakey mixture
  3. Spoon into cupcake cases (makes 5-6 large cupcakes or more if making smaller ones)

Cream Frosting

  1. Soak cashews in water overnight or for 6-8 hours and then drain off all water.
  2. Put into food processor with all other ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Spoon and spread onto cupcakes (you will have more than enough frosting so you could always save the extra for more cupcakes, morning oats or anything else you may like to have it with!).

Leave to refrigerate overnight, then enjoy !!

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Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream

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Hello Hello 🙂

I’ve been making batches of raw vegan carrot cake cupcakes recently because it is just what I fancied and sometimes I fancy something sweet but not chocolate? For the cream topping I used this recipe and it is so delicious and moreish!

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Cashew nuts are one of the most versatile wonder foods of a vegan diet and I absolutely love them. Cashew nuts have a softer texture than most nuts and a slightly sweet taste which make them perfect for creating healthy alternatives to your non-vegan foods. My favourite uses for them are most definitely raw vegan cheesecake, cheese pasta sauce (i.e. alfredo, mac and cheese) and cashew cream. But also you could try cashew milk, blended in creamy soups and vegan cheese.

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Try this recipe as not only a cake frosting but also with fresh fruits (strawberries and cream! Yum.), filled into dates or even spooned onto your morning oats too.

It’s sweet and creamy and you will most definitely be tempted to eat it with a spoon too! So lets get into the recipe so you can enjoy it too !!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Cup Cashews (soaked either overnight or 6-8 hours)
  • 3 Soft Sticky Dates
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut water

METHOD:

  1. Soak cashews in water either overnight or 6-8 hours.
  2. Once soaked, drain off all water from cashews.
  3. Add cashews into a high speed blender or food processor with dates, fresh lemon juice and coconut water.
  4. Blend until smooth creamy consistency.

Eat however you choose!

Store in the fridge.

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Raw Chocolate and Goji Berry Bar

Raw Chocolate and Goji Berry Bar

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Raw Chocolate and Goji Berry Bar; tastes like a chewy chocolate bar but super healthy and of course all vegan!!

Perfect for on the go snacking this bar provides you with healthy Fats, Protein and Carbs to keep you full and satisfied. Not only that but did you know that Goji Berries are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and a great source of Iron? It’s also a Complex Carb which means it is full of Fibre and won’t spoke your blood sugars!

Do you need any more convincing?

Try for yourself and enjoy with no guilt 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 Cup Pecans
  • 1/2 Cup Oats
  • 1 Cup Pitted Dates
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Cacao
  • 2 Tbsp Goji Berries

METHOD:

  1. In a Food Processor, Nutri Bullet or Vitamix, blitz the Oats and Nuts into a flour
  2. Add in Dates, Cacao and Goji Berries
  3. Pulse together until it forms a sticky ball
  4. Shape into 5  bars
  5. Refrigerate overnight
  6. Enjoy ! 🙂

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Chocolate Energy Balls

Chocolate Energy Balls

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Chocolate Energy Balls, small bites of sweetness to satisfy them cravings without the guilt. Perfect to pack in your bag when out and about, put them in a little container then they’re there when you want them. Great chocolate alternative, all vegan and great for kids too!

Makes 12. Store in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Cup Pitted Dates
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Cacao
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tbsp Nutmeg
  • Desiccated Coconut (for coating)

METHOD:

  1. Soak dates in some water for 10 minites
  2. Blitz oats in blender until flour consistency
  3. Add in soaked dates (with a little of the water it’s soaked in to help blending), raw cacao, cinnamon, nutmeg and chia seeds.
  4. Blend until a sticky paste
  5. Roll into 12 balls and cover in desiccated coconut
  6. Refrigerate to firm up and ENJOY !
Simple Oat Cookie with Chocolate Chips and Coconut

Simple Oat Cookie with Chocolate Chips and Coconut

Ever get stuck for on the go snacks for work? I know I do, and I always want something sweet and that’s easily transferable! These cookies are just that. They’re not as sweet as the Sticky Chocolate Oat Cookies, but are a Simple Oat Cookie with a slight chocolatey taste to still keep you satisfied at times of need 🙂 They are ready in just 15 minutes and you can walk away and leave them whilst they’re in the oven and then when you get back, they are all done. Easy 🙂

They’re oil free, for anyone concerned about oil, and will keep for about 3 days in the fridge. I take 2 to work each day so works out well as they make about 7 cookies, if you’re smarter than me you could make 6 out of the mix and then it will last you three days !! 😉

INGREDIENTS:

  •  1 1/2 Cup Oats
  • 2 Medium Bananas
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
  • 1 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut
  • Dash of Cinnamon

METHOD:

  1. Pre-heat oven to Gas 4 (180 degrees)
  2. Blend oats to make a flour and then set aside
  3. Blend together bananas, maple syrup, coconut, cacao and cinnamon
  4. Add in flour to mix and blend again
  5. Stir through cacao nibs
  6. Make into about 7 cookies (recommend using a tbsp as the mix is quite sticky!)
  7. Back on middle shelf for 10 minutes
  8. Leave to cool before refrigerating, and enjoy!!