Chestnut Hazelnut Squares

Hello and happy Saturday!

Thursday, November 1 was World Vegan Day – a day for celebrating veganism, brought into life by The Vegan Society of the UK in 1994, 50 years after the term “vegan” was conceived. And what better way to celebrate it than to eat lots of fabulous plant-based food with other vegans/vegan-friendly people?

Here in Switzerland, the Vegan Society of Switzerland (Vegane Gesellschaft Schweiz) hosts an awesome annual potluck on November 1st. This year they kindly reached out to me, asking if I would like to bring some dessert and share the recipe, which is where these Chestnut Hazelnut Squares come in. They may not sound very sexy, but I can’t get enough of them: soft yet substantial, sweet and nourishing. Paired with a cup of hot chocolate or a turmeric latte they’re my favorite fall treat and personal epitome of autumnal “hygge 🙂

Chestnut Hazelnut Squares

Makes: 12 squares

Ingredients:

  • 400g cooked and peeled chestnuts (much easier if you can buy them like this)
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 180 ml plant-based mylk (rice or hazelnut are my favorite here)
  • 120g soft dates (I always use these for my baking)
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 50g hazelnut chocolate (I use White Nougat Crisp from iChoc, which is heavenly!)
  • 30g of the same chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp hazelnut butter

Method:

  • Grind the chestnuts into a course flour and combine with the other dry ingredients (ground hazelnuts, flaxseeds and salt) in a large bowl.
  • Heat up the mylk and melt 50g of the chocolate in it. Mash up the dates with a fork, add the mylk-chocolate mixture and hazelnut butter and blend the mix.
  • Add the liquid to the dry mixture and combine thoroughly, before stirring in the chocolate chunks (I saved a few to sprinkle on top).
  • Fill the thick, lumpy mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper and heat in an oven preheated to 180°C for ca. 30-40 minutes. It should be firm enough to hold together but not dry in the middle. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, at least, before taking out and slicing into squares.

To turn this into a slightly more fancy dessert, serve warm with some ice cream, berry compote and a drizzle of hazelnut butter!

For more Potluck Recipe contributions and vegan goodness check out Vegan.ch.

Enjoy 🙂

xoxo

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Pumpkin PB Chocolate Chip Mini Loaves

Hello and happy Saturday!

Rarely does it happen that a bake turns out exactly as I visualized in my head, but this is one of those wonderful times. While trying to fall asleep the other night I was dreaming up recipes to use up some leftover pumpkin (who doesn’t, right?), and Im absolutely delighted with how these little loaves turned out this morning. Soft, moist, sweet and so satisfying – with richness from the peanut butter and bittersweet bursts of dark chocolate.

I’ve already eaten three today and am seriously wishing I made more. They also received the thumbs up from my boyfriend, who had one as a post-workout snack. Whether you’re looking for an indulgent weekend breakfast, afternoon treat or something for on-the-go, these will definitely hit the spot 😉

Let’s get baking!

Makes: 5 (generous) mini loaves

Ingredients:

  • 250 g puréed pumpkin*
  • 100 g soft dates – I use these Sukari ones; the 3kg box lasts me for ages and is really good value for money
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds (or ground flaxseeds)
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp lucuma powder (optional)
  • ground vanilla bean / seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • good pinch of cinnamon
  • 130 g (1 cup) flour – I used half buckwheat, half wholemeal spelt
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) unsweetened rice mylk
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) unsalted, all-natural peanut butter
  • dark chocolate, chopped (ca. 60-80 g, I used 85%)

* Alternatively, I could imagine puréed butternut squash, sweet potato or even mashed banana would work too. Will keep you updated if I try these versions 😉

Method:

  • Mix together the pumpkin purée and chia seeds.
  • Blend together the dates with the maple syrup and pinch of salt, adding this sweet mixture to the pumpkin.
  • Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, (lucuma powder).
  • Add the baking powder to the flour and stir into the pumpkin mix.
  • Finally, stir in the rice mylk and peanut butter, before adding the chocolate chunks
  • Divide the mixture into your mini loaf tins (if you don’t have any, make muffins instead).
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 180° C for ca. 20 minutes (or until a skewer comes out clean). Leave to cool on the tray for a few minutes.

Happy baking and enjoy!

Celine

xoxo

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Double Chocolate Cookies

Hello and happy Sunday!

I’m back with another simple, speedy and satisfying recipe – this time for chocolate cookies. Double chocolate cookies. These came about last Saturday morning, when I realized I had just over one hour left to shower, get ready and prepare a dessert to bring along to my boyfriend’s.

Whenever I bring something with to someone’s, I tend to go with a tried and tested recipe, or something new that I’ve carefully thought out. Last week, however, I quite enjoyed wildly chucking ingredients into a blender, fueled by adrenalin and faith that, somehow, this would not be a disaster. The cookies I ended up with definitely exceeded my expectations, and got great feedback at the event I made them for.

I’ve since made them again twice, and love having a little stash of them on hand during the week, for when I want a little something sweet at work or before bed. They’re so simple to make, super soft and almost fudgy (the more so the less you bake them), and they can be enjoyed baked or raw. 

Ingredients:

Makes ca. 10 small/medium cookies (I tend to double it)

  • 1 cup soft dates – I use Palmyradelights sukari, but medjool should be great too
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened rice milk (or almond, oat etc.)
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup*
  • ca. 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsbp lucuma powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • chocolate chunks (I use 85% dark chocolate, but whatever floats your boat)
  • chopped walnuts (pecans or peanuts would be amazing too)
  • Variation: Leave out the walnuts and – before stirring in the chocolate chunks – add 2 tbsp smooth, slightly runny peanut butter for chocolate pb cookies. (Even better: add some chopped peanuts too!)

* The amount is totally up to you, depending on your preferred level of sweetness. The first time I used 2 tbsp maple syrup, and loved them, but they were almost a bit too sweet. I made them again with 1 tbsp, which is probably my go-to if I just make them for myself. If making them for friends who aren’t necessarily into healthy eating, I’d probably use 2 again. You can also leave the maple syrup out completely, in which case you may have more of an energy-ball situation going on. The maple syrup basically takes this from sweet snack to serious sweet treat, if you get what I’m saying 😉

Method:

  1. Blend together the dates, rice milk and maple syrup (this only works well with soft dates; if yours are slightly drier, try soaking them in hot water first).
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (pinch of salt, buckwheat flour, ground flaxseeds, cacao and lucuma) and mix till combined. It should be a thick, slightly sticky dough.
  3. Stir in the chocolate and walnut chunks.
  4. Shape the mix into equal sized balls with your hands (the mix shouldn’t be too sticky, but if it is, wet hands or adding more flour make it easier), slightly flattening to get a thick cookie shape.
  5. Bake in an oven preheated to 175° C for ca. 8 minutes, or eat just as they are. (Or snack on some raw ones while the rest bake 😉 )

Hope you enjoy!

xoxo

P.S. If you’re interested in more healthy cookie recipes, check out my breakfast cookies.

Pumpkin Pies with Cacao Pecan Crust

Hello and happy Thursday!

Chilly weather, cloudy days (at least where I live) and early darkness all feed the desire for something warm and comforting, like a cup of tea. Or even better: a cup of tea with a slice of pie. Or better yet: A cup of tea with a whole (mini) pie to yourself 😀

These little pies are such a delicious treat, perfect in the afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe even a hot chocolate 😉 They’re also packed with wholesome ingredients that make them a nourishing indulgence and a steady source of energy.

This recipe came about as a replacement for my old pumpkin pie recipe from my pre-plant-based days. (We all need a good pumpkin pie recipe right?) And while I was at it, I decided to play around with the pie crust, adding pecans and cacao for extra goodness.

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Ingredients (makes 6 muffin-sized pies):

Crust:

  • 120 g wholemeal spelt flour (or buckwheat flour, for a gluten-free version)
  • 30 g pecans, ground into flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 pinch salt

Filling:

  • 1/2 can of puréed pumpkin (i.e. 213 g)
  • 3 medjool dates (if dry, soak in boiling water for a few minutes)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (unsalted, smooth)
  • 2 tbsp full-fat coconut milk (the kind for cooking)
  • 3 tsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • pinch salt

Optional (but trust me you want this): dark chocolate for on top

Method:

  1. Line a muffin tray with 6 paper cases.
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the crust (first with a spoon and then using your hands) and press the mixture into the cases. (Start with the base, then press bits onto the sides until they’re all covered. This takes a few minutes, but can be quite therapeutic/ a good chance to practice some mindfulness 😉 ).
  3. Blend all the ingredients for the filling and distribute the mixture equally among the 6 pies.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 ° C for ca. 25 minutes. (Oven times vary, so keep an eye on them). I covered mine after 20 minutes to prevent the crust getting too dark.
  5. Let cool in the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
  6. BEST WAY TO ENJOY THEM: When they are still warm, place a square of dark chocolate on top to gloriously melt (or break the chocolate into little chunks and press them into the pie for a gooey chocolate chip effect). If already cooled, heat the pie(s) up in the microwave first. Too indulgent for words.

Note: the pies freeze easily, so you can always have some on hand to heat up (and top with chocolate, if desired 😉 ) for the perfect autumnal treat.

Enjoy!

xoxo

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Blackberry Vanilla Cake – The Zesty Lime

Hi guys 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you a recipe by my wonderful friend and gifted foodie Rebecca (you may know her gorgeous account: @thezestylime – if not, I highly recommend you check it out for stunning plant-based food porn!).

Rebecca was sweet enough to surprise me with a slice of this blackberry vanilla cake at my farewell dinner in London, and I was blown away by how delicious and satisfying it was. It’s not very surprising, therefore, that hers was the first cake I baked upon being reunited with an oven! (My student flat’s kitchen reflected the widespread prejudice that students only live off of ramen noodles and microwave pizza).

I’ve been back in Switzerland for two weeks, and have already made this cake twice – if that’s not love than I don’t know what is 😉 It’s definitely a keeper, and I can’t be more pleased to share it with you today:

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 2 tbsp cold water)
  • 1 cup oat milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (+ 1/2 cup)

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup coconut condensed milk
  • 3-5 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 ° celsuis.
  2. Make a flax egg by combining 1 tbsp milled flaxseed and 2 tbsp cold water in a small bowl. Stir together and let sit to thicken up.
  3. Sift flour into a large bowl, then add rest of dry ingredients- coconut sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir together well.
  4. Make a crater in the middle of the dry ingredients and whisk in the flax egg, non-dairy milk, vanilla, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar.
  5. Lightly grease a 7-9 inch pan (round or square, depending on which shape you prefer) with coconut oil and pour the cake batter in.
  6. Sprinkle the 2 cups blackberries into the batter, pushing some underneath so they will be baked through the cake and not just on the top. Save the 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top part way through baking if the batter rises to cover all the blackberries.
  7. Bake (1 hr 25 mins) on the middle rack of the oven. If using a spring form pan, place a baking tray underneath as it may leak. After approx. 55-60 mins check the cake, since baking times may vary depending on your oven and exact size of pan. Check every 10-15 mins until cake is fully baked.Remove cake from oven and cool for at least 30 mins. *Note* As oven temperatures can vary so much, I recommend checking earlier already – the cake only took 30 minutes to bake in my oven.
  8. For the topping combine the coconut condensed milk with the fresh lemon juice and combine. Set aside whilst cake cools. Then serve with lemon drizzle and fresh blackberries.

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Happy Baking!

And don’t forget to tag the lovely Rebecca (@thezestylime) if you post your blackberry cakes on social media! 🙂

xoxo

 

Double Chocolate Chunk Brownies by Leitchy Creates

Is there anything better than chocolate brownies? Double chocolate chunk brownies of course!! 

… Which is why I’m so excited to be sharing this recipe by my wonderful friend, gifted chocolatier, raw treats creator and boss lady Jordan Leitch from Leitchy Creates. If you’re in Sheffield, keep your eyes peeled for her stalls where you can buy her fabulous creations. For the rest of us, luckily her artisan chocolate boxes are available to order online. I’ve had two of them and they were both an absolute delight (trust me, I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend 😉 ) She also shares tons of inspiring recipes, so definitely go check her out! Hope you enjoy these brownies and have a wonderful day! xoxo

 

Morning morning! I thought I’d share a wonderfully indulgent, luxury, gooey, moist, fudgey, rich and all round incredible brownie recipe to get you through the week! These warm are some what magical! Drizzle them in nut butter and nice cream and you’ll be in a really magical wonderland! Trust me, these may be the best brownies you’ll ever make! Big statement I know and because I don’t know how wide your brownie pallet is, I’m going with may… But be sure to let me know if they’re the best! Because they’re certainly the best I’ve ever had!

INGREDIENTS – MAKES 16

1 can of butterbeans, drained and rinsed

220g ground almonds

80g buckwheat flour

85g raw cacao powder

2 pinches of salt

300ml hazelnut milk

60g coconut oil

100g almond butter

100ml maple syrup

100g coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

45g raw chocolate, cut into chunks – I used Well and Happy zesty bar

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a square tin with parchment.

Pop the first set of ingredients into a food processor and blend until combined and smooth.

Pop the second set of ingredients into a small pan and place over a low heat.

Once melted and combined, pour the contents into the blender with the first set of ingredients and blend until smooth.

Add the chocolate chunks and pulse to combine.

Pour the brownie batter into the lined tray and level with a spactular.

Pop in the oven for 25 minutes – cooked through.

Remove from the oven and cut into 16 slices, leave to cool a little before removing from the tin and popping on a wire rack to cool fully.

Try warm with cinnamon nice cream!

Enjoy,

Leitchy xx

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Chocolate Covered Pitaya

Pitaya, also known as dragon fruit, is without doubt one of my favorite fruits ever. (Big statement). It feels like such a treat anytime I have it, which is, unfortunately, quite rarely. I remember the first time I tried it, on a trip to China a few years ago, and being utterly fascinated by its appearance and taste. Since then, it’s always had a special place in the (large) part of my heart dedicated to food. Then, last summer I discovered dried pitaya, at an unforgettable food market in Aix-en-Provence, where my boyfriend and I stocked up on lots of wondrous things for our journey home, including passionfruit cubes and dried aloe vera [no idea that even existed].

Recently I had the pleasure of feeding my dried pitaya passion due to a little collaboration with Koro Drogerie, a German healthy food start-up that also ships to the UK. When I saw they stocked this delicacy, the path ahead was clear.

Now, when I opened the packet and got the first floral whiff of pitaya, I could have happily just sat down and devoured the half-kg packet then and there. It’s just so good! But, I decided to savor it slowly instead, and do something special with it. And, in the process, I discovered I that it actually tastes really good with chocolate! (What doesn’t, after all?). So, one evening, when I didn’t feel like working on my dissertation anymore, I decided to make myself some chocolate covered pitaya – currently my favorite not-at-all-guilty pleasure.

It’s super simple and barely even a recipe, but I wanted to share it all the same, as it’s so satisfying and also a pretty cool thing to offer when you have people around. (If you’re willing to share that is) 😉

Ingredients:

  • Dried pitaya – as much as you want
  • Dark chocolate (or any chocolate you like; I used my go-to 85% from Lindt) – I used about 4 squares for the amount pictured
  • Sesame seeds (use black ones if you want to use white chocolate)

Method:

Melt the chocolate (I did it in the microwave, even though you’re not really supposed to?), use a spoon to cover half a piece of dried pitaya in chocolate, sprinkle sesame seeds on both sides of the chocolate-covered end, place on a sheet of baking paper and repeat until you’ve choc-ified all your pitaya. Leave the chocolate to set. [It was super warm in my room so I ended up putting them in the fridge, which apparently gives the chocolate a bit of a dull appearance. But that doesn’t bother me as, let’s be real, I’m just going to eat it all myself anyway 😀 ].

BONUS: If you happen to check out the Koro website and see something you like, use BLUEBERRY5 to get 5% off 😉

Hope you enjoy!

xoxo

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Fudgy Brownies

Hi everyone! Today I’d like to share a recipe with you from the lovely Emma. I had a tough time choosing as all her recipes look and sound amazing and are mostly centered around breakfast or dessert (or both! check out her latest recipe for Banoffee Pie Oats!) , which is my absolute favorite kind of food. These fudgy sweet potato brownies look incredible and I can’t wait to make them once I have an oven again!
Do check out her site for more fabulous recipes, as well as all things running-related. Hope you enjoy! xoxo

Fudgy Feel-Good Squares

Sweet, sticky, chewy, gooey... these little caramel-y squares are my new favorite indulgent treat! Great to have in the fridge to offer friends* or, of course, to sink your teeth into whenever you feel like a little pick-me-up 😉 You get the caramel-like flavor of the dates and maple syrup, which, with the hint of vanilla and cacao, is utterly irresistible. The walnut butter adds to the luxurious texture, enhancing without competing against the flavors.

Consisting of nourishing, wholesome ingredients, these sumptuous squares do more than just taste great – they provide a steady source of energy, which won’t cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket and crash, like more processed, refined options. A treat for your the tastebuds and a pretty nutritious, fueling snack… win-win situation, right?

*Side note: I tested this on a friend who is highly allergic to peanuts. Even though I used no peanuts in this recipe I was suddenly gripped by the fear that traces of the lethal legume had somehow gotten into into the mix, as, let’s face it, my place is a peanut allergy sufferer’s worst nightmare. Luckily I was just being overly paranoid and she was perfectly fine, giving them the thumbs up without landing in the emergency room 😉

Makes: 12 small squares

Ingredients

  • 10 Medjool Dates (ca. 200 g); pitted
  • 1 tbsp walnut butter**
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • some ground vanilla bean (or a drop or two of vanilla extract)

** If you don’t have this on hand, the recipe should definitely work with other nut butters, but the flavor will, of course, vary. Walnut butter is very subtle, so it blends in well with the other ingredients. I like to use the raw organic 100% walnut one by Sun and Seed.

Frosting:

  • 2 tbsp walnut butter
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp unsweetened almond milk
  • optional: crushed walnuts to sprinkle on top

 

Method

Once you’ve pitted the dates, process them in the food processor and mix together with the other ingredients (I like to do this by hand, as it easily forms a really nice, sticky, but perfectly workable, play-doh-type mix). Press down onto a plate with your hands and shape into a rectangle (a knife works well to smooth the top and clean up the edges), cover and place in the fridge while making the frosting.

For the frosting, simply mix together the ingredients and then spread onto the date base. At this point you can decorate by sprinkling some crushed walnuts and raw cacao powder, or whatever else you fancy, on top.

Now, either place back in the fridge or in the freezer to fully harden up. [I didn’t have any space in my minuscule freezer, which is bursting with berries, so I had to just pop the plate back into the fridge. The frosting stayed soft, but, surprisingly, I was able to cut squares without making a mess. If you do freeze before slicing, I’d store them in the fridge after, to get the best, stickiest, fudgiest consistency 🙂 ]. They should last a few days (or longer in the freezer) if you can keep them that long!

Hope you enjoy!

xoxo

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