Baobab Bircher Muesli with Balsamic Roasted Cherries

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Baobab Bircher Muesli with Balsamic Roasted Cherries

Greetings from Krakow!  I have escaped the rain of Helsinki, for the rain of Poland!!  I have spent the day on a communist tour, travelling around in an old trabant and taking in the sites, culture and vodka! of Nowa Huta.  This will be my last baobab collaboration recipe with PONA .  I have loved getting to know the product and hopefully have given you some ideas of how to use baobab and boosted my nutritional levels at the same time.  I won’t repeat the benefits of adding baobab to your diet, but if you want more information visit http://www.pona.fi or look back at my previous posts.

This has to be one of my favourite breakfast dishes.  Creamy oats flavoured with baobab, apple, banana and cinnamon and topped with sweet juicy balsamic roasted cherries.  Like strawberries, balsamic vinegar really brings out the sweetness and flavour of the cherries, while the baobab adds a citrusy tang which helps bring the whole dish together.

You can easily make all the elements the night before and they will keep for 2 – 3 days.

Finally there is still time to use my discount code VEGEBRIT to get 20 % off your baobab order at http://www.pona.fi/shop until the end of the day (24.6.) so get your order in soon!!!

Baobab Bircher Muesli with Balsamic Roasted Cherries – serves 2 -3 

3 dl of organic oats (I used Myllärin gluten free oats)

5 dl almond or oat milk

2 tsp PONA organic baobab powder

1 ripe banana, grated

1 apple, grated

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

a pinch of salt

For the cherries:

150 g fresh cherries, halved (de-stoned weight)

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

a drizzle of olive oil

grated apple, toasted pecans, almonds and poppy seeds to decorate

Add all the bircher muesli ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Cover and leave overnight for the oats to soften and the flavours to develop.  To be honest the bircher is even better after a couple of days.

To roast the cherries place them in a bowl, drizzle with a little oil, then stir in the syrup and vinegar.  Spread on a lined baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 mins at 180 degrees c.  until soft and juicy.

Spoon generous helpings of the bircher into bowls, top with the cherries and sprinkle with a little fresh grated apple, poppy seeds and toasted nuts.

 

 

 

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Vegan Black Forest Ice cream

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Vegan Black Forest Ice cream

After the success of my Vegan Black Forest Cake, I had to use cherries and chocolate again.  Cherry season is almost here and the prices are dropping, which makes it the perfect time to make this vegan black forest ice-cream.   Once again the humble chickpea comes up trumps and aquafaba, or chickpea juice, is used here as a substitute for the egg filled custard in regular ice cream.  The base of the ice cream is very similar to a cherry smoothie, which is then folded into the whipped aquafaba with added chocolate chips, fresh cherries, a splash of kirsch and a drizzle of sour cherry jam.  The best thing about using aquafaba, is that it does not freeze solid and therefore does not require churning.  It can easily be taken straight out of the freezer and served immediately, perfect now that the weather is finally getting a little warmer.

Vegan Black Forest Ice cream – makes around 2 Litres

80 g cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
1 small ripe banana, chopped into pieces
400 g fresh cherries, halved (de-stoned weight)
75 g dark chocolate chips, or chocolate cut into chunks
7 tbsp sour cherry jam
2 tbsp Kirschwasser  (cherry brandy)
2 dl of aquafaba/ chickpea juice
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
80 g white sugar

Add the cashews, lime juice, 250 g of the cherries, chopped banana, kirsch, and 2 tbsp of the sour cherry jam to a food processor or blender.  Blend until completely smooth,  this make take a little time, but you want the mixture to be smooth or your ice cream will be grainy.  Set to one side.

Pour the chickpea juice into a spotlessly clean bowl, add the cream of tartar and whisk until you have stiff peaks.  Add the vanilla and then the sugar bit by bit.  It is super important you whisk the aquafaba until super thick or the ice cream will be too runny.  It usually takes 8 – 10 mins on high using my KMix.

Next, carefully fold the cherry mixture into the whisked aquafaba.  Try not to knock too much air out, to keep your ice-cream light and fluffy.  Finally fold in the remaining fresh cherries and chocolate chips.

Pour into your freezing container, I used an IKEA loaf tin measuring 32 cm x 13 cm.  Heat the remaining sour cherry jam just enough so it is a little runny.  Drizzle onto the ice cream and lightly stir to create a marbled effect.

Freeze for at least 8 hours.

Beetroot Falafel Bowl

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Beetroot Falafel Bowl

Just a quick post today! I am super busy at the moment with a number of exciting projects – watch this space for more details coming soon.

I love falafel.  They are so easy to make, but so good.  These beetroot falafel use dried chickpeas, which I think give a better texture.  The beetroot adds a little sweetness, which fits perfectly with a tahini dressing and some crunchy salad.

Beetroot Falafel – makes around 15- 20 falafel depending on their size

250 g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained

1 small red onion finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

2 tbsp flour/ chickpea flour (for gluten free falafel)

A good pinch of salt

1 medium sized beetroot, peeled and finely grated

3 tsp dried cumin

a good pinch of cayenne pepper

a handful of chopped parsley

a good pinch of ground cardamom

oil for frying

Add the dried chickpeas to a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped and beginning to come together.  Add all the other ingredients and pulse until well mixed. You should be able form the mixture into falafel sized balls.  If the mixture won’t come together try adding a little more flour or pulsing the mixture again so it has a finer texture.   Make sure the balls are firmly pushed together or they will break up when frying.

Heat a deep pan of oil, test the temperature by dropping in a small amount of mixture.  It should bubble, but not so furiously that it quickly burns.  Cook the falafel in batches until  they turn crispy and golden brown (around 6 – 8 mins)

Remove the falafel with a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.

I served my falafel with green salad, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and strips of grated carrot.  I also made a quick tahini sauce by stirring a couple of teaspoons of tahini into a plant based creme fraiche.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Chocolate Praline Semifreddo

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Vegan Semifreddo

Summer is coming so I have decided to start trying out some warm weather recipes!! This super easy semifreddo is so good and great smothered in these chocolate hazelnut and salted caramel sauces.  The actual semifreddo itself isn’t so sweet (although if you want a sweeter version just up the quantities of maple syrup), and has a creamy velvety texture.  I recommend taking the mix out of the freezer a while before you intend to serve it.  Not only is it easier to slice, but it allows the semifreddo to take on the traditional ice-cream moussey texture.

Vegan Chocolate Praline Semifreddo – serves 6 – 8

180 g cashew nuts

2.5 dl full fat extra creamy coconut milk

0.5 dl maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 and 1/2 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder

a handful of chopped hazelnuts or pistachios, or a mixture of both

To decorate:

salted caramel sauce (find my recipe here)

vegan nutella (find my recipe here)

maple syrup

chopped hazelnuts and pistachios

vegan chocolate shavings

To make the semifreddo add all the ingredients except the hazelnuts and pistachios to a powerful blender.  Blend until super creamy and smooth.  This may take a few minutes, you don’t want any lumps or bits of nut, or you won’t get the proper velvety finish.

Stir in the nuts and pour into a small container and freeze.  I used a square Tupperware container measuring 10 x 10 cm.  I recommend leaving the semifreddo overnight to freeze properly.

To serve, take the semifreddo out of the freezer a while before serving so it begins to soften.  Meanwhile make the chocolate sauce by adding a splash of  warm water to a couple of spoonfuls of vegan Nutella.  I recommend adding a little extra maple syrup to make it a bit sweeter.

Slice the semifreddo and sprinkle with the chopped nuts, chocolate shavings and drizzle with the two sauces.

 

Mini Raw Doughnuts

 

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Vegan Raw Doughnuts

I have been inspired recently by all the vegan doughnuts I have been seeing on Instagram, particularly those by the super talented Brekku by Tara.  So I decided to give them a try myself.  These raw versions are slightly healthier than their deep fried cousins.  I had great fun adding flavours to the base mix, so feel free to experiment as you wish.  Pictured are three of my favourites, an orange and aniseed flavour, vanilla and blueberry and finally my version of a snickers doughnut with nuts, chocolate and a caramel icing.

Mini Raw Doughnuts – (base mix) makes 6 mini doughnuts

250 g dates

15 g desiccated coconut

15 g ground almonds

1 and 1/2 tbsp raw cacao powder

Simply put all the above ingredients into a food processor and pulse until it comes together to form a dough.  The mix should be a little sticky and soft.  Roll into six balls and use an apple corer to cut a hole in the centre to make the ‘doughnut’ shape.

For the Snickers version

Mix a couple of teaspoons of coconut sugar with a teaspoon of water.  Add enough icing sugar to form a thick smooth icing.  Ice you doughnuts and sprinkle with roasted peanuts and vegan friendly chocolate shavings

For the Orange and Aniseed version

Grate a little orange zest and add a sprinkle of liquorice powder to the mix before pulsing.  Make an icing with icing sugar and a few drops of orange juice and decorate with strips of orange zest and a little more liquorice powder.

For the Blueberry Vanilla version

Add a sprinkle of dried blueberry powder and vanilla into the mix before blending.  Make and icing with icing sugar, water and a little more blueberry powder.  Decorate with dried edible flowers.

Vegan Ricotta with Plums, Passion fruit, Pistachios and Pomegranate Molasses

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Vegan Ricotta with Plums, Passion Fruit, Pistachio Nuts and Pomegranate Molasses

I have tried a few recipes for vegan ricotta, but I think my favourite has to be by Aine Carlin from her ‘The New Vegan’.  It is super simple to make and here I paired it with golden plums, passionfruit, pistachios and pomegranate molasses.  The tangy fruit and molasses works really well with the creamy texture and taste of the ricotta.  I also discovered tofu freezes really well.  I had a few packets left over from my brunch I hosted a few months back sponsored by Jalo Tofu.  I didn’t want to waste any, so popped it in the freezer and found it is more than happy to be frozen!  So if you are looking for a cheese substitute give this as try.  I wouldn’t recommend using it as a replacement when baking, but it works well as a fresh ‘cheese’ and can be kept in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.

Vegan Ricotta

200 g of Firm Tofu

1 lemon

salt and pepper

Good quality olive oil.

The ricotta couldn’t be simpler.  Start by squeezing as much water as you can from the tofu.  Or leave it to press under a weighted plate.  Mash the tofu with a fork and then season with salt and pepper, squeeze over half the juice of a lemon and sprinkle with olive oil.  Mix through the  seasoning and check for taste.  I like my quite lemon and peppery so I usually add some more.  Refrigerate until  you need it and it will last for 4 – 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

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Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Just when I thought there was nothing else the humble chickpea could do, I discovered Chocolate mousse made with chickpea juice.  This was so good, there is no way you would know that it is made from chickpeas, it is so easy and quick and if anything, the slight saltiness of the juice improves the dark chocolate flavour.  I think I should become the international chickpea ambassador, if such a position exists, as I am here to spread the word of just how good this is!  So please gives this a try.  You can easily add flavouring to the basic mousse mix, for example powdered ginger, cinnamon, etc.  Simply fold in your desired ingredient along with the dark chocolate.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse – makes 6 dessert portions

300 ml Chickpea Juice (water from the can of chickpeas)

160 g Vegan Dark chocolate

2 tbsp sugar (I used some homemade vanilla sugar)

Start by whisking your chickpea juice in a spotlessly clean bowl.  If the bowl is greasy the juice may not whip up properly.  Begin to whisk and slowly add the sugar little by little.  Whisk until you have very thick peaks. This takes a little longer than normal egg whites, but be patient as they need to be as thick as possible, or your mousse might collapse.

Melt your chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.  once melted take off the heat and allow the chocolate to cool slightly, but not begin to re-set.

Carefully fold the chocolate into your chickpea ‘egg whites’.  The mixture will collapse a little, maybe by half, but don’t worry this is normal.  Spoon into dishes and chill for at least two hours, preferably overnight.

Decorate and enjoy!

Vegan Meringues – Recipe

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Vegan Meringues

All hail the mighty chickpea, King of the pulse world!  Possibly the most versatile ingredient in the vegan world???

I have been wanting to try vegan meringues for ages and was extremely skeptical that chickpea juice could magically turn into meringue.  However I can officially confirm it does work.  These meringues were so easy to make and by varying the cooking time, they turn out either crispy and sweet or with a marshmallowy centre.  I accompanied mine with vegan lemon curd, fruit and a coconut whipped cream (click on the links for recipes from my previous posts).  The meringues are probably a bit sweeter than the regular eggy versions and also they don’t seem to last as long once you add a wet ingredient such as cream or fruit compote.

On a side note, the recipe includes cream of tartar which can be difficult to find in Finland. I have been told some pharmacies sell the equivalent (viinikivi).  However it is also available at Benfords, a shop selling English and American ingredients in the centre of Helsinki.

Vegan Meringues – makes 18 individual meringues

250 ml canned chickpea juice, preferably unsalted

150 g sugar

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 90 degrees celcius.

Simply add the juice, cream of tartar and vanilla to a bowl and begin to mix.  Slowly add the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture forms stiff peaks.   This can take a while.  I had my KMix on full for 6 -7 mins, but you need to make sure the mixture is as stiff as possible, otherwise the meringue will spread int the oven.

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Line a tray with baking parchment and pipe or dollop the meringue into individual meringues, as pictured above.  You may find it easier to draw a round a glass to give you a circular guide if you are not so confident piping free hand.

Bake for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours depending on how crisp you want the centre of the meringue. Leave to cool and then enjoy

 

Simple Health in a Bowl

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Green Smoothie bowl 

Continuing on from my nut butter post, I am including a basic recipe for making my favourite smoothie bowl.  I have kept it super simple for those of you who have not made one before, but once you feel more confident you can begin to include more exotic ingredients and supplements and perfect your toppings.

Green Smoothie Bowl

100 g frozen mango

100g fresh baby spinach

1 banana sliced (frozen in advance – see note in recipe)

1.5 dl coconut milk

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If you have a powerful, and strong!, blender you can add the frozen fruit and pulse into a fine crumb. N.B. I wouldn’t recommend this if you have a blender with a plastic drive coupling -I managed to completely destroy a blender trying to break up the frozen mango! If you are not sure whether your blender can manage, simply use a fresh ripe banana and defrost your mango prior to use.

Add the coconut milk and spinach and blend until thick and creamy and there are no flecks of green.  A smoothie bowl should have a thicker consistency than a regular smoothie that you would drink.  If necessary add a little more milk if your mixture is too thick.

Finally pour into a bowl and decorate as you like.  I have kept the decoration above very simple, only shredded coconut and Finnish blueberries and buckthorn berries.