Delectable lunchbox caramel apple muffins

It’s starting to feel quite autumnal and a change in eating habits is slowly taking place: soup replacing salad, porridge replacing yoghurt with granola… I’ve got so any recipes in my mind with pear, squash, and other autumn goodies, but for now I had apples to use up that I’d bought for juicing which I hadn’t gotten round to. The addition of date caramel lends complexity to these muffins which kid will be taking to school and I to work. Can’t wait!

Ingredients

5 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small chunks

For the date caramel:

5 medjoul dates, pitted and soaked in water for 15 mins

50ml milk of any kind

Pinch of nutmeg and salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the muffins:

3 eggs

100g raw cane sugar or replacement

200g peeled and finely grated courgette

180g buckwheat flour

160g almond meal

2 tsp baking powder

1tsp psyllium

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

Make the date caramel: mix all the ingredients for the caramel in a blender and pour over the apple chunks. Mix thoroughly.

Make the muffins:

Beat the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes.

Add the other muffin ingredients and mix carefully until combined.

Add the apple chunks with date caramel and mix thoroughly.

With an ice cream scoop, scoop spoons of the mixture into oiled muffin cases.

Bake in the oven for 35 mins. Leave to cool completely before removing from the muffin cases.

This mix makes 20 muffins. Enjoy !

Biiig cookie🍪

I can’t remember the last time I posted a new recipe. I’ve been so busy at work, and in early July also moved house. It’s been… a lot.

But I finally got some time to myself and since I’ve been baking this skillet cookie for months now, since it’s such an easy recipe, I thought it’s time to share the recipe! Great for when you have guests as you can just put the tray on the table and let them help themselves.

Ingredients

100g almond meal

80g rice or buckwheat flour

50g rapadura or other sugar

100g apple sauce, jam, or pumpkin purée (basically what you’ve got in the cupboard)

70g liquid coconut oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Then for filling I usually combine chocolate chunks and berries, but knock yourself out!

This doesn’t last long…

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 170C.

Mix all of the ingredients and pour into a pre-oiled skillet or tray.

Add the filling at the end: press chocolate chunks and berries randomly on the cookie.

Bake for 20 mins. Leave to cool for half an hour. Enjoy with ice cream!

Healthy cranberry mince pies

I’ve had one busy term at work, and it made me very sad not to have time to bake. So I’ve been catching up in the past few weeks since my workload has eased (a little…). Strangely (or perhaps not strangely, considering these discomforting times), it took a while to get my creative juices flowing again: for the first few weeks I just used my existing recipes or other people’s. But while talking to friends in the UK and Ireland, I got so nostalgic (not to mention upset about not being able to travel there) about a British-Irish christmas, I just wanted to do something so I could at least feel I was there in spirit. So this mince pie recipe was stewing in my mind for a while (and no, this isn’t a meat pie for those of you unfamiliar with the Irish and British tradition of mince pies: though in Tudor times they had mince meat in them, it is now a supersweet dessert with dried and fresh fruit and spices).

The problem is that the bought ones have so many additives and sugar, not to mention (non-vegetarian) suet, that I wanted to create a recipe that’s completely gluten-free, lactose-free, low on (non-refined) sugar, alcohol-free, and vegetarian – yet still delicious for an allergy-prone person like me. (I took some recipes on the BBC Good Food website as a starting point – thank you BBC!) Just to warn you, this recipe does take some preparation, so don’t make these when you’re in a hurry. What I’ve enjoyed most about making these is the smell! While the mince was soaking, I went over every few hours to just go and just stand over the mixture and let the smells carry me to Wales and Kildare. It’s the smell of Christmas for me – delicious!

Update: I had my first one this morning and I didn’t have any reaction, so that’s great. I hope you enjoy these too! Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Ingredients

For the mince:

250g sultanas (I love the yellow ones, but use whichever you prefer, or raisins etc.)

70g dried unsulphured apricots

40g dried cranberries

zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange juice

40g coarsely grated apple

80g fresh cranberries

100ml of ginger ale

100g lactose-free butter

100g raw cane sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp mixed spice

For the pies:

120g lactose-free cold butter, diced

120g rice or buckwheat flour

60g almond flour

20g potato starch

1/2 tsp psyllium

zest of one lemon

60 mls of water

some extra flour for when you’re rolling out the dough

Instructions

  • A day before you want to make the mince pies, put all the ingredients for the mince (except butter, sugar, and the spices) in one bowl and mix well. Leave to soak up the beautiful ginger ale and juices of the lemon and orange.
  • Around 24 hours later, put the mincemeat mix with the butter, sugar, and spice into a pot, bring to a boil and then let simmer for around 5 minutes. You’ll see that the mixture starts to thicken. Put the mix into a sterilized pot if you want to keep it for longer. Let cool down entirely.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  • Then, you can start making the pies: rub all the pie ingredients except the water together, and then add the water to knead into a flexible dough.
  • Put the dough into the fridge for at least 30 mins. Then roll it out to 1/3 inch or less than 1 cm thickness and cut circles out of it (it’s easier when you sprinkle your rolling surface with some extra rice or buckwheat flour first). Put the pie crusts into little tartlette moulds (such as these – no I’m not sponsored!), fill properly with mincemeat, and add little christmas shapes of the dough on top.
  • Bake for 20 minutes (keep an eye out because they can suddenly burn) and leave to cool. Top out of the tartlette moulds and sprinkle with e.g. stevia. Serve with, oh I dunno, some lovely vegan ice cream, or just enjoy on its own for breakfast as my kid did today!

Easiest berry & chocolate afternoon cake

I’ve been looking for ways to use up apple sauce I froze last year and when I came across Oh My Pie’s pink cake, I saw a possibility to experiment. I adapted her recipe and it’s just about the easiest instructions ever. Chuck everything together and leave in the oven for 30 mins. It doesn’t get much easier, and the result is delish.

Ingredients

100g almond meal

100g peeled and finely grated courgette

80g buckwheat or rice flour

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

90g maple syrup

120g apple sauce

1/4 tsp psyllium

2 eggs

100g frozen berries

50g chocolate drops

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 175C.

Mix all the ingredients to a supple dough.

Pour into an oiled cake tin and bake for 30 mins.

Leave in the tin until fairly cool and eat. For afternoon, or breakfast, as my kid does…

Apple & caramel breakfast muffins

I love the taste of caramel but it’s so bad for ya… So my favourite substitute is simply dried dates mixed with water. Delicious and nutritious!

I don’t usually start with a recipe but look in my cupboards to see what urgently needs using up. This time it was carrots, but do substitute for squash or pumpkin if you have any leftovers. Half of these have gone already as they’re so delicious!

Ingredients

2 medium organic eggs

100g raw cane sugar or substitute

200g peeled and finely grated carrot

100g brown rice flour

100g almond flour

17g protein powder (I use pea)

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

1 apple, finely diced

6 medjool dates

Instructions

Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

Beat eggs and sugar for 4 minutes until well combined and then fold in the remaining ingredients except the dates. You’ll get a fairly firm batter.

Put the dates in the blender with about 100ml of water. Blend until well combined (you’ll get a finer consistency with a Vitamix but another blender will do too).

Fill the muffin trays halfway with the batter and then add a teaspoon of the date mix. Then add another 1/3 of the batter.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. They’ll come out with a crunchy top! Leave to cool in the muffin tray and take out when cool.

Apple crumble cauliflower cake

I made Oh My Pie’s delicious cauliflower bread this morning and had some cauliflower left. Since I was also planning to bake a gluten and lactose free apple crumble cake (kid keeps asking for crumble while I’m craving cake…), I thought I’d combine the two. The result is super delicious eaten while warm (eh I simply couldn’t wait till it cooled down to start😄), with some (lactose free) cream.

Ingredients for the cake

3 eggs

100g sugar (I used xylitol)

200g boiled, finely grated and squeezed (in a towel) cauliflower

50g rice flour

50g buckwheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cox or other cooking apples, cored and sliced thinly

Ingredients for the crumble

100g rice flour

25g xylitol

25g coconut sugar

50g lactose free butter

50g oats

1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

For the cake:

Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

Beat the eggs with the sugar for 5 minutes until properly fluffy.

Add the cauliflower and mix gently until combined.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the apples and mix gently until combined.

Pour into a 20cm round baking tin (lined and oiled). Add the slices of apple on top of the cake.

For the crumble:

Mix all the ingredients with your fingertips until they are crumbly (duh). Scatter the mix gently all over the cake mix.

Put the crumble cake into the oven for 35 minutes.

Leave to stand for 5 minutes and then remove the side and let cool or eat directly with some cream. Enjoy!

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