Posts Tagged With: vegan baking

Walnut and Maple Cookies – Crispy & Chewy, Gluten-free & Vegan

Vegan Walnut Cookies, fresh out of the oven!

 

Warm cookies.  Cup of tea.  Happy days!  

(Or coffee.  Whatever’s your favourite cookie tipple.)  

 

We really enjoyed these crisp and chewy cookies, the flavours of toasted walnuts and maple syrup are a delicious pairing.  This is a recipe I created because I love to bake with oats, I love making things gluten-free where ever possible (I find it a fascinating corner of baking) and I just felt like a little sweetness in the BHK.  Riding a cookie raft down the rooibos river.  

 

Welcome to warm cookie world!

 

You know the combo of walnut and maple works, you know caramelised brown sugar and oats are going to be good, the gram flour is a curve ball for most, but trust me, they have a lovely soft and chewy texture.  No one will know chickpeas were involved.  

 

Everyone will gobble these cookies!

 

Is you’ve read this blog before, you know I love gram (chickpea/ garbanzo) flour.  Full of awesome nutrition and very versatile, it’s a great flour to keep as a staple.  Make quick flatbreads, use in vegan omelettes/ quiches, it makes a delicious tofu (called nofu!), use in baking cakes and breads, as well as being used in the cuisines of the Indian Subcontinent.  You’ll also find it being traditionally used in Europe, dishes like Farinata (Italy) and Socca (France) are delicious, it also pops up in North African and Spanish dishes occasionally.  It adds a slightly nutty flavour and is generally higher in fibre and protein than other flours.  Have you ever heard of other uses for gram flour?

You’ve probably made cookies before, so these will be as easy as apple pie.  You really just need to mix everything together and pop them onto a baking tray.  The neater the cookie balls, the less cracks in them, the neater the final cookies will be.  But it doesn’t really matter.  Do bake them until they get a nice deep, caramelised colour.  Then you know they’re ready.  

 

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If you try this recipe, please let us know below in the comments and feel free just to say ‘hello!’ It’s always awesome to hear from you.  

I hope you’re well today and you fancy these cookies.  You’re gonna love ’em!!

 

Happy cooking!!

 

Walnut and Maple Cookies – Crispy & Chewy, Gluten-free & Vegan

 

Recipe Notes

1 tablespoon of plant milk will make all the difference here.  Without the dash of plant milk, the cookies will be crunchy and rich, the little splash of plant milk brings the cookies to a softer, more chewy place.  Add just a small amount at a time, too much and you’ll have mini cakes, not cookies on your hands.  

Use any oats, except oat groats, which are really different.  I used nice big porridge oats.  

No gram flour?  Use a gluten-free flour mix or plain white wheat flour is also fine.

 

 

Walnut and Maple Cookies – Gluten-free, Vegan 

The Bits – For 12-14 cookies

 

Dry

125g oats (gluten-free or other)

150g gram/ chickpea flour

75g walnuts (roughly chopped)

1 teas baking powder

1/2 teas sea salt

1 teas ground cinnamon

 

Wet

140g light brown sugar

160ml lightly flavoured oil (cold-pressed)

4 tbs maple syrup

1 teas vanilla extract

1 tbs plant milk

 


Do It

Preheat a fan oven to 180oC.

In a bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients.  

Mix together you sugar, oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

Stir your wet bits into your dry, combine all well.  Then add a magic dash of plant milk, to form a dough that holds together.  

With slightly wet hands (the dough won’t stick as much), roll your dough into small balls, the size of a large walnuts (the ones with shells on).  Press these balls onto a baking tray to form fat, neat discs, like chunky little ice hockey pucks.

Place in the oven on a middle shelf and bake for 12 -14 minutes.  Until the cookies turn a dark, golden colour all over.  They will firm up when cooled.

Remove from the oven and, using a spatula, place the cookies onto a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!  We loved these warm with vanilla ice cream!!   

 

Oats, maple syrup, walnuts = YUM:)

 

Foodie Fact

Oats are a real genius food.  Really beneficial for heart health and they’ve loads of iron, fibre and bags of minerals and anti-oxidants.  It’s a great idea to eat oats often, why not try sneaking them into cookies?  

 

 

 

Categories: Baking, gluten-free, Nutrition, photography, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wholegrain Soda Bread Muffins – Vegan

Vegan Soda Bread Muffins, it’s all about the buttermilk!

Home-baked bread in no time at all!!

Perfect with a nice bowl of soup.

 

I’ve been busy away from the blog recently, so it’s great to be back! Thought I’d get started again with something simple and hearty.

I love soda bread, good bread doesn’t need to be fiddly or take ages to make.  These muffins are wholesome, have a great flavour and texture from ingredients you’ve probably got tucked away in your cupboards right now.

Soda bread is easy when you know how.  We don’t want to taste any soda (bicarbonate that is) so we balance it with the flavour of the buttermilk.  That’s the art of soda bread.  The acid in the buttermilk help the loaf to rise.  We use plain flour here to give the soda bread lighter texture.  Soda bread is unique!

WHY MUFFINS?

At work I was asked, why are you always making things into muffins?  It’s a good question.  I do like a muffin!  We make fresh loaves everyday so it’s just changing things up a little.  These will be paired with a nice Winter Roots and Lentil Soup at the minute on my menus.  All hearty and satisfying, here’s why we need this (see below – view from near the kitchen over Nantlle Valley towards Mount Snowdon).

Nantlle Valley, home of Trigonos Retreat Centre and these muffins

I think with a muffin like this, it’s also about the crust.  It’s a wrap-around crust!  Crust all over.  This is a definite bonus when it comes to muffins or rolls.

You can add all kinds of herbs (rosemary and thyme), nuts or seeds and spices to this bread.  You can also bake it in a loaf shape, just add a little more time to the bake.

Simple Vegan Soda Bread – Ready in 45 minutes.

Making vegan buttermilk is very easy and ideal for baking.  I like to use vinegar as the acid, and soya milk.  But you can experiment with acid’s like lemon/ lime juice and other plant milks, like almond.  But other plant milks may not curdle.

View from the dining room, it’s been a chilly few weeks in North Wales

Relax, Recharge and Re-energise! 

Come and cook with us, learn new skills and meet like-minded people

 

I recently announced the dates for our autumn Vegan Cooking Holiday at Trigonos, see below.  21st-24th September!

We’ll be hosting you in beautiful Snowdonia, expect lots of delicious plant-based food, inspiring cooking workshops and talks, walks, yoga and lots more.  If you want to get away from it all, relax, recharge and energise, do let us know.  It promises to be a celebration of good livin’ and the abundance of autumn!  Lots and lots of amazing local produce.  I’ll be announcing the full details soon.

If you can’t wait until autumn:)  We have one room available for our annual and stunning Vegan and Yoga Retreat on the beach in Spain.  A Taste of Bliss – Click here for more information.  It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I’m getting the menus together this month.  Expect new and creative dishes for you to enjoy, and learn how to cook, in our beautiful beach side villa.  We’re very excited indeed!!

We need loads of hearty and warming dishes at this time of year, I hope you like these muffins.  Do let us know if you make them and feel free to ask any questions or give feedback in the comments below.

Happy cooking!!

 

Recipe Notes

You can go wholegrain 100% here if you fancy.  Just replace wholegrain flour with the white flour. The texture will be a little more dense, but tasty.

Make sure you give the mix a good stir, this helps to create a nice texture.

 

Vegan Soda Bread – A simple and satisfying Beach House Kitchen favourite

Wholegrain Soda Bread Muffins – Vegan

The Bits – For 12

Dry

150g plain white flour

300g wholemeal bread/ strong flour

2 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs rapeseed or olive oil

1 teas bicarbonate of soda

1 teas salt

 

Oats (for sprinkle)

 

Vegan Buttermilk 

325ml soya milk

2 teas apple cider or white wine vinegar

 

Do It

Stir the vinegar into the soya milk and leave to sit for 10 minutes.  It will form a buttermilk texture.

Preheat a fan oven to 180oC.

Place all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl then mix in the buttermilk.  Mix well for a few minutes, I like to use a wooden spoon.

Lightly oil a muffin tin and using two dessert spoons, this is the easiest way, spoon the dough into the tin.  Make the muffins roughly equal in size.

Sprinkle with oats or a little more flour and place in the oven.  Bake for 14 minutes.

Once baked, they’ll be nice and golden on top.  Leave the muffins to sit for a couple of minutes in the tin and then remove onto a wire cooling rack.

Best enjoyed warm with a nice bowl of soup.  Also nice with your favourite jam and vegan creme fraiche.

Trigonos in Snowdonia – a pretty stunning place to cook.  You can come and join us here in September!

Foodie Fact 

Wholegrain flours are less, or not, processed at all.  Wholegrain flour is much higher in fibre than white flour, fibre is essential in our diets for loads of reasons.  Good levels of fibre in our diets will help our digestion, can lower blood cholesterol and even help to lose weight.

Wholegrain flour has roughly six times more fibre per serving than white flour.  Wholegrains are low GI, meaning they’re great fuel for our bodies, releasing sugar slowly into our bloodstreams.  We’re also talking vitamins; some vitamin B’s, folate, riboflavin.

Go wholegrain!

Categories: Baking, Cooking Holidays, healthy, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan, Wales, Winter | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Banana & Peanut Butter Muffins with Date Caramel

Banana & Peanut Butter Muffins with Date Caramel

Most of the time, the simple things are the best.  Like these muffins.  They take a few minutes to make and I love the combination of banana, peanut and dates.  It’s like these flavours were created for a muffin!  This is a recipe that I keep going back to again and again, I’m really chuffed that I’ve finally got around to sharing it.

These muffins are loved by kids especially, I’ve seen some amazing reactions from kids when faced with these.  They disappear quickly and I think the caramel is a real favourite.   They are also pretty healthy, but kids are in no way put off by that, they just love them because they’re yum.  Kids are a good jury for food, they are perfectly honest and normally have an interesting point or two to make.

I have used a little white flour here, but you could go fully wholemeal if you’re feeling that.  Also, buckwheat flour is a lovely addition to these muffins, adds a real depth.  The key here it to not over bake them, they will go dry quickly.  Get them out when they are still soft in the middle, but a skewer comes out clean (a little stickiness is fine) and they will firm up when cooled.

The date caramel is so, so easy and can be used on all kinds of desserts and as a go to icing and filling, it’s just a superstar recipe with three ingredients only!!  These muffins also make for a great, super quick breakfast option.

We cooked these at the Home Cooked Happiness Vegan Cooking Retreat recently and I’ve noticed out of the big handbook of recipes we worked through, a couple of people have already made these muffins.  The sign of a winning recipe for me is if people feel like making it when they get home.  These muffins use such simple ingredients that almost anyone can jump in their kitchen right now and give them a go!

Recipe Notes

Get some nice big muffins cases here.  Little cup cake cases won’t do.  Preferably without frilly patterns on.  I’m against frilly patterns in this case.  I like plain brown or white, however Jane has talked me into a pink muffin case in the past.  These muffins are fun enough without additional frilliness.

If you’re feeling chocolaty, add a few tbs of cocoa/ cacao to the mix, the results are amazing!!

I like coconut oil, but normal vegetable oil is also fine.

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Banana & Peanut Butter Muffins with Date Caramel

The Bits – 10 muffins
3 ripe bananas
70ml coconut oil (melted)
65g light brown sugar
100g self raising flour
120g wholemeal flour
1 teas bicarb
1 teas cinnamon
3 tbs peanut butter

Date Caramel

175g dates
3 tbs peanut butter
3-4 tbs water

Topping

1 handful toasted peanuts (roughly chopped)
10 pieces dried banana/ banana chips

Do It
Preheat oven to 180oC, place 10 muffin cases in your muffin tin.

Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl, mix in peanut butter, oil and sugar, then the flour, bicarb, cinnamon. Mix well until a lumpy batter form.

Spoon the mix into your muffin cases, so they’re ¾ full. Pop in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Leave the muffins to cool in the tin.

Caramel – Place all in a blender and blitz until smooth. This will take a few goes. Drizzle in more water to thin out to a spreadable consistency.

Spread your caramel over cooled muffins, sprinkle with peanuts and stick a banana chip on top for a final flourish!

Foodie Fact 

Peanuts are nutritional powerhouses, like most nuts.  A handle full a day is a great idea.  Packed with minerals, antioxidants and protein, they are the ideal snack, rich in good fats and fibre.  Peanut butter is a great way of adding peanut power to smoothies, dressings, curries/soups/stews.  The hype is that nuts are fattening, but it has been shown that adding nuts to our diets can actually help us loss weight.

Jane and I have been enjoying them boiled, something we’d not tried until we went to China.  Great added to a stir fry or tossed with a Chinese Style dressing in a salad.

 

We’re off to Spain in May ’18 to host ‘A Taste of Bliss’ with the wonderful Complete Unity Yoga.

Come and join us!  Click here for more information and bookings.

Categories: Baking, Cakes, Desserts, healthy, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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