WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

Vegetarian

Vegan Chocolate Easter Nests ~ For Ecoage

Commisions, Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman2 Comments

Chocolate covered cornflake cakes are a vital component for pretty much any Easter celebration, but for those searching for something a little more nutritious amongst the conventional confectionary, I've created these cornflake cakes with a difference and, as always, are gluten free, vegan and made with 100% natural, unrefined ingredients.

Easter Edit from Well Being Book

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Lunch, Recipe, Seasonal, Snacks, Sugar Free, Spring, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

Chocolate Cookie Crunch Bars, page 196

Chocolate Salted ‘Nolo’ Caramels, page 198

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Reishi Tahini Hot Chocolate, page 172

Pecan Cookie Dough Balls, page 190

Pistachio and Courgette Cake with Avocado Lime Frosting, page 252

Walnut Chocolate Biscuits & Millionaire's Shortbread, page 188

For Easter Lunch / Dinner

Sweet Potato Gratin, page 215

Honey and Mustard Portobello Mushrooms, page 218

Cauliflower, Quinoa & Sweet Potato Salad with Sauerkraut, Peas & Avocado, page 128

Green Pancakes with Avocado, Fennel & Chickpeas , page 146

Beetroot, Carrot and Coconut Soup, page 126

Restorative Seaweed Broth, page 122

Almond & Pecan Florentines from Well Being Book

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment
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There are many good memories attached to these Florentines, which taste partly like honeycomb and partly like cookies. I spent one New Year’s visiting my boyfriend in Sweden, and on New Year’s Day we hosted a hang out at his house with everyone we’d been celebrating with the night before. When we needed something quick to serve as an after-dinner snack. I improvised nuts, coconut, natural syrup and spices into what turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever made.

Components

8–10 tbsp natural syrup
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
150g pecans
150g flaked almonds
40g desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, paste, powder or fresh vanilla seeds
A generous pinch of sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 quantity Dark Chocolate (page 194)

Method

Bring the syrup and water to the boil in a large saucepan over a high heat Wand continue to boil for 2 minutes, until the mixture forms thick bubbles. Remove from the heat and add all the remaining ingredients apart from the chocolate to the pan. Use a spatula or a wooden spoon to mix together well and ensure everything is evenly coated in the syrup.

Take 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture and drop it onto the prepared baking paper. Use the back of the spoon to press it down and shape into a cookie- like round. Repeat until all of the mixture is used up. Bake for 6–8 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden brown.

Remove from the oven and place in the fridge to cool for about 10 minutes. Whilst they cool, prepare the chocolate. (If you would prefer to use shop- bought raw or dark chocolate, melt approximately 100g, following the same instructions for homemade chocolate on page 194).

Once you have made the chocolate and it is not too hot to handle, dip the bottom of each florentine into the melted chocolate, then place on a cooling rack, or on a sheet of greaseproof paper covering a plate or baking tray. Alternatively, drizzle the chocolate over the top of each biscuit. Leave to set in the fridge or freezer, and dip a few extra times, as desired, if you want a thicker chocolate layer.

Store in the fridge or in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

A Note on Fruit

Beauty, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Fruit causes all kinds of controversy within the wellness industry, and for years and years I was genuinely scared of it. An ex-personal trainer once told me the fruit I was eating was what was prohibiting me from losing weight, and that I should only be eating berries, if anything. That was almost 5 years ago, and it’s only been in the last few months that I’ve finally felt confident enough to bring fruit back into my diet. I’m here to tell you that I not only feel amazing, I’m looking more toned than ever too. Below, I’ve outlined a few pieces of advice that helped to encourage me to incorporate fruit back into my diet, along with a few common misconceptions on fruit and weight management.

1. People think fruit makes you gain weight because it contains sugar. To some extent, this is a valid theory, but the sugar in fruit is not the same as processed or isolated sugars. Fruits contain sugars, sure, but they also contain fibre and all kinds of vitamins and minerals, in balanced and natural amounts; not to mention all the water they also contain. Fruits are created in naturally appropriate proportions, meaning one portion of fruit provides a balanced amount of sugars and other macronutrients. So when you eat fruit, you’re not eating pure sugar like you would be with most processed snacks and sweets.

2. Fruits contain around 60-95% water, and so are some of the most hydrating foods. I truly value hydrating foods, for general wellbeing but also to aid digestion and to reduce fatigue. Staying hydrated fuels most of your internal processes, and also reduces the risk of headaches, stomach aches, constipation and other internal side effects. Whenever I’m abroad in a hot climate, fruit for breakfast is not only one of the most common options, but also the one I naturally crave too. Getting fruits in in the morning will help to keep you hydrated, and will also kick start your digestion not just due to the water content but also the fibre.

Staying hydrated also helps to manage water retention. Eating hydrating fruits alongside drinking plenty of water, I’ve noticed, reduces inflammation and puffiness that I sometimes notice from water retention. I notice within about 1-2 weeks, alongside working out consistently, I feel more toned and have more noticeable definition in my muscles.

The water in fruit also helps to assist the body’s detoxification process, flushing the system and also keeping cells fully functional.

3. Fruits are also super easy to digest, and whist some people think this is a bad thing, it simply means you get the nutrients and goodness in pretty quickly, and it isn’t too taxing on the digestive system. This means you won’t feel sluggish or heavy, or tired, since the energy it takes to digest is saved and can be used elsewhere.

4. Fruits are also low in calories, and previously you’ll have noticed I don’t like to count calories too much, and enjoy high calorie foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados. However, if losing weight is your main goal, thats a different story. You cannot lose weight unless you have a calorie deficiency - meaning you consume less calories than you expend. Fruits are low in calories and so when I have a big job coming up or want to tone up and slim down, I love eating loads of fruits as they keep me full, keep my digestion active, keep my energy levels high and don’t rack up the calories.

5. Pretty much every cell in our body’s run on glucose, which is ultimately sugar. Eating healthy, whole carbohydrates like fruits & vegetables means you’ll likely notice higher energy levels. There’s a few arguments on this matter, as some people like to eat low-carb diets in order to trigger a fat-burning state (when there is no glucose to use for energy, the body turns to fat cells to convert them to energy). This sounds good in theory as people like the thought of our body’s automatically burning fat without us having to think too much about it, but it also takes a lot of consistency (and energy) in order to reach this state. It’s much easier (and more sustainable) to use glucose from healthy carbohydrates for immediate energy.

6. Fruits are full of life, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These are essential in order for us to thrive, and the wider variety of vitamins and minerals, the less your body will lack in certain things and subsequently, the less random cravings you will experience. Getting enough vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is crucial in order to keep digestion smooth and to keep skin, hair and nails healthy. Not to mention energy levels high and cellular activity operating as it should. When you cut things like fruit out of your diet, you are cutting out so many vital components. Existing solely on fats and proteins will not give your body what it needs, and will not be sustainable over time.

7. Beyond fruit being food and fuel, is is also healing. It is not just a means to and end of hunger, but it can actually prevent and cure disease and discomfort. It is like medicine. Natural, cheap medicine.

I love this article by the Medical Medium, if you want to learn a little more. It discusses when we lost our way in diet, when we began being fed propaganda about food, and when we became scared of it. It also discusses the main benefits of fruit and why it should be such a vital part of our diets.

I hope this has inspired you to rekindle your relationship with fruit. I know it can be intimidating, but after 6 months of unlimited fruits, I am actually slimmer, lighter and more energetic than ever.

Springshine Vegan Lemon Curd Crumble

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment
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I’ve always been a fan of crumble, and from a young age was obsessed with lemon curd, so I recently thought, why not combine the two and see what happens? The love child of this experiment developed into a beautiful lemon curd crumble; creamy and tart on the bottom, crisp and crunchy on the top. It is the ultimate flavour sensation, with its flavoursome fruit layer coupled with the creamy, coconutty crumble topping.

This recipe is bright in colour and vibrant with flavour, and reminds me of the first sign of sun in the spring, and the warmth and light of the summer. It is light, with sour and acidic notes, whilst also being incredibly refreshing. Using fresh lemons, it contains an abundance of vital vitamins and minerals. Lemon season starts roughly around late winter / early summer, and runs right through to the warmer months, and eating seasonally, you can rest assured you are getting in all the goodness that nature intended for you to have access to at this time of year.

I love serving this warm as a dessert, with either plant-based ice cream (I like soy, coconut or cashew) or homemade vegan cashew cream sauce or custard. You could also use single or double cream or plant-based cream or creme fraiche (I love anything by Oatly). I also love it chilled from the fridge, served with fresh or stewed berries, either as a breakfast, a snack or a chilled dessert.

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Components

For the vegan lemon curd

60g coconut oil, melted
juice and flesh of 4 lemons
zest of 1-2 lemons
100g honey, coconut sugar or other natural sweetener of choice
3-4 tablespoons arrowroot powder*
6 tablespoons soy yoghurt or solid coconut milk from a tin (can replace with other yoghurt of choice such as coconut, oat or almond yoghurt. Those who eat dairy can also use probiotic dairy yoghurt or double cream)

* If you are not vegan, you can use 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks instead of the arrowroot, using the same method as below).

For the topping
100g ground almonds
100g desiccated coconut
2-4 tbs honey
1 tbs coconut sugar
50g coconut oil
20g grated lemon zest

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Method

Preheat the oven to 160c. Lightly grease a heatproof oven dish with coconut oil or line with greaseproof paper.

Start by mixing the topping ingredients in a medium bowl using a wooden spoon, then crumble into breadcrumb-like clumps with your fingers. Place in the freezer to stiffen whilst you prepare the lemon curd layer.

To make the vegan lemon curd layer, measure the lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon flesh (removing the remaining flesh from the lemon skin using a metal spoon and / or your fingers), coconut oil and honey or other sweetener of choice into a medium saucepan over a medium to high heat. Immediately whisk in the arrowroot, adding 2 tablespoons first, then whisking until fully combined, before adding the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons gradually. If the mixture seems thick enough after 2-3 tablespoons of arrowroot, you don’t need to add the 4th tablespoon. Whisk again to combine thoroughly.

Continue to heat over a medium to high heat, until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. It should become smooth, quite gloopy and glossy. During one of my test runs, a lot of the oil separated and sat on the surface, but if this happens, simply remove from the heat and whisk vigorously until the mixture comes together smoothly again.

Once the mixture has become thick and smooth, remove from the heat and whisk the mixture a final time to ensure it remains creamy and doesn’t separate.

Now whisk in the soy yoghurt or solid coconut milk (or whichever alternative you might be using), one tablespoon at a time, until smooth.

Pour the mixture into your prepared dish and then cover with the crumble mixture. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the crumble begins to brown and crisp.

Vegan Nachos with Vegan Queso Fundido Sauce & Tofu Chilli / Chorizo

Dairy Free, Condiments, Dips + Spreads, Gluten free, Recipe, Sides, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

I’ve never really been the sort of person to order nachos in a restaurant, but recently, at my new favourite place in NYC, Jajaja Plantas Mexicana, I did. I love a creative vegan / plant-based / healthy spin on conventional recipes, and so was tempted by these fully loaded vegan nachos. And they were, in my opinion, better than any diner-style, grease-ridden nacho fare you’ve tried before. And more functional and nutritious too! Just hear me out.

This recipe involves plant-based variations of common nacho toppings, such as cheese (which is replaced by a cashew and vegetable based cheese sauce) and meat (which is replaced by a vegan, tofu-based alternative). This is such a simple recipe, really, and you can customise it in as many ways as you like, in terms of the variety of toppings you use. I love to keep it relatively simple, opting for cubed or mashed avocado, this incredible queso fundido sauce, and either meat or a vegan alternative. You could also add black beans, homemade refried beans (basically just pureed or mashed pinto beans with a few spices), sour cream or vegan sour cream, chillis, homemade tomato salsa; I could go on and on.

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This recipes genuinely takes about half an hour to make and assemble. The queso fundido probably takes the longest, as theres cooking time factored in for the vegetables involved, but most of the hard work is done by the blender. The tofu ‘meat’ is super quick and simple, and then all you’ve got to do is whack it on top of a bunch of tortilla chips, or better yet, serve them in separate bowls and let those eating with you pick and mix their own toppings.

You could also serve this queso fundido cheese sauce and tofu chilli / chorizo ‘meat’ with tortilla wraps, adding salad, rice or other grains and vegetables to make a burrito-style dish. Or, serve them in a bowl with salad leaves and brown rice or other grains, for a more filling meal.

iBuen provecho!

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Components

1 bag tortilla chips
1 ripe avocado, cubed or mashed
Fresh coriander
1-2 limes, cut into wedges

For the Vegan Queso Fundido Sauce

1 large carrot, chopped
150g potato, cubed
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon juice from a fresh lemon or lime
8 tablespoons nutritional yeast (can substitute this for vegan cheese or conventional cheese, for non-vegan)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tamari
75g raw cashews
150g-200g unsweetened plant-based milk (or water)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional
1/2 teaspoon garlic and / or onion powder
A few handfuls of vegan cheese (or conventional cheese for non-vegan)
1/4-1/2 fresh red chilli or 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder or chilli flakes

For the Tofu Chilli / Chorizo

1 tablespoon coconut oil, olive oil or sunflower oil
200g firm tofu (could also use tempeh)
100g mushrooms, diced into tiny pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon garlic powder (or 1 fresh garlic clove, minced)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional
1/2 fresh red chilli, diced

Method

Start by making the queso sauce.

Bring the potato and carrot to the boil in a medium saucepan over a high head. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the potato and carrot become soft, but be careful not to overcook them, as if the potatoes become too soft and starchy, they won’t blend as well.

In a saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons of oil, lemon or lime juice, nutritional yeast and / or vegan cheese or conventional cheese, apple cidre vinegar, turmeric, paprika, coriander, tomato puree, mustard and tamari and sauté over a medium heat. Stir to combine and then add the cashews and finally your plant-based milk of choice. Stir continuously to combine and simmer until the potato and carrots are cooked.

Then, add the potato and carrots to the frying pan mixture, remove from the heat and stir a final time to combine.

Transfer to a high speed blender and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, then blend for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Blend on the highest speed possible and, if necessary, add a splash more oil, plant-based milk or some boiling water to help the ingredients to run through the machine smoothly. Blend until the mixture becomes a thick liquid texture with absolutely no lumps. Depending on the strength and speed of your blender, this could be up to 4-5 minutes.

Once you are happy with the consistency, transfer to a bowl and set aside. You can either place in the fridge if you plan to serve cold, or leave at room temperature and heat up in a saucepan before serving. If using the extra vegan cheese or conventional cheese from the ‘optional’ ingredients list, transfer the blended mixture back into a saucepan and add the cheese. Stir over a medium heat to combine, until melted. If using vegan cheese or conventional cheese, I’d suggest serving it hot, as it may tend to solidify as it cools.

Next make the tofu chilli / chorizo. Simply heat the oil in a frying pan and then crumble the firm tofu into the pan, using your hands. Crumble the tofu until it makes a consistency similar to mince meat.

Next, add all of the remaining ingredients to the pan, and stir to combine. Cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously, for 10 minutes, until the tofu begins to brown and toughen slightly.

Remove from the heat and either keep in the pan if you plan to top the tortilla chips with it, or transfer to a bowl if you plan to serve on the table.

Finally, arrange the tortilla chips on a plate and either serve all of the components individually on the table, or top the tortilla chips with the toppings, as desired. I added the cubed avocado first, then the tofu chilli / chorizo, and then the queso fundido sauce (either chilled or heated through). I’d also add a dollop of smashed avocado and a handful of fresh coriander, as final garnishes. Now would be the time to add any other toppings, too, such as black beans, refried beans, sour cream, tomato salsa, etc, or work the ingredients into burritos.

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The Only Dessert You Need This Winter (which could also double up as a nourishing breakfast just FYI)

Recipe, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle coppermanComment
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I grew up adoring rice pudding, but not especially or necessarily the homemade kind. I was ecstatic at just the site of a little blue and yellow Ambrosia rice pudding pot. Wrong, I now know.

This version, you’ll be pleased to know, is not inspired by those but instead came about after I tasted the best rice pudding of my life; made by a patisserie chef at my sister's old place of work, The Quality Chophouse, and pretty much equal parts cream and sugar, whisked to silk with eggs and completed with fresh vanilla seeds.

This variation is, of course, adapted to the distinctive characteristics of my Well Being nutritional principles; free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar, and made with pure and unprocessed ingredients in their most natural forms possible.

This pudding is super rich and creamy, and the warming vanilla lends not only an unbeatable flavour but an aroma like no other; sweet, comforting and calming in some way. I often make this for guests, and then enjoy any leftovers in the morning, either chilled or heated up to breed porridge’s more indulgent cousin. I suggest you do the same.

Components

200g pudding rice (can also use brown or white short grain, or try with quinoa, millet or buckwheat, but be prepared with more liquid, incase needed)
500ml plant-based milk, like almond milk or coconut milk (in a carton)
1 tin tinned coconut milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract plus 2 fresh vanilla pods (can also use vanilla extract, paste or powder)
4-5 tablespoons coconut sugar (or other natural sweetener of choice)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil, avocado oil, flax oil, chia seed oil)
Pinch of salt

Optional
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon maca 
1 teaspoon lucuma
2 tablespoons tocos
Raw choc chunks or cacao powder

Method

To start, measure the pudding rice or other rice or grains of choice into a medium saucepan and cover with your plant-based milk of choice, the tinned coconut milk, salt, vanilla pod seeds (adding the whole stick to stew), vanilla extract, coconut sugar, cinnamon, maca or lucuma (if using) and oil of your choice.

Bring to the boil over a medium to high heat for 5-10 minutes, and then reduce to a simmer for 10-20 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the kind of rice or grain you use. If the mixture becomes too dry before the rice is fully cooked through, add a splash or water. 

When you are happy with the consistency, stir in any of the remaining optional ingredients. I like stirring in raw chocolate chunks for a slightly chocolate variation, but you could also try 1-2 tablespoons cacao powder.

Top with any extra toppings of your choice. I love to heat fresh fruits (usually berries or citrus fruits) in a saucepan with a little lemon juice to stew them, and then pour them on top of the rice pudding. You could also serve with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, a jam, syrup or homemade sauce (like cacao chocolate sauce or date caramel). I love making this chocolate spread and thinning it with a little boiling water to pour on top.

Serve hot.

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Five Recipes That Will Make You Love Porridge Again

Breakfast, Brunch, Dairy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter, Recipedanielle coppermanComment
Double Oat Porridge with Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds and White Miso

Double Oat Porridge with Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds and White Miso

I have never, in all honestly, been much of a fan of porridge, but every now and then I find myself craving it. There’s something about how warming it is, and perhaps the memories attached to it from my childhood, that I love, and I do find it keeps me fuller for longer. If I’m being super, super healthy, I’ll force down a very simple and plain recipe using water, not salt and no sugar, and I’ll top it with fresh or stewed fruits. But if I’m feeling a little more indulgent, or if I’m cooking for guests, I’ll get more creative and I’ll swap the water (or 1/2 of it) for a plant-based milk (to make it more creamy), and I’ll flavour it will all kinds of funky things. See below five of my current faves.

Double Oat Porridge with Oatly

Serves 2

This variation is super creamy, but essentially, you could use any milk or plant-based milks if you don’t have oat milk. As with any porridge, the toppings are really the main attraction. I’m not really here for a bowl of plain porridge with a little salt here and some sugar there. I’m here for the party thats going on on top and, in this case, it’s sesame themed so come prepared; sesame oil, tahini and sesame seeds. But, by all means, run with your own theme, get seasonal or use your usual go-to favourites. As you wish!

Components

200g gluten-free oats (ideally soaked in 100ml oat or other plant-based milk for minimum of 2 hours, preferably overnight)
200ml oat milk
200-400ml water (depending on how thick or runny you like it)

Optional toppings

1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon tahini
1 teaspoon white miso paste
1/2 teaspoons coconut sugar, honey, other natural sweetener or chopped dates (add more, to taste)
1 tablespoon pistachio or other nut butter

Double Oat Porridge with Homemade Pistachio Butter and Chopped Pistachios

Double Oat Porridge with Homemade Pistachio Butter and Chopped Pistachios

Method

Start by soaking the oats. Place the oats in a small to medium bowl, then cover with 100ml oat milk (or other milk or plant-based milk). Ideally use enough milk to just cover the oats. Leave to soak for a minimum of 2 hours, ideally overnight.

If you don’t have time to soak the oats, or once the oats have been soaked, transfer to a medium saucepan set over a medium heat, and add the other 200ml oat milk (or other milk or plant-based milk), along with 200ml water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the oats are soft and creamy. If the mixture becomes dry too quickly, add another 100ml water, and stir to combine. After a few more minutes, add another 100ml water if needed, and keep adding until you are happy with the consistency.

Once happy with the consistency, portion into bowls (if making just 1 serving, leave the rest in the pan for now and save for another day). Add the toppings or any other toppings of choice and enjoy, preferably piping hot.


Turmeric Porridge with Black Pepper, Honey, Sesame & Flax Seeds

Turmeric Porridge with Black Pepper, Honey, Sesame & Flax Seeds

Turmeric Porridge with Black Pepper, Honey, Sesame & Flax Seeds

(Serves 2)

This variation is definitely a new favourite. I love turmeric in most things, but this is like a turmeric latte in porridge-form. It’s great! I also know from previous research that black pepper helps the body assimilate (that’s absorb, to you and I), turmeric’s nutrients, and to ensure the body is making the most of what the turmeric has to offer. It doesn’t really alter the flavour too much, and adding honey is a nice way to add a gentle sweetness. You’ll notice a variation topped with a knob of butter which is something my parents used to do when I was a kid. It adds a subtly salty flavour and the fat enhances the nutritional profile, and will see that fat-soluble nutrients are assimilated. The sesame seeds and flax are just what I had on hand at the time, but you could of course add other nuts and seeds along with other toppings, such as fresh or dried fruit. Grated fresh turmeric would be a nice touch too. Jus sayin’.

Components

200g gluten-free oats
200ml milk of choice (I use oat, almond or hemp)
300ml-400ml water
1 tablespoon honey or other natural syrup of choice (like coconut sugar or nectar)
1-2 teaspoons ground turmeric (can add more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt

Optional Toppings

A sprinkle of ground black pepper
1 teaspoon honey or other natural sugar or syrup of choice (like coconut sugar or nectar)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
1 knob of salted butter, vegan butter or ghee (optional)

Method

Ideally, soak all of the porridge ingredients, apart from the water, overnight or for at least 2 hours before cooking. Then, simply transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan set over a medium to high heat, add the 250ml water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until thick and creamy. Add extra water, as needed, if the mixture seems too dry or too thick.

If you don’t have time to soak the oats before cooking, simply place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over a medium to high heat. Stir to combine then bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until thick and creamy. Add extra water, as needed, if the mixture seems too dry or too thick.

Pine Nut Porridge

Serves 2

Components

200g gluten-free oats
1 portion pine nut milk (simply blend 100g pine nuts with 200ml water, until smooth)
300ml-400ml water
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon maca, lucuma or mesquite (optional)

Optional toppings

2 tablespoons pine nuts (raw or toasted in the oven or in a saucepan)
1 teaspoon natural sugar or syrup of choice (like honey, coconut sugar or nectar)

Method

Start by making the pine nut milk. Blend 100g pine nuts (either raw or toasted) with 200ml filtered water, until smooth.

Ideally, soak all of the porridge ingredients, apart from the water, overnight or for at least 2 hours before cooking. Then, simply transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan set over a medium to high heat, add the 250ml water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and leave to cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until thick and creamy. Add extra water, as needed, if the mixture seems too dry or too thick.

If you don’t have time to soak the oats before cooking, simply place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over a medium to high heat. Stir to combine then bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until thick and creamy. Add extra water, as needed, if the mixture seems too dry or too thick.

Caramelised Banana Porridge

Caramelised Banana Porridge

Caramelised Banana Porridge (1) & Cacao Banana Bircher (from Well Being Book) (2)

This bircher is my favourite thing to make if I’m in a rush, as it is highly energising, filling but not too filling, and takes just minutes to prepare. The caramelised banana porridge is something I’ll make it I have guests who’ve slept over or who are joining me for brunch. It takes a little extra effort but its so worth it. The flavour of the caramelised bananas paired with the creaminess of the porridge base is out of this world.

(1)

Serves 2

Components

2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 ripe bananas
100g gluten-free oats
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon (to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, powder, paste (or vanilla protein powder)
400ml plant-based milk of choice (or 200ml milk + 200ml water)
1-2 tablespoons natural sweetener (such as honey, coconut sugar or coconut nectar)
Pinch of salt

Elevate it: 1 teaspoon maca, 2 tablespoons flaxseeds ground or 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds

Method

Start by slicing the bananas, preferably length ways, but will also work sliced into rounds. Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, and then fry the banana. Fry for a couple of minutes on one side, then carefully flip using a tongs, a spatula or a fork (they may become quite soft and hard to handle). Once the banana begins to caramelise and brown, remove from the heat and set aside.

Next, heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and then the oats and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the milk. Stir to combine, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Take half of the caramelised bananas and mash it into the porridge mixture, whilst still on the heat. Add a splash more milk or water if the mixture becomes too dry or too thick. Stir to ensure the banana is combined, and then leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes. The longer you leave it the the more creamier and softer the oats will become.

Once you’re happy with the consistency, top with the remaining caramelised banana and finish with natural sweetener (if needed) and a pinch of salt. You could also add knob of butter, vegan butter, ghee or coconut oil, a selection of chopped nuts or seeds, fresh, sliced banana and extra cinnamon.

(2)

Components

150g gluten-free jumbo oats
200ml plant-based milk of choice, plus extra if necessary
1 ripe banana (you could substitute for 1 ripe avocado)
4–5 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder
2 tbsp milled flax or golden linseeds
1 tbsp whole chia seeds
1 tsp coconut sugar or other natural sweetener of choice
Pinch of sea salt

Optional toppings
Nut butter
Fresh fruits
Chopped nuts or seeds
Qnola or other granola

Elevate it: 1 tbsp tocos powder, 1 tsp mucuna pruriens powder, 1 tsp ashwagandha powder or other adaptogens of choice

Method

Place the oats in a large bowl and cover with the plant-based milk. Chop the banana into the bowl and use a fork to mash it into the oat mixture. Add the cacao, maca, seeds, natural sweetener and salt along with any elevational extras of your choice, and mix to combine with a fork. If the mixture seems dry, add a little more milk. If it seems too wet, add a small handful of extra oats.

Leave to soak for 5–10 minutes (or longer if you have the time). Top with any or all of the serving suggestions above.

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The Ultimate Porridge Bowls

Vegan 'Mince Meat', Four Delicious and Even More Nutritious Ways

Dinner, Gluten free, Dairy Free, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter, Autumndanielle coppermanComment
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I’m sitting here wrapped in my Goop Travel Wrap at my parents house in Bath, the place surrounded by snow and going nowhere very fast at all. We live in a tiny village, or a hamlet to be precise, and since not much goes on around here, not many cars pass by and apparently, not many gritters either. The lanes are beautifully but inconveniently piled with snow, and only the tractors and land rovers can take them on. Whilst some would find this frustrating, I personally love it, being so rural and detached, especially as I’m visiting from London which is, well, the exact opposite. I love moments like this that just force you to stop and slow down, quite literally.

So, finally, having tested these recipes months and months ago, I’m taking this pause as an opportunity to share them. Bolognese is winter food at it’s best; so deeply comforting, and warming like nothing else. It is a highly regarded meal by many; whether it’s a staple weeknight meal, a weekend treat or one of those things you only order in restaurants cos they just do it better. It’s a failsafe crowd-pleaser, thats for sure, but what if you’re a long standing or recently converted vegan or vegetarian, or simply want to reduce the amount of meat you’re consuming? Well, I’ve got a few options for you. I’ve experimented with all kinds of vegetarian variations, and since all of them were delicious and nourishing in their own unique ways, I just figured I’d give you them all. The meaty textures and flavours in the recipes that follow are purely and simply natures own ingredients. Take your pick, from mushrooms and lentils to carrots and walnuts, or try them all. And if you’re willing to try something completely different and a little bit out there, my favourite might just be the Green Bolognese, made with spinach, broccoli and tofu.

I’ve branded these as bolognese sauces to serve with pasta (I’d use gluten-free rice or vegetable-based fusilli, spaghetti or linguine), but you could also serve these chilli-style (Chilli Sin Carne), with rice or other grains (like buckwheat, millet or quinoa), in tacos or with tortilla chips, nacho-style (all-over or as a dip). Add a little extra chilli and maybe stir through some kidney or pinto beans to make a more traditional chilli, or leave as it is.

Each of the following recipes are also so, so good on their own, or maybe with steamed vegetables or seasonal salad. They’re delicious served cold, too, either perched next to other leftovers, rainbow-bowl-style, or part of a packed lunch.

Let me know how you get on, and tag #WellBeingAndOtherStories if you post any of your creations online!

+ Pictured, only the Carrot & Walnut Bolognese.

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Carrot & Walnut Bolognese

Serves 2

Components

3 medium-large carrots, grated
4 large tomatoes
10 medium mushrooms (button, chestnut or portobello)
1 clove garlic
1/2 white onion
120g raw walnuts
1-2 tablespoons sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Handful of fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoons dried oregano
5 handfuls spinach
30g sun dried tomatoes (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh or dried gluten-free pasta of choice, for two (about 200g)

Method

Start by peeling, chopping and grating the carrots. Then chop the tomatoes into 2 inch pieces. Next, finely dice the mushrooms into tiny pieces, dice the onion, crush the garlic and roughly chop the walnuts. The walnuts should be in pretty small pieces, kind of resembling the size and width of minced meat.

Next, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, and then add the carrots, tomatoes, mushroom, onion, garlic and walnuts. Sauté for 5-10 minutes, and then add the tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Stir to combine and then add the nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, spinach, sun dried tomatoes (if using) and salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat and leave (ideally with a lid on) to simmer whilst you prepare the pasta (for roughly 20-30 minutes). Cook according to packet instructions or if using fresh, unpackaged pasta, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and cook until soft (taste test a few times until you’re happy with the bite).

Stir the sauce a few times to ensure it isn’t sticking to the pan. If it seems a little dry, add a splash of water or, if you fancy, some red wine.

Once the sauce has reduced and is a thick, wet consistency, remove from the heat and set on the table, either in the pan or transferred to a serving bowl. And once the pasta is cooked to perfection, drain and set on the table, either in the pan, transferred to a serving bowl, or distributed onto each persons plate.

Top with extra walnuts, basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, along with any other toppings of choice, like pesto, cheese or vegan cheese (or just an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast).

Tempeh ‘Mince’ for Chilli, or Bolognese

Serves 2

Components

200g tempeh (could replace with firm tofu)
1 clove garlic
1/2 white onion
1-2 tablespoons sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons fresh coriander (if making a chilli, or basil if making as bolognese)
1-2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon paprika
½ - 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ - 1 teaspoon chilli powder or flakes (to taste)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
1-2 teaspoon mustard (optional)

250g grains (such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat or millet) if making chilli, dried or fresh gluten-free pasta to serve 2 (about 200g) if making bolognese, or gluten-free corn tortilla wraps, tacos or nachos if making either of those

+ You could also serve this as a burrito or in tacos.

Method

Start by dicing the tempeh (or tofu) into tiny pieces, crumbling the pieces in your fingers until it resembles a minced meat texture. Next, chop the onion and crush the garlic.

Heat the oil in pan and then add the onion, garlic and chopped tempeh. Sear over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes, nutritional yeast, fresh coriander, tamari, paprika, cumin, ground coriander, oregano, chilli and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat and leave (ideally with a lid on) to simmer (for roughly 20-30 minutes), whilst you prepare your grains (if making chilli), pasta (if making bolognese), tortilla wraps or tacos. Cook according to packet instructions. (For unpackaged grains, cook 1 cup grain to 2 cups water, bringing water to the boil and then reducing to a simmer and cooking covered with a lid until all liquid has been absorbed. If using fresh, unpackaged pasta, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and cook until soft (taste test a few times until you’re happy with the bite).

Stir the sauce a few times to ensure it isn’t sticking to the pan. If it seems a little dry, add a splash of water or, if you fancy, some red wine. Add the spinach just before removing the sauce from the heat, and stir it through until wilted.

Once the sauce has reduced and is a thick, wet consistency, remove from the heat and set on the table, either in the pan or transferred to a serving bowl. And once the grains or pasta is cooked to perfection, drain and set on the table, either in the pan, transferred to a serving bowl, or distributed onto each persons plate. If using tortilla wraps or tacos, you know what to do.

If serving with grains, serve with extra fresh herbs (coriander, as used above), creme fraiche (or vegan alternative) and cheese or vegan cheese. If serving with pasta, top with extra fresh herbs (basil as used above), and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, along with any other toppings of choice, like pesto, cheese or vegan cheese (or just an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast). If making burritos or tacos, serve with extra fillings, such as rice, sautéed vegetables, creme fraiche (or vegan alternative), and cheese or vegan cheese.

Mushroom & Lentil ‘Mince’, for Chilli or Bolognese

Serves 2

Components

500g medium-large tomatoes
2 red peppers (preferably the long ones, known as Marconi)
450g mushrooms (button, chestnut or portobello)
1/2 white onion
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
100g puy, beluga or green lentils (preferably uncooked, and soaked for a couple of hours)
50g uncooked quinoa (optional)
250ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato puree
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 bay leaves
1-2 teaspoons cocoa / cacao powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 tablespoons mustard (optional)
30g black or green olives - chopped (optional)
1-2 handfuls spinach

250g grains (such as rice, quinoa, buckwheat or millet) if making chilli, dried or fresh gluten-free pasta to serve 2 (about 200g) if making bolognese, or gluten-free corn tortilla wraps, tacos or nachos if making either of those

Method

Start by chopping the tomatoes and red peppers into roughly 2 inch pieces. Dice the onion and crush the garlic, and then finely dice the mushrooms, into tiny cube-like pieces. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onions and garlic begin to brown and the mushrooms soften.

Next, add the lentils and quinoa and continue to sauté for a further 5-10 minutes. Then add the vegetable stock, tomato puree, nutritional yeast, bay leaves, cocoa powder and salt and pepper, to taste. If using, add the mustard and olives now, too. Bring to the boil then cover with a lid and leave to simmer (for roughly 20-30 minutes), whilst you prepare your grains (if making chilli), pasta (if making bolognese), tortilla wraps or tacos. Cook according to packet instructions. (For unpackaged grains, cook 1 cup grain to 2 cups water, bringing water to the boil and then reducing to a simmer and cooking covered with a lid until all liquid has been absorbed. If using fresh, unpackaged pasta, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and cook until soft (taste test a few times until you’re happy with the bite).

Stir the sauce a few times to ensure it isn’t sticking to the pan. If it seems a little dry, add a splash of water or, if you fancy, some red wine. Add the spinach just before removing the sauce from the heat, and stir it through until wilted.

Once the sauce has reduced and is a thick, wet consistency, remove from the heat and set on the table, either in the pan or transferred to a serving bowl. And once the grains or pasta is cooked to perfection, drain and set on the table, either in the pan, transferred to a serving bowl, or distributed onto each persons plate. If using tortilla wraps or tacos, you know what to do.

If serving with grains, serve with extra fresh herbs (coriander, as used above), creme fraiche (or vegan alternative) and cheese or vegan cheese. If serving with pasta, top with extra fresh herbs (basil as used above), and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, along with any other toppings of choice, like pesto, cheese or vegan cheese (or just an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast). If making burritos or tacos, serve with extra fillings, such as rice, sautéed vegetables, creme fraiche (or vegan alternative), and cheese or vegan cheese.

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Green Spinach & Broccoli Bolognese

Serves 2

Components

120g broccoli, chopped
2 large handfuls spinach
150ml water or vegetable stock
50g extra broccoli, diced
200g mushrooms (button, chestnut or portobello) (or green lentils)
100g firm tofu
1 onion
1 garlic clove
5 tbs olive oil
Handful fresh basil
1 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh or dried gluten-free pasta of choice, for two (about 200g)

Method

Start by bringing a small saucepan of water to the boil. Chop the 120g of broccoli and add to the pan, along with both handfuls of spinach. Boil for 5 -10 minutes, until soft, then drain and transfer to a blender. Add the water or vegetable stock and blend on a high speed, until smooth. If too thick or paste-like, add another 50ml liquid. Leave in the blender whilst you prepare the other ingredients.

Dice the remaining 50g broccoli as finely as possible. Finely dice the mushrooms into tiny cube-like pieces, and do the same with the tofu, crumbling the tofu pieces in your fingers until it resembles a minced meat texture. Finally, chop the onion and crush the garlic.

Next, heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, diced broccoli, mushrooms and tofu and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until the mushrooms soften and the onion and garlic begin to brown. Next, add the fresh basil, dried oregano, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat and leave (ideally with a lid on) to simmer whilst you prepare the pasta (for roughly 20-30 minutes). Cook according to packet instructions or if using fresh, unpackaged pasta, bring a pan of water to the boil, add the pasta, a splash of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and cook until soft (taste test a few times until you’re happy with the bite).

Stir the sauce a few times to ensure it isn’t sticking to the pan. If it seems a little dry, add a splash of water or, if you fancy, some red wine.

Once the sauce has reduced and is a thick, wet consistency, remove from the heat and set on the table, either in the pan or transferred to a serving bowl. And once the pasta is cooked to perfection, drain and set on the table, either in the pan, transferred to a serving bowl, or distributed onto each persons plate.

Top with extra basil and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, along with any other toppings of choice, like pesto, cheese or vegan cheese (or just an extra sprinkle of nutritional yeast).


Since there’s a lot of information and a lot of options here, feel free to leave any questions in the comments below! Enjoy!

Updated Mince Pies

Autumn, Recipe, Sweets + Desserts, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle coppermanComment
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For someone who doesn't usually like mince pies, I ended up eating 3 of these for breakfast the day after I made them. The pastry - which is free from gluten, dairy and refined sugars, and made from all-natural, nourishing ingredients - is the perfect texture; not too crumbly; not too sweet; just doughy enough; and with the perfect amount of crunch. The filling - which is also free from gluten, dairy and refined sugars, and made from all-natural, nourishing ingredients - is also much more flavoursome and juicy than other shop-bought mince pies i've tried. I add superfoods such as blueberries and goji berries to mine, which bring a unique flavour and also additional nutrients. The apricots and dates add a really rich flavour, and mean you don’t need to add extra sugar or sweetener to the filling mixture. Combined with the natural citrus juices and spices, it’s an unbeatable combination.

Granted, its easier and often more appealing to buy mince pies from the shops, and these do take a little time and effort to make, but isn't that what Christmas is all about? Taking time, taking care and enjoying the process of each stage of preparation. It's tradition, after all! But, hey, I hear ya. Theres always enough to do, so to avoid having too much on your plate (so to speak), I'd suggest preparing these a few days (or weeks - as they freeze well) before the festivities begin, to reduce stress and take the pressure off. I'd also suggest getting children involved too, as they will love getting creative and helping.

Components

Makes 12

For the Crust

250g Buckwheat Flour
50g Ground Almonds
4 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, room temperature
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
5-6Tablespoons Honey, Date Syrup, Maple Syrup or other natural sweetener of choice
1 Egg

For the Filling

4 dried apricots, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract, paste or powder
6 dates, pitted and chopped
1/2 medium apple, chopped
100g blueberries
30g goji berries (optional)
The juice of half a fresh orange (and zest, if desired)
1 Teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon grated fresh or ground ginger
1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons coconut oil
60ml water
1 teaspoon maca or ginseng (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 160c.

Grease a muffin tin with a light coating of coconut oil.

For the crust, place all of the ingredients -but only half of the flour - into a food processor. Blend to combine, until the ingredients form a crumb-like texture then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining flour and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until combined. Add a little more flour if the mixture seems too sticky, and add a little more syrup if it seems too dry.

Knead the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it is about 3mm thick (I do this in 2 stages, using half of the dough at a time). As you roll, gently apply pressing, pressing down onto the dough as you roll it. This ill help to ensure the dough stays together and compact and doesn’t crumble or separate.

Next, use a round cookie cutter to cut out individual crusts, and use a thin spatula to lift the dough discs if they stick to the surface. Lay each circle into each section of the greased muffin tin. Leave the leftover dough for the lids.

Bake for 8 minutes until the crusts begin to brown, but aren’t cooked through. Whilst they cook, prepare the filling.

For the filling, simply place all of the ingredients apart from the chia seeds into a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Bring to a gently boil, stirring constantly. As the blueberries soften, burst them with the back of a wooden spoon and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the fruit (particularly the apple) has completely softened. Add the chia seeds just before you take the mixture off of the heat. Leave the mixture to cool slightly and allow a few minutes for the chia seeds to swell and absorb some of the flavour.

Take about a tablespoon of the mixtures and fill each pre-baked crust.

Roll out the remainder of your dough and use either the same round cookie cutter or a more fun, festive one (like a star, a Christmas tree or holly leaves). Take each shape and arrange it on top of the mince mixture. If using another circle, I like to seal them by pressing a fork around the edges to connect them to the crusts. But if using a shape, you can just rest it on top of the fruit mixture.

* At this stage, you can use 1 egg, whisked, to brush on the pie tops. This gives them a more glossy finish.

Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-12 minutes, until the pastry turns a golden brown.

To serve, dust with buckwheat flour or desiccated coconut (or icing sugar if you prefer a sweeter option), and serve with coconut cream, runny almond cream and with an extra dollop of the fruit filling if you had some left over.

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The Best Hot Chocolate's To Cosy Up With This Winter

Drinks, Dairy Free, Essentials, Review, Seasonal, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle copperman1 Comment

Winter is approaching and although the Sun is still out here in London, all I want is a hot drink to settle down with. Fancy something different to your usual tea or coffee? Below are my favourite hot chocolate brands, the ideal warmer during winter months and also a perfect sweet snack to satisfy daytime or evening cravings. Add some extra components to these base ingredients, for added nutrition and / or flavour. I’m adding a shot or teaspoon of fresh turmeric or ginger juice to mine, and during the day, a little he shou wu, maca, tocos and ashwaganda. Embrace your inner alchemist!

1. Zenbunni’s Shaved Dark Chocolate - biodynamic, raw, handcrafted chocolate spiked with a selection of adaptogens. Mix with hot water or milk of choice.

2. Zenbunni’s Vanilla Reishi Gheenache - an alchemical blend of biodynamic and organic stone-ground chocolate and full moon-made ghee. A delicious and nutrient-dense superfood, it is filled with essential minerals, vitamins, and fats for a healthy & magical chocolate experience. Just mix with hot water or milk of choice.

3. Mörk Drinking Chocolate - crafted with cocoa powder, 100% cacao liquor and sweetened only with unrefined coconut blossom sugar. Mix with hot water or milk of choice.

4. Ombar Mylk Chocolate Buttons - Raw chocolate buttons make with creamed coconut and sweetened only with coconut sugar. Chop roughly and mix with hot water or milk of choice.

Or anything Ombar for that matter. Chop roughly and mix with hot water or milk of choice.

5. Loving Earth Creamy Drinking Chocolate - Fair trade, dairy-free, gluten-free, organic, vegan, vegetarian, and again, sweetened only with coconut nectar. Mix with hot water or milk of choice.

Pure Raw / Ceremonial Grade Cacao Powder - pure and simple. Mix with hot water or milk of choice, and sweeten gently if desired with natural syrup or other natural sweetener.

Archived hot chocolate recipes from the blog…

High Vibe Quinoa Hot Chocolate
Tahini Reishi Hot Chocolate

Quick Ginger Hot Chocolate Recipe

Either use 1/2 shot glass of fresh ginger juice (made using a juice or by blending 20-30g sliced fresh ginger with 60ml water) or brew 250ml water or plant-based milk of choice with either sliced fresh ginger or 2 ginger teabags. (You can also use ground ginger but the flavour wont be as strong, the nutrients wont be as active and you will find the ginger doesn’t dissolve and combine fully).

If using water, boil in the kettle and then add the shot of ginger juice or, if using fresh ginger, steep in a mug or small bowl. Add your chosen hot chocolate powder or solids, and stir to melt and combine.

If using a milk, heat in a small saucepan and add either the shot of fresh ginger juice or, if using, the fresh ginger slices. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10-20 minutes. Leave on the hob but switch off the heat and continue to infuse for as long as possible (if you’re in a rush or don’t want to wait, you don’t need to do this extra infusion step, but if you have time, leave for an hour or so just to deepen the flavour). Then, stir in your chosen hot chocolate powder or solids, and stir to melt and combine.

Enjoy!

Finally ~ The Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip (Vegan!) Cookies

Gluten free, Dairy Free, Paleo, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman5 Comments
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I’m not even joking, I went as far as testing 4 different cookie recipes in 1 day a few weeks ago, and none of them came out how I wanted them to.

I revisited the challenge again this week though, and this story has a different ending. The best vegan cookies that have ever been.

To me, a cookie should be tough, crisp and gently crunchy on the outside, and soft, moist and chewy on the inside. It should definitely not be too crispy or biscuity, and at all crumbly. That’s the worst. What’s the point in a cookie if it isn’t chewy? I tried several different options that Sunday afternoon; some with egg, some without; some with coconut sugar, some with syrups; some with flour, some with ground nuts; some with coconut oil, some with olive oil. I even tried some chickpeas (the dough was insane, the baked version, not so much). All of them came out completely different and left me baffled by the science of cookies. Some were super light and fluffy and almost a dusty / sandy texture (inedible). Others were super oily and dense, but didn’t set properly or remained oily and moist like the dough it had been, rather than an actual cookie.

These, though, are the ones. They are the perfect texture - light and chewy, but not too dense or tough. In my opinion, they are more flavoursome than shop-bought cookies (which, since I’m now used to lower sugar foods, always taste too sweet and artificial, and somehow quite plain - maybe from the flour and the fact that the ingredients they contain are rarely fresh and hardly real food at all). Another couple of pros: these are make with completely natural ingredients (that’s where the flavour comes from) and are gluten free, paleo, and vegan. Uhhhhh. Who knew a cookie could hit so many spots?

They literally take about 5 minutes to make and 10-12 to bake. So you don’t have an excuse not to make these, really. Sorry.

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Components

Makes 6 large cookies

200g ground almonds
5 tablespoons natural syrup (about 100g) (I used dark agave but any natural syrup, like honey, maple or coconut nectar would also work)
3-4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspon bicarbonate soda
4 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil (around 50-60g), melted
Generous pinch of salt for the dough and extra for topping
4 tablespoons gluten free flour - I use either buckwheat, rice, chickpea or chestnut
50-100g raw or dark chocolate - I use Ombar or 85-99% dark chocolate depending on what I can find locally

Optional

1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground ginger or grated or sliced fresh ginger
Chopped nuts (like hazelnut, pecans, pine nuts or walnuts)

Method

Preheat the oven to 175c.

Simply measure all of the ingredients - except for the chocolate - into a food process and pulse until they form a smooth dough. Ideally, it should begin to form a sticky, doughy ball, and the mixture should be smooth. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. On a chopping board, roughly chop or crush the chocolate, if it is in a bar or buttons, to create small chocolate chunks. Stir the chocolate chunks into the dough mixture and use your hands to combine and distribute evenly throughout the dough.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Take a small handful of mixture and roll into a compact ball, then place in the palm of one hand and flatten with the other hand. Aim to make each cookie about the size of the palm of your hand, and about 1cm thick. Place on the baking tray and continue to flatten gently with your figures, if necessary. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, if desired.

Place in the oven and bake for 10 - 12 mins, until the edges begin to brown and the surface is tough and dry to touch. I remove mine around 10 minutes as they continue to cook a little as they cool, and they set as they cool, so don’t worry if they feel too soft when you remove them from the oven.

Enjoy warm or cooled, with a glass of hot or cold plant-based milk, adaptogen-spiked milk (I like cacao) or other hot drink of choice.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for about 1-2 weeks.

Well Being Book Recipe ~ Chanterelle Mushroom, Lentil & Chestnut Casserole with White Bean Cloud Mash

Dinner, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter, Autumndanielle coppermanComment
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This recipe is inspired by a casserole dish I had in Stockholm. Chanterelle mushrooms were everywhere and I immediately took to their earthy, buttery flavour, much richer than the standard mushrooms I was used to. This recipe combines them with many of my favourite autumnal ingredients, creating a nourishing and warming casserole-like dish. For the simplest option, serve it with grains and vegetables or atop a cloud of white bean mash.

Components

For the casserole
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
180g chestnuts, chopped (vacuum-packed)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1⁄2 white or red onion, chopped
250g chanterelle mushrooms, sliced
200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
60g raw beetroot, chopped
200g puy lentils (yellow, orange or green lentils or mung beans will also work)
6 fresh sage leaves
2 sprigs of rosemary
200ml coconut milk or plant-based milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
200ml vegetable or meat stock
3 handfuls of spinach, chopped
2 large handfuls of cavelo nero, chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
For the white bean cloud mash
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
400g tin cannellini / butter beans, rinsed and drained
60ml water or plant-based milk
Sea salt and black pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and, once hot, add the chestnuts, garlic, onion, mushrooms, beetroot, lentils, sage and rosemary. Sauté for 15 minutes and then add the coconut milk, vinegar and half of the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Gradually add the remaining stock to loosen it, but you may not need it all.

Meanwhile, prepare your white bean mash. Put the oil and beans in a saucepan and set over a medium heat. Add half of the water or plant-based milk and then gently begin to break up the beans using a fork or a potato masher.

Add the remaining water or plant-based milk and continue to stir and mash until the beans completely loose their shape and the mixture becomes smooth and fluffy. Season to taste and remove from the heat. If you want a smoother result, blitz the mash in a blender for 30 seconds, with a little extra water or plant-based milk, if needed. Set aside.

Add the spinach and cavelo nero to the casserole and season with salt and pepper. Once the greens have wilted and the liquid has reduced, remove from the heat and serve instantly along with the mash.

Variation
Preheat the oven to 200°C . To make a shepherd’s pie variation, layer the white bean mash on top of the casserole. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the mash turns a warmer shade of white and the casserole begins to bubble underneath.

Well Being Book Recipe ~ Beetroot, Carrot + Coconut Soup

Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Recipe, Well Being Book, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment
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This hearty soup uses ingredients associated with the root chakra (page 326), which works to keep us grounded with the Earth’s energy and, when balanced, can increase confidence, energy and openness. Signs of a blocked or misaligned root chakra include short temper, lack of motivation, anxiety and general frustration. Eating foods associated with this chakra can help to release these emotions. Serve with Magic Vegetable 'Bread' Rolls (page 314), toasted Miracle Bread (page 314), or Crackers (page 178).

Components

Serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a starter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil 1⁄2 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5g fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
3 large beetroots, peeled and chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
600ml vegetable or bone broth (preferably homemade, page 315)
2 × 400ml cans (800ml) coconut milk
1 tsp dried thyme or lemon thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Elevate it:
Juice of 1⁄2 lime

Method

In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat the oil over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger and coriander and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the beetroots, carrots and broth. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the beetroot is soft.

Allow to cool slightly, transfer to a blender (work in two batches if necessary) and add the coconut milk. Blend on a medium speed for 30 seconds and then increase to the highest speed for 10 seconds. Add more broth or water to thin the soup if it is too thick.

Return to the saucepan, add the thyme, season to taste with salt and pepper and add the lime juice, if using. Heat through, then divide among bowls and serve immediately.

Top with Nut Parmesan Sprinkle (page 313), a knob of Avocado 'Butter' (page 308), herb-infused oil (page 313) or a swirl of extra coconut milk.

Blend any leftovers with a can or two of chickpeas, to make a vibrant root- vegetable dip.

Qnola - Now Available on Ocado

Breakfast, Essentials, Paleo, Wake Up Well, Qnola, Vegetarian, Vegandanielle coppermanComment
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I’m super excited to announce that our full range of Qnola Breakfast Goods are now available on Ocado online. That means better distribution, nationwide, and all at the click of a few buttons. Since starting the business in 2014, it has been a dream of mine to produce and distribute Qnola to the masses and to reach more people and change the way we wake. If you haven’t yet been able to try Qnola, I hope our partnership with Ocado makes it more accessible for you.

The largest online supermarket, Ocado is passionate about delivering an exciting variety of innovative brands right to your doorstep. They carefully select their range of products meaning you'll always find a balance of unique and everyday items.

Ocado help small brands (like us!) reach more customers and we couldn't be more excited for Qnola to make it onto more breakfast tables across the country.

Spread the word, tell your friends and enjoy waking up well with even more ease! And please, if you have a few seconds, leave us a star rating or a short review - it means the world to us!

Well Being Book Recipe ~ Double Sweet Corn Fritters with Eggs & Avocado

Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Recipe, Vegetarian, Well Being Bookdanielle coppermanComment
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This recipe is perfect for low-energy mornings because, whilst it looks and tastes impressive, it is simple to prepare. The sweetcorn fritters stand in for conventional breakfast carbs and bring more nutrition to the table. For a very simple option, pair them with avocado or for something more extravagant, serve them with poached eggs, a selection of homemade dips, seaweed salad or greens and pickles or Sauerkraut (pages 316–317). Bacon, Coconut 'Bacon' (page 313) or smoked fish also make a nice addition.

Serves 4 (makes 6–8 fritters)

Components

4–8 eggs
2 avocados
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional) pinch of salt (optional)

For the sweetcorn fritters

350g corn kernels, cooked and cooled 1 large egg (or 1 tbsp chia gel, page 81) 1 tsp ground or freshly grated turmeric pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying
60g buckwheat flour
1⁄2 tsp baking powder
small handful of fresh coriander leaves (or other fresh herbs) freshly ground black pepper

Elevate it:

1 tsp shilajit powder, 1 tsp spirulina powder, 2 tbsp golden linseeds or chia seeds

Method

First, make the fritters. Place 100g of the corn in a blender and add the egg or chia gel, turmeric, salt and oil. Add any elevate ingredients, if using, and blend on a high-speed for 30 seconds, until it forms a thick, creamy paste. Once smooth, transfer to a bowl, add the remaining corn kernels, flour, baking powder and coriander (or other fresh herbs) and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and, once warm, spoon 3–4 large ladlefuls of batter – spaced apart to avoid them merging into one – into the pan. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon and cook for 1–2 minutes, until brown and crisp, then flip and cook the other side for 1–2 minutes, until crispy. Repeat until all the batter has been used up.

Meanwhile, scramble, fry or poach your eggs. Next, prepare the avocado: cut each in half, remove the stones, and either slice thinly, lengthways, and scoop out the flesh, or into a bowl and mash with the lemon juice and salt.

Add cooled fritters to packed lunches in the place of sandwich bread.

Almond & Adaptogen Ananda Mouthfuls

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman2 Comments
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I love to make some variation of these simple snacks every few weeks, and they're especially convenient if I am traveling a lot. I love to take them with me for the journey, and if i have the facilities where I am staying abroad, I always make them if I am staying somewhere for a while, as they are super easy to make and provide functional nutrition in an instant. They are high in protein, healthy fats, fibre and essential vitamins and minerals, and are a delicious way to incorporate a dose of your favourite adaptogens and / or tonic herbs if you want other ways to use them. Depending on the adaptogens you use, these mouthfuls have a host of physical and mental health benefits, and the bonus is that they taste like chewy caramels. Enjoy!

Components

50g gluten free oats (or cashews)
50g ground almonds (or whole almonds)
A generous pinch of salt
1 tbs vanilla vegan protein powder (i use The Welle Co or Innermost Health)
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
150g medjool or other soft dates (pitted and halved)
1.5 tablespoons coconut oil (soft, or melted)
60g almond butter or cashew butter, or a mixture of both

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)

1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, ground or whole almonds, salt, protein powder, cinnamon and adaptogen powder of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars, (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set) and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Salted Peanut version

Components

50g gluten free oats
80g roasted peanuts
Pinch of salt (don't use if your peanuts are already salted)
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract, or vegan or whey protein powder
250g medjool dates
50g peanut butter (could also use other nut butter)
1 tablespoon coconut oil, room temp

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)

1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, peanuts, protein powder and adaptogen powders of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend for a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy, and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set), and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Cacao version

Components

50g gluten free oats
100g walnuts (can also use almonds or cashews, or a mixture)
4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract or vegan or whey protein powder
Pinch of salt
250g medjool dates
50g almond butter (can use other nut butter too)
2 tbs coconut oil

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)
1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, walnuts or other nuts, protein powder and adaptogen powders of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend for a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy, and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set), and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Well Being Recipe Series - Lazy Boy Nut Milk

Anytime, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian, Well Being Book, Videodanielle coppermanComment

For a quicker way to make your own nut milk, blend 2 tablespoons of nut butter (preferably raw, but roasted will also work) with 150ml filtered water on a high speed for 2–3 minutes. Strain and transfer to a bottle or jar with a lid and store in the fridge for 3–4 days. This will only make about 2 servings, so you might want to double or triple the measurements to make more. Find the full recipe on page 305 of Well Being Book. Get your copy here: http://amzn.to/2jIa3NW

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Summery Vegan Lemon Curd Tart ~ Vegan & Gluten Free Ofc

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Summer, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipedanielle copperman3 Comments
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Ah, this could be just about the dreamiest thing I've ever made. I thought it would be impossible to recreate a favourite of mine (and many's) - The Lemon Tart - using all-natural and vegan ingredients, but it wasn't, and that's why we're where we are today. First off, this post contains around 3 to 4 individual recipes in itself; not only a lemon tart but also a lemon jam, a lemon curd and a biscuity base you can use for all kinds of sweet treats, desserts, freezer granola (I'll explain later) or simply enjoy as a snack. 

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+ You can make this recipe into one big tart to serve sliced (right), or you can use smaller tart dishes to make individual tartlets (left). You can also make this into more a cheesecake pot if you don't have the right kind of tart dish, by filling small ramekins, small bowls or even glasses with some of the base mixture followed by the filling on top.

The Basic Biscuity Base

You can take inspiration from pretty much any recipe for a raw dessert when looking for a quick and simple base for a conventional dessert; whether you intend to make an entirely raw dessert or not. You can make a basic base for any dessert with pretty much any combination of nuts / seeds, coconut oil or butter and a little natural sweetener. I've given up using recipes as it is so easy to judge by eye how much oil and by taste how much sweetener you need to add to any amount of nuts / seeds for it to work as a base. The magic of a raw base like this is that the hard work is done by the coconut oil / butter and the fridge / freezer. It is so simple, and the result is always perfectly crunchy, creamy and crumbly. I use the same kind of recipes as the bottom layer for dessert pots, the base for cheesecakes and as an easy alternative to pastry shells - as I have done here.

+ You could make this tart on a more conventional pastry shell if you feel so inclined / prefer it / have more time and patience on your hands. The pastry from my recent Savoury Vegan Picnic Tartlets recipe would work amazingly with this filling.

Components

Makes enough for 1 medium to large tart dish, or about 8-10 small individual pots / tart dishes

200g raw cashews
200g raw almonds
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
3-4 tablespoons honey, medjool dates or other natural sweetener of choice (I find 3 tablespoons is enough to make the dough stick but add more depending on your taste preferences)

+ You can of course use a combination of any other raw nuts and / or seeds you have on hand. I love using pecans or walnuts, and sunflower seeds for a nut-free option.

Process

Simply add your nuts / seeds of choice to a food processor and blend until ground into a fine, crumbly consistency. With the machine still running, slowly pour in the coconut oil followed closly by the honey or other natural sweetener of choice.

The mixture should begin to clump after 30-60 seconds on a high speed. Add a little more oil if the mixture seems too dry and/or a little more honey or sweetener of choice if the mixture isn't sticking and holding together when you press it with your fingers of the back of a spoon or spatula. You want it to stick and hold a compact shape.

Now, cut a strip of baking paper almost twice the diameter of your tart dish (do the same for each small individual tartlet dishes if using). Lay the baking paper across the tart dish as centrally as possible, with the baking paper flat to the middle of the tart dish, and the ends of the laying long outside of the dish. This will help you to lift the tart out once it is set.

Next, transfer the base mixture into your tart dish or tartlet dishes, and use a spatula and / or your hands to spread the mixture evenly to the edges. Press the mixture down until it is compact, and use small handfuls to press some of the mixture up and around the sides of your dish too. 

The base should be about 1/2 cm - 1 cm thick at the base, probably naturally a little thinner around the edges. Transfer to the freezer to set whilst you make the filling.

+ Leftovers tip: You can use any leftover base to energy balls or bars, either rolling it up or pressing into bar moulds or even tuppaware boxes. You can also crumble it into a small container and leave it in the freezer to enjoy as an instant granola for breakfast.

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The Lemon Curd Filling

I have previously made an all-natural lemon curd recipe but it contained eggs and quite a bit of coconut milk which made it quite heavy and rich. This new versions is incredible, I'm genuinely smiling just thinking about it. 100% vegan / plant based and 100% natural and unrefined, you won't find the usual eggs, overload of sugar or butter that is traditionally used in conventional recipes / lemon curd products, or any additives, preservatives and weird thickeners or acidity regulators (err, sorry what?).

As mentioned in the intro, you get 3-in-1 with this recipe. The earliest stage of this filling makes the most delicious lemon jam, which can be used on toast, in yoghurt or enjoyed with baked goods. The next stage makes the perfect lemon curd, which can be used as a spread, a dip or a side for fruit salads or other desserts. And the final stage is your lemon curd tart filling, which could also be used as a slightly richer and creamier spread, dip or side for other desserts. The choice is yours.

Components

140g coconut oil, melted
juice of 6 lemons
160-180g honey, coconut sugar or other natural sweetener of choice
6 tablespoons arrowroot powder
6 tablespoons soy yoghurt (can replace with other yoghurt of choice such as coconut, oat or almond yoghurt. Those who eat dairy can also use probiotic dairy yoghurt or double cream)

Process

Measure the lemon juice, oil and honey into a medium saucepan over a medium - high heat. Immediately whisk in the arrowroot. Add 3 tablespoons first then whisk until fully combine, then add the remaining 3 tablespoons and whisk again.

Heat over a medium - high heat until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. It should become incredibly gloopy. Also, during one of my test runs, a lot of the oil separated and sat on the surface, but if this happens it will all turn out fine, so don't worry.

As the mixture becomes thick and gloopy, remove the pan from the heat and whisk the mixture vigorously for 1-2 minutes (may need longer if your oil has separated slightly). The mixture should calm down and become a smoother more creamy looking texture. Return to a low-medium heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, whisking every so often to avoid any sticking and burning.

When the mixture is thick, smooth and glossy looking, remove from heat and then whisk in the soy yoghurt (or whichever alternative you might be using), one tablespoon at a time, until smooth. This will make the mixture thin a little but don't worry, it will set perfectly.

Pour the mixture into your tart base or tartlet bases, filling it up to come almost level with the edges of the base. This time, place in the fridge for about 1-2 hours to set fully.

+ Leftovers tip: If you have leftover filling mixture once you've filled your tart or tartlet bases, pour the remainder into a jar or container and store in the fridge. You can serve a dollop alongside the tart for anyone who wants extra, or you can use to accompany breakfasts (such as granola and yoghurt, fruit salad, spread on toast or on porridge) or other desserts.

Once set, slice and serve with an extra dollop of soy yoghurt (or you preferred alternative) and a side of fresh, seasonal fruit. Keeps for 1 week in the fridge. To keep for even longer, slice and store in the freezer; it thaws back to perfection in no time.

+ Decoration tip: You could try swirling an extra dollop of soy yogurt into the middle of the filling before setting, to create a marbled effect. You could also garnish with edible flowers, lemon slices or other fresh fruit of choice

Savoury Vegan Picnic Tartlets

Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten free, Lunch, Recipe, Seasonal, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment
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Since the sun has finally decided to stay out long enough for the chance of al fresco dining, I've got the perfect recipe to liven up otherwise predictable picnic / barbecue fare. I first tested and shot these recipes in Autumn, hence the roasted grapes, brussels sprouts and chanterelle mushrooms. However, I figured they're still relevant because they're so incredibly customisable. If you've read the introduction of my book you'll know I am all about encouraging people to have a flexible and adaptable approach to cooking. Many people are terrified by this idea, however, I find being open to free-styling in the kitchen is more enjoyable and results in more creative and more personalised dishes.

The gluten free pastry shells in these recipes are the same, and there are two cheesy base options; one made from cashews and the other, a nut-free alternative made with white beans. But the rest of these recipes - the fillings and flavours - are entirely adaptable. Each season, try something new. For now, here are a few summer-inspired suggestions:

Roasted Courgette & Asparagus
Roasted Aubergine & Spinach
Roasted Cabbage & Fennel
Pea & Mint
Roasted Carrot & Garlic
Roasted Tomato & Basil
Or sweet options, with smashed berries, jams / marmalades (ideally homemade / handmade and made with natural ingredients without added sugar or additives) nectarines, figs, apricots and other seasonal fruits.

+ Or for summery alternatives for the below options, simply replace grapes with cherries, brussels with cabbage and chanterelle mushrooms with mushrooms currently in season.

The Basics

Depending on your fillings, I think the easiest way to make these is to start by making the pastry shells and the cream cheese fillings first, setting them aside whilst you prepare your chosen fillings. If roasting your fillings, it may save time to roast the fillings first, whilst you prepare the pastry dough and the cream cheese mixture. If you are not roasting your fillings, I would begin by making the pastry shells first, and preparing your cream cheese mixture and toppings of choice whilst the pastry shells bake.

Makes 1 medium tart, 6 medium - large tartlets, or 10-12 small muffin tin tartlets. The images show medium-large tartlets

The pastry

Components

80g Almond flour
90g buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp Salt
20g coconut oil, room temp (not melted)
1 teaspoon Dried rosemary
5-6 Tbsp Cold water
Sesame or onion seeds - optional

Process

Preheat the oven to 170c.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a spatula to combine all of  the dry ingredients.

Next, add the oil and mash and stir using a fork to form a crumbly texture.

Next, gradually add the water. Add 4 tablespoons first and then 1-2 more tablespoons if the mixture seems too dry or crumbly and isn't forming into a dough easily.

Once doughy, form into a compact ball and then break into sections, depending on how many tart trays you are using and depending on the size of them. Grease the trays lightly with a little coconut oil and then press the mixture down firmly into each tin, spreading evenly along the base and pressing up the sides too. The mixture should be around 5mm thick.

Place the pastry shells into the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 mins, until beginning to brown. Leave to cool before filling.

The Cashew Cream Cheese

Components

120g Soaked Cashews
40ml Water
12g Nutritional yeast
Salt
Pepper
1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Lemon juice
5 tablespoons Olive oil

Process

Combine all the cashew cheese ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Pour into a bowl or container and set aside or chill in the fridge whilst you prepare the fillings.

The white bean cream cheese

Components

1 tin white beans (200g drained weight)
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoons natural salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1⁄4 teaspoons lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
20g coconut oil (melted) or extra olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water

Simply add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or container and set aside or chill in the fridge until needed. 

Assembling the tarts

Roasted grape, brussels and hazelnut with cashew cream cheese

8-10 large brussels sprouts (or chopped cabbage)
200g red grapes, roasted (could also use fresh figs)
A pinch of fresh rosemary - to garnish
Hazelnuts or walnuts - to garnish

Process

Preheat the oven to 200c.

Slice the brussels into quarters, lengthways - so you have a few discs rather than wedges. Pierce the grapes as best you can with the tip of a sharp knife and then place in a baking tray, keeping the grapes and brussels at separate ends if possible. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and then bake for 45 minutes, until they begin to shrink and soften.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before assembling into the base of your pastry shells and before topping with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture.

When ready to assemble, simply place a few teaspoons of the roasted grapes and brussels into the base of your pastry shell, then top with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture. Smooth the mixture and then top with extra roasted grapes and / or brussels. 

Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

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Chanterelle & garlic with white bean cream cheese

Components

200g chanterelle mushrooms (or other mushrooms), sliced
4-6 whole or chopped cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 tablespoon miso (optional)

Add the oil to a saucepan and once heated, add the garlic. When the garlic begins to brown, add the mushrooms and miso and stir to combine. Sauté over a medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to soften and the mixture begins to caramelise.

Allow to cool slightly before assembling into your pastry shells and before topping with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture.

When ready to assemble, simply place a few teaspoons of the mushroom and garlic mixture into the base of your pastry shell, then top with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture. Smooth the mixture and then top with extra sauteed mushrooms and garlic mixture and / or nuts, seeds or herbs of choice. 

Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

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