Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

Vegan Chai Muffins

Chocolate has a calling like a ultrasonic dog whistle. Only audible to females, of course. Ignoring these soundwave emissions is, in my experience, damaging. The longer the ear-splitting sonar pulse, the sharper the fangs.

That’s why I came up with this vegan muffin recipe. They are criminally healthy, and taste lordly.

 

chocolate wrappers

 

Check out these ingredients for superhero points: chickpeas, brown rice, almond milk, psyllium seed husks, extra virgin olive oil, anti-inflammatory chai spices and resveratrol-rich dark choc. Healthy food should never feel penitential. It can and should be delivered with ingredients that taste sensational.

Think of it as alchemy. I’d never eat dark chocolate with a handful of chickpeas and almonds. These muffins exploit each ingredient for their best qualities and textures, then puts them through a time machine. (Eh, the oven). Result? The ingredients are locked into a symbiotic samba.

And because these muffins are vegan, you can swagger into the office on Monday morning and let your colleagues rub your halo.

Chickepa flour and brown rice flour will stuff your battery with much needed B vitamins to spark your ignition and your dimples without damaging blood sugar levels. Something a Yorkie can’t boast. Both flours contain vertiginous amounts of fibre to service your pipes too. Nice one.

 

2016-08-04 14.37.28

 

Oh and there’s no shame in wanting to straddle a tray of these chocolate chip chai muffins. You’ll soon see why.

You can order both flours, as well any other arcane ingredients on your wish list, online from a range of sources who deliver to Ireland. I like health-hunter.ie, downtoearth.ie and organicsupermarket.ie . Order today straight from your armchair, to your doorstep. Groovy, huh?

 

Chocolate Chip Chai Muffins

Makes 12 vegans very happy

 

125ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
375ml (1 & 1/2 cups) plant milk
2 tablespoons psyllium husks

130g  (3/4 cup) brown rice flour
120g (1 cup) chick pea / gram flour
3 caffeine-free, chai tea bags (we used Pukka)
½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
40g dark chocolate chunks
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
¾ cup coconut sugar or muscavado sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

 

Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/375°F. Line a 12-mould cupcake tin with paper cases.

Let your plant milk, olive oil and psyllium party. Leave aside.

In a large bowl, let the remaining ingredients socialise.

Then combine both bowls and beat. Avoid tasting the batter – wet chickpea flour tastes and smells like cat’s pee. The cooked result is peerless though, so keep going!

Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for 28 minutes. Remove from the oven, turn the muffins out of the tray and let them cool on a wire rack. Prostrate.

These are best within 2 days, but I doubt that’s going to be a burden.

 

 

 

 

Lunchbox, Sides

That Beetroot Salad

Beetroot has long filled the cells of mankind with mega antioxidants, and enough iron to make Popeye quake.

Beetroot puts the super into superfood (and sometimes the hell into healthy, if not cooked adequately). Sometimes I wish Vanilla Ice had included them in his big hit.

This earthy vegetable is a real friend to the kidneys, we’re told. So don’t freak out when your pee turns crimson. That red plant pigment holds a compound called betacyanin, commissioned to do all sorts of fancy ripostes in your bloodstream. The Russians have long known beet’s secret. This might help explain how the Russians can survive Siberia’s winter temperatures, and yet another term of Putin.

Freshly juiced, beets appear to enjoy great repute in cancer care clinics across the globe. I reckon it’s because they taste so sweet and gorgeous, rather than their nutritional currency. Nevertheless, beets are still ranked as one of the most underused and misunderstood veggies. Both cooked and raw beetroot are easy to find in supermarkets, yet doesn’t always mosey their way into our shopping trolleys. Shame that.

 

beet salad healthy 

 

A side of beet, yoghurt and almond

Beetroot ain’t that fussy, so long as it has a lick of olive oil and lemon. This purple veg has helped propel Avoca into celebrity status on the restaurant circuit (you know the dish? Thinly sliced beetroot, thick yoghurt and flaked almonds). My husband once sang the soundtrack to Frozen in Polish for an extra helping from the dinner lady.

It really isn’t necessary to put your husband through that, so here’s the recipe. From them to me, and from me to you. Go bonkers.

Serves 4

3 tablespoons flaked almonds
4 tablespoons of natural yoghurt
Squeeze of lemon, plus a little zest
A few twists of the salt and pepper mill
1 small clove garlic, crushed
4 cooked beetroot (vacuum pack are handy)

 

Start by tanning your flaked almonds in a hot oven for 6 minutes until kissed by a golden zephyr. 200 Celsius will do the trick. If they turn a shade darker, your taste buds will be deeply disappointed.

While the flaked almonds are on the clock, whip your yoghurt with a little lemon and zest to taste, salt and pepper as you like it, and the crushed garlic.

Take the almonds out to cool.

Thinly slice the beetroot and let the yoghurt join the party. Finish with a flurry of tanned almonds on top. That’s all there is to it.

Change it up from time to time with capers, segments of orange, diced red onion or grated boiled egg. It’s a fabulously handy recipe.

 

Events, Treats & Snacks, x For Freezer x

Kickass 5-Ingredient Cookies

I’m greedy and desperate enough to have alchemised my favourite junk food snack into a nutritional fox trot.

So here it is … an unreasonably tasty cookie that has been shamelessly flirting with me everyday for the past 3 months.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

 

Check out this recipe – no hydrogenated fat, white sugar, artificial shite or additives. Just pure, unadulterated goodness with added omega 3 and calcium from some swanky chia.

The best part?

It doesn’t taste “pure” my friends. These cookies are not just for geezers (me) who fetishise loose leaf tea. It’s full on nasty. I’m not interested in sacrificing my taste buds just to put something healthy in my mouth. No thanks. Misery ain’t no ingredient in my pantry.

 

susan jane peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

 

These are a version of the American Peanut Butter Cookies I have in my second cookbook. #plug . Adding chocolate chips, extra baking powder and chia seed turn them into a very different sonata. Think opera.

Scientists, look away while I mutilate your language: one teaspoon of baking powder will produce a rounder, firmer cookie (see above). Pretty groovy. But then! Two teaspoons of baking powder will significantly inflate the cookies in the oven, making them flatter and significantly chewier once settled (see picture below). It’s science, innit?!

Have a good summer y’all! Let me know how you get along with this recipe – just tag them in your Instagram account and I’ll hunt you down.

 

Makes 20

3/4 cup good quality peanut butter (200g)
3/4 cup coconut sugar or rapadura sugar (100g)
1-2 teaspoons baking powder (see note above)
2 tablespoons milled chia seed
1 egg
Handful of dark chocolate chunks

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.

Blend all the ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork and tenacity. Roll into little ping pong-sized balls, and flatten with the back of a fork or your palm. Not too skinny though – you’re looking for uniformity so each cookie bakes at a similar rate. You can cook one tray, and freeze the remaining dough no problem.

Cook in your preheated oven for 10–12 minutes, before they turn brown or crisp. Don’t panic if they appear soft – you’re on the right track, as they harden and deflate once cooled.

Resist the temptation to wolf them hot from the oven. I’m still nursing my sore tongue.

 

peanut butter cookies