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Treats & Snacks

Treats & Snacks

Pancake Tuesday, Feb 21st

While I like my pancakes trashy, I also love them to be healthyassed. So this week our pancakes are fraternising with flaxseed, brown rice and banana while smothered under a rich tahini sauce. Eating something nourishing that feels deliciously sinful can feel strangely conflicting, like being mugged by Cupid.

Makes 6-8

For the pancakes:

1 large or 2 small bananas, peeled

230ml your preferred type of milk

2 tablespoons milled flaxseed

180g plain flour or brown rice flour (or 100g flour with 80g oats works well)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1-2 teaspoons vanilla

Dot of butter, ghee or coconut oil, to fry

For the chocolate tahini sauce:

1 tablespoon cocoa or cacao powder

3 tablespoons maple or date syrup

100g seriously silky, runny tahini

Flaky sea salt, to taste

1- 3 tablespoons water, oat milk or coffee

Belt the listed pancake ingredients in a blender until silky smooth. Feel free to do this by hand with some muscle and Spotify tunes. Leave the mixture to bloom and absorb for 15 minutes.

Then heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat with your preferred fat (we love ghee, which has a naturally high smoking point). Drop in a little batter about the size of a scone, and cook on both sides. You’ll know when it’s time to flip the pancake as teeny little bubbles will form on the surface after 60 seconds. We’re going for thicker American pancakes rather than thin French crepes.

Taste this cooked pancake before starting another pancake, so that you know whether it needs more time in the pan, or less time.

To make the chocolate tahini sauce, beat all the ingredients except the water together with a fork until smooth. A little bit of water helps to thin it down, but too much water actually thickens it right back up! I find 1 tablespoon of water perfect, but this will depend on the viscosity of your tahini so start splashing in small amounts until the sauce resembles pouring cream.  Drizzle over your cooked pancakes, and nosedive into the lot.

Lunchbox, Treats & Snacks

Lunchbox Brack

Some get theirs following Wim Hof into iced water. Others rely on several espressos. The sensible among us find it hiking in nature. But I get my high from sneaking vegetables into family favourites. And brack is no exception.

My boys eat thick slices of brack at a speed that would rival a half-price sale at JD Sports. This made brack very vulnerable to a make-over, and a sly introduction to my Veggie Dance.

The result? Beetroot bombed. Parsnip wheezed. And courgette flopped like an exhausted backing dancer. Finally I figured we needed a sweet and spicy groove, the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of baking. We found it in carrot and, yes, ginger. Feel free to add some crystalised ginger to raise the temperature like Fred would have wanted. We leave it out, to avoid screaming children.

320ml cooled rooibos tea

350g raisins

100g plain flour

100g wholemeal flour (or more plain flour, but GF flour won’t work sorry)

55g coarsely grated carrot

140g light muscovado or coconut sugar  

1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground allspice or mixed spice

1 egg

1 Soak your raisins in cooled tea overnight (or for 6-8 hours). Hot tea may sound preferable, but you’ll end up with no soaking liquid and a drier loaf.

2 The next morning, fire up your oven to 180°C. Line a 1lb loaf tin with non-stick parchment.

3 Beat the egg and stir through your puddle of soaked raisins.

4 Tumble in your flours, the grated carrot, your preferred sugar, some baking powder and a delicious smattering of spice. Rake through carefully. Spoon into your lined loaf tin and bake the brack for 75-80 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Soggy centres are a common problem for brack beginners, so leave it in an extra 5 minutes if you’re unsure.)

5 Remove from the oven once cooked, leave to settle in the tin for 5-10 minutes, and turn out onto a wire rack. Let your nostrils twerk and boil the kettle! We love it toasted with a scrape of butter and a hot cuppa. If you want it to look really shiny on top, professional bakers brush it with a simple sugar syrup, which you can too.



In other news, I’m holding a special vegetarian cookery demo on November 16 . Want to learn how to make some swift midweek vegetarian meals? That don’t break the bank or your tastebuds?! For more details, or to book your spot, click here. Come join me in my Zoom kitchen!

Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart

Research has shown that women think about chocolate more than men. Some scientists think this is because eating cacao helps to release a consignment of dopamine in the female brain, the same substance released during orgasm. This explains a lot. And why I’ve eaten most of this tart.

I’ve kept the recipe gluten-free and vegan. It’s bonkers-delicious and very simple to make. Treat yourself to a 9-inch fluted loose-bottom pan, and you’ll be making tarts and dopamine for life.

Point to note; tahini or nut butters other than peanut butter tend to disappoint in this specific recipe. Peanut butter parties with the coconut and chocolate in a way that only Harold McGee and God can explain.

More details over on my Instagram stories if you fancy cooking along. This tart promises to last a whole 2 weeks in the fridge, or for up to 3 months in the freezer if you save a few slices (wrapped in parchment). Namastasty.

For the gluten-free crust:

100g (gf) oat flakes
100g ground almonds
6 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons melted extra-virgin coconut oil, plus more for oiling pan
4 tablespoons maple syrup

Chocolate peanut butter ganache:

100g creamed coconut (not coconut cream)
150g dark chocolate
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
4 tablespoons peanut butter
Coconut sugar to top

To make the crust, blitz your oats into a flour using a coffee grinder or blender. A Nutribullet or Vitmix is excellent for this too. Let the ground oats party in a large bowl with the ground almonds, cocoa/cacao and salt.

Whisk the melted coconut oil and maple syrup together until glossy. Then pour over your dry ingredients and coat everything really well.

I like to wait for 5 minutes before pressing the crust into the fluted pan – it’s easier to handle. In the meantime, you can grease your pan with clean fingertips and coconut oil. Your pan doesn’t need to be fluted, but if it is, extra attention to the fluted edge is important to prevent cracks and tantrums.

Once your pan is well greased, start pressing the dough into the pan giving special attention to the sides. It’s not like pastry – no rolling required. You can watch a similar crust being shaped by Amy Chaplin here. It’s really easy – honest!

Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven of 180 Celsius for 12 minutes or until the sides naturally start to pull away from the pan’s edge. Leave to cool for at least one hour (otherwise the filling will make the base soggy).

To make the filling, melt the creamed coconut block with your dark chocolate, 3 tablespoons of coconut sugar and the peanut butter. Spoon over your cooked and cooled crust. Let it relax at room temperature before setting in the fridge. Then decorate with coconut sugar like a giddy orchestra conductor.

Serve with black coffee and a very loud aria.


A special announcement

Join me on Substack

Howdy! I’ll be deleting this website shortly. Gah! But please stay in touch – I so appreciate your loyalty and lovebombs.

You can continue to access my recipe drops over on Substack.  Hope to see you there, and to continue frolicking on this veggie-fueled dance floor.