Easy Superfood Chocolates – vegan or dairy free recipe for Easter

Our friend chef and nutritionist, Christine Bailey, has come up with this brilliant but simple chocolate superfood recipe for Easter. Take a look…

Superfood chocolates especially for Easter
Superfood chocolates especially for Easter

My children love making homemade chocolates and as they follow a  dairy free diet this is a perfect way to create something scrummy and healthy for Easter. I love to cram in lots of superfood powders too – these are a great way to energise and nourish your body.  You could also mix in some other flavourings too – such as mulberries, goji berries, crystallised ginger or chopped nuts.

For more of my great healthy treats why not get my new Ebook – Paleo and Gluten Free Treats available from my website shop www.advancenutrition.co.uk

Makes about 20 chocolate   

100g raw cacao butter
2tbsp coconut oil
4tbsp raw cacao powder
2tbsp lucuma powder
2tsp maca powder
2tbsp raw honey or sweet freedom
1tsp super greens powder

1. Melt the cacao butter and coconut butter very gently – you can do this in a pan or over a bowl of simmering water.  Stir it as is dissolves.
2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until smooth.  Pour into chocolate moulds and place in the fridge to set.

(Recipe copyright Christine Bailey MSc, MBANT, CNHC Qualified Nutritionist and Chef)

Christine’s Strawberry Cream Valentine Tarts – recipe

A perfect  celebratory dessert – creamy, rich and sweet. Ideal for Valentines Day: Christine Bailey’s Strawberry Cream Valentine Tarts

strawberry cream tarts1

Completely gluten free, grain free and vegan. Top with a fresh sliced strawberry or chocolate heart for a truly romantic treat.

Christine is a well known nutritionist, chef, presenter and author of many healthy recipe books.  Her latest book Nourish is a cancer care recipe book written in collaboration with the Penny Brohn Cancer Centre. Christine will be running a cancer care cookery demonstration on May 5th at CNE, Wokingham.  For more information and to book visit advancenutrition.co.uk/cookerydays

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Freezing time:2 hours 30 minutes
Suitable for: vegetarians, suitable for vegans, Dairy Free, Seed Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free

Serves 6

125g pecan nuts
75g pitted, soft dates
2tsp melted coconut butter
250g cashew nuts
200ml Vanilla Rice Dream
225g Strawberries, chopped
3tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of Himalayan salt
115g melted coconut oil

1. Grease 6 metal rings and line the sides with a strip of baking parchment. Place on a lined baking sheet.
2. To make the base grind up the pecan nuts in a food processor until very fine.  Add the dates and coconut oil and process to form a sticky dough. Divide the dough between the metal ring bases and press down firmly to form a crust.
3. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden
4. To make the filling place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and thick.  Divide the filling between the metal rings.  Return the rings back into the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours until firm.  Carefully remove the rings and place the desserts on individual serving plates.
5. Place in the fridge and allow to defrost for an hour before serving. They can be kept in the fridge until needed.
6. Top with berries or a chocolate heart to serve.

Vegan pancakes without eggs? Easy peasy recipe!

Vegan pancakes without the eggs are easy when you have the know how…

veganpancake5oz plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
300ml water
1 tbsp oil
icing sugar for dusting
selection of fresh fruit

1. Add the dry ingredients to a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients. Whisk until blended.
2. Add a small amount of oil to a frying pan and place over medium heat. Check the oil is hot by adding a drop of batter, if it spits then it is ready.
3. Pour a scoop of batter into the pan. Brown on both sides.
4. Move pancake to plate. Arrange fruit on top shaped in a smile and serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Vegan cheeses – what’s your favourite?

There are so many vegan alternative cheeses out there.

But few do exactly the same as dairy cheese.

Redwood Cheezly Cheddar Slices, for example, are designed to be perfect for melted cheese, but other Cheezly products will be better for cubing, grating or slicing. Bute Island also make a good variety of cheese alternative flavours too.

There again, not every dairy cheese is ideal for grating or melting either…

so, What’s your favourite?

At GoodnessDirect we often receive suggestions of different makes of vegan cheese. Everyone, it seems, has their favourite. What’s yours?

One of the best I’ve heard of is cashew cheese which has a great taste and is great for slicing, melting or spreading. It’s easy to find a recipe to make your own, but for ease of use here’s one from The Food Network UK.

Apple Spice Cake (dairy free)

A scrumptious, moist cake recipe made lower in fat by replacing some of the fat with orange juice concentrate. Great for potlucks or family gatherings.

Servings: 15

3 eggs
300g sugar, white or 225g of low GI Sweet Freedom
360g unbleached flour, white
8g baking powder
4g baking soda
2g cinnamon
1g nutmeg
1g allspice
3g salt
120ml orange juice, frozen concentrate, thawed
120ml vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing
5ml vanilla extract
390g apples, peeled and chopped

1.     Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2.    Prepare 10-inch (25cm) bundt or tube-type pan with a little extra vegetable oil.
3.    Beat eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer until frothy. Add sugar and beat well. In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt). Add dry ingredients to egg mixture; blend well. Add in orange juice concentrate, oil and vanilla; mix together. Batter will be thick. Fold apples into batter until blended. Pour into prepared bundt pan.
4.    Bake for one hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the cake’s centre comes out clean.
5.    Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully remove cake from pan. Allow cake to cool before serving.

For the party try Christine’s gluten free Roasted Pepper and Walnut Dip recipe

walnutdipNutritionist, Christine Bailey, has an easy store-cupboard dip or spread which takes just minutes to prepare. Perfect for the party!

Rich in antioxidants and essential fats this is packed full of protein and nutrients.  With a creamy sweet taste it combines omega rich walnut oil and balsamic vinegar to create a wonderful dairy free dip.

Suitable for Vegetarians and vegans, Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Dairy-free, Egg-Free

Serves 4-6

Pinch of smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, crushed
100g / 4oz walnuts, chopped
225g / 8oz roasted red peppers (from a jar)
1tbsp sun dried tomato puree
3tbsp organic cold pressed walnut oil
1-2tbsp Higher Nature’s Organic Wild Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar to taste
2tsp xylitol
Salt and black pepper to taste

1.    Place the paprika, garlic, walnuts, peppers in a food processor or blender and process until finely chopped.
2.    Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
3.    Adjust quantity of vinegar and xylitol according to taste.  Season with a little black pepper and sea salt.

Try this creamy dairy free ingredient in your Christmas cooking… (recipe included)

Amazake is a deliciously sweet and creamy dairy free alternative
Try this deliciously sweet and creamy dairy free alternative for your desserts

If you’re looking for a cooking alternative to milk, you might want to try amazake. It’s so deliciously thick and creamy it is hard to believe its made from dairy free ingredients!

Amazake is a non-dairy ingredient for desserts and drinks, made purely from whole grain rice. It is naturally sweet flavour and has a thick creamy consistency. Plus it’s gluten free too

Try using amazake for making pancake batter, muffin mixes or dairy free French Toast. Or you can mix it into your fruit smoothie. Also available, with their own distinctive flavours, are oat and millet amazake.

Try this Orange amazake dessert Recipe…

A light, but satisfying dairy-free dessert for serving all year round.

(serves 5)

– 1 jar (380g) Clearspring Amazake
– 350ml (1 jar) water
– 1 tbsp (30g) Clearspring Malt Syrup
– 100ml carrot juice for colouring (optional)
– Juice of 1 orange + some of the rind, grated
– 1 tbsp Clearspring Kuzu (thickener)
– A pinch Clearspring Traditional Sea Salt
– Slices of orange to garnish

1. Mix all the ingredients except for the kuzu and bring to the boil whilst stirring.
2. Dissolve the kuzu in a little water then add to the hot liquid stirring until thick.
3. Serve into individual dishes, cool and garnish with the orange slices.

Raw Cacao & Pecan Cake recipe (gluten, dairy, soya and egg free!)

There’s a great new book coming out that really should be on your Christmas list.

It’s called ‘Meals That Heal‘ and it’s not only informative, it looks beautiful and has lots of exciting recipes for you to try. We asked the author, Karen Maidment, a health and nutrition specialist to tell share one of her recipes with us…

“As a health & nutrition specialist, personal cookery coach and author of Meals That Heal Anti Inflammatory Healthcare & Free From Cooking, real foods that are also healing are my number one priority.

“Thanks to Goodness Direct us free from foodies can purchase mouth watering delicious ingredients without the fear of food sensitivity associated pain.

“This gorgeous recipe combines some of my favourite super foods, raw cacao, coconut oil and raw honey allowing you to reveal in this decadent treat completely guilt free, enjoy!”

cacao and pecan cake, gluten free, dairy free, soya free, egg free

Raw Cacao & Pecan Cake

Free from gluten, dairy, soy and egg!

Serves 8
Preparation time: 15min
Cooking time: 45-50min

170g/6oz organic Dove’s Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour
110g/4 oz organic raw cacao powder
110g/4 oz organic coconut sugar
2 tbsp organic raw honey
1 sp organic vanilla extract
1 tsp Organic Dove’s Farm Baking Powder
1 tsp Dove’s Farm Organic Bicarbonate Soda
250ml Organic Biona Coconut Milk
170g/6oz Organic Biona Coconut Oil
125g organic pecan nuts

1. Preheat the oven to 170°c, 340°f, gas mark4
2.  In a large mixing bowl sift the flour, cacao powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and sea salt.
3. Place the coconut oil, milk, sugar, vanilla and honey in a saucepan and melt on gently on a low heat.
4. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and pour the melted wet ingredients in. Mix using a whisk (electric or hand) until there are no lumps.
5. Using a rolling pin smash the pecan nuts (inside a bag) into small bite size pieces. Sprinkle 2/3 of the nuts into the mixture, combining with a wooden spoon.
6. Grease a false bottomed cake tin thoroughly with coconut oil and pour your cake mixture in. Sprinkle the rest of the nuts onto the top of the cake.
7. Bake in the middle of the oven for 45-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of the cake. NOTE: if the top of the cake starts to burn simply cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper.
8. Once cooked carefully work your way around the edge of the cake with a knife to loosen, and then using an oven mitt gently push the cake up from the bottom and out of the tin. Set on a wire rack to cool. Once slightly cooled remove the cake tin base from under the cake.
9. Dust with a little icing sugar.

Pecan Pumpkin Tart recipe

It is pumpkin season so if you’re looking for a pumpkin recipe try this one from nutritionist and chef, Christine Bailey…

pecan pumpkin tart recipe

Pecan Pumpkin Tart

I love cooking with seasonal produce – pumpkins have a wonderful sweet buttery flavour making them perfect in sweet dishes. I developed this fabulous dessert to make it gluten free and dairy free – it is also a big hit with children. For speed you use a can of pumpkin puree but you can also steam pumpkin or butternut squash and puree it yourself. If you are interested in some ideas for festive gluten and dairy free treats then book onto my Cookery Day on 2nd December in Wokingham, Berkshire. See my website for details www.advancenutrition.co.uk

250g pecan nuts
60g pitted soft dates
1tbsp vanilla extract
2-3tbsp agave nectar or honey

400g can pumpkin puree
2 eggs
125ml Vanilla Rice Dream or Coconut milk
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp allspice
1tsp ground ginger
1tbsp vanilla extract
60g soft brown sugar

Place the pecan nuts in a food processor and process until very fine. Add the dates and agave and process until the mixture comes together. Press the mixture into a greased loose bottom 20cm round cake tin.

Place all the filling ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour until the filling has puffed up in the centre and turn light golden.

Serve warm or cold. Decorate with a dusting of icing sugar, cocoa powder and crushed pecan nuts

Calories per serving 311kcal, Protein 4.9g, Carbohydrates 19.9g of which sugars 18.9g, Total Fat 23.8g of which saturates 2.3g

(Recipe copyright Christine Bailey http://www.advancenutrition.co.uk)

Berry Chia Breakfast Pudding recipe and a chance to Win The Functional Nutrition Cookbook

Our friend and nutritionist, Christine Bailey, has another book out. This time it’s in collaboration with fellow nutritionist, Lorraine Nicolle. The book is called The Functional Nutrition Cookbook: Addressing Biochemical Imbalances through Diet (published by Singing Dragon on 15 September 2012).

This unique cookbook, with a CD-ROM of printable recipes, doesn’t just help you get round health problems, it helps you know what food you can eat to counter-act the complaints.

You can make a real difference to issues like gastro-intestinal problems, a weak immune system and hormone imbalances through diet. Recipes are provided for each imbalance and there’s even a chapter on how to age healthily.

I’ve got a copy of this book to give away, so if you’re interested in winning a copy, send me an email with your name and address (UK addresses only, competition closes 20.9.12).

Berry Chia Pudding Breakfast
Berry Chia Pudding Breakfast

Try the Berry Chia Breakfast Pudding recipe

This recipe is taken from Christine’s new book. It uses Chia seeds, which are a rich source of omega-3 (alpha linolenic – ALA) fatty acids and antioxidants. They are great for adding to desserts, smoothies and bars, as well as for this grain-free breakfast pudding. Rich in soluble fibre, they form a gel when added to water or juice that helps slow down the rate of digestion, keeping you feeling full throughout the morning. In addition, the sesame seeds in the tahini contain omega-6 (linoleic acid – LA) fatty acids.

Serves 4
50g / 1 ¾ oz / ½ cup chia seeds
250ml / 8floz / 1cup 100% unsweetened pomegranate juice
2tbsp tahini
12 soft pitted dates, chopped
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of cinnamon
225g / 8oz raspberries

1. Place the chia seeds in the juice and leave to soak for 20 minutes. The seeds should swell up and thicken the liquid.
2. Place all the ingredients but only half of the raspberries into a blender. Process until smooth and creamy. Stir in the remaining raspberries.
3. Spoon into bowls and serve