All posts by lucy

Gluten Free Raisin Cake

Before we get to the sweet and delicious baking, some news: we are now on Facebook. Go visit us there!

Onto the cake, which is relatively low sugar, relying mainly on the sweetness of the raisins, and they are very sweet!

Ingredients:
300g/12oz/2 cups of Dove’s Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 cup/8 fl.oz/200ml of sunflower oil
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
1 cup of soya milk (or possibly a little more to get a good mixture)
2 teaspoons of natural vanilla extract
2 good handfuls of raisins (or more if you like!)
1 or 2 tablespoons of preserving sugar or sugar crystals (optional)

Oil your cake tin and preheat oven to 180C/360F. Mix together the flour and cinnamon. Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil, golden syrup, soya milk, and vanilla – mix well. Stir in the lovely juicy sweet raisins and then sprinkle the preserving sugar, if using, on top. Pour into cake tin and bake for about half an hour or until cooked in middle (insert a knife or skewer into the centre of cake and if cooked it will come out clean).



Chocolate Brownies at The Old Auction Room Café

The Old Auction Room in Strichen, Aberdeenshire, has recently been all done up and its wonderful café always has gorgeous vegan cake! There seems to be a vegan and gluten-free main or soup each day too. Above is a raw chocolate brownie, below a slice of date and walnut loaf, both gluten-free.

They also have vintage clothes, old books and antiques for sale. Some hats:

There’s a florist and a barber on the premises too.

And a wee fairy! Here’s their facebook page.



Castle, chocolate, mountain

It’s summer, so what better time to get out and about and see our beautiful country? And eat chocolate. That’s Eilean Donan Castle above. And Kennard’s Artisan Chocolates below!

The peanut butter truffle (above) was our favourite, closely followed by the smooth caramel.

Beautifully packaged, these are a special treat and would make a lovely gift. Available exclusively from the online shop, the range is both vegan and kosher.

Clutching our chocolates, we disappear off into The Cuillin Mountains.

Bonobo Kickstarter

Bonobo Cafe, a 100% vegan café in Aberdeen, also a worker co-operative, has just launched a Kickstarter campaign.

They started as a Saturday pop-up, ploughing all the takings back into the business and saving in order to open up full time. It’s been 18 months since then and now they’re almost there, having agreed a lease on a premises. They’re hoping to raise the funds for the fit out through this campaign.

Their reward structure includes the option to provide a vulnerable person in Aberdeen with a hot drink every day for 1, 3, 6 or 12 months of the year as well as some other nice gifts.

The kickstarter campaign link is: www.kickstarter.com/projects/bonobocafe/bonobo-café

You can also visit them on Facebook or Instagram

Fitness, Mountain Peaks and Cake

Bennachie in the mist

It’s a new year, a good time to get fit and healthy, so let’s climb a mountain! Up we go into the mist…

Bennachie in Aberdeenshire has several peaks. We’re going to visit four. Firstly the Mither Tap, then Craig Shannoch then onto the Little Oxen Crag and the Oxen Crag. The Little one is somehow the toughest, you’ll be peching as we say up here, Fitbit lighting up with joy at the raised heart rate.

path on Bennachie

Keep going! Keep going! Think about the healthy chocolate protein shake you’re going to have when you get home!

Purition Protein Shake

Purition‘s Raw Vegan Chocolate Hemp Mix blended in soya milk with some added banana and avocado. Yum, yum, yum.

But we’re not there yet, we’re circling back to cover more of the hill.

mist and sun

And down we go.

And it snows.

So we’re inside.

On YouTube.

And dancing.

Sweaty Betty Ballet Bootcamp Encore is a great cardio and core workout from the ladies at Sleek Technique (lots of nice DVDs available too), no dance training required.

And now, a smoothie made with frozen blackberries, bananas, orange juice and a sachet of Purition‘s Raw Vegan Hemp Mix.

berry smoothie

For simpler and (sometimes) shorter routines try Lazy Dancer Tips or some Pilates workouts or, if you’re hardcore, you could go for a full class from The Royal Ballet.

And after all that, how about some fortified cake? Yes, cake. It’s doesn’t have to be (that) unhealthy. This one’s made with 3 large mashed bananas mixed into a cup of gluten free self raising flour, a packet of Purition‘s Vegan Vanilla Hemp mix, a little sunflower oil and enough soya milk to make a nice thick batter. Pour into a greased square cake tin and bake for about half an hour at 200c/400F.

Cool.

Cut into pieces and cover with dark chocolate, chopped pecan nuts and fresh blueberries. Happy Eating!

sugar free banana cake

The Purition mixes mentioned in this post are their three vegan products, all made with nuts and seeds, all natural, nothing nasty, and over 14g of protein per 40g serving! See them all on their site here.

chocolate protein mix

blue skies, purple smoothie

clouds

Wonderful skies just now. Especially on the coldest of days. Wonderful smoothies too, made possible by the wonder of frozen fruit. The combination of pecan nuts and tart purple berries such as brambles (blackberries) or blackcurrants creates a delicious and rich sweetness reminiscent of the best brown sugar.

bright skies

Recipe:
(For four people, big servings, adjust as needed)
1 bag of frozen blackberries or blackcurrants
4 bananas
1 cup of pecan nuts
orange juice to cover in blender (probably about 1 litre)
If you like a thicker smoothie add an avocado or some linseeds.
Blend! Enjoy the brown sugary wonder! Go for a walk among the trees!

trees

Vegan Subscription Boxes For Everyone

Vegan Advent 2016

Chrismas nuts

Pre-breakfast chocolate time is fast approaching so let’s dive right in!

Holland and Barratt have some lovely Christmas goodies, both online and in store, including dairy free Advent calendars.

Holland and Barratt Advent CalendarHolland and Barratt Advent

They also stock many vegan savoury chilled items such as festive roasts and cheeses. These items sell out fast this time of year but you can order them online to pick up in store.

Moo Free have this really sweet and mellow tasting chocolate calendar:

moofreeadvent

Plamil do two, one with sugar and one without.

plamil-advent

Montezuma’s do this gorgeous dark number with large blocks of chocolate.ma-600x600

Then there’s the non-edible variety for children.

playmobil dragonPlaymobil do a lovely range with great scenes to build from traditional Nativity to dragons, unicorns, pirates and Santa’s workshop.

 

 

Lego Star Wars Advent

Lego also have a nice selection, some sweet and Christmassy, others less so!

 

 

Ethical Superstore are selling an organic fair-trade tea calendar here.

tea-calendar

Supermarkets such as Tesco and Asda do dairy-free Advent calendars now too. Don’t forget you could also go traditional with little pictures or fill your own reusable calendar with pockets!

The picture below is of mini gluten free chocolate logs, recipe here

gluten free mini chocolate logs

 

chocolatednutroast

Main Christmas page with lots of recipes here