Tag Archives: sweet

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

TheVeganKind Monthly Subscription Box

Vegan Advent 2017

Chrismas nuts

 

Montezuma’s do this gorgeous dark number with large blocks of chocolate.

And this year they have a dairy free kids one too!

 

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

 

 

Coco Loco Dark Calendar from Ethical Superstore

 

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

Lego Star Wars Advent

 

The Dark Calendar from
hotel chocolat

 

CIATÉ’ LONDON’ MINI MANI MONTH 2017: all the nail polishes you could want!

 

Chocologic Calendars are for sale in Tesco and at Amazon

 

 

Kleeneze have some nice calendars available including the Block Tech Advent Calendar, a Magnetic House Advent Calendar, and a Fill Your Own one.

  

 

Divine Dark Calendar from Amazon and Ethical Superstore

 

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

tea-calendar

 

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

 

Plamil do two, one with sugar and one without.

plamil-advent

 

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.

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

 

chocolate ghosts, chocolate muffins

chocolate chunk cake

There they are: chocolate chunk and walnut muffins. They’re very very good, but tricky to photograph so we’re going to intersperse with some professional pictures of seasonal Montezuma’s chocolate.

Lets start with the ghosts! Or Montezuma’s Dark and Vegan Halloween Treats to be exact.
halloween-600x600

Okay, onto the muffin recipe!

Chocolate Chunk and Walnut Muffins
Ingredients:
4 (heaped) tablespoons of Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising flour,
2 (heaped) tablespoons of cocoa,
2 tablespoons (not heaped) of caster sugar
100g bar of chocolate
handful of walnuts, broken into small pieces
3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
Soya milk to mix (start with about half a cupful)

Start with the fun part: bashing up the chocolate. While it’s still in its wrapper, hit the bar of chocolate repeatedly with a rolling pin. All over. Backwards and forwards. Up and down. Tip the fragmented contents into a mixing bowl along with the flour, cocoa, walnuts and sugar and mix well. Add the wet ingredients and stir.

With gluten free cakes that are going into paper cake cases, you don’t want the batter too wet or the cakes might stick in there quite badly. So, you’re going for a nice sturdy batter, not too much soya milk. Or you could use silicone cases.

Spoon into 12 cake cases and bake at 200C/400F for 10-15 minutes. Cool, then eat!

chunk cakes in the sun

And now let’s look ahead a little into the chocolatey year… to Advent!ma-600x600

Jujube!

raw bramble cheesecake

It’s a raw bramble (blackberry) cheesecake sweetened with red Chinese dates or Jujubes. It’s rich. It’s delicious. Everyone should try it! Read on for how…

Abakus Foods sent us three of their wonderful jujube products to try: the pitted dates, some powdered jujubes and some jujube crisps. The crisps are just like mini cookies, all crunchy and sweet and moreish.

Jujubes (loving that word) are less sweet and sticky than ordinary dates and are traditionally used in Chinese medicine to treat insomnia and anxiety.

jujube3

Here’s how we made our cheesecakes:

For the base: food process 40g (about a cup) of dried jujube fruit with a cup of pecan nuts until they resemble biscuit crumbs. Line a 12 piece muffin tin with cling film, pressing it carefully into each recess. Press your jujube/pecan mixture into each base.

For the creamy cheesecake topping: blend together a cup of brambles, a cup of macadamia nuts, half a cup of cashews, a tablespoon of coconut oil and 50g (about two tablespoons) of jujube powder. Once smooth, spread this onto the bases. Cover with more clingfilm and press each little cheesecake down to make sure it’s well stuck together.

Freeze for about two hours. Remove from tin and peel away the clingfilm. Decorate with jujube crisps and melted chocolate of your choice (really dark goes well).

Enjoy.

Love.

Say the word jujube a lot.

You can buy this range of jujube products online at Abakus Foods and, from September, at Wholefoods Markets and a number of independent health food and fine food stores. Amazon also have dried jujube fruit.

jujube cheesecake tower



Fried Green Tomatoes at the Last Bus Canteen

Las Bus Works Canteen

Update: café is closed for winter but it has made Trip Advisor’s Top Ten Restaurants in Aberdeenshire!

Actually there were no fried green tomatoes. But there was a plethora of other wonderful food at this 100% vegan weekend café in Aberdeenshire.

The Last Bus Works Canteen is just out of New Pitsligo and open 10-6 every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

menu

It’s quirky and friendly and has a great selection of cake. Below is a chocolate orange muffin with ice cream.

cake and ice cream

There’s pink Himalayan salt on the tables, olive oil in an oil can and recycled shelves all around.

oil and salt

shelves

It was a relaxing and fortifying place to visit after an eight mile walk in the rain! Well worth seeking out.

19003178354_9d2c13cd46_z

Oh, Sweet Freedom!

chocolate syrups

Porridge on a cold day with Sweet Freedom‘s Choc Shot and natural sweetness syrup.

These products are a great alternative to refined sugar, the sweetness being sourced from fruit and carob. And they’re delicious! The chocolate porridge is creamy and rich, perfect for a day that ended up like this:

snow in spring

The chocolate orange syrup makes a wonderfully warming hot chocolate; it’s slightly spicy, reminiscent of Maya Gold chocolate, and maybe needless to say, but they’re all good on ice cream…

vegan ice cream

We adjusted our Banana Muffin recipe and it worked out very well.
Ingredients:
200g./7 oz/1 and a half cups of self raising flour
1 large tablespoon of Sweet Freedom syrup
3 fl oz/100ml of orange juice
3 fl.oz/100ml of sunflower oil
2 mashed bananas (over ripe is best)
some soya milk as required
vanilla essence
dash of vinegar

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients – but not the vinegar – in a jug or bowl. Mix the two together and then stir in enough soya milk to make a smooth mixture and add the bananas, Finally add the dash of vinegar to get that lovely chemical reaction and mix well. This should make enough to fill 12 cake cases. It’s a good idea to put them in a muffin or patty tin to help them keep their shape but not totally essential. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes at 190 degrees and then cool.

choc shotsSweet Freedom and Choc Shots are available from many supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Co-op and Ocado. Also from Amazon here.