Maple-Roasted Nut Butter Brownies

Maple-Roasted Nut Butter Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-Free) | coconutandberries.com

Maple-Roasted Nut Butter Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-Free) | coconutandberries.com

I promised you chocolate and that’s what I’m giving you! I’m usually too lazy for baking, which is why I’ve been favouring raw desserts recently, but wanted to make something different for Chocolate Week. I also couldn’t think of a better way to spend a rainy morning than baking, even if it does require a bit more time and effort. That heavenly chocolate smell filling the house…and of course the seriously tasty result, were definitely worth it!

Mixed Nuts for Maple-Roasted Nut Butter| coconutandberries.com

Who doesn’t love a brownie? I usually find chocolate cake a little disappointing and would always choose vanilla or lemon cake over chocolate, but brownies are another story.

These brownies are particularly irresistible, if I do say so myself…

Maple-Roasted Nut Butter Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-Free) | coconutandberries.com

I roasted chopped mixed nuts with a little maple syrup and flaky sea salt, folded some into the brownie batter for added texture and flavour and then blended the rest into a sweet, salty nut butter to spread on top. Oh, and then I drizzled the whole lot with chocolate for good measure!

Maple-Roasted Nut Butter| coconutandberries.com

Maple-Roasted Nut Butter| coconutandberries.com

I adapted the base brownie from Angela’s recipe in The Oh She Glows Cookbook. I wouldn’t call them “healthy” but they’re better for you than your average brownie by a longshot. I used my favourite gluten-free flours, almond and oat, ground from whole nuts and grains in my Froothie blender, and coconut oil and coconut sugar for the least-processed options. Most importantly to me, they’re still exactly what I look for in a brownie, with a deep chocolate flavour, fudgy texture and chewy edges.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Nutty BrowniesHere are the bare brownies ready to be topped…

Maple-Roasted Nut Butter Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-Free) | coconutandberries.com

That’s better!

Definitely one to make this weekend! And please come back and let me know how you like them.

I’ve added weights as well as measurements in American cups  to help my readers in the UK more familiar with metric, and also because I’m finding that baking, especially when gluten-free, requires more accuracy than cooking. Hope it’s helpful! 

Maple-Roasted Nut Butter Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-Free) | coconutandberries.com

Maple-Roasted Nut Butter Brownies

Yield: 16 Brownies

Ingredients

  • 250g/8oz (approx 2 C) Mixed Nuts, roughly chopped*
  • 1 Tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Coarse sea salt
  • 4 tsp Ground flax + 3 Tbsp Water
  • 1 1/2 C (155g) Sieved Almond meal*
  • 3/4 C + 2 Tbsp (85g) Sieved Oat flour
  • 1/2 C (60g) Cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp Arrowroot OR Tapioca flour
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 75 g/2.5oz Dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) + Approx 25g/1oz for topping
  • 6 Tbsp (80g) Coconut oil
  • 1 C (150g) Coconut sugar, ground*
  • 1/4 C (60ml) Almond milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp Instant coffee (optional)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F, spread the chopped nuts on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake for 3-5 minutes. Drizzle over the maple syrup, sprinkle with sea salt and stir. Bake for 3-5 minutes longer. Cool.
  2. Lightly oil a 9x9" brownie pan and line with two sheets of parchment paper, going in opposite directions, for easy removal.
  3. Whisk together ground flax and water and set aside to thicken.
  4. In a large bowl, sieve together the almond meal, oat flour, cocoa, arrowroot, baking soda and salt.
  5. Melt chocolate in a glass bowl over boiling water, along with the coconut oil. When melted, whisk in ground coconut sugar, almond milk, instant coffee (if using), vanilla and flax mixture.
  6. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir well.
  7. Fold in 75 g/2.5 oz (approx 1/3) of the roasted nuts and spoon batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly with a spatula and smooth over the top.
  8. Reduce heat to 180C/ 350F and bake brownies for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool completely (at least 1 hr) before topping.
  9. While cooling, add the remaining nuts to a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until you have a very smooth nut butter. Leave the motor running for a while as it can take a bit of time.
  10. Spread nut butter over brownies (you may not need all of it) and chill for 10 minutes.
  11. Place remaining chocolate in a freezer bag and put in a bowl of boiling water for 10 minutes to melt. Remove from water and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken slightly, snip a tiny corner off the bag and drizzle chocolate generously over brownies. Leave to set completely before slicing into squares.

Notes

* You can use any nuts here but I liked the flavour of the mix I used,which included brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans.

* I grind my own flours using my Froothie high-powered blender which has a jug especially designed to be able to grind grains and nuts.

*I prefer to use ground coconut sugar for a better brownie texture. You can also substitute cane sugar.

http://www.coconutandberries.com/2014/10/17/maple-roasted-nut-butter-brownies-vegan-glutenfree/

Maple-Roasted Nut Butter Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-Free) | coconutandberries.com

Enjoy the rest of Chocolate Week!

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Easy Lentil-Hazelnut Pâté

Easy Lentil-Hazelnut Paté

Easy Lentil-Hazelnut Paté | coconutandberries.com

So this one definitely isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but looks aside, it’s pretty wonderful! We can always do with a quick and easy spread/dip to add to our repertoires and the rich, savoury flavour of this lentil-hazelnut pâté should win anyone over, including those more used to the traditional, non-vegetarian kind. 

Easy Lentil-Hazelnut Paté | coconutandberries.com

I based the recipe on the filling from my Creamy Lentil Butternut Squash, using a sautéed vegetable base with earthy lentils and tamari. I also added nut butter to this spread, but opted for hazelnut this time for its distinct flavour. You could certainly use whole hazelnuts instead of butter here but the pâté probably won’t be quite as smooth or creamy. If you buy a jar or make up a batch of hazelnut butter then you can make my Hazelnut Butter- Chocolate Chip Muffins too! Always a hit!

Easy Lentil-Hazelnut Paté | coconutandberries.com

Whiz everything up in the food processor until it’s thick and fairly smooth then spread liberally on toast or crackers, or thin it out a little more and serve as a dip. It also makes a rather elegant appetizer on crostini with a little strip of roasted red pepper for prettiness!

Easy Lentil-Hazelnut Paté | coconutandberries.comI’m not feeling too chatty today so I’ll leave you with the recipe and be back soon with more words, pictures and recipes of course!

Easy Lentil-Hazelnut Paté | coconutandberries.com

Easy Lentil-Hazelnut Pâté

Easy Lentil-Hazelnut Pâté

Ingredients

  • 1 C Puy OR Green lentils
  • 2 C Water
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 Leek, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Hazelnut butter
  • 3 Tbsp Tamari
  • Handful of Fresh parsley
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4-1/3 C Water

Instructions

  1. Add the lentils to a pot with the water and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer,covered for approx 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed and lentils are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the onion and leek and cook, stirring every now and again, for 6-8 minutes, until very soft and translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.
  3. Transfer the cooked lentils (drain any remaining water) and the sautéed vegetabes (remove bay leaf) to a food processor. Add the hazelnut butter and tamari and process until fairly smooth. Add water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the paté is your desired consistency.
  4. Pulse in the parsley and season with black pepper to taste.
http://www.coconutandberries.com/2014/10/15/easy-lentil-hazelnut-pate/

Easy Lentil-Hazelnut Paté | coconutandberries.com

P. S. Seeing as it’s National Chocolate Week in the UK, you might want to take a look at some of my favourite chocolate recipes! Not that I need an excuse to eat chocolate.  I may…or may not…have a special new chocolat-ey recipe coming up on the blog too!

If you’re new to Coconut and Berries, please sign up for email updates and join me elsewhere!  I’m on FacebookPinterestInstagram (@coconutandberries), Google + and Twitter! You can also follow Coconut and Berries with Bloglovin or Feedly.

 

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Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir

Spiced Chocolate Chaga Elixir

Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir (Superfood Hot Chocolate!) | coconutandberries.com

 This might sound like more of a magic potion than a recipe…and it sort of is! Not the revolting eye of newt and toe of frog-type potion though of course!

First, I suppose we should talk about “chaga”. Chaga is a wild mushroom, unlike the more common mushrooms you’re used to using in cooking though. It’s known by the Siberians as the “Gift from God” and the “Mushroom of Immortality,” and has been used by populations to support health for thousands of years due to its incredibly high mineral content and antioxidant levels.

Four Sigma Foods Instant Chaga & Reishi (herbal mushroom beverages)

Chaga, along with Reishi (another power-packed wild mushroom), can be used to support hormonal balance, increase immunity, improve sleep quality and relieve stress. 

I’ve been enjoying both the Four Sigma Foods Chaga and Reishi “instant mushroom beverages”, just prepared with hot water as a tea as I find the flavour really pleasant (especially with a slice of fresh ginger), but you can blend the powders into smoothies and use them in baking, cooking and raw recipes. For more ideas on how to use them, take a look at the FSF Recipes page.

Today, I’m sharing my Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir which is above and beyond my favourite way to use the instant powders.

Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir (Superfood Hot Chocolate!) | coconutandberries.com

So, onto the elixir! I’d actually never heard of an elixir until a couple of weeks ago when I went to a talk by blogger friend, wholefood consultant and childrens’ cookbook author, Ellie Bedford, at London VegFest.  Ellie talked about superfood smoothies and drinks and showed us her formula for making elixirs- super nutritious and delicious warm drinks, and a great alternative to smoothies in winter!

Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir (Superfood Hot Chocolate!) | coconutandberries.com

The formula lends itself to a million and one variations but this has been my favourite so far and the one I’m making over and over. It’s a wonderfully decadent-tasting drink and perfect for any time of the day- enjoy it curled up on the sofa with friends and a movie in the evening or snatch a few minutes to yourself mid-afternoon. Just be sure to savour every sip!

Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir (Superfood Hot Chocolate!) | coconutandberries.com

I used the Four Sigma Foods Chaga as my base. I happen to really like the taste which is quite earthy, a bit like coffee or black tea (without the caffeine), but you could use another mushroom beverage like Reishi, Cordyceps or Lion’s Mane, or a herbal tea like Rooibos, depending on your needs/preferences since the tea flavour is just a background flavour. We’re adding in lots of richness with hemp seeds and cashews, cinnamon and cayenne for that spiciness-which goes so well with cacao in my opinion, coconut sugar for sweetness and and a couple of other little flavour boosters. You’ll see it tastes just like a luxurious hot chocolate!

We simply blend everything up in a high-powered blender. I use my Froothie Optimum 9400 blender which is especially wonderful here, as, not only does it break down the harder ingredients into a smooth and creamy drink, but blending on high for a few minutes produces friction heat so the elixir is warm, frothy and ready to drink with no extra heating.

Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir (Superfood Hot Chocolate!)

I hope you give this recipe a try and then have fun coming up with your own elixirs! Try different base teas, carob instead of cacao, your favourite superfoods, nuts and seeds, spices, essential oils etc.

Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir

Yield: 2-3 Servings

Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir

Ingredients

  • 3 C Hot, brewed Chaga tea/ 3 C hot water + 2 sachets instant chaga powder
  • 1/4 C Hemp seeds
  • 1/4 C Cashews (preferably soaked)
  • 3 Tbsp Cacao powder
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Lucuma (optional)
  • 1-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp Cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla powder
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend on high for a few minutes until you have a warm and creamy drink.
  2. Taste and adjust any flavours to your preference (more sweetness, more spiciness, etc.).
  3. If you prefer your elixir extra hot, pour into a pan and warm gently over low heat.
http://www.coconutandberries.com/2014/10/12/spiced-chocolate-chaga-elixir/

Spiced Chocolate-Chaga Elixir (Superfood Hot Chocolate!)

If you’re interested in trying Four Sigma Foods’ products, check out this list of resellers to find where they’re available near you, or buy online from their worldwide webstore.

If you’re new to Coconut and Berries, please sign up for email updates and join me elsewhere!  I’m  on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (@coconutandberries), Google + and Twitter! You can also follow Coconut and Berries with Bloglovin or Feedly.

[Disclosure: Four Sigma Foods sent me samples of their products for review purposes, but I received no other compensation and, as always, all opinions are my own.]

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“Cheesy” Leek & Broccoli Tartlets (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free)

"Cheesy" Leek & Broccoli Tartlets (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free) | coconutandberries.com

"Cheesy" Leek & Broccoli Tartlets (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free) | coconutandberries.com

This is another of those recipes I’ve had in the back of my mind and on the huge list of recipe ideas which spans scraps of paper floating around the house, notes on my phone, laptop, etc. There’s not enough time or meals in the average day to execute them all, especially at the moment when I’m trying to figure out this next stage of life in the big wide world outside of the cocoon of full-time education.

These tartlets might not look terribly autumnal but I’ve been eating soup for days, and as much as I love it, I needed a change!

"Cheesy" Leek & Broccoli Tartlets (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free) | coconutandberries.com

Back in the springtime, a popular recipe on Coconut and Berries was my Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with a Quinoa Crust). But though that recipe is obviously vegan and also gluten-free, I know not all my readers eat tofu so I thought I’d come up with something vaguely along the same vein- still vegan and gluten-free but also soy-free, using seasonal veggies and with a more traditional flaky pastry crust. I do try and keep everyone happy!

"Cheesy" Leek & Broccoli Tartlets (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free) | coconutandberries.com

I picked leek and tenderstem broccoli as my base veggies for this recipe. I’m a fan of all broccoli really but  this tenderstem kind is my favourite ( I think in some countries it’s called “Broccolini” which sounds kind of cute!) and it’s everywhere at the moment. I don’t use leeks enough but their caramelized qualities bring a little hint of sweetness and plenty of flavour to the mix, divine combined with a cashew cream to fill my pastry shells. 

Something magical seemed to have happened in the baking process as these little tarts came out of the oven smelling and tasting remarkably cheesy!

"Cheesy" Leek & Broccoli Tartlets (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free) | coconutandberries.com

I’ve tried a lot of pastry crust recipes but have never been entirely satisfied. This one is a winner on all counts. Just a few wholesome ingredients that you’ll no doubt have in your kitchens already, and an easy press-in method which means no faffing about with rolling and filling in holes. It’s also super buttery and flaky! I can’t wait for you to try it!

"Cheesy" Leek & Broccoli Tartlets (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free) | coconutandberries.com

I made mini leek & broccoli tartlets as I think it’s fun to have your own rather than a slice from a big one but you can easily make this into one 8-9” tart. See instructions in recipe below.

“Cheesy” Leek & Broccoli Tartlets (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free)

Yield: 3 Tartlets

“Cheesy” Leek & Broccoli Tartlets (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free)

Ingredients

    Press-in Pie Crust:
  • 1/2 C Almond flour
  • 1/2 C Oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Chilled coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp (+1/2 Tbsp) Cold water
  • "Cheesy" Leek & Broccoli Filling:
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 Leek, halved lengthwise and chopped finely
  • Approx 100 g/3.5oz (Tenderstem) Broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 C + 2 Tbsp Cashews, soaked
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Arrowroot
  • 1/2 C Water
  • Black pepper

Instructions

    Prepare the crust first.
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F. Lightly grease 3 tartlet tins with coconut oil.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients then cut in coconut oil with a fork, until crumbly. Add water 1 Tbsp at a time, until you can form a ball with the mixture with your hands. Divide the dough into 3 and press evenly into the prepared tins until it evenly covers the base and sides. Prick all over with a fork to prevent it puffing up.
  3. Pre-bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.
  5. Sauté the leeks in the oil over medium heat for approx 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the broccoli, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Blend together the remaining ingredients, except pepper (cashews through to water) and mix with the leeks and broccoli. Season with black pepper, to taste. Spoon the filling into the pre-baked crusts.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes. Place under the grill/broil for 1-2 minutes to brown tops (optional). Cool briefly before removing from the tins and serve warm or cold.

Notes

* To make one 8-9" tart to serve 6, double the ingredients, pre-bake the crust for 25 minutes then bake filled tart for 30-40 minutes.

http://www.coconutandberries.com/2014/10/07/cheesy-leek-broccoli-tartlets-soyfree-glutenfree/

"Cheesy" Leek & Broccoli Tartlets (Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-Free) | coconutandberries.com

What would you like to see next on Coconut and Berries? Any feedback would be really helpful to me in organizing what I share on here. Thank you!

If you’re new to Coconut and Berries, please sign up for email updates and join me elsewhere!  I’m  on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram (@coconutandberries), Google + and Twitter! You can also follow Coconut and Berries with Bloglovin or Feedly.

 

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Autumn Kale Salad (with Roast Pumpkin & Walnuts)

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Autumn Kale Salad (with Roast Pumpkin & Walnuts) | coconutandberries.com

This autumn is only my second writing Coconut and Berries but I did read blogs for a few years before that so I’m fairly used to the pumpkin fever that takes over the blogosphere come October time.

Before that, pumpkins to me were simply Halloween decorations and it didn’t even cross my mind that you could eat the stuff, let alone in desserts! I finally took the plunge last year and was introduced to the deliciousness that is pumpkin pie and also discovered how well pumpkin works in baking- it keeps my Chocolate Pumpkin & Cranberry Muffins really rich and moist.

Pumpkin & Kale (Farmers' Market)

Canned pumpkin still isn’t the easiest thing to get hold of in England (though it is becoming more common) but I spied some whole pumpkins on my usual Sunday morning farmers’ market visit and thought I’d pick one up and join in the pumpkin fun.

Autumn Kale Salad (with Roast Pumpkin & Walnuts) | coconutandberries.com

FYI, you can definitely make your own pumpkin purée to use in desserts and baking. It’s hardly more difficult than opening up a can, probably cheaper, and some say it’s actually tastier.

But pumpkin is also delicious prepared as you would your favourite squash. Just dice it, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over a little seasoning and roast until sweet and tender.

Autumn Kale Salad (with Roast Pumpkin & Walnuts) | coconutandberries.com

The chunky cubes of pumpkin are lovely in this autumn kale salad, and with beans, toasted nuts and a simple dressing, you’ve got a substantial meal.

You can either briefly steam the kale or just massage it well with the dressing to soften it up before tossing with the other ingredients.

Autumn Kale Salad (with Roast Pumpkin & Walnuts)

Yield: 2-4 Servings

Autumn Kale Salad (with Roast Pumpkin & Walnuts)

Ingredients

  • 500g/18oz Peeled, diced pumpkin OR squash
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 Bunch of kale, washed, tough stems removed and chopped into bite-size pieces (approx 125g/4oz when prepared)
  • 1 C Cooked white beans
  • 1/4 C (heaping) Toasted walnuts
  • Dressing:
  • 2 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Toss diced pumpkin with 1 Tbsp oil, salt and pepper, spread on a baking sheet and roast for approx 25 minutes, stirring half-way through.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and either steam the kale for a few minutes, just until it turns vibrant green, or massage with half the dressing (use your hands and be aggressive!) until it softens.
  3. When the pumpkin is ready, add to the kale along with half the dressing (if not yet added), beans, and the walnuts. Add remaining dressing to taste.
http://www.coconutandberries.com/2014/10/03/autumn-kale-salad-roast-pumpkin-walnuts/

Autumn Kale Salad (with Roast Pumpkin & Walnuts) | coconutandberries.com

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a copy of “The Vegan Cookie Fairy’s Little Book of Chocolate”

 If you’re new to Coconut and Berries, please sign up for email updates and join me elsewhere!  I’m  on FacebookPinterestInstagram (@coconutandberries), Google + and Twitter! You can also follow Coconut and Berries with Bloglovin or Feedly.

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