Quick Raw Vegan “Chunky Monkey” Ice-Cream


W is for…Walnuts!

Amazingly I’ve managed to featured 3 seeds this month- chia, hemp and sunflower, but no nuts, despite the fact that I eat them everyday in some form or another.  I’m changing that today and talking about walnuts!


I tend to use them mostly in in cakes and muffins- they’re vital in carrot cake in my opinion and I love both banana bread and oaty-raisin cookies including walnuts in the mix. They’re rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and their oily nature means they’re excellent in raw desserts too. My favourite raw brownies have a walnut and date base.

On the savoury front, walnuts are beautiful in crunchy, tangy salads, and the pear, walnut combination is well-known. As well as pairing them with sweet and tangy foods, they go well with similarly earthy flavours like lentils and mushrooms. This Lentil-Walnut Salad is delicious, as is this Walnut-Mushroom-Tempeh Pasta Sauce.

10-Minute Raw Vegan "Chunky Monkey" Ice Cream

I’m clearly making up for the dearth of sweetness last week since I’ve got another dessert recipe for you! I doubt anyone’s complaining though…This sumptuous bowl is filled with my 10-minute Raw Vegan “Chunky Monkey” Ice Cream.

I imagine all my readers are familiar with Ben & Jerry’s “Chunky Monkey” flavour ice-cream, but in case you’re not, according to the creators themselves it’s “Banana Ice Cream with Fudge Chunks and Walnuts”

Sounds pretty simple, right? Simple it may be but it’s the perfect flavour to me, and was my favourite B&J flavour growing up. (Followed closely by Strawberry Cheesecake…) Not that I actually got to enjoy it too often as, although we almost always had B&J in the freezer (my Dad, in particular, was an ice cream fanatic) Chunky Monkey was hard to come across sadly and so it was extra special when I did have it.

My version is vegan, of course, much healthier, and comes together in just a few minutes. Definitely quicker to make than going out to buy some Smile

10-Minute Raw Vegan "Chunky Monkey" Ice Cream

I hope you’ve all come across the frozen banana ice-cream trick, if not, that needs to change NOW! All you need is frozen bananas and a food-processor or blender and you’ve got the most amazing sweet, creamy and healthy ice cream. I added a generous handful of buttery, toasted walnuts (store-bought ice cream is always skimpy on the add-ins) and homemade raw fudge chunks.  It was far better than I remembered B&J being.

Raw Fudge Chunks, Walnuts

10-minute Raw Vegan “Chunky Monkey” Ice-Cream:

Note: for  completely raw ice cream use raw almond butter, raw cacao and leave walnuts raw

2 Medium-size bananas, sliced and frozen

1/4C Walnuts

Chocolate Fudge Chunks:
1T Almond butter
1t Coconut oil, melted
1t Raw cacao powder OR Cocoa powder
1t Maple syrup
1/8t Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Make the fudge first of all as it will need a few minutes to set up. Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl, pour into a tiny container or spread thickly onto a piece of parchment paper. Place in freezer for 10 minutes, or longer, to set. Remove from freezer and cut into small chunks. Store in the freezer whilst prepping other ingredients as it will melt if at room temperature for long.

If desired, toast walnuts in a pan over medium-heat for approx 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they begin to darken slightly and smell nutty.

In a food processor blend the sliced banana until smooth, don’t over-process though or it will melt. Fold through walnuts and fudge chunks, reserving a few for topping. Scoop into bowl (s) and serve.

Serves 1-2


10-Minute Raw Vegan "Chunky Monkey" Ice Cream

What was/is your favourite Ben & Jerry’s flavour?


Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake (with Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream)

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake (with Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream)


Vanilla Cashew Cream (no added sugar)

As much as I love chocolate in its solid form, when it comes to desserts I’m a vanilla girl. I’d choose vanilla ice cream and vanilla cake over their chocolate counterparts without even pausing to think.

I made a glorious Vanilla Bean Coconut Whipped Cream to top my Raw Banoffee Pie a little while back and was very tempted to make it again but wanted to try something different, as usual.

I use cashews a lot to make creamy sauces and had already seen a sweet cashew cream over at Gluten Free SCD and Veggie, so that’s what I went for, adapted slightly to my tastes. I’m now back to student living and trying not to go overboard with spending so I opted for Vanilla Bean Paste instead of whole vanilla beans, a more economic choice and still just as tasty in my opinion. Read more about the difference between vanilla extract, bean and paste here. I also sweetened the cream with a couple of dates but use whatever sweetener you like, agave nectar, maple syrup, stevia or powdered coconut sugar, as I did for my coconut whipped cream.

Vanilla Cashew Cream (no added sugar)

Vanilla Bean Cashew Cream:

(Adapted from Gluten Free SCD and Veggie)

1/2C Cashews
1-2 Soft pitted dates (or 1/2T Agave, Maple or other Sweetener)
1/2C Almond milk
1t Vanilla bean paste OR 1/2 Vanilla bean, seeds scraped out

Soak cashews and dates in separate bowls in water for at least 1 hour. Drain and rinse cashews and drain dates. Blend together all ingredients until completely smooth. I used a Tribest personal blender, you may need to double the ingredients if using a regular-size blender in order to get the cream completely smooth.

Makes approx 1 C


I don’t think anyone can truthfully say they don’t like vanilla, it’s a lovely flavour and adds an extra hint of something in the background of any sweet treat.

But it is usually that, in the background. How often do you eat vanilla ice cream on its own? Ok, I know someone who does but I’m counting them as an anomaly here…!

So, choosing vanilla for my letter “V” I knew I’d be making 2 things…something vanilla-y and something to go with it.

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

It’s been a little while since I’ve featured something sweet on Coconut and Berries so decided to go all out for today’s recipe with a Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake.

It sounds extremely decadent and certainly tastes it with its soft, fluffy crumb and gooey caramel topping, but I promise it’s still reasonably healthy! I used wholegrain flour and a modest amount of low glycemic coconut sugar instead of refined flour and sugar.

It’s extra delicious served with a generous dollop of the vanilla cashew cream.

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Notes: This recipe makes a small cake, for a larger one, double the ingredients, use a standard-size cake tin and cook for approx 25 minutes.

1C Light spelt flour
1/2t Baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
1/8t Salt
1t Cinnamon
3T Coconut sugar
1/2C + 1T Non-dairy milk
3T Sunflower oil (or other neutral oil) (For Lower Fat sub 2T apple purée + 1T oil)
1 Medium dessert apple, cut into fairly thin slices
2T Coconut Oil
1 1/2T Coconut Sugar

Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk together sunflower oil and non-dairy milk. Add wet to dry and stir gently to combine.

Lightly oil the sides of a small cake tin (mine was 6 1/2”)

Add 2T Coconut oil to tin and place in oven for a few seconds to melt. Sprinkle coconut sugar over the oil and arrange the apple over the top, as close together as possible in one layer.

Pour the cake batter over the top carefully, ensuring not to disturb the apple slices.

Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute then invert onto a plate.

Serve warm with Vanilla Cashew Cream, coconut cream, non-dairy ice cream or custard.

Serves 4-6


I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly link-party, Wellness Weekends, and the Comfort Foods Potluck Party.

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Here are a couple of tasty-looking recipes where vanilla features prominently:

Raw Vanilla Cheesecake

Vanilla Sesame Shake

FF Vanilla Waffles

Vanilla or Chocolate?

It’s the last day of September tomorrow and the official end of Vegan MoFo, but as mentioned in my last post I’m finishing my A-Z series so will be posting for a few more days before resuming normal blogging. 


Tofu, Miso, Udon Noodle Soup (for one)


U is for…Udon Noodles!

Tofu, Miso, Udon Noodle Soup (for one)

Udon Noodles are chewy, soft and silky-textured and tied with soba are my favourite noodles to use. You can find them in their dried form and boil them like pasta, and the pre-cooked type which can go straight into your wok or soup pot.

Either way, they’re a fabulous option for a whole variety of dishes, from piping hot noodles in broth to satisfyingly rich stir fries, and succulent salads. Tofu, Miso, Udon Noodle Soup (for one)

This hearty bowl of slurpy noodles was inspired by Wagamama, a Japanese restaurant and noodle bar, and one of the few restaurant chains over here that I really love.  I went a few weeks ago and had a delicious vegetable udon stir-fry but was very tempted by all the warming soups on the menu.

This recipe for Tofu, Miso, Udon Noodle Soup takes just minutes to put together and is great for cold-weather lunch option when salads and sandwiches are less appealing.

Don’t feel constrained by the listed ingredients either. It’s very much one of those dishes which works well with any number of vegetables. Don’t have spinach on hand? Try bok choy or broccoli. No shitake mushrooms? Use a different type. I sometimes also add seaweed for a different flavour profile.

Tofu, Miso, Udon Noodle Soup (for one)

Tofu, Miso, Udon Noodle Soup (for one):

3 Dried shitake mushrooms (or use fresh)
1 1/2-2C Water
1/2t Grated ginger
50g Dried udon noodles (or use fresh)
1/2 Large carrot, julienned
Large handful of spinach
1/2T White miso
1t Tamari
75g Silken tofu, cubed
1 Green Onion, thinly sliced
Drizzle of toasted sesame oil (optional)

If using dried mushrooms, soak in boiling water for at least 30 minutes to rehydrate. Drain (reserving water) and slice.

Cook noodles according to packet instructions, drain and set aside in a bowl

Boil 2C Water (including the reserved mushroom soaking water), add ginger, sliced mushrooms, carrot and spinach and cook for 1 minute to wilt the greens. Remove from heat and stir through miso and tamari.

Pour vegetables and the broth over the noodles. Top with silken tofu, green onions and sesame oil (if using)

Serves 1


pasta please (200x143)

I’m submitting this recipe to the Monthly Blog Challenge, Pasta Please

Tofu, Miso, Udon Noodle Soup (for one)

A few other Udon noodle recipe ideas from the web:

Udon Noodle Salad with Peanut-Lime Sauce

Gingered Sesame-Coconut Udon with Roasted Broccoli

Curried Udon Noodle Stir-Fry

What’s your favourite type of noodle?

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, and that those who’ve finished their Vegan MoFo posts are having a good break!


Butternut & Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing


T is for…Tahini!

Oh the trials and tribulations of food blogging! I made this dish last night but since I didn’t realize the time and got started on dinner too late, the light had gone by the time it was ready so I couldn’t get any good pictures Sad smile My apologies but this is definitely a repeater recipe so when I make it again I’ll update the post.

Repeater recipes are, in fact, rare around these parts, quite simply because I love to try new things and there aren’t enough meals in the day to allow me to eat the same thing over and over. This, however, is one of my all-time favourite meals and I’ve made variations on it many a time.

Warm Butternut Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Tahini sauce has got to be one of the best things ever. I know many of you agree…

My Favourie Tahini Dressing

Drizzled (liberally) over sweet roasted squash and perhaps my favourite legume, puy lentils, it’s bound to be good.

The original recipe came from the Casa Moro Cookbook (Moro is a wonderful restaurant in London if every you get to visit. The dishes are Spanish, North African and Eastern Mediterranean inspired, and, although it’s not vegetarian, normally there are various veg or adaptable dishes on the menu) but I came across it on the blog Orangette a few years ago and and have adapted it to my tastes. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Warm Butternut Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Warm Butternut & Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing:

1/2 Medium Butternut Squash (Approx 400g/1lb), cut into large chunks
1/2T Olive oil
2 Cloves garlic, squashed with the flat edge of a knife
Large pinch of salt
1/8t Cinnamon
1/2C Puy Lentils
1C Vegetable Broth
1/4 Red onion, finely diced
Fresh parsley to serve, coarsely chopped

Tahini Dressing:

1 Small clove of garlic, minced
Pinch of salt
1 3/4T Lemon juice
1 1/2T Tahini
2T Water (depending on thickness of your tahini)
1t Maple syrup

Preheat oven to 200C/425F

Toss squash, smashed garlic, olive oil, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl until all coated in the oil. Spread mixture into a roasting dish and cook for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and edges are beginning to caramelize.  Set aside.

While squash is cooking, simmer the lentils, in the vegetable broth, covered with a lid, for approx 20 minutes, or cook according to your package instructions. Drain if any liquid remains and set aside.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, adding more or less water to reach your desired thickness

Stir the red onion into the lentils and add several grinds of pepper.

Spread lentils onto a serving platter, top with the roasted squash (remove garlic cloves), a generous drizzle of the tahini sauce and chopped parsley. Hold a little of the tahini sauce on the side, for dressing at the table.

Serves 2


Warm Butternut Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

Of course, I use tahini for many other things than just this salad. Tahini sauce is great on almost anything. It’s commonly served with falafel. Rather than a falafel wrap I like to top a big salad with a few falafel balls and then douse in tahini sauce. I also love it on roasted beetroot, dark leafy greens or steamed broccoli.

These Tahini Noodles sound really delicious to me too. Of course tahini can be used in sweet recipes too. It’s great as an alternative to peanut butter, spread on a banana for a snack, or try these Raw Chocolate Caramel Tahini Delights.

Of course I love my own Chocolate-Sesame Biscotti too.

Even though it’s Saturday tomorrow and this month I haven’t been posting at weekends, check back here as I hope to bring you a post for the letter “U” to get through the last of the letters in the alphabet for my A-Z series.Print

S is for…


Sunflower Seeds!

I chose sunflower seeds for “S” more to push myself than for any other reason. We all fall back on our staple ingredients, and sunflower seeds are not one of mine. Cashews, almonds and more recently,  hemp seeds, are my most used nuts/seeds, tending to overshadow the humble sunflower seed. After this month I hope to take heed of my advice and make the most of the variety in my pantry.

Babyleaf, Apple & Sunflower Seed Salad w/Miso-Lemon Dressing

As well as being just as versatile and nutritious as other nuts and seeds out there, sunflower seeds are one of the cheapest. A particular bonus for someone like me, who likes to think of themselves as rather frugal…!

Over here sunflower seeds are normally seen hulled but I know that in other countries they’re especially popular roasted in their shells, salted, and eaten as a snack.

The way I normally eat them is as a salad-topper for a little crunch and a nutrition boost and came up with a simple side or starter salad for today’s post.

Babyleaf, Apple & Sunflower Seed Salad w/Miso-Lemon Dressing

I knew I wanted to include apple in my salad since we were given these gorgeous ones from a neighbour. The same kind neighbour who gave us the plums!

Aren’t they pretty? I love how pink they are, even the flesh has a pinkish hue as if the colour from the skin has somehow seeped into it.

This is really quick to put together so ideal for when you want a salad to go with your main meal but more than just some unadorned greens. I used a mix of baby leaves for the base,  added some very thinly sliced red onion, slivers of apple and a generous handful of sprouted sunflower seeds. I like to sprout seeds and legumes as I like their fresh, crisp taste and it also makes their nutrients more bio-available (see here for more info and a handy guide to sprouting) but toasted, or even just raw seeds would still be tasty.

I dressed the salad with a miso-lemon dressing which was a nice slightly salty, tangy contrast to the sweet apple.

Babyleaf, Apple & Sunflower Seed Salad w/Miso-Lemon Dressing

Babyleaf, Apple + Sunflower Seed Salad with Miso-Lemon Dressing:

2 Generous handfuls of Baby leaves (or mild greens like spinach or pea-shoots)
1 Medium dessert apple, thinly sliced
3T Sunflower seeds (sprouted, toasted or raw)
1/4 Red onion, very thinly sliced

Miso-Lemon Dressing:

1T Lemon juice
1/2T White miso
1/2T Olive oil
1/2t Tamari

Whisk together the lemon juice and miso until completely smooth then add the other ingredients and whisk to emulsify.

In a large bowl toss the salad leaves with as much dressing as it needs (add it slowly as you don’t want it to be soggy and you probably won’t want all of it)

Plate the salad: Place a layer of leaves on the plate(s), then scatter over the red onion and seeds. Finally, arrange the apple slices on top.

Serves 1-2


Babyleaf, Apple & Sunflower Seed Salad w/Miso-Lemon Dressing

As usual, I’m sharing some of the sunflower seed recipes I’ve come across which appeal to me or that I’ve made an enjoyed:

Firstly something sweet from The Kitchn: Sunflower-Date Raw Cookies

This Broccoli Raisin Sunflower Seed Salad is a favourite

Sunflower seeds are soft, so, after a soak, blend up well. They are a nice, cheaper alternative to cashews in vegan, creamy sauces like this Creamy Herb Sunflower Dressing/Dip. This recipe also uses them, along with cashews, to make a sour cream of sorts, then swirled into black bean soup. I’ve made this one and can vouch for its yumminess!

2 more dips/spreads I want to try are: this Super-Simple Gingery Sunflower Seed Paté and this Raw Carrot, Almond and Sunflower Seed Paté

I am loving Vegan MoFo but it’s leaving me no kitchen time at all for trying all the  wonderful creations from other bloggers and my cookbooks. The creativity around the blogosphere this month has been so phenomenal that I’m amassing a rather overwhelming number of recipes too!

Have you picked up any great recipes, tips or info this month?