Review & Giveaway: Super Healthy Snacks and Treats

“More than 60 easy recipes for energizing, delicious snacks free from gluten, dairy, refined sugar and eggs”. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Well it is! “Super Healthy Snacks and Treats”, published earlier this year by Ryland Peters & Small, was written by Jenna Zoe, the founder of Foods to Love, the nutrition and recipe blog and online healthy products store. I discovered Jenna and her book via Instagram and was really excited to get my hands on a copy. It’s especially fantastic to see a UK-authored book of this kind. It seems the plant-based, healthy living scene is finally catching on here!

Super Healthy Snacks and Treats, Jenna Zoe

Facing nutrition information overload, I’m sure something a lot of us can relate to, Jenna set out to find a simple way of eating which left her feeling good. Her criteria for the foods she was going to eat were that:

- They had to be natural, whole foods that were minimally processed
- She had to love how they tasted.
- They had to suit her system. She paid close attention to what made her feel best.

The result of the experiment is this book! Jenna hopes to inspire us to make our own healthy eating guidelines and feel empowered to take the best care of ourselves.

All the dishes in the book are packed with nutrition, not to mention taste, colour and fun!

Most of the recipes are very easy to make with a few longer ones which look a little extra fancy, ideal for special occasions. I was familiar with almost all the ingredients and don’t think any listed are particularly uncommon, especially if you already avoid dairy and refined sugars and flours and are used to alternatives.

Raw Mint Chocolate Tartlets

As well as the recipes there’s lots of useful information in here: a guide to essential ingredients and substitutions, tips and tricks, a how to use the book feature and Jenna’s “principles of healthy snacking”.

The recipe chapters are divided into Breakfasts, Power Snacks, Party Snacks, Dips & Dippers, Sweet Bites & Cookies & Bakes so there’s something for any time of the day.

Each recipe is accompanied by a little intro, where you’ll find more nuggets of useful info, and beautiful pictures which will make you want to get in the kitchen pronto!

Raw Mint Chocolate Tartlets

This here is one of the insanely delicious Raw Mint Chocolate Tartlets. I don’t need to tell you again of my love for raw desserts but this one is honestly one of the best I’ve had. Even better is that they take less than 10 minutes to put together and only need 15 minutes to set. They are very rich so I’d recommend sharing one!

The publishers have generously allowed me to reprint this recipe here for you all to try immediately:

Raw Mint Chocolate Tartlets:

(Makes 4)

145g/1C Almonds
135g/3/4C Dates, stoned
2T Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut, OR more almonds
a pinch of salt
2t Coconut Oil

Mint Chocolate Filling

(to fill 2 tarts) *Note, the book also lists a key lime filling to fill the other 2 tart shells. Either double the filling for 4 tarts or halve the crust mixture for 2)

1 Large Banana
60ml/1/4C Coconut Oil
60ml/1/4C Pure Maple Syrup
40g/1/3C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
6 Fresh Mint Leaves OR 1/2t Mint Extract

Put the almonds in a food processor and blitz until crumbly. Add the dates, desiccated coconut, salt and coconut oil and pulse until a smooth mixture forms. Remove the dough from the processor and divide it into 4. Press each portion into a tartlet mould so that it neatly lines the base and sides of the mould. Ideally you want the tartlet cases to be about 1cm/1/2inch thick all the way around, with plenty of room for the filling. Don’t worry if you have a little extra dough- you can roll this into bite-size energy balls and save for a healthy snack later on.

For the filling, make sure the coconut oil is liquid. If it isn’t put it in a saucepan over low heat and allow to melt. Allow to cool completely, otherwise the hot oil will start to cook the other ingredients in the filling,

Place the filling ingredients in the food processor, one set at a time, and blitz until smooth. Divide each filling between 2 tartlet cases and freeze for at least 15 minutes to set.

Raw tarts will keep, in the freezer, for up to 2 weeks, so they’re a great make-ahead option for tea and dinner parties.

Vegan Protein Pancakes

Next up, Protein Pancakes. If there is a pancake recipe in any new cookbook I get then that will most likely be the first I try! These are made from gluten-free flour and a dose of vegan protein powder and were light and fluffy but very filling too. I’ll be making these regularly.

Zucchini Hummus

I like to cover a range of sections when reviewing a cookbook so thought I’d make something savoury to complement my sweet choices. A batch of some kind of dip in the fridge is always useful and there are several in the book to choose from. I opted for the Zucchini Hummus which is rich and satisfying, despite not having chickpeas in. It’s also a good alternative for those who have trouble digesting beans.

Almond-Flax Crackers

Along with the hummus I served some veggies and another one from the book, the Almond-Flax Crackers. These are so so scrumptious and put conventional cardboard-like crackers to shame. They’re completely grain-free so very nutrient-dense and with lots of flavour so I’d happily eat them on their own instead of crisps. I would definitely recommend doubling the batch as there’s no way this recipe serves the 8 specified!

There isn’t one recipe in the book that doesn’t appeal but I’ve somehow shortlisted a few for my “must try very soon” list! The Breakfast Salad, Creole Cauliflower, Sticky Carrot Bites and Baby Gem Lettuce Wraps with Homemade Sweet Chilli Sauce.

I hope you’re as excited about this book as I am and I’m thrilled to have one copy to GIVEAWAY to a very lucky reader. To enter, do any one or all of the following things and leave a comment for each letting me know that you have done so. The more you do the more chances to win you have! I am sending the book personally so this giveaway is open WORLDWIDE!

1. Leave a comment on this post
2. “Like” Coconut and Berries on Facebook
3. Subscribe to Coconut and Berries by email
4. “Follow” me on Twitter
5. “Follow” @FoodstoLove on Twitter
6. “Follow” @RylandPeters on Twitter
7. Tweet about the giveaway and post the url in the comments.

Giveaway ends Thursday 4th December 12am GMT. Winner will be picked randomly and contacted by email within 48 hours of the closing time.

“Super Healthy Snacks and Treats” is available from and as well as through Jenna’s site “Foods to Love”

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

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P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends for tomorrow!

Z is for…


Za'atar spice blend

There are certainly some bona fide foodies amongst my readers, since many of you guessed correctly what I would choose for “Z” !

I’ve posted a recipe using Za’atar before on the blog, my Wheatberry, Chickpea & Za’atar Salad and talked a little about it then. I’m sure there are many of you who aren’t familiar with this ingredient though so here’s some info: Za’atar is a herb and spice blend widely-used in the Middle-East.  Its specifics vary according to region but it usually includes toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme and sumac, a tangy, lemony spice.

Both Sumac and Za’atar have become much more widely known in recent years, due, almost exclusively, to the world-renowned chef, Yotam Ottolenghi, as it’s an ingredient that features in many of the recipes in his popular cookbooks. It’s used as a seasoning for grilled vegetables, salads, sprinkled on top of hummus and the traditional recipe I just made, Manakish Za’atar , which are traditional Lebanese flatbreads spread with a topping made from Za’atar combined with olive oil.

Manakish Za'atar- Lebanese Flatbreads

I basically followed this recipe from The Kitchn, making only a small batch (something I definitely regretted as they were soooo delicious) and using light spelt fLour instead of all-purpose.

The flatbreads kind of reminded me of a crispy focaccia, with the olive oil in the dough and the salt in the topping, but this is even better with its bright herbs, spices and toasted sesame seeds.

Baba Ghanoush

I had planned to make my usual hummus recipe to serve with it but remembered the meal we enjoyed at Al Shami a few weeks ago and that amazing Moutabel/Baba Ghanoush. Since then, I’ve been wanting to replicate it at home and this felt like the perfect opportunity!

Like hummus, baba ghanoush is a spread which includes tahini, garlic and lemon, but instead of chickpeas, blackened aubergine is used instead.

Grilling the aubergine until nicely charred lends a deep, smoky flavour to the dip which is divine. There are a million variations on this dish but this is the ratio of ingredients I like best:

Baba Ghanoush with Lebanese Flatbreads (Manakish Za'atar)

Baba Ghanoush (Moutabel):

2 Medium aubergines, to yield 1 heaping cup cooked flesh when drained of excess liquid
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/4C Lemon juice
1/4C Tahini
3/4t Salt
Dash of smoked paprika
Fresh chopped parsley and more paprika to serve

To cook the aubergine, prick all over with a fork, place on a baking sheet and cook under the grill/broiler for 20-30 minutes until collapsed and blackened.

Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Cut aubergines lengthwise down the middle and scrape out as much of the flesh as you can, leaving behind the skin (a few little flecks of skin are ok). Squeeze the flesh to remove liquid or drain in a colander for 15 minutes.

In a food processor combine all the ingredients and process until smooth.

Garnish with more paprika and chopped parsley.

Serve with Manakish, pita and crudités or other meze.


Baba Ghanoush with Lebanese Flabreads (Manakish Za'atar)

And so we’ve reached the end! A-Z complete!

Thank you to everyone who’s stuck with me this month and especially to those who’ve commented or even made one of my recipes.  As much as I love recipe creating and blogging, you lovely readers make it all the more worthwhile!

I’ll be back tomorrow for a little Vegan MoFo round-up, featuring some of my favourites from Coconut and Berries this month, as well my top picks from elsewhere, sharing lessons learnt and what the future holds for the blog.


E is for…


I know my A-Z series is pantry ingredients not fresh fruit and vegetables, but I decided edamame count as I buy the frozen packaged kind Smile . My blog, my rules!

I love edamame but always forget to use them…probably because they’re in my freezer and not as visible as the veg in my fridge’s crisper drawer. But, I had lunch at the Japanese noodle restaurant chain Wagamama a few days ago where one of the sides on offer is simply a bowl of salted, steamed edamame and it reignited my passion for these little green beans.


I can’t seem to find them still in their pods unfortunately but they’re more convenient for a variety of recipes in their podded form anyway. I’ve used them in a few recipes on the blog so far- My Summer Vegetable + Chickpea Sauté, 10-minute Raw Peanut Noodles, and my favourite Cauliflower Fried “Rice” with Grilled Tofu. I’m still mad about dips so thought I’d make something similar to my Broad Bean + Roasted Garlic Dip but using edamame.

Edamame-Pea Dip + Tofu Ricotta Toasts

I opted to fancy up this lunch staple a little with the addition of a second spread for my toasts- tofu ricotta. The slightly salty, tangy ricotta is a lovely contrast to the sweet edamame-pea dip, but if you’re pushed for time then the latter is still very yummy on its own.

Edamame-Pea Dip + Tofu Ricotta Toasts

Edamame-Pea Dip + Tofu Ricotta Toasts:

1C Frozen edamame
1C Frozen peas
1Clove of garlic, minced
1T + 1t Olive oil
1/2T Tahini
1T Lemon juice
1/8t Salt
1 1/2T Fresh mint leaves

Steam the peas and edamame for approx 3 minutes then plunge into cold water to stop cooking and retain bright green colour. Set aside in a bowl.

Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a small pan over medium and when hot add minced garlic. Cook, stirring for a minute just to take the raw garlic edge off. Add garlic to edamame and peas and add remaining olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and salt. Using an immersion blender blitz the mixture until you have a fairly smooth purée. You can also use a food processor for this. Finally add the chopped mint and pulse through.

Tofu Ricotta (For Soy-free use Cashew ricotta)

(Adapted from Veganomicon)

1/2 400g/14oz pkg Firm tofu
1 1/2T Lemon juice
2T Nutritional yeast
1/4t Salt
1t Olive Oil
1 Clove of garlic, minced
1/4t Dried basil (optional)

Using your hands crumble up tofu and squish between your fingers until you have a ricotta-like texture. Stir through remaining ingredients and taste for salt.

Spread toast with a generous layer of the tofu ricotta, followed by a good dollop of the edamame-pea dip. Serve alongside a big salad for lunch or make crostini with the spreads and serve as appetizers.

Edamame-Pea Dip + Tofu Ricotta Toasts

A few more edamame recipes to try:

If you’ve still got peaches where you are try these Portland Porch Lettuce Wraps which use edamame pesto, from Isa at the PPK.

These Vegan Sushi Rolls with Sticky Walnuts and Edamame also look fantastic.

You could thrown them in a veg-loaded hummus wrap.

Or, if you’re in the mood for something a little more wacky…how about these Teriyaki glazed Brown Rice and Edamame Burgers?

Vegan MoFo Banner

Broad Bean + Roasted Garlic Dip

Broad Bean (Fava Bean) + Roasted Garlic Dip

As much as I love to be in the kitchen, for almost everyone, myself included, it’s just not feasible to spend a huge amount of time preparing meals on a day-to-day basis. I almost always carve out some precious time in the evenings to prepare a nice dinner, and at weekends might make a special breakfast, but lunch tends to be variations on a theme- quick, light meals I can eat for a few days in a row. I’ve shared a few recipes for satisfying bean/grain salads on the blog already- a typical lunch for me. But besides salads, and leftovers, you’ll almost always find some sort of dip in my fridge.

Hummus is probably a staple in most vegans’ diets! It’s certainly one of those foods which deserves the tittle “nutritious and delicious”. I frequently whip up a batch of the traditional stuff but, if you know me you’ll realize It’s rare that I repeat the same dish too many times as I have to much fun making and inventing new ones! This broad bean and roasted garlic dip is a lovely alternative to the usual hummus and just as easy to prepare.

Roasted Garlic

For some depth I added roasted garlic to my dip. If you’ve never tried garlic this way I urge you to do so asap. It’s a different flavour altogether to raw or even sautéed garlic. The sharp, pungent taste mellows completely and it turns caramel-like, sweet and spreadable, and, even better, no garlic breath! When making roasted vegetables I often toss a few whole cloves to the mix, still in their skins, and then squeeze out the sticky garlic when cooked and mix it with the other vegetables.

Fresh Fava Beans

Broad beans are another vegetable we tend to think of here as a classic summer ingredient. I love how creamy and perfect they look popped out of their thick pods. They always remind me of a song we sang at school when I was little “..the apples are ripe, the plums are red…the broad beans are sleeping in their blankety bed” and while I was shelling them I noticed that the pods were indeed lined with a kind of velvety “blanket”!

Anyway, we went to a local pick-your-own-farm recently to get a load of berries and I couldn’t resist filling a basket with fresh broad beans at the same time. I’ve never really cooked with them before so this was my easy, but delicious solution. If you’ve got any other ideas for using the fresh beans please do share in the comments!

Broad Bean + Roasted Garlic Dip:

Bear in mind when buying fresh broad beans that after shelling them you’re left with a fairly small amount. I recommend buying more than you think you’ll need!

200g/1/2lb Shelled Broad Beans
1 Small bulb of garlic
2T Extra-virgin olive oil
Zest of 1 small lemon
2T Lemon juice
5 Medium basil leaves
Salt + pepper

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Slice whole bulb of garlic in half width-wise across its centre and place, exposed side up on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and cook for 20-30 minutes. It should be soft throughout and slightly brown. Be careful not to let it burn though- you want caramel not char. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile you can be getting on with shelling your beans. When they’re podded steam them for 3-5 minutes and plunge into cold water. Remove the thick skins from the beans. Just pinch the skin with your fingers and they should pop out easily.

Squeeze as much of the garlic as you can out of the skins and blend together with all the other ingredients In a food processor. Season to taste.
Serve at room temperature with raw vegetable sticks, wholegrain bread, pita or crackers.

I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly blog hop Wellness Weekends

What are your favourite easy lunches?

Nut Kofte, Sweet Spiced Beet-Carrot Salad + Tzatziki

I’ve been to Istanbul for a short visit but would love to see more of that part of the world- beautiful architecture,  fascinating culture…and of course delicious food!

Middle-Eastern cuisine has been a favourite of mine for some time. If you ever find yourself in Oxford I highly recommend a meal at Al Shami. It’s a great Lebanese place, probably my favourite Oxford restaurant, and although not exclusively vegetarian, there’s a huge selection of vegan mezze on offer. Whenever we go we order as many dishes as we can squeeze onto the table and all share, that way we can try lots of different things. (N.b. I’ve now posted a review of the restaurant here)

Here’s my attempt to bring a little of the Middle-East into my own kitchen. My creations are no doubt far from authentic, but still tasty. I stumbled across a recipe for nut kofta kebabs over at Bit of the Good Stuff and they became the starting point for this meal, with just a bit of adaptation.

Nut Kofte, Sweet Spiced Beet-Carrot Salad + Tzatziki

To serve along with the kofte I went for a sweet spiced beetroot carrot salad, lemony courgettes, herbed wholegrain couscous and mint tzatziki- a tasty little feast.

Nut Kofte:

(Adapted from Bit of the Good Stuff)

1-2T Rapeseed oil
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 t Ground cumin
1t Ground coriander
1T Peanut butter
1-2t Sriracha hot sauce
salt + pepper
425g / 14oz Can Borlotti beans, rinsed + drained
1C Almond meal (whole almonds finely ground in a food processor)
1/2C Finely chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts + walnuts)
1/2-3/4C Wholemeal breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 180C/350F

Sauté onion in oil over medium heat for a few minutes until soft and fragrant, add garlic, spices, peanut butter and sriracha and and continue cooking another couple of minutes. Season to taste.

Pulse beans in food processor until mostly smooth, scrape into a bowl and add onion mixture, ground and chopped nuts, breadcrumbs as needed until you get a thick consistency, slightly sticky and not crumbly.

If you’ve got time stick the bowl in the fridge for an hour to firm up and help you shape the kofte. Using damp fingers shape the mixture into approx 14 ping-pong size balls. Lay on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until turning brown and crispy, flip kofte half-way through cooking time.

(Makes 14- Serves 4)

Nut Kofte, Sweet Spiced Beet-Carrot Salad + Tzatziki

This salad is a keeper, one I can see going well with a whole variety of dishes. It’s delicately spiced and a little tangy with tasty bursts of sweetness from the golden raisins in every mouthful.

Sweet Spiced Beet-Carrot Salad:

2-3C Grated Carrots
1-2C Grated Beetroot (I used a food processor to save time, although I think done by hand the shreds are a little nicer)
1/2C Golden Raisins or Currants
1/4t Sweet Paprika
1/4t Ground Cumin
1/4t Ground Cinnamon
Dash Cayenne
Salt + Pepper
2 1/2T Lemon Juice
2t Agave syrup
Fresh mint to garnish

Add the grated carrot and beetroot to a large bowl, along with the raisins. In a small bowl combine spices and seasoning and whisk in lemon and agave. Pour dressing over the salad and toss well. Leave to sit, covered, in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving for the best flavour. Garnish with mint.

I thought it would be nice to have something creamy and cooling to go with the slightly spiced dishes and my mint raita went perfectly here. I tried a similar recipe from “Veganomicon” a short while ago, which is a little different, using oregano + dill, but also very tasty. I liked the mint with this meal though.

This Recipe is being shared at Raw Food Thursdays
Cucumber Mint Raita:

1/4C Cashews, soaked for an hour, drained and rinsed
1c Cucumber, peeled + diced
2t Agave nectar
1t Apple cider vinegar
1/2 Clove garlic
1/2t Ground cumin
1/2t Salt
1t Lime juice
Dash of cayenne
1/4C Fresh mint, loosely packed

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender (except fresh mint), until smooth. Pulse in mint, leaving little flecks of green.

What’s your favourite cuisine? Although Middle-Eastern is one of mine I love trying dishes from all over the world- Indian, European, Asian, American…English is in fact one of the few I’m not a huge fan of!

If you try out any of these recipes, I’d love to hear what you think.

Picnic + Pimm’s

The weather was beautiful all of last week in England and I seized the opportunity for some outdoor eating. It’s not often it’s warm enough (or not raining!). I had a group of uni friends around to celebrate the summer with vegan food and Pimm’s.

I don’t know how well-known Pimm’s is outside of the UK since it really is the quintessential English summer drink. I’m not a big drinker at all but I would never turn down a glass of Pimm’s.

It’s a gin-based liqueur which is mixed with lemonade, fresh fruit and mint. You can add whatever you like but I’m partial to strawberries, oranges, apples + cucumber.

Along with several jugs of  Pimm’s throughout the afternoon there was plenty to eat. It was fun introducing my friends to the delights of animal-free food, since none of them are even vegetarians. We were having too much fun so I forgot to take pictures of the spread but did snap a couple- here’s my first plate of food Smile

First Picnic Plate

And here’s the menu:

Chickpea Flour Veggie Quiche (Soy-free)

Rosemary Focaccia (Veganomicon)

Falafel (Vegan with a Vengeance) + Mediterranean Cashew Cucumber Dip (Veganomicon)

Crudités + Homemade Hummus

Green Salad

Chickpea, Tomato + Basil Salad (See below)

New Potato Salad with Mustard Dill Dressing [unpictured]


Here’s my lovely focaccia- I was really pleased with how well it turned out- great flavour and texture.

Oh…and there was dessert of course- Strawberries, Vanilla Ice Cream + Chocolate Brownies! (I would have loved to have made raw brownies but wanted to keep everything fairly simple and familiar for the omnivores)

The Chickpea, Tomato, Basil Salad was so simple but incredibly delicious and something I’ll definitely make throughout the summer when the tomatoes and basil in the garden get going properly.

Chickpea Tomato Basil Salad:

3 C Cooked Chickpeas (or 2 cans)

4 C Cherry Tomatoes, halved

3 Cloves Garlic

2T Apple Cider Vinegar

2 T Red Wine Vinegar

1T Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar

1T Olive Oil

As much Basil as you like, julienned

Good pinch Sea salt + Plenty of Black Pepper

Have you been dining al fresco at all this year? Any good picnic recipes to share?