Monday, 17 November 2014

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These cookies are sure to please...
Picture this: a dull November Saturday afternoon, fading daylight, a quiet and sombre house with tired people in need of a little treat. Now picture this: a dull November Saturday afternoon, the kitchen ablaze with light and warmth, the hiss of melting coconut oil on the stove top followed by delicious chocolatey baking aromas, then people smiling as they chew on warm cookies and realise that life isn't quite so bleak after all... grab some of that feelgood factor for yourselves and try this quick and easy cookie recipe. Watch how quickly it puts a smile on everyone's faces- they won't even believe these cookies are vegan, either. The recipe came together after a brief survey of our baking cupboard and chocolate supply and a little look round the internet, where my suspicion that coconut oil makes awesome cookies was confirmed. So what if Aldi biscuits now virtually all contain either palm oil or butter so we can't buy them? Who needs biscuits from a shop anyway?

Makes 8 giant cookies, about 12 normal-sized ones. 1 cup = 250ml
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup gour (try rapadura or even soft brown sugar if you can't get gour)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup soya milk
2 cups sieved wholemeal flour (2 cups is what you should be left with to use after sieving)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of your favourite vegan chocolate, cut into chunks

  • Mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt.
  • Melt the gour and coconut oil together over a gentle heat.
  • In another bowl, mix up the vanilla and soya milk with the oil and gour.
  • Add the wet mix to the dry mix. It will be sticky; that's okay.
  • Now add the chocolate chips- they will melt and form swirls in the cookie dough if you add them  to the pan along with the flour mix, or they will stay more like chunks if you add them to the cooler bowl and don't mix too much. Form into balls and press onto an oiled baking sheet(s). Leave plenty of room for spreading.
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 180C for 8-10 minutes.
  • When partially cooled, gently lift each cookie onto a cooling rack (ours is wire mesh) with a spatula and leave chocolate to set... if you can bear to wait, that is!
PS: I'm going to see if I can get away without the bicarb next time- keep you posted.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Creamy Cheeze Sauce

Pictured here over gluten free pasta, but also makes a wicked cauliflower cheeze...
Creamy, smooth and satisfyingly packed with good oils and nutrients; this cheeze sauce was scientifically invented by my husband. The recipe as shown here makes a large blender jug full, to be used with pasta, cauliflower or whatever, and contains about 130g protein in total; perfect for fuelling up the night before a long-distance run or for recovery afterwards, which is when we first had it, to replenish our energy when we'd finished the Birmingham Half Marathon last month.

100g cashews
100g almonds
50g linseeds (flax)
25g sunflower seeds
25g sesame seeds
1.5 tsps salt
1.25 litres soya or other plant milk
2-3 tabs lemon juice
30g yeast flakes (aka nutritional yeast, nooch)

  • Grind all the seeds and nuts finely- do them separately, to make sure there are no lumps.
  • Put them and the salt into a high speed blender such as an Omniblend, Vitamix, Froothie or Blendtec and whizz momentarily .
  • Add the plant milk and blend again. Lastly, put in the lemon juice and yeast flakes.
  • Your sauce is now ready to heat gently and add to your recipe!

By the way, we both finished the race in the top 40% of all runners, with times of 2 hrs 91/2 minutes, and in the top 20% for our age groups, so we were really pleased with that- can't wait to do it again! Hooray for plant power
1    If you want to help us raise money fro the Vegan Society, please follow the link above to a post which gives the link to our JustGiving page.