Cinnamon, candy and pecan glazed mini donuts (no sugar)

Cinnamon, candy and pecan glazed mini donuts (no sugar)
Donuts. Yes, donuts. This recipe benefits from the addition of well-beaten chickpea brine, which foams like beaten egg whites - and adds fluffiness and air to the donuts. Three options for glazes are provided; these can be mixed and matched to improvise your own glazes: why not dip your donuts in candy glaze and then add finely chopped pecans on top? Or dip your donuts in cinnamon glaze and then add finely chopped walnuts? This recipe makes 70 mini donuts (4 cm outer diameter).
  • Donut batter:
  • 2¼ cups of wholewheat spelt flour
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • 1¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamon
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ⅓ cup chickpea brine from organic, unsalted chickpeas
  • ¼ cup cold-pressed sunflower or safflower oil
  • ¾ cup brown rice malt
  • 1 cup brown rice milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

  • Cinnamon glaze (covers around 24 mini donuts):
  • 3 tblsp brown rice malt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • Candy glaze (covers around 24 mini donuts):
  • 3 tblsp brown rice malt
  • ¾ tblsp beetroot juice

  • Pecan glaze (covers around 24 mini donuts):
  • 2 tblsp brown rice malt
  • 1 tblsp raw white almond butter
  • 1 tblsp brown rice milk
  • Small handful of pecans, finely chopped
  1. Pre-heat oven to 210 degrees. Generously grease the donut pan with cold-pressed safflower or sunflower oil and set aside.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients for the donut batter (flour, baking powder, spices and sea salt) and set aside.
  3. Pour the chickpea brine into a glass bowl and beat until the mixture froths and develops a smooth consistency, but before it forms stiff peaks. (Use an electric beater to save both time and your arms).
  4. Pour the oil and brown rice malt for the donut batter into a small pan and gently warm over a low heat, stirring with a fork until the brown rice malt 'melts' into the oil but before it bubbles. (You can skip this step if short on time, but warming the malt will make it easier to stir the malt into the wet ingredients).
  5. Mix the oil and brown rice malt into the chickpea brine, stir in the milk and vanilla essence, add the dry ingredients, and mix well. The batter should have a runny consistency similar to pancake batter.
  6. Fill each donut cup approximately ½ full with the donut batter (around 1 tbslp batter per cup).
  7. Bake for 6 minutes or until the donuts spring back when lightly pressed.
  8. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. If needed, use a wooden toothpick, to gently prise each donut out of the pan. Wipe down the pan and re-grease between batches.
  9. While the donuts are baking/cooling in the pan, make your glazes. For the cinnamon and candy glazes, mix the ingredients in a small bowl each and set aside. For the pecan glaze, mix the malt, butter and milk together and set aside (keeping the pecans apart from the wet ingredients).
  10. To glaze the donuts, dunk them top-first into the glaze and, if using nuts, sprinkle the nuts on top. To increase the sweetness, let the first glaze soak in for a couple of minutes and then drizzle extra glaze on top.
  11. Cinnamon glazed, pecan glazed, and candy glazed donuts (left to right)



Raspberry filled, sugar-free vegan chocolate cupcakes

Raspberry-filled, sugar-free vegan chocolate cupcakes
This recipe makes 11 cupcakes, with two icing options: vegan chocolate 'ganache' and cream cheese. The chocolate 'ganache' icing is completely refined sugar-free, and go for this if you're after a deep, rich chocolately experience. The cream cheese icing includes some refined sugar (sugar being a minor ingredient in the cream cheese), and brings a salty tangy sweetness to the cupcake.
  • Cake mixture:
  • 1¾ cups wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup organic cocoa powder - its worth buying a good quality organic cocoa powder (in the UK, I buy Green & Black's organic cocoa powder)
  • 2 heaped tsp egg replacer
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tblsp baking powder
  • ½ cup cold-pressed oil
  • 1 cup brown rice malt
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 11 heaped tsp fruit-sweetened (no sugar) raspberry jam

  • Chocolate 'ganache' icing for 6 cupcakes (no sugar):
  • 9 tblsp raw white almond butter
  • 6 tblsp brown rice malt
  • 6 tsp cocoa
  • 3 tsp brown rice milk
  • 1½ tsp vanilla essence

  • Cream cheese icing for 6 cupcakes (some sugar):
  • 10½ tblsp vegan cream cheese
  • 6 tsp brown rice malt
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Line a muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Sift the dry cake ingredients together in a large bowl, and set aside.
  3. Pour the oil and brown rice malt into a small pan and gently warm over a low heat, stirring with a fork until the brown rice malt 'melts' into the oil (but before it bubbles).
  4. Take the pan off the heat, and use a fork to quickly mix in the rice milk and vanilla.
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, continuously stirring with a fork until well combined.
  6. Spoon approximately 2 tablespoons of batter in the paper cases, then put 1 heaped teaspoon of jam in the centre of each case, topping with approximately 1 tablespoon of batter (being sure to completely cover the jam).
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until risen and firm to the touch.
  8. Cool in the tin for ten minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.
  9. To make either icing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a fork.
  10. The icing can be either spooned or piped on. I used a large resealable plastic bag, squeezing the icing into one corner and cutting off the tip, to then pipe the icing onto the cupcakes.


Best ever sugar-free vegan brownies

Best ever sugar-free vegan brownies
After much experimenting and gallant taste-testing by friends, the best ever sugar-free vegan brownies have finally been perfected! Crispy toffee-chewy on the outside and gooey soft on the inside. In case you like even more chocolate in your brownies, try adding a couple of tablespoons of cocoa nibs into the dry ingredients - these will give the brownies a rich, dark chocolate flavour. You might like to try substituting the pecans for almonds. Makes 12 brownies (11 cm x 3 cm x 2 cm pan).
  • ⅔ cup whole pecans
  • ⅔ cup + 1½ tblsp organic cocoa powder - its worth buying a good quality organic cocoa powder (in the UK, I buy Green & Black's organic cocoa powder)
  • ½ cup + 1 tblsp wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2½ tblsp egg replacer
  • One pinch of sea salt
  • 4 tblsp sunflower or safflower oil
  • 1¼ cups of brown rice malt
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees.
  2. Put pecans into a small dry skillet and lightly toast over a medium heat. When the pecans are just starting to brown, slide them out of the pan and onto a chopping board. Roughly chop, aiming for nice chunky pieces, and set aside.
  3. Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl, adding the pecans, and set aside.
  4. Pour the oil and brown rice malt into a small pan and gently warm over a low heat, stirring with a fork until the brown rice malt 'melts' into the oil.
  5. Stir the vanilla into the oil and brown rice malt mixture, and then pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, continuously stirring with a fork until well combined.
  6. Line a brownie pan with grease proof baking paper and pour the mixture in.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes, until the top of the brownies start to crisp (but toothpick still comes out wet).
  8. Take out of the oven and let the brownies cool in the pan (so they keep their shape).


Sugar-free vegan jam tarts

Sugar-free vegan jam tarts
These jam tarts will steal the show. The jam lends plenty of sweetness, but in case you'd like a little more, substitute the water in the pastry for apple juice. Pastry recipe is reproduced (with her kind permission) from Aine McAteer's 'Recipes to Nurture', one of the best wholefood cookbooks I've ever come across. Makes approximately 12 jam tarts, depending on the size of your cookie cutters.
  • 3 cups spelt flour
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 large pinch ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup safflower oil
  • ½ cup iced water to bind (or apple juice, in case a sweeter pastry is preferred)
  • Sugar-free jam of your choice (raspberry is my personal favorite)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  3. Slowly pour in the oil, mixing with a fork until the mixture takes a bread crumb consistency.
  4. Drizzle in the cold water, continuing to mix with the fork, until the mixture binds and forms a ball.
  5. Lightly knead until the dough is smooth and pliable.
  6. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and put in the fridge for around 30 minutes.
  7. Roll the dough out between two piece of baking paper (to avoid the dough sticking to the rolling pin) and then cut into shapes. To get a similar effect to the ones shown above, you'll need two cookie cutters in the same shape, one smaller than the other, to get the pretty picture frame effect.
  8. Half of the large heart pieces will be the base of the jam tarts, the other half will be used to create the 'picture frame' tops of the jam tarts.

  9. Cut a small heart out of one of the large heart pieces, to create the 'picture frame' top of the jam tart.

  10. Use a spatula to carefully lift the pastry shapes onto your baking tray. Be careful not to distort the shapes - but in case some of the shapes get stretched or compressed during the process, use the cookie cutter as a guide to push the pieces back into shape.
  11. Reform the dough from the leftover pieces, and then roll out again, cutting out more shapes until the dough is used up.
  12. Bake the pastry for 15 minutes, or until just turning golden.
  13. Take out of the oven and let the pastry cool slightly.
  14. Spread a teaspoon of jam over one of the 'base' pieces of pastry. Gently press one of the picture-frame pieces on top. Repeat until all of your jam tarts have been made.



Gingerbread people

Gingerbread people
Its always pleasing to serve up a nostalgic childhood treat, with all the flavours and textures that you remember, but none of the dairy, eggs or refined sugar. Makes 15 gingerbread people.
  • ½ cup of cold-pressed safflower or sunflower oil
  • ½ cup of barley malt syrup (brown rice syrup works too if that's all you have, but misses some of the golden syrup/molasses flavour)
  • 3½ cups of wholemeal spelt flour
  • Heaped ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Handful of currants (for dressing your gingerbread people)
  1. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, lightly whisking to get rid of any lumps (cheats way to whisk). Set aside.
  3. Combine all the wet ingredients in a small saucepan and gently heat to the point where the rice malt is just liquified, so its easier to stir into the dry ingredients. Avoid over-heating or the wet ingredients, or they will start cooking the dough when mixed with the dry ingredients.
  4. Using a fork, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined. Lightly knead into two separate balls. Wrap each ball in clingwrap and put into the refrigerator to cool the dough - 10-20 minutes will be enough.
  5. Roll your first dough ball out between two sheets of greaseproof baking paper to approximately ½ cm thick. Cut out your gingerbread people, placing onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Do the same with the second dough ball.
  6. Knead the leftovers from the two balls to make a third ball and continue cutting until all the dough is used. (Any scraps that can't be made into gingerbread people can be used to make a couple of bonus jam gingerbread tarts).
  7. Add the currants plus any other decorations (e.g. glitter) to 'dress' your gingerbread people.
  8. Bake for 7-9 minutes and cool on wire racks.




Thai-Mex tacos

Thai-Mex tacos
Unexpected flavours collide to send you into umami heaven. These are my Saturday afternoon post-training lunch habit. Makes four.
  • 450 grams tofu
  • 1 tblsp safflower or sunflower oil
  • 1½ tblsp tamari
  • 1 tblsp sweet paprika
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped (discard the top third of the stalk - too tough)
  • 1 cm of galangal root, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • ½ clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 tblsp of olive oil
  • 6 soft corn tortillas
  • 1 carrot, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 handful of watercress (or any light, leafy green)
  • 1 handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 lime
  • Sauce of your choice - the dipping sauce from the Vietnamese crispy pancake recipe is highly recommended (, or vegan mayonnaise (optional, but the tacos might be a bit dry without it)
  1. Roughly crumble the tofu into a bowl, using your hands. You're aiming for most pieces to be ovals around 2 cms long, with lots of little pieces. Set aside.
  2. Heat the safflower oil in a non-stick pan, and slide the tofu in (the water from the tofu might make the oil spit, so stand back). Stir-fry at a medium-high heat, until the tofu pieces are golden and crispy on at least two sides.
  3. Turn the heat off and quickly stir in the tamari, coating all the tofu pieces (the heat is off so the tofu can absorb the tamari before it evaporates). Enjoy the sizzling sound, then put the heat back on - and immediately stir in the sweet paprika, sticking the paprika to all sides of the 'wet' tofu, cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the lemongrass, galangal, chili and garlic to the tofu mixture and cook 5 minutes or until the herbs are fragrant. Take off the heat and set aside.
  5. Heat a small non-stick pan with around 1 tblsp of the olive oil, and add your first tortilla. The sides of tortillas tend to curl as they warm, so keep your spatula lightly over top to weight the sides down. Flip after a few minutes and cook until the other side is just starting to get golden spots.
  6. While the tortilla is hot, turn it out on a plate and put a heaped tablespoon of tofu in a line down the centre. Pile strands of carrot, watercress and coriander on top, and squeeze the lime on top, adding your sauce.
  7. Put the small pan back on the heat, adding more olive oil to keep the pan coated, and heat up your next tortilla - and repeat until you have 6 tacos. (I tend to serve my first four while they're hot, and make the last two as seconds).



Lemongrass tofu


Lemongrass tofu
Time-consuming, but very worthwhile.
  • 6 stalks of lemongrass, minced
  • 10 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 11 shallots, chopped on the diagonal into inch long pieces
  • ½ - ¾ tblsp of seasalt
  • Dash of tamari
  • ¼ red chili, chopped finely
  • ½ tblsp tumeric
  • Safflower or sunflower cold-pressed oil
  • 500 grams of firm tofu (firm as you can get), cut into finger-sized pieces
  • 1½ cups of corn flour
  1. Mince the lemongrass, using a blender and adding a few tblsps of water if needed. Combine the lemongrass with all remaining ingredients except the tofu and corn flour. The lemongrass mixture will taste slightly too salty - but this is okay, since the mixture will be diluted when later mixed with the tofu.
  2. Heat enough oil to coat your frying pan, and then lightly fry the lemongrass mixture, adding a little water if needed to get the mixture evenly cooking. Minimise any water added, since the aim is to create a 'dry sauce', rather than a sauce that can flow.
  3. Soften the mixture, then take off the heat, cover and set aside.
  4. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a second frying pan and set up your tofu production line: one plate with the corn flour and another plate with the tofu next to the stove. Dip a piece of the tofu into the corn flour, coating it on all sides, then shake of any excess flour and slip into the oil. Repeat with the other pieces of tofu until the pan is full, and avoid the tofu pieces touching each other (they'll stick). Fry on both sides until just golden, and then put onto kitchen towels to drain (don't cover or overlap the tofu pieces, since they will go soggy) . You might need to clean the pan between batches, since any excess corn flour left behind in the pan can smoke.
  5. Put the first frying pan (with the lemongrass mixture) back onto heat and warm up. Add the tofu and lightly stir for 1-2 minutes until just combined, then serve. Lemongrass tofu is great served with rice and morning glory with garlic - or put into a banh xeo (see below) or wrap.