Double Chocolate Baked Donuts

I’m officially obsessed with these mini double chocolate donuts! They are so fluffy, chocolatey and I seriously can’t stop eating them! They are completely gluten free and I am so pleased that the consistency is still airy without being too dry or crumbly. To make them even more indulgent I have dipped them in MIA 75% cocoa melted chocolate which is so rich and velvety, perfect for baking or just on its own.

I love that MIA source the ingredients, manufacturer and even package their chocolates in Africa and by doing so they give greater benefit back to the communities. This creates more jobs on a continent where a single income can support an entire family.  So celebrate chocolate week in style and do good at the same time!

Ingredients:

Makes about 8-10 donuts

1/2 cup of oat flour (just place some oats into a blender until you have a flour)

1/2 cup of buckwheat flour

3/4 cup of ground almond

1/2 cup of coconut sugar

1/4 cup of raw cacao powder

2 tbsp of ground flaxseeds

1 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

A pinch of salt

3/4 cup of almond milk

1/4 cup of plain soy yogurt

3 tbsp of melted coconut oil

For the glaze:

100gr of MIA 75% cocoa Chocolate

A handful of cacao nibs or chopped nut to sprinkle on top (optional)

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

In a large bowl mix together the oat flour buckwheat, ground almonds, coconut sugar, raw cacao powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the almond milk, soy yogurt and coconut oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until you don’t see anymore flour. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes, don’t mx again as you want to keep the fluffy consistency.

Gently fill the donut moulds with batter, don’t overfill it as they will rise during the baking. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. I have used mini donuts moulds so I only baked mine for 13 minutes. Leave the donuts in the tray for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack for another 20-25 minutes.

While the donuts are cooling melt the Mia Chocolate on a double boiler. Dip the donuts into the melted chocolate and sprinkle them with some cacao nibs (if using). Let the chocolate cool down for another 10 minutes and enjoy!

 

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Avocado & Grapefruit Smoothie

The quest for beautiful skin starts on your plate” This was one of my first thoughts when I started this page 3 years ago and I still firmly stand by it, Feeding myself with nourishing and wholesome foods is crucial to keep my skin clear and happy A good skincare routine plays also an important role and I am so happy that I have recently discovered amaiaa facial oils which have made my skin feel and look extra radiant and glowy. Me and the lovely people at amaiaa share the same beliefs that beauty products shouldn’t contain harsh chemicals or toxins, because really, what’s on you it’s in you!  And we also believe that animal testing should be a thing of the past so all their products are cruelty free too! Their daytime and nighttime facial oils are a blend of 10 different oils and inspired by their ingredients I have created this Nourishing Avocado & Grapefruit Smoothie Bowl which has been my favourite combination lately!

Although this might sound a bit of a weird combination I promise it taste delicious! The avocado makes the smoothie super creamy and decadent and the grapefruit add a subtle sharp flavour. I have also added some frozen raspberries but you can leave them out or use other berries instead, although I think they go really well with the grapefruit. I like to keep my smoothie super thick so I can eat it with a spoon and top it with lots of different toppings to transform it in a more filling meal.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 avocado

1 frozen banana

1/2 peeled pink grapefruit

1/2 cup of frozen raspberries

Enough almond milk to blend

Toppings:

Fresh berries of your choice

Granola

Coconut chips

Nut butter etc..

Simply place all the ingredients for the smoothie in a blender and gradually add the almond milk. The less liquid you add the thicker the smoothie will be. Serves it into a bowl with the toppings of your choice.

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Nourishing Savoury Porridge Bowl with Miso Mushrooms & Kale

I know what you are thinking, savoury porridge sounds weird! Yes it does and I was totally sceptical myself until I made this super nourishing bowl and completely fell in love with it! It definitely reminds me a little of an Italian risotto but with a much creamier texture. For this recipe I have used White’s Organic Oats which have just the perfect nutty flavour and create the most perfect winter warming porridge. The trick to make this porridge super flavoursome is to cook the oats with vegetable stock and a little bit of garlic for extra flavour. Toppings on porridge are everything so I generously topped this savoury creation with the most delicious miso mushrooms, kale, avocado and some sesame seeds for an extra crunch.

If you have any leftovers you can totally eat them next day or so, just add it to a pan with some  hot water or milk and reheat it for few minutes.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

1 1/2 cup of White’s Organic Jumbo Oats

1 medium size carrot finely grated

2 garlic cloves crushed

A dash of olive oil

Roughly 2 cups of vegetable stock  + 1 cup of unsweetened cashew, oat or soy milk ( I found these are the ones that works best)

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast (adds a lovely cheesy flavour

Salt & pepper to taste

For the mushrooms & Kale:

200gr of muhsrooms of your choice sliced in half – I went for a mix of chestnut and shiitake mushrooms

1 garlic clove

A dash of olive oil for cooking

1 tbsp of brown miso paste

About 2 cups of finely chopped kale

Salt and pepper to taste

Some sesame seeds to sprinkle on top

1 avocado sliced or chopped into pieces

To make the porridge heat up the oil in large pan. Add in the grated carrot and garlic and cook for few minutes on low to medium heat. Add in the oats and cover them with the veggie stock. Keep cooking a low heat and gradually add in the plantbased milk. Keep stirring from time to time to make sure the porridge doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. I cook my porridge for a total of 15 minutes and at the end I have added in the nutritional yeast, salt & pepper to taste. For a savoury porridge I would recommend to keep quite thick (risotto style) instead of too runny.

While the porridge is cooking prepare the rest. Add the oil to frying pan and once hot add in the sliced mushrooms. Cook for few minutes before adding in the crushed garlic and the miso paste. Keep cooking the mushrooms until all the liquid has evaporated and they have reduced in size. Add in the chopped kale and cook for another 2-3 minutes. You want to keep the kale bright and green so don’t cook it for too long.

Serve the porridge while still hot topped with the kale and mushrooms, some chopped avocado, a sprinkle of sesame seeds and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (optional).

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Chocolate Chip Banana Loaf

One of my favourite thing to bake has to be banana bread. It’s so simple to make but so moreish and naturally sweet with the banana. The addition of the chocolate chips makes it even more delicious and decadent! For this recipe I have used Vita Coco Original Coconut Milk which is so creamy and rich making it perfect for baking! I love to cut the loaf into slices which I then store in the freezer so I can pop one in the toaster whenever I crave something sweet. Although it’s totally delicious on its own I love to spread a thick layer of almond or peanut butter on top to make it even more indulgent!

For this recipe I have used spelt flour but please feel free to use regular white flour.

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:

1 tbsp of  ground flaxseeds + 2.5 tbsp of water

1 1/4  cup of white spelt flour

1 cup of oat flour (just place some oats flakes into a blender and blend until you have a flour)

1 cup of ground almond

3 tbsp of baking powder

1/2 cup of coconut sugar

1 tbsp of vanilla bean paste

2 tbsp of maple syrup

3 tbsp of  Vita Coco coconut oil

3/4 cup of Vita Coco Original Coconut Milk

1 cup of chocolate chips + extra for decorating

3 very ripe bananas + 1 extra half for decoration (optional)

A pinch of salt

Preheat the oven at 175 degrees Celsius.  Line a loaf tin with some parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix the flaxseeds with the water and leave it onto one side for 5 minutes until it become gloopy.

In the meantime add all the spelt flour, oat flour, ground almond, baking powder, salt and coconut sugar to another bowl. Mix everything to avoid any lumps.

Once the flaxseeds mixture add in the 3 bananas and mash them really well. Add in the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla bean paste and Vita Coco coconut milk. Mix everything together.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix everything. Fold in the chocolate chips and keep mixing. Try not overmix the batter as it might result in a heavier consistency.

Pour the batter into the tin and place in the middle the half banana cut lengthways. Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top and bake for 1 hour.

Remove the loaf from the oven and let it rest in the tin for 10 minutes. Remove it from the tin and leave it on a cooling rack for at least 3 hours or even better overnight. Let it cool completely is super important so please don’t skip this step!

Slice the loaf into slices and enjoy!

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Parsnip & Leek Soup

Autumn is definitely upon us and so is soup season! Nothing beats a cosy bowl of soup on a chilly evening and I have been obsessed with this new combination! I absolutely love parsnips and I think they are actually so underrated! They are now coming into season here in the UK and I am definitely determined to make the most of them. They have a lovely sweet flavour and a creamy consistency, perfect for soups or mash. For this recipe I have used Provamel Unsweetened Soy Drink which is perfect for savoury dishes as adds a lovely creaminess to any recipe. What I love about Provamel Soy Drink is that is 100% organic, low in saturated fat and the soy is sourced from Europe making it  an even more sustainable choice.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 large parsnip

1 leek

1 white onion

2 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

Few rosemary branches

About 800ml of vegetable stock

1/2 cup of Provamel Unsweetened Soy Drink

3 tbsp of nutritional yeast

A glug of olive oil

Plenty of salt & pepper to taste

Optional: If you want to make soup more substantial you can also add in 1/2 can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans

Peel and chopped the onion very finely.  Chopped the leek as well into thin slices. Add them to a large pan with a glug of oil. Cook them on a low heat with lid on for 5-8 minutes until the onion starts to brown and caramelised. Peel and cut the parsnip into bite size pieces and add it to the pan together with the chopped garlic, bay leave, salt and rosemary branches. Add  a dash of veggie stock and keep cooking the veggies on a low to medium heat with lid on for 20 minutes.

Add in the rest of the veggie stock plus Provamel Soy Drink, nutritional yeast and a generous amount of black pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes until the parsnip is really soft and mushy

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Super Green Avocado Pizza

Being Italian I love a traditional wheat crust pizza but I also love to experiment with different and a bit more unusual ingredients! Although it might sound a bit weird this cauliflower pizza crust is so flavoursome and moorish. It can be made completely gluten free by using a gluten free flour (i personally love buckwheat) and it’a packed to the brim with veggies and wholesome goodness. The Avocado pesto is definitely the best part. For this recipe I have used Gem® Avocado which are now available at Tesco. What makes these avocados stand out from the crowd is their incredibly buttery consistency, yes even more than regular avocado! Gem® avocados are also left on tree for longer which means they get to ripen more at their natural state. They have a gorgeous golden yellow colour and an insanely delicious nutty flavour!

I topped my pizza with even more sliced Gem®, spring onion, cherry tomatoes, peas and cress but other toppings like mushrooms and rocket will be great too!

By the way the Gem® cream is also super delicious stirred into pasta or used as a dip or salad dressing.

Makes 1 large pizza or 2 small ones

For the base:

1 head of cauliflower

2 tbsp of milled flaxseeds + 6 tbsp of water

1 cup of spelt flour or flour of your choice

A generous pinch of salt

1/4 cup of cold water

The juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp of dried oregano

For the avocado “cream”:

2 tbsp of cashews

A generous handful of fresh basil leaves

1/2 Gem® Avocado

The juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast (it gives it a nice cheesy flavour)

1 garlic clove

Salt & pepper to taste

A glug of extra virgin olive oil

For toppings”

1/2 Gem® Avocado cut into thin slices

A handful of cooked peas

A handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 sprong onion finely chopped

Some kind of micro greens like cress or rocket will be great too

Toasted pine nuts (optional but adds a nice crunch)

Some basil leaves to decorate

To make the base:

In a small bowl mix together the flaxseeds with the water. Leave it onto one side until you have a gloopy kind of consistency (about 5 minutes).

Place the cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulse until it starts ti crumble and the cauliflower looks like rice. Place the cauliflower crumble into a nut milk bag or a cotton cloth and squeeze out all the excess water. This is a very important step please don’t skip it otherwise the pizza base might result in being too soggy!

Add the drained cauliflower to a large bowl and add in the flour, the lemon juice, water, gralic powder, salt, oregano and the flaxseed mixture. Mix everything together until you have a slightly sticky kind of dough. Cover a large baking tray with some parchment paper and spread the cauliflower dough into a round pizza shape. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. Make sure to flip onto the other side halfway through to make sure both sides cook evenly.

While the pizza base is cooking make the avocado cream. Simply place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz util fairly creamy and smooth. Add a dash of water or extra olive oil if the consistency is too thick.

Remove the pizza from the oven and spread a even layer of the pesto. Place the pizza back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Add the toppings and enjoy while still warm!

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Tesco Fuss Free Food + Creamy Mushroom Pasta

If you are like me and follow a specific diet/lifestyle you will agree that sometimes doing your grocery shopping can really take up some times! Tesco has developed what I think is a genius tool which allows to filter your product search into categories such as vegan, vegetarian, low fat, no gluten and many more. Let me tell you, it’s really a breath of fresh air!

I tested this new lifestyle filter myself and I was so impressed on how much time it saved me. All I had to do was to select “vegan” from the filters available and in just one click all the vegan products available are all in one page. I then ticked the option “no gluten” and with just another click I had all vegan and gluten free option in front of me!

In my shopping I picked up some new no-milk options to make a delicious Cream Cheese and Mushrooms Pasta which is just perfect for speedy midweek dinners. The recipe is super simple, takes no time and it only requires few ingredients!

Ingredients:

1 pack of  Violife creamy original flavour

1 garlic clove

150gr of baby chestnut mushrooms – sliced in half

200gr of cherry tomatoes

A dash of soy sauce

Salt & pepper to taste

A dash of unsweetened almond milk to thin out the sauce

A glug of olive oil for cooking

Serve it with:

Tesco Free From penne pasta

A sprinkle of Tesco Free From Italian style hard cheese

Some fresh basil leaves

Chilli flakes (optional)

Place the cherry tomatoes onto a baking tray and drizzle them with some olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and place them in the oven at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes until soft and squishy.

In the meantime prepare the rest. Add a glug of oil to a pan with the crushed garlic clove. Cook for only few minutes, be careful not to burn the garlic! Add in the chopped mushrooms and a dash of soy sauce. Cook the mushrooms until all the liquid has been absorbed.

Cook the pasta according to the cooking instructions. Drain the pasta and add in the Violife creamy with a dash of almond milk. Mix everything well together. Stir in the mushroom and the roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle with some Tesco Free From Italian style hard cheese and some fresh basil leaves. Enjoy!

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Pasta & Fagioli

Definitely one of my favourite Italian recipe, Pasta & Fagioli is the perfect winter warmer! So filling and packed with favours this recipe is ideal for cosy nights in. I personally like to make a big batch on Sunday so I have plenty for the rest of the week.

Make a large pot enough for 3-4 people

Ingredients:

1 onion – finely chopped

1 stick of celery

1 carrot – peeled finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic – crushed

Around 200gr of tomato passata

200gr of dry borlotti beans – if you use canned I would probably use 2 tins

2 bay leaves

A generous handful of finely chopped fresh parsley

Plenty of salt and pepper to taste

About 200gr of small pasta of your choice – I have used spelt “ditali” shape

A glug of olive oil for frying

Extra parsley and some fresh chilli/cherry tomatoes to sprinkle on top.

In a large pan heat up the plug of oil. Add in the chopped onion, carrot and celery. Cook on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes until the onion has soften. Add in the crushed garlic and the bay leaves and cook for another minute stirring from time to time. Add in half  of the cooked/tinned borlotti beans, passata and final chopped parsley. Mix everything together, put the lid on and cook for 25-30 minutes on a very low heat.

Place the other half of the beans in food processor or blender and blend with a little water until you have a paste/cream kind of consistency. Add the pureed beans to the pan with all the other ingredients.

Cook the pasta according the cooking instructions. Once cooked, drain it and add it to the bean stew. Add in the finely chopped parsley and mix everything well together.

Serve straight away with some fresh chilli on top and some cherry tomatoes.

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Blueberry & Oat Breakfast Cookies

Sometimes breakfast can seriously be a rushed business. These cookies are just perfect for those “no-time-for-brekfast” kind of mornings. They are packed with nourishing ingredients and they are just perfect for breakfast on the go. I like to have a couple before I head to the gym or they also great as an afternoon snack. If you want to keep them completely gluten free just use certified gluten free oats.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of Blueberries ( I have used fresh but it should work with frozen blueberries as well)

1 tbsp of Natvia Sweetener

1 cup of oat flour

1/2 cup Ground almonds

1 tsp of Baking powder

3 tbsp of Almond butter (the runnier the better)

3 tbsp of Coconut oil

1/2 cup of Maple syrup

1 tsp of Vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

1-Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

2-Place the oats into a food processor and pulse for few seconds. You don’t want to turn them completely into flour, but still keeping a chunky texture.

3-Transfer them to a large bowl and add the ground flour, baking powder, salt and Natvia Sweetener.

4-Mix everything together.

5-Add in the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and almond butter. Mix again until you have sticky dough.

6-As gently as you can fold in the blueberries.

7-As the dough is quite wet and sticky I have used an ice-cream scooper to shape the cookies. Not only is less messy but it also helps you to have cookies even in size and shape, but if you don’t have one feel free to use you hands. Pick up about a small golf ball of mixture, and place it on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and pat it down slightly to a cookie shape.

8-Bake the cookies in the oven for 15-18 minutes until they start to go golden brown around the edges.

9-Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool down completely before digging in!

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Chickpea Pancakes with Pumpkin Puree & Roasted Tomatoes

Savoury pancakes are seriously on my latest obsession! Especially when made with chickpea flour. If you have never use it or not really familiar with it, please give it a go! It’s a very dense flour so you definitely need to add a bit of bicarbonate to make the pancakes go a bit fluffier. When I am feeling super lazy I just serve them with some mashed avocado and some chopped tomatoes, so simple but so delicious and filling at the same time.

 

If you have some extra time on hand I would highly recommend to make this pumpkin/red lentils puree. It adds a lovely creaminess and sweetness and it’s also great on its own.

Serves 2-3 people (depending on how hungry you are)

Ingredients:

For the chickpea pancakes:

1 cup of chickpea flour (also called Gram flour)

3/4 cup of water

A pinch of sea salt

1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

For the pumpkin puree:

About 1 cup of pumpkin or butternut squash cubes

1/3 cup of dried red lentils

2 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp of cumin powder

1/2 tsp of turmeric

1tbsp of lemon juice

1 tsp of miso paste (optional but it will add lots of flavour)

Salt to taste

For the tomatoes:

About 250-300 gr of cherry tomatoes

A glug of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Start by making the pumpkin puree. Place the pumpkin cubes onto a baking tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle some salt & pepper. Bash the garlic clove with skin on. Add them to the tray and bake the pumpkin in the oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes until soft.

At the same roast the tomatoes as well. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half

While the pumpkin is baking cook the red lentils. Rinse the lentils very well under the water and add them to pan. Cover them with water and cook them for 15-20 minutes until soft and mushy. Add more water to the pan if the lentils look like they have absorbed all the water and they are drying out.

Once cooked drain the lentils and add them to a food processor. Remove the pumpkin from the oven. Squish the garlic out of their skin and add them to the food processor together with cooked pumpkin. Also add in the cumin, turmeric powder, lemon juice, miso paste and salt to taste. Blitz until you have a creamy and fairly smooth puree.  Leave it onto one side while you are making the pancakes.

In a large bowl mix the chickpea flour with the salt and bicarbonate of soda. Gradually add in the water and start mixing with a whisk to avoid any lumps. Mix until you have a smooth pancake batter.

Heat up a little bit of oil on a non stick pan and once hot add in about 2 spoonfuls of the pancake batter to create a round pancake. Repeat the process until you have used all the batter.

Serve the pancakes while still warm with a dollop of the pumpkin puree on top and the roasted tomatoes.

The pancakes are best eating them while still warm If you have any leftovers you can still enjoy them the next day. They tend to go a bit hard when cold but pop them in the toaster and they will still be delicious.

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