Chocolate Caffe Latte Chia Smoothie bowl

Although I normally don’t drink coffee I have to admit that coffee and chocolate is by far one of my favourite combination. You can as little or as much coffee as you like, I prefer adding only a splash just to give the chia pudding that lovely coffee flavour. For the chocolate smoothie I love using One Earth Chocolate Dream blend as apart from having raw cacao it also has carob, vanilla, beetroot, chlorella and baobab.

This smoothie bowl is the perfect indulgent summer breakfast or the perfect afternoon treat!

 

Ingredients:

For the coffee latte chia pudding:

¼ cup of chia seeds

1 heaped tablespoon of coconut yogurt

½ cup of almond milk

A splash of black coffee, add more if you like to have a stronger coffee flavour

1 tablespoon of maple syrup (optional)

For the chocolate smoothie

1 frozen banana

½ avocado

1 tablespoon of almond butter

3 heaped tablespoons of One Earth Chocolate Dream Blend

Almond milk to blend

Toppings:

I personally like to top it with sliced bananas, granola & dark chocolate chunks

Ideally the night before you want to make the café latte chia pudding so it’s nice and creamy In the morning. In a mixing bowl mix the chia seeds with the almond milk, coconut yogurt and the coffee. Mix all together. It’s best to use a whisk to combine all the ingredients together  to avoid any lumps.

Cover the bowl with some cling film or a plate and let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour or even better overnight. The chia pudding is ready when is thick and gloopy.

To make the smoothie simply place all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You can use more or less almond milk depending on how thick you like your smoothie.

To serve pour the smoothie into a bowl and top it with the chia seeds pudding. Add the toppings of your choice and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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A Celebration of Plants – The Best Monday at the Leckford Estate with Waitrose

A couple of days ago I was lucky enough to get invited to attend Waitrose Summer Garden Party at their incredible Leckford Estate  which is by far one of the most stunning places I visited in the UK. The vast estate covers 4,000 acre estate near Stockbridge, Hampshire.  The estate was purchased in 1929 by John Spedan Lewis, founder of the John Lewis Partnership, and Waitrose have been farming it now for nearly 90 years.

Leckford Estate grows a wide range of delicious produce for Waitrose and the farm shop including  mushrooms, apples, pears, cider, apple juice and flour. Being such a foodie it was so interesting to see where some of the products I buy everyday come from.

We started our tour in the blooming nursery home to the National Collections of:  Buddlejas, Clematis viticella, and the Gilchrist Collection of Penstemons. As naturalist, John Spedan Lewis studied the flora and fauna intensely whilst living at the Estate. The most popular butterfly, attracting plant and shrub is the Buddleja which I completely fell in love with although I have to admit it was really hard to pick a favorite as we were surrounded by some many gorgeous flowers!

 

We continued our walk through lusciously green fields until we arrived at the Water Garden which was definitely the most breath taking garden I ever had the honour to walk into.

This vast water Gardens covers around seven acres and was originally created by the Beddington family during the early 1900’s. The water gardens became part of the estate in 1942 and since then the gardens have been nurtured and developed to become the finest, famous water gardens. What impressed me the most was the gorgeous array of different plants, trees and colourful all surrounded by the most peaceful of the silence (apart from us loud bloggers screaming in delight).

We carried on our walk into what I can only describe as one the most idyllic, secluded, picturesque spot where 2 large tipi were standing in front of us. Under the tents the most gorgeous dining table was awaiting for us packed with the most stunning flowers, herbs and pots. It was literally the dreamiest lunchtime setting!

There were plenty of alcoholic and no alcoholic drinks on offer, I immediately went for the apple juice which is produced on the estate and it was no jokes the best apple juice I have ever tasted! As a little canape we had some mushroom risotto arancini which were creamy and moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

The starter was a courgette, spelt and cumin fritter, parsley and cashew salad which was just so delicious! I literally could have eaten 3 or 4 of them as they were so packed with flavours and texture 🙂

For main we had roasted cauliflower, savoury maple granola, picked radish and lettuce puree which of course I devoured it in less than 5 seconds as it was tasty! I am a huge fan of roasted cauliflower and that for me was just the perfect dish bursting with gorgeous seasonal flavours!

Last but not least, dessert! Coconut pannacotta with fennel, sour cherries, clementine and puffed quinoa. This was pretty special for me as I haven’t had pannacotta since transitioning to a plantabsed diet 4 years ago! It was so creamy and fluffy and the fennel and cherries surprisingly went so well together. There were plenty of different  vegan British wines to accompany every dish buy I just stuck with my apple juice all the way through as it was so delicious!

This very thought through menu for me was an incredible example of how tasty, delicious and creative vegan food can be, is definitely not only about tofu! If you have been following me for a while you know how passionate I am about sharing my love for plantbased food so it was so great to see Waitrose embracing the love for plants creating a stunning menu which everybody (veggie and meat eaters) loved and enjoyed.

The day couldn’t get any better until we walked to the other side of the lake to make our own bouquet with exquisite British flowers. I am huge pink fan so I literally picked every pink flower I had in sight! An expert florist helped us to put the bouquet together making the best present I could have taken home with me.

Sadly it was time to go home! The time seriously flew by and I was so sad to leave this gorgeous Jane Austin, picture perfect, corner of the world to head back to London. It was definitely one of the best experience of my life and I so grateful to Waitrose to have made me appreciate even more how gorgeous and stunning our planet is.

 

 

 

 

 

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Apple Pear & Raspberries Crumble Bites

 

Summer is by far my favourite season. Not just because of warm and longer days but also because of the abundance of juicy and sweet seasonal fruit. This dessert bring together 3 of my favourite summer British produce: pear, apple and raspberries into a delicious and light summer pudding. I love the contrast of textures between the crunchy base, the gooey jam and the crispy crumble. It’s great on its own but I personally love serving it with a generous dollop of coconut yogurt and some fresh berries

Ingredients:

For the base:

1 cup of oat flour ( I just grind some porridge oats in my blender)

1 cup of ground almond

2 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

2 tablespoon of almond butter (runny almond butter works best)

3 tablespoon of maple syrup (please add more if you feel is not enough)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

For the jam layer:

2 apples (skin on) – I have used Jazz Apples, chopped in bite size pieces

1 ripe pear (skin on),chopped in bite size pieces

½ cup of frozen or fresh raspberries

2 tablespoon of chia seeds

2 tablespoon of coconut sugar

½ teaspoon of vanilla essence

For the crumble layer:

1/2 cup of jumbo rolled oats

1/3 cup of shredded coconut

3/4 cup of almonds (pecans will work as well)

1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

2 tablespoon of maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Optional: almond flakes to sprinkle on top

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

To make the base: place the oat flour, ground almond and the cinnamon into a bowl. Add the almond butter, maple syrup and coconut oil and combine together first with a spoon and then with your finger. If the dough is too dry add a dash of almond milk or water.

You should have quite a hard and a bit sticky dough. Transfer the mixture into a brownies baking tin covered with parchment paper, With your fingers press down the mixture until is evenly spread across the tin. With a fork makes few holes in the dough so it will not puff up during the baking.

Place it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until it goes slightly golden around the edges.

While the base bakes make the jam filling: in a sauce pan place the chopped apples and pear with a splash of water, cook it gently for 5 minutes. At this point add the raspberries, vanilla essence, chia seeds and coconut sugar. Cook the jam on a low heat for another 10 minute. The chia seeds will help to thicken it up.

Remove the baking tin from the oven and leave it on one side to cool down.

To make the crumble topping: place the nuts, oats and coconut in a food processor and pulse it for few seconds. Don’t over process it, you still want to have a chunky texture. Remove the mixture from the food processor and place it into a bowl. Add the melted coconut oil, cinnamon powder and maple syrup and mix it well until everything is all coated in the maple and coconut mixture.

Spread evenly the  jam onto the baked base then top it with the nutty crumble making sure all the surface is covered. If using sprinkle the flaked almond on top and bake in the oven for a further 15 minutes. You don’t want to over baked it as the jam will dry out too much, just baked it until the top crumble start to become golden brown around the edges.

Once out of the oven leave it in the tin to cool down completely otherwise it will be likely to fall apart. Slice it into squares and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Chocolate & Blueberry Cheesecake Bites

These bites have been my latest favourite summer dessert. They are so easy to make and they will last in the freezer for ages so they are the perfect pick me up to have when you are craving something sweet.

Although might sound a bit unusual I love the flavour combination of blueberries and chocolate. I love the contrast of the richness of the cacao with the fresh note of the berries, definitely a winner in my books!

To the “cheesecake” layer I have added YourSuperfoods Energy Bomb blend which is a mix of Acai, Guarana, Maca and Lucuma. Apart from being a perfect flavour match for this recipe it also adds tons of antioxidants and the natural caffeine in the Guarana promote focus and alertness which makes it perfect for that 4pm energy slump!

Makes about 10-12 squares depending on the size

 

Ingredients:

For the base

1 cup of dessicated coconut

1 cup of almonds

1 cup pitted medjool dates ( about 10-12 dates)

1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

½ cup of raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon of cacao nibs (optional but adds a nice crunch)

For the blueberry layer

1 cup coconut cream

1 cup cashews soaked in water for at least 8 hours or overnight

2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil

1/2 cup of frozen blueberries

3 tablespoons of date nectar or maple syrup

2 tablespoons of YourSuperfoods Energy Bomb  https://yoursuperfoods.eu/collections/your-superfoods/products/energy-mix

Toppings:

About 40-50 gr of melted chocolate to drizzle on top

Fresh blueberries to decorate

 

Start by making the base: place the almonds and coconut in a food processor and blitz until you have a coarse flour. Add the pitted dates, raw cacao powder, coconut oil and cacao nibs (if using). Blitz again for a minute or so until you have a sticky mixture when pressed between your fingers.

Transfer the base mixture to a brownies tin covered with baking paper. Spread the mixture across the tin and with your hands press it down until it’s evenly distributed. Place the tin in the freezer to set while you are making the blueberry layer.

Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and place them into a blender. Add all the other ingredients and blend for 2-3 minutes until everything is completely smooth and creamy. If your blender is struggling add a splash of almond milk or coconut milk. I wouldn’t recommend to use a watery non dairy milk (like rice or oat) as it will result in a less creamy consistency in the cheesecake.

Pour the blueberry cream on top of the base and spread evenly with the back of a spoon or spatula. Place the tin back in the freezer to set for at least 2 hours.

Remove the tin from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Cut the cheesecake into squares. Drizzle with the melted dark chocolate and decorate with some fresh blueberries. Eat straight away and enjoy!

Store any leftover slices in an airtight container in the freezer for few weeks.

You can find out more about Yoursuperfoods range here: https://yoursuperfoods.eu/

 

 

 

 

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Strawberry Cookie Dough Chia Pudding Parfait

 

Although normally cookie dough is made using chocolate chips this version using strawberries is surprisingly as delicious and decadent. By blending the almonds with dates, coconut yogurt and avocado it creates this super creamy mixture with a lovely subtle crunch. This is the perfect summer dessert or breakfast, it’s creamy and rich and yet so healthy! I love adding One Earth Rejuvenate your soul blend as it’s not only delicious but it also add lots of incredible vitamins, antioxidants and minerals.

Makes 2 servings
Ingredients:
For the chia layer:
4 tablespoons of chia seeds
¾ cup of almond milk
For the strawberry cookie dough layer:
½ cup of almonds
4-5 pitted medjool dates
½ avocado
1 cup of strawberries or raspberries
1/3 cup of coconut yogurt or yogurt of your choice
2 tablespoons of One Earth Rejuvenate your Soul blend
Almond milk to blend ( about ½ cup, use more if your blender is struggling)
Start by making the chia layer. Ideally you want to make this the night before or 2-3 hours in advance.
In a bowl mix the chia seeds with all the other ingredients. Use a whisk to avoid any lumps. Whisk well until you have a kind of creamy consistency. Cover with some cling film and place in the fridge to set for at least a couple of hours or until it has reached a gloopy and jelly consistency.
Make the strawberry cookie dough: if you don’t have a high speed blender you might want to use your food processor for this first step. Place the almonds and dates into a blender or food processor and blitz/blend until you have a fine crumbly kind of mixture. If you are using a food processor transfer the nutty mixture to a blender and add the coconut yogurt, strawberries, avocado, One Earth blend and the almond milk. Start blending and add more almond milk if your blender is struggling. Blend until you have a fairly smooth and creamy consistency
To assemble: place about 2 tablespoons of chia pudding into each glass. Add few slices of fresh strawberries. Add 2 tablespoons of the strawberry cookie dough mixture and top with another tablespoon of chia pudding. Decorate with fresh fruit of your choice. Enjoy!
Store any leftover in an air tight jar/container in the fridge for few days.

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Banana Vanilla Chocolate Chips Muffins

These muffins are such a dream! I don’t know about you but Banana and chocolate is one of my favourite combination, they just work so well together! Although they are completely gluten free they are just so fluffy and thanks to the tapioca flour they rise perfectly. For this recipe I have used One Earth Organic Vanilla Zilla blend which works so well together with the other flavours.

These are ideal to bake on a Sunday so you have a perfect healthy treat ready for every day of the week.

This recipe has been adapted by the ever so talented  Brandi at Vegan 8 http://thevegan8.com/2014/06/03/fluffy-vegan-blueberry-vanilla-muffins/

Makes about 6-8 muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup of ground almonds

¾ cup of oat flour

¼ tapioca flour

2 teaspoon of baking powder

2 teaspoon of One Earth Vanilla Zilla Blend ( If you can’t find it, use Vanilla powder)

½ cup of liquid sweetener of your choice (I have used rice malt syrup)

¼ cup of almond milk

70 gr dairy free chocolate chips (I buy mine from Planet Organic)

1 medium size very ripe banana (the spottier the skin the better)

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Line a muffin tin with paper muffins cases.

If you are making your own oat flour simply place the oats into a blender and blend until they turn into flour.

In a bowl mix the oat flour, ground almond, tapioca flour, Vanilla Zilla and baking powder. Mix well together.

In separate bowl mash the banana as finely as you can. Add the rice malt syrup and the almond milk. Whisk everything well together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix very gently everything together, don’t over mix it as you want to have the batter nice and fluffy. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Fill each case with 2 tablespoons of the batter, don’t press it down. Sprinkle the muffins with some extra chocolate chips if you like.

Bake the muffins in the oven for 25 minutes. Don’t bake them for longer otherwise they will become too dry.

Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool down completely before eating them. Enjoy!

 

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Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

 

These cookies are just a dream come true as they combine 2 of my favourite things in the world: chocolate and peanut butter. Although they are super simple to make they so utterly delicious, decadent and will satisfy any sweet craving. If you are not a big fan of peanut butter you can totally use other nut butters, like almond or cashew.

Ingredients:

1 cup of ground almonds

½ cup of gluten free flour

1 cup of raw cacao powder

3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil

5 tablespoons of liquid sweetener of your choice (I have used date syrup)

1 bar of good quality dark chocolate (48 gr) – I have used 80% Pure Nacional – melted

4 tablespoons of runny and smooth peanut butter

½ teaspoon of baking powder

A pinch of salt

For the filling:

½ cup of smooth and runny peanut butter

3 tablespoons of liquid sweetener of your choice (use more if you like it sweeter)

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with some parchment paper.

In a bowl mix together the ground almond, gluten free flour, baking powder and salt. Add the melted coconut oil, melted chocolate, date syrup and peanut butter. Mix everything together until you have a smooth dough ball. With your hands take about a small golf ball of the mixture and flatten it within your palms until it has a cookie kind of shape. Repeat the process until you have use all the cookie dough. Place the cookies on the baking tray and bake in the oven for 17-20 minutes. Don’t bake them for longer as they will become too dry or they might burn around the edges.

Let the cookies cooled down COMPLETELY before proceed with the filling.To make the filling simply mix the peanut butter with the date syrup until you have a creamy and smooth mixture. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the mixture onto 1 cookie and place another cookie on top pressing the filling down so it will spread evenly across the cookie.

Store the cookies into an airtight container in the fridge for few days.

 

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Vanilla & Figs Almond Granola

This granola has been lately my breakfast obsession whenever I am in a hurry or I can’t be bother to whiz up a smoothie or a bowl of porridge. The flavour combination between the dried figs, One Earth Vanilla Zilla blend and almonds is just to die for. By using dried figs to create a sticky paste you don’t need to add any extra sweetener and you will also get all the goodness from this incredible dried fruit (high in calcium). I personally love adding some coconut chips (extra crunch and flavour) and some goji berries (skin loving antioxidants and a lovely pop of colour, but you can totally leave them out if you don’t have them on hand, the granola will still taste delicious.

My favourite way of serving it is with some coconut yogurt and fresh berries.

Ingredients: Makes a large jar

1 cup of jumbo oats

½ cup of roughly chopped almonds (you can use other nuts too, I just love the combination between almond and figs)

½ cup of pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

3 tablespoons of One Earth Vanilla Zilla

2 tablespoons of almond butter ( for this recipe you want to use a runny almond butter as it will helps to create a silky consistency)

6-7 dried figs (if your figs are a bit dry make sure to soak them in some warm water for ½ an hour)

To add after the granola has been baking:

½ cup of raw coconut chips

½ cup of goji berries

Start by preheating the oven at 150 degrees Celsius.

Roughly chop the nuts. You can also use a food processor, just make sure they are not turning into flour, you still want to have quite generous size pieces.

In a food processor add the dried figs, almond butter and One Earth Vanilla Zilla. Blitz everything together until you have a smooth paste, similar consistency to a nut butter.

Place the oats, chopped nuts and pumpkin seeds. into a mixing bowl. Add the nutty creamy mixture and mix everything together. Pour over the melted coconut oil and mix again. Give it a good stir until everything is nicely coated.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spread the granola mixture onto the baking tray using a spatula or the back of a spoon. You should have a “flapjack” kind of consistency Bake the granola for 1 hour. Every 15-20 minutes make sure to give the granola a good stir so it will bake evenly. This is very important as it will be prevent the granola from burning. If you like the granola more crumbly

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Chocolate, Cashew & Vanilla Chia Parfait

This is such an incredibly delicious dessert perfect for hot summer days! It also makes a luscious and healthy breakfast as it’s completely sugar free.

It’s super creamy and indulgent and it’s only made with a bunch of wholesome ingredients! I love how all the 3 layers work so well with each other creating a glass of deliciosness.

 

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

For the chia layer:

4 tablespoons of chia seeds

¾ cup of almond milk

1 teaspoon of one Earth Vanilla Zilla

2 tablespoon of coconut yogurt or yogurt of your choice

For the cashew layer:

4 tablespoons of cashew butter

For the chocolate layer:

2 frozen bananas

½ avocado

3 tablespoons of One earth Chocolate Dream

Almond milk to blend ( about ½ cup, use more if your blender is struggling)

Start by making the chia layer. Ideally you want to make this the night before or 2-3 hours in advance.

In a bowl mix the chia seeds with all the other ingredients. Use a whisk to avoid any lumps. Whisk well until you have a kind of creamy consistency. Cover with some cling film and place in the fridge to set for at least a couple of hours or until it has reached a gloopy and jelly consistency.

Make the chocolate layer, simply place all the ingredients into a blender and blend until you have a creamy and smooth mixture similar to ice cream.

To assemble: place about 3 tablespoons of chia pudding into each glass. Add 2 tablespoons each of the cashew butter. Finally add 3-4 tablespoons of the chocolate icecream.

I like to top mine with extra cashew butter, some banana slices, cacao nibs and mini bliss balls.

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BBQ ‘Shroom Buns from Food Love Stories brought to you by Tesco

As you might have seen on my Instagram stories I was so excited to see on TV Tesco Food Love Stories  advert featuring a vegan recipe, I literally had to wind back as I couldn’t believe that finally one of leading supermarket in the UK was showing on national TV an easy and “carnivore approved” vegan recipe.

The world is definitely changing and it’s really refreshing to see Tesco embracing this change and acknowledging that there are lots of people out of there that they would rather have mushrooms on their buns instead of a meat burger.

Vegans in the UK now make up 1% of the population and it’s predicted that this number will grow. There are also lots of people out there (like myself) that don’t call themselves vegan but they adopt a plantbased lifestyle either all the time or 90% of the times and I firmly believe that this diet approach will become more and more popular in the years to come. We are all becoming more aware that not only a diet centred around plants is better for our health but is also better for the environment and the animals.

Unfortunately there is still this prejudice that eating a vegetarian or vegan diet is expensive, boring or bland. And that’s why I think Derek Sarno’s BBQ ‘Shroom Buns recipe from Tesco is absolutely brilliant! It’s very cheap (the total cost for the ingredients comes up to just over £7 for 4 servings), super easy to make and utterly filling and delicious!

I made this recipe for me and my boyfriend and although he is a complete carnivore he really enjoyed and even said “mushrooms never tasted so good!” Coming from a true meat lover I took it as a positive feedback 😉

 

I am normally not the biggest fan of barbecue sauce (I always find it too sweet or overpowering) but if using the right amount (I used 2 tablespoons as the recipe recommends) it goes really well with the mushrooms, the raw onion and the fresh coriander.

I found very interesting the 3 ways Derek cooks the mushrooms, I would normally just chuck them in a pan until they are cooked. Instead he fries them first in a pan, then puts them into the oven and finally back into the pan again. It might seems a very lengthy process but it really adds bags of flavour plus it makes them super juicy and crispy on the outside.

 

If you have any barbecues planned for the summer months ahead and you want to surprise your guests with a meat free option this is the one to go for. It’s super filling, packed with flavours and I think it will be a great crowd pleaser no matter whether you are vegan or not.

 

You can find the full recipe here:https://www.tesco.com/food-love-stories/?sc_cmp=aff*awin*ghs*fls*happyskinkitchen&utm_medium=ghs&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_campaign=aff*happyskinkitchen

 

 

 

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