Redcurrant Flapjack Slice

Redcurrants are an under-rated berry. Often left on the side of a plate at a Christmas party pudding or turned into a jelly that’s only used infrequently. Personally I find the sharp taste of redcurrants is a brilliant contrast to a sweet pudding or bake and this is a perfect flapjack recipe to make use of wild or homegrown redcurrants.

Foraged Redcurrants

I’ve foraged these redcurrants locally during a nice walk and intend to make good use of them in this flapjack recipe.

Redcurrant Flapjack Slice

Start by preparing a jam from your redcurrants. Place them into a pan and squish with a potato masher before stirring through sugar. Cook on a high heat and bring to the boil before you switch down to a simmer and cook slowly for 30 minutes or so.

Then move onto the flapjack. I love flapjack as it is a simple bake which is easily veganised or made gluten free!

Melt dairy free butter in a pan and add either golden syrup or vegan honey (made from dandelions this is another lovely foraging recipe). Keep stirring until the butter is melting and warm and then add Demerara sugar.

Add gluten free oats and mix through thoroughly to combine into a thick mixture. Layer a baking dish with greaseproof paper and pack in a firm bottom layer of the flapjack mix.

Allow the bottom layer to set a little before topping withe redcurrant jam and adding another thick layer of flapjack mix.

Sprinkle a small amount of Demerara sugar over the top and bake for approximately 20 minutes. When cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing to create individual servings.

Elderberry and Lemon Lemon Cordial, Vegan, Gluten Free

I love cordial and having recently been getting into foraging I wanted to use some of my finds to make a sharp, sweet cordial I can enjoy as Autumn arrives.

Whilst foraging I came across and elder tree thick with elderberries and picked enough to fill about 2 small mugs. I gave the berries a really wash when home and set about cordial making.

Use a large pan similar to a jam pan and use a potato masher to mash the berries. Add about 500g sugar, 5 chopped and squeezed lemons and a teaspoon of citric acid powder to act as a preservative. Then fill the pan up with water and bring to the boil.

Once boiling the process is similar to making jam as you will need to reduce the heat and simmer slowly. Stir occasionally, keeping an eye out for the cordial starting to become a little syrup-ey.

Once it has a cordial consistency allow the cordial to cool slightly and then strain the mixture through a muslin cloth or bag and then bottle.

I made 4 70cl bottles of cordial and have been enjoying it with water and fizzy water.

Vegan Coconut and Pineapple Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is making a big comeback in my life as a naturally gluten free dessert which can be made vegan so easily and with so many options. Today I’ve made rice pudding with Alpro Coconut Milk, pudding rice, carob syrup and dried pineapple and papaya pieces.

Many coconut rice puddings will used canned coconut milk which is very dense and high in fat. I’m using the Alpro milk alternative made from coconut as it’s much healthier coming in at only 20 calories and less than 1g fat per 100ml. Start by adding 500ml of coconut milk to a pan and gradually bring to heat.

When the coconut milk starts gently boiling add in carob syrup. I’ve used 3 tablespoons to sweeten the pudding whilst still avoiding refined sugars. Thoroughly stir through the syrup until blended well with the coconut milk

Once the coconut milk and carob base is ready add half a cup of pudding rice and turn the heat down low to simmer for 45 minutes whilst occasionally checking in to stir.

Shortly before serving I’ve mixed through dried pineapple and papaya pieces to complement the coconut flavour.

Rice pudding is a classic which so much reminds me of Sunday dinner in Yorkshire with my gran (and a thick skin on top) but the tropical flavours and the hob cooking give it an adult twist making it fresh and tasty in the here and now.

Carob Syrup Crumble

Spring time is here so I’m starting to think about delicious light spring puddings. This carob syrup crumble with peach is super easy to bake and a very tasty vegan and gluten-free dessert.

Start by layering sliced peaches along the base of a baking dish. I’m using tinned peaches to save time and to make sure I don’t leave my tins too long.

Melt dairy free spread in a pan on a medium heat. I use Pure Soya as it is my favourite vegan alternative. Add a few tablespoons of carob syrup to the melted spread and stir through to mix. Carob syrup is an excellent alternative to honey and will both sweeten desserts and act as a binding agent.

Add gluten free oats to the syrup and melted spread mix and use this to top the peaches. Bake on 200° for approximately 20 minutes before serving warm and enjoying a tasty, peachy pudding.

IceDelight, Scottish, vegan ice cream

During a relaxing November break in the Scottish borders I came across a real vegan treat.


Being lactose intolerant and coeliac it can be difficult to find desserts so it’s not hard to imagine how excited I was to find this delicious vegan alternative to ice cream. I came across this at a deli called The Store just outside Dunbar and was pleased to learn the fruit was grown and the dessert was produced locally too.

I enjoyed the gooseberry and elderflower flavoured pudding but looking on the website there are additional flavours to tuck into.

http://www.belhavenfruitfarm.co.uk/icedelight.aspx

Despite the chilly November weather this dessert has been an excellent addition to my holiday. Tasty.