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Essentially Emma by Essentiallyemma - 1w ago

This lavender syrup is a super simple recipe that can be used in so many dishes to add a lovely floral hint of lavender. It is particularly good in cocktails, sponge cakes and lattes – hello lavender lattes! It has a delicate lavender taste that isn’t overpowering and you only need a little to get that sweet lavender hint.

I have just prepped a few bottles of this with lavender from my garden and now have plenty to see me through the summer. Just keep it in the fridge and whip it out at barbeques with friends to instantly impress them!

Sourcing Lavender

If you are lucky enough to have some lavender in your garden, simply cut some stalks and either use the flowers fresh or hang upside down to dry for 2 weeks. If you are looking to buy lavender, I recommend finding some culinary lavender.

Lavender Cocktails

If you are looking for a delicious cocktail or mocktail recipe to use this in, try my Lavender Blueberry Gin and Tonics. They are the perfect summer drink!

Print
Lavender Simple Syrup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp lavender flowers fresh or dried
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
Instructions
  • Add all of the ingredients to a saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to sit and steep for up to an hour – the longer you steep, the stronger the flavour!
  • Drain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth into an airtight bottle/container and store in the fridge.

The post Lavender Simple Syrup Recipe appeared first on essentially emma.

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Essentially Emma by Essentiallyemma - 2w ago

Spring/summer flavours have to be my absolute favourite! I love zesty, light dishes that are full of fresh flavours. This lavender lemon poppyseed loaf is just perfect for a summery afternoon tea and is full of spring/summer flavours.

I have always loved lemon poppyseed cake, it is so simple yet so satisfying. The light, fluffy lemon sponge paired with a zesty drizzle and a slight crunch of poppy seeds is just divine! We have so much lavender growing in our garden and last summer I didn’t take full advantage of it so I am determined to this year. Hence why I decided to add some lavender to this cake. Lavender and lemon pair perfectly together and the lavender really adds to the fragrant flavours in this cake.

Where to find lavender

I dried my own lavender from my garden, which takes around 2 weeks, but you can easily pick some up online too. You want to look for culinary lavender. If you want to dry your own, simply cut the stems and hang upside down for 2 weeks until dry. Then pick the flowers and store in an airtight container.

Lavender Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf Recipe

You will need a 2lb (9″ x 5″) non-stick loaf tin for this recipe, this one is my favourite, my cakes pop out of it so easily.

The drizzle is totally optional and this cake is just as delicious without! You also could just squeeze some lemon juice over it for a less sweet option.

Print
Lavender Lemon Poppyseed Loaf
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 slices
Ingredients
Cake
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 lemons juice and zest
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp dried lavender optional
Drizzle
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 lemon juice of
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 180c/350f. Grease a 2lb/1.5L loaf tin with butter or coconut oil.
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the lemon juice, zest and vanilla.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder together and add to the egg mix gradually until combined.
  • Fold through the greek yogurt, followed by the poppy seeds and dried lavender, if using.
  • Bake for 50 minutes – 1 hour, until the sponge springs back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully pop it out of the tin and allow to cool completely on a rack before icing.
  • Whisk the lemon juice and icing sugar together to form the glaze. If it seems too thick, add a tiny amount of water gradually until it reaches your desired consistency. You will want it to be quite thick, otherwise it will all run off the cake!
  • Drizzle over the cake and allow to set before serving.

The post Lavender Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf appeared first on essentially emma.

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Essentially Emma by Essentiallyemma - 2w ago

When I first came across chia pudding, I thought that it was really quite bizarre and looked like frogspawn! As you can imagine, it put me off trying it for a while. When I finally tried it, I was amazed. It has the most interesting, light texture that you wouldn’t expect from chia seeds and it is surprisingly filling! It makes the perfect light, summer breakfast. It also makes a great snack, but I would recommend dividing this recipe in two for snack sized portions.

There are many variations of chia pudding but my favourite is a simple, classic chia pudding with a berry compote. The compote adds a tart, yet sweet flavour to the pudding and gets a serving of fruit in there too!

Chia Pudding Nutrition

Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, they are an amazing source of fibre and omega-3s. They also contain protein and a range of vitamins and minerals. The nutrition inside of seeds is quite difficult for our body to get to as the outside of the seed is so tough, this is what makes seeds a great source of fibre. Soaking the seeds, like we are doing in chia pudding, makes them much easier for our body to digest and increases the availability of the nutrients. Win win!

Berry Chia Pudding Recipe

This recipe is best if you can prep the chia pudding and leave it overnight to set. In a pinch, you can leave it in the fridge for 3 hours, but the texture may not be quite as good! The compote can be prepped whenever, but is best when cold so I like to prep it at the same time as the pudding. This makes mornings very easy!

It is really easy to meal prep this recipe, simply double or triple the ingredients and then leave it in the fridge until you are ready to eat. I recommend storing the compote and pudding separately.

You can use any fresh or frozen berries in this recipe, I just use up whatever I have in the house. I used strawberries and blueberries for this batch.

Print
Berry Chia Pudding
Course Breakfast
Keyword Vegan
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 day 15 minutes
Servings 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk or any milk
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 cup mixed berries plus extra to garnish
  • 1 tsp dessicated coconut
Instructions
  • Mix the chia seeds, maple syrup and milk in a bowl or jar. Let stand for 5 minutes then mix again until evenly mixed, cover and place in the fridge overnight.
  • To make the compote, add the berries and a splash of water to a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until the berries have broken down.
  • Blend the compote until smooth or mash with a fork for a chunkier compote. Allow to cool.
  • To serve, add the compote to the bottom of a jar or bowl. Add the chia pudding next and finish with some fresh berries and the coconut.
Notes
Both the compote and the chia pudding can be prepped the night before so that they are ready to go in the morning. If you are short on time, a few hours in the fridge during the day should do the trick.

Let me know if you enjoyed this recipe! If you are looking for more vegan recipes, I recommend my smashed chickpea salad for a healthy lunch!

The post Berry Chia Pudding appeared first on essentially emma.

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Essentially Emma by Essentiallyemma - 1M ago

I have a delicious and seemingly indulgent breakfast recipe to share with you all today: chocolate and pear porridge. Chocolate porridge, or oatmeal for my American friends, is such a yummy way to start the day that feels like you are getting dessert when really you are having a nutrient-packed breakfast!

Using raw cacao powder and cacao nibs in this recipe actually adds a whole load of nutrients to this dish without all of the sugar that comes with normal chocolate and chocolate chips! You only need very little for a rich, dark chocolate flavour which pairs perfectly with the pear and pistachio in this dish – so many ps!

Raw Cacao Nutrition Benefits

I know that most of us associate anything chocolate with sugar and “treat” foods, but raw cacao in its natural form is actually an incredible source of nutrients. You could technically call it a superfood, but I am not a fan of that term as all foods have lots of goodness in them! Cacao has a wealth of good stuff in it, including:

  • Amazing source of polyphenols, a type of antioxidants
  • Rich in iron, potassium and zinc
  • An amazing source of magnesium and copper
  • A good source of fibre
  • The pure form has very little sugar in it!
Chocolate Pear Porridge Recipe

For this recipe you are going to want some good quality cacao powder and cacao nibs, my favourites are by the brand Naturya. I have tried quite a few other brands and raw cacao is quite a rich, bitter flavour and some brands just don’t seem to have much depth to the cacao and all you get is that bitter taste! I also recommend conference pears, they are my favourite!

To add a little extra something to this dish, you could poach the pear first. If you fancy trying that, check out my Poached Pear Porridge recipe which has all of the instructions on how to do that.

Print
Chocolate Pear Porridge
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 1 person
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 square dark chocolate optional
Toppings
  • 1/2 pear
  • 1 tsp cacao nibs
  • 1 tbsp chopped pistachios
Instructions
  • Add the oats, milk and cacao to a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 3-5 minutes until it has reached your desired consistency.
  • Meanwhile, slice the pear and chop the pistachios.
  • If you would like them to be extra chocolatey, add the square of dark chocolate to the oats and allow to melt. Alternatively, stir through a little honey or maple syrup for sweetness.
  • Serve in a bowl topped with the sliced pear, cacao nibs, chopped pistachios and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

The post Chocolate Pear Porridge appeared first on essentially emma.

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I have a super exciting post for you all today, the lovely Kirstin from Taste & See Blog is going to be sharing all about navigating morning sickness. Kirstin is a fellow Registered Associate Nutritionist, blogger and a dear friend. This is quite a relevant topic for Kirstin as she has just welcomed her gorgeous daughter, Rylee Isabelle, into the world! Kirstin had to deal with morning sickness while working in the lab on her master’s research project (oh jeez) so I think she is more than qualified to speak on this topic!! I hope that you guys enjoy this, even if you aren’t planning to be pregnant anytime soon!

Be sure to check out Kirstin’s amazing content on her social channels:

Blog: Taste & See Blog

Facebook: Taste & See Blog

Instagram: @tasteandseeblog

Twitter: @tasteandseeblog

Now, let’s hear from Kirstin.

Pregnancy can be quite a wild ride. Believe me, I’ve just made my way through almost 9 months of crazy hormones, days where food hasn’t been all that appealing, and all the emotions that come with realising that you’re about to become a parent. Often the first trimester of pregnancy can be characterised by tiredness, sore breasts, and morning sickness. Today I’d like to share a bit more information about morning sickness, how to show yourself kindness as you navigate your way through the first trimester of pregnancy, and some simple strategies that may help alleviate some of the nausea associated with this common pregnancy symptom.

What is morning sickness?

Morning sickness (what a deceiving term, more like ALL DAY sickness if you ask me) is a common symptom experienced by women during early pregnancy that involves nausea, either with or without vomiting. Although the exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, it is suggested that the hormonal changes that take place during the early stages of pregnancy have a role to play, including:

●  Increased oestrogen levels

●  Increased human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) levels

In most cases, morning sickness only lasts until the end of the first trimester, however for some (around 1 in 10) it can extend throughout pregnancy. A small proportion of women can experience such extreme nausea and vomiting that they are diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, which may require hospitalisation to replace lose fluids and nutrients.

Listen to your body

During pregnancy our normal hunger cues can be a bit out of whack. Foods that you may normally love eating can become really unappealing, and bland, boring food is often the only thing that you can stomach. Firstly I want to say that it’s totally okay to honour what your body is telling you, even if it’s simply that it wants to have a slice of toast with peanut butter or a bowl of plain pasta with olive oil for dinner. Be curious about the foods that your body leads you to eat rather than being scared of your cravings. Remember that this period will not last forever, and that it is ok to eat beige food for a few weeks.

Although nutrition is an important part of pregnancy, it is unlikely that you will become deficient in important vitamins and minerals over a short space of time. Our bodies have maternal stores that can help support your needs during the few weeks that you may not be able to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Our bodies also become far more efficient at absorbing nutrients from our food during pregnancy, and as a bonus you will probably be taking a multivitamin to ensure that you consume sufficient quantities of each of the important micronutrients required to support a growing baby. Lastly, allow for flexibility. In some days you may crave fresh fruit, a cold chopped salad, or warm roasted vegetables, and on others you may only be able to stomach plain carbohydrate-based foods. Over time, these foods and the nutrients that they provide will balance.

Simple tips for navigating morning sickness

Ok that’s great, I hear you saying, but what can I do to help myself feel better when I’m really nauseous and feel like throwing up all the time. There are a few really easy strategies that may be useful for those who just a bit of help managing nausea and getting sufficient nourishment during the early days of pregnancy:

  1. Eat something small when you wake up in the morning, even if it’s just a dry biscuit, an orange, or small pot of yoghurt. It can often be really difficult to do this, particularly if you wake up feeling nauseous, but usually having something small to eat when you wake up can help dampen the nausea so that you can get started with your day.
  2. Plan to eat a few smaller meals and snacks more often than normal. As mentioned, during the early days of pregnancy our hunger signals can be a bit out of whack and we may not be able to recognise our normal hunger cues such as a growling tummy as easily as before. When navigating the first few weeks of pregnancy, it can be easy to get overly hungry, not recognise it, and have that hunger manifest as nausea or vomiting. Consuming smaller, more frequent meals and snacks can help prevent this from happening.
  3. Avoid foods with a strong smell. If possible, have others help you with cooking as food will have a stronger odour when heated.
  4. Avoid foods that make you feel ill. Seriously, don’t force yourself to eat green vegetables if the smell of them makes you feel like being sick. Remember that this is only for a limited period of time, so you can always go back to enjoying these foods once the morning sickness period has passed.
  5. Drink enough fluids to stay hydrated. Sip on water and other fluids throughout the day rather than trying to drink a large quantity in one go. In the warmer months, ice cold drinks can be really useful – think ice water, lemonade, slushies, or water with frozen fruit added.
  6. Consume ginger – think ginger ale, ginger tea, crystallised ginger, or a ginger supplement. There is some evidence to show that ginger can significantly decrease nausea, and is safe to consume during pregnancy. As my friend ​McKenzie suggests in a blogpost​ that she wrote on this topic: “​Tea made by boiling fresh chopped or grated ginger is one way to get a good dose, and you can also drink herbal tea that has ginger in it“​ .
  7. Get enough rest. Seriously, where possible allow yourself to get some rest and take time out during the early days of pregnancy when you’re feeling sick and worn out. This might be difficult if you work full-time, but if possible take time over the weekends to recuperate and get in a couple of afternoon naps.
  8. If you are suffering from severe nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and weight loss seek help from a healthcare professional.
Other Useful Resources

The post Navigating Morning Sickness with Kirstin Kadé appeared first on essentially emma.

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Lactation cookies? You may be a bit confused. No, I am not pregnant nor have I just had a baby! However, my dear friend Kirstin of Taste & See Blog has. I recently shared a guest post on her blog all about nutrition while breastfeeding, and part of that post was this amazing lactation cookie recipe. This recipe is just so good that I thought it needed to be on my website too!

Now if you somehow stumbled on this post without googling lactation cookies, do not run away! While these are labelled as “lactation”cookies, they really are just delicious cookies with some ingredients that are suggested to help milk supply. If you aren’t lactating, I promise it won’t make you start!

Do lactation cookies work?

There are many herbal remedies that are suggested to boost milk supply. While many women swear by these remedies, known as galactogogues, sadly there is little scientific evidence to support that they increase milk production volume. However, whether it is a true effect or just a placebo, many women find them beneficial and feel more confident about breastfeeding while using them, which is also highly beneficial. Really it is up to the mother to decide for herself what she feels comfortable and confident with, many of these galactogogues are normal foods or herbal remedies that pose no danger so it cannot hurt to try and consume more of these foods! With that in mind, here is a recipe for some delicious Coconut & Dark Chocolate Lactation Cookies which are full of oats, flaxseed and brewer’s yeast which are all galactogogues. Galactogogues aside, they are delicious cookies which make a great snack to provide energy and a little treat while breastfeeding! Lactation cookies can just be cookies that you eat while lactating if you don’t believe in the milk-boosting benefits!

Where to find brewer’s yeast?

This is a completely optional ingredient in this recipe as it can be a bit harder to find. Feel free to leave it out, as there are still two other great galactogogues in there: oats and flaxseed. I have seen brewer’s yeast available in Holland & Barrett and from Buy Whole Foods Online. Make sure you buy the powdered version!

Dark Chocolate and Coconut Lactation Cookie Recipe
Print
Dark Chocolate and Coconut Lactation Cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp brewer’s yeast optional
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil melted
  • 2 tbsp milk
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 180˚C/370˚F. Line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat or baking paper.
  • In a bowl, mix together the oats, flour, cinnamon, ground flaxseed, yeast, baking soda and baking powder.
  • In a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer, beat together the coconut oil and sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla.
  • Fold the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Fold through the coconut and chocolate chunks.
  • Using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, scoop out balls around the size of a pingpong ball and arrange on the baking tray. You should have enough dough for 12-13 cookies.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and press down on the cookies lightly with a spatula to flatten them in to thick rounds.
  • Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool – if you can resist!

Let me know if you enjoy this recipe – and if it does help your milk supply! Looking for another great recipe full of galactogogues? Try my Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal, it has lots of oats and flaxseed in it and is a delicious breakfast recipe!

The post Dark Chocolate and Coconut Lactation Cookie Recipe appeared first on essentially emma.

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Essentially Emma by Essentiallyemma - 2M ago

Baked oatmeal? Oh yes. Baked oatmeal just takes oats to a whole other level for breakfast, it basically turns it in to a dessert! This recipe is delicious and is such a comforting, filling way to start the day. With a warm gooey centre, juicy fruit and a crisp top it is sort of like getting to have pie or crumble for breakfast, which is pretty great if you ask me. The addition of egg in these oats really makes it a filling dish that keeps me full all morning. It is lovely with any sort of fruit and also reheats perfectly in the oven the next day!

If people tell me they hate oatmeal or porridge, I always recommend that they try baking it as it turns it from a rather gloopy mixture more of a giant baked oatmeal cookie.

Why are oats so healthy?

You have probably heard before that oats are one of the best things to start the day with, and for good reason. Oats are a nutritional powerhouse that have so many benefits:

  • Fibre. Oats are a wholegrain so they contain lots of fibre which helps keep you fuller for longer, giving you slow burning energy. This fibre also helps keep your digestive system regular and is amazing for our gut bacteria.
  • Cholesterol. The specific type of fibre that is in oats is called beta glucan. This fibre is amazing for helping manage cholesterol levels.
  • Blood sugar. Again, due to the fibre, oats are an amazing food for managing your blood sugar as they are absorbed so slowly.
Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal Recipe
Print
Blueberry and Banana Baked Oatmeal
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed optional
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts I used pecans
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk I used almond milk
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c or 350 f. Lightly grease a casserole dish (roughly equivalent to an 8×8 inch square) with coconut oil or butter.
  • Mix the oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, ground flaxseed and chopped nuts in a bowl. 
  • Slice the banana in to chunky slices and place half of the banana slices and half of the blueberries over the bottom of the casserole dish.
  • Add the oat mixture over the top of the fruit and evenly spread it out.
  • In the bowl, whisk together the egg, honey, milk and vanilla extract. Pour over the oat mixture and give the dish a jiggle to get it to sink down through the oats.
  • Place the remaining fruit across the top of the mixture.
  • Bake for 40 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the top is a lovely golden brown.
  • Serve 1/4 of the oatmeal in a bowl and enjoy! Tip – it is even yummier with a dollop of greek yoghurt on the top.

Did you like this recipe? Let me know down in the comments! If you liked this recipe, I recommend trying my poached pear porridge!

The post Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal appeared first on Essentially Emma.

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Essentially Emma by Essentiallyemma - 2M ago

It is almost Easter folks! It took me quite a bit of brainstorming to decide what Easter recipe I wanted to create this year. I knew that I didn’t want anything chocolate, and then when I saw these rainbow carrots in the shops I instantly knew it had to be carrot cake. Vegan carrot cake cupcakes to be exact! These cupcakes make the perfect treat to have on your Easter table this year, you can get really creative with the decoration like I did and turn them in to a centrepiece!

These cupcakes have the lightest, fluffiest sponge that is full of flavour and you seriously cannot tell it is vegan! Topped with a coconut cream icing/frosting that is also entirely vegan and is oh so delicious! I was mystified when I first came across the concept of using canned coconut cream to make icing, but it whips up in to such a light “buttercream” that is just perfect with the warm flavours in these cupcakes.

Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe

You will need applesauce for this recipe, this is what helps keep the sponge so moist. This isn’t apple sauce like you would have with pork, this is applesauce as in the American snack! I made my own, but you can also pick some up in the shops, just make sure it is unsweetened.

How to make applesauce

If you want to make your own, simply take 6 apples, peel and core them and simmer them in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water, juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon for 15 minutes. Then blend it up in a food processor and there you have it!

How to make coconut cream icing

For this to work, you need high quality coconut cream, not coconut milk. I got mine from Coconut Merchant via Ocado. You also need to chill it in the fridge overnight, this helps make it nice and solid and easy to whip. You will only use the solid part, so either discard the liquid in the container or save for a curry or smoothie. A hand mixer or stand mixer is fairly essential for this (unless you have guns of steel!) as it takes a whole lot of whipping!

Print
Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Servings 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups grated carrot around 2-3 large carrots
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 flax eggs 2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
For the icing
  • 1 tin coconut cream chilled overnight
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
Topping
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
Instructions
  • Make the flax egg mixture and place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180c/350f.
  • Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cases.
  • Grate the carrot and set aside.
  • Mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  • Stir through the flax egg, applesauce and coconut oil.
  • Stir through the grated carrot.
  • Spoon a heaped tablespoon of mixture in to each case.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a baking tray before icing.
  • Place the solid part of the coconut cream in to a bowl with the icing sugar and whip with a mixer until fluffy. Be patient, this make take a while! If your coconut cream is not chilled fully, you may find it hard to whip.

I hope that you guys enjoy this recipe and have a lovely Easter! If you fancy trying some more vegan baking recipes, try my Blackberry Cheesecake Bars that I recently shared – oh so good.

The post Vegan Carrot Cake Cupcakes appeared first on Essentially Emma.

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Oh cheesy, gooey, golden goodness. This isn’t just any mac and cheese, its butternut squash mac and cheese. Butternut squash mac and cheese with gruyère and sage to be exact. So delicious I can’t quite put it in to words! A grown-up version of the childhood classic that deserves a spot at a dinner party!

I had been meaning to try butternut squash mac and cheese for a while now, I had read rave reviews about how the addition of butternut squash makes a deliciously silky, cheesy sauce. I can confirm, it does! Plus it adds in some veggies to an otherwise veggie-less dish which is a win win. A great option for if you have fussy eaters who don’t like their veggies but love cheese and pasta (not just kids – boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, I’m not discriminating haha!).

This butternut squash mac and cheese can also be made vegan with a few easy substitutions and tastes just as good. Simply use vegan cheese and a plant milk and you are good to go! I recommend soy or oat for this recipe.

Nutrition

I would be lying if I said that adding butternut squash to this suddenly made it a healthy dish. It certainly has less cheese and more vegetables than normal mac and cheese but it is still indulgent! Saying that, all the dairy in this dish makes it a great source of calcium. The butternut squash also adds loads of vitamin A and vitamin C. Opt for brown macaroni for a fibre boost!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe

Here is the recipe! You are going to need a food processor or blender for this, as well as a casserole dish.

Print
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
The best mac and cheese you will ever eat, with hidden butternut squash! 
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Ingredients
  • 500 g butternut squash cubed
  • 500 ml milk dairy, soy or oat work best
  • 150 g gruyère cheese or vegan cheese
  • 500 g macaroni pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 sage leaves chopped
Topping
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp grated cheese
  • 3 sage leaves
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 180c/350f. Peel, core and dice the squash if needed.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the butternut squash cubes for 10-15 minutes until tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook the macaroni according to the instructions. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
  • Once the butternut squash is tender, drain and add to a food processor or blender with half of the milk and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil or butter in a saucepan and sauté the sage leaves for 2 minutes then whisk in the flour.
  • Gradually add in the milk, a splash at a time, whisking until smooth in between additions. Once you have added all of the milk, do the same with the butternut squash mixture.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce and simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
  • Add the mustard, garlic powder, nutmeg, salt, pepper and grated cheese to the sauce and heat until the cheese is melted. This is your sauce.
  • Mix the sauce and the pasta together, then spread out in a casserole dish. Top with the breadcrumbs, some black pepper, the sage leaves and some extra cheese and grill for 10-15 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Notes
This will keep in the fridge for 3 days.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as I did! Let me know down in the comments what you think!

The post Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese appeared first on Essentially Emma.

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I could stare at these and get lost in those blackberry swirls all day. These blackberry vegan cheesecake bars are definitely up there with the prettiest things I have ever made! They taste amazing too!

When I heard of soaked cashews in cheesecake as a vegan alternative I was not interested to say the least. Moist nuts in my cheesecake? No thanks. Various forms of vegan cheesecake bars have been popping up in my feed for a while now and I had some blackberries to use up so I decided to give this weird concept a go, fully expecting not to like them. I mean, cheesecake is a thing of beauty and it is all about the texture!

Well, I will admit, I shouldn’t have judged a book by its cover/a recipe by its ingredients. These are DELISH. Such a silky, smooth texture and they don’t taste too nutty. It is obviously not going to be 100% like normal cheesecake but it is pretty darn close and you get all the nutrition benefits of the cashews in there. Don’t get me wrong, as a nutritionist I still wouldn’t consider these a “healthy” cheesecake, but you certainly are getting more nutritionally from them than you would standard cheesecake.

Many other vegan cheesecake recipes use some sort of date/nut mix for the base, but as I don’t really love blended up date and I do love the crunchy base of a normal cheesecake, I decided to do something different. I used Hobnobs, an English biscuit that is vegan and delightfully crunchy! For those of you not located in the UK, any crunchy plain biscuit will do.

You also could easily use any other type of berry for this recipe, or a mix! Just use whatever you have in the house.

Blackberry Vegan Cheesecake Bar Recipe

This recipe does take quite a bit more time to make than a traditional cheesecake because of the soaking and freezing, but the actual cooking time isn’t much at all. Just be prepared and put the cashews to soak before you go to bed.

For this recipe you will need a good, high powered food processor as this is what allows you to get the silkiest texture. I have this one and it is a great food processor that doesn’t break the bank! You will also need an 8×8″ tin.

Print
Blackberry Vegan Cheesecake Bars
These bars are a true vegan delight! With a crunchy biscuit base, a silky “cheesecake” filling and a fruity blackberry top they make a delicious snack or dessert. 
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Freezing Time 4 hours
Total Time 12 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10 bars
Ingredients
Cheesecake
  • 2 cups cashews soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 lemon zest and juice of
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 160 ml coconut cream small tin
Base
  • 200 grams Plain Hobnob Biscuits or other crunchy biscuit
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
Blackberry Coulis
  • 200 g blackberries
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
Instructions
  • The night before you want to make these, place the cashews in a bowl of water and leave to soak. In a pinch, you can cover them with hot water and leave for 2-4 hours.
  • Place the blackberries and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat for 5-10 minutes until the blackberries have broken down. Use a fork to help the process! If your berries are fresh (not frozen), you may want to add 1-2 tbsp of water.
  • Meanwhile, line a 8×8″ tin with parchment paper.
  • Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until they are a rough crumb. Pour in the melted coconut oil and mix. Press the mixture evenly in to the base of your tin with the back of a spoon. Place in the fridge to chill until you are ready to assemble.
  • Once the blackberries have broken down, place the mixture in to a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour in to a jug/bowl and clean out your food processor.
  • Next, blend all of the cheesecake ingredients in a food processor for a good 2-3 minutes until silky smooth. 
  • Spread out the cheesecake mix evenly on top of the base, making sure to take the mix to the edges of the tin.
  • Finally, dot spoonfuls of the blackberry coulis on the top of the cheesecake. Using a knife, make figure eights and swirls through the top layer (be sure not to disturb the biscuit) until you are satisfied with your artwork.
  • Freeze for at least 4 hours before serving. When serving, I like to get the bars out 20 minutes before I want to eat them to allow them to soften and have a more silky cheesecake texture. Cut in to squares or rectangles and enjoy! 
Notes
Store these in an airtight container in the freezer and just grab one out when you are ready to eat! They will keep in the freezer for around 3 months.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I did, let me know down below what you think and tag me in your creations on Instagram!

If you would like to try another vegan recipe, why not try my Vegan Chia Jam Tarts?

The post Blackberry Vegan Cheesecake Bars appeared first on Essentially Emma.

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