recipe

Elderflower and gin sorbet recipe

elderflower lemon and gin sorbet recipe vegan foraged food

This is a great recipe for dinner parties - your guests will be so impressed that you made a fun, slightly alcoholic sorbet, and when you tell them it’s flavoured with elderflowers you foraged yourself… they’ll be blown away! It’s great as a refreshing tipple after dinner, or you could serve this elderflower and gin sorbet as a lovely ‘amuse bouche’ to set the tone before a meal. Either way, it’s sure to impress and entertain!

I should point out, that as a nutritionist, this is not exactly a balanced dessert. It’s mostly sugar with a bit of alcohol, and has no fibre, protein, or many micro-nutrients. But I’m a big advocate of a balanced lifestyle - basing your diet around loads of whole plant foods, while making sure to enjoy the small things in life in moderation. I always tell my clients that avoiding restrictive habits leads to a really positive relationship with food, meaning you’re much more likely to keep to your healthy habits for life, rather than entering the all-too-common crash dieting cycle.

There’s only a small amount of gin in this recipe, and you could definitely omit it for an alcohol-free sorbet. Bear in mind that the alcohol does help it set a little softer, so if you do leave it out, remember to take the sorbet out of the freezer a few minutes before serving to make it easier to scoop.

If you have an ice cream machine (you can buy small household ones quite cheaply) this would work brilliantly in it. Otherwise you can follow the steps below for great sorbet without a machine.

For tips on foraging your own elderflowers, check out this guide by The Woodland Trust.

foraging for elderflowers for vegan elderflower and gin sorbet recipe

Elderflower and gin sorbet recipe (vegan)

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 1.5 cups sugar

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup (40-50g) fresh elderflowers

  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 4 Tbsp gin

Vegan elderflower and gin sorbet recipe

Method:

Heat the sugar and water in a large lidded pan over a low heat, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.

Remove from the heat and mix in the elderflowers. Put the lid on the pan to cover and allow to infuse overnight.

Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove the elderflowers, then add the lemon juice and gin.

Chill the mixture in the fridge, then freeze in your ice cream machine as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

If you don’t have an ice cream machine, place the sorbet mixture in a tub into the freezer. Every 30 minutes, take out of the freezer and stir/mash up with a fork. After a few times doing this, and the sorbet is firm, smooth it over and level out the sorbet and serve or keep in the freezer until ready to eat.

vegan wild foraged elderflower and gin sorbet recipe
vegan wild foraged elderflower and gin sorbet recipe

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 0.1g (Women: 0.2% / Men: 0.2%)

  • Iron: >0.1mg (Women: >0.1% / Men: >0.1%)

  • Calories: 169 (Women: 8.5% / Men: 6.8%)

  • Sugars: 38.1g (Women: 42.3% / Men: 31.8%)

  • Total Fats: 0.0g (Women: 0.0% / Men: 0.0%)

  • Saturated Fat: 0.0g (Women: 0.0% / Men: 0.0%)

  • Salt: 0.0g (Women: 0.0% / Men: 0.0%)

  • Fibre: 0.1g (Women: 0.3% / Men: 0.3%)

Vegan Protein Chocolate Mug Cake

These vegan chocolate mug cakes are delicious and high in protein

Mug cakes are ingenious - simply mix a few staple ingredients in your favourite mug, pop in the microwave for 90 seconds, and in no time at all you can be curled up on the sofa enjoying this delicious cake-for-one. No leftovers to worry about going stale. No preheating the oven. No mixing bowls or whisks to wash up. So next time you're craving something sweet but are short for time, this incredibly simple vegan chocolate mug cake is sure to hit the spot - it's rich, sweet, and VERY chocolatey. And with nearly 10g of protein it can really help towards your fitness and recovery!

Enjoy sweet vegan chocolate protein snacks like this? Then you’ll love these vegan chocolate protein waffles with 10-second peanut butter caramel sauce!

Vegan Protein Chocolate Mug Cake

Ingredients (serves 1):

Method:

Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, sugar, protein powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt) together in the microwavable mug using a fork. Now add the nut milk and vegetable oil and stir to combine. Pop in the microwave on high for 90 seconds until the cake has risen (OR pop in a 180C oven for 12-14 minutes). Allow to cool slightly, then enjoy straight from the mug! Get creative with the toppings - fresh fruit, grated dark chocolate, vegan cream / ice cream, chopped nuts etc all work really well. 

*You can swap the protein powder for 1 Tbsp extra flour if you don't have any handy.

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 9.8g (Women: 19.6% / Men: 17.8%)

  • Iron: 3.5mg (Women: 23.6% / Men: 40.2%)

  • Calories: 411 (Women: 20.6% / Men: 16.4%)

  • Sugars: 24.5g (Women: 27.2% / Men: 20.4%)

  • Total Fats: 23.9g (Women: 34.1% / Men: 25.2%)

  • Saturated Fats: 2.5g (Women: 12.5% / Men: 8.3%)

  • Salt: 0.5g (Women: 8.3% / Men: 8.3%)

  • Fibre: 5.4g (Women: 18.0% / Men: 18.0%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Vegan Plum and Apple Crumble

Vegan plum and apple crumble recipe

This vegan crumble is the perfect food at this time of year - seasonal fruit that becomes sweet and sticky, warming spices, and the decadent oat crumble topping make it a proper feel-good dish. It's the type of dish that reminds you that the fact we're heading into winter isn't so bad after all. 

I had loads of apples to use up so wanted to make a crumble that freezes well too - I layered into four enamel pie dishes so we have a supply of this winter warmer for whenever the time calls. So I made the crumble topping a wet mixture instead of dry so it doesn't go soggy when defrosting it. Just take it out the freezer in the morning and heat as below that evening. 

vegan plum & apple crumble

Ingredients (makes 8 portions):

For the filling:

  • 8-9 plums

  • 2-3 apples

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 3 Tbsp cornflour

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the topping:

  • 1 cup oats

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • pinch salt

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 4 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 2 Tbsp almond milk

Method:

Heat your oven to 180C (350F). Mix the filling ingredients together in a bowl then distribute into four small enamel dishes or one 9"x9" or 10"x8" baking dish.

Mix all the dry topping ingredients together to combine, then stir in the maple syrup, oil, and almond milk and mix thoroughly until it's all damp. 

Top the fruit mixture with the crumble mixture. No need to cover all the fruit, the uncovered bits go extra sticky! Bake for 35-40 minutes for a small enamel dish or 45-50 minutes if made into one larger baking tray. 

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 7.2g (Women: 14.4% / Men: 13.1%)

  • Iron: 1.5mg (Women: 10.1% / Men: 17.2%)

  • Calories: 271 (Women: 13.6% / Men: 10.8%)

  • Sugars: 23.6g (Women: 26.2% / Men: 19.7%)

  • Total Fats: 11.6g (Women: 16.6% / Men: 12.2%)

  • Saturated Fats: 1.0g (Women: 5.0% / Men: 3.3%)

  • Salt: 0.2g (Women: 3.3% / Men: 3.3%)

  • Fibre: 4.2g (Women: 14.0% / Men: 14.0%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Black Bean Brownies!

Vegan black bean brownie recipe

If you've never heard of these before, don't switch off just yet.

They sound bizzare, but they taste incredible - they have this rich, chocolate / praline flavour, plus an amazing fudgey, dense texture with some added crunch from the hazelnuts. I've tried some black bean brownie recipes before that were a little bland, but these ones even passed the ultimate taste test of serving them up to friends and them having no idea they were healthy or had black beans in them. These are also mega quick and easy to make, and pack some serious protein, iron, and fibre. 

vegan black bean brownies

Ingredients (makes 12 brownies):

  • 250g (drained weight) tinned black beans

  • 40g oats

  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder

  • 125g Maple syrup

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 45g melted coconut oil

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 100g dark choc chips

  • 75g crushed hazelnuts

  • Pinch of salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). First make a quick oat flour by tipping your oats into a food processor and blitzing until they are a rough flour texture. Then place all remaining ingredients apart from the hazelnuts and choc chips in with the oats in the food processor and blitz thoroughly until completely smooth. Stir in the hazelnuts and the choc chips, then tip into a small greased tin (roughly 9x9 inches) and bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting - if they're still too soft, place in the fridge for a while and they will firm up perfectly! 

Nutrition (per brownie):

  • Protein: 3.9g (Women: 7.8% / Men: 7.1%)

  • Iron: 2.1mg (Women: 14.2% / Men: 24.1%)

  • Calories: 191 (Women: 9.6% / Men: 7.6%)

  • Sugar: 10.0g (Women: 11.1% / Men: 8.3%)

  • Total fats: 11.6g (Women: 16.6% / Men: 12.2%)

  • Saturated fat: 5.8g (Women: 29.0% / Men: 19.3%)

  • Salt: 0.1g (Women: 1.7% / Men: 1.7%)

  • Fibre: 3.8g (Women: 12.7% / Men: 12.7%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

Sharp and Sweet Apple Sauce

Vegan apple sauce recipe

Apple Sauce is so quick and easy to make. Much cheaper and tastier than the shop bought stuff, plus you know there's no preservatives or other nasties in it. It's really versatile too, use it:

  • To replace eggs in baking to bind ingredients together

  • Stirred into porridge for a natural sweetener

  • Dolloped on your pancakes

  • Served with savoury dishes such as nut roast

Vegan Apple Sauce Recipe

Ingredients (makes 2 cups)

  • 4 large apples

  • 3 Tbsp caster sugar

  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

  • 1 cup water

Method:

Peel, core, and chop the apples into small chunks. Chuck in a pan with the water, sugar and lemon and simmer on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the chunks are soft and becoming sludgy (10-20 minutes depending on apple variety and size of chunks). Then mash with a potato masher, or if you prefer the sauce completely smooth, whizz up in a blender. This is very freezable too so keep one cup in the fridge to use now and another in the freezer for next time your baking recipe calls for apple sauce! 

Nutrition (per Tbsp):

  • Protein: 0.2g (Women - 0.4% / Men - 0.3%)

  • Iron: 0.1mg (Women - 0.6% / Men - 0.9%)

  • Calories: 44.7 (Women - 2.2% / Men - 1.9%)

  • Sugars: 9.9g (Women - 11.0% / Men - 8.3%)

  • Total Fat: 0.1g (Women - 0.1% / Men - 0.1%)

  • Saturated Fat: 0.0g (Women - 0% / Men - 0%)

  • Salt: 0.0g (Women - 0% / Men - 0%)

  • Fibre: 0.9g (Women - 3.0% / Men - 3.0%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.

 

Warming Autumn Apple Loaf Cake

Vegan apple loaf cake recipe

It's the time of the year where there are apples everywhere. I'm lucky enough to have an apple tree in my parent's garden that produces loads of delicious but hardy cooking apples (no idea what variety they are!), and they bring me bags full of them every autumn. But even at the supermarkets and local grocers they are often seasonal and local at this time of year, so go and buy a bag and try this warming apple loaf, which can be made with any variety of apple. Best enjoyed with a cuppa and a good book. 

This recipe calls for apple sauce which acts as a binder instead of eggs. Find the easiest quick recipe for sweet and tangy apple sauce here (you can make a big batch and freeze portions ready for when baking requires it, or just keep it in the fridge to stir into porridge, dollop on pancakes, or serve with nut roast!). 

Vegan Autumn Apple Loaf Cake

Ingredients (makes 1 loaf / 10 slices):

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup apple sauce

  • 1 cup vegan butter

  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup almond milk

  • 2 apples, peeled and finely diced

Method:

Preheat oven to 180C. Beat the butter with 3/4 of the sugar until creamy. Next add the apple sauce, almond milk, and vanilla, and mix until completely combined and smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, and baking powder, then add this to the butter mixture and stir until combined. Then mix in 2/3 of the apples, and pour mixture into a lightly oiled 9x5 inch loaf tin. Stir the remaining apples with the remaining sugar, then sprinkle on top of the batter. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Nutrition per slice:

  • Protein: 2.3g (Women - 4.6% / Men - 4.2%)

  • Iron: 1.2mg (Woman - 8.1% / Men - 10.6%)

  • Calories: 257 (Women - 12.9% / Men - 10.3%)

  • Sugars: 25.5g (Women - 28.3% / Men - 21.3%)

  • Total Fat: 7.5g (Women - 10.7% / Men - 7.9%)

  • Saturated Fat: 1.4g (Women - 7.0% / Men - 4.7%)

  • Salt: 0.3g (Women - 5.0% / Men - 5.0%)

  • Fibre: 1.5g (Women - 5.0% / Men 5.0%)

See the Nutrition Info page for more details on % of Dietary Reference Values for men and women.