Coffee and walnut cake energy balls (vegan)

coffee walnut cake energy bites bliss balls recipe vegan

I do like to make a batch of energy bites every now and again. They make such a nice sweet snack, perfect for anyone like me with a sweet tooth, as a couple of these really help to keep you satiated after lunch or dinner!

It’s amazing how versatile they are - you can experiment with using different nuts, seeds, spices, dried fruits, chocolate, so the combinations are infinite! I had the idea to try making these coffee and walnut cake energy bites a few weeks ago when we tried a vegan coffee and walnut cake at a cafe in Bath and worked on this recipe which hits the spot perfectly!

I hadn’t had a coffee and walnut cake in years, and I’d forgotten just how much I loved it! I wanted to capture the flavours of the cake but in a much simpler, quicker and healthier form that is energy bites (aka bliss balls).

I love snacking on walnuts or using them in my recipes, partly because they taste so delicious, and partly because they’re an excellent vegan source of omega-3, an essential fatty acid that’s been shown to decrease risk of cardiovascular disease and other inflammatory diseases. Check out my vegan carrot top pesto or my vegan oil-free granola for other ways to incorporate more walnuts into your diet!

coffee cake bliss balls recipe energy bites vegan

Coffee and Walnut Cake Energy Balls Recipe

Ingredients (makes 12 energy bites):

  • 1 cup walnuts

  • 1 cup dates

  • 1 heaped tsp good instant coffee

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


First of all, whizz up the walnuts in a food processor until they resemble the texture of wet sand.

Add the dates, and continue to blitz until they are chopped and the mixture is combined.

Now make up an instant espresso-style coffee. Combine the instant coffee with around 50 ml boiling water from the kettle and stir to combine.

Add your espresso coffee to the walnut and date mixture along with the vanilla extract and pulse a few more times in the food processor to combine thoroughly.

Take about 1 Tbsp of the coffee walnut and date mixture and shape into a round ball in the palms of your hands, then repeat to make 12 energy balls.

You can then roll the energy balls in desiccated coconut or cocoa powder if you like, or just enjoy them as they are. They will firm up nicely if chilled in the fridge, where you can store them for up to 10 days.

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Nutrition (per energy ball):

  • Protein: 1.8g (Women: 3.6% / Men: 3.3%)

  • Iron: 0.4mg (Women: 2.7% / Men: 4.6%)

  • Calories: 102 (Women: 5.1% / Men: 4.1%)

  • Sugars: 8.0g (Women: 8.9% / Men: 6.7%)

  • Total Fats: 6.6g (Women: 9.4% / Men: 6.9%)

  • Saturated Fat: 0.1g (Women: 0.5% / Men: 0.3%)

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

  • Fibre: 1.7g (Women: 5.7% / Men: 5.7%)

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

Vegan Gigantes Plaki Recipe (Greek Giant Bean Stew)

vegan gigantes plaki recipe greek giant butter beans stew quick easy vegetarian

Gigantes plaki is a Greek dish of butter beans stewed in a rich tomato sauce (the literal translation is ‘giant baked beans’). I love this recipe because it’s so quick and easy but still packs so much flavour and richness. Using tinned butter beans saves all the time of soaking and boiling, but if you’d rather cook up some dried butter beans to use then simply replace the tins with two cups of cooked beans.

To make it even easier, I’ve made this into a one-pan dish, so there’s hardly any washing up! It goes incredibly well served with gemista (Greek stuffed peppers and tomatoes) and a simple green salad. Or for a really simple dinner just mop up these gigantes plaki with some toasted garlic bread. This dish is freezabe so feel free to double up the amounts to store some for a rainy day (in fact they taste even better once they’re reheated).

Vegan Gigantes Plaki Recipe (Greek Giant Butter Bean Stew in Rich Tomato Sauce)

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 red onions

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika

  • 2 x 400g tins butter beans

  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

  • 4 Tbsp tomato puree

  • 2 tsp caster sugar

  • 2 tsp dried oregano

  • Large handful fresh parsley

  • Small handful fresh mint

  • Salt and pepper to taste

vegan gigantes plaki recipe greek giant butter beans tomato sauce quick easy vegetarian


Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then add the onions to saute for around 5 minutes.

Add the diced carrot, minced garlic, and paprika, and continue to saute, stirring for another 2 minutes to release the flavours.

Now add the drained butter beans, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, oregano and sugar. You can add a splash of hot water to get the sauce to your desired consistency (I like my gigantes plaki quite thick so I just add around 1/2 a cup of water).

Season with the salt and pepper, then simmer gently for around 20 minutes. Add the chopped fresh herbs just before serving.

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 12.8g (Women:25.6% / Men: 23.3%)

  • Iron: 5.4mg (Women: 36.5% / Men: 62.1%)

  • Calories: 343 (Women: 17.2% / Men: 13.7%)

  • Sugars: 13.7g (Women: 15.2% / Men: 11.4%)

  • Total Fats: 14.8g (Women: 21.1% / Men: 15.6%)

  • Saturated Fat: 2.0g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 6.7%)

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

  • Fibre: 12.6g (Women: 42.0% / Men: 42.0%)

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

Vegan Spreadable Cashew and Chive Cream Cheese

Vegan spreadable cashew cream cheese recipe healthy quick easy

Vegan cheese-making sounds like a daunting task. But each time I whip up this cashew and chive cream cheese, I'm surprised at just how quick and easy it is to make. It takes less than 10 minutes and just involves whizzing up a few simple ingredients in a food processor. The only bit of preparation is soaking the cashews the night before - but that's as easy as topping up a cup of cashews with water and popping in the fridge overnight. And it's so worth it... the result is a cheese that's perfectly spreadable - half way between a cream cheese and hummus in texture - and a taste that's really 'cheesy' but lighter and fresher. 

Nutritionally, it's much lower in saturated fat than dairy cream cheese and it's higher in protein and fibre. Plus you get all the benefits of the cashew nuts - they're rich in loads of important nutrients, including magnesium, a mineral that supports hundreds of chemical reactions in your body. Many people in the West consume less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium which is associated with numerous chronic diseases (1). Just one of the reasons that higher raw nut consumption is associated with reduced all-cause mortality rates (2)

So, try spreading this delicious vegan cashew and chive cream cheese on crackers with some caramelised onion chutney, as a topping with some dressed greens on bruschetta, or as a delicious sandwich filling. In fact, if you think of any other interesting ways to use this cashew cream cheese, let me know in the comments below! 

Vegan cashew cream cheese and chive recipe healthy quick and easy

Vegan Spreadable Cashew and Chive Cream Cheese Recipe

Ingredients (makes 10 servings):

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight

  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup fresh water

  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped chives


After soaking the cashews, you'll notice they'll have become swollen and soft, which will help them blend smoothly. Drain the cashews, then chuck them in the food processor, along with the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles a wet sand texture. Now add the water, and continue processing for a minute or two, stopping to scrape down the sides with a spatula every now and again.

Continue until the cashew cheese is smooth and thick - it should still have a slightly coarse texture but you can add a little extra water if you like a thinner consistency.

Stir in the chives, then taste to check the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, garlic, lemon or chives if desired. 

This cashew cream cheese will store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. 

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Vegan cashew cream cheese spreadable chive recipe healthy quick easy
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Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 3.0g (Women: 6.0% / Men: 5.5%)

  • Iron: 0.8mg (Women: 5.4% / Men: 9.2%)

  • Calories: 75 (Women: 3.8% / Men: 3.0%)

  • Sugar: 1.0g (Women: 1.1% / Men: 0.8%)

  • Total Fats: 5.5g (Women: 7.9% / Men: 5.8%)

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

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

  • Fibre: 0.7g (Women: 2.3% / Men: 2.3%)

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

This vegan cashew and chive cream cheese is amazing on bruschetta topped with fresh, herby broad beans and pea shoots!  Recipe here

This vegan cashew and chive cream cheese is amazing on bruschetta topped with fresh, herby broad beans and pea shoots! Recipe here

Crispy Sesame Coated Baked Tofu

vegan healthy crispy sesame coated baked tofu recipe vegetarian

This recipe is everything you want in a tofu dish - it's quick and easy, very healthy, crispy on the outside and tender in the middle, and has a delicious subtle sesame flavour that develops a nutty aroma when baked. And it's so nice have a tofu recipe that goes truly crispy just in the oven - no deep fryer necessary! This crispy tofu is delicious eaten as it is, or goes well with your favourite dipping sauce - sweet chilli, teriyaki, peanut, or even barbecue sauces all taste great with it. It's perfect as a high-protein vegan snack or starter, but also can take centre stage served with stir fried veggies or to top a hearty salad. And check out the nutrition information at the bottom of this post - this crispy tofu provides over half of both your daily protein and iron requirements! 

vegan crispy sesame coated baked tofu recipe 

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1 block firm tofu (350g)

  • 5 Tbsp cornflour

  • 5 Tbsp unsweetened soy milk

  • 1/2 cup golden or panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds

  • Olive oil spray (optional)

  • Spring onions (scallions) for garnishing

This sesame coated baked tofu also goes brilliantly with the vegan  Turkish aubergine dish imam biyaldi

This sesame coated baked tofu also goes brilliantly with the vegan Turkish aubergine dish imam biyaldi


Preheat your oven to 180C (360F).

To prepare your tofu, first remove it from the packaging and shake off excess liquid. No need to wrap in kitchen towels as some recipes advise - I find gently squeezing the tofu between my hands over the sink to be the best way and only takes about 30 seconds! Just be careful not to squeeze too hard and break or crumble the tofu. 

Now slice the tofu into small squares, rectangles or triangles.

Prepare your coating mixture by making three dipping bowls. In the first, add the cornflour. In the second, the soy milk, and in the third, mix the breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, onion powder, and garlic powder. 

Take a tofu piece, toss to coat in the flour, then dip in the soy milk, then press into the breadcrumb mixture to coat generously on all sides and place on the baking tray. 

Repeat for all the tofu pieces. Now you can spritz lightly with the olive oil spray (this is optional but will help the coating to brown). Pop the tray into the oven for approx. 20 minutes until the coating is crisp and golden brown. 

Garnish with spring onions and enjoy on their own or with your favourite dipping sauce! 

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Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 29.1g (Women: 58.2% / Men: 52.9%)

  • Iron: 7.8mg (Women: 52.7% / Men: 89.7%)

  • Calories: 459 (Women: 23.0% / Men: 18.4%)

  • Sugars: 2.7g (Women: 3.0% / Men: 2.3%)

  • Total Fats: 18.9g (Women: 27.0% / Men: 19.9%)

  • Saturated Fats: 2.9g (Women: 14.5% / Men: 9.7%)

  • Salt: 0.6g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 10.0%)

  • Fibre: 6.3g (Women: 21.0% / Men: 21.0%)

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

Chunky Apple Muffins

Vegan healthy apple muffins recipe

You'd never know when eating these that they're actually pretty healthy - because they taste sweet, fluffy, rich, and with a subtle spice flavour that pairs with the apple perfectly. 

But they're made with wholegrain flour, whole chunks of apple, mashed banana instead of egg, and vegetable oil instead of butter - so they're much higher in fibre and lower in saturated fat and calories than most muffins. 

They also freeze really well, so make a whole tray of these, then pop any you don't eat in a container in the freezer for a rainy day - all you need to do is take one to put straight in the microwave on high for 30 seconds for a warming winter treat to go with your cuppa!

Vegan Chunky Apple Muffins

Ingredient (makes 12 small muffins):

  • 1 large apple (or 2 smaller ones) diced into small chunks

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour

  • 3 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed

  • 3/4 cup caster sugar

  • 1/2 cup nut milk

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • Pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) and lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tray with vegetable oil.

In a bowl, mix the apples with 1 tsp of the cinnamon plus the 2 Tbsp flour (reserve a handful of the chunks to top the muffins to make them look prettier). The flour and cinnamon coating gives the apples extra flavour and prevents them sinking to the bottom during the baking. 

In a larger mixing bowl, mash the banana using the back of a fork (the banana really needs to be nice and ripe). Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine, without over mixing. Fold in the apples to the batter at the end. 

Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray - each cup should be about three quarters full. Top with the reserved apple chunks. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick pushed into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. 

Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tray and allow them to cool further on a wire rack (otherwise they'll go soggy). 

easy vegan apple muffins recipe

Nutrition (per muffin):

  • Protein: 3.3g (Women: 6.6% / Men: 6.0%)

  • Iron: 1.0mg (Women: 6.8% / Men: 11.5%)

  • Calories: 199 (Women: 10.0% / Men: 8.0%)

  • Sugars: 13.2g (Women: 14.7% / Men: 11.0%)

  • Total Fats: 6.6g (Women: 9.4% / Men: 6.9%)

  • Saturated Fats: 0.6g (Women: 3.0% / Men: 2.0%)

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

  • Fibre: 3.5g (Women: 11.7% / Men: 11.7%)

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

Easy Vegan Olive Tapenade

Easy and quick vegan olive tapenade recipe

This is one of those recipes that seems kind of fancy, but is ridiculously easy and quick to make. So it's perfect for impressing guests to serve as a canapé or even on grilled bread to make bruschetta as a starter. It's great because you can make it up to a week in advance and it'll keep well in the fridge, and you may well have most of the ingredients you need already in your cupboard. Salty, herby, lemony, and garlicky - what more could you ask for?!

Easy Vegan Olive Tapenade

Ingredients (makes 1 cup):

  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives

  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


Chuck all ingredients into a small food processor (not a high speed one like a nutribullet - that's too powerful) and pulse until at the desired consistency. Pulse less if you're serving slightly chunky for bruschetta, or more if you'd like is as a smooth spread (this is great in sandwiches too by the way). 

Tip: to make crunchy melba toasts to serve with the tapenade as a starter / canapé, simply pop a couple of slices of bread in the toaster. When done, lay the toast flat on a chopping board, place one hand on top, and carefully use a serrated bread knife to slice through the bread to split into two halves. Then cut each half into four triangles, and place un-toasted side up under a grill until golden and crunchy. The corners will turn up a little so be careful they don't burn! 

easy vegan olive tapenade recipe

Nutrition (per 4 melba toasts & 4 tsp tapenade):

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

  • Iron: 1.2mg (Women: 8.1% / Men: 13.8%)

  • Calories: 107 (Women: 5.4% / Men: 4.3%)

  • Sugar: 0.9g (Women: 1.0% / Men: 0.8%)

  • Total Fats: 6.7g (Women: 9.6% / Men: 7.1%)

  • Saturated Fats: 0.9g (Women: 4.5% / Men: 3.0%)

  • Salt: 0.7g (Women: 11.7% / Men: 11.7%)

  • Fibre: 1.9g (Women: 6.3% / Men: 6.3%)

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

Vegan Apple and Blackberry Crumble Bars

Vegan apple and blackberry crumble bars recipe

It's apple season, the hedgerows are covered in blackberries... and these two fruits are just made for each other! Every year I grab bag-fulls of apples from the tree in my parents' garden, and with my mum I also managed to forage a little tub of juicy blackberries while out walking the dog, so I wanted to make a vegan dessert / snack that used these two fruits together. I love this recipe because it's really delicious but actually pretty healthy (in moderation)! Of course you can make this all year round with fruit from the supermarket, but there's something extra satisfying about picking the fruit yourself if you have the opportunity! Just be sure to only pick the amount of blackberries that you need, as birds love feeding on them at this time of year. 

Vegan Apple and Blackberry Crumble Bars

Ingredients (makes 9 bars):

Bottom layer:

  • 1 cup white flour

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar

  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • Pinch of salt

  • 2 Tbsp apple sauce (shop-bought or see recipe here)

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Fruit filling:

  • 2 cups of apples, peeled and diced

  • 2 cups blackberries

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 Tbsp water

  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch

  • Optional - 2 Tbsp sugar*

Crumble topping:

  • 1 cup oats

  • 1/2 cup white flour

  • 3 Tbsp light brown sugar

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp hazelnuts, crushed

  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 Tbsp apple sauce


First make the bottom layer - in a bowl mix all the dry ingredients together then thoroughly mix in the wet ingredients. Then use your hands to firmly press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a pre-greased baking dish (sized between 9x9 and 10x12-inch, depending how thick you'd like your crumble bars). Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). 

Now for the fruit filling layer: place the diced apples and blackberries into a pan with 1 Tbsp water and cook over a medium heat for around 5 mins until the apple starts to soften. Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue to cook for 5-10 mins until the cornstarch has thickened the mixture. Depending on the variety of fruits and how sweet you'd like these bars, you can add 1-2 Tbsp caster sugar (to taste) at this point. Now spread the fruit filling over the bottom layer in the baking dish.

For the crumble topping, simply mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl, then mix in the wet ingredients to combine. Sprinkle this on top of the fruit filling layer, just pressing down slightly. Now bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the topping has browned. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving. They're lovely served warm with a scoop of vegan ice-cream or can be stored in the fridge for a few days and enjoyed cold as a snack. 

vegan apple and blackberry oat crumble bars

Nutrition (per bar): 

  • Protein: 4.9g (Women: 9.8% / Men: 8.9%)

  • Iron: 2.0mg (Women: 13.5% / Men: 23.0%)

  • Calories: 304 (Women: 15.2% / Men: 12.2%)

  • Sugars: 15.5g (Women: 17.2% / Men: 12.9%)

  • Total Fats: 13.7g (Women: 19.6% / Men: 14.4%)

  • Saturated Fats: 1.3g (Women: 6.5% / Men: 4.3%)

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

  • Fibre: 4.3g (Women: 14.3% / Men: 14.3%)

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

Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Flapjacks

Vegan cranberry and dark chocolate flapjack recipe

I've tried a lot of flapjack recipes. For me, the perfect recipe has to fit the following criteria:

  • Ridiculously easy

  • Under 30 mins to cook

  • At least an attempt to reduce the amount of sugar and fat

  • That sweet, buttery, golden syrupy taste

  • Slightly crunchy edges with rich, chewy centre

And this is the recipe that manages to tick all the boxes! I've added dried cranberries and dark chocolate because it's a combination that works so well - the cranberries bring a chewy zing and the chocolate counters this perfectly with its rich bitterness. But you can be adventurous with your additions - any dried fruit works well, or you can add lemon / orange zest, seeds, or spices like cinnamon and allspice - whatever you have lying around! Be sure to make a batch of flapjacks before your next long cycle or run - they're the perfect training fuel, providing a quick burst of energy from the sugar, followed by slow-release energy from the oats.

Vegan Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Flapjacks

Ingredients (makes 12 squares):

  • 350g porridge oats

  • 175g vegan butter

  • 125g light brown sugar

  • 3 Tbsp golden syrup

  • 40g dark chocolate

  • 40g dried cranberries


Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a 9"x9" baking tray with baking paper (using a bigger baking tray will result in thinner flapjacks that are less chewy). Mix the butter, sugar, and syrup in a large saucepan over a medium heat, until the butter has melted and the sugar and syrup have dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats and cranberries, until thoroughly mixed. Press the mixture firmly into the tin using your hands or the back of a spoon. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until turning golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then drizzle melted dark chocolate over the top. Can be eaten straight away while warm, or kept in the fridge for up to a week. 

Nutrition (per slice):

  • Protein: 4.3g (Women: 8.6% / Men: 7.8%)

  • Iron: 1.9mg (Women: 12.8% / Men: 21.8%)

  • Calories: 265 (Women: 13.3% / Men: 10.6%)

  • Sugar: 17.5g (Women: 19.4% / Men: 14.6%)

  • Total Fats: 12.2g (Women: 17.4% / Men: 12.8%)

  • Saturated Fats: 2.9g (Women: 14.5% / Men: 9.7%)

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

  • Fibre: 3.3g (Women: 11.0% / Men: 11.0%)

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

3-Ingredient Chocolatey Fudgey Bliss Balls

Easy and healthy vegan chocolate bliss balls recipe

Bliss balls are great - there's very good reason why they appear repeatedly on the news feeds of anyone who follows vegan or health food bloggers. They're an excellent way to stave off sugar cravings naturally and are great fun to make. But there are thousands of variations, and the recipes vary massively in difficulty / complexity... do we need to add nut butters, syrups, flavourings, or melted coconut oil?

So, I decided to try out lots of recipes in search of the easiest and quickest one. Because when you really crave something sweet, you want it quickly, before you have time to reach for any naughtier snacks. I have settled on this delicious chocolatey 3-ingredient version which takes just minutes to put together, and provides a good hit of protein, iron, and fibre - way better than grabbing a chocolate bar or a bag of sweets! 

Vegan 3-Ingredient Chocolatey Fudgey Bliss Balls

Ingredients (makes 12 balls):

  • 1 cup almonds

  • 1 cup Medjool dates

  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder


Using a food processor or the chopping bowl attachment to a handheld blender, whizz up the almonds until they're the consistency of fine sand (don't use a high speed blender like a nutribullet for this as they're too powerful). Then add the dates, and continue to blitz until they're well mixed with the nuts. (If you can't find medjool dates, you can use the cheaper varieties found in the baking section of the supermarket - just add 1 Tbsp water as they're a little drier). Then add the cocoa and whiz until mixed through. Now grab about 1 Tbsp of the gritty mixture and squeeze in your hand to compress, then roll between your hands into a bite-size ball, and repeat to make 12 balls. Can be enjoyed straight away or they firm up to an even better texture when left in the fridge overnight, where they can be stored for up to 10 days. 

Nutrition per ball:

  • Protein: 2.9g (Women: 5.8% / Men: 5.3%)

  • Iron: 0.7mg (Women: 4.7% / Men: 8.0%)

  • Calories: 104 (Women: 5.2% / Men: 4.2%)

  • Sugars: 8.8g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 7.3%)

  • Total Fats: 6.0g (Women: 8.6% / Men: 6.3%)

  • Saturated Fat: 0.5g (Women: 2.5% / Men: 1.7%)

  • Salt: >0.1g (Women: >1% / Men: >1%)

  • Fibre: 2.6g (Women: 8.7% / Men: 8.7%)

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


Smokey Baked Quinoa Bites

Vegan smokey baked quinoa bites recipe

These quinoa bites are awesome - they are delicious, little bite-sized nutrition powerhouses, packing loads of protein, iron, fibre, and much more. They make a great easy alternative to falafels and can be snacked on straight outta the fridge with some sriracha or sweet chilli sauce, chucked into toasted pitta bread with hummus and salad, or used to top any pasta dish. 

Vegan Smokey Baked Quinoa Bites

Ingredients (makes 20 bites):

  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)

  • 2 cups vegan stock

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds

  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed

  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped

  • Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp garlic granules

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes


Cook your quinoa as per packet instructions (usually rinsing then boiling in double the volume of stock for 15 mins). Once cooked, leave to stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 190C. Add all the other ingredients to a large mixing bowl, then when the quinoa is cooked and cool enough to handle, add to the bowl and mix everything thoroughly. Now roll up into 20 bite-size balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes until they are crispy on the outside and just starting to brown - easy! 

Nutrition (per 3 balls):

  • Protein: 5.4g (Women: 11.0% / Men:9.8%)

  • Iron: 1.8mg (Women: 12.2% / Men: 20.7%)

  • Calories: 141 (Women: 7.1% / Men: 5.6%)

  • Sugar: 1.8g (Women: 2.0% / Men: 1.5%)

  • Total Fats: 5.4g (Women: 7.7% / Men: 5.7%)

  • Saturated Fat: 0.6g (Women: 3.0% / Men: 2.0%)

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

  • Fibre: 3.0g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 10.0%)

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


Vegan Reese's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Vegan reese's chocolate and peanut butter cups recipe

Guess how many ingredients are required for these bad boys?... TWO!! They are so easy to make, but taste even better than the shop bought version which is pumped full of sugar. Because they're made with dark chocolate and natural peanut butter, they're much lower in saturated fat and sugar, and are a much better source of iron! 

Vegan Reese’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Ingredients (makes 12 cups):

  • 200g vegan dark chocolate (55-70% cocoa best)

  • 9 tsp natural peanut butter


Break up the dark chocolate into a bowl and place over a small pan of simmering water. It's always best to melt chocolate slowly to prevent it splitting (remember, chocolate can melt in your pocket, so it doesn't need much heat!). Meanwhile, place 12 paper cupcake cases on a tray. When the chocolate is melted, drizzle half a tablespoon into each of the cupcake cases (using about half the chocolate). Tap them on the tray to ensure the chocolate spreads evenly into the corners of the cases. Now place the cases in the fridge for 10 minutes to set, leaving the chocolate bowl over the hot water (you can turn the hob off now though) to keep it melted. Then remove the cases from the fridge and spread 3/4 of a tsp of peanut butter on the set chocolate, as flat as possible so the remaining chocolate can cover it. Now drizzle over another half a tablespoon of melted chocolate, tap on the tray again to even it out, and pop back in the fridge for another 10 mintues until set. Remove from the fridge before serving as they taste best at room temperature.

Nutrition (per cup):

  • Protein: 2.0g (Women: 4.0% / Men: 3.6%)

  • Iron: 1.2mg (Women: 8.1% / Men: 13.8%)

  • Calories: 120 (Women: 6.0% / Men: 4.8%)

  • Sugars: 6.4g (Women: 7.1% / Men: 5.3%)

  • Total fats: 8.4g (Women: 12.0% / Men: 8.8%)

  • Saturated fats: 3.7g (Women: 18.5% / Men: 12.3%)

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

  • Fibre: 1.6g (Women: 5.3% / Men: 5.3%)

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


Hasselback Potatoes

Vegan hasselback potato recipe

Once you try these potatoes you will never look back! They are everything you want in a potato - crispy skin-on edges, a soft and fluffy centre, plus they look pretty cool so make an impressive but mega-easy side dish for a dinner party. I had these on their own simply smothered in fiery sriracha and fresh coriander, but you could easily enjoy them alongside barbecued veg, with a roast dinner covered in rich gravy, or even just to accompany a fresh salad. 

Vegan Hasselback Potatoes Recipe


  • 4 medium sized waxy potatoes

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 200C (390F). Wash the potatoes then dry thoroughly with kitchen paper. Using a sharp knife, carefully make cuts that go about two thirds of the way through the potatoes and are spaced about 1-2mm apart. Now brush with half the olive oil and pop in the oven. After about 20-25 minutes, take the potatoes out. The cuts you made will now have opened up a little, allowing you to now use the remaining oil to brush again but this time making sure some of the oil gets between the cuts. Now also sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Pop back in the oven for another 20-25 minutes, until the edges are golden and crispy. 

Nutrition (per medium potato):

  • Protein: 4.3g (Women: 8.6% / Men: 7.8%)

  • Iron: 1.9mg (Women: 12.8% / Men: 21.8%)

  • Calories: 221 (Women: 11.1% / Men: 8.8%)

  • Sugar: 2.0g (Women: 2.2% / Men: 1.7%)

  • Total fats: 6.9g (Women: 9.9% / Men: 7.3%)

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

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

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

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



Indian Pea and Lentil Croquettes

Vegan indian pea and lentil croquette recipe

My single favourite cuisine has got to be Indian. I just love the rich, thick, sauces and punchy spices. It’s one of those meals you crave when you’re ravenously hungry, as you can almost shovel the food into your face and feel it instantly sating your appetite and warming you up. But it is nice to have some variation in the texture to break up those heaping forkfuls of sauce and rice, and these croquettes do the trick perfectly. They are crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy in the middle, and full of healthy veggies and protein-packed lentils. They make a great appetiser too, as they’re small and easily picked up to dip in mango chutney or your favourite dip. Oh, and it's a great way to use up leftover mashed potato too! 

Vegan Indian Pea and Lentil Croquettes Recipe

Ingredients (makes 8 croquettes):

  • 300g leftover mashed potato*

  • ½ red onion

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2cm fresh ginger

  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 75g dried red lentils

  • 2 tsp curry powder

  • 2 slices brown bread (not seeded)

  • 3 Tbsp flour

  • ¼ cup unsweetened plant milk

  • 1 Tbsp corn-starch

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil



Prepare your lentils as per the packet instructions (usually red lentils don’t need soaking and require just 15 minutes boiling in water then draining). Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp rapeseed oil in a frying pan, then fry the onion for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and ginger to fry for 1 further minute, before adding the frozen peas and continuing to fry for another 5 minutes. Now add the pea mixture, drained cooked lentils, and curry powder to the mashed potatoes, plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir to thoroughly mix. Set this mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or even overnight) to make firm and easier to handle / shape.

Meanwhile, prepare the breadcrumbs by cutting the crusts off two slices of stale brown bread (avoid seeded varieties for bread-crumbing) and blitzing in a food processor until fine. Now, shape your croquette mixture into 8 small patties or cylinders. Prepare your breading process by gathering 3 small bowls and tipping 3 Tbsp flour into the first, plant milk mixed with corn-starch in the second, and your breadcrumbs in the third. Dip each croquette into the flour to coat, followed by the corn-starch thickened milk, then the breadcrumbs. Now heat the oil in a frying pan, and once very hot, fry the croquettes in batches of 4 (to avoid cooling the oil). Don’t be tempted to turn too often, as you want to ensure the croquettes get nice and golden-crispy. They should be done after about 5 minutes, turning a few times. Place in a warm oven whilst cooking the second batch. 

Nutrition (per 2 croquettes):

  • Protein: 10.6g (Women: 21.2% / Men: 19.3%)

  • Iron: 3.0mg (Women: 20.3% / Men: 34.5%)

  • Calories: 306 (Women: 15.3% / Men: 12.2%)

  • Sugars: 5.8g (Women: 6.4% / Men: 4.8%)

  • Total Fats: 9.0g (Women: 12.9% / Men: 9.5%)

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

  • Salt: 0.6g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 10.0%)

  • Fibre: 6.6g (Women: 22.0% / Men: 22.0%)

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

*Mashed potato - peel 300g Russet or Maris Piper potatoes and chop into 1-inch cubes. Drop into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender when prodded with a fork. Drain thoroughly, then mash with 3 Tbsp unsweetened plant milk and 2 tsp vegan butter. 


Chocolate Coated Candied Orange Peel

Vegan chocolate coated candied orange peel recipe

If you're the kind of person who likes marmalade, you'll love these sweet, slightly bitter little treats. Orange peel is actually quite nutritious, containing vitamins C, A, B-vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Washing, boiling, and rinsing the peel before candying them ensures any dirt, chemicals, or wax is removed. When they are ready, you end up with a dried, chewy, sweet sticks with a slightly bitter flavour. Add some quality dark chocolate and you have a match made in heaven! 

Vegan Chocolate Coated Candied Orange Peel

Ingredients (makes about 30 sticks):

  • 2 large oranges

  • 400g caster sugar & 50g for coating

  • 400ml water

  • 50g dark chocolate


First of all wash the oranges, then cut into quarters. Carefully peel each quarter's skin in one piece away from the flesh, then cut each skin quarter into 4-5 thin trips (save the flesh for smoothies or to snack on). Using a sharp knife, carefully slice away most of the white pith from each strip. Put the peel strips in a pan with cold water, bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes, then drain. Now, stir 400g sugar with 400ml boiling water in a pan to dissolve. Add the drained peel strips, simmer for 45 minutes until the peel is very soft, and drain. When cool enough to handle, carefully toss the strips in the remaining sugar and lay out on a baking tray. spaced a little apart. Leave this baking tray on top of a radiator overnight, and the next morning the peel will be dried, firm, and chewy to eat. Now melt the chocolate in a bowl placed over lightly boiling water, and dip half the peels in the chocolate. Lay them back on a tray and leave in the fridge for the chocolate to set. 

Nutrition (per 4 strips):

  • Protein: 0.6g (Women: 1.2% / Men: 1.1%)

  • Iron: 1.1mg (Women: 7.4% / Men: 9.7%)

  • Calories: 72 (Women: 3.6% / Men: 2.9%)

  • Sugars: 11.3g (Women: 12.6% / Men: 9.4%)

  • Total Fats: 3.6g (Women: 5.1% / Men: 3.8%)

  • Saturated Fat: 2.0g (Women: 10.0% / Men: 6.7%)

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

  • Fibre: 2.9g (Women: 9.7% / Men: 9.7%)

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

Easy Vegan Mince Pies

easy vegan mince pie pies recipe healthy quick easy vegetarian

Making your own mince pies can be much easier than you might think - the pastry takes just a few minutes to make and this mincemeat recipe requires no pre-cooking. Plus, they taste infinitely better than the shop bought ones: the pastry is biscuity and crisp, not like the soft manufactured mince pies. And this mincemeat recipe doesn't use alcohol but includes cranberries and lemon, so they taste sweet and tangy without the boozy aftertaste, which I find can get a bit sickly by the time you get to January! 

These are much healthier too - there’s no suet or palm oil in the mincemeat and ground flaxseed (available at most supermarkets) is used instead, which is high in omega-3, fibre, magnesium, calcium, and iron! Plus a little vegan spread is used in place of butter to make the pastry, so it’s much lower in saturated fat than shop bought mince pies.

Easy Vegan Mince Pie Recipe

Ingredients (makes 12 mince pies):

  • 175g plain flour, plus 1 Tbsp for dusting

  • 90g vegan butter spread

  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar

  • Cold water

For the Mincemeat:

  • 1 lemon

  • 2 small clementines or 1 medium-sized orange

  • 75g dried apricots

  • 50g dried cranberries

  • 100g raisins

  • 100g light muscovado sugar

  • 1 apple

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp mixed spice

  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed


vegan mince pie pies recipe vegetarian healthy quick easy

Start by making the mincemeat (this recipe makes enough for 24 pies, as leftover mincemeat can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three weeks). Zest the lemon and roughly chop all of the dried fruit (depending how chunky you like your mincemeat) and chuck into a large mixing bowl.  Wash, core, and grate the apple, then add to the bowl along with the juice of the lemon and clementines. Then stir through the sugar, spices, and ground flaxseed.

vegan mince pie pies recipe healthy quick easy vegetarian
vegan mince pie pies recipe healthy quick easy

For the pies, preheat the oven to 180C (360F). Place the flour and vegan butter in a bowl and rub gently with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs, then mix through the sugar. Add just 2 tsp of cold water and start to bring the pastry together with your hands to form a ball. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll the pastry out, then cut discs using an upturned glass that is a little bigger than the muffin tray hollows. Carefully lift the discs into the muffin tray and push down with your fingers. Bake the pastry cases in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until lightly golden. Then dollop 1 small Tbsp of mincemeat into each pastry case. You can now pop a pastry lid onto your mince pies, or cut shapes, or even leave them open - then return to the oven for about 12 minutes until the mincemeat is bubbling and the pastry lid is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving (best enjoyed when still warm). 


  • Protein: 2.0g (Women: 4.0% / Men: 3.6%)

  • Iron: 1.0mg (Women: 6.8% / Men: 8.8%)

  • Calories: 150 (Women: 7.5% / Men: 6.0%)

  • Sugar: 12.6g (Women: 14.0% / Men: 10.5%)

  • Total Fats: 4.9g (Women: 7.0% / Men: 5.2%)

  • Saturated Fat: 0.9g (Women: 4.5% / Men: 3.0%)

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

  • Fibre: 1.4g (Women: 4.7% / Men: 4.7%)

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

vegan mince pie pies recipe

Crispy Curry Roasted Chickpeas

Vegan crispy curry roasted chickpeas recipe

When that mid-afternoon craving for a savoury snack hits, these crispy curry-roasted chickpeas are the perfect solution. High in protein, fibre, iron and zinc, and low saturated fat and calories, they're a healthy snack with a delicious bold curry flavour and beautifully crispy shells. They only stay crispy for a few hours though, so serve them up straight away if you want them crispy. I personally like them for the next few days after they take on a more chewy texture. Have them on their own as a savoury snack, or scattered over a salad. And you can explore with the flavours - I have seen (but yet to try) maple and sesame, smoky paprika, and salt & vinegar - try some different flavour combinations and let me know which work best! 

Vegan Crispy Curry Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 1 x 400g can of chickpeas

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp curry powder

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • Pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 190C. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then take extra care to dry them using a couple of sheets of kitchen roll or a clean tea towel. The drier you can get them, the crispier they will get. Then toss in the oil and spices, spread out on a baking tray, and roast for up to 40 minutes, shaking the tray half way through cooking. 

Nutrition (per serving):

  • Protein: 2g (Women: 4.0% / Men: 3.6%)

  • Iron: 0.6mg (Women: 4.1% / Men: 5.3%)

  • Calories: 68 (Women: 3.4% / Men: 2.7%)

  • Sugar: 1.7g (Women: 1.9% / Men: 1.4%)

  • Total Fats: 2.7g (Women: 3.9% / Men: 3.0%)

  • Saturated Fats: 0.4g (Women: 2.0% / Men: 1.3%)

  • Salt: 0.4g (Women: 6.7% / Men: 6.7%)

  • Fibre: 1.8g (Women: 6.0% / Men: 6.0%)

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

Orange, Date, and Dark Chocolate Florentines

Vegan orange date and dark chocolate florentines recipe

These vegan Florentines really are fantastic. They become beautifully golden and crispy around the edges, with a lovely chewy texture in the middle. They're enough to satisfy your afternoon sugar cravings, but with only 78 calories per Florentine, plus providing a little protein and iron hit, you don't need to feel at all guilty. They're also really easy to make, but look quite impressive - the sort of thing you might see in the window of a patisserie. So, they'd make a great handmade gift this Christmas (they keep for 7-10 days in a jar).

I cooked these in a muffin tin, which makes for small discs that are quite nice and uniform. If you prefer a more rustic look, you can simply dollop the mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper - they will flatten and spread out as they cook so leave lots of space between them. They will come out thinner (depending how finely you chop the ingredients) so you may need to reduce the baking time by a couple of minutes.

It's great fun to experiment with ingredients with these - try any other dried fruit such as cranberries or apricots, and adding spices like cinnamon makes them feel extra festive. Let me know if you have any great flavour combinations that I should try!

Vegan Orange, Date, and Dark Chocolate Florentines

Ingredients (makes 12):

  • 3 Tbsp flaked almonds

  • 3 Tbsp pitted dates

  • Zest of half an orange (unwaxed)

  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter

  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar

  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 2 Tbsp wholemeal flour

  • 50g Dark chocolate


Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Tip your almonds into a small frying pan and dry-fry for a few minutes, stirring / shaking the pan frequently, until they have browned and become aromatic, then set aside. Next, zest your orange and chop the dates into very small pieces. In a pan, melt the vegan butter, then add the sugar and maple syrup to dissolve. Then, stir in the flour, using a fork to fully incorporate. Add the zest, dates, and toasted almonds to the pan and mix thoroughly. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with a little vegan butter, then divide the mixture into each of the cups. Use your fingers to press the mixture flat into each cup. Then bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden and crispy. Cool the florentines for 20 minutes (they will be soft at first but will harden as they cool). Use a teaspoon to scoop / pop them out of the tin. Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water (when melting chocolate, always bear in mind that chocolate doesn't need much heat - remember it can easily melt in your pocket! Too much heat and the chocolate will split). Then spoon the dark chocolate over the back of the Florentines, and pop in the fridge to set.

Nutrition per Florentine:

  • Protein: 1.1g(Women: 2.2% / Men: 2.0%)

  • Iron: 0.7mg(Women: 4.7% / Men: 6.2%)

  • Calories: 78(Women: 3.9% / Men: 3.1%)

  • Sugar: 6.5g(Women: 7.2% / Men: 5.4%)

  • Total Fats: 4.4g(Women: 6.3% / Men: 4.6%)

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

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

  • Fibre: 1.0g(Women: 3.3% / Men: 3.3%)

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

Crispy garlic-roasted sprouts

Vegan crispy garlic roasted sprouts recipe

When roasted in a little olive oil, fresh garlic, and some seasoning, sprouts take on a sweet garlicky taste and become tender, with delicious crispy bits on the outside. They're nothing like the typical bitter boiled sprouts you would secretly feed the dog under the table at Christmas! 

Cook up a big tray of these to snack on straight out of the fridge during the week, or serve as a side along with almost any main course. If you have any leftovers, they make a great addition to bubble and squeak, or chopped into a potato hash recipe. 

Brussels sprouts are a great source of vitamins K and C, whilst also providing a significant source of protein, iron and fibre. 

Vegan Crispy Garlic-Roasted Sprouts


  • 400g Brussels sprouts

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 tsp Salt (iodised preferably) and pinch of pepper


Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Meanwhile, peel any yellow or old layers off your sprouts, cut the ends off, and cut in half. Rinse well then pat dry with kitchen roll as excess moisture will prevent them crisping up. Combine with olive oil and seasoning, then spread on a baking tray in a single layer (use two trays if too many) and pop in the oven. After 10 mins, take out, and toss the sprouts with the garlic, then return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until golden, crispy, and tender. 

Nutrition (per 10 sprouts):

  • Protein: 3.4g (Women - 6.8% / Men - 6.2%)

  • Iron: 1.4mg (Women - 9.5% / Men - 12.4%)

  • Calories: 99 (Women - 5.0% / Men - 4.0%)

  • Sugars: 1.7g (Women - 1.9% / Men - 1.4%)

  • Total Fat: 7.3g (Women - 10.4% / Men - 7.7%)

  • Saturated Fat: 1.1g (Women - 5.5% / Men - 3.7%)

  • Salt: 0.8g (Women - 13.3% / Men - 13.3%)

  • Fibre: 2.7g (Women - 9.0% / Men 9.0%)

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