Spiced Pumpkin Bread

 

What a treat as Halloween gets closer. All those beautiful pumpkins waiting to be turned into delightful yummy bakes. This is a great way to get vegetables into the family without them knowing, a loaf that contains one of your 5-a-day and easy to make.

 

The smell in my kitchen whilst I was making this was just awesome. and also brought the family to the kitchen to investigate what was cooking. Delicious, moist tasty Pumpkin bread.

Great with a dollop of apple and ginger conserve.

Serves 8-10

Gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soya free, nut free, plant-based

Dry Ingredients

260g gluten free plain flour

140g coconut sugar (you can use caster sugar if you have no coconut sugar but coconut sugar adds a beautiful caramel flavour)

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground flax seeds

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

 

Wet ingredients

340g pumpkin puree (from 1 small squash – acorn, butternut, queen)

3 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp plant based milk (I used coconut but any plant based milk will do)

Method

Peel and dice your squash and place in pan with water, bring to boil, then simmer until squash soft. Drain the squash and place in blender and blitz till paste or use stick blender.

Pre-heat the oven to 180oc. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment.

In a mixing bowl add all the dry ingredients and stir to mix. In another bowl add the wet ingredients including the squash puree and stir to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix till combined. This batter can be very thick. Transfer to your prepared loaf tin. Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes before you remove to cool on a wire rack. Wait till completely cool before slicing.

Serve warm with a dollop of ginger and apple jam. This loaf keeps well in an airtight tin for about 4-5 days.

 

 

Raspberry & Chocolate Cake

 

 

Not over sweet, delicious flavour combo and beautifully light fluffy and moist, this is my go to chocolate cake recipe. Always a great hit in our house and never lasts long. You can replace the raspberry ingredients with strawberry if you prefer. Without the topping this cake also freezes well.

 

Makes 10-12 slices

Ingredients

For the cake

300g plain gluten free flour

50g raw cacao powder (you can use cocoa powder)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp salt

280g coconut sugar

375ml soya milk. (if preferred you can use other plant milk)

125ml rape seed oil

7 tbsp seedless raspberry jam

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping

40ml soya milk

85g dark dairy free chocolate broken into small pieces

60g icing sugar

1 Tbsp maple syrup

Fresh raspberries to decorate.

 

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180oc /gas mk 4. Grease and line 22cm square or round cake tin. Sift the flour, cacao, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl then stir in the sugar and salt. In a medium saucepan heat the milk, oil, raspberry jam and vanilla extract whisk slowly to combine until the jam has melted. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared cake tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before you add the topping.

To make the topping, heat the soya milk in a saucepan until boiling, remove from heat add the chocolate and stir until melted. With a spatula or large spoon beat in the sugar and maple syrup until smooth and combined. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes then spread over the top of the cake. Top with the fresh raspberries.

 

Pumpkin & Oat Choc chip cookies

 

We all love a sweet treat every now and then and what is better than a cookie with your cuppa while reading a book curled up on the sofa on a windy Autumn day. Heavenly! Alternatively these are great for Halloween for trick or treater’s to your door as they are allergen friendly. These little gems are Gluten free, plant-based and refined sugar free, nut free and soya free if you pick the right chocolate chips. I like to use coconut sugar to give that wonderful caramel flavour however you could replace with soft brown sugar if you wish. Pumpkin seed butter and pumpkin seeds provide the protein and their base is oats . These cookies are perfect for this time of year, spicy, sweet and comforting like a little hug, with the added bonus they are full of all the good stuff, nutrition and protein. They take no time at all to make and the children will love them, that’s if you are prepared to share…Well, that’s me sold…put the kettle on lets have a cookies and a cuppa!

Recipe makes 12-15 cookies depending on size.

 Ingredients

110g Gluten free plain flour

80g gluten free oats

85g coconut sugar

80 g gluten free vegan chocolate chips I used Moo Free which are also soya free)

3 Tbsp pumpkin seed butter (I used Meridian)

1/2 mashed ripe banana

1 heaped tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 heaped tsp pumpkin spice

1/4 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 heaped tsp gluten free baking powder

4 tbsp rape seed or low flavour oil.

 

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180oc / gas mark 4 . Line a large baking sheet with parchment.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until combined, roll into 12 small balls, place on prepared baking sheet, flatten to make cookie shapes, bake in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool a little then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container in secret location so there are some when you return.

 

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

 

After a lovely break in the sun the return to England sees me feeling rather cold after being spoilt with Caribbean sun. Autumn has truly arrived in England, the trees are now turning beautiful reds and oranges, there is a brisk sharpness in the morning air and one of my favourite vegetables, the squash, is available at all farmers markets as we approach Halloween.

So, to keep it seasonal and to quash my craving of hearty warming soul food I have decided to make Pumpkin Mac & cheese.  This dish is great served hot or cold. Full of nutrients, anti-oxidants and plenty of protein.  The dried nutritional yeast not only adds Vitamin B12 but a wonderful nutty cheese flavour. If you do not want the crusty topping, or do not want to use the vegan cheese,as i know not everyone is a fan, this recipe works well without the crust but lovely if you still use the tomatoes or just omit the cheese from the crumb and oven bake.

 Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 Medium butternut squash or small pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and chopped into small pieces.

1 large onion, roughly chopped into large pieces

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

600ml vegetable stock (I used kallo organic veg stock cubes)

small handful chopped sage leaves- about 10

250 g dried gluten free macaroni (I used Orgran rice & corn macaroni, it comes in a 250g packet but if the packet you have is 300g use it all, I only say 250g as this is the bag size I buy. The sauce will cover it)

200 g cherry tomatoes, halved

100g vegan cheese ( I used a mix of Violife mozzarella and cheddar, this is also soya free)

2 small slices or 1 large slice day old gluten free vegan bread, blitzed in the food processor to make bread crumbs. about 80-100g

50 g pumpkin seeds roughly chopped

1 tbsp dried nutritional yeast

1 heaped tsp onion granules

1 tsp paprika

Torn basil leaves to garnish

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 200oc / gas mk 6

In a large roasting tin add the chopped squash and onion, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper  then place in the pre-heated oven and roast for 30 minutes until the squash is soft.

In a bowl add the breadcrumbs, cheese, chopped sage, chopped pumpkin seeds and onion granules. Stir to combine and set to one side.

Cook your macaroni according to the instructions on the packet but not for the full amount of time. Normally this small pasta takes as per instructions 8 minutes i boil for 4 till just softening as it will absorb liquid while in the oven. Drain your pasta and rinse to remove all the starch liquid, set to one side.

Make your vegetable stock and set to one side.

Once cooked place the squash, onion, nutritional yeast, paprika, and half the stock in a food processor and blitz then add the rest of the stock and blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place your macaroni in a baking dish, pour over the sauce and mix until all the macaroni is coated, being careful not to break up the macaroni. Scatter over the halved cherry tomatoes reserving a couple back, then cover with the sage and breadcrumb mix, top with the remaining tomatoes. Return to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the topping turns golden. Scatter over torn basil leaves and serve.

Enjoy!