Carrot Cake Squares with Coconut Cashew Frosting

Happy Spring everyone! We're welcoming these warmer days with so much happiness. It's been a busy time for us recently but we're back to this space with lots of ideas and tasty recipes to share. We've been planting seeds in the garden, started growing our own mushrooms  and appreciating all the natural abundance around this time of year! How has everyone been recently? 

These carrot cake squares were such a hit when we first made them a couple of months ago - the coconut cashew frosting is honestly so delicious! Also, getting vegetables into a cake mix is such a winner - the carrots add an amazing natural sweetness and make the mix perfectly fudge-y. Top it off with some toasted nuts and flower petals and it becomes the perfect afternoon treat! 

Carrot Cake Squares with coconut cashew frosting

Ingredients
For the carrot cake:
1 cup of lightly packed grated carrot
1.5 cups of wholemeal spelt flour
1/3 cup of coconut oil (melted to liquid)
1/4 cup plant milk (we use oat milk)
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1.5 tablespoons of malt syrup, maple syrup or honey
1 generous pinch of salt
1/3 cup of dates (soak in a small amount hot water for 10 minutes)

For the cashew frosting:
1.5 cups of cashew nuts, soaked in water for 4 hours +, or overnight
1 tablespoon of malt syrup, maple syrup or honey
Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
The juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons of coconut cream (from a refrigerated can of coconut milk)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6, then blend the soaked dates into a paste and set aside.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix.
3. Now add all the remaining ingredients for the cake (including the date paste) and mix thoroughly.
4. Spread the mixture into a greased baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes.
5. While the carrot cake is baking, make the frosting. In a food processor blend together all the ingredients until smooth.
6. Once the cake is cooked, let it cool before covering in the frosting, and finally scatter over some chopped nuts and enjoy!

Carrot Cake Squares with coconut cashew frosting
Carrot Cake Squares with coconut cashew frosting

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Buckwheat Crepes with Mushrooms & Chard

This post may be few days late, but we think pancakes should be celebrated all year round, not just on pancake day! If you're still craving some crepe inspiration after the big day, then these delicious savoury crepes are the perfect treat any time of year.

Stuffed with mushrooms, rainbow chard and a tahini dressing, these make such a good breakfast or lunch time delight. Although we both appreciate a good, sweet pancake (see our favourite recipe here), I've always been a savoury girl at heart, so these tick all the boxes for me!  Not only is Buckwheat full of nutrition and naturally gluten free, it has such a great flavour and is easy to work with. If you do have a sweeter tooth, this batter mixture works great for sweeter fillings too. Just follow the basic crepe recipe and fill with all your favourite things! 

Buckwheat crepes with mushroom and chard

Ingredients (makes 8-10 pancakes):

For the pancakes:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
3 tablespoons chia seeds
2.5 cups liquid (we use half oat milk, half water but any nut milks are good!)
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 tsp baking powder

For the Filling:
Roughly 300g of chestnut mushrooms, chopped finely
Roughly 300g of rainbow chard (can replace with spinach), chopped finely
3 tablespoons of tahini

To make the crepes: 
We use a blender to make our pancake batter, but feel free to use any method, bowl and whisk, kitchen aid etc..

1. To the blender add the liquid and chia seeds, allow to sit for 10 minutes or so until the chia have absorbed some of the liquid and become gloopy.

2. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Let the batter sit for at least 20 minutes before cooking, this allows the mixture to bind together a bit more.

3. Cook pancakes in a hot, preferably non-stick pan. Add a little coconut oil into the pan for each pancake and pour in the batter, cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.

To make the filling and dressing:
1. In a small frying pan, heat up some coconut oil and fry your mushrooms for 3-4 minutes. Once cooked, add in your chard, stir thoroughly and heat for another 2 minutes. 
2. Add your tahini to a small bowl or cup. Add enough boiling water so that it reaches the consistency of a light dressing and stir thoroughly.  
3. Serve your filling on top of your crepes and drizzle the tahini on top.....Enjoy!   

What pancakes/crepes did you enjoy on pancake day?

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Miso Soup with Vegetable Noodles

As we've been faced with frosty mornings and busy work/study schedules, this warming miso soup has been a saviour in recent weeks. There's something so satisfying about soup during this time of year, but the options can often feel a little predictable... tomato, carrot, mushroom...you know the drill. So with something more 'exotic' in mind, we whipped up this delicious soup with toasted sesame seeds, vegetable noodles, herbs & tamari. This really is such a simple, quick soup to prepare, but it packs a whole load of flavour and texture too. Basically, it's the best of both worlds!

miso soup with vegetable noodles

We've opted for vegetable noodles in our soup, made with a julienne peeler and whatever we have in the fridge! This works great with carrot, courgette (zuchinni) & butternut squash. If your'e in the mood for something a bit heartier though, the soup is great with some noodles thrown in at the end too. Our personal favourite are buckwheat noodles by King Soba. 

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
2 tablespoon of organic red miso paste
1 tablespoon of tamari
1 litre of water
a handful of fresh coriander
1 small onion, finely sliced
1/2  head of broccoli, chopped up
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon of good quality salt
(optional: buckwheat noodles, fresh green chilli)
1 inch of fresh ginger, finely sliced
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
for the vegetable noodles:
1 courgette (zuchinni) 
1/2 a butternut squash
2 carrots

Method
1. In a small frying pan, toast your sesame seeds until fragrant and golden. Set aside. 
2. Prepare your vegetable noodles for the dish - you can use a julienne peeler, spiraliser or a normal vegetable peeler for this. 
3. In a large saucepan, heat some coconut oil and add your onions. Fry for 4-5 minutes until golden. 
4.Add in the water, salt, half of the ginger and the broccoli. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes,until the broccoli is nearly cooked. If you're using buckwheat noodles, add them now. 
5.Add in your vegetable noodles and simmer for another 4-5 minutes, with the lid on the pan. 
6. Turn off the heat, before adding your miso paste, coconut milk, tamari, coriander & the rest of the ginger. Stir thoroughly to make sure the miso paste has dissolved.
7. Your soup is ready! Serve and top with the sesame seeds and extra coriander. 
 

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What are your go-to meals for winter?