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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Four Benefits Of Pumpkins

Pumpkin is just about everywhere this time of year, from a scary carved pumpkin in your window to celebrate Halloween to delicious sweet pumpkin spiced lattes served at near enough every coffee shop in the country. But did you know pumpkin has a wide range of health benefits and is a great food to include in your diet?!
I have to admit, I don't think I'd ever eaten pumpkin until last year. I always thought of the round orange vegetable as something you just carved at halloween and perhaps made a lousy soup out of with the remains....little did I know just how delicious and nutritious pumpkin actually is.

Pumpkin is actually within the same veggie family as cucumbers and butternut squash. It's one of the most popular field crops around the world both for it's flesh and it's seeds inside. Pumpkin is extremely nutrient dense, low calorie and contains no saturated fat or cholesterol. It can be boiled, steamed, roasted and baked. I personally love to roast it with a little olive oil, dried herbs and sea salt then mix it into salads, quinoa bowls, rice dishes or even stews and curries. I recently mixed it into a spaghetti dish (recipe on my Instagram) with a mustard, lemon & olive oil dressing, toasted flaked almonds and wilted spinach - it was superb! If you're not convinced to try adding pumpkin to your diet yet, here's some more reasons why you definitely should -


Monday, 22 October 2018

Vegan BBQ Pulled Pork Burgers with Jack Daniels Sauce

My boyfriend and I visited a gorgeous pub recently that served the most incredible looking food from vegan burgers to proper English gluten free fish & chips and aromatic curries to pasta bakes. One thing I noticed on the menu was a Pulled Pork Burger, now of course I didn't even consider this option (being veggie!) but it caught me eye because I'd never thought to recreate this meal option Nourishing Amelia style before, until now.

This recipe for a vegan BBQ Pulled Pork Burger is absolutely the best vegan alternative ever. I used jackfruit (available in many supermarkets & health food shops) to create the pulled pork texture and flavoured it with the most amazing BBQ sauce from Jack Daniels. The flavours are irresistible, the texture is unbelievable and it's just so more-ish! I can't wait for you to recreate this meal at home yourself.

As I mentioned above, I used Jackfruit as the pulled pork substitute - it's completely vegan and gluten free! Then I used a BBQ sauce from Jack Daniels to give it a wealth of flavour. I used their Full Flavour Smokey barbecue sauce (which is vegan and suitable for coeliacs!) for extra smokiness and that gorgeous hint of J.D Tennessee Whiskey is so rich and luxurious tasting. I also found the texture of the barbecue sauce to be perfect for this recipe - sticky as BBQ sauce should be but also wonderfully smooth and heats well.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Sausage & Butterbean Bake

I don't know about you but I've felt the temperature drop a little in the last couple of days. The trees are turning, the days are becoming shorter and there's a real chill in the air. This season change has got me craving all the comforting meals for the colder nights and I've been having a lot of fun getting in my kitchen to come up with the best recipes to enjoy and to share with you too!

My latest creation that my boyfriend and I totally devoured last night is this Sausage & Butterbean Bake. I'm a huge fan of veggie sausages in the winter time, I just think they're great and super convenient option to base a meal around. I generally just cook them to serve either with something like a roast dinner or with mashed potato and greens but yesterday I was feeling inspired to make something a little different. This Sausage & Butterbean Bake was the result of that inspiration and I can tell you now I know it's going to be a staple for me this season!

The bake is absolutely the most warming & comforting dish. There's a stew style base made with chopped tomatoes, herbs & spices as well as some butterbeans added in there for more plant-based protein, fibre and an amazing consistency. You can combine the flavoursome stew with some veggie sausages (I used these ones from Quorn) to bake in the oven for an incredible meal in less than 45 minutes.

You could enjoy this stew simply as it is with some steamed greens as it's surprisingly filling or you could add some creamy mashed potato, crispy roasts or even some wholegrain rice. I personally served mine with mash which was just heavenly! I was certainly full and comfortably satisfied afterwards!

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Apple & Ginger Loaf Cake / The Bake-Off Bake-Over Week 5

This week on The Great British Bake Off was cake week - one of the absolute best weeks, right? Everyone loves cake, especially at the weekend with a cup of English Breakfast just can't beat it. Being gluten free, vegan and trying to avoid refined sugars it can be tricky to find ready-made cakes available to buy and the ones I've tried honestly haven't been so good, SO I like to make my own.

The bakers first task was to make a ginger cake, which instantly excited me because I adore ginger cake but have never actually made one myself. I knew I had to try and create a healthier, free-from ginger cake alternative for this weeks Bake-Off Bake-Over recipe! I'm pleased to say my attempt was a great success with this super tasty, light, fluffy Apple & Ginger Loaf Cake.

I'm beyond proud of how this free-from cake turned out! If you've ever tried to make a cake without eggs, butter and gluten free flour you'll know it's really tricky and almost always goes wrong. It's very difficult to create that light, fluffy texture but I did it with this recipe so well and I think it's the best gluten free, vegan cake I've actually ever taste.
Not only is the texture spot on but the flavours are mouth-wateringly delicious with just the right amount of warm ginger coming through along with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla. I chose to use apple puree in this recipe to not only help with the texture but add this incredible taste and natural sweetness to the cake which worked so well. I even added a bit of the apple puree over the top for extra yumminess. As you can imagine the flavours are so comforting and warm, they really make you feel so autumnal and this cake is unbeatable with a little bit of dairy-free custard or even warmed up with a dollop of ice-cream. Yum!

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Chocolate & Vanilla Raw Roulade / The Bake-Off Bake-Over Week 4

This week on The Great British Bake Off was dessert week and it was undoubtedly an episode that left every viewer craving cake! The show started as always with the signature bake which was to create their take on the classic roulade. Some of the flavour combination sounded out of this world and it inspired me to try to make my own free-from roulade. I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to do it but with much planning I succeeded in making this mouth-wateringly delicious Chocolate & Vanilla Roulade complete with sweet sponge and creamy vanilla filling.
This roulade recipe is actually un-baked which makes it pretty darn easy to throw together and means there's no risk of burning it in the oven! It may be unbaked but the sponge is just the best texture and the flavours are unbeatable. The whole recipe is free from gluten, dairy eggs, soya and refined sugar so it's suitable for so many. I actually made this for my sisters 21st birthday for the whole family to enjoy and everyone came back for seconds! It's the perfect decedent weekend sweet treat, it's ideal for celebrations and it looks pretty awesome too. I can't wait to see your recreations!

Be sure to check in next week to see what I recreate from The Great British Bake Off WEEK 5!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

Banana's are one of my absolute kitchen staples and I eat them pretty much every single day, whether that's for an energising snack, cut up onto porridge or a yogurt bowl, blended into a creamy smoothie or used in baking I always have to make sure bananas are in the house. As a true banana lover I'm really excited to be working with Fyffes, the number 1 importer of bananas and the leading marketer of organic & fair-trade bananas in Europe, to celebrate their 130th anniversary! I've always bought Fyffes bananas so I couldn't wait to get in the kitchen to come up with a delicious, nutritious recipe to celebrate this huge birthday of theirs. The recipe I've settled on is for these indescribably amazing Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins that are gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free.

I love to use bananas in baking because they add a truly wonderful flavour, natural sweetness and work as a great binder in vegan recipes...almost like an egg replacer. I always let my Fyffes bananas become really ripe before using them in baking as this brings out the natural sweetness even more and makes them super easy to blend into all the other ingredients. The banana flavour comes through so well in these more-ish muffins and is paired perfectly with the sweet chocolate chips. The texture of the muffins is so melt-in-your-mouth fluffy and light but tastes so decadent and satisfying at the same time. The muffins contain all natural ingredients so make for the perfect healthy mid-morning snack, afternoon pick-me-up or you could even enjoy one for a breakfast on the go.
Live Happy, Live Healthy


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