Fudgy Date Balls
Think fudge, think butter and sugar. These, on the other hand, taste naughty, but they’re really not. Adapted from Deliciously Ellla’s recipe for walnut truffles, my brother’s fiancé introduced me to these vegan delights as she’s given up dairy. Pistachios are my favourite nut, so they really hit the spot for me.
They’re so easy to make: just coarsely grind 50g shelled pistachios, leaving some aside to coat the truffles. Then blend 200g pitted dates with 10g of coconut oil and ½ tsp of vanilla extract before adding to the crushed pistachios. Roll into bite-sized balls, coat with the remaining pistachios and leave in the fridge for at least two hours. The texture really does go fudge-like!
Ready for the ingredients for these apple crisps? Pen and paper at the ready? Well, you should remember this as it’s just one ingredient: the humble apple! Use a mandolin to slice them super thin, then bake at a low temperature (around 100C) to avoid burning for around an hour and a half. Baking them brings out their sweetness and you can snack on them guilt-free. Perfect!
With Pancake Day on the horizon, I’m glad I discovered this Anna Jones recipe in time – a slightly different version from her recipe in A Modern Way to Eat. They’re made sweet from the nutrient-rich banana instead of sugar and the oats make them really filling. I serve mine with my favourite superfood, blueberries, and drizzled with a little syrup and sometimes a dollop of yoghurt. Yum.
Blend up a cupful of oats, then grate two apples and put 150ml of almond milk, one banana and a handful of pecans into a blender. Melt some coconut oil into a non-stick pan and add a ladleful to make thick pancakes – they just need cooking for a couple of minutes each side. This breakfast really feels like a treat but is packed full of goodness.
Banana & Raspberry Bread
My Harry Eastwood Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache cookbook is my go-to manual when making a cake, probably because I’m allured by its strapline, ‘The ultimate feel-good book of natural cakes that taste naughty’. I’ve made her cinnamon banana bread several times before when the yellow fruits begin to go a bit brown and squishy, but this time, I ramped up the good-for-you factor another notch by adding frozen raspberries and chopped dried figs to the mix, and replacing the rice flour with some wholemeal flour and the sugar with agave syrup. Extra bonus: this cake contains no butter, but is still moreishly moist!
My version is this: Whisk two eggs with 100ml of agave syrup, then mix through two mashed bananas, a teaspoon of cinnamon and all-spice, 150g of wholemeal flour, four chopped dried figs and a couple of handfuls of frozen raspberries. Put in a lined loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes. It’s that easy!
Whenever we watched a movie (usually of the Disney variety) on a rainy Sunday afternoon, we used to buy big bags of butterscotch-flavoured popcorn. Now, I certainly didn’t want to put a stop to the tradition – even the smell of popcorn makes me feel like I’m at the cinema! – but we knew full well that the buttery, sugary stuff wasn’t good for us.
When air popped, popcorn is packed with fibre and antioxidants, but it’s so much cheaper to buy the kernels (often you can grab a kilo bag for just a couple of pounds) and make it yourself, and that way you can keep an eye on what you’re putting in there, too.
We’ve got a popcorn machine, but you can make it in a large saucepan – the machine just makes it fun for Evie to collect as it comes shooting down the flume! Our favourite popcorn coating is to melt coconut oil and combine with agave syrup, cinnamon, desiccated coconut and chopped up apple crisps (from the recipe above).
Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, please share your feel-good recipes below and help us start the year as we mean to go on!
Toni Waterfall – Cookery, Food & Drink A mum with a food-loving family and a part-time pescatarian lifestyle, I’m always searching for delicious and practical ideas to try in the kitchen. My all-time favourite chef is Gordon Ramsay, but I’ve never made a bad meal using a Jamie Oliver recipe. Spaghetti bolognaise is the go-to meal in my household, but I also enjoy cooking curries from scratch – especially seafood ones. I always say that balance and seasoning are crucial elements of getting a dish right. I’m constantly thinking ahead to the next meal and am an impulsive, daily supermarket shopper, as opposed to a weekly bulk buyer.