Vegan Chocolate Cake with Cashew ‘Cream Cheese’ Icing

No gluten, dairy, egg or cane sugar

You can dispense with any recitation of this cake’s nutritional virtues and confidently serve it on the basis of great taste alone. Moist, dark with layers of flavours and it improves with age. It is topped with a cream cheese-like icing made from cashews instead of dairy. A similar Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe on my site has a chunkier texture and a baked on topping. Read more

Cumin and Rosemary Crackers

Makes 32
Paleo, vegan; no grain, gluten, dairy, egg, or legumes; low FODMAPS; with nut-free option

Wonderfully crisp, crunchy, stylish and flavourful. Very easy to make, yet deceptively alchemical. Before baking, the mixture looks like porridge, not crackers. The change in structure is thanks to the linseed and chia seeds. Their high soluble fibre content absorbs much of the liquid and acts as a strong binding agent. They are also a good source of minerals and prebiotics which can help gut health. Read more

Salted Caramel Chocolate Nut Tart

Serves 12-16
Vegan, Paleo; no gluten, grain, dairy, soy, legumes, egg, citrus or cane sugar

I have prepared this often and I don’t think anyone has eaten it and not released a pleasurable sigh like a happy balloon.  Originally a recipe from the excellent gourmandeinthekitchen.com, I have made numerous adjustments, especially to simplify instructions, decrease sweeteners, and make the ganache-style topping creamier. The result is rich and satisfying, so serve in small portions. Read more

5 Minute Strawberry Jam

Makes 3/4 cup

Paleo; vegan; no grain, gluten, dairy or cane sugar

Vivid, fruity and fabulous. Just 4 ingredients, 5 minutes prep and about 15 minutes for chilling. Use on toast, or for a snack or dessert dollop on or ripple through coconut yoghurt or my Apricot Whip. Or sandwich between cookies or cake layers. Make while summer berries are at their luscious best. Or experiment with other seasonal fruits. Read more

Chia Dessert or Breakfast Pudding: 4 Fast Fab Flavours

Chocolate; Apricot Coconut; Apple Cinnamon; Vanilla Fig

Serves 2; 5 minutes prep

Raw vegan and Paleo; no gluten, grain, dairy, egg, soy or cane sugar

Yes, it might seem incongruous, but this is thick, creamy and dreamy enough for dessert while having superfood nutrient levels to qualify as breakfast.

Chia looks like tiny dark sesame seeds. It is similar to linseed or flaxseed in its nutrition powerhouse properties such as soluble fibre, protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. It has more antioxidants – including flavonoids, quercetin and phenolics – than many berries and other fruits. For digestibility, chia does not need to be ground or cooked like linseed does. Soaking though will maximise its high soluble fibre content, which is excellent for weight and blood sugar management, liver and bowel function. Read more

Blonde Bliss Balls

Makes 24

Vegan/almost vegan; no gluten, dairy, soy; with options for cane sugar

Like coconut ice without all the sugar. Pretty white balls are flecked with the bright red of dried fruit. Make them in minutes – a good project for children, and a lovely hostess or festive gift in bags tied with red ribbons. Best stored in the refrigerator, but they won’t ooze if left out. They keep for weeks and are great to have on hand for surprise guests, lunch boxes, and soulful snacking.

Truffle-like Bliss Balls are very trendy: small, healthy nuggets of nuts and dried fruit. They are usually vegan and often raw. Nuts and dried fruit are great sources of blood sugar-balancing protein, brain-nourishing fats, weight-regulating soluble and insoluble fibre, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and other micronutrients. Read more

Quinoa ‘Rice’ Pudding

Serves 2

Vegan; no gluten, dairy, egg, cane sugar; with options for soy

My daughter grew up as I did with a fondness for homemade rice pudding. More recently, my baby granddaughter tried this dessert quinoa-style and gave her approval. Versions of rice pudding are found in most cuisines. Possibly first developing in Persia, it was mentioned by the Romans, Confucius, Shakespeare and the Buddhist sutras. Sometimes different grains were used but the principle was the same.

This version is just as sweet and delicious as one using white rice and highly refined sugar. Quinoa is high in protein and along with dried fruit and cinnamon creates a relationship between parts that helps regulate blood sugar. Any left-overs make a great breakfast served hot or cold. Read more

Chocolate Nut Fudge

About 50 tiny pieces

Vegan; no gluten, dairy, soy, cane sugar – or cooking required

Really, really good. The results are gourmet while the skill level required is primary school. Two colleagues – Linda Outhwaite and Jamie Smith – inspired me with their versions of this super simple and luscious confection. The high cocoa density adds a caffeinated thrill – as well as ample magnesium, calcium, iron and antioxidants. Among the latter are phenols linked with lowering high blood pressure. Some studies show this effect is negated if the chocolate includes milk, which seems to impede absorption. One type of phenol is flavonoids including (yes, another sub-category) epicatechins. These score impressively on the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) score. This is used to assess how much power an antioxidant has for preventing destruction from free radicals. In excess free radicals are involved with premature ageing and disease. Read more

Frangipane Slice

Makes 20 – 24 small slices

(No gluten, dairy, egg, cane sugar; with options for soy)

Sweet, moist, long keeping and super easy. The apricots are particularly high in alkaline potassium, a key nutrient for calm nerves and muscles including the heart. Dried fruit supplies a surprising amount of protein, fibre and minerals including iron. For visual appeal, choose a selection of different coloured fruit. Candied ginger is an especially punchy flavour contributor, but it does have cane sugar….. Read more