Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

Saturday, March 25, 2017


Prep time
Cook time
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Black bean brownies that are vegan, gluten free, and require just one bowl and about 30 minutes to prepare! Healthy, easy and delicious - the best kind of dessert.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free Brownies
Serves: 12
  • 1 15 oz. (425 g) can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 large flax eggs (2 heaping Tbsp (~16 g) flaxseed meal + 6 Tbsp (90 ml) water)
  • 3 Tbsp (45 g) coconut oil, melted (or sub other oil of choice)
  • 3/4 cup (72 g) cocoa powder (the higher quality the better)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/2 cup (105 g) organic cane sugar, slightly ground or pulsed in a food processor or coffee grinder for refined texture
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional toppings: crush walnuts, pecans or semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  2. Lightly grease a 12-slot standard size muffin pan (not mini). Make sure you've rinsed and thoroughly drained your black beans at this point.
  3. Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (besides walnuts or other toppings) and puree - about 3 minutes - scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  5. If the batter appears too thick, add a Tbsp or two of water and pulse again. It should be slightly less thick than chocolate frosting but nowhere close to runny.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tin and smooth the tops with a spoon or your finger.
  7. Optional: Sprinkle with crushed walnuts, pecans or chocolate chips.
  8. Bake for 20-26 minutes or until the tops are dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides. I found mine took about 25.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan. They will be tender, so remove gently with a fork. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don't be concerned if they seem too moist - that's the point. Plus, they're vegan so it doesn't really matter.
  10. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Refrigerate to keep longer.

These turned out really well, so I wanted to share the recipe. Next time I make them I want to try them with a different type of bean because it is hard to find black beans here. 

Garden Sauerkraut

Friday, March 24, 2017

My intention of writing every week has already gone out of the window and it is only March.  I keep losing track of time, I don't seem to be achieving very much either.  I have been through a few low moments and my energy has been on my little boy, me and keeping my head above water.  I had an old university friend to stay which was really refreshing and easy.  He taught me how to make "no need to knead bread" and sauerkraut.  

I have never been too keen on sauerkraut but I keep hearing about how amazing it is for "gut health"!  And the garden version we made is pretty good, so I thought I would share it. 

We collected loads of veggies from the garden, golden french beans, beetroot, zucchini, dill, pepper dews, cabbage, chard, whatever is available.  Chop everything finely.  

The guideline we followed is 2% salt.  So for a kilo of veg we used 20grms of malden sea salt. Add the salt to the finely sliced veggies and massage and squeeze all the water out.
You can then start putting the veggies into a glass jar, pushing the veggies down with your fist to bring more water out.  You want the vegetables to be covered by liquid. 

Finally leave this to ferment for 4/5 days. It will bubble over, put the glass jar on a plate to catch the extra liquid.  Make sure the veggies are covered by liquid all the time. When it is ready, you will notice a change in smell, put it in the fridge and its ready to eat.  Despite not looking very yummy, It is good! 

Butter lettuce salad with a cashew cream dressing

Monday, January 23, 2017

It has been really hot recently, but I have still had some amazing produce in the garden.  Lots of radishes, kohlrabi, pepper dews.  I am knee deep in pickled pepper dews at the moment!


I have also had the most beautiful butter lettuces from the garden, which I love and consider such a treat so I wanted to hero them in a salad. 


The result was a lovely light/fresh salad with an unusual dressing. I have been getting bored of the same old dressing of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a splash of tamari so I came up with something totally different. To start with you will need some cashew cream which is easy to make and you can keep the extra in the fridge.

Cashew Cream
130g of soaked cashews-I soak them overnight but if you cant then about 4 hours will do!
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tablespoon coconut oil
Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender with 50ml of water and blitz until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as you go.  You have to be quite patient, but persevere as it does come smooth. Put it in a little container and refrigerate.

Butter lettuce salad  Serves 4
1 large head of butter lettuce
1 kohlrabi –peeled and cut into ¼ inch match sticks
a small handful of fresh mint leaves
1 avocado-cubed (optional)

2 ½ tablespoons cashew cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper

To make the dressing whisk together the cashew cream, olive oil, and honey.  Add the lemon juice/vinegar, salt and pepper and whisk again. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste or a touch more vinegar of you prefer your dressing on the more acidic side.

Gently pull the lettuce leaves from the head, making sure they are dry.  Toss the leaves, the kohlrabi, mint and avocado with the dressing and serve immediately. 

Chilled Avocado Soup with Chipotle Chile

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I can't believe it has been over two years since I last wrote a blog post!  It doesn't feel that long ago...but in the mean time life has changed a huge amount for us and we now have a baby boy, Little H, who is 4 months old.

  In the past two years there has been the meteoric rise of food bloggers, lots of incredibly inspiration people, mainly women, writing and creating the most amazing plant based food. It is so exciting to see. I have even managed to get my husband to eat at Nama in London-the most incredible, raw food restaurant in Notting Hill, and The Mae Deli.

Life on the farm continues and we have just come to the end of our short season harvest of Hass Avocados, so of course todays recipe has to be avocado based!


It has been really hot here recently and so this Chilled soup has been hitting the spot.  It is loosely based on a recipe from Deborah Madison which I have adapted to make my own.  On a side note, I once read that if at least three ingredients in a recipe are changed the recipe is yours-does anyone know anything about this?
Unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the soup, photographing my food and "food styling" is something I am going to work on in 2017.

Chilled Avocado Soup-This is a really rich, smooth soup so I find that half a cup portions are enough.  This serves 6 people.
1 Small onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick rings
5 ripe avocados (about 300 grms), halved and seeded
2 cups home made vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (mint is also yummy)
2 teaspoons chopped oregano
1/2 Teaspoon of Chipotle chile paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
grated zest and juice of 2 limes
Sea salt
1/2 cup Coconut cream (coconut milk would also work)
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds, raw
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch of chile powder (I use Chilimanjaro powder)
Sea Salt

Sear the onion rings in a dry frying pan until softened and browned in places, about 5 minutes. I add 2 tablespoons of water half way through. You want to remove the harshness of the onion, but it doesn't need to be well cooked.
Using a spoon, scoop the avocado flesh into a blender.  Add the onion, stock, parsley, oregano, spices and the chipotle chile paste.  Puree until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and stir in the lime zest and juice. Add some salt to taste, then stir in the coconut cream.  Cover and chill well.
To prepare the peptise, heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the pumpkin seeds and stir until they begin to colour and start to pop, a couple of minutes. Add the lime juice, chile powder and a good pinch of salt and give everything a stir.  Remove the pan from the heat, and stir until the lime juice has evaporated.  Leave to cool.

Taste the soup for salt and acidity-you might want to add more lime juice, serve in small bowls with the pumpkin seeds scattered over.

Super seeds flatbread

Sunday, August 24, 2014

We are getting ready to head off to Slovenia for a few weeks holiday.  Its rather an epic journey from Kilimanjaro so I have decided to pack my own food-its a bit of a nightmare travelling for me being vegan and gluten free-I normally pack a few apples.  This time I am being organised!  On my last trip via Istanbul I made the fatal error of eating a salad in the airport and then spent the next 7 hours being really sick.  An experience I do not want to repeat!  So…I am taking some bread and avocados with me.  I have found a gluten free bread that I really like in "The Oh She Glows Vegan Cookbook"
I have made some for my trip.

This is gluten free and yeast free, it is dense and filling and packed with protein


For the seed topping:

4 tsps raw pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp raw sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp chia seeds (thank you Melinda!)
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
Fine sea salt for sprinkling

For the flat bread:

3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats-or any gluten free flour available (i used a quinoa and mulit seed flour)
1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats (kasha).  Again can substitute with any gluten free flour.
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
11/2 tsps granulated sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine grain salt
1 cup unsweetened dairy free milk-I use soya milk
1 tbsp melted coconut oil or olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 180C.  Line a square pan with two pieces of baking paper, one going each way.
2. Make the seed topping: in a small bowl combine all the seeds for the topping and stir to mix.  Set aside
3. Make the flat bread: If useing oats and buckwheat, in a high speed blender combine the oats and buckwheat and blend on high until a flour forms-about 10 seconds.
4.  In a large bowl, combine the oat and buckwheat flour, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, herbs, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk or stir to combine.
5.  Add the milk and oil to the bowl and stir very well until no lumps remain.  Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth it out with a spatula.
6.  Sprinkle the batter evenly with the prepared seed topping and salt.  Lightly press down on the topping with your hands.
7.  Bake for 25-30 mins, uncovered, until the flatbread is firm to the touch.
8.  Let the flat bread cool in the pan placed on a cooling rack for 15 mins.  Lift it out of the pan and place on a clean work surface.  Slice it into 4 squares.
9.  Store the flatbread in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.


Top with avocado and you're good to go! 

Cauliflower Rice

Thursday, August 14, 2014

You know its got to be good to inspire me to write again!  I have been having great fun on amazon recently and this week I go three new cookbooks.  One of them being Hemsley + Hemsley "The Art of Eating Well".  Lots of treasures in this book and on their blog
My husband complains that I eat too many carbs, and then tempt him to eat lots of rice etc.  I found the perfect solution in "The Art of Eating Well"-Cauliflower Rice!  I made it today instead of rice for us both and we LOVED it.  It is a 100% vegetable alternative to rice which I served with a simple coconut dhal.  

Cauliflower Rice
1 cauliflower
1 tbsp coconut oil (or ghee)
2 tbsp water
sea salt and black pepper

To make the "rice" remove the cauliflower leaves and the tough end of the stalk.  Use a food processor or the coarse teeth on a grater to grate the cauliflwer into rice-sized pieces.
Add the coconut oil to a pan with the grated cauliflower and the water.  Stir to mix.
Cook over a medim heat, lid on, to let the grated cauliflwer steam for 4-6 minutes until tender.  After a few minutes check to make sure that there is still enough water on the bottom of the pan to stop it catching.
Once cauliflower is tender, season to taste and serve.

Kale and Soba salad with Sesame Dressing

Thursday, November 7, 2013

I hope been hopeless at keeping my blog up to date.  I seem to only be able to do one thing at a time.  Anyway we have been feasting on home grown artichokes recently which has been a huge treat. H has been complaining that we eat too many cards, so this was my compromise.
I made this a week ago -loosely based on a recipe from Vegetable Literacy.  It is heaven!

1 bunch tuscan kale (cavolo nero)
5 tsp light sesame oil
Sea salt
4 brussle sprouts-I used some finely sliced cauliflower florets, and some french breakfast radishes instead!
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp brown rice wine vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan until golden
clives to finish
A bundle of soba noodles-cooked, drained and cooled-cook according to instructions as brands do vary

Slice the kale leaves off their ropy steams and discard the stems.  Working in batches, stack the leaves, roll them up tightly lengthways, and the thinly slice cross ways into narrow ribbons.  Put the ribbons in a slad bowl with 1 tsp of the sesame oil and a pinch of salt.  Squeeze the leave repeatedly with your hands until they glisten.
Slice the cauliflower thinly, and the radishes paper thin, then toss them all with the kale.
Pound the garlic with a pinch of salt in a small mortar until smooth.  Stir in the vinegar then whisk in the remaining sesame oil and the soy sauce.
Toss the salad with cooked, cooled soba, pour the dressing over and toss well.
Just before serving, toss with the sesame seeds and chives.