A simple spiced no bake fruit and nut tart

This recipe is really simple, I promise. Plus, you can get the ingredients at pretty much any shop and can use whatever fresh fruit you can get your hands on/needs to be used up.
Another major bonus is that it doesn’t require any cooking and if you don’t mind a slightly crumbly base then it can be eaten straight away, woo hoo!
It would also be a great thing to bring to a party/bbq as it’s gluten free and if using a non dairy based thick yogurt then it’s suitable for those with dairy allergies too, plus by using lots of different coloured fruit it can look really pretty so is bound to impress!

A simple spiced no bake fruit and nut tart Desserts snack vegan

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Healthier cherry bakewell buns 2 ways- paleo or wholegrain

I purposely made this recipe with two different flours meaning it’s suitable for many different types of diets/requirements.
I’m quite fond of spelt flour but this time I used buckwheat flour instead so that it would be gluten free, I’ve also included a coconut flour recipe meaning that this version is grain and gluten free but also lower carb and suits paleo/grain free diets.

Healthier cherry bakewell buns 2 ways- paleo or wholegrain Breakfast Desserts Lunch snack

Coconut flour low carb version

Healthier cherry bakewell buns 2 ways- paleo or wholegrain Breakfast Desserts Lunch snack

Healthier Buns
Out of curiosity I decided to look into the specific nutrition of each version using an online nutrition calculator and found that they are far lower in sugar, calories and fat than your typical store bought ones, plus they’re made with real food ingredients and sweetened mostly (or completely if you omit the honey) with fresh fruit making them a far healthier option in my opinion and also contain quite a bit of fibre to boot!
For the calculation I used the options of 1 tspn honey and medium fat milk, the results per bun are:
Buckwheat version
-122 calories
-12g carbs
-4.7g sugar
-6.6g fat
Coconut version
-103 calories
-8.2g carbs
-4.9g sugar
-6.7g fat

Healthier cherry bakewell buns 2 ways- paleo or wholegrain Breakfast Desserts Lunch snack

Buckwheat flour version

Healthier cherry bakewell buns 2 ways- paleo or wholegrain Breakfast Desserts Lunch snack

Recipe Notes
The major key to the distinctive bakewell taste of this recipe is the almond extract as this gives the unique marzipan flavour, without it they’ll still be nice buns but the flavour won’t be as good or as distinctive so I highly recommend getting it which should be easy as I found mine in a big Tesco store in the baking aisle.

I used a reduced fat  coconut flour meaning that you need to source yours carefully as some still have all the fat in it meaning the recipe won’t work the same. I used The Groovy Food company’s coconut flour which I managed to find in a large Tesco store on offer too! So do keep an eye out for it, you don’t always have to go to health food shops to get ingredients like this anymore.
As always I prefer to use as little added sweetness as possible so I’ve tried this recipe with and without honey so simply adjust it to your sweet tooth.
As mentioned before I used buckwheat flour this time so it would be gluten free but if you only have spelt flour then that will work too.Healthier cherry bakewell buns 2 ways- paleo or wholegrain Breakfast Desserts Lunch snack

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4 ingredient sinless sundae with a simple blueberry sauce

My previous sinless sundae was a big hit with lots of people, it’s still one of the most popular posts on the blog so I’m hoping you guys like this one just as much!
It’s easy to make, only requiring 4 ingredients and a small food processor plus tastes just as good as any premade/processed dessert. If you don’t already have pre-frozen bananas then make them up first/a few hours before.

4 ingredient sinless sundae with a simple blueberry sauce Breakfast Desserts snack vegan

A guilt free delicious sundae

This sundae has a chia/flax seed base and the simplest, warm, juicy blueberry sauce to top it off which contrasts beautifully with the cold banana soft serve nicecream, it’s a seriously good combo, super healthy and actually quite low in calories and fat, bonus! (more…)

Belfast’s Co Couture gourmet chocolate shop

Belfast chocolate lovers rejoice!

I thought I knew about all of the best spots in Belfast to grab a quality bite to eat/a treat but I only recently discovered the amazing, gourmet, Co Couture chocolate shop that resides beside City hall (left at city hall, past Cafe Nero, down some steps). When you first enter the shop, you’re immediately greeted with the smell of warm, melted chocolate, oh what a greeting it is! I was not the only customer to notice or appreciate this and it’s due to the chocolates being made on site with no door separating the seating area and kitchen, allowing the smells to float through.

Belfast's Co Couture gourmet chocolate shop Advice Desserts Health
The second thing that grabs your attention is the selection of chocolates and cute mini brownies on display. During my visit there were two brownie flavours: classic and salted cashew butter (gluten free). As for the chocolates, there was quite a range (and still more to come), some of which included: orange, hazelnut creme, Japanese cherry sencha (this was my choice) and even Irish whiskey truffle!
You get one of these chocolates with your order of coffee/hot chocolate and the rest are 80p each, which is an absolute bargain when you understand the high quality of these treats, evidence of which could be seen from the many awards that sat upon the shelves.

Belfast's Co Couture gourmet chocolate shop Advice Desserts Health Belfast's Co Couture gourmet chocolate shop Advice Desserts Health

Impressive chocolate flavour

Immediately upon tasting the chocolate you’ll realise that these are very different from your average box of chocs that claim to be “dark” yet are only 40% cocoa solids. These differ not only in terms of darkness (most are 72%) but the flavours as well, which is also extended to their hot chocolate drink.
As the makers have slowly replaced raw unrefined cane sugar with the smallest amounts of honey, this allows the flavours to come through so much more, plus, you aren’t hit with a sugar rush which is why I feel most people would be satisfied and satiated with a small selection as opposed to having that uncontrollable sugar craving that is commonly associated with standard chocolate.

Belfast's Co Couture gourmet chocolate shop Advice Desserts Health

Quality

As I’ve just briefly mentioned, one of the key factors behind the rich flavour is that nearly all of them are now refined sugar free with only small amounts of honey being used and a bonus for those who are lactose intolerant/avoiding dairy is that the dark chocolate is dairy free. Furthermore, the base couverture chocolate that is used is organically sourced and originates from Madagascar, which provides a more developed, fruity flavour.

Another major plus which I loved is that because they use couverture chocolate in bar form rather than sourcing and grinding the beans themselves, this provides x4 times the profit for the cocoa farmers meaning that they get a better wage, now if that wasn’t a good enough reason to get you in there then maybe this next point is. The ganache that is made here to create the truffle centre is water based rather than cream, meaning it’s lower in calories but due to the overall rich cocoa content of the chocolate it does not affect the flavour.

Belfast's Co Couture gourmet chocolate shop Advice Desserts Health

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Creamy chocolate nourishing “notella” pudding + 1/5 a day!

A creamy chocolate “notella” pudding that’s just as tasty as a nutella pudding but healthier, nourishing and counts as 1/5 a day!

Creamy chocolate nourishing "notella" pudding + 1/5 a day! Desserts snack Uncategorized vegan

Chocolate hazelnut healthy avocado pudding

How I choose to nourish, not punish 
It’s recipes like this that make it really easy for me to stick to a healthy, nutritious eating pattern and to resist processed snacks/desserts, after all, it’s sweet, creamy, chocolate flavoured and rich, so how could I feel denied?

When  I eat food like this I remember all the good things about the ingredients and how they’re benefiting my body:
*good fats for soft skin and heart health
*antioxidants for overall health
*fibre from the avocado and nuts for a good digestive system and slow energy release
*natural sweetness

Creamy chocolate nourishing "notella" pudding + 1/5 a day! Desserts snack Uncategorized vegan

Guilt free nourishing chocolate indulgent dessert

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Grain free spiced squash loaf-cake

Ok, you may be wondering what a “loaf-cake” is, well, it’s what I’ve created here as it looks like a loaf but is softer and mildly sweet so tastes a bit like a cake, therefore, loaf-cake! 😃

Grain free spiced squash loaf-cake Breakfast Desserts Lunch snack

 

For this recipe I’ve used a mix of fat reduced almond and coconut flour meaning it is grain free.
To get the best results, i.e. a thick, slightly sticky texture, try to use a concentrated fruit puree like this one. It was very thick in consistency but this provides the stickiness, if you can’t find anything like this then I’ve also successfully used 1 apple, boiled for 10mins then pureed or some honey/jam. I like Meridian’s jams as they don’t have any refined sugar and are sweetened solely by fruit, you can find these in Holland & Barrett or big supermarkets.
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