Posts tagged orange
NEW Workbook Launch.... and Sweet Potato Choc Orange Muffins!

Yesterday I finally completed something I have actually been working on for some years now!

As you will gather from the title of this website, and this little story I shared a few weeks ago... quitting refined sugar BUT still eating treats is a huge factor in optimising my own life! It's something of a mission for me to share with the world :-)

In my opinion it is in one of the BEST things you can do for your body and mind equally, regardless of what kind of diet you follow. Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free etc ....everyone can benefit hugely from cutting out refined sugar from their diets!

A couple of years ago, after immersing myself in countless books, data, articles etc all about sugar, and even having this article published in the first ever edition of Vegan Life Magazine (huge proud moment!) I wrote the copy for an 8-week course I planned to run through a dedicated Facebook group in the lead up to summer. I created all the graphics and promo too.

It was literally all set to go.... but then 'life' for in the way and I didn't run it at all. All the wonderful content lay dormant on my laptop, even though I knew it had the potential to change so many peoples lives.  I feel a little embarrassed now admitting this to you all.

But I never forgot about it.

A few week ago I saw Star Kechara's passive income challenge to create a interactive workbook. It suddenly clicked.... all that wonderful copy I had written could be remodelled (and added to of course with all my new knowledge) into a workbook that people could fill in and work through at their own pace. A resource for life. It felt such a good fit!

So here it is! Now complete in all it's glory!  PLUS as an added bonus I have written a (pretty incredible) extended version of my 'sugar-free recipe book' as the perfect companion to the 4-week workbook challenge.

AND...I am offering this HUGE bundle (pictured above) for the price of the workbook alone until January 31st 2017!

You can find all the info with a sneak peak of what you'll get in the details here!

Or if you want to check out just the recipe book alone... details are here!

In the mean time I want to share a new recipe a from the recipe book with you... a little gift! This is a direct page grab from the book so you can see exactly how the recipes are laid out. 

These mini muffins are perfect for Christmas but any time of year really.... and it just so happens to be my favourite flavour combo (remember my little story!) True to nature they also pack some veggies in. I used sweet potato but this is a spin on my classic 'crazy courgette cake' so courgette or even carrot would work well here too!

I hope you make them, and enjoy them.... please tag me if you do! It always makes me smile. :-)

chocolate orange muffins
vegan chocolate orange mufffins
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Sticky orange and ginger cake

You know how much I love a super simple two-minute cake, right?

Well, can you imagine how excited I was a week or so ago whilst wandering through the bakeware section of the supermarket, when these caught my eye….

That’s right, they are silicone ‘pods’ for poaching eggs… ah, but I don’t eat eggs. Confused?

…can you see where my thoughts are going yet?

They are the perfect way to create a perfectly domed single serving ‘mug cake’ that can easily be removed for serving on a little dish.  So much prettier than eating straight out of a mug (though nothing wrong with that either!), and so much simpler than trying the line a mug with clingfilm (as I did with my carrot cake) so that the cake can be removed.

Go on treat yourself!

I’ve already tried a few flavour combo’s out…and I have another recipe for another time, but for now how about a bit of sticky orange and ginger cake?

The magic ingredient in this cake is sugar free orange and ginger jam (you could easily use sugar free marmalade and add your own ginger). I use these ‘jams’ for all sorts of things… and they come in loads of flavours (I’d just run out of my blueberry). Great as a glaze, or as a juicy surprise centre like in these coconut tartsThey are sweetened with fruit only.

So onto the recipe itself, I have used white spelt flour but you could easily sub a GF mix (my usual one is equal measures of ground almonds, buckwheat flour and tapioca starch). Some of the jam is mixed through the batter or used as a surprise melty centre and the rest is melted over the top of the freshly cooked cake as a glaze. You will need very  little extra sweetener (if any) so go sparingly!

This sweet and citrusy dessert was the perfect pick me up for my Friday afternoon…and I certainly needed it after I’d given blood in the morning and then without heeding the nurses order of ‘rest and no strenuous activity’ for the rest of the day…I spent it on my feet for 5 hours in the kitchen, and as you know that is often a very strenuous activity. Ooops!

Resting with some cake now. All is better in the world.

Recipe: Sticky orange and ginger cake

Serves 1 (or double up for a sharing portion!)


  • 3 tbs white spelt flour (or GF mix)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp orange jam (for centre or mixed through) plus extra for glaze
  • 1 tsp agave syrup (if needed to taste)
  • Up to 2tbs  orange juice


Mix dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix well.  You can either add the jam to the mixture or reserve it to add as a melty centre.

In another greased/lined small microwaveable dish (or use a silicone egg poach!) spoon half of the mixture, add a dollop of jam to the centre (if preferred) and then spoon the remaining batter on the top.

Microwave for 40 seconds on full power. Test with a finger and if the sponge springs back you’re done. Cook for another 20 seconds if necessary.

Serve cake on a plate and spread a little more jam to glaze whilst the sponge is still hot. Decorate with mango or orange pieces, soy yoghurt/cream and a dusting of ginger.

(look at the gooooey melty centre peeping out at you....!)

(look at the gooooey melty centre peeping out at you....!)

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Valentines choc-orange cupcakes with healthy 'fudge' topping!

I love all the blood orange ideas that are making their way into a few recipes at the moment, the perfectly healthy and natural way of bringing a little bit of pink into your life… what a coincidence that Valentines Day is just around the corner!

So, I wanted to create a little bit of pink and chocolatey indulgence of my own. I couldn’t track down any fresh blood oranges in my part of the world so I had to make do with some fresh blood orange juice instead. All the liquid in this recipe comes from the juice, and being such a vibrant pink colour I had hoped the batter would also be a gorgeous pink shade….hmmm not so much! So at this point I have to admit that I had to supplement this with about 5 drops of red food dye.  The batter was a real rich fuchsia colour at this point, although once cooked the colour was much more subtle.

The cupcake sponge is lovely and light, based on this original recipe but substituting the liquids. I love the combination of chocolate and orange in any form. To emphasise the pink theme without having to resort to playful sugary toppings etc, I sprinkled the tops of the cupcakes and the serving plate with pomegranate seeds. Beautiful…and so much better for you than sugar!

This recipe also showcases my newest healthy chocolate frosting!

Can you guess what it contains…

…yep, more beans!

I love this recipe as it simply another step on from my black bean fudgeYou can make both the fudge and the frosting in a matter of minutes without having to wash anything up in between. My perfect kind of recipe! The key is to really blend it well.

If you’re a little bit beaned out, you could use this frosting as an alternative, its also quick and simple to make!

Recipe: Valentines choc-orange cupcakes

Frosting ingredients:

  • 200g prepared
  • fudge mixture
  • 80g soy milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 2 tsp agave (or more to taste)

This makes enough to frost approx. 12 cupcakes.


Simply add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until really smooth. Adjust the ‘milk’ to achieve the desired consistency.

Cupcakes ingredients:

  • 200g white spelt flour (or GF flour mix)
  • 75g potato starch
  • 1tsp flax seed mixed with 1tbs hot water
  • 3tsp baking powder 
  • 1tbs bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g agave syrup
  • 70g rapadura
  • ¼ tsp stevia
  • 100ml melted coconut oil
  • 50ml soy yoghurt
  • 300ml blood orange juice (the pinker the better)
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 drops natural red food colour


Blend all liquids in food processor and melt coconut oil separately then mix in. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl then pour into the wet ingredients and beat well to get a smooth mixture. Pour into lined cupcake pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180C. Turn half way through to ensure an even rise. A toothpick will come away clean when cooked.

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‘Twelve Days’ day 1: Spiced cranberry orange cake

At my mum’s house, traditionally we wouldn’t put the Christmas decorations up until a couple of weekends before Christmas. However this weekend my sister had popped back home from uni and so with all the Christmas baking plans that I was busy drafting up we decided that we’d break that tradition and get full on into the swing. 

Yesterday afternoon was spent with boxes of decorations all around us on the floor- trying to decide which ones to use and which ones were just a bit too old/battered/silly to put up this year. Nostalgia usually gets the better of us and we end up with a Christmas tree ornament collection that looks so random it is almost an embarrassment to visitors who might not appreciate the odd shaped and badly stitched felt stocking that my brother made in primary school about 20 years ago!

So this year, we tried to keep to more of a theme with just a few of the most important nostalgic decorations allowed permission on the tree. It looks so much better!

We don’t go overboard on decorating the whole house from top to toe, but fairly lights are essential! I love fairy lights- I’d keep them up all year round if I could. They give such a warm happy glow to a space and make me want to twirl around the room! Ok, well maybe that is just me…?

Once the tree was up it was time to sit back with a glass of mulled wine. This year I thought I’d try making my own- it was based on a Jamie Oliver recipe that involves first making a syrup base to mix into the red wine. It was lovely, and I’ve bottled up the remaining syrup to have over Christmas itself. 

Along with mulled wine came dessert... a spiced orange and cranberry cake! This dessert becomes the first of the ‘Twelve Days’ of recipes and is super versatile in that it can be served warm as a dessert with custard, served cold as a slice of cake or even baked in muffin tins.

We ate ours warm with custard (Alpro soya custard in fact as I just didn’t have time to make my own).  Mmmm, it was good- dense, moist, lightly spiced and sweet but not overly so with a crisp tang from the cranberries and a warmth from the citrus and spices. Those who like a very sweet dessert may want to increase the sweetener slightly to compensate for the sharpness of the cranberries.  I imagine this cake would freeze well, but I can’t imagine this one being around long enough to test that out!

Recipe: Spiced cranberry orange cake

Makes one 7” cake


  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/3 cup rapadura plus ¼ tsp stevia (add a little extra if a very sweet cake is preferred)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • 4 tbs apple puree
  • 2 tbs coconut butter (melted) or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp orange zest or 1 tsp orange extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 banana- mashed
  • Small tin of mandarins or two clementines peeled in to segments and roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cranberries partially chopped


Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.  Blend together the wet ingredients (other than oranges and cranberries) in a food processor until well mixed and then add to the dry ingredients. Lastly add the oranges and cranberries to the mixture and mix through gently to break up the oranges but do not over mix. Pour the mixture into a greased  7” round cake pan. Bake at 180C for approx. 25 minutes loosely covering the cake for the final 10 minutes if the top begins to brown before the middle is cooked through.

For a similar cake idea but with a lighter sponge see this post with apples and blueberries.

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Chocolate orange 'Smoosh' bar (aka- Nakd bar/Larabar)

‘Nakd’ bars were something I was introduced to (by the boy) very early on, when veganism was still largely an intriguing curiosity to me.  Well, it could be said that if these bars were anything to go by then I’m in!!  I could barely believe I wasn’t eating chocolate, let alone raw fruit and nuts!

Nakd bars are, in effect, the UK version of the American Larabar. Soooo expensive to buy in the shops I noticed plenty of people were making their own versions and I wasn’t going to be left out. The Nakd bars make it even more straight forward in that they list the percentages of each ingredient on the packet itself so making it super simple to copy. However, in typical ‘me’ directly fashion I like to tweak things a little to lay my own mark. Also, I’m absolutely hopeless at following a recipe and prefer to play it by instinct and whatever takes my fancy (this works most of the time but I would be lying if I said all of the time- it comes back to bite me at times!)

The chocolate orange bar was my first taste and still my favourite to this day. To me, in the early days of my new appreciation of food and nutrition, the choc orange Nakd bar seemed the epitome of healthy decadence! 

See this post for my 'gateway to veganism' Nakd Bar Story :-)

Recipe: chocolate orange 'Smoosh' bar


(use all organic if possible):

  • 100g pitted dates
  • 60g cashew nuts
  • 47g raisins
  • 25g coconut flour
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 3g chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp orange rind
  • 1 tsp orange extract

The ingredients add up to 250g and will make 5 x 50g bars. I often double or triple the recipe as these bars will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks (plus i'm usually making more to give to family members).


Put everything into a food processor and smoosh together until chopped up into tiny pieces and the bowl is filled with a fine sticky powder (and the air is filled with the heady smell of chocolate orange). If you prefer a smoother bar with less chunky nuts (the cashews in the pics are fairly chunky) then process these for a bit on their own first before adding all the other ingredients in with them.

To form into bars I press the mixture into a tin lined with baking parchment or cling film and use the flat end of a rolling pin to firmly pack the mixture down. You could also form into balls or rolls with your hands (although I haven’t tried this). Chill for a while before lifting out if the tin and cutting into bars. Store in the fridge or cupboard if eating within a few days.

The perfect mid-morning pick-me-up!  ……. Or for that matter mid-afternoon, mid-evening, lunch, dinner….

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