Posts tagged walnut
Date and walnut butters... seriously addictive!!

I have made both versions of this addictive 'butter' twice now... the second time was supposed to be given as a gift to friend. Ummmm.... that didn't quite happen. A spoon and my mouth happened ;-/

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Oh well... there is always another time (my friend got another gift instead- in case you were wondering!)

So, these 'butters' are seriously addictive.


And they take barely any tip to whip up. 


They tickle the 'sweet' tastebuds without being overly so, the delicate rich flavours of the toasted walnuts are beautifully complimented with the dates. The chocolate version gives you your chocolate hit, again without taking you to sugar overload. Being so dense in nuts, a spoonful will be enough to hit the spot. I guess in many ways you have a kind of 'trail mix in a pot'.

I originally got the idea for semi-sweet nut butter spreads here on Ricki Heller's site, she uses purely stevia as a sweetener as dates are a no go for her, but I loved the ideas and options she suggested, so I went to have a play and a tweak myself.

I spread these butters on crackers, sandwiched between cookies, stirred through ice cream, blitzed into a milkshake. The list is pretty much endless- though I will admit I mostly ate it straight from the spoon. I may need to learn a little self control.

Nut butter... sweet or savoury? How do you eat yours?

I have loads more 'nut butter' recipes currently under creation... I am in the midst of creating yet another free book for the Real Food Source, and this one is dedicated to nut butters! We hope to release in in the next month... I will keep you posted!

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Recipe: Date and walnut butters

Each makes 2 smallish jars

Ingredients- The 'Regular'

  • 2 cups heaped walnuts- lightly toasted
  • Pinch sea salt
  • ½ cup dates
  • 1 tbs coconut oil

Ingredients- The 'Chocolate'

  • 2 cups heaped walnuts- lightly toasted
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup dates
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs raw cocoa powder
  • 2 tbs raw cacao nibs
  • few drops stevia if extra sweetness desired


Roast the walnuts for about 5 minutes- you want them to be lightly toasted, make sure there are no burnt bits as it will impair the favour.

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and easily spreadable, stirring cacao nibs through last (if using)

These will store in a jar on the counter for a few weeks- mine didn't last longer than a week (and that's pushing it!)

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Maple walnut cake with parsnip

I really struggled to know what to call this cake….. maple syrup and date cake, date and walnut cake, parsnip and maple cake..

….or maple syrup, date, walnut and parsnip cake. Sounds like a ridiculous mouthful! But really that is what it should be called as each if of those ingredients really make this cake what it is!

In the end I decided not to focus on the parsnip so much as I worried people might find it odd, but believe me it works so well in this cake, a subtle taste but it’s definitely there with its earthy sweetness shining through.

This is the second time I’ve made this cake, but the first time I’ve added the walnuts as a crunchy layer on the top instead of mixed through.  It works superbly and I much prefer it this way. With a little more maple syrup drizzled over the topping takes on a chewy crispness once baked.

I also made this cake in a shallow square tin, as opposed to a loaf tin. I find that this cake is very moist which is lovely, but in a deeper loaf tin the centre does have the tendency to be a little too gummy. I would advise a shallow round or square tin to achieve a more consistent but dense crumb.

The snow is still on the ground here in the UK and this makes the perfect comforting cake for a wintry morning. Oh how I wish I could settle down with a nice steaming mug of camomile tea and a nice wedge of cake.....

Mmmmm....crunchy maple walnut topping!

Recipe: maple walnut cake with parsnip


  • 1/3 cup apple puree
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup maple syrup and a pinch stevia
  • 1/3  cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup orange juice (plus zest- optional)
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 ¾ cups spelt flour (approx. 200g)
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated parsnip (approx. 150g)
  • ½ cup finely grated apple
  • ½ cup finely chopped dates
  • ½-1 cup chopped walnuts (for topping)
  • Extra maple syrup as desired (for drizzling over)


Preheat oven to 180C. Blend together wet ingredients in food processor then mix in melted coconut oil. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl (except dates/parsnip/apple) then add wet mixture and stir until thick. Fold in the remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into  an 8’ round of square cake tin. Bake for approx. 30 minutes until lightly toasted and a skewer comes away clean. You may need to keep a close eye on the nuts during the final few minutes to watch they don’t burn (use foil over the top if this looks like it could be a problem and the centre is not cooked).

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Sweet Scones with Walnut & Cranberry

I like a challenge, the chance to do something a little different, the chance to explore a common theme with a little of my own imagination thrown in. I also enjoy seeing how others respond to an idea…

…for example if you were asked to make scones (aka American biscuits) what would you come up with?

Sweet, savoury, a circle of wedges, round scones cut with a cutter, fruity scones, chocolate scones, scones served with jam and cream for afternoon tea, scones served as a side with a casserole or broth…the list goes on!

I have recently joined the Daring Bakers and this was my first monthly challenge….scones! The challenges are set on the 1st of every month with a publishing date of the 27th of every month. It’s been very interesting to check out the results of the other bakers and to see just how different the outcomes can be.

For me the basic scone recipe presents simply the principle, one which I can then tweak to create a healthy vegan adaptation.  I opted for sweet scones as would be traditionally served with jam and cream (or in my case sugar free jam and a dollop of soy yoghurt). This is the type of scone with which I am most familiar; I remember days gone by cuddling up on the sofa with a warm wedge of light and fluffy baked scone slathered in jam and squirty cream!

I haven’t had too much experience with baking healthy vegan scones (or any scones for that matter), other than the first batch I ever made- my Halloween pumpkin scones which were a resounding success! This gave me a little confidence boost and I was keen to get cracking!

Traditional scones, whether sweet or savoury, consist primarily of plain flour, butter and milk. I adapted the basic recipe to incorporate spelt flour, almond milk and coconut oil and I’m pleased with the overall result…a good base for many flavour combinations.  I had three attempts at this challenge, tweaking as I went and reducing the liquid slightly and adding a little baking soda along with the baking powder, and adding a little dried fruit.  The original Daring Bakers January recipe challenge can be found here.

So, question time...Do you call them ‘biscuits’ or ‘scones’? Do you prefer sweet or savoury? What’s your favourite flavour combination?

Recipe: Scones with walnut and cranberry

Makes approx. 6 wedges or circles (I made one batch of each)


  • 1 cup mix of white and wholemeal spelt flours
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Tiny pinch of salt
  • 2 tables coconut oil (not melted)
  • Slightly over 1/3 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of choice) plus extra for glaze
  • 2 tsp agave syrup
  • ¼ cup mix of chopped cranberries and dates (optional)


Mix/sift dry ingredients well to maximise air in the mixture. 

Rub through the coconut oil with fingers to achieve a breadcrumb like consistency, then mix through the dried fruit if using. 

Mix agave into the milk and add liquid to the dry ingredients. Use hands to create a soft dough ball that should be slightly sticky but manageable.

On a floured surface, knead dough into a circle approx. 2cm thick and either cut into 6 wedges or circles using a cutter. Brush a little ‘milk’ over the tops to glaze.

Lay close together on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 210C for 8-10 minutes until tops are golden. You may need to rotate halfway through to ensure an even rise.

Daring Bakers... Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

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Spiced Apple Pancakes With Date & Walnut

Sometimes (usually at weekends) I wake up in pancake mode!

Today was one of those days.

My typical weekday breakfast oats consist of a grated apple mixed into milky oats with raisins, cinnamon and seeds or nuts sprinkled over a dollop of soy yoghurt on the top.

Well, this is simply my breakfast in pancake form with dates instead of raisins and walnuts as the perfect compliment. On their own I am not a huge walnut fan…but teamed with dates or maple syrup then I’m sold. You could use either date syrup or maple syrup in this recipe, I used maple syrup and then added the chopped dates to the batter.

These are thick moist pancakes and make for a pretty filing brunch. Believe me you really won’t need to be snacking again before lunch…particularly if like me these form part of a lazy morning, with brunch!

Saturday tends to be my chill-out catch up day, anything goes and I have no particular timetable or commitments. However, that said I do like to have felt that I ‘fitted a lot in’ to my day. I’ve said before that I’m not really very good at lazy days however hard I try! But the concept of lazy day pancakes sets me in the weekend mood, they take the healthy vibe and tweak it into a little indulgence. Perfect!

If you are a fan of pancake brunch (or indeed pancake dessert!) have a peek at my blueberry banana or my winter cranberry chestnut combos or the thumbnails below....

Recipe: Spiced apple pancakes with date and walnut

Makes approx. 6 medium thick pancakes. (serves two for brunch or desert)


  • ½ cup mix of wholemeal and white spelt flour
  • 4 tbs rolled oats
  • 1 grated apple
  • 3 finely chopped dates (optional or you can add more if omitting the maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbs maple syrup or 2 tbs date syrup) (omit if want a more savoury pancake)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup soy milk (or any milk alternative)
  • 1 tbs melted coconut butter/oil (or omit for fat free)
  • Topping- soy yoghurt, a sprinkling of chopped walnuts and a drizzle of maple or date syrup


Mix coconut butter/oil, syrup of choice and soy milk in a bowl and heat in microwave to melt the butter into the mixture. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add the wet and mix. Add chopped apple/dates last and lightly mix through. Spoon dollops on a lightly oiled hot frying pan and fry till golden for a minute or so each side. Serve with soy yoghurt and walnuts as desired.

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