Beet Nut Butter Cups

Beet Nut Butter Cups | Veggie Desserts

Beetnut butter. I’ll admit that this recipe came about because I wanted to write that. I’m thinking beetnut butter sandwiches, beetnut butter and jam, beetnut butter on overnight oats…We’re breaking new ground here, people: Beet. Nut. Butter. Yeaaaah. You can’t taste the beet, but woah – the colour!

But we all know the decadent amazingness of peanut butter and chocolate, right? And beetroot and chocolate is pretty great. So how but bright purple beet nut butter cups? Waaaay better. Because it’s purple. And it has veg. Fist pump.

I made my beet nut butter with cashews, but use any nuts you have. It would be great with almonds or hazelnuts as well. Want it vegan? Use vegan chocolate. Easy.

Beet Nut Butter Cups | Veggie Desserts

I’ve just been for a walk in the pouring rain. The sort of rain that feels like it will fall from the clouds forever. A warm, late summer downpour that smelled autumnal: no cut grass, no damp flowers, just the earthy smell of newly-fallen brown leaves turning to sludge. It was quite beautiful.

I’m getting a bit wistful again. Sorry. I need to go have some painful belly laughs and get drunk on cider.

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Sweet Corn and Coconut Mini Cakes with Corn Cob Jelly

Sweet Corn Mini Cakes with Corn Cob Jelly | Veggie Desserts

Corn and coconut soup, coconut creamed corn… two alliterative flavours that pair together in decadent heaven. So I put them together in cake. Ooh, yeah.

The fields of corn wave at the roadside, nodding their blonde wayward hairdos at me sagely. You are somewhere new, changes are afoot all around, they whisper, but this is right, you are home. The fields are different ones but they are the same. The cornfields of my childhood weren’t the same as the cornfields of my teenagedom. Then those cornfields made way for the early adult cornfields in a new country, a new world. Now I’ve moved again but still, cornfields. Always cornfields. Comforting fields of giants.

Now I have taken their golden pearls and made cake.

Sweet Corn and Coconut Mini Cakes with Corn Cob Jelly | Veggie Desserts

This moist, mild cake has faint corn undertones with the coconut. I reduced the fat content by adding Greek yogurt and put in less sugar so it isn’t sickly sweet but still cakelike. Then I boiled the leftover corn cobs into a quick corn cob jelly to sweeten up the cake a little more. The corn cob jelly is a revelation. So easy to make and absolutely gorgeous. It tastes like honey! I adapted the jelly recipe from this corn cob jelly.

How to make whipped coconut cream.

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Avocado and Hazelnut Milk Coffee Smoothie (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)

Avocado and Hazelnut Milk Coffee Smoothie (Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free) | Veggie Desserts
This recipe is based on Sinh To Bo, the traditional Vietnamese avocado shake, with the extra addition of coffee. Because, well, I need it. My kids wake up at six AM and it’s killing my slowly. The avocado and fresh hazelnut milk make it silky smooth, thick, rich and delicious. If Britney Spears has taught us anything in life, it’s that Frappuccinos aren’t good for us. So this one is vegan, gluten free, sugar free and is packed with nutrients from the humble avocado. Take that Starbucks.

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Pea and Vanilla Cake with Lemon Icing and Pea Shoots

Sweet Pea and Vanilla Cake with Lemon Icing | Veggie DessertsSweet summer peas are an absolute joy. Ideally eaten straight from pod to mouth on a warm morning with nothing to rush for, nothing to do but burst the little spheres and savour the texture and flavour. Does anyone have the luxury of empty time? Will I ever have it again?

You could stare into the distance blissfully eating peas, listening to songbirds and relishing the moment, or you could rush indoors and bake a cake. A pea cake with vanilla and a lemon frosting. Decorated with a halo of pea shoots like the cider queen at a village fete. We all know the sweetness of peas, and in this cake the pea flavour fades beneath the vanilla, marrying nicely with the zing of the lemon buttercream. In its wake the peas leave their moist green vegetable goodness, nutrients and vitamins. Wrapped in a blanket of cake.

Two weeks without broadband. This is the horror that has befallen me. There is nothing I can do but muster my energy, stiffen my upper lip, raise my chin and cope. With wartime spirit I make do, eyes squinting at mobile screen. It’s barbaric.

This week I was thrilled to be on Sorted Food as well as Grazia. I was also interviewed in Cook Vegetarian Magazine and made the Guardian Sustainable Blog of the Week!

Sweet Pea and Vanilla Cake with Lemon Icing | Veggie Desserts
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Cauliflower and Chocolate Ice Lollies with Pistachio Dust

Cauliflower and Chocolate Ice Lollies with Pistachio Dust | Veggie Desserts

Yeah, you read that right: cauliflower. No cream, no milk, not even an avocado. This creamy frozen treat is… pureed cauliflower. Cauliflower makes a nice, fairly neutral base (as we all know from cauli rice, cauli pizza etc…), and it’s flavour pairs well with cinnamon and chocolate. So here I’ve turned it into a sweet chocolate popsicle with a hint of coffee and cinnamon, plus a hard chocolate shell sprinkled with pistachio dust. Use milk, dark or vegan chocolate if you wish.

You’re intrigued, perhaps skeptical. But I urge you to give it a whirl: the flavours mask the taste of cauliflower and it’s a portion of veg in a frozen dessert. Yup.

I made these in my Froothie Optimum high speed blender, but you could also use a hand blender and make it in stages.

Cauliflower and Chocolate Ice Lollies with Pistachio Dust | Veggie Desserts

The house echos. Memories are in boxes. The carcass of my empty house no longer feels like home. We are moving across the country and new adventures await. But for now I’m exhausted and I broke my toe on a box. Popping bubble wrap has lost all of it’s pleasure. Adieu old town, old life.

Cauliflower and Chocolate Ice Lollies with Pistachio Dust | Veggie Desserts

Cauliflower and Chocolate Ice Lollies with Pistachio Dust

Yield: 4

Cauliflower and Chocolate Ice Lollies with Pistachio Dust

Ingredients

    For the popsicles:
  • 250g (2 cups) cauliflower
  • 75g (½ cup) chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 1 teaspoon strongly brewed coffee, cooled
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • To decorate:
  • 35g (¼ cup) chocolate, melted
  • 50g (¼ cup) pistachios

Instructions

  1. Boil or steam the cauliflower until just soft, then rinse and drain under cold water to stop it cooking. Blitz the cauliflower with all of the popsicle ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Pour into moulds and freeze until solid.
  2. Alternatively, puree the cauliflower with a hand blender until smooth, melt the chocolate and add, along with the other ingredients, and puree until smooth. Pour into moulds and freeze until solid.
  3. To decorate, melt the chocolate and set aside to cool very slightly. Whiz the pistachios in a high speed blender, or in a food mill or coffee grinder, until fine. Dip the frozen popsicles into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with the pistachio dust.

Cauliflower and Chocolate Ice Lollies with Pistachio Dust | Veggie Desserts

Have some cauliflower to use up?
Why not try this roasted cauli and pomegranate salad. I love roasted cauliflower.
Or how about cauliflower steaks? I love them on the grill pan but I really want to try them on the barbecue.
How about cauliflower cheese pasta sauce or a super-quick cauliflower dahl.

To use up the cauliflower leaves, there is this amazing-sounding dry cauliflower curry, and here are some other ideas for using up cauliflower leaves.

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