I love bread fresh from the oven and this bread is delicious. It's so simple and doesn't involve any hanging around for hours waiting for the dough to prove and its yeast free, so all good!
I made this for lunch at the weekend. I had just made some lovely watercress and pea soup and wanted some bread to go along with it, so this fitted the bill perfectly.
It's all mixed in the bowl and only requires 5 minutes of kneading and 35 to 45 minutes in the oven. I just slashed the top of the loaf into rough quarters which I then served in big rustic chunks! You can just shape the loaf into a round shape, then serve it in slices if you prefer!
I buy all my flour from Locavore and I used a mixture of organic rye flour and strong white flour and the bread turned out perfectly, with a wonderful texture.
Wheat is heavily sprayed with pesticides so its most definitely worth buying organic flour for your home baking. See organic blog post for more details here
This bread was one of the many we tried at the Vegan Cooking Retreat so again big thanks to Lee Watson at the beach house kitchen for the recipe.
The recipe is vegan and uses soya milk but you can use organic dairy milk if you do dairy.
I'm off to Portugal for a wee family holiday tomorrow, with hopefully lots of sunshine, great food and moderate amounts of exercise! We have our own pool although I don't think its heated so not sure how much swimming I'll be doing. but I'll be doing some yoga and possibly running!
I will return feeling wonderfully relaxed and raring to go with new workshops and lots of new ideas for the blog! That's positive thinking right there!!
If you haven't made bread before then this recipe is a great place to start. I hope it becomes a regular part of your repertoire!
So here is the recipe
SIMPLE SODA BREAD
500g strong wholewheat flour (use 200g strong white flour and 300g wholewheat flour for a lighter loaf)
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
150 ml plant based milk ( soya is good)
2 teaspoons vinegar
200ml warm water
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
I'm sharing the recipe for the most delicious, decadent, chocolatey, gooey, fudgey, chocolate cake and its vegan, so egg and dairy free!
We had this cake, along with countless other delicious sweet treats at the Vegan Retreat and I will get around to sharing more of the recipes, as I try them out!
I can't pretend its healthy but hey we all need a treat every now and then and this cake fits the bill brilliantly and it is a celebration cake after all!
A perfect way to impress your family and friends with a fabulous home made cake, which I'm sure if you try it, will become your go to recipe for a celebration cake!
This recipe makes a large cake and it's very rich, and will keep for around 5 days in a covered tin, though I seriously doubt anyone would have the willpower to resist a second slice of this so be warned, it's seriously moreish!!
1 large cake (10 to 12 slices)
225g white flour
2 tablespoons chickpea flour (gram flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
80g cocoa powder
300g dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
375ml hot water
75g non dairy spread or coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
150g dark chocolate
75g coconut oil
50g light brown sugar
60 ml cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
I tried this delicious dish at the Vegan Cooking Retreat and absolutely loved the intensity of flavours! As I don't eat meat, I find aubergine to be a great substitute, it's really filling and although some folks find the texture a bit strange, I love it and this is a great way to cook it.
Aubergine, along with potatoes, peppers and tomatoes are part of the nightshade group of veggies (Solanaceae) which also contains Deadly Nightshade, which is as its name suggests is poisonous & deadly. However I can assure you this group, like all veggies have many benefits for your health!
There is however, some anecdotal evidence that this group of veggies can exacerbate gut issues and cause inflammation and joint pain in people with autoimmune disease, especially rheumatoid arthritis.
If this is you then you may wish to avoid these and note if your symptoms improve.
On the other hand, the Mediterranean Diet is among the healthiest and contains copious amounts of tomatoes, peppers and aubergines, along with lots of garlic, onions, olives and good quality oils, which have major benefits for our health. The vast majority of us can happily eat veggies from the nightshade family without any problems!
This dish actually contains aubergine, tomatoes and red pepper so a lot of nightshade action going on! It also has lots of garlic and good fats and bags of flavour!
I love the versatility of this dish. We had it for lunch at the weekend on toasted sourdough, our healthy version of Bruschetta.
A lovely organic poached egg is a great additional topping with some seaweed flakes for extra minerals and flavour. I use Mara
Alastair embellished his with anchovies and feta cheese and scoffed 4 slices for lunch yesterday!
Laura took the leftovers with some couscous and toasted seeds for her packed lunch today. Its delicious served cold as part of a tapas or hot as a topping for a baked potato or stirred through pasta or quinoa for a lovely dinner!
I just adore food that tastes better the next day and the flavours intensify beautifully in this dish.
Just a wee observation on aubergines, so many folks think you have to salt the slices and leave them to draw out bitter juices so although this used to be required, the modern varieties of aubergine are much less bitter so its generally fine to omit this time consuming step. Feel free to do it if you want but I never bother and the aubergine always tastes delicious.
Similarly the skin can be a bit tough and many recipes discard it but from a health perspective the skin is high in antioxidants and personally I don't find it bitter or tough so I eat it!
Aubergine is a great source of fibre, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and other beneficial minerals and can protect against oxidative damage and lower cholesterol so well worth including in your diet!
We actually had two delicious aubergine dishes at the retreat and this is a kind of combination of them both. I hope you enjoy it!
Here is the recipe!
2 medium aubergines, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil or olive oil
1 red onion, finely sliced
2 or 3 sticks of celery, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
4 large tomatoes, chopped or a tin of chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
50 g sultanas or raisins
50g green olives, stoned and sliced
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (optional but delicious)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
sea salt and black pepper
a good handful of flat leaf parsley or mint, finely chopped to finish
.....your health in your hands......
🍃 Health educator🍃