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Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice

Christmas usually means there are lots of sweet treats around.  With so much temptation it’s great to have a back up that you know is delicious and homemade, so you’re ready for when you decide to indulge! The time off work is a great opportunity to experiment in the kitchen, and one of the triumphs I’ve created is this recipe for Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice.

As ready-made treats usually contain processed sweeteners, preservatives and other nasties, it’s a healthier and tastier to make your own.  This Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice is deliciously festive and a great balance of crunchy and smooth caramel textures.  The chocolate is laced with warm and fragrant Christmas spices that add a richness, and the freshness of the orange balances these flavours perfectly.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice with Christmas Spices

Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice with Christmas Spices Zoom

As the slices are raw, the cacao and maca retain all their goodness and antioxidant properties. Oats contain a good amount of the minerals Manganese and Magnesium. The raw cacao powder is full of flavanols, plant-based antioxidants that help support heart health.

These are great as a light dessert if you’re having a big meal such as a Vegan Roast, or just as a sweet treat because after all ’tis the season when cautious eating is abandoned…

INGREDIENTS

Oat base:

  • 100g Whole Organic Oats
  • 100g Mixed Cashews and Walnuts
  • 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • A splash of almond milk

Date caramel layer:

  • 2 cups Medjool Dates
  • 1 cup mixed Cashews & Walnuts
  • 2 tbsp melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp Maca Powder
  • 1/3 cup Plant-based Milk (e.g. Soy or Almond)
  • 1/2 tbsp Maple Syrup

Chocolate truffle layer: 

  • 40g Cacao Butter
  • 35g Coconut Oil
  • 5 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup (or alternative sweetener)
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 5 Freshly Ground Cloves (to grind use a pestle & mortar)
  • 1 tbsp Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp Orange Zest
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt to taste

Raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice with Christmas Spices - Tower

METHOD

For the base: Blend all the oats and nuts together until ground into fine pieces like breadcrumbs.  Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and continue to blend. Add splashes of milk little by little until the mixture is sticky and doughy, and holds together when pressed between fingers.

Prepare a shallow dish, with sides an inch or so high, line with cling film. Firmly press the mixture into the dish.

For the caramel layer: Blend all ingredients together and process until smooth and caramel like. You may find there are small chunks of dates that won’t blend but this is ok.  Pour the caramel onto the base and spread evenly. Pop into the fridge to set whilst you make the top layer.

For the chocolate topping: Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter in a glass bowl by resting the bowl on top of a small pan with an inch of gently simmering water in the bottom. Make sure there is space between the bottom of the bowl and the water. You don’t want the mixture to get too hot, just to melt. Once melted, take off the head and mix in the maple syrup and orange juice. Then add in the spices, cacao powder and other dry ingredients. Have a taste of the mixture and add more spices or salt to taste.  Pour the mixture onto the caramel layer and return to the freezer for 10 minutes or until set.

I recommend using your sharpest knife to carefully cut up the pieces so that the chocolate doesn’t crack. You may want to let these warm slightly before cutting.  You can store your raw Vegan Chocolate Orange Slice in an airtight container in the fridge – it will keep for about 3 days.  Here’s to a little indulgence and wishing you a fabulous 2017!

Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below, or tag me on social media @theveganedit 🙂

The Vegan Edit - Thanks for reading

Lentil & Sweet Potato Nut Roast Recipe

I love a delicious Christmas Roast, and so do my family. Being able to cook one is almost a rite of passage! It’s always difficult to get everyone together during the holiday season, so this year we had an early Christmas get together down in Devon and had a full blown Vegan Christmas lunch! I’m lucky that my family happily embrace the Vegan lifestyle and enjoy trying new things, in fact my Aunt and Cousin have been Vegan for years and years before me! This early get together was the perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe, and I decided upon a Vegan Lentil & Sweet Potato Nut Roast. Although this was one of the first attempts, it turned out really well and I’ll be making this again and again for years to come.

I was mindful of getting the right consistency, and looked at a tonne of different recipes and products in the shops before I decided on what has turned out to be a winning combination.  It is all about making sure everything sticks together and you have the right mixture of textures and tastes.  I’ve done the testing for you, and this recipe now works a treat! The ingredients are some of my favourites, and it’s a bit like a decadent super stuffing mixture!

Rosemary and sage are gorgeous flavours, absolute essentials on a ‘roast’ dinner plate.  The nuts add a lovely crunch, and the dried fruit (apricots or cranberries) add a lovely sweetness. No two mouthfuls are the same which is what makes this such a special and enjoyable dish to eat. Plus, all the ingredients are healthy, nourishing and filling. Perfect for a supersize Sunday roast or Christmas lunch main!  I’m going to be making this for the family on Boxing Day and am really looking forward to it!

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

1x Medium Leek

2x Carrots

1x Sweet Potato

1x Tin of cooked Green or Brown Lentils

2x Handfuls of Chestnut Mushrooms

1x Small bunch of Kale

200g Organic Nuts

5-6 Apricots (Sulphate-free if possible) or handful dried Cranberries

1x Small handful fresh Sage leaves

1x Small handful fresh Rosemary

Sprinkle of smoked paprika

Coconut oil (for roasting and sautéing)

1x Flax ‘Egg’ – 3 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed (aka Linseeds) mixed with 9 Tbsp filtered water

METHOD

Wash the sweet potatoes and chop into small chunks. Spread ½ tablespoon of coconut oil on a baking tray and pop into the oven for 5 minutes to melt. Then spread the sweet potato chunks evenly over the roasting. Sprinkle with some smoked paprika. Put in the oven at 180 C for 20 mins, or until soft and cooked through. Put the flax ‘egg’ ingredients into a small bowl and set aside.

While the sweet potato is roasting, wash and chop the leek, mushroom, kale, rosemary and sage. Add a tsp of coconut oil to a large frying pan and put on a medium heat.  Once the oil is hot add the chopped leeks and sauté for 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Then add in the kale, mushrooms and herbs to the pan, and sauté for a further 5-7 minutes.

Lentil, Kale & Mushroom Mixture

Grate the carrots and add them to the pan along with the chopped herbs. Chop the dried fruit, apricot or dried cranberries, and add to the pan. After 5-10 minutes the mixture should have sweated down and be cooked through.

Lentil, Kale & Mushroom + Carrot Mixture

If you haven’t already, remove the sweet potato from the oven and transfer into mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the tinned cooked lentils and add to the bowl. Mash these together until they form a paste.

Smash the bag of nuts with a rolling pin until they are in small pieces. Add the broken nuts, pan of sautéed vegetables and the flax egg into a large bowl with the lentil/potato mixture and mix together thoroughly.

Lentil & Sweet Potato Mixture

Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper and rub the paper with coconut oil to help avoid sticking. Spoon the loaf mixture into the tin with a wooden spoon and press down to firmly pack the mixture in. Make sure the mixture is well packed in as this will help the loaf stick together so it stays intact when serving.

Bake uncovered in the oven at 180C for 45 minutes, or until browned on the top and hot all the way through. Be careful not to cook for too long as the mixture will dry out too much.

Lentil & Sweet Potato Nut Roast - loaf

TO SERVE

Carefully turn upside down onto a chopping board ready to slice.  I love to serve this dish with roasted root vegetables, sautéed greens (spouts/cabbage/green beans) and onion gravy! Once I had some leftovers as a brunch with baked beans and garlic spinach, so anything goes!

Lentil & Sweet Potato Nut Loaf Dinner

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as me, and that it becomes a firm favourite!

Let me know how you get on, I’d love to hear what you make of this recipe.

Wishing you a magical Christmas,

Ruth x
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Last Minute Vegan Christmas Gift Guide

Recently I celebrated my first anniversary as a vegan, and naturally I’ve been excited for my another vegan Christmas! I thought I’d put together a fabulous Vegan Christmas Gift Guide to share some of the gorgeous products made by ethical and vegan brands. Whilst Christmas is a lovely time of year, it is also a time when there is a huge amount of mindless consumption and wastage.  I wanted to find products from companies who give back and consciously limit their impact on the environment.  There are loads of amazing products out there, and as a results of researching for this post I now have a huge wish list for Christmas!!

For Vegan’s who love a cuppa…

Vegan Christmas Gift Guide- mug is £12.50 from online store Ethical Market
This cute mug is £12.50 from online store Ethical Market

 

Pukka Tea's Tumeric Gold
Pukka Tea’s latest brew is this delicious Tumeric Gold £2.49

 

The Vegan’s who love luxury beauty…

Vegan Christmas Gift Guide - Noctua LuxurySoy Candle from the Ethical Superstore £12.50
Noctua LuxurySoy Candle from the Ethical Superstore £12.50

 

Luxury Shower Gel from Greenfrog Botanic
Luxury Shower Gel from Greenfrog Botanic £8.40

Those Vegan’s who are handbag lovers…

Matt & Nat do the most gorgeous ethical vegan handbags and accessories. The plum tote below is a gorgeous Winter colour, and is big enough to fit in your laptop and yoga kit!

Plum Tote Handback by Matt & Nat £94.95 from Ethical Superstore
Plum Tote Handback by Matt & Nat £94.95 from Ethical Superstore

 

Black Purse by Matt & Nat £50
Black Purse by Matt & Nat £50

To delight the Vegan magpies…

It’s often hard to find jewellery that is ethical made with responsibly sourced materials. This twisted gold ring is handmade in Rajasthan in India, using traditional techniques passed down by expert jewellers.

18ct Gold Ring with Ruby stone - £48 at Ethical Superstore
18ct Gold Ring with Ruby stone – £48 at Ethical Superstore

Some treats to please the Vegan chocolate addicts…

These chocolate truffles are something else! They do lots of different flavours such as Champagne, Hazelnut and Midnight Espresso! Seriously delicious and more-ish, perfect to get your chocolate fix in a cruelty free way 🙂

Booja Booja's Organic Vegan Truffles - £7 Waitrose Online
Booja Booja’s Organic Vegan Truffles – £7.00 Waitrose Online

So these incredibly delicious bites from Livia’s Kitchen are a healthier, more scrumptious version of Terry’s Chocolate Orange. You can also get these bits in plain millionaire shortbread version, and also in little bars. They are divine, I can’t recommend them enough. Be warned, you’ll eat them all in one sitting!

Livia's Raw Millionaire Bites - £4.99 from Planet Organic
Livia’s Raw Millionaire Bites – £4.99 from Planet Organic

 

For lounging in luxury…

Ruby & Ed Slippers
Luxury Slippers from Ruby & Ed at £38

One of my favourite new brands are Hey!Holla who do an awesome range of ethically made gym and loungewear. The quality is amazing, and there are lots of different designs to choose from!

Hey!Holla's Sweatshirts are all FairWear certified, and fabulous! £65
Hey!Holla’s Sweatshirts are all FairWear certified, and fabulous! £65

For the Vegan’s that are always busy…

A5 Freedom Features Notebook £4.99
A5 Freedom Features Notebook £4.99

All Vegan’s love to cook right….?

No Vegan Christmas gift guide would be complete without some of the awesome cookbooks that launch just in time for the silly season!

Aine Carlin's latest book 'The New Vegan' - £10.49 on Amazon
Aine Carlin’s latest book ‘The New Vegan’ – £10.49 on Amazon

 

'But I could never go Vegan!' from Kristy Turner £11.54 on Amazon
‘But I could never go Vegan!’ from Kristy Turner £11.54 on Amazon

For those Vegan’s who love to travel and explore worldly cuisines, this Indonesian cookbook is bound to please..

Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney - £11.89 on Amazon
Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney – £11.89 on Amazon

 

Vlogger Niomi Smart's guide to Vegan eating - £7.00 on Amazon
Vlogger Niomi Smart’s guide to Vegan eating – £7.00 on Amazon

Vegan gifts for the gym bunnies…

We all know that gym bunnies and ‘new year’s resolutioners’ love to workout in style!

Hey!Holla do super cute workout tops like this one at £40
Hey!Holla do super cute workout tops like this one at £40

What’s more important than the water that you drink? Gym bunnies and health nuts alike will love this BPA-free water bottle that features an alkalising core full of minerals that purify the water and add essential compounds. Stay hydrated!

Invigorated Water's Alkalising Water Bottle around £30 from Amazon
Invigorated Water’s Alkalising Water Bottle around £30 from Amazon

Stocking fillers or a cute gift to pop into a Christmas card for your best friend!

Super cute stocking filler Hair Ties from Hey!Holla at £8
Cute stocking filler Hair Ties from Hey!Holla at £8

I hope you’ve found my Vegan Christmas Gift Guide useful! Here’s hoping that your loved ones enjoy their gifts, and more importantly enjoy the time spent with you!

Wishing you a Christmas full of love, joy and laughter 🙂

Ruth x