With easter round the corner, I’m sharing a super simple recipe for vegan and gluten free chocolate truffles. They are sooooo delicious and decadent and the best part is, you can customise them to your taste! This recipe makes around 20-25 truffles and they keep in an airtight container for weeks! Make ahead and it makes a perfect easter treat <3

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INGREDIENTS

For the truffles:

  • 300g dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 240ml light coconut milk
  • Teaspoon of peppermint/orange/vanilla/almond/coffee extract (I personally love peppermint flavour!)

For the topping:

  • Cacao or carob powder
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Chopped up nuts

 METHOD
1. Break the chocolate up into little pieces in a large bowl. Add the coconut oil and coconut milk to the bowl. Mix together and transfer to a saucepan. Heat the mixture on a low heat, until the chocolate is fully melted and combined with the coconut oil and coconut milk.
2. Remove the warm mixture of coconut milk, coconut oil and chocolate from the stove and transfer back into the bowl.  Add your desired extract and gently mix together.

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It doesn’t matter if they are random shapes and sizes – adds character!

3. Leave the mixture to stand and cool down for at least 30 minutes to an hour – until it is completely cool.
4. Cover the bowl in cling wrap and transfer to the fridge. Leave to cool for four hours – or even overnight.
5. When the mixture is nearly set, remove from the fridge. If it’s been in overnight, you may have to allow the mixture to warm for 15-20 minutes.
6. Now the fun part! Get yourself a few bowls and fill with your desired toppings. Use a teaspoon to scoop small amounts of the chocolate truffle mixture and roll them into balls in your hands. Now roll them in your favourite toppings! I personally love cacao powder, chopped nuts and desiccated coconut.
7. Repeat until your mixture is finished! Store the truffles in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy after a dinner… or even with a cup of tea! 🙂
Really would love to hear what you think of these! Get in touch 🙂 I’m on Twitter @BryonyEHopkins or Instagram @abellyfullofbryony.
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When I was a child, we used to go on camping holidays to northern France and play in the gorgeous french sunshine. I have so many happy memories of exploring northern France, in particularly Brittany, where we would ALWAYS round off the day with a crepe (or actually, sometimes start the day with a crepe!)
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Since I’ve gone dairy and gluten free, I don’t think I’ve eaten a crepe or a pancake. When eating out, there has never been the option for a flour or milk free crepe – and so it seemed clear that I needed to get in the kitchen to create one!
This recipe is absurdly simple – the main ingredients being just banana and eggs. The cacao replaces the chocolate that I used to gorge on when I had a chocolate filled crepe in France – and the pomegranate provides a wonderfully sweet crunch.
Ingredients 
This recipe makes six pancakes. They are dairy free, gluten free and vegetarian. 
For the pancake:
3 eggs
2 bananas
1 tbspn desiccated coconut
2 tspns raw cacao powder
Coconut oil/olive oil (1-2 tspn)
For the toppings:
Date syrup/maple syrup/honey
Pomegranate seeds (I bought a ready made packet of them from a high street supermarket)
Method

  1. Take a medium sized bowl and mash up your bananas  with a fork, until they form a sticky pulp. Try and get the pulp as smooth as possible – but a few little lumps do add a little texture!IMG_4541
  2. Add your 3 eggs, tablespoon of desiccated coconut and two teaspoons of raw cacao powder. Mix everything together – this is your pancake batter!
  3. Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil (or you can use olive oil) in a medium frying pan on a medium to high heat.
  4. Once your oil is hot, fill a small ladle of mixture and place into the frying pan. If you hear a big sizzle, then turn your heat down a little. (A small sizzle is expected!)
  5. Fry for about a minute to 2 minutes on each side – or until they are turn brown. The cacao powder will mean they naturally brown them, so monitor closely so they don’t burn!
  6. Repeat this process until you have finished your batter, and begin piling them in a stack on a plate. Don’t worry if they are all different sizes – that’s part of the fun!
  7. Once you’re done, now it’s time for toppings! I sweetened mine by drizzling over date syrup, but you can also use honey or maple syrup. Now take your pomegranate seeds and sprinkle all over the pancakes – the more the better!
  8. Tuck in and enjoy!! 🙂

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*Created for Inghams Foodie Finds campaign!*

bryonyhopkins

This recipe is 100% inspired by my recent holiday to the gorgeous Caribbean island Dominican Republic. We spent two whole weeks consuming all the food in sight – a lot of it Latin America themed food. One night at the resort, we had this amazing stir fried sweetcorn dish. They fried it up on a huge flat iron oven right in front of us, with loads of olive oil. It tasted amazing and I was determined to recreate it on returning to ye ol’ England.
So here is my vegan, vegetarian and gluten free Tex Mex rice bowl recipe.  I’ve split it up into three tex mex layers – rich tomato kidney bean mexican rice, the paprika fried sweetcorn and topped with a big dollop of homemade guacamole. It can be whizzed up super quickly and makes a delicious on the go lunch the next day. The beauty of the layers is you can mix and match with other bits for other meals!
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

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This is such a delicious weekday dinner

Serves 2. Gluten free, dairy free, vegan and vegetarian.
Ingredients 
For the Rice
1 packet of microwave brown rice (you can get these for around 50p in a supermarket and I am queen of speed – but feel free to boil brown rice from scratch)
1 red onion
2 large garlic cloves
400g (1 can) red kidney beans
2 tbspn tomato puree
1 tspn dried oregano
1 tspn chilli flakes
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to season
Coriander to garnish
For the sweetcorn
150g sweetcorn (1 can)
1/2 sweet red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
2 tspn of paprika
3 beef tomatoes
For the guacamole
1 avocado
Handful cherry tomatoes
Juice of 1 lime
Glug of olive oil
Method

  1. Everything needs cooking at once with this recipe so do your chopping first! Chop your red onion, half the yellow pepper, half the sweet red pepper and the 3 beef tomatoes into small pieces. Slice up your garlic finely or crush with a garlic crusher.
  2. Get a large frying pan on a medium to high heat with a large glug of olive oil. Add the red onion and garlic when hot and stir until they start to soften.
  3. When soft, add two tablespoons of tomato paste, the chilli and the oregano. Mix together – it’ll start to look a bit like a paste. Add the can of kidney beans, with the water, and stir together. Bring the heat down to simmer.IMG_4028.PNG
  4. Get another smaller pan on a medium to high heat with some olive oil. Once hot, add the peppers, tomatoes and the can of sweetcorn. Mix together and then add 2 teaspoons of paprika. Keep on this heat, stirring regularly.
  5. Season your bean and tomato mix and you can add your packet rice. Turn the heat up a tad and stir in. If the mixture is thick, add a little water.
  6. Whilst your rice and sweetcorn mix are frying – it’s time to make your guacamole! Chop up an avocado until mushy and chop your cherry tomatoes into tiny pieces. Chop roughly together on a chopping board until combined and then add to a bowl. Squeeze in the juice of one lime, a teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper and mix together. Put your guac to one side!
  7. Check your sweetcorn mix – you want it so the yellow sweetcorn pieces start to look a little charred, that’s where some of the smoky flavour is! If ready, take off the heat.
  8. Squeeze the juice of one lime into your rice mix, stir and take off the heat.
  9. Serve with the rice layer at the bottom, a generous layer of sweetcorn mix and then a massive dollop of guacamole! Sprinkle some chopped coriander on to garnish. Enjoy!

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bryonyhopkins

When I was a kid I used to absolutely love it when my Dad made us ‘eggy bread’ – AKA French Toast! (Although I actually only discovered that was it’s real name very recently!) So I took to the kitchen to find a gluten and dairy free alternative and came up with these cracking sweet and savoury options. Perfect for breakfast or brunch!
Savoury – French toast with Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes, Mushrooms  & Spinach
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Serves 1. Dairy free, gluten free and vegetarian. 
Ingredients 

  • 2 (or 3 if you’re hungry) slices of gluten free bread
  • 2 eggs
  • Splash of almond milk (I like Rude Health)
  • Black pepper
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of spinach
  • 8-10 Chestnut mushrooms, chopped in half
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Coconut oil

Method
1. Whisk together the two eggs and a splash of almond milk in a bowl, with a little bit of black pepper. Pour into a large shallow dish – big enough to put your bread in to soak! Add your bread and let the egg absorb to one side, below flipping over to soak the other side.
2. Whilst the bread is soaking up the gorgeous creamy egg mixture (the almond milk makes it creamy!), put two frying pans with coconut oil on a medium-high heat and let the oil melt into the pan.
3. As it melts, quickly chop up your mushrooms. Add these to one of the frying pans to sizzle away. In the other pan, gently put your egg soaked bread onto the frying pan and let fry for 1-2 minutes. In the other pan, add the cherry tomatoes whole and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar. Let these sizzle together with the mushrooms! After 1-2 minutes, turn your bread and fry the other side. They should start to go golden and brown! Add a handful of spinach to the tomato and mushroom pan and let this gently wilt.
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4. When your happy with the golden colour of the french toast, take off the heat and serve topped with the spinach, mushrooms and balsamic cherry tomatoes! You can even add another drizzle of balsamic vinegar here for good measure!
Sweet – French Toast with Warm Berries 
Serves 1. Gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian.
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Ingredients

  • 2-3 slices gluten free bread
  • 2 eggs
  • Almond milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Frozen berries
  • Maple syrup
  • Coconut yogurt (Co yo, Rebel Kitchen and Coconut Collective all do gorge coconut yog!)

Follow steps 1 and 2 to get your french toast going!
Once your french toast is frying, put a bowl of frozen berries in the microwave for 3 minutes. This is basically my cheat to a quick berry compote!! Once your french toast is done, serve with a generous helping of maple syrup, warmed berries on the top and a big dollop of coconut yogurt. This is such a naughty sweet decadent breakfast!
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bryonyhopkins

Everyone has his or her own perception of ‘veganism’. It is thought almost 500,000 people are vegan in the UK alone – with many more thousands across the world. Lot’s of people recently have been asking if I am a fully fledged vegan now and whilst I am not (I still enjoy eggs, fish, honey and white meats), I have come to understand and enjoy vegan food so much more. The dictionary states a vegan is a person who does not eat or use animal products – and whilst this is true, there are so many layers to this meaning and different types of vegans. I am not a full time vegan, but I eat so many vegan dishes and have been astonished at how amazing the flavours can be. Jamie Oliver’s vegan shepherd’s pie is just to die for!! Not to mention the vegetable curries, salads and stews I’ve added to my recipe repertoire.

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Jamie’s vegan shepherds pie.. uh-mazing!!

But what does ‘vegan’ really mean and is it for you?! I’ve put together a (objective!) list of ten things to know about veganism – the good, the bad and the ugly.

  1. There are three main reasons people choose to go vegan. The primary reason often originates from opinions on ethics of animal sourced products and the belief that animals should live freely without human interference.
  2. The second reason for choosing the vegan life is for health reasons. Studies have shown that eating animal fats and proteins increases a person’s risk of developing certain cancers, heart disease and a number of other illnesses. Eating vegan is also a 100% cholesterol free diet – which is a great pro if you want to lower your cholesterol. With the rise in clean eating and prominent food bloggers releasing delicious vegetable alternatives, you don’t have to look far to see the benefit people are feeling.
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    Vegan matcha latte – so natural and delicious!

  3. The third reason is going vegan is actually incredibly good for the environment. Livestock farming takes up a huge amount of resources, including land, fertilizer and water. It is thought a significant amount of pollution in groundwater and rivers is from animal waste from farms and many argue that more people could be fed globally from the land if we were all vegan.
  4. Veganism often encompasses more than just what you eat, it comes down to the products you use too. Veganism isn’t just what you eat; it can be an entire lifestyle choice. Vegans will look for cosmetics and toiletries that are vegan, organic and haven’t been tested on animals.
  5. You can easily tweak meals to make them vegan! There are so many alternative recipes out there, so you can still cook your favourites for you and your family. Try a vegetable filled stir fry with garlic, ginger and chilli on rice noodles – or replace your meaty spaghetti Bolognese with quorn. Try replacing your morning fry up with avocado, toast, tomatoes and grilled mushrooms or whizz up a refreshing smoothie. So many possibilities!
6. Going vegan can actually be very cost effective. If you go back through your food shop receipts, you will notice that meat and milk based products are the most expensive. Reducing this cost may give you more money to spend on other things – perhaps a little treat!
7. Most restaurants do vegan alternatives – either marked on the menu itself or you can enquire with the staff. With the growing number of vegan, you’ll be surprised what is on offer when eating out. ALL of the below is vegan from various cafes and restaurants!
8. Vegans don’t eat honey – and also many gummy sweets, due to the gelatine content!
9. It’s vital to make sure you’re making up for the lost nutritional content when going vegan. Read up and find the vegan friendly products than contain the following: iron, amino acids, vitamin D, vitamin A, omega 3 and vitamin B12. Lacking in any of these could have serious impacts to your health.
10. Albert Einstein was a vegan. Yes, Albert was a vegan! He famously said ‘nothing will benefit health or increase chances of survival on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.’ Now there’s something to chew on…!
 
Whilst it is a lot to go wholly vegan overnight – I would actively encourage you to explore some vegan options. Think how many fruit and vegetable you could pack into your body, in just one portion! img_1729
 
 
 

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