Millionaire shortbread has it all. Buttery, crumbly shortbread, sweet, sticky caramel and a shiny dark chocolate layer which just brings it all together. But to be honest, these days I find most shop bought millionaire shortbread a tad too sickly-sweet. My raw version is pretty quick and easy to put together and made with some great ingredients. Wholesome oats and dates, cocoa/cacao powder and it’s simply sweetened with a touch of maple syrup and bound together with coconut oil.
All the ingredients can be bought from the grocery section of our online shop and they are organic and plastic free! The dates come in a compostable bag. If you are not a fan of coconut flavour you can substitute with a refined flavourless coconut oil, some good butter/margarine or even better – cocoa butter. Give it a go and let me know what you think.
pinch of salt
8 tbsp coconut oil – melted (you may need more)
2 tbsp maple syrup
200g pitted dates
1 tbsp coconut oil
50ml coconut oil
3 tbsp maple syrup
Measure 150 ml of water into a jug then tear or chop in 200g of dates making sure no pits are present. Then leave to soak while you make the shortbread base.
Line a baking dish with baking paper (I use a 19x24cm dish) leaving plenty of overhang to make it easy to extract once it’s set.
Blend the oats with a pinch of salt into a fine flour then add the rest of the base ingredients (the coconut oil and maple syrup) and blend again to combine into a crumbly shortbread dough. Add more coconut oil if you need to until it comes together into a crumbly dough which stays together when squeezed.
Press the oat shortbread evenly into the lined dish then put the dish into the fridge to chill and start setting while you make the caramel.
Blend the soaked dates with all the soaking water and a tbsp of coconut oil into a smooth caramel. Carefully spread the caramel evenly over the shortbread layer and smooth it out as much as possible. Put the dish back into the fridge while you make the chocolate.
Melt the coconut oil then stir in the maple syrup. Get the dish out of the fridge and get ready to work quickly now.
Stir the cocoa/cacao powder in a tbsp at a time until you reach a shiny, smooth, pourable but thick consistency – a bit like double cream. You may not need to use all the cocoa powder. If it gets a bit thick/stiff then add a little more melted coconut oil.
As soon as you reach double cream consistency pour the chocolate over the caramel and tip the dish side to side to evenly spread a neat layer on top before it starts to set.
Put the dish in the fridge to set for a couple of hours before carefully pulling the shortbread out onto a chopping board and slicing into 12 or so biscuits.
Keep the biscuits in an airtight box in the fridge with parchment between the layers. They are ok at room temperature for a while but if it’s warm they can get a bit melty so they are best enjoyed straight from the fridge. Eat within 1 week. Enjoy!
Easily get 10 portions of fruit and veg into your day with this plant based St Patrick’s Day menu. No green food colouring in sight but lots of vibrant, fun, healthy ideas. Hope you have a fab day off everyone! Let us know what you are cooking to celebrate the day in the comments or over on our friendly facebook page.
Green Smoothie Pancakes
Is it even St Patrick’s Day if you don’t eat something green? Avoid the food colouring and get out your blender for these sweet (but healthy) pancakes.
Ingredients (makes 10 pancakes)
a couple of large handfuls of rinsed kale (or spinach)
Put all the ingredients except the butter and maple syrup into a smoothie maker and blend until smooth.
Heat a non-stick frying pan to medium then melt some butter and fry the pancakes in small batches for a few minutes on each side until cooked through. It’s better to cook them low and slow so that they are cooked through and not too dark on the outside.
Stack them up and serve simply with butter and a generous drizzle of maple syrup or your favourite pancake toppings.
Golden Boxty with Rainbow Slaw
Traditional Irish potato griddle cakes (but with very non-traditional grated courgette in the mashed potato batter instead of grated raw potato) are fried in butter until golden brown. Serve these ‘pots of gold’ with a rainbow slaw of fresh, raw, crunchy veg and a dollop of mayo for the perfect lunch.
mayonnaise to serve (or make your own using my easy aquafaba recipe here)
Start with the slaw. Shred the cabbage, grate the carrot and thinly slice the peppers, spring onions and chives. Mix in a bowl with the juice of half a lemon to start with and the olive oil. Taste and add more lemon juice if you like.
Preheat a frying pan and mix up the boxty batter. Put the mashed potato, grated courgette (or raw potato), flour, milk, vinegar, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. You should end up with a batter that’s a dropping consistency. If not, add more milk.
Fry in melted butter on a medium heat for about 5 or so minutes on each side. You can fry them in little fritters or in large rounds the size of the pan. Carefully flip them over when the bottom is golden brown. Add more butter to the pan before flipping if it’s looking a bit dry.
Serve warm with the rainbow slaw and a dollop of mayonnaise.
Irish Stew with Soda Dread Dumplings
Meaty mushrooms and bitter Guinness makes this stew rich and delicious and what better way to mop up the juices than with some Irish soda bread? I steam it as dumplings on top here for a hearty one pot supper but you could bake it separately if you prefer and serve it alongside. Looking for a gluten free alternative? Why not make some colcannon (mashed potato with wilted green cabbage or kale and spring onion stirred through) to go with the stew instead and use a gluten free stout in place of the Guinness?
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion
3 sticks of celery
4 cloves of garlic
1 mug of green lentils
1 stock cube
1 can of Guinness
2 tbsp dark brown sugar (optional – to counteract the bitterness of the Guinness)
salt and pepper to taste
chopped chives to serve
500g flour (I like 250g plain and 250g wholemeal)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300ml oat milk
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Get a large pot on the hob and heat it to the highest setting.
Roughly dice the onion and add it to the pot with 2 tbsp of sunflower oil.
Roughly dice the carrots, celery and mushrooms and add them to the pot next.
Stir occasionally and allow the vegetables to take on some colour and caramelised flavour for around 10 minutes. Then peel, chop and add the 4 cloves of garlic.
Rinse your mug of green lentils and add them to the pot with the can of Guinness, the stock cube and an additional mug of water. Season the stew with salt and lots of black pepper. Give the broth a taste and add some brown sugar to counteract the bitterness of the Guinness if needed.
Then let the stew come up to a simmer while you make the soda bread dough.
Measure the dry ingredients (the flour, salt and bicarb) into a large mixing bowl and mix well to evenly disperse the bicarbonate of soda and salt. Check for lumps and sort them out now before you add the wet ingredients.
Measure the wet ingredients (the oat milk, oil and vinegar) into a measuring jug and give it a stir. This is the plant based alternative for the traditional buttermilk in the recipe. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well with a wooden spoon to form a rough dough. No need to knead, just stir well to ensure there are no dry, floury bits in the dough.
Use wet hands to form 6-8 balls of dough and place them carefully in the top of the simmering stew. Put the lid on the pot, make sure it’s turned down ow and allow the stew to simmer an the soda bread to steam for about 20-30 minutes.
Check that the lentils are cooked through then serve the hot stew and dumplings with chopped chives on top.
Mint Choc Chip Ice-Cream
This ice cream is vibrant green, creamy and sweet…but made with peas and bananas! Don’t be put off by the healthy ingredients, blended frozen banana is a creamy revelation and peas are naturally so sweet. It’s especially good if the banana is frozen when super-ripe. If you eat through your bananas from your weekly delivery then this recipe is a good way to use up those reduced over-ripe bananas at the shops. A win-win for you and for the epic food waste problem the planet is facing. I’ve used cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips because I love their bitter, dark chocolate flavour, but do feel free to substitute with real chocolate chips…especially if you are serving this to children.
optional sweetener of your choice to taste (eg maple syrup)
and a tbsp or so of cacao nibs (or sub with chocolate chips)
Peel and chop as many over-ripe bananas as you like. About one per person. Freeze them overnight on a tray until solid (with gaps between the pieces otherwise they’ll all freeze together and be very difficult to blend).
You’ll need a strong food processor with an S blade attachment. A food processor works better that a jug/smoothie blender for this.
Put the frozen banana chunks and frozen peas into your blender along with fresh mint leaves to taste.
Blend into a frozen, crumbly texture then stop the blender, scrape down the sides and blend again until vibrant green and creamy.
Taste the mixture and add a sweetener or more mint leaves if you like and blend again.
Scrape the nice cream out into a tub and stir through cacao nibs or chocolate chips. Scoop into balls and serve (they will be quite soft at this stage so for quickly) or move to the freezer to firm up until you are ready to serve.
These little chia and oat pots are perfect for breakfast (and they make a fabulous healthy pudding too)! You can prepare the two layers in separate bowls the night before, then just put it together in the morning with some crunchy granola, juicy fruit and silky curd (find the recipe for my favourite kumquat curd here). If you don’t have curd you could use a dollop of yogurt instead.
Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients. Packed full of fibre, antioxidants, minerals and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Oats are brilliant too of course! This humble grain is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat and can lower cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar control and contains a powerful soluble fibre which is great for your digestive system!
I love this combination of berry chia, turmeric oats, zingy sweet citrus and toasty granola. But of course you can tweak the recipe to use your favourite fruit or flavours. How about rhubarb compote in the chia layer and making the creamy oat layer taste like custard with some vanilla? Then top with yogurt, granola and more rhubarb? Or do you like tropical flavours? How about a passionfruit chia layer, coconut milk in the oats and top with mango slices and toasted coconut flakes? Are you a chocoholic? Raspberries in the chia layer, cacao powder in with the oats then top with pieces of dark chocolate, fresh raspberries and toasted hazelnuts? The possibilities are endless.
Let us know your favourite chia and oat pot flavour combos in the comments. Liz x
*as always, bold words are clickable and will take you to the product or recipe on our website so that you can easily add ingredients to your order or find the recipe I refer to
Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl, leave to stand for a few minutes and mix again. Then cover and refrigerate (or use right away if you are making this in the morning).
Mix the next 4 ingredients in a separate bowl, cover and refrigerate over night to allow it to thicken (or you can serve it after a quick 10 minute soak if you are making this in the morning).
Serve in a couple of simple glasses. Divide the chia and berry mixture between two glasses, then add the turmeric porridge mixture. Top with a tbsp of kumquat curd, peeled slices of blood orange and a couple of tbsp of granola.
Shop bought granola is delicious, but usually quite expensive and stored in a plastic wrapper. So if you are wanting to save money and avoid plastic packaging, making your own is the solution. Often shop bought granola is surprisingly high in sugar too! My recipe is sweetened with just date syrup (or if I can’t find date syrup I just blend dates and water into a smooth sauce and use that – in fact it’s better this way as you keep all the good fibre of the dates in the granola too). We sell oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit in plastic free or compostable packaging and this recipe blows any shop bought one I’ve tried out of the water. Store it in an airtight container like a large glass jar and it should stay fresh and crunchy for at least 1 month…that’s if you don’t eat it all up before then! Liz x
330g date syrup (or 200g chopped dates soaked with 130g water then blend into a smooth sauce)
250ml olive oil (or any good quality oil you prefer)
300g chopped dried fruit (apricots, raisins, figs, mulberries…)
Pre-heat your oven to 150C and prepare a couple of large baking dishes or the bottom of your grill tray. Line them with re-usable or compostable baking parchment.
In a large bowl, measure out your oats, spices, salt, nuts and seeds. Do not add the dried fruit yet! Give the dry mixture a good stir to evenly disperse the spices and salt before adding the oil and date syrup.
Add the oil and date syrup/sauce and stir well to coat all the dry ingredients.
Spread the granola out onto your lined trays into a thin 1-2cm layer.
Bake the granola in the oven. Take it out every 10-15 minutes and stir to ensure the granola gets evenly baked.
Once it’s nice and crunchy and tastes perfectly toasted, remove the granola from the oven and stir through all the dried fruit.
Allow the granola to completely cool down in the trays before storing it in an airtight container.
Enjoy with your favourite milk or yoghurt or sprinkle it on top of ice cream or smoothie bowls, or just eat it dry as a snack!