vegan

vegan blueberry scone thug kitchen

Blueberry and Polenta Scones (Vegan)

These deliciously quick, seasonal scones are accidentally vegan – by which I mean they stem from a great recipe that just happens to avoid animal ingredients rather than an overly contrived vegan concoction. You’ll be left with a lovely bake that everyone will enjoy, regardless of dietary preference. We’ve been noshing them in the afternoon with a cup of tea, or as a quick grab-and-go breakfast on the way to work.

The scones are an Anglified version of a recipe I found in the latest offering from Thug Kitchen, ‘Thug Kitchen 101: Fast as F*ck’ (not for the easily offended…!). They’re a cinch to throw together and – should you have a tiny hungry person in your life – an ideal finger food for baby-led weaning. No culinary skills are required and really,

what else are you going to do with that bag of polenta that’s been languishing at the back of your cupboard since who-knows-how-long?

Ingredients – makes 8-ish medium scones:

120g // 1 cup white flour *

60g // 1/2 cup wholemeal flour *

2 tsp baking powder

165g // 1 cup polenta

65g // 1/3 cup unrefined brown sugar

240ml // 1 cup soy milk

60ml // 1/4 cup mild-tasting oil **

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

125g // 3/4 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen

*Any combination of flours seems to be good, I’ve been using organic bread flours from Little Salkeld Mill. I haven’t tried a gluten free version, but can’t see why this wouldn’t be also be a success…

**I like cold-pressed rapeseed as a cheapish, healthy option but whatever you have is grand.

The how to:

Preheat your oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper (or grease it with a spare bit of oil).

Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and give them a rough mix. Place the wet ingredients in a jug and give the a quick whisk until well blended. Keep the blueberries on hold for now.

Make a well in the flour mix, pour in the wet ingredients and mix roughly. When still slightly lumpy, then add the blueberries. Over-mixing here can make the finished bake a bit flat and chewy so stay light handed.

baby led weaning baking recipe

Yoga-baby approved scone-age

Tip out onto a floured surface and press into an inch-thick rectangle (the dough will be wetter than a traditional scone so abandon all hope of using a rolling pin), then cut into what I would describe as rustic triangles. Or whatever shape takes your fancy. Space them out on your baking tray and sprinkle with a little extra sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes, but check at 12. The bottom should be firm and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack until edible, then tuck in. Although best devoured on the day of baking, a quick zap in the toaster and a lick of jam or spread revives them nicely.

strawberry and banana smoothie muffin recipe vegan baking

Super-Simple Strawberry and Banana Smoothie Muffins (Vegan!)

This recipe is adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks ‘The Naughtiest Vegan Cupcakes in Town’ by Melissa Morgan, A.K.A. Ms. Cupcake, no less. She has an impressive vegan bakery in London and an even more impressive hat with cakes on. No joke. It’s great. (Not that I’ve ever met her or the hat in person… but I’d really like to). Credit also goes to Ms. Cupcake for the photo as my last batch was eaten before I got chance to artfully arrange and capture them, but I’d already promised to share the recipe after making some for the last Ashtanga Primary Series workshop.

Please don’t be put off by the vegan factor – these delicious muffins will delight plant-fans and omnivores alike. Nobody will ever know there’s no milk, eggs or butter inside. Unless you’re showing off how healthy you’re being by telling them. And even though they’re quickly made from common cupboard ingredients, they’re definitely towards the good-for-you end of the cake continuum (yes, that is a thing).

I often skip the glaze – I’m lazy and often to be found without icing sugar. But it is delicious and pretty if you’re organised and the muffins hang around in your kitchen long enough to pour some on…

And don’t forget the ‘firm tap on the kitchen surface’! If you’re feeling a bit angsty you can even give the mixing bowl a whack before you spoon the batter out. This isn’t authoritative science, but my understanding of the tapping situation is that raising agents work fast in vegan baking (when the baking powder hits the liquid) and the tapping releases particularly big bubbles before they go into the oven and create uneven texture. It’s also when the magic happens, so don’t skip it.

Also, put some good music on before you start. Secret kitchen dancing makes cake better.

 

Ingredients:

560g of self-raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

225g golden caster sugar     (ordinary white works great, too, it’s just a little more processed)

1 large or 2 small mashed, over-ripe banana

350ml soya or almond milk     (cow milk works, unless you’re wanting healthier treats/feeding vegans)

300ml rapeseed or otherwise flavourless oil          (often supermarket ‘vegetable oil’ is rapeseed)

2tsp vanilla extract

12 medium (2/3rds of a punnet) strawberries, green bits off and diced

Optional glaze:

100g icing sugar

2 tbsp soya or almond milk (or water)

1/2 tsp vanilla

Dehydrated banana or strawberry to decorate  (very fancy)

How to:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and get your muffin cases ready in your tray.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then add the banana, not-milk, oil, vanilla and strawberries and mix together with a big spoon. Go quickly! About 10 seconds will do – we want the ingredients to be only-just combined. A few little lumps are perfectly acceptable – over-mixing will make your muffins tough and chEWy. Spoon into muffin cases, until about 2/3 – 3/4 full.

That’s it! Give the muffin tray a firm tap on your kitchen counter, then pop them into the pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Then tip onto a wire rack to cool. Ideally for at least 10 minutes, but at least until the strawberry pieces aren’t so lava-hot they’re going to burn your mouth.

If you’re going for glaze, use the cooking and cooling time to mix the icing sugar, vanilla and not-milk/water together. Add more liquid or icing sugar to make it runnier or less runny, to personal preference – going for more of a crunchy-chic wash than a full-on white ice. Spoon onto the warm muffins, cool and enjoy!

And feel free to comment below if you have any good vegan-baking tips or cake-based excitement you’d like to share!

 

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