Author: lucykate24

Gluten free salmon blinis

Gluten free salmon blinis

Soft and fluffy mini gluten-free pancakes – otherwise known as blinis. Perfect for topping with smoked salmon, cream cheese and a sprinkle of fresh chives

Tropical banana, mango & coconut smoothie bowl

Tropical banana, mango & coconut smoothie bowl

Banana, mango & coconut smoothie bowl This creamy smoothie bowl is stuffed with fresh mango, delicate banana and thick coconut cream. The best part – it’s dairy-free and has zero added sugar. Serve with fresh granola, blueberries and coconut shavings for a clean, easy breakfast.…

Chocolate orange granola (GF/VE)

Chocolate orange granola (GF/VE)

Chocolate orange granola (GF/VE)

Ever fancied eating a chocolate orange for breakfast? Well, now you can. This gluten-free granola is infused with fresh orange and cocoa powder to make delicious chocolatey orange oaty clusters, then tossed with toasted cashews and dark chocolate chunks.

PREP TIME: 10 MINS   

COOK TIME: 20 MINS 

COOLING TIME: 25 MINS

small bowl of gluten free chocolate orange granola with cashews and strawberries

Buying supermarket granola is all very well until you take a look at the label, and realise just how many products are stuffed with processed sugar and empty calories. 

Once you realise how easy is it to make a homemade version, there’s honestly no going back. Most recipes are really simple all-in-one-bowl mixtures, and literally take less than an hour from start to finish. 

This one came from some playing about with my original pecan gluten-free granola recipe, with a chocolate orange spin. The orange isn’t too overpowering, and gives the clusters a satisfying, slightly chewy texture that goes perfectly with the crunch from the nuts and chocolate chunks. 

It’s best served with unsweetened soya or coconut milk, and even better with fresh strawberries. And as always, it uses free-from, whole ingredients. 

Jar of gluten free dark chocolate orange granola with a jug of milk and strawberries

Is it healthy? 

Sugar content

This granola has 5g added sugar per 45g serving. This is much lower than the majority of shop-bought brands out there, which have an average of 8-9g per 45g. The oats constitute the bulk ingredient, which provides slow-release complex carbohydrates, while only a few spoons of maple syrup are used to sweeten. 

It will contain some added sugar from the chocolate chunks, but you can reduce this by buying quality 85% or higher dark chocolate, which will have a lower sugar content than milk or white versions.

Dark chocolate chunks with fresh raspberries

Fat content

This recipe also contains healthy fats from the coconut oil. I’m a huge advocate for not fearing to eat fat – sugar is highly inflammatory and negatively impacts a whole range of things, from heart disease and premature skin ageing, to joint inflammation and insulin resistance. 

By contrast,  many whole, plant-based fats are a clean and healthy way to sustain your body, build cells, improve brain function and actually reduce the risk of heart issues.

On the surface, coconut is high in saturated fat. However, it has been shown that it actually promotes the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, and may actually support fat loss. 

For controlled portions, this granola recipe can definitely be enjoyed as part of a healthy, weight loss or maintenance diet – all the while still feeling like a treat.

chocolate orange gluten free granola with cashews and strawberries

Ingredients

Gluten-free jumbo rolled oats – jumbo oats are best used for a nice chunky texture. Feel free to try subbing for instant oats if that’s all you have on hand, although I haven’t trialled them so can’t speak for the results

Coconut oil – this is my go-to essential ingredient for most granola recipes that I make. It helps make those really chunky clusters, as well as slowing the absorption of the sugars from the oats and chocolate, meaning you’ll have less of a blood sugar spike. You can’t taste any coconut in the finished granola 

Maple syrup – this adds a subtle sweetness to the chocolate orange coating. You could substitute for honey, or 3 tbsp granulated sugar (melted in a little warm water before adding to the mix) 

Cocoa powder – I tend to go all in when I make recipes with chocolate, so this one has added chunks as well as cocoa powder to actually coat the granola. For a less chocolatey version you could omit this, but when doing so you’ll need to cut the orange juice right down to about 2 tsp, as otherwise your mixture will be far too soggy

Dark chocolate – you can either use chocolate chips, which don’t require any prep, or buy a solid bar of dark chocolate and manually chop it into larger, rougher chunks. I actually prefer the latter method, as it has more of a bite to it than the smaller shop-bought chocolate chips. You could even buy a quality bar of dark chocolate with orange pieces in it, for really zingy chocolate chunks 

Fresh orange – this recipes uses the zest from the whole orange, but only the juice from 1/2 of it. This is because the mixture will become too runny if too much liquid is added. You can always play around with the quantities if you think the granola mix seems too soggy – e.g. add some more oats and cocoa powder

Cashews – cashews add a nice extra crunch to the granola and are super simple to roast, as they don’t have any skins to remove. For a more traditional pairing, you could swap them out for roasted hazlenuts instead – however, these are a bit of a hassle to prepare, what with having to remove the bitter skins after baking. 

Vanilla essence & sea salt – extra flavourings to enhance the chocolate flavour

bowl of gluten free chocolate orange granola with a dish of fresh strawberries

Method

  1. Make the granola base: combine the melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, orange zest and juice together in a bowl. Then add the oats and stir to coat them well in the chocolatey orange mixture
  2. Bake – spread the granola mix evenly on a tray so that it’s about 1cm thick, and bake for 20 minutes at 170°C or 340°F
  3. Leave to cool until clusters have formed – it’s very important that you don’t stir the granola once it’s out the oven, as clumps will gradually form as it cools (unless you don’t want chunky granola)
  4. Toast the cashews – lay them on a separate baking tray and sprinkle a little salt over the top. Roast for 15-20 minutes at the same temperature (you can cook alongside the granola to save time), stirring every 5 minutes so as to keep an eye on them. If they look or smell like they’re burning, remove straight away
  5. Combine the granola with the cashews and chocolate chunks and enjoy (make sure it is fully cool before adding the chocolate)
small bowl of gluten free chocolate orange granola with cashews and strawberries

Storage instructions

This granola should be stored in an airtight container for maximum storage life – you can buy nice BPA-free plastic jars with metal screw lids for a tenner on Amazon. 

It will keep its freshness for up to 2 weeks. It’ll still be totally safe to eat for up to 4 weeks, but may be going slightly stale by that point. 

Chocolate orange gluten-free granola

Ever fancied eating a chocolate orange for breakfast? Well, now you can. This gluten-free granola is infused with orange juice and cocoa powder to make deliciously chocolatey orange oaty clusters, then tossed with toasted hazlenuts and dark chocolate chunks.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American, gluten free
Keyword brunch, chocolate, dairy free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 13 x 45g servings
Calories 197kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • 2x baking trays

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (175g) gluten-free rolled jumbo oats 
  • 1 large orange
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (75g) hazlenuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • large pinch sea salt
  • 100 g dark chocolate chips (or whole bar, broken up)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C or 340°F
  • In a small bowl, heat the coconut oil on low power in the microwave until melted. Then, in a large mixing bowl, tip in the coconut oil, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla essence and salt
  • Grate the zest of 1 orange and add into the mixing bowl. Then juice ½ the orange and tip the juice into the bowl. Store the leftover half orange face-down on a small plate in the fridge
  • Stir together the ingredients in the bowl until fully mixed together. Then tip in the oats and continue stirring until fully coated in the orange cocoa mixture
  • Cover a large baking tray with greaseproof paper, then scoop the granola mixture out onto the tray and press down with a fork until evenly distributed. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes
  • On a separate baking tray, arrange the cashews so that they sit fairly close together and sprinkle a pinch of salt over the top. Place in the oven below the granola and bake for 15-20 minutes, giving them a little stir every 5 minutes. They should go slightly golden brown. If they show signs of burning, remove straight away
  • Remove the granola from the oven and leave to cool for 20 minutes before stirring, as clusters will only start to form as the granola cools
  • Once fully cooled, add the cashews and dark chocolate chunks. Serve with alt-milk and fresh strawberries. Store leftover granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks
Jar of gluten free dark chocolate orange granola with a jug of milk and strawberries
Salmon en croute (salmon Wellington)

Salmon en croute (salmon Wellington)

This free-from take on the classic dinner recipe takes a hearty salmon fillet baked in a creamy, dairy-free pesto sauce, all wrapped up in a golden parcel of crispy gluten-free puff pastry.

Vibrant berry smoothie bowl

Vibrant berry smoothie bowl

A beautifully light and tangy triple berry smoothie bowl packed with antioxidants and vitamins.

Raspberry yoghurt baked oats

Raspberry yoghurt baked oats

Raspberry yoghurt baked oats

Change up your usual morning porridge with a comforting dish of gluten-free baked oats, served warm from the oven. This recipe is stuffed with fresh raspberries and creamy dairy-free yoghurt for a filling, tangy breakfast.

PREP TIME: 10 MINS

COOK TIME: 15 MINS

TOTAL TIME: 25 MINS

baked gluten free oats with raspberries

What are baked oats like?

Most people are familiar with the concept of porridge or oatmeal, but baked oats don’t tend to be a common breakfast staple. Depending on how you make it, baked oats can range from a cake-like breakfast bar, to a gooey, creamy pot that feels quite similar to normal oatmeal. 

For me, the biggest difference comes from whether you chose to add yoghurt or not. This recipe mixes yoghurt with oats and egg, which makes a gooey, creamy dish that you’ll need a spoon to eat.

However, my first recipe for baked oats without yoghurt produced a low-sugar breakfast cake bar that could be sliced into squares.

baked gluten free oats with blueberries

Are they healthy?

Baked oats are a fantastic healthy breakfast option. They’re made with whole, natural ingredients and are very low in sugar.  Proportionally, they contain more protein and fewer carbs than standard oatmeal or porridge, due to the addition of egg and yoghurt, meaning you need less oats to bulk it out.

They’re also a great option as part of a sustainable weight loss diet. Thanks to their balance of healthy fats, protein, and slow release carbohydrates, they help keep you fuller for longer and ward off cravings for a mid-morning snack. In fact, this recipe yields one really large bowl for only 376 calories, and that’s even including some extra honey to sweeten it up. 

baked gluten free oats with raspberries on a wooden board

Instructions

Baked oats are a super simple, one-bowl recipe. All you need to do is mix together the oats, yoghurt and egg in a bowl, plus any fruit, spices, sweeteners or other flavourings. Then spoon the mixture into an oven-proof dish and bake for 15-20 minutes. Individual dishes work best for this recipe, but you could bulk bake in one larger roasting tray.

Oats – this recipe uses gluten free rolled jumbo oats for a nice chunky texture. Instant oats really don’t cut it, unless you like the thick pasty consistency they produce. 

Milk – you might need to add a splash or two of alt-milk to loosen the mixture up, particularly if you’re adding protein powder. If you don’t want to use the yoghurt, then you’ll need to add about 100ml of milk. You can substitute for water if desired but it won’t be as creamy. 

Egg – this helps to bind the mixture together, but you can choose to omit and make this vegan. Substitute with a mashed banana or try it with a flax egg instead. 

baked gluten free oats with blueberries on a wooden board

Additions & extra flavourings

Add protein powder – To ramp up the protein even further, mix in a scoop of unflavoured or vanilla protein powder into the wet mixture. I like adding unflavoured soya isolate protein to this recipe, but any other vegan or whey-based powder should work fine too. 

If you opt for this version, you’ll also need to add a couple of tablespoons of alt-milk to loosen the mixture up, then bake as normal.

Stir in fresh fruit – this recipe is great with almost any kind of fruit. I’ve made it with fresh apple chunks stirred into the raw mixture before baking, or mixed berries and mashed up banana. Adding banana is a great, fibre-rich way to sweeten this recipe up without adding extra sugar or honey.

Add a surprise filling – one of my favourite things to do is hide a large spoon of baked peanut butter in the middle of the oats. You can easily do this by spooning enough raw mix to cover the bottom of the dish, before adding a generous dessert-spoon of peanut butter on top. Then cover it up with the remaining mixture before putting in the oven. 

(Try adding a spoon of Nutella or dairy-free chocolate spread if you want a really indulgent melting filling) 

Dark chocolate chunks with fresh raspberries

Storage instructions

Prepare in advance – I wouldn’t recommend preparing the raw mixture ahead of time, as the oats will end up soaking up all the liquid.  Instead, try baking it in advance  and reheating later. 

Reheating – you can reheat baked oats without any issues. Just zap them in the microwave for about 60 to 90 seconds until fully hot through. Alternately, reheat in the oven at 180°C or 350°F degrees for 10 minutes, or until fully heated. You might need to add a splash of alt-milk to loosen up the mixture a little bit. 

Shelf life – cooked baked oats will last for up to 6 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Make sure to seal and refrigerate them within 2 hours after baking. I wouldn’t recommend leaving them out at room temperature for longer than 2-3 hours, as bacteria grows very quickly at these conditions. 

Freezing – you can easily freeze and defrost baked oats at a later date. Just place in an airtight container in the freezer and store for up to 6 months. You can safely freeze them longer than this, but the quality may not be the same. To defrost, place in the microwave on medium-high for 60-90 seconds until defrosted. 

Onwards to the recipe! Please do leave a rating if you end up trying this out!

Raspberry yoghurt baked oats

Change up your usual oatmeal with a comforting dish of gluten-free baked oats, warm from the oven. This recipe is a filling mix of yoghurt, vanilla and fresh raspberries for a filling, tangy breakfast.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine gluten free
Keyword dairy free, fruit, oats
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 1 bowl
Calories 376kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • oven-proof ramkins

Ingredients

  • 35 g (⅓ cup) gluten free jumbo rolled oats
  • 120 g (½ cup) plain soya yoghurt
  • 1 medium egg
  • ¾ tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 100 g (¾ cup) raspberries
  • splash dairy-free milk

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F
  • In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, yoghurt, egg, honey and vanilla until well combined. If the mixture seems very thick, add a splash or two of milk to loosen it up. Finally, gently fold in the raspberries
  • Divide the mixture across two ramkins or one larger oven-proof bowl, and bake for 15 minutes until slightly risen and a pale golden-brown colour on top
baked gluten free oats with raspberries
Cranberry cashew breakfast bars

Cranberry cashew breakfast bars

Cranberry, cashew & coconut granola bars These soft and chewy breakfast bars are great eaten as a snack or as an easy breakfast on the go. They’re super portable, gluten-free & dairy-free, and can be easily prepared in advance. With no refined sugars, they derive…

Berry coconut-flour pancakes

Berry coconut-flour pancakes

Berry coconut-flour pancakes A decadent stack of soft, fluffy gluten-free pancakes, made with a blend of buckwheat and coconut flour and stuffed with juicy blueberries. Serve topped with rich raspberry compote and thick cream or dairy-free yoghurt for an epic breakfast. PREP TIME: 10 MINS…

Sweet potato & pepper soup

Sweet potato & pepper soup

Sweet potato & red pepper soup

This is everything a soup should be – rich, creamy (while still dairy-free) and thick enough to scoop up with a hunk of fresh bread. It’s also naturally vegan and gluten free! Serve in large bowls or mugs topped with a swirl of dairy-free yoghurt or a handful of pine nuts and spices.

PREP TIME: 10 MINS

COOK TIME: 15 MINS

TOTAL TIME: 25 MINS

sweet potato and red pepper soup in a bowl swirled with cream and spices

I once tried to make this recipe about 4 years ago in my small university kitchen. Unfortunately – as things often do when you improvise a recipe with budget-grade equipment – it ended in disaster.

Things started going downhill as I hacked away at a mass of huge sweet potato with a totally inadequate blunt kitchen knife. Then it took a substantial turn for the worse when I tried to season the very bland soup with some ground pepper. The lid of the offending pot popped off after a particularly vigorous shake, dumping about 5 tablespoons of the stuff into the pan. 

After scooping out as much as I could, the watery vegetable disaster still tasted like a dose of peppery tear gas, so I gave the project up for lost.  

sweet potatoes on a wooden chopping board

Good soup 101 – don’t skip the stock cubes 

Despite this setback, I am happy to report that after 4 years of nursing my injured pride, my second attempt was a resounding success. So good, in fact, that this might possibly be the best soup I’ve ever made. 

The key to this is adding a healthy serving of vegetable stock. This recipe uses 1.5 gluten-free stock cubes, crumbled up in 500ml hot water. The herbs and saltiness add a whole other layer on top of the mild sweetness of the potato and peppers.

It also means that you don’t have to risk dumping a whole jar of pepper in it – or overdoing any other spice while you’re at it. As far as my amateur culinary appreciation goes, a stock cube adds a perfect balance of extra flavouring, so that you don’t really need to add anything else. 

sweet potato and red pepper soup in a bowl swirled with cream and spices

Instructions

Sweet potato soup is incredibly easy to make – just chop up your veg and cook it in some stock for 15 minutes, then blend it all together. Here’s a full breakdown:

Cut the vegetables up small – unless you don’t mind waiting around for 40 minutes while the mixture softens. Try to cut them up into very small chunks – particularly the sweet potato, as it takes the longest to cook.

Sauté in some oil first – before you add any liquid, gently fry the onion, peppers and potato in some olive oil for about 5 minutes. This gives them some extra flavour rather than just boiling them to death

Add the vegetable stock – as per the above, this is an essential ingredient for bringing out the flavour in this soup

Simmer for 10-15 minutes – the potato chunks should be soft when you scoop out a couple and prod them with a knife

Blend together – at this stage, you’ll have a slightly mushy vegetable stew. Take the pan off the heat and use an electric hand-held blender to carefully pulse the mix until you have a nice thick soup consistency 

Serve with an optional garnish – I like sprinkling some pine nuts and a dollop of dairy-free yoghurt on top. Other options could include scattering over some fresh herbs and a few spoons of sour cream. If you’re not on a reduced-carb diet, serving it with some decent gluten-free bread is a must.

Is it healthy? 

This sweet potato & pepper soup is pretty high on the scale of healthy eating. It’s very low in fat and is much less carbohydrate-dense than bread or pasta. It has some protein and fibre in it, thanks to the vegetables, as well as loads of vitamin A & C. 

Sweet potato is also stuffed full of antioxidants, which combat inflammation caused by harmful free radicals in your body. While they do contain some sugars, they are a slow-release carbohydrate, making them a low-glycaemic food. All in all, they’re a filling superfood that boosts weight loss and maintenance diets alike.

sweet potato and red pepper soup in a bowl swirled with cream and spices

Storage instructions

Once cooled (within about 2 hours of removing from the heat), make sure to refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container. Leftover soup will last in the fridge for up to 6 days. Reheat by placing in a microwave-safe bowl and heating for around 60-90 seconds on medium-high power. 

Unlike normal sweet potato soup, which doesn’t freeze well due to its cream & dairy content, you can freeze this version once it has cooled. Place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 6 months. 

To thaw out, place in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the microwave or stovetop as you would normally. While you can reheat from frozen, you will likely end up overcooking the vegetables due to the increased additional cooking time. 

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! If you’ve tried it out and liked it, I would be so grateful if you could support me and my blog by giving it a quick rating!

Sweet potato & red pepper soup

This is everything a soup should be - rich, creamy (while still dairy-free) and thick enough to scoop up with a hunk of fresh bread. Serve in large bowls or mugs topped with a handful of pine nuts.
Course Main Course
Cuisine European
Keyword easy dinners, gluten free, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 large bowls
Calories 245kcal

Equipment

  • Large saucepan
  • Food blender / hand blender

Ingredients

  • 450 g (3 cups) sweet potato, peeled
  • 2 large bell peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 vegetable stock cubes

Instructions

  • Chop the onion, sweet potato and pepper into very fine chunks of approx. 1cm. Tip into a large saucepan, add the olive oil and fry for 5 minutes on a high heat, stirring continuously to make sure the vegetables don't burn
  • Turn the heat down low and prepare the vegetable stock. Boil 500ml water in a kettle or on the hob and pour into a measuring jug. Break the stock cubes up into rough chunks and add them into the hot water, stirring until all the lumps have dissolved
  • Pour the stock over the vegetables and put a lid over the pan. Turn up the heat to a medium level and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potato chunks are soft when prodded with a knife
  • Remove the pan from the heat and using an electric hand-blender, gently pulse the stew until it has formed a thick, smooth soup consistency. Alternately, pour the contents of the pan into a free-standing food mixer and pulse until smooth
  • Serve in large bowls topped with pine nuts, a sprinkle of dried spices and a generous swirl of yoghurt, with thick slices of bread on the side (not included in calorie information)

Notes

Serving sizes: This recipe makes 2 really large bowls (we're talking large cereal bowls filled almost to the brim). It could easily make 3 decent sized bowls if you didn't want to have quite as much.
sweet potato and red pepper soup in a bowl swirled with cream and spices

Why not try out more easy lunch ideas:

Creamy coconut chicken Thai curry

Stuffed chilli peppers

GF Rhubarb crumble

GF Rhubarb crumble

Free-from Rhubarb Crumble A gluten-free, dairy-free take on the classic dessert. Serve topped with dairy-free custard to get through those cold winter evenings, or with fresh yoghurt or cream for a summertime twist. If you don’t have any rhubarb on hand, simply swap it out…