This quick and easy grilled chicken skewers make a delicious free-from dinner or lunch. Served with creamy peanut satay sauce with hints of fresh ginger and soy sauce.
Create your own chocolate bar with this easy dark chocolate bark recipe. Wrap it up in cellophane for an impressive homemade gift idea, or break up into chunks to enjoy with a coffee after dinner. Customise with any topping you fancy, from crushed nuts to dried fruit or a decorative white chocolate swirl.
Cherry & dark chocolate gluten-free blondies
Soft and gooey with thick chunks of melting dark chocolate and zingy cherries, these gluten free blondies are an indulgent treat. Made with dairy-free butter and a sprinkle of gluten-free flour, the vanilla flavoured batter is a nice change to the classic brownie, while still giving you a chocolate hit.
PREP TIME: 10 MINS
COOK TIME: 30 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 40 mins
Saying this straight up – these blondies aren’t a healthy spin-off recipe. They’re rich, buttery and crammed with soft chocolate chunks, perfect for a super indulgent dessert or post-walk treat with a big cup of tea.
Similar to my fudgy GF dark chocolate brownie recipe, I’ve tried to minimise the amount of gluten-free flour used in the mix. The result is a very squidgy consistency that melts in the mouth, rather than a cakey texture.
Gluten free flour blend – I used Dove’s plain GF flour for these, but other blends should also work fine (including non GF if not following a free-from diet)
Dark chocolate – I opt for a breaking up a big bar into large chunks, so that the chocolate still retains it shape after baking, rather than fully melting like chocolate chips would. This way, with each square, you end up with a delicious, soft chunk to bite into.
Cherries – I use fresh cherries for this recipe, but you could also swap them for dried sour cherries for a more zingy option
Vegan butter – again, any brand works fine for this. Feel free to sub for normal butter if not following a dairy-free diet
Sugar – I mixed white and brown sugar together for this, to get a hint of caramel/treacle, without the mixture becoming too brown
Egg – to bind everything together. Feel free to sub out for a flax egg if preferred.
Vanilla extract – a key part of any blondie recipe! Try to use high quality vanilla bean extract for this
Salt – to bring out the vanilla flavour
Baking powder – just a smidge
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line an 8 x 8-inch square pan with baking paper.
Mix the flour, baking powder and salt
Cream the sugar and butter in a separate bowl, using an electric mixer to beat well. Then add the eggs and continue beating for another minute.
Mix the two bowls together and gently fold in the vanilla, chocolate chunks and finally the cherries.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the mixture doesn’t look like runny liquid when you give the pan a gentle shake
Remove from the oven and leave in the tin to cool completely, before slicing into squares
These blondies are best enjoyed straight away, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days after baking.
Cherry & dark chocolate gluten-free blondies
- Mixing bowl
- 8 inch tin
- Electric mixer
- 130 g 1 cup plain gluten-free flour
- 200 g (7oz) dark chocolate, bar broken in pieces
- 50 g white caster sugar
- 75 g light brown sugar
- 80 g (2.8oz) vegan butter
- 1 medium egg
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large pinch salt
- 150 g (5oz) fresh cherries, pitted / dried sour cherries
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line an 8 inch square pan with non-stick baking paper
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt
- In a separate bowl, cream the sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and light. Then add the eggs and continue beating for another minute
- Pour the butter/egg mixture into the other bowl containing the flour mix, and fold together until just combined. Then add in the vanilla, chocolate chunks and cherries, giving a final gentle stir to combine
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 20-30 minutes. The mixture will start to brown from around the 20 minute mark, so start checking regularly from this point. The batter shouldn't behave like a runny liquid when you give the pan a gentle shake - if it still sloshes around in the tin, continue baking for another five minutes. Repeat this process as necessary until the blondies are cooked
- Remove from the oven and leave the blondies in the tin to cool completely, before slicing into squares
- Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days
These easy to make peanut butter cookies are ready to eat in less than 20 minutes, with barely any cooling time needed. With just three main ingredients, they’re the perfect healthy snack when you’re craving something sweet but still low in sugar and free of any nasty added ingredients.
These soft and fluffy pancakes are made with mashed banana, protein powder and a sprinkle of gluten-free flour for a filling yet reduced-carb protein hit. Top with fresh fruit and yoghurt for a deliciously satisfying meal that feels more like a treat than breakfast.
Apple pie granola (gluten free, vegan)
A sweet and buttery granola made with apple puree, maple syrup and cinnamon, all rolled together with baked dates and dried apple chunks. This recipe uses gluten-free oats and coconut oil to make a delicious, completely free-from breakfast granola.
PREP TIME: 10 MINS
COOK TIME: 18 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 28 MINS
This spiced apple version is the latest installment in the granola saga – and it’s a pretty damn good one. By cooking up some apples into a puree and mixing them with the base oat mixture, you get a really soft, squidgy and appley granola.
Gluten-free rolled oats – the basic ingredient needed for any granola base. Opt for jumbo rolled oats for the best chunky consistency
Maple syrup – feel free to swap for a drizzle of honey instead of the much more expensive maple syrup, if preferred. This recipe also uses some brown sugar to make the apple puree, as they work together really nicely
Coconut oil – to help with crisping up and binding the granola into nice big chunks (it doesn’t add any noticeable coconut taste to the final flavour)
Apple sauce – made from finely chopped fresh apples cooked in a little water and brown sugar, then pureed with an electric hand blender
Dried apple chunks – you can either make these from scratch by finely chopping up an apple, spreading out on a baking tray and baking at a medium temperature until they’ve dried out. Alternately, you can buy ready-made dried apple rings and chop them up into the granola mix
Dates – not an essential ingredient, but adds bursts of sweetness that really compliments the apple flavour
Cinnamon – again, can be omitted if preferred
Extra ingredients & flavours
Walnuts/pecans – adding nuts gives a nice crunch to the soft and chewy apple granola. Try mixing in a few handfuls of walnuts or pecans into the base mixture before putting in the oven
Other dried fruit – sultanas, dried cranberries or cherries also go well with the granola. Make sure to add these after baking the granola, or sprinkle over the tray when it only has 5 minutes left in the oven to prevent them burning
Mixed spice – the base recipe uses cinnamon for a warming apple flavour, but you can spice it up further using a teaspoon or two of mixed spice
Dark chocolate chips – for a super indulgent twist, omit the dates and add in a few tablespoons of chocolate chips to the cooled granola
Make the apple sauce – chop the apple into chunks and place in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and enough water to just cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until softened (make sure it doesn’t cook dry and burn the bottom of the pan – add more water if necessary). Then remove from the heat and blend into a puree using an electric hand blender
Stir together the base ingredients – in a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, chopped dates and apple sauce. If the mixture looks/feels a bit too wet, add an extra few sprinkles of oats
Bake the granola – press the mixture down into a thin, even layer on a tray covered in high-quality greaseproof paper, keeping the dates roughly covered by the oats to prevent them burning in the oven. Then place in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes. Remove once it has turned golden brown and the outer edges are starting to crisp up and harden – keep a careful watch over it to make sure it doesn’t start to burn
Leave to cool – remove the granola and leave to cool for at least 20 minutes. Then, use a knife or your hands to break the sheet up into smaller chunks, and stir together with the dried apple pieces
Serve immediately with fresh fruit and alt-milk, and keep any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 10 days
This granola keeps in an airtight container for up to 10 days, although ideally eat within a week for maximum freshness. Due to the addition of apple puree in the base granola mix, this recipe is slightly more moist than other granola types, meaning it doesn’t keep for quite as long.
Apple pie granola (gluten-free, vegan)
- Mixing bowl
- Small saucepan
- Baking tray
- 3 cups (285g) gluten-free rolled jumbo oats
- 1 large apple
- ¼ cup (50g) soft brown sugar
- ½ cup (75g) coconut oil
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 70 g (0.3oz) dates, softened if needed
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ bag dried apple rings/chunks
- Preheat the oven to 170°C or 350°F
- Chop the apple into rough chunks and tip them into a small saucepan. Add the sugar and a splash of water to cover the bottom of the pan and cook on a medium-high heat for 6-8 mins until the apples are soft. Then add the cinnamon and pulse with an electric hand blender until it forms a smooth puree
- In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, mixed spice, apple puree, dates and maple syrup. Heat the coconut oil in a microwaveable bowl on a low heat for about 1 minute until melted, then add to the mixing bowl. Stir it all together until the oats are evenly coated
- Cut a rectangle of greaseproof paper to the size of a large baking tray, then tip the granola mix on top and press down with the back of a spoon to form a thin, even layer (roughly 1cm thick - the thinner the better to allow the granola to dry out properly in the oven). Try to make sure the tops of the dates are covered with some of the oats, to prevent them burning in the oven
- Place the tray in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove the granola once it has turned golden brown and the edges are starting to crisp up. (Keep a careful watch on it towards the end of the baking time, as granola spread very thinly may cook quicker, or vice versus if spread thicker)
- Leave to cool for 20 minutes - don't stir the granola before this time. Then, use a knife or clean hands to break it up into smaller chunks, and mix together with the dried apple pieces
- Serve with fresh fruit and alt-milk. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2-3 weeks
Fudgy dark chocolate & raspberry gluten-free brownies The ultimate gluten-free brownie recipe – gooey, fudgy and intensely chocolatey. With just a small amount of gluten-free flour mixed with heaps of melting dark chocolate, muscovado sugar and fresh raspberries, this is an incredibly rich and squidgy…
Gluten free salmon blinis
Blinis make the perfect appetiser or finger-food for parties. Soft and fluffy, these gluten-free mini pancakes are so quick and easy to make and can be easily frozen to save any leftovers. Pair them with a classic combo of smoked salmon, (dairy-free) cream cheese and freshly chopped chives.
PREP TIME: 10 MINS
COOK TIME: 10 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 20 MINS
Are blinis just pancakes?
Blinis are a type of small pancake originating from Russia, that are typically served with garnishes such as caviar, soured cream, or melted butter. Over here, you tend to see them served with smoked salmon at informal dinner parties… although the other day we made them to bring on a picnic, which was 10 times better.
Are they gluten free?
Normal blinis unfortunately don’t tend to be gluten-free or dairy-free to buy in supermarkets. As they are essentially just pancake batter, they are often made up of wheat based flour as standard – despite the fact that the traditional Russian recipe uses naturally GF buckwheat flour!
However, this makes them incredibly easy to make at home by opting for vegan butter (if you’re avoiding dairy) and buckwheat flour. Not for no reason is this the traditional flour of choice – it has a really nice soft texture to it, with none of the issues of using normal GF flour.
Blinis are made up of what is essentially normal pancake batter – but with a few modifications to make them free-from and super fluffy. This recipe doesn’t contain yeast or self raising flour.
Buckwheat flour – I like to use buckwheat as a GF flour substitution, because it behaves in a similar way to normal flour and makes really nice fluffy pancakes
Egg, separated – the key part of this recipe is the separation of the eggs. By beating loads of air into the whites before gently folding them into the batter, the blinis will turn out much lighter and softer
Baking powder (GF) – the baking powder substitutes the yeast often used in traditional recipes
Dairy-free milk – all pancake batters will use some milk or water to loosen the mixture slightly, and this is no different. I like to use unsweetened soya milk or coconut milk, as you can’t detect them in the final product. Almond milk, on the other hand, can add quite a distinctive taste
How to make
Make the pancake batter – mix the flour, baking powder, soya milk (or normal milk if using) and egg yolk to form a thick (but still pourable) batter
Separate the eggs – beat the egg whites in a separate bowl using an electric hand mixer until stiff peaks have formed (1-2 mins). Then gently fold the whites into the batter. This gives the pancakes a super fluffy and airy texture
Start cooking immediately – don’t let the batter sit around before pouring into the pan, as the egg whites will be gradually losing the air you’ve just beaten in to them. For this reason, it’s best to use a large non-stick frying pan, which allows you to cook lots of individual blinis at the same time
Cooking tips – pour 1 dessert-spoon or 1/2 tablespoon of mixture from a height of around 15cm above the pan, allowing each small pancake to spread into a circle shape without needing to roll the pan around. Leave to cook on a medium-high heat for about 1 minute until the tops are bubbling, then use a spatula to carefully flip them and cook for another 30 seconds
Can you make them ahead?
Unfortunately, you can’t make the batter in advance of cooking, as the egg whites will rapidly lose the air you’ve beaten into them. However, you can cook the blinis and serve up to 24 hours later
How to store in the fridge
Make sure to store the cooked blinis in an airtight container in the fridge as soon as they’ve cooled down. When ready to serve, simply remove from the fridge about an hour before serving, to allow them to warm to room temperature. Then decorate with your preferred toppings (the salmon and cream cheese is best added separately, straight from the fridge)
Can they be frozen?
Yes! Like normal pancakes, you can freeze blinis without any issues. For best results, spread them out to cover a plate, then place a layer of aluminium foil on top and continue placing more blinis on it. Repeat this layer separation process for the whole batch, then freeze for 1 hour before transferring to a ziplock bag or airtight container.
The blinis will keep for up to 6 months. To defrost, remove from the freezer and let them gradually warm up until just below room temperature before serving.
Smoked salmon – this is the classic pairing, and for good reason. Smear a small spoon of vegan cream cheese underneath each salmon slice for a light and creamy appetiser
Pesto, cream cheese & cherry tomatoes – this combo isn’t only great in paninis, but also as a blini topping
Homemade guacamole – mash up some avocado with a generous squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Then combine with any number of toppings (including the smoked salmon)
Cheese – being dairy-free, I rarely bother with vegan cheese, as it’s just not the same. However, for lactose eaters, these blinis are great topped with combinations of goats cheese and fresh tomatoes, or ricotta and pesto, among others
Caviar – as one of the traditional toppings, this is another one that can be paired with cream cheese
Dessert options – this is ripping off the original recipe a bit, but as blinis are literally mini pancakes, you can easily turn them into a cute dessert version. Top with a homemade chocolate ganache and fresh strawberry halves for an indulgent sweet option, or make it a bit lighter with whipped cream and fresh strawberries
How to serve
Do you eat them hot or cold? This is probably the most common question. From a practical point of view, eating them cold (or rather, room-temperature) allows you to add toppings like cream cheese without them melting everywhere.
However, there’s no harm serving them slightly warm if you’re quick about it, or if it works your chosen toppings. Either way, make sure to serve immediately after adding the toppings on.
Gluten-free salmon blinis
- Mixing bowl
- Electric hand mixer or whisk
- Large non-stick frying pan
- 60 g (½ cup) buckwheat flour
- 1 large egg, separated
- 100 ml alt-milk, e.g. unsweetened soya
- ½ tsp baking powder (gluten-free)
- 1 tsp vegan butter (for greasing the pan)
- 150 g (5oz) smoked salmon for topping
- 60 g (2oz) vegan cream cheese for topping
- 3 stems fresh chives, finely chopped
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, soya milk and egg yolk to form a fairly thick batter (it should still be pourable - if too stiff, add extra milk or water to loosen)
- Tip the egg white into a smaller separate mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks have formed. Gently fold the whites into the main pancake batter
- Heat a teaspoon of vegan butter in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat until bubbling. Then, using a dessert spoon, scoop a small amount of the batter and drop it into the pan. Repeat for as many small pancakes that you can fit in the pan while still leaving gaps between them
- Cook the blinis for 1 minute until risen and bubbling on top, then use a spatula to carefully flip them to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer to a large plate and repeat for the rest of the batter
- Once cooled, serve with strips of smoked salmon, cream cheese and a sprinkle of finely chopped chives
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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.…