Tag: dairy free

Stove-top sweet potato scones

Stove-top sweet potato scones

These savoury scones are a soft, fluffy and filling vegetarian dinner recipe. They’re low in fat, sugar and calories, but have a buttery sweet taste that pairs perfectly with any number of vegetable side dishes.

Raspberry dark chocolate gluten-free brownies

Raspberry dark chocolate gluten-free brownies

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

Gluten free salmon blinis

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.  




small gluten-free blinis topped with salmon and fresh chives

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. 

small gluten-free blinis topped with salmon and fresh chives


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

small gluten-free blinis topped with salmon and fresh chives

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 

small gluten-free blinis topped with salmon and fresh chives

Storage instructions

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. 

small gluten-free blinis topped with salmon and fresh chives


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

small gluten-free blinis topped with salmon and fresh chives

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

These blinis are super fluffy and light, perfect for pairing with smoked salmon and dairy-free cream cheese for an easy appetiser. These gluten-free mini pancakes are so quick and easy to make and can be easily frozen to save any leftovers.  
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine dairy free, gluten free
Keyword dinner party, finger food, party food
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings of 6-8 blinis
Calories 152kcal


  • 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

Liked this recipe? Please support me by leaving a quick rating below! 

small gluten-free blinis topped with salmon and 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.…

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.




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


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


  • Mixing bowl
  • oven-proof ramkins


  • 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


  • 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
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…

3-bean chilli stuffed peppers

3-bean chilli stuffed peppers

3-bean chilli stuffed peppers This is a warming, vibrant low-carb dinner. Mix up your toppings with avocado, yoghurt, baby tomatoes or a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil. It’s also a great way to use up any leftovers from the previous night’s chilli. Swap the beef…

Berry banana peanut butter smoothie

Berry banana peanut butter smoothie

Berry banana peanut butter smoothie

This thick and fruity smoothie makes a great antioxidant-packed snack. Naturally sweetened by the ripe banana, it’s so easy to make and has a tangy berry kick. Top it with a handful of your favourite granola or an extra drizzle of peanut butter. 



Pink fruit smoothie glass topped with granola, surrounded with scattered blueberries

I’m not really a snacker, in the traditional sense. For as long as I can remember, my blood sugar seems to operate on a 3 hour cycle where I’ll crash into a a hangry fit if I’m not quick enough to throw together something filling – the empty calories from one (or even five) pack of crisps just doesn’t cut it. 

For this reason, and much to the bemusement of some people at the office, you’ll often find me cramming a whole tin of tuna and soy sauce at 11am, or a pot of leftover turkey chilli at four in the afternoon.

pots of raspberries and blueberries

In the recent weeks following the lockdown, it’s been much easier to make smaller trips to the kitchen every couple of hours, which usually results in some less than healthy choices. Especially when you have a dad who keeps on coming back from Waitrose with left-over 20p easter eggs.

So I started trying to come up with some ideas for different kinds of snacks that would win over my new-found luxury of 24/7 kitchen access. The only goal being to make them more  interesting than a tin of tuna – and what better place to start than a smoothie.

Pink fruit smoothie glass topped with granola, surrounded with scattered blueberries

Optional additions

There are a lot of ways to play about with this smoothie and make it your own. Here are some suggestions:

  • Chia seeds: a tablespoon of these is a great way to up the fibre content while also adding in some protein. Let the smoothie sit for at least 5 minutes after adding, to give them time to absorb some of the liquid
  • Oats: adding 50g rolled oats adds a source of slow-release energy, creating a thicker and heartier smoothie 
  • Yoghurt: if you’re not dairy free, try stirring in a tablespoon or two of plain greek yoghurt. Otherwise, I’m all for adding some plain soya yoghurt – it has one of the highest protein content out of all the dairy free options out there
  • Protein powder: I’m always looking for ways to increase the protein content of my food, so I tend bang on a lot about adding protein powder to things. Mixing in a scoop will only add about 50 calories on per serving, but will help turn it into a more filling snack. You’ll want to opt for plain or vanilla flavoured powders here
  • Spinach: this is a great one if you want to sneak in some veggies but don’t want to taste them. I’ve added spinach to smoothies and protein shakes alike, and although it instantly creates a rather tell-tale green colour, you honestly wouldn’t know it was there if you had your eyes shut
Fresh basil and spinach leaves in a ceramic bowl

Smoothie tips

Having tried this smoothie out a couple of times, I’ve discovered a few things that really help make it work.

  1. Use a ripe banana – the first time I made this, I used a banana that was only just turning yellow. The resulting smoothie was still nice, but not very sweet, so I’d highly recommend using a very squidgy ripe banana in yours. One cheeky method that I’ve discovered to instantly ripen bananas is to pop them in the oven with their skin on, at a very low heat for around 15-20 minutes, or until the skin has gone completely black
  2. Freeze your berries first – I forgot to prepare this in advance the first time round, so went ahead and used room-temperature berries. To compensate, I threw in four or five ice cubes into the blender. This seemed to work fine, but when I tried it again with frozen fruit, it definitely blended better
  3. Use non-dairy milk – even if you’re not vegan or non-dairy, coconut milk in particular is very mild and much more watered down than cow’s milk. Personally I find this detracts much less from the fruity taste. 
  4. Add extra milk if needed – the type of blender you use does have an impact on how well the fruit gets mixed in, which changes the overall thickness of the smoothie. Don’t be afraid to add more liquid if needed
  5. Manually stir the mix halfway through blending – some lumps of fruit will often be missed and get stuck at the bottom or on the sides, so it’s worth giving the contents of the blender a rough stir around to dislodge any of these chunks, before giving it another final pulse

Berry banana peanut butter smoothie

A thick, fruity smoothie stuffed with blueberries, raspberries, banana and a scoop of peanut butter. Top with a sprinkle of your favourite granola and an extra drizzle of PB for a hearty snack
Course Drinks, Snack
Cuisine World
Keyword dairy free, fruit, gluten free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 large glasses
Calories 242kcal


  • Blender / food processor


  • 75 g (¾ cup) blueberries, frozen
  • 75 g (¾ cup) raspberries, frozen
  • 1 large ripe banana, roughly chopped
  • 45 g (2.5 tbsp) smooth 100% peanut butter, plus extra for optional topping
  • 100 ml (½ cup) dairy free milk, e.g. coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp honey/maple syrup (optional)
  • handful granola for topping (optional)


  • In a food processor, tip in the blueberries, raspberries, banana, peanut butter, milk and vanilla extract. If using room-temperature berries, add four ice cubes into the mix. Blend together for about a minute until smooth, adding in a little extra milk if the mixture looks a bit too thick
  • Give it a taste and add some honey or maple syrup if it needs further sweetening. Give the mixture another quick pulse in the blender to ensure fully mixed
  • Pour into a tall glass to serve, topping with a sprinkle of granola and drizzle of peanut butter if desired
Pink fruit smoothie glass topped with granola, surrounded with scattered blueberries
The best homemade granola

The best homemade granola

The best homemade granola This is a chunky, oaty, nutty, ridiculously easy granola. All you’ll need are three main ingredients for those golden brown clusters, plus whatever toppings and flavourings take your fancy.  PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES RESTING TIME: 15 MINUTES…