The Fresh Vegan Kitchen: Review & Recipe (Raw Chocolate Brownies!)

The Fresh Vegan Kitchen

The Fresh Vegan Kitchen

“Irresistible dishes from award-winning vegan street food pioneers and founders of Wholefood Heaven, David and Charlotte Bailey have taken the street market (they are at Whitecross Street Market and Ally Pally, London) by storm with their vibrant, healthy vegetarian and vegan cuisine with an emphasis on maximising flavour. Their new cookbook features over 100 recipes bursting with fresh ingredients and superfoods and naturally low in saturated fat, sugar and salt. Discover dishes from regions with a long tradition of vegetarian eating, such as Asia and India, as well as innovative twists on Spanish tapas, Middles Eastern mezze and more.”

Pavilion have recently published a new vegan cookbook by David and Charlotte Bailey of Wholefood Heaven and it is just the kind of vegan cookbook I’ve been looking for. My kind of vegan diet is one that incorporates the adventurous and doesn’t depend too heavily on “replacement recipes”, by which I mean recipes that mimic meat or dairy centred meals. The recipes in The Fresh Vegan Kitchen take inspiration from a variety of vegetarian food across the globe and as they say in the introduction, “this food is not about what’s missing, but instead about enjoying the extraordinary range of plant-based ingredients that are available.” It’s also full of beautiful, big, clear photographs – which in my opinion are almost as important as the recipes themselves!

There’s something for everyone in The Fresh Vegan Kitchen, as it includes basic recipes that would be invaluable to anyone just starting out with a vegan diet (green pesto, cashew cream, guacamole, kale and avocado salad) alongside some more complex, adventurous dishes (peanut and black sesame sweet dumplings! borage and blueberry snow cones! Cambodian wedding day dip! pearl barley risotto with pumpkin and sage! ingredients for this last one are pictured above).

I’m not a raw vegan, but I like the idea of eating raw more regularly, and The Fresh Vegan Kitchen caters for just that; not all of the recipes are raw but there are plenty to play with. Each recipe is clearly labelled so you can see at a glance which are wheat-free, gluten-free, and raw. Below I’ve shared a recipe for chocolate brownies from the book which ticks all three boxes!

The Fresh Vegan Kitchen

The Recipe: Raw Chocolate Brownies

I’ve tried a few of the recipes from The Fresh Vegan Kitchen and all have been great, so choosing one to share with you was tricky business. In the end I thought I’d go with this simple recipe for raw vegan chocolate brownies since it’s valentines day – and we all know valentines day has nothing to do with romance and everything to do with chocolate. It’s also a good example of what the book contains as it’s wheat-free, gluten-free and raw.

This is what David and Charlotte have to say about ’em: “These raw brownies are super moist and very moreish, but unlike normal brownies are also packed with nutrients as both raw cacao and lacuma (a Peruvian fruit, sold as powder that’s a delicious, slightly vanilla like sweetener) are extremely rich in magnesium and antioxidants to name just a couple of their benefits. The palm nectar or agave is low-glycaemic, so you also won’t get the usual sugar crash after having a couple of these! You can make these yummy treats in just 5 minutes!”

The Fresh Vegan Kitchen

The Fresh Vegan Kitchen

You’ll need:

125g (or 2 & 1/2 oz, or 3/4 cup) medjool dates
100g (or 3 & 1/2 oz, or 2/3 cup) pecans
4 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
4 tbsp coconut palm or agave nectar
5 tbsp raw cacao powder, plus extra to dust
1 tsp lacuma powder (optional)
1/4 tsp sea salt

Method:

(1) Put the dates in a food processor and grind just enough to form a paste. Add the pecans and continue to grind until they’re all about the size of a rice grain.

(2) Add the coconut, palm nectar, cacao powder, lacuma, if using, and sea salt and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Shape into brownie-like squares and dust with cacao powder. They’re ready to eat immediately if you can’t resist, but they’re also quite good chilled, so just put them in a sealed container in the fridge. They should keep for 4-5 days.

[Note: I’m super lazy so I rolled my brownie mix into smaller balls because it seemed easier, and then I dipped them in a bowl of cacao powder as an easy way to coat ’em. The great thing about this recipe is it’s very versatile – you could even shape the brownies with a cookie cutter if you wanted!]

The Fresh Vegan Kitchen

The Fresh Vegan Kitchen

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