The Acidentally Vegan Challenge: Three Delicious Desserts.

Recipes & photography by May Simpkin. Text by Debbie Blott.

If, like me, you like to eat a diet that is good for you, animals and the planet, but would not describe yourself as a fully-fledged vegan, I think you will enjoy the “Accidentally Vegan” recipes by May Simpkin.

May is a qualified UK-registered Nutritionist and a busy multi-tasking woman with a family life. She takes a no-nonsense, straight-forward approach to creating great recipes and delicious meal plans that are easy to follow and help you to achieve your health goals.

I love May’s recipes because they are all based on healthy whole foods and not some of the processed “meat and milk” alternatives you get in the shops. And so I thought that I would set you an “Accidentally Vegan Challenge” to try out these three desserts and tell me what you think. Are they just as good, better or not as nice at the full fat, dairy equivalents?

Vegan_Bakewell_Tart

1. Vegan Bakewell Tart

May created this recipe for a Raw Nutritious Vegan Bakewell Tart for the Ideal Home Show last year. She had been invited to talk and demonstrate her nutritious recipes.

There is nothing I like more than a good, old-fashioned British pudding and so this ticks all the boxes for me. More than that, as May says, it is also highly nutritious and happens to be gluten and dairy free as well. So here you go:

Good to Know: Preparation time 20 mins: Freezer Time 15 mins: Total time: 20 mins: Serves 6 people.

Ingredients:

Base: 125 g Dates: 150 g Almonds: 1/2 tbsp Coconut Oil: Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt or any other salt.
Middle Frangipane Layer: 100 g Ground Almonds: 4 tbsp Maple Syrup: Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt or any other salt.
Raspberry Jam Layer: 150 g Frozen Raspberries: 2 tbsp Chia Seeds: 2 tbsp Maple Syrup (optional).
Topping: 2 tbsp Almond Flakes preferably toasted.

Method:

  1. Start by making the Chia Jam. Put the frozen raspberries in a non-stick pan on a low heat on the hob and add two tablespoons of water. Allow to defrost until the raspberries are soft (about five minutes).
  2. Next, if you are using the maple syrup, this is the time to add it, together with the chia seeds.  Carefully break up the raspberries, whilst stirring continuously. Then put to one side until cool.
  3. Line a small baking tin with grease-proof paper. Put the base ingredients into a food processor and blend. You will may need to use a spatula to scrape the mixture off the sides from time to time.
  4. Once the mixture has a fine ground texture put it into the baking tin and gently press down with the back of a wooden spoon until it is quite firm and smooth.
  5. Use a spoon to mix the Frangipane ingredients together and put this on top of the base. Cover the entire base layer and, again, make firm and smooth by pressing down with the back of a wooden spoon.
  6. Carefully top the first two layers with the cooled Chia Jam.
  7. When you are happy that Chia Jam has been spread evenly across the top, finish off with a sprinkling of flaked almonds and pop it all in the freezer.
  8. The Raw Vegan Bakewell Tart is ready to eat as soon as it is completely set. It can be served either cold or at room temperature. Take from the tin, and cut into slices to serve.

Individual cheescake portion

2. Vegan Cashew Nut Cheescake

Who doesn’t love cheescake? A blast from the past maybe, but oh so delicious and this vegan cashew nut is a delicious and nutritious, guilt free alternative to the traditional cheese and sugar laden option.

Good to Know: Get started the day before as you will need to soak the cashews over night. Not a dish to be hurried, you will need to put it in the freezer for at least two hours before eating and May suggests that you then leave it for about half an hour before eating.

Ingredients:

Raw Cashew Cheesecake Base: 1 cup walnuts: 1/2 cup chia seeds: 1 cup dates: 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Raw Cashew Cheesecake Filling: 1 1/2 cups raw Cashews, soaked in water overnight, then drained and rinsed: 2 tsp Vanilla Extract: 2 tbsp melted Coconut Oil: 4 tbsp: Maple Syrup :Pinch of Salt: 1/2 cup dried cranberries, soaked in a little water to soften.
Topping: A few soaked cranberries to serve.

Method:

  1. Start by blending the walnuts in a food processor until they are chopped into small pieces.
  2. Add the Chia seeds and dates and blend. Once they have formed a sticky dough add the vanilla and continue to blend until well mixed together.
  3. Press the mixture into your chosen serving size – either a silicone cupcake tray, single lined sandwich cake tin or a small, deeper, loaf tin.
  4. Put the filled tin in the freezer to set whilst you make the filling.
  5. Blend the rest of the ingredients (except the cranberries) until they make a smooth cream.
  6. Next you will need to get the base from the freezer and spread the soaked cranberries across the top. Cover in a thick layer of the cashew cream filling.
  7. Return to the freezer for at least two hours.
  8. Allow the cheescake to sit at room temperature for a further half an hour before serving. Decorate with a few Cranberries as desired.

3. Spiced Peach Compote

This is the healthiest and easiest option of the three. We like it best at the end of the Summer when the peach season is coming to an end. Keep a bowl of peaches tucked away so that they don’t get eaten before they are fully ripe, or even slightly over-ripe. Then they are ready to be turned into this delicous compote.

Good To Know: This recipe takes less than half an hour to make and can be kept in the fridge for a week.

Ingredients:

12 small, ripe peaches: 2 star anise; half a teaspoon of Cinnamon.

Method:

  1. Cut the peaches in half, remove the stones and chop into little chunks.
  2. Put the peaches in a pan, along with the star anise (ideally whole so that it can be removed at the end) and cinnamon.
  3. Gently warm on a low heat on the hob, for about fifteen minutes, until the fruit is quite soft but keeps its chunky shape.
  4. That’s it! Serve with your favourite vegan yoghurt, custard or ice cream.

I hope you like these recipes. Please do let us know which is your favourite and any variations you suggest we try.

If you have any questions or would like to discover more healthy, delicious and nutritious recipes please contact May directly via her website. I know that she would love to hear from you.

maysimpkin.com

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