Vegan Hot Cross Buns

With Easter fast approaching, the delicious smell of spicy hot cross buns are hard to resist. So why not try making your own vegan version?

This recipe makes 15 medium or 12 large hot cross buns and seems like it takes a long time, but really most of the time is taken up resting the dough!

We have taken this recipe from Bit of the Good Stuff. Visit the original link for more yummy photos and vegan recipes!

Hands on time: 30 minutes

Resting time: 1¾ hours

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the dough…
250ml / 9 oz / 1 cup fortified soya milk (or other non dairy milk)
1 tsp fast action / easy bake yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp neutral flavoured vegetable oil, such as rapeseed (canola)
500g / 17½ oz / 3½ cups plain (all purpose) flour
1 tsp salt
4 tsp mixed spice
100g / 3½ oz / ½ packed cup sultanas or raisins
100g / 3½ oz / ½ cup Italian mixed peel
Finely grated zest of 1 organic/unwaxed orange
85ml / 3 fl oz / ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (or other fruit juice)

For the crosses…
3 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour
2 tbsp water

For the glaze…
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (or other fruit juice)

Method

  1. Gently heat the milk until it is lukewarm.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the yeast and sugar.  After a couple of minutes the yeast will start to froth.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, spices.  Stir in the sultanas, citrus peel and orange zest.  Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir in the oil, yeast milk mixture, and orange juice.  Bring together the ingredients using your hands.  The dough should be soft and sticky.  Depending on the type of flour used, you may need to add a little more liquid.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or so, until the dough is smooth.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or oiled cling film (plastic wrap) and leave in a warm place for an hour or so until it has doubled in size.  If your house is cool, cover with oiled foil and place in the oven at 40C / 100F for an hour.
  4. When the dough has risen, knead for a further 10 minutes then divide into 12 or 15 equal size balls. Roll the dough into smooth balls and evenly space out on a large baking tray (28 x 40cm / 10 x 15”) lined with non stick baking paper.  Cover with the damp tea towel, oiled cling film (plastic wrap) or foil and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes or so, until they have risen.
  5. Heat the oven to 210C (190C fan) / 410F.
  6. To make the crosses, mix 3 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour with 2 tbsp water to form a thick paste.  Spoon into an icing bag with a thin nozzle (or a plastic freezer bag and snip the corner).  Slowly pipe along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction.  Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf, until golden brown.
  7. To make the glaze, gently boil the sugar and fruit juice in a small pan for about 5 minutes until it starts to thicken into a syrup.  Brush over the buns while they’re still hot.  Allow to set before serving. These buns are most delicious served warm or toasted.

The buns will last 2-3 days in an airtight container.  They also freeze well.  Tip: slice them in half before freezing them so that they can be toasted without the need to defrost first.

 

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Let’s Celebrate Chilli Day!

 

In most households, the humble chilli is a family favourite. Whether you like it hot and spicy or more mellow and mild, chilli is great for a quick midweek meal. Serve this recipe for 2 with rice, on top of a jacket potato (remember you’ll have to cook these first though, or get the convenient microwavable ones!) or with pittas.

You will need…

  • ½ tbsp oil
  • 1 sachet Granose Soya Mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 100g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small can of kidney beans
  • black pepper, freshly ground

To serve:

  • 150g basmati rice, 2 baked potatoes or 2 pitta breads
  • vegetarian cheese or sour cream (optional)

What to do…

1. Rehydrate the Granose Soya Mince as directed.

2. Heat the  oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened.

3. Add the soya mince, mushrooms, peppers, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and spices. Bring the sauce to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to the packet instructions, prep your pitta pockets or pop your jackets in the microwave (or check they’re not burning in the oven!)

6. Add the drained kidney beans and simmer for another five minutes.

7. Add the black pepper to taste and serve with your choice of accompaniment.

8. Top with sour cream, cheese and tuck in!

For extra heat, try adding extra chilli powder or chilli flakes and topping with jalapeños. We also love to sprinkle crushed tortilla chips on top of our chilli for extra texture.

Vitality Veggie Pasta

Here’s an easy peasy healthy recipe to ease you in to that New Year eating regime. We love this ‘Vitality Veggie Pasta’ from BBC Good Food.

Vitality veggie pasta

What you’ll need…

  • 250g pack pappardelle pasta
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into chunks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • small handful pine nuts
  • 1 plump garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 4 large field mushroom, sliced
  • 250g bag washed spinach
  • grated vegetarian cheese and chilli flakes to serve, optional

Method

  1. Pour boiling water into a large saucepan, bring to the boil, then cook the pasta according to pack instructions. When the pasta has 5 mins left to cook, tip in the squash and cook with the pasta for the remaining time.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat half the oil in a large frying pan. Sizzle the pine nuts in the oil until they start to colour, stir in the garlic and cook for a moment just to soften. Add remaining oil, turn up the heat, add the mushroom and cook for 2-3 mins until they start to soften. Turn the heat to maximum, add spinach to the pan and cook for 1-2 mins until completely wilted.
  3. Drain the pasta and squash, then mix in with the vegetables until everything’s nicely combined. Bring the pan to the table and let everyone help themselves. You could also pass round grated parmesan and chilli flakes if people want it.

To add more protein to the dish, try serving up the pasta with Granose Lincolnshire Sausage mix ‘meatballs’.

Recipe and images from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1505/vitality-veggie-pasta