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Here are some more of our favourite Tips and Tricks

Homemade Granola

How to make your own gluten free muesli

Great for breakfast, snacking or as a topping for crumble.

2 cups of whole oats (gluten free)
1 cup of chopped nuts (your choice of nut) 
4 tablespoons of maple syrup
2 teaspoons of cinnamon 
3 tablespoons of coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas 5. Mix the oats and nuts in a bowl. Heat the maple syrup and coconut oil in a pan and add the cinnamon. Once all combined with no lumps add this to the oat mixture. Make sure all of the liquid is absorbed, press together with back of spoon if needed. Tip onto a large baking tray and spread out evenly. Place in oven for approx 20 mins or until golden brown.

Pumpkin Seed Butter

Pumpkin seed butter

This makes the perfect alternative to peanut butter, and is especially suitable for nut allergy sufferers. Simply take your desired quantity of pumpkin seeds (raw or toasted) and pop them into a food processor (warning: you’ll need a strong one, and be careful not to let it overheat!). Pulse, then run continuously until the seeds transform into a smooth paste - this will take 5 to 10 minutes. Add a couple of teaspoons of rapeseed oil, and a bit of salt if you desire. Then enjoy! Store in a clean jar in the fridge.

Polenta Coating

Polenta coating tips & tricks

Polenta mixed with dried thyme and vegetarian hard cheese makes a great coating for homemade Glamorgan or vegetarian sausages or bean burgers - perfect for an indoor barbecue. Dip the sausages or burgers in beaten egg and then into the herby, cheesy polenta crumb - make sure they get a good coating. Then pan cook until crisp and serve immediately.

Vegan Banana Split

For a yummy summer pudding, peel a banana and slice it lengthways. Pop the slices into a bowl and top with generous scoops of your favourite vegan ice cream, then drizzle over some melted dark chocolate (check to make sure it’s vegan friendly) and a crumbled up Oaty Coconut Bar with Dark Chocolate. Add a scattering of desiccated coconut to make it extra tropical, then tuck in and enjoy!

Roasted Chickpeas - a naturally gluten free alternative to crisps

Roasted chickpeas are a tasty and naturally gluten free alternative to crisps and crackers - they’re also incredibly cheap and simple to make and the sort of thing you always have in your store cupboard. Take one 400g tin of chickpeas - drain, rinse and lightly pat dry with kitchen paper. Toss the chickpeas in a couple of teaspoons of rapeseed oil and a few pinches of your favourite spices - sweet paprika and cayenne pepper work well. Spread out over a baking tray and roast at 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6 until the chickpeas are golden and crunchy (about 35 minutes). Enjoy warm or cold.

Easy Beetroot Soup

Beetroot soup is my definition of comfort. Make your own at home with this easy recipe. Start by softening a whole onion off in a pan with a stick of celery and a carrot. Add one litre of vegetable stock and 2 large or 4 small uncooked, peeled beetroot's. Bring this to the boil and then simmer until the beetroot is tender. Blitz in a blender and enjoy. Add a dollop of crème fresh and a sprig of dill for extra fanciness. 

Easy Homemade Mulled Wine

Homemade mulled wine always tastes nicer than anything shop-bought - plus, it’s embarrassingly easy to create and takes no time at all. This recipe tastes delicious as is but can easily be adapted to suit your tastes by adjusting the combination of spices. Don’t worry if you don’t have any muslin - you might just have to retrieve errant spices out of the glasses before serving.

Ingredients: 1 bottle of red wine, 60g/2 ¼ oz demerara sugar, 1 sliced orange, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 1 tsp grated nutmeg, 5 cloves, large pinch mixed spice. You’ll also need a small piece of muslin cloth and some heatproof glasses, for serving.

Stud the sliced orange with the cloves and make a little muslin pouch containing the remaining spices. Place the pouch, the orange slices and the remaining ingredients into a large saucepan and heat gently for 15 to 20 minutes – allow the wine to simmer, but don’t boil otherwise the alcohol will evaporate. Taste, add additional sugar if you’d prefer more sweetness, and serve.

Rosehip Tea

Grab a handful of fresh ripe rosehips (the best ones can be found on a walk in the wild away from traffic). Pop these into a small saucepan of boiling water and allow to steep and simmer for ten minutes. Give them a good bashing in the water with the back of a spoon so all the juicy goodness and seeds are released. Strain and fill your favourite mug with the liquid left behind. It's high in vitamin C and great to keep those autumn / winter colds at bay. 

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