The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Category: Sweet

Vegan French Toast

This recipe was described by my daughter and husband as bread in a pancake. Now I’m not sure if that sounds appealing, and I hadn’t really considered that the mix used for the outside of this french toast is quite pancake like, but it was a fairly accurate description. Whilst you may not think it, french toast is just as easy to make without eggs, and really very tasty.

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread

While the world has really came on a long way in vegan food, there are some things you just can’t easily get in the shops. Sweet treats seem to be lagging behind savoury offerings, in my local supermarkets anyway. Okay, some of the biscuits are accidentally vegan, and you have the free from options but these are so expensive, for a family of four they are not bought regularly.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread is something I have seen only once, in 2019 at Christmas in Holland and Barret. This cost £5, and it was okay, I enjoyed it but not like I should have. Since then I have been on the lookout for a quick and easy shortbread recipe, and I recently found one.

This recipe is very quick to make, the longest time is to chill your dough. I make this in the morning and put it in the fridge for the full day. The shortbread is delicious, so good that even if there was vegan chocolate chip shortbread available in the shops, I would still be making this. It’s pretty cheap too, okay, definitely not a health food, but for an occasional treat, it really hits the spot.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

A delicious shortbread, surprisingly quick and easy to make.
Prep Time 1 hr 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Scottish
Servings 24 Cookies
Calories 170 kcal


  • 250 g Vegan Margarine I use flora buttery
  • 130 g Caster Sugar I used Golden
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 350 g Plain Flour
  • 100 g Vegan Chocolate I used a bag of bourneville buttons


  • Mix the margarine with the sugar in a large bowl.
  • Add vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, mix further.
  • Add the flour and mix until a fairly stiff dough is formed. You will have to use your hands at the end to knead the dough a little to ensure it is mixed well
  • Chop your chocolate into smallish chips, then mix these in well by hand.
  • Roll into a large ball, place in a bowl, cover and put in the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
  • Once chilled, roll out and cut into circles. Put on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper.
  • Bake in the oven at 200 degrees cesius (fan) for around 30 - 40 minutes. My oven seems to cook quite slowly, so ensure you check regularly. The edge will begin to brown, if the shortbread isn't cooked at this point turn down the temperature and cook a little longer.
  • I allowed the shortbread to cook on the tray before moving.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread Mix

Cookie Dough, difficult to not eat straight from the bowl!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Shortbread

This may sound a little strange, but I will more than likely have a mental link between this shortbread and the Coronavirus lockdown. I made this for the first time just before our lockdown began and I have made them now three times in the last two weeks. The whole family loves them, my husband even remarking that these were one of the best things I had ever made. Last time I made them I was unable to get the bourneville buttons at the shop so got some dark chocolate bars, including an orange flavour. The chocolate orange version of the shortbread was equally delicious so there are potentially many flavour combinations that can be tried!

Calorie wise, these are around 170calories dependent on the size of shortbread that you make. Last night we made 24 from this amount of mix so you can make these as small or large as you want dependent on your desire for chocolatey sugary goodness.

Keep safe everyone! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitterMy Fitness Pal and Fitbit.

Banana Oat Muffins

I’ve recently been on a real money saving kick, and looking at food waste there can often be a few things getting put in the recycling bin every week. One thing is bananas, we go through a fair amount of them but there are always a few hanging about getting mushy. I do occasionally freeze them but then I just never use them, so I was looking for a recipe that fits with my whole foods plant based push, and something to use up ingredients when I came up with this recipe.

I have seen a few like this but I have changed those recipes, a little, and tend not to measure ingredients anymore, I just kind of throw it all together. I have made 12 of these every weekend and have one after dinner during the week, sometimes with lunch, plus my husband has taken a few too.

Banana Oat Muffins

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 12
Calories 150 kcal


  • 4 Bananas
  • 1/2 cup Wholewheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup Wholegrain Oats
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Raisins This could be blueberries too
  • 1/2 cup Soy milk Could need more or less depending on consistency
  • 1 tsp Peanut Butter Not necessary but can add a nice flavour


  • Mash the bananas in a big bowl using a fork
  • In a separate bowl mix flour, oats, baking powder and dry seasonings
  • Add dry mix to banana, add raisins and mix
  • Add peanut butter and enough soy milk to loosen, shouldn't be too runny but also shouldn't be too thick
  • Fill 12 small cupcake cups (I use silicone), they should be fairly filled
  • Bake in the oven for around 15 - 20 minutes. The consistency of these will not be like usual cupcakes, less cake like, but they are delicious nonetheless and a cheap and cheerful sweet treat which is pretty good for you.

They are a nice little snack, I keep mine in the fridge, as there is quite a lot of banana, I feel they should be refrigerated. They can only cost about 5 – 10p a serving too, so definitely a winner there on the money front!

Thanks for reading, let me know if you have made this or something similar, or maybe you have your own one pot recipes to share? You can find mon InstagramFacebookTwitterMy Fitness Pal and Fitbit. Add me on any or all, I love new friends on all social media for support and updates from me!

No Oil, No Added Sugar, Wholewheat Banana Bread

I found myself search No Oil, No Added Sugar, Wholewheat Banana Bread this week. We are almost a month into 2018 and I have been very good with my eating, fasting nearly every day, sticking within my calories, reaching my fruit and veg requirements. However sometimes you just crave something sweet, so I went looking for some ideas for banana bread that wouldn’t destroy the hard work I have put in so far, but still give my taste buds the hit as if I was eating a treat.

No Oil, No Added Sugar, Wholewheat Banana Bread


  • 2 cups wholewheat flour
  • 2.5 cups mashed banana (3 large and pretty ripe)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp flax seed powder + 6 tbsp water
  • Couple of Walnuts


Mix the flax seed powder with water, stir and leave aside for 5 minutes. Mash the banana. In a large bowl mix dry ingredients. Add the banana and flax seed mixture and mix well.

Place in a greased loaf tin, bake for around 30 – 40 minutes in a 190 degrees celsius fan oven (check it though regularly!). Let it cool before slicing.

No Oil, No added sugar, wholewheat banana bread

Next time I think I’m going to try soaking the dates to make them softer. This is around 150 calories a slice which is pretty good for a fairly large slice! Plus it’s guilt free, no oil, no added sugar, wholewheat and vegan!

Remember you can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitterMy Fitness Pal and Fitbit. Add me on any or all, I love new friends on all social media for support and updates from me!

Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree

For pudding this year I have decided to give the Bosh Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree a go. I couldn’t resist the look of it on facebook, it’s maybe not a traditional desert but warm teamed with vegan cream we are all in agreement in our house that tradition can go out the window for this!

Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree


  • 2 cups of Hazelnuts, roasted
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 200g of melted dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup oat milk
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry
  • Olive oil
  • Vegan Cream


I had pre-shelled hazelnuts from Holland and Barrett so didn’t need to shell them. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for around 12 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.

Put in a food processor with salt and process until well broken up. Melt dark chocolate, I used a 200g 75% dark chocolate bar, add this to the food processor. Add 1/2 cup of oat milk and 1/2 cup of maple syrup. Process until well mixed.

Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Lay down the first sheet of puff pastry. Spread the nutella mix in a tree/triangle shape on the first layer.

On top place the second layer of pastry to make a pastry/nutella sandwich. Cut the excess pastry where there is no nutella so you end up with a large triangle.

Slice in along the edges going up the edges of the tree. Twist these a little.

Vegan Nutella Christmas Tree - Uncooked

Brush the tree with olive oil and bake in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for around 20 minutes. Enjoy with vegan cream. I forgot to take a picture of the finished tree but will be having some more tonight so will come back and add a finished picture!

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Fruit Birthday Cake | Fresh Fruit

It was my daughters birthday party last week, we visited our local laser tag place for two hours of fun with 10 kids and a couple of adults. May I just say at this point that I won both games. Not only did I beat 10 children, I beat my husband, teenage son and some random strangers. Clearly this is a proud moment for me! I’d like to thank my parents, my school etc etc..but most of all my weight loss because I could shoot/run/duck and hide my way to victory.

Ahem, now I have the tale of my victories out of the way I wanted to share my daughters birthday cake. Last year we made a Panda, rainbow, aquafaba layer cake which looking back on was pretty impressive! This year however she requested something a little different, a fruit cake, made with fresh fruit, namely a melon cake.

She loves fruit, and actually isn’t that big a fan of cake, and being the only vegan in her friend group and I think she likes being seen as the healthy one.

Sadly, I was a little worried about judgement. From who? Other parents, the venue, family, isn’t that mad? I was worried about being judged for giving children fruit rather than a huge amount of sugar.

Worry of judgement aside, I just went for it, and created a three tier cake from watermelon, gala melon and honeydew. We then garnished it with 3 types of grapes, strawberries, kiwi and pineapple.

fruit birthday cake

The kids absolutely tore into it, after two games of laser tag I think it was actually perfect.

I did also make some vegan cupcakes, these were for the party bags and adults there, but making a fruit cake and cupcakes was much quicker and easier than making a full birthday cake, which was good considering how busy I am at the moment!

vegan cupcakes

At some point I’ll do a post about the cupcakes but you can find a close recipe for them here.

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Vegan Pancakes | Sweet Stuff

Definitely not weight loss related but yesterday was pancake day. I’ve tried a few different recipes for vegan pancakes since going vegan and while they’ve all been okay, none have been really knock out. That is until these. Even my highly fussy non-vegan husband thought these were delicious.

This recipe is for the larger style of pancakes, the type that require flipping. However, I am a coward when it comes to flipping (plus I’m paranoid my frying pan handle will break off, that has happened once before) so I tend to use a slice to turn them. This recipe will make 8 large pancakes, of which we all had 2 each. One serving was around 250 calories, so not all that bad diet wise either.

Vegan Pancakes


  • 240g Plain Flour
  • 1.3 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of Soya Milk
  • 3/4 cup of Water
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt


Sift together the dry ingredients, then add the wet. Really simple. I then whisked for a few minutes just to make sure all the flour was mixed in properly. If the mixture is a little thick (it should be pourable) add more milk.

Heat a frying pan and brush with vegetable oil, or use fry light. Heat up to pretty hot. I then used a ladle and used just over one ladle full per pancake. Fry for a few minutes on each side. If there was one complaint with them is that they didn’t really brown up but we were hungry so I didn’t overcook and to be honest the paleness did not detract from the flavour at all.

I had lemon and a tsp of sugar with mine, my son and daughter had maple syrup, and husband had dark chocolate buttons and sliced banana.

vegan pancakes

They really were tasty, I have been made to promise we are having them again at the weekend and I can’t say I’m complaining!

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Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles | Christmas Menu

These dark chocolate avocado truffles are tasty, but have the added benefit of actually being pretty good for you, considering what a delicious sweet treat they are! I’m making these as a snack, and may take some more to a new years party we are attending if they go down well.

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles


  • 280g 70% Dark Chocolate (at least 70%)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup (or just plain old caster sugar)
  • Toppings – cocoa powder, dessicated coconut, chopped nuts


Break chocolate into chunks and place in a glass mixing bowl above a pot of water. Just simmer the water and stir the chocolate as it’s melting. Once fully melted stir in the agave syrup (or sugar). Set aside to cool.

Scoop out the avocado flesh, add the salt and using a fork mash to a pulp.

Gently fold the avocado into the melted chocolate. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or until it firms up. When nearly ready put your chosen coatings in small bowls.

Roll the chocolate mixture into balls, dip the balls into the coatings and cover. Continue until all the chocolate mixture is used up.

Put truffles in an airtight container and chill for another 30 minutes. Use within two days.

I will update with pictures once I’ve made them, but I have made similar truffles previously and they were delicious! Here you can see my full christmas menu and feel free to follow me on facebook, twitter and instagram.

Vegan Rhubarb and Blueberry Crumble

I was walking through the supermarket today and I saw some nice looking rhubarb, and the weather is decidedly wintery, (and having a couple of packets of blueberries in the fridge),  I decided on a whim to knock up some vegan rhubarb and blueberry crumble.

Pre-vegan days, I used to eat a fair whack of hot deserts, but the unavailability of vegan offerings in the supermarkets has lead to me pretty much giving them up entirely. Therefore, I was looking forward to this for pudding!

Vegan Rhubarb and Blueberry Crumble Recipe

  • 400g Rhubarb
  • One punnet of blueberries
  • 100g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 70g Self Raising flour
  • 70g Wholemeal flour
  • 85g Vegan Margarine
  • 50g Sugar

Chop rhubarb into thumb sized chunks. Put in saucepan with blueberries, Golden Caster Sugar and a little water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes on a really low heat. Be careful because the rhubarb can easily lose it’s shape if overcooked.

Vegan Rhubarb and Blueberry crumble

When soft pour into a baking dish. Heat oven. Rub flour mix and margarine together. Add sugar.Mix up with your hands. Scatter on top of the rhubarb and blueberry mix.Vegan Rhubarb and Blueberry crumble


Cool in the oven at 180C for a fan oven for about 30 minutes. I had mine with Alpro soya single cream.

Vegan Rhubarb and Blueberry crumble

Here you can see more of my food and this is the recipe that inspired this crumble. It was lovely! Simple, comforting food, recommended!

Vegan Birthday Cake

As my first proper post I thought I may as well start with a biggie, I faced a huge challenge this week, creating a Vegan Birthday Cake for my daughter’s 8th Birthday. After trying a number of recipes I found that one using aquafaba gave the best bake. Honestly, since going vegan the resourcefulness of the bakers and cooks out there still surprises me, chickpea brine for egg replacer sounds insane but really works, there is no taste but it gives the correct texture for a cruelty free vegan birthday cake. I can’t say this would work well for my weight loss, but it definitely did the job in satisfying the kids, friends and family. Pictures are at the bottom of the post.

Vegan Birthday Cake Recipe

The following recipe which was found originally here was used for each layer of the cake ( three times in total) with a couple of small differences.

  • Aquafaba – One 400g can (of chickpeas in my case)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 teaspoon
  • Cream of Tartar – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sunflower Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Self Raising Flour – 1 1/2 Cups
  • Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Bicarbonate of Soda – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Food Colouring Gels


Preheat Oven to 160 Degrees (fan) or 180 Degrees.

Using a large bowl add vinegar to aquafaba and whip using an electric hand blender. Whipping has to continue for around ten minutes until the mixture resembles egg whites, forming peaks. I found that I struggled to get the aquafaba whipped enough, and after some googling found some suggestion it may have been due to my blender being rather basic (not strong enough), so added half a teaspoon of cream of tartar which seemed to do the job.

Sugar should be added until the mix goes glossy. Next add in the oil and vanilla. At this point for each of the three layers I added in around a third to a half of a tube of food colouring.

Next I sifted the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the frothy mixture and gently folded this in.

I used a single 7 inch baking tin which gave a good rise, this needed to be lined and greased.

The cake was put in the oven for 25 – 35 minutes, when a toothpick comes out clean I left the cake in the tin for 5 minutes then transferred to a rack.


After the cakes had began to cool I mixed up sugar syrup by boiling one cup of water and one cup of sugar until it was a thick syrup. I poked small holes in the top of the cakes then using a brush, brushed the syrup all over the cakes. I was worried that the cakes would be dry as a few test cakes I made had been a weird dry texture but the sugar syrup really seemed to help.

Buttercream was 100g dairy free spread mixed with 200g Icing Sugar and some vanilla essence.

Finally, pre made fondant icing was used for the panda. I need to improve my decorating skills! However, the cake tasted delicious. All of the kids at my daughters birthday party loved it, and even the parents, and my family and friends were shocked when they tasted it and knew it was a vegan birthday cake made with chickpea juice!

inside the rainbow panda vegan birthday cake

Rainbow Colours

The finished iced panda vegan birthday cake

Happy Panda







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