Recipes Archives - Lifelab Testing

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Have you been looking for delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies? Then you’re in the right spot. Finding a delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe that is not only great on your taste buds but also intolerance-friendly can be challenging. When you have intolerances like wheat, milk, eggs, gluten, and others, finding recipes for baked goods that you can enjoy and share with your friends and family without being afraid of getting intolerance symptoms is a little challenging.

If you discover you have specific allergies and intolerances to food, you can recreate recipes you used to enjoy with ingredients that won’t affect your health. This vegan chocolate chip recipe is dairy-free and gluten-free.

It is beneficial to make your own food at home when dealing with food allergies and intolerances because when cooking or baking at home, you can always decide which recipes to use and the amounts to use in each recipe. By doing this, you’re keeping yourself safe and creating healthy options for yourself. Most baked goods we buy contain too much sugar and fats, but when preparing the recipes at home, it gets easier to ensure that you’re eating healthily.

Ingredients

2 cups plain flour

1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated (white) sugar

3/4 cup soft dairy-free butter

1/4 non-dairy milk

1 Tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (150°C fan). Preheating the oven ensures that the heat inside is evenly distributed, and once you start cooking your cookies, they will cook all the way through, not just on the surface. Line a baking sheet or two with baking parchment to prevent the cookies from sticking to the baking tray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and sugars and beat or mix until smooth and well combined. Creaming the butter and sugar evenly ensures it disperses sugar evenly into the mixture and increases the mixture by introducing more air into it.

Add the chocolate chips to the cookie dough

3. Add the milk and vanilla and mix again. Evenly mix the wet mixture until everything is incorporated fully.

4. Add in your flour and baking soda and mix until combined. Mix baking soda and flour beforehand so that you don’t need to do a lot of mixing when adding your dry mixture (flour) into your wet mixture (butter, eggs, and milk). The less mixing you do when introducing flour into your wet mixture, the fluffier your cookies will be. We all want cookies that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside but well cooked.

5. Pour your chocolate chips into the bowl and fold these in. when folding, don’t overdo it, just ensure an uneven distribution of the chocolate chips. Overmixing the cookie dough will prevent it from being fluffy and rising.

Mix thoroughly
Mix thoroughly

6. Using a tablespoon (or I prefer to use a small ice cream scoop), place balls of cookie dough onto the baking sheets. Gently press the dough flat. For more decoration ideas, you can use the back of a fork to press them down to create unique textures.

7. Bake for 10 minutes until they begin to turn golden brown. Cookies continue to bake after they have been taken out of the oven, so don’t worry if they look slightly underbaked.

8. Leave to cool on the baking trays or a wire rack and enjoy!

An ice cream scoop is a great way to get the right size.

FAQS

How many calories are in a cookie?

Each cookie contains approximately 195 calories.

How to store cookies

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for five days at room temperature or refrigerated. If refrigerated, leave to return to room temperature before eating for a more enjoyable experience.

Can you freeze cookies?

If you do not want to make all cookies at once, you can freeze the unused dough for up to 3 months.

When baking cookies using frozen dough, you may need to add 2-3 minutes to the baking time to give it a little time to return to room temperature.

Should you melt the butter in the recipe?

It’s recommended not to melt the butter before using it in the recipe. Bring the butter to room temperature instead. This will stop your cookies from spreading too much during baking.

If you want to explore more allergy-friendly recipes, you can visit our dedicated vegan recipe page, where you’ll find many tasty desserts and snacks to make at home.

Vegan Brownies Recipe

Enjoying brownies is something no one should be denied ever! I mean, all that chocolatey goodness in your mouth should make you drool. If you have a dairy intolerance or allergy, you also deserve to enjoy brownies just like everyone else, and that’s why we have drafted this simple vegan brownie recipe for you to enjoy.

When looking for a vegan, gluten-free brownie recipe, you might think it will be tasteless and won’t enjoy it as much, but you’re wrong. This recipe makes these brownies as sweet as those with dairy, if not more. Making brownies allergy-free at home is the best because you know every ingredient that goes into the recipe and can adjust accordingly. If you want to reduce the sweetness level, you can always tone down on the sugar or even alternate it with a different sweetener of your choice.

This intolerance-friendly brownie recipe is loaded with all the healthy ingredients. You’ll have plant milk, flax seeds, and even dairy-free chocolate chips. It has all the right ingredients without any dairy or animal products that could flare up any of your allergies or intolerances.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free plain flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup plant milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 flax egg (1 x Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 x Tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Optional: 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
You’ll need cocoa powder, sugar, and gluten-free flour in this recipe.

Makes 16 brownies.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Preheating the oven allows it to be the correct temperature before you start baking otherwise your brownies will end up being undercooked. To sufficiently ensure your oven is preheated, allow it to heat for approximately twenty minutes.

2. Line an 8×8 baking pan with greaseproof paper or silicone baking mats. If you don’t want your brownies to stick to the pan. You can start by making the flax ‘egg.’

To make a flax egg, add 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed and 3 Tbsp of water to a small bowl and mix them. Leave to sit for a few minutes until it thickens.

3. Combine the brown sugar, white sugar, and cocoa powder in a bowl and once it’s fully combined, add in the vegetable oil, flax egg, and plant milk.

4. Add the baking powder and gluten-free flour to the bowl, adding the flour in half a cup to ensure it combines well with the rest of the mix. Combine until you can no longer see bits of flour.

Flaxseed egg
5. Combine the brown sugar, white sugar, and cocoa powder in a bowl and once it’s fully combined, add in the vegetable oil, flax egg, and plant milk.

6. Add the baking powder and gluten-free flour to the bowl, adding the flour in half a cup to ensure it combines well with the rest of the mix. Combine until you can no longer see bits of flour.

Brownie mix

Then add 3/4 of your dairy-free chocolate chips to the brownie mix. You can choose to mix it in, or just sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the mixture. Pour your mix into your baking pan and smooth down.

You can add your remaining chocolate chips to the top of the mix and press them in.

Vegan brownies ready to bake
7. Now that your job is done, place it in the centre of your pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes.

8. After 30 minutes have elapsed, check with a toothpick to the centre to ensure it is cooked. If the toothpick comes out clean, then your brownies are done. But if it comes out with brownie mixture sticking on it, then it needs more time. Once it’s done, you can let it cool down if you want to eat it as a snack or eat it warm with ice cream for an indulgent dessert.

Ready to eat vegan brownies

Calories per brownie: 196 calories

Tips for vegan brownies

  • Don’t overbake the brownies. Doing so will leave you with a hard, inedible, mess.
  • Use good-quality cocoa powder and chocolate. The quality of both ingredients will highly determine how good your brownies will be.

If you’re craving more chocolate, you can check out this Home-Made Chocolate Recipe. You can even eat this with your vegan brownies.

FAQ’s for vegan brownies

Does it have to be vegan?

This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free. Making foods dairy, egg, and gluten-free means they’re suitable for a lot more diets and more people can enjoy!

How many calories are in each brownie?

Each brownie contains 196 calories if made to the recipe. If substitutions are made, this will change the calories in each brownie.

Can I substitute the flour?

Plain flour can be substituted on a 1:1 basis if you do not wish to make the recipe gluten-free. If using plain flour, you can also remove the flax-egg.

What’s the best cake tin to use?

We recommend using a 8x8inch non-stick cake tin.

What’s the best way to store the brownies? Can they be frozen and defrosted?

The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or refrigerated for up to 5 days. If in warmer climates or during summer, I would recommend refrigerating and bringing back to room temperature before eating. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months (they’re extremely delicious when defrosted in the microwave and eaten with ice cream!)

If you want to explore more allergy-friendly recipes, you can visit our dedicated vegan recipe page, where you’ll find lots of tasty desserts, snacks and salads to make at home.

Dragonfruit Cheesecake – Weekend Treats

This dragonfruit cheesecake is a great vegan-friendly option for when you and the family get those post dinner cravings. A unique dairy-free recipe, its a cheesecake that even the lactose intolerant among us can enjoy free from worry. Its devoid of all the most common allergens except for nuts.

Ingredients 

COCOA BASE 

  • 110g walnuts
  • 280g Medjool dates 
  • 30g cocoa powder 
  • pinch of salt

DRAGONFRUIT SWIRL 

  • 175g chopped dragonfruit
  • 125g raspberries
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • 300g raw cashews, soaked overnight, then drained & rinsed
  • 230g coconut cream 
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 350g brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 lemon

Description 

1. Line an 8×8 inch tray with baking paper and set aside. 

2. Add the walnuts, cocoa powder, dates, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until it forms a dough. 

3. Use your fingers or the back of a large spoon to press the dough evenly into the bottom of the baking tray. 

4. Place the tray in the fridge while you prepare the cheesecake filling. 

5. Add the dragonfruit, raspberries, and maple syrup to a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes until the fruit breaks down into a syrup. Set the pan aside for later. 

6. Blend the cashews, coconut oil, coconut cream, brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice together in the food processor until smooth. 

7. Pour your cheesecake mixture into the baking tray, spreading evenly. 

8. Next, add dollops of the dragonfruit sauce on top of the cheesecake mixture. Using a knife, start making swirls through the cheesecake layer until you achieve the desired marble look. 

9. Store in the freezer for 2-4 hours to firm up the cheesecake.

10. Can be served frozen, or thawed for 10-15 minutes for a softer texture. 

Green Garden Salad Recipe

This green garden salad recipe is super quick and easy to make. It’s also free from all major food allergens and is packed full of nutrients!

For the Salad

  • 150g Broad Beans, podded and shelled
  • 250g White Cabbage, shredded
  • 150g pack mangetout, sliced
  • 1 Clery Stick, finely sliced
  • 3 Spring Onions, shredded
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and thinly sliced

For the dressing

  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil or olive oil
salad broad beans

Method

  1. Blanch the broad beans in boiling water for 1-2 mins. Then drain them and run under cold water to cool, before draining again.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Then add the cooled beans and the other ingredients and toss together.

Gluten-Free Brownie Recipe

Living gluten-free doesn’t have to mean eating brownie-free and to prove it; we’ve got an easy gluten-free chocolate brownie recipe for you to sink your teeth into. These brownies should come out with a crinkly top, chewy edges and, of course, a deliciously gooey centre.

Gluten-Free Brownie Stats

Calories Per Serving – 515

  • Fat – 33g
  • Carbs – 45g
  • Sugar – 37g
  • Fibre – 4g
  • Protein – 7g
  • Preparation Time – 20 Minutes
  • Baking Time – 40 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 250g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 250g unsalted butter, cubed, (with extra for baking tray)
  • 150g milk chocolate, cut roughly into chunks
  • 100g gluten-free plain flour sieved
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 4/180C/160C fan. Grease a 30 x 20cm non-stick baking tray with butter, and line the base with baking paper.
  2. Next, fill a small saucepan a third full with water, bring to a simmer and then place a snug-fitting heatproof bowl on top.
  3. Add the butter and chocolate to your saucepan, and gently melt over low heat. Remember to stir occasionally, and be careful not to let it burn to the bottom. Take it off the heat and leave to cool for a little while.
  4. Beat the eggs and sugar together using an electric whisk for around 8-10 mins (or until it’s thick enough to leave a trail).
  5. Gently fold through the vanilla and cooled melted chocolate, followed by the flour, salt, and cocoa. Lastly, fold through the chocolate chunks before pouring the batter into your lined tray.
  6. Then place the tray in the centre of your oven, and bake for 30-35 mins.
  7. Leave them to cool in the tin before cutting into 12 squares, ready to serve.

Vegan Coconut Pancakes

This week’s weekend treat is a well-loved old-fashioned breakfast; Pancakes. Since vegan food, incidentally, is often allergen-free, we’ve fished out a vegan recipe for you to experiment with. While some might see vegan breakfasts as a bit dull (usually a smoothie or porridge-concoction), we’d happily argue that these pancakes are anything but!

Its coconut base gives these pancakes a nice sweet hint to them, and you can add any of your favourite toppings to fully satisfy your sweet tooth.

Ingredients 

  • 240ml unsweetened coconut milk (or another non-dairy milk) 
  • 160g rice flour 
  • 2 tbsp water 
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut 
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp egg replacement powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon 

Description 

  1. Preheat your oven to Gas mark 1 (140 C) or slow cook, and place baking paper in the oven. You’ll be keeping the finished pancakes warm in here until you’re done and ready to serve them. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, baking powder, combine flour, and cinnamon with a fork until combined. 
  3. Next, take out a separate mixing bowl, and whisk together the egg replacement powder with water, then add the coconut milk, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined. 
  4. Next, add the liquid ingredients to the dry, along with the shredded coconut, and stir just enough to get the mixture combined. Be careful you don’t over mix. 
  5. Heat a non-stick pan to medium, use kitchen roll to spread a light coating of coconut oil on the surface. 
  6. Then scoop approximately 60ml of the pancake mixture into the pan. 
  7. Once the surface bubbles, flip it. The other side should take 1 to 2 minutes. As you go, place your complete pancakes in the oven to keep them warm.
  8. Serve your pancakes with warm syrup, another sprinkling of shredded coconut and grated raw cacao on top with a little vegan butter. 

Banana and Oat Biscuits – Weekend Treats

While we’re all trying to be healthier it’s fair to say that not everyone can go without a quick snack between meals, but that doesn’t mean caving-in to temptations at every turn. We’ve got a light oat biscuit recipe to keep you powering through those mid-afternoon slumps, without the guilt and come-down that comes following a chocolate bar. 

These light banana and oat biscuits are the perfect, guilt-free solution to those midmorning hunger pangs. Low in fat, no excessive amounts of sugar and free from common allergens. You can use these biscuits to satisfy your sweet tooth while staying healthy.

Ingredients 

  • 90g rolled oats 
  • 60g cup quick oats 
  • 2 ripe bananas 
  • 30g chocolate chips (or cacao nibs)

Description 

  1. First, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (gas mark 4).
  2. Next, pour all of the oats into a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Take a separate bowl and mash the bananas until they turn soft and liquidy. 
  4. Mix the bananas and oats together until they’re a combined mixture. 
  5. Scoop the mixture with a small cookie scoop, and place them on a lined baking tray, leaving plenty of space between each scoop.
  6. Flatten your cookies before baking and top them with a few chocolate chips. 
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, keeping an eye on them, and allow to cool before eating.

You can opt for gluten-free oats and chocolate chips to make this recipe gluten-free if it has shown up in your results. If you want to make these biscuits even more nutritious, swap out the chocolate chips for your choice of nuts – we recommend walnuts if you aren’t allergic to them.

To make the recipe vegan while keeping that chocolatey taste, try swapping the chips for these delicious cacao nibs from MyVegan. They’re rich in magnesium, iron and antioxidants too, giving you a nutrient-boost when you’ll need it most.

Eating healthier doesn’t have to mean constantly feeling hangry and renouncing all snacks that aren’t a piece of fruit or carrot sticks. Don’t be afraid to get baking and pack a few of these tasty light bites to help you through the day.

Allergen-Friendly Christmas Pudding Recipe – Weekend Treats

Christmas Pudding (It’s not too late!)

It’s not too late for you to bake your very own Christmas pudding before the big day! This allergen-friendly recipe is devoid of any nuts, gluten, soy and dairy, making it the perfect dessert for any family – whether you’ve got an allergy sufferer or someone with a food intolerance. The vast majority of people can enjoy this moist and boozy Christmas pudding.

Ingredients

  • 1 apple, grated (no need to peel it)
  • 1 tablespoon unwaxed orange zest (or substitute 1 teaspoon of orange extract)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice (or substitute a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 120ml unsweetened almond milk (or another plant-based milk)
  • 150g gluten-free flour blend (substitute plain flour you don’t need gluten-free)
  • 150g ground walnuts (or substitute ground almonds)
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure it’s gluten-free if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 200g dried fruit, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons date syrup (you can substitute another sweetener)
  • 60g coconut oil (olive or vegetable oil will also do)
  • Generous amount brandy/sherry (use vegan/gluten-free if necessary. Or substitute with apple or orange juice)

Instructions

  1. Place the orange zest, grated apple, dried fruit, cinnamon, ginger and mixed spice in a bowl. Then add a generous amount of brandy or sherry, until roughly everything covered.
  2. Keep the fruit covered in the fridge for around 24 hours, to allow the flavours time to develop.
  3. Place your coconut oil in a large bowl and melt it over a saucepan of boiling water, or in the microwave (skip this if you’re using an already liquid oil).
  4. Once melted, add the milk to the bowl of oil along with lemon juice, vanilla, salt and ground walnuts.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into the mix.
  6. Add the dried fruit mixture, and add a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking a bit too dry.
  7. Next, grease a medium-sized deep glass bowl or pudding basin and transfer the pudding batter into it
  8. Place the bowl in a pan (one that’s bigger than the bowl) and fill it up with cold water to roughly halfway up the bowl.
  9. Then, cut out a circle of baking paper and place it directly on top of the pudding batter so that it’s completely covered.
  10. Use some foil to cover the top and fold it around the edges of the bowl.
  11. Then, place a lid on the pan and bring it to the boil.
  12. Then turn down the heat and cook on low for around 2 hours.
  13. Leave the cake to cool for a bit before continuing to take it out of the bowl.
  14. Carefully remove the foil and baking paper. Use a blunt knife around the edge of the bowl to help the pudding come away from the sides (this is much easier once the pudding’s cooled down).
  15. Now turn the bowl upside down on a plate and shake until the pudding pops out.
  16. Keep it covered in the fridge and serve either hot or cold. Both are lovely! The pudding should keep for a few days, but not much longer.

Vegan Gingerbread Muffins – Weekend Treats (gluten-free)

Gluten free Vegan Muffins

Gingerbread muffins are perfect as a breakfast treat or healthy(ish) snack. This vegan muffin recipe can get very hot during baking, so make sure to let some of the steam escape before eating them. They’re moist, like banana bread or cake, and taste best once they’ve cooled and set a bit. While you don’t have to wait, they do reach peak scrumptiousness after around 30 minutes of resting.

These delicious ginger muffins are vegan, gluten-free and nut-free, so their moist, warm flavour can be enjoyed by most. They’re also completely devoid of soy, so those sensitive to soya products needn’t worry either!

Ingredients

  • 250ml canola oil
  • 250ml plus 2 tablespoons light agave nectar 
  • 375ml unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 360g Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 200g plus 2 tablespoons raisins or currants

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven on gas mark 4, then line a cupcake tray with 12 cake cases.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the canola oil and agave nectar, by mixing on medium speed for roughly 20 seconds.
  3. Add the applesauce and ginger and mix for about 20 seconds.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour mix, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.
  6. Turn off the mixer and fold in the raisins.
  7. Fill the liners to the rim with batter.
  8. Bake in the centre of the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Rotate the pan halfway through.
  9. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before eating.

Vegan Banana Bread Loaf – Weekend Treats

Vegan Banana Bread Recipe

This week we’ve got a moist banana bread recipe for you to try out. Not only is this recipe vegan, (as usual) but it’s also nut-free! So it’s a great option for anyone suffering from common food allergies – almost allergen-free. Why not give it a go over the weekend and let us know how you like it? 

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 180g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 very ripe, mashed bananas
  • 50g sugar
  • 125ml plain soy-milk yoghurt
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method 

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Line the bottom and two long sides of a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan, with baking paper. Be sure to leave a 2-inch overhang on each long side, and lightly coat with cooking spray. 

2. Whisk the flour, salt and baking soda together in a medium bowl.

3. Whisk the bananas, oil, sugar, yoghurt and vanilla together in another bowl. Then, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry, with a spatula until the batter just comes together (lumps are perfectly fine).

4. Transfer the batter into the loaf pan from earlier and bake for approximately 55 to 60 minutes – until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. You can tent the loaf with foil if it starts browning too quickly. 

5. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Then lift it out from the pan by the overhanging baking paper and cool the loaf entirely on the stand. Store the bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.