My son has recently discovered the traditional English tea snack—in my own untraditional vegan way, of course! I’m happy to introduce these healthier versions of snacks to get him used to wholesome, clean, and fresh foods. In a few short years he’ll probably ditch my scones for Nutella toast with his friends anyway (I have many French friends who grew up on Nutella toast). But for the time being, I’m thinking at least I can try to provide healthier options early on— And really delicious options to boot!
I actually had a little nostalgia preparing my scones—my own mum used to bake homemade scones for me when I was coming home from school. I can still remember the smell… so mouthwatering with fresh scones coming out of the oven and a homemade strawberry jam puttering away on the stove. That kind of luscious, chewy, soft, and sweet afternoon snack is hard to resist. And I experienced it again today when my son had his first bite! So sweet, he couldn’t seem to get enough! (16 months and already eating like he is 16 years old…)
The version I’ll share with you today is completely vegan. (When I was 12 coming back from school they were definitely packed with REAL butter), and easily made gluten-free by choosing gluten-free oats instead of regular ones. I often prefer leaving out the sweetener as I love my scones with a jam and therefore don’t need the scones to be sweet, but if you like you can add a tablespoon of sugar (I like coconut sugar for these). My version of jam is a super easy, raw version, with almost no preparation needed. Only raw, frozen strawberries, a little agave syrup, and maybe a dash of lime juice. Using frozen strawberries that you defrost, makes your jam more watery compared to using fresh strawberries, but of course using fresh ones will be delicious, too—just a different texture.
Besides being a real treat for your 4 o’clock tea, the scones keep you satisfied, and energize you in a balanced way: No sudden sugar rushes like after a 4 o’clock coffee and pastry. This is mostly thanks to the oats: they contain a type of fiber called beta-glucan which helps to lower bad cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar, boost the immune system, and it’s even known to increase appetite-controlling hormones. Fiber in general is amazing for your digestive system and can help you feel satisfied for longer and avoid snacking. So it’s really helpful when you want to loose weight or simply try to stay away from those unhealthy sugar crashes.
Gluten-free baking is a whole different story compared to traditional baking, and it takes time to learn about the different sub ingredients! I often use the protein- rich white rice flour when baking gluten-free, as it’s neutral tasting and can easily replace regular wheat flour (although you need to be much more careful with raising agents when you cut out the wheat). The buckwheat flour is another great gluten-free option in baking. It has a nutty flavor and is more specific tasting than the rice flour, but the two combine beautifully for a better texture and tastier gluten-free bread. Buckwheat is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fiber, and I use it all the time in its various forms for my preparations. (Another recipe using buckwheat: Warming super food salad with orange marinated brussels sprouts.)
The strawberry jam will provide you with a good dose of antioxidants, folate, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber—it’s a great beauty- and immune-boosting berry! I really recommend you choose organic strawberries as they are one of the most heavily-treated foods in pesticides, so for your health and for the taste make sure you get clean berries.
Obviously the scones taste divine together with a good tea! This time we enjoyed them with a vanilla chai herbal tea.
Vegan Scones with Notes of Coconut
Vegan and gluten-free
3 dl rice flour (a little more than 1 cup)
1 dl gluten-free oats (or regular of you prefer) (a third of a cup)
1/2 dl buckwheat flour (half a cup)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 dl coconut oil (soft, not melted)
2 dl coconut milk (not the canned one, just regular vegetable milk) (three-fourths of a cup)
Optional: 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
about 5 dl frozen strawberries (a cup and a half-2 cups)
4-5 tbsp agave syrup
dash of fresh lime juice
Defrost the strawberries completely before starting—you can take them out the night before and let them defrost in the fridge for about 12 hours. Then take them out in room temperature about 30 minutes before the preparation.
– Preheat the oven to 225°C
– Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl
– Add the coconut oil and blend to get a crumbly dough
– Then add the milk and quickly work the dough together
– Divide the dough in 4 and put on a baking tray covered with oven safe paper. Form each piece of dough into round shapes and flatten them slightly by pressing carefully with your hands. The dough is very sticky so it helps to wet the fingers a little before, to work into round shapes more easily.
– Heat in the middle of the oven about 12-14 minutes, when they start getting slightly colored they’re ready. Scones should not be dry so rather a minute less than one too long.
– While the scones are in the oven, mix the strawberries with the agave and lime in a blender. I like to leave some larger pieces of strawberry in my jam so I don’t mix until completely smooth, but completely up to you:)
Nadine Andreewitch is a Swedish transplant in Paris. She captures both physical and sensual beauty/pleasures of food in an intelligent, creative way. Her aesthetic comes from having worked in the fashion industry, though her most recent influences come from her certification as a yoga teacher.
“To create more awareness in regards to how we can eat and pamperourselves in a healthier and more responsible way. Simply learn to choose better. It’s also about showing you how to prepare delicious, easily prepared meals that are good for your bodies and respectful of the environment, without feeling that you are missing out.” -Nadine
Visit her blog, Cook and Glow: Healthy Food and Natural Beauty.