• clairhenderson

New Year, nudging towards a New You

Whilst it's a month we're supposed to get back on with goals and making those changes to realign our behavior with values, blah blah blah, it's hard, isn't it? With the weather, and SUCH good telly, it's hard to muster the energy to get off the sofa and do anything, much.

So it's about the small comfortable changes. Over recent years my New Year changes have been focused on making eco-friendly swaps. And whilst I do this passionately throughout the year, let's be honest, so many eco-changes you make also have the added benefit of saving money or saving energy and perhaps only cost a little organisation.

However, there are some eco-changes that require more. Perhaps more cash, or perhaps a little extra BRAVERY to challenge yourself. So New Year is the time I reserve for such changes.

One brave kitchen change and one brave hygiene change every new year seemed trivial five years ago. But five years on, I can confidently and smugly say that I have significantly reduced my waste. Bravely committing to a wormery, a mooncup, Who Gives a Crap, Wild Deodourant, Estrid razors and oat milk. And of course my decision to find a local veg box scheme went off on an exciting tangent! But it's not all been successful. Juicers turn out to be total PIGS to clean. But mostly, good things have resulted.

So this year, to the excitement of my children, our kitchen switch is to Milk & More for oat milk and apple juice. Already I have the smug feels when I wash out a humble glass bottle that has saved more plastic than I have had hot dinners. And elsewhere, I am tackling shampoo and conditioner bottles, moving to Ethique hair bars. So if you see me wearing a hat over the coming weeks, please be kind.

As we all strive to regain some control, over our purposes, budgets or waistlines we do it in weather that is not encouraging to salad, not encouraging to running along the beach and not encouraging to planting out seeds. So baking with fruit feels like a small sneaky win. Persimmons, plentiful and juicy at this time of year have great qualities for kitchen experimentation.

I've added dairy free white chocolate, but of course you can add whatever you like. For great cookies, you want to add 75-100g of fun stuff. I have used dairy free white chocolate and walnuts, but you can switch to anything that bakes, really. Even smarties.

Vegan Persimmon & White Chocolate Cookies


100g brown sugar

50g vegan butter

1 Persimmon, finely chopped or pureed

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp mixed spice

400g plain flour

50g chopped dairy free white chocolate (or raisins)

50g chopped walnuts


1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment.

2. Cream together the sugar and margarine and add in the persimmon and mix really well. The persimmon creates a really weird texture, but don't worry.

3. Mix in the dry ingredients to create a more recognizable cookie mix.

4. Gently mix in the nuts and chocolate.

5. Dollop and flatten heaped tablespoons of the mixture on your baking sheet. This quantity will make about 10 palm sized biscuits.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Take them out of the oven and leave to cool and harden before removing them onto a cooling rack. Enjoy!

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