A nut loaf with a difference, this is a moist, flavourful deliciously festive version of a vegan staple. I love nut loaf, but it must have texture, crunch and distinct flavours, and it can’t be dry! My recipe has a lot of mushrooms which not only add flavour, but moisture. I also love it with cranberry sauce, but this time I made my own cranberry topping very simply and added it to the top. This has a long list of ingredients, but don’t let that put you off because the process is simple. You can even make the nut loaf mix ahead of time. I kept mine in the fridge overnight which helps hold it all together. This is an oil-free, gluten-free and refined sugar free version that I can’t wait to make again for our Christmas dinner.
I omit any salt or tamari in this now, I am used to not adding salt to my meals. For those who think they’ll not enjoy it without salt, try adding a little miso or braggs liquid aminos instead. For Christmas day I usually don’t stress too much about my usual no-salt, no added sugars rules though, so I leave that part over to you! I also have tried the cranberry topping, the ‘jam’, with both coconut sugar and date sugar and homemade date syrup. It is definitely not as sweet with date, but I don’t mind, it has a nice tartness that works well with the nut loaf. I also prefer using something like portobello mushrooms in this, but you can use chestnut mushrooms of that’s all you can get hold of. The extra porcini mushrooms add fantastic depth of flavour.
I make both a traditional loaf, and sometimes I have also made individual little loaves using Kingsize muffin tins to give them height. The depth of these were about 8cm. A standard loaf tin is used for a full loaf. A little tip from me, use an actual tin, not a glass or silicone loaf dish. You will find with glass or silicon it takes longer to cook and the outside isn’t as crunchy.
Makes 1 standard loaf, double recipe for a large loaf
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 50-60 minutes
- 1/4 cup porcini mushrooms
- 1/4 cup ground linseeds/flaxseeds
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup celery, sliced
- 1 cup portobello or other mushrooms, minced
- 1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup ground cashews
- 1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chestnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons Braggs Liquid Aminos (optional )
- black pepper
- 200g fresh cranberries
- 50g date sugar or homemade syrup ( fibre intact )
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- Line your loaf tin with baking parchment, or grease with coconut butter.
- Pre heat oven to 180C.
- Soak the porcini in water, for about 30 minutes.
- Soak the ground linseeds in 1/2 cup water until ready to use.
- Fry the onion, celery and garlic in a little water, for about 3 minutes until it softens a little and then add the diced mushroom and all the herbs, including the parsley, and cook for a further few minutes until all is soft and just cooked.
- Transfer to a large bowl and add all the nuts, seeds, dried cranberries, nutritional yeast and pepper. Mix really well, use your hands if you wish.
- Squeeze the porcini mushrooms and dice and add to the mix.
- Add the soaked linseed which will now be like a paste. Combine entire mix well.
- In a pan, cook the cranberries, zest, date syrup or sugar, orange juice and water, for about 2 minutes until the cranberries pop.
- Spoon the cranberry mix into the the base of your loaf tin, but keep a little aside- about 1/3 cup.
- Then fill with nut loaf mix, pressing firmly at the end.
- Place in oven and bake for about 50 minutes, maybe slightly more, until golden and firm to the touch.
- Rest for 5 minutes before using a knife to loosen and then tipping upside down.
- Serve with a little more of the cranberry jam spooned on to the top as you serve.