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 syrup. It is definitely not as sweet with date syrup, but I don’t mind, it has a nice tartness that works well with the nut loaf. I have included both options in the recipe. I also prefer using something like portobello mushrooms in this, they have a better flavour than something like chestnut mushrooms.
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 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, 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Braggs Liquid Aminos or other low sodium flavour
- black pepper
- 200g fresh cranberries
- 100g coconut sugar OR 50ml date syrup
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 tablespoon water
- Line your loaf tin with baking parchment ( or grease with a little oil if not oil-free )
- 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.