Cacao is raw, unprocessed chocolate. Different from the standard chocolate we know, cacao is full of magnesium and flavanoids, which makes it good for you inside and out.  It is slightly bitter in taste compared to everyday chocolate.

Top Tips

Cacao is great in desserts and baked goods and can be used in raw desserts as well to give them the taste of chocolate.

Cacao Butter

Cacao butter (otherwise known as raw cacao butter) is extracted from cacao beans and is the raw version of cocoa butter. It is used in cosmetics and in cooking to give a chocolate flavour or scent to products. You can purchase it from health food shops in the UK or buy it online.

Top Tips

Also can be used as a natural, great smelling skin moisturiser or use it when making raw recipes.

Cacao Nibs

Bloggers seem to be using cacao nibs as a topper on anything and everything they can. And we don’t blame them- they are the perfect size to cure cacao cravings. The nibs are made from broken up and crumbled pieces of dried and fermented cacao beans. Cacao is jam-packed with macro and micro nutrients like magnesium, potassium, iron and fiber. They are a great way to add a healthy boost to smoothies, pancakes and even hot chocolates.

Top Tips

Add cacao nibs to smoothies, pancakes and even hot chocolates as a healthy boost.

Cajun Seasoning Blend

This spice blend is usually made with salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and other herbs. It adds flavour to certain foods, and you can buy ready made bottles of this spice blend.

Top Tips

Spice up homemade potato chips or wedges by sprinkling them with a cajun seasoning blend.

Callaloo Greens

Callaloo greens is a Caribbean dish that originates from West Africa. The main ingredient is usually a leafy vegetable such as amaranth. You can buy tinned Callaloo greens in some UK supermarkets and ethnic stores.

Top Tips

Use as an alternative to spinach or stir into an ackee dish to make a tasty Jamaican inspired meal.

Candied Mixed Peel

Candied fruit, is also known as crystallized fruit or glacé fruit, and has been used since the 14th century.

The process of making candied peel involves putting whole pieces of fruit, smaller pieces of fruit, or pieces of fruit peel into heated sugar syrup, which absorbs the moisture from within the fruit and eventually preserves it. 

Fruits that are commonly candied include dates, cherries, pineapple, and root ginger (known as crystalised ginger). The main fruit used however is candied peels such as orange and citron; these with candied lemon peel are the usual ingredients of mixed chopped peel (which may also include glacé cherries).

Top Tips

Use candied mixed peel in our recipe for Festive Mincemeat

Cannellini Beans

This type of bean is white in colour and is similar in shape to kidney beans. The best option is to buy tinned beans as there is no preparation needed, however for a better flavour and texture use dried beans and follow the instructions to prepare.

Top Tips

Add cannellini beans to soups, stews and casseroles to add texture to your dish. Cooked and tinned cannellini beans are also a lovely addition to salads especially with a garlic based dressing. Use cannellini beans to thicken a white or cheese sauce.

Canneloni Tubes

These are cylindrical tubes of pasta that are sold in all UK supermarkets. For vegan ones, choose dried canneloni. They are served as a dish filled with spinach and ricotta typically, and covered in a tomato sauce.

Top Tips

If cooking the cannelloni tubes in a sauce, make sure you use excess sauce – the tubes absorb a lot of moisture so you don’t want them to dry out.


Unopened buds that grow on the new limbs of a caper plant, capers can be found growing wild all over the Mediterranean. The tangy, bitter flavour of capers adds piquancy to many sauces and can be used as a garnish for vegetable dishes.

Top Tips

Capers make a great addition to salads, vegetables dishes, dressings, sauces and pasta dishes. Experiment with capers and see how you can incorporate them into dishes.

Caramel Flavouring

Caramel Flavouring is a food flavour that can be added to cakes, icings, biscuits and desserts to give them a sweet, caramel aroma and taste.

Top Tips

Use caramel flavouring in our recipe for Salted Caramel Tart

Caraway Seeds

The Caraway plant is also known as meridian fennel or Persian Cumin and is a member of the in the Apiaceae family (the same family as celery, carrot or parsley ) . It is a plant native to western Asia, Europe, and North Africa. and similar in appearance to other members of the carrot family.

The seeds (also known as Caraway fruit) have a pungent, anise-like flavor and aroma. Caraway seeds are used as a spice in breads, especially rye bread.

It can also be used in desserts, liquors, casseroles, and other foods, often found in European cuisine. 

Cardamom Pods

Ever made a Masala? If so, you’ll probably be familiar with this spice. Cardamom is generated from Indian spices made from seeds of plants grown in the genera Elettaria and Amomum, which are in the family Zingiberaceae. When cooking or using the pods for a brew they give off an aromatic and intense taste.

Top Tips

Add cardamon pods to a hot cup of tea to give it a spicy Asian twist.

Cardamom Seeds

Cardamom pods are a spice that are made from the seeds of plants that are native to the Indian subcontinent. You can purchase them in mainstream UK supermarkets.

Top Tips

Crush or blend in a spice blender the cardamon seeds to create a powder to add to curries or chai tea.

Carob Powder

Native to the Mediterranean, this cocoa-like powder can be used in shakes, baked goods, and whenever a recipe calls for chocolate. Carob is sweet, high in fibre, and it contains calcium and iron but does not contain caffeine like cocoa and chocolate does.

Top Tips

Carob powder can be used in shakes, baked goods, and whenever a recipe calls for chocolate.

Carrot Puree

This is carrot that has been cooked and blended or mashed to give a smooth texture. There are different recipes to make it, some with additional ingredients such as lemon juice to add flavour.

Top Tips

Mix carrot puree into a pasta sauce as a way of disguising vegetables in a child’s meal.


Carrots are an orange root vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked. Purple, red and yellow varieties do exist, however, they are less common. It can also be used in sweet or savoury dishes due to their sweet flavour.

Carrot tops or leaves are the green leaves that sprout out the top of carrots and can be used to pull the carrot out the ground. They can be eaten raw in salads, although their taste can be a little bitter, so maybe soften the greens by blanching them and fry them up with olive oil, garlic, and some of your other favourite greens. You can also cook them into a soup or stock.

Carrot leaves are also full of nutrients such as potassium, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium.

Top Tips

Dip carrots in houmous as a healthy, cheap and easy on-the-go snack.

Cashew Butter

Cashew butter is a nut spread created from baked or roasted cashews. It is rich and creamy in taste. When stored the oils and solids separate easily.

Top Tips

Use cashew nut butter in place of any other nut butter. It tastes great on toast instead of vegan butter or peanut butter.

Cashew Cream

Cashew cream is a light coloured thick, dip with a density akin to yogurt, sometimes having grainy texture. Cashew cream surprisingly does not taste that strongly of cashews. To make cashew cream, is incredibly easy, raw cashews are soaked in water for as little as an hour, but ideally overnight. Once the cashews have been soaked the water they have been soaked in is disposed of and the cashews are blended with fresh water and a little salt.

Top Tips

Use in sauces, in raw desserts to thicken them or turn into a dressing.


Cashew nuts grow on the cashew tree and they are a cream coloured curved nut. They are eaten as a snack or they can be used to make vegan cheeses because of their creamy texture. They are widely available, however they can be expensive.

Top Tips

Soaked cashew nuts are a great base for making creamy sauces. Unroasted cashews can be used to make many raw vegan/plant based dishes.


A nutty flavoured starch tuber that is thought to originate from the South American forests. Cassava is incredibly versatile; the snowy white inner flesh can be boiled, baked, steamed, grilled, fried, mashed or added to stews.

Top Tips

A great alternative to potato, cut into ‘chips’ and fry.

Cassia Bark

Similar to cinnamon, this aromatic bark differs in strength and quality. With a complementing spicy-warm, fragrant flavour, Cassia is commonly used in savoury Indian and Chinese dishes.

Top Tips

Add to hot chocolate or coffee as an alternative to cinnamon. Roast cassia bark and grind it up to use as a spice.

Caster Sugar

Caster sugar is a type of sugar that is white in colour and is in small granules. It is widely available in the UK and is commonly used in baking.

Top Tips

Caster sugar dissolves easier than granulated sugar, so its best to use in aquafaba meringue and when baking cakes etc.


A member of the brassica family, cauliflower is white in colour and is surrounded by green leaves. It can be cooked in many different ways, and the flavour varies with each method of cooking.

Top Tips

Roast cauliflower stalks, it really brings out the flavour. Alternatively, blend raw cauliflower stalks in a food processor to create a healthy alternative to rice or couscous.

Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is light and fluffy, it is often mildly seasoned it can replace rice or couscous in any dish and is very easy to make but can also be purchased ready made in many supermarkets. Cauliflower rice is cauliflower that has been cut into large pieces then broken down into couscous sized granules, either through pulsing in a food processor or grating the florets by hand using the large holes of a box grater.

Top Tips

Cauliflower rice can usually be served raw or cooked giving it a more tender texture. Use it as a lower calorie alternative to rice, couscous or pasta.


Cayenne pepper is a hot breed of chilli pepper, that belongs to the nightshade family of flowering plants and is closely related to jalapenos and bell peppers. Cayenne peppers are a popular spice used in many different styles of cooking worldwide. Cayenne pepper has also been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years renowned for having many health benefits from anti irritant properties to being used as an digestive aid and many many more.

Top Tips

Use a cayenne pepper when cooking to add a spicy kick to your dish.

CBD (cannabidiol) Oil

CBD oil is an oil-based product made from cannabidiol (CBD), which is derived from cannabis.

Cannabidiol is a type of cannabinoid, which are the chemicals naturally found in marijuana plants. CBD doesn’t create a “high” effect or any form of intoxication, unlike THC, as that’s caused by another type cannabinoid known as tetrahydrocannabinol.

There’s growing awareness about the possible health benefits of CBD oil; it is known to relieve anxiety, it can help to diminish seizures, aid those with neurodegenerative disorders, used for pain relief, as an anti-acne treatment and it is sometimes used as part of cancer treatments.

CBD is extracted from marijuana plants as either an oil or powder and how CBD should be used, depends largely on what it’s being used for. It can be mixed into creams or gels, put into capsules and taken orally, or rubbed on your skin. The multiple sclerosis drug nabiximols is sprayed as a liquid into your mouth.

However, we advise talking to your doctor before using CBD oil.


Celeriac  (also known as turnip-rooted celery, celery root, or knob celery), is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible stem and shoots.

Celeriac is like a root vegetable except it has a bulbous hypocotyl with many small roots attached.

Top Tips

Use celeriac in our recipe for Celeriac and Apple Remoulade.


This vegetable is green in colour with a leafy top and crunchy stems. It is used as a raw vegetable or it can be cooked. The seeds are also used in cooking. The flavour is bitter and the darker the colour, the stronger the flavour.

Top Tips

Use as a base ingredient for vegetable stalk.

Celery Salt

Celery salt is made with celery seeds added to the salt to add to different dishes as seasoning. You can purchase it from some brands in the UK.

Top Tips

Use as an ingredient in a Kentucky fried ‘chicken’ style spice blend. You can also use it as an ingredient in a Bloody Mary cocktail.

Celtic Salt

Celtic sea salt is a healthy functional salt which is also ethical and a sustainable. Naturally light grey in colour because of its mineral content. Celtic sea salt can enhancing any recipe as well as adding crucial nutrients. Celtic Salt is especially rich in flavour, and is a welcomed contribution adding to all round health and wellbeing with its 84 minerals and trace elements. For more information visit:

Top Tips

Use Celtic salt as you would regular salt – to season and enhance the flavour of dishes.

Chaat Masala

This spice blend is very popular in northern India where it is often tossed with fruit or chickpeas to make simple ‘chaat’ snacks sold by street vendors. With a unique blend of spicy, salty and sour flavours the possibilities for this fragrant spice mix are endless.

Top Tips

Experiment with different Indian inspired dishes by using this spice blend; For example, in a salad dressing, or in a curry.

Cheesy Nacho Sauce

Traditionally severed with tacos, or over nachos, dairy free nacho sauce can be used over roasted vegetables, salads or just about anything. The vegan version is usually a blend of vegetables, chilli and seasoning with non dairy milk.

Top Tips

Try a twist on macaroni cheese and use a nacho cheese sauce instead of regular vegan cheese sauce to give this dish a spicy kick.


Cherries are a type of fruit that has a stone in the middle, and you can get sweet or more sour varieties. They are usually a deep red colour and they are best when in season from June to July.

Top Tips

Add cherries to smoothies, cakes, other baked goods or make a cherry compote to drizzle over desserts or ice cream.

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are a small, sweet type of tomato. They are widely available in all UK supermarkets and greengrocers. The best season for tomatoes is between June and October.

Top Tips

Cherry tomatoes are so versatile; roast them in the oven, add them to pasta dishes, turn them into a sweeter alternative to a tomato pasta sauce, or simply serve in a salad with a tasty dressing.

Chervil, Fresh

One of the least common herbs, chervil is also known as French parsley or garden chervil. It is usually used to season poultry or seafood, however it is also a common addition to vegetables. It has a slight taste of aniseed to it and in appearance is similar to flat leaf parsley.

Top Tips

Use as you would parsley as a herb in recipes, as a garnish or an additional leaf in a salad.

Chestnut Mushrooms

Chestnut mushrooms have a brown coloured top, however they are the same species as white button mushrooms but are a different strain of the species. Widely available in mainstream UK supermarkets.

Top Tips

A robust mushroom, they are a more substantial version of a button mushroom or a field mushroom and are great when used in dishes such as a mushroom stroganoff or a stir fry.


Chestnuts are most commonly used in the winter and they have a sweet flavour and crumbly texture. They have a high water content and low oil content and should not be eaten raw. You can prepare them yourself or buy pre-prepared tins or packets of chestnuts. Chestnuts are noticeable for the spiky casing around the nut that falls from the tree, however it is important not to confuse this with inedible varieties of chestnut.

Top Tips

Versatile in sweet and savoury dishes, use as a stuffing for a pastry dish such as mushroom wellington, in soups, in casseroles or roasted on an open fire as a comforting winter snack. Pureed chestnuts are often used in desserts.

Chia Seeds

Rich in antioxidants, this edible seeds comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, grown in Mexico. The mild, nutty flavour of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, and yogurt and incorporated into baked goods.

Top Tips

Use chia seeds as an egg replacer by adding two tablespoons of water to a tablespoon of chia seeds. This is equivalent to one egg.

Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour is also known as gram flour and is widely used in Indian cooking. This pulse flour is made by grinding chickpeas known in a number of Asian countries as gram. When mixed with an equal proportion of water, it can be used as an egg replacement in baking and cooking.  Chickpea flour can be made from either raw or roasted gram beans. The roasted variety is more flavourful, while the raw variety has a slightly bitter taste.

Top Tips

Chickpea flour makes a great gluten free batter, or can be used to thicken sauces, curries or add to bean burgers to bind it.

Chickpea Miso

Miso created with chickpeas instead of soybeans, this has been predominate in Middle Eastern cuisine since ancient times. Chickpea miso is created from soaked chickpeas, that have been blended into a smooth consistency mixed with a blend of koji rice, salt, chickpea juice (aqua faba) or water.

Top Tips

Use chickpea miso as you would regular miso – as a flavouring in soups, stews, or to give a tangy taste to homemade vegan cheese


Chickpeas are otherwise known as garbanzo beans in America or the Egyptian pea. They are widely available and used most commonly for houmous, amongst other dishes. The water in tins of chickpeas is known as aquafaba and is used to make vegan meringues.

Top Tips

Make a delicious homemade houmous out of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. Alternatively, add to salads as an added source of protein and fibre.


The word chilli comes from the Aztec word meaning ‘hot pepper’ and is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. They are widely used in many cuisines to add spiciness to dishes. Chilli’s can come in a variety of colours and degrees of heat.

Top Tips

Use  chilli’s if you want to add a subtle spice to any dish.

Chilli Flakes

Chilli flakes are crushed dried red chilli peppers, that often has a high level of seeds in the product. You can get them in all UK supermarkets.

Top Tips

Add a pinch of chilli flakes to any dish to give it a spicy kick.

Chilli Powder

Chilli powder (also known as ground red chilli pepper) is a fusion of smokey and hot spices, usually found in South American cooking. The main flavours of the powder commonly are ancho chilli powder, cumin, paprika and Mexican oregano. Other spices like cayenne, coriander, and garlic powder, depending on the blend purchased.

Top Tips

Use chilli powder to spice up curries, sauces, stews, soups etc.

Chinese Five Spice

 Chinese Five Spice is commonly made from star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, szechuan pepper and fennel seeds. It is widely available and used for seasoning different types of food.

Top Tips

Add to stir fries or mixed with soy sauce as a marinade to use in Chinese inspired recipes.

Chinese Leaf Cabbage

Chinese leaf cabbage is from the same family of plant as turnips, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. It has pale, tightly packed leaves, and it has mildly sweet and peppery flavour. You can get it from most UK supermarkets and is sometimes known as Chinese leaves.

Top Tips

Finely shred and add to stir fry’s for added crunch.

Chinese Pancakes

Chinese pancakes are a wheat flour-based Chinese food with a flattened or disk-like shape, similar to the French concept of a galette.  In Chinese cuisine they are known as Spring-pancake (or chūnbǐng) and is a traditional Chinese food unique to the northern regions. People eat spring pancakes on the day called ‘lichun’ to celebrate the beginning of the spring.


Top Tips

Typically these pancakes are used as wraps for dishes such as Hoisin Duck but we created this Peking Mushroom Pancake recipe  for you to try at home. 

Chipotle Chilli

Chipotle Chilli is a smoke dried jalapeno, which is found most commonly in Mexican cuisine or Mexican inspired dishes.

Top Tips

Use chipotle chilli in dishes to give them a spicy kick.

Chipotle Chilli Paste

Chipotle chilli sauce is made from jalapeno peppers that have been dried and smoked, which is then called the chipotle. Chipotle chilli sauce is strong in flavour and it can be made at home following recipes available on the internet, or you can purchase bottles in mainstream UK supermarkets.

Top Tips

Use as a marinade, glaze, dip or stir into a sauce when cooking.

Chips and Fries

Chips are fried batons of potato, (either standard white potatoes or sweet potatoes) known also as fries or French fries, depending on how thinly cut the batons are. Wedges are another form of chips, where the potato is simply cut into wedges and cooked.

In America however, chips are the UK equivalent of crisps and chips are known as fries.

Chips and fries are widely available to buy in supermarkets ready-made but are also easy to make at home. Cut potatoes can be cut into wedges, chunky batons or thin batons and baked in the oven or fried in a deep fat fryer.




Chives are a member of the Allium family and it has a similar flavour as other members of the same family, such as onion garlic and shallots. They are long thin green stems that are chopped up and added into dishes for flavour.

Top Tips

Add to a summer salad as an alternative to onions. The flowers/blossoms from home grown chives can be used as a garnish on salads and soups.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

You can get chocolate hazelnut spreads that have no dairy in, making them suitable for vegans. Different types of chocolate hazelnut spread are available in UK supermarkets.

Top Tips

Use as an alternative to icing for a cake, drizzle over ice cream or pancakes.

Chopped Tomatoes

Chopped tomatoes are available in tins or cartons, and are a widely available cupboard staple. They are peeled tomatoes that have been tinned after being processed by heat and are also known as Tinned Tomatoes. 

Top Tips

Make an easy pasta sauce with chopped tomatoes and Italian herbs.


Chutney originates from the Indian subcontinent that was a sauce or dry base for cuisines in that region. You can get many different types of chutneys and many different recipes for it.

Top Tips

Use as a sandwich filler with your favourite vegan cheese.


Ciabatta is a type of bread that originates from Italy. It has large air bubbles in the dough and a crisp crust. You can purchase them from most bakeries and supermarkets.

Top Tips

Lightly toasted ciabatta and rubbed with garlic makes for a great starter or snack. Add fresh chopped tomatoes to make a tomato bruschetta.

Cider Vinegar

Cider vinegar, otherwise known as apple cider vinegar is made from apple juice that has yeast and bacteria to start the fermentation to make it a vinegar. It is believed to have health benefits including weight loss and prevention of infection.

Top Tips

Cider vinegar has multiple health benefits. Drink daily, diluted in water.


Cilantro is otherwise known as Coriander or Chinese parsley.  The leaves from the cilantro plant are most commonly used, however, the whole plant is edible. Cilantro leaves are often used as a garnish on dishes.

Top Tips

Use the leaves as an additional salad component or as a herb in dishes.

Cinnamon Sticks

Cinnamon sticks come from the inner bark of several species of Cinnamomum trees. They are widely available in the UK. They are used to add flavour to some seasonal drinks, for example, mulled wine.

Top Tips

Grind up sticks to make a powder and add to hot chocolate, porridge, rice pudding, and other sweet and savoury dishes.

Clearspring Silken Tofu

Clearspring Silken Tofu is a variety of organic Japanese silken tofu produced by the brand Clearspring. It can used in salad dressings, sauces, desserts or as a meal in itself. Recipes will list silken tofu specifically if this type is required.

This variety of tofu contains just three ingredients:

1) Whole organic soya beans which are specially contract grown for Clearspring

2) Nigari, a naturally occurring mineral rich coagulant derived from sea water. The base of nigari is magnesium chloride which makes tofu a good source of both magnesium and chloride

3) Pure spring water from Mount Fuji.


Top Tips

To make use of silken tofu, try our recipe for Miso and Ginger Udon Noodle Soup

Closed Cup Mushrooms

Closed cup mushrooms are one of the most common types of mushrooms available to buy from supermarkets. The top of the mushroom is closed tightly around the stalk, giving it it’s name.

Top Tips

A more subtle mushroom, add to tomato sauce based dishes, pasta sauces or fry with garlic and herbs to top toast as a light meal or snack.


Cloves are aromatic flower buds from a tree in the family Myrtaceae and are native to Indonesia. They are used as a spice to give food an aromatic flavour. They have a long shelf life if stored in a cool, dark place.

Top Tips

Although commonly used as a spice in recipes, clove oil is a natural but temporary remedy for tooth ache. Its numbing effect helps sooth the pain.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is a stable fat which is pure and had been pressed out of cacao beans, it is the heated version of cacao butter. Cocoa butter is regarded as a vegetable fat and despite the word butter in its name, it is totally dairy free.

Top Tips

Use it as an alternative to cooking oil or dairy free butter.

Cocoa Powder

This is derived from the remains of the cocoa solids that are left from cacao after cocoa butter is extracted. Cacao powder is often richer in flavour than cocoa powder, however some items may be branded the same.

Top Tips

Use as a raw alternative to coco powder when preparing raw vegan/plant based desserts. Cocoa powder can be added to a vegan chili ‘con carne’ dish to give it depth.

Cocoa Solids

Cocoa solids are the remaining ingredient from cacao beans from when cocoa butter has been extracted and are a main ingredient in chocolate confections. Most chocolate of a good quality will indicate a cocoa solids percentage on its packaging. This percentage number tells you the amount of chocolate that comes from the cocoa bean, this percentage is determined by the weight of the final product and includes any extra cocoa butter that may have been added to the chocolate. On average, the higher the number, the less sugar and the more cocoa.

Top Tips

Use chocolate that has a higher percentage of cocoa solids in it if you want a rich chocolate taste when baking with chocolate.

Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos is a sauce which has been created from coconut sap. It is dark, rich, slightly sweet and salty in flavour, tasting very similar to that of light soy sauce or tamari (wheat free soy sauce), but it is soy free and gluten free.

Top Tips

Use coconut aminos in place of salt, soy sauce or tamari when cooking.

Coconut Bacon

Coconut bacon is made from coconut flakes and seasoned with a marinade of soy sauce, paprika, salt and other ingredients to give a flavour that is similar to bacon.

Top Tips

Add to the top of a pasta dish as a tasty bacon alternative.

Coconut Butter

Coconut butter is made from the flesh of the coconut, which has been ground into a spreadable paste. Different from coconut oil, it includes all the fat, fiber, and nutrients from the coconut. Coconut oils consistency can change depending on how the coconut butter has been stored and at what temperature. It can vary from a little soft to super creamy when warm, then hard and almost waxy when stored in a colder place.

Top Tips

Use coconut butter in a curry or stir fry to give it extra flavor, add it to a smoothie, spread it over toast in place of non vegan butter or drizzle it melted over berries in a bowl for an amazing dessert or breakfast. You can also use it in place of dairy butter in baking for a healthier fat.

Coconut Butterscotch Sauce

Butterscotch is a type of confectionery whose primary ingredients are typically brown sugar and cream.  However, coconut butterscotch sauce uses coconut milk, cane sugar and coconut sugar to replicate this tasty sauce.

Top Tips

Use coconut butterscotch sauce in our recipe for Salted Caramel Tart

Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is thick in texture and often used as a substitute for dairy double cream. It is more paste-like in consistency when compared to coconut milk. You can purchase it from most UK supermarkets.

Top Tips

Leave a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight, then scoop off the hard cream on top, this is the coconut cream. Whip this up to make an alternative to whipped cream.

Coconut Flakes

Coconut flakes vary in size from shredded coconut to larger shreds of coconut flakes. You can buy them toasted or untoasted from health food shops, and some supermarkets.

Top Tips

Sprinkle over ice cream, porridge, yogurt or fruit to add a crunchy bite.

Coconut Flesh, Fresh

Fresh coconut flesh is available from some UK supermarkets and it can bought raw. It is from the inside of mature coconuts and it is high in fibre. You can cook it or eat it raw.

Top Tips

Fresh coconut flesh makes a great snack, however it can also be added to smoothies to give them a fresh coconut taste.

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is the soft flour produced from dried coconut flesh. It is a natural by product from coconut milk production.

Top Tips

Use coconut flour as a gluten free flour alternative to regular flour when baking cakes.

Coconut Honey

Coconut honey is a plantbased alternative to honey.

It is a natural sugar alternative made from coconut sap and is healthier compared to other sugar substitutes. It has low glycemic index (GI) of 35. Having low GI value, it is safer for diabetics and can be used for coffee, tea, baking and cooking.

Top Tips

Use coconut honey in recipes that require bee honey.

Try our recipe for Grilled Pear, Chicory and Walnut Salad to make use of coconut honey.

Coconut Milk

Full fat coconut milk is thick and found in a tin. It is usually used in desserts and rich sauces, especially in Indian cuisine. The top of the tin often contains a layer of coconut cream that can be seperated to use as vegan whipped cream.

Reduced fat coconut milk or light coconut milk is the lower fat version of full fat coconut milk and is also found in a tin. Often in the Asian section of supermarkets.

It is made by the coconut flesh being grated and soaked in hot water. The cream floats to the surface, and it is squeeze to retrieve the coconut milk.

However, coconut milk is also a dairy-free milk alternative. It can be purchased in cartons from most supermarkets. This type of coconut milk is thinner and has less fat content.

Top Tips

Use tinned coconut milk to make sweet sauces, add to curries such as kormas, or add to porridge or smoothies to give them a rich and creamy taste or make a delicious, creamy rice pudding.

Coconut Nectar

When the coconut tree is tapped, it produces a naturally sweet, nutrient-rich sap that exudes from the coconut blossoms. The naturally sweet, mild flavour of coconut nectar is an ideal sweetener for use on pancakes, over cereal and in smoothies as well as all your favourite dessert recipes.

Top Tips

Use as an alternative sweetener when cooking or when making raw vegan/plant based desserts.

Coconut Nectar Sugar

Coconut nectar is produced from the sap that is released when tapping the thick flowering stems of coconut blossom. This is then evaporated at low temperatures and turned into nutritious syrup. The syrup is then crystallised and preserved as a sugar. Whilst this type of sugar is very high in calories, it is a natural sweetener that is high in amino acids. Plus, it doesn’t spike your blood glucose levels as dramatically as regular sugars.

Top Tips

A healthy alternative to sugar, or great to use when making raw vegan/plant based desserts.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is made from processed coconut meat of mature coconuts. It is used in cooking and cosmetics products. It has a low smoke point of 170 degrees celcius, which makes it unsuitable for high temperature cooking. It is widely available in UK supermarkets and health food shops.

Top Tips

Coconut oil is so versatile; it can be used for cooking with, as an oil for frying with, to bind raw vegan/plant based desserts, or in a variety of natural beauty remedies including teeth whitening, oil pulling and as an moisturiser for skin and hair.

Coconut Sugar

Produced from the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm, this sugar has been used as a traditional sweetener for thousands of years in South-East Asian regions. Coconut sugar is perceived as being more natural and less highly processed than typical white table sugar.

Top Tips

A healthy alternative to sugar, or great to use when making raw vegan/plant based desserts.

Coconut Water

This is found in young coconuts and it is believed to have health benefits, such as high levels of potassium. Different types of coconut will have different tasting water.

Top Tips

Add to smoothies or drink on its own as a hydrating and nutritious beverage.

Coconut Yogurt

This is an alternative product to dairy based yogurt. It is often made with a base of soya and coconut and has a silky texture similar to dairy yogurt. Widely available by different brands.

Top Tips

Use as a lighter alternative to coconut milk and use in curries and sauce.

Coffee Extract

Coffee extract is a highly concentrated solution of coffee that in some cases has alcohol in the ingredients. You can make it at home by using coffee and a small amount of hot water for the concentrated flavour.

Top Tips

Use when baking, add to cakes, cake frosting or a vegan tiramisu.

Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil is regarded a far higher quality than that acquired by fermentation, as the oil extracted by fermentation has higher moisture content and goes off quicker. When cold pressed, coconut oil is also not refined or processed, the coconut meat is mechanically pressed at temperatures no higher than 48 degrees Celsius, this is to conserve its health benefits.

Top Tips

Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil can be used when making raw desserts as a binding ingredient.

Cold-Pressed Virgin Olive Oil

Cold pressed virgin olive oil is extracted from fresh olives and contains high levels of monounstaurated fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants that provide health benefits. It is pressed at a maximum temperature of 27 degrees celcius (81 degrees fahrenheit).

Top Tips

Use as a base for salad dressing, as a drizzle over dishes, or on its own to dip bread in. Cold-pressed oils are suitable to use if you are following a raw vegan/plant based diet.

Collard Greens

Collard greens (collards) describes certain loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea, the same species as many common vegetables, including cabbage (Capitata Group) and broccoli (Botrytis Group). Collard greens are part of the Acephala Group of the species, which includes kale and spring greens. The name “collard” comes from the word “colewort” (the wild cabbage plant).

The plants are grown for their large, dark-colored, edible leaves and as a garden ornamental, mainly in Brazil, Portugal, the southern United States, many parts of Africa, the Balkans, northern Spain, and Kashmir and are a staple vegetable in Southern U.S. cuisine.

Condensed Coconut Milk

Traditional sweetened condensed milk is made by heating milk until most of the water is removed, then adding sugar, leaving you with a thick and sticky substance. Condensed coconut milk is made in a similar fashion except it uses tinned coconut milk and sugar to create a similar product that is dairy-free.

You can buy coconut condensed milk or make simply make your own at home (see top tip).

Top Tips

To make homemade condensed milk, simply boil together 80ml (1/3 cup) of sugar with 240ml (1 cup) of tinned full fat coconut milk for about 40 minutes (without stirring) until the liquid has reduced and you are left with the sweet and sticky condensed coconut milk.

Cooking Oil

Cooking oil is on average plantbased or synthetic fat used in frying, baking, and other types of cooking.When it comes to the performance and flavour, not all cooking oils are created equal. Some perform excellently with high temperatures, thus making them perfect for frying and sautéing. Others do not perform so well with heat. Also many cooking oils vary in flavours, some are stronger than others.

Cooking Spray

Cooking spray is an aerosol sprayed normally used on cooking pans to make them non-stick. It is the same as oil spray. 

Top Tips

Cooking spray can be used as a way of using less oil when frying.

Cooks&Co 100% Rapeseed Oil

Cooks&Co 100% pure Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil is made using only the rapeseed kernel (the black husk is removed), giving the oil a purity that is unsurpassed. With a well balanced and slightly nutty taste, this oil is rich in Omega 3 and with the lowest saturated fat of any oil it is great as part of a healthy diet.

Top Tips

Use Cooks&Co  100% Rapeseed oil when cooking. It is a great oil to use if you need to use a neutral tasting cooking oil.

Cooks&Co Hearts of Palm

Cooks&Co Hearts of Palm are most commonly used in salads, their unique flavour and texture make them a surprisingly versatile food. For a quick appetiser add a simple vinaigrette dressing. Try them sliced they make a great addition to pizza, quiches and tarts.

Top Tips

Use Cooks&Co Hearts of Palm when making our BBQ Pulled Hearts of Palm

Cooks&Co White Wine Vinegar

Cooks&Co White wine vinegar is made from fermented white wine and made with other sugars to make a less acidic form of vinegar.

Top Tips

Use Cooks&Co White Wine Vinegar in the same way you would red wine vinegar; in sauces, dressings and vinaigrette’s. You can also add it to chutneys to give them an acidic kick or try making our BBQ Pulled Hearts of Palm


Otherwise known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, coriander leaves from the plant are most commonly used, however, the whole plant is edible. Coriander leaves are often used as a garnish on dishes.

Top Tips

Use the leaves as an additional salad component or as a herb in dishes.

Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds are one of the most commonly used parts of the coriander plant. They are small pale brown seeds that give food an aromatic flavour that is different to the flavour of coriander leaves.

Top Tips

Grind up to use as a spice when cooking or add it whole to a bread dough to give homemade bread a tasty twist. You can also fry the seeds to bring out the flavour and add to a dressing or use it for medicinal purposes, as coriander seed is great for your health.

Corn Kernels

Corn kernels are the yellow fruits of corn sometimes referred to as maize. Corn kernels can be used in cooking as a vegetable and are source of starch.

Top Tips

Use corn kernels to make homemade popcorn.

Corn Tortillas

Corn tortilla originally was a staple food in New World cultures, a corn tortilla is a form of thin, unleavened flatbread, made from finely ground maize.

Top Tips

Use tortillas in place of bread to make filled wraps for your lunch or as a snack. you can also use them when cooking Mexican inspired dishes as a side instead of bread.


Cornflour is the same as cornstarch is made from the endosperm of a kernel of corn. This is popularly used as a thickener in dishes and blends into a smooth cream with liquid unlike other types of flour.

Top Tips

Use cornflour to thicken sauces and soups.

Cornish New Potatoes

Cornish potatoes have a reconisable nutty flavour with a waxy smooth texture. These potatoes have a wonderful fresh taste and a fine skin which can be removed easily.

Top Tips

Roast new potatoes in the oven as an alternative to regular roasted potatoes.


Cornmeal is made from dried maize that has been ground up. It is also knwn as corn flour. Boiled cornmeal is known as polenta.


 Corn starch is the same as cornflour and  is the starch that has come from the corn grain. It is a common thickening ingredient usually used in sauces or soups. It can also be used in making corn syrup and other sugars.

Top Tips

Cornflour is gluten free so can be used in place of flour to thicken sauces, soups or stews.


Courgette also goes by the name zucchini, and it is from the same family as squashes. They are typically picked when they have grown to a length of up to 25cm, which when they have fully grown are then known as marrows.

Top Tips

Spiralise courgette and add it to a salad.


Traditionally made with flour, crackers come in different varieties and are paired with cheeses and pates, as well as other foods.

Top Tips

Finely ground crackers make a great alternative to bread crumbs.

Cranberries, Dried

These are cranberries that have been dried by a similar process used for raisins and sultanas. They are popular in breakfasts and as snacks.

Top Tips

Add to homemade protein bars, use as a breakfast cereal or yogurt topping.

Cranberries, Fresh

Fresh Cranberries are a group of evergreen dwarf shrubs or trailing vines in the subgenus Oxycoccus of the genus Vaccinium. As fresh cranberries are hard, sour, and bitter, about 95% of cranberries are processed and used to make cranberry juice and cranberry sauce. They are also sold dried and sweetened.  Cranberry juice is usually sweetened or blended with other fruit juices to reduce its natural tartness.

Top Tips

Use fresh cranberries to make homemade cranberry sauce, a condiment typically use at Christmas and Thanksgiving in America.

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice is the juice of the cranberry. A cup of standard 100% cranberry juice, is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin C and salicylic acid. It also supplies calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium minerals. Cranberry juice is classified as an acidic drink with a typical pH between 2.3 and 2.5.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce also known as Cranberry Jelly is a relish made out of cranberry berries, which is used in cooking and can be served as a condiment on its own. Most simple cranberry sauces are made up of cranberries boiled in sugar water until the berries burst and the mixture thickens. Some recipes include other ingredients such as orange zest and juice, ginger, almonds, maple syrup and cinnamon.

Top Tips

Use cranberry sauce as a condiment or add to sauces and dishes to give them a rich, sweet taste.

Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar is a product used in baking. It stops sugar crystals from forming and when combined with baking soda carbon dioxide gas is created. It is also a byproduct of fermenting grapes for wine.

Top Tips

Add cream of tartar to aquafaba meringues to stablise them. You can also use cream of tartar around the house as part of a natural cleaning routine.

Creamed Coconut

Creamed coconut is an unsweetened product that is made from the dehydrated flesh of coconut and it’s ground into a semi-solid white creamy paste.

Top Tips

Add to curries such as kormas to give them a rich and creamy taste.

Creole Spice Blend

A Creole spice blend is similar to a Cajun spice blend and both Creole and Cajun cooking terms are used interchangeably. However, Cajun seasoning is a basic blend using garlic powder, onion, black pepper, and Cayenne pepper. Creole seasonings go further than these basic spices with more herbs ranging from oregano to basil and paprika.

Creole cuisine is a style of cooking originating in Louisiana, United States. It blends French, Spanish, West African, Amerindian, Haitian, German and Italian influences, as well as influences from the general cuisine of the Southern United States.


Cress or Garden Cress as it is often known as, is a member of the Brassicaceae family .

It is a fast growing herb and is related to the mustard and watercress family. It is commonly used as a garnish or a tasty addition to a sandwich.

Crisp Rice Cereal

This is a type of breakfast cereal that is widely available. It is made from rice a sugar paste that is also known as puffed rice by some recipes and brands.

Top Tips

Not only can you use crisp rice as a breakfast cereal or to make rice crispy cakes, you can use them in a savoury context too; Indian dishes include puffed rice as a savoury ingredient in dishes.

Crispifarms Banana Chips

crispifarm banana chipsUsing only the most delicious bananas from around the world to create a unique snack, Crispifarms are delicious, all-natural, long-cut banana chips. Made with just a few simple ingredients, they are cooked to perfection in Crispifarms own Maldivian sourced 100% pure Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil then lightly glazed with all-natural pure cane sugar. These crunchy fried banana chips are flavourful and mouth-watering, with a deliciously sweet and natural flavour.



Crostini is an Italian appetizer that is small slices of grilled or toasted bread that is served with toppings.

Top Tips

Use in a similar way to bruschetta.


Croutons are made from sauteed or rebaked bread, and seasoned to add crunch and flavour to salads, soups & stews. You can purchase them in all supermarkets or make them from leftover bread at home.

Top Tips

Adorn soups and salads with croutons.

Crunchy Peanut Butter

This type of peanut butter has pieces of peanut in the butter. It is widely available in supermarkets at different price points, depending on the desired quality.

Top Tips

Peanut butter has multiple uses, both sweet and savoury. Use in homemade protein bars or add to stir fry sauces to give them a nutty and satisfying taste.


This is a from the Curcurbitaceae plant that bears fruit that is used as a vegetable. Usually eaten in salads as a raw vegetable, cucumbers can also be pickled, which is when they become pickles or gherkins.

Top Tips

Eat cucumber as a snack with humus or add to salads. It can also be used to cool the skin in natural beauty treatments or to reduce puffy tired eyes.

Cumin Seeds

These are the seeds from the cumin plant that has a flavour similar to parsley and fennel. It is a staple ingredient in Mexican, Indian and North African cooking, and you can purchase the seeds whole or ground up into a powder.

Top Tips

Add cumin seeds to bread dough when making homemade bread to give it a savoury and tasty twist. Fry and add to dishes as a garnish, or add it to rice to give it a flavour boost. Cumin has plenty of health benefits, so experiment with it! Ground up, it can also be used as a spice in Indian inspired recipes.


Currants are tiny, dark, intensely flavoured raisins made from a dried, small, black variety of grape. They are commnly used in baking recipes and cakes such as Spotted Dick, Fruit loafs and Fruit Cakes.

Currants can also be found in Vegan Mincemeat.

Curry Goat Seasoning

Curry Goat is a popular Caribbean dish and is one of the national dishes of Jamaica, however, this spice blend is vegan-friendly, so use it in your favourite Jamaican-inspired dish.

The blend consists of a blend of herbs and spices that include: Coriander, Fenugreek, Cumin, Chilli, Garlic, Ginger, Fennel, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Onion, Cinnamon, Thyme.


Curry Leaves

Curry leaves come from the curry tree, which is a tropical tree from Sri Lanka. The leaves are used in Eastern dishes, as they have an aromatic flavour that is reminiscent of curry that have a mildly bitter aftertaste.

Top Tips

You can freeze curry leaves to use at a later date.

Curry Powder

Curry powder is blend of finely ground spices, such as turmeric, ginger, and coriander, and can be purchased in mild, medium or hot strengths. It is similar to mild curry powder but is used as a general term to cover all curry powders whether they be mild, spicy or hot in intensity.

Top Tips

Use to spice up Indian-inspired dishes, sauces or add to vegan mayonnaise to make a tasty dip or condiment with a kick.


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