A trio of Gooseberries

I had a gooseberry glut this year, first time ever so after over excitedly harvesting them all at once, I had a week of gooseberry themed breakfasts.  These are the top 3 – all very easy and quick and making the most of the tartness and sweetness combo that makes the gooseberry one of those ‘love it or hate it’ type of fruits.

The combo with peanut butter is fab – but be warned, the colour mix doesn’t make for pretty photos!

Gooseberry Smoothie

  • A large handful of gooseberries (approx. 15)
  • 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
  • 150ml apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup.

Blend it all together. The sweetness of the apple juice and maple syrup is a great foil for the tartness of the gooseberries.

Hot Gooseberry crumpet

  • A large handful of gooseberries
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • Nut butter
  • Crumpet
  • Maple syrup

Melt the oil in a frying pan, add the gooseberries until they start to soften and split (about 3-5 mins).  Toast a crumpet and spread with a nut butter of your choice and pile the gooseberries on top. You can swirl some maple syrup over the top for extra sweetness.

Gooseberry and peanut butter compote

  • A large handful of gooseberries
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Melt the oil in a frying pan and add the gooseberries for 2-3 mins. Then add the peanut butter and heat through until it all starts to soften.

I’ve eaten this on its own, both hot and cold.  Also lovely stirred through soya or coconut yoghurt.

 

 

 

 

Heavenly Rhubarb

This is seriously the BEST way to cook rhubarb.  I discovered this when making a raw cake that included cooking rhubarb for the longest time at a low heat.  I’ve played around with the timings and this is about as good as it gets.  Honestly, if you like rhubarb this is the way to go!  If you have anyone in your family who doesn’t – try them with this.  You can make it in big batches so you’re not wasting too much oven time.

The quantities below makes enough for 2-3 portions – although if I’m honest I could easily eat all of this in one sitting.  Use it for overnight oats, as a pancake topping, mixed through yoghurt or just eat it on it’s own.

Heavenly Rhubarb

Turn the oven onto almost it’s lowest setting – so 80-100c /180-200f or Gas 1/4 -1/2

  • 200g raw rhubarb, chopped into small slices (about 1cm slices)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar  (any brown sugar will work – I like soft brown sugar best.)

Put the chopped rhubarb into a baking dish or tray and add the syrup and sugar and coast it well. Put into the oven for 1.5 – 2 hours.  It should still hold it’s shape but be tender – the picture shown is of the cooked rhubarb so you can see how its held it’s shape.

Eat immediately or put in a container and keep in the fridge, save the juices too.  I prefer eating this at room temperature rather than straight from the fridge, but hot, cold or warm, it is truly delish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prune, walnut and pecan Muffins

Oh the misaligned prune!  I had a bag of prunes waiting to be used up, there were given to me by my mum who had announced that they were revolting and can I please take them away.  I’ve tried a few prune recipes in the past and used them in porridge a few years ago, which was a surprise success.

For these muffins I went for the ‘hidden’ prune option and blitzed them into the milk – it meant I could use up a lot of them at once!  The nuts then add the texture and the milk the slight prune taste – and of course all the added benefits of prunes…

These aren’t very sweet, so they taste good cut in half with some spread and jam, or with some fruit and yoghurt and a splash of maple or date syrup.  They freeze well too.

Prune, walnut and pecan muffins

  • 100g spelt flour (or wholemeal)
  • 180g plain flour
  • 100g castor sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 100g pitted prunes
  • 250ml milk of choice (I used soya, but nut milks work well too)
  • 100ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50g walnuts (crushed into chunky pieces)
  • 50g Pecan nuts (crushed into chunky pieces)

Method

  • Mix the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder together.  Mix in the nuts.
  • Blend the prunes with the milk.  Then add the vanilla and oil and mix together.  Add this to the dry mixture and mix quickly.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.  200c/400f/Gas 6.
  • Makes 9 -10 large muffins

prune and nut muffins 2

Basmati Aromatic Brekkie Pudding

I went to one of my fave restaurants a couple of weeks ago (Tibbits) and was reunited with a big bowl of their very fabulous Indian Rice Pudding.  I haven’t quite managed to recreate the original dish, but it got me playing around with different types of rice and spice.  As we know, puddings can make delicious breakfast options too and this is wonderfully aromatic and filling as a breakfast, and it went down very well after a long run this morning.

This recipe makes 3 decent portions. Easy to make the night before and reheat.  The rice still contains a bit of bite, so it’s not the sloppy rice pudding that I remember from my youth!  However, I do like sloppy too – so I shall be experimenting further.

Basmati Aromatic Brekkie Pudding

  • 100g Basmati rice (white)
  • 400ml can of coconut milk
  • 10 cardamom pods – seeds crushed in a pestle and mortar.  (So about 1/2 teaspoon of ground)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon mixed ground spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 60g sultanas (you can easily add more)

Method

Put the rice in a saucepan, add the coconut milk and all of the other ingredients.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30mins.  Ensure the rice doesn’t stick near the end of cooking – add a bit more water or coconut milk if needed.  You might want to add some more ground spice if you want more aromatics.

If you make this the night before, leave the cinnamon stick and cloves in the mixture. When you get it out the fridge in the morning the rice will have stuck together into a big clump. Add a portion (about 1/3 of the bowl) into a saucepan and add some more coconut milk.  I used some from a carton for this, rather than opening another can.  Or you can add water.  Stir well and bring to the boil and simmer for 5 mins or so, until its looking nice and creamy again.

This is lovely with some fresh mango stirred through. 

 

 

P&B Toasty Crumb

My staple breakfast is peanut butter and banana on toast, I would happily eat this for every meal.  This morning I had a bit more time and thought about how to improvise with the same magic three ingredients. I also felt like treating myself so this is a slightly more decadent way to eat peanut butter and banana on toast with added treat value that doesn’t take much longer than the simple original version.

P&B Toasty Crumb

  • 1 banana
  • 2 slices of bread (I used small slices of wholemeal bread, but could easily have eaten this with large slices)
  • Peanut butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • A few hazelnuts (I used 10) – or other nuts.
  • Coconut yoghurt

Toast both slices of bread.  Whilst they are toasting, slice the banana and fry for a couple of minutes in the coconut oil.  Then add the sugar and toss it through the bananas and cook for another couple of minutes to caramelize nicely.

When the bread has toasted – put one slice in a blender with the hazelnuts to make the crumbs.   Spread the peanut butter on the other slice.  Pour the bananas onto the peanut butter toast and sprinkle the crumbs on top.  Add some yoghurt and enjoy! Simple.

 

 

Coconut yogi overnight oats

I love the new coconut yoghurts but find some of the brands too thick to eat very much of in one go! (Oh and the calories count is quite high).  So for this recipe I thinned out the yoghurt with some plant based milk to make some overnight oats.  This makes a lovely creamy and surprisingly filling (as it’s a small portion) brekkie.

Coconut Yogi overnight oats

  • 2 tablespoons thick coconut yoghurt (i.e. Coyo)
  • 4 tablespoons plant based milk (oat, almond, soya…)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons oats
  • 1 teaspoon peanut butter (a nice runny one such as Pip and Nut is good)

Mix everything together and put in the fridge overnight.  I leave the peanut butter out at this stage and add it in just before eating.  This keeps the peanut butter on the runny side as it hasn’t been absorbed, so it adds a bit of extra moisture and softness.

Lovely with bananas or berries and some extra cinnamon sprinkled on top to make it look pretty.

coconut yogi overnight oats

The Seedy Protein Base

We know that getting a good hit of protein at breakfast is a great way to start the day. This mix of powders and seeds is one way to get a mega 20g of protein into breakfast (and the mix is around 240 calories if you’re counting).

Using peanut butter powder adds the well loved peanut butter flavour without the hit of calories that 2 tablespoons of the real thing would give. Whilst it’s hard to imagine anything beating the real thing, I am a complete convert to the powder after picking up a jar on offer in Aldi recently.  Although, I will never ever be without a few jars of the real thing in my cupboards too.

You can use this as a base to add to smoothies, yoghurt or overnight oats.  If you mix this into 150ml of soya yoghurt you get another 6g of protein.  Add some berries and you’re all set for a fairly low calorie, protein packed brekkie.

Seedy Protein Base

  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) Hemp protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Mix it all together and add to whatever you fancy.  protein base2