One of my favourite combinations is pear and cardamom, I love the sweet spicy hit that comes from the cardamom, there isn’t a flavour quite like it. This month I’ve been trying to find some low fat brekkies that fill me up. This usually means oats will be featuring somewhere.
I’ve talked before about my frustration with pears – either they are too hard or over ripe, so I tend to cook them rather than wait for them to overripen again. I often dice and lightly fry pears to add to yoghurt or porridge, which helps to soften them up. Cooking them in this loaf works a treat too.
Pear and Cardamom Oat Loaf
I large pear – diced with skin on. Choose ripe or unripe.
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 ripe bananas – mashed
Put everything into a bowl and mix well together. Line a small loaf tin with baking paper. Push the mixture into the tin. Cook for 20 minutes at 200c/Gas 6
That’s it – very simple. Leave it in the tin to cool and then it’s ready to slice and eat. It’s lovely with some peanut butter, extra fruit or some yoghurt.
These are little powerhouses of energy, easy to make and keep for ages in the freezer. I made some of these recently for a post run snack and they filled the gap perfectly.
I have tried very hard over the years to like fresh apricots – and they have to be pretty perfect for me to be tempted. Dried, however, I could eat all day and they blend up really well for energy balls and flapjacks. They also pair well with most nuts – but especially with almonds in my opinion.
I added in some matcha powder for the extra feel good factor – but you could add in the same amount of cocoa powder for a choc version, or just leave out the powder bit.
Apricot & Almond Snack Attacks
200g dried apricots
100g desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons chia seeds
Some water to mix
1-2 teaspoons of matcha powder or other powder of choice (maca, cocoa, cacao)
Put everything into a food processor and mix until it holds together – add enough water to ensure it sticks together, but not too much that it looks too wet. The chia seeds help to bind the mixture as it settles.
Press the mixture into a square dish (a baking tray is good) – around 8x8inch and lined with greaseproof paper. You want the mixture to be about an inch high for a chunky sized square.
Put in the fridge for around 4 hours to harden up. Then take out and cut into squares. Makes around 10 squares, depends how big or small you like them!
Store for a few days in the fridge or freeze them – they don’t take long to defrost and I have been know to eat them straight from the freezer.
Two ways with gooseberries, one fairly easy and the other super simple. The glut of gooseberries continues, the early hot sunshine this year has ripened them a month earlier than usual and I can’t eat them quickly enough. I have a few portions of gooseberry crumble in the freezer and couldn’t face any more, so instead I’ve made flapjacks. Easy and freezable – so a bonus. I also have a glut of tahini as I went into mad lockdown panic in April and stock piled tahini! – so I’m using it with everything and it works brilliantly with gooseberries.
Then, as I really couldn’t eat any more, I tossed the the remaining gooseberries in a freezer bag, added some sugar to coat them and froze them. I have discovered they are delicious eaten straight from the freezer like sweets.
I’ll keep experimenting as I still have a lot to pick and eat.
Gooseberry and Sesame flapjacks
250g gooseberries – topped and tailed
100g castor sugar
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
50ml sesame oil
3 tablespoons tahini
100g vegan spread melted (or butter)
Toss the gooseberries in the sugar and then add the sesame seeds and oats. In a bowl, whisk together the oil, tahini and spread. Then add this to the gooseberry mixture and mix well. Use a baking dish to spread and flatten the mixture – you want to keep it looking quite chunky, so about an inch high.
Cook for 30 minutes at 200c, 400f or Gas 6. It should look browned on the top but will still be a little soft. Leave in the dish until cool and then divide into slices. Mine always crumble a bit, so don’t expect perfect slices! The crumbly bits are nice mixed in yoghurt or just eaten immediately.
Top and tail your gooseberries. Put in a freezer bag, toss with some sugar. Freeze. Eat frozen. As an additional option, also toss in some desiccated coconut with the sugar before freezing and/or some cinnamon. You now have a bag of healthy sweets to dip into every time you go into the kitchen!
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
With a bumper crop of rhubarb still growing on the allotment and some time to bake – this mornings rather decadent breakfast was scones. Scones definitely work for breakfast, especially if they include fruit, however I didn’t think I could face the full cream tea so early in the day. Instead I had my scones with coconut yoghurt and some stewed rhubarb. I used Coyo Yoghurt which is thick and perfect as a healthy clotted cream substitute. Happy bank holiday!
Rhubarb & Ginger Scones (makes about 6-8 scones)
270g self raising flour
50g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter – cold from the fridge and cut into small cubes
1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
A thumb size (or a bit larger) piece of fresh ginger (peeled)
100g raw rhubarb (diced)
Extra flour for rolling out
Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl. Add the diced butter and rub in using your fingers until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
Stir in the diced rhubarb.
Blend the ginger, milk and yoghurt together in a blender. Then beat in the egg. Add this wet mixture to the dry using a flat palate knife and bring to a dough. The dough should be wet but not really sticky. If it is, then add a tiny bit more flour to take the stickiness off.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a few seconds, then pat out the dough (or gently roller). Cut out rounds of the dough (about 3-4cm thick).
Put on a baking tray (with some baking paper to stop any scones sticking). Sprinkle some flour over the top of the scones.
Bake for 15 minutes at 220c/425f/Gas 7. The scones should look light brown on top and on the bottom, and sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom. Cool on a rack.
I bought some tortilla wraps in an effort to wean myself off the big chunks of sourdough that I’ve been demolishing. Of course I’ve swapped one addiction for another and now I can’t stop eating the wraps, but on the positive side I have found a lovely way to eat them for brekkie.
A quick fry and shake of spice and they give out a lovely aroma and are delicious with some warmed fruit and yoghurt, nacho style.
Fruity Brekkie Nachos (serves one)
1 tortilla wrap
2 teaspoons coconut oil
Generous sprinkle of cinnamon
Blueberries and mango (cut into cubes)
Desiccated coconut and pistachios to sprinkle on top
Cut the tortilla wrap into 8 triangles. Melt a teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan and add the triangles, then sprinkle them generously with some cinnamon. Cook until the tortilla slices start to show some bubbles (around 3 mins) – then turn over and cook for another couple of minutes. Arrange on a plate.
Add the other teaspoon of coconut oil to the pan and throw in the fruit – stir fry for 2-4 minutes until the blueberries are getting soft. Then add the fruit to the plate, add some yoghurt and sprinkle with some coconut and pistachios.