I came up with this recipe after tasting some delicious carrot halva at a local Indian restaurant. I played around with carrots and then I thought of trying it out with beetroot (I had another glut and was trying to find things to do with the tons of beetroot I had available!)
I love this for breakfast with oat cakes and pear – it really does go well with pears. I will admit my favourite way of eating it is on a digestive biscuit spread with a little butter. It also goes well with yoghurt.
You can omit the sugar as this dish is sweet without the need for added sugar, but I like the extra sugary sweetness this brings. The pistachios add a little more texture. I also sometimes add sultanas too.
This recipe makes enough for around 4-6 portions.
Beetroot Brekkie Halva
- 300g finely grated raw beetroot
- 300ml coconut milk (from a can)
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom (around 10 pods crushed)
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar – I use coconut palm sugar.
- Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan, then add the beetroot and mix well to coat it in the oil for around 1-2 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes
- After 20 minutes add the sugar and cardamom.
- Continue to simmer for another 20-30 minutes – you want all the liquid to be absorbed. Keep an eye on it and once the liquid is very much reduced keep stirring it to ensure it doesn’t stick.
Leave to cool. It will keep in the fridge for a few days.
Mix through some crushed pistachios or sultanas (or both). Also good with some coconut flakes.
I’ve been eating these all week and made another batch yesterday so I could enjoy them again today after my Sunday run which means I can eat a few extra ones! These are so versatile you can fill them with whatever you fancy – fruit, nuts, yoghurt, nut butters or a combination. My current favourite way is with stewed fruit and nut butter, although to be honest I have been know to omit the fruit and fill with just the nut butter.
The versatility means you can replace the stewed apple with stewed rhubarb (both are delicious) and play around with the spices. I like cinnamon with the apple and ground ginger with the rhubarb.
You don’t want the stewed fruit to be too runny, so drain over a sieve after stewing to remove any excess water. I stew my fruit in a pan on the hob. Chop the fruit (add a dash of water if you think it’s sticking which it does sometimes at the beginning) and some sugar (I omit the sugar with the apple and just add a tiny bit with the rhubarb), then heat and stir until slushy. I have tried stewing eating apples but find the cooking apples are so much better.
Mini Oat Baskets
Makes about 16 baskets if using a mini muffin tin.
- 200g stewed bramley apples or rhubarb. (NB – this is the weight once stewed – around 3 bramley apples or 3-4 stalks of rhubarb, but it does vary)
- 200g oats
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) coconut oil melted
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon or ground ginger
Mix all ingredients together. Very lightly grease a mini muffin tin with coconut oil. Then take spoonfuls of the mixture and press into the muffin tins. Make an indent in the middle to make the basket.
Cook for 15 minutes – 160c/320f/Gas 4. Cool on a wire rack
Enjoy with your filling of choice. They keep in the fridge for a couple of days unfilled and also freeze well (freeze unfilled).
I think you can have biscuits for breakfast – I’m not talking about the rather plain breakfast biscuits that are currently on the market but homemade relatively healthy (lets face it a biscuit is never going to be the ultimate health food) biscuits full of good nuts and seeds. The beauty of the brekkie biscuit is also it’s flexibility and portability – you can make it in advance, freeze it and then you always have a stash of breakfast biccies ready to take with you wherever you go – and it doesn’t have to always be for breakfast.
The big brekkie biccy (makes about 12 large biscuits)
- 250g oats
- 110g Spelt flour (or wholewheat)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 100g raisons
- 100g unsalted peanuts
- 150g brown sugar
- 50g hazelnuts
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 200ml sunflower oil or rapeseed oil (or a combination – I used 100g sunflower and 100g rapeseed)
- 150ml milk
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl – you can leave the nuts whole. Then add the oil and stir in, finally add the milk. The mixture will feel a bit sticky, add the milk slowly as you don’t want it too runny so add less if you think it’s a bit too on the runny side.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and then take roughly 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture per biscuit – flatten them out to around 6-8cm. You’ll need a couple of baking trays.
Cook for around 10-15minutes until going golden – 200c/400f/Gas 6. Put them on a rack to cool and harden up a little before eating or storing. Can be frozen – they defrost very quickly – fortunately!
The glut continues and I’m still playing with rhubarb. These bites are very moreish with a texture of a soft flapjack – but without the added sugar. I’ve made flapjacks in the past using raw rhubarb, which works very well but for these I stewed the rhubarb first and this brings a softer texture and helps to bind the oats without the need for too much oil.
I’ve been eating these for the past two days – they are also good with a bit of full fat Greek yoghurt on the side for dipping.
- 200g Rhubarb – chopped into chunks
- Juice and rind of half a large orange – or a whole small one
- 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
Put all the above in a saucepan and bring to a simmer – simmer for around 4-5 minutes until it’s starting to go mushy. Leave to cool.
- 200g oats
- 100g dates – chopped
- 50g pumpkin seeds
- 25g hulled hemp seeds
- 50g pecan nuts – chopped
- 50g coconut oil – melted
Mix all the ingredients together and then stir in the stewed rhubarb.
Line a baking dish with baking paper and put the mixture into the dish and mould it into a 20cm x 20cm square (roughly speaking). It takes a bit of squishing down with your hand and/or a wooden spoon.
Divide into 16 squares before putting in the oven – use a sharp knife to cut through the mixture but don’t separate the squares.
Cook at 160c/325F/Gas 3 – for 30 minutes. It should start to look golden brown on the top.
Take out of the oven and run your knife along the cuts again – don’t try and separate or take out of the tin. Leave to cool in the tin before removing.
They do last a couple of days in an airtight container – that’s if you can stop eating them.
Further adventures with beetroot and a lazy bank holiday morning produced this wonderfully colourful granola. It has lovely hints of cardamom and ginger and with no added sugar I can pretend it’s super healthy. It’s certainly lovely with coconut yoghurt. As usual I’ve been snacking on this all day. Granola is not just for brekkie.
Beetroot & red berry granola
Makes a medium kilner jar’s worth.
- 200g rolled oats
- 50g Pumpkin seeds
- 50g linseeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 large raw beetroot – peeled – around 160g – chopped into chunks
- 1cm cube of fresh ginger
- 50g coconut oil (before melting – so it’s still solid when you weigh it)
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil (or other oil of choice)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 50g dried cranberries
- 50g goji berries
First make the beetroot coating. Melt the coconut oil gently in a pan – I find it confusing when a recipe states coconut oil as I never know if that means melted or solid – so I’ve started weighing my solid coconut oil to be clear.
Then put the beetroot, fresh ginger, melted coconut oil and walnut oil in a blender. The texture will look like a very thick smoothie – see the photo below – pre mixing in.
In a large bowl mix together the oats, pumpkin seeds, linseeds and cardamom. Add the beetroot mix and mix in well – making sure everything is well coated.
Rub some butter on a baking sheet and spread the mix onto the sheet. Bake for 10minutes at 180c/350f/Gas 4
Take it out and shake it up – then add the cranberries, goji berries and ground ginger. Mix it all up again and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Leave it to cool then tuck in.
I found a tin of prunes in the back of the cupboard that were almost out of date, I have no idea why I bought them, but I hate wasting things so spent a large part of this morning trying to figure out what to do with them. I tried making some granola but instead my ‘granola’ came out quite sticky and actually rather lovely, keeping the moistness of the prunes.
The result of my experiment are some rather lovely moist snacky bites – definitely somewhere between chunky granola and sticky flapjacks. Delicious on their own with a cup of coffee. It’s a good way to incorporate some prunes into your diet – I’ve never been a big fan, but keeping the moisture and adding some lovely zesty oats works for me.
Sticky Prune Bites
Makes enough bites for around 3 snacky breakfasts – if you can resist the urge to snack on them during the rest of the day.
- 100g oats
- 1 tin of pitted prunes in juice (290g)
- 50g whole almonds
- Juice and Zest of one orange
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 2 tablespoons of the prune juice
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
Drain the prunes – and keep the juice. Put the oats in a bowl and chop in the prunes – I used scissors to chop them into chunks. Add the almonds and orange zest and mix well to ensure all the prune chunks are well covered in oats.
Mix the honey, orange juice, prune juice and sugar together in a small pan and heat gently for a couple of minutes until the honey and sugar is dissolved. Let it cool for a couple of minutes and then add to the oat mix. Mix it well – it will be wet and sticky.
Rub some butter on the bottom of a baking sheet to stop it sticking and then spread the oat mixture over the sheet.
Put it in the oven (200c/400f/Gas 6) – for 5 minutes. Take it out and give it a shake and another mix up to break it up into pieces. It will still be quite sticky.
Cook for a further 5 minutes. Take it out, shake it up again and leave to cool.
The final mix is still quite sticky but really lovely and moist and easily breaks into bite sized bits with lovely chunks of prune.
Store in an airtight jar in the fridge