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.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. 

 

 

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

Pro high Tofu

I’ve been hunting out high protein breakfasts recently as I feel my protein intake needed a bit of a boost.  Over the past couple of years I’ve become more of a convert to using protein powders as a quick boost after long runs.  I use silken tofu a lot for sweet dishes and breakfasts and this is a quick and easy fusion between a protein shake and a smoothie bowl.  The high protein of tofu, the added chia seeds and almond butter, and the extra hit from the protein powder, provides a big punching plant based protein start to the day.

You can eat this with fruit, alongside a muffin or my favourite is with some crunchy granola on top to add some texture.

This breakfast fuelled me today for a long dog walk and a hilly run session.

Pro High Tofu (2 servings)

  • 1 packet of silken tofu (300g)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon hemp protein powder (or other plant based protein powder)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Topping

Some raw cacao, banana and granola of choice – or anything that goes!

Method

In a blender, blend the tofu, almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla essence and protein powder then stir in the seeds.  This keeps in the fridge for a few days.

 

Barley and orange porridge

This was inspired by an Yotam Ottolenghi barley and orange pudding. I thought it had breakfast written all over it, so I played around and made it more breakfast than pudding.  The barley does take a while to cook, so it’s worth making it the day before and then just warming it up in a pan with an additional glug of milk to soften it up again.

This has a much more ‘bitey’ texture than normal oat porridge, in fact it probably isn’t really a porridge at all, but the cooking and serving is similar so I think I can get away with it.  It also has more protein than oat porridge, and that has to be a good thing.

Barley & Orange porridge (makes two portions)

  • 125g pearl barley
  • 700ml coconut milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • One orange
  • Plus toppings of choice

Method

In a saucepan put the barley, sugar, vanilla pod (scrap out the seeds and add these and then add the remaining pod as well), milk and the grated zest of the orange.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 50-60 minutes.  Keep checking in case you need to add a bit more milk. The barley should keep some of its bite.

Then either eat straight away and add your toppings, or cool and put in the fridge overnight.  Remember to take out the vanilla pods before eating.

Toppings

Melt a bit of coconut oil (or other oil) into a small pan and add some orange segments and a bit of brown sugar.  Heat for a couple of minutes to soften and caramelise the orange.

Other toppings include:- cacao nibs, chocolate coconut yoghurt (truly lovely with this), sesame seeds work well too.

 

 

Nutty Tofu Bowl

This was inspired by a peanut butter mousse that I had recently at a vegan restaurant which was made using coconut cream.  It was wonderful and decadent but too rich for breakfast. So instead of coconut cream I’ve used silken tofu to lower the calorie damage and up the protein.  I’ve also added in fruit and extra nuts to give it more breakfast appeal.  This is really delicious and I bet even a non tofu eating person will be fooled into thinking it’s cream based.  The taste is distinctively nut butter.

Whilst this makes 2-3 portions – I could easily have eaten it all in one go – could make a great pre and post run treat.

Nutty Tofu Bowl

Nutty tofu bowl

  • 300g packet of silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 8-10 dates (5 if medjool)

Whizz all the above together.

You can also whizz in some frozen banana and/or frozen mango to add even more creaminess.

Decorate with more nuts, some sesame seeds and fruit.