Apricot Bran Loaf

Apricots are one of the few fruits that I rarely fancy, I think I’ve bitten into too many unripe ones and been put off, an unripe apricot is really horrible!  However with the British apricot season well underway and with our wonderful hot summer, there are some lovely juicy ones on offer and I bought a big bag this week which needed using up before they went over so I started baking with them.

They work brilliantly in this loaf, which is an updated version of my old Retro bran loaf. The pairing with cardamom adds a great floral hint. Do use ripe apricots as they add moisture to the bake, although you could use up any unripe ones too.

Apricot Bran Loaf

  • 100g All Bran (I used Kellogg’s but there are other varieties out there!)
  • 70g soft brown sugar
  • 8 cardamom pods, crushed and ground in a pestle and mortar
  • 160g SR flour or 160g plain flour and 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 50g raisins
  • 3 ripe apricots, roughly diced (keep skin on)
  • 250ml Almond milk

Method

  • Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
  • Mix all the ingredients, apart from the flour, together in a bowl and leave to soak for 30-60 minutes. Then add the flour and mix well. It should be like a very thick cake mix, add a drop more milk if its too thick and paste like and difficult to stir.
  • Pour into the tin and cook for around 40 – 50 minutes at 170c/Gas 3/325f.  Leave it in the tin to cool and then turn out and enjoy.

It’s great with spread and jam (apricot!) or marmalade or nut butter with some fresh apricot slices, or with some thick coconut yoghurt.

apricot bran loaf 2

 

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P&J brekkie tortilla

My latest supply of one of my favourite peanut butters (Manilife) arrived yesterday and so peanut butter had to be part of my brekkie today (although I had already eaten a fair few spoonfuls from the jar within seconds of it arriving.)  With a packet of flatbreads languishing in the bread bin, this simple P&J tortilla was envisaged, made and eaten within 5 minutes.  If you love peanut butter and jam, you’ll love this.  I used raspberries and raspberry jam, but you could use strawberries with strawberry jam, blueberries etc., anything would be lovely.

Possibly not the healthiest of breakfasts due to the high sugar content of the jam, but it was worth it and in my defence I had walked the dog.  You could of course use a low sugar jam or make your own chia seed jam, but for now, the original stuff did the job beautifully.

P&J brekkie Tortilla

  • 1 flour tortilla (large)
  • 1 tablespoon of your favourite peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons Raspberry Jam
  • Handful of fresh raspberries
  • Yoghurt (I used coconut)

Heat a frying pan (no oil required) – and when it’s hot, add the tortilla.  After a minute, take the tortilla out of the pan and put it on a plate cold side down.  Spread your peanut butter over the hot side, and then spread the jam on top and top with some raspberries.  Fold the tortilla in half over the filling.  Put this back in the pan (heat on) and dry fry for a minute on both sides – the tortilla will start to brown.

Cut in half and serve with some more fruit and yoghurt.

 

 

BuckaRoo Brekkie Loaf

This bread is full of goodness and is a different way to incorporate buckwheat into your diet. The inspiration for this loaf came from a Buckwheat, banana and brazil nut bread recipe by Hanna Sillitoe from her book ‘Radiant’.  I hadn’t thought of using buckwheat in this way before and I was intrigued. My intention was to bake her recipe but I didn’t have any bananas or brazil nuts in the house so I decided to experiment and one thing I do have ALOT of at the moment is rhubarb.   The result is this mix of Buckwheat, Rhubarb, nuts and seeds.

BuckaRoo Brekkie Loaf

buckaroo loaf2

  • 150g Buckwheat groats
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil (or coconut or olive oil)
  •    Pinch Salt
  •   100g pitted dates – chopped
  • 150g mix of nuts and seeds (I used almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 180g Rhubarb
  •   1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
  •   100g oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Method

  • Line a 450g loaf tin with baking paper.
  • Wash the buckwheat and put into a pan with enough water to cover, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.  Check the water – I needed to add a bit more during cooking to stop it sticking.  Drain off any excess water and leave to cool.
  • Cut the rhubarb into thin sticks (1cm thick and approx. 7cm long – check they fit into your loaf tin width ways) and toss with the coconut palm sugar.
  • In a food processor blitz the dates, nuts and seeds, chia and flax seeds, oats and cinnamon until well combined. Add the buckwheat and maple syrup and blend until combined.  The dough will be dry and coarse but will squish together.
  • Line the bottom of the tin with half the sticks of rhubarb, then add half the bread mixture. Lay the other half of the rhubarb sticks on top. Finally add the rest of the bread mixture and firm down.
  • Bake 180c/350f/Gas 4 for 40 minutes.
  • Leave to cool slightly in the tin before removing and letting it cool completely.

Delicious with almond butter and banana.  Also nice with a dollop of yoghurt on top.

Rhubarb & Ginger Scones

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)

Rhubarb and ginger scones

  • 270g self raising flour
  • pinch salt
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter – cold from the fridge and cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon natural yoghurt
  • 80ml milk
  • A thumb size (or a bit larger) piece of fresh ginger (peeled)
  • 100g raw rhubarb (diced)
  • Extra flour for rolling out

Method

  • 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.

rhubarb and ginger scones all

Fruity Brekkie Nachos

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)

Fruity brekkie nachos

 

  • 1 tortilla wrap
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Blueberries and mango (cut into cubes)
  • Yoghurt
  • 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.

Squash & Walnut Bread

Oh the squash season never ends, so now I’ve turned my glut into bread. I made this today – so I have my brekkie sorted for tomorrow morning – but I will admit that quite a chunk of the bread has been eaten for tasting purposes.  It’s delicious just with butter, or add a sliced banana and some maple syrup drizzled over the top.

This loaf was inspired by a recipe by Naturally Ella for Pumpkin Oat bread.

Squash & Walnut Bread

pumpkin-bread

  • 80g oats
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 80g walnuts – roughly chopped or bashed
  • 200g cooked squash (crown prince or butternut or pumpkin)
  • 80ml maple syrup
  • 80ml coconut oil – melted
  • 70ml walnut oil
  • 2 eggs

Mix the oats, flour, baking powder, spices, salt and walnuts in a bowl.

Put the cooked squash (no skin), the syrup, oils and eggs into a blender and whizz for a few seconds to combine. Add this mixture to the dry mixture and mix together.

Put the mixture into a loaf tin.  Bake for around 50 minutes – 200c/400f/Gas 6.  After 30 minutes put some foil over the top for the last 20minutes to stop the top getting too brown.  It’s cooked when a skewer comes out clean and it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.  Let it cool slightly then pop it on a wired rack to cool completely. (I will admit I ate a slice whilst it was still warm, it does crumble a bit, worth waiting that bit longer for it to be properly cool!).

 

Courgette Brekkie Loaf

So the courgette baking continued with this courgette loaf – I warn you, one slice just isn’t enough.  It’s a mix between a tea loaf, cake and sweet bread – which of course makes it perfect for brekkie.  Delicious fresh with butter or a drizzle of honey, or even just on it’s own.

I used yellow courgettes and definitely keep the skin on as it gives some lovely yellow flecks through the loaf (green is good too) – or you could go mad and use both yellow and green.

You can also freeze it – so a great way to continue using up those courgettes. It’s a good idea to slice it once cold before freezing it, so you can grab a slice at a time, although I have frozen a whole loaf as I have plans to eat it all during a family holiday in October!

This makes two loafs (1 litre loaf tins)

courgette bread 1

Courgette Brekkie Loaf

  • 2oog wholemeal plain flour
  • 200g white plain flour
  • 100g spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • A small grating of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 50g pecan nuts (broken up)
  • 50g walnuts (broken up)
  • 100g raisons
  • 250g melted butter
  • 100ml milk
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 400g courgettes – grated with skin on

Method

Set oven to 180c/350f/Gas 4

Grease and line the loaf tins (two 1 litre tins)

  • Mix the flours, baking powder, bicarb, sugar, nutmeg, spice, salt, coconut, raisons and nuts together in a big bowl.
  • In a separate bowl – mix together the butter, milk and eggs.  Then mix this into the dry ingredients.
  • Add the grated courgettes and mix well.
  • Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tins.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes.  The loaf should be a light golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.  Once cool enough to handle (how many times have you burnt yourself trying to remove cakes from tins!) – remove from the tins and cool on a wire rack.

You can of course eat this warm – but it slices better once cool, otherwise it may be a bit crumbly.

courgette bread 2