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!
The rhubarb keeps coming and so does the Tahini. Tahini is one of my favourite foods, I have it with almost everything. During the first few weeks of lockdown I couldn’t find it anywhere, so I went for almost a month without any- until my lovely bestie delivered a jar and left it outside my door. That didn’t last long! but fortunately my stocks are now replenished and I am eating it liberally again.
The combination with rhubarb really works, although be warned rhubarb and tahini blended does look a bit beige – so the decorations on top of this dish are worth it! You do need some sweetener with this – I don’t add much sugar to my stewed rhubarb so usually need to add a bit extra into whatever I’m using it with.
Enjoyed eating this today after an early dog walkies in the sunshine.
Rhubarb & Tahini overnight oats
- 2 tablespoons stewed rhubarb (plus extra for the topping)
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or other sweetener of choice)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 200ml Milk (almond, soya or coconut work well)
- 35g oats
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Blend the rhubarb, tahini, maple syrup, milk and ginger in a blender. Pour into a bowl and add the oats. Leave overnight.
To serve – sprinkle over the sesame seeds and add the extra rhubarb on top.
When in lockdown, eat heartily – is the current mantra in my household! I went out for my usual lockdown morning dog walkies, got soaked through and came home feeling cold, wet, fed up and in need of something warm, sweet and quick.
I did have crumble on my mind as i had made a lovely rhubarb crumble for my mum a few days earlier, which took ages what with having to wait 30 minutes whilst it cooked in the oven. The leftovers were great for brekkie, until i discovered the last portion had been eaten by my husband…
So – this was my urgent recreation with whatever i had in the house – and it’s pretty close to the real thing too. Probably took around 5 minutes to make and certainly hit the spot.
Almost instant brekkie crumble
(serves one hungry person – but could do two)
The fruit layer
Some fruit that will go juicy and mushy in the microwave – I used a punnet of blueberries and zapped them for a minute. Rhubarb or apple is great too as that only takes a few minutes to stew.
- 1 piece bread (stale is good too) – blitzed into breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons oats
- sprinkle of cinnamon, ground cloves or nutmeg or any warm spices you like
- 1 – 2 teaspoons sugar – less or more depending how sweet you like your crumble (i go for v sweet!
- Knob of non dairy spread or butter – coconut oil or other oil works too.
- Melt the spread in a frying pan. Mix the breadcrumbs, spice, oats and sugar together and add to the pan. Fry for 2-4 minutes until the mix has some bite to it like crumble (i.e not too soft)
- Whilst the crumble is frying – zap your fruit in the microwave – it won’t need long, maybe 30 seconds or so.
- Add the crumble to the fruit and there’s your crumble. Lovely with some extra fruit on top and some yogurt and maple syrup. Or cream or ice cream – after all we’re in lock-down.
I also added a sliced banana on top of the hot blueberries before i added the crumble on top. Play around and add in anything you have handy – peanut butter, nuts, seeds…
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.
This is definitely a homage to the favourite chocolate bars of my youth. I especially loved the ‘whole hazelnut’ bars and hazelnut whirls (my mums favourite), and who doesn’t like a chocolate raisin?! I’ve added some coconut because Bounties were another favourite of mine (and my dads). Really I was just looking for an excuse to throw in all my favourite things and pretend it’s healthy – but these overnight oats are at least heathier than eating all of the above.
Fruit & Nut case overnight oats
- 50g Oats
- 1 tablespoon whole hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon raw cacao (or coco)
- 2 squares of dark chocolate chopped into bits (I will admit I used more than 2)
- 200ml Hazelnut milk
Layer up a jar with all of the dry ingredients, add the milk last and pop it in the fridge. Mix it all together in the morning.
I like using both chia seeds and oats in my overnight soakings, a mix of protein and carbs. I find the consistency can become a little more solid, much like the old Irish tradition of porridge slabs kept in drawers! It’s like eating a soft flapjack and I love this consistency especially with some maple syrup and yoghurt spooned on top before eating. This is another healthy way to have chocolate for breakfast.
Blueberry Choc Chioaty
- 100g Blueberries
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons oats
- juice of one orange
- 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder (if you want a stronger cacao hit then add a bit more)
- 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
Mix together and put in the fridge overnight. Top with yoghurt and maple syrup or some chocolate sprinkles!
As the weather turns autumnal this is the perfect earthy overnight oats breakfast. Beetroot is in season and I am currently harvesting a big bunch each week on the allotment. I’ve tried a few different breakfast dishes with beetroot and I love it. This has become a favourite because it’s so quick and looks such a lovely shade of red!
I find it’s best if you process the beetroot in a food processor – peel and chop and then process until it looks like couscous (a few seconds). You can also finely grate it for this dish if you don’t have a food processor.
Coco beet overnight oats (serves one)
- 50g raw beetroot – either processed in a food processor or finely grated
- 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
- 40g oats
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 20g sultanas
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 50g flaked coconut
- 150ml coconut milk
Layer up the beetroot, coconut, oats, cardamom, sultanas and seeds. Then add the coconut milk and leave overnight in the fridge.
You can play around with your seeds and dried fruit – personally I love the taste of sultanas with this dish, but dried cranberries, raisins or goji berries would work well. The hemp seeds give a nice subtle crunch, or you can use pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Pistachio nuts also go very well with beetroot. Just layer up as you fancy. The key ingredients are the beetroot and coconut – the mix of earthiness and sweetness is perfect.
Fresh, summery with a bit of zing – the perfect spring into summer overnight oats. I love mixing mango with ginger and coconut – the GMC combo, one of the perfect combos for summer. Try and save some mango for the decoration – just because it makes the whole dish look pretty and vibrant. A great breakfast to refuel after a morning run or walkies (my dog loves coconut flakes, so some of my extra flakes ‘accidently’ fall on the floor during preparation.)
GMC Overnight Oats
- 150ml coconut milk
- 40g porridge oats
- 1/2 mango diced (plus a bit extra sliced to serve)
- 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- A generous grating of ginger (a good 1cm piece or more if you’re a ginger fan)
Mix it all together and put in the fridge. Lovely with some sliced mango and an extra sprinkle of coconut on top
Yesterday I picked my first stick of rhubarb from the allotment. I have 3 plants and they are all growing really well again this year, so lots of rhubarb ahead for me and lots of experimenting to be done. This porridge is really simple and made in one pot – no extra stewing or cooking of rhubarb. You can vary the sugar based on your preference or leave it out completely for a slightly sharper taste. Personally I love porridge with a bit (sometimes a lot) of demerara.
Rhubarb, ginger & cardamom Porridge (serves one)
- 50g Oats
- 250ml coconut milk (or other milk)
- 2 teaspoons demerara sugar
- 1 stick of rhubarb – diced or cut into small slices.
- 2 cubes of crystallised ginger – diced finely
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Handful of blueberries
- Extra demerara sugar to sprinkle on top
Put all the ingredients (apart from the blueberries) into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 or so minutes until the rhubarb has gone soft and starting to mush into the mixture. Turn off the heat and stir through the blueberries – this ensures they keep their shape and just soften a tiny bit.
Serve with an extra sprinkle of demerara sugar for that added crunch.
For anyone wanting to get more seeds into their diet, this dish is packed with seeds, with a few nuts thrown in. The moisture of the grated pear is soaked up by the chia, linseeds and oats creating a ramekin circle asking for decoration. Really quick to put together and yet looks fab on a plate. Use any sort of nuts and seeds to decorate your plate, I threw in some coconut flakes and cranberries as well. Nice on it’s own as well as topped off with yoghurt. Surprising filling too, my tummy wasn’t rumbling until after 1pm today.
Ramekin Pear Seed Sensation (serves one)
- 1 pear grated (with skin on)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon linseeds (or flax)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons oats
Mix all of the above together and push into a ramekin dish. Leave for 30 minutes (or overnight). The seeds and oats will soak up the moisture and it will come out of the ramekin onto a plate keeping it’s shape.
- A mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, nuts (I used flaked almonds, pecans, walnuts) and some cranberries and coconut flakes. Or any combination that you fancy.
- Lovely with a topping of yoghurt and a bit more maple syrup