I love mint and am growing a few different varieties at the moment. This year I’m growing a banana mint which really does have a hint of minty bananas! So with the sun making a rare appearance this morning I felt the need for a light summer smoothie and of course it has to have mint. I’ve used banana mint but any mint will do.
Minty green banana smoothie (serves one)
- 100g fresh melon (I used cantaloupe)
- 1/2 banana or one small one
- 250ml coconut water
- large bunch of mint – I used about 15 leaves of banana mint – if using normal garden mint then probably 10 leaves as the banana mint has smaller leaves.
- 2 blocks of frozen spinach (or a handful of fresh)
Blend it all together.
A wet summer Monday morning calls for something good and I made this last night so I could wake up, walk the dog and come back to a delicious brekkie to start the day. I’ve had a week off training and so today is back to training day and to eating a little better (in theory but it is only Monday). At least I’m starting off with some veg and protein which has the added benefit of tasting a little like carrot cake.
Carrot Maple Chia Bowl
- 1 carrot – very finely grated (about 50g)
- 20g sultanas or raisons
- 2 teaspoons of desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 150ml coconut milk
Mix all the above together and leave to soak overnight (or for at least a couple of hours).
I like to add some coconut shavings and yoghurt to eat.
Rhubarb crumble for breakfast – our British summer is making me crave comfort foods and who doesn’t love a good crumble. This is the breakfast version and can be eaten warm or cold perhaps depending upon the weather!
I like a thicker stewed rhubarb for this dish so I stew the rhubarb without any added liquid and just the sugar. It means you have to be vigilant about keeping an eye on it and stirring it to prevent burn.
Rhubarb Crumble Bowl (serves one)
- 100g Rhubarb – chopped into small chunks
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
Put the Rhubarb into a pan, add the sugar and then heat until the rhubarb goes soft and squishy – keep a careful eye on it. Should take around 3-4 mins depending on the size of your chunks. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
For the crumble topping
- 20g Oats
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon desiccated coconut
- 1 teaspoon flaked almonds
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon sugar (I prefer brown)
Melt the coconut oil in a small frying pan then add the oats and gently cook for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to gently cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes. Best left to cool for a few minutes.
Layer into a bowl or glass and top with yoghurt – I love coconut yoghurt with this.
I call this magic because it’s a great re-fuel smoothie incorporating lots of vitamin C and a small hit of carbs. It makes a lovely thick smoothie and is perfect when you want something filling but without the use of milk. I’ve had a very high carb diet over the past few days due to a marathon yesterday and today I feel the need to de-carb without starving my rather achy body. This smoothie ensures I get a good start with some natural goodness to help the immune system.
Magic Mango Smoothie
- 1/2 fresh mango (approx. 100g)
- 1/2 a banana – or one small one
- 3 dates (if you use medjool then just use one or two)
- 200ml fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons oats
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cube fresh ginger (about 1-2cm)
Blend it all together.
So to celebrate the start of Wimbledon fortnight there has to be strawberries. Whilst I love my strawberries cold and fresh (preferably with ice cream) on a damp wet and slightly cold summer morning having them warm seemed more appropriate.
Hot minted strawberries (serves one)
- Handful of fresh strawberries – halved
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- A bunch of mint finely chopped – I like a big bunch to make it really minty.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the strawberries – cook gently for 3-4 minutes until just going soft and a bit squishy. Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped mint. I added a few extra whole mint leaves to serve.
Lovely served with a cream cheese bagel – I love mopping up the minty strawberry juices with it.
A lovely way to use fresh rhubarb. The muffin mixture seems quite dry but the rhubarb releases it’s juices during cooking and these muffins turn out to be surprisingly moist. You could use other flours, but I think the spelt flour complements the tart rhubarb really well. These are great on the go breakfast snacks – and freeze really well. They are also fab with some yoghurt or crème fraiche and some extra berries or banana on the side.
Rhubarb Spelt Muffins
- 200g raw rhubarb – diced into small pieces
- 280g Spelt plain flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 100g coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (about 6 pods)
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 240ml milk
- 1 egg
- 100g melted butter
- Mix the dry ingredients together (including the rhubarb)
- Mix the wet ingredients together (milk, egg and butter)
- Add the wet to the dry and quickly stir together.
- Spoon the mixture into your muffin cases – this makes 10 large muffins.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes, 180c/350f/Gas 4 – the muffins should be turning golden brown on top.
They keep for a couple of days – or freeze them individually.
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.