Retro Bran Loaf

Back in the early 80’s my mum started buying All Bran for our breakfast and strangely I really liked it. They had a recipe on their packets for an All Bran malt loaf that I use to make all the time.  I lost the original recipe many years ago but I’ve tried to reproduce it a few times.  This one seems to work and I cooked it last night so I could enjoy it for breakfast today – of course I did try a sample last night too.  It’s lovely with butter and jam, or almond butter and banana or any combination you like.  I like a side of orange – it means I get to eat the orange that I used for the grated rind in the same meal, if it lasts that long.

Retro Bran Loaf

Retro bran loaf

  • 100g All Bran
  • 70g soft brown sugar
  • 200g dried fruit (I used a mix of goji berries, raisons and diced apricots. Make sure you dice up any larger dried fruit like dates and prunes.)
  • Grated rind of one orange
  • 250ml Coconut milk (you can use any milk, but I like this combination best)
  • 160g SR flour

Method

  • Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin.
  • Mix all the ingredients, apart from the flour, together in a bowl and leave to soak in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.  Then add the flour and mix well. It will look quite gloopy.
  • Pour into the tin and cook for around 40 minutes at 170c/Gas 3/325f
  • I have a fan oven so do keep a check – you may need a little less or a little more time.

This doesn’t rise very much as it’s quite a dense loaf – so don’t worry if it looks a bit flat – mine always look flat, as you can see in the photo. It’s still delicious.

Also if you find you’ve added all the ingredients together at the beginning before soaking – including the flour by mistake – don’t worry, I’ve done that! It doesn’t seem to make any difference to the bake.

 

 

The Resetter Smoothie

My diet has been very carb focused for the past few days and today I woke up feeling rather heavy and just wanted something really light. I call this my Resetter smoothie because it’s very low fat, very light and helps me to reset my carb cravings (for a while).

I usually like to use frozen pears as it adds a nice chill to the drink but fresh is good too.  I struggle to find pears that are just the right ripeness, they always seem to be too hard or overripe, so when I find some in the shops that are just right, I buy a load, core and chop them into slices and freeze them. They work brilliantly in smoothies.

I added a date because I wanted just a tiny bit more body but you could easily leave it out for a super light drink.

The Resetter Smoothie (serves 1)

Resetter smoothie

  • A handful of kale and spinach (that’s one handful, half spinach and half kale, not one handful of each)
  • Chunk of cucumber (about 4cm)
  • Cube of fresh ginger (about 1cm)
  • 1 pear (fresh or use frozen slices)
  • 1 medjool date (or 2 smaller ones) – or you can miss this out
  • 200ml water (add a bit more for a thinner smoothie)
If you used fresh pear – then add an ice cube or two to the blender to make a cooler smoothie

Blend it all together

 

The Snicky Smoothie

I woke up feeling hungry and thirsty – this is happening a lot at the moment due to upping my running mileage.  Although to be fair even if I do nothing I always wake up hungry. I wanted a quick filling breakfast so went for my favourite quick smoothie plus some extra toast on the side.  I’ve called this my Snicky smoothie because the taste reminds me a little bit of a snickers bar, although probably a little healthier.  The spinach lessens the guilt and you really can’t taste it at all.

The Snicky Smoothie (serves one)

Snicky Smoothie

  • 250ml almond milk (I use unsweetened)
  • A handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 tsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 medjool date (or 2 smaller ones if you don’t have these)
  • A banana (I save a bit of my banana for my toast)

Blend it all together.

 

Orange Glow in a glass

This one is for lovers of orange fruits.  It’s vibrant and refreshing, definitely a sunny breakfast. It’s quick and easy with a little bit of prep and overnight soaking, then you’re ready to go.  I added the cacao nibs at the last minute as I fancied a touch of bitter crunch against the citrus sweetness, but actually it’s good without anything added.  I prefer my mix at room temperature, so I took the glow mix out of the fridge before I headed off to walk the dog.

Orange Glow in a glass (serves one)

Orange Sunshine

  • Juice and grated zest of one orange
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp goji berries
  • 3 dried apricots – diced
  • 15g dried mango – diced
  • Handful of blueberries (around 50g)

Put all of the above in a bowl, mix it up, cover and leave overnight in the fridge. All the juice will be absorbed by the seeds and dried fruit.

  • Natural Greek Yoghurt (I just dollop what I fancy, but it’s probably around 100-150ml
  • Raw cacao nibs to sprinkle on top if desired)

In the morning layer up the orange glow mix with the yoghurt and sprinkle the nibs on top.

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A lovely bright sunny morning today so coming back from walkies to this glowing glass was quite uplifting.

 

Apple Crumble Poragie

I love the mixture of spices, fruit and sweetness in an apple crumble and I especially like the crumble toppings, so having a variation of it for breakfast is a real treat. I love nutmeg so tend to sprinkle quite a lot, but it is powerful so take it easy if you’re not sure.  The freeze dried apple I found recently in Tesco when I was looking for dried apple and it does add some lovely sweetness to the crumble topping, but you could use diced dried apple or leave it out completely.  I always have ice cream with my crumble but not for breakfast!  So I added a side of crème fraiche which adds a little more richness.  Natural yoghurt would work as well, or you could push the boat out and use cream.

Apple Crumble Poragie (serves one)

apple pie poragie

  • 1 apple – cored, but you don’t need to peel
  • 4 blackberries
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • A sprinkle of nutmeg (I grated around 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 200ml Almond milk (I used unsweetened)
  • 40g porridge oats
  • 50-100ml tap or filtered water

Topping

  • 4-5 hazelnuts – crushed
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (I used demerara for it’s coarse texture)
  • few bits of freeze dried apple – crumbled up
  • A few blackberries
  • Crème fraiche or yoghurt or cream

Method

In a good blender, blend the apple, 4 blackberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, maple syrup and almond milk.  Once blended tip into a saucepan and mix in the oats. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add as much water as you need to stop it sticking and get the consistency you like (or you could add more milk for a richer poragie).

For the topping – mix the crushed hazelnuts, sugar and apple together to make the crumble topping. Sprinkle on top and add some blackberries.

Add some crème fraiche, yoghurt or cream on the side.

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Today’s dog walk was very wet, cold and windy so this was a warming treat once i’d dried out. I ate it in front of the fire with the dog snoozing peacefully.

Parsnip and Orange Muffins

I love muffins and think they make the perfect on the go breakfast.  It’s easy to grab one from the freezer for a journey to work. However I still want my breakfast muffins to be relatively healthy and not too sugary sweet. I came up with these after having a glut of parsnips on my allotment – there is only so much parsnip soup I can eat. The parsnip adds moisture in the same way as carrot does in carrot cake, and the muffins do not taste of parsnip at all.  The warm spices give a lovely comforting smell.  These are lovely cold or slightly warmed.  I like to eat mine with fruit and yogurt.

I made a batch of these yesterday and enjoyed one for breakfast this morning after another very cold dog walkies.

Parsnip and Orange Muffins

Parsnip and orange muffin

  • 175g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice (I usually add 2 because I love the extra hint of spice)
  • 50g raisons
  • 225g parsnips – finely grated
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 1 orange – grated rind and juice
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml sunflower oil

Method

  • Set the oven for 180c/350f/Gas 4
  • Grate the rind and juice the orange. Soak the raisons in the orange juice for 10 mins or more.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarb of soda, spices, orange rind and grated parsnips in a bowl.
  • In another bowl mix together the sugar, sunflower oil, eggs and raisons (drain them but keep the juice handy). Make sure everything is well mixed together, give it a little beat.
  • Mix both bowls together and then add around 2 tablespoons of the orange juice.  You want the mix look like a smooth batter (with a lot of parsnip), but not runny.
  • Spoon into muffin cases ( I line my muffin tin with muffin cases) – makes 8-10 large muffins.  I fill the cases pretty much up to the top.
  • Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes.  The tops should be firm and bounce back when pressed.  Remove from tin (but not the paper cases) and cool on a rack.

These can be kept for 2 days and still taste fresh. Or freeze individually to grab one when you want.

 

Coco Ginger Virtue

Having rather over-indulged last night (burger, chips and a pint or so) I felt the need for one of my more virtuous breakfasts this morning and that usually means a green smoothie. This one I find particularly refreshing and I love the zing of the ginger first thing in the morning. It’s also perfect after a short run or yoga session with the coconut water adding some serious rehydration.

Coco Ginger Virtue

cocnut smoothie

Makes one large glass
  • Handful of spinach
  • Handful of frozen mango
  • A cube (about 1cm) of fresh ginger (I keep cubes of peeled ginger in the freezer and add one of these if I haven’t got any fresh)
  • 1 small banana
  • 200ml Coconut water
  • 100ml tap or filtered water
  • a few fresh mint leaves

Blend everything together and enjoy.