Jaffa Bircher

I love Jaffa cakes, the mixture of chocolate and orange is one of the best flavour combinations. I’ve recently  run a few trail events where Jaffa cakes have been available at the drinks stations alongside the gels and I have been nicely fuelled by Jaffa power.  I’ve been trying to recreate that Jaffa taste in a slightly healthier way.

I first discovered the joys of orange puree during a patisserie course last year and it’s fabulous for adding a really strong orange hit.  There is a bit of preparation the night before due to having to boil the oranges and make the puree, but it’s really easy and worth it.  The puree also freezes really well.  I freeze it in ice cube trays or small ramekins so it’s portioned ready to use.  So instead of boiling one orange at a time I boil 2 or 3 and freeze the leftover.

To make the orange puree

Put 1 or more whole oranges in a big pan of water, bring to the boil and then simmer for around an hour – they should feel very soft when ready but still intact. Drain them, cut them in half and let them cool. When cool blitz them in a processor – skin and all. This is your puree.

Jaffa Bircher (serves one)

Jaffa bircher

  • 100g orange puree (this a about half of a large orange when pureed)
  • 30g oats
  • 2 teaspoons of cacao powder
  • 10g dried cranberries
  • 100ml Almond milk

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight.  If you want a slightly wetter bircher add an additional tablespoon of almond milk over the mixture before putting in the fridge.

Before eating I like to sprinkle a few more cranberries and cacao nibs on top.

This is another most delicious brekkie that tastes soooo much better than it looks.


Toffee Apple Poragie

I’m back on the poragies this weekend and this one feels quite decadent – fortunately I ate if after my long morning run, so it felt well deserved. The dates and almond butter give a hint of caramel and the maple syrup and toasted almonds swirled on top helps to cement the toffee apple feeling.

Toffee Apple Poragie (serves one)

toffee apple poragie

  • 1 apple (core and seeds removed but unpeeled)
  • 2 medjool dates
  • 1 teaspoon almond butter
  • 200ml coconut milk (or almond milk works as well)
  • 40g porridge oats
  • 50-100ml water
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • some toasted flaked almonds

Blend the apple, dates, almond butter and coconut milk in a blender.  Put the oats in a pan and add the blended mix.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 mins  – keep an eye on it and add water to stop it sticking and reach the consistency you like.

Serve with the maple syrup poured on top with the flaked almonds.

Nutty crumb layer bowl

I love bread, I could snack on toast all day but I try not eat too much bread at breakfast.  I’ve started experimenting with using bread in different ways and using breadcrumbs is of course a classic topping for many savoury dishes – who doesn’t love cauliflower cheese with a breadcrumb topping.  So I’ve incorporated some breadcrumbs into a layered dish for breakfast, adding lots of fruit and yoghurt to make it more nutritious. You could use unbuttered crumbs, but I find adding some nut spread adds a lovely flavour.  I like using a tall glass for this so I can imagine i’m eating a knickerbocker glory for breakfast.

Nutty crumb layer bowl (serves one)

layed breadcrumbs

  • 1 large piece of toast spread with nut butter (I love peanut or almond).
  • Fruit and yoghurt of your choice (banana and berries is a good combo)

Toast the bread, spread with nut butter and then blitz into breadcrumbs.  Layer up with fruit and yoghurt and maybe a drizzle of honey on top.

P & T Smoothie

I still had some papaya to use up this morning so I opted for another smoothie. I find that papaya makes quite a bulky smoothie because it’s such a fleshy fruit so I think it works best with a mix of milk and water to get a thinner consistency.  Getting the right combination has taken me a while but I think this P&T mix works and it’s great to find another use for Tahini other than hummus.

P&T Smoothie (serves one)

P&T smoothie

  • 1/2 a Papaya – deseeded and peeled
  • 2 teaspoons of Tahini
  • 100ml Coconut milk
  • 200ml water
  • Some fresh mint leaves (around 6 big ones)
  • A small handful of fresh spinach (I put in a little less than I would normally do)
  • 2 ice cubes

Blend it all together.

Papaya Oaty Coco Bowl

I am intrigued by papayas – they look so exotic but I haven’t quite figured out the best way to eat them.  To be honest I find the taste a little odd to eat on their own, yet added to other flavours they bring a lovely hint of tropical delicacy.  They are another fruit that I find difficult to buy in the perfect state of ripeness, but at the moment they seem to be just right, so I’m buying them a lot and enjoying experimenting with them.  This bowl is an easy one to prepare the night before and I love the mix of papaya with coconut – it seems the perfect tropical match.

Papaya Oaty Coco Bowl

Papaya Oaty Coco Bowl

  • 1/2 Papaya (peeled and the seeds removed)
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 40g oats
  • 25g raisons
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 dessert spoon desiccated coconut
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • Shredded coconut


The night before – blend the papaya with the coconut milk. Add this mix to the oats, raisons, chia seeds and desiccated coconut.  Stir well, cover the bowl and put it in the fridge overnight.  It will soak up all the liquid and look like a bircher muesli when you take it out.

I prefer mine at room temperature, so I tend to take it out of the fridge, take the dog for a walk and then come back and eat.

Add your topping just before eating  – I like to add some crunch so a mix of sunflower and pumpkin seeds works well, together with some shredded coconut.


Quinoa cherry choc bowl

As it’s the start of the Easter holidays my thoughts turn to chocolate.  I discovered the joys of mixing quinoa with chocolate after finding a recipe by the blogger Chocolate Covered Katie and was intrigued about what it might taste like.  It was delicious and has become a firm favourite for breakfast and my favourite way to eat quinoa.  I’ve tried various combinations of milk, fruit and flavourings and i’m sure other versions of chocolate quinoa will feature on this blog again very soon.

I find when cooking with quinoa that the liquid can go from looking like too much to practically disappearing within seconds – so do keep an eye on it.

This isn’t the prettiest bowl to look at but don’t be put off, it really is a taste of healthy chocolate and protein for breakfast.

Quinoa cherry choc bowl (serves one)

quinoa choc bowl.jpg

  • 50g Quinoa (washed and drained)
  • 150ml almond milk
  • 1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons cacao powder
  • few drops of vanilla essence
  • 6 cherries, chopped and pitted
  • 1 tbsp. Greek yoghurt
  • some extra cherries
  • Cacao nibs


Put the quinoa and milk into a pan and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 15-20 mins – you want the quinoa to be really well cooked and soft. Keep an eye on the liquid and add a little more milk if it looks like running dry.

Once cooked, stir in the cacao powder, vanilla essence and 1 tbsp of yoghurt. Stir for a few seconds before turning off the heat.  Stir through the chopped cherries.

Serve with the topping.

Super refuel smoothie

Yesterday I completed the endurance race that I’ve been training and carb loading for. This meant my post race breakfast this morning needed to be filling and kick-start the restoration of my battered muscles.

I don’t often use protein powder, but I think it does help with recovery after particularly long or difficult sessions.  I use unflavoured whey protein which I find bland enough not to add any significant flavour – in fact I’ve had this smoothie minus the protein powder and it doesn’t taste much different.

It may be a while before I’m walking normally but hopefully this is a good way to start.

Super refuel smoothie (serves one)

post build smoothie

  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 200ml almond milk
  • 100ml water
  • 2 fresh figs
  • 1 banana
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 teaspoon almond butter
  • 1 dessert spoon of whey protein powder (unflavoured)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • A good sprinkle of cinnamon

Blend everything together.

You could add a bit more water if you wanted a thinner consistency – but this should slide up a straw nicely.