One of my favourite combinations is pear and cardamom, I love the sweet spicy hit that comes from the cardamom, there isn’t a flavour quite like it. This month I’ve been trying to find some low fat brekkies that fill me up. This usually means oats will be featuring somewhere.
I’ve talked before about my frustration with pears – either they are too hard or over ripe, so I tend to cook them rather than wait for them to overripen again. I often dice and lightly fry pears to add to yoghurt or porridge, which helps to soften them up. Cooking them in this loaf works a treat too.
Pear and Cardamom Oat Loaf
I large pear – diced with skin on. Choose ripe or unripe.
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 ripe bananas – mashed
Put everything into a bowl and mix well together. Line a small loaf tin with baking paper. Push the mixture into the tin. Cook for 20 minutes at 200c/Gas 6
That’s it – very simple. Leave it in the tin to cool and then it’s ready to slice and eat. It’s lovely with some peanut butter, extra fruit or some yoghurt.
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
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!
This is a quick nut free non clumping granola. I tried to reduce the amount of oil, so it’s more roasted oats than clumpy chunks, but to me that means a little bit healthier and no one is fighting over the biggest clumps to pick out. It also sprinkles brilliantly over yoghurt or as a cereal with milk. Good fruit partners are bananas and blueberries. I may have sprinkled it over ice cream too.
I love fresh ginger, but haven’t been a fan of stem or crystallized ginger in the past and usually leave it out of recipes. But not wanting to be stuck in my flavour ways I thought I’d give it another go. I now admit the error of my ways – it is truly the added magic that gives a wonderful twang of flavour. I shall never leave it out of a recipe again. However – I do believe it’s all about subtlety and in this recipe do make sure it is finely diced so you don’t find big chunks of it.
This makes a large kilner jar full – it keeps for a good few days.
Red Berry & Ginger Roasted Oats
100g sunflower seeds
100g pumpkin seeds
100g sesame seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
130ml Maple syrup
70ml olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g dried cranberries
100g goji berries
50 crystallized ginger finely chopped
Mix the oats, seeds and spices in a bowl. In another bowl mix the maple syrup, vanilla and olive oil and mix well. Add this to the oat mixture and mix well to ensure the oats are well coated.
Spread out onto two baking sheets (lined with greaseproof paper). Bake at 160c/320f/Gas 3 for 20 minutes. Then give it a stir and cook for a further 20 minutes. The oats should be looking nicely golden.
Remove from the oven and then mix in the berries and ginger. Leave to cool.
I love a breakfast biscuit – something chunky oaty and filling. These are easy to whip up and are perfect for a grab as you go brekkie with coffee. There is a good amount of fruit and goodness in these biccies with a carrot thrown in for extra goodness, so you can have a guilt free biscuit. These are also vegan, sugar free and dairy free.
The mixture gets quite sticky when you are rolling the biscuits – so be warned you will get sticky hands!
Oaty carrot & date brekkie biccies
100g pitted dates
50g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 large carrot – grated
1 apple – grated
1 ripe banana – mashed
The zest and juice of one large orange
Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.
Put the oats and dates into a food processor and process for a couple of minutes. You want the dates to be well chopped. Add the flour, baking powder and spice and pulse very briefly to mix it all together.
Add this mix to the carrot, apple, banana and orange zest and juice.
Give it a good mix and then get your hand in to bring it together into a very sticky dough.
Take clumps of the dough to shape into a ball and put onto the baking sheets – press them down slightly to make a thick biscuit shape. This should make around 8-10 biccies.
Cook for 25 minutes, oven 350f/ 180c/ Gas 4. The biccies should look nicely browned on top and be slightly brown on the bottoms. Leave to cool.
In support of Veganuary all the brekkie recipes this month will be vegan. To kick start here is a lovely baked oats recipe ideal for this frosty cold weather. This is quick to make – you can mix it up the day before and cook it in the morning, or even cook it the day before and re-heat it.
I always have a bag of frozen cherries in the freezer, I love them. They defrost quickly and take on a softer texture that works really well in this recipe. You can also microwave (or heat in a pan) a few extra to drizzle over the top before eating.
If you don’t have mini cake tins then just use any oven proof bowls and eat it straight from the bowl!
Cherry Oat Bake (makes two)
130g frozen cherries (defrosted) – keep the juice, no need to drain
150ml coconut milk
25g melted coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
A few flaked almonds for the topping
To serve – lovely with some warmed cherries and maple syrup.
Grease a couple of mini cake tins (11cm/4.5″) with a little bit of coconut oil.
Warm the oven to 200c/400f/Gas 6
Mix all the ingredients together (apart from the flaked almonds). Pour into the cake tins. Top with the flaked almonds.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Leave to cool for 5 minutes before taking them out of the tins.
Drizzle with maple syrup and extra cherries to serve.
Strawberries always remind me of the heat of summer and for some reason I rarely fancy them once the weather turns. But this morning I found a punnet in the fridge and didn’t fancy them cold so made this very quick oaty brekkie to give a bit of warmth.
I’ve been frying up my oats a lot recently, it’s such a quick and easy way to have some hot oats when you don’t fancy porridge.
Oaty Coaty Strawberries (serves one)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon of honey
Handful of oats (around 30g)
Handful of strawberries – sliced in half
1/2 teaspoon cardamom or cinnamon
Heat the coconut oil in a small pan, add the oats and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the honey, spice of choice and strawberries and fry for another couple of minutes. Toss to coat the strawberries with the oats.
It’s taken me a while to try this, I was intrigued with the thought of adding courgette to porridge. The term Zoats comes from the alternative name of Zucchini (I guess calling it Coats doesn’t really work)
I have no excuse for not trying it sooner, it’s not like I’ve been short of courgettes. Now I wish I hadn’t waited so long because it’s another great way to incorporate veg into breakfast.
Grating the courgettes is key, it means they nicely soften and blend with the oats without really adding any taste, to be honest I couldn’t taste that I had courgettes in my porridge, I could just see them!
I added pumpkin seeds and flaked almonds and sweetened the porridge with maple syrup but there are loads of different combinations to play with, I’m hooked.
200ml Almond Milk
100g grated courgette (skin on)
1 tablespoon flaked almonds
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Put the oats, courgette and milk in a pan, bring to the boil and simmer for a 3 – 4 minutes (you may want to adjust the milk depending on how you like your porridge).
Stir through the seeds and almonds and then drizzle over the maple syrup.
I think you can have biscuits for breakfast – I’m not talking about the rather plain breakfast biscuits that are currently on the market but homemade relatively healthy (lets face it a biscuit is never going to be the ultimate health food) biscuits full of good nuts and seeds. The beauty of the brekkie biscuit is also it’s flexibility and portability – you can make it in advance, freeze it and then you always have a stash of breakfast biccies ready to take with you wherever you go – and it doesn’t have to always be for breakfast.
The big brekkie biccy (makes about 12 large biscuits)
110g Spelt flour (or wholewheat)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
100g unsalted peanuts
150g brown sugar
50g pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger
200ml sunflower oil or rapeseed oil (or a combination – I used 100g sunflower and 100g rapeseed)
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl – you can leave the nuts whole. Then add the oil and stir in, finally add the milk. The mixture will feel a bit sticky, add the milk slowly as you don’t want it too runny so add less if you think it’s a bit too on the runny side.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and then take roughly 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture per biscuit – flatten them out to around 6-8cm. You’ll need a couple of baking trays.
Cook for around 10-15minutes until going golden – 200c/400f/Gas 6. Put them on a rack to cool and harden up a little before eating or storing. Can be frozen – they defrost very quickly – fortunately!
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
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.
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.
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.