Gooseberry delights

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
  • 200g oats
  • 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.

Gooseberry sweets

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!

Goosberry sweets

 

Rhubarb & Tahini overnight Oats

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.

Pineapple Tahini & Coconut Chia Delight

Tahini, coconut and pineapple are a perfect combo. I use tahini a lot for overnight breakfast oats and chia puddings – it really isn’t just for hummus! Frying and coating the pineapple with sesame seeds and coconut mixes all those lovely exotic flavours and it provides the accompanying chia pudding with a bit of texture.

This is a great breakfast for these mixed summer days, when you want something sunny but could do with a bit of warmth too, because let’s face it, August isn’t quite the sunshine month so far.

Pineapple tahini & coconut chia delight (serves one)

  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 120g pineapple – cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

Blend the coconut milk with the tahini and stir through the chia seeds.  Leave for 1/2 hour or overnight.

Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the pineapple chunks for a couple of minutes.  Then add the sesame seeds and desiccated coconut and toss with the pineapple to coat the pieces.  Continue to fry for a couple more minutes.  Serve on top of the chia pudding.pineapple tahini chia

Open sesame overnight oats

I love opening the fridge to find my brekkie looking appetisingly back at me. Today it was some sesame overnight oats and a lovely mix of sesame, tahini, dates, mango, banana and coconut.

This is really quick to put together, just a bit of chopping. You don’t need a blender either as you can easily stir or whisk the milk and tahini together, so not much washing up which is always a good result.

I use tahini a lot in salad dressings and of course humus but it’s fantastic for sweeter, non savoury dishes as well. It’s slightly less sweet than the nut butters and it works brilliantly with coconut and tropical fruits.

Open Sesame overnight oats (serves one)

open sesame

  • 150ml coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons tahini
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 40g oats
  • 2 teaspoons desiccated coconut
  • 1 medjool date – chopped
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 mango

Whisk or stir the tahini into the coconut milk, then stir through the sesame seeds and oats.

In a jar or bowl layer up the mango, followed by the oat mixture, then top with sliced banana, chopped date and the desiccated coconut.  Leave overnight.

Tropical Courgette Smoothie

I will admit it was with quiet desperation that I first added some courgette to a smoothie – my supply of this veg is fast outweighing my ability to eat them.  However I was surprised to find that it tasted ok, in fact the courgette added a little creaminess without too much taste (in a good way).

So after a few more experiments I think that this courgette smoothie is pretty good.

I’m still using my crop of yellow courgettes, but they taste the same as green so either goes.

courgette smoothie

Tropical Courgette Smoothie (serves one)

  • 150g fresh pineapple
  • 100g courgette (skin on)
  • 150ml coconut milk (from a carton not a tin)
  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of Tahini
  • 1 medjool date

Blend it all together.

 

Kiwi Kale Smoothie

Sunday morning after a few chips and cocktails last night means a healthy brekkie was required. No long run this morning but the prospect of a lovely lunch.  So I’m back on the green smoothies to make room for more lunch later.  Coconut water is great after exercise (or drinking) – definitely a top rehydration fluid.

Kiwi is another fruit that mixes brilliantly with coconut flavours and the hint of sesame from the tahini works well. The kale and the pear take second stage in this smoothie but do add to the texture and colour so don’t miss them out.

Kiwi Kale Smoothie (serves one)

kale tahini smoothie

  • 200ml Coconut water
  • Kale – a handful
  • Kiwi – one peeled and chopped
  • Pear – one cored and chopped
  • Tahini – 2 teaspoons

Blend it all together

 

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.