Salted Chocolate Almond Granola

This my friends is going to transform every smoothie, porridge and yoghurt bowl you have from here on out.  Combining chocolate, nut butter and oats can only end in a glorious flavour sensation right?

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Although I say this is a granola I think of it more as a breakfast sprinkle.  It’s calorically dense so I wouldn’t recommend eating a whole bowl of it, but that’s just my opinion! It’s pretty easy to get your hands on almond butter these days but if you can’t find it this would be equally as good using any other nuts or nut butter.

Salted Chocolate Almond Granola

Ingredients

2 cups of Oats

2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder (I use Green and Black’s)

½ teaspoon Sea Salt Flakes

½ cup Almonds, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons of Almond Butter

2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil

¼ cup Maple Syrup

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Optional: 2 tablespoon of Cacao Nibs

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Method

  • Preheat oven to 160℃
  • Mix the oats, cocoa, sea salt and almonds in a large mixing bowl.
  • Place almond butter, coconut oil and maple syrup into a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir until everything is melted and combined.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and add in the vanilla extract, stirring though.
  • Now pour the liquid mixture over the bowl of dry ingredients, mix together until all of the nuts and oats are covered in the delicious nut butter mixture.
  • Place on a baking tray, spreading in an even layer, and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes take the granola out, give it a stir and then pop it back in for the final 15 minutes.
  • When the granola is done remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • One cool stir though the optional cacao nibs or any other additions you like!

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Store in an airtight container for up to a week, if it last that long!

Chocolate and Stem Ginger Overnight Oats

Another week another overnight oats (ONO) recipe. I appreciate ONO are not the most complicated thing in the world to make, so apologies if my constant bombardment of recipes and photographs bore you. I’m kind of sorry not sorry.

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I have a massive sweet tooth, which I was in denial of for many years, so I’m all over anything which resembles dessert for breakfast. I love my plain old overnight oats and I eat them most mornings in summer but it’s nice to jazz things up a bit, especially for the weekend! If you want to make this extra chocolatey I recommend using CoYo chocolate yoghurt alternative, so good.

Chocolate and Stem Ginger Overnight Oats (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

1 cup Oats

3 tablespoons Cacao

1 teaspoon Ground Ginger

½ teaspoon Cinnamon

½ Cup of Yoghurt

½ cup Milk

3 tablespoons of Stem Ginger, Chopped

1 tablespoon Ginger Syrup, from the ginger jar

Pinch of Salt

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Method:

  • Place the oats, cacao, ground ginger and cinnamon into a mixing bowl and give it a stir.
  • Add in the yoghurt, milk, syrup and chopped ginger.
  • Stir until everything is combined. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, overnight is best!
  • Serve with any toppings you like, fresh fruit, cacao nibs, go wild!

Salted Caramel Overnight Oats

So I think this sounds a lot fancier than it is. In reality it requires four ingredients and very minimal effort to make this flavour bomb. I found the CoYo salted caramel a few weeks ago and oh my word this stuff is unreal. I didn’t think it would taste as good as it does so perhaps that has helped in my positive reaction. I was eating it on it’s own, then I had a lightbulb moment. Imagine having this for breakfast. BAM salted caramel overnight oats was born.

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Salted Caramel Overnight Oats (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients

1 x 125g pot of Coyo Salted Caramel Coconut Milk Yoghurt Alternative

1 Cup of Oats

1 Cup of Coconut Milk (Tetra pack, not canned)

Few drops of Vanilla Extract

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Method

  • Place all the ingredient in a bowl or jar and stir together until everything is combined.
  • Leave in the fridge overnight, or a least a few hours.

The next morning serve out a portion and top with your favourite fruit (I love strawberries) and maybe even a cheeky dollop of peanut butter. Enjoy! x

Sweetcorn Fritters

These sweet and spicy sweetcorn fritters are one of my staples. I love my sweet breakfasts (hello overnight oats) but these savoury pancakes make a welcome addition to the brunch table. They can be whipped up in minutes making them perfect for when I’m in need of something delicious but running short on time. Double up the recipe and you have lunch for tomorrow!

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Sweetcorn Fritters (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

1 Cup Sweetcorn

1 large Egg

½ teaspoon of fresh red chilli

1 spring Onion

2 tablespoons of Fresh Coriander

¼ cup Flour

¼ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Baking Powder

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Method:

  • Hold aside ⅓ cup of sweetcorn.
  • Roughly chop the chilli, spring onion and coriander and place in a blender with   ⅔  cup of sweetcorn, egg, flour, salt and baking powder.Blend until you have a thick smooth batter.
  • Stir in the remaining sweetcorn you set aside
  • Place a small amount of oil in a frying pan and place over a medium heat.
  • Add small amounts of batter (about 2 tablespoons per fritter, but make them bigger if you want) to the pan to make your fritter.
  • Once golden on one side, about 3-4 minutes, flip and cook for about 2 minutes on the other side.
  • Serve with a poached egg on top, delicious!!

Wholewheat Banana Bread

Banana bread was one of the first things I remember baking all by myself (That and chocolate  chip cookies, gosh they were good too).  I used to bake it a lot (A LOT) and It’s still one of my favourite treats to rustle up. It’s also one of the easiest things to bake so there is an excuse for a bad loaf .

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You might be wondering if the original recipe I used is so good then why change it? Well, I work with a lot of clients with food allergies. Genuine food allergies, often multiple. This can be incredibly difficult to manage particularly in children.  Though the  range of products available in the supermarkets is getting much better, they can come with a heavy price tag. So, I’ve set myself a mission to come up with some easy, delicious and low cost recipes that the whole family can enjoy, allergies or not.

This is also a great option if you are watching the waistline with it being free of added fat and  lower in free sugars then your standard recipe.  This does not mean eat it by the bucket load (though trust me you’ll want too). Like all sweet treats enjoy in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet.

This recipe is dairy free, egg free, nut free and vegan (provided you don’t use honey)

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Wholewheat Banana Bread

Ingredients:

⅓ Cup Apple Sauce (Homemade or Shop bought)

¼ Cup Brown Sugar/ Honey/ Maple Syrup (40g)

¼ Cup Unsweetened Oat Milk (You can use any plant based or dairy milk)

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 very ripe medium Bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons of Milled Flaxseeds

6 tablespoons of Water

1 ¾ Cups Wholewheat Flour

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon of Cinnamon

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 165℃
  • Grease a 2 litre loaf tin with vegetable oil and line with baking parchment.
  • Mix the milled flaxseeds and water together and set aside to form a gel- approximately 15 minutes.
  • Whist the flax gel is forming mix the apple sauce, brown sugar, oat milk, vanilla extract and mashed bananas together.
  • Once the flax eggs are ready mix them in with the above mixture.
  • Now add in the wholewheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • Stir the mixture until everything is combined and pour into the prepared loaf tin.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to one hour, test after 50 minutes- a knife should come out clean.

This is delicious just by itself but you could have it with some coconut yoghut, tahini or if you have no allergies some delicious nut butter! x x

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Okay so It’s no secret that I am a nut butter addict, I know I’m not alone. Peanut butter is my number one.  I used to hate the all natural stuff, Instead I’d opt for something that had more palm oil and sugar than peanuts. Thankfully over time I managed to convert myself over (for the most part). Though don’t the processed stuff still has a place in my heart.

Moving on. Here’s my fall back smoothie when you just want a slap of something delicious. I’m all about adding greens into my smoothies but sometimes they just don’t have a place.  This really ticks all the boxes for me-sweet, creamy and slightly salty.

I’ve listed some optional extras which I’ll be honest I always add in. I get that protein powders and cacao nibs don’t float everyone’s boat so the choice is yours!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Ingredients:

1  Frozen Banana

2 tesapoons of Cacao Powder

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon on Peanut Butter

1/2-1 cup of Milk, quantity depends on how thick you like it.

Optional:

1 tablespoon of Cacao Nibs

1 Shot of Espresso

1 Scoop of Protein Powder (I like this one)

Method:

Place all ingredients into the blender, I use my beloved nutribullet, any blender will work fine. Whizz together until all the ingredients are combined and the smoothie is thick and creamy. Serve it up.

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie

The sun is shining, the temperature is rising and that means smoothies are making a comeback on the breakfast menu. Smoothies can make for a really well balanced breakfast if you add in the right ingredients. Quite often they are a blend of fruit and fruit juice /milk, making a delicious drink but not exactly nutritionally balanced. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats make up a balanced meal so why not apply this to your smoothie too? Adding in some sources of protein and fats bumps up the nutritional profile and you get so much more than one of your 5 a day (or 10 a day as it now is!).

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Don’t be put off by the cottage cheese it adds SO much to the smoothie, flavour, texture and protein (a whopping 15g with not a protein powder in sight!).  In addition to the more obvious ingredients I’ve added in some cashew butter for a good dose of plant based fats and  lemon zest for a  little lift. I add lemon to most things as you will soon find out. This smoothie, in all honesty, is like drinking a blended up cheesecake, which is everyone’s dream right?

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In terms of liquid I use use almond milk simply because that is what I tend to have in the house. You can use any other milk that you want be than plant based or dairy. The cottage cheese could be subbed for some soya yoghurt or maybe even some silken tofu ( I haven’t tried this but if you do let me know how it goes!).

Blueberry Cheesecake Smoothie (Serves 1)

Ingredients:

1 Frozen Banana

1 cup Frozen Blueberries

½ cup Fat Free Cottage Cheese

½ cup  Almond Milk

¼ teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon of Cashew Butter

A good grating of Lemon Zest, ~¼ Lemon

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Method:

There really isn’t a complex method here. Simply pop all the ingredients into a blender and whizz it up, add in some extra almond milk if you like it a little thinner, less if you like it a little thicker.
Top with some extra blueberries and an other toppings, granola is great for a little crunch.  The most deliciously indulgent smoothie ❤ 

As always if you try any of my recipes be sure to tag me on social media or pop a comment below and let me know your thoughts x x

Lemon and Coconut Buckwheat Granola

I always have a jar of homemade granola in the house, ALWAYS. It’s cheap, it tastes delicious and it’s a cinch to make. This is my current favourite variation which I’m munching on in embarrassingly large quantities.

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I love lemon as much as I love cinnamon, which if you read my blog you’ll know that that is a lot. I’ll add lemon zest into pretty much anything, sweet or savoury, so It was only a matter of time before it made it into my breakfast bowl. Buckwheat is becoming more and more readily available. It’s so so good in granola, not only providing a nutty flavour but for creating the most amazing crunch.  If you don’t have buckwheat pinhead oats work great too. Failing this you can of course just use extra regular oats and seeds to make up the quantity of the buckwheat.

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Lemon and Coconut Buckwheat Granola

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Oats

¾ Cup of Buckwheat Groats

¾ Cup of Sunflower Seeds

½ Cup of Almonds

¼ Cup of Coconut Oil

¼ Cup of Honey

¼ Teaspoon of Salt

2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

¾ Cup of Raw Coconut Chips

½ Cup of Raisins, any other dried fruit like apricots would work too.

1  heaped tablespoon of Lemon Zest (the zest of approximately 2 lemons)

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Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 160℃
  • Place your oats, buckwheat groats, sunflower seeds and almonds into a large mixing bowl.Toss together to combine everything.
  • Put the  coconut oil, honey and salt into a saucepan. Place over a medium heat until everything is melted together, remove from the heat. Add the vanilla extract into the liquid mixture and stir to combine everything.
  • Pour the wet ingredients in on top of the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until all the dry ingredients are coated in the coconutty honey goodness.
  • Pour the granola mixture onto a medium size baking tray and place into your preheated oven for 1 hour, stir every 15 minute to ensure it browns evenly.
  • Once the granola is ready take it out of the oven and pour over the coconut chips, spreading them out to from an even layer. Pop the tray back in the oven for 2-3 minutes, just until the coconut starts to brown around the edges. Once this happens remove from the oven.
  • Now stir through the raisins and the lemon zest.
  • Set aside and allow to cool before tucking in.

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If you’re going to make one thing of the blog I urge you to make this. Sprinkle it over some thick greek yoghurt and thank me later. Have a good Sunday everyone x

 

Apricot and Blueberry Cake

Right, time for a little rant. Something I’m seeing a lot of is “refined sugar free” baking. Essentially replacing sugar with another sweetener, be it coconut palm sugar, maple syrup or honey just to name a few. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that I don’t eat these alternatives.  I love a good drizzle of honey on my porridge  and what are pancakes without maple syrup BUT to claim a cake to be sugar free and essentially replacing it with another sugar is false and misleading. All of the aforementioned sweeteners still count as “free sugars”, something we should all be“free sugars”, something we should all be cutting down on.

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So, on a mission to make a cake with no free sugars, I came up with this. This isn’t only great to have with a cup of tea but it makes a super on the go breakfast too. Make a batch on Sunday night and you have breakfast sorted for the week, throw on a dollop of yoghurt and you’re onto a winner.

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Apricot and Blueberry Cake (Makes 9 pieces)

Ingredients:
1 ½  Cups of Oats

½ Cup of Ground Almonds

2 teaspoons of Baking Powder

½ teaspoon of Salt

1 Cup of Soft Apricots (the “ready to eat” kind)

2 Eggs

1 Cup of Milk (I used Oat Milk)

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

½ teaspoon of Almond Extract

2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil, you can use any type of vegetable oil.

1 Cup of Fresh Blueberries

¼ Cup of Flaked Almonds (optional)

 

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Method:

  • Preheat you oven to 180℃.
  • Great  a small 9” x 9” square tin using whatever oil you are using in the main mixture. Line with baking paper and set to one side.
  • Place the oats into a food processor and blitz until they form a rough flour, similar to the texture of wholemeal wheat flour. It takes about 2-3 minutes.
  • Tip the flour into a bowl add the ground almonds, salt and baking powder, set this dry mixture to one side.
  • Place the apricots into a food processor or blender along with the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract and coconut oil. Blitz until everything is fully combined and you have a thick, relatively smooth puree.
  • Add this wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir through until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Fold through the blueberries dispersing them evenly throughout the mixture.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and smooth it out so it’s level and even across the top.  At this point you can sprinkle the flaked almonds on top.
  • Put the cake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, check it after 35. Just test this as you would a normal cake, place a skewer in the centre and if it comes out clean the cake is done.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. It’s really delicious when it’s still a little warm.

I really hope you enjoy this as much as I do x

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A few alteration to suit dietary needs are listed below.

Egg Free/Vegan.

  • Replace each egg with one chia or flax egg. To make 1  x chia/flax egg:
  • Take 1 tablespoon of milled chia seeds or milled flax seeds. Mix with 3 tablespoons of water and stir thoroughly. Set to one side for about 15 minutes until it forms a gel. Use as per the eggs in the above recipe.

Nut Free

  • Use 2 cups of Oats in the recipe and omit the ground almonds.

Gluten Free

  • Oats in themselves are  naturally gluten free.  Cross contamination with gluten containing foods can occur during processing. So, if you have coeliac disease or a genuine intolerance to gluten ensure the brand of oats that you are using states it is gluten free.
  • If you are using a plant based milk please also check the label to ensure it is gluten free.

Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast

French toast doesn’t appear often enough on the breakfast table in my house. This might be as my other half claim not to like it. He’s French by the way, which in my head this makes no sense whatsoever.

I  on the other hand love the stuff. It’s such an old favourite.  My favourite version as a youngster being made with stale baguette, cooked until crispy  and slathered with ketchup. Quite honestly it’s still somewhat of a guilty pleasure. In my attempt to be a positive (not perfect) role model, I decided to steer away from the ketchup and swap it for compote.

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Here’s my sweet version which is quite honestly like eating a pudding for breakfast. Never a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. Cinnamon and vanilla make this such a  warming and comforting breakfast, perfect for these cold winter mornings. It’s best made with day old bread to stop it going too mushy, I love to use sourdough but use whatever tickles your fancy.

Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast

Ingredients:

4 slices of sourdough or 2 large pieces of regular sliced bread

1 egg

¼ cup of milk

½ teaspoon of ground Cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1-2 teaspoons of Coconut Oil,  for frying

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Method:

  • Beat the egg. milk, cinnamon and vanilla together in a wide bowl.
  • Take a large frying pan and place it over a medium heat. Add 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil.
  • While the pan is heating up take each slice individually into the egg mixture, making sure each slice is thoroughly coated in the egg mixture. You want the egg mixture to soak into the bread  but you don’t want the bread to get too soggy that it’s falling apart.
  • Place the bread slice into the frying pan and fry until it is golden and crispy on one side, then slip over and fry the other side until that becomes beautiful and crisp.

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That’s pretty much it. Simple yet delicious. Here I’ve served it with a quick blackberry “compote”- as quick as defrosting half a cup of frozen blackberries in a pan with 1 teaspoon of honey or sweetener of your choice. It’s great with just some fresh fruit , yoghurt or honey too.
x x