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

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.

Carrot Cake Oats

I love a good variation on porridge and this is my current favourite. I don’t want to say I got sick of my creamy banana oats but I certainly needed a change. I made a batch of these totally off the cuff one morning when my parents were visiting, they were a hit. I have since taste tested them on two other victims and they have thankfully survived and given their approval.

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I’ve been making extra big batches of this and simply eating it straight from the fridge as a snack. Yep, I enjoy cold porridge. I think this came about through necessity and it just grew on me. That said I would definitely recommend serving these hot, admittedly cold porridge is not to everyone’s taste.

I love to add a good drizzle of honey for some extra sweetness and sprinkle of crushed walnuts to add a good crunch.  

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Carrot Cake Oats (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients

Base:

  • 1 cup of Oats
  • 2 -2½  Cups of Milk ( I love rice milk for it’s natural sweetness)
  • 1 cup of Grated Carrot
  • ⅓  cup of Raisins
  • 2  teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • ½  teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Orange Zest

Optional toppings:

  • 1/2 cup Walnuts, Crushed
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Honey

 

Method

  • Place all ingredients for the base into a medium size pot. Stir until combined.
  • Place the pot on the hob over a medium low flame. Stir the porridge continuously until most of the milk is absorbed, this takes 5-10 minutes. I like my porridge on the thin side. Once you have reached your desired consistency remove the pot from the stove.
  • Pour the porridge into serving bowls and top with some crushed walnuts and a good drizzle of honey.

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This really is one of the most comforting things you could have for breakfast. Without being cliché ,but totally being, you can really have your cake and eat it.

Have a lovely weekend x x

Honey Vanilla Overnight Oats

I love my oats in the morning but sometimes it’s just too dam hot for porridge. On these warmer days smoothies are great but they don’t always keep me going and I do NOT do savoury first thing.

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The joy of these is that they are ready and waiting for you in the fridge. No messing about with pots and pans first thing in the morning and ,most importantly, no cleaning up. I like to make a double batch for speedy breakfasts for throughout the week.

These, like any basic oat recipe, are a fantastic carrier for just about anything you fancy putting on top of them. My essentials this time of year include fresh fruit, seeds and nut butter (who would have guessed it). You could of course not put any topping on them at all but you’d be doing yourself a serious injustice (and we can’t be friends).

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Honey Vanilla Overnight Oats (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Oats

2 Tablespoons of Milled Flaxseed/  Milled Chia Seed or combination

1 Cup of Yoghurt

1 Cup of Milk (I use coconut or rice milk)

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1 Tablespoon of Honey (add more depending on how sweet you like them)

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Method:

Add all the ingredient into a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir until combined. Cover with cling film and pop in the fridge overnight.

The next morning place into serving bowls throw on your favourite toppings and enjoy.  It’s really that easy.

 

Here I’ve topped mine with raspberries, blueberries, coconut, bea pollen, pumpkin seeds and coconut almond butter which is awesome and can be found here.

Hope you enjoy them. Happy Sunday all x x

Banana Pancakes

Who doesn’t love a good pancake stack? A thick stack fluffy american pancakes, oh yes. The only problem is I don’t find them particularly satisfying,boo hoo. My stomach starts grumbling an hour afterwards and I have to grab a snack, tough life I know. These guys on the other hand are packed with oats and cottage cheese to really give them some staying power and  can easily keep me going until lunchtime.

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I love to make a couple of batches and have them in the fridge ready to either reheat for breakfast through the week or even better grab one and slather it with almond butter for an excellent mid afternoon snack.

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I usually add cinnamon to the mixture but last week I decided to go completely mental and add lemon zest, it did not disappoint.

Banana Bread Pancakes (Serves 2)

Ingredients

1/2 Cup of Cottage Cheese (I use fat free but you can of course use full fat, low fat or fat free-the choice is yours)

1 Cup of Oats

1 large super ripe Banana, sliced

2 large Eggs

1  teaspoon of Baking Powder

Zest of 1 Lemon, you can use less or more depending on your taste

or

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

Oil of choice for frying, I used coconut cause it’s delicious

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Method

  • Place all ingredients into a blender
  • Blend until completely smooth
  • Take a frying pan, add enough oil to cover the base of the pan you are using and place the pan over a medium heat
  • When the oil is nice and hot it’s time to get frying. To keep the size of the pancakes similar I like to spoon the pancakes out rather than pouring. Take 2 tablespoons of the mixture and pour onto the pan, making a nice round pancake. Continue to do the same with more batter until you fill the pan. Make sure to leave plenty of room between the pancakes for flipping space. I fit 4-5 on a large pan.
  • Leave the pancakes to fry for around 4 minutes by which time they should start to form bubbles on top,have a lovely golden colour underneath and  be set enough around the edges for you to flip.
  • Once they’re at this stage flip each pancake over and leave for a further 2-3 minutes  to cook through and become lovely and golden.
  • You can place this batch in a low temperature or cover with foil oven whilst you get on cooking up the rest of the batter.
  • Now it’s eating time! I like to top mine with fresh fruit, maple syrup, maybe some nut butter, go wild!

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These are a great addition to the summer breakfast menu, enjoy!

Basic Bircher Muesli

When I visited Australia, many moons ago, I stayed at the most amazing boutique hotel where I devoured my very first bowl of Bircher muesli. Prior to this I had never heard of, let alone tasted, this deliciousness. So many things about it appealed to me, what’s not to love about creamy oats with chunks of nuts and fruit.  When I got back from Oz I use to make enormous bowls full of the stuff, intended for breakfasts but quite often they never made it through the night, poor things.

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I recently seen a photo on Instagram of Bircher muesli and thought “Oh hello you,  it’s been a while”. So I decided to revisit my old flame and it certainly did not let me down.

All last summer I made overnight oats and now I think what a fool I had been to have forgotten all about Bircher. It’s really so versatile and you can add whatever fruit and nuts you like, though I think grated apple is a must. Use whatever liquid that you like be it fruit juice or milk. Add yoghurt or don’t. Have nuts or leave them out. This is my favourite combination, I think you’ll like it too, but play around with what you have to hand and I’m sure you will create something equally delicious.

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Bircher Muesli (2-3 Portions)

1 Cup Oats

1 tblsp Ground Flax

1 tblsp Sunflower Seeds

1 medium Apple, grated (I like a good crunchy Braeburn )

1/2 Cup Yoghurt  ( Any natural flavoured yoghurt. Soya, cow, goat, it doesn’t matter)

4 Dried Figs, roughly chopped

1/2 Cup Apple Juice

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/3 Cup Toasted Almonds , roughly chopped

1/2 cup Fresh of Frozen Berries

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The night before:

  • Place the oats, yoghurt, apple juice, seeds, grated apple, vanilla extract, figs and cinnamon in a bowl . Mix together, combining well, cover with cling film and place in the fridge.
  • Next toast whatever nuts that you are using. The easiest way is to put the nuts in a dry pan over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir frequently so they don’t catch. If they have the skins on this can be hard to judge, generally once you can smell the nutty aroma they are about done. Once toasted let them cool a little before  roughly chopping them and setting them aside for the morning.

The next morning:

  • Take the oats out of the fridge and mix through your toasted nuts.
  • I love to top mine with blueberries but any fruit will work. This time of year I buy big bags of frozen fruit, it’s much cheaper this time of year. Take your fruit place in a pot and let them defrost over a medium heat until they start to pop, releasing all their yummy juices. If they are a bit tart I like to mix through a touch of maple syrup.

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It really is that easy. You may need to add a little extra sweetness,depending on your taste buds but I think it has more than enough natural sweetness in there.

Such a delicious start to the weekend x

Creamy Banana Oats

I love oats. I could eat them every meal of every and never get bored.I feel that way about most food, which is a problem in itself, that’s for another day.

Bake’ em, boil ’em, blend ’em, they are so versatile and a great carrier for so many delicious toppings. I keep a stash of seeds, dried fruit and other exciting additions in a cupboard close by so that a bowl of delicious oats is just around the corner.

This particular bowl of oats features on my breakfast table a minimum of 4 mornings a week. The banana itself sweetens the oats and makes this super creamy, which is never going to be a bad thing.

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I have some essentials for my oats which really take them up a notch:

  • A MUST have topping is nut butter. I’m a self confessed nut butter lover and I simply can not have a bowl of oats without it. Personal favourites are almond and peanut but any nut butter you can get your hands on would be equally delicious I’m sure.
  • Crunchy toppings. I’m a textural freak and a single textured foods just will not pass the test. Seeds, cacao nib, bea pollen, toasted coconut, dried fruit, granola take your pick but get it on there.
  • Salt. I know, I know, we eat to much salt and we need to cut down. I avoid processed foods  as much as is possible so grant me this wish. A pinch is all it takes and it makes the world of difference.
  • Use a really ripe banana, the more brown speckle the better. This will ensure you your oats are lovely and sweet, not just starchy.
  • Cook them in a pot, PLEASE. I don’t own a microwave and even if I did I wouldn’t cook oats in it. They won’t taste the same at all and you won’t get the same creaminess as when they are cooked in a pot,  I urge you to give yourself an extra pot to wash cause it’s so worth it.

So here it is my wonderful oats which I hope will feature on your breakfast table as much as mine.

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Ingredients:

1/2 large ripe banana, thinly sliced

1/3 cup  oats

1/3 cup  milk of choice (I like almond or coconut)

1/3 cup  water

2 teaspoons chia seeds

3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (I’m mildly obsessed so feel free to use less)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Toppings of choice, as per my recommendations above.

  • Simply place all your ingredients in pot over a VERY low heat. Leave to simmer for about 5 minutes until the oats absorb most of the liquid.You want the banana to start to cook so  If the oats look like they are starting to dry out a little before this happens just add in a but more liquid.
  • Once you’ve reached this stage vigorously beats the oats until the banana breaks up and dissolves in. A few small lumps is okay but we’re aiming for ulitmate smoothness here.

An that’s it!!! Simples!

  • Place in your serving bowl and add on all your toppings, the more the merrier I say.

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The perfect way to start your day! How will you top yours?

Have a great day x