Scrummy Cinnamon Quinoa Porridge Recipe – Comfort brekkie :)


I fancied something a bit different for brekkie this morning as I’ve been slightly overdosing on the homemade granola lately! I’ve had a real hankering for quinoa too so I thought I’d sort out both issues in one fell swoop and make some yummy quinoa porridge. It’s very simple and very delicious! If you don’t like cinnamon just leave it out 🙂

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1/2 cup Quinoa

1 cup coconut/almond/soya milk (I used coconut milk today because I happened to have it!)

1/2 tsp coconut oil (not essential but adds a nice smoothness)

1 tbsp nut butter (again, not essential but adds flavour and smoothness) – I used almond butter today

1 tso Cinnamon

Toppings of your choice (I used nuts, dried fruit, coconut and apple compote)

Drizzle of date syrup / sweet freedom if desired

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Put the quinoa and milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add in the cinnamon and put a lid on it and simmer gently for 10 – 15 minutes (until the quinoa has absorbed the liquid and is tender – add more milk if necessary). Half way through stir in the coconut oil and nut butter. Once the quinoa is tender spoon into a bowl. This amount will do one large portion or two small ones. It keeps in the fridge for a few days so you can save some if you want ( I confess, I ate it all!).

Add your desired toppings. I added a dollop of apple compote, toasted almonds and pistachios, dessicated coconut and some dried mixed berries (goji, blueberry, cranberry and golden raisins). Finally add a drizzle of date syrup if you like. Then enjoy! 🙂 This will definitely set you up for the day! Healthy and filling and absolutely scrummy 🙂

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Bananarama! Banana bread recipes :)


A glut of over-ripe bananas led to a bit of banana bread making so I thought I would re-post these two recipes. I’ve had a bit of fun with banana bread recently and a very good friend and I have done a blind banana bread tasting – 4 banana breads (hers and mine) so I’ll be posting the results of that soon! In the meantime though here are my two recipes 🙂

The first recipe is a dairy free, low gluten (spelt) banana bread and the second one is a modification of my  friend Colette’s mum’s recipe (modified to replace butter with oil and a few other little additions of my own) which does contain eggs (but these could be substituted out for apple puree).  Either of these recipes could have nuts added to them – walnuts would work particularly well, and if you’re feeling naughty you could throw in some dark chocolate chunks too!

Dairy free Banana Bread:

2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
1 cup coconut palm (or any unrefined) sugar
1/4 cup and 2 tbsps almond oil or olive oil
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup soya milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp himalayan rock salt

Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C. Line and grease a small loaf tin (approximately 8 inches x 4 inches).

Mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix the oil and sugar together until well combined. Add the mashed bananas and the soya milk (to which vinegar has been added) and the vanilla extract. Add this mix to the flour mixture and stir well. Pour into the loaf tin and place in the oven for an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Colette’s mum’s modified banana bread:

2 cups white spelt flour
1 cup coconut palm (or any unrefined) sugar
1/4 cup and 2 tbsps almond oil or olive oil
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking soda                                                                                                                      1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp himalayan rock salt

Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C. Line and grease a small loaf tin (approximately 8 inches x 4 inches).

In a large bowl mix the oil and sugar together until well combined, then add the mashed bananas and vanila extract. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and salt together.  Add half of this mix to the wet ingredients and mix well. Then add one egg and mix until combined. Add the rest of the flour mixture, stir well and add the final egg. Mix until well combined. Mix the bicarbonate of soda in 1/4 cup of hot water and stir in to the mixture. Pour into the loaf tin, sprinkle some unrefined coconut sugar over the top and place in the oven for an hour, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

Oh So Simple Apple Compote Recipe


I confess, I have a problem. I am utterly addicted to apple compote. I have it with my homemade granola for brekkie, I have it with co yo for a lovely comforting dessert and I have it cold out the fridge for a mid-arvo snack!  I have posted this before when I posted my mincemeat and apple festive compote but I thought it was worth a post in it’s own right!

Never, ever, buy a store bought compote unless you can help it. They’re so simple to make and unless you’re careful about what you buy you are basically just buying pure unrefined sugar!

The apple compote is super simple! Just peel and core some bramley apples (as many as you want to eat!), chop small and put in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Gently bring to the boil, add a lid and simmer on a low heat until the apple is all mushy! I like it just like this, but if you want it sweeter then add some raw sugar while you cook them. Stir occasionally to stop the apple sticking and make sure it doesn’t boil dry (just add a little more water if it does). Once cooled transfer to a jar and store in the fridge for up to a week (mine never lasts that long!). You can also freeze it in batches too :)

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Crunchy Granola Bars


I’ve been needing a mid-afternoon pick me up lately and as I’m off the ‘Willies’ (chocolate, that is! :)) I thought I’d have a go at creating a crunchy, granola snack bar. My first attempt ended up as a chewy breakfast kinda bar (and although I don’t like it as much I will post the recipe as some of my tasters loved it even if I didn’t!). So I went back to the baking tray and came up with this little beauty 🙂 Totally detox friendly! 🙂

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500g Spelt porridge oats (the whole ones, not flakes) or Jumbo porridge oats

350g mixed nuts of your choice (I used almonds, pistachios and cashews)

100g Pumpkin seeds

100g Sunflower seeds

50g Chia seeds

50g Linseeds

200g dried fruit (I used blueberries, cranberries and banana chips this time)

1 tso cinnamon

250 – 350g Sweet Freedom (light or dark)

Preheat the oven to 150 C. Start by placing the spelt flakes in a baking tray and put in the oven to toast for approx 20 mins, until brown. Place the nuts in a dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat until they start to turn brown. Once the spelt and nuts are toasted add to a large bowl. Add in all the other ingredients, except the sweet freedom. Mix well and then start to drizzle in the sweet freedom. Keep going until you have a sticky mixture. It needs to start to hold together, but be careful not to add too much. Keep stirring well.

Turn the oven up to 200 C. Spread the sticky mixture out on to a baking tray covered in baking parchment. Arrange the mixture to the thickness you want for your bars, 1 – 2cm works well. Compress it down as much as you can. Place in the oven for up to 10 mins until it goes a lovely golden brown. Keep an eye on it as it can burn. As you take it out use the back of a spoon to compress the mixture again and leave to start to cool. It will not hold together at this point so don’t try to cut it! Keep an eye on it as it cools, once it starts to hold together you can divide it in to bars. It should be cool enough to snap. Peel it away from the baking parchment and put it upside down on a wire rack to cool. Keep an eye on it and move the pieces regularly or they will stick! Once totally cool it should be hard and crunchy. Pop it in an airtight tin and it will keep for ages! 🙂

 

Fruit and Nut Cookies – gluten, dairy, fat and sugar free! omg!


I’m now mid week in to the first week of this amazing detox from Pure Form Fitness. I’ve done this programme before and I just love the energy it gives me and the results it achieves without leaving me feeling deprived or hungry. I also love the way it inspires me to create detox-friendly things to keep any rogue cravings at bay! These liitle cookies just sum up all of that! Fun and easy to make, delicious to eat and 100% detox friendly – just perfect with my afternoon cup of rooibos tea 🙂

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You can use any nuts and fruits you like but these are the ones I had in my cupboard and they seem to work well. If you substitute the fruit go for large, juice dried fruits like figs and dates, not things like blueberries etc.

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125g Almonds

75g Brazil nuts

40g Dried coconut flakes

85g Dried Prunes (or dates)

45g Dried apricots

20g Pumpkin seeds

15g Sunflower seeds

zest of 1/2 Lemon

1 tbsp freshly pressed Apple juice (or prune juice)

Preheat the oven to 150 C and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Place everything in a food processor and pulse until the nuts and fruit are finely chopped and the mixture starts to come together. Add a little more juice if you find it’s too dry. You can either make small balls of the mixture and then flatten them on to a baking tray, or if you want pretty little shapes like my flower-shaped biccies then line a baking tray with baking parchment and tip the mixture in to it. Flatten the mixture down. I found the easiest way was to use a piece of baking parchment and then apply pressure with a palette knife or my hands. You want it to be about 5mm thick and well compressed. Use a biscuit cutter to cut out shapes and carefully transfer to another lined baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until firm, then cool on a wire rack. They will be a little pliable when removed, but as they cool they will harden.

Eat with a lovely cup of tea! 🙂

If you’re feeling decandent you can also add a layer of peanut butter and make a cookie sandwich! omg! 🙂

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Brownie Love Bites


I was asked recently if I had a recipe for vegan brownies… well I do… and so I thought I’d re-post it to make it a little easier to find! 🙂 These were originally made for Valentine’s day, hence the heart shapes, but I kinda like them like this anyway! 🙂

Enjoy!

Brownie love bites

 

165g Silken tofu

100g white spelt flour

65g Whole-wheat spelt flour

70g Cocoa powder

6 tbsp Water

8 tbsp Agave syrup  AND 2 tbsp Date syrup

200g unrefined raw sugar/ coconut palm sugar

A handful of chopped pecans and dried cherries

2 tsp Vanilla extract

1/2 tbsp Ground brown linseed

1.5 tbsp Hot water

1/4 tsp Baking powder

1/4 tsp Salt

Mix the ground linseeds with the 1 1/2 tablespoons of hot water and set aside to thicken.  Preheat the oven to 180 C  and then line an 8-inch x 8-inch x 2-inch baking tin with greaseproof paper and lightly oil.

Blend the tofu, water, agave syrup, date syrup, cocoa powder, linseed mixture, and vanilla extract until completely smooth. Place the remaining ingredients, except the pecans and cherries, in a mixing bowl and stir until they are well combined. Then pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir well. Finally, gently fold in the pecans and cherries.  Pour the mix into the tin and place in the oven for 30 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins, then cool on a wire rack. Whilst still warm use a small heart cutter (2 – 3 cm) to cut out heart shaped brownie bites. You should get 12 – 15 out of one tray of brownie (and you get to eat all the little off cuts!) :)

Nothing says homemade like…. homemade dairy free shortbread hearts!


Home is where the heart is and it’s certainly where these little hearts are going to stay!

A very dear and thoughtful friend gave me some lovely biscuit cutters for christmas and I’ve been dying to try them out so I thought I’d have a go at a shortbread-type of biccie. My dairy free, spelt shortbread won’t work for this as it’s not “rollable” so I’ve had to come up with something else. I usually try to avoid dairy-free margarine but in this case I’ve compromised and used it… just this once! 🙂 These are not too sweet so if you have a very sweet tooth then you may want to add a bit more sugar, but I like them just as they are 🙂

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This makes LOADS so you may want to halve the recipe!

4 cups Spelt flour or gluten-free flour mix

2 cups Unrefined Icing sugar

12 oz Dairy-free Margarine (get the best quality you can)

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Put the margarine in a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour and icing sugar in and cream it together. Try not to over mix but make sure the margarine is properly mixed with the dry ingredients. Once it’s formed a dough wrap in cling film and chill for 30 mins. If you find the dough is too sticky then add some more flour.  Once chilled, roll out and use a biscuit cutter to cut whatever shape you have. Place on a greased baking tray and bake for 8 – 10 mins, or until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray.  Enjoy!