Blackberry bakewell slice


Having made some blackberry jam I thought it was only right to find a use for it! I love Bakewell tarts – that combo of almond frangipane and jam is just delish! So I thought I’d make a blackberry version!

You can obviously use shop bought jam for this but if you fancy making it yourself then you can follow my recipe here (blackberry jam). If you have the time, and inclination, you can make your own short crust pastry (recipe below) or you can just buy the ready made stuff from the supermarket! This made one tray and three small tarts – approx 20 slices, at 299 cals each!

You will need:

For the pastry
300g plain flour
125g cold butter or dairy free ‘butter’/ spread
30g sugar (or 15g half spoon to save cals)
1 egg
2 tbsp non dairy or dairy milk (optional)

Or one pack of ready made short crust pastry.

For the filling:
approx 200g blackberry jam

A handful of blackberries

A handful of flaked almonds
250g dairy free spread
100g caster sugar (or 50g half spoon sugar)
5 eggs
250g ground almonds
2 tbsp self-raising flour

If you are making the pastry put the flour, butter and sugar into a processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until it comes together into a rough dough. If it is too dry add a little milk. Add one of the eggs and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a rough dough. If the dough is too dry, add a bit of milk. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20-25 mins.

Unwrap the dough (or open up your packet of ready made pastry!) and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll it out until it is large enough for your tray (l used one thought 20 x 15 cm, and then three small round tart cases).

Grease the tin or line with baking parchment and then lay the pastry tins and trim off the excess. Pop in the fridge to chill for 10 – 20 mins and preheat the oven to 200 C.

Remove from fridge, prick with a fork across the tin and line with baking parchment and fill with baking beans (or dried pulses or rice if you don’t have any). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is lightly golden-brown.

Remove the paper and beans and brush the pastry with a little spread, beaten egg or milk and then return to the oven for 5 mins or so until golden brown. all over with the remaining beaten egg. Remove the pastry from the oven and turn the oven down to 180 C. Once done remove and leave out to one side.

Now start on the filling. Beat the spread and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat gentle each time (don’t worry if it appears to split a bit). Add the flour and ground almonds and beat together.

Spread the jam over the pastry, be as generous as you like – I love the jammy bit so I like a thick layer!

Gently spoon or pipe the filling over the top and smooth it down. Press in the whole blackberries, and sprinkle with a little sugar and flakes almonds.

Bake for 45-50 mins. The frangipane should be cooked all the way through with a sugary crust on the top. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Slice and serve – on its own or with some ice cream or custard!

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

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Apple and blackberry loaf


I got given a massive haul of blackberries and some little wild apples from some very kind friends (and I do mean a massive haul!). So I thought I’d better come up with another recipe to use some of them!

This time it’s a yummy loaf cake – combining the apples and blackberries. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon, with a cuppa! This makes one loaf and assuming you cut it into 8 slices it’s about 284 cals per slice!

You will need:

250g self-raising flour (any type you like)

175g dairy-free spread

175g sugar (or 85g half spoon sugar for less cals)

1 small cooking apple (or in my case 5 tiny apples!)

2 large eggs, beaten

225g blackberry

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Put the flour, sugar and spread in a large bowl and using a fork or your fingertips rub together to form a crumb-like mixture. Take 5 tbsp of the mixture out and place to one side. Then add the baking power and mix well.

Peel and core the apple (or mini apples in my case) and then grate into a bowl. Add the beaten eggs and mix well.

Add to the dry mixture and combine lightly to form a dough (try not to over mix it). Gently fold in three quarters of the blackberries.

Put the mixture into the loaf tin and scatter the remaining berries over the top and then cover with the crumb mixture you set aside earlier.

Put in the oven and bake for 60 – 80 mins. Check it half way through and cover with foil if the top is starting to burn. It’s done when a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for about 25 mins, then remove. Slice and serve!

enjoy! 🙂

Xx

Coconut Apple Bites – a delicious alternative to apple pie!


These are absolutely delicious – quick and easy to make and so much better than a slice of apple pie – but taste just as good – if not better!

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Depending on how large your apples are you may need more or less of the crust – you may just have to adjust. Don’t worry about having to buy oat flour – you can make your own – just pop some porridge oats in to a blender and blend until fine.

Here’s a video showing you exactly how to make them 🙂

You will need:

1 cup Oat flour

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 cup Desiccated coconut

4 tbsp Coconut syrup (I use Bali Nutra)

1 – 2 Apples (depending on size. I used Bramley’s)

Warm water – up to 4 tbsp

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Pre-heat the oven to 175 C.

Peel, core and dice your apples – you want chunks about an inch square. If you don’t want them to go brown you can pop them in cold water with some lemon/lime juice in. I don’t really mind if they go a little brown so I don’t bother.

Pop the oats and coconut in a bowl, mix the spices in and stir together. Add the coconut syrup and mix to form a dough. You need a workable but sticky dough so you may find you need to add a little water. I prefer not to add more coconut syrup as it gets too sweet but it’s up to you.

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Take a spoonful of the crust mixture and flatten in your hand. Pop a piece of apple in the middle and cover it in the crust dough.

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Pop on a lined baking tray. Once all the apples are covered pop in the oven for 10 – 15 mins – turning once. You want them to crisp up and go golden brown.

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Eat warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container for later.

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Fossil Fuel bars – a review 


As you know,  i’m always on the lookout for new healthy snacks and bars. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of trying some new energy bars – Fossil Fuel bars. These bars are paleo friendly bars made of fruit and nuts and are a fantastic on the go refuel option. Although not certified gluten free or vegan they don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients in them, or dairy or other animal products so are perfect for anyone avoiding those things.

They’re made by a small UK-based company and the creators are keen fitness fanatics so definitely on my wavelength 🙂

They have two flavours – coconut and cashew, and cocoa and macadamia.

Both are really yummy – they’re packed with dates for sweetness and nuts for valuable protein and energy. I had them as my afternoon snack before my evening classes and they both hit the spot. The cocoa and macadamia one is definitely my favourite – it’s so moreish but also really satisfying. Neither is too sweet and they are both really filling. They make a great option if you want something healthier as a snack or even a brekkie if you’re rushing out the door and need something to grab. If you’re craving chocolate I’d definitely recommend the cocoa and macadamia one!

These are most definitely worth trying if you’re looking for a healthy snack on the go. Do check them out and let me know what you think. They’re available from their website :  https://www.wearefossilfuel.co.uk

Homemade n’ice cream ‘Nobbly Bobbly’ – easy, healthy but super tasty!


I confess, I have a problem. I am addicted to Nobbly Bobblys. So to save myself from myself I’ve created my own version. These are divine! For me they hit that Nobbly Bobbly spot but with way less guilt! They’re dairy, gluten and sugar free (if you want them to be – with the exception of those little sugar balls on the outside which if you didn’t want to use you could substitute with desiccated coconut or chopped nuts or something instead :)). I didn’t use any sweetener in the chocolate coating as I find the sugar balls and natural sweetness of the n’ice cream is enough for me but its personal preference so if you want it a little sweeter then I’ve added the details below.


These are easy but take a little time. You are going to need quite a few frozen bananas and some lolly sticks. I got mine from Amazon but places like Lakeland or other baking stores will have them, and you may also find them in craft stores. If you have a lolly mould you can use this for the first layer too (I tried using a mould and moulding them without – both worked).

This amount made me 4 pretty large Nobbly Bobblys and I had some n’ice cream and chocolate to spare for a quick pud afterwards but it will depend how big you make them.


You will need:

For the chocolate layer 

4 frozen bananas

4 tbsp Cocoa powder

For the Strawberry layer 

4 frozen Bananas

4 large ripe Strawberries

6 – 10 Raspberries (you can use more strawberries instead, I just like the colour and flavour the raspberries give)

For the chocolate coating

1/2 cup Coconut oil (melted)

1/3 cup Cocoa powder

Optional – 1/4 cup Coconut syrup/ maple syrup/ rice malt syrup / any liquid sweetener

Sugar balls or dessicated coconut or nuts etc (if using sugar balls you’ll need at least a full pot, probably two if you’re as messy as me 😉 )

First clear some space in your freezer and find a suitable tray to lay the ice creams on. Cover it in baking paper and have your ice cream sticks handy.

Start with the chocolate layer. Pop the bananas and cocoa into a high speed blender (I use my vitamix) and blitz until you get a smooth consistency – you will need to do it in bursts and keep stirring in between. Remove from the blender and then as quickly as you can mould your first layer around the lolly sticks (Or in the mould if you’re using one). Place on the tray and in to the freezer. Leave for at least an hour. If they’re s bit messy don’t worry you can tidy them up with a knife before the next layer goes on.

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Next make the strawberry layer. Pop the bananas, strawberries and raspberries into the blender. Blitz until smooth. You will need to work quickly now. Remove the frozen chocolate layer from the freezer (tidy them up if you want to) and using a spatula add a layer of the strawberry n’ice cream all over and then pop back on the tray and get them back in the freezer for another 40 mins or more.

    

Once they’re frozen you can coat them. Mix the coconut oil and cocoa powder together with a fork or whisk (add the sweetener if you want to). If the coconut oil is very hot allow it to cool a little – it will stay liquid for ages so there’s no rush. Place on one side and pour your sugar balls (or whatever you are using) into a tray or plate and have it handy.  It’s best to work with one lolly at a time as they melt so fast. Warning this may get messy 🙂


Take your lolly and spoon the chocolate over one side and immediately press in it the sugar balls (or pour them over the top). Repeat over the whole lolly then get it straight back in the freezer on the tray asap. Do this for all your lollies.

  

Allow to freeze initially for at least 20 – 30 mins on the tray and then you can transfer them to a Tupperware box to keep them in the freezer until you want to eat them! Then enjoy! 

Super quick chocolate n’ice cream 


The weather is finally warm! Woohoo!

That makes me want ice cream so I thought I’d whip up a quick batch of chocolate ice cream. It took minutes to make and has all the taste of lovely creamy ice cream with none of the bad stuff!

Only two ingredients: Frozen bananas and raw cocoa powder!

I used about two bananas which I chopped and froze yesterday but they don’t take long to freeze so whack some in now and you can make it in a couple of hours! I popped these into my Vitamix (any high speed blender will work) and added 2 tbsp of cocoa powder – whizzed it all together and voila! You can add a little more or less cocoa according to taste if you want.

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You could eat straight away or pop in to ice lolly moulds for later 🙂

Mint choc chip N’ice cream – dairy, gluten and sugar-free!


Now it’s getting warmer I’m craving ice cream and I absolutely love mint choc chip ice cream so I thought I’d whip up a batch of a slightly less naughty version!

This is as good, if not better, than the traditional stuff and only has four ingredients!

The ingredients below made about 5-6 generous scoops but it will depend on the size of the bananas so you may need to adjust quantities a bit. Don’t be scared about the spinach – you really can’t taste it at all and it gives not only a great nutrient boost but a lovely green colour 🙂

I always have frozen bananas in my freezer for smoothies, banana bread etc. I don’t like over ripe bananas so if they ever start to get too ripe I chop them up and pop them in freezer bags. Then they’re ready to use any time! So first things first – freeze some bananas!

You will need:

Frozen bananas – I used 4 medium bananas

Handful of spinach (adjust according to how green you want it!)

Couple of tbsp Cacao nibs (or you can use any dark chocolate – sugar free or not – your choice)

Natural peppermint extract (to taste) (or fresh mint leaves if you happen to have some)

Pop the bananas in to a high speed blender – I use my trusty vitamix but any blender that can handle ice will do, and blitz it to start to break up the bananas. Once they start to smoosh up (technical term 😉 ) add the spinach a little at a time. Then add a few drops of peppermint extract – the amount will depend on how minty you like it! You don’t want it tasting like mouthwash though so go easy to start with! Keep blitzing it and stirring it in until the spinach is combined and the colour you want. Remove from the blender and stir the cacao nibs/chopped chocolate through it and serve!

It melts fast so get in quick! You can refreeze it – ideally refreeze in ice cube trays and then when you want to eat it pop the cubes in to the blender and give it a very quick blitz!

How easy was that? 🙂