Plum Jam


I was lucky enough to be given a load of Victoria plums from a friend – so what better thing to do with them than whip up some jam! I wanted to go for a slightly lower sugar jam so I used mostly halfspoon sugar but you could use normal sugar (just bear in mind you’ll need more sugar – a 1:1 ratio of sugar to fruit if so). You can use any weight of fruit you have, just adjust the quantity of sugar accordingly.

You will need:

900g Plums

500g Halfspoon sugar or 900g of jam sugar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

(Tiny knob of butter/spread – optional)

To start with pop a saucer in the freezer (to test the jam later!). De-stone and chop the plums in to quarters or small pieces (keep an eye out for the little maggots that sometimes get in them!).

Pop the plums in to a large saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice.Using a very gentle heat start to warm them up, folding the sugar in until it melts.

Bring it up to the boil gently (the key is taking your time so keep the heat low). Stir occasionally. Once it’s boiling you can turn it up a little and let it simmer for 5-10 mins.

A froth may form – if it does you can either skim it off with a spoon, or you can add a tiny bit of spread/butter to disperse the froth, or just leave it (I left it – I’m not too fussed about it!).

Test the jam after 10 mins or so. Put a small amount on the saucer from the freezer leave it for a min or so. If you can create a trail through the jam that doesn’t refill, or if the jam crinkles up when you push it, then it’s ready. If it’s still runny allow it to simmer for another couple of minutes and test again. If the fruit is very ripe you may find it takes much longer – it’s all about the ratio of water to sugar so keep boiling off the water (or you can add a little extra sugar too).

Pop some clean jars in the oven at about 100 C for ten mins or so. Remove the jam from the heat and pour into the jars.

Apply wax seals and cellophane if you have it (Lakeland and other places do fab little sets, but if not you can just put the lid on). Allow to cool, label and store in the fridge.

It should be ready to eat after 24hrs. If it turns out not to have set then it’s no drama, you just have a lovely plum compote to pour over yoghurt, pancakes or ice cream instead! Plum jam does have a tendency to over set – if you find it’s a tad rubbery don’t panic – empty the jars back in to a pan, heat gently and add a little water to loosen it. Perform the saucer test again and then pop back into the jars (having cleaned and sterilised then again).

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

Ps also delicious spread on a slice of plum and cinnamon loaf (recipe here)!

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Peanut Butter and Jam Porridge


Nothing beats a yummy bowl of porridge on a chilly day! And this one combines two of my favourite things – peanut butter and jam! Yum!

I actually tend to have this for lunch as it’s quite a filling portion. If you wanted you could also add a scoop of vanilla protein powder to make it even more filling. My current favourite protein powder is Missfits Vegan Vanilla powder – super yummy and available from amazon and Ocado (and other places!). I like my porridge made with water – but obviously use any type of milk if you prefer (though bear in mind the protein powder and milk will increase the calories).

This comes in at approx 384 cals of warming yumminess!

You will need:

50g jumbo oats

1 tbsp raspberry (or any flavour) jam

15g peanut butter

Raspberries and blueberries to top

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

Place the oats in to a saucepan (also add the protein powder if using) Add enough water to cover (I like my porridge quite dry so adjust the amount of water to suit you) – heat gently and stir well. If I’m rushed I just pour boiling water on to the oats, stir and add a little extra water then blast in the microwave for a min.

Once cooked pour the porridge in to a bowl and add the jam and stir through.

Drizzle the peanut butter on top next.

And then pop the berries on top.

Enjoy!

🙂

Xx

Valentine’s Vanilla, Berry and Chocolate Porridge


As it’s the season of love I thought I’d celebrate with something I love… porridge! This makes a great brekkie or lunch option. The protein powder is optional but adds the vanilla flavour and also the added protein helps to keep you fuller for longer. My current favourite protein powder is Missfits Vegan Vanilla powder – super yummy and available from amazon and Ocado (and other places!)

I make my porridge with water because I prefer it that way but obviously use milk if you prefer. I have used some yummy little protein chocolate hearts from Cocoa+ but you can use any chocolate you like! It would work well with some squares of dark chocolate

This comes in at approx 415 cals of warming yumminess!

You will need:

50g jumbo oats

Large handful of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional – replace with a 1/4 tsp Vanilla essence if not using)

3 Chocolate hearts or squares

Place the oats in to a saucepan with the protein powder. Add enough water to cover (I like my porridge quite dry so adjust the amount of water to suit you) – heat gently and stir well. If I’m rushed I just pour boiling water on to the oats and protein powder, stir and add a little extra water then blast in the microwave for a min.

Once it starts to cook add in the blueberries and raspberries and stir in.

Slice the strawberries. Once cooked pour the porridge in to a bowl and add the strawberries and chocs on the top.

Enjoy!

🙂

Xx

Spiced carrot and banana cake


I do love a bargain… as does my fab friend Jo – who spotted some bargain 9p carrots and just had to buy them for me lol! So I thought I’d better put them to good use in a spiced carrot and banana cake! Perfect autumn flavours! Simple to make, super tasty, and really light and moist! This is about 375 cals per slice if you cut it in to 8-10 (it’s a nice deep cake!)

You will need:

4 large eggs

140g sugar

250ml sunflower or almond oil,m

275g self-raising flour

1 large ripe banana (approx 175g)

200g carrots

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Grate the carrot coarsely and place to one side.

Put the eggs, oil and sugar in a bowl and beat to combine.

Mash the banana with a fork and add that, the flour, baking powder, spices and carrots to the mix and beat it together.

Pour in to a 20cm tin and bake for 45 – 50 mins or until golden brown, firm in the middle and shrinking away from the sides of the cake tin.

Cool in the tin for 10 mins and then place on a wire rack.

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx

Plum and almond loaf


My wonderful 103 yr old Nan has a lovely Victoria plum tree in her garden and this year she had such a bumper crop that I was lucky enough to get a huge bagful! So I thought I’d better bake something to go and share with her over a cuppa to say thank you.

I’m a massive almond fan and they go so well with plums so I thought a plum and almond loaf would do the trick! It’s a delicious moist loaf, and only about 298 cals for a slice!

You will need:

225g dairy-free spread (or bitter)

225g sugar (I used 112g of half spoon sugar instead)

225g self-raising flour (any flour you like)

100g ground almonds

4 medium eggs

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp cinnamon

Approx 250g plums,

Flaked almonds to decorate

Optional – 2 tbsp plum or apricot jam

Preheat the oven to 170.

Put the spread and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue to beat (don’t worry if it splits a bit). Add the flour, cinnamon and ground almonds and fold together.

Chop 2/3 of the plums into small pieces and add in to the batter, together with the almond extract. Fold until well distributed.

Spoon the mixture into a lined or greased loaf tin. Slice the remaining plums and on the top. Sprinkle on the flaked almonds and a little sugar and cinnamon.

Pop in the oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes (check occasionally and cover with foil if it starts to burn on top), or until a skewer comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Brush the jam over the cake and leave to cool completely. Serve in slices with a cuppa (the Nan is optional)!

Enjoy 🙂 xx

Easy Blackberry Jam


Still making the most of the blackberry season and thought I’d have a go at a simple blackberry jam. Perfect for using up the end of season blackberries or those that have gone a bit squishy!

It doesn’t matter what weight of blackberries you use just ensure you use an equal weight of sugar.

You will need:

500g blackberries

500g jam or preserving sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

(Tiny knob of butter/spread – optional)

Ensure your blackberries are clean and then pop in the saucepan together with the sugar, and lemon juice.

Using a very gentle heat start to warm them up, folding the sugar in until it melts.

Bring it up to the boil gently (the key is taking your time so keep the heat low). Stir occasionally. Once it’s boiling you can turn it up a little and let it simmer for 10-12 mins.

A froth may form – if it does you can either skim it off with a spoon, or you can add a tiny bit of spread/butter to disperse the froth.

Test the jam after 10 mins or so. Put a small amount on a plate and pop it in he fridge for a couple of mins. If you can create a trail through the jam that doesn’t refill, or if the jam crinkles up when you push it, then it’s ready. If it’s still runny allow it to simmer for another couple of minutes and test again.

Pop some clean jars in the oven at about 100 C for ten mins or so. Remove the jam from the heat and pour into the jars.

Apply wax seals and cellophane if you have it (Lakeland and other places do fab little sets, but if not you can just put the lid on). Allow to cool, label and store in the fridge.

It should be ready to eat after 24hrs. If it turns out not to have set then it’s no drama, you just have a lovely

Blackberry syrup to pour over yoghurt, pancakes or ice cream instead!

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

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