Whole-grain low-sugar orange and berry muffins

Mmmmmm!!

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This is not one of my creations, so I am linking to Peas and Thank You for the recipe.

Suffice it to say:

  • They are wholegrain (Oat flour (which is just ground oats) and wholewheat flour)
  • Low in sugar. It calls for 2T of maple syrup or honey. I used sugar, as I have no maple syrup and honey burns very quickly.From a blood sugar point of view there is no difference to using sugar than using honey or maple (yes, I know it “feels” healthier”, but there is 2T in 10 cakes. Not bad)
  • I used a whole peeled orange instead of 3/4 cup of juice. Extra fibre, and easier. 🙂
  • I put all the ingredients in the blender. I didn’t even bother grinding oat flour, I just threw in rolled oats.

 

Conclusion from a cake loving 9 year old- “They could be a LITTLE sweeter but pretty nice!”

We concluded we would put strawberry pieces all the way through rather than just on top to make them sweeter. (Tesco has frozen strawberries at 50p a box at the moment!)

 

Loving leaves. And healthier cakes.

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Have you drunk your greens today?

green smoothies

For details of how to drink your greens and LOVE them, click here

PS I haven’t yet, but I will, oh yes I will!

Home-made peanut butter (in under 5 minutes)

I cannot understand why anyone would spend such vast amounts of money on fancy nut butters (cashew/almond) if they have their own food processor (or its baby sibling- The Mini Chopper- yes, it has been capitalised)

It is SO easy, so quick, a fraction of the cost of buying a jar, and no nasties!! No added palm oil, no sugar, no Weird Stuff, no salt (if you do not wish for it) In my “spreads section” here I have cashew nut butter (absolute favourite), pistachio nut butter, and Home-made nutella.

I also recently made roasted almond nut butter and used it to make home made almond toffee (posted here) The other day I made RAW almond butter in record time- less than 8 minutes!! Normally unroasted nuts take longer to release the oils….. still under the influence of my almond butter success,  my husband and I set to peeling monkey nuts. The “Under 5 minutes” does not include this therapeutic long, labrorious task, though made pleasant because I loved chatting to my nut-shelling partner.

There is nothing difficult in making nut butter. Take your nuts, unroasted or roasted as you prefer, and food process until they release the oils. That is all!

Just remember-

  • Leave your food processor to rest for a minute if it heats up
  • Scrape down the sides if need-be.
  • Add salt at any point but if you are adding LIQUID sweetener (maple, honey etc) do not add this until it is completely buttered-up.

 

 

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at 2 minutes...

at 2 minutes…

 

at 3 minutes 30 second. I added 1/8 t salt

at 3 minutes 30 second. I added 1/8 t salt

Spread on mini spelt roll with St Dalfour Strawberry jam. Happy husband...

Spread on mini spelt roll with St Dalfour Strawberry jam. Happy husband…

 

So there you have it!!  What nut butter will you make first?

IN-credible Broccoli salad dressing

No cashews this time kids. They have not graced my cupboards for a while as the prices have shot up. Here is a wonderful, and I do mean wonderful dressing that intrigued and delighted at a recent potluck lunch. It is a actually inspired by one I did nearly two years ago, though this is definitely far more splendid.

But I have a playgroup run to do so let’s get to the point.

  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • about 20 “grates” of a big chunky ginger root
  • 4 teaspoons of honey or other sweetener such as agave or maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons of brown rice miso*
  • 4 teaspoons of tahini (sesame paste)**
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

 

* If you cannot get miso, a fermented soybean paste, use a quality soy sauce such as tamari (no added sugars and weird stuff)

** Tahini is VERY rich in calcium and you can also use it to make sesame toffee- what’s not to like? But if you cannot get it (I had run out this morning) you can substitute a nut butter of your choice. I just used Whole earth peanut butter; if you cannot make your own nut butter, this brand  is a more wholesome substitute with no sugar or salt added and only a very small amount of palm oil.

Here is your delicious wholesome dressing:If you use Tamari instead of miso it will be less textured, as miso is a paste- that’s fine.

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TASTE YOUR DRESSING!

If you use tahini, you may wish to add a little more honey- personal taste. Like a little extra zing? more lemon or lime or a touch of white vinegar. A little extra “fruitiness”- a dash of extra virgin olive oil. No salt needed- it’s in the miso. You can also thin it down with almond milk or protein pack it some more by stirring in a little hummous.

 

Stir through your

  • diced/shredded broccoli
  • Red pepper
  • red onion
  • sesame seeds
  • raisins

I will not bother with quantities here. It’s a salad. A bowl of veggies! Throw in whatever you wish!

Just one more tip though:

Those yummy broccoli stalks?

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If you have a mini chopper, you can shred them nicer and fine for your salad.

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Alternatively, chop finely.

And now: Ta-daaaa!

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Disclaimer- I am not a food photographer. But this tastes SO good! ENJOY!!

 

“Sticky date and Orange(unconventional) muffins”

So I found these little gems in a cupcake/muffin recipe book I had, boasting “These little delights are packed full of goodness”. What? How did I miss this before?!

I hurriedly flipped the photo over to discover a date-based, highly unconventional recipe- huzzah! Right up my alley! It has been a long time since I have done less-traditional muffins. I do tweak my baking to make them less sickly-sweet and all-or-mainly wholegrain, dairy-free etc and it is still enjoyed by 2/3 of the kids (the third doesn’t like cake anyway).

The last time I experimented with date-sweetened muffins, I posted them here, but I have to say I was impressed with how simple this was. Way simpler than mine, though less cake-like in consistency compared to mine. 5 ingredients including lemon zest? Sounds good!

The photo is a bit deceitful to say the least. If you look carefully these are 100% without a doubt, regular white flour cupcakes with a glaze on it. A date-based wholemeal flour cupcake does NOT come out white. Never mind….this is your photo people, as I forgot to photograph ours, and my husband has taken them on an overnight trip. 🙂

Kind of oil heavy if you bear in mind this makes only 6 cupcakes. Never mind. Definitely a recipe I will be working with again. Will the kids eat them? I doubt it……Isaac might. 🙂

  • 75grams (1/2 cup) of pitted dates
  • 85 mls (1/3 cup) water
  • 85 mls (1/3 cup) fresh orange juice
  • 85 mls (1/3 cup) sunflower or other vegetable oil
  • 225 grams (1  and 3/4 cups) self-raising wholewheat flour
  • Zest of 1 lemon

AAAAH so THATS why! I just realised I only put in 1/3 cup of flour- in my head all the ingredients were equal quantities!  🙂  Nevertheless they were very good!

1. Cook the dates and water together till soft, and mask or whizz into a paste. If you already have date paste, well- hooray! Though I did not notice how much paste comes out of 1/2 a cup of dates.

2.Whizz or mix together the date paste, orange juice, oil, lemon zest and sift in the flour.

3.Break the dough into 8-9 balls (this also explains why mine only made 6 and why I could not “break” the dough, rather I dolloped it into muffin cases……)

4. Cook at 180 for about 15-18 minutes.

5. Meanwhile make a topping of 2Tablespoons of honey, 1 T water and 1T fresh orange juice. Heat gently until thickened

6.Once the muffins come out, top with the glaze and leave to cool.

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Delicious!

Recipe from THIS BOOK.

Amazing, and I do mean AMAZING Almond Toffee (Dairy + refined sugar free)

Sweet heaven above!! You must try this!!

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Let’s get straight to the point.

You need

  • Home-made almond butter (see below)
  • Honey
  • Sea salt
  • Almond essence oil

Home-made almond butter

  • 2 cups of almonds
  • 1 food processor (ideal)  or mini chopper

I dry-roasted my almonds on a non stick pan. The reason being, they process into nut butter much faster this way and my mini chopper is not very robust (Tesco, not Kenwood, say no more. But hey- it cost £2 in clearance)

Roasted almonds may take 6-7 minutes in your food processor, as opposed to 12-13minutes if left unroasted. 

  1. Place nuts in your processor with 1/4 teaspoon (3 pinches) of sea salt and 4 teaspoons of almond essence. We are shooting for a marzipan experience folks. Only in a toffee.
  2. Process the almonds until they turn into nut butter, leaving your chopper to cool down periodically if it is choking and smoking. (For more info on home-made nut butters, check out this old post)
  3. Note: 2 cups of almonds made 1.5 cups of nut butter. The recipe (ie my spontaneous creation) calls  for 0.5 cups of nut butter

 

Almond toffee

  • 0.5 cups of home made almond nut butter
  • 3/4 cups of honey
  • almonds to decorate, optional

Please be aware that the benefits of honey are generally accepted to be found in unboiled honey. Once boiled a lot of goodness is destroyed. Do not use quality farmers market type honey in this recipe. Also be aware if you are watching your blood sugar that this is just as sweet as if you had made it with sugar so treat it as such. You can minimise blood sugar spikes by having this sweet treat after a meal and not on an empty stomach.

The general ratio that I used to use with this was 2:1  honey to nut butter. My scales have broken so this was an estimate, and it worked well.

 

1. Heat your honey on a gentle heat. I did not take my hob over level 2.

2.Once boiling- and I do mean, the minute it starts boiling gently, time TWO MINUTES.

3.Continue to whisk the whole time it is boiling.

4.Once 2 minutes is reached, remove from heat, quickly add nut butter and whisk for 15 more seconds until it begins to thicken.

5.Place in lined tupperware or ideally, a silicone loaf tin. (If lining a tupperware please use non stick parchment and lightly grease even then. Please do not use foil for the sake of your mental health. That is all)

6.Decorate with almonds if desired.

7.Leave to harden in fridge.

8. Break into wonderful little bite size pieces using a rolling pin and sharp knife.

8. Eat ……and as they say in yoga…”be present fully in each moment”……enjoy the crunch, the marzipan overtones, the deep satisfaction that comes from your home-made creation, the knowledge that it is plant-based and cruelty-free….eat…..breathe…. rejoice.  🙂

 

*I also used to make TAHINI TOFFEE quite regularaly for all you sesame-lovers, and I boiled the honey for 2 minutes on hob level 3-3.5. It makes a harder toffee, and on reflection, perhaps I would not heat it up to 3.5 again. See the recipe here: Tahini Toffee. And yes, it works with peanut butter too.

**Disclaimer: I do not recipe test several times. I am not writing a recipe book. Every hob is different and this is all done with an eye and a clock, so I hope it works for you. Time carefully and stir , stir, stir, so the honey does not burn. Let me know!

*** I buy almonds in bulk the Indian section of Tesco at a very good price.

 

And here it is again. Sigh…….

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And with that left-over almond butter??

You could make another batch of toffee…or use it as a nutritious nut butter instead of peanut butter. A nice base for a thai-inspired salad dressing? Nut butter flapjacks? (Check my baking section) Spread on rice cakes for your toddler, or indeed, you! Dollop on your morning oats? Add to a banana smoothie….aaaaaah the list is endless!!!!

 

Express Post: Delicious Plant-powered Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Roasted Peppers
  • A small handful of green Olives
  • 3-4 sundried tomatoes left to soak until soft

 

Blitz until you have a textured sauce.

Mix into hot wholewheat spaghetti with  1-3  pinches of salt and 1 cup of cooked kidney beans.

Warm though. ENJOY!!

 

If a handful of baby leaves falls on top, all the better. 🙂

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