Posts Tagged ‘Easy’

Express Post: Cosy Almond Oats

Quantities for 1 adult. Half portions for children.

  • 1 cup jumbo organic oats 
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • a few dates and dried apricots, chopped
  • 1.5-2  teaspoons almond extract (this is what gives it the kick)
  • 1 cup of boiling water, poured over all of the above
Leave to sit for 1-2 minutes. Add a small chopped banana, a droozle of honey or syrup, and if you’re strange like me, some chia gel from the fridge.
Because when it is “Midsummer” and freezing outside with driving wind and rain, and your kids have eaten all the cherry-and-berry spelt pancakes, you need something cosy for breakfast!

Banana Pops- You have to try these!

If you follow this blog you may have noticed how much I love the following combinations:

1. Fruit and greens for nutritious smoothies

2. Cashews and water for a blended silky smooth neutral-slightly-sweet “cream”

3.Bananas and a freezer for “I can’t believe this is only a banana!!”

Frozen bananas really do take on the most decadent creamy texture so that my Dad even asked “Are you SURE you haven’t added anything to this ice-cream- JUST bananas??”  It’s fairly easy to whip up- but you need to have pre-sliced your RIPE bananas, and then blend them to a creamy soft-serve in your mini chopper. While it takes a mere ten minutes, you have to love this recipe today, it’s even quicker and NO APPLIANCES NEEDED!

1.Peel banana, cut in half if desired

2.Insert wooden skewer or lollipop stick

3.COAT IT!  I was just finishing off a batch of peanut butter cups made with coconut oil chocolate and I used the left-over chocolate (much to Amelia’s annoyance!) You can also coat them in a little maple syrup or thinned down honey, and then roll, roll roll. Perhaps in some dessicated coconut? Or some pecans and cinnamon? granola? Some melted dark chocolate if you don’t go for coconut oil chocolate?

Allow me to present my first ever banana pops, which would look decidedly better if I had had something more exciting to roll them in, and if the chocolate hadn’t been almost set when I had this idea. (Left hand pop has a coating of peanut butter under that gloopy dogs-dinner chocolate coating. Messy, but yum!

Still- here are some little beauties, courtesy of Pinterest. Good old Pinterest.

For a super-dooper healthy one, roll in coconut, carob chips, or chopped dried fruit (

Or you can coat in sweeter alternatives, still safe in the knowledge that your ice cream is a banana! (

Oh TOO CUTE! These are coated in white chcolate, and you could also do it with sweetened natural yogurt or (you know what I am going to say-) sweetened cashew cream! (

This version is from “peas and thank you” blog ( dipped in fruit yogurt

OR- banana slices for super-cute little “pops”. (Unfortunately the link on pinterest had broken for the source of this photo, it was

Are you all inspired??!

No mini chopper needed, amazing texture, SO easy, great  fun to make with the kids, and you can go 100% natural by coating with nuts and dried fruit, or add a sweeter coating and call it a gosh darn good compromise, frankly. Now all we need is some more sun. Please tell me that wasn’t our summer!!!

Bircher Muesli

Well if we are going to be pedantic, this is a re-hashed version of this post: Overnight Oats. Only Bircher Muesli sounds posher.

Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner introduced muesli to the patients in his hospital, of which an essential part of the therapy was a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. As a lover of plant-foods, I love this last point, and as a linguist, I love that “muesli” is the diminutive form of “mues” meaning “puree” or “mash-up”. It consisted in soaking oats and fruit (generally grated apple), and it was often served with lemon juice and sweetened condensed milk because of fears of bovine tuberculosis in regular milk (pasteurisation and refridgeration not commonly available)

Not sure if sweetened condensed milk (though delicious) would now be considered an integral part of therapeutic diets, but I am sure it was preferable to bovine TB. And after all, they didn’t have blenders to make almond milk with.   🙂

Muesli is the “lazy mans granola”- a great way to enjoy home-made goodness that is not tecnically “made”- just thrown into a bowl!  Traditionally the oats are left in soak overnight to soften them, but principally to break down the “phytic acid” which is an anti-nutrient.So basically- what I always say about juices and smoothies: I am not sure you can call this a “recipe”- you just mix up what you like, and therein lies the beauty of it.  It takes a matter of seconds, it just requires you to remember the night before. In a pinch- leave it all all in soak in the early morning for 1-2 hours,  and enjoy a lateish breakfast.

yum, for real.


This particular bowl had:

  • 1 cup of jumbo organic oats
  • 3 dried apricots, snipped
  • flaked almonds
  • 1 Tablespon chia seeds (more on these another day: they are the flecks that look like poppy seeds)
  • 1/2 a grated apple
  • sunflower seeds

Soaked in home-made almond milk overnight.

Serve with extra sweetness- honey, maple syrup etc  Though if you want to go for natural sweetness, chopped bananas and date paste (recipe via this link) work amazingly, and help maintain stable blood sugar levels better.  I had some date paste made and added a large spoonfull and it made it perfect.


I can confirm this was de-lightful. Isaac can too 🙂

Hooray for posh re-hashes!

Hooray for oats!

Hooray for physicians before their time!

And hooray for something hearty and filling on a cold day, when (*forheavenssake!!*) we should be eating fresh fruit!



Lime and coriander salsa

Behold: the colours of nature!!

When health professionals advise us to eat a “rainbow” of fresh produce every day, it really is possible, and is a truly sensory experience. So gorgeous!! I have a special love for purple coloured veggies as I mentioned in a previous post (here). The original recipe for this salsa (which comes from my mexican friend) is made with white cabbage and white onion, but my fridge was happily endowed with their purple siblings. So, purple salsa it was!  This salsa is DELICIOUS heaped over rice and bean dishes, and I ate mine with the leftover Jamaican rice. I will eat some more again today with the leftover rice and chickpeas from last night. I am still reeling that my girls ate it without a fuss, Amelia even picked out the chickpeas with her fingers and popped them into her mouth like sweeties.

Like I say: reeling…. (Couldn’t even bear to call her up for table manners. Don’t judge me)

No quantities. Simply chop and dress!

  • Cabbage (white or red)
  • Onion (white or red)
  • Garlic (1-3 cloves, chop rather than press for a less intense flavour)
  • Flavoursome tomatoes
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Plenty of chopped coriander leaf (cilantro)
  • A bit of extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt to taste

Leave it to sit for at least a few hours. The longer the better. Mmmmmm!! If you hate coriander, I am sure this would be great with other fresh herbs.

Every time I eat this I am transported back to Ecuador where lime and coriander is everywhere. Like I said, this is SO delicious over rice/beans, and combines wonderfully with fish and seafood aswell. Bon appetit friends…or should I say, buen provecho!  Don’t forget to thank for colourful vegetables  🙂

White bean and roasted garlic dip

Heavens above- it’s a recipe! On a food blog. As in, a proper recipe, with ingredients, instructions and a photo taken in my own home. It’s been a while.

I have been meaning to try bean-based dips/pates for a while, as they are so fibre-filled and -bonus-affordable, but lend themselves so well to gungey-pastey spreadable concoctions. It’s all about knowing what to add to them I guess. So here is number 1!  And it was SO delicious. It was a recipe that is floating around in various forms when you google “white bean dip”. But first- the notes!

  1. This recipe calls for 1/2 a can (1 cup) of white beans. If you don’t have any soup or salads that you can conveniently toss the leftovers into, you can freeze the beans for another day
  2. If using canned beans, rinse them well.
  3. The extra small clove of raw garlic was my addition, I think it worked
  4. The nutritional yeast was also my addition. I just love the savoury flavour it adds, and I am not sure what you could substitute it with. But it was pretty delicious with the garlic, oil and lemon, believe me.
  5. Other possible additions could include fresh dill, basil, roasted red peppers, tahini, black pepper, smoked paprika, etc
So. You need:
  • 1 cup of cooked white beans (I used cannelini)
  • 1 head of roasted garlic (Instructions here)
  • 2T of extra virgin olive oil  (Most recipes call for more )
  • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 small clove of crushed raw garlic
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional yeast

You know the rest. Mini chopper or food processor. Process until smooth and creamy.

a sprinkling of smoked paprika...

Serve with:  Raw veggies or crackers (“sweet onion” ryvita combine perfectly, I had several) or use as a spread- maybe for a wholewheat salad pitta. Beans may not be raw and colourful but they definitely count in your list of  “five nine-a-day” awesome plant foods.

Note to self: Crisps do not count as a vegetable, so I won’t be counting the ones I had so much fun dunking in the bean dip last night  🙂

Home-made Coconut Butter

Did you click on yesterdays’ link for amazing healthy coloured icing? If so you will have noticed that she uses coconut BUTTER, not coconut oil. Coconut butter is made using the meat of the coconut, rather than just extracting the oils. It’s richer, sweeter and tastier.  It’s almost impossible to find in the UK, and costs a pretty penny when you do- more than the oil I’ll warrant, which is not cheap. And here’s the great part- unlike coconut oil, YOU CAN MAKE COCONUT BUTTER AT HOME. As I am doing of late, I am linking to another blog, because right now I do not have much abundance of the creative sort to offer, for various reasons.

However, if we are going to be technical, no instructions are needed. You simply take unsweetened dessicated coconut, and put it in your food processor and whizz…and whizz…and so on, for 8-10 minutes. It will be liquid by the time you finish but as it cools it will become more solid, as below.

As a coconut worshipper and a frugal lover of home-made plant creations in general,  I am very keen to try this. I am posting a teaser photo from Susan Powers website because she is a professional food photographer and somehow manages to make a jar of white stuff look stylish, because that is what professional food stylists do. She is also a lover of raw foods, hence the name of her site Rawmazing.  When I submit my poor mini chopper to some more vigorous processing again, it will be for this. This would be perfect for tropical smoothies, healthy sweeties, and delicious curries. And for now my friends, that is all the abundance I can offer you. Though, be kind- it’s not altogether bad  🙂

Make your own NAKD RAW bars

Behold- the NAKD BARS:











Coming in a variety of flavours, and made with only unroasted nuts, dried fruit and natural flavours/spices. They cost 60-80p depending on where you buy them, but thanks to the kind people who put the percentage ratios on the back of the packet, you can also make them at home!

We made “Cocoa Orange”, which is made with:

40% dates

40% cashews

15% raisins

5% unsweetened cocoa powder

a small amount of natural orange flavouring

(I think these figures are correct- I threw the wrapper away by accident- in any case they are close- and it tasted authentic!)

You will need digital scales for this. These quantities make 2 bars, as shown in the highly stylish photo, where they feature on a fluorescent pink IKEA plate.

  • 40 grams unroasted cashews
  • 40 grams of unsweetened dried dates, snipped into smallish pieces
  • 15 grams of raisins
  • 5 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of “orange extract” oil
  1. In your food processor or mini chopper, process the nuts until they look like fine meal.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until they are completely broken down- about a minute?
  3. The mixture will seem a bit crumbly but presses together easily.
  4. Form into bars, or- even more convenient- small bite-size truffle shapes.









So I don’t do food styling. But it tastes good and it nurtures, okay???!!!

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