Leek and potato soup

Well it’s been a funny old week weather wise. Here in the shire we’ve had rain, snow, hail and wind inter spaced with token gestures of sunshine. So to amuse mini me, and have something warming for lunch we made a leek and potato soup. 

It’s comforting in cold weather, and not a drop of cream in sight ( feel free to add some if you prefer though). You can leave it chunky it or blend it smooth, which is my preference, it’s up to you. The main point is it’s super easy, and delicious to. 

  
Ingredients

  • 1 tbs coconut oil 
  • 1 onion chopped thinly 
  • 250 g potato 
  • 2 medium leeks 
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock 
  • Salt and pepper to season ( I use pink Himalayan salt) 

Method 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan, and add the onion. Fry for 3-4 minutes until they soften. 
  • Add the leeks and potato cook for a further 5 minutes. It’s better to cut the potato into small chunks so it cooks evenly and faster. 
  • Season and add the vegetable stock. You can make your own or use a stock cube with boiling water, either works. 
  • Bring to the boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender. 
  • Blend with a hand blender or blender until smooth. 
  • Enjoy a bowl when you are ready. 

  

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Today’s Smoothie -Berry Blast

  
Morning all, I hope the week it treating you well? Just thought I’d share my smoothie this morning, I’ve been using stuff up and this totally works. 

Ingredients

  • Handful of Spinach
  • 1 frozen banan
  • 1cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1tbs chia seeds
  • Top with coconut milk (coconut water would work to I think) 

Blitz and serve. 

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding 

  
This is so easy to make, I love Chia puddings. They take about 5 minutes to make and if you put it in a jar then perfectly portable when mornings are rushed and time is short. The texture reminds me of my childhood of tapioca puddings. These clever little seeds are not only nutritious, but expand when introduced to liquid giving a tadpole effect.  

 Now if this isn’t your bag you can also blend the pudding which gives the most creamy texture, there are no hard or fast rules- adapt it to suit your taste. 

I also need to mention that this is gluten free, dairy free (depending on the type of milk used), can but nut free and suitable for a vegan diet as well.

Ingredients (Serves 1-2) 

  • 4 tbs Chia seeds or 30g
  • 125 mls milk (I use coconut) if you prefer it runnier then use a bit more. 
  • 1 tbs raw or u sweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbs Sweetener of choice agave, date or maple syrup work better. 

Method

  • Put the chia seeds, milk and cocao into a bowl and mix well to combine. 
  • Add the sweetner and mix again. I then pour into jars to be left over night. 
  • After about 30 minutes it’s worth shaking the jar- this stops the seeds clumping together. 
  • Leave in the fridge for atleast 4 hours, but best over night. 
  • I’ve served with fruit and  CoYO coconut yoghurt. 

  
 I need to say, if you don’t like the texture, you can blend it all in your blender, for a thick, creamy pudding. I find if you do this, leave out the agave ( or what ever you have used) and used 3-4 dates instead. They work so well with blended chocolate. 

Have you tried Chia puddings? Let me know what your favourite combinations are. 

My Free From Banana Flapjacks

Well they are free from a lot of things, but not taste. I’ve been playing around with these for a while, and since I’ve been cutting my refined sugar intake I’ve now incorporated a refined sugar free flapjack as well. I’m not going to say it’s sugar free-that would be like eating cardboard, more that the sugar in these is all natural ingredients, so great for those following a clean eating plan. 

 I promise you it’s so so easy to make these flapjacks, once baked they keep for about 4/5 days. And are great for a on the go breakfast or healthier snack for the whole family. 

  

  

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs honey (or date syrup) 
  • 1/2 tsp  ground cinnamon 
  • 2 ripe bananas 
  • 2 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)  I used gluten free
  • 1/2 cup raisins ( dried apricots work well to) 

 Method 

  • Preheat your oven to 180 c and line your baking tin
  • Measure out your oats and fruit and mix in a large bowl. 
  • Gently melt the coconut oil and honey in a pan. Add the cinnamon
  • Mash up the bananas and mix with the melted oil. 
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix until well combined.
  • Turn out Into your pan and flatten down with a spoon
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the oats are golden. 
  • Cut into pieces in the tin and leave to cool. 
  • When cooled enough to tough turn out onto a wire ran to cool further. 

  

I should add  I don’t mash my banana smooth as I quite like a few chunks left in the flapjack. Also feel free to add nuts/seeds as well. They all make for a yummy treat. 

There you have it, if you try this or another flavour combination let me know in the comments box. 

Easy Granola

Well it’s been a good week I’ve been trying with the cleaner eating, lower sugar idea and it seems to be working (yippee) operation wedding dress is encouraged. So this got me thinking, I love my overnight oats,coconut yoghurt and smoothie bowls so a bit of crunch on top wouldn’t go a miss. Granola was the end of the thought process, but not the sugar laden, gluten loaded shop brought variety. I made some, and it’s easy. 

  
The beauty of this recipe is that is so adaptable, this today is gluten and nut free so mini me can have some, but you can add what takes your fancy. The basic make up is the same, but don’t worry about being exact on measurements it’s not that kind of recipe. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of rolled oats ( not quick cook) I used gluten free
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs of maple syrup 
  • 1 tbs honey 
  • 1 cup of raisins (or mixed fruit or goji berries)
  • Optional 1/2 cup of nuts or seeds pecan or pumpkin seeds work well. 

Method

  • Heat the oven to 150 degrees c. Line a baking tray with non stick paper
  • In a pan melt the coconut oil, honey and maple syrup until all combined. 
  • In a bowl mix your oats, fruit and seeds/nuts. 
  • If you are using nuts you may prefer to pulse them in a processor first if you like smaller pieces. 
  • Pour in the liquid and mix until all the oats are covered.
  • Spread in a thin layer on your baking tray and cook for about 10 minutes, until the oats are golden and crunchy
  • I speak from experience do not leave for too long, your granola will taste like burnt popcorn (even my chickens wouldn’t eat it).
  • Leave to cool and store in an airtight container. 
  • It’s good for upto 2 weeks- if it lasts that long. 

  
Serve and enjoy as a delicious topping on your breakfast or dessert creations. Do you have a favourite granola combination? Let me know in the comments below. 

Easy Vegetable Soup

Having battened down the hatches while storm Imogen does her worst ( for my transatlantic readers We now name our storms but are nothing like your hurricanes) I decided that a healthy, warming soup would be great for lunch. That and it’s a cunning way to get vegetables into my toddler and use up my veg from the weekend. 

It’s very easy, and adaptable to most vegetables you have in your stock piles. I like to blend my soups smooth, but if you prefer a chunkier version the, only give it a quick blitz or leave the veg chopped into tiny chunks- it’s up to you. 

  
Ingredients 

  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 leek chopped
  • 1-2 celery sticks 
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 potatoes chopped into small pieces 
  • A good handful of kale ( I love this stuff at the moment) 
  • 750 mls of stock (I used vegetable) 
  • Salt/ pepper to season. 

Method 

  • Heat some oil (coconut or olive) in a pan
  • Gently cook the onions and crushed garlic for about 5 minutes 
  • Add the other chopped vegetables 
  • Add the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the veg for about 15-20 minutes (until your potatoes and carrots are soft) 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Once cooked, blitz with your hand blender
  • Serve up and enjoy. 

There you have it, a healthy hearty soup that is suitable and adaptable for so many diets. What’s your favourite soup ? Let me know in the comments below. 

Strawberry, Banana and Blueberry Smoothie. 

This should be called a thickie really due to its thick filling nature, but for now we can go with smoothie. 

It’s dead easy to make, and another time saving tip I have is pre prep all your fruit in a sandwhich bag, so in the morning all you have to do is add your milk and oats, then whizz and go.

  Ingredients 

  • 5-6 strawberries (remove the stalks)
  • Handful of blueberries 
  • 1 peeled banana
  • 1-2 tbs of rolled oats (I used gluten free from Delicious Alchemy
  • 130 mls of milk of your choice
  • 1-2 tsp of a sweetner of choice agave works well, or honey to. 

Put all ingredients in a blender, blitz for 45 seconds, serve and enjoy. 

Watch out for some more posts this weekend, I have gluten free , nut free, dairy free and vegetarian food options to cater for, my thinking cap is on. Have a great weekend all 

My super smoothie

Silly title I know, but it really is super and full of antioxidants and a great choice for National Breakfast Week.  This is a quick post today as I’m in the midst of funeral organising sadly, but never the less I still wanted to share this with you all. 

  
Ingredients 

140mls water or milk of your choice

Handful of spinach 

Handful of blueberries

1 Apple cored

1 good handful of beetroot in natural juice 

1tbs chia seeds (optional) 

Honey or agave to sweeten. 


Blitz for 45 seconds and serve. I should add you can use ice cubes as well if you like your drinks that bit cooler in the mornings. 

Chocolate Porridge- clean, Gluten and Dairy Free  

Yes you all read that right chocolate porridge. So we can’t have Nutella in this house and coco pops (in my opinion are horrid and not suitable for for coeliacs) so it got me thinking, what do I make for that odd occasion I fancy a chocolate themed breakfast- chocolate porridge is the answer.

 

It’s rich, creamy, and can be adapted to suit a variety of diets. gluten free? Use gluten free oats. dairy free? Use a plant based milk the list goes on. I find it perfect for wen you need a chocolate fix, the other bonus is its low GI and keeps you full until lunch.

Serves 1 

Ingredients 

  • 40g porridge oats  (I used gluten free)
  • 150 ml milk of your choice
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder or cacao powder
  • 1/2 tbs of sweetener of choice ( I used agave)
  • Toppings of cocao nibs, fruit, coconut whatever flavours you prefer.

Method

  • Put the oats and milk In a pan and heat gently
  • When the mixture starts to thicken add the sweetener and cocoa powder and stir in well.
  • I should add cacao powder can be very bitter in taste, to counter balance this you can mash half a banana up and mix into you porridge ( I’d add a squirt of agave as well)
  • Serve and top with your favoured toppings- today for me it was banana.

I hope you enjoy it, it’s just another idea for you to mix up your breakfasts in honour of National Breakfast Week.

Strawberry Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding 

As its National Breakfast Week I shall endeavour to put a few posts up of different breakfast ideas for you all to try. The first is this chia pudding, well I call it a pudding but it can be what ever you want it to be called. The main point is it’s easy, best done the night before which means more time in the morning, and these little seeds are packed full of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and iron so they are really good for you are well. The strawberry also gives this dish a pink tinge so it’s really pretty as well.  

These seeds also swell up when introduced to liquid, so are almost reminiscent of a tapioca pudding you had at school. ( I realise I’ve probably aged myself there as some of my younger readers may not have had that joyous school dessert)  
 
Ingredients

  • 6 strawberries
  • 125 ml milk of your choice ( almond, coconut, or soya work well) 
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tbs sweetener ( I used agave nectar, but you can use honey, maple syrup or fruit syrup) 
  • 3-4tbs yogurt either Greek style, soya or Coyo work well. 
  • Fresh fruit, seeds, nuts to top (optional) 

Method 

  • Blend together the strawberries, milk and sweetener 
  • Put in a jar or glass and stir in the chia seeds
  • Cover and leave for 4 hours or overnight. 
  • In the morning put a layer of fruit, then yogurt, then top with fruit again and seeds or nuts if you choose. 
  • Enjoy your breakfast. 

The beauty of chia puddings is that once you get the ratio of seeds to liquid right, then any combination of flavours work- so you can experiment to your hearts content. 

Have you tried any other flavours? What are your favourites? Let me know in the comments below.