Eggnog Smoothie

Welcome to day 2 of my Blogmas posts. I thought a recipe would go down well for today.  I say a recipe, but that makes this super easy smoothie sound harder yo make than it is.  Fear not it’s incredibly easy and tastes fantastic. 

 Edit   
To me there is nothing more satisfying that the festive taste of an eggnog, it’s rich and oh so moreish and contains all the right spices that just scream christmas. However I can appreciate as much as the next that A) not everyone likes the idea of eggs in a drink and B) it’s fairly  calorific as a drink, but hey it is christmas so a treat is ok.  With all this in mind this version has all the taste but without the egg or refined sugar. I can’t (and won’t) be jumping on the clean wagon with this. There is still sugar in it- so you know every thing in moderation, but this can be vegan friendly, it’s all down to your choice of milk used. 

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 dates or a dash of maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • Top up with milk of your choice ( almond works brilliantly) 

Put all ingredients into your blender and blitz until well combined.

 Edit   
Enjoy in between wrapping, putting up decorations or, in my case, as a reward from stopping the cat from wrecking the Christmas tree. Cheers 

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Easy Slow Cooker Rice Pudding 

 
  Hello to you all, apologies to being a bit quiet, I got married on Sunday so the last week or so has been a whirlwind of flowers, organising catering, hair, makeup and celebrations.  All went well, we are very happy, but when the new week started my head was still sore, my feet hurt, and we had visitors – cooking wasn’t  top of the list.  

However all was not lost, it’s autumn ( or Fall for my American readers) which for me means slow cooker season. Now I love my slow cooker, and don’t be deceived that they are just for stews- oh no, and I shall show you here. 

Rice pudding, in 4 hours with no effect ( or skin, I hate the skin). It’s thick and creamy, perfect for the cooler evenings ( and hangovers). 

  

Serves 4-6 

Ingredients

  • 100g pudding rice
  • 3 pints of milk of choice ( dairy or almond work well) 
  • 4tbs of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract 
  • 1 generous  knob of butter 

Method,

This couldn’t be easier, place everything in your slow cooker, turn on high and leave for 3-4 hours until thick and creamy. 

Serve and eat straight away. 

Review -Alpro Go On Pots 

I know I’ve been a little quiet this week, wedding prep has been taking over, but I’m back and raring to go.  And speaking of raring to go, this new yoghurt alternative from Alpro is great for an on the go breakfast,  or mid morning snack. 

 

  Now I was skeptical, I hate ( with a passion) soya lattes, I much prefer coconut based products taste wise, but I’ll not knock something until I’ve tried it, so Off to waitrose I toddled to pick a pot up. I went for Blackcurrant, but mango or Passionfruit are your other 2 flavour options. The pots are single annd around 85p each. 

I should point out these  Are both gluten and dairy free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians, they do however have a “may contain” for tree nuts in the allergen list. 

 Anyway how does it taste, I was really impressed. The yoghurt is thick and creamy, with a silky texture.  There was a good layer of both fruit and yoghurt. The tangy sensation from the Blackcurrant was delicious, and not too sweet or sickly. Another bonus is that these pots are high in protein, which may have helped keep the hunger pangs at bay . I’ll definitely be trying  the other flavours. 

These pots have restored my faith in soya products- some are really delicious. 

Have you tried these new products? If so let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 
Disclaimer: I was sent a voucher for a pot to sample.  All thoughts and opinion are my own, and honest. 

Breakfast parfait Gluten and Dairy free 

Parfait what’s not to like right? Whether it’s the frozen dessert or layered up in a pot I think it’s great. I’ve become a fan of mason jars or jam jars and they are great for providing a vessel to transport your breakfast. And what could be better than one of these pots of joy?? 

  So this weekend we went berry picking,  we have a few farms that have pick your own around where we live, I love the scrabbling around through the strawberry plants and raspberry canes searching for the little red jewels that are hidden beneath the leaves. Mini me ( being the slightly ferrel child she is) loves it to- and it’s all nut free so it makes for a great hours entertainment. I do confess I had to buy a drink ( I felt guilty as Lily-Rose actually consumed her body weight of raspberries as we went round) 

Anyway I digress a bit. I’ve all these fresh berries and it’s hot ( yippee) so parfait pots made for a great, healthy breakfast. Perfect for summer. 

   

Ingredients 

  • 1 banana mashed with 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • Yoghurt of your choice ( I used KoKo coconut dairy free ) 
  • Fruit of your choice 
  • Granola ( I used Delicious Alchemy Nutty Granola). Or my own recipe for a nut free version 

  

The method is easy, banana at the bottom, and then layer up however you fancy. Then dive in with a spoon and enjoy. 

Do you like parfait? What’s your favourite flavour combination? Let me know in the comments below. 

Fruity Berry Smoothie Bowl 

So smoothie bowls, what’s all the fuss you may ask? These lovely creations are so much more than something to make for pretty Instagram photos ( although I’m not denying they do make pretty Instagram photos). They are a great way to eat fruit/ vegetables if that’s not your thing, they are perfect for breakfast or as a satisfying sweet craving if you find yourself thinking about grabbing that Ben & Jerry’s in the freezer. 

  
They are also very easy to make ( just aim for a thicker version of your regular smoothie) and you can experiment to your hearts content on different flavour combinations and toppings. Things that work well are chia seeds, fruit, cacao nibs, desiccated coconut, coconut chips or coarsely chopped nuts. The main thing is to have fun and enjoy making and eating your healthy creations. 

I took my flavour inspiration from Wimbledon and berry season here in the UK, that and places like Aldi have cherries for 59p at the moment so it would be rude to not buy them right? 

So how to make a bowl- it’s more assembly work really, rather than cooking but here is the recipe: 

Ingredients 

  • 1 frozen banana
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup strawberries 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 6-8 cherries chopped 
  • 200 ml milk of your choice ( add more a bit at a time for your desired texture) 

Method

Blend all the ingredients together 

Pour into a bowl and then decorate however you fancy.  In this recipe I have used chia seeds, coconut and strawberries. 

Serve and enjoy. 

  

Have you tried a smoothie bowl yet? What are your favourite flavour combinations? 

Free From
Farmhouse

Koko Dairy Free New Products Review

If you hadn’t worked it out yet, I use a fair amount of coconut based products, not only because they taste delicious,  have fewer calories than their dairy counterparts and are more often than not nut free, so a lot of boxes are ticked in our household. 

  Koko are one of my favourite brands to use, especially the milk, which is great in smoothies or lattes etc.  Anyway they have launched a whole range of new products including yogurts and a dairy spread, so I thought I’d share my views with you all. 

 

The yoghurts are great, the larger tub of natural yogurt does take a bit if getting used to. It has a natural tang  which if I’m honest can offend the taste buds, but I’ve never been an avid fan of soya products and too much of it definitely doesn’t like me, so to have a soya free dairy free product is a winner.  Anyway when on top of some fresh berries or with granola etc the plain yogurt is great and even I ( miss fussy pants) go as far to say it is really quite delicious. I should add the tang I talk about seems to be a flavour of all natural coconut products I’ve tasted so far to date. 

 This leads me on to the flavoured yogurts, still soya and dairy free and in individual pots so great for lunch boxes etc. Mini me loves the strawberry and peach flavours. I have to say I agree with her. The texture is creamy with fruit pieces ( and these are actual pieces not squishy pulp you can get in some yogurts). They taste great to, and leave no aftertaste. The lemon and coconut I liked but tiny tot wasn’t so keen. It’s more of a grown up taste but the coconut pieces in it give a great texture and it’s lovely over fruit. 

  

The newest product Koko have launched is a dairy free spread. I love the packaging- very tropical and the spread is a great product. It is a blend of oils including coconut and sustainable Palm oil. I used it to make a dessert for a friend who came for dinner. I made a crumble topping and I have to say when combined with a gluten free flour gave a much better crumble than the flour and butter combination I usually use.  Everyone munched their dessert so I’m going by the clean plates that this was a winner.  

  So there you have it, my run down of the new Koko Dairy free products. If you want any more information you can find their website Here

Have you tried any of the new products? What are your favourites? Let me know in the comments below. 

Disclaimer: I was given the products ( apart from the milk) by Koko, however all opinions are my own and entirely honest. 

Infused Water- Strawberry, Basil and Cucumber 

We all know that drinking plenty of fluids are good for us, and I’m forever telling patients I see in my clinic that they should up their water intake. I thought it’s high time I practised what I preach if you will.

Now water on its own can be a bit dull, it’s better with ice, and even better with lemon- you see where I’m going here don’t you? I do like to start the day with boiling water and lemon ( but then coffee takes over) so how to make it tasty without adding squash or fizzy drinks? I present to you infused water.

IMG_1123

The concept is very simple, fill a jug or glass with water, then add your ingredients, leave to infuse for about 4 hours (or overnight) then hey presto water that’s, well more interesting and better for you than fizzy drinks.

This particular flavour combination has been inspired by summer, Wimbledon and pimms season. This honestly tastes like pimms but without the alcohol and lemonade. It’s very refreshing, and would be great for a warm sunny day ( if we every have any) to quench your thirst.

Ingredients for one glass

  • 4/5 Strawberries chopped
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 4 slices of cucumber. 

Method 

  • I can’t call this a method, you fill the glass up with water, put your ingredients in and pop in the fridge for about 4 hours
  • Enjoy your drink.

There you have it. Have fun and experiment with different flavour combinations- let me know your favourites in the comments below.

Easy Frozen Dessert- Go Bananas

I can’t call this a recipe, it’s so easy. I also cannot and wouldn’t claim this to be my own invention. The yonanas machine uses this concept, as does every clean eating or free from blogger at some point I’m sure, however this is a great hack you need to know using the humble banana to make icecream. 

  
See it even looks like the real thing, but is dairy free, gluten free, nut free, soya free, vegetarian and vegan. 

So to make a basic banana icecream you need : 

1 food processor

2-3 frozen bananas 

A splash of any milk of your choice. 

Method

  •  Begin by freezing you bananas ( cut into smaller pieces first) for at least 2 hours.
  • Put into the food processor ( Nutribullets don’t work well for this). Pulse to break the banana down. 
  • Then keep blending. It goes through a few stages but when the banana looks like bread crumbs add the milk and turn on again. 
  • The rest is magic, eventually the mixture becomes smooth and the texture of icecream.  
  • I like to freeze for a few hours to harden the mixture up, but you can serve it straight away and have a soft, creamy ice cream type dessert. 

  
So there you have it, that’s the basic method, and then experiment with different flavours. Choc chips go really well, as do blueberries or strawberries. 

Beetroot Berry Blast

Rubbish title I know but bear with me. I love this season all the berries are starting to come into the supermarkets, and more importantly my local town market. The fruit and veg stall in Stratford upon Avon is amazing, and so were the fresh beetroot and strawberries. I thought it would be rude not to buy some. 

  
I prefer to cook beetroot myself, I think it tastes better but each to their own. The color is fantastic as well, giving this smoothie such a vibrant, exciting purple hue you will just want to dive in ( hopefully). 

  My other tip is to use frozen blackberries if out of season These from tesco are great, last ages and are £2 so great value. I like my smoothies ice cold so frozen fruit is great instead of adding ice cubes to give you that icy kick. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cooked (or raw if you prefer) beetroot 
  • 1/2 cup raspberries 
  • 1/4 blueberries
  • A few frozen blackberries. 
  • 1tbs chia seeds. 
  • 250 ml or either water, coconut water or milk of your choice 

Method 

Put all the ingredients into your blender/ nutribullet/ processor and blitz for about 30 seconds.  Pour and serve straight away. 

Review- Marks and Spencer Coconut Pot 

Yes it’s another coconut product, and yes they are popping up everywhere, but I am fond of a bit of coconut and it is another dairy free option, so I thought I’d give this a try.  Marks and Spencer, like so many of the supermarkets have been expanding their free from ranges and this is part of the new range. 

  

  I like the design, it’s simple and easy to recognise. I also like the fact that, unlike a lot of M&S products, the sugar content is much lower and it isn’t soya based ( I don’t like it, and too much make me queazy). 

   

 

So the taste test, I like it. Now it’s not going to suit everyone’s palette, there is no sweetness to it at all, however you do get a delicate hint of coconut And no bitter aftertaste to it like some other brands. It’s creamy texture it lovely, and topped with honey and granola it makes a great breakfast. It’s also suitable for both vegetarian and vegan diets. 

The down side for me is the nut allergy warming, I can see my soap box waving to me but fear not I won’t get on it. And the cost £3.49 is fairly expensive, but are 2 servings per pot so roughly £1.25 a portion. 

  
Have you tried this, or any of the other new products? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.