Strawberry Blancmange (Cleanish) 

Fingers crossed the weather is finally getting warmer ( I’m almost over my near miss with the frost attacked potatoes) so I figured that lighter, healthier desserts would be a great option. Oh and I’ve got this new super cute lolly mould that I wanted to try.


Now I know blancmange is a bit old school, but this works well in moulds for the little ones or layered in glasses for a pretty grown up dessert. I’ve also used coconut milk so this version is dairy free, but feel free to sub for regular milk if you prefer. And this version is a lot cleaner fir you as it’s also refined sugar free. I’ve tried it with no sugar at all, but it’s not good- very bland and hard to swallow in fact.

Ingredients (makes 6 strawberries) 

  • 5 gelatine leaves soaked for 5 minutes to soften 
  • 600g strawberries 
  • 2tsp agave nectar add more to suit your taste. 
  • 1 pint milk of choice ( I use coconut)
  • 1 heaped tbs cornflour 

Method 

  • Start by soaking the gelatine leaves in water to soften them.
  • Blend the strawberries in your blender/ nutribullet and then pass through a fine sieve or muslin cloth to remove the pips
  • Mix the cornflour with 2tbs of the milk and the agave to form a paste.
  • In a pan begin heating the milk and add the cornflour paste.
  • Bring to simmering point and then simmer for a few minutes until the mixture has thickened slightly.  Stir the mixture constantly to prevent a lumpy mixture.
  • Add the gelatine leaves, and keep stirring until they have dissolved completely.
  • Take off the heat, let it cool a little and stir through about 150mls of the strawberry purée
  • Put into moulds, leave to cool to room temp, then put in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours ( the longer left the better).

You can use variations for this recipe. For a dairy version use 250mls milk and 250 mls cream. Almond milk also works well in this pudding.  If you are using a natural sweetner do keep tasting until you get the desired sweetness, and maple is too strong a taste in my opinion. I’m yet to experiment with coconut sugar in this but will keep you posted.

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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. 

  

Turmeric Latte 

It’s that mid-afternoon slump, and unseasonably cold here in then leafy shires. I fancied a latte.  Today I’m having a latte with a difference – Turmeric. As in the South Asian grown spice (related to the ginger plant) widely used in Indian and Asian cooking. I’m not going mad bear with me. 

Now there has been many a claim about the miracles of this spice. Some of which I’d take with a pinch of salt as there isn’t enough hard evidence to credit or discredit it. So I’m not stating these, however this type of latte is better than your usual sugar laden offerings from high street coffee houses and I’ll stand by that ( oh and it’s tasty to). 

  
Ingredients

  • 250ml of plant based milk, I used coconut but almond or cashew work well to. 
  • 1tsp Turmeric
  • 1tsp agave nectar ( or less if you prefer) 
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon to serve. 

Method

  • Place all ingredients into a milk pan, and heat until steaming.
  • I mix with a milk frother 
  • Serve in mug and sprinkle with cinnamon to serve. 

Sit and relax with your mid afternoon drink. Enjoy.

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. 

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