Cranberry Sauce 

Boring title I know, but personally I don’t think you can have a Christmas dinner without cranberry sauce. I know as well that it is easy to open a jar, but I find something deeply satisfying in making it myself. Oh and did I mention it is almost effortless to boot. 

 

Ingredients 

  • 1 pack of fresh cranberries ( roughly 250g) 
  • 100ml Orange juice and zest if 1 orange
  • 100g caster sugar
  • Optional- a good slug of port. 

Method

  • Pour the juice,  zest, port and sugar into a pan, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. 
  • Pour in the cranberries 
  •  Stir in the cranberries and start to simmer. 
  • The cranberries will start to burst when ready. You can either give them a vigorous stir to break them down, or leave them in their glorious half burst textures. 
  • As the sauce cools it will thicken. 

Serve as part of your Christmas dinner or with Brie in a toasted sandwhich. 

Rana’s Ingenious Flatbreads 

It’s busy busy busy here at the moment, wedding preparations are into the final few stages, wedding is in T-5 weeks!  I’m still trying to convince mini me her flower girl dress is the way forward ( she’s having none of it in case you were wondering) I needed a happy distraction, and it came in the form of Rana’s Ingenious  Flatbread Mix. 

  
The lovely peeps from Rana’s sent me this, and as I was peckish the other lunch time, it was time to give it a go. The mixture is adaptable, you can make many things including pizza bases, and cheese crackers, but to start I gave actual flat breads a go. 

The instructions are super easy, weigh out your mixture, add warm water, mix leave for 5 minutes, then mix vigorously ( I love that word) for a minute. The next step is to shape on parchment paper, but do flour the surface your dough is put on, and using a wet spatula is so much easier. Leave to prove for thirty minutes. 

Cooking is easy to, even for me. On a heated frying pan place the bread dough side down, and leave the paper on, it took about 5 minutes but as the bread is getting ready the paper starts to ballon a bit, and it’s then easy to peel off, and flip over to cook the other side. 

  
  They really are delicious, I had to bake more, mini me stole the first one. Even better the mix is both gluten and nut free, as well as egg, dairy and soya free so can be enjoyed by everyone. 

I served them simply with a balsamic and olive oil dip which worked wonderfully. My next mission is cheese crackers- I’ll keep you posted on how I get on. 

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. 

Naturelly Competition


You may all remember that I’m a big fan of these little lovelies.  I say me, but mini me really loves her juice drinks.  You can read our review of them Here. They are gluten, dairy and nut free, and only 36 calories. Perfect for an on the go drink.  

Anyway the big news is that Naturelly are winners- this clever product won Best Toddler Snack at the Loved By Parents awards.  They have also gone on sale this year in Boots.

To celebrate this, and to give all our lovely followers a chance to try this for yourselves, I have teamed up with Naturelly to give one lucky winner a months supply of Naturelly Juice drinks. Fear not 10 runners up will also win 10 vouchers to be used in Boots for free ( yes free) Naturelly pouches. Not bad hey?

To enter just click Here

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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

New Product From Newburn Bakehouse -Mini Wraps

   These are a new product that were launched in the UK on Monday 28th September. The lovely people at Newburn BakeHouse selected me to test their Wholegrain Mini Wraps. Naturally I jumped at the chance.
I like the smaller size-perfect for lunch boxes, and the fact that they are whole grain so higher in fibre and lower in fat. Their bigger brother has won awards for taste and I can see these being in contention of awards as well.

So…. How do they taste?? I hear you all ask. Delicious is the short answer.  I like the texture of the wrap and the grains within in it (ancient grains no less). They hold their shape and don’t break when they are folded. They are a great alternative to a sandwich and lend themselves to both savoury and sweet fillings.

My combinations tried so far are avacardo, bacon and Brie and Nutella with bananas.  My mission this week is to try further options.

If you want to try them I believe sainsburys and Ocado are stockists. If you have a pack let me know what other yummy fillings you have tried in the comments below.

Review- Genius Pancakes 


Since autumn is starting to close in and the mornings are getting cooler, what better reason is needed to try a warm pancake or two for a breakfast treat on a weekend morning. Too damn right I thought to myself, and as it happens Genius has been having a revamp of their recipes and launched a new pancake.

I spotted them in my local waitrose and they just happened to fall into my trolley (oops). At £1.69 I thought it was a good price as well. I’ve paid £2 for similar products before. I like the new packaging as well I must say, it’s clear and all allergens etc easily spotted.


They are easy to cook either under the grill or in a toaster and are large enough to feel satisfied after a couple- by all means go for it and have a stack as well, which is perfect for a family breakfast. I liked the fact they are light and fluffy in texture and don’t leave a funny artificial sweet taste in your mouth as others I’ve tried have. Another bonus is they are both gluten and dairy free.


They, of course, lend themselves to be served with fruits, golden or maple syrup, lemon and sugar, what ever takes your fancy. Go for it and experiment. Another thing on my todo/ try list is to incorporate into a dessert but that’s for a later post.

Have you tried these pancakes yet? If so let me know what you think in the comments below.