Bircher ( Overnight Oats) Bowl 

Hmmm so how’s 2017 going for everyone? Not bad for us this end, although losing a dear friend has been a blow.  However this is not a post intended on depressing you all, on the contrary the year is still young, opportunities are a plenty and my popcorn machine is on standby for me to pull up my chair and watch the comedy/ horror/ disaster movie that is Trump ( I’m childish and still snigger at his name) going into the Oval Office. 

I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m supposed to be keeping you all uplifted, well you will need energy to do this…..and this breakfast is perfect for that. I love ( gluten free) oats, they are filling, good for you, and versatile. What’s not to like? 

  

  The best thing about over night oats is that there is no right or wrong way to eat them, any flavour or combination work, they can be as clean ( or dirty??) as you want them to be, and can be made the night before. This is the real winner for me, as it saves precious time on that early morning rush….

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats ( or gluten free oats) 
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup of yoghurt or choice 
  • 1-2 tsp chia seeds ( optional) 
  • I dessert spoon raisins 
  • Sweeten with honey or maple syrup or Apple juice ( to suit your palate ) 
  • Topping of choice 

Mix the oats, milk, yoghurt, chia and sweetner together and leave for 6-8 hours in the fridge. 

In the morning add to a jar ( or bowl) and have fun with your toppings. 

  

Have you tried over night oats? What’s your favourite flavour combinations? Let me know in the comments below. 

Advertisements

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

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.

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. 

  

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. 

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.