apple

Apple and Strawberry Breakfast Crumble (Dairy Free)

apple and strawberry breakfast crumble

So apparently there’s this rule that says a crumble is a dessert and is for ‘afters’? What I take from that is after you’re way too full to eat a sweet pile of something delicious, but you’ll devour anyway, causing the well-known food coma. We all have been there at some point, it simply cannot be denied!
apple and strawberry breakfast crumble

This recipe is one put together because it looks equally appetising before the day has started as opposed to at the end of the day, it’s made with healthy low gluten spelt flour and oats…so that is a good beginning to your day, right? Throw in some fruit and seeds and sprinkle on some cinnamon. And a yoghurt dollop or some banana nicecream!

apple and strawberry breakfast crumbleThis recipe is another idea for the weekend. What should we have for breakfast that isn’t something quick and convenient before it’s time to dash out the door. This is a simple recipe and can be put together easily without too much mess.apple and strawberry breakfast crumble
This is a real dessert for breakfast………enjoy 😉

Apple and strawberry breakfast crumble

Serves 2

4 apples, chopped into chunks
handful of strawberries, halved
100 grams spelt flour
80 grams oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons coconut oil
6 tablespoons maple/date syrup
2-4 tablespoons water

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ÂșC. Place the prepared apples + strawberries in an oven proof dish.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the flour, oats + cinnamon. Combine the remaining wet ingredients (you may need to melt the oil) + add to the dry to form a crumbly texture.
  3. Top the fruit with the crumble + bake for 20-25 minutes. Top with yoghurt or anything you fancy.

Sugar Free Breakfast Oat Cupcakes

Breakfast to go, well actually healthy breakfast to go…..AND in cup cake form too. It’s as good as it sounds, honestly.

breakfast oat cupcakes

The amount of sugar-laden cereal ‘breakfast’ bars out there are really NOT breakfast at all and kind of just rude. These beauties use very few easily accessible ingredients that actually make a ‘breakfast to go’ worth shouting about. Really.

I’ve never been the sort of person to miss breakfast as I absolutely love breakfast foods!………….BUT…………………

breakfast oat cupcakes

If you struggle for time in the morning, no need to miss breakfast with these simple, healthy breakfast oat cup cakes to go. A couple of these (yeah, maybe make double!) combined with good coffee (our current favourite: UK-based Smokey Barn), maybe a banana there’s no need to EVER miss breakfast again! They can even be frozen so go ahead and make a month’s worth 😉

breakfast oat cupcakess

So let’s look into some of the lovely things up close.
They’re easy + healthy,
sugar free,
gluten free,
dairy free,
under 90 calories,
and they’re take away.

The apple can be subbed with banana puree and if you do need that little extra bit of sweetness then some maple syrup or stevia would be healthier alternatives to the crunchy white stuff.

breakfast oat cupcakes

Sugar free breakfast oat cupcakes…to go

(makes 12 but in hindsight not enough!)

2 1/2 cups oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup apple puree (ripe banana puree would be good too)
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 cup water + a splash more
optional: sweetener of choice, vanilla extract, cinnamon, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips

  1. Line a muffin tray with 12 liners + preheat oven to 190C.
  2. Combine first two dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine all remaining wet ingredients in a jug.
  3. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix until fully combined. Of course feel free to add any additional extras- cinnamon, raisins + walnuts would be too good. If the mixture seems a little dry add a splash more water.
  4. Transfer mixture to muffin tin + bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave until fully cool (overnight) + enjoy breakfast on the go.

Breakfast Oat Cupcakes adapted from this awesome recipe at Chocolate Covered Katie.
Amazing coffee, online (UK) here Smokey Barn Coffee.

Pineapple + Ginger Cake – Dairy free + Gluten Free

I’ve had this tin of pineapple for sooooo long, ages actually, ha ha! I really do love my pineapple but much prefer the fresh variety so that’s why it’s been sitting around, plus Russ is my chief pineapple chopper-upper! Don’t worry, it was still in date 🙂 The truth is, I’ve been so lazy with the blog lately and it’s been kinda hard to pull my finger out and get moving with things and when I opened the cupboard and saw this tin, my irrational pregnancy hormones got the better of me and I HAD to use it. This cake is so quick to throw together and whilst it’s cooking for an hour I have no excuse but to listen to my hypnobirthing tracks. At least I’ve finally gotten rid of that can of pineapple!

pineapple & ginger vegan cake

So yeah Russ and I will be hypnobirthing this August! So far it seems to be working really well for me and it’s already helped put some of the usual pre-birth anxieties at bay. Society seems to be full of so many negative images and messages towards birth but if you actually look past these and filter through there are plenty of positive images. Hypnobirthing teaches you to retrain your brain to see yourself as the capable, prepared, adaptable and strong person that you are, perfectly able to birth your child in a calmly excited manner. It’s surprising how much we tell ourselves otherwise, whether that originates from the media or friends and family. The only downside of hypnobirthing is that most people don’t really get it, seeing it as some sort of ‘trance induced’ birth. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s more so a preparation tool before birth to ease birthing anxieties and prepare for the physical aspects of labour by mindfulness, deep breathing and hypnosis tracks. It’s a bit of a commitment – about 40 minutes a day to be precise but I think it’ll be more than worth it come birth time. Added to that the 30 minute hypnosis track is so relaxing, I actually look forward playing it and relaxing more than I ever felt possible. I know already that this is going to help me immensely before and during the birth. In the meantime, I’ll keep reminding people that I won’t be hypnotised during labour but rather utilising the techniques of mindfulness, breathing and visualisation I’ve learnt so far.

pineapple & ginger vegan cake

Anyway, my digestion has been pretty good so far through this pregnancy but I do think I’ve been glutenizing myself a lot lately, what with toast, pittas, pasta – it’s all too much. Hence the gluten free cake plus I’ve been dying to try out Bob’s Red Mill variety of GF flours. I’ve gotta say, pretty impressed. Shame we don’t have it more readily available here in the UK but it’s easy enough to make yourself. Not being gluten intolerant I wont be swapping every time but it’s nice to make a change and cook for all sensitivities and preferences.

vegan pineapple & ginger cake

The cake’s ready and Russ is doing nursery stuff (mural, shelves and cot building) so time to make a cuppa and slice this gingery thing! See ya sooner rather than later…………..

Pineapple + ginger cake

2 tablespoons chia seeds + 6 of water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup pineapple juice (from the can)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup GF flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose)
1 heaping cup grated carrot
1 can pineapple (227grams, 137 grams drained- keep pineapple juice for recipe)
sesame seeds, optional

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180Âș Celsius + grease a 7 inch cake tin.
2. Add the ‘chia egg’ to a mixing bowl + allow to gel. Add the oil, syrup, juice + combine well.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl + combine well. Transfer to the greased cake tin, sprinkle with sesame seeds + bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

One Bowl Cinnamon, Apple + Hazelnut Cake

This is the kind of cake I need with a cup of good tea (or two) every afternoon. I definitely prefer a fruity spiced cake as opposed to chocolate fudge varieties. Just more to it I guess, plus the taste seems to stick around a wee bit longer, but ultimately I find it more satisfying and it’s usually spiced with yummy cinnamon (major addiction) and nutmeg. I always use a wholegrain flour such as spelt as it’s nuttier, tastier, healthier and I find I don’t get the sugar crashes you often get with white refined cakes.

vegan apple cake

Anyway, this cake has real substance with nutty spelt, sweet Braeburn apples, spiced warming cinnamon and crunchy hazelnuts.

vegan apple cake

Apple + cinnamon = can’t get enough, ever!

This is the kind of cake you eat and feel good after, after all it is:

Wheat Free
Dairy Free
Low Fat
Wholegrain
Full of fruit

vegan apple cake

I’m a sucker for a quick one bowl cake as it ultimately means there’s never any excuse not to have your cake and eat it. Minimal mess, minimal ingredients but maximum taste. You know you want it.

vegan apple cake

One bowl cinnamon apple hazelnut cake.

2 tablespoons chia seed + 2 water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup almond milk
1 cup spelt flour
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 heaped teaspoons cinnamon
3 cups chopped apple
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup cranberries (optional)

Method:
1. Place chia + water in a bowl and allow to gel. Preheat oven to 160Âș Celsius + grease an 8 inch cake tin.
2. Add the oil, maple syrup + milk to the chia mix + combine fully. Next add the flour, baking powder, salt + spices + combine well.
3. Fold through the chopped apple, hazelnuts + cranberries if using + transfer the mix to the cake tin. Sprinkle with extra hazelnut if desired.
4. Bake for 50 minutes + serve warm. Still delicious served cool so don’t worry. Stores well in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

Raw Beet, Parsnip + Apple Soup

raw beet & parsnip apple soup
Some days you just want soup. Actually some days you just need soup. Today was one of those days and as I ‘needed’ it, it had to be quick, really quick. Thank you Vitamix. Not only does this blender make silky smooth soups, it heats it along the way. Nice.raw beetroot soup

Nature’s pretty magnificent right? These veggies were organic and I really didn’t want to over soup this soup so I didn’t. What does that even mean? Anyway, this soup is pretty darn simple.chopped veggies

My raw beet, parsnip and apple soup is perfect for when you’re craving a warming and hearty dose of goodness. It’s packed with super cleansing beetroot, contains heart protecting potassium and folate rich parsnips. It’s fibre rich and blood sugar-regulating thanks to the lovely apple.2 big bowls of raw beet soup

A simple way to cleanse, nourish and feel good.

The best part is the time it takes. This is a hearty healthy soup in 5 minutes flat! Who needs to cook soup ever again?raw beet soup close up

Raw beet, parsnip + apple soup

serves 2

1 raw beetroot, peeled + chopped
1 parsnip, peeled + chopped
1 apple, chopped
1 teaspoon miso paste
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 dates
3-4 cups hot water
pepper

pistachios, crushed
mint, chopped finely
non-dairy yoghurt or cashew cream

Blend all the soup ingredients until smooth. Serve immediately with pistachios, mint + yoghurt. Cleanse away.

A Sunshine Winter Wellness Anti-Flu Drink + 5 ways to Stay Cold Free

antiflu smoothieOh my goodness, we’re barely out of autumn and already people are coughing and splattering about the place. I forgot how much I hate it when people come to work spreading their germs – stay at home please, no need to be the hero! Yeah, yeah, I’ve done this too…………..but anyway, this post is inspired by the trickle of nose juice, courtesy of a client that splattered all over my left foot yesterday. I can’t blame him really, I was the one wearing gladiator sandals…….it’s what I do when I refuse to give in to the colder temperatures!Sunshine ant-colds smoothie

I’m a queasy person and I was horrified with this nose juice making contact with my foot, running off mid conversation to desperately clean the offended foot in the bathroom, twice over. Yes, this did really happen and I still have a slight shudder at the thought!Sunshine smoothie

I feel much better after drinking one of these though.Sunshine smoothie

Now it’s a fresh new day and I’m fully recovered post trauma so lets get involved in doing our utmost to ensure we give flus and colds a good boot up the backside. Here’s 5 things that really do work for me, and Russ too – I don’t think he’s had a cold for like 3 years! So here goes:

1. Garlic – whole books have been written about garlic’s amazing health benefits but here we’re interested in it’s antiviral + antibiotic properties. They’re good.
2. Citrus + vitamin C – lemons contain antibiotic properties so vital for a fully functioning immune system and for fighting free radicals. Lots of vitamin C too.
3. Sleep + rest – research shows that poor sleep makes people susceptible to colds. I can vouch for this as when I seem to feel run down it usually correlates with a period of poor sleep. Get at least 7 hours and try to get at least 1 hour before midnight.
4. Chili – if you are currently fighting a cold then eat spicy foods. Yep, your nose + eyes may run but this is a good thing + may give you some relief by opening up congested nasal passages and clearing sinuses. The capsaicin will numb the nerves in your head when it’s clogged by colds. Oh + 1 chili can contain 4 X as much vitamin C as an orange.
5. Ginger – my one true love. Ginger contains chemicals which I don’t know the name of that fight rhinoviruses – these are the most common type of cold. Ginger helps ease coughing, is a mild sedative + a natural fever reliever. Add it to teas, smoothies, juices, stir fries, cookies or just EAT it as is, everyday!

I know I said 5 but here’s a bonus point! Turmeric- gosh this spice is a knock out in health benefits and one of its super powers reduces the severity of bacterial + viral infections.Healing ingredients

Yep, I’m thinking stir fry too (and curry and soup and moroccan stew) but this smoothie is a fantastic and speedy way of boosting our immune system and preventing winter colds and infections. Let’s call it a sunshine smoothie, a wellness drink and a health tonic too cos it’s all these things and mighty tasty too.Easy + effective cold remedy

The sunshine smoothie recap: pineapple for it’s magnificant vitamin C content, lemons for obvious reasons, ginger, garlic, turmeric (we’ve been here!), apple (well they do say an apple a day keeps the doctor away!), 1/2 frozen banana for a creamier consistency and the rest is history.

Get involved now, the perfect defence to those winter colds. Get well and get smug.A true health tonic

Sunshine  winter wellness anti-flu drink

(serves you)

1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped (or tinned in juice)
1 lemon, skin removed
1 apple
1/2 frozen banana
2 inch pice of ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 clove garlic
sprinkle of cayenne
1/2 cup water, coconut water or apple juice
5 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to a blender + blend until smooth. Enjoy the sunshine.

Kale, Apple, Raspberry + Goji Green Smoothie

kale & goji smoothieThe power of the green smoothie. After a few instagram postings of my super green smoothies, I now have my Mum making them and dishing them out to anyone that wants them (yep, my 86 year old grandmother!). Proud much.Drink your greens!

I’ve promised myself to keep up my green smoothie habit so the Vitamix is getting a bit of a beating these days. Plus, I’m getting pretty experimental with my concoctions, some of them not as nice as others. I really like this kale, apple, raspberry + goji smoothie so thought it best to share it as inspiration to get creative and make your own.

I pretty much use kale as the main green in my ‘green’ smoothie and for good reason. At the end of the day, it really is all about the kale. I still can’t get over this: 1 cup has 1327% of our daily vitamin K needs. Woah. But in case you were interested in some more in depth reasoning of why you need kale in your life, just check these ten reasons out.  But, but but, kale per calorie has more calcium than milk. Hallelujah. See, kale really is everybody’s friend. Not milk, milk is never your friend. Raspberry, kale, apple + goji smoothie

I’ve never been a massive fan of goji berries, I like ’em just don’t love ’em but I must admit they do have some redeeming features. Chewy, tangy and sweet, they give this smoothie a nice flavour and texture as well as a ramp up on the nutritional front. Like many berries, goji’s have very powerful antioxidant properties and excellent levels of vitamin A, so a great choice to throw into your morning smoothie and pretty tasty on their own as a chewy snack.Blend those greens!Blend it up!

Apple is probably my favourite fruit to throw into a green smoothie as not only does it increase the nutrient density, it makes it richer in fibre and gives a huge whack of juicy sweetness. Yum. I like this smoothie for the light snack that it is but if you wanted to make it more substantial a nut butter, hemp, flax or chia seeds would be great additions. Have your smoothie your way, of course.

What’s your favourite smoothie addition?Drink your greens!

Kale, apple, raspberry + goji berry smoothie

(serves 2)

2 handfuls fresh kale
1 apple, chopped
1 cup raspberries
1/3 cup goji berries
1 cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
6 ice cubes

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Nectarine + Apple Cobbler (GF)

Apple & nectarine cobblerDo you ever have random, superwoman type productive days when you get obscene amounts done? I have these, sporadically, and today was definitely one of those days. It makes me wonder where they come from, maybe the need to get a wriggle on, or something I ate, the sun shining…who knows. But today has been super productive in every way starting from wake up circuits class, delicious coconut oat breakfast with triple espresso (oh, maybe this is the reason!), the food shop, my day job and a delicious nectarine and apple cobbler which I’ve never made before.

The sun has shined all day which has made Thursday even more fabulous because whenever the sun shows up, everything and everyone cheers up and looks a little brighter. I’m lucky enough to be able to do a little of my work from home so I like to sit outside and enjoy our canal bank setting. I’m so in love with our apartment, although it’s not showy or big it’s just peaceful, calming and has a beautiful outlook. If the sun was shining a bit more then I’d have no complaints because being a complete sun head makes miserable dreary days such a drag. Today was so nice that I didn’t even want to go in and cook this delicious nectarine and apple cobbler, but in the end the temptation to try some proved too much.Apples

Traditionally, I’m pretty sure it’s peach that goes in a cobbler but I had a bowl of nectarines which were getting ripe on me so I knew my recipe had use these sweet things. Apples go pretty well with nectarines too, plus I needed something else to bulk the fruit mixture out as I like a substantial dessert. I’ve been making a lot of pies and crumbles lately so I kinda needed to do something else but it’s always a hard decision when your favourite is crumble, not that I’m fixated or anything! Eventually, I decided on a cobbler because I’d never made it before but more importantly not eaten one either. I’ve always associated cobbler with the USA, mainly because I’ve never ever heard an English person talk about the cobbler they had for pudding last night and really, it just sounds like an American dessert! Like corn bread, that screams USA to me!

Apple & nectarine cobbler

Anyway, I had a good idea of how it should be but I used an oat and almond scone base for a wheat free alternative and a nuttier and creamier flavour. Really, a cobbler is just a fruit mixture with scones on top, simple but very delicious. A word of warning: when you mix all the ingredients for the batter you have to really fight the urge to eat it raw. The smell and taste (yes, I ate a bit raw) is just too much, it’s better than cookie dough.

Apple & nectarine cobbler process

It’s the kind of dessert you want, actually need in your life because this gluten free nectarine + apple cobbler is just beautiful. The scones are light and airy with oat, almond and vanilla flavours. It’s 100% wholegrain, gluten free and each serving contains two portions of fruit with less than 300 calories a serving. This last point is impossible to believe but it’s true. I know it’s not always about the calories but sometimes it just is! For me, it’s those days when I’ve been to my Mum’s for a family lunch and I’ve eaten my own body weight in goodies. Yep, these are the days I want something a little lighter ‘cos heaven forbid I skip my dessert!

I hope you’ve had a super productive day too. I’d love to know what makes you more productive than usual?Apple & nectarine cobbler

Nectarine + apple cobbler

(serves 4)

4 nectarines, sliced
4 apples, sliced
1 teaspoon cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water
12 tablespoons stevia (adjust to sweetness preferences)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

scones:
1 cup oats (processed to flour)
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon Stevia
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 egg
1/2 cup almond milk

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 ÂșC. Add the fruit filling ingredients to a large pan + simmer for 15-20 minutes.
2. Place the dry cobbler ingredients in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mix the remaining wet ingredients and add this to the dry mixture . Be sure to combine thoroughly + set aside for 5 minutes to thicken.
3. Transfer the fruit mixture to an oven proof baking dish + top with 4 heaping spoonfuls of the cobbler batter. Bake for 30 minutes.

 

Beet, Apple, Lemon + Spinach Smoothie

Fresh fruits & vegetablesMy Mum donated some beets to yours truly that a friend had gifted her from their veggie garden – that’s the nicest, I need these friends! Anyway, I just love making things with produce grown in someones garden and then passed along for others to enjoy. Whenever this happens I always end up cooking something really random, it definitely gets the creativity flowing! Take marrows, although I like them I wouldn’t usually buy them but if someone gave me a marrow from their garden, well firstly I’d be honoured but mainly I’d have fun making something tasty out of it…albeit random!Delicious red smoothie

Growing vegetables full stop is too impressive to me but I did actually have my own patch in our garden as a kid – potatoes, onions, carrots and strawberries, funny the things we remember. I’m totally feeling inspired to start a little growing myself but I need to get Russ to build me a few planting boxes first. I’ll start small, maybe simple salad leaves, onions etc, this isn’t a random list but what people tell me are the easy growers. I know I’m going to love it purely gaged on the weirdly high level of enjoyment I get from cutting parsley I grow myself. It’s true, I hope I don’t sound too weird!

I’m right bang in the middle of a juicing phase so of course I was going to make a red smoothie. All I needed was a small leap of faith and I’d be there! Yes, I put beetroot in the Vitamix, hoping and praying that it wouldn’t stain. It didn’t, phew! Now I’m safe in the knowledge that I can pulse my beets without fear of stainage! That’s good news, because beets combined with the right ingredients are gooood juiced up. I shared it with Russ because sharing is caring and this is his favourite so far. It was pretty delicious but I still prefer the meaner greener smoothies.Red smoothies process

Sweet, smooth, earthy and zingy – it definitely perked me up after! This is an energising and cleansing beverage for any time of the day, with three servings of freshness and a good protein boost from the chia seeds. A smoothie juice with a winning edge.

Do you grow your own veggies? What’s the easiest to grow?Delicious red smoothie

Beet, apple + spinach smoothie

(serves 2)

1 beet, peeled & chopped
! apple, chopped
2 large handfuls spinach
1/2 frozen banana
juice of 1 lemon
4 ice cubes
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Grain Free Coconut, Apple + Cinnamon Muffins – GF + Paleo

DSC_6649Panic over! I thought I’d run out of coconut flour but  I managed to scoop just enough out (just) to make these amazing muffins. Yes, they really are amazing because they’re grain free and low sugar but taste delicious! Of course I was too happy to make a muffin with all three of my favourite ingredients – obviously coconut flour was involved but so were my over lovers, cinnamon and apple. I just love these two together, what legends.A lot of eggs!

That’s exactly what I thought too: such a lot of eggs! The thing is coconut flour isn’t like those other grains, it sucks up any fluid put it’s way and these eggs help to bind the mixture which creates a moist yet low carb muffin. The apple and cinnamon just transport these to another level for me and the honey adds just the right sweetness. I’ve been eating them all week and they are goooood, just sweet enough, deliciously spiced with cinnamon, nicely light but still moist with apple and raisins.A lot of muffins!

What’s more is they’re wholesome, natural with endless selling points: grain free, low carb, high in medium chain fatty acids (they’re good fats and the ones the body doesn’t readily store but would rather use as energy), blood sugar regulating, fibre rich and a protein kick to boot. Are you’re sold yet? These didn’t last long because they’re the perfect snack and tick off all of the criteria from my snack wish list: easy to transport, delicious, healthy, low carb/high fat, contains at least one form of coconut, cinnamon friendly and a provider steady energy. Job done.A ray of sunshine!

These light and tasty treats are perfect with an afternoon cup of tea. They’re healthy enough to go with breakfast too, really they’re just screaming out ‘healthy snack’ for any time of the day!

What’s your ideal afternoon snack?Deliciously moist coconut muffin

Grain free coconut, apple + cinnamon muffins

(makes 10-12)

5 eggs
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 apple, grated
1/4 cup nut milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
handful raisins
1 tablespoon honey

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 ÂșC. In a mixing bowl, whisk (or blend) all the ingredients (apart from raisins) thoroughly ensuring a smooth batter.
2. Fold through the raisins & allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Line a muffin tray with paper cases & spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each case.
3. Bake for 15 minutes until the muffins are brown & not too soft to touch.
4. Leave to cool before removing & storing.

1 2