breakfast

Peach, Maple & Cinnamon Rice Pancakes – GF

Rice pancakes & peachesA randomly acquired food rule I broke yesterday: Pancakes are reserved for weekends or holidays. Yeah right!

Well first up, what a silly rule and such a terrible way to live! To think about all those weekdays I’ve been missing out on my own personal pancake (well these are more crepe like) party. I suppose I’ve always associated pancake breakfasts with lazy weekends or scenes from American sitcoms where nobody’s in a rush to get to work. But these aren’t even time consuming. In fact, they’re quick, very quick, so I’m gonna make a point of eating these during the week in the hope of tricking myself! If this means I’m late for work then so be it, my pancake stack is worth it. I’m worth it!Peachy pancakes

As if being delicious isn’t enough, these are a great way to start the day and an excellent canvas for adding fruit and other delicious extras. I’m trying to eat less gluten so rice flour provides a tasty alternative  to wheat. These are a little heavier than they would be if you used almond or oat flour but the overall result is pretty satisfying. I love peaches, especially when they’re on the verge of over ripe. Yep, I reckon peaches are my favourite fruit and I love them even more with cinnamon and sticky syrup. These would work with any fruit really, dress them up or down, they’re easy going and accepting of most additions. Just be sure not to eat all your fruit before the pancakes are finished, like me! How can anyone in their right mind slice a ripe juicy peach and leave it alone? Peachy pancake process

These are just too simple not to make, enjoy them any way you want them. Be sure to break your own food rules and take some time over breakfast…..even if it makes you a few minutes late!

Peach, maple & cinnamon rice pancakes

(Serves 1)

50 grams rice flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 organic egg
1/4 pint coconut/almond milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup
coconut oil, for frying
1 ripe peach, sliced
Maple syrup for drizzling

Method:

1. Combine the rice flour, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Place milk in a measuring jug, adding the egg and maple syrup.
2. Combine the wet and dry ingredients to form a smooth batter.
3. Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add a ladle of batter. Cook on each side for a minute and transfer to a warm plate. Repeat until batter is finished.
4. Arrange pancakes and peaches on a plate. Drizzle with maple syrup. Enjoy.

Quinoa, Coconut & Blueberry Granola – GF & Vegan

Quinoa & blueberry granola

I was lucky enough to travel Peru last year and over the course of several weeks I ate my own body weight in this grain, what with daily helpings of quinoa cereal, quinoa soup and quinoa veggies! Needless to say, it was a tad overload and me and quinoa went on a break. Clearly this was just a temporary hitch because we’re now back in business, as we should be because this really is a super amazing whole grain. Just 1 cup of  this cooked inca grain has more than 8 grams of protein and to me that’s pretty good BUT there’s more. Not only is the protein content impressive, it’s the type of protein that really gives this grain the winning edge. Quinoa (like chia seeds!) has the perfect balance of 9 amino acids and is therefore a COMPLETE protein, like the type found in meat. I make a point of arming myself with these lovely facts in answer to the  well meant ‘but where do you get your protein from?’ queries! But it’s OK, quinoa is just one of many super protein sources available to vegetarians – I really like this post by ultraman Rich Roll on his top 7. Posts like this just reinforce how amazing a plant based diet is, it really does provides us with everything we need and much more.DSC_5877

Not only is quinoa is a vegetarian’s best friend, it’s pretty versatile stuff too.  If you can cook rice, you can cook quinoa and like rice, it can be a breakfast, lunch or dinner. This super grain of the Incas is perfect for porridge, veggie stuffing, planting in salads, on it’s lonesome or as a base of crunchy, sweet, nutty granola. Quinoa granola works particularly well and it can be put together in a jiffy for a week’s worth of protein jacked breakfasts. The coconut oil and honey add a sweet smooth flavour to the clusters and allow the quinoa, oats and nuts to form a light crisp texture, kind of granola-esque!Granola ingredients

This cereal is packed full of healthy fats, protein and fibre, providing a satisfying and low GI start to the day. Adding fresh fruit will ramp up the vitamin and mineral content and fortified nut milks will give a calcium boost too.  Delicious served with ice cold milk, on oatmeal, yoghurt or simply on it’s own from the jar.Granola & banana

Quinoa, coconut & blueberry granola

(6 servings)

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup desiccated or shaved coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except coconut oil & honey.
2. Melt the coconut oil & whisk in the honey. Add this to the large bowl & combine all the ingredients until thoroughly coated.
3. Place the mixture on a large baking tray and place in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes. Turn clusters over mid way through baking taking care not to over brown.

Note: If using larger sized nuts it’s advisable to add these at the start followed by smaller nuts & seeds half way through the total baking time for an even bake. The total bake time may need to extended by 5-10 minutes.

Raspberry Bomb Coconut Muffins

These are the bomb!
These are the bomb!

A coconut thing.

My love of coconut is way out of control, I slip some of this exotic fruit into most meals! Whole coconuts, flaked coconut, desiccated coconut, creamed coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut butter….coconut anything! Anyway, I needed something yummy to brighten this seriously dull Sunday. It’s ‘British summertime’ and the sun has disappeared with a sky so grey that there is no sky. *Sigh. Hence a need for some kitchen therapy and some yummy goodness in my life. Plus, I need some snackage for the work week ahead. I found these muffins on All Recipes which I tweaked to create a sugar free lower glycemic muffin. I managed to incorporate coconut in three forms: milk, oil and desiccated. Bonus!

Totally inspired by all the silly best of both/half and half bread products out there, I made these 50% whole wheat  and 50% white (well it’s OK if it’s cake but come on just get with the wholegrain bread and be a man!). So, enter the ‘best of both’ sugar free (splendid stevia), raspberry (I used St Dalfours French Jam as it’s sweetened naturally with grape juice) bomb coconut muffins.

Raspberry bomb muffinsUmmmmmmmmmm. My Mum’s two favourite things happen to be coconut and raspberries so I’m going to drop some round this afternoon because I’m nice like that!

Raspberry Bomb Coconut Muffins

(makes 12)

125g plain flour
125g whole wheat flour
175g stevia
3 handfuls desiccated coconut
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
90ml coconut oil
200ml Koko (coconut) milk
1/2 jar good quality raspberry jam

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190 ºC. Line a muffin tin with twelve cases.
2. Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
3. In another bowl, lightly beat together the egg, oil and milk.
4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. The mixture should be fairly thick.
5. Put 1 1/2 dessertspoons of mixture into each of the cases. Then put half a teaspoon of the jam onto the mixture. Add another dessertspoon of mixture to cover the jam.
6. Sprinkle each with a little more coconut.
7. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until the muffins are a lovely golden brown colour.

Allow to cool completely & enjoy with a cuppa.

Banana Spelt Bread Loaf

Better than cake!
Better than cake?

Having your cake and cheating it!

Bursting with fibre, B vitamins, potassium and low GI to boot but this banana bread could be cake it’s so good! Adding nut butter gives this a protein kick also, making it ideal for a hurried breakfast.

I’ve never eaten banana bread before! Well I have now……well actually I’ve eaten half a loaf so far and I’ll definitely be baking and eating this bread much more in the future. It’s delicious, healthy and so easy – winner!

Hands off- these are reserved for banana bread!
Hands off, reserved for banana bread!

It’s best to use really ripe bananas so this is great if you’re trying to use up old battered ones.

I stumbled across the recipe on The Healthy Foodie blog with a claim that this loaf is the best banana bread EVER. Well if I’m going to try this for the first time what better recipe to choose than the tastiest banana bread EVER!

But I can’t say whether this is the best banana bread in the world because it’s the only banana bread I’ve tried. It’s a great place to start though! Well actually it’s a gloriously tasty place to start, so tasty I doubt I’ll even try another!

I adore bread and love bananas and this loaf fools me into thinking I’m eating cake but in actual fact there’s no sugar or bad fat involved. Bonus.

A piece of cake!
A piece of cake!

Have a great day.

Banana Spelt Bread

(makes 12 slices)

Dry Ingredients:
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup raisins

Wet ingredients:
2 medium bananas
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 vanilla pod, deseeded
coconut, to sprinkle on top

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175 ºC. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Mash bananas in a larger bowl, add the egg, buttermilk, vanilla.
  3. Use a spatula to combine wet and dry ingredients fully without over stirring.
  4. Transfer mixture to a greased loaf tin. Sprinkle with coconut and place in the centre of the oven for 1 hour or just under.  Use a toothpick to check if it’s cooked through.

Pick ‘n’ Mix Bubble & Squeak

Don’t you just love leftovers? Cold pizza, cheesy pasta, pesto pasta, tomato pasta, lasagne (any pasta!), curries that somehow taste better the next day, roasted veg stuffed into wraps, cold oats and even stodgy cold pies.  In fact I quite like cold food generally and I certainly hate piping hot food; like the kind of food that destroys the roof of your mouth! You know that that horrid realisation that yep you just did it, that cheese pizza you’ve chomped down on has just scorched your palate and now you have no palate because everything you eat for the next 2 days will taste of nothing! So cold food is fine with me but we were talking about leftovers weren’t we?

yes, this really is made from leftovers!
Yes, this really is made from leftovers!

Bubble and squeak is the perfect next day recipe to use your leftover vegetables. I love this so much that sometimes I boil up veggies especially but it tends to work best with veggies straight from the fridge.

lovely leftovers
Breakfast, lunch or dinner?

Traditionally potato, carrots and something green such as cabbage or sprouts make up a bubble ‘n’ squeak. I adore sprouts (yep you heard right!) so use them lots but any green vegetable or potato will work. Other great options are swede, kale, collards, parsnip – you get the picture and i’m sure you don’t need a lesson in vegetables. Adding peas, sweetcorn or a cheeky sprinkle of crushed chill all add to the aesthetic appeal!

So pick ‘n’ mix your leftover veggies and add to fried onion in a non stick pan. Push the mixture down with a spatula and crisp on one side. The hardest part is turning the cake over but you can cheat by brushing the top with oil and grilling! Or failing that, don’t fill the whole pan but make mini bubble and squeaks.

Serve hot, not cold and definitely not piping hot! I love this with a couple of eggs or some mature cheese and always copious amounts of ketchup.

Bubble & Squeak

(serves 2)

1 onion chopped
2 tablespoons of oil
bowlful of mashed potato
bowlful of leftover vegetables (pick ‘n’ mix but carrot and cabbage work great)
salt & pepper
Optional: Chilli & Cheese

Method:

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a non stick pan and soften the onion. Meanwhile add the leftover veggies, season and work together to combine.
  2. Squash the mixture down with a spatula and brown/crisp on one side.
  3. Turn the mixture over and crisp on the second side. You can use a chopping board to turn the pan onto or grill the top. Add cheese if you wish to.
  4. Divide into desired portions and serve immediately.

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