It's the weekend - Link me up

 

Happy Weekending xox

 

Vegan Quinoa, Coconut & Chocolate slices

We made some delicious cereal bars last week; they were chocolatey, sticky, crunchy - really, really good so I thought I'd share them with you this morning. Then I went to the cupboard, and soon realised that my 10 year old had eaten all the dates and finished off the cocoa whilst making hot chocolate. Brilliant, thanks for telling me! So instead, i thought i'd make some healthy yet still appealing flapjack type things with stuff I had hanging out at the back of the cupboard. They turned out pretty good & they are vegan, gluten-free as an added bonus. 

Disclaimer: yes, I do have coconut palm sugar and quinoa flakes lying around (£3.20 for a large bag if you're wondering). Don't judge, I live in Bath & they practically force you to buy this stuff ;) If you need to you can easily sub the palm sugar for brown sugar and you can probably sub the quinoa for oats too, but you'll probably only need to use a 1-1/2 cups, instead.


Vegan Quinoa, Coconut & Chocolate Slices

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa flakes

  • 1 cup desiccated coconut

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

  • pinch of cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil in liquid form

  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut palm sugar

  • 1 tbsp nut butter (i used cashew, but almond would work)

  • Sweet Freedom Choco Shot for drizzling

Method:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the quinoa flakes, coconut, chia seeds and cinnamon.

  2. Melt enough coconut oil to fill half a cup, on a low - medium heat, before adding the nut butter and sugar. Whisk gently until the nut butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.

  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well to fully combine.

  4. Empty onto a lined baking tray and press down well, so the mixture is packed.

  5. Pop in the fridge for 1-2 hrs before slicing into approx 12 slices. Drizzle over the Choco Shot and store in the fridge for up to a week.

My Kitchen Favourites

So, here are a couple of things that I have in my kitchen at all times, if I can help it. I use pretty much all of them daily with maybe the exception of the Hungarian paprika paste (8) as that's a little trickier to get my hands on, so I have to hold back! 

  1. Umeboshi Plums - I take one of these little salt-pickled plums every other day with a glass of warm water, usually in the morning as the first thing i do. Umeboshi plums are said to prevent fatigue, stimulate digestion and help detoxify. To be honest, I first bought them because I was intrigued as to what they might taste like & it turned out i loved them!
  2. Tick Tock Green Rooibos Tea - This is one of my favourite teas. The heath benefits of green rooibos are only marginally less than standard green tea but because it's caffine-free, I can drink it right up until i crawl into bed if I want to.
  3. Ruby Sauerkraut - I absolutely love sauerkraut and when I don't have any of my own on the go, this one is my favourite brand to reach for.
  4. Organic Turmeric - I honestly can't imagine my days without a couple of glasses of turmeric water or a golden latte. The supposed health benefits of turmeric are well documented but I just love the stuff, regardless.
  5. White Chia Seeds - These get sprinkled liberally on any salad or inside any sandwich I make at home. I love them stirred into porridge, made into puddings or stirred through any granola bars i'm making for the kids.
  6. Coconut Oil - eat it, cook with it, stir it into your tea, swill it about your mouth, moisturise with it... anything - I used it all the time.
  7. Miso Soup - The yellow one pictured is a fave and handy to keep in your bag because it's a box of individual wrapped sachets. If i'm at home though, I have a big jar in the fridge which I make a cup a day usually. It's good for my tummy!
  8. Eros Pista (Hungarian Paprika Paste) - I consider it a total luxury having this in my kitchen!! It's hot, salty and totally moreish. I think you're meant to use it in cooking etc, which I do sometimes, but usually it's spread on some sourdough before I smash some avo on top or in a hummus and salad wrap. Amazing stuff if you can find it - Amazon / Sous Chef would be my best bet.

 

 

BANANA + POLENTA LOAF

I think this might be the last recipe I managed to save before my blog went pop and I'm sharing because it's a goody! It's quick and simple, fills the kitchen with a wonderful smell and tastes delicious. I've actually got one baking in the oven as I type, which will go down lovely after the school-run, alongside a bucket of tea - it's blowing a hooley out there! Blummin' February...

 

 

Banana & Polenta Loaf Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 over ripe bananas - mashed
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 100ml coconut oil / light olive oil
  • 1 cup SR flour
  • 1 cup polenta
  • maple syrup for brushing (optional)



Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 170c / 325f / gm3.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together your eggs, mashed bananas and sugar. Slowly add the coconut oil and sift in the flour. Add the polenta & mix well.
  3. Pour into a greased loaf tin (or silicone equivalent) and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 - 50 minutes.
  4. Once open, transfer to a cooling rack & brush with a little maple syrup (optional, but I like the sheen it gives!) and leave to cool.
  5. Slice and enjoy :)

HEY, MONDAY

Mondays, eh?! 

Here's a fun example of why, this week in particular, I have a problem with the trickiest day of the week. About an hr ago, I started to write this (hilarious, clever, witty) blog post. I'd sourced some lovely links for you from around the internet, all gathered from some articles I'd read over the weekend and it was all going really well.... until POW! BANG! ARGH! it vanished. I hit backspace, which apparently means I go back to 70 minutes ago where all I have is a blank page. Sigh.

So, there's currently zero joy here. Or milk. Damn, I have no milk either and I really need a cup of tea. FML

 

So, here, let's try again...

Gotta go and get the kids now, back tomorrow!

 

 

 

image: here here here

Cocoa + Turmeric Energy Bites

It's 2:30 in the afternoon, it's pissing it down with rain and that cup of tea has your name on it. You are also seconds away from collapsing, in a post-lunch heap on your sofa/desk/toddler.  Do you; A) Open a pack of Jaffa Cakes and inhale the lot? B) Reach for the rice cakes, with the enthusiasm of someone eating cardboard? or C) Settle down with said cuppa and one of these Cocoa + Turmeric Energy bites? 

You know it makes sense, people!

These little beauties will curb that sugar craving until it's wine o'clock, give you a little energising lift and won't break the bank because you don't need 4 hundred bloody Medjool Dates to make them (thanks to Deliciously Ella I had to remortgage my home). Plus, they've got turmeric in them, because well, what hasn't these days?!

COCOA & TURMERIC ENERGY BALLS

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Place the ground almonds, raisins and pumpkin seeds in a food processor and pulse until the pumpkin seeds and raisins have broken down to small pieces but not totally blitzed.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined.
  3. Remove the mixture and roll into small balls and place on a baking tray. The mixture should make about 15-20 depending on their size.
  4. Place in a fridge for a couple of hours to firm up slightly. Keep in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to a week.