Category Archives: Fruit

What would you feed me…Chitra? 

 This week’s guest post comes to you from the powerhouse that is Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen. I say powerhouse because Chitra posts healthy, wonderful recipes daily, her recipe log is massive, you are guaranteed to be inspired! Chitra’s aim is to share healthy recipes, often her healthy version of typical indian recipes, always complete with nutritional information, which, of course, highly appeals to me 🙂

So, this week, Chitra, what would you feed me?   

 When Elaine approached me for guest post, I was really thrilled and it was a great honour for me to be here. “What would you feed me” is a series of guest posts initiated by Elaine and I am glad to be part of it. It is a great opportunity given to me by her to meet new people thru her blog.

I get inspired by Elaine’s Vegetarian healthy recipes mainly Salads and Dips variations. Knowing Elaine’s inclination towards spices and sugar free dishes. I wanted to try something which fits to ‘What would you feed me’ series, as well her healthy blog concept, so tried this Spiced Kiwi Lassi instead of Sweet Lassi.


Thanks again Elaine for the opportunity.

  

Kiwi Lassi – Spiced:


About:

Smoothies/Drinks are quick and easy and are a real treat on warm days. This is a thick, rich, flavorful smoothie is cool and refreshing and can be taken as a light meal or can be served for breakfast. You can enjoy it any time of the day … Delicious and loaded with nutrients, I love that 🙂


Health Benefits:


Kiwi has more vitamin C than an orange and it’s seeds are rich in Omega 3 acids. Supports learning process, boost immunity system and helps your skin to glow.


Fennel seeds (Saunf) are very effective for digestive problems. These seeds can be chewed upon or had as a tea decoction for beneficial effects upon the stomach. In India, these are routinely chewed upon after meals to aid in digestion after a rich meal while acting as herbal mouth freshener.


Cardamom– Elaichi or cardamom not only does it add sweet taste and unique flavour to your dishesCardamom contains chemicals that appear to treat stomach and intestinal spasms and gas, and increase the movement of food through the intestine.


Yields -2 servings

Preparation time -10 minutes


Ingredients:

• Kiwi fruit- 4
• Plain greek yogurt-1cup
• Milk-1/2cup 

For Spices:

• Fresh mint leaves-8-10
• Cardamom-1pod
• Ground pepper-1/4tsp (or as per taste)
• Fennel seeds-1/2tsp
• Salt- a generous pinch ( I used black salt)

Procedure:

• Place all spices (ground pepper, cardamom pods, fennel seeds), salt , mint, in a blender and pulse until coarsely crushed.
• Now to this add kiwi fruit, yogurt, mint and continue to blend until smooth.
• You can add more milk to reach your desired consistency and ice if you like a frosty smoothie.


Enjoy.


Note:

• Spices can be personalised
• Consistency of Lassi can be altered too 

 

What a wonderful, fresh looking smoothie, and with the spices, a completely different take on fruit smoothies for me. Thank you so much, Chitra xx

What would you feed me…Melissa?

 

This week’s post is truly inspirational, and may well come at a perfect time for some of you if you’ve overindulged over Easter…

When I invited Melissa from The Glen House to take part in my guest post series I knew that it may well be a challenge for her to fulfil the guidelines of bringing a vegetarian, sugar free, gluten free, healthy dish, but she jumped at the chance of being involved, which made me very happy! Lovely, friendly, vivacious, Melissa makes amazing cakes, she loves baking, and eats very differently from me, but her post captures the essence of the series completely, I hope you enjoy it..

So, Melissa, what would you feed me? 

Elaine asked me write a post that was gluten free and sugar free. Me? Me that uses copious amounts of sugar, chocolate, butter and flour in her posts and in her every day life? Why not, I thought!

But I wasn’t thinking.

Elaine and I are from the opposite ends of the foodie spectrum; she’ll often post a piece and my response would be something along the line that “it would be great covered in chocolate”. Elaine posts healthy dishes and snacks, whilst I write about cakes and cookies. How on earth could I write her sort of post? 

I knew I’d have to stick to what I know, there was no point just serving up a fruit salad or a plate of veg. I needed to make Elaine something ‘sweet’ like a cake or muffin, but I had to use her sort of ‘sugar’. I had to put myself in her shoes…  
So, for the month of March I gave up sugar. I GAVE UP SUGAR. I-GAVE-UP-SUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No more cakes, biscuits, muffins, Haribo, chocolate, alcohol…. Even bananas and mangos were off limit! I stopped snacking altogether and stuck to three meals a day. While I was at it, I did away with potatoes and bread too! After two days of mind blowing headaches, I was ok. My sugar fix came from berries, I rekindled my long lost love affair with avacodos and my palette began to change. I lost a stone and a half in four weeks by eating this way- not diet AT ALL, just eating properly.

New ways of cooking and baking called out to me; I discovered Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella fame and Sarah Wilson, who has written several books on life without sugar. I began to understand how to use nuts and fruit to replace eggs, butter and sugar and how I can replace normal flour with healthier alternatives. So, I’m making Elaine a recipe I’ve come up with myself, based on my research.  
Banana, Date and Pecan Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup pecans
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup dates
2 large bananas
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
vanilla (I used Dr Oekter vanilla grinder)
a pinch of maldon salt

 Method:

Preheat the oven 180 degrees and line a muffin tin. Blend the pecans to a fine powder in a food processer. Add them into a bowl with the other dry ingredients and stir. Mix the milk, dates, bananas and vanilla and blend until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients and spoon into the muffin cases. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

I enjoyed my banana goodies with a cup of liquorice tea (try it, it’s amazing!) 

  

32 days after giving up sugar and I can still count the amount of sugar based ‘treats’ I’ve had on one hand. I can’t honestly say that I will give up sugar completely, but I will never go back to eating the amount I did before. NEVER.


Melissa xx

Darling Melissa, I LOVE your muffins, but more than that, I love how you embraced the challenge and what you achieved for yourself. What you have done isn’t easy, sugar is a drug and not easy to give up, and you achieved that. Huge respect from me, honey! I hope you feel fabulous xx

My gluten free, sugar free, cookie bites…

IMG_5589.JPGToday me and my cookie bites are featured on the wonderful Prudy’s blog Butter Basil and Breadcrumbs – hop on over and have a look, there’s two recipes and I can promise you tasty little bites packed full of flavour and goodness..

IMG_5596.JPGThank you to lovely Prudy for asking me to take part in her new feature: Just Another Cookie Monday xx

Healthy, fabulous apple and nut biscuits/bars…

IMG_2058.JPGThis was one of my experiments this week, following the process I’ve used when I’ve made my previous cracker recipes but this time adding fruit.

IMG_2054.JPGAnd it’s worked very nicely 🙂

This creates gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, biscuits/crackers/bars – call them what you like! Just know, they’re mega healthy!!!

I used..

Pecans
Pistachios
Hazelnuts
Ground almonds
Chia seeds
Grated apples
2 eggs

Optional: consider adding cinnamon or apple pie/pumpkin pie spice mixes

Method..

I milled the nuts but not completely to dust so that there was still some crunch; grated 4-5 apples and added them to the nuts, then mixed in chia seeds and eggs and mixed it all up together.

I then spread the mixture onto baking paper..

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I baked it at 140C for an hour, taking it out halfway through to cut lines into the dough with a pizza cutter, then after the hour placed the cut out biscuits directly onto rack and baked for another 20-30 mins, then turned off the oven, propped open the door and left the tray in the oven as it cooled to remove moisture.

IMG_4136.JPGThey won’t stay crispy as the apple content will soften them, but they’re still fab even without being crispy and in fact, having left them in a tin overnight, the flavour has grown and they remind me very much of cereal bars you can buy, except that these are better, as they are, of course, homemade and full of only good stuff!!!! No preservatives or nasty ingredients here thank you! You could even cut them into bar shapes and fool the kids I reckon 🙂

And you can always crisp them up in a low oven for 10-15 minutes if you want to 🙂

Lovely on their own, an ideal snack, packed full of protein, so a good energy booster mid afternoon, or ideal before or after exercise, or lovely with a bit of cheese – I topped some with a mild soft goats cheese and it was, you guessed it, LOVELY!!

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Goodness bars make a welcome return for Fiesta Friday..

IMG_3504.JPGI haven’t made any goodness bars or balls for a while now but this week a customer ordered some so it was time to get back to it, and oh, how I’ve missed them! The mix of melted nut butters and coconut oil to bind the nuts, seeds and dried fruits is so tasty, as I scraped the bowl (once I’d finished making them of course!) and licked the spatula, I sighed with joy 🙂

These are particularly super fab bars this time, they contain:
Sunflower seeds,
Pumpkin seeds,
Almonds,
Cashews,
Banana chips,
Coconut chips,
Pineapple,
Papaya,
Raisins,
Dates,
Almond butter,
Peanut butter, and
Coconut oil.

How’s that for fab???

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IMG_3578.JPGAll chopped and mixed with the nut butters and coconut oil, pressed into my silicone mini loaf trays and frozen for half an hour, they’re simple to make and packed full of goodness.

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For more goodness bar recipes, plus goodness balls and other super healthy snacks, check out my recipe index.

I’m bringing these to this weeks Fiesta Friday and hope that the other party goers enjoy the crunchy, tasty, goodness. The party this week is hosted by Andrea and Sylvia, pop over and check out Angie’s amazing rainbow pizza and meet the lovely ladies.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Carrot cake for breakfast anyone?

IMG_6682.JPGA little while ago I read this post on Frankie’s Feast blog showing a recipe for overnight carrot cake oats and it was love at first sight!! I always loved carrot cake but I find it far too sweet nowadays so this is a perfect option for me. It has, however, taken my this long to actually make it! I think I was waiting for some cooler weather to really enjoy some warm porridge for my breakfast.

This week I made it, well, my version of it, as I slightly changed a couple of things, but it was essentially the Frankie’s Feast recipe.

So, I soaked a cup of oats in a cup of water, mixed with a great pile of finely grated carrots, a mashed banana, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon, and I added a handful of raisins too..

IMG_3255.JPGI couldn’t help myself but see what would happen if I baked a couple of spoonfuls of the mixture before leaving it to soak overnight, and it worked nicely..

IMG_3268.JPGBy the next morning, the water was all wonderfully soaked into the oats and the raisins were nice and plump..

IMG_3269.JPGIt was nice cold but I decided to warm some up and topped it with nuts and seeds..

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IMG_6683.JPGIt makes a bowl of absolute LOVELINESS! It’s very tasty and very filling and I made enough to have it two days running. I will definitely make this again, I highly recommend you give it a go 🙂

IMG_6687.JPGWhy not soak some tonight….?

Crumbly jumbly loveliness for Fiesta Friday..

I’ve already written this post once today, full of links and pics and chat..then hit the discard button by accident!!!! Grrrrrr!!! Yes, I’m sure you can imagine what I said!! So, let’s try again..

Anyway, before I get to the food bit, last week myself and Stacey from 10legsinthekitchen co hosted the weekly blog party over at The Novice Gardener “Fiesta Friday”; it was great fun, not only did I get to meet and make a new blog friend in Stacey, I got to read lots of great posts from a whole range of fabulous bloggers.

If you haven’t already discovered Fiesta Friday I would definitely recommend that you pop over and check out this weeks party, you’ll be in good hands as the hosts this week include the lovely Selma and the lovely Jhuls . Enjoy! (And consider volunteering to co host, you’ll have the most fun you can have from your sofa!)

So, onto my offering this week…I’ve made a lot of food this week, and I mean A LOT, I have a fridge bulging with all of my dips and marinating vegetables, all ready for a special visitor this weekend 🙂 I’ve also made batches of butternut squash mini loaves and sweet potato chermoula mini loaves and various goodness bars, all for different customers – great stuff!

In amongst all that, I also made these bars this week..

20140523-200302-72182475.jpg..but it’s not the bars that I want to bring to the party, it’s the by-product.

Whenever I make goodness balls or bars, I always love the look of all of the chopped ingredients..

20140523-200645-72405105.jpg..so this week I decided to keep some aside before shaping the rest of the mix into bars..

20140523-200718-72438844.jpg

20140523-200718-72438276.jpg..to use almost as a sweet ‘dukkah’ or a topper or whatever you want to call it, basically a lovely mix of chopped nuts, seeds and dried fruit to sprinkle onto natural yoghurt. Sooooo tasty!

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As this mix included dried cranberries and raisins, I found it too sweet, so I added some ground almonds and shredded coconut and it took the sweetness down as well as filling out the amount..

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20140523-201135-72695550.jpgIt almost looks snowy doesn’t it??

I could happily eat this on it’s own, just give me a spoon, in fact I did!! It was also very nice with the yoghurt 🙂

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So, grab a spoon and sprinkle liberally on yoghurt, ice cream, whatever you fancy and enjoy! See you at the party…