We have been away the past week on holiday to Aberdeenshire which has been wonderful. Plenty of sun, sea, sand, parks,picnics and bbq’s.I have to say I was quite disappointed to get back to reality but very pleased to see my kitchen and get baking! Seeing as I’ve not been here for a while I have a double whammy for you all. Two recipes! Both quick and easy and nut free. A few people have asked for recipes free from nuts so hopefully these will go down well. The first recipe I want to share with you is some delicious carrot and Apple juice. My son loves this, it’s bright orange which is really appealing and it has a nice subtle taste. Not too sweet but delicious enough to temp little tastebuds. Then in the spirit of not wasting good fresh food we made some super healthy cookies using the left over pulp from making the juice. I mean what could be better? Two bakes in one and you tick veg off the daily to do list.
Apple and carrot juice
- 1 Apple (peeled and chopped)
- 1 carrot (peeled and chopped)
- 250ml water
Place all the ingredients into a blender and blitz till smooth.
Pour through a sieve into a jug. Let it drip through a while to make sure all the liquid comes through
Set aside the pulp if you are making the juice pulp cookies
Drink your juice with a few ice cubes so it’s nice and chilled.
Juice pulp cookies
- 150g oats
- 1/2 cup carrot and Apple juice pulp
- 1/4 cup sultanas
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
Simple combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly.
Take tablespoons of mixture and form into balls. Poo them on the baking tray then flatten into cookies.
Bake for 20 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
Today I have a massive chocolate craving. I think it might be due to being exhausted and needing an indulgent pick me up. Having Decided that 5am is the new getting up time and that beds, couches and actually any reachable surface is now for climbing on, Sadie is doing her best to wear me out! Anyway it was a picnic bar that I was dreaming of this morning…so I present the healthy sugar free version of this scrummy chocolate treat.
Sugar free picnic bars
For the filling
- 1/2 cup dates (soaked)
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. Water
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup peanuts (toasted)
- 1/4 cup puffed rice
For the chocolate coating
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 5 tbsp. cacao powder
Line a 1lb loaf tin with grease proof paper.
To make the filling blitz with a hand blender the dates, honey, coconut oil and water until a sticky caramel has formed. Transfer into a mixing bowl and add the raisins, peanuts and puffed rice. Combine thoroughly.
Flatten the mixture into the loaf tin pressing down really firmly so it’s well packed. Freeze for an hour or so until solid. Take out and cut into bars.
Make the chocolate coating by melting the coconut oil in a pan. Take off the heat and whisk in the cacao powder and honey. Pour the chocolate into a bowl. Dip each bar into the chocolate until fully coated.
Place all the bars on a plate and freeze for a further hour until the chocolate is solid.
Store in the fridge in an airtight container.
We’ve had a busy old weekend here…driving lessons, picnics, park, football, park, park and more park. The weather has been great and lots of fresh air has made for easy bedtimes for a change.
All this has meant not much baking has gone on. So this afternoon while Sadie took a nap, Arthur and I did a spot of bakingand made a simple batch of breakfast bars for tomorrow. He was pleased as punch with his creation.
However Sadie was prematurely woken from her nap to the sound of water lapping up my kitchen walls and Arthur shrieking in delight. How relieved she must have been that it was only Arthur doing the washing up and not a tsunami. These marvellous little bars are super healthy and easy and look so pretty with flashes of purple berries through them. They might get eaten for breakfast or they may be packed up for a mid morning snack out and about. My kids love seeds so they get added to most things we eat and they are great for you. Sunflower seeds are full of magnesium and great for your heart, your muscles and your brain.
Blackberry and Apple breakfast bars
- 100g oats
- 50g sunflower/pumpkin seeds
- 1tsp chia seeds
- 1 small apple (grated)
- 50g blackberries
- 2 desert spoons coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. cashew butter
Preheat the oven to 190/gas 5 and line a 2lb loaf tin with grease prop paper.
In a large bowl mix together the oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chia seeds, apple and blackberries.
Melt the coconut oil in a pan then take off the heat and add the honey and cashew butter. Pour over the dry ingredients and give it all a good mix.
Press the mixture firmly into the loaf tin, making sure to squash it all down really well.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Leave it to cool for a few minutes in the tin then transfer to a wire rack.
Once completely cool, cut into bars
I’m guessing our house isn’t the only one that is sometimes a little chaotic in the mornings. Quite often we are a bit disorganised making breakfast. I make porridge and everyone decides they don’t want porridge, then I clean porridge from in between lots of tiny fingers and sometimes the curtains too. Oats are such a great way to start the day though so today I am prepared for tomorrow morning. I thought ahead and I’ve pimped up breakfast with these coconut and carrot breakfast bars. They are full of good things, oats, cashew butter, coconut and carrot! Yeehaw a vegetable hit before 7.30am is something worth celebrating for sure. If you have a little one who thinks of vegetables unfavourably I bet you they won’t detect the presence of carrot at all in these. So just enough time this evening to rustle up some up for the morning…
Coconut & carrot breakfast bars
- 100g oats
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 desert spoons coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. honey
- 2 tbsp. cashew butter
- 1/4 cup grated apple (about 1 small Apple)
- 1/4 cup grated carrot (about half a carrot)
Preheat the oven to gas 5.
Mix together the oats, desiccated coconut and raisins in a large mixing bowl.
Melt the coconut oil in a pan. Once melted take off the heat and transfer to a hand blender. Add the honey, cashew butter, apple and carrot. Blend until they combine into a smooth liquid.
Pour into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Pour into the loaf tin and press down really firm until it is all flat.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack then cut into fingers.
Movie night and chocolate raisins=match made in heaven right? Chocolate and raisins are two of my favourite things and they just go so well together and are the perfect snack when you’re settled down for a cosy night in…I do think however it is pretty hard to find good quality ones. So often the raisins are hard and shrivelled and the chocolate it sickly and cheap tasting….So let’s just make our own and while we’re at it lets make them super nutritious…why not! This is so simple and fast and totally addictive. Ok these might not look like chocolate raisins as you know them but I guarantee they taste much better and the ingredients list is natural and wholesome.
Healthy chocolate raisins
- 1/3 cup Coconut oil
- 4 tbsp Cacao powder
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 1/3 cup Raisins
First line a 2lb loaf tin with grease proof paper.
Melt the coconut oil in a pan then take off the heat and whisk in the cacao powder and honey until it becomes a smooth chocolaty liquid.
Pour half the liquid into the loaf tin covering the bottom of it.
Evenly sprinkle the raisins on top and then cover them with the remaining chocolate.
Chill in the freezer for an hour. Once it has set into one solid piece of chocolate you can snap it up into pieces.
Now I know these aren’t individual chocolate coated raisins…of course you could dip each raisin into the pan of chocolate, place them onto a parchment and freeze until they are solid…yawn…but I think we can all agree life is too short!
Now bung the lot into a bowl, sit down and chill out.
Remember to store in the fridge as coconut oil melts at 24c so left out it may turn back into chocolate sauce.
Celebrating a siblings birthday can be tough when you are only 2. All those presents and cards for some one else…So to make things a little easier for Arthur he received this magic ice cream van from his granny and papa.
A gift for being a super big brother on Sadie’s birthday. He is delighted with it and we have been queuing up to ask for ice cream all week. It has also sparked a huge amount of conversation about eating ice creams and ice lollies and visiting ice cream vans…a wee treat he will no doubt experience at some point this summer. Until then I decided we needed a healthy and easy alternative to stash in the freezer. These ice lollies are practically a square meal on a stick! They contain a vegetable, a fruit, protein, calcium, vitamin C and most probably loads of other amazing things! They also look super funky and exciting which always helps.
Super healthy ice lollies
Ingredients (makes 4)
For the yogurt layer
- 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbsp. honey
For the ice lolly layer
- 1 small raw beetroot (peeled and halved)
- 100g fresh raspberries
- Juice of half a lemon
- A small knob of fresh ginger
- 100ml water
- A handful of pistachios (crushed)
For this recipes you will need some ice lolly moulds. They are pretty easy to get hold of, most supermarkets sell them at this time of year. But if not an old yogurt pot and a lolly stick works just as well.
First make the yoghurt layer. Simply mix together the yoghurt and honey and spoon about 2 tbsp into each mould.
Now make the ice lolly layer. In a blender or juicer place the beetroot, raspberries, lemon juice, ginger and water and blitz until smooth. If you are using a blender which I did you now need to put it through a sieve over a measuring jug to remove the pulp. You may need use a spoon to squish and scrape to get all the juice out. If you are using a juicer hopefully it does this part for you.
Once you are left with a jug of smooth juice fill each ice lolly mould up on top over the yoghurt and put the stick in place.
Freeze for a few hours or overnight.
Once ready to serve spread a layer of honey over the ice lolly and roll in the crushed pistachios.
Happy birthday Sadie Joan Maine.One year old today.
My little munchkin, what a year! It’s gone by so fast, you are such a beautiful little person with an amazing character already. I can’t wait to see what this year brings.
To celebrate we made and devoured this scrumptious cake…
Coconut and raspberry birthday cake
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
- 100g fresh fruit (raspberries, strawberries and blueberries)
- A generous spreading of 100% raspberry fruit spread
- Coyo coconut yoghurt alternative (or ordinary greek yoghurt)
Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4
Line two cake tins with grease proof paper.
Mix together the coconut flour, oatmeal, desiccated coconut and baking powder.
Add the coconut oil, honey, vanilla, coconut cream and eggs and mix thoroughly. I used an electric hand mixer for quickness.
Smash the raspberries slightly and stir them through.
Divide the mixture evenly into the the two cake tins.
Bake for about 30 minutes being careful to swap the cakes half way through if they are on different shelves.
Cool on a wire rack.
Once completely cool spread one sponge with 100% raspberry fruit spread and top with half the Coyo. Sprinkle half the fruit on and sandwich the other sponge on top.
Cover the top layer with more Coyo and fruit.
I also decorated with some lovely edible flowers seeing as it was a special occasion.