Sugar free hobnobs

My store cupboard is looking a bit sparse at the moment. I used to make a regular pilgrimage to the whole food shop to stock up on healthy baking ingredients, however it is a dangerous place when money is tight and there are far too many delicious things I like in there so we haven’t been for a while. Arthur asked to do some baking this afternoon, so we had a look to see if we could be inspired by the minimal ingredients we had.

One of the best things about making up your own recipes is that you don’t have the disappointment of not having the ingredients the recipe requires. Instead we take out the ingredients we have and see what we can do with them.

Today I had a hankering for a nice cup of tea and biscuit. So hobnobs it was, refined sugar free hobnobs that is. Yes they do have a fair amount of butter and honey in them but I’m not suggesting you eat them all at once….we definitely haven’t eaten them all…yet. These are just my kind of biscuit as they are huge, they really expand in the oven and come out all soft and chewy and yummy.

Now I don’t want to brag but these are really tasty, and actually very similar to hobnobs. don’t just take my word for it though, make them and then decide.

*Note* I have used salted butter in this recipe because i think it gives the biscuits that signature hobnobbiness, but if this just sounds too weird to you then feel free to use unsalted butter instead.

Sugar free hobnobs

Ingredients 

  • 100g self raising flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 100g salted butter
  • 1/3 cup runny honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Method

Preheat the oven to 160/gas mark 3 and line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper.

Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Add the oats and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl mix together the butter, honey and vanilla. We used an electric mixer for this for two reasons, 1. it makes the butter and honey fluffy and creamy super fast and 2. Arthur flipping loves a machine that makes a noise.

Gradually fold in the dry ingredients until everything is combined thoroughly into a wet mixture.

Take spoonfuls of mixture and dollop them onto the baking sheet. The mixture will be quite wet but don’t worry it will come together in the oven. Be sure to space out the dollops as they will expand quite a bit. We got 10 biscuits from this mixture.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, switching your trays around half way so each gets some time on the top shelf.

Allow to cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Now boil the kettle…

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Toot Toot Truffles

Today I sat my driving test and passed…hurray! I was massively nervous about it and spent most of the week frowning and chewing my fingers. In an attempt to calm my nerves I kept super busy with the kids (nothing new there), abstained from all caffeine, alcohol and sugar and in the process created this bad ass recipe for raw truffles. Some people would call these energy balls; yes they do tick all the energy ball boxes, they contain many many wonderful ingredients for boosting energy…but they also really remind me of those delicious homemade truffles I remember from school fetes and birthday parties. Also truffles sound much fancier and fit for the celebration of passing my driving test. So here is the recipe. These are perfect for a party, a picnic or just an easy snack to have stored in the fridge.

Toot Toot Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 small carrot (grated)
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder (or good quality cocoa powder)
  • 4 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs (or good quality dark chocolate chips)\
  • desiccated coconut for rolling

Method

Place the grated carrot, oats, flaked almonds and sunflower seeds in a food processor and blitz util fine.

Add the remaining ingredients except the cacao nibs and desiccated coconut and blitz again until combined.

Stir through the cacao nibs so they remain whole.

Take tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls.

Roll each ball in the desiccated coconut

Chill in the fridge for an hour or so

These will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for a few days.

 

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Beetroot brownies 

Yesterday I had my mum visit, always great to have help with the kids and she brought me some beetroot from her garden too…score!
I love beetroot it’s one of my favourite veg. They are great for you too, they are high in protein, fibre and folic acid. When I was pregnant with Sadie I was obsessed with smoothies made from beetroot, carrot, apple and loads of ginger. Beetroot actually has the highest sugar content of all vegetables so although you might not associate them with baking they are actually great for cakes. Their sugar is released slowly do you don’t get that high then crash as with refined sugar. These chocolate brownies were quite experimental but they came out really well, nice and thick, sweet and chocolaty. We spread almond butter on the top which i think was a delicious addition but you could enjoy them as they are. My big helper Arthur helped to make them while my little helper, Sadie ‘tidied’ the Tupperware cupboard and between the two of them trashed my kitchen. But hey it was raining outside and everyone was entertained. 
Beetroot brownies

Ingredients 

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour 
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder 
  • 1tsp baking powder 
  • 250g raw beetroot (grated) 
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted) 
  • 1/4 cup honey 
  • 1 desert spoon yoghurt 
  • 3 large eggs 

Method 

Preheat the oven to 190/gas 5 and line a 20cm round cake pan with greaseproof paper.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz till smooth. 

Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 25 minutes. 

These tasted great with almond butter spread on top. 

Super dooper cheese & veg scones 

So my kids aren’t too keen on green vegetables (with the exception of green olives) only Orange and yellow veg are acceptable. I assume it’s because veg of these colours are sweet….sweet potato, carrot, squash, sweet corn are all ok…as long as they are cooked in the correct manner of course. Oven roasted or in a soup but never steamed and never raw! Sounds delicious I hear you say. Yes oven roast veg is great, occasionally, oven roast veg every other day gets a little boring. So if there’s any way I can get away with serving vegetables in a different format I’m delighted. So for lunch we made scones full of veggies and I even managed to sneak in a red pepper which is not one of usual approved food types. Hurray. 
Super dooper cheese & veg scones

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups plain flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 
  • Sprinkling of black pepper 
  • 1/3 cup veg purée (roughly 1/2 a small sweet potato, 1 small carrot, 1/4 of a red pepper) 
  • 1/4 cup butter 
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • 100ml milk

Method

Preheat the oven to 204/gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper. 

Make your purée by steaming or boiling the veg and then puréeing or mashing them. 

In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients.

Mix in the butter with your fingers.

Add the cheese, veg purée and milk and mix with a butter knife. 

Form into a large ball, then on a floured surface flatten it slightly. 

Cut into 8 triangular scones.

Bake for 18 minutes. 

Cool on a wire rack. 

We enjoyed ours with butter and 100% fruit spread. 

Nippy ginger biscuits

It is bloomin hot!!! I think it’s never been so hot in Scotland, our flat has skylights in the kitchen and the hall and it feels like we live in a green house. I’m finding it very hard to cook or bake at the moment without feeling like passing out from heat stroke. I did however galvanise myself yesterday to bake some biscuits for toddler group. I’m calling them nippy ginger biscuits as Arthur tucked in really enthusiastically only to discover that all the ginger made his tongue hurt. “Oh nooooooo!!! Nippy mummy nippy.” Sadie however was completely un phased by their spiciness and I personally think what is the point of a wimpy ginger biscuit? So these come with a toddler warning. If your little one prefers a milder taste you can just put half the ginger in no problem. But if your feeling daring whack the lot in and enjoy! 

Nippy ginger biscuits 

Ingredients 

  • 130g plain flour
  • 75g coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp honey 
  • 3 tsp ground ginger 

Method 

Preheat the oven to 180/gas 4 and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.

Mix together the flour and ginger in a large mixing bowl.

Melt the coconut oil and honey in a small pan over a low heat then pour into the flour. 

Mix together into a ball of dough. 

Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. 

On a floured surface, roll out and using a cookie cutter make the biscuits. 

Place on the tray and bake for 12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Blackberry & apple breakfast bars

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 

Ingredients 

  • 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 

Method 

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

Oaty apple bites

What a day! Toilet training, exploding washing machines and a trip to sick kids…just an average Wednesday then. Amid the madness I did manage to make a quick energy bite recipe. This was before all the disasters happened. Anyway my friend had a packet of ‘Nakd‘ apple bars this morning that her children were happily chomping through. She asked if I could make a copycat recipe of them for her to make at home. I am so happy she suggested this as these are bloomin delicious! I’ve eaten 3 already and I have to admit I haven’t alerted the husband to their presence in the fridge yet…I rolled them into balls and covered them in coconut to make them pretty but you could just as easily line a loaf tin with baking paper, squash the mixture into it, sprinkle with coconut and pop in the fridge for an hour. Then once chilled slice into bars or squares. Energy bites are such a quick and easy thing to make, these literally took 15 minutes. You can get the kids to help too, Arthur loves making raw treats as he can try all the ingredients and (with supervision of course) loves to turn the food processor on and off. 

Oaty apple bites 

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup dates (soaked and chopped)
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts 
  • 1/2 cup porridge oats 
  • 1/2 cup grated Apple (about 1 Apple)
  • Squeeze of lemon 
  • 1/4 cup raisins 
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg 
  • Desiccated coconut for rolling

Method 

Soak the dates for about 10 minutes then chop them up. 

Grate one small apple and squeeze over a dash of lemon juice. 

Blitz the almonds and walnuts in a food processor until they are fairly well broken up. 

Add all the other ingredients to the food processor and blitz until everything is thoroughly combined into a sticky mixture. 

Take tablespoons of mixture and roll into balls then toss them in the desiccated coconut. 

Refrigerate for about an hour, this will firm them up nicely.