March 18, 2015

Lemon, Ricotta and Almond Cake

oh my - this cake. Dare I say more. Flour-less, light and beyond perfection, this is the perfect dessert to marry up with a summer's day (even if we're not quite there yet!). I went a bit overboard and tried to cram all the batter into one fluted cake tin. I wouldn't recommend this... I just wanted the beautiful fluting! Much to my dismay however, we had to cut it from the tin. It tasted just as good though.

I have a thing for almonds. We go back a long way. Well, since flaked almonds became a regular in the weekly shop to top my yoghurt and blueberries in the morning for breakfast. I'd toast them, grind them, sprinkle the roasted remains from my Moulinex on top of honey drizzled yoghurt and since then we've got on like a house on fire. They're my staple snack to take to work and keep in my emergency snack tin, which seems to invoke plenty more "emergencies" than need be just so I can sneak a handful before anyone notices. Someone once told me I may have been a squirrel in a previous life. It's entirely possible. So, almonds, here we are again, making this cake entirely gluten free. 

Make this and if you blink, it might all be gone!


March 14, 2015

Morning Super-food "Granola"

porridge has sent me into the throes of breakfast creation since I can no longer face another morning of sitting down to a bowl of oaty broth (my boyfriend likes to call it "horse food") to keep me going until lunchtime. I know I shouldn't belittle my staple breakfast that really, you can do just about anything with, but my palette needs to savour something different, especially now we've approached the weekend.

Granola, on the other hand, can also get the bad press - too much sugar, too much fat (I like to remember however, that not all fat is bad for you, ahem avocados, nuts). So I really pulled this recipe back to basics. I wanted to keep all my ingredients as raw as possible so that this fell into the healthy category. I've recently used hemp plant protein in smoothies and juices to give me a little kick after a workout, but had not yet tasted the seeds themselves. Packed with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, these little cherubs of nourishment also have a high fibre content and approximately 30g of protein per 100g. 

Don't forget the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds (pronounced chee-ah as I found out this week) and flaked almonds, toasted for that extra crunch that all you cereal lovers crave, plus a dash of cinnamon. This spice sweetens just enough to make you feel like you're gobbling a treat! And what's more, this takes five minutes to throw together. All the super-foods in this will make you superbly energetic and give you a better equipped body to start the day in the right way. Store in an airtight container and serve with smashed raspberries and Greek yoghurt or almond milk.


March 08, 2015

Egg & Soldiers

how do you like your eggs in the morning? I like mine with a kiss. Boiled or fried, I'm satisfied...as long as I get my kiss! My Sunday morning routine goes a little bit like this: wake up, run, come back and whip up a filling breakfast to keep me going right up until the Sunday roast comes out. Although this really is as simple as simple gets, it's a great staple breakfast that, done to perfection, is one of my favourites. 

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, with enough to cover the entire egg. I then use an ice cream scoop to dip my egg in and out of the water to get it used to the temperature change and avoid cracking. When you're ready to rock and roll, place your egg in the boiling water for 6mins. Grab some bread and pop it in the toaster and then serve with ground salt and pepper for dipping.

Happy Sunday everyone! 


March 07, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies

I'm nuts about nuts. Full stop. There is nothing better in the world for snacking than a handful of roasted almonds or a spoonful of peanut butter. And what's more, this "butter" is so easy to make (check out my recipe for homemade Almond Butter), you won't want to buy store bought jars after you've tried it yourself. You simply roast your nuts (if you like that rustic flavour) and whizz them into a paste. 

Now, although us Brits haven't yet adopted the idea of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, there are still endless way to enjoy it: spread on toast and lightly mash a banana on top for a protein hit or stir into porridge in the morning as a substitute for honey. Me, sometimes I just like eating it straight from the jar...

I wanted to take this classic peanut butter cookie recipe up a notch; the brown sugar gives them an almost caramel-ly flavour and the addition of nutmeg spices things up. Even if I like mine plain, crisp and golden that shouldn't stop you dipping yours into dark chocolate and sprinkling with pulverised peanuts before demolishing them in seconds. There's nothing like feeling a little bit All-American at the weekend!


March 01, 2015

Multi-seed Banana Bread

time is never on our side I have decided; it slips too quickly through our fingers when we need it most and draws out long and hard when you really wish it would pass by in the blink of an eye. I took some time out of blogging to focus on a few other ventures in life (work, running - yes, I took this up with some training for the London Zoo 10km last September - and moreover focusing on me for a little while). I wouldn't say that's the hugest crime, right..? 

Saying that, I am now very much ready for returning to blogging and inspiring you with the bakes I fit in around my London lifestyle. This particular creation came about purely from the browning bananas in the fruit bowl. I have an inane dislike for bananas once they start to turn, much against my Dad's mutterings of "they're absolutely fine", "they won't kill you", you know the spiel... Simply put, he would eat anything unopened that's passed it's sell-by date by at least a decade.

I also wanted to add something nutritious to this bake since I'd just come back from a 15km run, so I grabbed what we had in the store cupboard: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed. Et voila! Grab a handful of each and sprinkle copiously over the top prior to placing in the oven. 

The bananas keep this loaf lovely and moist, whilst the seeds give it a little extra crunch! Enjoy toasted with a smothering of butter and a cup of tea to give you a sweet pick-me-up. Go bananas with this recipe!