Cranberry + Orange Scone Bites

This really is the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas time is my absolute favourite.

Not only is it special in terms of having the family all together, something I appreciate even more now I’m getting older, but also all the lovely food and flavours that I associate with Christmas – warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. And fruits like clementine, cranberry, rhubarb, currents… Mince pies eh!? Whoever invented those is a genius. My mouth is watering as I type…

Here’s a simple little recipe I’ve developed, the perfect festive snack with a cup of warm cacao. It’s a sort of scone-come-cookie. Eat whole or slice into a ‘mini scone’ and top with a little butter if you like. I’ve tried both ways and both are equally delicious! They are dairy free and low in sugars; that burst of juicy cranberries really makes it though. *you can sub for currants/saltanas if preferred.

Ingredients (makes roughly 12):

1 cup wholewheat spelt flour

1/2 cup organic oats

1 egg

1 + 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp granulated stevia

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

grated zest of 1 small orange

juice of 1/2 small orange

1/3 cup hard coconut oil – then melted

1/4 cup dried cranberries

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180c. In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients including the orange zest and cranberries.

Pop your hard coconut oil into a separate dish and melt. Once melted, combine with 1 egg, the juice of 1/2 an orange and the vanilla essence. Whisk up.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until a dough forms. Add a little almond milk if it’s a bit stiff – the consistency should be squidgy but not overly wet.

Break sections away from the dough and roughly shape into small patties and place on greased bake sheet pan. I think I got 13 biccys from my mixture.

Bake for 12-15 mins until slightly golden. Let cool on a wire wrack and enjoy.

 

 

Simple, Creamy Vegan Broccoli Sauce + Spaghetti

This fresh, creamy sauce is full of flavour and ridiculously easy to throw together in a blender to mix in with some pasta for a quick mid-week supper. A great way to get in some green goodness!

I’ve recently been having black bean spaghetti (pictured) and am loving it. It’s one of my go-tos for a speedy supper as it only takes around 5 minutes simmering and you’re set. Plus, with my quick sauce, a healthy meal can be dished up in literally 10 mins – yup healthy eating needn’t be complicated.

This spaghetti it’s a real winner for high plant based protein, minerals such as iron and magnesium and its high antioxidant property – particularly anthocyanins; flavonoids which give black beans their rich, purpley/black colour. Last fun fact, black beans are packed with fibre. We should all aim to get around 30g of fibre in our diets daily but unfortunately most of us only reach around 17g, if that. I use this brand for my black bean spaghetti if you’re interested…you can buy it online and in most health stores here in the UK.

Paired with my creamy vegan broccoli sauce, this is a super-duper nutrient dense dinner, filled with an abundance of micronutrients. You won’t be disappointed!

Sauce ingredients for 2:

6-8 chunky broccoli florets (about half a head)

2 small garlic cloves or 1 big fat one

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk

1 tbsp avocado oil/olive oil

1 tsp white wine vinegar

shake of sea salt and black pepper

Top with:

Flaked almonds, toasted (handful)

1/2 tsp chilli flakes or extra if you like it more spicy

A little grated parmesan *optional or nutritional yeast

Method:

Boil a kettle and fill a saucepan. Add the broccoli and simmer for 6 mins until softened. Then drain.

In a food processor/nutribullet, add the cooked broccoli and the rest of the sauce ingredients and blitz to a creamy consistency.

Add your black bean spaghetti (or any pasta) to simmering water and cook through. Black bean spaghetti takes 6 mins, wholewheat pasta around 12-15.

Once the pasta is cooked, strain, pop back in the saucepan and pour in the broccoli sauce.

Stir the sauce through the spaghetti whilst keeping the pan on a low heat to make sure it’s piping hot throughout. Plate up and add your toppings. Enjoy!

My Favourite Food Spots Across Brighton

One of my all time favourite things to do, like most people, is to eat out with my friends and family – food is such a social, enjoyable part of my life as well as viewing it as a vital tool for health.

I have eaten my way round a fair few places local to where I live now *serial foodie alert*, so I thought I’d give you a little low down of some of my favourite places to grab some food and/or a coffee stop across Brighton + Hove… I frequently get asked for recommendations through social media so here we are: If you ever visit the South-Coast, give them (or one) a try and let me know what you think!

 

Breakfast/Brunch:

 

Baked, Hove – A solid brunch destination. Something to suit everyone and positioned on a busy road in central Hove, it’s perfect for people watching and sitting out in the sunshine.

V&H Cafe, Palmeira Square – Such a delicious variation of brekkies. From granola + greek yoghurt with ‘superfood’ toppings, to a full English. You can’t go wrong?

Eat Naked, Brighton – An absolute favourite of mine for lunch. Mix and match your lunch box full of freshly made, flavourful dishes with amazing wholesome ingredients to keep you fueled up and do your body some good.

Lost In The Lanes, Brighton – A calming little cafe in the lanes, with delicious plant based lattes and a great variety of healthy food options.

Gails Bakery, Hove – We all love a Gail’s Bakery! They’re mainly across London so I was super happy when they opened one locally to me. Such friendly staff and super good food: they make a mean porridge and their mini honey cake is the dream.

Red Roaster, Kemp Town – ‘The Insta Blogger Hang Out’ Aussie style brunch + cool interiors.

Treacle n Co, Hove – I recently went here for breakfast and it was so great! Relaxed atmosphere and everything on their menu sounded YUM. The Turkish eggs are TOP. I have a feeling I may become a regular here.

Cafe Marmalade, Brighton – A stylish, friendly cafe set back from the bustle in Kemp Town. Rustic, cosy + comforting homemade food.

Cafe Coho, Brighton – Cosy cafe in the city centre with great coffee, tasty breakfast options and some awesome vegan cakes for a pm ‘pick me up’.

42 Juice/SIX Brighton – Juice bar and nutritious food options (predominantly plant based).

The Flour Pot Bakery (Brighton + Hove locations) – Fresh bakes and they’ve perfected the mighty oat milk cappuccino to a T. Oh, and Friday is donut day FYI.

Small Batch Coffee Roasters (Brighton + Hove locations) – those who follow my insta stories will know the coffee love is real for this place.

 

Restaurants:

 

Food For Friends, Brighton – (vegetarian/vegan) Plant based at its very best! A firm fave and the menu changes frequently with the seasons.

Purezza, Brighton, Kemp Town – (Vegan Italian – an unusual but amazing combo!)

Gingerman, Brighton – A must for special occasions. Small, intimate and seriously delicious.

Archipelagos, Hove – Authentic Greek. The taztsiki + flat bread is life changing.

The Urchin, Hove – Highly recommend if you like seafood.

Silo, Brighton – One of my favorites. It’s a zero waste restaurant. Locally sourced produce + super creative dishes/flavour combos.

Casa Don Carlos, Brighton – A family run Spanish tapas in the heart of the Lanes.

 

 

 

 

Zesty Lemon + Coconut Bliss Balls

Coming at you with a super yummy, nourishing snack you can prep and pack in your school/work bag to help keep you energised during the day.

I absolutely love citrus flavours (partly due to lemon drizzle being my all time favourite cake when I was a little girl – it’s still a hard one to beat!) and these chewy protein balls are just divine – indulgent but nutritious, containing the sugars from fruit (higher fibre), with a punchy flavour.

I’ve used hemp flour which is an excellent plant based protein source, rich in omega 3 + 6 fatty acids and again, high in fibre. You could use vanilla/plain protein powder as a sub if you’ve not got hemp flour.

These are very simple to put together with minimal ingredients and keep well in the fridge for around 1 week.

Ingredients (makes 10 balls):

1/4 cup pecan nuts

1/3rd cup pitted dates

1/2 cup oats

2 tsp chia seeds

1 lemon

1/2 tsp natural lemon extract

1 tbsp hemp flour

1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

desiccated coconut (enough to coat the outside)

Method:
  • Pop the dates into a small dish and cover with hot water. Let soften for 5-10 mins whilst you get going with the next step.
  • In a food processor, blitz the pecans into a ‘finely chopped’ consistency then transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • In the mixing bowl, add the oats, chia seeds and hemp flour and stir together.
  • The dates should be soft by now, so drain the water from them and blitz in the food processor to a paste – it doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth, I like a few chewy bits for added texture!
  • Add the date paste to the other ingredients in the mixing bowl along with the melted coconut oil, the juice of 1 lemon, lemon extract and finally grate the zest of 1/2 the lemon in, too. Mix until a dough forms (you may need to get your hands in there to help it all bind together!)
  • Once you have the dough formed, break away sections and shape into 10 balls. Roll the balls in a little desiccated coconut and let them set in the fridge for around 1 hour.

 

Rhubarb + Orange Compote

Happy Friday, friends!

I have another yummy compote recipe for you guys (see my previous  here for a different flavour option).

Rhubarb + Orange together is just bliss! Rhubarb is actually a vegetable – nutritionally, it has a similar profile to dark leafy greens; high in vitamin K and fibre with a great dose of calcium and magnesium. It is typically fairly sharp in taste, so the orange helps to balance the flavours, giving it a little more sweetness.

 

Ingredients:

1 pack of rhubarb (3/4 stalks)

1 orange

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp stevia/coconut sugar

1 tsp coconut oil

 

Method:
  • Prepare the rhubarb by washing it thoroughly then chop into small cubes – this helps it 1. Fit in the saucepan! 2. Cook through quicker
  • Add the coconut oil to the pan and tip the rhubarb in, gently warming through on a low heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Squeeze in the juice of 1 whole orange, 1 tsp stevia/coconut sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract then stir together. Pop the lid on your pan and let the mixture bubble gently and thicken. About 10 mins.
  • Depending on how juicy your orange is, you may need to add a little water to help the rhubarb soften in the liquid further.
  • Lastly, grate in the zest of half the orange. The consistency of your compote should be thick, soft and have fine little strings visible (the fibre!) I do still like the taste of mine fairly sharp, I enjoy adding some to my creamy morning porridge with seeds – the flavours and textures all come together nicely. If the sharpness is a bit much for your tastebuds, add a little more sweeter if you need and taste again.
  • Keep in a glass tight-lidded jar and store in the fridge for 5-7 days.