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.

 

 

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.

 

Soft Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Happy Halloween weekend! Being the pumpkin season that it is I thought I’d make something seasonal and tasty to share with you to get the festivities started.

I’m loving experimenting with pumpkin recipes at the moment. Pumpkin pie/pumpkin themed recipes aren’t such a UK hype like they seem to be in the US. However, I’m fully for it! You can make such delicious, versatile sweet dishes, adding a bonus micronutrient hit; pumpkin contains beta-carotene, a powerful anti-oxidant which converts to vitamin A in the body to help with healthy skin, eye health and our mucus membranes. Pumpkin is also a great source of potassium and fibre.

If you like soft, cakey cookies then these fellas are for you. They’re also incredibly easy to make with minimal ingredients. Enjoy!

Ingredients (makes about 15 cookies):

70g ground almonds

100g oat flour (oats blended into a powder – I used my nutribullet)

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp organic honey

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 egg

1 tsp + an extra pinch of baking powder

3 heaped tbsp pumpkin puree

 

Method:
  • Preheat oven to 180c and line + grease a baking tray
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients together.
  • In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil. Once melted, add the honey and stir together well.
  • Add the honey + coconut oil into the mixing bowl of dry ingredients, then add the pumpkin puree and crack in an egg. Mix everything together (the mixture will be fairy wet, don’t worry it’s supposed to be – it’ll help the cookies become lovely and squidgy when baking).
  • Roughly shape out 15 cookies onto your baking tray, making sure there is space between each one.
  • Bake for 15/20 mins until slightly golden on top. Once the cookies are out the oven, they’ll be soft to touch so don’t go prodding them as they will crumble! Leave them to fully cool for about an hour or so on a wire rack, THEN delve in. Top with crunchy seeds if you fancy or eat them as they are.

 

My Favourite Banana, Date + Chia Seed Bread

Ohhhh ma gawd. Seriously guys. If you have bananas laying around that need using up, I urge you to whip this baby UP!

The flavour and texture is to die for! It’s not too sweet which I personally love, but the chewy pieces of date when you bite in really make it. I topped mine with a little organic butter for a slightly salty edge… melt it the mouth quite literally *drool*.

I chose to bake with wholewheat spelt flour. Spelt has a naturally sweet, rather nutty flavour and substitutes well for regular flour in many recipes. The benefit of using wholewheat spelt flour is that it’s slighty higher in protein in comparison to regular flour, is rich in fibre, and contains a slightly higher ratio of vitamins + minerals such as manganese, b vitamins and zinc. Please note that spelt does contain gluten, and although it’s actually known to be tolerated well in instances (spelt has a higher gliadin to glutenin ratio which is thought to be more gentle on digestion), if you do have an IBD like Coeliac Disease or a gluten sensitivity then it’s important to avoid it completely or have with caution depending on the severity.

This recipe also happens to be Vegan! Mainly because I wanted to experiment baking with a chia ‘egg’ as I was curious. Turns out it works pretty darn well.

My recipe has only 6 ingredients:

200g organic wholegrain spelt flour

4 medium bananas

2 tbsp chia seeds

30g pitted dates

1/2 tbsp baking powder

splash of unsweetened almond milk/oat milk

Method:

First, pop your chia seeds into a bowl and cover with 6 tbsp water to make a thick gel (leave for 10-15 mins).

Set oven to 180c, line + grease a loaf tin and set aside.

Whilst you wait for the chia ‘egg’ to form, mash your bananas in a large bowl with a fork until smooth with a splash of almond milk, I’ve also tried it with oat milk which worked fine. Don’t worry if there’s a few lumps here and there.

Once the chia egg is ready, scoop it into the mashed banana and mix well.

Add the flour and baking powder to the bowl and stir until just combined. It should be a fairly dense, thick consistency. Chop 30g of pitted dates (about 6-7 dates) into small pieces and stir them in last.

Tip your mixture into your loaf tin and smooth over with a spatula for an even distribution. Bake for 40/45 mins.

Insert a skewer to check if it’s ready – the skewer should come out clean and the loaf slightly browny/gold. Let cool and cut into 10 slices.