Monthly Archives

November 2016

Snacks

Christmas Spiced Plum Chia Jam

November 20, 2016

Chia jam has been a staple in my kitchen for quite some time now, and I’m excited to share my winter spice plum recipe with you – a perfect gift for Christmas.

Chia seeds are used in lots of vegan recipes, as they often act as an egg replacement, making them ideal for baking cakes, chia puddings and other delicious treats. One of the great things about chia seeds is that they can hold between 9-12 times the amount of liquid they are soaked in, making them a perfect addition to fresh homemade jam.

Many store-bought jams contain huge amounts of sugar, I’ve discovered that you only need a tablespoon or two of maple syrup or honey to sweeten chia jam, and that can only be good thing right!

This recipe makes 1-2 small jars, and will last for 7-10 days in the fridge (with an airtight lid).

Ingredients

  • 475g of plums, stoned
  • 2 tbsp of sugar (I used coconut sugar for a slightly caramelised flavour)
  • 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of orange juice
  • 3 tbsp of chia seeds

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°c (180°c fan) and line a baking tray. Stone the plums and roughly chop into small pieces, add to a mixing bowl with the coconut oil, sugar, mixed spice and vanilla extract. Using a spoon, mix the fruit together until evenly coated.

Lay out the fruit on to the tray and pop in the oven, bake for 25-30 minutes until soft and sticky. Leave to cool.

Add the spiced fruit to a blender (I used my NutriBullet) and add a tbsp of orange juice. Blend for a few seconds until roughly smooth. Scrape into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Stir together until well combined and spoon into jars. Pop in the fridge overnight and enjoy spread on toast, with greek yoghurt or give as a gift for Christmas!

plum2

Snacks

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

November 16, 2016

This is one of my favourite sweet treats to make, the mix of raw cacao and smooth peanut butter is an absolute dream! I like to make a batch of these as a sweet snack, and I leave a bowlful of them in the fridge and pop the rest in the freezer – then there is always delicious treats at my fingertips.

The secret to making these bliss balls stick together is by soaking the dates in freshly hot boiled water. This makes them extra soft and easy to blend. I also find that you can use any form of dates when you soak them in hot water, which means you don’t have to buy super expensive medjool dates instead.

I’ve used peanuts and cashews as the base of the bliss balls but you can swap these for any type of nut you prefer. They would even taste delicious with almond butter instead of peanut, actually any nut butter would be awesome!

So, here’s my recipe…

You will need:

  • 100g of peanuts
  • 100g of cashews
  • 150g of dates (pitted)
  • 50g of desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp of honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of ground linseed (optional)

Method:

Boil the kettle and soak the dates in a bowl. Blitz the nuts in a processor until they form a fine crumb. Next drain the dates and add to the processor with the rest of the ingredients and blend until sticky and combined.

Using your hands, roll into small balls and pop in the fridge for an hour. This recipe makes approx 30 bliss balls. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Enjoy!

Snacks

Apple & Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars

November 11, 2016

Apple. Peanut Butter. Oats. What more do I need to say?!

I’m always looking to find healthy alternatives to sweet treats, and today I’ve been experimenting with breakfast bars. Lots of the store bought versions are crammed full of sugar, additives and other names that we just simply can’t pronounce – and if you can’t say it, how are we supposed to know what we’re putting into our bodies?

I’m sure many of you are aware of my ‘overnight oats’ addiction (so flipping’ good!) and this inspired me to take some of the key ingredients and have a go making my own breakfast bars. As soon as they’re were out of the oven, the warm sweet scent filled the kitchen and I knew I was onto a winner!

The recipe is simple and easy to follow, and they make the perfect grab and go breakfast when times are hurried. They also taste awesome with a cup of tea as a mid afternoon snack. Brew anyone?

flapjack4

 Ingredients

  • 200g of oats (I used porridge oats)
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2 apples, peeled and grated
  • 25g of sunflower seeds
  • 25g of pumpkin seeds
  • 25g of peanut butter (I used The Protein Works PB)
  • 25g of honey or maple syrup
  • 25g of coconut oil
  • 40g of 80% dark chocolate

Method

Makes 16 squares.

Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c fan) and line a square baking tray. Peel and grate the apples into a bowl, add the oats, ground almonds and seeds and roughly mix together. In a pan, add the peanut butter, coconut oil and honey (or maple syrup) and gently stir on a low heat until melted. Be careful not to burn! Pour into the mixing
bowl and stir together until combined and sticky.

flapjack1Press the mix into the baking tray and flatten with the back of a spoon until compact. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.

For extra yumminess, melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the bars. Top with a sprinkle of seeds and enjoy!

If you have a really sweet tooth, increase the honey to 50g instead of 25g.

Guest Recipes

Vegan Lemon & Coconut Cheesecake

November 9, 2016

By Healthy Jon
Creator of healthyjon.com

A raw cheesecake is a great place to start if you are relatively new to healthy dessert making, all you need is a food processor and a freezer. The base consists of; dates & nuts and the filling consists of; cashews, coconut oil, coconut milk & agave/honey/maple syrup etc., then just add flavourings to both to create different varieties of cheesecake. How easy is that!

You will need:

For the base:

  • 15 medjool dates
  • 1 cup of mixed nuts
  • 2 tbsp. of desiccated coconut
  • Zest of 1 lemon

For the filling:

  • 200g of soaked cashews
  • ½ cup of coconut oil (solid)
  • 200ml of coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp. of agave/honey/maple syrup etc.
  • Dash of vanilla essence
  • Zest of 2 lemons and juice of all 3

Method:

  1. Soak your dates for at least 2 hours (preferably 4) then drain, rinse and dry.
  2. Add the nuts to the food processor and blitz until they form a small crumb like texture (do not blitz for too long or they will turn into a powder, just 10 seconds will do), then add the remaining base ingredients and blitz until it starts to come together.
  3. Remove and spread into the base of a spring form pan, making sure it is even all over, pop in the freezer to set.
  4. Clean the food processor then add the dry cashews along with the remaining filling ingredients (melt the coconut oil first) and blitz until VERY smooth, the smoother the mixture, the lighter and creamier your cheesecake will be.
  5. When silky smooth pour over the base, spread flat and pop back into the freezer for 4 hours then serve.

NOTE. This will last quite a while in the freezer so you can make it well ahead of time if you need to, just remember if frozen for more than 6 hours or so it will need about an hour to soften up before you can serve it.

For more delicious recipes from Healthy Jon, visit his website healthyjon.com or find him on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & Twitter

Savoury

Grilled Cumin Salmon & Ginger Stir-fry

November 8, 2016

Grilled salmon is one of my favourite mid week meals, it’s simple and quick to make and you can add different herbs and spices depending on what mood you’re in! I like to add chilli flakes, a squeeze of lemon (or lime) and a grind of sea salt and pepper, or sometimes I will add a splash of tamari and a drizzle of honey.

As I like to make the salmon the star of the show, I tend to keep the stir-fry pretty simple. For this recipe I’ve added lots of greens, ginger and also grilled cherry tomatoes. You can add any vegetables you like to the stir-fry, the more the merrier!

Ingredients

  • 1 x salmon fillet (I prefer boneless, remove the skin after grilling)
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 2 handfuls of kale (I LOVE black kale)
  • 1/2 courgette
  • 4 baby sweetcorn (or small handful of prepared corn)
  • 1/4 red or green pepper
  • sprinkle of fresh parsley

Method

Turn the grill on to a medium to high heat and prepare a baking tray with foil. Lay the salmon (skin side down) and the cherry tomatoes onto the baking tray, season the salmon with 1/4 tsp of cumin seeds, cinnamon, squeeze of lemon juice and a grind of salt and pepper. Pop under the grill.

As the salmon begins to cook, chop the vegetables into bite size pieces and start to heat up a wok using a small amount of coconut oil. To the wok, add the rest of the cumin seeds, the grated ginger and crushed garlic, and begin to stir-fry the vegetables leaving out the kale and spinach – these will be added towards the end.

After 10-12 minutes the salmon should be cooked through (check the the deepest part for the flesh to be firm) and the tomatoes grilled. Remove from the grill and leave to one side, add the kale, spinach and lemon juice to the wok and stir-fry until they start to wilt. Remove the skin from the salmon, and serve with the stir-fry. Add a sprinkle of parsley and sesame seeds to garnish!

Sweet

Raspberry Coconut Macaroons

November 1, 2016

After discovering how delicious my blueberry almond cookies were the other day, I decided to experiment with new flavours and came up with this… Here’s how I made them:

Ingredients

  • 150g ground almonds
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 75g raspberries
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of coconut sugar (maple syrup or honey)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°c (fan) and line a baking tray. In a mixing bowl add all of the ingredients except the coconut oil and sugar, and stir together, squish the raspberries a little as you mix. Add the coconut oil and sugar to a pan and melt together. Pour into the mixing bowl and stir until a sticky dough ball forms, add 1 tbsp of milk if the mix is a little dry. Using a spoon divide the mix into 10 balls and flatten in your hand, pop on the baking tray and bake for 20 mins. Leave to cool ~ if you can resist!