Browsing Tag

recipes

Breakfast

Winter Chocolate Granola

November 28, 2017

Bowlfuls of wintery chocolate granola covered in milk and eaten from the comfort of your sofa wrapped up in a snuggly dressing gown… Perfect!

I love making my own granola, it’s so easy to do and you can pretty much throw flavours together and it’ll work – I’d even go so far to say it’s foolproof. For this granola recipe I’ve used chocolate as the main flavour, with a hint of cinnamon throughout. I’ve added in raw cacao but you could easily substitute for a good quality dark cocoa powder instead (perhaps add a little more than instructed below if using cocoa instead).

As Christmas is on the way, you could make batches of this granola and then pour into glass jars and tie a lovely ribbon around to make a pretty homemade gift for your family and friends. I’m sure they’ll love it as much as I do! I like to create little home-made treats for this time of the year, it’s a great way to play around in the kitchen and get creative, and then pass all the loveliness to your loved ones.

I’ve created a recipe tutorial over on my Instagram page @jennifermakes of how to make this granola, so after giving the recipe a read through below it would be worth watching the video first and then you’re good to go!

You will need:

  • 2 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp of raw cacao
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 150g of oats
  • 100g mixed nuts
  • 2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
  • 50g chopped dates

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°c.
  2. Begin by adding the coconut oil, maple syrup, raw cacao, cinnamon and vanilla extract to a pan. Gently heat together until the ingredients are melted.
  3. In a mixing bowl add the oats, mixed nuts and seeds and stir together.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl and using a spoon, stir together until fully coated and combined.
  5. Spread out the granola onto a baking tray in an even layer.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  7. Add the chopped dates when cool, store in an airtight container.

 

Soup

Carrot & Red Lentil Soup

November 26, 2017

Soup, glorious soup!

It’s my favourite time of the year, when it’s chilly outside and you fancy something warm and comforting to eat, soup is the perfect option. It’s such an easy dish to make too, with endless amounts of flavour combinations – there’s no right or wrong when it comes to soup!

This soup is my take on the classic carrot and coriander, however I’ve included red lentils and a little spice to add a twist to the flavours. Also adding in lentils creates a much more wholesome and filling dish, so it’s perfect to take to work for lunch or even as a late night supper.

I’ve heard that some people have a love-hate relationship with coriander, so if you’re not particularly keen on the flavour you can easily swap it out for fresh parsley instead (although the flavour will alter slightly). Also I tend to create recipes that don’t have onion in them as I have a high intolerance to them, but this soup would lend well to half a chopped onion being thrown in at the early stage for a little extra flavour.

Also feel free to try different stocks when making batches of soup, I tend to use whatever I have in the cupboards and if I don’t have any at all I’ll just use boiling water instead.

So let’s get to the recipe! This soup make just over a litre, so it’s great to chill and eat throughout the week. You could also freeze it in containers to prevent any waste.

You will need:

  • 500g of carrots
  • 250g of potatoes
  • 100g of dried red lentils
  • 800ml of stock (vegetable, chicken or beef)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp of ground ginger (or fresh)
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 20g of coriander
  • salt and pepper

How to make:

  1. Roughly peel and chop the carrots and potatoes into bitesize pieces, dice the garlic (and fresh ginger if using) and add to a large pan on a medium heat.
  2. Make the stock with boiling water, either using fresh or a stock cube. You can add spoonfuls of the stock to the pan to prevent the garlic burning.
  3. Add the cumin, salt, pepper and the ground ginger (if you’re not using fresh ginger) and stir together. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
  4. Rinse the dried red lentils and then add to the pan, bring down the heat to a high simmer.
  5. Tear off the coriander leaves and set to one side, chop up the stalks and add to the pan.
  6. Simmer the soup for twenty minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
  7. Leave to cool and then blend until smooth.
  8. When ready to eat, reheat in a pan and then serve with the fresh coriander leaves.
Baking

Breakfast Flapjacks

November 12, 2017

This week I was set a challenge… to come up with a healthier version of the humble flapjack. At first I thought to myself it would be pretty impossible to get anything close to resembling a ‘traditional’ flapjack… however with perseverance and lots of experimenting, I think I may have cracked it!

Now, don’t be under any illusion that these are ‘like for like’ flapjack swaps, as you’re never going to get a healthier version to taste like the buttery golden syrup stodge that we all know and love – that’s just crazy talk! However, I’ve developed a recipe that is sweet, sticky and doesn’t fall apart when you pick it up (key boxes ticked off) and they will make a delicious afternoon snack or if you’re in a hurry before work or school, grab a couple of slices and have for your breakfast.

To make these flapjacks lovely and sweet, I’ve used ripe bananas in the mix. I’ve tried a few recipes before that use mashed banana and they have always turned out a little bit hit and miss, sometimes too ‘banana-ry’ and have a strange chewy taste which I’m definitely not keen on. So as I’m aware of this issue with some healthier alternatives, I’ve made sure the banana isn’t the overpowering ingredient by adding honey, sultanas and coconut to equal out the taste.

Bananas can be overpowering, but this recipe is just right!

Another little tip is to use porridge oats instead of chunky steel cut oats, they tend to absorb the wet ingredients better and keep the flapjacks soft and held together. Also after baking turn out them out onto wire rack with the bottom facing up and this will help them to be more crispy – because nobody likes a soggy bottom!

Feel free to swap the sultanas for other dried fruit or even nuts, seeds or chocolate chips.

You will need:

  • 200g porridge oats
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 100g sultanas
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
  • 200g ripe banana (approx 2 medium)
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 40g of coconut oil
  • 40g of honey or maple syrup
  • Optional – 2 tbsp of milled linseed

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°c and line a square tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, coconut, cinnamon, ginger and sultanas (or other dried fruit) and stir together.
  3. Peel and mash the banana in another bowl until puréed.
  4. Add the coconut oil, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla extract to a pan and gently heat until melted.
  5. Pour the melted ingredients in with the oat mixture, and add the mashed banana. Stir together until completely mixed and a sticky texture starts to form.
  6. Tip the mixture into the square tray and using the back of a spoon, squash it down to about 1cm in depth and smooth over the top making sure the flapjack is compact.
  7. Pop in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack with the bottom facing up, this helps to make the flapjack more firm while it cools. Cut into 12 slices and store in an airtight container.

 

Savoury

Mexican Bean Soup with Tortilla Chips

October 29, 2017

It’s officially soup season…

A spoon in one hand and a deep bowl of warm soup in the other, slightly too hot so that it tingles your tongue and yet we still go ahead and reach for more. There’s something so satisfying about making your own soup, that you’re creating and developing a new recipe every time you make it as no single bowlful is exactly the same.

I’ve kept this recipe even simpler by removing the blending step, so it’s chunky and full of flavour with every mouthful. The tortilla chips are perfect for scooping up the beans and peppers, bringing this dish to a whole new level.

This recipe makes two large bowls, so feel free to double the ingredients if you want to prepare it for a family of four, or to have for lunch in the working week. You could even add a spoonful of sour cream, guacamole or cooked rice to change up the recipe a little. Try whatever you fancy!

First up, the mexican bean soup. Scroll further down to get your hands on how to make the tortilla chips…

Mexican Bean Soup

You will need:

  • 100g roasted red pepper (I used the jar variety)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can of black beans
  • 1 stock cube (beef or vegetable)
  • 70g of sweetcorn
  • handful of coriander
  • salt and pepper

How to make:

  1. Crush the garlic clove, dice up the roasted red pepper and add to a large pan on a medium heat.
  2. As the pan starts to warm up, drain and rinse the black beans and set to one side. Put the stock cube into the empty can and top with freshly boiling water.
  3. Add the spices to the pan and stir, pour in some of the stock to stop the spices catching on the bottom.
  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, black beans and the sweetcorn. Mix together and top with the rest of the stock.
  5. Simmer on a medium heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Roughly chop the coriander and add to the pan, season with salt and pepper.
  7. Spoon into large bowls and serve with the tortilla chips (recipe below) or add sour cream, a squeeze of lime  or fresh chilli to garnish.

The mexican bean soup would be perfectly delicious served on its own but if you’ve got the time, I’d definitely recommend pairing it with these simple homemade tortilla chips. And the beauty of making your own is that you can experiment with the ingredients, swap and change some of the spices for different ones and you’ve created a brand new flavour!

Simply double the ingredients to make more, I mean who would say no to that anyway?!

Tortilla Chips

You will need:

  • 2 small tortilla wraps
  • olive oil (I used the 1 cal spray and approximately 10 sprays)
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cumin
  • salt and pepper

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°c.
  2. Slice the tortilla wraps in to half, then quarters and finally quarter again. You should have 16 tortilla chips in total.
  3. Add the tortilla chips to a bowl and spray with the olive oil.
  4. Mix the spices in a small dish and sprinkle into the bowl, using your hands make sure each chip is coated with the seasoning evenly.
  5. Lay out the chips on a baking tray, ensuring they don’t overlap each other.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes, turning once.
  7. Leave to cool and crisp up, serve wth the soup.

If you try out either of these recipes, be sure to mention me in your creations using #jennifermakes and tagging me in your post over on Instagram.

Baking

Apple & Blackcurrant Crumble with Coconut Cream

October 22, 2017

Autumn, my most favourite time of the year.

As the clocks go back and the days begin to get shorter, I always start to crave more warming dishes, from chunky vegetable soups through to comforting bowls of sweet dessert. A crumble hits the spot every time, and you can’t get much better than the classic combination of apple and blackcurrant.

This recipe is surprisingly simple, and I’ve created it so it’s gluten & dairy free and also vegan friendly too. I always think if there’s a way to share recipes with more people who may be intolerant to certain foods etc then the more the merrier! And I certainly wouldn’t want to keep this recipe all to myself, it’s that delicious.

I’ve used frozen prepared apple and blackcurrants in this crumble from Field Fare however you can use fresh instead, just be sure to peel the Bramley apples first. You could also use blackberries instead of blackcurrants if you prefer, any sort of dark berry would work well with the apple.

To accompany the crumble, I whipped up some coconut cream, this is super easy to make and adds a little twist to the dish. You will need 100g of creamed coconut and a 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract. Using an electric whisk, simply whisk the two ingredients together until it starts to thicken.

Next, the star of the show…

You will need:

For the filling

  • 300g of bramley apple slices (fresh or frozen)
  • 100g of blackcurrants (fresh or frozen)
  • 20g of soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60ml of water

For the crumble

  • 100g of oats
  • 100g of ground almonds
  • 40g of soft brown sugar
  • 40g of pecans
  • 40g of coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.
  2. Begin by making the filling by adding all of the ingredients to a pan, ensuring the apples are peeled and sliced first. Heat on a medium flame and using a spoon, stir the filling every so often until the sauce thickens and the fruit begins to become soft.
  3. While the filling is cooking, make the crumble. Add all of the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir together.
  4. Melt the coconut oil briefly (I popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds) and then add to the mixing bowl. Stir together until the crumble is coated with the coconut oil.
  5. Using a pie dish, spoon the filling into a thick layer on the bottom.
  6. Next, gently spoon the crumble mix over the top of the filling until it’s completely covered. You can be quite generous with the crumble mix, however this recipe makes enough mix for two crumbles. Put the remaining crumble mix into a zip lock bag and pop in the freezer to use for next time.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.

Serve with the whipped coconut cream, custard, ice-cream or simply on it’s own. If you try this recipe out, don’t forget to share your pictures with me over on Instagram and let me know what you think!

Enjoy x

Book Reviews

The Little Library Crumpets

October 21, 2017

Crumpets, glorious crumpets.

One of my absolute favourite breakfasts to enjoy is the humble crumpet, at its finest slathered with butter and jam and bringing back nostalgic feelings of chilly winter mornings, snuggled up in my dressing gown, cup of coffee in one hand and a plateful of crumpets in the other… each little bite perfectly soft and sweet with warm jam. Yes please.

I’ve never really thought about making my own crumpets, always opting for the store bought versions, believing it would be far too difficult to even dream about attempting to make my own… Well, little did I know, you can and they are even simpler than I imagined. Which leads me on to where I found the recipe, in the midst of Kate Young’s brand new book ‘The Little Library Cookbook’, and it just happens to be one of the many recipes I couldn’t wait to try out. So I thought I’d share my views on Kate’s book (some of you may have watched my Instagram Stories showing a little preview) and try my best to explain why it should be an essential in your kitchen too…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“When discovering a new book, or revisiting an old favourite, my mind wanders, imagining what the food the characters are enjoying would taste like.” – Kate Young

Firstly, I absolutely adore the sentiment and idea behind the book, as an avid reader in my childhood (I’d go to the library on a Saturday morning, pick out ten books at a time and read them all at once and be back the following weekend for new ones) I was excited to find that some of the recipes that Kate explored were from books that I’d read over and over. The book combines moments in stories where the author touches on certain foods, tastes and feelings, which Kate then interprets into a recipe and literally brings fictional food to life.

For example, ‘Marmalade’ from Michael Bond’s A Bear called Paddington, ‘The Queen of Hearts’ Tarts’ from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and even ‘Figs & Custard’ from James Joyce classic novel Dubliners.

That was a wonderful breakfast. It is unusual to begin the day with cold apple pie, but the children all said they would rather have it than meat.’ – The Railway Children, E.Nesbit

You can feel the amount of emotion poured into the book, it really isn’t like any other recipe book I’ve found, it almost feels like a fictional novel in itself, and Kate allows us to follow her recipes and bring the book alive. Which is exactly what I did with the crumpets, following each step carefully until they were ready to eat and enjoying every mouthful with a sense of satisfaction, feeling like I’ve been able to bring a little piece of the story to the real world.

I think you might have guessed by now that I’m pretty passionate about this book, whether that’s to do with the stories Kate’s picked up on, or if it’s just down to the clever concept, I 100% know I’ll be making more of her recipes and I’d even go so far as to say that I’d be keeping hold of it to pass down the generations.

It’s worth getting your hands on it, just for the crumpets alone!

You can pick up a copy of her book here.