Blueberry Chia Jam

Now, this isn’t your run-of-the mill jam recipe. It’s simple and doesn’t involve any cooking. My kinda jam!

I’m not a massive toast fan anymore, so tend to not eat too much of this fruity, sticky treat. I like a dollop of it on my porridge now and again. But since making this recipe, I can’t stop eating it, thickly spread over a good bit of toasted bread!

Blueberry Chia Jam

My mother informed me that it should be called a ‘conserve’ and not a jam, as the sugar content this recipe is low/ non-existent. But jam just has a better ring to it really, doesn’t it? Plus I didn’t even know what a conserve was until she told me.

This jam is so easy to make, refined sugar-free, and contains a whole load of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.

 

Blueberry Chia Jam

INGREDIENTS:

150g blueberries
2 tablespoons Chia seeds
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Agave (optional)

METHOD

Add blueberries to a blender and blend until you have a paste. Scrape blueberry mix into a bowl.

Add the chia seeds and water. Mix well for a few minutes, making sure the seeds are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

Add agave if using, and mix again.

Add to a jar / container and refrigerate overnight.

By the morning, the seeds will have swollen and your jam will be ready to rock!

Keep refrigerated in a sealed jar, and consume within 4-5 days.

Blueberry Chia JamBlueberry Chia Jam

 

Roasted Aubergine Cabbage Rolls

I love the colours that autumn brings. The bright oranges and reds, the endless pink skies. But it’s been a little wet of late, and it is getting to me. It gets to my bones and makes me ache inside. But I am lucky to be able to come back to the boat, get the fire roaring and snuggle up in front of it. Our wood burner packs some heat, and in no time I’m sat in a vest with the windows open, fanning myself with an old magazine.

This recipe is a great alternative to a good old Sunday roast, or just when you need something warm and comforting to see you through these long winter nights. It’s really easy to make, and you can play around with the herbs and spices to fit the flavours to suit your needs!

Unfortunately, we both enjoyed these so much, they barely even touched the plates. Hence the no ‘end result’ photo. But hey, use your imaginations, and serve these little beauties with whatever you wish!

winter on the boat
winter on the boat

Roasted Aubergine Cabbage Rolls

Makes 4-6 Rolls

INGREDIENTS:

2 Aubergines
2 Courgettes
1 Red Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Tin Cannellini Beans (rinsed)
1 Savoy Cabbage
Fresh Thyme / Rosemary
Other dried herbs such as Majoram
1 tsp Cumin
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil (for roasting)

Roast Aubergine Cabbage Rolls

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5 (190 C)

Peel the onion. Roughly chop with the courgette into large chunks. Slice aubergine down the middle.

Place in a baking tray with the garlic cloves. Drizzle with oil and scatter your herbs and salt and pepper. Toss all veg in the herbs to get an even coating, but leave your aubergine flesh-side down in the tray.

Cover with foil, and roast in the oven for 35-40 mins, or until the courgette is soft.

Once cooked, leave to cool on the side.

Place a shallow pan of water on the hob to boil.

Discard the first outer layers on the cabbage. Then peel off 6/7 leaves, be careful not to break them. Add them to the boiling water and steam (covered) in the pan for 5 mins. Drain and rinse them with cold water.

Once cooked, carefully remove the thicker parts of the cabbage spine with a knife (just the lower thicker section). Leave to one side.

Scrape the aubergine flesh out of the skin, and into a food processor. Add the roasted courgette, onion and garlic. Add cumin / cayenne pepper if desired. Blitz in food processor for 30 secs. Add to bowl and mix in cannellini beans.

Lay cooked cabbage leaves on a board and add a large spoonful of the vegetable mixture to the centre of the leaf and starting at what was the stem-end, fold the sides in and roll up the cabbage to enclose the filling. Place the cabbage rolls side by side, seam-side down, in a ovenproof dish.

Bake (covered) in the oven for 35 mins. Serve on a bed of mashed sweet potato, with a big, warm helping of gravy.

Roast Aubergine Cabbage Rolls

Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bars

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” 

OK, I love these little things. Like LOVE them. So much so that I contemplated not sharing the recipe, I wanted these little bad boys all to myself. But where’s the fun in that? Plus, sharing is caring, right?

These beauties are so easy to make (especially if you cook the quinoa the day before), and super charge an otherwise dull lunchbox! They are ready after an hour or so, and because you are using a high percentage dark chocolate, you don’t even need to feel guilty about going back for another one, and another, and another…

Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bar

Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bars

Makes 6-8 Crunch Bars – For a larger tub / tray, double up all ingredients. (I used a tuppawear 8″ X 6″)

INGREDIENTS:

250g Organic Dark Chocolate (I used G&B’s 90% cocoa)
125g Quinoa
100g Dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
100g Mixed chopped nuts (I used almonds, pecans and walnuts)
2 ½ tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

 

Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bar

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark ½ (120 C)

Line a tuppawear or tray with cling film.

Bring a pan of water to the boil, cook the quinoa for 12 minutes (cooking times may vary so double check the instructions on the pack). Once cooked, drain the quinoa and spread in a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 45 mins (or until quinoa has dried out, make sure you stir regularly)

Once quinoa has dried out, heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan. Add the quinoa, and fry until crispy (be careful not to burn). You want the quinoa to turn a nice golden brown colour and be crispy to touch.

Once done, remove from pan and transfer onto kitchen roll. Set aside to cool.

Melt 200g chocolate and 2 tablespoons coconut oil slowly in a saucepan over a low heat. As soon as the chocolate and oil have melted and combined, remove from heat.

Add cooked quinoa, chopped nuts and cranberries to the melted chocolate. Mix well.

Spread the chocolate mixture evenly across the tray, pushing it into all corners, making sure the nuts are evenly distributed.

Cool in fridge for 1 hour.

After an hour, melt the remaining chocolate and coconut oil with the maple syrup, pour over the top of the bars. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.

Refrigerate for 2 more hours, or overnight if possible. Enjoy, guilt free!

 

Chocolate Quinoa Crunch Bar

Mango, Pomegranate and Lemon Balm Salad

Today started off miserable as hell. I’ve heard some loud rain, but this was something else. Living on a (metal) boat, when it rains it feels like the world is ending. The rain pummels on the steel and makes such a racket all I want to do is hide under the duvet and make a nest! However, after an hour, the clouds cleared and it became such a beautiful, sunny autumn day. As if it had never rained at all. The sky turned that crystal blue, and it almost felt like summer again.

Hamfolly Narrow

 

So I felt today deserved a shining salad, (to be honest, I think everyday deserves a salad!) packed full of colour and flavours. Let’s pretend that summer is still here, let’s eat lunch in the garden… in a coat.

Mango Pomegranate and Lemon Balm Salad

Mango Pomegranate and Lemon Balm Salad

 

Mango, Pomegranate and Lemon Balm Salad

INGREDIENTS:

1 Mango (peeled and de-seeded)
1/2 Pomegranate
Handful of Lemon Balm leaves
7 Cherry tomatoes
Red chilli (optional)
Cos or Romain lettuce
Rocket
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Chilli flakes (optional)

METHOD

Slice up your peeled mango into 1cm cubes. Slice the tomatoes in half and add to a mixing bowl with the mango. If using, dice and de-seed chilli and add to bowl.

Scoop the seeds from the pomegranate, removing all the white membrane. If you have excess juice, pour this into a separate bowl. Add seeds to mixing bowl.

Roughly chop the lemon balm, and add to the bowl with the rest of the salad.

In the bowl with the pomegranate juice, add a dash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and the chilli flakes if using. Mix well.

Serve salad on a bed of Cos and Rocket leaves. Drizzle with the dressing and enjoy!

Mango Pomegranate and Lemon Balm Salad

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardamom

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and CardamomOK, So I know halloween has been and gone, but Autumn is still alive and kickin’, and that means pumpkin in all it’s glorious forms!

So technically this ‘Pumpkin Pie’ is actually a butternut squash pie, but that just doesn’t sound quite as good. But the squash gives a slightly better flavour and texture than the pumpkins that are around at the moment.

This pie was inspired by a good friend of mine over at Happy Hearted Kitchen and also from one of Tom Hunt’s recipes. It’s not too sweet, so if you’re not a huge sweet fan, fear not, for I think this suits most peoples taste.

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardamom (GF)

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust:
200g pitted dates (I used Medjool)
150g Oats (use certified gluten free if possible)
Handful crushed walnut pieces (or other crushed nuts)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 tablespoon Maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the filling:
1 large Organic butternut squash
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
50g unrefined light brown sugar
6 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons Maple syrup
100ml Almond milk
1 egg

 

Method

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C

Peel and cut the squash into small chunks. Place on a baking tray, and sprinkle with the cinnamon, ginger, sugar and cardamon pods. Drizzle with maple syrup. Cover with foil and roast for 30-45 minutes (or until soft) Be careful not to colour the squash.

In a food processor, mix the oats, walnuts and dates until starting to combine and stick to the sides. Add the maple syrup, cinnamon and melted coconut oil, blend until fully mixed into a sticky consistency.

Grease and line a pie tin with baking paper. Take your dough mixture from the processor and push it around the tin with your hands, filling all the gaps, spreading it around evenly.

*Now, if you prefer your crust a little crunchy, you can pop your crust in the oven for 10 mins before adding the mixture. I prefer mine softer, so missed this step out*

Remove the squash from the oven and place in a food processor. Blend until smooth and allow to cool. You can mash the squash if you prefer.

In a bowl, mix the blended squash, egg and milk until fully combined. Add mixture to the pie tin on top of the crust.

Cook for 25-30 mins. If you have pre-cooked your crust, the cooking time may be less. Check back after 15 mins, to avoid burning the crust.

Serve with a dollop of ice-cream and drizzle with maple syrup.

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon and Cardmom

 

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

Avocadosmoothie

OK, So I know I just did a breakfast post, but I felt this little marvel needed sharing straight away, and it’s not technically just for breakfast!

I love avocados, they are packed full with vitamins, fibre and healthy fatty acids! They also contain 35% more potassium than a banana.
I try and combine them into most meals, but with the weather turning colder, it’s becoming harder to find those perfectly ready-to-eat ripe ones that are plentiful in the warmer months. I’ve had a few sat in the veg basket for while now, which just don’t seem to want to ripen, but in this smoothie they blend perfectly.

Avocadosmoothie3

It is super quick to make, and will keep you going until lunchtime.
This smoothie is pretty thick, and could even be served as a pudding.

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 Avocado
1 Banana
1 heaped tablespoon organic cocoa powder
200ml Almond milk (use more for a thinner smoothie)
1tsp Agave or other sweetener (optional)
Handful hazelnuts (optional)

METHOD

Scoop the flesh out of half the avocado. Peel the banana. Add to blender with the cocoa, almond milk, hazelnuts and Agave if using. Blend for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Serve immediately, over ice if desired.

Avocadosmoothie22

Coconut Pancakes with Pecans and Almonds

I’m pretty ‘pro’ breakfast, hell, I get excited about breakfast as I’m falling asleep at night. So many great options to begin your day, I just don’t get why some people skip it.

The Spanish have a old proverb; Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. And I sure won’t argue with that.
Pancakes are one of my favourite breakfasts, I love creating the batter, whisking it until light and fluffy, but mostly I like them because it feels like I’m eating cake for breakfast! Who wouldn’t want that? I prefer the American kind, thick and fluffy. And replacing regular flour with Coconut flour gives them that extra kick, and starts your morning off with a bit of OOMPH!

This recipe is a little bit loose, and a bit of guess work, if you wish to add more flour to thicken them up, then do, likewise if you’d rather thin them out a bit.

 

Coconut Pancakes with Pecans and Almonds

INGREDIENTS:

200g Organic Coconut Flour
2 Eggs
200ml Almond Milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1 tsp coconut oil (to fry with)
Pinch unrefined brown sugar (optional)

Small handful of Almonds and Pecans
A drizzle of Agave

Coconutpanacke

 

METHOD

Add the flour and bicarb to a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour and add eggs. Mix well. Slowly pour in almond milk while whisking continuously. Add more flour to thicken if desired.

Pancakewhisk

Place frying pan on hob and turn to a medium heat, once hot, add coconut oil.

Use a ladle to dollop mixture onto frying pan, wait a minute or so before adding another dollop to prevent the pancakes from combining.

When the edges start to change colour slightly, and bubbles are forming in the middle of the pancake, flip. Wait 1 minute, and remove the pancake onto a plate.

Once all of the pancakes are cooked, sprinkle over the almonds and pecans, and drizzle with Agave (or Maple Syrup)

CoconutPancakeSteam

pancakesfinished

Start your day like a king!

 

 

Hemp Seed Pesto

I’ve got a new obsession – Hemp. I’ve been putting it in everything recently, from porridge to chocolate bars (more on that coming soon!)

It has many benefits including:

* Excellent source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA in the perfect balance.

* More digestible protein than meat, whole eggs, cheese, cows milk or any other high protein food.

* Rich in Vitamin E.

* Increases energy levels & metabolic rate.

I’ve been looking for something to jazz up my salads for a while now, and this stuff hits the spot.

 

Hemp Seed Pesto

INGREDIENTS:

2 handfulls Hemp Seeds (I used Neals Yard Wholefoods)
1 bunch Basil
1 small garlic clove
Good glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (I used around 100ml)
Pinch of Sea Salt

Hemp Seed Pesto 1

METHOD:

Add everything into your blender/food processor and blitz. (I prefer using a blender as it becomes smoother)
Add more oil if you wish

Hemp Seed Pesto 2

Enjoy over salads / for a dip with some bread / for a pasta sauce!

Hemp Seed Pesto 3

Wild Blackberry Oats with Toasted Almonds

OK, So I’m kicking off the blog with something nice and simple, but delicious nonetheless!

I’m a big fan of anything Oat-y, but especially porridge. I love that warm fuzzy feeling you get as it works it way from your mouth to your stomach. And the way it can heat your body from the inside out. I love it!

Autumn has come around all too quickly, as it always seems to. However this does mean one thing, WILD BLACKBERRIES! They are everywhere along the canal, I sit at the back deck with a tuppawear and snag them off as we drive past, collecting big hoards of them in no time. There’s something a little smug about picking your own wild fruits and vegetables.

 

This recipe is a simple, but a greatly enjoyable way to make sure you start your day off with a bang!

 

 Wild Blackberry Oats with Toasted Almonds

INGREDIENTS:

Large handful of oats (Certified gluten free if you can get them)

250ml Almond milk (any nut milk works well with this)

15 Large Wild Blackberries

Scattering of toasted almonds

Flax seeds

 

METHOD

First off, lightly toast your almonds in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, shaking occasionally to avoid burning them.
Mix the oats and blackberries together in a non-stick saucepan. Add in the almond milk (You could soak the oats overnight if your prefer) Turn on the hob to a low heat, and stir the milk into the oat mixture. Stir often as to break the blackberries up slightly, this will release their juice and turn your porridge a lovely pink colour.
Cook for 6-9 mins (depending on how gooey you like your porridge), add more milk if necessary.
Once oats have absorbed the milk and plumped up, pour into a bowl and scatter with your toasted almonds, and sprinkle with flax seeds. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 20.46.36

 

PS Apologies for the basic photo, I only had my phone to hand at the time!