Chai Banana Bread

Chai Banana Bread // roughmeasures.com - a fragrant twist on a classic bake.

Spring (well, we like to call it Summer here in the UK) has been dancing around in full force for the last few weeks. I have relished the time outdoors, exploring new places, watching the trees become green again and breathing in the crisp air. Time outdoors keeps me sane, and I often forget how important it is to me. Winter can make me cranky and irritable, Spring gives me hope again. We are lucky enough to live right next to some woods, where we often go for a quick explore. If you need me, I’ll be wandering.  Read more

Banana and Blueberry Granola Bars

The boat is currently moored in a nice secluded woody area, surrounded by humungous trees and fields of horses. It also appears to be a bit of a black hole, connection wise. No internet, no phone signal. Just me and my mind. It’s been both good and bad. I don’t like feeling disconnected. But I also know that this current world is full of too much information. My brain feels like a matrix of words and news sometimes, forever buzzing and processing all the information we have access to. Social media has made switching off and being present much harder. Anxiety levels are on the rise in everybody, because life has turned into one big popularity contest.

It scares me a lot, how much this world now relies on constant sources of information and technology. We’ve forgotten how to appreciate the simple things in life, like the birds singing their songs, fresh from their migration back to the UK, fields of yellow popping up as the warmer weather arrives, the crisp morning air. We need to revel in the marvel that is this beautiful planet. Put down that screen and look outside, and around you. Breathe life.

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Bananagranolabar

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These bars are a great energy source, a vital addition to any lunchbox and a great snack for that afternoon stroll through the countryside. They’re also free of all the rubbish that you get in store bought bars.

Ever so slightly adapted from this fantastic one

Banana and Blueberry Granola Bars (v) (gf)

Makes 8-10 bars

INGREDIENTS

2 very ripe bananas
3 tablespoons almond butter (homemade or you can use pre-bought, I love this one)
80ml date syrup
Large handful blueberries
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon hemp protein powder (I used this one)
200g gluten free rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
Handful cacao nibs
Handful pumpkin seeds

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C

Line a baking tray with baking paper, and then grease it with coconut oil / EVOO

In a food processor, combine bananas, almond butter, coconut oil, date syrup, half of the blueberries, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until completely combined and you have a thick paste mixture.

In a frying pan, gently toast the nuts and seeds for 3-5 minutes, until slightly brown. Leave to cool. Once cooled, roughly chop the nuts.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, hemp powder, chia seeds, coconut, cacao nibs, the rest of the blueberries and toasted nut/seeds.

Stir the banana paste mix into the oat mix and combine.

Pour mix into your lined tray. Push down with a spatula to ensure mixture is evenly packed.

Bake for 30-40 mins, until lightly golden. These bars are quite soft, if you wish for them to be slightly crunchier, then bake for 10-15 more mins, but keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!

Leave to cool for 10 mins, then tip onto wire rack and let cool completely.

These will keep (in a sealed tub) for around a week.

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Like these granola bars? Try these ones too:

Bad Ass Breakfast Bars from Happy Hearted Kitchen

Chilli Peanut Butter Granola Bars from Planet Veggie

Oaty No-Bake Bars from BakingQueen74

Smoked Chilli Energy Bars from Tin and Thyme

Date Tahini Smoothie

It’s been a bit of a hectic week on our boat. I don’t know how it’s time for my weekly post already. Time is flying by so fast these days. We’ve had family visiting, property viewings and other general day to day life goings on.

Charlie has been working so hard (and so much) since the autumn, setting up his new business venture, Dreamcatcher Cabins, (if you want to attend a festival in the UK in style, check these out because they are awesome and will make your weekend super luxurious and definitely one to remember!) Sometimes I feel like we are strangers passing in the night, a quick half an hour over dinner and then bed, before the dawn comes around and we rush off again to our separate work lives.

We took this morning off to have a stroll through the little village where we are moored at the moment, grab a coffee and some cake, then took a long afternoon walk along the canal. Life can get so busy sometimes and it’s important to take time out, catch up with each other, and relax for a few hours.

Date and Tahini Smoothie

I know, I know, I did a tahini post last week! I’m sorry! I’m definitely not sorry actually. I love the stuff. Not only is it a great source of calcium and vitamins, it’s a good source of magnesium and it adds protein to dishes. I love that you can use it in pretty much anything and it perks it up; a nice lemon salad dressing, creamy spreads, brownies, but especially smoothies. THIS SMOOTHIE.

Use any milk you wish, I used almond as it’s my favourite. Add more bananas / tahini if you want. Add oats to bulk it out even more. Go crazy.

Date Tahini Smoothie (V) (GF)

INGREDIENTS:

7 pitted dates (I used Medjool) soaked 20 mins in boiling water
1 large ripe banana
1 tablespoon tahini
500ml almond milk

METHOD

Add all ingredients into your blender, and blend until smooth. Serve over ice or blend with ice if you have some handy.

Easy!

Date Tahini Smoothie

 

Date Tahini Smoothie

Date Tahini Smoothie

 

 

Chocolate Avocado Smoothie

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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.

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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.

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