I miss smoothies and smoothie bowls in the colder months. Opting for something more comforting like baked oats or pancakes/waffles if time allows. But the other day I was craving one, and a friend of mine gave me an awesome idea, a hot smoothie bowl. Think hot chocolate, but with more goodness and flavour, think a peppermint hot chocolate smoothie bowl. Read more
Sitting in a packed, sold out, concert hall watching the Philarmonia Orchestra play the soundtrack to Planet Earth, spending the day in London trying to find a bridesmaid dress for these guys wedding, having the most fantastic afternoon tea at The Haymarket Hotel, drinks in my brothers new pub, trying to manoeuvre a 20 tonne steel boat backwards in 40 mile an hour winds, Sunday lunches by the river, lazy afternoons in front of the fire. This weekend has been all these things and more. Way to pack a weekend in. It was the best.
This porridge is just what you need for a slow Sunday morning. Pre-soaking your amaranth the night before will help your body be able to soak up all of its goodness. 1 cup of amaranth contains 15mg of iron! How good is that?! Cherries are perfect this time of year, added a deep red juice and a sweet tang to this warming breakfast bowl.
My scales have given up the ghost, and I’ve yet to invest in a new set, hence the measuring in cups here. If you don’t have a set of measuring cups, this is a useful page to bookmark to do your conversions.
Cherry and Blueberry Amaranth Porridge (v) (gf)
½ cup amaranth (soaked for 4-8 hours if poss)
1 cup (250ml) almond milk
1 (250ml) cup water
Handful cherries (pitted)
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
Extras – toasted coconut, pomegranate seeds
Drain and rinse amaranth (you may need to do this in a muslin as the grains are so fine)
In a pan, bring amaranth to the boil with the milk and 1 cup of water.
Once boiling, turn down and simmer for 15-20 mins (adding more milk if necessary). After 10 mins of cooking, add in half of the blueberries and cherries. Stir regularly.
Once cooked, turn the heat off. Leave the porridge to stand in the pan (covered with the lid) for 5 mins.
Once cooked, stir through coconut sugar and vanilla.
Scatter with more fruit and enjoy.
Fancy bulking up your breakfast bowls? Have a look at my fab giveaway I’m running!
I have a confession. It’s one I have been denying for a while now. Charlie tells me it regularly, but I have been slightly blind sighted. I shut the cupboard doors quickly, and ram in another hanger in the over-flowing wardrobe.
Yes, I am a hoarder.
I collect things I think will be important, things I am sure I will use again and again. Yes, I do need another pink wig. And a 15th pair of sunglasses. No, I can’t make my trainer collection smaller, and it is absolutely necessary to have that hula-hula skirt I found at a festival. The trouble is, when you live on a boat, you cannot be a hoarder. You have to condense your life down to the very most important things. How am I supposed to do this when EVERYTHING is important. It is a topic which often turns into a heated discussion between Charlie and I. He doesn’t like ‘stuff’, I love ‘stuff’. Here lies the problem.
Every September, we arrive back on the boat after some time in the fields, and I cry and despair because I don’t know how we are going to be able to unpack. I try to have a clear-out, but it never seems to work. All the storage space we have is full, and the boat is a mess. How could we possibly get organised, when there was no room to organise anything? I decided enough was enough. I sat myself down, gave myself a little pep talk, and got my ‘clearing out’ head on.
It took all day, copious amounts of tea, a few tears, and many cookies. I was ruthless with my clothes, anything not worn in over 2 months could go, shoes hiding at the back of the rack were out. The kitchen cupboards were organised, I know now exactly what is in them (we’re going to be eating rice until 2017), and where. Given the fact that we can only have about 3 people visiting at once, I figured we don’t need 20 dinner plates, or 25 side plates! We gave sacks and sacks of clothes to charity, blankets to people in need, and set up a stall on the towpath with a big ‘FREE – HELP YOURSELF’ sign.
There’s still more sorting to be done, but the boat is looking better. What surprised me most, is how good it actually felt. What I thought would stress me out, and the reason I’d be putting it off for so long, actually made me feel so much better. A sense of calm came over me, and it didn’t break me. Plus, now I have MORE SPACE FOR NEW THINGS! (I’m only slightly joking….)
Cleaning out one of our kitchen cupboards, I realised we had a great variety of nuts and seeds. They are great things to keep a good stock of, as we use them often. Perfect for a ‘throw-everything-in-a-bowl-granola-mix’. In my eagerness, none of this recipe was measured, apart from the syrup and coconut oil. Clear out those cupboards, chuck it in, mix it, bake it, and amp up your granola game.
Cacao Cashew Granola (v) (gf)
Rolled oats (I use certified gluten-free)
Large handful of cashews – roughly chopped
Small handful of hemp seeds
Shaking of raw cacao powder (at a guess I would say I used 3 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon date syrup
2 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 2 / 160 C
Add all dry ingredients into a bowl, stir to combine.
In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil and date syrup over a low heat, whisk well.
Pour the melted mixture into the dry, making sure you give it a good stir to coat all the granola mix.
On a lined baking tray, spread out your granola mix (you may need to cook it in 2 batches)
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Be sure to stir the mix every 5-7 minutes, to stop it from catching.
Here’s some other Cacao and Cashew recipes:
While you read this, I will be in the South of France, relaxing by the pool (highly likely) with a beer in my hand (definitely). After 10 years of not joining my parents on their bi-annual trip to the South West of France, I decided it was high time I tagged along. I think they regretted this as soon as they saw my pile of
luggage bag/bike/surfboard/kayak lined up in the drive. But hey, everyone loves a good game of Tetris-car-boot-packing.
Anyways, let’s get to it. I’ve gotta admit, when ‘Overnight Oats’ started to become more popular, I didn’t get the hype. It was basically cold porridge right? WRONG. This tasty, time-saving, morning lifesaver of a breakfast is now a weekday staple in our humble floating kitchen. Whip up a quick batch, cover, and all you gotta do in the morning is add a few nuts/seeds/fruit and voila, breakfast perfection. So I’m sorry oats, for doubting this version of yourselves as a highly commendable breakfast. All hail the overnight oats.
Overnight Oats with Apricot Puree (V) (GF)
Makes 1-2 servings
2 x large handful / cups of organic rolled oats (certified GF)
250ml almond milk (you could sub 125ml of milk for water if you wish)
2 tablespoons coconut yoghurt (dairy free – I like Coyo)
1 large punnet of apricots
Approx 200ml cold water
Toppings of choice – blueberries, pumpkin seeds, almonds etc
Start my making the puree – half the apricots, removing their stones. Add the apricots into a pan, adding enough water to avoid them sticking to the pan, but not so much that they are submerged.
Bring the pan to a gentle boil, for 10 mins, or until the apricots are soft and some of the water has evaporated. Leave to cool for 5 mins.
Place the apricots into a blender, and blend into a puree. Store in an airtight container – it will last about 3-5 days in a fridge.
Pour your oats into a bowl or large jar. Add the milk (or milk/water combo), coconut yoghurt and stir well. Leave oats covered, in the fridge, overnight.
In the morning, remove your oats, add extra milk if desired. Add puree and your toppings of choice.
Well, this week has sped by quicker than an olympic cyclist! I’ve been in this field for nearly two weeks now, and am ready for a change of scenery! The build went so quickly, will all the crew working so hard, and eating so much! We’ve had almost 100% good weather, with the exception of a pretty magnificent storm on Friday night. It really chucked it down, and totally washed the festival out for the night! Luckily the sun came back out on Saturday and normality was quickly restored.
I’m writing this on the last day of the festival (Sunday), and all the festival goers seem to be using up their last energy reserves, for the final push, to see the end of the festival out in style. I don’t know how they do it, one night is enough for me! But they’re still dancing and singing like it’s only their first night. We watched Blur last night, seeing 30,000 people jump around to ‘Park Life’ was awesome. Fleetwood Mac are closing the festival this evening, I can’t wait, the whole crew has been playing them non stop this last week! Just need to find myself some of that energy!
We had a little day out yesterday, driving along the island’s south coast. I like to explore the areas around the festival while we are here. There’s so much of Britain that I’ve not seen, so I’m always up for a day trip. We found this lovely cafe in a small village called Freshwater. We both went for the mezze board, and it was incredible. If you’re ever on the Isle of Wight, check out The Piano Cafe, it’s a must, plus; their lager is the tastiest thing ever!
Recipes might take a slightly simpler approach for the next few months, to say I’m a little restricted to what I can do with my caravan is an understatement. But they’ll still be full of flavour and hopefully make you want to run to your kitchen and get cooking!
This smoothie bowl is a welcome start to a sunny day. Packing in those vitamins and getting you nice and hydrated before a days galavanting around fields. Papayas and mangos seem to be at their tastiest at the moment, perfectly juicy and soft. Happy Summer ya’ll.
A Simple Summer Smoothie Bowl (v) (gf)
100ml coconut water
3 tablespoons dairy-free coconut yoghurt
Peel and deseed the papaya and mango. Chop into pieces and add a high speed blender.
Add in the yoghurt and coconut water.
Blitz until smooth. Pour into a bowl and scatter with toppings such as chia seeds / flax seeds / blueberries / strawberries etc.
Don’t forget to upload your creations to instagram and tag #roughmeasures
I feel I have been neglecting the blog recently. Not out of choice or dislike. But mainly because, life.
Life doesn’t stop for us, it doesn’t give us more time on the days we need to fit that extra errand in, or squeeze in one more hour to get that to-do list finished. Nope, selfish life just carries on. Days turn into nights too quickly and then it all starts again. Sometimes some things have to take a back seat for a day or so, unfortunately for us, we can’t give everything all our attention at once. Trying to find a happy balance in life can be difficult. It seems that as soon as you start giving one thing a bit more attention, something else niggles away needing your time. Multi-tasking everything with an even amount of love and effort isn’t something that comes easily. My mind swings from focussing wholly on one thing, to catapulting back and focussing on something else. I need to learn to balance all my loves in life, and make sure things don’t get left gathering cobwebs in the corner (ahem sorry yoga mat!)
So I’m sorry little blog, for leaving you abandoned for a week, not giving you the attention you deserve. But I’m still here, and I haven’t forgotten about you. Thanks for being my trusty friend and sticking by me.
This weeks recipe is an old favourite of mine. Shakshuka is a great breakfast, brunch and even lunch treat. Heck, I’d eat it all day if I could. This is a recipe for one, simply multiply ingredients if making it for more.
Here’s my take on this tasty tomato dish.
Shakshuka with Chickpeas (gf)
½ tin organic chopped tomatoes
½ red onion
1 small red chilli (I used scotch bonnet because I like it spicy, use which ever chilli you wish)
1 small garlic clove
1 teaspoon Ras el Hanout spice mix
100g chickpeas (soaked overnight)
Sea salt + pepper
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190 C
Peel and dice the onion. Add a bit of oil to a frying pan and add onion with salt and pepper.
Chop and de-seed chilli and add it to the pan with the onion. Fry on a low heat for 10 mins.
Add the Ras el Hanout to the pan and stir well.
Finely dice the garlic and add into the mix. Fry for another 5 mins.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes and add the chickpeas. Stir mix well and leave to simmer for a further 5 mins.
Pour tomato mix into a ovenproof dish and make a well in the centre. Crack egg into it and bake in the oven for 10 mins, until the egg has just cooked. You could do all of this on the hob in the same pan, however I prefer the consistency of the eggs baked, rather than poached in the pan.
Scatter with parsley and serve with crusty bread. Happy bellies.
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.
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)
7 pitted dates (I used Medjool) soaked 20 mins in boiling water
1 large ripe banana
1 tablespoon tahini
500ml almond milk
Add all ingredients into your blender, and blend until smooth. Serve over ice or blend with ice if you have some handy.
Sometimes I stare at this screen for so long I think my eyes might turn into rectangular shapes. Willing words to flow into this box, but sometimes it doesn’t happen so easily. And that’s OK, sometimes just the recipe will do. So here it is.
I love granola, however recently my teeth have been super sensitive and I find most granola is too crunchy for my soft teeth. Once in a while, I’ll treat myself and ignore the sensitivity so I can enjoy one of my favourite things. This granola has a bit of everything, just the way I like it.
Whenever I cook quinoa, I cook WAY too much, and sometimes don’t know what to use the leftovers for. This is a great recipe to use it up. Oh, don’t forget this one too.
Good Morning Granola (v) (gf)
Makes one extra – large glass jar
250g organic oats (I used certified gluten-free)
200g cooked quinoa
60g mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, pine and sunflower)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
50g cacao nibs (optional)
30g fresh ginger (grated)
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 scant teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons coconut oil
80ml maple syrup / agave
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
*1 egg white* – I used this as I find it helps the granola clump together. If you want your granola vegan, just leave it out.
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 3 / 180 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, add grated ginger.
In a pan, melt the coconut oil, stir in your maple syrup/agave and vanilla. Set aside for a few minutes, then add the egg white and whisk liquid.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and mix very well.
Spread the mixture onto your baking tray and bake in oven for approx. 45 mins, stirring often to avoid burning. You may have to bake this in batches.
Enjoy in a large bowl with a generous helping of cold almond milk.
I can’t believe it’s just two weeks until Christmas. I feel so unorganised. I still have so much to get for my loved ones, and feel like I have no time to get sorted.
Work at the cafe has been pretty crazy these last few weeks, what with the Christmas market crowd, weekend rushes and just a lot of people wanting to eat food. (How rude of them!) I feel a bit like I’m running on empty, and worried I’m going to burn out before the holidays even begin.
So on my day off yesterday, I treated myself to a seriously lazy morning, something I’ve not done in a long while. I woke early but refused to get out of bed for a few hours. When I finally rose, I decided to have a nice long breakfast, with a big mug of green tea. A little bit of me time, a break from the madness that swarms through december.
These eggs are good for feeding a crowd, or just a nice treat for a lazy brunch. You can mix up the herbs and spices to your taste.
Kale Egg Cups
Makes 6-8 egg cups
6 free range eggs
150ml almond milk
3 large leaves from a head of kale
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 (190 C)
Strip the kale leaves away from the stalk, try to keep them in large pieces.
Lightly grease 6-8 holes in a muffin tin
In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk and spices/herbs.
Slowly pour over the kale, be careful not to overfill
Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins, until the egg is cooked through.
NB. If you have a somewhat temperamental oven like we do, cover the eggs with foil.
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!
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
2 tablespoons Chia seeds
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Agave (optional)
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.