Every year, when the seasons shift, I get all excited. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer, I love the heat, I love long, light evenings in the garden. But dang, I do love autumn. The temperature fell a few degrees this last week. Sunny, chilly mornings greeted me. Crisp, fresh air, chilling my hands. Time to pull out my winter coat and big snuggly scarf. The days are shorter, which I do find a struggle, and it’s harder to get up in the mornings with this new darkness, but these orange-y hues and red leaves paint the landscapes so well, it makes it worth it. Nature giving it one last hurrah before they shed their years bounty. Autumn, it’s good to see you.
June has arrived, it is officially summer here in the UK. The sky is blue today and with the blue sky comes bright light that highlights the many shades of green that make up our current view. Left is green, to my right is green, green is my happy colour. I can here the lambs calling to their mother’s, the birds tweeting to each other, and if we are lucky, the tiny squeaking of the newest members to the canal – 7 little signets. Our little floating home is like an observatory into the wonders of nature. Life is good.
I bring this post with a huge dollop of excitement! Whilst this was slowly roasting in the oven, I could smell the faint, sweet wafts of gentle rose, I couldn’t wait to dig in. I am very much pro granola, remember this awesome oat-y bowl? Or this one? As I am sure you are aware, dear readers, I am passionate about using organic produce. My recent experience of a night with other organic food lovers only cemented what an important thing it is. Wake Up To Organic has already launched, in partnership with Soil Association and The Organic Trade Board, and is gearing up for a nationwide event on June 15th 2016. Independent retailers across the UK will be hosting #WakeuptoOrganic events serving up breakfasts, hosting blogger demos, and visits with visits from local suppliers and producers. I was keen to get on board and be part of encouraging people to eat more organic produce. Wild Oats are taking part and you can find all the ingredients to this recipe in the store. You can also pick up a recipe card to take home with you, so you can get making this awesome granola. Head over there on June 15th to see how they’re spreading the organic love!
Eating organic doesn’t have to cost a fortune. How about swapping your daily latte for a packet of organic flour? Ditch that weekly takeaway and go and stock up on a basket of organic veg. This rose and pistachio granola recipe is low cost, and will make satisfy many a grumbling belly. Slow roasted oats, nuts and rose petals, coming to a bowl near you! Happy organic summer pals!
- 4 cups (360g) organic oats
- ½ cup (75g) organic almonds - roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup (50g) organic sunflower seeds
- Small handful organic dried rose petals - ripped/ chopped in half
- ½ teaspoon organic ground ginger
- ¾ cup (180ml) organic coconut oil
- ¼ cup (60ml) organic maple syrup
- t teaspoon organic rose water
- ¾ cup (110g) organic pistachios
- Pre-heat your oven to Gas 2 / 150 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof / parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, add your oats, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, rose petals and ground ginger. Mix it well with a large spoon.
- Heat a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and rose water. Whisk it and take it off the heat as soon as the coconut oil has melted.
- Pour the oil mix over the oat mix. Stir it well with your spoon and make sure the liquid coats all the oats.
- Spread the granola mix evenly onto your baking tray.
- Bake for 30 mins, stirring it after 20 minutes.
- After 30 mins, add in your pistachios, and bake for 10 more minutes.
Wow, what a weekend. I am sat here at 8pm with all the windows and doors wide open and I’m still too hot. A weekend of sunshine and warm weather hit the UK this weekend. We will probably look back in September and call these 3 days ‘Summer’.
But hot it was and we spent a lovely few days down in Dorset. We have promised each other that we’d try to escape on some camping trips more often this year, as we will both have weekends free all summer (for the first time in 8 years!) Just 2 days and nights in a different setting, can feel like so much longer. We explored the coast line, snoozed on the beach, ate far too much halloumi on our bbq and just chilled out. It was fab and I hope we have many more weekends like this one.
A few weeks back I received something I have been lusting after for a while – A Froothie Optimum G2.1 Blender. A hunk of a machine that can blitz in seconds, pulverise stones to mere dust, make hot soup, and tackle any nut butter. With a mega 2,611 watt motor (with a 10 year warranty) the Froothie Optimum is something every kitchen needs. I have been waiting to use it for weeks, and now the time had come. It took mere seconds to blitz all my mix into the smoothest of smoothies. It has 6 pre-programmed settings; Fruit, Sorbet, Grind, Nut Milk, Soup, Sauces and you can also programme it manually. The Froothie Optimum G2.1 is currently on offer at £429 (RRP £599), it is a big investment, but one that I wholeheartedly believe is worth it, and it is something I have been using at least once a day.
It comes with a nut milk bag, a tamper tool to push your ingredients down if needed, and a 104 page recipe book. What I love is that the jug is BPA free, and to clean it, you just add some water and a drop of washing up liquid into your jug, turn it on, and voila, clean jug! The jug just sits on top, no faffy time wasted trying to get it to click into place. I love the LED touch screen display too. There is even an in built sensor which automatically turns the appliance off if it overheats. It is even more powerful than a Vitamix, just see the specs below!
We got back after a stuffy hour in the car and I know I needed something refreshing and summery! This blend has a sneaky hidden ingredient – chickpeas! Now don’t baulk and think ‘chickpeas in a smoothie, say what?!’ Adding chickpeas into your smoothie will mean it satisfies your belly for longer. It well help aid any mid morning or afternoon hunger pangs! You can’t taste them once they’re blended, trust me on this one guys!
- ½ mango (peeled)
- ½ cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed well)
- 300ml coconut water (normal water is fine if you don’t have coconut water handy)
- handful mint leaves
- Juice of 1 lime.
- Add everything to the blender and blitz until smooth
Find more smoothie ideas here.
Read more fab reviews from some fellow bloggers:
Disclaimer: Expect to see lots more Froothie Optimum G2.1 posts as I am now an Ambassador for Froothie. Any links to their site in this post or future posts are affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I will earn a small commission, it won’t cost you any extra though. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support Rough Measures!
“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.”
This week was spent avoiding the festival as much as possible. Most of the gigs we do are so fun and full of like-minded, friendly, happy people. There are a couple however, which aren’t as fun for us. They’re more like big funfairs with the odd bit of music. Not our bag I’m afraid. It doesn’t help when it’s pretty wet and windy and the site turns into a mud bath. Some people are happy to embrace the madness, to really get involved, but I decided to sit this one out. I’m still catching up on sleep from Glastonbury and it was a good excuse to chill. Down time was spent mostly in the caravan watching back-to-back episodes of this, and exploring, lots of exploring.
On Friday, I decided to head over to the West coast of Scotland to visit some family friends who have recently re-located from the South up here. It was such a beautiful drive through the hills over to their new home. A night away in a real bed with a hot bath was just the ticket. They have the most amazing view over the atlantic; out to the Isle of Bute and Arran. We caught up over a dinner and a glass of red. It was good to eat from a table and not my lap. The next morning we took a little tour of the village, snooping in the antiques shop (in a shipping container by the shore!) and guzzled tea in the local cafe. After lunch back at theirs, it was time for me to head back to the craziness.
Sunday was another adventure day. As soon as we woke we were plotting an escape for the day. Scouring the map for
possible endless hikes. We settled on the hills around Loch Earn. Picnics were packed, smoothies were bottled, extra layers loaded into bags and we were off. We found ourselves a nice little footpath that took us up towards this point. However, Scotland being Scotland, it started to get pretty wild the further up we got. We settled on a peak about halfway up, took in the view, then found a nice sheltered spot to re-fuel before heading back down. C is the perfect adventure companion. Egging us on to go higher and pushing me up the steep bits when I start to wobble. Plus, he brings chocolate.
We’ve made a pact to make sure we go on more adventures this autumn. To keep our hearts happy and our minds excited. No matter the weather, just pick a place and head there. With a good chocolate stash.
Scotland wasn’t exactly bathing in sunshine this week, but you don’t need sunshine for an excuse to eat ice cream. This ice cream isn’t your perfect soft scoop ideal. Think of it more as rustic blobs, overflowing with flavour. That kicks any picture-perfect soft scoop outa the park. I made this slightly too spicy the first time around, so it’s important to pick a mild chilli here.
Coconut, Chilli and Basil Ice Cream (V) (GF)
1 tin full fat coconut milk
Half a green chilli – medium spice
Handful of basil leaves
Roughly chop the chilli and basil leaves.
Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend for 2 mins.
Pour mixture into a freezer-proof container and place in freezer for minimum 4 hours.
Well, we’ve landed at Worthy Farm. Home of the legendary Glastonbury Festival. The festival of all festivals. The big daddy.
The actual festival doesn’t kick off for another few days, but we got here last week, and have been busy creating our little Glamping village. The days have been long and exhausting, but are fulfilling. Seeing 30 empty plates after mealtimes certainly makes it all worth it.
I’ve managed to grab a cheeky 10 minutes to get this post sorted, so will get straight to it. Enjoy this sunshine lovelies, get outside and explore!
This recipe is an all time favourite of mine. I have been known to demolish half a tray of this tasty cups in under 30 minutes. Yeah… for real guys!
I love mixing up the flavour combinations, adding a little dried chilli works magic. I opted for 3 different fillings here; peanut butter, almond butter, and a chewy date mix.
Salted Nut Cups (gf) (v)
Makes 6-9 cups
For the chocolate cups:
300g 85% organic dark chocolate (dairy free)
3 tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil
Large pinch Himalayan pink salt
Peanut butter filling:
Large handful peanuts (toasted if you have time)
1 teaspoon EVOO
Almond Butter filling:
Large handful almonds (toasted if you have time)
1 teaspoon EVOO
Chewy Date filling:
Handful Medjool dates (pitted and soaked in boiling water for 5 mins)
30g goji berries
1 teaspoon agave syrup
Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
Place chocolate, coconut oil and salt in a saucepan over a very low heat. Gently melt the mixture, stirring often. As soon as it has melted, remove it from the heat.
Pour enough melted chocolate into the muffin cases just to cover the bottom of the case. Swirl the chocolate around each case so it covers the side slightly. You should only use around a 1⁄3 of the chocolate mix.
Place tray in the fridge for 1 hour.
While the chocolate cup bases are cooling, you can make your fillings.
For the nut mixes;
Add nuts and oil to a high speed blender, blend until a butter like consistency. This may take 10 mins. Make sure to stop and scrape down the sides. Add a little more oil if necessary. The nut mix will go quite dusty at first, keep blitzing to release their oils.
Once you’ve got to the right consistency, scrape your nut butters into bowls and set to one side.
For the chewy date mix;
Drain your soaked dates. Add to a food processor along with the cashews, goji berries and agave.
Blitz for a couple of minutes, until a sticky mixture forms.
Once you cup bases have cooled and solidified, remove them from the fridge.
Take each filling and add a dollop of each into separate cases – I did 3 of each mixture.
Using the back of a spoon or your fingers, flatten the mixture over the chocolate – try to leave a couple of millimetres away from the case edge.
Get the remanding chocolate mix from the saucepan – you may need to quickly melt it again. Pour it evenly over the cups and their fillings.
Place cups back in fridge overnight, or at least 4 hours.
Let me know if you’ve made my recipes over on Instagram and tag #roughmeasures
You can also keep up to date with my summer on the road, over on twitter
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
This week started on a bit of a downer. We got news on Tuesday that our current house buying venture had fallen through. The seller changed their mind and decided not to sell. It felt seriously unfair and totally sucked. But, there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it, so I’m trying to stay positive and listen to the constant ‘It obviously wasn’t meant to be’. I do try to stick to the attitude that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes it’s a little hard to swallow though. But hey ho.
However, any house buying ventures are going to have to take a backseat for a few months. As we are OFF ON THE ROAD. The road of festivals. As I mentioned before, Charlie has set up an awesome Glamping business – Dreamcatcher Cabins – which he’s now ready to take to some festivals this summer. We’ll also be working for another great company who do a similar thing. I’m going to be the cook for the hungry staff. Making sure they’re fed and watered well, keeping those bellies happy and all cheeky grins stay grinning. So, recipes might be a little haphazard for a few months. I’m going to try my best, adapting my boat-kitchen skills over to caravan/tent-kitchen-cook-extraordinaire.
I’m counting on my little caravan oven to be as lovingly, tempramental-yet-somehow-still-works as the boat oven. That if I whisper sweet nothings to it (what, none of you talk to your oven?!), it will bake me that perfect cookie, or doughy loaf of bread. It’s going to be an adventure, please do join me!
Now, onto more pressing matters.
This smoothie-juice concoction that I like to call Crush. Tangy pineapple with fiery ginger. Perfect to get that morning energy flowing, kick that hangover out the door, and face the day head on. And if someone were to add a splash of rum into the mix on a hot summers evening, who the hell am I to argue? Take a sip and imagine you are on that desert island in the sunshine.
Pineapple and Ginger Crush (v) (gf)
Half a pineapple – peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
500ml coconut water – coconut milk would work here too
Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender, blend for 1 minute.
Pour into glass (over ice / add rum if desired) and enjoy.
This crush is quite frothy, you may want to let the juice sit for an hour, or just embrace it!
Don’t forget, you can follow my adventures throughout the summer over on my Instagram!
I’ve come to the conclusion, that at the ripe age of 26, I am a grown up. This revelation came to me when I was stood in my local whole foods store, amongst the quinoa and coconut oil. There I was, amongst this amazing array of colourful veg, beautiful nuts, and the best selection of whole-grains, and I was excited, so excited. The same kind of excitement that I used to get when I bought a new dress from Topshop, or a new pair of shoes (OK the latter still excites me). But now, going to the supermarket to stock up on supplies, this is my addiction. I love just looking around the shelves in stores, just to hunt out that new spice, or oil, to jazz up my dinner. Sometimes I’ll just walk around the isles, knowing I don’t need to buy anything, but just walking around, to take it all in. The local market man laughs at me sometimes, because some days I just go and look at his daily selection of produce, just to absorb its wonderfulness, he and I knowing that I stocked up on it all, just the day before. Yes, this is what it must feel like to be a grown up.
I caught up with some old school friends last week, who agreed with me that we must be ‘real’ grown ups now. Gone are our conversations of the latest fashion trend, or crazy tale from a wild club night. In their place now; which is the best vegetable brownie recipe? How else can we use tahini? And how the world food section in a certain supermarket is the a hidden gem and gold mine for worldwide treats.
I pretty much have food on my mind every minute I am awake. And most of my dreams are food related. As soon as I’ve finished a meal, I’m picturing my next snack or dish. It’s great. I’m one of those people who needs to eat pretty often. Snacking is pretty high up on my priority list. I get hungry super quickly, so need something healthy and energy-packed on hand at all times.
These energy balls combine some of my favourite snack foods – dates and nuts. Spirulina is packed full of vitamin B12 (good for those following a meat free diet). It’s also high in magnesium and iron, great for helping boost your immune system and keeping your nervous system in good nick.
This is a very rough recipe, throw whatever you feel like in.
Spirulina Energy Balls (v) (gf) (sf)
2 large handfuls of dates
1 tablespoon goji berries
100g cashews (any nuts will work)
1 teaspoon Spirulina powder
Raw cacao powder / desiccated coconut – to roll balls in
Place dates and goji berries in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 10 mins.
In a food processor, blitz the nuts until crumbly.
Drain the dates and goji berries, add to the food processor along with the Spirulina powder.
Pulse mixture for a few mins, until it forms a dough (you may need to stop and scrape mixture off sides)
Now for the
fun messy bit.
Scoop small amounts of the dough mix with your hands, and roll mixture into balls. Roll a third of the balls in cacao powder, a third in coconut, and leave the last third as they are.
Store in a container in the fridge.
Super snacking is a go!
Growing up, meal times were quite the event in our house. We always sat around the table to eat, (unless Mum was away and then Dad would let us have fish and chips in front of the TV) the 6 of us, congregating and discussing our days. Someone would be chief table-setter, something my oldest brother managed to get out of, on the excuse that he didn’t like the noise of the cutlery clanging together! Someone else would get the drinks, another would help hold the plates while Mum served up the food. Sometimes there would be tantrums, storming off upstairs, but mostly it was good old-fashioned chit-chat. Proper family dinner times. I am grateful to of had those times, and ‘proper’ mealtimes are still important to me now. To know you have that half an hour where you can focus on each other, check in and catch up. To be fully focussed on listening to voices, and tasting the food on your plate. It is something that seems to be a luxury that many of us don’t take the time to do anymore.
Back to those mealtimes, after the feast, there would always be pudding. Oh, the puddings. Crumbles, chocolate sponges, ginger orange cream pies, and cheesecakes, lots of cheesecakes. The zestiest lemon cheesecake my mouth ever did taste. Not baked, just chilled and rich, creamy and fruity. My sister has carried on the cheesecake repertoire and is doing my Mum proud. Where there is a Davy meal, there will most likely be cheesecake.
This creation is an ode to those mealtimes. The Matcha in this gives it an awesome green colour, the lime a refreshing citrus kick, and the coconut adds a smooth creamy texture.
This recipe does require a bit of planning the day before, read over it and get everything soaking / chilling the night before. Then the next day will be easy! Don’t be put off by the list of ingredients either, it’s worth it.
Matcha and Lime Cheesecake (v) (gf)
For the base:
1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
150g pitted dates (soaked for 10 mins in boiling water)
1 tsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp date syrup
For the filling:
150g cashews (soaked for at least 2 hours – best to soak the night before)
100g brazil nuts (soaked with cashews)
Zest and juice from 2 limes
1 tin coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)
1 tsp Matcha powder (I used Teapigs)
1 tsp arrowroot powder (I tried this recipe with, and without arrowroot. It works without, but doesn’t set so well. Don’t panic if you don’t have it, just leave it longer to chill before eating)
For the base, blitz your cashews and walnuts in a food processor with the cacao powder, until crumbly.
Add the rest of the base ingredients, and pulse until mix starts to stick together. It should stick together easily when pressed.
Line a round springform tin with greaseproof paper, push the base mix evenly into the bottom. Use a spatula / knife to make sure its quite compact.
Rinse your soaked nuts well under cold water.
Add all your filling ingredients to a high-speed blender, blend for a few minutes. You want the mix to be very smooth with no bits of nuts.
Pour mix into your tin, covering the base.
Chill for a minimum of 4 hours, the longer the better. I put mine in the freezer for 3 hours and it was just about set.
Teapigs kindly sent me some Matcha to try. I was not paid for this post and my opinions are my own. I genuinely like Matcha and think it’s a great ingredient.
Roald Dahl once said “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of you like sunbeams and you will always look lovely”
I woke up the other morning feeling rather negative (something that I struggle with rather a lot) but I had a little word with myself, got up and got myself to work. I was going to try to have a positive day. Be happier, not dwell on things. I got to work and had all these good intentions, then I dropped my phone on the floor. The screen smashed into lots of tiny pieces, held together only by my ‘screen protector’. I was fuming at myself, this was going to cost a lot of money to fix, money which I don’t have. Why was I so silly to drop it. Why were my hands so slippery? Why was my phone case not more grippy? All the negativity came back like a tidal wave.
I spent the rest of the day in a huff, beating myself up about something which I could not undo. It had happened and there was nothing I could do about it. But I couldn’t get out of my negative wave.
When I left work, it was a bitterly cold evening, all I could think about was getting home to the boat, lighting the wood burner and scoffing some chocolate. I passed a homeless man on the street, and stopped to give him some change. He looked at me so gratefully and said ‘Thank you, you’re the first person that’s stopped and spoke to me in hours, people don’t like to stop when it’s cold’.
There I was grumpy because I’d broken my phone which I’m so lucky to be able to have and use, and this guy was just happy I’d given him some loose change. Kinda puts things back into perspective.
Positivity and gratefulness sometimes doesn’t come naturally to me. But I like sunbeams, and I’m gonna try a lot harder to make them shine out of me.
These donuts. Oh, these donuts. They make the sun shine out of your taste buds, of your tummy. The lemon might as well be a big round ball of sunshine. There’s no overload of sugar here. No, no. These little things are my new go to thing when I’m craving a little treat. A spreading of creamy coconut icing sets these off.
Lemon and Rosemary Donuts with Coconut Cream Icing (v)
150g spelt flour (any flour would work)
4 tablespoons coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
80ml almond milk
1 heaped teaspoon fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons agave (or maple syrup)
Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
For the Coconut Cream Icing
1 tin coconut milk (chilled overnight)
Zest ½ lemon
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3 / 170 o C
Grease 6 non-stick donut trays very lightly with olive oil
In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients and mix into a batter.
Using a spoon or a piping bag, divide the mixture evenly between the donut trays.
Bake in the oven for 20 mins, or until a pick comes out clean. Keep a close eye on your donuts as they’re cooking, so as not to burn them.
Leave to cool for 10 mins, then tip onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely (it’s important to let them cool before you try to add the icing)
Once cool, spread coconut icing over donuts, and sprinkle over extra lemon zest.
Coconut Cream Icing
Open your tin of cooled coconut milk. scoop the thick cream off the top and into a bowl. Whisk until it forms peaks.
(Unfortunately for me, as I was whisking my cream, I ran out of power on the boat, the whisk had drained our batteries!) So mine was a bit runny, but still tasty.