Simple Cinnamon Granola

Mmmmmm granola. Fabulous crunchy texture that adds interest to breakfast.

It is so versatile and you can really load it up with great stuff to boost your fats and protein – nutrients that are missing from most store bought cereals!

I do make a yummy crunchy granola (that you can find here) but I was after an even quicker and more simple granola that I could make in bulk and have on standby in the pantry for everyday breakfast (or dessert!).

I am conscious that it is really easy to eat sweet granola, so for another option, I am using cinnamon here instead of a sweetener (although there is an option to add more sweetness if you are so inclined!). Cinnamon is so light and fragrant that it works well to give the perception of sweetness without the sugar.

I make this one in a double batch, but the ingredients listed below are for just a smaller single batch.

See below the main recipe for ideas on making this granola Gluten free and Grain free

  • 1 cup rolled oats**
  • 1 cup mixed seeds (or nuts if you like) – I love a mixture of pumpkin, sunflower, flax and hemp seeds.
  • 2 tsps good Olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • OPTIONAL: 2 tsps honey/maple syrup

Mix together dry ingredients.

Sprinkle with cinnamon then mix well to evenly coat.

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Drizzle over oil and mix well to evenly coated. If you’re adding honey or maple syrup, drizzle it over here, together with the oil – it helps to spread further if it is warmed first.

Place under a hot grill and bake untilย  golden. Shake the tray several times during

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Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

**To make this one coeliac friendly, use a mixture of puffed rice and shredded coconut, in whichever ratio you like best. Forย grain freeย use a mixture of buckwheat groats and coconut flakes.

Throw it in your yoghurt, eat it with milk or with some stewed fruit – my favourite is with yoghurt and a few berries!

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Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Boosted Breakfast Bars

My crew are on school holidays – hooray!!!

Holidays means slower mornings, adventures, time together …. and food. So much food!

I’m always astounded at how much more my kids neeeeed to eat in the holidays, when compared to what they eat from their lunchboxes during the school term. They tell me that it is because at school they stuff in what they can super fast so that the don’t miss out on their precious play time – apparently holiday are then for catch up!

These gorgeous bars are fibre filled, have a good serve of polyunsaturated fats and with a sweetness that comes from whole fruit, they’ll satisfy you and keep you going for ages. They work well as morning tea on the run too.

  • 1 cup GF weetbix
  • 1 cup rolled oats OR 1 cup fruit free GF muesli
  • ย 3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour OR plain GF flour mix plus 1 tsp psyllium
  • 1 rounded tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tbsp hemp seeds
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 large overripe banana
  • 2 heaped tbsp seed butter (or nut butter that suits)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice

Place all of the dry ingredients together in your processor/thermal cooker/bullet and pulse a few times until the ingredients are roughly chopped and well combined. Then set aside.

Place the dates, seed butter, milk and vanilla into your thermal cooker. Cook on 90C, Speed 2 for 3 mins. Add in the banana and cook on speed 3, 90C for a further minute. Then boost up to speed 4 for 8 seconds.

To cook this one without a thermal cooker, place the dates, seed butter, milk and vanilla into a saucepan and cook over a low heat, whilst whisking regularly until the mixture is well melted – the dates will still be quite large. Add in the banana and continue to cook, whilst whisking for a further 2 minutes. Then transfer the whole mix to a blender or processor, then process until smooth.

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Now add the dry ingredients back to the wet and process until just combined (Speed 2, about 15 seconds). The mixture will be quite thick and sticky.

Scrape into a line 20×20 baking tray and use a spatula to smooth out and press down into the tin.

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Place into a preheated 180C oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and golden brown.

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Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the tray before moving to a cooling rackย  to finish cooling before slicing in to 8 bars.

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These will last several days in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze them individually to pop into lunchboxes or grab on your way to work.

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Enjoy

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Savoury Hemp Seed Scones

Scones are such a wonderful comfort food. Today I think I am channelling my Nanna and great Gran as I make their stew and Scones ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

I love to make traditional foods that actually contribute something beneficial to our dietary intake so, with these scones we’ve replaced some of the white flour with a wholegrain flour as well as adding in Hemp seeds and Nutritional yeast – both plant based, allergy friendly complete protein sources. They are good sources of B vitamins and fibre and the hemp seeds help to give us heart healthy poly unsaturated oils and one of the very few plant based sources of vitamin D.

Very easy to make and very popular with my little ones – hope you enjoy them too.

  • 3 cups spelt flour (1/3 wholemeal)
  • 4 tsp GF baking powder
  • 4 rounded tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 2 rounded tbsp hemp seeds
  • 85g cold vegan butter
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • extra flour for rolling

Place all of the dry ingredients together in the processor and process until well combined (Speed 4, 8 seconds).

Add in butter and pulse several times until the mix resembles bread crumbs.

Add in the milk and process to combine, adding the milk mixture slowly through the top chute. (Speed 4, about 15 seconds)

Tip on to floured surface and bring dough together until just smooth.

Roughly roll out to about 2cm thick and use scone cutter to cut out.

Place cut out dough onto a line baking tray and then into a preheated 200C oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden and the bottoms sound hollow when they are tapped.

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These are delicious on their own as a snack, served warm with a little butter or a cheese that suits your diet, or even as a side to dinner, instead of a bread roll or damper (we’re having ours with a slow cooked stew tonight).

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Enjoying a ‘tester’ scone with a cuppa in the garden – Bliss!

Makes about 20. They freeze and defrost well.

Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S. If you would like a sweet scone rather than savoury, simply leave out the Nutritional yeast and add in 2 tbsp of coconut sugar.

**I haven’t made a GF version of these ones yet. I’d start by replacing the spelt with a good GF flour mix at about 2.5 cups and add in a tsp of psyllium husks. Add a little more flour if it is too sticky and be careful not to overwork the dough. Let me know if you try it and I’ll update when I do.

Packed Pikelets (pink and green!)

Our little people eat pikelets in many forms. Mildly sweet ones (hotcakes) for breakfast are on the menu probably once a week, but more recently we have changed it up a bit and have added in a more savoury variety.

Our kids love them – Harry describes them as a cross between a hotcake and a cheese toastie …. both things he loves!! They are very filling and make a satisfying lunch, they’re nutritious – and they freeze and defrost well so you can make them in advance for lunchboxes. They even work well as a side serve at dinner time.

This recipe makes about 20 – I often double it so that I have enough left to freeze!

  • 1.5 cups spelt flour – I do half wholemeal (OR 1 1/3 cups plain GF flour and 1 tsp psyllium husks)
  • 1/2 cup heaped mixed seeds (I use pumpkin, flax and hemp)
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • pinch pink salt
  • 2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1.5cups milk of choice
  • 30g light tasting oil/vegan butter, melted
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba OR 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup baby spinach OR a handful steamed beetroot
  • OPTIONAL: Handful GF ham/left over chicken/corn kernels

Place the seeds, yeast, salt, paprika and baking powder into your processor/bullet/blender/thermal cooker and process until very fine (Speed 8, 6 secs, repeat if necessary).

Add in the flour and process to combine (Speed 4, 10 seconds). Then set the dry mix aside.

Blitz together milk, vinegar, aquafaba and oil in your processor/bullet/blender/thermal cooker until frothy (Speed 6, 8 seconds).

Add in the spinach or beetroot to the milk mix and blitz until the mixture is smooth (Speed 8 10 seconds, scrape down and repeat). You will have very brightly coloured green or pink milk at this point!

Add the wet mix to the dry mix and process to combine (Speed 5, 6 secs). If doing this by hand, use a whisk to beat until the mixture is well combined and light.

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If you want to add in any of the optional extras, chop them finely and fold them through here.

Spoon tablespoons of the batter into a hot, lightly greased frying pan. Cook until golden on one side until bubbles appear and then flip and cook until both sides are golden brown.

Makes about 20

Serve warm with your choice of topping – my kids love them with a slice of their cheese or a little sunflower seed butter. I sandwich them together with a little butter in the middle and freeze in a zip lock bag so they are ready to drop into lunchboxes.

Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Seed butter bars

I am a big fan of snacking …. I am so active that 3 meals a day doesn’t work for me. I get shaky and hungry (and maybe a teensy bit cranky!). So I always make sure that I have healthy snacks readily available.

I love my bliss balls (especially the chocolate and salted caramel) and bliss bars, but I have been trying to teach myself to not always reach for sweet tasting stuff. These bars are based on my Choc Bliss Bars … just not chocolate and not so sweet ๐Ÿ˜‰ They are fabulous source of fibre (great prebiotics for your gut health), nutrient dense carbohydrates, amazing plant based fats and even a good dose of protein. The mild sweetness comes from dates, but you’re only getting 1/3 of a date per bar, so they are working more as a binder than a sweetener.

  • 1 cup sunflower seed butterย (or nut butter if your diet allows)
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1.5 cup rolled oats
  • 90g pepitas
  • 20g flax seeds
  • 20g hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp water

Place the sunflower seed butter, vanilla and cinnamon in your processor/thermal cooker and start mixing (speed 4). Whilst you are mixing add in the dates, one at a time through the chute at the top. Then continue mixing until the date is finely brown down and evenly distributed through the mix (Up to speed 7, for 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

Add in the oats and seeds and process until well combined (Speed 4 for 8 seconds, then to speed 5 for 6 seconds)

The wetness of your mix will be impacted by how runny your seed butter was and how moist your dates were, so if your mixture is not starting to clump together, add in 1 tbsp of water at a time and process again.

Tip into a lined tray (mine is 23cm x 29cm), spread out and firmly and evenly press down the mix.

Place it into the freezer for half an hour before removing and chopping in to bars.

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Makes 24 bars, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheesey broccoli damper

Anything ‘bready’ is likely to get the tick of approval here.

They don’t even bat an eyelid any more when the bread is a nontraditional bread colour – you know, like green ๐Ÿ˜‰

We have been doing spinach in scrolls for ages, but more recently, we’ve started to add in broccoli too. Broccoli is amazing stuff … here is what a recent BBC food report has to say about the humble broccoli:

“There have been many health claims over the years about broccoli and whether it could be labelled a ‘superfood’ or not, but its nutrient-rich profile does offer some real health benefits. Broccoli is a good source of fibre and protein, and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium as well as the vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid”. (Oct 2017)

It’s also thought to improve cardiovascular health and even bone mineral density.ย  Label of ‘superfood’ or not – it’s pretty great stuff!

However …. despite my great love of the tiny trees, both cooked and raw, only 2 of my 4 kiddos likes it. Bummer.

Blended up in thrown in a damper is another story though ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • 2 3/4 cup spelt flour (half wholemeal)
  • 3 tsp gf baking powder
  • 1 heaped tsp pink salt flakes
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 heaped tbsp flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp dried Italian style herbs
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 100g broccoli florets
  • 75g spinach
  • 225mls water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

In your blender/bullet/thermal cooker place the seeds, yeast, salt, herbs and baking powder. Process until seeds until they’re fine. (Speed 8, 8 second, scrape down and repeat).

Add in the flour and process until combined (speed 4, 10 seconds). Then set the flour aside.

Now place in the broccoli, spinach, water and vinegar, then blend, blend, blend until it is smooth (speed 8, 8 secs, scrape down ย then speed 10, 10 secs).

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Set the wet mix aside and return the flute mix to the processor. Add in the butter and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed – it’ll look a little like bread crumbs.

Add in the wet broccoli mix to the flour whilst processing (speed 4) and bring together to a dough.

Tip on to a floured surface and shape to a disc.

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Slash the top into 8 triangles and then place into a preheated 200 C oven for about 25 minutes or until well risen and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

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Serve warm with butter of choice.

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This is a great side to have with a yummy soup, or as part of a finger food style lunch … but we often enjoy it just on it’s own!

Slice and butter and tightly wrap any leftovers before freezing – it defrosts well.

Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Strawberry ice dream

This delicious dessert is like a cross between ice cream and sorbet.

It’s very refreshing and simple to make, no need for any churning, but you do need to make it several hours in advance.

We used up the last of the strawberries that we had frozen after a very over zealous ‘pick your own’ session at a local farm.

  • 3 cups frozen strawberries
  • 270ml coconut cream (Ayam)
  • 2 tbsp rice malt syrup*
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 over ripe large bananas

*You can of course use honey or maple syrup if you’d prefer – I choose the rice malt here not because of any mythical ‘sugar free’ properties, but because of its more neutral taste.

In your processor or thermal cooker place the strawberries. Blitz them until they are very finely chopped (almost like crushed ice) speed 4, working up to speed 8 for 10 secs, scrape down and repeat.

Add in the coconut cream, followed by the syrup and vanilla whilst processing (on speed 4), then scrape down and process again.

Add in bananas, one at a time and process until very smooth. (Use speed 6).

Pour into a dish, cover and freeze for at least 6 hours, or over night.

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Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving so that it is scoopable.

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If you’re after an extra special treat you can add some chocolate! We make ours by melting 4 squares of chopped dark chocolate together with 1/2 tsp of tasteless coconut oil, then just drizzle away!

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This makes enough for 8-10 serves.

Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚