Berry Boost Smoothie

Spinach, blackberries, raspberries and oats – four foods that are bursting with goodness and a great way to give you a delicious, low in sugar energy boost of a morning. I also give this smoothie the credit of preventing me from developing a full blown cold, unlike several other family members, and of helping increase my overall energy levels (I have health problems, so this is a big deal for me).

You will need:

1 handful frozen spinach or 3 handfuls fresh spinach

1 handful blackberries

1 handful raspberries

1 handful oats

1 litre of unsweetened non-dairy milk such as almond milk, rice milk or soya milk

1 dessertspoonful agave syrup/molasses/malt extract (optional)

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)

Method:

Whizz together in a powerful blender until smooth, then decant and enjoy! Serves five.

Healthier Bread and Butter Pudding: Dairy Free, Low Sugar, Lower Fat

I do love a good old fashioned English pud! Bread and butter pudding is another great way to use up old bread, and with this recipe the usual cream and sugar are substituted with almond milk, agave syrup and grated apple.

 

You will need:

Margarine

10 slices wholemeal bread, medium thickness (I use the cheap kind and it works fine)

100g sultanas

1 teaspoon ground mixed spice

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

400ml almond milk

3 large free range eggs

1 level tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)

1 level dessertspoon agave syrup

1 dessert apple, finely grated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

1. Spread the bread slices with margarine, ensuring you spread thinly and as far towards the edges as you can.

2. Cut the bread slices into triangles.

3. Arrange half of the bread slices on the base of a large ovenproof dish.

4. Sprinkle with half of the sultanas and the ground mixed spice.

5. Arrange the remaining half of the bread slices on the top and again sprinkle with the remaining sultanas and the cinnamon.

6. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk together with the vanilla extract and agave syrup.

7. Put the grated apple and almond milk in a saucepan.

8. Heat the milk mixture, but don’t let it boil.

9. Pour the milk mixture over the eggs, stirring continuously.

10. Now pour the mixture over the bread slices.

11. Press the bread slices down gently with a fork, until saturated.

12. Sprinkle the top with sugar.

13. Place in the oven at 160ºC (140ºC fan oven) for 50 minutes, or until the top is golden and the pudding has set.

14. Serve with home made yoghurt for a tasty treat.

Savoury Vegetable Crumble

I love fruit crumbles. I try to make them with plain fruit nowadays, to lessen my family’s sugar consumption. I wanted to try a savoury crumble for a change. This is what I came up with. It is delicious served with chunks of home made wholemeal bread.

 

You will need:

900g mixed vegetables, fresh or frozen, such as broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, peas, etc.

1 onion, chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 heaped dessertspoons of flour (soya flour works well)

300ml soya milk

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

1 teaspoon garlic granules

black pepper, to taste

 

For the topping:

120g wholemeal flour

25g margarine

50g smoked soya cheese, grated

75g mixed seeds (I use a blend of pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds)

 

1. Steam all the vegetables until they are cooked, or boil in a large pan with just enough water to cover.

2. Drain the vegetables but do not discard the water.

3. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion. Cook over a gentle heat until the onion softens and glistens, then add the garlic.

4. To the onion and garlic add the two heaped spoonfuls of flour. Stir gently until the flour and onion have combined.

5. Add 30ml of the milk and stir until it forms a smooth paste.

6. Add the rest of the milk and 150ml of the vegetable water.

7. Turn the heat up and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.

8. Keep stirring for another minute or so, until the mixture has thickened into a sauce.

9. Add the herbs and seasoning.

10. Put the drained vegetables into a casserole dish (or other oven-proof dish).

11. Pour the sauce over the vegetables.

12. Now make the crumble topping. First, place the flour into a bowl.

13. Add the margarine and rub it into the flour using your fingertips. Continue until it the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (this will take a few minutes).

14. To the crumble mix add the smoked soya cheese and seeds. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

15. Spoon the crumble mixture over the top of the vegetables and smooth it out.

16. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C  for 20 minutes, et voila! Enjoy.

 

TOP TIPS

If you’re baffled by the idea of rubbing margarine into flour, check out this youtube video. Gordon Ramsay does the crumble topping at about 2 minutes in, and although he seems to do it lightning fast, he demonstrates the technique required to make the crumble topping (of course, if you’re doing the savoury crumble above, you leave out the sugar, and instead of the muesli you add the soya cheese and seeds).

 

 

I have to say I love the combination of fresh apples with skins intact (I always leave the skins on apples) and dried cranberries. I might just have to try this dish for myself!