(Paleo) pumpkin seed and cranberry bircher

Posted in: Uncategorized

I’ve been a fan of traditional (oatie) bircher for many years, so initially only developed this lighter, crunchier paleo version for the sake a visiting friend. Given I sometimes find the classic recipe a little heavy and, dare I say it, potentially gloopy, I was keen to experiment. As it turns out, the fresh, tangy apple against nutty, popping seeds is pretty damn fine. And as a bi-product, we have another paleo breakfast.

Paleo pumpkin seed & cranberry bircher

Paleo pumpkin seed & cranberry bircher

INGREDIENTS

1 apple, grated
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/2 dsp linseed / flax (much cheaper than chia!)
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp natural bio yoghurt
1 dsp dried cranberries

For Non Paleo / Oatie bircher, add:

2 tbsp porridge oats
1 tbsp yoghurt (additional to above)
2 tbsp cow’s, almond, coconut or rice milk

METHOD

Add ingredients in order listed above to a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside for an hour for the flavours to develop fully. Stir and serve as is. Delicious and nut

Making-bircher

This recipe keeps well in the fridge so I do a bigger batch, setting me up with Breakfasts-to-Go for a busy week.

Almond, orange & cranberry granola

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

You can’t go wrong with granola, loved by all and packed with nutty goodness, this is wholesome seduction at it’s best. The ideal start to your day, oats famously provide slow release energy and fibre, while the nuts and seeds are packed with protein, vitamin E, Omega-3 and minerals, magnesium and phosphorus. Even the coconut oil not only adds creamy deliciousness, but does wonders for your skin, hair and digestion (more info on why I fell in love here). As if that’s not enough, this recipe contains no refined sugar and, I think, tastes even better for it. Crunchy nut, creamy coconut and juicy cranberries; the perfect boxing day breakfast?

Granola

INGREDIENTS

3 cups oats – I like 2 of rolled oats and 1 of rye or buckwheat flakes
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup linseed
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1 tbsp almond or sunflower oil
1 tbsp coconut oil – you can also sub for sunflower oil
2 tbsp agave, honey or maple syrup
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 orange, juice and zest
1 cup flaked or desiccated coconut
1 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Warm coconut oil in a small pan until it becomes runny, then add in all wet ingredients: honey, agave, oils, cinnamon and orange juice plus zest.

In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients except for the coconut and cranberries. Stir in the syrupy oil and transfer to two baking trays, flattening out your mix to a 1 inch flapjack approx.

Cook for 25 – 30 mins, stirring a couple of times so the top doesn’t burn. Add in the coconut flakes around 10 mins before the end.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 mins before breaking up. You should have chunks of crispy, flapjack granola. Store in an airtight jar or container.

In winter I love this with Coyo yoghurt or Rude Health almond milk and a green shake. You can’t beat the tangy berry, crunchy granola and creamy yoghurt combo in summer, when fruit’s at it’s best.

Follow with my Mushrooms with poached egg & spicy sesame for a long, lazy brunch.

The Anti-diet: Breakfast like a king

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

… and supper like a pauper. This is not an old wives tale. In actual fact, for many of us Brits consumed with work, breakfast is a coffee, and lunch a sandwich that can be eaten On the Go. The evening meal is our chance to blow all those daily-banked calories. You have the entire day to burn off breakfast; supper sleeps with you.

I‘ve counselled several baffled friends over their growing girths in spite of having abstained all day in anticipation of their man-sized pasta dinner with The New Boy. See last week’s Moderation tip (Side plate eating).

It’s like this: When you starve yourself, your body thinks it needs to conserve energy, goes into hibernation mode and so burns less calories. When you finally eat, your clever body stores (yup, stores) any fat as a back-up in the eventuality you’ll deprive it again.

Eating breakfast tells you you’re awake and kick starts your metabolism. Eating smaller meals (stopping when you’re comfortable as opposed to undoing a button), 3 – 4 times a day makes sense to your digestion. Let it do its job and it will reward you.

Veg-juice-health

Breakfast like a king with Roast banana, bacon & maple syrup sweet-corn fritters and this week’s super healthy and energising juice recipe: Beetroot, carrot, kiwi & ginger.

For more Anti-diet tips click on the Tag on the right or type Anti-diet into the Search box at the top of the page.

 

Mango, cardamom & lime lassi

Posted in: LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Lassis are essentially Indian yoghurt smoothies. This recipe’s a guaranteed brunch addition winner, plus a healthy breakfast or dessert to have on the go. Sweeter and richer in flavour, Alphonso mangoes are King. In season from March to June in South Indian – see what I did there? Seamless link to recent travel pick posts: Holy Cow: Kerala. You can pick up a box from most veg stalls and Asian communities, along with some supermarkets. Sub with any other mangoes if you can’t get The King.

Makes: 1 ltr. Feeds: 4

 

Ingredients

3 Alphonso mangoes
750g natural yoghurt
20 pods cardamom, ground, husks removed
1 lime, juice of
50 – 100ml water, depending on preference

Method

Peel and chop mangoes, discarding skins and stones, though it would be a waste not to suck the latter before binning…!

Blend mango flesh in a mixer or with stick blender. Add yoghurt, cardamom and lime and mix.

Depending on the thickness of your yoghurt, I like to add iced water until I get a pourable, smoothie consistency. You may prefer to keep thick, however.

Decant into a jug and serve alongside brunch (Corn fritters?) in mini glasses.

For more of seductive mango’s health benefits, click on the Seducers page or type mango into the Search box.

PP: Kj/cal: 1084/259, Pr: 13.1g, Fat: 6.9g, Sat Fat: 3.3g, Carb: 39.2g, OwS: 30.23, Salt: 0.4g

 

Maple roast banana

Posted in: DF, SF, V, WF

Tired of our tasteless bananas picked while green for export, we decided to take matters into our own hands. The result, we think, is surprisingly reminiscent of those bursting with sweetness we gorge on in India and Sri Lanka. Ours have the added sticky tang magic that comes from heating butter and lemon.

Maple roast banana. Wholesome Seduction

Ingredients

Small knob of butter, approx. 2 tsp
2 bananas, sliced into lengthways – we do strips
1 dsp agave, maple syrup or honey
1/2 lemon, juice of

Method

  1. Set butter to heat in a frying pan on a high heat.
  2. Add banana, lemon juice and agave and fry till soft in the middle and sticky and charred on the outside. Roughly 3 minutes on the first side and 2 on the second.
  3. Keeps for 3 days in the fridge.

Serve with yoghurt or creme fraiche, on top of porridge or even with bacon. Anywhere you’d use bananas basically. They’re also delicious mixed into creme fraiche with a dash of vanilla extract as a banana cream to go with cake.

 

Labneh (a kind of yoghurt cheese)

Posted in: LF, S, SF, V, WF

This Middle Eastern strained yoghurt calls for a little patience; loading the piece of muslin first time can be a faff. But that’s pretty much the extent of this recipe, and once you’ve tried it on curries, salads or even toasted rye bread you’ll see exactly why I always have some in the fridge. And why it’s good enough for Mr Ottolenghi and Baker & Spice.

MakingLabnehWholesomeSeduction

Ingredients

250g natural full fat bio yoghurt
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp za’atar – optional. You can also swap for black pepper or dried chillies (½ tsp max).

Method

Mix all ingredients together and transfer to bowl lined with muslin. Tie the muslin into a sack and suspend over the bowl (I use a chopstick as a bracket).

The idea is to strain all the excess liquids from the yoghurt, so it’s best to keep the sack from touching the bottom of the bowl if possible. Alternatively, you can strain more recently.

Leave in the fridge for 24 hrs (or longer, depending on how thick you want the labneh to be). Drain the bowl daily.

Store in a jar in the fridge and keep as per the use by date on the yoghurt.

Tip: Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix of thyme, sesame, sumac, cumin, coriander, fennel and salt.