16473306_1270151666407608_3080656012175499412_nZestlife

A lovely healthy, guilt free alternative to a flapjack. Tastes a bit like a banana bread but has all the goodness of the oats you’d find in a flapjack. They make a great breakfast alternative and also a great snack for the mid afternoon energy slump. Wheat and dairy too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ingredients – Makes 16

2 mashed bananas – the riper the better as easier to mash and sweeter

2 cups oats

1 tbsp dessicated coconut

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp raisins

1 tbsp chopped walnuts

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

6/7 apricots chopped

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp maple syrup – add 1 tbsp  more if you like them sweeter

200ml oat milk

 

method

Heat oven to 140

Mash the bananas in a large bowl.

Add the oats and other dry ingredients to the bananas, stir and combine.

Add the peanut butter along with the maple syrup, give it a good mix now.

Finally, add the oat milk till you have a thick consistency.

Grease a small baking tray with coconut oil and transfer the mix to the baking tray. Press the mixture down very firmly with the back of your hand, or the bottom of a clean mug.

Cook for about 25 – 30 minutes till the edges have started to turn golden brown and the mixture is quite springy to the touch. Cook for few more minutes if you feel it needs longer.

15027395_1183969888359120_8877152492050546426_nZestlifeSince travelling in India I have always loved chai tea. Whenever I drink it I am always transported back almost twenty years to my first visit there. I remember sitting on a platform in Bombay waiting for my first train across India and being sold cups of wonderfully sweet chai tea while I waited. It was always served in tiny terracotta pots, almost like a shot of tea really and only cost just a couple of rupee a cup, a far cry from the tea prices of Starbucks. Anyway, a very good friend of mine Kate has given me this recipe of her divine chai tea to share. It’s a perfect spice blend to warm the hearts at this cold time of year. Make the dry ingredients up and leave to infuse for a few weeks before making the actual tea. Finding a lovely beautiful tea tin to store it in is a must!

Ingredients

70g (half a regular sized packet 125g) Loose black tea- Assam is a good choice

2 x cinnamon sticks – crushed

30 x cardamon pods – crushed

15 x cloves – crushed

30 x black peppercorns – cracked

1 x star anise – broken up

1 x nutmeg – finely grated

fresh ginger

honey

 

Method

Serves 2

Use a pestle and mortar to crush up your spices, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, black peppercorns and star anise. Work them individually, then add them to your loose black tea. Grate in your nutmeg using a fine grater. Store in a tin for a few weeks.

To make the drink itself….

Place 3 cups of water in a pan and bring to the boil.

Remove from the heat and add 2 tsp of your tea blend, 2 tsp of honey and finally add a slice of fresh ginger.

Place back on the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add milk to taste, bring back up to simmering.

Serve in your finest mugs, whilst wearing warm woolly socks and sitting in front of a fire.

1931320_988530101236434_7562845629185671143_nZestlifeI am huge fan of humous and I’ve been looking for a similar high protein dip to serve on our retreats as an option for lunch. It needed to be bean based for the protein but also have a great flavour. I came across this recipe in a newspaper supplement and tweaked it to give it a bit more of a kick. I hope you like it. It’s great served piled high in the middle of large plate surrounded by warm pitta and fresh crudités, such as broccoli, pepper and celery.

 

 

 

 

ingredients

500g cooked butter beans

2 garlic cloves

juice and zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp of olive oil

a good dash of tabasco

1 handful of chives chopped

1 small handful of dill chopped

1 tbsp small capers, rinsed and drained

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

salt and black pepper

method

Add all of the ingredients into your food processor and combine until you have a thick, smooth consistency.

Add salt and pepper at the end to taste.

 

12246634_936031163152995_3881137736642652030_nMy aunt came round with this cake the other day. She is allergic to many additives and preservatives so if she wants something sweet she makes it. This cake was beautiful. A real Autumn/Winter treat great either served plain or with cream. Perfect for using up the last of the Autumn apple glut. Guests on our retreat love it and I’m sure you’ll love it too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ingredients

225g butter (room temperature)

225g caster sugar

3 eggs

225g gluten free self raising flour ( normal SR flour can also be used instead)

25g ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

1 lemon zest and juice

1 large cooking apple peeled, cored and finely chopped

1 tsp demerara sugar

method

Preheat oven to 180 and line a small rectangular baking tray.

With an electric whisk cream together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl whisk up your eggs, then slowly bit by bit pour them into your butter sugar mix. Stir to a smooth consistency.

Then fold in your ground almonds, sieved flour and baking powder.

Add lemon zest, juice and diced apple, stir some more.

Then pour out into your baking tray, the consistency might be quite thick by now but thats ok, then gently spread your mixture out and sprinkle with your demerara sugar.

Finally, bake in the oven for 35 minutes, check at 30 and it could be 5-10 minutes more. Your cake is cooked when springy to the touch and a skewer comes out clean when pierced into the middle.

Cut into large squares and serve with lovely cup of herbal tea.

 

 

These are so simple and easy to make. Adapted from a recipe by Sue Lawrence, they will not fail to delight this Christmas. If you are looking for an edible gift for friends and family this is the one. Yummy, yummy Christmas granola bars.

Ingredients

284g golden syrup

170g butter

425g porridge oats

227g mincemeat (vegetarians use a mix of chopped dried apricots, glace cherries and raisins instead)

zest one orange and lemon

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

 

Method

Gently melt your golden syrup and butter in a small saucepan, stir until your butter has melted.

Weigh out your oats into a large bowl, then grate in your lemon and orange zest.

To the oats dd your golden syrup/butter liquid along with your mincemeat and sal. Stir well until all combined.

Press very firmly into a small lined rectangular cake tin.

Bake in oven at 180 C  for 15 minutes till slightly golden brown around the edges.

Remove from the oven and then leave to cool before cutting. Chop quite small as they are super rich. Enjoy.

12189468_928678330554945_4054857627349973317_oZestlifeIt’s so easy at this time of year to turn to the warming wholesome foods, but its also essential to keep the raw intact high. This raw Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw is great for your digestion and energy levels. So why not take the time to create another perfect, delicious Autumn salad. This slaw is great served with a simple bean burger, or on its own with a lovely chunk of brown bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Ingredients

1/2 red cabbage finely shredded

2 medium sized organic apples grated

4 tbsp natural yoghurt

2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 lemon zest

1 tbsp finely chopped mint

1 tbsp raisins

1 tbsp flaked almonds

Salt and pepper

 

method

1. Place the cabbage and apple into a large mixing bowl, stirring in the natural yoghurt till everything is evenly coated.

2. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, lemon zest and mint. Once again stir until everything is combined.

3. Next, in a small frying pan, gently dry fry your raisins for a few minutes, this will help to draw out the flavour making them even tastier and it plumps them up too. Once toasted add them to the mixing bowl.

5. Then in the same pan finally toast your flaked almonds, just for a few minutes being careful not to let them burn, so keep an eye on them and continuously stir them so they don’t catch. Keep the almonds to one side until you are ready to serve.

4. Place the slaw in a lovely bowl, scatter with the almonds and some salt and pepper and you are ready to go.

12208617_927869830635795_7407436809625561974_nZestlife

This recipe I adapted from a recipe by Jamie Oliver. He is often my go to  when searching for a particular recipe. I needed a gluten free, healthy, fruity muffin to serve after our yoga workshop. We were taking the time to share a light, brunch together and this recipe was perfect. It’s quick, easy and they taste good too. I filled a basket full and they went down a  treat. If you are wandering where I get the brown paper cases from,  I buy them on line and I think they make them look even more divine. Have fun and whip some up fro family and friends. Finally, for an Autumnal variation you can substitute the Bluberry for Blackberries.

 

Ingredients

Method

Firstly if you are not sure what Xanthum gum is, its a white powder and is a food thickening agent that is used a lot in gluten free recipes. You can buy it online or in most health food stores.

1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.

2. In a pan melt butter over a medium heat, then leave to cool slightly. Meanwhile, sieve the flour and xanthan gum into a bowl, keep the sieve high to add more air in and stir in the ground almonds and sugar. Add the melted butter and vanilla extract, then fold through.

3. In another bowl, separate the egg whites (keep the yolks for another day). Whisk the whites well for 1 to 2 minutes, or until they start to froth, this air will help your muffins be light and fluffy. Then, using a metal spoon, stir the egg whites into the flour mixture a little at a time – you want to keep it as light and airy as possible so make sure you don’t stir too much. Roughly chop the chocolate, then stir in along with the blueberries.

4. Divide the mixture between the paper cases. Place on the middle shelf of the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack, then serve. Great for breakfast on the go or as a treat any time of the day.

1620772_10153063584846436_1734548222636884884_nZestlifeAutumn, it’s the perfect time of year to start being creative with your comfort foods. We crave sugar, warmth and comfort at this time of year, it’s only natural to feel this way with it being a time of hibernation. So instead of reaching for the unfulfilling sugary treats make batches of wholesome healthy snacks, like these muffins, for the whole family to enjoy at any time of the day. The best thing about them is they are sugar free!
 
ingredients
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup runny honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 mashed ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup milk of choice (I used oat milk)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • ⅓ cup flaked alomnds
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top
 
 
Method
  1. Preheat oven t0 165 degrees Celsius. If necessary, line 10 cups of your muffin tin with parchment muffins cases.
  2. In a large bowl, beat your oil of choice and honey together with a whisk. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Add the flour, oats  and flaked almonds to the bowl and mix until combined.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the 1o muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats followed by a light sprinkling of sugar. Bake muffins for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  5. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. Enjoy plain or with butter or nut butter or both!

IMG_7621Zestlife

Hawthorn Ketchup
Haws can be quite fiddly and time consuming to prepare which is why it makes perfect sense to use them in a recipe such as this where they can all be thrown into a pan with as little effort as possible. The outcome is a delicious ketchup that will wow your friends and family with. It will keep in an unopened jar for months. Then bring it out at Summer BBQ’s or as the perfect accompaniment to scrambled eggs on toast.

Makes Approx 6 x 500ml Jars

Ingredients

1kg Haw berries from frozen
6ooml Water
600ml Malt vinegar
Salt and pepper
4 Cloves
2 Star Anise

 

Method

 

1. Prepare the haws by tipping out onto a large tray. This allows any unexpected creatures to make a quick get away. Systematically work your way through the haws removing any stalks and leaves. You don’t have to be too particular as the final product will be sieved removing any unwanted debris.

2. Boil the prepared haws, water and vinegar for 30 minutes in large earthenware pan if possible. (Le Cruset casserole dishes work well). A metal one reduces the vitamin C content and this is after all what you’re after.

3. Remove from the heat and push the contents through a large sieve. Discard the haws as there is not much else you can do with them.

4. Transfer the ketchup back to the pan adding a pinch of salt and pepper, the cloves and star anise and boil for a further 10 minutes.

5. Once boiled remove the pan from the heat. Removing the cloves and star anise before carefully decanting into dry sterilised jars or bottles.

Hedgerow harvest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11050836_864774603611985_7508347429254666425_nZestlife

What to add into smoothies….Our top 5 super powders & seeds

BAOBAB

If you are looking for a powdered extract that is high in fibre, antioxidants and Vitamin C, the fruit from the African Baobab tree is it. It  also balances the release of sugars, which will help regulate you energy levels. Great for digestive health too.

CHIA SEEDS

Chia seeds, are favourite.  These tiny black seeds from a native South American plant have an amazing ability to provide sustainable energy, “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” They are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Loaded with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients they are a must for your morning smoothie. 1 tsp should do the trick.

 

ACAI BERRY

The Acai berry, found in the Amazon, is a super rich berry related to the blueberry. It is packed full of antioxidants and will help boost your immunity. Avoid adding to smoothies with greens in, such as spinach or kale, unless you want a grey smoothie that is!

MACA POWDER

It comes from a Peruvian root and has a wonderful impact on your hormones keeping them balanced. It’s great for fertility and reduces blood pressure. Best of all though is it has a sweet, malty flavour a bit like a Crunchie bar! Consumme up to about ½ tsp per day, too much can throw your hormones out of balance so its advisable to have a few days without to keep everything in check.

SPIRULINA

Simply stir into your juices and smoothies, for extra protein, Spirulina, a blue-green algae, is a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids needed for growth and muscle repair. It contains high levels of vitamin b12, calcium, magnesium and iron. Definatly a super powder in our eyes!