Fruit compote is another fridge essential. Its straightforward to make and has a long life. I use it all year round and eat it with morning oats, soaked oats or with yoghurt as a dessert.
1kg fruit e.g plums, pears, apricots or peaches
200ml apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
Cut the fruit into quarters and remove the stone or the core. Put into a heavy bottom pan with the aromatics and cover with the apple juice.
Bring to the boil for 5 minutes then turn down low for a further 10 minutes with the lid on.
Let it cool down and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge.
Porridge can give a warming start to a winter day. Oats in general do this, although you will find soaked oats work better in the summer. It is generally agreed that whether you are in training or just trying to make it through to lunch, porridge is a good healthy food to start the day, the only drawback I can find from a health perspective, is that is is not gluten free (I will be including gluten free porridge recipes). Simply put, oats are a ‘good’ carbohydrate which means they are easily and slowly digested and stabilize blood-sugar levels.
This is my sugar and dairy free recipe. I use watered down apple juice to cook out the oats and almond milk to finish. If you don’t have almond milk, soya or any alternative milk will do. You can also have it with apple juice alone. Keep the porridge wet by adding more liquid. You don’t want the end product to be thick and lumpy, better to aim for smooth and velvety. See fruit compote for another level to this recipe.
Ingredients (serves 2)
125g large oats (although any will do, stay away from the powdery quick-style type of oats if possible)
450ml apple juice and water (50:50)
150ml almond milk (or any other nut or alternative milk)
25g dried fruit (optional)
60g mixed nuts and seeds (e.g flaked almonds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds). The small mixed bags they sell in supermarkets would be perfect.
Weigh your oats and put them into a heavy bottomed saucepan (weighing the oats ensures that you don’t get waste and you can monitor your intake).Add the dried fruit if you’re using them. Cover oats (and fruit) with the apple juice and water and mix.
In a separate small non-stick frying pan toast off the nuts and seeds. When they are done take out of the frying pan and put onto a plate or they will continue to cook. Start cooking the porridge on a medium heat. Try not to leave the pot unattended as it tends to burn really easily, this will take between 5 and 7 minutes. When the oats are creamy and cooked stir in the almond milk until you have a smooth consistency.
Serve in a bowl with the chopped nuts and seeds sprinkled over.
Posted in Apple & Almond Porridge, Breakfast, Sweet Dishes
Tagged almond, apple, dairy free, dried fruit, good carbohydrate, nuts, oats, seeds, sugar-free
Energy balls are a must have in your fridge, for those of you with a sweet tooth who want a sugar-free hit. Dates have a natural sweetness to them, but are also digested very easily, therefore supplying a quick burst of energy. You could use any type of nut in this recipe. Nuts are a source of protein and general research shows that walnuts help reduce cholesterol.
Ingredients (makes approx 10 balls)
150g dates (try to buy stoned dates, as it saves a lot of time)
50g dried figs
65g dried apricots
125g dessicated coconut
Soak the dates and the figs in water for an hour. Roughly chop the dates, figs and walnuts and blend everything together. A fairly smooth consistency is best, as it makes them easier to roll, but the odd bit of walnut here and there is fine. Once this is done chop the apricots into small pieces and add to the mixture. Stir in half of the coconut.
Roll into small balls and roll in the remainder of the coconut, making sure the outside is well coated. Place the balls in a sealed container and leave in the fridge for at least an hour, before eating. These will keep for a long time, so you could make a bigger batch.
As far as healthy cakes go, this one works well as there is no butter or oil and not too much sugar. Most of the sweetness comes from the dried fruit.
100g spelt or kamut flour (see Store Cupboard)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g light brown sugar or xylitol
300g coarsely chopped nuts (I used walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, but any combination is good)
65g dried cherries or cranberries roughly chopped
120g dried figs or dates (or both) chopped into quarters
50g preserved ginger roughly chopped
85g dried apricots quartered
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade. Grease and line 9×5 inch (23cmx12cm) loaf tin. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the chopped fruit, ginger, nuts and sugar to the flour mix. Beat the eggs and the vanilla in. Press this firmly into the tin, tapping the sides firmly to remove any air.
Bake for 60 to 75 minutes. A wooden skewer should come out fairly clean when inserted into the centre, and the top should be golden brown. If the top is browning too much during the cooking time, you can cover with tin foil. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, and then remove and cool on a wire rack.