Posts tagged berries
Summer Berry Crumble Bars

I made this oat crumble as a surprise 'bressert' for my boyfriend last weekend. His favourite fruit is rhubarb and I had a few stalks in the garden that I wanted to use up.  I wanted a super healthy breakfast crumble that was indulgent enough for dessert (hence bressert).

I had planned for this to be enough to last us for breakfast ABD dessert late in the day.... but we ate it all for breakfast ;-)

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I first made this oat crumble recipe for my 'Not Just For Goldilocks' book, so I won't share it in full right here, BUT I will share with you a great spin-off in the form of these bars. I made the bars in the photos below initially for Real Food Source last year and using the same principle as the crumble I made them again.

These bars are quite soft and cakey with a crisp top, which is how I love them. I used a combination of oats, ground almonds and tiger nut flour for the topping, but other flours in place of tiger nuts and almonds would also work.

They also have a great nutritional boost by way of chia seeds which are also used here to thicken and bind the base and fruit layer.

These are perfect served hot with some vegan for a little indulgence or with a dollop of plain vegan yoghurt for a breakfast option.

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Recipe: Summer Berry Crumble Bars

Makes approx 12 squares

Ingredients:

Crumble:

  • 1 ½ cup oats

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds

  • 1 cup tiger nut flour (or other flour such as wholemeal, spelt or a gluten-free blend)

  • ½ cup coconut oil– melted

  • approx. 2 tbs coconut syrup (to taste)

  • 2 tbs chia seeds and 3 tbs warm water (mixed to gel)

Berry Layer:

  • 1 heaped cup stewed fruit (I used a combination of apple, rhubarb and raspberries)*

  • approx. 1 tbs maple syrup

  • 2 tbs chia seeds

  • ½ cup rough chopped nuts of choice for topping (optional)

*I used approx 2 small/medium apples, 2 medium stalks or rhubarb and a large handful of raspberries (I didn't measure precisely but it equated to a good cup of fruit once cooked down)

Method:

Mix the oats, ground almond and tiger nut flour dried with the melted coconut oil and syrup. Set aside approx. 1/4 of this mixture for the topping (or more for a thicker topping).

To the remaining mix, add the chia ‘gel’ to help bind. Press the crumble mix firmly into an 8” square pan- it should be approx 1cm deep.  Bake for approx 15 minutes at 180C until just golden.

Meahwhile stew the fruit in a saucepan, adding a little syrup to taste as the rhubarb and raspberries are tart. No extra liquid is required as the fruit will release it's own. Add the chia seeds during the last few minutes to help thicken.

Remove the base crumble from the oven and spread the fruit layer evenly over the top. Add the reserved crumble mix, plus extra chunky nuts if desired.

Bake for another 5 minutes or so until the topping is golden and the fruit bubbling.

Serve hot or cool (note: the bars slice better when cool)

 

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Strawberry shortcake parfaits

A super simple dessert...that you won't want to wait until the weekend to try!

This is also perfect for summer berries, though I am a little sad that the evenings are already getting shorter and it feels as though summer is already on it's way out. But it's ok because with a dessert like this you'll be able to hang onto that summer feeling for a little longer yet!

I found some Coyo coconut yoghurt in my local supermarket and was so excited to try it out. You could use any thick vegan yoghurt, or try this easy cheats version. You could also use other summer berries, though for me the word 'shortcake' is synonymous with strawberries so at least a few strawberries had to feature here! The shortcake layer is actually one of my favourite creations to date. You've previously seen it used here, but you could also use it as pie crust too I reckon (next on my list to try!). It is so easy and quick to crisp up too. 

Seriously, what are you waiting for!

Before I go... tell me, what is your favourite go-to summer dessert?

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Recipe: Strawberry shortcake parfait

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 carton pain coyo (or ½ cup thick vegan yogurt)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (or a mix of summer berries)

Crumble:

  • 1/2 cup fine almond flour (not ground almonds)
  • 2 tbs agave syrup (or syrup of choice)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • pinch salt

Method

To make the crumble, mix all ingredients together with you fingers until you have small ‘globs’. Spread on a baking sheet and grill the shortcake pieces for just a few minutes on a medium heat to lightly toast them- watch closely as they will quickly burn once they begin to crisp.

Place the shortcake pieces in the bottom of the serving bowls/glasses and top with berries, finishing with a layer of coconut (or other) yoghurt. Decorate with a few extra berries.

Mmmm... stick your spoon right to the bottom and get messy! The best way to eat summer parfaits!

Mmmm... stick your spoon right to the bottom and get messy! The best way to eat summer parfaits!

Toasted crumble goodness hot off the grill!

Toasted crumble goodness hot off the grill!

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Redcurrant coconut cream cheesecakes

I have so many more summer recipes I want to share while the sun in still high in the sky and warm on my skin for the next few weeks... I often make the mistake of having so many recipes I've experimented with and have actually run out of time to post them all whilst in season.

This simple recipe is something I whipped up for a Sunday dessert for my family a few weeks ago after a trip to my friends allotment to pick red currants because she had too many to eat herself. I picked a huge stash and have frozen a lot of them.

You could use other berries if you prefer - blueberries with some lemon zest would be amazing too!  But I love these little shining red berry jewels sitting on top of the creamy white 'cheesecake' topping.

So, onto the cheesecake itself... yep it's my super simple tofu free cheesecake blend made with coconut flour and non dairy yoghurt. It literally takes a couple of  to mix up and then some chill time. It's the same base that is used in these cheesecakes and also this cream (just at a different liquid ratio).  The coconutty flavour is very mild and works really well to compliment it. My dad (who doesn't really like coconut) enjoyed this cheesecake. 

I made these ahead ahead and stored in the freezer, allowing up to an hour to defrost before serving. If it's a little solid in the centre when you serve it thats still fine- kind of like ice cream! I find that its easier to remove from the pan when only slightly defrosted so that the side don't get mushed up as you remove it!

Recipe: Redcurrant coconut cream cheesecakes

Makes 4 muffins sized, 2 small or 1 medium cheesecakes (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup soy yoghurt (other yoghurts such as coconut would probably work well too)
  • 1/4 cup fine coconut flour
  • 1-2 tbs syrup of choice to taste
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup red currants (or other berries)

Base: I used some of my Wholeplus Squares mix, but you could use a similar 'bliss ball' style date and nut recipe' or this vanilla pie bites recipe.

Method:

Prepare base ingredients and set aside.

Combine all cheesecake ingredients in a small bowl and stir together well to from a thick paste. Set aside. 

Press the base mix in the bottom of 2 small or 1 medium pie dish- use either silicone or one with a removable base and then top with the cheesecake mix, flatten the mix with the back of a spoon and then press the red currants into it.

Freeze to firm up. You can prepare ahead and freeze for up to 1 month. Allow to defrost for up to 1 hour to serve (dependant upon size of pans used). Best removed from the pan whilst still fairly frozen.

I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers  plus me FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can always find me in these places:

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5-minute fruit crumble!

It feels like I made this crumble ages ago, erm... actually I think that probably is the case!

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I've got so many recipes I want to share with you that have been stockpiling over the last couple of weeks as my creativity has continued full throttle but the practical reality of typing it all up on my computer to get it out there to the world has struggled a little more with so much going on in the background. Making decisions seem to take a lot of my time up- way too much procrastination going on recently!!

But all is good, there is plenty of time to enjoy the ride. Life is not for rushing. (maybe one day i'll follow my own advice).

So, back to the crumble.

This one literally takes five minutes.

It's healthy and gluten free.

There is absolutely no excuse not to make it!

So many of my recent recipes have been of the quick 5 to 10 minute type I think that's why I've created so many yet not blogged them, as in actual fact it takes longer to post them than it does to create them in the first place, crazy!

For this little dish I had just picked a big tub full of blackberries and so it was a no-brainer to team them with apple as it's my favourite summer-becomes-autumn fruit combo.

Fresh blackberries picked in the countryside near my house... thank goodness for Instagram to capture the loveliness! 

Fresh blackberries picked in the countryside near my house... thank goodness for Instagram to capture the loveliness! 

The almond flour made a great gluten-free topping, lightly crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth. it was a simple 'throw the ingredients into a bowl and clump up your fingers' type of deal and I cheated a little and grilled the topping instead of baked it for the super-speedy finish. It worked really well. 

So...who fancies a quick midweek desert? 

Enjoy.

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Recipe: 5-minute blackberry and apple crumble

serves 2 (or 1 hungry person)

ingredients:

fruity bit: 

  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1 apple sliced fairly small (tart apples are best)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp arrow root powder

topping:

  • 1/2 cup fine almond flour (not ground almonds)
  • 2 tbs agave syrup (or syrup of choice)
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • pinch salt
  • a touch of water (only if needed) 

Method:

For the fruit compote, toss the fruit in the lemon juice and arrow root powder and then cook on the hob to soften down- up to 5 mins.

Meanwhile combine the topping/base ingredients to form coarse crumbs/globs. Add a touch of water (if needed) to help the globs stick together a little.

Pile the hot fruit mixture into a small pie dish (approx 15cm diameter) and roughly crumble the topping on top- there should be some larger chunks. 

Grill on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes until the crumble topping begins to go golden- note it wont take long at all so keep a close eye! 

Alternatively if you want to go down the more traditional route of oven baking, you can cover with tin foil and bake for about 20 minutes until cooked, and then uncover and bake for a further 2 minutes to brown the top- but again keep a close eye! Note: i haven't tried it this way but suggestions I saw on the web followed this route. The foil prevents the almond flour browning prematurely.

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Sweet berry polenta

I haven't made polenta for a while, and when I have it's usually been of the savoury variety either as a mash potato type side or set firm and sliced into rounds as more of a bruschetta base. 

This time however I want to sweeten it up just a little so that it became more of a dessert like base as a summer breakfast, desert, or snack.

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This is another versatile recipe that you could dress up however you wish with the simple notion that you whip up a batch of polenta as per usual but adding a little sweetness and spice to suit. I also added fresh raspberries to the mix and fresh blueberries on top by pressing them into the top of the mixture once i'd spread it out before chilling. Fresh berries are great here as the polenta is not baked so the sweet berries remain nice and juicy without risk of burning.... I usually use frozen berries if they are to be baked in this way.

Allow the dish to set in thin-ish layer (I used a brownie tin and flattened the mix with my fingers just under 1 cm thick) and then slice into squares or use a cookie cutter for pretty edges as I did. Once you have the top and bottom 'layers' you can add fruit, yoghurt, granola, nut butter, chocolate mousse....as you wish in between! The polenta layers remain soft and this suits more of a chilled desert since the layers are best served cold for firmness to hold their shape.

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Recipe: Sweet berry polenta

serves 2-3  (4-6 slices depending on size)

Ingredients

  • 50g quick cook polenta
  • 200g water
  • 80g apple puree (or 1 mashed banana)
  • ¼ tsp stevia (or sweetener of choice to taste)
  • 2 handfulls of berries ( I used raspberries in the mix and blueberries on top)

Method

Cook the polenta with the water according to packet instructions- mine was quick cook and took 3 minutes stirring continuously. Once thickened add the fruit puree and stevia and mix well, add some of berries if you want a pretty coloured/textured mixture.

Using damp hands or a rolling pin roll the mixture to approx 1cm thick and press the remaining berries into the top.

Allow to chill and then cut into slices with a knife or cookie cutter and serve in layer with fillings of choice.

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Quinoa flake breakfast bake

I have never really baked with quinoa flakes before, mainly because I struggle to get hold of them around here. But a few a weeks ago when I visited Wholefoods on Kensington High Street in London for the very first time (much, much excitement) I picked up a bag.

So on Sunday morning when I was debating breakfast, I figured a little experimentation with my new purchase was in order! As it turned out, this little experiment became a rather yummy breakfast experience. This single serve breakfast bake will see you right through to lunch…and it’s so pretty too, the perfect start to your day. This could easily be served as dessert as well, maybe add a little more sweetness if serving as dessert as I was going for more of a ‘breakfast level’ sweetness with this bake and let the banana provide all the sweetness, other than a light drizzle of brown rice syrup on the top. You can use any summer berries you wish, I happened to have a few stranwberries to hand at the time. You could mix berries through the batter, but I would be careful not to make the batter too wet.

I mixed in a few oats with my quinoa flakes, but feel free to use all quinoa if you like (it may work with all oats as well but I haven’t tested this yet). The quinoa provides a lovely light texture in an otherwise moist and dense and bananary bread. Be sure to use a dish that allows the batter to be no more than 15mm thick as you may find it does not cook all the way through if much thicker.

I used a mini fluted ceramic pie dish (a recent new purchase that I was desperate to use for something!) and the bake was quite difficult to remove neatly. You can either it eat straight from the dish or make sure you use a greased/lined tin with a removable base which should make things much easier.

Recipe: Quinoa flake breakfast bake

serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe banana- very well mashed
  • Agave to taste if necessary (I didn’t use any extra)
  • ½ cup quinoa flakes
  • ¼ cup oats- GF if needed (or more quinoa flakes)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped nuts of choice
  • Soy yoghurt to mix (I used approx. 3 tbs)
  • Handful of berries to decorate
  • Brown rice syrup/agave/maple syrup to drizzle

Method

Mix all ingredients (other than berries and drizzle) together in a small bowl adding the soy yoghurt last to achieve a thick smooth consistency. Spoon the mixture into a greased/lined mini pie dish  and decorate the top with the berries. Make sure the mixture is no more than roughly 1.5cm thick as it may not cook through properly.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 for approx. 15 minutes until the top is lightly golden.

Whilst still warm drizzle with a little syrup and serve immediately.

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Valentine's Coconut Ice

Valentines is such a commercial holiday…but then again, any cause for celebration is good enough for me!

I’m not really the type to celebrate Valentines in a big way, I much prefer showing a little love at any other time of the year and not when I’m ‘told’ I should. But since I have no Valentine of my own it’s a little bit pointless debating my options (or maybe I’m just a tad jealous)!

A thoughtful gesture always means so much more than anything money can buy. A little homemade gift is sure to raise a smile... and a tasty yummy treat all the more!

I have a few simple Valentine’s ideas to post over the next few days.  These would be perfect any time of year….another little way to remind someone how much they mean to you.

No Valentine? Then treat yourself, you best friend or your mum. Plus since these treats are super healthy you will all be smiling all day long.

First up, pretty pink coconut ice. 

You can use any dried red berries here- I used cranberries but cherries would be fabulous! The result is a lovely speckled pink cube of delight with a light crumbly coconutty texture and hints of delicate sweet berries. You could use any shaped moulds you fancy, just make sure to firmly press in the mixture whilst still soft and warm.

Recipe: Valentine's Coconut Ice

Makes approx. 12 cubes (1 ice cube tray)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut butter (make your own)
  • 2tbs cashew or almond butter
  • ½ cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 2 tbs agave nectar plus tiny pinch stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Melt the coconut butter then combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until a thick smooth paste is formed.  There should be ‘flecks’ of the red berries in the mixture as opposed to a solid colour. Whilst still warm, spoon the soft mixture into an ice cube tray or other candy moulds and press down firmly into each mould.

Freeze briefly to set and then store in the fridge.


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Raspberry cheesecake single serve ‘rame-cake’

It was a busy morning for me. First stop swimming followed by pilates. I enjoy swimming as it is one of the only times I am able to truly switch off, maybe it’s the rhythmical pace gliding up and down the lanes or maybe it’s the submersion and notion of feeling ‘in your own little bubble’. It is also the time when I often feel most creative, my mind is quiet and thoughts come flooding in….

…. It can also be the most frustrating time to be creative, inspired thoughts in the middle of a pool with no way to write anything down is, well, rather annoying at times!

After my swim and a quick sauna, the pilates session is a nice compliment to round off the morning’s activities. I’m a bit of a pilates newbie but I’m finding I actually quite enjoy it. My usual activities involve more hard core cardio or flinging myself about- i.e around a squash court or a pole… (I teach pole dance classes), I was recently advised to take up pilates as I have had problems with my hips due to the fact my joints are hypermobile, and actually I think it may be helping. It also gives me an opportunity to sloooow down, something which I am notoriously very bad at! Thus, my Friday mornings have become a time to revive my mind and set me up for a productive weekend.

Once home I was in need of food and lots of it.…. The mug cakes were calling!!

The recipe for my first ever chocolate mug cake post was based on one large mug or two ramekins. Whilst that’s great for sharing (or if you are in need of a major cake hit!), I often simply want a little treat just for me, and a mug is too much. So here I have reworked the recipe amounts to create a ‘single serving ramekin’ aka the ‘rame-cake’ and believe me this is more than enough to hit the spot!

In putting together this recipe I was also keen to experiment with a GF version... um, so then one 'ramecake' became two... shhhh!  I have noted my GF alterations below, and in my opinion this version was perfectly yummy with barely a hint of any graininess so often typical with GF flours.  I did notice a slight difference in texture as I sampled each cake one after the other, but had this not been the case then I don't think I would have 'noticed' I was eating a GF sponge. 

 Recipe: Raspberry cheesecake single serve ‘rame-cake’

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs white spelt flour
  • (see GF version below)
  • 2 tsp rapadura 
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • (increase to a heaped 1/4 tsp for GF)
  • 2 tbs soy milk
  • (add 1 extra tsp for GF)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp yoghurt
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • Small handful of frozen raspberries broken up (I use frozen as they are easier to break, don’t colour the batter and are available all year round)
  • 1 tsp vegan cream cheese, 1tsp soy milk, tiny amount of agave (or any liquid sweetener) to make the ‘cheesecake’ (omit this if you just want a fruity sponge!)

Method:

Mix the ‘cheesecake’ ingredients- cream cheese, soy milk and agave together and set aside. Place coconut oil, vanilla and soy milk up in a small bowl and melt together until the coconut is melted.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix and keep mixing until there are no lumps or dry patches of unmixed flour. Lightly mix through the raspberry pieces and spoon the batter into a ramekin or mini bowl. Top the batter with the ‘cheesecake’ mix and mix in slightly with a toothpick if desired.

Cook on full power (based on 900W) in microwave for 30 seconds. Check with a cocktail stick until it comes out almost clean. Cook for up 20 seconds more if necessary until cooked.

NOTE: For the GF version I used GF flours to the equivalent of 2 tbs.  I used 1 tbs of Doves Farm GF mix (this is a UK brand consisting of rice, potato, tapicoca and buckwheat flours) plus 2 tsp almond meal.  I think the addition of nut meal really helps to prevent the sponge from becoming grainy or dry. I imagine any type of GF flour mix would be quite flexible for those that have their favourite combos.  Also note the slight increase to baking powder as I found that with a level 1/4 tsp the cake did not rise to the same degree as the spelt version so was a little more dense. I also added slightly more soy milk as in my experience GF flours are dryer.

Please let me know how you get on and any changes you make!

 P.S The pics are of the spelt version.

 P.S The pics are of the spelt version.


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