‘No no’ chocolate flapjacks!

  This was a bit of an experiment but I’m really chuffed with how they came out!! I’d been using this recipe for flapjacks (swapping nuts for dates), so thought I’d have a go at modifying it to get a chocolatey treat!

Ingredients:

250g oats
3 big bananas
3 heaped tbsp unsweetened cocoa
80ml oil (I use rice bran, could use olive)
80ml agave or maple syrup (or honey)
50g dates
pinch of salt

Method: Preheat oven to 180C. In a food processor, pulse all the ingredients except for the oats. (I blend until it looks like mashed banana, so still a bit lumpy with chunks of dates, as opposed to blending until smooth) Or mash bananas and add dates chopped. In a large bowl combine the oats with the chocolate mixture. Line a tin with greaseproof paper, push mixture into tin and up to edges and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, lift out onto wire rack and cut into squares, drizzle with honey if you like, leave to cool. Enjoy!

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A new way of eating..

Hello! Been a while I’m sorry, been a bit out of the blogging loop! But I’ve got something new to blog about now which kind of works with the ‘keep it simple’ tag only applied to food!

So lets go back.. for a couple of years or so now I’ve been suffering more than usual with my eczema. Mainly on my face which seems to have taken on a cycle of flaring up every few days. The same patches go very red and puffy and sometimes sore, then as quick as it came up it went down again. I’d have a day or so of clear skin before I could feel it starting again. It had started to get me quite down to the point where I’d start avoiding socialising when it was at its worst day in the cycle.

Doctors won’t test for ranges of food intolerances, rather they’ll test for one thing or another if they suspect a certain trigger. I’d looked into York testing in the past but not gone ahead with anything but then my husband found out a lady he worked with had gone through the testing (different symptoms) and had found intolerances, cut them out, and felt back to normal. So I decided to go ahead and get tested. Turns out I’m intolerant to a whole heap of things! Main ones being dairy, wheat, gluten, egg, beef and then coconut, sugar, carrot amongst a few other things are on the borderline list. After the testing you have a phone appointment with a nutritionist to go through what you can do next. In my case the plan is to cut out all triggers for three months whilst taking probiotics to get my gut back into shape, then after three months I can try and introduce one food per week and look for reactions. I’m half way into the third week of the new diet and have had one flare up!

Its been a challenge cutting out all the triggers, I have a very very sweet tooth and love my cakes/biscuits.sweets/chocolate BUT I haven’t found it as hard as I thought I would. The first week was a little tough, I had a couple of headaches and felt tired but now I feel much much healthier and have a lot more energy! My husband has been doing some of the diet with me, cutting out sugar and wheat, and he too has felt the benefits as well as losing some weight!

Breakfasts I’ve been having smoothies, lunch has mostly been soups and dinners we’ve been basing meals on rice and potato as opposed to pasta with lots more vegetables.

I’ll start posting recipes I’ve found and adapted in separate posts, it’s been a bit tricky as a lot of the substitutes for butter and dairy are coconut based which I can’t have! But for the most part I’m not missing sugary things, apart from when I’ve been breaking chocolate easter eggs for the children, the smell!

Off to make some lunch, might try hummus today!

James Martin’s Cola Cake

James Martin’s Cola Cake

IMG_3494

Ingredients:
Cake:

250g self raising flour
300g golden caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
3 heaped tablespoons cocoa
2 eggs
teaspoon vanilla extract
200ml milk
250g butter
75ml milk

Icing:

200g icing sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons cola
100g butter

Loose bottomed 9 inch cake tin, buttered.
Whisk.
Large mixing bowl.
Small mixing bowl.
Small pan.

Preheat oven to Gas 4/180C.

Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and mix. Add the eggs and vanilla.

In a pan melt the butter and cola, making sure it does not boil. Take off the heat and add in the milk.

Start to combine the eggs/vanilla/flour mix then pour in half the liquid mixture from the pan. Give it a quick whisk (by hand) then add the remaining liquid and wish until lumps have gone and bubbles start appearing. It is quite a runny cake mix, this is how it should be! Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 50 mins to 1 hour – a skewer should come out clean.

IMG_3493

For the icing put the icing  sugar and cocoa into a small mixing bowl, mix. Melt the butter and cola in a small pan, again, make sure it does not boil. Turn off heat and pour half into the icing sugar, whisk to combine (by hand again) and then add remaining liquid and whisk until smooth. Pour over your cake and leave to cool. Once cool remove the cake tin ring and enjoy!

Lovely by itself or warm with ice cream!

Blueberry, raspberry and almond muffins.

Blueberry, raspberry and almond muffins :: keep it simple

Well these went down quite well this morning! Here’s the recipe, I only used one teaspoon of baking powder and think they could probably do with a little more so would use 2 next time!

I stewed 125g blueberries and a handful of frozen raspberries for 10 minutes..

Blueberry, raspberry and almond muffins :: keep it simple

Blueberry, raspberry and almond muffins :: keep it simple

Ingredients:

150g plain flour
75g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
100g sugar
125ml blueberries/raspberries, stewed
125ml milk
60ml oil
2tsp vanilla extract/almond essence
2 med eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to gas 4 and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl then add the almonds and sugar. Add the wet ingredients and mix with a spatula, stirring as you go, until just combined. Divide into cases, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Blueberry, raspberry and almond muffins :: keep it simple

Blueberry, raspberry and almond muffins :: keep it simple

Blueberry, raspberry and almond muffins :: keep it simple

Lovely with a bit of clotted cream! As are the strawberry and raspberry muffins from the other day (left in the photo)!

Roast chicken and vegetable soup.

Roast Chicken & Vegetable Soup :: Mama of Three Mia Blogs

Ingredients:

2 chicken legs
glug olive oil
1 large onion, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 small leeks, roughly chopped
1 sweet potato, diced
2 cups frozen mixed veg (I used broccoli, sweetcorn, peas, carrots)
1 ltr chicken stock (made with one cube)
1 tsp sage

Roast the chicken legs as per packaging instruction. Meanwhile chop your veggies.
Heat the oil in a large pan and fry off all the fresh vegetable, garlic and sage for 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken and half a litre of stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the frozen vegetables and another 250 ml of stock, add a little more if thats not enough to cover the vegetables. Season with salt and plenty of pepper and simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and take the meat off the bone, shredding as you go along, with two forks. Add the shredded chicken to the soup and give it a good stir.

Enjoy!

Big Chunky Vegetable Soup!

Chunky Vegetable Soup

Made a soup today with the vegetables I’d got lying around in the fridge! Not the prettiest soup but tastes pretty good!!

1 large onion, roughly chopped
glug olive oil
2 carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 leeks, halved and sliced
handful asparagus, chopped into 2cm pieces
1 celery stick
handful broccoli, chopped into small florets
handful of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock, made with one cube
salt and pepper

Chop all the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in large pan and fry off all the vegetables for 5-10 minutes. Add the stock, simmer for half an hour. I put the lid on for half the time then left it off for the last half. Season. Enjoy!