Sauteed Suffolk Summer Squash (and some childhood memories of Suffolk)

Sauteed Summer Squash

My wonderful mummy went to visit her best friend in Suffolk last weekend. We used to spend our summers there with them. They called us The Tarmac Kids as we came from London and they lived in this amazing little village with about 10 houses, a post office that sold old fashioned penny sweets and a sweet old fashioned phone box. As kids we’d spend our days climbing over haystacks, finding little streams, collecting tadpoles and writing children’s stories about all the animals, all the while Mum sitting at the kitchen table talking to Aunty Vicky while she made jam. We’d go there at Christmas and enjoy sitting around the huge Christmas tree drinking hot chocolate and playing games. Aunty Vicky would throw a big party the week before Christmas for the whole family. We’d eat, play games, wear PJs and have the best time. They are some of the best memories of my life and I still enjoy going there to visit. It’s strange because as kids we all played together and now we all have kids of our own and I hope to take Braxton there soon and give him some of the amazing memories that I had.

Anyway, Mum went to one of their lovely farmers markets when she was there and brought me back some beautifully vibrant summer squashes and some redcurrants and said, ‘here, do something with these’! So I did! And this turned out really yummy.

Ingredients

2/3 summer squashes (depending on how much you want)
1 red pepper
2 spring onions
Generous handful parsley
1 tsp coconut oil
Himalayan salt & black pepper

Method

Peel and chop the squash, removing the soft seedy bit from the middle and put it in a bowl. Chop the red pepper into medium sized pieces and add this to the bowl with the squash.

Chop the spring onions and parsley and set them aside in another bowl.

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan and add the squash and red pepper. Give it a good mix then turn down to a low heat and cook until the squash has softened, around 10 minutes.

Once soft, add the spring onion and parsley, salt and pepper, mix, and give it another 2 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Love & health,
Lauren

Orange, Cardamom & Fig Cake

 

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I have been making a gluten / dairy / refined sugar-free chocolate orange cake for years and it’s a favourite of my husband and his family. It’s the dessert they request from me most often. I’ve recently discovered my love for cardamom in cakes and I thought, what tastes go better together than orange and cardamom? So I amended my chocolate orange cake slightly to add cardamom and figs.

This cake is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar-free but it is not vegan as it uses eggs.

It may seem like it would be a difficult cake to make but it’s actually really easy to throw together, the only bits that need a little bit more attention are the figs that will be on the top of the cake, and grinding the cardamom seeds but to honest, neither of these things are difficult, just a little more time consuming.

I made it this weekend for dessert for a BBQ we were hosting and it went down a treat.

Orange Cardamom Fig Cake 2

 

Ingredients

2 large oranges
6 free-range eggs
250g ground almonds
200g coconut palm sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of Himalayan salt
The seeds of 10 cardamom pods
5 or 6 fresh figs

To garnish:
A drizzle of honey or agave nectar
Flaked almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Put the oranges in a saucepan big enough to be able to cover them with water. Boil for about an hour or until very soft and you can see the skin opening.

Cut into quarters and leave to cool on the chopping board for about 10 minutes. Remove seeds.

Put them in the food processor / blender and blitz until they become a pulp. Add the eggs while the food processor is still working (on a low speed until you put the lid back on) as this will aerate the eggs. Blend well and leave it to the side for the moment.

In a large bowl mix the ground almonds, palm sugar, baking powder and salt. Then open up all the cardamom pods, put them in a pestle and mortar or coffee / spice grinder and grind until they are no longer whole. Once ground, add to the flour mix.

Now spoon the orange mixture into the dry mix and mix really well. Make sure to get all the flour from the bottom and sides of the bowl. Set aside for a moment.

Cut a sheet of baking paper to fit a 23cm springform cake tin and place it at the bottom of the tin then grease generously with coconut oil on the paper and the sides of the tin.

Cut the figs into fine slices and layer them over the bottom of the tin. Once totally covered, add the cake mixture and put it into the oven for 40-45 minutes. Your fork should come out clean but wet – this cake has to be moist.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour – this is important. Once cool, slowly release the buckle of the cake tin and remove, then put a large plate on top of the cake and slowly turn it upside down to release the cake onto the plate. Remove the baking paper.

Sprinkle a handful of flaked almonds on top and drizzle with honey or agave and serve.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Summer Lunch Salad

Winter Lunch Salad

I’m going to give my mum the credit for this one as she came round and made it for me! So yummy and so full wonderful nutritious organic fruits and vegetables and it really filled me up.

Ingredients

Handful fresh spinach
5 radishes
Some asparagus (we only had tinned but best to use fresh, steam first)
Half an avocado
Half a pear
2 boiled eggs
Handful pomegranate
Tsp organic natural maple syrup
Tsp balsamic vinegar

Method

Chop all the veg and put it on a plate then pour the dressings over and add a bit of Himalayan salt if you like. That simple!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

 

 

 

Mushroom & Spinach Frittata

Mushroom spinach frittata

Another easy dinner choice, a variation on my last frittata. You can pretty much add anything you want to it – whatever is in the fridge and needs to be used. It’s one of those ‘Thursday night meals’!

Ingredients

6 organic free-range eggs
1 tsp English mustard
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
Half a bag of spinach
A generous helping of button mushrooms
About 8 cherry tomatoes
Handful of parsley
Splash of almond milk
Salt & pepper (I used Oryx desert salt)
Coconut oil or spread of choice for the pan

Method

Boil your potatoes (already sliced) for no more than 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Cut up the tomatoes into quarters, chop the mushrooms, roughly chop the parsley and wash and drain the spinach.

Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add the almond milk, mustard, salt and pepper.

Melt the oil or vegan butter in a large frying pan. Once hot, add the egg mix, then add the potatoes, pushing them down so they are semi-covered by the eggs. Then add the rest of the veg and do the same thing.

Turn the heat to medium-high and let it cook for around 5 minutes. While it’s doing this, turn on your grill.

Once the frittata has cooked on the bottom, put the pan under the grill for a further few minutes, until you can see it has cooked through.

Serve with a crisp, fresh salad.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Organic Spelt Soda Bread

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I love bread! There, I said it. Who doesn’t? When you try to live a healthy lifestyle you can’t really eat many breads because they all have so many preservatives in them, as well as other nasty ingredients. As you all know from my previous few posts, I’ve started weaning my baby, and although I am spoon feeding him some food, I’m trying to do as much baby led weaning as possible – or as much as he tells me he is comfortable with… So I’m looking for as many options as possible of foods that he can hold and feed himself. Toast is a great breakfast option but store-bought breads are so full of rubbish that I really don’t want him to have them.

I saw one of Paul Hollywood’s baking shows and he was making classic soda bread. It looked so simple and I thought, I must be able to substitute the white and wholemeal flours for spelt flour, so I gave it a go and also added some other ingredients to suit my own taste.

It turned out delicious – perfect actually, if I do say so myself!

Although spelt is ‘classified’ as wheat, it’s actually not wheat at all. It’s an ancient grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years and has nothing man-made in it and although it technically has gluten in it, the molecular make-up of the gluten in spelt flour is very different to that of normal wheat flour. it is more soluble and therefore more easily digested and less likely to cause an intolerance. And from gluten to dairy… It’s not often I eat dairy but if I can get a nice cheese from a farmer’s market I’m a happy bunny and this bread is perfect with a lovely bit of cheese on top, (there is also dairy in the recipe) and let’s add to that a glass of organic wine, seeing as we’re already being naughty! Alternatively, a good dollop of almond butter will taste amazing too.

Ingredients

2 cups (a normal mug is fine to measure a cup)
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
284ml carton of organic buttermilk
1 tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 200c and line a loaf tin with baking parchment and grease with coconut oil.

Sift the spelt flour through a sieve into a large bowl. Discard the tiny bits of brown left over in the sieve. Add the salt, bicarb and cinnamon and mix well.

Now add the buttermilk and agave, mix it in with the spoon by folding, then use your hands to really knead it all together. You’ll have to do this fairly quickly as the buttermilk will start reacting with the bicarbonate of soda. You could sprinkle some flour onto the work surface and knead it there instead of the bowl. I find this makes it easier.

Once it’s thoroughly mixed in, shape it into the loaf tin with your hands.

Take a knife and cut a fairly deep cross into the top, then sprinkle with some more flour and put in the oven for 30 minutes. When ready the base should make a hollow sound when you tap it.

It should fall easily out of the loaf tin, then place it on a wire rack to cool a little, but you can cut into it while it’s still warm – and you’re going to want to!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Blueberry Porridge Bars for Baby Led Weaning

 

Blueberry Porridge Bars BLW

Ok guys, I don’t have time to write a super long post today but been looking for things to give my baby that he can feed himself as we’ve started on solids and I’m trying to do as much baby led weaning as possible. So instead of porridge these are basically porridge, but baked! With organic blueberries for antioxidants, acai for extra super-duper anti-oxidants and chia seeds for extra protein.

Porridge Bars

Ingredients

320g organic jumbo oats
1 punnet of blueberries
250ml almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml maple syrup
1 tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp acai berry powder (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 180c and grease a square silicone baking tray with coconut oil.

Add the oats, almond milk, vanilla and maple to the food processor until it’s all combined. Once combined add the blueberries, acai and chia seeds and pulse until the blueberries are evenly distributed but not all totally mushed (some of them can be mushed!)

Spoon it into the cake tin and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Wait until completely cool before you slice into bars.

These will last for a maximum of 4 days before they start growing other stuff!! Keep in an airtight container. I usually make mine on a Sunday and Wednesday is the last day I can use them.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

White Chocolate and Flaxseed Blondies

White chocolate flax blondies

I love an afternoon snack with a matcha latte, and especially as I’m breastfeeding, I need extra energy but I have to make the effort to eat healthy snacks with great nutrients in them so I added flaxseeds to this one for omega 3 essential fatty acids – essential when breastfeeding. These went down a treat in my house and unfortunately I wasn’t left with many for myself!

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil
50g cacao butter
3 tbsp organic natural peanut butter
3 eggs
Pinch Himalayan salt
2 tbsp flaxseeds
70g coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp pure maple
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g ground almonds
Vegan white chocolate chips

Method

Preheat the oven to 160. Line a square silicone baking tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan with boiling water. Once it’s melted, add the peanut butter and stir until it all melts in together.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl and once beaten, add the coco palm sugar and whisk with a fork until totally combined. Then add the salt, vanilla and maple and mix.

Add the peanut butter mixture and mix well, then add the ground almonds and flax and mix until combined.

Flatten the mixture out into the prepared baking tin and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. In my oven it only needed 20. You want it to be moist but cooked through but don’t overcook otherwise it will go dry.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Peppermint Matcha Latte

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I wanted to start a gentle detoxification of the fertility drugs I had to take, so I decided to start drinking matcha tea. I bought the ceremonial grade (this is the highest grade and should be the one you use if it’s for drinking) and started having one cup a day (can’t have more as I’m breastfeeding). One afternoon I fancied something sweet. I used to love a chai tea latte at Starbucks but I try not to drink any of that anymore, so I wondered if I could make matcha into a latte. Turns out you can, and it’s delicious! You can add the peppermint like I did or have it without.

Ingredients

1 tsp ceremonial grade matcha tea
1 mug full of almond milk
1 tsp agave nectar
1 drop organic peppermint oil

Method

Heat the almond milk in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the matcha, stir quite well to get the milk to absorb the powder, then add the agave and peppermint oil and stir until well incorporated.

Pour into a mug and enjoy as a warming, satisfying afternoon drink.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Almond Maca Overnight Oats with Mulberries

Overnight Oats w Mulberries

Happy new year foodies!

Sorry it’s been so long since our last post. I had a baby in October and took a bit of a break from the kitchen and Raine is now studying to be a yoga teacher so we’ve both been pretty busy but we’re back and will be posting once a week on a wednesday.

So, let’s kick off the new year with a super healthy breakfast packed full of antioxidants, immune boosters, vitamins and nutrients. We all need breakfasts that are quick and easy to make. You prepare this the day before and put it in the fridge overnight, hence the name. You can top with anything you like but I wanted to use blueberries as antioxidants and mulberries for vitamin K as I’m still breastfeeding. I also added maca powder for energy as the long sleepless nights are catching up with me!

Ingredients (I make enough for 3 days’ worth of breakfasts for 1 person)

3 cups organic jumbo oats
Around 4 cups almond milk (use enough to just cover the oats so they’re not swimming but immersed)
2 tsp maca powder
1 tbsp almond butter

Toppings:
handful mulberries
handful blueberries

Method

Mix all the ingredients apart from the toppings in a bowl big enough, mix well, cover and leave in fridge overnight.

Add toppings of choice the next morning and enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

 

Breakfast Parfait Extraordinaire

Breakfast Parfait 1

Did somebody say breakfast parfait?? I haven’t done one of these for a while but I fancied pre-preparing some overnight oats and a chia pudding last night so threw together a parfait this morning with quinoa pops, almond butter and a top layer of blueberry banana acai ice cream and topped with the wonderfully vitamin K-rich mulberries.

Ingredients

Overnight oats layer:
Half a cup of gluten free organic rolled oats
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 tsp organic pure maple syrup

Chia pudding layer:
Half a cup of chia seeds
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp organic pure maple syrup

Ice cream layer:
1 banana, frozen
Handful blueberries
2 acai berry capsules, opened and emptied into the blender

Extras:
Almond butter
Quinoa pops
Mulberries

Method

The night before you want to eat this, make the overnight oats by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl, cover and leave in the fridge overnight. Do the same for the chia pudding.

In the morning, make the ice cream layer by putting the ice cream ingredients into a high speed blender to make ice cream.

Then just layer up all the ingredients and eat!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren