Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Peach Pie Smoothie


This post is a follow-on recipe from yesterday's post. I wanted to use up what I had left from my canned peaches (remember, always buy peaches canned in water or 100% juice, to avoid added sugars and salts) so I decided to put together a peach pie smoothie. Peach pie is a dessert which combines peaches with typical 'pie' flavourings such as ground cinnamon and nutmeg. So that's exactly what this recipe is inspired by. Again, you can use a fresh peach if you wish, and make sure to leave the skin on for added fibre. Also, you don't have to use canning juice/grape juice as your liquid, use whatever juice or milk that you prefer or whichever you have on hand. 

Peach Pie Smoothie

Ingredients
1 banana
1 peach (canned or fresh)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup canning juice (grape juice)

Method
- Chop the banana into chunks and place the pieces into a blender or a wide jug if you are using a hand-held immersion blender. 
- Chop the peach into chunks (remove stone if using a fresh peach) and add this to the blender or jug. 
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and canning/grape juice and blend until completely smooth. 
- Smoothies are best served and enjoyed immediately. 


Keep a close eye on the blog over the next few days as I am starting to post my Easter themed breakfast recipes! Would you like a sneak preview of some of the delectable Easter themed recipes you can look forward to? Oh, okay then. You can expect recipes inspired by some great Easter time classics, such as, hot cross buns, rocky road and chocolate mousse. All healthy versions of course. And yes, it is possible! So stay tuned! 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Juicy Peach Smoothie


This recipe is pretty self explanatory. It contains peaches and it is super juicy and hydrating. I used canned peaches for this recipe (because I secretly love them), but you can definitely use a fresh peach for this recipe either. And as an added bonus, leave the skin on the peach, as this is where all the fibre is, and it just disappears into the blend anyways, unrecognisable. Make sure to buy a can of peaches which is canned in water or 100% juice. But don't let this juice go to waste, no. It's full of peachy flavour! I used the canning juice (which is usually grape juice) instead of milk to make this blend. And boy does it taste good. But of course, if your using a fresh peach, use whatever juice you prefer to make this smoothie, or, you can always just use a milk of your choice either. 

Juicy Peach Smoothie

Ingredients
1 banana
1 peach (fresh or canned)
1/4 cup canning juice (grape juice)

Method
- Chop the banana into chunks and place the pieces into a blender or a wide jug if using a hand-held immersion blender. 
- Chop the peach into chunks and add this to the blender or jug too. 
- Pour over the canning juice, grape juice or milk of choice, and blend until completely smooth. 
- Smoothie are best served and enjoyed immediately.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Chunky Home-Made Humus


Believe it or not, I had never even tasted humus before I attempted this recipe. Yes, that's right. I had never even tried a shop-bought humus before. But to be quite honest, I was never really interested in tasting, or making humus for that matter, before I purchased one particular cookbook; The Oh She Glows Cookbook. Oh She Glows in a popular vegan blog that I have avidly followed for quite a while now, and when the author behind the blog, Angela Liddon, announced that she was releasing a cook book of her own, I was beyond excited, and of course, I was one of the first to purchase it, the day it was released my might add. Keep an eye out on Breakfast Addiction in the coming weeks, as I'll be posting a cookbook review of this particular cookbook and a couple more. 


So one of the recipes that stood out to me throughout the book was Angela's recipe for a classic humus. I decided to take her recipe for a creamy, classic humus and turn it on it's head a little. Of course, I will be posting my recipe for a creamy, classic humus too, but this recipe is a bit different. This recipe is for a 'chunky' humus. There is just something so earthy and inviting about this chunky humus. Plus, it seems so much more substantial when your eating it, than it's creamy counterpart. This humus really allows you to appreciate the texture and flavour of the main ingredient of the dish; chickpeas for those of you who are not aware. Learn to love this little round legume, and give humus a go!  

So if your feeling a little peck-ish, whip up some chunky humus and store it in your fridge with some vegetable sticks for dipping. It's a very balanced and healthy snack, as it includes carbohydrates, protein and of course, veggies too. And this whole serving of humus contains about 150 calories, and still under 200 calories if you include the veggies. So fill that tummy up for hours with this low calorie savoury treat. 


Chunky Home-Made Humus 

Ingredients
1/2 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1/2 clove garlic minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 - 4 tablespoons canning water

Method
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly. Reserve some of the canning water though, as you will need this later for binding your humus. 
- Put half the can of chickpeas into a food processor along with the garlic, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, black pepper and start with two tablespoons of the canning water. 
- Process until you are satisfied with the consistency of humus. Add an additional tablespoon or two of canning water if your humus is too thick. 
- Chill the humus in the fridge for at least two hours before consuming. This not only chills the mixture, which is more pleasant to eat, but it also allows the flavours to develop further. 

As you can see, I used the water in which the chickpeas were canned in to bind my humus. This is because this water is already full of chickpea flavour. However, if you have a problem with this in any way, you can just use regular tap water or filtered water. Make sure that if you are going to use the canning water, that you purchase a can of chickpeas that is canned in water alone. Ensure that there are no added salts or sugars in your canned chickpeas. If you want, you can always add a pinch of salt to your humus, I don't add salt to my food very often, but this is a completely personal choice. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Porridge


I've mentioned in several previous posts how the combination of peanut butter and banana, is one of my all time favourite flavour combinations. Although, the truth is, there is a trinity of flavours that exists, and when you combine just two of these flavours, or all three, it is simply a taste sensation. And these three flavours are; peanut butter, banana and chocolate.

I've already shown you my love for the peanut butter and banana flavour combo with my recipes for The Elvis porridge and my peanut butter and banana toasted sandwich recipe. Now, it's time you portray my love for the combination of peanut butter and chocolate with this peanut butter and chocolate chip porridge. Keep an eye out on the blog over the next few weeks, and I'll be showing you a recipe that combines both banana and chocolate, that is simply to die for. And who knows, maybe I'll have a recipe posted soon which combines all three of these complementary ingredients; the whole trinity.  


Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Porridge

Ingredients
1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon peanut butter
50ml unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 additional teaspoon peanut butter
1 large square 70% dark chocolate 

Method
- Place the gluten free oats and flaxseed in a deep bowl. 
- Pour the water into the bowl and stir to combine.
- Stir the first teaspoon of peanut butter through the oat mixture.
- Then heat the oats in the microwave for two minutes uncovered and uninterrupted.
- Mix through the unsweetened almond milk to make the porridge 'creamy'.
- Stir through the honey to sweeten the porridge.
- Finish the porridge with an additional teaspoon of peanut butter and sprinkle over some 70% dark chocolate chips. 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Chunky Banana Bread Porridge


Banana bread is one of my all time favourite things to bake and eat (the recipe for my signature banana bread loaf will be posted soon, so keep an eye out). I am actually obsessed with the flavour of banana bread. It's just the combination of the sweet banana flavour combined with the aromatic spices and often, the contrast of crunchy walnuts too, that just has me hooked. I incorporate the flavour of banana bread into so many of my recipes. For example, my banana bread baked porridge recipe, or this chunky banana bread stove top or microwave porridge recipe and also, my banana bread smoothie recipe (which will be posted within the coming week or so). So I think it's fair to say that banana bread is one of my favourite flavour combinations of all time. 

I call this a 'chunky' banana bread porridge for two reasons. The first, is that unlike it's traditional baked counterpart, this porridge has chunks of banana in it, rather than a mashed banana. The second reason, is because of the chunks of chopped walnuts which top this porridge, which give it another level of chunky texture. 

You will notice that within the ingredient list for this recipe, I have included 'gluten free rolled oats'. Since I moved out of my family home and into an apartment with my boyfriend, I have changed some of the staple ingredients that I use. Since I live literally a thirty second walk from Tesco now, ingredients are a lot more accessible to me. So as I mentioned in my previous posts, I have now switched back to drinking unsweetened almond milk, but again, use any milk of your choice for all of my recipes. I started using gluten free oats because porridge is something that I eat on a day-to-day basis, so I thought I would improve the health benefits of my daily porridge as much as possible, considering I eat it so frequently. That doesn't mean that I am avoiding gluten what-so-ever, I still eat 100% wholemeal bread and the likes, which contain gluten, I just eat these types of food a lot less frequently is all. Of course, use whatever oats you prefer. Gluten free oats are a bit more expensive than regular oats, but gluten is best avoided whenever possible and you will notice if you switch to gluten free oats, that you feel less stodgy and bloated after eating a bowl of porridge, but you will still feel just as full. 

I also only used half a banana for this recipe. That's just because I didn't want to portion to be too filling. As this porridge also included walnuts, which are very filling because of their protein and fat content, I decided to use only half a banana. But of course, if your extra hungry, use a whole banana. 



Chunky Banana Bread Porridge

Ingredients
1/3 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup water
1/2 - 1 whole mashed banana 
50ml unsweetened almond milk
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts (about two whole walnuts)

Method
- Place the gluten free oats, flaxseed, ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg in a deep bowl. 
- Pour the water into the bowl and stir to combine.
- Chop the banana into bite sized chunks and stir these through the oat mixture.
- Heat the oats in the microwave for two minutes uncovered and uninterrupted.
- Mix through the unsweetened almond milk to make the porridge 'creamy'.
- Stir through the honey to sweeten the porridge.
- Finish the porridge with a dusting of ground cinnamon and top it off with the chopped walnut pieces. 

Friday, 11 April 2014

Detox Honeydew Melon Smoothie


I'm sure we've all experienced those mornings after a long night out on the town, where the word 'hungover' is an understatement. After a nght of excessive drinking, we can often feel dehydrated the following morning. Some of us may even experience headaches, nausea or a sick stomach. But don't worry. This recipe was created while keeping those feelings associated with a hangover in mind. So next time your heading on a night out, be prepared. Have a banana and some honeydew melon sitting in your fridge, ready for the next morning. After consuming this smoothie, your body will definitely thank you for it.  

Honeydew melon (and all other types of melon) are considered 'detox' fruits. Other fruits which are known for their detoxification purposes are pineapple and papaya. And we all know that our liver deserves some tender loving care, in the form of a detox, after a night out consuming large quantities of alcohol. Honeydew melon (and again, all other types of melon) contain a large ratio of water. Therefore, melon is also very hydrating. Yet another thing we need the morning after a night out drinking, to be rehydrated quickly and effectively. So whip up this smoothie the morning after your next social outing and I promise you, you will instantly start to feel the effects of that hangover disappear. 


Detox Honeydew Melon Smoothie 

Ingredients
1 banana
1 cup honeydew melon
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Method
- Chop the banana and melon into chunks and place them into a blender or a wide jug if using a hand-held immersion blender. 
- Pour over the unsweetened almond milk and blend until completely smooth. 
- Smoothies are best served and enjoyed immediately. 

You may have noticed that I use less milk than the majority of my other smoothie recipes for this frothy blend. That's because of the high water content of honeydew melon, which means that the smoothie requires half the amount of milk to blend it to the perfect consistency. I also just want to mention that this smoothie recipe was inspired by the cookbook, 365 Vegan Smoothies, written by Kathy Patalsky, the author also behind one of my favourite blogs of all time, Happy-Healthy-Life. I won't say much about the book now, because I will be posting a review of the cookbook to my blog soon. So keep your eyes peeled for that!  

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Supercharge Your Smoothie!


Did you know that you can supercharge the nutritional value of your smoothie in just one simple step? Yes, you really can. And all you need to do is add just one tablespoon of either of the following ingredients to your blender; either milled flaxseed or milled linseed. Flaxseed and linseed are pretty much the same thing (though linseed is generally cheaper) and they are both known for being packed full of healthy fats such as omega 3. Flaxseed and linseed are also high in fibre, so adding them to your smoothie will not only add lots of additional health benefits, but it will also keep you fuller for longer. And as an added bonus, flaxseed and linseed are both gluten free. They do not affect the taste or texture of your smoothie at all, but do act as a bit of a thickening agent, which means a more thick and decadent smoothie for you. So why wouldn't you include them in your daily blend?


These days, flaxseed and linseed can now be purchased in the health food section of most supermarkets, such as Dunnes Stores or Tesco. A little inside information though, I happen to know for a fact that Aldi stock the cheapest linseed available, well, that I know of anyway. You can purchase the bag for under three euro! This is where I get my linseed. Of course, health food shops will also stock flax and linseed. Try Holland and Barrett. But if all else fails, you know how easily you can get your hands on a bag if you search online for a good deal. 
For this post, I made my blueberry super smoothie to demonstrate how easily you can add a nutritional punch to your smoothie. But of course, you can incorporate flaxseed or linseed into any of my recipes or just add whatever fruit that you prefer. 


Supercharge Your Smoothie!

Ingredients
Fruit of choice
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon flaxseed/linseed

Method
- Chop the fruit you are using and place the chunks into a blender, or wide jug if you are using a hand-held immersion blender. 
- Pour over the unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice) and add one tablespoon of either milled flaxseed or milled linseed. 
- Blend the mixture until completely smooth. 
- Smoothie are best served and enjoyed immediately. 

Just as a side note, be aware that one tablespoon of flaxseed or linseed contains around 75 calories. Yes, that's quite high in calories for just one tablespoon, but the health benefits of adding them to your food totally outweigh the fact that they are slightly calorific.