Crushed Walnut and Raisin Cookies

Hello everyone, I hope your week has been well. Today I have another quick baking recipe featuring raisins and walnuts.

These cookies taste so good!! Plus, they are light and airy. I feel like these would be perfect for gifting a friend or family member and even great for yourself if you want a little treat that’s not too sweet. I don’t usually bake with walnuts but they work really well in cookies because of how soft they are after being baked. Walnuts provide an essential fat that we need in the body, often known as a mood booster because they aid in the function and development of the central nervous system.

Walnuts also contain vitamin E, biotin and manganese. They can be added to most cakes, cookies and brownies or sprinkled over your porridge.

Recipe: Crushed walnut and raisin cookies (makes 8)

Ingredients

40g butter

30g demerara sugar

1/2 tsp maple syrup or honey

90g self-raising flour

Pinch of salt

20g raisins

20g walnuts, crushed

2 tbsp coconut milk

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a tray with baking paper.
  • Mix the butter and sugar together, then add the syrup, flour and salt.
  • Stir in the raisins and walnuts, pour in the milk and use your hands to form a dough.
  • Make a log shape with the dough and slice into 8 equal sized pieces, roll into a ball and flatten out onto the tray.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until just golden and leave to cool down before eating.

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Rice and Lentil Empanadas

Hello everyone, I hope your day has been well.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, it’s vegetarian for a change and is a great side dish. These empanadas are filled with lentils, brown rice and kale, all hearty and nutritious. Although the filling is fairly healthy, it doesn’t take away from the great flavour that comes through from the rich tomato puree which really brings everything together. I do find that empanadas can be quite dry depending on how moist the filling is, so a dipping sauce, salsa or chutney would go down well.

Recipe: Rice and lentil emapanadas (makes 6)

Ingredients

45g brown rice, cooked

95g lentils, cooked

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 paprika

1 tbsp tomato puree

1/2 tsp oregano

Pinch of salt and pepper

Use my empanada pastry recipe <<

Use my kale pesto recipe <<

Method

  • Separately cook the rice and lentils according to the packet instructions.
  • Add both to a bowl along with the other ingredients and mix everything together until well combined.
  • Set aside to cool and down and preheat the oven to gas mark 6 and lightly oil a baking tray.
  • Roll out the dough and use a 3 inch cutter to make the pastry shapes.
  • Spoon 1 tbsp of the rice and lentil mixture onto half of the pastry, then 1 tsp of the kale pesto recipe on top.
  • Fold the pastry over the top and crimp the edges using your fingers to secure the empanada.
  • Repeat the above step until all of the filling is used up.
  • Place each empanada onto the prepared tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until the top is slightly golden.

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*recipe inspired by Greg Nelson Cooks*

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Strawberry Scones

Hi everyone, I hope you enjoy today’s post.

Today I’m baking with fruits, based on a recipe I saw on the British Heart Foundation website. I’m not a massive fan of cooked fruit to be honest, so this was a little different for me but something I still liked to bake. I do enjoy apple crumble and that’s about it when it comes to fresh fruit in baking, but when I do have a crumble I’m one of those who prefers more crumble than apple. For a healthier version you could use wholemeal flour which I didn’t have at the time.

Traditionally scones are eaten with jam and clotted cream, a perfect British treat alongside a cup of tea. This recipe is great because they are nicely spiced from the cinnamon and you get a slight sweetness from the strawberries. Strawberries are a great source of vitamin K and C, helping the body to heal and keeping the cells healthy, also a great fruit to add towards your 5 a day.

If you do like fruit in your bakes I have recently made Apple Crumble Muffins and Carrot, Apple and Chia Seed Muffins so do check them out 🙂

Recipe: Strawberry scones (makes 2)

Ingredients

67g self raising flour

1/3 tsp baking powder

1/3 tsp ground cinnamon

13g butter

8g caster sugar

40g fresh strawberries, sliced

2 tbsp milk, plus extra for glazing the top.

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl, rub in the butter with your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Next stir in the sugar, strawberries and milk until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
  • You may want to add a little more flour at this point, but on a lightly floured surface knead out the dough for a couple of minutes and divide into 2 portions.
  • Shape into a circle, place on the baking tray and brush with milk.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and place on a wire rack to cool down before eating.

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This recipe was inspired from https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/support/healthy-living/healthy-eating/recipe-finder/fresh-strawberry-scones

Veggie Noodle Stir-Fry

Hello everyone, I hope your day has been well.

This recipe is fairly quick and simple, it does require a bit of veg preparation which probably takes the most time. It’s also somewhat healthy and great for a satiate, nutritious lunch. Vegetable stir-fry’s are a great way to get your 5 a day, especially when you use a range of different, colourful vegetables. I’ve posted a couple of stir fry recipes before but I think this is my favourite so far, the taste is amazing and I think I’ve got the combination of ingredients just right.

Stir-frying is a great, quick cooking method, perfect for any night of the week and if you love a takeaway stir fry, this would be a nice, healthy alternative. Another bonus is you can customise this recipe with whatever vegetables you have in your fridge. I’ve used 2 types of cabbage which are both fairly inexpensive and high sources of vitamin C and K, aiding in healthy cells and helping the body to heal.

Recipe: Veggie noodles stir-fry (serves 2)

Ingredients

Handful of broccoli

1 heaped tbsp of sweetcorn

1 heaped tbsp of peas

1 tsp, oil for frying

1/2 carrot, finely sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

30g red cabbage, finely sliced

1 leaf savoy cabbage, finely sliced

Egg noodles, 1 portion

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tbsp oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/4 tsp chilli flakes

1/3 tsp ginger powder

Pinch of salt

50ml water

Sprinkle of nuts, crushed

Method

  • Firstly, prepare all of the ingredients and set aside.
  • Bring a small pan of water to boil and add the broccoli, sweetcorn and peas for 3 minutes.
  • In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil for the noodles and cook according to the packet.
  • Drain the water from the vegetables and noodles once cooked.
  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, once hot add the garlic, cabbages and carrot. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • In the meantime mix the sugar, oil, soy sauce, chilli, ginger, salt and water together in a bowl and add to the pan, stirring well.
  • Add the noodles to the pan and cook for a further 3 minutes until most of the liquid is dissolved.
  • Portion the stir fry into 2 bowl and sprinkle with crushed nuts before serving.

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Hot Cross Buns

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a great Friday.

It’s looking really bright and sunny for a change but’s still a little chilly outside. Recently the lockdown rules have eased slightly in the UK which is a good sign of a new normal sometime soon, hopefully! Today I made hot cross buns, I think the last time I made them was probably a year ago and as the recipe was written down I’m not sure where it originally came from. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the UK and many other countries, a hot cross bun is a sweet, spiced bun made with dried fruit. It’s a little bit of a long process because you’ve got to let the dough rest and prove but the end result is definitely worth it.

A very popular tradition for Jamaicans on Good Friday is to eat bun and cheese. The bun is a similar vibe to the hot cross bun in the sense of it being sweet and spiced. Also, fried fish is usually eaten instead of meat.

Recipe: Hot cross buns (makes 6)

Ingredients

250g plain flour

1 tsp mixed spice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

40g caster sugar

4g salt

30g butter

140ml milk alternative, warmed slightly

4g dried yeast

40g dried fruit, soaked in orange juice an hour before (I’ve used sultana’s)

Cross topping: 2 tbsp plain flour, 1 tbsp water

Glaze: 1 tsp sugar with a little hot water

Method

  • In a large bowl add all of the dry ingredients, then add the butter and use your fingers to make a grainy, crumble mixture.
  • Stir the yeast into the milk, then pour into the flour mixture and use your hands to form a dough. Knead for at least 5 minutes.
  • Flatten out the dough a little, sprinkle over the dried fruit and knead to fully combine. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel for at least an hour to rise.
  • After the hour, equally separate the dough into 6 pieces and shape into balls and flatten, place each one on a light oiled oven tray. Leave to prove until doubled in size covered with a tea towel.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5. Use a piping bag to do the cross topping and use a pastry brush to add the glaze over the top.
  • Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top. Add the left over glaze once more and leave to cool before eating.

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