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.
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)
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
Sprinkle of nuts, crushed
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.
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)
250g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
40g caster sugar
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
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.
So this shortbread recipe is a little different for a shortbread because it uses icing sugar as opposed to caster sugar. This makes the dough even more smooth as it dissolves much quicker into the butter and the end result has softer texture in the mouth when eating. It’s super simple and quick to make, not sweet at all and would be perfect for a mini snack.
Recipe: Quick shortbread (makes 16)
25g icing sugar
136g plain flour
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line 2 trays with baking paper.
Cream the butter and sugar together, add the flour until it forms a smooth dough using your hands.
Roll out the dough until just under 1cm thick, use a cookie cutter to cut out the shapes and repeat until all of the dough is used up.
Place each shortbread on the tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Today’s recipe came about as I was trying to find something I could make using up one egg yolk that I had left over and I found these potato croquettes by the Hairy Bikers on the BBC food website. They are really simple to make and also a great recipe if you have lots of potatoes that need to be used up. The breadcrumbs give it a golden, crunchy outer layer whilst the inside is smooth potato. The taste is quite plain so you’ll definitely want a sauce for dipping or you could add some herbs for more flavour.
These croquettes would make a great side dish for most meals or could be served as part of a starter with a light salad. I really like the fact that these croquettes are baked rather than fried which automatically makes them healthier. Potatoes are a well known carbohydrate source, accessible to most and have a high water content.
Recipe: Potato croquettes (makes 8)
350g potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 egg yolk
25g cheddar cheese, grated
Sprinkle of salt and peper
1 egg, gently whisked
25g plain flour
Put the potatoes to boil on a low heat for 15 minutes, drain and mash. Then mix in the butter, egg yolk, cheese and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Leave the potato mixture to cool down before shaping into the croquette shapes.
In the meantime, put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs out into separate bowls.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 and get a tray ready. Then put each croquette into the flour, egg and breadcrumbs one at a time before placing on the tray.
Spray the croquettes 3-4 times before putting in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.
Leave to cool for about 5 minutes before eating as they can be quite hot.