Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bored of oatmeal? Try millet porridge!

We do make alot of porridge and smoothies for breakfast at ours, they are so easy and tasty they are a no brainer stand by in the mornings. However the girls (and I) do get bored easily with the same old thing so we like to change it up a bit when we can. Smoothies are fab for the reason that there are a gazillion types of flavour combinations out there to play with. Porridge can be a little trickier to keep interesting though and that's when switching grains can be a saving grace.... Fia's favourite type of porridge is made with millet and I have to say it is my preferred grain for brekkie too!

It is quick to make and can be jazzed up with fruits and nuts for quite an exotic feel. The texture keeps some 'bite' to it too which I really like, it kind of reminds me of rice pudding as a child. It's a pretty amazing thing when you feel like you're starting the day with a pudding right?

This is the recipe I use the most at home, but you can dress up millet porridge pretty much any way you would with regular oatmeal, so give it a try next time you're stuck with the oatmeal blues...!

Millet porridge

2 cups of millet, soaked overnight and drained
1 1/2 cups (375ml) of water
2 cups (500ml) of milk of your choice (almond works really well!)
Pinch of sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
8-10 chopped dried apricots (the dark unsulphured kind) or dates
1/4 cup almond slivers or pistachio nuts, plus extra for sprinkles!

Add the millet, water, salt, spices and dried fruit to the pan. Bring it up to a boil and then reduce to simmer for around 5-10mins until the liquid is nearly all absorbed. Keep and eye on it and stir from time to time to stop it sticking. Add the milk and keep cooking until you have a thick and creamy porridge. The grains won't go completely to mush, this is a good thing, it's what gives it the nice texture!
 Top with the extra nuts and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and you're done!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Beets four ways and beet-carrot cake saves the day!

Last night I decided I was going to make an epic juice for breakfast, enough for all of us and some for tomorrow to save on time. Will and I set the alarm and we got scrubbing, peeling and chopping some 30 carrots and 30 beets! Then, a little way into the juicing, our beloved juicer went out with a bang. Literally. The plastic snapped and the force of the veggies shot the juicing attachment out like a cork!

We bought our juicer second hand, so we forgave it even though I had a real 'nooooooo' moment. It was doubly forgiven when we realised we can buy new attachments rather than having to replace the whole new juicer (which wouldn't have been so fun this close to Christmas)... phew!

But this left me with rather a dilemma... What to do with an enormous pile of prepped veg?

After a nifty suggestion from a friend we decided on a big batch of slaw, but that barely put a dent on it! We were going to make soup (another fab suggestion from a friend) but the girls protested as I made soup for lunch yesterday. So I did a bit of searching and came across a fab recipe for carrot and beet cake on the net.

You can see the original recipe here, but I played with it a little to make it refined sugar free. I also made some other changes, using spelt flour instead of regular, reducing the amount of oil (and I used extra virgin olive), sunflower seeds instead of nuts and I upped the vegetable content a bit (I mentioned the batch of juice was to be ginormous right?). We also used a delicious Belgian spice mix called 'Speculaas' that we were given from a wonderful friend in place of the mixed spice- they are very similar in taste so either will work out just fine! The basic amounts are the same so I really cannot take credit for this delicious cake but i'm sure glad I found this recipe to play with- this beet-carrot cake saved the day!

Beetroot and Carrot Cake

2 flax eggs
1 mashed banana
180ml extra virgin olive oil
30ml (2 tbsp) nut or oat milk
100ml organic rice syrup
150g grated carrot
150g grated beetroot
225g whole spelt flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp speculass (or mixed spice)
100g sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together theflax eggs, rice syrup and oil until light and frothy. Add the milk, grated vegetables, flour, bicarb, sunflower seeds, salt and spices and stir to mix. Pour into a lightly greased cake tin and bake for around 40mins until golden brown, or test with a cocktail stick to check the mixture is cooked through.

Leave to cool for 10mins before turning out on a rack to finish cooling. I topped the cake with organic marscapone cheese sweetened with a little stevia and sprinkled over some goji berries, but you could serve it up as it is with some plain organic yoghurt on the side and it would taste just as delicious!

SO there it is, a yummy way to use up grated beets and carrots! The coleslaw turned out well too AND we had them roasted alongside our veggie burgers for dinner....So thats a grand total of beets and carrots four ways today (including the small glass of juice we made before the big bang!).

Recipe for the veggie burgers to follow very shortly so stay tuned!

Veganized 2016

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Jaguarundi the King of Cats and guest post for The Broccoli Hut!

Been a while I know.... We had a sad time recently, our beloved cat Jaguarundi passed away at the young age of six. He had heart disease and despite the best food and medication it was just his time. He was the loveliest cat who used to follow me around everywhere and had a real comic character. He certainly has left a big void in the family. We adopted him and his brother from a rescue centre as kittens a month before Fia was born so he has always been around for the girls. His brother Chaak missed him terribly the first couple of weeks but is now enjoying being spoiled and the total centre of attention. He has become almost a lap cat (unusual for him- he usually likes to be out hunting!) and is sleeping in Jaggies place at the end of the bed. I am yet to work out if this is a mark of tribute to his brother or a 'haha I'm top cat now' declaration! Still we all miss 'Jaggie the King of Cats' and here are some pictures as tribute to him!

Now, with the frosty mornings and the Christmas music and goods in the shops, I'm starting to feel very festive and inspired again!

Even more exciting, I was super honoured to write my second guest post for the amazing Broccoli Hut. With this new feeling of festivity I created a delicious, quick and easy raw mince pie recipe that can be thrown together right at the last minute, perfect for this busy time of year. Check it out here!

So I guess it is also time to start planning my Christmas shopping! The girls have started their lists and right at the top are Rolling Stones T-shirts (That's my girls!!). Fia also would love a sewing machine so we are on the hunt for an old reconditioned manual one. After speaking to a friend this makes the most sense as they have more control over it than the electric ones and not being reliant on a plug, it is far more mobile. I am yet to see one that doesn't cost a whole loadda money though (darn vintage being all the rage!) so failing that I like these bright coloured mini sewing machines at John Lewes....

How's your plans coming along, have you started yet?!