You know, I never really understood the whole peanut butter and jelly thing. It just didn’t really seem like two things that would go together. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that being allergic to nuts meant that I had no idea what peanut butter was like. Or because being in England, I had a completely different idea about what jelly was. It took me a while to realise the whole thing was actually about jam! But since making my own free from butter, I’m obsessed with this strange combo!
When I first bought spirulina I was so excited. I was convinced that I’d bought a major superfood that would boost my energy, leave me with glowing skin and make me look all around more radiant and feel amazing. I’d read that it was a great source of iron, full of Vitamins A, B, C and E and minerals such as calcium, zinc and magnesium. There’s no denying that spirulina is definitely good for you!
But like so many health foods, it has a bad reputation for not being very nice, and to be fair I can see why. After just one use I could categorically say that I really didn’t like the green powder. It’s earthy, has a very strong flavour and is basically ‘green’. I was left with a big bag in my cupboard that was left untouched for months. But I rarely give up on food, and was determined to try again. Remembering that a little goes an extremely long way!
I’m a total hummus addict. I just love everything about it; the creaminess, the light, fluffy texture and the fact that you can pretty much eat it with anything (and trust me, I do!). I used to buy ready-made hummus all the time. And would never even dream of not having it stockpiled in my fridge.
That was until I realised just how quick, easy and cheap it is to make your own. Ever since then I’ve made my own every week, and love experimenting with new and different flavours. I’ve shared my favourite, basic oil free recipe, and have used that base to create so many different flavours such as my beetroot hummus, which is bright purple and completely delicious!
Lately I’ve been experimenting with different ingredients, and one flavour I really wanted to master was carrot. Carrots are full of so many benefits and packed full of vitamin A and beta-carotene which are amazing for your eyes and overall health, as well as being part of your 5 a day. After many different adaptations, I think that I have come up with one of my favourite ever variations; a fluffy, creamy paprika spiced carrot hummus. Yep, it really is as good as it sounds!
This has to be one of my most cooked recipes, I make it at least once a week. In fact, I make it so often that I just do everything by eye now; throw in a bit of this and bit of that without following any measurements or instructions. This is also why it was one of my hardest recipes to write; actually thinking about what goes into the compote and what happens during the cooking process was a lot trickier than it sounds. But the end result was so worth it! A sweet puree bursting with big chunks of fruit… every bit as delicious as it sounds.
Cooking apples are the main base of this recipe, they really help to thicken the whole thing up and, in my opinion, taste best when left a little chunky. But, from here you can pretty much add whatever fruit you like: strawberries, rhubarb, pears, plums… the possibilities are endless! You can use fresh or frozen fruit (I normally use frozen because it’s a lot cheaper but it’s also a great way to use up any mushy, overripe fruit).
After you’ve added all of your fruit, add a splash of liquid to cover the bottom of the pan. Plain water works well, but I sometimes like to add a dash of store-bought juice or smoothie to add a little more flavour. Sprinkle either a bit of sugar or a squeeze of maple syrup to help reduce the tartness of the fruit – this is especially important if your using naturally bitter fruit like rhubarb! Now all that’s left to do is let it all simmer down to a juicy fruit puree. Once cooked, this can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.
I love adding this to yogurt, porridge, overnight oats or pretty much anything. It’s delicious and so easy to make!
Let’s talk chocolate. One of the most popular flavours in the world, and if you ask people what they’re guilty pleasure is, I can guarantee most of them will say chocolate. But, what if I told you that chocolate can be healthy? I know, you automatically think of dark chocolate, 80% or more pure cocoa, which can be bitter and, in my opinion, not very nice. But, that’s not what I’m talking about. This is all about a chocolate chia pudding.
It’s no secret that I love chia pudding. Chia seeds are one of my favourite little superfoods, and I add them to absolutely everything! But chia pudding is by far my favourite way to enjoy these little wonders. You simply place them in a jar with some milk, leave them overnight to expand, and in the morning your left with a delicious, thick chia pudding. You can add fresh fruit, fruit compote, granola or whatever else you like. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with my chia pudding. Making different flavours and colours, of my beloved dish. I’ve done everything from a moreish yellow mango, a scrumptious pink strawberry, and a completely delicious green moringa. All have been complete success. But this is something that I’ve wanted to try for a very long time, a flavour that I know will be a winner, chocolate!