Acai Bowls

Summer’s practically dead now, and giving way to autumn, red leaves and for the baking world, warming spices and the homely use of pumpkins and freshly baked bread. So, in honor of the last days of summer and the waning sense of holiday freedom, I give you: the acai bowl post.

Technically, I don’t have the recipe for an acai bowl because I have no acai berries/powders/general acai substances but a smoothie bowl with granola chucked on top. Acai bowl definitely sounds more interesting.

1. You begin with the base –  frozen smoothie. Now, density wise, a thick smoothie is very important so you can have a nice, stable base for the toppings. To increase thickness use yoghurt instead of milk, banana or avocado.

My favourite recipe (and which incidentally gives a pretty pink flavour) is:

  • 4 frozen strawberries, chopped chunkily
  • 1 fresh banana
  • two spoons of yoghurt

Blend, and then pour into the bowl.

2. Next, put on the toppings (acai bowls are delightfully easy). You shake on the amount of granola you want on, then add the rest of your toppings. I like mine with fresh berries (yes, double strawberry), peanut butter and I shake on some flaxeed. You can’t taste it, but it gives a boost of nutrients. And, a sprinkle of nuts for a nice crunch. Top tip, drizzle some honey of the granola. Honey and granola pairs beautifully.

And that’s it! Eat on the last golden days of sunshine … or the rest of the year. It’s a bit like ice cream, timeless. Season less? Not weather dependent?

IMG_1456IMG_1539

 

Advertisements

Porridge Tips

It’s a little strange to be obsessed with porridge, but I admit, I am. Porridge is a bit like flour; you have the base, and with it the opportunity to make whatever sweet dessert you want. There are so many opportunities to spice up porridge. You can make chocolate porridge, apple pie porridge, carrot cake porridge… the list is truly extensive. But first, you have to master the basics.

1. So firstly, you get your oats. Depending on how much porridge you want, you add the oats to the saucepan. Then you add either water or milk, or a mix of both, until it covers the oats plentifully. If you fancy plain porridge, then milk adds richness and a natural depth of flavour. When I have a lot of toppings, I tend to prefer water because I feel the taste is less heavy. However, half milk and half water is nice as well.

I recently tried oat milk with porridge, which I found really suits porridge and adds a natural sweetness (as oat milk is made with fermented oats).

2. Next – this is an optional tip, but it will make your porridge fudgey and thick. Mash up either banana, sweet potato or courgette/zucchini. I usually opt for banana. Add this at the beginning of making porridge before you add liquid, and mix well.

3. Bring the porridge to the boil, and then lower the heat. Try not to stir too much during this process. If you want to add cacao powder/spices, add now. Also, if you want your fruit slightly cooked or softened, add now as well. If you want raisins or chia seeds, add now as well so they absorb liquid.

4. Now, one of the crucial things about porridge is knowing when to stop cooking. If you like creamy porridge, cook until it is creamy, but this can make it gloopy and gross because the starch breaks down and forms a gloopy substance.  This makes the difference between basic porridge that your mum made you eat when you were little, and gourmet dessert porridge. I like to cook my porridge until all the water has  absorbed and the oat is soft, creamy, and the edges have broken a little, but the general shape is still there so you can see it is made of oats. Take the heat off now.

5. Lastly, add your toppings. I adore peanut butter in my porridge, because it melts a little from the heat, and the stickiness and coat the back of your tongue-ness disappears, but the wonderful flavour remains. Granola is also delicious (I know, oats on oats, weird – but trust me) and fruit adds a fresh, juicy contrast to the cooked, piping hot porridge.

6. Enjoy, you’ve just made the perfect breakfast! (Don’t fight me on this haters)

 

IMG_1496
Porridge with fresh berries
IMG_1478
Apple pie porridge
IMG_1477
Porridge with leftover banana bread and my toppings on display

‘Healthy baking Stance’

So, you’ve probably been seeing a lot of ‘healthy baking’ recipes at the moment – which my website contains a lot of! This is my post clarifying my ideas about health – bear in mind these are my personal ideas and I’m not an expert. Although, no-one is really. Feel free to adapt my recipes anyway you want, but these are the ideas I have in mind with my recipes.

Sugar is not healthy. It’s a poison to the body and too much of it is definitely a bad thing. Natural sugars found in fruit are balanced out by the nutrients and goodness that you get from the fruit, but sugars found in molasses and maple syrup aren’t – although they are certainly healthier than white processed sugar.

Desserts are yummy, but they aren’t good for you and they never will be really. That’s why they’re called a dessert! And they should only really be eaten occasionally – not never, but once in a while. However, it doesn’t hurt to make them healthier when you do have that once in a while – as long as the taste stays just as good.

Butter is good for you, and has been for centuries until Ancel Keys said that saturated fat was harmful, backed up with the biased and selective ‘Seven Countries Study’. Milk – in my opinion, is bad for you because it’s processed and pasteurization takes out the nutrients and goodness.

Anyway, this is my view on health. Feel free to disagree!