Almond, Vanilla and Cranberry Granola

I LOVE granola…..LOVE IT! But I can never eat it without feeling slightly guilty as it usually contains a huge amount of sugar  and calories. This is my version of basic granola that won’t break the calorie bank.

granola side

Granola is basically cooked muesli so oats, nuts and berries are obvious ingredients. I’ve used almonds, cranberries and vanilla for this one but you could, for example, use unsalted roasted peanuts, raisins and cinnamon instead. Play around with a few variations until you find your favourite and then you can make it in big batches and store for up to a month in an airtight mason jar.

GRANOLA INGREDIENTS

Makes 680g (17 servings) 

One serving = 40g

Dry Ingredients:

 300g oats

100g almond flakes

50g milled flaxseed

4 Tbsp chia seeds

30g sunflower seeds

100g dried cranberries

50g desiccated coconut

Wet Ingredients:

2 Tbsp of rapeseed oil (vegetable oil)

1.5 Tbsp of dark molasses (or 2 Tbsp of honey)

125ml pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

NOTE: Molasses are a by product of the refining sugar process. Molasses have a high mineral content and are a good source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin B6. 

Method:

  •  Preheat your fan oven to 150 degrees celsius. In a bowl mix all of the dry ingredients, except the coconut and cranberries.

GRANOLA 2 DRY INGRED

  •  In another bowl mix up your wet ingredients – honey, maple syrup, vanilla and rapeseed oil.
  •  Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and thoroughly mix until all the dry ingredients are slightly wet and sticky.

GRANOLA 3 DRY AND WET

  • Split the mixture and spread evenly onto two baking trays/dishes so that there is lots of room for the granola to bake. If you overfill a container and then bake it, you won’t get a crispy granola (this is a mistake I have made many times). Bake your granola for 15minutes.

GRANOLA 4 BEFORE OVEN

  •  After 15minutes, remove your baking trays from the oven and then add your cranberries and coconut.

granola 5 berries

  •  Bake for a further 15minutes.

GRANOLA KILNER

  • Once cool, store your granola in airtight jars and it will keep for up to a month.
  • Serve with your choice of milk or yoghurt. I like to have a bowl of this with a small banana, pomegranate or a pear.

Nutritional Information per 40g bowl with 150ml slimline milk:

270kcal; 30g carbohydrates; 11g fat; 11g protein; 

This recipe is a good source of omega 3 and 6 fats and contains a good source of potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.

granola finished

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Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Feta and Poached Egg

I had this for my weekend brunch however, it can also make a lovely lunch or dinner. This is a low calorie meal that leaves you feeling satisfied and is super easy to make.

Ingredients:

Makes 2 servings

no1

Half a large sweet potato

100g button mushrooms

1 medium carrot

Half a large yellow pepper

1 large red bell pepper

2 medium eggs

Half a medium onion

100g beetroot

30g feta cheese

salt and pepper

1 tbsp paprika

3/4 garlic cloves

2 tsp olive oil

Method:

Chop up the mushrooms, peppers, carrot, onion and sweet potato.

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Add all of the chopped vegetables to a bowl and drizzle 2 tsp of olive oil over them along with some salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of paprika.

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Once you’ve tossed the vegetables in oil, salt & pepper and paprika, add to a baking tray and place 3/4 garlic cloves among the veg.

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Bake your veg at 200°C for 20-25mins until browned

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Once veg have been cooked, chop up 100g of beetroot and mix into the warm vegetables.

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Separate the veg out on two plates and crumble 15g of feta on top of each plate.

Poach two eggs and place on top of the vegetables and feta.

How to poach eggs:

Boil water in a pan and add a tbsp of vinegar to the simmering water.

Using a spoon, stir the simmering water to create a gentle whirlpool.

Crack your egg into the whirlpool and cook for 3 -4 mins.

Here is a link to a BBC Good Food “How to” video.

Serve immediately.

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Nutritional Information per serving:

271kcal; 27g carbohydrates; 11g protein; 13g fat.

Protein Pancakes

One of my favorite things about the weekend is that I have lots of free time to make brunch, the most important meal of the day!!

I usually head to the gym on Saturday mornings so protein pancakes are exactly what I need. Most of the blogs I read use whey protein powder for their pancakes and that’s absolutely fine but you can also get a cheaper, very easily absorbed, high quality protein from your diet. If you don’t use whey protein, these pancakes are perfect for your post-gym brunch!

The protein in these pancakes comes from egg whites and cottage cheese – don’t knock them till you try them!

Ingredients:

This recipe serves 2 – Makes 5 pancakes

PP Start

3 eggs

45g rolled oats

200g cottage cheese

2 Tablespoons of reduced fat milk (or any other milk you use)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

Optional toppings

  • Yoghurt
  • Mango
  • Mixed berries
  • Banana and strawberries

Method:

  • PP addAdd all the ingredients to your blender and blend until you get a batter, it should be as thick as yoghurt.mix
  • Add a little oil to a pan (you can a teaspoon of olive oil, light fry spray or whatever oil you usually use).
  • Heat your pan and once you can feel heat over the pan add your batter.
  • When you start to see little air bubbles in the batter, see picture below, flip the pancake and cook until light brown on both sides.

PP flipped

  • PP bubblesThis batter is very light and so take care when flipping each pancake for the first time as they may collapse in on themselves. Both sides of the pancake should be nicely browned. I usually heat the oven and put each pancake in until they are all cooked, this way they won’t be cold when you sit down to eat.
  • Serve immediately with your toppings of choice. I’ve used half a mango and some coconut yoghurt for mine. You can also wrap 2 and a half pancakes (one serving) in tinfoil or cling film and reheat the next day for breakfast but they are best served fresh.

PP final

Nutritional information per serving (with yoghurt&half a mango):

250kcal; 29g carbs; 4g fat; 21g protein; dietary fibre 3g.

This recipe is low fat, high protein and is a good source of potassium and vitamin C (when mango is added).

Chocolate Overnight Oats

CHOCOLATE for breakfast!!!

This is a recipe that I make every week. I can’t ever see myself getting bored of it as there are endless variations that you can experiment with. If you have never heard of overnight oats, the recipe is basically a thicker, fluffier and more satisfying version of porridge. The base for this recipe is oats and milk but they are soaked overnight in the fridge. Because you prepare this the night before, it is the absolute perfect recipe if you’re running out the door in the morning and need something healthy and satisfying to grab on the go. A serving of this always keeps me going until lunchtime!

The very basic recipe is, as I said above, your average porridge oats (40g) soaked in your favourite milk (150-200ml) overnight. However, I’m not going to start with the basic recipe. I’m going to start with Chocolate Overnight Oats because it’s January, it’s cold, dark and miserable and this is exactly what I need to get me out of bed in the morning!

start

Ingredients:

This recipe serves 2

150ml milk (I used Avonmore Slimline Milk but you can use soya, almond or whatever else is in your cupboard)

80g porridge oats

22g of cocoa powder (unsweetened cocoa powder is best but I used Options Belgian hot chocolate powder)

1 medium banana

2 tbsp of chia seeds (If you don’t have these in your press you can just leave them out of the recipe)

Method:

  • Add all of your dry ingredients into a bowl or jar (this will go into the fridge overnight so it’s better to be able to cover it with a lid or cling film)

banana and mix

  • Mash up your banana and add to dry ingredients along with the milk

mix 1mix 1

  • Give your oats a good mix and then pop into the fridge overnight, or for at least 4 hours. Remember that this recipe serves 2 so if you want you can split it before it goes into the fridge or split it in the next day, whatever suits!
  • Serve in the morning, hot or cold!

fin 1fin 2

Nutritional information per serving:

300kcal, 11g protein, 6g fat, 51g carbohydrate, 10g fibre,