BLUEBERRY BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES

Just sometimes, when life allows for a slightly less rushed start to the day, we love to make pancakes.

Pancakes are so easy and great to get tiny helpers involved because they really only need stirring, something that can usually be delegated to my 3 year old without disastrous consequences.

A healthier twist on a classic pancake is to switch the plain flour to buckwheat, which not only imparts a slightly richer nuttier flavour, but adds fibre, micronutrients and also can make the dish suitable for those following a gluten or wheat free diet.

Ensure that the buckwheat flour is gluten-free (some are blends of different flours so it is worth checking) and ensure, if necessary, that the other ingredients are indeed glutenfree versions of the products.

This will serve 2 hungry people or 4 not so hungry mouths.

150g buckwheat flour

2 tbsp baking powder

2 free range eggs, beaten

150mls milk (you can use cow’s milk or any alternatives here)

1 knob of butter (or substitute for oil if you want dairy or cow’s milk protein-free)

150-200g blueberries

maple syrup to drizzle (optional!)

stir the baking powder into the flour and mix well. Now add in the beaten eggs and the milk, stirring until you have a smooth even consistency and all of the lumps are gone.  Now stir in approx 1/2 of the berries.

Take a small amount of the butter and melt in a heavy based frying pan.

Spoon dollops of the pancake mixture into the pan, keeping them apart so that they stay individual rather than one enormous pancake!  You can probably do 3-4 small ones at a time.

When you start to see bubbles on the upper side of your pancakes, carefully flip them over and cook on the other side.  Some of the berries might start to bleed but don’t worry, I think this adds to the pancakes.

Cook the mixture in a few batches, keeping the first ones warm in the oven until you have finished your last batch.

Serve with the remaining blueberries sprinkled over the top and a small drizzle of maple syrup if you choose.  A good spoonful of low fat greek yoghurt is also delicious with this and will boost protein and calcium content too.

Enjoy!!

 

BARE CUPBOARD SOUP

INGREDIENTS

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

200g yellow mung dal, rinsed in cold water

1 tsp bouillon stock powder

1 tbsp aubergine pickle / lime pickle

 

METHOD

Use a soup maker or just a normal pan!

Gently fry the chopped onion in a little oil until soft.

Tip in the rinsed dal and add 1 litre of boiling water.

Add the bouillon and stir well.

Simmer for 15-20 mins until the dal is soft.

Blend until smooth.

Serve and stir in a spoonful of whichever spicy chutney you have to hand.

 

Alternatively you can stir in some fresh green chilli and chopped tomatoes but if you are stuck with bare cupboards like I was then this recipe is just fine!

COMFORT BAKING….LEMON DRIZZLE :)

We had an unusually peaceful weekend last weekend which was just amazing.  Apart from the weekly ballet class (not me!), we had absolutely nothing in the diary ….bliss.

My eldest girl had been asking to do some baking for ages so we decided that Sunday was the day and somehow I managed to persuade her to bake my all time favourite cake, a lemon drizzle.

However, I was torn…..I LOVE lemon drizzle, a real lemon drizzle but could I tamper with a recipe (as I usually do) and still end up with one that would hit the spot?

 

I’m pleased to say that this little experiment was a success.  Ok so this is FAR from a ‘health food’ and I guess there is an argument that a little of everything (including standard lemon drizzle cake), is just fine. I couldn’t agree more but I couldn’t quite bring myself to use a whole pack of butter and 250g of sugar in just one cake.  What’s more, turns out you don’t need it!  I’ve been doing a lot of work and teaching around reducing sugar (added sugar) intake so this is high up on my agenda at the moment and something that I feel strongly about especially where kids are concerned.

 

I digress and perhaps a discussion about sugar isn’t particularly fitting within a cake blog (!) but anyway it is something that we all need to consider and we do need a general rise in our awareness of the level of daily sugar consumption and the damage that this is doing to our bodies.

 

Back to the cake!

 

Ingredients

75mls Sunflower oil

175g self raising flour

1.5tsp baking powder

100g polenta*

Zest of 2 x unwaxed lemons

140g caster sugar

2 large eggs

240g natural yoghurt (I used full fat)

 

The ‘Drizzle’

80g caster sugar

Juice of x 2 lemons

  • you can use a mixture of ground almonds and polenta here but I omitted the nuts as wanted to send a slice in with daughter to school as a mid morning snack for a treat and we aren’t allowed any nuts in the lunchboxes.

Preheat the oven to 180 C / 160 C / Gas 4.

Line and grease a standard loaf tin

Put the flour, baking powder and polenta in a bowl and mix.

In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, eggs, zest and yoghurt until combined (no need to overbeat) and stir this slowly into the flour mixture and gently combine until smooth.

Spoon into the prepared tin, smooth over the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover in foil and pop back into the oven for a further 10-15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake.  As you can see by the picture, I didn’t use foil (hence the above tip) and that is why it is so brown (black really!!).  Still tasted great though…..

Meanwhile make up the syrup by mixing the sugar and lemon juice.

Once the cake is cooked, make loads of small holes all over it and slowly pour the syrup over the top of the cake so that it seeps into these holes.

Leave to set and go a little ‘crusty’ and then enjoy!

I hope that you enjoy this if you have a go at it. Our entire cake has pretty much gone…

 

Let me know how you get on!  We are going to have a go at some healthy flapjacks this week…My mission is to see whether or not I can really get my girls to eat flapjacks with vegetables in them! I’m not sure, watch this space 🙂