A Simple Green Smoothie – breakfast in a glass + Cherry Active review

simple kale smoothie green smoothie“Oh, thrice and four times happy those who plant cabbages.” Francois Rabelais, 16th century French writer

M. Rabelais might now be in the minority with that opinion, but from a health standpoint, he’s spot on. Cabbages have been cultivated for at least 6000 years, probably originating from wild, non-head forming greens (acephala), of which modern kale is perhaps the truest descendent.

Our forebears may not have known why kale and cabbages are so fiercely good for us, but historical figures have thought well enough of it to pass comment: Pythagoras praised it as an all-purpose remedy; Hippocrates (who else) declared it “the vegetable of a thousand virtues“. Continue reading

About these ads

Making Sunflower Butter + Slow-baked Sunflower Granola

 

slow-baked sunflower butter granolaMy love of breakfast is pretty well established. Not only is my Instagram feed chocka with variations of avocado on toast and a million ways to eat chard before 9 am, but I will eat breakfast at non-breakfast times too. I sometimes prefer it that way. That way I can legitimately have dinner leftovers for breakfast! I can’t be the only one who does that. Am I? Continue reading

Vanilla Rhubarb with Blood Orange – an end of season treat

vanilla rhubarb and blood orangeThis is hardly a recipe. When you have something as preciously short-seasoned as blood oranges they demand respect. Respect to me is letting them glow, sharply-sweet, either on their own or atop something as simple as this roasted vanilla rhubarb. Or on my matcha yogurt breakfast bowlContinue reading

Glow Green! Matcha Yogurt Breakfast Bowl

matcha green tea yogurt breakfast bowlThe past couple of weeks have been full of more ups and downs than is usual for me. Nothing major, just stuff that could be done without. And really, as of today (I started this post yesterday), I feel the stress ebbing away to a manageable trickle.

I am naturally a person who likes things on an even keel. I absolutely do not thrive on stress – I would be quite the worst business person. Certainly you will never see me cowering before The Dragons’ Den dragons, touting an idea. Or even pitching up in a pinny for The Great British Bake-Off, like my brave and talented friend Urvashi. That’s just not me. With the exception of GBBO I don’t even like to watch shows with conflict, confrontation or stress. Well, an exception for House of Cards, too. How can anyone resist Kevin Spacey’s sly, to-camera asides, delivered in that snake-oil Southern drawl? Continue reading

A Green Smoothie for the Green-phobe

green smoothieDespite the clearly undisguised green of this green smoothie, I pretty much guarantee that once sipped even the the most stridently anti-greens guy or gal will at least say, ‘hmm, not as bad as I thought it was going to be.’ Score!

If they are actually scared to try it either say 1) ‘will you just get over yourself’ (my option if I’ve had no sleep), or 2) ‘I will pay you. Just try it.’ Or a combination of the two.

If it is your good self who is unaccountably afraid of the big bad green smoothie, just take a gander at the ingredients: pineapple, clementine, banana. And a little bit of spinach. The mild, baby stuff. If you can handle the more bitter end of the leafy greens – I’m talking about kale really – go for it. The more bitter the better from a nutrition and disease-prevention standpoint.

Whether a novice green smoothie maker/imbiber or not, most fruit (and vegetable) smoothies are best if at least one of the ingredients is frozen. I know you can use ice – and I sometimes do – but having a secret squirrel stash of chopped bananas and/or pineapple in the deep freeze makes it ‘creamier,’ colder and not at risk of being watered down. The matcha tea is entirely optional but I always have a tin of it (owing to a mild addiction to cold green tea with lemon, even in the winter) so tend to put it in smoothies whatever the ingredients. And the citrus enhances green tea’s anti-cancer properties.

To be perfectly honest I would not advocate having something like this every day. I think whole fruits are better because it is easier to know when you have had enough – calories and satiety. But this kind of smoothie is a great way to get green-haters to at least try their enemy and have an opportunity to like them. And homemade smoothies are completely under your control – adjust the taste and amount to your liking, and know exactly what is in it and how fresh it is. Fantastic for control freaks like myself.

So, are you in?

green smoothieA Green Smoothie for the Green-phobe

A cracking way to start the day – a bit tangy, a bit sweet, and a bit green. And there’s green tea powder too if you are like me and don’t do coffee.

The level of deliciousness hinges on the ripeness of the pineapple; don’t go to all the trouble of hacking up an unripe one, just opt for best quality canned or bottled. I’ve never had to do that, but perhaps I’ve just been lucky. Here’s a guide to choosing a ripe pineapple.

1 ripe banana, frozen if possible*

Double handful of baby spinach leaves, or other mild greens of choice, washed (about 2 packed cups)

1 cup diced fresh or quality canned pineapple (frozen too if you can) OR kiwi, peeled

2 clementines, mandarins or satsumas OR 1 large orange, peeled

2 tsp powdered green tea (Japanese-style matcha, not instant) – optional

1 cup almond milk or other milk of choice

5 ice cubes if not using frozen fruit

1. Add all to a blender and blitz until creamy-smooth like an old-fashioned milkshake. Drink immediately.

Note: You can leave out the banana (I’m not a big banana fan) but it does add greatly to the texture, and the pineapple pretty much neutralizes any strong banana taste. Add another banana if you like a more tropical, or sweeter, taste. Or, how about a kiwi?green smoothiegreen smoothie

Serves 2.

Savoury Chelsea Buns – Two Ways

savoury Chelsea buns“Give her a Chelsea bun, miss! That’s what most young ladies like best!” The voice was rich and musical, and the speaker dexterously whipped back the snowy cloth that covered his basket, and disclosed a tempting array of the familiar square buns, joined together in rows, richly egged and browned and glistening in the sun.” — Lewis Carroll, A Tangled Tale

Sticky, swirly, raisiny. What’s not to love about a Chelsea bun? Continue reading

Parsnip, Pear and Rosemary Muffins + A Giveaway

parsnip and pear muffinsI’ve just realised that I haven’t posted anything to tempt the sweet of tooth lately. Not a morsel. By now I really should be posting something in honour of poor, executed St Valentine. A saint with only the most tenuous links to pleasure, romantic love, and chocolate. So tenuous as to be non-existent, an invention of Chaucer, and the English.

I digress. And possibly depress. But still, I should post something chocolately. And soon.

It won’t be grand. It won’t be clever. But it will fulfil my self-imposed brief, “do no (culinary) harm.” Kind of like my own Hippocratic Oath. But with calories.  Continue reading

Greens, Eggs and Pam – Baked Vegetable and Egg Nests

Baked egg in a vegetable nestPlease forgive the tortuous title-mangling of a beloved Dr Seuss tale. I really couldn’t help it. There is no actual person named Pam involved in this easy recipe.

I refer of course to the proprietary eponym for a US non-stick cooking spray. Which you don’t even have to use. But still… At least my Dad might appreciate my ‘humour’ (cue Dad writing in with approval). :D

Continue reading

Banana-Lychee Lassi

lassiLassi, the quintessential Indian yogurt drink to temper the fiery spices of Punjabi cuisine. In India, both sweet and savoury varieties are enjoyed – with the savoury ones often having spices such as cumin, and of course not a little salt. In the West we are perhaps more familiar with the sweet ones, mainly mango. Slippery, perfumed pulp blended with yogurt and ice. Perhaps a touch of saffron, or a pinch of cardamom. Simple but incredibly delicious.
Continue reading

Quinoa Peanut Butter Pancakes with Cinnamon and Pear – Best Grain-free Pancakes Ever

quinoa-pancakes-with-peanut-butterI said on Monday that I wouldn’t be back unless I had some kind of brainwave. I don’t know if this qualifies as a brainwave, but we have just demolished a stack of the best pancakes we have had in ages. And it all started from a pack of something that the health and safety brigade would have chucked in the bin.

Here is how it happened that our near-trash turned into bona fide treasure. Continue reading