Oh So Oatie Bars.

These babies are a doddle to make, and are a great way to use up any odd bits of dried fruit and nuts you have lying around. I used Gluten free oats as I seem to have a surfit of them in my cupboard…

Pour a bag of oats into a large mixing bowl and slowly add in water (3-4 cups) until they are all moistened and sticky, but not so much that they get runny. Pour in 2 cups of maple syrup, 1 tbsp vanilla essence and stir it all in. Chuck in your fruit and nuts mix it all up and then press the mixture into a baking tin and bake at 180 c for about 40 minutes, keep checking until the oats are firm to the touch and golden.

When they are ready you can drizzle them with more maple syrup and almonds, I used dates, maraschino cherries, and dried peel. You could add peanut butter, coconut oil or chocolate chips too. OOooh Pecans would be ideal… They are delicious and not overly sweet as I didn’t add any sweetner but you could always add coconut sugar or agave syrup if you wish. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Goodness me it’s Gluten free.

Call me weird (you won’t be the first) but I have never been a pizza fan. I know shock horror what’s wrong with me right? I just never liked the concept, deep base, thin crust, stuffed crust whatever… All too messy and doughy and stodgy for this fussy person, until I discovered this amazing recipe by Savy Vegan on you tube for two ingredient quinoa bread And it got me thinking…

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This is so unbelievably easy and delicious even favourite man (harshest critic ever) approves.

For the bread (which actually is more than two ingredients by the time I finished with it)

1 cup quinoa

1 and a half cups water

salt and pepper

2tbsp Nutritional yeast

1tbsn Garlic powder

2tbsn Oregano

2 tbsn chilli flakes

Preheat your oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with baking parchment paper ( not greaseproof paper as it will stick)

Pour the quinoa and spices and water into a food processor or blender ( I use my nutri bullet) and whizz until all smooth and well, sloppy. Pour it on to the baking sheet and smooth into a round pizza base shape and bake for about twenty minutes until its firm and golden, you can turn it over mid way if you wish.

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BOOM! IT’S THAT SIMPLE! when its ready just whack on your pizza toppings of choice and grill for anothe 8-10 minutes. I added homemade Ragu sauce, red onions red peppers, mushrooms and vegan mozzarella cheese by Violife Truly, it is delicious, light not stodgy (yay!) and GOOD FOR YOU being protein rich and full of fibre! I also tried soaking the quinoa over night and it bakes much much crisper, and makes ideal crackers for slathering with hummus or peanut butter or whatever takes your fancy… On a roll now I made a sweet version, simply by adding a liberal slosh of maple syrup, vanilla essence, half a bag of chopped dates and desicated coconut and maraschino cherries…gluten free heaven.

 

Loafing about.


For me Sunday has become a day that has developed a reassuring and comfortable routine to it. I no longer get that dreaded “back to school tomorrow ” feeling that can still haunt us in our adult life.

We get up a little later, I make Vegan scramble for breakfast with lovely strong black coffee, and then I pfaff about in the kitchen looking through cookery books and notes and recipes I have written, deciding what I am going to bake or cook later. 

This is my little Sunday morning ritual and I suppose this is Hygge for me. If I am super organised I will bake this banana loaf before we go out for a walk, then we come home to that wonderful smell of baking and cinnamon.

Sometimes I jazz it up with dried fruit, raisins, apricots or sometimes maraschino cherries. It’s delicious eaten as it is or toasted, it usually lasts until the next Sunday, just in time for me to whip up another one! Because it’s not really a cake, or a bread I have decidd to simply call it a loaf. So there.

My recipe. 

By accident last week I mistook Coconut flour for coconut sugar (should’ve worn my gogs!) thinking I was using the measurement half and half with caster sugar, the dough took on a totally different consistency in the bowl, almost foamy as if it was proving like bread? 

And whilst it also didn’t rise nearly as much as when I didn’t add the wrong ingredient it did seem to be lighter in texture after baking?

Or was that because I added more raisins as well? Ah well therein lies the alchemy of cooking…..

My banana loaf recipe.

3 or 4 ripe bananas 

250 grams Self raising flour

50 grams Caster Sugar

Vanilla essence (lots)

2 Tablespoons of Cinammon, Mace, Nutmeg or mixed spice

3 tablespoons Baking powder

4 tablespoons  rapeseed oil

If you’re feeling fruity add Raisins or Cherries or Apricots, whatever floats your boat, a good quantity so they will evenly distribute through the mix.

Whack the oven on at 180 C and grease and flour your loaf tin

Skin and mash the bananas, sling them in a large bowl and add the vanilla and spices and oil and mix really well. (the  mixture will be quite runny.)
Sift the flour and baking powder in along with the sugar and the dried fruit of your choice and mix really well again until every thing is all nice muddled together.

Pour into your loaf tin and bang the tin a couple of times on a flat surface to level it and get rid of any air bubbles.

Bake for 30 minutes then cover the top with baking parchment or foil and bake for another 20 minutes or so or until a knife comes out clean.

When it’s completely cool turn it out on to a rack to completely cool all through.

Enjoy immediately or wrap in foil until you eat it.

NB. I have just tried it with some crunchy peanut butter and it tastes awesome!

Of baking and suchlike…

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When I was a kid I loved baking I loved making cakes and biscuits and a mess in the kitchen in general, I thought I was the bomb.

No icing bag? Who needs one? I’ll just Cellotape this one lonely nozzle I found lurking in the back of the cutlery drawer to this plastic bag with the tip cut off  job done.

My cookery bible was The American Womans Cookery Book, Printed in 1950 with the most amazing recipes inside, and jazzy technicolor photos.

I loved the all the names which I guess are pretty standard now, Red Velvet Cake, Angel Cake, Devils Food Cake, but back then they were so new and exciting to me and what about New England Pandowdy and Lady Baltimore Cake? Never heard of them before. And using cups to measure! Imagine! Icing wasn’t icing it was frosting biscuits were cookies I was hooked.

Every Sunday without fail I would be down in that kitchen mixing up recipes and experimenting with anything I could find that was even vaguely cake or biscuit related related.

In retrospect maybe it was just my way of escaping Sunday nights and having to watch The Antiques Road Show and Last Of The Summer Wine, but in time I got bored with messing about with flour and sugar and suchlike, got bored of cooking in general. Left home, went to University blah blah blah…

Fast forward to now, I had got myself into the mindset that puddings weren’t really proper cooking? But how wrong I was…such inspiration everywhere and do you know what?

Becky got her groove back and it turns out I can make a pretty good cake and biscuit if I say so myself. ( I do, I just did)

So here for you, my super easy peasy lemon squeezy  recipe for Rocky Muffins. Which essentially are a combination of you guessed it; a rock cake and a muffin.

(Sorry no actual Lemons involved)


8 oz Self Raising or Spelt flour if you wish (gives a deeper flavour no gluten etc)
3 Tbsp fruit syrup

4 Oz chopped Glace Cherries

A hearty slug of Vanilla Extract

3 Oz Almond Milk

3 tsp baking Powder

1 Mashed ripe Banana

preheat the oven to around 180 C and grease a muffin tray

Into a large mixing bowl sift the flour and baking powder, squoosh in the banana, cherries and  milk, add the fruit sugar and the vanilla and mix well adding enough milk to make a nice gloopy thick mixture.

And it’s that simple!

Dollop it into the muffin tins about three quarters full and bake for about 20-25 minutes, check they are done by inserting a sharp knife into the centre of a muffin which should come out clean.

Delicious at breakfast with Alpro Coconut Yoghurt jam or just as they are!

If any of you are interested in hunting down the cookery book it was published by The Culinary Arts Institute Chicago and edited by Ruth Berolzheimer

It’s over 598 pages long by the way, but such an insight into to “vintage recipes” if that’s  a thing?

It is ! I just said it!