Smoothies for Heart Health

Smoothies are such a delicious and efficient way to inject a lot of nutrients into your diet in a quick and easy glass. As a parent, I love giving my kids homemade smoothies, then I know they are getting plenty of top quality, dense nutrients without even realising it. They’re not going to eat a spoon of chia seeds any other way really are they?

Taking care of our heart health is so important at all ages, but is not something we often consider when we are younger. Unfortunately heart disease is the biggest killer in Ireland and although it mainly affects people over 40, it’s important to take care of our hearts from a young age. As well as moving our bodies more and quitting smoking and stress, there is a lot of good food we can include in our diets to boost the health of our hearts. We’ve been curiously reading a lot on the subject recently and found 5 main food groups which boost heart health – leafy greens, whole grains, healthy fats, legumes and antioxidant rich food – and so we have been writing recipes with these groups in mind this week. Here are two smoothies which will really boost your nutrient intake and help you take care of your hearts.

Why not try adding a smoothie to your diet each day to boost your heart health?

Liz x

Blueberry Cacao Smoothie (per person)

This smoothie is a stunning deep purple, which is a sure sign you’re getting lots of the antioxidant anthocyanin, but tastes like chocolate milk thanks to the cacao powder (which is packed with flavonoids that have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and aid in preventing blood clots). Blend:

  • 1/2 a frozen banana (rich in potassium to help lower blood pressure)
  • 1 pitted date (for natural sweetness and also fibre, potassium and other minerals)
  • 1 handful of frozen blueberries (powerful antioxidants, fibre and vitamins)
  • 1 tsp cacao powder (flavonoids)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 5 hazelnuts (healthy fats, magnesium and fibre)
  • 2 tbsp porridge oats (healthy wholegrain which reduces your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels)
  • 1/2 glass oat milk (or your choice of milk – or substitute with ice for a colder smoothie)

Green Smoothie (per person)

A virtuous green smoothie doesn’t have to taste like pond water. This one is creamy and sweet, full of the amazing benefits of leafy greens and healthy fats. Blend:

  • 2 kale leaves (for fibre, nitrates, potassium, vitamin K, magnesium and more)
  • 1 pitted date (for natural sweetness and also fibre, potassium and other minerals)
  • 1 tsp linseeds (essential omega-3 fatty acids)
  • 1 brazil nut or a tbsp tahini (healthy fats, fibre and selenium)
  • 1/2 a frozen banana (rich in potassium to help lower blood pressure)
  • 2 tbsp porridge oats (healthy wholegrain which reduces your ‘bad’ cholesterol levels)
  • 1/2 glass of oat milk (or any milk you like – or ice cubes if you like your smoothie extra cold)

Creamy Celeriac Crumble

This savoury crumble is full of comforting winter vegetables and white beans. The creamy white sauce is made from seasoned oat milk thickened with a little cornflour. The oaty crumble is delicious and buttery (thanks to our new Naturli butter) and spiked with fragrant rosemary (use any winter herbs you like eg thyme or sage). Serve with a simple salad of shaved Brussels sprouts dressed with lemon and good oil. The not-so-secret ingredient which brings the dish together? Nutritional yeast! Fondly referred to as nooch, it brings a moreish, cheesy flavour to the party. What will you put in your savoury crumble?

As it’s gluten free day this week I’ve used certified gluten free oats in the crumble and gluten free Rude Health oat milk in the white sauce. If gluten isn’t an issue for you then of course you don’t need to worry about that, but if you are avoiding gluten then we can help with a range of gluten free groceries, conveniently delivered to your door.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 1/2 a celeriac, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large leek, washed and chopped
  • 300g mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tins of white beans, drained

White Sauce

  • 2 tbsp cornflour (or flour of your choice)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • a handful of nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 tsp of each)
  • 500ml gluten free oat milk (or any milk you like)

Crumble

  • 250g gluten free porridge oats (or regular oats)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, stripped from stalk (or any winter herbs you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste – a generous pinch of each
  • a handful of nutritional yeast
  • 100g butter (we use Naturli vegan blocks)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C. Find a baking dish and tumble in your chopped celeriac, leek and mushrooms.
  2. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Mix well then put the dish in the oven to roast the vegetables while you prepare the white sauce and crumble. Remove the dish every 10 minutes to stir.
  3. In a mixing jug, whisk the cornflour, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and a splash of the oat milk into a paste. Then add the rest of the oat milk and whisk into a thin sauce. This will cook and thicken up later in the oven. Put to one side for now.
  4. Make the crumble in a food processor with the blade attachment. Put the oats, rosemary, nooch, salt and pepper into the processor and blend into a rough flour. Chop the butter into cubes, add to the flour mixture and pulse into a crumbly texture.
  5. When the vegetables are cooked through (this should take around 30 minutes) add the drained white beans and sauce. Stir well then top with the crumble and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden on top.
  6. Serve with some seasonal greens. We like thinly sliced Brussels sprouts simply dressed with good olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for some acidity and freshness to cut through the creamy crumble.

Trick AND Treat Brownies

These deliciously dark, squidgy brownies are an absolute treat (and shhh! contain a few tricks too). Make these for the little monsters in your life and trick them into eating beetroot, sunflower seeds and black beans. Hahahahahaaaaaaa! *evil laugh*

This tricky treat is packed full of plant protein and fibre. It is gluten, nut, dairy and egg free, but most definitely not flavour free! So it’s perfect for everyone to enjoy at your Halloween party. These are seriously good, let us know if you make them. All the ingredients can be added to your next order. Did you know we have compostable bags of nuts, seeds, oats etc in the grocery section of our shop? We deliver to every address in Ireland. Happy Halloween!

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 100g sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 100g porridge oats (gluten free if needed)
  • 100g sugar (or your choice of sweetener)
  • 100ml oat milk (or any dairy free milk)
  • 1 tin of black beans (including the liquid)
  • 5 tbsp oil or butter
  • 6 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 250g cooked beetroot
  • 250g melted dark chocolate

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and line a baking dish (I used a 20x28cm one) with baking parchment.
  2. In a food processor, blend the sunflower seeds and oats into flour.
  3. Then add the rest of the ingredients except the melted chocolate. Blend until smooth.
  4. Mix in the melted chocolate then pour the batter into the dish. Even it out, getting into the corners, then bake for 40 minutes or until cracked on top and still a little wobbly.
  5. Allow the brownie to completely cool in the dish. Then remove onto a chopping board to decorate and slice as you like.

Autumn Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are so creamy and delicious, they fill you up and feel a bit special. Make these and give your past self a pat on the back in the morning! This autumnal version is probably my favourite. A creamy and sweetly-spiced pumpkin and cashew cream layer topped with an apple, oat, chia and pumpkin seed layer. I eat mine with a dollop of natural yoghurt on top.

Overnight oats last well in the fridge for 3 days. Mix up the ingredients and layer them up in jars or glasses and that’s breakfast sorted for a few mornings. This recipe makes 6 portions. Enjoy! And don’t forget to share your recreations with us in the comments or over on our friendly community Facebook group.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 6)

Pumpkin Cashew Cream:

  • 500g kuri squash pumpkin (or sub with butternut squash or similar)
  • 100g cashew nuts
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves

Apple Overnight Oats:

  • 180g porridge oats
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 6 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 apples, grated
  • 500g milk (any milk you prefer)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Yoghurt to serve

Method

  1. Chop the kuri squash into bite sized chunks, no need to peel but do remove the seeds, and roast at 200C until soft. This usually takes around 20 minutes.
  2. Spoon the cooked squash into a blender with the rest of the Pumpkin Cashew Cream ingredients and blend into a smooth, thick cream. Taste and add more maple syrup if you prefer it sweeter.
  3. Mix all the Apple Overnight Oats ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Divide the pumpkin cream between 6 bowls/glasses/jars. Top with the apple-oat mixture.
  5. Cover the portions and refrigerate overnight (or eat right away). They should stay fresh for 3 days in the fridge.
  6. Serve with a dollop of natural yoghurt. Scoop down to get a bit of both layers in each bite!

Super Seedy Crackers

My super seedy crackers are easy to make and packed full of toasty, nutty flavour and incredible nutrients. They contain all these amazing ingredients which can be added to your next veg order. Did you know that our nuts and seeds come in compostable bags?

  • pumpkin seeds (protein, fibre, healthy fats, magnesium, zinc)
  • sunflower seeds (protein, healthy fats, selenium, vitamin E)
  • linseeds (fibre, healthy fats including omegas, protein)
  • chia seeds (fibre, protein, omega fatty acids, minerals and antioxidants)
  • oats (fibre, protein, manganese)
  • flour (you can use any flour you like, plain wheat flour or try our buckwheat or spelt flour)
  • salt (minerals)
  • olive oil (antioxidants and healthy fats).

So you can see why I love including these crackers in my diet and in my kids lunchboxes. They make a brilliant afternoon snack too! Scoop up hummus with them (find the recipe here), pop on a slice of cheese (we stock an amazing range or organic dairy and vegan cheeses here), or eat with soups.

Liz x

Ingredients (makes around 32 crackers)

  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 50g porridge oats
  • 50g flour
  • 25g chia seeds
  • 25g linseeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 250ml water

Method

  1. Turn your oven on to 150C and find your largest baking sheet. You may need to use two depending on the size of your oven. I used one sheet approximately 38x46cm as a guide. You’ll also need to line your tray with a sheet of baking parchment and have another sheet of parchment ready. Find a mixing bowl and wooden spoon or spatular.
  2. Measure the seeds, oats, flour and salt into your mixing bowl. Stir well to evenly disperse the ingredients.
  3. Then add the olive oil and water and mix well until there are no dry clumps. Leave the bowl to stand for about 20 minutes to allow the chia seeds and linseeds to absorb the liquid.
  4. After 20 minutes your mixture should be thickened and spreadable. Scrape it out onto the lined baking tray and use the spoon/spatular to spread it as evenly as you can. A good tip is to avoid the edges, don’t worry about getting it perfect yet, the next step will ensure your crackers are thin and even.
  5. Place the second piece of baking parchment over the sticky cracker dough. Use your hands to spread the dough out into a thin, even layer. Make sure there are no thicker bits anywhere as these will take longer to cook. The layer should be about 3mm thick all over.
  6. Then carefully peel off the top layer of parchment and use a knife to score the cracker dough to the size and shape you prefer.
  7. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until toasty and dried out. Allow the crackers to cool completely before snapping them apart from each other and storing them in an airtight container. They should stay fresh at room temperature for 2 weeks, in the fridge for 1 month or frozen for 3 months.
Kale crisps, hummus, crackers and raw veggie sticks – a colourful and nutritious snack box.

Summer Fruit Crumble Slice

This fruity number is just the thing to pack into a tin and take round to a friends garden to have with a cuppa! Use any summer fruit you like, berries or stone fruit work well, and it’s best to cook the fruit down with a little maple syrup into a rough ‘jam’. Very soft fruit like strawberries, raspberries or plums could just be sliced and sprinkled raw on top of the biscuit layer before adding the crumble mix, but I do find a more jammy fruit layer helps the crumble mix stick to the biscuit a bit better. I tend to cover the dish in the oven with a baking sheet or a layer of baking parchment during the last 15 minutes or so to prevent it from browning too much. 

Liz 

Ingredients

  • 125g caster sugar
  • 250g butter/margarine
  • 375g plain flour
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 150g fruit
  • maple syrup to taste

Method

  1. Start by cooking 150g fruit in a small pan until just soft and starting to collapse. Taste and sweeten with maple syrup or any sweetener you like (if needed). Then put it to one side to cool while you make the biscuit dough.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 175C and line a deep baking dish with baking parchment. I used a dish approximately 25x35cm but any medium sized baking dish will do. Just bear in mind, if it’s a smaller dish, the biscuit will be deeper so will need longer in the oven.
  3. Weigh out the butter, sugar and flour into a large mixing bowl. Rub it together with the tips of your fingers until you achieve a wet-beach-sand-like texture that comes together into dough when squeezed. A quicker way to do this is to pulse the ingredients together in a food processor with the ‘S’ blade attachment.
  4. Tip roughly 2/3rds of the dough into the lined dish and press it firmly into a neat, even layer. Ensure you get into the corners of the dish.
  5. Add the oats to the remaining 3rd of the dough and mix into a rough crumble.
  6. Spoon the fruit onto the biscuit layer and then sprinkle the crumble over the top. Lightly pat the crumble into the fruit.
  7. Then bake for approximately 30 minutes at 175C fan. The time can vary depending on your dish size. I tend to cover the dish with a baking sheet or extra piece of parchment for the last 15 minutes or so to prevent the crumble from browning too much. Just keep an eye on it and see if it needs it or not. No two ovens are alike in my experience!
  8. Remove from the oven and allow the biscuit to cool in the dish. Then carefully transfer it to a chopping board and cut it as you like. 
  9. You should end up with a melt-in-the-mouth shortbread base, a fruity layer and a        buttery, oaty, crumbly layer. Delicious!
  10. The biscuits keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week. Enjoy!

Energy Bites

Energy bites do what they say on the tin. They are jam packed full of good ingredients – oats, nuts (or seeds) and dates – which give you a boost of energy and get you through the afternoon slump, power you up that hill on your hike or keep hunger at bay in the car on your way to your staycation. This base recipe is really handy to have in your repertoire. Make it your own by using your favourite nuts or seeds, replace the dates with apricots or raisins, add cacao powder or dried spices like cinnamon or ginger for different flavours, coat them in melted chocolate or roll them in sesame seeds or desiccated coconut. It’s fun to play around with flavours here.

Did you know, many of our grocery products like oats, nuts and dates are packed plastic free? We are always working on adding more plastic free products to the list too so keep checking back. Please share your favourite energy ball combinations with us on our facebook community group

Liz x

Ingredients (makes 20)

  • 1 &1/2 mugs of porridge oats
  • 1 mug of nuts (or seeds, or a mix)
  • 1/2 mug of pitted dates
  • a pinch of salt
  • a drizzle of maple syrup or honey
  • optional extra ingredients to taste (like melted chocolate, desiccated coconut, sesame seeds, cacao powder, cinnamon, ginger…)

Method

  1. Measure the oats, nuts, dates and salt into a food processor with the ’S’ blade attachment. (If you are making this in a blender, then divide it into smaller batches).
  2. Pulse the ingredients together, stopping frequently to stir and scrape down the sides. You are aiming for an even, sticky, crumbly mixture.
  3. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl. This is where you can stir in some extra flavours or textures if you like. Some cinnamon or ginger? Make it chocolate flavoured by adding some cacao powder? 
  4. Now test the stickiness of the mixture by picking up a small handful and squeezing. If it sticks together easily you don’t need the syrup – this depends on the freshness and variety of the dates. Otherwise add a small drizzle of maple syrup and stir. Test again and add more syrup until you get the right consistency.
  5. Then squeeze and roll the mixture into little balls. If they are sticky enough you can roll them in seeds or desiccated coconut for extra flavour and fun. 
  6. Another fun option is to dunk them in melted chocolate and sit them on a tray in the fridge to set. While the chocolate is wet, you can sprinkle the bites with seeds or some flakey sea salt or anything you like to make them even more special.
  7. Otherwise they are fabulous naked, just the way they are! 
  8. Pack in an airtight container in the fridge and eat them within the week.

Raw Millionaire Shortbread

Millionaire shortbread has it all. Buttery, crumbly shortbread, sweet, sticky caramel and a shiny dark chocolate layer which just brings it all together. But to be honest, these days I find most shop bought millionaire shortbread a tad too sickly-sweet. My raw version is pretty quick and easy to put together and made with some great ingredients. Wholesome oats and dates, cocoa/cacao powder and it’s simply sweetened with a touch of maple syrup and bound together with coconut oil.

All the ingredients can be bought from the grocery section of our online shop and they are organic and plastic free! The dates come in a compostable bag. If you are not a fan of coconut flavour you can substitute with a refined flavourless coconut oil, some good butter/margarine or even better – cocoa butter. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Liz x

INGREDIENTS

Base:

  • 300g oats
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 tbsp coconut oil – melted (you may need more)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Caramel:

  • 200g pitted dates
  • 150ml water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Chocolate:

  • 50ml coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 30g cacao

Method

  1. Measure 150 ml of water into a jug then tear or chop in 200g of dates making sure no pits are present. Then leave to soak while you make the shortbread base.
  2. Line a baking dish with baking paper (I use a 19x24cm dish) leaving plenty of overhang to make it easy to extract once it’s set.
  3. Blend the oats with a pinch of salt into a fine flour then add the rest of the base               ingredients (the coconut oil and maple syrup) and blend again to combine into a crumbly shortbread dough. Add more coconut oil if you need to until it comes together into a crumbly dough which stays together when squeezed.
  4. Press the oat shortbread evenly into the lined dish then put the dish into the fridge to chill and start setting while you make the caramel.
  5. Blend the soaked dates with all the soaking water and a tbsp of coconut oil into a smooth caramel. Carefully spread the caramel evenly over the shortbread layer and smooth it out as much as possible. Put the dish back into the fridge while you make the chocolate.
  6. Melt the coconut oil then stir in the maple syrup. Get the dish out of the fridge and get ready to work quickly now. 
  7. Stir the cocoa/cacao powder in a tbsp at a time until you reach a shiny, smooth, pourable but thick consistency – a bit like double cream. You may not need to use all the cocoa powder. If it gets a bit thick/stiff then add a little more melted coconut oil.
  8. As soon as you reach double cream consistency pour the chocolate over the caramel and tip the dish side to side to evenly spread a neat layer on top before it starts to set.
  9. Put the dish in the fridge to set for a couple of hours before carefully pulling the shortbread out onto a chopping board and slicing into 12 or so biscuits. 
  10. Keep the biscuits in an airtight box in the fridge with parchment between the layers.  They are ok at room temperature for a while but if it’s warm they can get a bit melty so they are best enjoyed straight from the fridge. Eat within 1 week. Enjoy!
Watch how it’s made here!

St Patrick’s Day Menu

Easily get 10 portions of fruit and veg into your day with this plant based St Patrick’s Day menu. No green food colouring in sight but lots of vibrant, fun, healthy ideas. Hope you have a fab day off everyone! Let us know what you are cooking to celebrate the day in the comments or over on our friendly facebook page.

Liz x

Breakfast

Green Smoothie Pancakes

Is it even St Patrick’s Day if you don’t eat something green? Avoid the food colouring and get out your blender for these sweet (but healthy) pancakes.

Ingredients (makes 10 pancakes)

Method

Put all the ingredients except the butter and maple syrup into a smoothie maker and blend until smooth.

Heat a non-stick frying pan to medium then melt some butter and fry the pancakes in small batches for a few minutes on each side until cooked through. It’s better to cook them low and slow so that they are cooked through and not too dark on the outside.

Stack them up and serve simply with butter and a generous drizzle of maple syrup or your favourite pancake toppings.

Lunch

Golden Boxty with Rainbow Slaw

Traditional Irish potato griddle cakes (but with very non-traditional grated courgette in the mashed potato batter instead of grated raw potato) are fried in butter until golden brown. Serve these ‘pots of gold’ with a rainbow slaw of fresh, raw, crunchy veg and a dollop of mayo for the perfect lunch.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

Method

Start with the slaw. Shred the cabbage, grate the carrot and thinly slice the peppers, spring onions and chives. Mix in a bowl with the juice of half a lemon to start with and the olive oil. Taste and add more lemon juice if you like.

Preheat a frying pan and mix up the boxty batter. Put the mashed potato, grated courgette (or raw potato), flour, milk, vinegar, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. You should end up with a batter that’s a dropping consistency. If not, add more milk.

Fry in melted butter on a medium heat for about 5 or so minutes on each side. You can fry them in little fritters or in large rounds the size of the pan. Carefully flip them over when the bottom is golden brown. Add more butter to the pan before flipping if it’s looking a bit dry.

Serve warm with the rainbow slaw and a dollop of mayonnaise.

Supper

Irish Stew with Soda Dread Dumplings

Meaty mushrooms and bitter Guinness makes this stew rich and delicious and what better way to mop up the juices than with some Irish soda bread? I steam it as dumplings on top here for a hearty one pot supper but you could bake it separately if you prefer and serve it alongside. Looking for a gluten free alternative? Why not make some colcannon (mashed potato with wilted green cabbage or kale and spring onion stirred through) to go with the stew instead and use a gluten free stout in place of the Guinness?

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 400g mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 mug of green lentils
  • 1 stock cube
  • 1 can of Guinness
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar (optional – to counteract the bitterness of the Guinness)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped chives to serve
  • 500g flour (I like 250g plain and 250g wholemeal)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 300ml oat milk
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil

Method

Get a large pot on the hob and heat it to the highest setting.

Roughly dice the onion and add it to the pot with 2 tbsp of sunflower oil.

Roughly dice the carrots, celery and mushrooms and add them to the pot next.

Stir occasionally and allow the vegetables to take on some colour and caramelised flavour for around 10 minutes. Then peel, chop and add the 4 cloves of garlic.

Rinse your mug of green lentils and add them to the pot with the can of Guinness, the stock cube and an additional mug of water. Season the stew with salt and lots of black pepper. Give the broth a taste and add some brown sugar to counteract the bitterness of the Guinness if needed.

Then let the stew come up to a simmer while you make the soda bread dough.

Measure the dry ingredients (the flour, salt and bicarb) into a large mixing bowl and mix well to evenly disperse the bicarbonate of soda and salt. Check for lumps and sort them out now before you add the wet ingredients.

Measure the wet ingredients (the oat milk, oil and vinegar) into a measuring jug and give it a stir. This is the plant based alternative for the traditional buttermilk in the recipe. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well with a wooden spoon to form a rough dough. No need to knead, just stir well to ensure there are no dry, floury bits in the dough.

Use wet hands to form 6-8 balls of dough and place them carefully in the top of the simmering stew. Put the lid on the pot, make sure it’s turned down ow and allow the stew to simmer an the soda bread to steam for about 20-30 minutes.

Check that the lentils are cooked through then serve the hot stew and dumplings with chopped chives on top.

Dessert

Mint Choc Chip Ice-Cream

This ice cream is vibrant green, creamy and sweet…but made with peas and bananas! Don’t be put off by the healthy ingredients, blended frozen banana is a creamy revelation and peas are naturally so sweet. It’s especially good if the banana is frozen when super-ripe. If you eat through your bananas from your weekly delivery then this recipe is a good way to use up those reduced over-ripe bananas at the shops. A win-win for you and for the epic food waste problem the planet is facing. I’ve used cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips because I love their bitter, dark chocolate flavour, but do feel free to substitute with real chocolate chips…especially if you are serving this to children.

Ingredients

  • for every frozen banana
  • you’ll need a handful or so of frozen peas
  • 3 sprigs of fresh mint
  • optional sweetener of your choice to taste (eg maple syrup)
  • and a tbsp or so of cacao nibs (or sub with chocolate chips)

Method

Peel and chop as many over-ripe bananas as you like. About one per person. Freeze them overnight on a tray until solid (with gaps between the pieces otherwise they’ll all freeze together and be very difficult to blend).

You’ll need a strong food processor with an S blade attachment. A food processor works better that a jug/smoothie blender for this.

Put the frozen banana chunks and frozen peas into your blender along with fresh mint leaves to taste.

Blend into a frozen, crumbly texture then stop the blender, scrape down the sides and blend again until vibrant green and creamy.

Taste the mixture and add a sweetener or more mint leaves if you like and blend again.

Scrape the nice cream out into a tub and stir through cacao nibs or chocolate chips. Scoop into balls and serve (they will be quite soft at this stage so for quickly) or move to the freezer to firm up until you are ready to serve.

Fruity Chia and Oat Pots

These little chia and oat pots are perfect for breakfast (and they make a fabulous healthy pudding too)! You can prepare the two layers in separate bowls the night before, then just put it together in the morning with some crunchy granola, juicy fruit and silky curd (find the recipe for my favourite kumquat curd here). If you don’t have curd you could use a dollop of yogurt instead.

Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients. Packed full of fibre, antioxidants, minerals and heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Oats are brilliant too of course! This humble grain is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat and can lower cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar control and contains a powerful soluble fibre which is great for your digestive system!

I love this combination of berry chia, turmeric oats, zingy sweet citrus and toasty granola. But of course you can tweak the recipe to use your favourite fruit or flavours. How about rhubarb compote in the chia layer and making the creamy oat layer taste like custard with some vanilla? Then top with yogurt, granola and more rhubarb? Or do you like tropical flavours? How about a passionfruit chia layer, coconut milk in the oats and top with mango slices and toasted coconut flakes? Are you a chocoholic? Raspberries in the chia layer, cacao powder in with the oats then top with pieces of dark chocolate, fresh raspberries and toasted hazelnuts? The possibilities are endless.

Let us know your favourite chia and oat pot flavour combos in the comments. Liz x

*as always, bold words are clickable and will take you to the product or recipe on our website so that you can easily add ingredients to your order or find the recipe I refer to

Ingredients (makes 2 pots)

Method

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl, leave to stand for a few minutes and mix again. Then cover and refrigerate (or use right away if you are making this in the morning).

Mix the next 4 ingredients in a separate bowl, cover and refrigerate over night to allow it to thicken (or you can serve it after a quick 10 minute soak if you are making this in the morning).

Serve in a couple of simple glasses. Divide the chia and berry mixture between two glasses, then add the turmeric porridge mixture. Top with a tbsp of kumquat curd, peeled slices of blood orange and a couple of tbsp of granola.