Pumpkin Spice Balls

We are well into October, but here in Bristol, we are being spoiled by beautiful weather this weekend. Walking around was so perfect and it certainly doesn’t feel like winter will be here soon. Taking advantage of the nice weather, I went to Zero Green in Bedminster, one of Bristol’s many plastic free shops. You bring your own containers, weigh, fill, then weigh again. The oats, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, date/raisins, and pulp are from this shop. They also feature almond, cashew, and oat mylk in glass bottles from a lovely company called O!Mylk. They often leave leftover nut pulp for customers to take for free! So I took about a cups worth and decided to make these Pumpkin Spice Balls. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup almond pulp (or desiccated almonds if you don’t have pulp)
  • 1/4 cup porridge oats
  • 1/4 cup raisins and/or chopped dates
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 5-6 tablespoons puréed pumpkin
  • Pumpkin seeds to coat

Place the pulp, oats, dates & raisins, chia seeds, and pumpkin spice in a bowl. The pulp is moist, so I found it best to mix together with a fork, working all the ingredients together as much as possible.

Once mixed, it should look a bit crumbly, as seen above.

Next, add the honey, nut butter, and pumpkin. Really stir it through so that all dry ingredients are well incorporated. If the mixture is too dry and not holding, you can add a bit more pumpkin. If it’s turned out too wet, just sprinkle on a bit more oats.

After rolling into a ball, I squished pumpkin seeds onto the outside. You really have to press them in as they don’t stick easily. Alternatively, you can drizzle the balls in chocolate or icing, then put the seeds on.

And there you have it, Pumpkin Spice Balls! They were super easy to make and would be a fun activity for little ones. There are also a lot of ways to adapt this recipe to your liking. You can always use maple syrup or golden syrup instead of honey. And if you like them sweeter, add more honey and slightly less pumpkin to bind. I think toasted pecans or chocolate chips would work really well in these treats. However you make them, this is a great way to create a healthy snack without producing much waste.

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

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Pumpkin Spice Scones

Happy October! Now it’s time for all things pumpkin, which really is one of my favourite things to eat. I’ve also noticed a lot more businesses are offering pumpkin spice flavored treats, which I plan on reviewing at a later date. Anyhow, on to these delicious scones. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup puréed pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pumpkin seeds to top scones

First, combine all the dry ingredients. Mix very well, making sure you break up any brown sugar lumps.

Next, add the pumpkin, milk, and vanilla. Mix very well until the wet ingredients are fully incorporated, creating a sticky dough.

Place 8 even portions of the dough on your baking sheet. Top with pumpkin seeds. Since my seeds are raw, I like putting them on top so they end up with a nice, toasted flavor. Also, if any one likes my baking mat, I got it for £5 at Sainsbury’s.

Place into the oven at 350 F / 180 C for 15 minutes. Once done, take out the oven and let cool completely.

And there you have it, Pumpkin Scones that are vegan, egg free, dairy free, and delicious!

Even without butter, these are soft, chewy, and bursting with pumpkin spice flavor. They are easy to make as you just put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix it up, and bake. No fuss! And if you’re wondering where to find canned pumpkin, Sainsbury’s tends to have them in the American (junk) food aisle. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Easy Blackberry Jam

The weather is starting to turn, but we’re still having lots of sunny afternoons with cool breezes. And, there are still blackberries to be harvested. So, I thought I’d make some easy Blackberry jam with my last haul. It makes a small batch, which is approximately one jar. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice from 1 lemon

After washing your blackberries very well, place in a small sauce pan with the sugar.

Next, grab a masher and spend several minutes smashing the heck out of those berries. You really want to get the juice flowing so that the berries become a liquid purée like mash up.

There will still be bits of berry, but as you can see above, it should have lots of juice. Place on the stove and set on high. I used mark 5.

Bring the berry mash to a boil, stirring it the entire time. By constantly stirring, you’ll ensure it does not burn. Once it boils for about 5 minutes, put on medium low and simmer until it thickens. You’ll know it’s ready when it coats the spoon.

Juice the lemon, and stir in the liquid while the berry mixture is still hot.

Make sure your jar is already prepared. It needs to be thoroughly cleaned and boiled to sterilise. While the liquid is still hot, spoon jam into the jar. It will firm up as it cools.

And there you have it, one batch of Easy Blackberry Jam! This is the perfect way to preserve the last of the summer fruit to enjoy into the cold winter months. Stir it in porridge, put it in yogurt, or enjoy on some toast! However you slice it, this jam is just too easy to pass up. Give it a try before the berries disappear. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Wild Fruit Crumble

This cooler weather has been so nice and comfortable. It’s the perfect temperature for running and cycling, and for foraging wild fruit on the way.

I loaded up on these berries and apples during a bike ride, and the most obvious thing to make was a warm and filling crumble. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 3 small apples
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup porridge oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins or sultanas
  • 1/3 cup almond milk

First wash the fruit very well, then peel and chop the apples into chunks. Put all the fruit into your baking dish.

Pour the sugar and flour over the fruit, and mix it around trying to coat the chunks as much as possible.

Next you will prepare the topping, which is essentially a bowl of porridge. Put the oats, cinnamon, almonds, raisins, and almond milk together. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so the oats absorb as much of the liquid as possible.

Spread the topping over the fruit. Make sure it’s as even as possible.

Place in the oven at 180 C / 350 F for 35 – 40 minutes, depending on your oven. It’s done when the fruit is soft and the topping is golden brown.

And there, you have it, Wild Fruit Crumble! You can pretty much use any fruit you want. Damson, blueberries, and red plums work well too! And the topping is on the healthy side compared to traditional crumble which often has a lot of butter and sugar. As I’m training for the Bristol Half Marathon, this is definitely a dessert I can get behind! And you can even have it for breakfast! It is part of your five a day and a lovely way to fuel your morning workout. Give this recipe a try and you can start by picking some wild fruit. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Banana Blondies

What a beautiful Saturday morning we had with perfect conditions for the Balloon Fiesta! Unfortunately that was the last glimpse of summer, which pretty much ended around 10 am. But to be honest, the rain and lower temperatures are very welcomed. It also means that it is now comfortable to heat up my oven! And since the heat has been causing my bananas to ripen very fast, it only makes sense to make up some Banana Blondies. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • What I like the most about this recipe, is that you can make it using one bowl. And in that bowl, the first thing you’ll do is mash up the banana.
  • Next, add the brown sugar, salt, and vanilla. Combine very well.
  • Next add the egg and beat as much as possible. Ideally, you should beat the egg in a separate bowl. However, I didn’t feel like washing more than I have to, so I stuck to the one bowl baking ideology on this one.
  • Next, mix in the flour.
  • Last, melt the butter and slowly add it in to the batter.
  • As soon as you can, pour it into a square pan. Mine isn’t square, but it’s all I had, so use your imagination.
  • Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for ~25 minutes.
  • And there you have it! Banana Blondies!
  • If you’ve got ripe bananas that need to be consumed, forget about banana bread and try these treats. They were soft, had a slight caramel flavour, and melted in my mouth. My only suggestion is that they weren’t very thick, so I’d probably double up the recipe next time. You can also use coconut oil instead of butter to make these dairy free if you’d like. I truly hope you get the chance to make a batch of these as the weather cools a bit. Remember your umbrella this week, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!
  • Oat and Banana Energy Bites

    Today is bank holiday Monday and it is absolutely gorgeous! I had a fantastic run this morning and decided to make this recipe as a post workout treat. And although I do enjoy running as a hobby, this time it’s in training for the Bristol 10k. I also decided to raise funds for the Bristol city centre hospital charity, Above and Beyond, which does some really great things for so many patients. If you would like to make a donation towards my fundraising goal, you can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/candice-cole

    And if you’d like to make these delicious energy bites, here is what you’ll need:

    • 3 cups oats (270 g)
    • 4 tablespoons milled linseed or flaxseed
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 small bananas
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (170g)
    • 1 cup peanut butter or nut blend (225g)

    Go ahead and mix up the oats, linseed, and cinnamon. Put aside.

    Next, mash the bananas. Make sure your bananas are ripe. This ensures they are soft which makes it a lot easier to mash into a smooth purée.

    Add the vanilla, honey, and nut butter to the bananas, stirring very well.

    Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture, and mix very well. Once thoroughly incorporated, let sit for about 10 minutes for the oats to absorb some of the banana mixture.

    At this point, roll into balls and place on a piece of parchment or baking paper. If the dough is still a bit wet, you can add a bit more linseed, or roll with something like coarse coconut flour, chopped nuts, or mini chocolate chips.

    Place in the freezer for an hour to set.

    And there you have it, Oat & Banana Energy Bites! They are the perfect pre-workout, post-workout, or sitting on the couch snack! You can even have these for breakfast or an afternoon pick me up. It’s also tasty to try different nut butters like a coconut peanut butter, as I did in mine. Next time I’ll experiment with different bits to roll in it, although the coconut is delicious! However you make them, I hope you savour these healthy treats! Enjoy the good weather and if you’re around on Sunday May 13th, cheer on all of us running the Bristol 10k in the city centre. Remember your sunscreen, thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Chocolate Orange Cake

    So, I still have Easter chocolate and I simply can’t eat anymore… on its own, that is. In times like this, baking a cake that incorporates it somehow is the solution to my problem. Since I received a chocolate orange egg, complete with 2 sharing bars, a chocolate orange cake just makes sense. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 2 oranges
    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 6 eggs, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup (125 g) powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon almond essence
    • 2 cups (250 g) almond flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder

    Before you get started, this cake will take some time. So if you have the time, let’s get started! First, rinse and clean two oranges and place in a saucepan of water. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, then simmer on low for 2 hours. Take off the heat and let the oranges cool.

    While the oranges are cooling down, beat the eggs, then add the sugar and almond essence.

    Once the oranges are cooked, blend completely until a smooth orange paste is produced. You may want to cut off the ends which can sometimes be bitter.

    To the smooth orange mixture, add the coconut oil, which should melt if the mixture is slightly warm.

    Add the orange mixture to the bowl and whisk very well.

    Add the almond flour and baking powder. Mix this very well until a smooth batter is produced.

    Line or grease a baking tray and pour the batter in. Let it sit for a few minutes so it can settle and even out.

    Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for approximately one hour.

    I broke up the chocolate from the sharing bar and melted it. The idea was to drizzle it over the top. But as in life, things don’t always work out as you planned.

    What I didn’t realize, was that there are crunchy bits in the sharing bar which affected melting the chocolate into a smooth drizzle. In the end, I just spread it over the top.

    And there you have it, Chocolate Orange Cake! As it didn’t look as nice with chunky chocolate spread over the top, I topped it with sliced almonds and a dusting of powdered sugar. Either way, it tastes fabulous and is a great treat to welcome in the warmer weather! It’s moist, sweet, and bursting with citrus flavour! The only downside is that it took just over 4 hours: 2 to cook the oranges, 1 hour to let them cool, 1 hour to bake and at least 30 minutes of prep before and after it’s time in the oven. But seriously, it’s well worth it! Sometimes good things just take time, and this cake is a great thing! So, as you’re enjoying the warmer weather, give this cake a try! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Peanut Butter & Chocolate Muffins with Coconut Flour

    Hello Bristol! Enjoying the spring weather? I’ve been loving the longer days and slightly warmer temperatures. I feel much more active, thus much more hungry. And if like me, you still have leftover Easter chocolate, then this is a fun way to use it up. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 3 eggs
    • 1 heaping tablespoon of coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 cup coconut flour
    • ~1/4 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

    First, beat your eggs very well.

    Next, add the coconut oil, peanut butter, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Mix this very well.

    Last, add the baking powder and coconut flour. Combine thoroughly. It may take a few minutes, but keep stirring until the batter is smooth.

    You will then chop up some chocolate and throw that in. You can also substitute nuts instead of chocolate if you like.

    Line or grease a muffin tin for 6 muffins. I seemed to have lost my 6th one, so greased it with coconut oil. Bake at 400 F / 200 C for 10-12 minutes.

    And there you have it, Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins! These are packed with protein and are a great post workout snack. Or a post work snack, post nap snack, etc. And since they don’t contain refined flour, it can be a great gluten free treat. They come together quite quickly, making these muffins an easy treat to whip up today. Use up the last of your Easter chocolate by giving these a try! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Almond Crepes

    I decided to try something new as the snow has forced me to get creative. So, I decided to make some almond flour crepes. It’s a great option for my gluten free friends, but I do think I’ll have to perfect it a bit more. Anyhow, here is what I ended up with, here is what you’ll need:

    • 4 eggs, beaten
    • 1/3 cup almond flour
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
    • Almond butter & sliced almonds to fill

    First, beat all 4 eggs very well.

    Next, add the almond flour and essence.

    You’ll then add the cinnamon and ginger.

    Using a ladle, pour a scoop of batter onto a hot greased pan.

    Move the pan around to ensure an even coating making a round crepe. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

    Once cooked, spread almond butter onto the crepe.

    Then sprinkle sliced almonds on top of that. Fold over and voila!

    And there you go, almond crepes. I have to be honest here, they turned out ok. The texture was great and they were quick and easy to cook. But for me, they tasted a bit too eggy. These may be a better recipe for a savoury crepe. But I ended up adding a lot of maple syrup for more sweetness. I think I’ll have to perfect these a bit more by adding some rice flour, sugar, and more cinnamon. But still, very filling and a great option for gluten free or carb free friends. Try it out and let me know what you think. Thanks for read and Happy Eating!

    Eggy Tartlets

    I decided to give up meat for lent and am looking forward to trying out the veggie options at my favorite Bristol eateries. However, I can’t eat out every day and I can easily get into the habit of making the same thing over and over again. So when you’re tired of the same ol’ omelette, just add pastry! Here is what you’ll need:

    • Shortcrust pastry
    • Puff pastry
    • 2-3 eggs
    • 1/2 small onion
    • 2 large mushrooms
    • 1/2 bell pepper
    • 1 handful chopped spinach
    • Salt & Pepper to taste

    First, you’ll want to cook the mushrooms and onion. If I’m baking, I like sweating out all the liquid so the pastry doesn’t absorb it instead.

    While that’s cooking, go ahead and cut two squares of short crust pastry.

    Next, cut two equal squares of puff pastry and cut out a smaller square from each of those.

    Place the puff pastry “window” square on top of the short crust square. Using a fork,press down on the outside edges to seal them together.

    Best the eggs thoroughly with a pinch of salt and pepper.

    Brush the pastry with some beaten egg and place in a oven heated to 180 C / 350 F for 7 minutes. Why 7 you ask? For my oven, it allowed a pre-bake that made the puff pastry rise enough to hold the egg mixture that comes next.

    Chop up the bell pepper and spinach, adding it to the beaten eggs along with the cooked mushrooms and onions.

    Scoop a generous portion of the egg mixture into the center of each bit of pastry. Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the eggs are thoroughly cooked.

    And there you have it, Eggy Tartlets! These took a little more time to make than I had hoped, but makes a great vegetarian main foe those times when you don’t want an omelette, but you’ve got heaps of eggs to use up.

    You can pretty much add whatever veggies you’d like or even some cheese. For an extra kick, I drizzled some sriracha over them. These would also go great with a side salad or some roasted potatoes.

    That’s all for this week! It’s supposed to get super cold tonight, so if you stock up on eggs, these tartlets will definitely warm you up. Take care and mind the ice Bristol! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!