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!

Upside Down Plum Cake

The Bristol Half Marathon is tomorrow and I thought I’d bake up some pre-race fuel to use up some ripe plums. Not sure how the weather will turn out, but when all else fails, at least there’s cake. Here is what you’ll need:

For the plum topping:

  • 8-10 ripe plums
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

For the cake batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (or any you like)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 beaten eggs

First, wash and cut the plums as you like.

Next, mix the brown sugar and butter, spreading it on the bottom of your cake tin.

Then, neatly arrange the plums on top of the butter and brown sugar.

In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, almond milk, and almond extract. Stir it a bit, then do the eggs.

Last, beat the eggs separately before adding them to the batter. If you have a mixer, use it! If not, just use a whisk to get a good batter. For the record, I don’t have a mixer, but the cakes still turn out alright.

Once mixed, pour the batter evenly into the tin, making sure it covers the fruit.

Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F, and bake for 35 minutes.

And there you have it, Upside Down Plum Cake! This cake is good, like real good! Gooey, sticky, sweet, and part of your 5 a day? Heck yeah!

This is the perfect way to use up your ripe plums. The recipe also works well with damsons, peaches, and nectarines. And who doesn’t like a serving of fruit? Hopefully a slice of this cake will propel me to the finish line. And at the very least, lots of leftovers, yeah! If you happen to be near the Half Marathon route, come out and cheer us on – with the weather we’re expecting, we’ll need it! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Mango Chia Icebox Cake

Ok guys, it’s still hot up in here! I haven’t baked anything proper in ages because the mugginess is just ugh! So, in honor of Bristol’s Harbour Fest, I decided to make this icebox cake since summer is truly upon us. Back in the states, icebox cakes are popular because they’re easy and perfect to bring to BBQ’s when have a consistent summer year after year. In England, it’s more like a trifle but in a rectangular dish. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 large, ripe mango
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Lots of coconut biscuits
  • Shredded coconut to top
  • First, you’ll want to prepare the mango chia pudding. Cut up a sweet, ripe mango and combine in a blender with the almond milk and vanilla. You can use any milk, but I prefer almond.
  • Pour the mango mixture into the chia seeds in a medium sized bowl.
  • Mix it up really well. Scrape down any seeds that may be stuck on the sides. Put the mango chia pudding in the fridge for at least 3 hours. You will notice the chia seeds will get sticky as soon as they come into contact with moisture. You may need to give it a stir after an hour, and you’ll know it’s ready when it has a custard like consistency.
  • Now it’s time to prepare the dessert. Start with an even layer of biscuits, as seen above. Then spread on a layer of chia pudding, followed by another layer of biscuits. Then chia pudding, then a final biscuit layer. You can add as many layers as you like, but this amount of chia pudding makes two layers in the dish as seen above.
  • When the layers are complete, top it off with several chunks of fresh mango.
  • Place the dessert in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours. As it sits in the cold, the biscuits will absorb the moisture, becoming soft and cake like.
  • Once it’s set, add lots of shredded coconut on top. Now it’s ready!
  • And there you have it, Mango Chia Icebox Cake! What a delicious summer treat to make without heating up your oven.
  • I love making this dessert because it’s sweet, creamy, and tastes far more decadent than it is. You get some fruit and fibre without the dairy (although you can use milk if you’d like). And, you can easily make it vegan or gluten free as long as you use the appropriate biscuits. This recipe works with other fruits as well, so mix it up and add your own twist to it.
  • I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as I’ve enjoyed eating it! And enjoy yourself at the Harbour Fest if you’re out Bristol way. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!
  • No Bake Cookies

    Anyone else hot up in here? Ok, ok, so I know that the weather we’ve been experiencing is called summer – I did grow up in California after all! But after living in Bristol, this sudden heat is all so sudden! I’ve not really baked anything lately because I don’t want to heat up my home any more than I need to. Most homes here don’t have that precious central air conditioning, so we kinda have to rely on harbour side breezes. However, I wanted something sweet to enjoy while watching football and I have to clear out my cupboards. Hence, no bake cookies… aka I’ve got coconut flour and golden syrup that needs to be used up. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 2 1/4 cups coarse coconut flour
    • 3/4 cup almond flour
    • 1/2 cup cranberries
    • 2/3 cup golden syrup
    • 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract

    Step one, pour all ingredients into a bowl! Great recipe right? I did make my own almond flour with raw almonds I got from the Zero Green shop in Bristol, and added some organic cranberries I got there as well. And if you’re looking for a coarse coconut flour, I got this one at Southville Deli ages ago, but I’ve also seen the same brand at Sainsbury’s.

    Next, mix it up! If you find the dough is still a bit dry, you can add a bit more syrup or almond milk to bind it together.

    Once the dough is a bit sticky, roll into cookie like shapes and place on a plate.

    Pop into the freezer for about 30-45 minutes to set.

    And there you go, No Bake Cookies, made unique by whatever you’ve got in your kitchen. There are a lot of ways to personalise these as you see fit. You can add nuts and/or chocolate chips. And you can substitute honey or maple syrup for the golden syrup. Or drizzle caramel or chocolate on top. Oh go ahead, just dip them in the chocolate! And the best part is that you don’t have to power up the oven! Make these ahead of time for a cool summer treat, or to bring to a World Cup get together. Stay cool Bristol, 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!

    Porridge Pancakes

    It’s pancake day! After a post holiday break, I decided to post a simple recipe for Shrove Tuesday, otherwise known as “Pancake Day” here in the UK. This is a great recipe for those who love pancakes, but would rather not have traditional flour. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 1 cup (125 g) oat flour
    • 3/4 cup (70 g) porridge oats
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup (215 g) almond milk (or milk of your choice)
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 2 eggs

    If you don’t have oat flour, you can just put 1 cup of porridge oats into a blender and blend until it becomes fine.

    Combine, the oat flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

    Next, add the coconut oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla. If you’re wondering, I made my own vanilla. Back in October, I put 750 ml of vodka in a bottle with 4 vanilla pods cut in half and split down the middle. Let it mature for a few months, and there you go!

    Mix well, and pour onto a greased pan. Once it starts to bubble, flip it over. This recipe makes about 4 large pancakes.

    And there you go! Porridge pancakes for Pancake Day 2018! Delicious, hearty, and full of fiber. It’s a great option for anyone wanting something a bit thicker and filling. And of course, the toppings are up to you! I went for traditional with maple syrup from Cracker Barrel. My other half went for raisins and almonds. Whatever you choose, enjoy your pancakes, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

    Parsnip and Carrot Soup

    So, Christmas is officially over, and if you’re like me, you may still be in a food hangover. Also, you may have lots of leftover root veg. We went to Aldi on Christmas Eve and found that they had their super 6 veg on sale for 9 p! So, of course I got a few bags of parsnips and carrots. When I woke up this morning, I realized we had to do some cooking! So, my husband is guest chef today and is preparing a lovely parsnip and carrot soup. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 5 parsnips
    • 3 carrots
    • 1 red onion
    • 1 yellow onion
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
    • 1 liter chicken stock
    • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (garnish)

    First, peel your root veg after giving them a good cleaning.

    Next, you will chop the root veg, onions, and garlic. When chopping the parsnips, cut out the fibrous, woody core. This makes a sweeter, less bitter flavour.

    Sauté the onions and garlic with the olive oil. Once softened, add the garam masala.

    You will then add the parsnips and carrots, mixing it around in the fragrant sautéed bits.

    Lastly, add a liter of chicken stock. You can used prepared stock, or you can quickly make it with stock cubes. You can easily make it vegan by adding veggie stock.

    Cover, and let it simmer for an hour, or until the root veggies are softened.

    Turn off the heat, remembering to add the chopped ginger at the very end. Once it cools for a few minutes, use a hand blender to blend until very smooth.

    Garnish with pumpkin seeds, and there you have it, Parsnip and Carrot Soup! This was the perfect thing to make on a lazy Boxing Day, and full of nutrients for you hungover peeps. You can even add chunks of leftover turkey or ham for an even heartier soup.

    I really love the mild spice the garam masala and ginger adds. Very warming, without being too intense. You can easily make it in a slow cooker for a filling midweek meal. I really liked the way it turned out and this may be on a regular rotation in my household. Enjoy the last days of 2017 and here’s to baking and cooking wonderful things in 2018! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

    Pea & Vegetable Soup

    I know it sounds crazy, but I really like when the weather turns cold. It means I can use my slow cooker for a lot of meals, which means dinner is warm and ready when I get back from work. So continuing with savoury things this month, my slow cooker prepared a lovely soup for me the other night that was hearty and satisfying for a vegetarian soup. This Pea & Vegetable soup can easily be made vegan by substituting veggie stock instead of the chicken stock. Here is what you’ll need:

    • 1 onion
    • 1 leek
    • 2 stalks celery
    • 1 green bell pepper
    • 1 carrot
    • 4 small potatoes, or 1 large one
    • 5 cups frozen peas
    • 5 cups water
    • 3 chicken stock cubes (use veggie stock cubes to make it vegan)

    First chop up the onion, celery, and leek, and throw it in the pot.

    Next, chop up the bell pepper and carrot, adding it to the other veggies in the pot.

    Chop up the potato and also throw that in. There isn’t really an order of chopping here. It will taste the same regardless of what you chop first, but this is the order I did it.

    Next, add the frozen peas.

    Lastly, throw in the stock cubes and add the water.

    Place the lid on top and let it cook away on medium for ~6 hours. If on high, you can cook it for 4-5 hours.

    Once the cooking has been completed, give it a good stir. Then, you can go ahead and use a hand blender to make it smooth.

    If you don’t have a hand blender, you can get similar results by using a potato masher.

    And there you have it, Pea & Vegetable Soup! This was the perfect thing to eat after a long day at work.

    You can also add pepper to it to enhance the flavour. My husband modified his by adding cooked gammon (ham) bits. I didn’t add any other spices or seasonings other than the chicken stock and pepper at the end. This is because the recipe uses really fragrant vegetables, that when cooked together, gives it a wonderful flavour of its own. But of course, you can always add other spices if you’d like. That’s all for this week my lovers! Enjoy your weekend and if you get the chance, have a walk around Bristol and check out the Christmas market stalls around town. Maybe whip up a batch of this soup before you head out for an easy dinner, ready for you when you return. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!