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!


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!

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!

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!

Oatmeal Apple Cookie Bars

Woah! Have you been feeling that cold wind coming through Bristol? Summer is truly over. So why not warm up by baking something with apples? Here is what you’ll need:1/2 cup (100 g) coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 (50 g) cup sugar
  • 1/3 (75 g) cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) plain flour
  • 1 3/4 cup (175 g) quick oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

For the Apple topping:

  • 2 apples
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

First, combine the coconut oil, vanilla, and egg. It helps if the coconut oil and egg are room temperature.

Next, add both the white and brown sugar, and cream well.

You will then add the remaining dry ingredients which are the flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Combine very well, making sure the dry ingredients are absorbed and that the batter comes together evenly.

Press the dough into a baking dish; I used a lasagne type one as it’s all I had.

Chop up the apples next, slicing thinly. You can leave the skin on if you like, or peel them; just a matter of taste and if you feel like getting the peeler out. Place the apples in a bowl and cover with the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and vanilla. Combine well, making sure the apples are covered in the mixture.

Line the top of the cookie dough with the apples, making sure to pack them tightly.

Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F, baking for 25 minutes. Once done, take out and let cool completely before devouring.

And there you go, Oatmeal Apple Cookie Bars! This is a warming, kind of wholesome treat for the weather we’ve been having. September always brings out the apple recipes in my kitchen, and what better place to enjoy apples than in the West Country!  Check out the apples that are popping up in the local markets and I’m sure you’ll fine some autumn inspiration. Stay warm out there Bristol, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

Date & Walnut Oatmeal To Go

Just a quick post to share this lovely recipe. I really enjoyed my first batch of oatmeal to go, but wanted to see what these would taste like without sugar. Don’t worry, it was a success! Here is what you’ll need:

1 mashed banana

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup any kind of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups porridge oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Mash the banana and beat the eggs, mixing them together.

Add the milk and vanilla to the egg and banana. Stir into incorporated and smooth.

Chop up the dates and walnuts. I think I’ll buy pre chopped dates next time as it made the board a bit sticky. I used medjool dates as I think they have a caramel like flavor.

Add the dates, walnuts, oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon to the liquid mixture. Mix thoroughly.

Heat your oven to 180 C / 350 F. Scoop the mixture into a greased or lined muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes.

And there you have it! Date and Walnut Oatmeal to Go! These are sooo good and with the addition of these gorgeous dates, you won’t miss the refined sugar! These are easy to make, easy to eat on the go, and an easy way to have a healthy treat. Enjoy making these this weekend and you’ll have a great start to your day! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Oatmeal to Go!

This past week called for a lot of early mornings at work. I for one, have to eat breakfast. It is not something I can just skip, otherwise I will become a bit insane. Cue, a hand held breakfast option to go. These oatmeal cups are super easy to make, delicious, and slightly healthy. Here is what you’ll need:

 1 banana, mashed

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups any kind of milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup raisins or sultanas

 First, mash a banana then beat the two eggs. Mix these together until smooth.

You will then add the brown sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix together until all ingredients are incorporated and the liquid mixture is even and smooth.

Next, throw in the oats, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and sultanas. I used porridge oats, which are similar to instant oats as you might find in the states. If you use old fashioned oats which are less processed, you may need to add 1/2 cup more liquid.

  Grease or line a 12 cup tray. I used coconut oil for mine as I didn’t have any cupcake paper liners.

Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake for 20 minutes. You can also bypass the cupcake tray and bake this in a cake pan as seen in my wild blackberry oatmeal recipe. Just make sure you bake it for 25-30 minutes if you choose this method.

And there you have it! Oatmeal to Go! This sultana cinnamon version is sweet and hearty, going perfectly with a morning tea or coffee. It also makes a great pre or post workout treat, as well as an anytime of the day snack. It’s super east to make and the variations are endless. I used almond milk in mine, but soy, cocconut, rice, or cow’s milk work just fine. I will be experimenting with different flavors in the coming weeks as these were delicious. And by using porridge/ instant oats, you get a consistentcy like that of a muffin, but without the refined flour. You don’t have to use banana however. If that’s not your thing, you can add 3/4 cup butter, coconut oil, or applesauce to avoid dryness. I hope you enjoy making these! They really are easy and are something the whole family can help make together. As there’s lots of rain in Bristol this weekend, why don’t you give these a try! Thanks for reading and happy eating!