Naked peanut butter bars

This naked baking session produced the most memorable results in my kitchen this week. One minute there was relative peace and the next I had two bare bottomed urchins running around me causing havoc.

The aptly named Naked peanut butter bars were devoured before they made it to any form of storage tin. It wasn’t just the children, we all loved these. They’re oaty, crumbly, super peanuty and packed with slow releasing energy. I’m all over that at the minute. I’ve been training well and snacks like these massively help to get me through.

Naked PB bars_4

To make 12 of these simple peanut snacks you will need:

  • 120g oats
  • 100g tahini
  • 100g peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey

(Each one contains around 145 calories)

Naked PB bars

It’s barely a recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees F (fan setting)
  2. Mix everything together and press down in a baking tray or ceramic dish.
  3. Try get the mixture to a fairly equal depth of around 1.5cm. If you don’t fill the whole tray don’t worry, the mixture will hold together well and keep its form. Just try keep a clean edge.
  4. Bake for around 20 minutes until the bake turns a golden brown.
  5. Let the tray/dish cool for 15 minutes but not completely hard before cutting into bars and lifting from the dish.
  6. Enjoy as soon as they’re cool enough to eat.

God I love her…

 

Saintly cinnamon and carrot muffins

If at first you don’t succeed…

…Then get obsessed. Give up a kilogram of oats, 8 eggs and 4 hours. Bake 43 muffins and force feed your loved ones. Over and over. Until you strike the jackpot.

And breathe.

Carrot_3

I saw a great recipe on the Glitter and Grey blog for spinach and chocolate chip muffins. The recipe really grabbed me, so I thought I’d have a bash. I decided to tweak it though, making it into a carrot equivalent. The result was ok, but it certainly wasn’t a crowd pleaser. My five year old squeezed honey all over his first one and said that was pretty good though.

I wanted to create something as tasty as carrot cake, but without the flour, sugar and frosted icing. Slightly ambitious I know.

However, with some patience and practice I have created a beautifully sweet, slightly spiced and moist fruity muffin. These saintly bakes also now feature extra honey, thank you Tobias.

Carrot_5

You will need:

  • 100 grams of greek yoghurt
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 grated carrots
  • Grated peel from 1 medium orange
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 200 grams of oats (I used gluten free)
  • 100 grams of raisins

Thank fully the process is simple:

  1. Put everything except the oats and raisins into the blender for a few seconds
  2. Then mix in the oats and raisins in a separate bowl
  3. Spoon into muffin cases (Use silicone cases to avoid sticking, there’s not a lot of grease in these)
  4. Put into pre-heated oven (180C fan or 350 F) for 15 – 20 minutes until a rich brown
  5. Leave on wire racks to cool

You will get 12 muffins from this recipe, each containing around 130 calories.

Carrot_4

I also made a batch of buttercream. A reward to my husband and son. They were truly impressed with the less saintly alternative muffin served with a generous topping of buttercream.

Carrot_8

The end result here is ultimately just a really tasty plate of cakes. Somehow, the thought, love and attention to get them spot on has made them something more special to me this week. For me this is how you take good ingredients, then carefully find the best way to serve them up with  masses of affection.

Overnight oats – Clean eating goodness

I love breakfast, I have always loved breakfast. I have vivid memories of weekend breakfasts growing up. I remember Alpen with full fat goats’ milk, croissants with strawberry Bonne Maman jam and the weekly comic strips in the Funday Times. It always felt like the easiest time of the week – eating what we wanted and pottering before the day found any momentum or pace.

Breakfast is a time when we don’t use food to comfort us or make amends for a bad day. It’s the time where we get in gear and prepare ourselves for the day ahead. The day is untouched and is there for the taking.

I’m smitten by overnight oats. I like the concept or preparing my breakfast peacefully in the evening so it’s good to go first thing. (Breakfast time is more chaotic when you have a one year and five year old in tow).

I’ve put together a trio of tried and tested options, but there are so many more taste combinations to try. The pots here major on fruit, but for more crunch try pecans, almonds, flaxseeds or chia seeds.

Trio overnight oats_2

Trio_2

Please note the following recipes make quite small pots. These work for me before the school run and are equally great for people trying to exercise some portion control. I would literally double the ingredients for a more hearty breakfast.

Pumpkin and Apricot – Top of the pots

I make this one the most, it’s my fall back, fool proof option – particularly when tired. The flavour balance is great and it’s got a good crunch too.

Apricot and Pumpkin

What goes in?

  • 20 grams oats
  • 10 grams pumpkin seeds
  • 20 grams unsulphered dried apricots
  • 50ml milk of choice
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

For this one I put half the oats in a pot, then the seeds and fruit. I follow with the milk and cinnamon before covering in clingfilm.

This small pot contains approximately 190 calories

Carrot and cranberry – The vitamin C goddess pot

This is absolutely stunning. I use the orange juice to soak the oats rather than soya or milk. It’s got a lively fruity flavour. The chewiness of the cranberries and crunch on the carrot give great texture to the pot.

Vit C Goddess

What goes in?

  • 20 grams oats
  • 20 grams dried cranberries
  • 20 grams grated carrots
  • 50ml squeezed orange juice (and consider grating some rind on top too)
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

For this one I mix everything together then sprinkle cinnamon on top, cover and put into the fridge.

This small pot contains approximately 162 calories

Zingy plum puree

The lime and ginger give this one a little kick. I love both ingredients, be as liberal or frugal as you want when adding these to the pot.

Plum puree

What goes in?

  • 20 gram oats
  • A sliced plum – I used yellow plums but you can use whatever is best quality and ripe
  • Good squeeze of lime
  • ½ teaspoon of ginger
  • 50ml milk of choice
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup or honey

Put the plums, ginger and lime in a pan, heat on the hob until the plums soften. It should just take around 2 – 3 minutes. Then place these in the bottom of your pot, top with the oats and milk. Then cover and leave overnight. Pour the maple syrup over the next morning before eating. Sublime.

This small pot contains approximately 140 calories.

These pots are a cereal mixers delight, the combinations are endless. They epitomize clean eating at its finest and taste fantastic…

..I really hope you enjoy.