Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hummingbird cake revisited

I posted a recipe for hummingbird cake nearly 2 years ago, and remember thinking that I would be making the cake again before too long. It was well received by Mr Bite and I loved it myself. Indeed, hummingbird cake (featuring banana and pineapple with a cream cheese-style icing) is one of my favourite cakes.

As is wont to happen, time passed and I did not make the cake again until now. In the 21 intervening months, much has changed and this time I made the cake to take to a mother/baby group I've been attending with Mini Bite since she was roughly 2 months old. The group has been a regular feature on our Wednesdays and I have valued the opportunity to sit with other mothers, be brought a cup of tea, and have Mini Bite play with novel toys for an hour or so.

Today was our last group, because next Wednesday will be my first day back at work after maternity leave. Mini Bite is no longer a 2 month old infant and today she spent most of the morning crawling around, or cruising on furniture with the holding-on-walk that will no doubt become a real walk all too soon (she is currently 10-1/2 months).

Friday, June 23, 2017

Banana, pear and yoghurt ice lollies

Sticking with the summer theme, this week I made ice lollies for the first time since I was a child. I use the term 'ice lollies' in an effort to fit in with local (British) nomenclature, but in Australia I knew these treats as icey poles. I think Americans call them popsicles. Whatever term you use, they are a summer classic and lots of fun to make and eat.

As my pictures show, I need a bit of practice with my ice lolly making; I didn't fill the moulds high enough and was left with a gap at the bottom of the stick. Fortunately the lollies held together anyway and next time I will know better.

Predictably, these were a huge hit with Mini Bite too, even though the adult-sized moulds were  bit big for her little hands and little mouth. I have since bought some baby-sized moulds so you can expect more flavours to appear as I test out different combinations on her and for me. In the meantime, I can heartily recommend this banana, pear and yoghurt mix as a creamy, ice cream-like concoction that is as simple to make as it is tasty to eat.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Zucchini noodles with a creamy turmeric dressing

My last post welcomed summery weather. This post would moan about it, if it wasn't for my prickly awareness that at least I have a house to be hot within. Non-UK readers may not be aware of the London fire that hit Grenfell Tower block last week, killing an estimated 79 people and injuring many more. Hot weather isn't anything to complain about when placed in that context.

There is no avoiding, though, that it is hot in England this week. Weather records have been broken and it isn't even summer yet. Regular readers will know how much I dislike the heat (one of the key reasons for my move from Australia to England) and so dishes that keep me cool are high on my priority list right now. Ice cream is good. So are cold meals.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Overnight apple oats and a peanut butter green smoothie, for summer

It might not be the official start of summer here yet (although we are only a week off) but summer is very much in the air. The days are super long (it is light at 10pm!), the sun is shining, and the temperatures are tipping 25'C (hot for England!).

With this summery vibe, I have moved into hot weather territory for breakfast and snacking. In other words, I have re-introduced overnight oats and smoothies to my kitchen. Today's post shares the first of each for this summer season, and I hope you can draw some summer inspiration from them whatever your own weather is doing.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Chickpea scramble with hemp seeds - Two ways

When I mentioned my recent purchase of hemp seeds, several of you expressed interest in how the seeds could be used. Following on from my sweet recipe for orange and hemp seed energy balls, today's post features two variations on chickpea scramble that incorporate hemp seeds in the mix: tomato, paprika and turmeric scramble, and carrot and coriander scramble.

Tomato, paprika and turmeric scramble

I love chickpea scrambles for their versatility and often make them as part of a meal for Mini Bite. They are good for little hands to pick up and I like that they can be varied to include whatever ingredients I have in the house, whilst keeping a core base that provides carbohydrate and protein. By adding hemp seeds you get healthy fats too.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Vegan peanut butter cacao truffle balls - no food processor required

Do you like peanut butter cups (vegan or otherwise)? Yes, me too. However, they are pretty sickly sweet. Even with my capacity to put away a whole heap of chocolate, eating more than two of the commercial sort would leave me feeling a bit unwell. Homemade versions help offset the sugar hit (I've posted a vegan recipe before) but they can be a bit fiddly.

These cacao peanut butter balls keep the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter, but cut out the sickly sweet aspect of commercial peanut butter cups, and avoid the fiddliness of homemade versions. They are a decidedly grown up, adult, semi-sweet treat that you can make in about 5 minutes. Win-win!

I adapted these from the peanut butter cacao energy balls I posted 2 years ago. In truth, the adaptations are minor, but these truffles are more peanut butter-y than my previous recipe and less fruity (the 2015 version had dried cranberries and goji berries). I like both versions and encourage you to figure out which one you prefer.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Microwave banana-raisin oatmeal cookies {vegan, wheat free + refined sugar free}

These cookies are adapted from the 2 minute chocolate chip and pecan cookie featured in the April edition of Vegan Life magazine, with inspiration also drawn from the breakfast cookies in Heather Crosby's YumUniverse Pantry to Plate. The result is a 2 minute, microwave-cooked cookie (biscuit) that is suitable for breakfast or snack time. With a dollop of coconut yoghurt it could even be dessert.

My recipe makes two medium-large cookies and is free of wheat and refined sugars. The cookies are still perfectly sweet thanks to coconut sugar and the banana and raisins - so much so that you could probably leave out the coconut sugar if you are so inclined. 

These cookies do not have the texture of traditional oven-baked cookies. I would describe the texture as between a cookie and a muffin - soft, but sturdy enough to hold together. I am certainly a convert now to this method of cookie production and expect you'll see more recipes in this theme before too long!

Friday, June 2, 2017

In my kitchen - June 2017

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, now hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

June. The mid-point of the year, with long days and the commencement of summer. The weather is warming up and it won't be long before smoothies and frozen banana soft serve are present in my kitchen. They aren't here yet - but here are some things that are featuring this month.