Monthly Archives: April 2014

A Smoothie with Oatmeal, Raspberries, Blueberries and Chia Seeds: Breakfast in a Glass

Oatmeal Smoothie with Raspberries, Blueberries and Chia SeedsFruit and oats are favorites for breakfast and taste even better when blended into a delicious smoothie with Oatmeal, Raspberries, Blueberries and Chia seeds. And the good part is… the whole process only takes a few minutes from start to finish. If you enjoy making smoothies it’s a good idea to store a variety of fruits separately (in ziplock freezer bags) in your freezer, such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cherries and bananas. When blending, the frozen fruit helps thicken and chill the smoothie without the need for ice, which only dilutes the flavor. I also keep a bag of oats in the fridge, especially for smoothies, keeping everything really cold. Adding oats makes the smoothie more filling and perfect for anyone who wants to have an all-in-one type of breakfast.Oatmeal Smoothie with Raspberries, Blueberries and Chia SeedsThe wonderful thing about smoothies is you can use different fruits and other ingredients, like rice, soy and coconut milk, coconut water and tofu… to suit your taste and dietary requirements. You can also stir in other healthy energy boosters such as chia seeds, ground flax-seed or ground nuts. To sweeten or not to sweeten… a little honey or agave syrup is suffice. You can even go vegan with this lovely Peach Oatmeal Smoothie recipe over at the Minimalist Bakers blog or you might want to try this Avocado Smoothie with Cinnamon. Have a great start to your day and blend up a healthy satisfying smoothie for breakfast.

A Smoothie with Oatmeal, Raspberries, Blueberries and Chia Seeds

(Serves One)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 100g greek yoghurt or other plain yoghurt (full-fat or low-fat)
  • 3 tablespoons of oats
  • 100g of frozen berries (mix of raspberries and blueberries)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)

How to make:

  1. Place a serving glass into the freezer. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend on low-speed for a few seconds before increasing the speed to full power. Blend until ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Pour the smoothie into a chilled glass and serve immediately.

What fruit do you like in your smoothies and do you like to add any special extras?

Chewy Rice Krispie Buns

 

Rice Krispie Bun Image

Growing up the ever popular rice krispie bun adorned the table at almost every kids birthday celebration and we all loved them. Calling this sweet treat “buns” may sound a little odd,  as the dictionary version of a bun is… “a bread roll of various shapes and flavouring, typically sweetened and often containing dried fruit”.  But in Ireland, they were called, “Rice Krispie Buns”… and I’m sticking to the name. There is also the two ingredient version (also called rice krispie buns), made with melted chocolate and rice krispies, but we like the chewy crunchy texture made with mars bars and marshmallows.

Rice Krispie Buns in a Tin Image

Made theses on countless occasions, they never fail to please and we’re not just talking about kids here… adults love them too. While I was making these my grown-up kids came into the kitchen, each commented “ooh yummy, your making rice krispie buns, when can we have one”?  I have made plenty to so there was no waiting around until photographs were taken.Rice Krispie Bun Image

As this is a no-bake recipe they are quick and easy to make and perfect for Easter, birthday parties and other celebrations. Decorate the rice krispie buns with sugarpaste blossoms and butterflies for a springtime theme or use colorful sweets and sprinkles. Of course you don’t have to decorate them, they are just as good left plain and I think the best way to enjoy them is straight from the fridge. Now I am off to make myself and hubby a coffee… guess what sweet treat we’re having on the side?

Rice Krispie Bun Image

Rice Krispie Buns

Ingredients:

  • 75g un-salted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 200g mars bars, chopped
  • 4 large marshmallows, quartered (use scissors)
  • 110g Rice Krispies
  • 20 to 22 colourful cupcake cases
  • to decorate, butterfly and flower blossoms or other colourful sweets and sprinkles (optional)

How to make:

  1. Before you start have the cupcake cases and decorations (if using) in place. Next, place the butter and mars bar into a medium heavy-based saucepan. Over low heat, melt the ingredients together while stirring continually until the mixture is smooth. Add the marshmallows, keep stirring until softened and beginning to melt. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the rice krispies.
  2. With the help of two dessert spoons, spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases. If you plan on adding decorations do so while they are still sticky. Place the rice krispies buns on a tray and chill in the refrigerator (uncovered) until set, for about 20 minutes or until needed. For longer storage keep refrigerated in a suitable storage container with a lid.

Note: You do not have to wait until the marshmallows are completely melted, once they are soft enough mixing in the rice krispies breaks them up.

Seasoning your Sea Salt with Pink Peppercorn and Wasabi

 

Different types of Sea Salt

Fleur De Sel, Himalayan Rock, Maldon, Black Lava and Murray River Salt

Salt, our bodies can’t do without it, it’s an essential nutrient, a taste enhancer, modifier and a food preservative. Whenever salt touches food it livens and elevates flavours and taste and I can’t imagine cooking without salt. However, in terms of health, salt is salt and I try to pay attention to how much I use with cooking. Maybe you already know, our daily recommended salt requirement should not exceed 6g for adults (children 4g), whether it’s table or gourmet salt. Unlike gourmet salts, regular table salt is highly processed, denser, has anti caking agents (prevents clumping) and sometimes iodine is added.

Gourmet salts are more expensive as they go through different processing techniques and this gives rise to the salt crystal’s characteristic shape, color, texture and size. The shape and size of different salt crystals also impact how salt tastes… try a little (a flake vs a few granules) on your tongue… it’s salty, but the intensity and texture varies… you might want to have a glass of water near by. This can influence how you use these salts as seasonings in your preparation and presentation of different foods. I am not bought on the antioxidant effects and health benefits touted by gourmet salts sellers (pun intended)… how much would you need to consume to make that difference? Maybe you disagree!

seasoned salt

Sea Salt with Pink Peppercorns and Wasabi

Sea Salt with Chilli, Pink Pepper, Saffron, Wasabi and Dried Mushroon

Maldon Sea Salt, Wasabi Powder, Pink Peppercorns, Chilli Flakes, Saffron and Dried Mushrooms

Certain sea salts can look very glamorous and appealing when sprinkled over finished dishes and I love the color and texture of both the black lava and peachy Murray river sea flakes.
Seasoning salts (for use as finishing salts) are easy to make and there are endless possibilities when it comes to flavoring them, use a single or a combination of flavorful ingredients like spices, herbs, truffles and citrus peels. Sea salt with vanilla and fresh rosemary and lemon peel are other favorites of mine. We are all pretty familiar with celery, garlic and onion salt. My grandmother used to keep a little jar of garlic salt which she loved to sprinkle over a boiled egg and that was probably the fanciest salt I ever grew up with.

The pink peppercorn and wasabi seasoned salt is delicious when sprinkled over a juicy steak just off the barbecue, but can also be use on grilled chicken and fish. Our taste for saltiness and flavor differs so have fun and enjoy experimenting. If you are looking for some gourmet salt, the Plaza Food Hall (Seef area) and Crescendo (Seef mall) in Bahrain stock various gourmet salts.

 Pink Peppercorn and Wasabi Sea Salt

  • 1 teaspoon of pink peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon of wasabi powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes (use Maldon or Murray River flakes)

Try: Use the other ingredients (pictured above but not included in recipe), dried mushrooms, saffron, smoked paprika or chill flakes to make different seasonings. Use a spice grinder to powder the dried mushrooms. Pound the saffron in a pestle and mortar with a small pinch of sea salt. You can leave the chili flakes whole if liked.

How to make: Gently pound the pink peppercorns together with a small pinch of the measured sea salt flakes. Tip the pink peppercorns into a small dish and mix in the wasabi powder. Add the salt and mix ingredients together. Place in a small serving dish and let everyone season their own food.

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