Blueberry Oat Pancake

A few months ago, I got into the habit of always having dry cereal (I don’t like milk) or toast and found that I just wasn’t enjoying breakfast as much as I should. Breakfast has now become my favourite meal of the day, I love experimenting with different granolas, fruit and other healthy alternatives. This is another one of those experimental recipes, using the basis of my Chocolate and Banana Pancakes I added more oats and tried adding fruit (other than bananas) to it.

Ingredients for 1 Pancake

roughly 1 cup rolled oats

1 ripe banana

1 egg

1 tsp ground cinnamon

large handful of blueberries

runny honey and more fruit to top

Method

  1. Mush the banana in a bowl and mix together with the egg, cinnamon and oats using a fork.
  2. Then mix in the blueberries, I like to pierce the skin but leave them as large berries in the mixture.
  3. Heat up a small frying pan on a medium heat, using a small amount of oil or butter.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pan and fry (still on a medium heat) for a few minutes until the pancake becomes firm enough to flip.
  5. The pancake should be firm and brown when cooked. I like to serve mine with fresh fruit and runny honey.

Mango Smoothie Bowl

I know I’ve been slacking with my posts recently but here’s a quick recipe for a smoothie bowl (I’ll be posting something about uni and what’s happening this academic year in a week or so for those who are interested). Having recently discovered smoothie bowls on Pinterest and Instagram I thought I would try and make one myself using frozen banana and mango, topped with granola (I always use my granola recipe as it is so simple and works well with any flavour) and fresh fruit. This tasted so good, just like a sorbet and was really filling for breakfast.  I always use ½ a banana in my smoothies as it is the perfect amount to bring the smoothie together making it thicker but not making it taste solely of banana. Feel free to experiment with this recipe, adding more or less banana, mango and juice to create a slightly different smoothie bowl.

Ingredients for smoothie bowl

½ frozen banana (chop it before you freeze it)

large handful of frozen mango chunks

small splash of orange juice (juice of two oranges)

handful of granola and fresh fruit to top

Method

  1. Put the chopped frozen banana and juice in the blender and bland until smooth.
  2. Then add the mango chunks and continue blending until the mango has broken down  and formed a thick, but not lumpy, consistency.
  3. Pour the smoothie into a bowl and add your favourite healthy toppings.

I added a handful of spinach when I made the bowl again and it actually tasted really nice and fresh and was such a beautiful green colour, here’s a picture of it and how I topped it.

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Croissants

Croissants have to be one of my favourite baked goods, perfect for breakfast and brunch. As with other dough based food, I never really thought of trying to bake anything like this. But now with the summer holidays, I thought I would give baking them a go. These took a long time to bake, needing a lot of chilling and proving time so definitely dedicate an afternoon and a morning to bake them. They were quite full fat, containing a lot of butter but I really enjoyed them as a breakfast treat and despite the time they took I probably would like to make them again soon! I made some of mine chocolate croissants, adding two chocolate chunks inside but it’s up to you if you want to try that out.

Ingredients for 6 croissants

250g strong white bread flour

5g salt

40g caster sugar

5g instant yeast

150ml cool water

150g chilled unsalted butter

1 egg to glaze

chocolate chunks (optional)

MEthod

  1. Put the flour into a bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a bread hook adding the salt and sugar to one side and yeast to the other, add the water and mix on a slow speed for 2 minutes. Then mix on a medium speed for 6 minutes until the dough is fairly stiff.
  2. Tip the dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with flour and shape it into a ball. Dust with flour, put it into a plastic bag and place in the fridge to chill for an hour.
  3. Once the dough has chilled, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll it out into a rectangle about 30×10cm, about 1cm thick. Flatten the butter to about 20×9.5cm by bashing it with a rolling pin. Place the butter on the dough so it covers the bottom two -thirds of the dough, making sure it is positioned neatly and comes almost to the edges.
  4. Fold the exposed dough at the top down over one third of the butter. Then cut off the exposed butter, being careful not to cut through the dough, and put it on top of the dough you have just folded down. Fold the, now exposed, bottom half of the dough up, creating a sandwich with two layers of butter and three of dough. Pinch the edges lightly to seal in the dough, lightly flour it and place the dough back in the plastic bag and leave in the fridge to chill for an hour.
  5. Take the dough out of the bag and place onto a lightly floured work surface with the short end towards you and roll the dough into a rectangle about 30×10cm. Now fold up the bottom half of the dough and then fold the top half down on top to make a neat square. This is called a single turn. Put the dough back into the plastic bag and chill for another hour. Repeat this stage twice more, putting the dough back into the fridge in between turns.
  6. Once you have completed this process, you must leave your dough in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight to rise slightly.
  7. When you are ready to shape your croissants, line a large tray with baking parchment.
  8. Place your chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a long rectangle a little more than 42×15cm and roughly 7mm thick. Then trim the edges to make them neat.
  9. Taking the long dough rectangle, cut out triangles 12cm long at the base and 15cm high. You should manage to get 6 triangles from the dough.
  10. Take each triangle and gently stretch them, pulling the base and the furthest corner. Then roll the croissants up starting at the base of each triangle to make 6 croissants. Shape the croissants into a crescent for the traditional croissant shape. If you are adding chocolate, place two chocolate chunks at the base of the triangle and roll it up, making sure the edges are sealed.
  11. Place the croissants on the lined tray, leaving adequate space between each one. Put the tray into a plastic bag and leave the croissants to rise in a cool room for about 2 hours until they have at least doubled in size.
  12. Preheat your oven to 200°C.
  13. Lightly whisk the egg with a pinch of salt to make an egg wash. Brush the top and sides of the croissants with the egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and eat warm.

Healthy Chocolate and Banana Pancakes

Recently, I went to brunch at Bill’s with my friend Evie and had the most delicious pancakes topped with fruit and bacon, they were amazing but the sort of breakfast you sadly can’t have everyday. I searched for some alternative pancakes recipes and found these really simple banana pancakes. Bananas are something I absolutely despise however, I was willing to try them out; with the added cocoa powder and the fruit and honey topping you could hardly taste the banana, making a perfect healthy pancake alternative!

Ingredients for 3 pancakes (1 serving)

1 banana

2 eggs

¼ cup (22g) rolled oats

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

olive/vegetable oil to cook

runny honey, to serve

handful of fresh fruit, to serve

icing sugar, to serve

Method

  1. Mash the banana and whisk together with the eggs, oats, cinnamon and cocoa powder using a fork until a smooth batter is formed. I used a smoothie maker as this broke down all of the lumps of banana.
  2. Heat up a small frying pan with a small amount of olive/vegetable oil and pour the batter to make the size pancakes you would like.
  3. Fry the pancake on one side until you are able to turn it over (about 1-2 minutes) then do the same with the other side until both sides are firm and well cooked.
  4. To serve, I used blueberries and chopped strawberries, drizzled the pancakes with runny honey and gave them a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Almond and Cinnamon Granola

I am loving granola at the moment whether I’m using it as a smoothie topper or on its own with fresh or frozen fruit. I have been buying it in a bag and it is actually fairly expensive despite being something so simple so I thought I would make some myself just using a selection of things I wanted to add. This is a fairly basic granola with no dried fruit or relatively strong flavours so would be the perfect base for you to add your own twist to it. I have used butter and honey so it is still not completely healthy but it has no refined sugars and the butter can be easily replaced with healthier alternatives such as coconut oil.

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Ingredients for 300g granola

2 cups oats (180g)

½ tbsp ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

¼ cup sunflower seeds (35g)

¼ cup flaked almonds (35g)

¼ cup chopped almonds (35g)

⅛ cup of honey (30g)

⅛ cup butter (30g)

1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/ 300°F and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Melt the butter in a large pan with the honey and vanilla extract until completely melted.
  3. Then add the remaining ingredients to the mixture until all of the dry ingredients are coated.
  4. Pour out the mixture onto the lined baking tray making sure it is spread out or alternatively clump it together in small pieces, as big as you want the granola to be.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to make sure the granola is completely baked until it is golden brown and leave to cool and harden on the tray.