Recently on IG and Pinterest I’ve noticed a few recipes for “Dessert Hummus” popping up. If you’re more of a sweet snacker then it’s definitely something you might want to try dipping some fruit, rice cakes, or pitta chips into. Maybe try spreading it onto some crumpets or toast. Perhaps pop it into a wrap with some banana. You can pretty much make a sweet version of whatever you would use regular hummus for, without the garlic breath afterwards.
Recently I have developed a bit of a love for rice crispies. There’s something about listening to the snaps, crackles, and pops in the bowl that amuses me more than it probably should. I know that several of you are going to be looking at this recipe and going ‘but- won’t the rice crispies go soggy?!’. Well, yes and no…
The only reason I tried this was because I wanted to switch things up a bit from using oats. And a mad idea that rice crsipies could work came next. The rice crispies partially break down, so you still get some crunch, but they become kind of…fluffy in texture. Light, and fluffy, and pretty delicious. The only way I can describe the taste of this recipe, is that it resembles the taste of pancakes. Which is incredibly odd. Especially since this dish is also way better for you than most pancakes, plus a hell of a lot quicker on the morning. If you’re sceptical, then that’s fine, but just know that you’re missing out…
- Heaped 1/2 cup wholegrain rice crispies (Approximately 30g. I use Kallo. You don’t have to, but don’t go for the super sugary versions. These ones, being wholegrain, also don’t completely break down, so give a better texture)
- 1 handful of frozen berries (I used raspberries)
- 1 pear, chopped into chunks
- 1/2 cup thick Greek yoghurt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, or whichever milk you prefer
- 1.5tsp chia seeds
- Cinnamon, to taste
- 1tbsp almond butter, I used Meridian
- Begin by beating together the yoghurt, cinnamon, chia seeds, and milk.
- Once combined, thoroughly mix in the crispies, so that they are well coated, but not completely mashed up.
- Fold in the pear and the frozen berries, pile into a dish, top with almond butter, and place in to the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, lift the dish out, garnish as you wish, and dig in…
I am a massive fan of salty-sweet tastes. I love combinations that bring sweet and savoury together (by the way, has anyone else tried dark chocolate chilli? It’s the bomb). Which meant that these snickers balls made me one very happy person, as they hit on the salt vs. sweet balance perfectly.
I used the Meridian peanut and coconut butter, which they very kindly sent me, and is going to be launched in the shops in January. In this recipe you can’t taste the coconut, but it does give the balls a great texture (as they set better), and apparently coconut oil is great for digestion. If you can’t get hold of this in January, or can’t wait until its released, then you can definitely use good old peanut butter- chunky or smooth. If you can’t get hold of cacao then go for unsweetened dark cocoa powder- cacao is just subject to less of a refining process.
These are incredibly easy to make, you can get hold of all of the ingredients between Holland & Barratt’s and any supermarket, they’re roughly 80kcal each, and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. Although everyone in my house wanted to get their hands on these balls, and so they did not last anywhere near as long as that.
- 1/2 cup oats
- 3tbsp peanut and coconut butter (feel free to use plain old peanut butter- smooth or chunky.)
- 3/4tsp salt
- 5 Medjool dates
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1/4tsp cinnamon
- 1tbsp cacao (feel free to substitute in regular unsweetened dark cocoa; cacao just tastes a bit richer, and doesn’t go through as much of a refining process. I used the Choc Chick cacao powder, which I got at Holland and Barratt’s)
- Begin by tearing your dates into chunks, and removing the pit, if it hasn’t already been removed. Place into a small dish with the milk, and allow to soak for at least 2-3 hours.
- Throw everything into a food processor, and pulse. Following this continue to blend for longer periods, until it starts to pull together into a loose ball.
- Carefully remove the blade from the food processor, and place to one side. Form into 10 balls, rolling between your fingertips until smooth.
- Place your perfectly spherical balls into the fridge for at least 30 minutes, then dig in… although if you’re anything like me, then a lot of the mixture may have gone missing during the making process.
It’s pastry week on GBBO, and I know that a lot of people find pastry difficult- especially that dreaded “soggy bottom”. I have extremely cold hands, and apparently this is ideal for making pastry, but unfortunately making pastry is one thing I don’t find particularly rewarding. Bread is much more fun because kneading allows you to get out any pent up frustration. However, I am doing a GBBO series, and so pastry you shall have!
I had many, many ideas on what to do with my pastry, but I’m also aware that a lot of you may never have made pastry from scratch before. So, I decided to go with a simple short crust pastry, and seasonal filling.
The pastry shells contain a beautiful, rich, and creamy almond flavoured custard (which you shall be making from scratch), and plums. Plums are now back in season, and so I really encourage you to make the most of them- they’re a pretty underrated fruit. As well as the tarts I have a bonus recipe for you all: a baked custard using up your leftovers. Simple, delicious, and almost like a crème brulee. In fact, you could always whap out a blow torch and some sugar and transform it into one…
- 4oz plain flour
- 1oz stork
- 1oz trex (it’s a vegetable fat; I use it because it gives a great short and crumbly texture to your pastry)
- Cold water (ice cold)
- 75ml double cream
- 75ml milk
- Seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
- 1 egg
- 42g caster sugar
- 1 1/2 large plums, cut into slices
- 1tsp almond essence
- Let’s start with the pastry: add the flour into a large mixing bowl. Cut the stork and trex into small cubes, and then add these to the flour. Rub the fat into the flour with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Use a light hand, and don’t over-handle the pastry. If the fat all melts then you’ll lose the short texture of the end product. Once you have a mix resembling bread crumbs then add in your water; this will literally be 1/8th-1/4 of a cup, not much at all. Use a fork to stir it in, until the mix begins to comes together, with some dry sandy mixture in the bottom of the bowl. This is the sign you have it just right. Gently use your hands to form this into a ball, again being careful to not handle it too much. Wrap in cling film and chill it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190*c, and grease four loose bottomed tart cases- or even one bigger tin if you don’t have these.
- Cut the pastry into four, and then roll out each quarter. Take one of the tart cases and lay the pastry over it, then gently shape it to the tin, and trim the edges. Repeat with the other three cases. Prick the bottom of each pastry case with a fork a few times. Place a handful of baking beans into each case and then pop them into the oven for 10-15 minutes to blind bake (preventing a soggy bottom). Remove from the oven and put to one side, turning the oven heat down to 160*c.
- Now for the custard: in a small pan bring the cream, milk, and vanilla pod seeds to the boil. Whilst it reaches the boil whisk together the egg and sugar in a large bowl, and add in the almond essence. Once the cream mix is boiling immediately remove from the heat and pour into the eggs, whisking continuously.
- Into each pastry case lay the plum slices, and then pour the custard over the fruit. Place the tarts into the oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before gently removing from the cases. Once completely cold place into the fridge for at least 2 hours, or until needed.
- Serve with ice cream, double cream, or mascarpone…
TIP! Got leftover custard? Simply pour into one or two ramekins and bake in the oven with the tarts for 20-30 minutes.
I was speaking to a good friend (we’re actually living together for our second year of uni) recently, and she told me that at Christmas Bounty bars are always the sweets left in the Celebrations tin. I could not believe it. Point blank, could not believe it. Because I always used to snaffle the bounty bars before anything else once that tin was open. Mum took the Maltesers, dad the Galaxy, and Matthew is basically a human trash can. I really loved the dark chocolate Bounty bars you could sometimes get as well. But what happens when you want something perhaps slightly healthier than your traditional Bounty? You come here, that’s what…
1cup + 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
3tbsp cashew butter (I used Meridian)
2tbsp Alpro coconut milk
2tsp cocoa powder
OPTIONAL: 2-3 small squares dark chocolate (I used my 90% bar); 1tsp desiccated coconut
Into a large bowl empty the coconut, agave, and milk. Soften the cashew nutter ever so slightly in the microwave (literally 10 seconds maximum), and add to the bowl as well.
Mix together thoroughly, until completely combined.
Use your hands to squidge 2tsp measurements of the mixture into balls, rolling them between your fingertips. Each ball will weigh 15g, if you want to be super precise.
Chill the balls for half an hour, before rolling them in a dusting of cocoa, and returning to the fridge until required…
If you wish, remove the balls from the fridge 30 minutes before needed and top each with a little melted chocolate, plus a sprinkle of coconut. They can stay in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Salted caramel seems to be having a moment right now. I turn around in a supermarket and BAM: salted caramel. I go to a café and BAM: salted caramel. It’s in supermarkets, cafés, restaurants- and now it’s on my blog. I have salted caramel on the brain.
Unfortunately salted caramel isn’t really that great for you. Especially in its finest form: incorporated into a brownie. However this came close second for me. It is sweet and rich, with a slight tang of salt. This bit of salty-ness is the first thing that hits you, and then you get the sweet caramelly flavour of the dates and banana. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t taste like a banana shake thanks to the almond butter in there- it just adds to the richness.
I made this for breakfast, and was actually surprised at just how long this powerful little shake kept me full- and that’s saying something. Because I am a second breakfast/ mid-morning snack kind of girl. So, enjoy this recipe and tag me (healthy_not_hungry) in any pictures you take of your salted caramel shakes over on IG…
- 3 pitted dates
- 1 medium banana, sliced up into coins and frozen
- 200ml Alpro coconut milk (this is just what I used; feel free to use soya, almond etc.)
- 1tbsp almond butter
- 2tbsp ice cold water
- 1/2tsp vanilla
- Pinch of sea salt, to taste
Seen as I like to make my recipes adjustable: If you want more caramel than salt throw another date in, and if you don’t have almond butter, then cashew also works quite well.
- OPTIONAL: Soak the dates in the water overnight. Leave them in a glass in the fridge to ensure the water is really cold. I didn’t use this step because this was a spur of the moment thing, but it would have made the dates much easier to blend, and have further intensified the flavours.
- Blend all of the ingredients together. Begin by pulsing the mixture to break everything up, and then blend for longer periods to get everything nice and smooth.
- Pour into a glass, and enjoy your healthy salted caramel fix…