Beetroot and Raspberry Smoothie Bowl

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We think it’s safe to say, we’ve become fans of the smoothie bowl. They are perfect for breakfast – packed with good energy foods and lots of vitamins from fruit and vegetables, these smoothie bowls are an easy way to get a whole lot of good stuff into your system first thing! And they keep you feeling full, so great if you’re trying to stay away from midday snacking!

Makes 2 bowls

Ingredients

120g pre-cooked beetroots (we used a ready cooked pack from the supermarket)

1 cup raspberries

2  weetabix biscuits

1 tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp sifted cocoa

1 cup almond milk

Method

To pre-cook the beetroot, cook it in boiling water till it’s soft enough to poke a fork through. You can do this the night before and leave the beetroot in the fridge overnight so you can get the smoothie done quickly in the morning. 

Add all the ingredients, except the milk into a blender. Pour in half the milk and start the blender. As the ingredients are blending, pour the rest of the milk in bit by bit until you get the consistency you want. You may find you prefer it thicker and so may not use the whole cup of milk. 

Pour into a bowl and if you like it chilled, cover with cling film and pop it in the fridge, or use frozen raspberries instead!

x Anu & Suba

Oat, Banana & Blueberry Smoothie Bowl

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If you haven’t caught on to the rage, it’s not too late to start – we just have! Trade in a glass of smoothie in the morning for a bowl of it and use it as a canvas for fruits, nuts, seeds and herbs – excellent fun! This may be our first, but it’s certainly not going to be our last!

Ingredients

1/2 cup oats (cooked according to packet instructions)

2 ripe bananas

1 cup blueberries (we used frozen ones as we wanted a cold smoothie)

1/2 cup almond milk (you can use regular milk too)

1 tbsp greek yoghurt

Grated rind of a medium orange (optional)

Method

Cook the oats according to packet instructions – we used almond milk for the oats.

Break up the bananas and put them in a blender. Add the blueberries and the almond milk and blitz it on medium till everything is blended together.

Next, add the cooked oats, the yoghurt and rind. Blitz again on medium till combined. Empty it all out into a bowl and unleash your creativity!

x Anu & Suba

Stone Fruit Season: Plums & Cream Polenta Cake

plum & polenta

This cake was inspired by  two things – 1) needing to use a bag of polenta we bought in Switzerland last month for a family dinner but never used and 2) a recent discovery that the maroon and cream livery of the Great Northern Railway’s dining carriage in the 1940s (random fact of the day) came to be affectionately known  as ‘Plum and Spilt Milk’, which sounded like a divine flavour combination! So obviously, we had to make a cake featuring those ingredients. It turned out a real treat with a cuppa tea so we thought we’d share it with all of you.

Serves 8 (big slices) or 10 (medium slices)

Prep Time: 20 mins Baking time: Approx 50-60 minutes

Ingredients

3/4 cup muscovado sugar

1/4 cup caster sugar

1 cup (250g) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup polenta (we used fine polenta)

1 cup  sifted self-raising flour (or plain flour with a tsp of baking powder sifted in)

1/2 cup double cream

3 eggs

a tsp vanilla extract

4 plums

2 tbsps strawberry or current jam

Method

Turn the oven on to 160 degrees c. Ours is an electric fan oven. Grease a round tin and line with baking parchment.

Cut the plums down the middle and twist each half in opposite directions. Slice the half with the stone in half again and twist, same as above – this will help in removing the stone. Cut each quarter into half again so that from each plum, you get 8 slices in total. Set aside.

Next, put both types of sugar together with the butter and beat until creamy. Add one egg at a time and beat till well mixed in. After adding all three eggs, add the double cream and vanilla. Mix well. 

Now add half the flour and half the polenta, fold in. Now, add the other half of both and fold in until well mixed. Careful not to beat the flour and polenta in and don’t mix vigorously either. Just patiently fold it in, we promise that will be worth the effort! 

Pour the batter into your tin and smooth the surface. Now, starting from the edge of the tin, place the plum slices one next to the other, vertically, all around the tin (sneak a quick look at the picture above to see what we mean about the placing – that said, if you place it horizontally, it’ll be fine too!). Keep going till you fill up the whole top of the cake. You may want to choose the plum slices according to how they fit but really, don’t hesitate to squeeze them together or force them into shape! What you want to avoid is pressing the plums in because the cake will rise and you don’t want the plums sinking in when that happens.

Put the tin in the oven, middle shelf, and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Put the cake on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes and while that’s happening, zap the jam in the microwave for 10 seconds or put it in a bowl and the bowl in a bath of hot water – basically loosen the jam so you can brush it all over the cake. Brush the cake with the warm jam and leave it to cool completely. 

 

x Anu & Suba

 

Stone Fruit Season : Grilled Peach & Prosciutto Focaccia buns 

We couldn’t let stone fruit season get away without making these rustic grilled peach & prosciutto focaccia buns. Grilling the peaches makes them taste rich & almost cream-like. Salty prosciutto and sharp, bitter Valeriana leaves bring out the sweetness of the peaches. We wiped these out in one meal , so make them quick before peaches make their last appearance this summer!

Ingredients

The Dough:

550g Bread Flour 

7g Dry Yeast

12g salt

16 g sugar

250 ml water

115 ml milk

45ml olive oil

The Topping:

2 ripe yellow peaches 

Butter for greasing

120g cooked prosciutto , thinly sliced

1 cup of green salad leaves of your choice such as  Valeriana (corn salad), Rocket or Spinach

Olive oil & Coarse Salt flakes

Method

In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, then add the olive oil, water & milk – all a little at a time, stirring with a fork as you add. Stir until you get a rough dough. Knead the dough in the bowl, it will be wet & sticky at first , but keep going & it will come together. Dust your hands with some flour if you need to keep it from sticking to the dough. You can add a little flour if you find it too sticky to work with, but don’t add too much as the focaccia will turn out dry. 

When you are able to collect all the dough into a ball, transfer it to your kneading surface (we use a silicone baking mat) and knead well for about 10 mins until you get a  smooth ball of dough. We push the dough down with the heel of palm, fold it over and repeat. There are great kneading techniques here .

Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let it rest in a warm place for 2 hours during which it should double in size. 

While waiting, prepare your baking sheet by oiling it generously with olive oil.

While waiting for the dough to rise, prepare your grilled peaches. Cut each peach into half and remove the stone. Cut each of those halves into half again making quarters. Now slice these quarters into 1/2 inch thick slices. Heat up your grill pan and grease it generously with butter. Place the peaches cut side down and allow them to just cook through and get nicely grilled , then turn over with tongs and repeat on the other side. Finish doing this with all the slices and keep aside. Keep the butter handy so you can brush the peaches if the pan starts to dry up. 

When the rest time is over, knead the dough again for 5 mins on your kneading surface. Place it back in the oiled bowl, cover and let it rest for another 30 mins. Half way through the resting time, preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius on a fan setting. 

When the time is up, knead the dough again for 5 mins and divide the dough into 10 equal balls. Place each ball on your kneading surface and press them down flat with the palm of your hand, gently pushing outwards until  you get a round-ish shaped bun. Transfer to your baking sheet and re-form any of the buns that have lost their shape. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round – remember we are going for a rustic look! 

Press a few slices of the peaches into each bun and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake the buns for 30-35 minutes until they start to brown slightly. 

While waiting, get out your prosciutto and salad leaves. Tear up the prosciutto into small pieces and wash and tear any large salad leaves. 

Once the buns are done, take them out of the oven, top with the torn up prosciutto and salad leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly sprinkle some salt on top before serving. 

x Anu & Suba