Toasted Muesli

When choosing a breakfast cereal the best one to look for is one that is high in fibre and low in sugar, however this is easier said than done as many breakfast products on the market may appear healthy and yet actually have more sugar than we expect/need, either in the form of too much added dried fruit or refined sugars for that crunchy texture.  One way to get around this is to make your own, as well as giving you the opportunity to personalise your breakfast to your liking.  Our toasted muesli recipe is so moreish that you’ll want to have it as an afternoon snack as well, and being jammed packed full of healthy fats curtesy of all the nuts and seeds it would certainly be a great snack option too.

This recipe doesn’t have any quantities as we have found it is best to choose your container first and fit the quantities around that.  The hero of this recipe is of course oats, which are not only heart healthy, but full of fibre and protein.  Feel free to omit any ingredient you are not keen on, and if you like dried fruit then they can be added once cooled.

Toasted Muesli

Ingredients

  • wholegrain oats
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • sesame seeds
  • walnuts
  • flaked almonds
  • shredded coconut
  • canola oil
  • honey
  • an orange

Directions

1. Choose an airtight container you wish to store your muesli in.
2. Fill the container to about a 3/4 height with the oats.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, minus the coconut, so that when mixed together they are appealing and nearly fill the container (leaving room for some coconut).
4. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and a tablespoon of honey to a large oven tray and place in a 160 degree oven to warm through.
5. Tip the muesli ingredients onto the warmed tray and mix with the oil and honey. Place back in the oven for ten minutes.
6. After ten minutes stir the mixture with a spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom, then place back in the oven. Repeat this two more times or until ingredients begin to look like they are taking on some colour.
7. Now add the shredded coconut, mix through and place back in the oven for another ten minutes.
8. Once the coconut has begun to colour pull out the tray, then add the zest of the orange and mix through.
9. Allow to cool and then place in the container for storage.

Chia Seed Crackers

These crackers are a great healthy alternative to the store bought variety.  Most brands have an over abundance of salt in them, as well as saturated fat, so making the decision about which ones to buy pretty tricky.  These are low in both of those, but with the added bonus of being really tasty.  Chia seeds are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, protein and calcium, as well as other vital minerals.  For those who are sensitive to gluten the binding properties of chia seeds works really well here, and if you also can’t tolerate oats then just omit those from the recipe and replace with another favourite seed.  These are great for snacking, and go well with a slice of cheese, avocado or hummus. Enjoy!

Chia Seed Crackers

Serves 36 crackers
Prep time 40 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 40 minutes
Meal type Snack

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Ground Chia Seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Whole Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Flax Seeds
  • 2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon Iodised Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tablespoons Oil

Directions

1. Place all the seeds and dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the water and oil.
2. Combine well and leave for 30-40 minutes to let the chia seeds swell and the mixture to thicken up.
3. Tip the mixture onto a tray with baking paper and spread out thinly over the entire tray. The thinner you spread it the less time is needed to bake it.
4. Score through the mixture, using a knife or pizza cutter, to make your desired cracker shape.
5. Place the tray in an oven heated to 150C. Bake for 30 minutes then take out and flip the crackers over.
6. Return the tray to the oven and bake on this side for another 30 minutes. Keep an eye on how quickly they are drying out, as it will depend on the efficiency of your oven (fan baked vs non-fan) and how thin you spread the mixture (which can be spread really thinly). You could use two trays.
7. The crackers should be crisp after cooling out of the oven for a minute or so. Let them cool completely on the tray before transferring to an air tight container.

Coconut Oat Slice

It seems nowadays coconut oil is either ‘in’ or ‘out’.  Whilst it is not the next Superfood that is going to fix everything, and we certainly wouldn’t recommend you add it to your coffee or cook with it every day, it can be a lovely addition to baking, and with a little less saturated fat than butter it can be a very flavorsome replacement.  This slice uses coconut oil and shredded coconut, and with some heart healthy oils from the nuts and seeds, minimal sugar, and lots of fibre, this is a great slice to have instead of a bought muesli bar, or as a shared snack.

Coconut Oat Slice

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (or replace the seeds and water with another egg)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup dates (packed tightly)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cups desiccated or shredded coconut
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 weetbix (crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

1. If using chia seeds, soak them in the water for 10 minutes. Also, in a separate bowl, soak the dates in some boiled water until soft.
2. Whilst the seeds and dates are soaking, melt the coconut oil, add the golden syrup and whisk in the egg(s).
3. Process the almonds and sunflower seeds until they look like bread crumbs. Mix them in with the coconut, oats and crumbled weetbix in a large mixing bowl. Add in the flour and baking powder.
4. Drain the dates, roughly chop them up and then add to the dry ingredients.
5. Add the chia seeds to the wet ingredients and then finally combine both mixtures together.
6. Press the mixture into a lined 20cm x 20cm tray and bake in a 180C degree oven for 20 minutes until slightly golden on top.
7. Allow to cool in the tray and then slice.

Kumara Rosti with Avocado and Smoked salmon

This is a simple and tasty take on the classic christmas blini. It is nice and quick to whip up and full of healthy fats and carbs!

Kumara Rosti with Avocado and Smoked salmon

Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups orange or gold kumara
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 packet smoked salmon
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Wash the kumara and then grate and squeeze out any extra liquid. In a large bowl place the grated kumara and eggs, season and mix well.
2. Place small spoonfuls of kumara mixture on a baking paper-lined tray and then flatten until about 1cm thick. Spray with olive oil and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.
3. Slice avocado and sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
4. Top the crispy kumara rosti with avocado and smoked salmon and enjoy!

Labneh

Labneh is traditionally a Middle-Eastern style spread made from a small number of simple preparation steps.  It is made from unsweetened greek yoghurt, so it’s already hitting that ‘healthy’ button, and then marinated in oil and whatever herbs and spices you fancy.  We marinated ours in garlic as well as olive oil, which means we have some lovely garlic oil to cook with once the labneh is gone!

Labneh, as we have found, can have many uses.  You can use it in place of ricotta or cream cheese for most of their uses, and is lovely on toast in the morning (especially if you have added lemon juice to the marinade), smeared onto crackers, and even stirred through pasta for a simple, creamy style, pasta dish.  It is well worth hunting down that muslin to make this dish!

Labneh

Ingredients

  • 1 Litre unsweetened plain yoghurt
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley

Directions

1. Place a metal sieve over a large mixing bowl. Lay 2-3 layers of muslin over the sieve. Have an elastic band or piece of string handy.
2. Keeping the yoghurt in it's container, add the salt and mix thoroughly.
3. Pour the yoghurt mixture onto the muslin, gather the muslin ends around the yoghurt and tie tightly with the elastic band or string.
4. Cover the yoghurt and bowl completely before placing in the fridge. This prevents anything dropping into the whey (if you want to use it later), or the yoghurt taking on any flavours from the fridge.
5. If you want a soft spreadable cream cheese allow it to sit and drain out it's whey for 36-48hrs. If you want a much firmer dip leave it for 72hrs. Basically, the longer you leave it the firmer it will become. You can check firmness at any time.
6. Once ready, crush the garlic, chop the parsley and have the olive oil and a glass container for storage on hand.
7. Remove the labneh from the muslin wrap. Pour some olive oil over your hands and separate off a golf ball size amount and then shape into a ball. Place in the jar with a little extra oil.
8. Repeat this process until you have a layer of balls in the bottom of your container. Sprinkle over some garlic and some parsley, and a little more oil for good measure, and then keep adding labneh balls until finished.
9. Make sure the labneh is coated in oil, seal tight and then store in the fridge. If the balls are quite soft they will probably keep for a week or two. Harder labneh can be stored for a month.
10. Enjoy on a cracker, or stir through pasta, then use any remaining garlic oil to cook with!

Brown Rice Crackers

Often people don’t attempt to make crackers, however it is not as hard as you think! This is actually a very simple recipe to make your own brown rice crackers and can be changed around very easily by using different seeds and flavours. In this cracker we have used black sesame seeds, but try adding sunflower, pumpkin, white sesame seeds or even things like garlic and rosemary for a different flavour kick. These crackers are much more wholesome then shop bought ones, and don’t have the additives and salt quantities that you often see with a store bought cracker.The brown rice is also full of fibre and it’s a great way to use up left over rice if you have cooked too much.

Brown Rice Crackers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
Cook brown rice as per instructions. When cooked, spread over a try and let cool.
2. In a bowl, mix cooled rice, rice flour, water, egg white, soy sauce and oil.
3. Using a stick blender, blend ingredients until you get a relatively smooth mixture, then stir in sesame seeds. The mix will seem a little wet and generally wont blend until completely smooth, so don't be concerned.
4. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Drop teaspoons full of the mixture onto the trays 2-3cm apart. With a small square of baking paper press down on the crackers until they are approximately 3mm thick. The baking paper should peal off easily avoiding to much mess.
5. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the crackers are crisp to taste.
6. These can be stored in an air tight container for a few week, re-crisp in oven for 5-10 minutes to reuse.

Rhubarb 3 ways

This is such a yummy fruit that people often don’t try their hand at using. This recipe shows how you can make rhubarb 3 different ways, baked for a delicious desert, stewed for the perfect breakfast topping or in curls for a pretty little garnish to add to your favourite desert or ice tea.

Rhubarb 3 ways

Ingredients

Baked rhubarb

  • 15 stalks rhubarb
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey

Stewed rhubarb

  • 400g rhubarb
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (finely diced)
  • 1/2 orange (juice and zest)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 3 tablespoons water

Curled rhubarb

  • 1 stalk rhubarb
  • 1 bowl of ice water

Directions

Baked Rhubarb
1. Trim the end of the rhubarb then chop into 10cm long strips. Place on a baking tray in a single layer.
2. Sprinkle over brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and cover with tinfoil.
3. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes then remove cover and drizzle with honey. Bake uncovered for a further 5 minutes.
4. This can be served warm with Greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of sliced almonds.
Stewed Rhubarb
5. Trim the end of the rhubarb then chop into small chunks.
6. In a non-stick pan add rhubarb, ginger, orange juice and zest, water and vanilla essence.
7. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is completely broken down.
8. This is also delicious served with greek yoghurt for a snack or desert, and makes a fantastic topping for muesli or porridge.
Rhubarb curls
9. With a vegetable peeler thinly slice a stem of rhubarb. Place in ice water and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour. Drain and serve with your favourite desert, or even as a garnish for ice tea.

Banana and Date Muffins

These muffins rely on the natural sweetness of bananas and dates instead of any added sugar.  You will be getting a good amount of fibre from the fruit and the weet-bix, but try and choose fortified Weet-bix for extra iron and vitamin Bs.

Banana, Date and Weet-bix Muffins

Serves 12
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 14 minutes
Total time 24 minutes
Meal type Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • 1/3 cup Pitted dates
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Self-raising flour
  • 3 Weet-bix
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Oil

Directions

1. Cut up the dates and banana finely and tip them into the milk
2. Combine the flour and salt and crumble in the weet-bix
3. Whisk up the egg whilst slowly pouring in the oil
4. Add the egg and the milk mixtures to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined
5. Divide into an oiled muffin tray
6. Bake at 210°C for 14 minutes or until golden and springy

Sunflower Seed Pesto

Pesto can be a little bit pricey to make when using pine nuts. However, this recipe is a bit of a twist on a classic pesto, and by using sunflower seeds it means it is very affordable and still full of your good fats. Pesto can be used in a number of different dishes and is a great way to brighten any cooking up.

Sunflower seed pesto

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups sunflower seeds
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Put all ingredients into a blender and process until desired consistency is achieved.
2. Delicious served with wholegrain crackers and carrot sticks, or stirred through wholemeal pasta with some grilled chicken breast and cherry tomatoes.