Homemade Baked Beans

Baked Beans 3

 

I have a thing for baked beans, they were part of the weekly menu rotation when I was growing up, when I was ill my mum could always make me feel better with a bowl of beans with tiny chunks of toast mixed in and now they’re pretty high on my list of comfort foods. Recently an aversion to processed foods and the fact that canned baked beans are ridiculously (and unnecessarily) high in sugar and salt has prompted me to replace this family favourite with a seriously tasty and nutritious alternative.

Baked Beans 4

I searched high and low for a good recipe, but most seemed to add loads of sugar , which was definitely not what I wanted. But then I stumbled upon this one from Vegan Sparkles, no added sugar at all, but absolutely gorgeous!

With the addition of some well placed herbs and spices you really don’t miss the extra salt, and the sweetness of the sugar can be replaced with a combination of sun dried and cherry tomatoes. This recipe is almost as easy as opening a can of normal baked beans, so really there’s no excuse! Served up on some sour dough toast with a fried egg on top you’ve got yourself a fantastic dinner to add to the rotation! (continue reading…)

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Maple Glazed Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin muffins 1

 

Last November I visited my sister in New York and took a little trip to Trader Joe’s to pick up a jar of my favourite sunflower seed butter. Whilst languishing in the ridiculously gigantic queue I spotted a tin of organic pumpkin puree and realised that I’d never baked with pumpkin before.

It’s not exactly easy to find tinned pumpkin in England (although I have seen it in Tesco recently) and despite the proliferation of pumpkin spiced lattes around here, we’re not really pumpkin baked goods kind of people as a general rule. But I thought I should give it a go and see what the fuss was all about.

Pumpkin muffins 2

However, last year I didn’t find the right recipe, nothing tickled my fancy and the tin of pumpkin remained unloved in my kitchen cupboard until I moved house, when it moved with me and stayed unloved in a whole new cupboard.

Pumpkin muffins 3

That is until this autumn when every blog I came across was going nutty for pumpkin and I realised I could actually get in on this celebration of all things autumnal. A quick bit of recipe searching and I fell upon this completely gorgeous recipe from Pinch of Yum. What really drew me in was the maple glaze. I’ve never glazed anything before in my life so in the Scaredy-Cat spirit of this blog I thought I’d give it a go. Let me tell you, there’s a serious risk of all of my teeth falling out in the near future as I’m going to be glazing everything in sight from this point on.

(continue reading…)

Chocolate Hazelnut Buns

Chocolate Hazelnut Buns 1

Pat me on the back, I have officially sorted your Christmas breakfast. Well, that is provided you like chocolate for breakfast, and given that my all time favourite breakfast cereal is cocopops, you know I do.

Chocolate Hazelnut Buns 2

Can you imagine, getting up on Christmas morning and opening your stocking as the beautiful smell of baking drifts around the house. Then sitting down to a soft, warm, chocolately breakfast bun, punctuated with the crunch of hazelnuts? Let’s make it happen!

Chocolate Hazelnut Buns 3

And best of all, you can do the preparation the night before and all you’ll have to do in the morning is pop them in the oven. I can’t imagine anything more perfect! (continue reading…)

Sweetcorn Fritters with (Kinda) Guacamole

Sweetcorn fritters 1You get home from a hard day’s work and all you want is something quick and simple to eat, but you’ve had a mega unhealthy weekend and require some serious vegetable input, what do you do?

Corn 1

The answer for me almost always involves corn on the cob. Whether I use it as a base for an awesome charred corn salad (recipe to come at some point!), add some courgette and chilli and whip up a frittata, or stick it in a quinoa salad with veggies and feta, to my mind, it’s always perfection.

I also get a serious sense of satisfaction from cutting the little kernels off the cob. Little things… blah blah blah.

Corn 2

So this time I’ve decided to go with fritters. I’ve spiced them up with a little chilli and added some nice fresh spring onion. I like to use a little of the green part of the onion rather than just the white bit, the taste is milder and the colour looks marvellous in the fritters.

Tomato & Avocado

In addition to corn, I will also find any excuse to eat an avocado, definitely one of my top 5 foods. (I feel it’s very important to have a variety of constantly evolving top 5 lists in your life!)

Mashed onto toast, (pretty much every food bloggers favourite, as far as I can see!), chopped up in salads or, as in this recipe, fashioned into a highly unauthentic guacamole.

Kinda Guacamole

Of course, real guacamole would be amazing here, but I have no clue what the real deal involves and everyone seems to have their own formula anyway.

But if you ever use shop bought guacamole in this recipe, I will know and I will hunt you down and punch you in the neck. Mark my words.

Enough of my violent tendencies, on with the show!

Sweetcorn fritters 2

Sweetcorn Fritters with (Kinda) Guacamole
Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the guacamole:
1 avocado
2 small tomatoes
1 spring onion
1/2 red chilli
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper

For the fritters:
2 cobs of corn
1 red chilli
4 spring onions
2 tbsp plain flour
2 eggs
Salt and pepper

1 tbsp rape seed oil

Start by making the guacamole. Deseed and finely chop 1/2 a red chilli (or a whole one if you want it a little more spicy) Make sure you take out the white membrane as apparently that’s the spiciest bit. Deseed and chop the tomatoes. Chop up the spring onion (so much chopping!)

In a small bowl, mash up the avocado, add the chopped veggies, squeeze in the juice of half a lime and mix it up. Season to taste and set it to one side while you make the fritters.

If your corn is still in it’s leaves, shuck it! (I love that word and just had to crowbar it in!)

Slice the kernels off the cob using a nice sharp knife. This can get a little messy but it’s definitely worth it. Chop the spring onions and deseed and finely chop the chilli. Pop all of the veggies into a medium sized bowl and mix in the flour, eggs, salt and pepper.

Put a large frying pan on a medium/high heat and add a tablespoon of rape seed oil (or olive oil if you can’t get hold of any yummy British rapeseed oil). Once the pan is nice and hot, pop in one tablespoon of the fritter mix at a time, leaving a space between each fritter, although they won’t spread much. You may have to cook the fritters in 2 batches but you can pop them in a warm oven temporarily to keep them warm.

Once the fritters are nicely browned on the bottom, flip them over and give them another couple of minutes on the other side. When they’re done remove them from the pan to some kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil.

Serve with the fake guacamole and enjoy! (I hope your inevitable baby fritter is as yummy and the one below!)

Baby Fritter