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A Recipe For Cashew, Coconut & Date Energy Balls.

Cashew, Date & Coconut Energy Balls Recipe

 

January can be a little tough on the old soul. After the buzz and lights of Christmas it can seem a drained. Everyone seems to exist in the a constant state of remorse for each and every chocolate, piece cake and cocktail that passed their lips in December. There’s no judgement here, I’m one of those who uses January as a way to kick start a better way of eating too.

Life shouldn’t be without the joy and comfort or a sweet treat, especially not come a cold January evening. That’s why these energy balls are perfect. To clarify, they won’t shrink your waist line, remove the bags under your eyes or cause you to become a supermodel over night. They will however provide a little something if your steamed fish and slippery mound of spinach hasn’t quite hit the spot.

You will require a modicum of self restraint, that should also be clear. They might be free from refined sugar and anything nasty, but they’re still a treat. (That means one or two. Not eight.)

I’ve made these energy balls before with the zest of a lemon and can confirm they’re just as good, if you find yourself more inclined to sharper flavours.

 

Cashew, Date & Coconut Energy Balls Recipe

Cashew, Date & Coconut Energy Balls Recipe

Cashew, Coconut & Date Balls

90g raw, unsalted cashew kernals
7 Medjool Dates (or 10 normal dates)
4 tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 generous tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional, naturally)
Pinch of salt

There’s no real science to the making of the balls; melt the coconut oil gently in a pan and leave to one side to cool. Start with your cashews in the food processor and blitz them until they form a lumpy rubble but aren’t quite ground.

Add in the salt, chia seeds (if using), 2tbsp coconut, coconut oil and pitted dates. If you want to add in the lemon, grate in the zest here also.

Give everything a good blitz until it starts to form a sticky rubble. Grab two plates, on one spread out the remaining 2 tbsp of desiccated coconut and on the other top out the rubble and begin shaping it into balls by pressing tightly and rolling them in your hands. The mixture should make around 20 in total. Try to make them about the size of a large truffle.

Roll each date in the plate of coconut to fully coat them. Pop the energy balls in the fridge for an hour or so before sampling the fruits of your minimal labour.

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Ate, Food

The Second Sunday.

The Second Sunday. A Bank Holiday weekend should be a thing of glory. A three day weekend filled with brunch, coffee, indulge and a little bit of luxury.

I like to the think of the August Bank Holiday weekend as summer’s final hoorah. The eagerly anticipated arrival of the year’s penultimate three-day weekend signifies Autumn’s soft approach. Quietly it will creep into our days, slowly staking its annual claim on our lives, but not without allowing summer to deliver us one last gloriously extended weekend.

When BONADEA invited me to join them in creating the perfect Bank Holiday weekend, I knew immediately how it would be. I have long been an advocate of treasuring the weekend, never more so than when it happens to come with a double helping of Sunday. That’s what it is you see, it’s a second Sunday. Bank Holidays allow us to live what is the greatest day of the week, twice. So I say we revel in it fully. Splash out and make something exceptional, break out the finest china your cupboards have to offer. It’s time to celebrate this rare beast in a luxuriously lazy fashion.

The Second Sunday. A Bank Holiday weekend should be a thing of glory. A three day weekend filled with brunch, coffee, indulge and a little bit of luxury.The Second Sunday. A Bank Holiday weekend should be a thing of glory. A three day weekend filled with brunch, coffee, indulge and a little bit of luxury.

For me, there’s a process to it all. An order of service if you will. Saturday involves the chores that are essential yet invariably not all that enjoyable; the washing, the cleaning, the plumping of excessive amounts of cushions and the collecting of essential supplies.

Saturday evening sees clean sheets hit the bed, a night earlier than usual it’s true, but I disrupt the system for good reason. Fresh pyjamas are pulled from the drawer, a long leisurely bath is drawn and a heavenly night of sleep is had, safe in the knowledge that the week contains that elusive extra day of peace.

When Sunday hits the event begins. Slippers on with the kettle boiling, the coffee is brewed. Filling the house with the true smell of morning, there’s nothing quite like it. Now is your chance to dust off the aforementioned Sunday best, bring out your finest porcelain coffee pot and the most elegant of coffee cups, before drifting back to bed until the first twinges of hunger mean it’s time for the morning’s main event. Breakfast.

The Second Sunday. A Bank Holiday weekend should be a thing of glory. A three day weekend filled with brunch, coffee, indulge and a little bit of luxury.The Second Sunday. A Bank Holiday weekend should be a thing of glory. A three day weekend filled with brunch, coffee, indulge and a little bit of luxury.

If you have yourself a helpful counterpart, this would be where you send them out to collect the Sunday papers, of which you will naturally only read the magazines. If there is no counterpart, I suggest a quick dash post-coffee and pre-breakfast.

At my house, crisp white table linens and slightly crumpled napkins play host to delicate porcelain and gleaming copper. When BONADEA suggested I explore the immaculately white world of Fuerstenberg’s Herzog Ferdinand collection, it became apparent we clearly went to the same school of Sunday. Our visions of the perfect breakfast aligned seamlessly. 

We all have those beautiful items we hold to one side, more than likely only for ‘guests’. Well, in my eyes that’s ludicrous. Bring them out, select your finest cutlery and set the table. 

Here would seem a good time for the second pot of coffee, whilst the papers start their soft descent into a crumpled mess and the pancake batter hits the pan. For there should be pancakes, no lazy weekend is truly complete without a pancake.

The Second Sunday. A Bank Holiday weekend should be a thing of glory. A three day weekend filled with brunch, coffee, indulge and a little bit of luxury.

Spread soft ricotta cheese atop your crisp sourdough and smother in freshly sliced cherries, drizzle with honey and strew with mint. Pour the coffee, share out the pancakes and quietly retreat to the content world of the Sunday magazine. I would suggest at the very least an hour is spent slowly eating breakfast; ensuring no coffee is left unconsumed and no page left unturned. And then? Well it’s time to go about the day, filled with the happiness only a good breakfast can really deliver.

When Monday morning arrives, the only thing you should change is your pancake topping. This is the rare second Sunday. Make to count and do it all again. 

The Second Sunday. A Bank Holiday weekend should be a thing of glory. A three day weekend filled with brunch, coffee, indulge and a little bit of luxury.

Peach & Goat’s Cheese Pastries

1 x Ready rolled sheet of puff pastry
Soft goat’s cheese (or ricotta cheese if you prefer)
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 x Slightly firm peaches (pears also work nicely)
1 x Beaten egg
A drizzle of honey

Take the puff pastry out of the fridge around fifteen minutes before you want to create your pastries. Once rested, slice the pastry into rectangles and place on a lined baking tray.

Take a knife and score a smaller rectangle around 1cm from the edge, creating a border. This allows the edges to puff up whilst cooking.

In a bowl mix the soft goat’s cheese with freshly cracked black pepper. Spread liberally on the centre of the pastry before arranging finely sliced wedges of peach atop.

Crack an egg into a bowl and briefly whisk, brush around the border you’ve created for a glossy finish. Finally, drizzle over a dash of honey and place in a pre-heated fan oven at around 180 degrees for around 15 minutes.

These are perfect served fresh from the oven or cold, however your lazy morning takes you.

The Second Sunday. A Bank Holiday weekend should be a thing of glory. A three day weekend filled with brunch, coffee, indulge and a little bit of luxury.

This post was produced in partnership with BONADEA. The beautiful porcelain featured throughout this post is taken from Fuerstenberg’s Herzog Ferdinand collection, available on site now.

|1.| Fuerstenberg Coffee Pot |2.| Fuerstenberg Dessert Plate |3.| Fuerstenberg Coffee Cup & Saucer |4.| Fuerstenberg Sugar Bowl

 

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Ate, Food, Recipe

Peaches & Cream.

 

When a fruit is in season, it is truy in its element. That’s how nature works. Winter strawberries never quite taste the same as luscious English strawberries do in July, plucked during their natural period and delivered to your plate exactly how nature intended. There’s a lot to be said for the benefits of eating in season, not simply taste alone.

This week I received my first organic fruit and vegetable box from Riverford Organic. When I lived in London I regularly had Able & Cole boxes delivered but sadly they appear to have forgotten ‘The North’ exists and have yet to extend their offering past the Watford gap. Riverford Organic however, are more than happy to venture into the cold, unforgiving climates of ‘The North’. Arriving freshly plucked from the earth at a local organic farm, this week’s box was to include a punnet of perfectly ripe, perfectly peachy donut peaches. Oh how I love a good peach.

I’ve nothing against eating a peach as they are, but when they’re grilled? Magic happens. Pure peachy magic.

Slice the peaches in half, remove the stones, drizzle with honey and scatter with thyme leaves. Grill until the surface starts to brown and the honey has a thick caramel-like quality to it. Mix thick Greek yoghurt – or coconut yoghurt if you prefer to go dairy free – with a good dollop of honey, spoon over the grilled peaches and roughly chop some pistachios, roughly scattering them over the yoghurt. It’s simple, yet it’s dreamy.

 

 

The few remaining peaches made their way to the following day’s breakfast bowl; sitting atop an acai berry oat smoothie. Add a banana, some frozen mixed berries, acai berry powder, oats, honey and almond milk to a blender, blitz into submission and serve with coconut yoghurt, pistachios, flaked almonds & a smattering of desiccated coconut should you desire. Again, simple yet scrumptious.

 

|1.| The White Company Porto Roaster |2.| Kelly Hoppen Zen Cereal Bowl |3.| Ferm Living Fein Brass Serving Spoons

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Food, Recipe

Lemon & Blueberry Oat Bites.

Like pretty much everyone out there, I like to snack. It helps my days seem that little bit more bearable if I know there’s a treat of some variety waiting in my top drawer for elevenses. I cannot claim to be a saint in the snacking arena by any means, but I do try my best. As we all know, you get points for trying. So that’s something.

These flapjack like bites satisfy the need to snack without sacrificing any of the taste. They also happen to contain two of my favourite things – blueberries and lemon. I will essentially east just about anything with lemon in. They’re relatively simple to make and can be played with easily; try adding in a layer of blackberries or mixed berries for example. The world if your oaty oyster.

Ingredients 

  • 220g oats (gluten free works perfectly)
  • 6 tbsp runny honey
  • Zest & juice of 2 lemonds
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 10 medjool dates
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 75g pumpkin seeds
  • 75g sunflower seeds
  • 250g blueberries

Start by making your blueberry filling. Place your blueberries in a pan with a tablespoon of honey and the juice of half a lemon (zest it before juicing and leave to one side). Cook on a gentle heat for around 10 minutes until it resembles a jam-like consistency. Leave to one side.

Next melt the coconut oil, tahini, remaining 5 tablespoons of honey and the rest of the lemon juice in a pan.

Pop your dates in a blender and pulse into they’re one big sticky ball. Add this to a bowl containing the seeds, oats, salt and lemon zest. Add in the contents of your pan once all of the coconut oil has melted and give it a really good mix. The date paste can be tough to blend in, so give it some elbow grease.

Put half of your oat mixture into a tin – I tend to go for a flat square one to make slicing them simple, but feel free to use whatever you have to hand. Although a circular tin may cause some portion issues, which we all know no one wants.

When half the mixture it is in the tin, give it a good press down either with your fingers or the back of a spoon.

Next add the blueberry mixture and spread evenly across the layer. Now add the second half of your oat mixture and spread out. You may need to be a tad more gentle here to ensure the blueberry mixture doesn’t spill out. Press down as firmly as you can and then transfer to the fridge to set.

If you can hold off for 3-4 hours, that’s ideal. Overnight is best. Then it’s time to slice into bitesize squares. They should keep in the fridge for up to a week, or you can freeze any left overs.

We both know there won’t be any leftovers.

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Zatar Roasted Carrot & Garlic Hummus.

There was a time when a tub of hummus and a stack of toasted pita breads constituted an evening meal for me. I’m rather glad to say those days are gone and I have moved on to a much more balanced diet, however, that being said… I could absolutely still do exactly that. I love hummus. In almost all of its guises, I love it. Most days it serves as a prelude to my desk lunch, with a pile of carrots serving as the vehicle for it’s salty, lemony tang.

In my quest of the perfect hummus recipe – something I have absolutely yet to find I might add – I’ve explored the world of alternative versions, with varying success. There’s thus far been everything from puy lentil editions to creamy butterbean variants. This roasted carrot version is one I shall certainly be returning to although I might add, it’s absolutely never going to replace the chickpea variety.

Roasting the carrots with the zatar spiked oil really brings out their sweet nature whilst adding a spark of flavour to the proceedings. I find also roasted the garlic in the same way produces a much more mellow tasting hummus, adding it in raw can leave a rather acrid taste in my experience, so I tend to always roast the garlic first. Serve it with some toasted pita chips (gluten free pitas will do just as well, don’t worry) and some fresh crudités like celery or chicory.

 

Ingredients

  • 8 carrots, cleaned and sliced in half
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, with more to serve
  • 2 garlic cloves, pealed
  • 1 tsp zatar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp of tahini

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Start by scrubbing the carrots thoroughly, you don’t need to peel them, just make sure they’re well and truly clean before slicing them in half.  

Add the carrots to a mixing bowl along with the two pealed cloves of garlic and drizzle over 2 tablespoons of your olive oil.

Next sprinkle over a pinch of salt and your teaspoon of zatar and 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, give it all a good toss to make sure every piece of carrot is nicely coated and then arrange on your baking tray in a pleasantly hazard manor.

Remove the two cloves of garlic and keep to one side for now, they aren’t going to need as long to roast as the carrots. If any of the oil mix remains in the bowl, just pour this onto the carrots. 

Pop into the oven and leave to roast for around 15 minutes, at this point check on them and add the garlic to your baking tray. Pop back in the over for a further 10-15 minutes until everything looks caramelized and delectable before removing from the oven. Leave to one side to cool.

Once the carrots and garlic have cooled add them to your food processor with your lemon juice, tahini and remaining olive oil. Give it all a whizz until nice and blended, you might at this point need to add in some more olive oil if you feel the hummus is too thick. Give it a taste and season accordingly. If it’s a little sweet for you simply try adding a few further drops of lemon juice.

To serve, spoon into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil before adding a final sprinkling of zatar.

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Ate, Cook, Food

Clementines & Ginger.

The real reason I decided to play around with the idea of a ginger and clementine cake came from the fact I stumbled across some miniature bundt tins whilst wandering around a store last week.

As soon I saw them I knew something festive would evolve from their presence in my kitchen.

The cake itself has a darkly spiced flavour due to a blend of ginger, cinnamon and the all together not too healthy addition of Golden Syrup. The drizzle icing and candied peal on top deliver a sharper kick of clementine. Again, the sugar doesn’t exactly render this all that healthy however I’m convinced a more virtuous iteration of it can be discovered.

Bear with me. I’m working on it.

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