Superfood Cereal

Jamie Oliver recently published his ’10 recipes to save your life’ – if you can master these simple recipes, you can feed yourself and your family for the rest of your life. We’re bringing you easy twists on each of these recipes to extend your repertoire.

My twist on Jamie’s DIY Oaty Fruity Cereal is to guild it with delectable flourishes that are both stunningly beautiful, and wonderfully nutritious.

The basic cereal is ridiculously easy:

  • 100g dried fruit, such as sultanas, raisins, dried apricots
  • 50g mixed unsalted nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts
  • 50g mixed seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy
  • 400g porridge oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Just roughly chop the nuts and dried fruit, give it all a mix, and serve with milk or natural yoghurt.

Now here’s my list of nutrient rich tweaks that you can pick and choose from to elevate this simple breakfast bowl. The health benefits of superfoods are much debated – above anything, these little treats are both interesting and tasty:

  1. Goldenberries – these are dried Physalis (Physalis peruviana) or as they’re also known, Cape Gooseberries, Ground Cherry or Capuli. High in iron and fibre, they’re both tart and sweet.
  2. Bee Pollen – tiny little pollen pellets that have been packed by worker honeybees!
  3. White Mulberries – (Moras alba) – Delicious dried fruits and a good source of protein, fibre, iron, vitamin C and K.
  4. Blueberries – or ‘star berries’ as the Native Americans called them. Rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins from their blue colour, they truly are a star of the fruit world.
  5. Cacao Nibs – the basis of chocolate without the dairy or sugar added, these are simply smashed up cacao beans. (Note that Cocoa has been processed further at a higher temperature).
  6. Coconut shavings – containing lauric and caprylic acids, the fruit of the ‘tree of life’ acts as a natural antibiotic.
  7. Goji Berries – also known as Wolfberries, they are dense in minerals and contain selenium, vitamin C, B2 and A, iron and polysaccharides (antioxidant). These berries have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Give it a mix, add your milk or yoghurt and enjoy the variety!

Winter, my 5-year-old daughter, thoroughly enjoys creating her own “bowl of deliciousness” as she calls it, raiding all the kilner jars and balancing her breakfast just how she likes it.

superfood cereal mix

Coffee & Cake Makes Us Stronger

People are awesome.  We had such a great Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Support today and raised a stack of cash for the charity in the process.  We want to say a huge thank you to everyone that came along for cake and a natter.  I’ll admit that I had to go with the 7am backup Portuguese Tarts as I wrecked the tiered Ombre Cake that my wife requested… Probably for the best as our guests brought beautiful homemade cakes which were all delicious (and I’ll definitely be going for a run in the morning).  Experimenting with Superfood Brownies and Amazeballs was truly worthwhile and made it accessible to everyone.

The highlight for me?  Whilst Emma was counting up, Felix asked if he could put some money in the box from his piggy bank.


2014 Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Support

http://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/

The yearly Coffee Morning is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event.  They ask people across the UK to hold a coffee morning and raise money for people living with cancer. In 2013, 154,000 people signed up, raising a record £20 million.

What a shame it’s only once a year!

Anna's Banana Cake no-cook superfood browniesMacmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning

Elderberry Cordial

Yet another ‘Superfood’.  As long as you didn’t go too mad on picking the Elderflowers earlier in the year, the fruit of the Elder Tree can be foraged in Autumn and transformed into a number of delightful offerings. This year we decided on elderberry cordial for its lovely flavour, versatility in the kitchen, and medicinal properties (not only are they packed with antioxidants, but some studies have shown success in prevention and treatment of Influenza).

If you’re making cordial or syrup, you’ll simply require the addition of sugar, water and perhaps a few Cloves or Star Anise.

Raw Elderberries

 

Starting with your basket of Elderberry heads, the first thing you’ll need to do is separate the berries from the stalks.  This is important as Elder foliage is poisonous, but thankfully, it’s rather easy.  All you need is a regular fork.  Surprisingly satisfying it is too.

freshly harvested elderberries

Give them a good rinse to remove any creepy crawlies that may be lurking.

Pop them in a large pot or ideally a preserving pan, although not many people have these unlike in the good old days.  Top the pan up with just enough water to cover them, and then simmer for about 20 minutes.

Simmering Elderberries

Next is to strain the Elderberries through muslin cloth to remove the skins and all the little bits.  You’ll be left with a rather attractive looking liquid.

Making Elderberry Cordial

Nearly there.  Measure how much liquid you have, and then add about 450g of sugar for each pint (568ml). At this point you can add in some whole Cloves or Star Anise for a bit of background spice.  Boil for 10 minutes until thick and then remove any spices.

Bottle it up in sterilised bottles or jars and you’re done.  Keep it in your fridge once opened.

The children enjoy it diluted with water – particularly sparkling.  Now we’re looking forward to the colder months so we can drink it with hot water.

Bottle of Elderberry Cordial

 

Next year, Elderberry Liqueur…

Super Food

Tomatoes truly are incredible.  A superfood that we can all grow with relative ease.  I have very special memories of walking into my Grandfather’s greenhouse which he devoted completely to the growing these precious little fruits.  The unmistakeable smell of the vines transports me back to the halcyon days of my childhood summers with every single sniff.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Now is the perfect time to buy tomatoes in the UK as we are in the height of the harvest.  Better still, many home-growers have a glut and are keen to share.

There’s such an array of things that you can make to prolong the joy; relish, chutney, ketchup, passata.

Why not go a little Spanish with ‘Pa amb tomaquet’ and rub some thick-cut grilled bread with garlic and freshly cut tomato for breakfast…  Maybe some shavings of Manchego cheese to top it off.  Heaven.

Local tomatoes