Saturday, July 28, 2007

Healthy Eating

Today am keeping to the straight and narrow and offering up some recipes which include some of the good-for-you foods discussed over the previous days. But not only heathy, but delicious.

Oaten Biscuits : makes 16 large biscuits
4 oz (125g) plain flour
1 oz (25g) wholemeal flour
5 oz (150g) porridge oats
7 oz (200g) demerara sugar
8 oz (225g) butter, softened
1 tsp (7g) bicarbonate of soda
good pinch of salt
Mix everything together to form a dough. Add a very little water (only if it needs it) just enough to hold it together.
Chill for a few minutes then roll out fairly thinly between sheets of clingfilm. Using a large 3" (7 - 8cm) scone cutter, cut into circles and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 10 minutes, then cool slightly before removing (use a fish slice) to a wire airing tray. Best eaten with cheese. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Oat and Walnut Biscuits: makes 16
4 oz (100g) butter, softened
3 oz (85g) soft brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 oz (50g) porridge oats
2 oz (50g) walnuts, finely chopped
3 oz (85g) plain flour, sifted with...
...half a tsp. baking powder
Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Drop dessertspoonsful of the mixture onto greased baking sheets, allowing room to spread, than bake for 15 minutes at 190C, 350F, gas 4 until pale gold. Stand for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Will keep for up to a week in an airtight container. Good eaten with cheese.

Wholemeal Cheese and Herb Scones: makes over a dosen
2 oz (5og) plain flour
6 oz (175g) wholemeal flour
1 tblsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 os (50g) butter cut into cubes
1 oz (25g) Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp fresh herbs, chopped (chives are best, but try different ones)
5fl.oz (115ml) milk
1 egg, beaten
Put the two flours, the salt and baking powder into a bowl and rub in the butter until crumbed. Mix in the cheese and herbs. Blend together the egg and milk and slowly pour this into the dry mix. Stir with a knife until it has formed a soft dough. Using a floured board, gently roll out to about an inch (2.5cm) thick. Cut into just small scones (about inch and a half/4cm) across. Place on lightly greased baking tray and glaze with a little milk. Bake for 15 -20 minutes at 220C, 425F. gas 7. Serve spread with low-fat cream cheese with chives.
Best eaten fresh but can be stored in an airtight tin for the following day or frozen and refreshed in the microwave.

Wheaten Walnut Bread: makes one medium loaf for making in a bread machine
half a pint (300ml) warm water
1 tblsp black treacle (or molasses)
8 oz (200g) strong white bread flour
8 oz (200g) wholemeal flour
1 tsp easy-blend dried yeast
1 tblsp. milk powder
1 tsp salt
handful of finely chopped walnuts
Dissolve the treacle in the warm water. Put the ingredients into the bread machine in the order as per manual instruction. choose your choice of crust, then switch on.
Variations: Leave out the walnuts and just make a plain loaf. Or omit the nuts and add a tsp of dried mixed herbs. Instead of using all wholemeal flour, replace a couple of tablespoons with muesli. Instead of the treacle use honey.

Oaty Flapjacks:
6 oz (175g) butter
4 oz (125g) soft brown sugar
2 oz (55g) golden syrup
12 oz (350g) porridge oats
Put the butter, sugar and syrup into a pan over a low heat. When melted, stir in the oats. Pour into a non-stick baking tin (8" square is an average size to use). Press down firmly. Bake at 190C, 350F, gas 4 for 20 - 25 minutes until golden but still slightly soft. Still in the tin, cut through into squares but do not remove from the tin until completely cold. Carefully remove and store in an air-tight container.
Variations: Ingredients such as sunflower seeds, dried fruits and chopped nuts can be added to the mixture. Or use honey instead of the syrup.

Apple Jack Trifle: serves 6 - 8
first make the flapjack:
4 oz (100g) porridge oats
1 tsp mixed spice
2 oz (150g) soft brown sugar
2 oz (5og) butter
Melt the butter in a pan and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir until lightly toasted and crisp. Turn out into a bowl to cool.
Then prepare the filling:
8 eating apples (Coxes or russets for example) peeled and cored
1 oz (25g) butter
1 oz (25g) caster sugar
2 tblsp pureed blackcurrant juice (could use Ribena)
about 3/4 pint custard
283 ml carton of double cream
Slice the prepared apples, not too thinly, melt the butter in a frying pan and add the apples. Fry, turning often until turning golden. Sprinkle over the sugar, stir and continue to cook until the apples are just soft. Put to one side to cool.
Assemble the trifle by making several layers of oats and apples in a glass serving bowl (keep back some oats) .
Drizzle over the blackcurrant puree (coulis) as you go. Finish with a layer of custard. Whip the cream, pile this on top of the custard and sprinkle over remaining crispy oats. Can be served immediately, or made earlier and chilled for no longer than 6 hours before serving.

Tropical Baked Bananas: serves 4
4 oz (100g) chopped mixed nuts
2 - 3 tablsp dessicated coconut
1 tsp ground cinnamon
6 tblsp runny honey
4 large ripe bananas, cut in half across the width
Greek yogurt
Mix the nuts, coconut and cinnamon together and shake/spread over a large plate. Pour the honey into a smaller dish. Coat each piece of banana by first rolling in the honey, then pressing/rolling into the nut mixture, making sure the bananas are fully covered. Put onto a lined baking sheet and bake at 190C, 350F, gas 4, for 20 mins. or until the fruit is softened. Serve with the yogurt and, if you wish, drizzle over more honey. Can also be served with vanilla ice cream. Personally, I feel rum and raisin ice-cream would be even better. Or maybe use the recipe below.

Instant Fruit Yogurt Ice Cream:
11 oz (310g) frozen berries (blackberries, blueberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, strawberries etc)
1 x 500g tub of plain or Greek yogurt, well chilled
2 tbls honey, any kind
Make sure the berries are taken straight from the freezer. Do not let them thaw out. Put the fruit in a blender or processor and blitz for no more than 30 seconds. Add the yogurt and honey and blitz again until smooth. The texture will be like ice-cream, but scoopable. Eat it straight away or put it into a tub, back into the freezer where it will keep for a couple of weeks or so. Allow to thaw slightly before serving.