It's been a busy old week here at Nourished by Nature! It's Scotland Food and Drink Fortnight and also Organic September so I've been promoting both of them big-time!
I'm taking part in a My Healthy Breakfast Challenge for schools in conjunction with Food for Thought and Hamlyn's Oats and my brief was to come up with a few ideas for kids breakfasts with no nuts or expensive ingredients!
So I came up with this rather delicious crunchy oaty granola which is flavoured with maple syrup and cinnamon and packed with lots of healthy seeds which kids should definitely be eating more of! I used my organic maple syrup from Lidl which was a total bargain at £2.99!
Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are now widely available everywhere from Home Bargains to Lidl, Aldi and all the major supermarkets and are very reasonably priced.
I used a mild flavoured organic Sunflower Oil but you could easily substitute olive oil or good old Scottish Rapeseed Oil.
Oats are a great energy food, packed with complex carbohydrates, soluble fibre, protein and B vitamins supporting digestive and heart health and providing a filling and nutritious base for breakfast for kids and adults alike!!
Sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds add lots of minerals including calcium & magnesium for building strong bones and teeth and good fats as well as fibre and protein.
Dried fruit gives a wee burst of natural sweetness and cinnamon helps the body to deal with the sugar, which along with all the fibre, good fats and protein in this recipe will help to stabilise blood sugar levels for sustained energy and good mood!
Coconut is also high in soluble fibre and is naturally sweet which beats refined sugar any day of the week!
Served with yoghurt and fresh fruit or simply eaten as a snack, this oaty seedy crunch is sure to be a hit with kids!
I've been enjoying it on my smoothie bowls, porridge and just as a wee snack! It's a bit more crumbly than normal granola which I usually make with jumbo oats and buckwheat but it still tastes delicious!
I also added a handful of goji berries and some toasted coconut flakes to mine to add some colour and a bit of extra crunch. The brief was nut free but I love nuts so would add a good handful of almonds, chopped brazil nuts or walnuts to mine!
Here is the recipe...
MAPLE CINNAMON OAT CRUNCH
2 cups Hamlyns rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
½ cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons milled flaxseeds (optional )
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Large pinch sea salt
¼ cup organic sunflower oil (4 tablespoons)
¼ cup maple syrup (4 tablespoons)
1 cup of mixed dried fruit, raisins, apricots or dates
Its been a heck of a busy week here at Nourished by Nature! I've been out and about spreading the word on Healthy Eating at Nurseries, Community Halls and schools!
I've started a blog post on sugar but haven't finished it so will post it next week, its such a big topic!
Instead I thought I'd share this rather genius pancake idea from the lovely people over at Food Matters
It passes the NbyN test in that it is free of anything unhealthy or artificial, is super easy, tastes delicious and your kids will love it!
Its so simple you don't need a recipe at all.
I'm a big fan of bananas, they are naturally sweet, a great energy source and easy on the digestion. Likewise eggs are a great source of omega 3, protein, vitamins and antioxidants but please buy organic eggs, they are so much higher in omega 3 and antioxidants and the chickens who produced them will have had a natural life, see blog post Eggsellent eggs.
Anyway back to the super simple pancakes!!
Makes 1 large pancake
1 ripe banana
1 medium to large organic egg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional but recommended)
1 spoonful coconut or rapeseed oil
The cinnamon gives your body a wee helping hand to deal with the sugar in the banana.
1. Simply mash the banana in a bowl then add an egg and whisk them both together to form a batter, add the cinnamon.
2. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a non stick pan, add your batter and cook on a medium heat for around 5 minutes until bubbles start to form on the surface, lift the edges and check if the pancake is browned, then flip it over and cook the other side for another few minutes until cooked and nicely browned.
I didn't actually manage to flip mine, I had visions of it stuck to the ceiling or my face!! I just used a lifter but feel free to flip yours!
.I'm a big fan of coconut oil which has many health benefits and is the most stable oil to cook with and it tastes delicious, will boost your metabolism and every other body system.
Rapeseed oil is also very stable at high temperatures, has a great fatty acid profile and is a great alternative to coconut oil. A lot of it is produced in Scotland and I am a big promoter of quality, healthy Scottish products. I use both oils for cooking, a blog post on oils will be coming soon!
A wee note, I made a pancake for Laura's breakfast this morning and used a fairly small egg. Its rather strange I have 2 ex battery chickens, both the same size and they lay quite significantly different sized eggs!
Anyway the pancake tasted fine but was more difficult to turn and broke up slightly so I'd always use a medium to large egg, for ease of flipping!
The pancake doesn't taste remotely eggy, its deliciously sweet and is perfect served with some lovely berries for extra vitamins and antioxidants and a drizzle of maple syrup or rice malt syrup, for a lovely sweet but nutritious breakfast!
Give them a go this weekend, you will be pleasantly surprised how simple and delicious these pancakes are!!
Apologies about the random coloured text, Weebly is playing up today so it's not my fault!
.........your health in your hands......
Overnight oats is quite simply a wonderful idea, so easy, fast, delicious, healthy and versatile. It really ticks all the boxes for a filling, nourishing start to the day. The oats are a great source of soluble fibre, protein and B vitamins to set you up for the day and the berries add vitamins and antioxidants to support your immune system.
To be honest I prefer pinhead oatmeal porridge when the weather is cold but the Overnight Oats is a winner in the warmer weather! Sadly we haven’t seen much of the sun recently but hopefully there is some good weather coming soon!
Anyway back to the awesome oats. Here is the basic recipe to which you can add any selection of fruit, nuts or seeds. I buy my jumbo oats loose from Locavore or Wholefoods, much cheaper and no plastic packaging to deal with so better for the environment as well!
2/3 cup of jumbo oats
1 cup of non dairy milk, I like Oatly oat milk, almond milk or hemp milk
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
A handful of berries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries all work well. You can use frozen berries too. Alternatively a mashed ripe banana and some cinnamon or a grated apple with some raisins is also delicious.
Simply mix the oats and chia seeds in a glass mason jar, add the milk and berries and stir well to mix. You can add a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey for extra sweetness.
Close the lid, put the jar in the fridge overnight and by the morning the chia seeds will have absorbed all the milk and you will have a delicious breakfast! Just add a selection of toppings, chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, goji berries, toasted coconut flakes or more berries to your taste.
The great thing about this is if you don’t have time for breakfast in the morning or you’d rather eat your breakfast later then just take the jar with you to work and eat it at your leisure!
…………….your health in your hands…………
For 1 generous serving
Put the oats, milk and water in a pot, bring to the boil, give it a good stir then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. I usually go for a shower leaving the porridge simmering on low heat. Then add a good spoonful of coconut oil to boost your metabolism and add your preferred toppings from the list. Serve with oat or almond milk.
If you are short of time in the mornings then try this overnight method instead.
Bring to the boil 2 cups of water and one cup of oat milk in a small pot, add ½ cup of oats, simmer for a minute then turn off the heat and put the lid on. Leave overnight.
In the morning, just simmer gently for 5 minutes, add coconut oil and serve with chosen toppings!
This is my absolute favourite winter breakfast, so versatile, filling and nutritious. It absolutely ticks all the boxes and supports every system in your body. Your bowels will be regular as clockwork, your immune system will be strengthened, your brain will get a good kick start with all the omega 3 fatty acids from the nuts and seeds, your metabolism will be boosted by the coconut oil, you will have lots of energy and you will be full until lunchtime!
I prefer the texture of Pinhead oatmeal for my morning porridge so I use that but you can use normal porridge oats if you prefer, just don’t use the sachets of instant porridge, they are full of refined sugar! I use Oatly organic oat milk which is full of soluble fibre and can help to lower cholesterol. Hemp milk and almond milk are also good alternatives. Most supermarkets stock a good range of non dairy milks.
If you use dairy milk you will be adding cholesterol, saturated fat, antibiotic residues and a good dose of hormones, which your body most definitely does not need!
If you need any more reasons to start eating porridge then check out this recent research at Harvard University here which proved that eating porridge regularly could be the key to a long and healthy life!
The possibilities are endless so get creative with your morning porridge and leave me a comment if you come up with any winning combos!
A healthy lifestyle blog with green living tips, plant-based recipes and natural health magic.