Vanilla Date Jam

The more popular dates become within the vegan and plantbased community, the more I wonder why date jam isn’t a condiment that we can easily buy in stores yet. After quitting the whole macro counting thing in October, I have finally found that relationship with food that I’ve so desperately been trying to achieve for years and with that, my relationship with carbs has developed ten-fold. I love them. Probably a bit more than they love me, but I’m hoping with time, my body will adapt and the bloated feeling will disappear. That said, I haven’t been able to workout since October either, due to things going on in my body that are out of my control and I’m not entirely sure when I’ll be able to workout again. But, I’m enjoying my food at the moment, eating all the carbs, and for the first time in my life, I’m also sleeping like a baby and as always, making sure I am looking after myself through proper nutrition too. So that’s what matters to me. image

However, I’ve never had so many cravings for carbs, until lately –  it’s like I’ve created a monster: rice, pasta, potatoes, bread; I don’t know what’s going on, but I can’t stop eating and I don’t think I want to. I’ve never been more in love with toast than I am right now either: spread with coconut oil and jam it’s just heaven; which is why I’ve made some vanilla date jam today, just to add something different to my toast, but also to prevent meal boredom setting in. Although, don’t be fooled into thinking that this jam is only for toast. No. This vanilla date jam can be added into a smoothie, used to spread on cupcakes, used as a cupcake filling. You could even make sticky toffee pudding or dip apple slices into it, for an afternoon snack. It’s just so versatile, healthy and delicious.

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Ingredients

  • 200g Pitted Dates or Medjools
  • 1 tbsp Sukrin Brown Sugar Alternative
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice

Directions

Make sure the dates have been pitted and toss them into a saucepan along with the water and boil them until they are soft.

When the dates have started to breakdown and the water has evaporated somewhat, add in the vanilla extract and lemon juice.

Remove the dates from the heat and blend into a purée. Stir in the cinnamon and Sukrin sugar alternative.

Store the date jam in an airtight container and keep in the fridge.

For more recipes follow me on Instagram @TheHungryWelshGirl and tag me in any of my recipes that you try – I’d love to hear what you think.

 

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

I received my annual blog report this morning and I have to say I’m more than pleased with all the love I have received over the last year. When I first started The Hungry Welsh Girl at the beginning of 2015, I never expected it to ever be viewed, let alone receive comments and followers. So I just want to take the time to thank you all for the love and support. If it wasn’t for you guys, I don’t think I’d have been as committed to The Hungry Welsh Girl blog, as I have been over the year. I am now looking forward to sharing and creating more recipes in 2016 and hopefully making The Hungry Welsh Girl, a bigger, better and even more successful blog, while celebrating its first birthday!

This year has gone SO quick and while I may not have achieved all the goals I initially set out to do, I still have made progress in other aspects of my life and because of The Hungry Welsh Girl and the support I receive on both here and my social media:Twitter and Instagram; my self confidence has sky rocketed. So, whether you have nailed the goals you set for yourself this year – congratulations 🙂 or whether you didn’t quite manage to achieve what you initially set out to do, don’t beat yourselves up; just take 2016 by its metaphorical balls and kick it up a notch, like I intend to do.

I’ll finish by saying, Thank you again for all the support, have an incredible New Year and I’ll see you on the other side. 😊

-Leah

Peanut Butter Crusted French Toast

At the beginning of the year I made and ate so much protein French toast that eventually the mere sight of it, made me want to gag and the same goes for proats too. I just couldn’t stomach the thought of making either ever again – until Christmas eve. As most of you know or should know, I follow a flexible/balanced approach to eating and I practise this all year around. So when Christmas sneaks up on me, I never feel the need to overindulge and I rarely do. But, when I came up with this idea late on Christmas eve, eve; I couldn’t wait to create it and I definitely felt like I was overindulging, but I didn’t care and I ate every morsel. Continue reading “Peanut Butter Crusted French Toast”

Sticky Toffee Date Pudding

dsc_0662I’ve never actually eaten sticky toffee pudding before. Although, I have always fancied it. Who wouldn’t? A rich, gooey vanilla date cake drowned in a sweet, sticky toffee sauce – the words on their own have me drooling. I don’t know why I’ve never eaten it, I guess I don’t eat out very often and when I do, I never have dessert. This cake is so easy to make and because there is a large amount of dates in the cake, the amount of fat required is pretty non-existent which is why I went all out for my toffee sauce and used grass-fed butter.

STP (blur).jpgThe sticky puding itself was so unctuous and delicious: gooey and crunchy with pecans on the inside. I loved it. Every bite I had, had me craving for more and it took all the willpower inside of me, not to eat the other three t00. These sticky toffee date puddings are small: ramekin sized, but do not be fooled by the size of these gems because only one kept me full for hours. I did use Kodiak Cakes power cakes pancake mix for these puddings, which I bought from Cardiff Sports Nutrition, but wholemeal flour can be used as a substitute.

Ingredients

  • 200g Soft Dates
  • 70g Kodiak Cakes Pancake Mix
  • 30g Sukrin Coconut Flour
  • 60ml Vegan Milk
  • 35g Pecans
  • 100ml Water
  • 3 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Sticky Toffee Sauce

  • 250ml Maple Syrup
  • 25g Grass-fed Butter (Margarine or Coconut Oil for vegan)
  • 30ml Milk
  • 1-2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

  • Place the dates in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes, reduce the heat and boil for another 10 minutes or until the dates are soft. Blend them into a puree, in a food processor.
  • Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and in a separate bowl beat the egg, add the egg into the dates and then stir the dates into the dry ingredients. The pudding mixture may be a bit sloppy.
  • Grease 3 ramekins and evenly fill them with the pudding mixture. Place the ramekins in a rectangular dish, with enough water in the bottom of the dish to cover it – cover the puddings with foil and cook the toffee date puddings for 25-30 minutes. The bain marie will steam the puddings and stop the sides from burning and sticking. But, it will also keep the inside of the puddings moist.
  • After 20 minutes remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Insert a knife into the centre of the cakes and if it is clean when removed, the cakes are done.

When your puddings are cooking, you can make the toffee sauce.

  • Bring the maple syrup to a boil in a saucepan for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla and milk. When the toffee sauce has thickened remove from the heat and pour over the warm toffee date puddings and serve immediately.

For more recipes, reviews and ideas follow me on Instagram – @TheHungryWelshGirl and tag me in any of the recipes you try as I would love to see what you create and hear what you think.

© The Hungry Welsh Girl 2016
All photos, recipes and texts are copyrighted unless otherwise stated.
All Rights Reserved.

Mini Figgy Puddings

 

img_0184This recipe was the first recipe I wrote back in October, just in time for Christmas and the one which I have been looking forward to making ever since. I even bought some cute holly and berries from Amazon, to top them with and I was pleased with myself because I had never seen this kind of take on a Christmas pudding before; that is until this week when one of the girls from Instagram (Sarah) stole the idea right out of my head – don’t you just hate it when that happens? 😉 You can view Sarah’s take on the mini Christmas pudding here and they do sound delicious. My mini figgy puddings are more of a traditional Christmas pudding though, sadly without the alcohol, but you can use brandy or Cointreau in yours if you prefer, all you will have to do is soak the fruit in the alcohol instead of the water and I would leave it for a few days to a week if you want a more potent pudding, but they’re small so maybe go easy 😉

I was very pleased with how these mini figgy puddings turned out, they were full of flavour from the fruit and spices and it all paired perfectly with the white chocolate topping. The best thing about these mini figgy puddings is that you don’t have to steam them or bake them for hours on end which means you can eat them as soon as you make them – winning! As this recipe is versatile, you could even fill ramekins and make proper mini figgy puddings, topped with brandy sauce too.

If you are wondering where you can buy your dried fruit and nuts without spending a fortune, I get all mine from Lidl; they sell 250g bag of dry fruit for just 99p and 500g bags of nuts for just over £1.

Ingredients

  • 100g Dried Figs
  • 100g Dates
  • 100g Sultanas
  • 50g St Clemente Marmalade
  • 50g Vegan White Chocolate
  • 50g Walnuts
  • 20g Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Mixed Spice/Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
  • 1 Scoop of Vanilla or Cinnamon Protein Powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Fruit Water
  • 1/3 Cup Sweetener
  • 1 Cup Water or 45ml Brandy
  • Holly & Berry Toppings (optional)

Directions

Place all the dried fruit into a jar or container and the chia seeds into a separate jar or container and pour in the water or brandy, then cover and place the jar in the fridge overnight. If you are using the alcohol, you would benefit more if you leave the fruit soak for a day or two.

When you are ready to make your mini Christmas puddings, drain the fruit into a bowl and save 2 tablespoons of the water, before adding it to a food processor along with the dried fruit and chia seeds; making sure you blend the fruit until they are a thick, sticky puree, now add in the sweetener lemon zest, cinnamon and protein powder. You can fold in some halved sultanas, if you want them to have a more traditional look, if not then just leave them out.

Now for the fun part or not so fun part if you don’t like getting your hands dirty. Take 1 tbsp of the mixture and roll into a ball, then place the ball on to some greaseproof paper and continue this method until all the mixture has been used and you have 18 mini figgy puddings. Pop the mini puddings into the freezer for 5-10 minutes, this is optional but it will help the puddings set quicker and also the chocolate when you add it.

Next, take the white chocolate and chunk it into smaller pieces, place half of the chocolate into a microwaveable bowl and into the microwave on high for 30 seconds. When finished, stir the chocolate and continue to cook for another 30 seconds before adding the second half of the chunked up chocolate, this time there is no need to heat the chocolate, just stir until the cold chocolate has melted into the hot white chocolate. This method is called tempering and it just saves the chocolate from blooming and turning a not so appetising dull colour the next day.

All that’s left now is to add the white chocolate icing, lastly, top with your holly and berry, take a pretty picture and tag me on Instagram: @Happy.Hungry.Healthy. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family did.

 

Gift Ideas for the Home Cook, Foodie & Meat-Head

I’m not one to steal ideas usually, I take pride in coming up with my own recipes and ideas, but when I saw cooking with a wallflowers post, I just had to steal it and write my own version. I’ve seen loads of baking accessories and ideas over the internet that I would love and I think they would make incredible gifts, but being a home cook and foodie myself, I guess that’s obvious. Even so, it never crossed my mind to share these gift ideas with, well all of you. So thank you Cooking with a Wallflower for the idea. You can check her Christmas gift guide out here.

I don’t often struggle to buy gifts for people, I’m actually a very good gift giver in my humble opinion and I enjoy it, but I know for most people ideas don’t come as naturally and I frequently see people stressing over what to buy. I think over the years gift giving has become more of a competition and the tradition has become lost among the masses; I feel if you aren’t given diamonds, cars or other expensive gifts on a special occasion, then it’s simply not good enough. So I can see and understand why it can be stressful. For me, I like a gift to be thoughtful and something that I or the person I’m giving the gift to, will appreciate or use for years to come. I think it says a lot about a person when they put thought into a gift rather than just splurge on material things that the other person probably wont appreciate as much. With that in mind I have compiled a top 5 gift idea list for the home baker, foodie and meat-head.

 

Continue reading “Gift Ideas for the Home Cook, Foodie & Meat-Head”

St Clemente Tartlets

It’s only the second day of December and I’m already feeling the Christmas blues. I think the older I get, the more I turn into Scrooge and while there are many things about Christmas I have grown to hate, thankfully food isn’t one of them. I’ve been planning my Christmas  recipes for weeks, mainly to keep myself sane throughout the festive month, but I also wanted to create some recipes that I hadn’t seen before, because while traditional is lovely, different is even better. Continue reading “St Clemente Tartlets”

Five – A – Day Scotch Eggs

Processed with VSCO with wwf presetScotch eggs were always a favourite of mine when I was a kid, until I learned what they were actually made of and while Quorn do vegetarian scotch eggs, I have to eat the whole pack just to feel satisfied. So, last night I wrote this recipe with monster scotch eggs in mind and they certainly were huge – the size of my palm. Now I know what you’re all thinking, these are going to be complicated with weird ingredients that you don’t have in your cupboards and I would have to disagree with you all because you should have these ingredients in your cupboards and if you know how to use a food processor, you’re half way there.

The reason I called these Five – a- day scotch eggs is because they are made with beans and pea protein which are both considered one of your five a day, plus there are mushrooms and onions in there too. So not only will you be reliving your childhood when you bite into one of these delicious scotch eggs,  you will also be getting vital vitamins and minerals too. I will add that these scotch eggs are much nicer warm, but I like my food to be hot, so it could be down to personal preference.

Ingredients

  • 1 Can Beans (I used butter beans)
  • 4 Free Range Eggs
  • 1 Free Range Egg White
  • 100g Mushrooms
  • 60g Red Onion
  • 35g Pulsin Pea Protein
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 2 tsp Mixed Herbs
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • Salt to taste.

Directions

Start buy boiling your eggs in a saucepan of cold water for 10 mins. When they are cooked run them under cold water for 5 minutes, peel and dry them and set aside.

Pre-Heat an oven to 175c (fan assisted)

Drain the can of beans and empty the contents into a food processor, blend until the beans are puréed and put the beans into a separate mixing bowl

Add the garlic, mushrooms and onion to the food processor and finely chop the vegetables, before adding them to the beans with the mixed herbs, chilli, salt and protein powder and combine the ingredients well.

I will agree that at this point the mixture doesn’t look very appetising, but take a heaped dessert spoon and place the mixture into the palm of your hand, add the egg to the centre and add another heaped desert spoon of the mixture over the top of the egg and secure it tightly around the whole egg. If the mixture doesn’t stick to the egg, roll it in some pea protein or flour. Continue this method until you have used up all the mixture.

Blend the bread in a food processor until it is breadcrumbs. The scotch eggs should be sticky enough for the breadcrumbs to stick to, if not you will need to dip the scotch egg in egg white before rolling in the breadcrumbs.

Pop the scotch eggs into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. I tried frying these and they stuck to my pan, so I would advise baking.

And that’s it. I told you it was simple.

For more recipes, reviews and ideas follow me on Instagram: Happy.Hungry.Healthy and please tag me in any of my recipes that you try, I would love to see what you create and whether they could do with any improvements.

Creamy No Churn Ice-Cream

Ice-cream is one of my favourite dessert foods, it goes well with everything: brownies, cake, cookies; everything and like the majority of the world, I’ve always wanted to make my own ice-cream, minus the ice-cream maker. I just don’t have the money or space in my kitchen for another gadget that I wouldn’t use that often. So when I came across this recipe for a no-churn ice-cream on pinterest, I rushed out and got all of the ingredients straight away. Actually, that’s a lie…I just did an online order from Asda because the twenty first century rocks like that. At the time of this epic discovery I didn’t stop to think about alternatives to have less calories, which I find incredible because usually I’d have counted the macros and probably not have ended up making this which would have been a HUGE mistake as this is fantastic ice-cream and because of the fat, it’s filling too and one scoop should be more than enough for you. Continue reading “Creamy No Churn Ice-Cream”

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