Nutella Granola Bars

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Yes.

Who doesn’t love nutella? (update: I have found actual living breathing human beings who do not like nutella and they are currently under observation right now for mental illness and/or extra terrestrial taste buds)

I love granola bars. They’re the perfect snack but the store bought ones are so expensive and unnecessary when it’s so unbelievably easy to make your own at home!

You can eat them anytime –  take them to school, eat them as a midnight snack, eat them for dessert, eat them for breakfast, eat them with more nutella on top, eat more than half the batch while you’re photographing them..

You can play around with the ingredients and mix and match to your liking.

Don’t like nuts? Don’t put them in.

LOVE nuts? Put in more!

Like your granola bars crunchy? Add 2tbsp. more oil to the batter and bake for a few minutes longer!

These make approximately 8-10 bars, depending on how big you cut them and how much of the mixture you ‘taste’ before baking.

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Nutella Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup mix nuts and dried fruit
  • 6 tbsp nutella
  • 5 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional but strongly recommended)
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius and grease a baking pan.
  2. Mix oats, flour and nuts/dried fruit in a large bowl.
  3. Microwave the honey and nutella in a small bowl.
  4. Beat an egg into the honey and nutella.
  5. At the wet ingredients into the dry and  mix well.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips.
  7. Press the mixture into a baking pan.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Let cool before slicing and eating.

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Fruit Crumble for One (or more!)

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Easy to whip up dessert when you want something sweet without all the hassle of making a large serving! If you want to make more though feel free to double, triple or quadruple the recipe.

All the ingredients needed for this recipe are ones you probably have lying around! And the type of fruit used is flexible too. I have used apple, banana and strawberries but you can also sub in other berries, cherries, pears, peaches, plums or mangoes. Actually this would be to die for with some peaches so I can’t wait to try it again in the summer when peaches are in season!

This is great on it’s own but it might not hurt if you decide to top it with a scoop of ice cream. Just saying.

So what are you waiting for?

 

Individual Serving Fruit Crumble

  • 1 cup fruit (equivalent to 1/2 small apple + 1/2 banana or 1 cup berries or 2 peaches)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon oats (I used quick oats but whatever oats you have on hand will work)
  • 1 tablespoon almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1 tablespoon butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon nuts and dried fruits, roughly chopped (optional but highly reccomended)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Dice the fruit
  3. Mix the fruit with lemon juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp brown sugar and then place in the ramekin you will be baking in.
  4. In another bowl mix together the oats, almond meal, butter, remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, nuts and dried fruit until well combined
  5. Put the oat mixture on top of the fruit and bake in oven for around 25 minutes until the top is lightly browned
  6. Top with ice cream or whipped cream or more fresh fruit if desired and enjoy!

 

 

 

Carrot Cake Pancakes

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These don’t need much of a write-up. They’re delicious yet healthy. They’re fluffy and amazing and they taste like carrot cake and you need them in your life.

Just make these okay?

Please.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, 2/3 mashed and the rest sliced
  • 1 small carrot grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour (I used chickpea)
  • 1.5 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • handful raisins and almonds chopped roughly
  • butter/olive oil to cook
  1. Mix together the mashed banana and the egg
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients
  3. Mix well
  4. Heat a pan and lightly coat with butter/oil
  5. Drop in ~1.5 tbs of the pancake batter and wait until the bottom is browned
  6. (bubbles should form on the pancakes)
  7. Flip and cook on the other side
  8. Transfer all pancakes to a plate and top with remaining banana slices, chopped fruit and toppings of choice

Topping Ideas

– honey, maple syrup, coconut chips, nuts, peanut butter, dried fruit, chocolate chips, flax seeds, cream cheese, caramel, butter

 

Presto Pesto

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The saying about only appreciating things when you don’t have them – so true.

When we moved to India, one of the biggest problems for me was getting used to the fact that lots of the fresh products I was used to getting in Singapore were just not available widely here. I mean, you can still get things like raspberries, blueberries, avocados and asparagus but you have to go to specialty ‘gourmet’ stores and they’re extremely overpriced. Things I had taken for granted like basil, I now relished.

But now that we’ve moved into our own house we have lots of fresh produce growing in our own garden! We have spinach, methi (fenugreek), basil, mini oranges…  So you would think that now I have an almost endless supply of fresh basil I would be using it 24/7. Right?

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But yeah… not so much. Since we’ve moved into the house (5 months) I think I’ve used basil approximately… 3 times. And in that time we have probably gone through 10-12 jars of store bought pesto. I know, I know. Disgraceful.

It’s just that the whole process seems like so much work. It’s easier to just buy a ready made jar and not think about it. But when I went out one day and saw that the basil plant was slowly drying up I decided it was time to change.

And I’m so glad I did! Making pesto is so easy – it takes practically 15 minutes and most of that time is spent getting the pesto out of the food processor! When you make your own pesto, you can alter the flavors to your liking and experiment with different nuts and even add in other herbs. Also the taste of fresh pesto exceeds store bought by a landslide!

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So no further ado.. here’s an amazing, customizable, pesto recipe inspired by love and lemons.

How to customize:

I always use 2/3 basil + 1/3 coriander because otherwise the basil flavor is a bit too strong, but feel free to use all basil or experiment with addition of other herbs like mint or arugula

For the nuts I used a combination of walnuts and almonds, but you can use any nuts – pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans.. Pine nuts are generally the best for pesto but I didn’t have any on hand 🙂

Add in some grated parmesan cheese, some nutritional yeast or a dash of balsamic vinegar for some extra kick. Most recipes also use black pepper but I prefer the taste without it. It’s a personal opinion though so if you like it – go for it!

Basil Pesto

(Makes around 1 cup)

  • 1 1/2 cup herbs
  • 1/4 cup nuts
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and paprika/chili flakes
  1. Lightly toast the nuts in a small plan until lightly browned
  2. Add all the ingredients in a food processor until well blended
  3. Taste and adjust the salt or acidity if necessary. If too sour, add a splash of honey or agave syrup.

Enjoy!

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best (healthy) pancakes

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these pancakes were good.

like really good.

and not just ‘healthy’ food good, but actually delicious.

if you ate them you wouldn’t be able to tell they don’t have any refined flour, sugar or butter.

(and they’re gluten free!)

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now the best part about pancakes that are healthy is that you can have them anytime without feeling guilty because hey, they’re healthy. and they’re quick and easy too. win, win, win.

i really hope you make them. (like now) because once you make them, you probably won’t want to ever make the normal white flour-butter-sugar-egg combo pancakes ever again. i swear, they’re really not lacking in the sweetness department but if you like your pancakes sweeter just add sweeter toppings 🙂

and have fun with the toppings! GO CRAZY! because the pancakes themselves are so nutritious and good for you, you can even use crazy toppings like chocolate chips and sprinkles.

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more topping ideas: nuts, nut butters, honey, coconut cream, dried fruit, chocolate chips, sprinkles, banana slices, strawberries, chocolate syrup, maple syrup, whipped cream, butter, toasted coconut, granola

note: for the flour, I used chickpea flour (besan) but you can use oat flour (oats ground into a powder) or buckwheat flour too. (if you’re gluten free make sure your oats are gf)

now on to the recipe!

(makes 1 serving which is around 4 pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large-ish banana, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons flour (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoon yogurt or 1/2 tablespoon yogurt and 1.5 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1.5 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • olive oil/canola oil to cook

Directions

  • mix the mashed banana, the egg, yogurt/coconut milk, honey and vanilla essence in a bowl
  • add in the flour one spoon at a time and then the baking powder, cocoa powder and the chia seeds.
  • heat a fry pan and spray/spread with oil
  • when oil is hot drop in roughly 1/4 of the batter (2 spoons?) onto the pan in a circular shape
  • lower the heat
  • (i make 2 pancakes at a time but depending on the size of your pan and your cooking ability, cook the pancakes at the rate you want)
  • little bubbles should appear and after around twenty seconds when the pancake is holding together, flip it (lift the edge with your spatula to check whether its ready)
  • cook until both sides are lightly browned and then take out on to a plate, stacking the pancakes
  • add toppings to your pancake stack!
  • (my pancakes have coconut milk, honey, nuts and dried apricots on top)

Homemade Granola

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A wonderful crispy granola, perfect in the morning with some cold milk and some dried fruit added on top. Or however you like granola, but thats my preference 🙂

I find making my own granola much better than buying store bought because I can alter the flavors to my liking and mix and match it instead of having the same flavor everyday. Also, I know exactly what’s going into it – no chemicals or sneaky corn syrup hiding in here! Not to mention, it’s super easy. All you need is oats, toppings, an oven and less than half an hour of your time. And 20 minutes of that is just waiting for it in the oven.

This is a simple granola because I like making this and then adding whatever toppings I feel like on that day, but feel free to add in more flavors or dried fruits or anything into the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats (rolled oats are best, but any oats would work!)
  • chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive/coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey/agave
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • More add ins: dried fruit, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, coffee powder, cinnamon, maple extract, cocoa nibs)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and take out a baking tray
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the oil and add in the honey and vanilla extract. Stir on low heat for about a minute until well integrated.
  3. Spread the oats, nuts and whatever other toppings on the baking tray.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients on top and mix well.
  5. Pop in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes, shaking the tray ever 5 minutes to make sure the granola doesn’t stick and gets evenly baked.
  6. Done! Serve with yogurt, milk or fresh fruit!

Note: If you use dried fruit, add in only in the last 3 minutes.

Pancakes

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I love breakfast. It’s my favorite meal of the day – probably because it’s the only meal for which you can have dessert and people won’t look at you like you’re crazy.
Pudding for dinner is a no-no but french toast for breakfast is okay.

I don’t get it but I’m not complaining. Especially when pancakes are on the menu.

Pancakes have always been a personal favorite for me. With maple syrup or whipped cream, fresh fruits or chocolate chips, pancakes are always amazing.

This is a simple but delicious recipe for pancakes. Whenever there’s buttermilk at home, I find an excuse to make these!

There are tons of heavy, decadent pancake recipes out there. Although peanut butter-chocolate pancakes like these or these tiramisu pancakes would be delicious, these simple poppy seed buttermilk pancakes are light and perfect to quickly whip up and satisfy a morning sweet craving.

They are practically fool proof. I’ve made them several times, changing up the flavors and flours and they always turn out fluffy and divine.

Adapted from here

I add some brown sugar for sweetness and some vanilla essence to give it a bit more flavor. I normally don’t have baking soda so I substitute it for all baking powder and the texture is still quite fluffy. If you don’t have/like whole wheat flour, feel free to use all purpose but I love the nutty, wholesome taste it gives. And of course, it’s much healthier.

Variations:
– Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest or orange zest
– Add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
– Use walnuts or almonds or any other nut instead of sunflower seeds

Poppy Seed Buttermilk Pancakes (Makes around 8 pancakes)

1 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/5 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 1/4 cups organic buttermilk
1 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 tablespoons butter (softened)
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
a bit of butter or olive oil for the pan

Mix flour, baking powder, salt & seeds in a large mixing bowl.
Add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, butter and sugar and mix until combined well.
Heat a dab of butter or 1/2 tsp olive oil on a flat pan
Pour some batter on the pan and wait for a a minute or two until the pancakes fluffs up and is brown on the bottom. Flip and cook the other side.
Add a bit more oil or butter as required and repeat with the rest of the batter.
Serve hot, with maple syrup or honey and some fresh fruits and nuts.