25 May 2016

Pear, Passion Fruit and Kale Smoothie Recipe

Doesn't that look good?

I just love green smoothies. I know you've heard me say this 100 times before, but I still love them and this one is super tasty. It's so, so fruity.

This time I paired, or maybe I should say peared, kale with red apples, pears and passion fruit. For some extra nutrients and because I can never keep it simple, I added cucumber and baobab powder.

You MUST try this one, it's one of the best smoothies I've made in a while. They are all pretty good, but this one stood out as something really special.

This is a good time to tell you more about my new blender. I've been using it for a while and mentioned it a few times, but I haven't done a proper review yet.

G2.1 Blender

This 6 blade power blender is suitable for home and commercial use. It has 6 preset buttons. The preset buttons allows the machine to vary the power it uses when it needs it. This means the motor will last longer.

G2.1 Blender
FRUIT - This setting is for smoothies. The blender can pulverise the toughest of fruit and vegetables in seconds.

SORBET - Use this setting to make super quick sorbet from frozen fruit.

GRIND -  This setting will grind nuts and seeds into flour. It's also the button I use to make energy balls and nut butters as it take the blend slow and easy.

NUT MILK -  Soak your nuts over night, then blend with water and drain using the free nut milk bag that comes with the blender. Great for dairy free, vegan diets and those with allergies.

SAUCES - Whizz up pesto, hummus, pasta and pizza sauces with this preset button.

SOUP - You can also make quick soups in the blender and it even heats them. From jug to bowl in minutes. It's great for using up leftover vegetables.

photo: Planet Veggie
Unlike the other Froothie blenders the G2.1 has a LED touch screen panel, which looks rather swish and is easy to use.

Like the other Froothie blenders, it's easy to clean. I just give it a quick rinse if I'm about to make something else and if I'm finished with it I pour some hot water from the kettle (about 12 cm) then a few drops of washing liquid and blend for a few seconds, then pour out the soapy liquid and rinse with fresh water. The outside just gets a quick wipe. It's one of the best things about my blender, well apart from it's convenience and power.

What can I say? Loving it!

Although I did have a little mishap. I accidentally used one of the tampers from my 9200a and the jug is slightly taller, so the tamper went too low in the jug and the G2.1 went NOM, NOM, NOM and ate the tamper. Whoops!

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Pear, Passion Fruit and Kale Smoothie
A super fruity green smoothie with the flavours of pear, passion fruit, kale and a few hidden extras. SLURP!!
  • 1 ripe pear
  • 2 red apples
  • a generous handful of kale
  • 10 cm piece cucumber
  • 2 passion fruit
  • 1 heaped tsp baobab powder
  • enough water to fill the jug ¾ full
  • 1 handful of ice
1. Cut the pear and apples in half and scoop out the seeds and juice from the passion fruit.2. Place the prepared fruit in the jug with the rest of the ingredients and whizz until smooth. 3. Enjoy!notes: If you don't have a power blender cut your fruit smaller and leave out the ice or you'll kill the motor.
Total time:
Yield: Makes 4-6 smoothies

If you like this smoothie, why not try my Green Mango Smoothie?

Disclosure: I work with Froothie and try their new products. Froothie don't expect a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

22 May 2016

Sundried Tomato Bread (Bread Maker recipe)

As well as National Vegetarian Week this is Real Bread Week. A time to promote homemade bread made with love and no hidden nasties.

I've not made homemade bread for such a long time. I've had bread makers in the past and I've gone through periods of making bread by hand too, but I got out of the habit. I think the last time I made dough by hand was probably pizza dough.

I do love the process of making bread by hand, but I can never seem to make the time. Between my job, my blog, the websites and magazines I write for, my family and housework, it's really hard to fit it all in, hence no bread making.

21 May 2016

Sticky Toffee Pudding Raw Energy Balls

Cancer Research is my charity of choice. For years now I’ve had a direct debit set up to send them what I can each month. They do such good work developing treatments to help beat cancer and the sooner they can beat it the better for all of us.

Each year Cancer Research UK (CRUK) hold Race for Life events, which are woman-only events to help raise money for research into as many as 200 types of cancer.

Since 2012 ScottishPower have been working with CRUK to help raise funds, through various initiatives, including sponsorship of Race for Life and have so far raised over £9 million.

Four years ago ScottishPower developed the High 5 campaign to help with the fundraising. The idea is a high five is a symbol of achievement and celebrating.

ScottishPower would like us all to raise our energy and awareness by taking part in the High Five campaign. Why not take a selfie at one of the Race for Life events running across the country or take a selfie of yourself giving a high five in support and let’s help ScottishPower & CRUK reach their £10 million target.

Get involved with the campaign with the hashtag #high5for10

To show support and give a much needed boost of energy to the runners in this year’s Race for Life Events, I've created some raw energy balls, that can help increase energy and fight fatigue during a race.

My raw energy balls are made from dates, flax seeds, almonds, coconut oil, baobab powder, freshly grated cinnamon (from Cinnamon Hill) and cacao.

A powerhouse of nutrients, they taste quite like sticky toffee pudding. I'm hooked!

A word to the wise before you make these. If you don't have a power blender like mine, go easy when making these. If your blender shows any sign of distress turn it off immediately and give up on the idea. I made mine in my Optimum G2.1 blender which is very powerful. I made them gently on the grind setting which first turned the nuts and seeds into flour, then blended in the other ingredients, stopping and giving it a stir.

19 May 2016

Crispy Battered Quorn Sausage Bites Recipe for National Vegetarian Week

Crispy Battered Quorn Sausages Bites from @tinnedtoms in a spiced battered made super light and crispy with sparkling water. A great starter or party food. www.tinnedtomatoes.com

There's nothing more satisfying than biting into a light crispy batter. The crunch, the taste and the comfort.

Inside these crispy parcels are little bites of vegetarian sausages from Quorn™. These frozen Quorn Sausages are useful to have in your freezer for dishes like this that can be made last minute as a starter or a nibble to hand round at parties.

The batter is light and crispy, almost a tempura batter. It's an easy batter made from just a few simple ingredients. Self-raising flour, spices and sparkling water.

18 May 2016

Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe for National Vegetarian Week

Vietnamese Spring Rolls.

I've been meaning to make these for such a long time and when Kate over at The Veg Space made Chilli Peanut Vietnamese Rolls last year, I drooled over them a lot, then thought I really must try making those.

Fast forward one year and I've finally gotten around to making them. Maybe without the finesse of Kate, but I was rather pleased with them.

Fresh, simple bundles of spring vegetables with a good crunch, fresh coriander and salted cashews in a fine transparent wrap. I served them with my Smutty Sweet Chilli Jam. If you haven't tried it before you really must. It's so easy to make and really delicious!

16 May 2016

7 Glorious Soups for National Vegetarian Week

Soup is a great dish to enjoy all year round, as a lunch or dinner, don't you think?

It's a great way of getting your five-a-day and it's fabulous if you're trying to watch your weight. It's also an easy and filling meal if you have a wee one to feed. Forget chicken nuggets and all the other rubbish that's targeted a kids.

I make a lot of homemade soup, but during the week I'm always short on time and often home late. I try to avoid ready meals as they contain so much sugar and fat, not to mention preservatives and I don't find them that appetising, so I often turn to soup.

It's ok if I've already made some, but when I've not you'll often find me wandering the supermarket aisles thinking I have half an hour before I have to start Cooper's bedtime routine, what the heck am I going to make?