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.

Love juices? Check out my Beginners Guide to Juicing



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!

print recipe

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!!
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
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.
Details
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.
7

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.


Homemade Bread


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.



I have a new bread maker. Sage kindly sent me their Custom Loaf Pro. I hummed and hawed over it. Did I really want to try another bread maker? I've had two before and gave them away after getting totally frustrated with them. For some reason I said yes and I'm totally won over.


Breadmakers


So why did I hate bread makers before, but love this one?

Custom Loaf Pro leaves a small blade hole.

Past Bread Makers

  • I struggled to fit the pan.
  • I struggled to take out the pan
  • The loaves were pretty small.
  • I could never get out the paddle and when I did they left a stonking big hole.
  • I was underwhelmed with the loaves and the crust.

    Custom Loaf Pro

    • The pan slips in and out with ease.
    • There is a choice of 4 loaf sizes from 0.5kg up to 1.25kg.
    • This is the best part and I don't know how they do it, but the paddle folds flat in the second part of the bake and doesn't leave a big hole.
    • The loaf slips out the pan quite easily and there is only a small hole.
    • There is a choice of different crusts.


    Sage Custom Loaf Pro


    This is super easy to use with it's light up display. You use the big button to scroll through your choices and then click it to set your choices.

    The book that comes with it has a great range of recipes that are easy to follow. It even tells you what order to put everything in. You can start with these then tweak them to create your own recipes.

    The automatic and manual programs include basic, whole wheat, rapid (bread in under 2 hours), gluten free, crusty loaf, sweet yeast free, bread dough, pizza dough, bake only, jam and 9 custom programs to create and save your own bread settings.

    The coolest thing (apart from the collapsible blade) is the automatic dispenser where you add all your extras, then the machine adds them at the right moment. And ......  you can set the program to bake, so you can wake up to freshly baked bread.


    The loaves I've made so far are so, so fluffy, but really crisp on the outside. It's hard not to keep eating it.

    Sundried Tomato Bread 


    This loaf is a sundried tomato bread. I tweaked the recipe from the book that came with the bread maker. I made it half and half white and wholemeal and used dried parsley and chives. It was fabulous.

    print recipe

    Sundried Tomato Bread
    This is a simple, but flavourful loaf made in a bread maker.
    Ingredients
    • 375 ml warm water
    • 2 tbsp oil (from the sundried tomato jar)
    • 1 ½ tsp salt
    • 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
    • 300 g white bread flour
    • 300 g wholemeal bread flour
    • 1 tsp dried parsley
    • 1 tsp dried chives
    • 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
    • 50 g sundried tomatoes
    Instructions
    1. Pour all the ingredients into the bread pan, bar the sundried tomatoes. You must put them the ingredients in, in the order given and don't let the yeast touch liquid.2. Pop the pan in the bread maker and shut the lid.3. Chop and dry the sundried tomatoes on kitchen paper, before adding to the automatic dispenser.4. Set the maker to basic loaf & medium crust.5. Start and leave it to bake.6. Remove the pan with an oven glove, then ease the loaf out of the pan and leave to cool on a baking rack.7. Enjoy!
    Details
    Total time:
    Yield: Makes 1kg loaf


    The Sage Custom Loaf Pro comes in at £249.95, but John Lewis have it on sale for £199.95 just now, which is quite a saving.



    Want to make bread by hand?




    Try this light rye bloomer with tips on making a sponge starter.


    Disclosure: Sage sent me a bread maker to review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.
    16

    Sticky Toffee Pudding Raw Energy Balls

    Raw energy balls are made from flax seeds, almonds, dates, baobab powder, cinnamon and cacao. A powerhouse of nutrients and very, very tasty with a flavour of sticky toffee pudding.

    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.

    Raw energy balls are made from flax seeds, almonds, dates, baobab powder, cinnamon and cacao. A powerhouse of nutrients and very, very tasty with a flavour of sticky toffee pudding.


    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.

    20

    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.


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    22

    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!

    12

    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?

    10

    Meat Free Mondays opens National Vegetarian Week


    It's National Vegetarian Week. A week to celebrate all that's good about a vegetarian lifestyle from the delicious food to the health benefits.

    I never preach about my vegetarian lifestyle. I prefer to share delicious and easy recipes and show how easy and tasty a veggie life can be and with that in mind I bring you this week's Meat Free Mondays. Another seven delicious veggie recipes to help you plan your week ahead, as well as a few sneaky bonus recipes. 

    Extended to 29 May 2016





    MONDAY


    Maison Cupcake





    TUESDAY


    Gluten Free, SCD & Veggie





    WEDNESDAY


    Sneaky Veg




    THURSDAY


    Tinned Tomatoes





    FRIDAY


    Thinly Spread





    SATURDAY


    The Taste Space




    SUNDAY


    Veggie Desserts



    Bonus recipes:

    Chipotle Black Bean Huevos Rancheros - Big Cook Tiny Kitchen
    Spicy Veggie Tacos - Tinned Tomatoes
    Vegetarian Mason Jar Salads - The Baking Explorer
    Quinoa Cheese Tartlets - Caroline Makes
    Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms - We Don't Eat Anything With A Face


    Thanks to everyone who created a recipe for us this week. 
    8

    5 Rocking Ryvita Stacks for Weekday Lunches



    Are you ready to rock some Ryvita?

    I go through cycles of eating Ryvita Crispbreads. I eat them for a while at work, then I turn back to sandwiches. I tend to eat them more often when I'm trying to eat lighter or I'm back on the 5:2 diet, but I only realised when Ryvita challenged me, how poorly I've been treating them.

    So what have I been dressing my Ryvita in?

    Half a light Laughing Cow triangle. Yes, you may well laugh! 

    In my defence it's low calorie, but I forgot that salad and vegetables can be light toppings too and way more interesting.

    Ryvita used to be a pretty standard crispbread too, but just look at all the flavours you can choose from now!


    You may not realise that rye is the main ingredient in Ryvita cripsbreads and that rye is packed with nutritional benefits. The crispbreads simply made with water, salt and rye, then extra goodies like seeds are added.

    They are:
    • High in Vitamin B, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid and Vitamin B6
    • Rich in Magnesium (strong muscles)
    • Rich in Zinc (healthy bones, hair nails and skin)
    • Rich in Wholegrain and Dietary Fibre

     So are you ready to see how my week of Ryvita looks? No more Laughing Cow!


    #MyVita Work Week

    MONDAY


    Sweet Onion Ryvita

    A Sweet Onion Ryvita Crispbread, topped with slices of creamy, ripe avocado, tossed in a little lemon juice so they don't discolour. Topped with slices of radish and cucumber for crunch and finished with some finely grated lemon peel for a little kick of citrus. Heavenly healthy!




    TUESDAY


    Dark Rye Ryvita

    A dark rye crispbread topped with dairy free pesto, fresh basil, two layers of ripe red tomato slices, milky baby mozzarella balls, more fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for that Italian classic, Caprese Salad.




    WEDNESDAY


    Sesame Ryvita

    A slice of sesame crispbread, heaped high with hummus, topped with slices of crunchy cucumber, spiralzsed carrot (if you don't have a spiralizer, Tesco sell tubs of spiralized vegetables) and finished with a sprinkle of sesame seeds to echo the flavour of the crispbread. Simple, but a delight.






    THURSDAY


    Pumpkin Seeds and Oats Ryvita

    This one was amazingly flavourful. A pumpkin seed and oat crispbread topped with dairy free pesto, salad leaves, sundried tomatoes, ripe baby plum tomatoes and baby pickled beets. My mouth is watering just remembering this one.






    FRIDAY


    Currants, Seeds and Oats Ryvita

    We had to finish on a high with something a bit naughty. Friday is the beginning of the weekend after all. This one is luxurious, but still includes one of your five-a-day. A currant, seed and oat crispbread topped with Philadelphia cream cheese mixed with a little icing sugar and lemon juice and a dollop of soft set raspberry jam swirled through, then topped with fresh tart raspberries and finely grated lemon peel. You'll do a Meg Ryan and moan out loud when you bite into this one and everyone will want what you are having!


    So do you think you can come up with your own crispbread creation?


    Enter the #MyVita competition today 
    for the chance to create the ultimate lunch


    One lucky winner will receive £1,000 worth of John Lewis vouchers and 
    10 runners up will receive a hamper full of Ryvita goodies. 
    Just head to the website and enter your details for a chance to win.

    For fun, why not share your creation and follow the conversation on social 
    media with the hashtag #MyVita. I can't wait to see your creations!



    Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Ryvita. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.
    16

    15 Dishwasher Hacks and Saving Energy for a Week


    I seem to be doing a lot of challenges this week. I must learn to say no. I think Graham would like me to learn to say no. He looks happy enough in this photo, but believe me he isn't impressed.

    MoneySuperMarket asked me to take part in their One Week Energy Challenge. I haven't done any kind of challenge like this for years, but somehow I ended up saying yes. They wanted me to give up something for a week to save energy and money. 


    I decided to sacrifice the dishwasher.

    Graham is not happy!

    Graham does the dishes.

    I use a lot of dishes.

    18

    Easy Mediterranean Tart Recipe

    An Easy Mediterranean Tart from @tinnedtoms that will feed a family of four for less than £7 (with wedges and mini corn on the cobs too). It's so simple to make and tastes delicious. The whole family will love this vegan friendly dinner. www.tinnedtomatoes.com


    Don't my tarts look good? 


    Well I think they do and they're so simple to make and packed with flavour.

    The surprising part is these Mediterranean tarts is all made from frozen ingredients (apart from the tomato puree), so it's an easy and convenient weekday meal. I bought all my ingredients from Iceland, who have such a great range of products in their freezers. You must go and have a look. I'm continually surprised.




    #PowerOfFrozen recipe

    What to fill a puff pastry tart with?



    My latest discovery is frozen Mediterranean Vegetables in Basil Seasoning from Iceland. I'm rather excited about this tray of frozen seasoned vegetables.

    I used the seasoned vegetables in this tart, but it would be so easy to throw this foil dish in the oven after work, then use it as a baked potato filling, on top of a pizza, in wraps with salad or in an easy homemade vegetarian lasagne.  I loved the flavours. Bell pepper, red onion, courgette, garlic and cherry tomatoes. And it's only £1.50. Fabulous!


    An Easy Mediterranean Tart from @tinnedtoms that will feed a family of four for less than £7 (with wedges and mini corn on the cobs too). It's so simple to make and tastes delicious. The whole family will love this vegan friendly dinner. www.tinnedtomatoes.com

    How to use frozen puff pastry?


    I used frozen puff pastry. If you are using frozen puff pastry pop it in the fridge the night before, then unwrap it and pop it on a plate for 10 minutes before you need it.

    All  the ingredients for my tart are from Iceland. It cost me £6.75 to put together this meal for 4 people including the sides.

    I served these puff pastry tarts with spicy potato wedges and mini corn on the cobs. I still have tomato puree, some pastry, potato wedges and sweetcorn left for future meals. Great value!


    An Easy Mediterranean Tart from @tinnedtoms that will feed a family of four for less than £7 (with wedges and mini corn on the cobs too). It's so simple to make and tastes delicious. The whole family will love this vegan friendly dinner. www.tinnedtomatoes.com

    Eating together as a family


    We're back to eating in our conservatory, looking across our garden, which is so nice. It's rather cold in the winter unless the heating's been running all day and the door leading into it has been open, so we tend to eat in our living room. I much prefer eating at the table as a family. Do you?


    print recipe
    An Easy Mediterranean Tart from @tinnedtoms that will feed a family of four for less than £7 (with wedges and mini corn on the cobs too). It's so simple to make and tastes delicious. The whole family will love this vegan friendly dinner. www.tinnedtomatoes.com
    Easy Mediterranean Tart Recipe
    A simple colourful and delicious puff pastry tart. It's a doddle to make and will delight your family. It's easy on the bank balance too.
    Ingredients
    • 1 block frozen puff pastry
    • 2 tbsp tomato puree
    • 500g Iceland Mediterranean Vegetables in a Basil Seasoning
    • 2 tbsp frozen sweetcorn
    • a good grinding black pepper
    Instructions
    1. Take your puff pastry out of the freezer the night before and pop in the fridge. When you come in from work, take it out of the wrapper and sit on a plate for half an hour while you do other things. I haven't included this time in the cooking time.2. Preheat the oven to 220c/ 200c fan/425f/gas mark 7. Once heated pop the mediterranean veg into the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the lid but keep in the foil tray.3. While the veg is in the oven, roll out the pastry quite thinly and cut 4 rectangles. Pop onto a baking tray and score just inside the edges to make a border on each tart.4. Spread some tomato puree on each tart, top with vegetables, a sprinkling of sweetcorn, season with black pepper.5. Bake in the oven until the pastry until puffed up and golden. This will take about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it, you don't want the pastry to burn.6. I served my tarts with spicy potato wedges and mini corn on the cob.7. Enjoy!
    Details
    Total time:
    Yield: Serves 4



    Power of Frozen 


    I made this tart for my family to enjoy and I'm submitting it to Iceland Foods #PowerOfFrozen campaign. If you are looking for more puff pastry ideas, check out my 25 Awesome Puff Pastry Recipes for Vegans.


    Easy Brie, Potato and Dill Tart Recipe



    For more savoury and sweet tart inspiration 
    follow my Pinterest board You Are Such A Tart!


    TRY THIS NEXT


    Mushroom, Lentil & Nut Wellington

    Mushroom, Lentil & Nut Wellington

    A rich mushroom, lentil and nut wellington in golden, crisp puff pastry. The most luxurious pie to serve up as a vegetarian and vegan main course with roast potatoes, vegetables and onion gravy for Sunday dinner, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.



    Diclosure: This is a sponsored post for IcelandFoods. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.
    66

    Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (8 May 2016)



    Happy Monday everyone!

    Have you had a good week? Mine was busy. I had held my first Social Media Surgery of the season on Thursday night after work and had a brilliant night talking blogs and blogging with Scottish travel blogger Lisa from LisaLovesSunLife. I think her head must have been spinning by the end of it and all the suggestions I gave her.

    The week went by quickly and so did the weekend. It was a weekend of long walks (6 miles on Saturday), tidying the garden, housework and rolling into bed exhausted.

    It's Monday again, so it's time for Meat Free Mondays and another seven awesome veggie and vegan recipes as well as a few bonus recipes.

    11

    Fight a Cold Smoothie

    Fight a Cold Smoothie - A healthy smoothie full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to help fight the common cold. A delicious fruity drink with a bit of a kick from the ginger and turmeric.


    My husband Graham has been suffering from man flu this week. Really, really bad man flu.  To be fair he's been suffering with a really bad cold, but to him it was much worse.

    I couldn't stand it any longer! I had to do something about it, so I started with this smoothie. I made him drink two glasses of it as soon as I whizzed it up, then I made chilli for dinner and after dinner I made him drink water, take his vitamins, drink more smoothie and eat some fresh pineapple.

    The result? He got up the next day and was feeling much better. It wasn't gone, but a vast improvement. I put it down to the combination of fresh cold-fighting ingredients in the smoothie, the spice in the chilli, the vitamins and keeping himself hydrated.  That last point is so important, people don't drink enough water.

    27

    Meat Free Mondays - 7 Recipes for the Week Ahead (2 May 2016)



    It's Monday again! How does it roll round so quickly? But don't despair because that means it's time for another seven awesome veggie and vegan recipes to help you plan your meals for the week ahead.

    So what have we been up to this week? Not much. The last week has been all about the weather. We've had sunshine, snow, hail and rain. You name it we've had it. It's been a rather boring week of work, school and housework. Nothing more than that. Hopefully this next week will be more fun.

    4

    15 Veggie Soups and Salads to Try This Week

    photo: The Garden Grazer

    It's time for No Croutons Required and a roundup of delicious soup and salad recipes for you to try this week.

    The weather in Scotland has been changeable. In the last week we've had hot sunny days, torrential rain and snow. It doesn't seem to know what to do from one day to the next and we've no idea what's going on. So a variety of weather and a variety of soups and salads that will match any weather.

    Thanks to everyone who shared a recipe



    6
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