Tasty breakfast ideas with Vita Coco coconut milk alternative

So today I’ve taken up the challenge to come up with a breakfast idea using Vita Coco – a coconut milk alternative which is great for those with dairy intolerances and tastes delicious, too.

Of course, while I was pondering it I came up with two ideas, so decided to share them both with you. One is a more healthy option – a satisfying ginger porridge. Or you could treat yourselves with my tasty cardamom pancakes.

I had the idea of using spices in my breakfast dishes as their health benefits are widely accepted and they add a tasty element of surprise – the perfect way to wake up your taste buds. Plus coconut and spices are wonderful partners.

Ginger porridge with pistachios, raspberries and honey

This ginger porridge has a real zing and ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects can help with muscle pain and soreness, it’s great for treating nausea and is even thought to help lower blood sugar. The pistachios add a nice crunch and the sharpness of the raspberries works wonderfully with the sweetness of the honey. A great way to start your day.

Serves 2

Ginger spiciness goes perfectly with raspberries and pistachios

The ingredients

80g Quaker oats

500ml Vita Coco coconut milk alternative

1 tsp ground ginger

A handful of shelled pistachios

10 raspberries

About 2 tbsps runny honey

The instructions

Pour the milk into a pan and add the ground ginger. Heat to a low simmer and add the oats. Stir until thick and creamy.

Split the porridge between two bowls and top with the pistachios, raspberries and honey.

Add a dash more of Vita Coco if you like your porridge a bit runnier.

Ingredients for a delicious porridge to start your day

Spicy pancakes with cardamom and vanilla

Pancakes always seem like a real breakfast treat. These are spiced up and sweetened with the addition of cardamom and vanilla. I love the taste of cardamom and it’s said to help with digestive problems as well as being a good detoxifier. Ayurvedic medicine swears by the tea as a means of fighting depression. And it’s really delicious in pancakes!

Serves 4

Fluffy pancakes with a touch of exotic spice

The ingredients

140g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp ground cardamom

130ml Vita Coco coconut milk alternative

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg, beaten

2 tbsp melted butter or olive oil

The instructions

Mix the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and cardamom together in a bowl.

Mix together the milk, vanilla, egg and butter.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat with a fork until you have a smooth batter.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a small ladle of the batter. Wait until it begins to bubble, turn and cook until golden brown.

Continue until you’ve used all your batter.

Serve with blueberries.

This recipe is an entry into the Dairy Free Style Your Breakfast challenge with Vita Coco and Foodies100. See more great breakfast ideas at http://vitacoco.com/uk/


Recipe: Deliciously simple cinnamon rolls

Okay, I know we’re well into January – I can feel this year whizzing by already – but I felt I had to share a simple recipe for some delicious little treats. I made them first thing in the morning over the Christmas period when I had friends staying. They woke up to a deliciously aromatic house and some tasty little pastries to tuck into. Cinnamon rolls make the perfect breakfast.

Sweet and crunchy cinnamon rolls for breakfast

Makes six cinnamon rolls with each sheet of pastry.

2 tbsps unsalted butter, melted

2 sheets of ready-made puff pastry

4 tbsps ground cinnamon

1 tsp brown sugar

4 tbsps raisins

4 tbsps chopped hazelnuts

Heat the oven to 200C. Brush the inside and bottom of a baking dish with half the melted butter.

Roll the puff pastry out on a chopping board and brush it with the other half of the butter.

Sprinkle the cinnamon, sugar, raisins and hazelnuts evenly over the dough.

Roll the dough up into a spiral.

Cut the dough into six equal pieces with a sharp knife.

Lay the pieces in the baking dish and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Of course you can tuck into your cinnamon rolls any time of day – and the perfect accompaniment is a cup of tea. Absolutely one of my favourite beverages (I have lived in England for over 30 years after all). And you can make your tea with style with the beautiful stove-top kettle from Kitchen Aid. My red one even matches my oven. Now we’re talking.

Find out more about Kitchen Aid’s fabulous selection of appliances and kitchenware products at kitchenaid.co.uk.

Distributing the delicious filling evenly with my Kitchen Aid kettle at the ready

All ready for rolling

Little spirals going into the oven


To the test: a yogurt maker for your home

I’m always keen to try out a new kitchen gadget. So when the Judge Yogurt Maker landed on my doorstep I couldn’t wait to start creating my own yogurt. I mean who doesn’t love a big bowl of fruit, yogurt and nuts – a wonderfully refreshing way to start the day. And health giving, too.

yogurt

A bowl of yogurt topped with tasty berries

The compact machine comes with seven 15oml jars with different coloured lids, which makes it look very pretty. All you need is a litre of milk and a pot of live yogurt to get started. Simply heat the milk, then let it cool and divide the yogurt and milk between the pots. You can add chopped fruit and honey, too, to create different flavours. Then turn on your machine and let it do its magic.

The process takes eight hours and you can hear the odd little click and whir emanating from the machine, though it’s generally a pretty silent operation. Switch it on before you go to bed and you’ll have your very own freshly-made yogurt waiting for you in the  morning.

yogurt machine

The yogurt maker doing its magic

jea46 judge digital yoghurt maker 7x150ml - propped

Pretty jars can be put straight into the fridge for storage

I also discovered this powder that you can buy from Holland & Barrett. Simply mix it with water and turn on the machine. The Peaches & Cream flavour was delicious as was the Greek Honey. I couldn’t quite believe that some powder and water would produce yummy yogurt…but it did. So simple.

Peaches-Cream-500x500

I’d recommend the Judge Yogurt Maker highly if you’re a family of dedicated yogurt eaters. Once you’ve made your first batch you can keep using it as the live yogurt to add to milk to make more, so you’ll be able to keep the family in supply for ever, in theory.

And if you’re not a dedicated yogurt eater, maybe it’s time to start. It has a raft of health benefits: the probiotics in it help to increase the good bacteria in your system which adds with digestion and your immune system. It’s also a good source of Vitamin B, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium which means it’s good for your bones.

As well as being the ideal breakfast food, yogurt is also great in marinades as it tenderises meat and it’s a useful baking ingredient to have at hand.

And now you can have the satisfaction of making your very own. Why wouldn’t you?

The Judge Yogurt Maker is £34.94 on amazon.co.uk

Recipe idea: Beautiful berry and yogurt breakfast

So my niece Kirstin is in town for a while, visiting from Australia. She loves food and cooking like me, and she’s also a great photographer. The perfect combination for my kitchen, and time to create some food that looks and tastes lovely, too.

Breakfast seems like the perfect place to start, especially as I love berries and they are so abundant this time of year. This is a totally yummy breakfast treat.

breakfast3

Bring on the berries for breakfast

Serves 2

500g yogurt of your choice (I love Yeo Valley Organic Lemon Curd )

1 handful blueberries

1 handful raspberries

1 handful blackberries

2 tbsps chopped hazelnuts

2 good drizzles of runny honey

Pour the yogurt into a large bowl. Place the berries on top, sprinkle with hazelnuts and drizzle with honey. Tuck in and enjoy.

breakfast2

A stunning close-up.

The beautifully vibrant green bowl is part of the Premier Housewares Eden Bamboo Tableware range. Perfect for barbecues and picnics (imagine summer salads) or in this case to serve a tasty (and healthy) alfresco breakfast for two. The range comes in three colour choices, is lightweight, strong and easy to clean – and it looks great, too. You can find out more and buy some of these lovely products by clicking on  http://www.homemakersonline.co.uk/search/eden

breakfast1

Breakfast has never looked prettier


The Cook with Biltong Club: scrambled eggs with biltong, tomatoes and spices

It’s time to get cooking with biltong again. This month I’ve gone for something completely different. I got the inspiration from Spanish and Mexican dishes I’ve eaten which combine eggs and tomatoes really well. My thinking was why not add biltong? It really works and it’s good to serve up something new for people to try.

This dish is unbelievably simple and tastes amazing. It’s fantastic for breakfast or brunch, is filling and satisfying and the addition of chilli and a touch of cumin give it a fabulous spicy touch. If you’re going to use whole pieces of biltong like I’ve done here, make sure it is really finely sliced. You could also chop your biltong up into small dice (about the size of the tomato pieces) and stir it through.

If you are a chilli lover, add more to your taste, nothing like a chilli burst to get your tastebuds going first thing in the morning!

Amazing scrambled eggs with biltong, onion, tomatoes, cumin and chilli

Amazing scrambled eggs with biltong, onion, tomatoes, cumin and chilli

Serves 2

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 small handfuls of thinly sliced biltong

2 small tomatoes, finely chopped

4 eggs, beaten

1 small, dried chilli, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin

Oil for frying

Saute the onion and chilli in the oil for about 5 mins until softened. Add the biltong and fry for another minute. Then add the cumin and chopped tomato, stir through to mix thoroughly and cook for another 2 min. Then remove the mixture from the pan and set it aside.

In the same pan, scramble the eggs, constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. When they are almost done, remove from heat and fold in the mixture. Let eggs sit in the hot pan for an additional minute to finish cooking. Serve immediately.

The tomato, onion and spice mixture

The biltong, tomato, onion and spice mixture

Join our club

Every month I’m going to post a new recipe using biltong, so watch this space.

And if you want to order some yourself, I highly recommend the Chichester Biltong Company where you can choose the wetness and fattiness of your biltong too (it’s very personal, you know).

Go to www.biltongcompany.co.uk and enter the code EATINGCOVENT when you order.

Please also like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CookWithBiltong

I’d love to hear any of your biltong ideas or stories, so do get in touch and watch out for the next amazing biltong recipe coming your way.

The perfect peaceful spot for brunch

When it comes to eating out, Cape Town really is the king. Today we had the desire for a nice cup of coffee after a bout of food shopping (it was about 10am).

So cousin Sally suggested we try a little cafe she’d been meaning to visit. This is where inside knowledge is so important – Starling’s Coffee Shop is tucked away behind a hedge, on a main road and really isn’t somewhere you would stumble upon. As you peer through the gate the piles of vegetables tell you this is an eating establishment.

It’s a quaint little cafe with a lovely courtyard-type garden at the back with plenty of shade. And a delicious-sounding menu. We were intending just to have a coffee but it all sounded so good we decided we had to have something to eat, too.

Here’s my fantastic combination of poached eggs with parmesan, pesto and rocket. The eggs were truly fantastic, free range from Spier, a local wine farm that also specialises in farming using biodynamic principles. Animals, including cattle, sheep and chickens are raised on pastures to contribute to the fertility of the soil.

An amazing combination, one that I’m going to be repeating myself at home soon. And the perfect poached egg is hard to beat (something I’m still trying to achieve myself). Yummy!

Oh and they have an urban food market on Wednesdays. I’ll be back!

A wonderful breakfast/brunch to savour

A wonderful breakfast/brunch to savour

Starlings coffee shop is at 94 Belvedere Road, Claremont