Niki’s Nutty Granola

2016, Autumn, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Super Quick, Sweet

granupclose

Hey guys,

Autumn is well and truly upon us and if you are like me you may want something a little sweet to have in the evenings, after dinner or a snack in the day on workout days. I warn you now, my nutty granola is seriosuly addicitive. It’s delicous, light and crunchy and also packed full of vitmains and nutrients. You really can’t go wrong here  and what’s more, you can be quite versatile with this granola. I like to heat some almond milk and have my granola on top, espcially when the chilly mornings roll in but you can have it on its own or as a topping for coconut ice cream (as my brother kindly pointed out) for eaxmple, the options are endless. All you need to make my nutty and grain free granola is:

 

Ingredients:

(Makes roughly 10 standard bowl servings) 

(use organic/natural real food ingredients where possible)

 

1.5 cups of almonds

¼ cup of pumpkin seeds

¼ cup of sunflower seeds

¼ cup of cashew nuts

¼ of hazelnuts

¼ cup of Brazil nuts

20g of chia seeds

½ cup of desiccated coconut

1/4 cup of coconut oil

1/4 cup of maple syrup

½ teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt

1 level teaspoon of ground cinnamon

 

From your kitchen:

 

A mixing bowl

A rolling pin

A baking tray

A silicone spatula

A couple of teaspoons for measuring

A small saucepan

1 standard cup

A couple of jars for storing

A plastic bag, for bashing the nuts in

 

 

Method:

 

Step 1: 

Preheat your oven to gas mark 3 or 275°F. Heat your saucepan over a gentle low heat and melt the coconut oil and maple syrup together, set aside to cool.

 

Step 2: 

Combine all your nuts in a plastic bag and use a rolling bin to bash them into rough and small bite size pieces. Add them to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle over your salt and cinnamon, mix together with your wooden spoon.

 

Step 3: 

Pour your granola mixture evenly on your baking tray, use your silicone spatuala to aid this. Bake your granola in the middle shelf of your oven for 15-20 minutes and strring it every so often so its browned evenly. Once its nice and golden, leave it to cool before decanting to your jars.

My delcious granola will keep for up to two weeks in a cool dry place so is perfect for making big batches ahead of time. I really hope you give this a go and see how striaghtforward it is. Bursting with mood enhancing properties from the brazil nuts and vitamin e from the almonds, every mouthful is good for you…and tastes bloody brillaint too!

graaereal

Happy Baking!

Niki

https://draxe.com/brazil-nuts/

https://draxe.com/maple-syrup-nutrition/

Niki’s Grilled Polenta Slices with Pesto

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Super Quick

polenta

Good evening my bella readers,

Today is the last day of my Italian week here at nikibakes and I wanted to share my grilled polenta slices with you all. It’s so simple but truly satisfying and tasty. This gluten free and veg wonder is also very versatile in that you could add it as a side to your next steak or meat dinner or even as a light lunch with some salad, the choices are truly endless!

 

All you need is:

250g of cooked polenta, cooled and poured into a square pyrex dish to set

½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

Extra olive oil to brush the polenta steaks

 

For the Pesto sauce:

 

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 handful of basil

2 garlic cloves

½ cup of almonds

 

Simply slice your polenta into ½ inch thick slices and season your delicious slabs. Set aside. In a food processor blend together the olive oil, basil, garlic cloves and almonds until a lovely and aromatic pesto sauce forms. Next, heat your grill pan over medium high heat and lightly brush your polenta slices with olive oil. Grill each polenta slice on both sides for 3-5 minutes each. Serve warm with your pesto sauced drizzled over. Enjoy!

 

Ciao for now!

Happy Baking

Niki

Niki’s Turkey and Tarragon Bolognese

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Winter

turkeytarragon

Bonjourno!

Fancy a little shake up to your classic beef Bolognese. How about something a little lighter but just as tasty? I have recently discovered a delicious paring: tarragon and turkey. It’s so refreshing and uplifting in flavour. The sauce could not be more straightforward and the main thing to remember here is to please use fresh tarragon.

All you need is:
3 tablespoons of chopped tarragon
400g of organic turkey mince
1 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 red onion, diced finely
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tomatoes, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon of tomato puree
2 tablespoons of avocado oil
1 cup of water
Heat your oil in a medium pan and throw in your onions and garlic, stir for a couple of minutes until softened. Add in your minced turkey and seasoning and brown for 5-10 minutes, grounding the meat with your spatula or wooden spoon. Toss in half of your chopped tarragon and turn the heat down. Next, add in your tomato puree and chopped tomatoes and toss for a further 5-10 minutes. Lastly, add your water and bring to the boil, simmer your Bolognese for 20 minutes and then serve hot with some steamed vegetables. Bellissima!

Happy Baking!

Niki

Niki’s Salted Peanut Butter Cups

2015, Christmas, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Super Quick, Sweet, Winter

salted peanut

Hey there lovely people!

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend as much as I am…my salted peanut butter cups will certainly add a spring to your step, you will not believe how super simple and addictive they are, seriously…they are rich in antioxidants from the raw cocoa powder and full of protein from the peanut butter…the sugar? Only maple syrup! Delicious and healthy…sound good to you? Thought i8t would. All you need is:

For the chocolate shell:
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder (no alternatives please)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

For the delicious peanut butter filling:
2 tablespoons of unsalted natural peanut butter (organic is preferable)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil (melted)
Generous pinch of Himalayan salt
1 tablespoon of maple syrup

peanut

Simply melt the ingredients for your chocolate shell very gently and fill your cupcake cases (you will need cupcake liners-about 6 medium or 12 mini ones) ¼ of the way, spread to the sides a little with your teaspoon. Next, in a small bowl whisk up your peanut butter filling, making sure it is thoroughly combined; this will literally take 10 seconds. Fill up your mini moulds with approximately half a teaspoon of your peanut mixture if you are using mini cases or one teaspoon if you are using medium cases and simply top off gently with the remaining chocolate mixture. Pop it in the freezer for 10 (yes, 10!) minutes and eat right away! You will love them.

Happy Baking!

Niki x

Niki’s Peruvian Eggs

2015, Breakfast, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Summer, Super Quick

peru1 (2)

Saludos!
Want a little Breakfast shake up? Then come with me to Peru! This mysterious country has amazed me in what it has to offer and this includes its culinary taste. With over 400 dishes to choose from, Peruvian cuisine is rich and diverse, ranging from all different types of potatoes and tomatoes to exotic spices such as Aji (hot peppers), muňa (mint) and Huacatay. There are also more accessible herbs that are commonly used such as ground coriander, oregano, basil to name just a few. This brings me to my Peruvian eggs. They pack a tasty punch and once you try this much loved dish, you’ll find yourself whipping this dish up for lunch and dinner!
To serve 2, all you need is:
• 3 eggs
• Pinch of ground cumin
• Pinch of sweet paprika
• Pinch of ground coriander
• A good pinch of Himalayan salt and ground black pepper
• ½ lime
• 1 tbs of avocado/olive oil
• 2-3 medium sized tomatoes or a handful of cherry tomatoes
• 1 green pepper, finely diced
• 1 small onion, finely diced
• 1tbs of coriander and chives, finely chopped

Simply heat your oil over a medium heat and lightly sweat off your onions, peppers and tomatoes. Season well and add your spices are 2-3 minutes. Once you see the tomatoes reducing down to a pulp-like consistency, add your eggs and immediately cover your pan. This is very important as your eggs will start to bake wonderfully and all the flavours will infuse better. After 1-2 minutes, serve immediately with a fresh salad or some tortillas…I love to break the yolk and watch it ooze out into the tomatoes…bliss!

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You will find that these simple yet key flavours really do marry together to create a wonderful dish. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did…and still do!
Happy Baking!
Chau!
Niki

Niki’s Singapore Noodles

Autumn, Savoury

up close

Ni hao my fellow readers!

Yes, this week I am taking you to the wonderful world of Asian cuisine! With the wonderful aromas and mystical legends surrounding this area, I have always been fascinated with Chinese cuisine. I would like to share with you my all time favorite dish which I have enjoyed since childhood: Singaporean Noodles.

The ingredients needed for this dish are quite simple, you will even be thinking how it can turn into something so vibrant and pretty…sounding more and more appealing right? Thought so. Read on…

You need: A bunch of spring onions, 2 bell peppers, sesame seeds (black and white), 2 eggs, 1 small carrots, beansprouts, 2 garlic cloves (crushed), chili flakes, crushed ginger, Chinese five spice, groundnut oil, sesame oil, fine egg noodles, oyster sauce and soy sauce.

The key to this dish is food prep. Please make sure you chop all of your veggies very finely so it will cook evenly and quickly. Also, have your noodles drained and ready to go before you start your stir fry.

Have your pan ready on medium-high heat and add your groundnut oil until its piping hot. Crack your eggs and scramble them quickly. Next, add all of your veggies and toss vigorously in the pan. Add your five spice, sauces and noodles and with two forks, separate and incorporate your veggies gently but thoroughly. After five minutes your noodles are ready to devour! Enjoy my dear readers.

 

Happy Baking!

Niki