Make your own instant porridge/oatmeal packets!

IMG_1958

For a long time I have been meaning to do this…

Firstly to save money  – the brand that we like to buy is over $6 for 8 serves, but has added pepita seeds and cinnamon etc.,  that makes them yummy.

Secondly – if I make our own I can control the sugar, and thus I can eat them again as I’m avoiding sugar (the ones we buy have sugar, honey and sultanas added, and 10gs of sugar per serve!).

You can read about the health benefits of oats here (http://www.uncletobys.com.au/health-and-nutrition/all-about-oats/). Adding the chia seeds, pepitas, nuts and coconuts adds more fiber , protein and also some good fats.

I made these mainly for the man to take to work, so I added about four sultanas per bag, and some stevia powder, if I eat them I don’t have the dried fruit or sweetener, but add some frozen berries when serving.

I prepare these individually into small snack size zip lock bags, and make them in a bowl at home, or a container at work. It is possible to combine every thing in a big container, and scoop a serving as needed.

This recipe is adapted from ‘The Yummy Life’ (http://www.theyummylife.com/Instant_Oatmeal_Packets), where you will find 12 flavor variations and instructions on how to turn these packets into ‘overnight oatmeal’, something that looks similar to bircher muesli.

You can use rolled oats or quick oats, the added bran and chia seeds will make up for some of the goodness lost in the processing of the quick oats. I use the ‘secret’ revealed here (http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/10/the-secret-to-making-homemade-instant-oatmeal-packets.html).

IMG_1900IMG_1901IMG_1903

I process some of the oats, to make the end product creamier. I made enough for 10 packets, which is 3 cups, so I processed 1 cup until fine and mix it back with the rest of the oats (this is what I call oat mix).

IMG_1899

Ingredients -per package

1/3 cup of oat mix

2 tsp of milk powder ( skim, full fat, or even protein powder)

1 tsp of chia seeds

2 tsp of oat bran

1/8 tsp of cinnamon

pinch of salt

Optional

sweetener of your choice, I added 1/4 of tsp of stevia powder ( if you don’t have a problem with sugar, any dry type will work or add liquid when serving)

1 heaped tsp of shredded coconut

1 tsp of pepita seeds

1 walnut crumbled per packet

To assemble:

Simple add ingredients to a ‘snack’ size zip-lock bag.

IMG_1905IMG_1907

Steps to heat:

1.Tip packet into bowl or container

IMG_1955

2. Add about 3/4 cup of water (you could use milk but you all ready have the milk powder in the mix). Stir to combine).

3.Microwave on high for 1 minutes, stir and microwave for a further minute. Stir, stand to cool enough to eat (times may vary according to microwave, if you use whole rolled oats you will need to cook for 3 minutes.

IMG_1957

I have only ever made them this way, but if using quick oats, you  can make this by simply adding 2/3 of cup of boiling water, stirring and letting stand for a few minutes until thickened.

Don’t be afraid if it seems a little runny, it will thicken after standing.

Txx

IMG_1908

 

Chia Seed Pudding Jars!

IMG_1869

Here is another low fructose , highly nutritious recipe inspired by Sarah Wilson (http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/).

Although there are may recipe variations for these available on the net, in  paleo, raw, vegan circles.

Chia seeds contain omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium and other nutrients.

I saw Sarah make these with Justine on “Everyday Gourmet'(http://www.everydaygourmet.tv/recipes/696-cashewy-chia-puddings) on channel ten, and since I have started watching my sugar intake decided to give them ago.

I use  lite coconut milk in mine because I’m not a fan of other dairy milk alternatives. However, Sarah makes her own cashew milk, and you can use any other nut milks, soy or dairy if you wish.

Really, you can use any flavorings, fruit, nuts etc you wish, to suit your style of eating. You may wish to alter the milk to seed ratio to vary the consistency.

This version uses low fructose berries, and I top with some nuts and a little shredded coconut.

A higher fructose, but more dessert like version that I have made, is adding half a fresh add before refrigerating and topping with half a banana when eating.

They do need to be chilled overnight to achieve a pudding consistency, and they last well for a few days in the fridge.

I generally eat them for breakfast, and sometimes as a snack.

Jars make the best containers, as they are easy to seal and shake when making them.

IMG_1866

Ingredients – Makes 2 jars

1 can of lite coconut milk or 270mls of liquid of your choice

2 tbs of chia seeds

hand full of frozen or fresh berries of your choice

To top – nuts of your choice and shredded coconut

Steps:

1. Wash and dry two small glass jar and lid.

2. Pour half of the coconut milk into each jar.

3. Add the half the chia seeds and berries in the jars.

IMG_1867

4. Seal the jar with lids, and shake vigorously.

IMG_1870

5. Pop the jars in the fridge overnight.

6. Top with desired toppings, and eat!!

IMG_1889

IMG_1886

Txx

Bacon and Egg Filo Pie – with Onion Jam

IMG_1579

I was really craving bacon and egg pie. Although, filo is lighter than other pastries this is NOT a lighter recipe.

It does contain lots of yummy things though, eggs, bacon, cheese and onion!

The filo and use of a loaf pan makes for easy assembly of the pie.

It can be served hot or cold, and can make a good breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner dish.

I found this recipe on the website of the TV show everyday gourmet http://www.everydaygourmet.tv/recipes/352.

In this version, I added the onion jam I posted previously https://teagzteagz.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/img_1542.jpg , and used some mayonnaise in place of the sour cream, as I forgot to buy it. I would recommend using the sour cream, the mayonnaise made it a little to rich. I also didn’t use any fresh  herbs, but the chives used in the original recipes or parsley would be lovely.

To make this healthier, use less and leaner bacon, or ham, or replace bacon with some spinach or tomato. You could also use low fat cheese and reduce the amount.

IMG_1493

Ingredients:

50g butter, melted
7 sheets of thick filo pastry
9 pieces of thin streaky bacon
10 eggs
Salt and pepper
200g cheddar, grated
50g mayonnaise

1 portion of onion jam
Juice and zest of ½ lemon

Steps.

1. Pre heat the oven to 190C. Grease the bottom of a loaf tin and line with one sheet of filo pastry, allowing excess pastry to runoff the edges. Repeat 5 times, lightly brushing each time with the melted butter.

2.Fry the bacon until golden brown, drain.

IMG_1497

3. Place three pieces of the bacon in the filo lined tin. Crack the eggs into a bowl and season with salt pepper. Whisk, just to break up the egg yolks. Pour half of this mixture into tin, followed by another three pieces of bacon.

IMG_1506

IMG_1509

 

4. In another bowl combine  cheddar, mayonnaise and lemon. Place on top of bacon, top with the onion jam and then add the remaining egg mixture. Finish with the last three pieces of bacon. Cover with the remaining buttered filo pastry and seal by crimping the edges to form a pie. Brush with a little butter.

IMG_1511

 

5. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Once cooked allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin.

IMG_1512

 

IMG_1516

Healthyish Carrot Cake Muffins!

IMG_1577

After seeing a flour free version of Carrot Cake in the winter Donna Hay Magazine, I’ve been dreaming about carrot cakes with creamy, fluffy, sweet cream cheese icing.

But as I’m trying to eat well, I had to find a healthier version, and potion controlled!

I found this  un -iced version by Generation Y foodie, http://www.generationyfoodie.com/2013/03/skinny-carrot-cake-muffins.html. 

I made some changes as follows:

  • Replaced some of the wholemeal flour with almond meal, which is what really attached me to the Donna Hay version.
  • Reduced the flour a little
  • Increased the rising agents
  • Added more spice (I love spices in cakes, it makes it seem sweeter) but add to your taste.
  • Used 1/2 a cup of dark brown sugar
  • Used Greek yogurt instead of Apple sauce
  • Used 1/2 cup of rice bran oil
  • Left out the other nuts
  • Made an icing

I really liked the muffins. Like Y generations, these Muffins are not overly sweet, if you prefer things sweet I would recommend adding more sugar to the mix and icing!

The carrots and almond made the texture lovely, soft and moist and they kept well in the fridge for 4 days!

IMG_1576

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cups of wholemeal  flour
  • 1/2 cup of almond meal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp of ginger
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup rice bran oil
  • 1/4 cup skim milk approx.
  • 2 cup shredded carrots (approx 4-5 carrots, peeled and shredded)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened raisins

Icing

1 tub of extra light spreadable Philadelphia cream cheese

1 tbs of lemon jucie

Sweetener of your choice to taste (icing sugar results in the best texture, I used granulated stevia to cut back on the sugar).

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 180c. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper muffin cases.

2. Sift flours, meal, spices, salt, baking powder and soda (add any meal left from the wholemeal flour), into a bowl. Add raisins to the dry ingredients.

IMG_1524IMG_1525

3. In another bowl mix eggs, milk, oil,  vanilla and yogurt.

4. Add the wet ingredients to dry, mix. Add the carrots and mix well. Add milk until you reach the right consistency.

IMG_1527IMG_1530

5. Fill muffin cases 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 20 -25 minutes.

IMG_1533IMG_1537

6. Cool completely.

7. Mix icing ingredients in a bowl. Spread in muffins using a butter knife.

IMG_1545

If you choose not to ice the cakes they will keep in an airtight container, however refrigerate if iced.

IMG_1548

Delicious, not totally healthy but not that bad for you either!

Bacon Pancakes for cousin Jade….An ode to Adventuretime

IMG_1409

My cousin is a fan of the cartoon ‘Adventuretime’, and posts screenshots of the main character making bacon pancakes. I saw this and thought GENIUS, pancakes with bacon IN them!

I like the  sweet/savory combination of pancakes with bacon and maple syrup which is popular in the US, however, here in Australia this is fairly uncommon. Generally we have a savory breakfast of bacon and eggs, and pancakes tend to be a sweet breakfast . If we have savory pancakes they tend to be of the European crepe style.

I searched for a recipe and found one by Martha Stewart (http://www.marthastewart.com/326883/bacon-pancakes),  I also found a reference to a retro Aunt Jemima pancake mix recipe for ‘Bacon strip pancakes’ (http://www.mrbreakfast.com/superdisplay.asp?recipeid=2853), I think this shape works better, as you get a more even bacon to pancake ratio.

This is a fluffy American style recipe of pancake using the reaction between the buttermilk and the baking soda, thus the mixture can’t be made ahead and stored. If you used a milk based, thinner consistency batter, I’m not sure how it would ‘hold’ the bacon.

I’ve used what we call ‘streaky bacon’ in Australia, which is the closest we have to American style bacon strips that get super crispy. If yo prefer to use a leaner cut you could used ‘short bacon’ and make round pancakes though it wont be as crispy.

Instead of grilling the bacon, I trimmed and removed the rind, and baked it in the oven on a rack to render the fat and get it really crispy and crunchy, cover the bottom of the pan with baking paper to save time on cleaning up (remember when you are keep the pancakes warm in the oven the bacon will lose some crispness). I also used rice bran oil rather than the bacon fat to cook the pancakes (just personal preference).

If you have more mixture than bacon or want to skip the bacon, other toppings could include jam,ice-cream, honey or just maple syrup. Golden syrup and lemon and sugar are traditional Australian/British toppings.

Be sure to get real maple syrup, not maple flavored syrup, which is artificial rubbish.

Ingredients:

1 cup of plain flour

2 tbs of white sugar

1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 tsp of baking soda

pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups of butter milk

1 egg

2 tbs of melted butter

8 slices of bacon

Maple Syrup to serve

1. Preheat oven to 200c. Trim bacon to your liking and place on a rack, inside a baking tray. Cook for around 20 minutes or until crisp to your liking.  Remove bacon and turn oven down to 100c.

IMG_1388

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and egg. Whisk flour mixture into buttermilk mixture just until moistened, with small to medium lumps remaining.

IMG_1386IMG_1385IMG_1391

3.  Put a small amount of oil or bacon fat in a fry pan, heat over medium. Pour 1/2 cupfuls batter into fry pan, in long oval shape and top each with a bacon slice. Cook until some bubbles appear on top of pancakes and a few have burst, about 2 minutes. With a spatula, carefully flip pancakes and cook until browned on underside, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Keep pancakes warm in oven and repeat with remaining batter, adding more bacon fat or oil if needed. Serve with pure maple syrup if desired.

IMG_1397

Breakfast of champions! x