Tag Archives: pumpkin seeds

What’s In A Name?

New food trends keep popping up, which are not so new, just reworked or reborn for today’s ever evolving health foodies.  Some resurface that have been around for decades, one that I can remember my own mother doing, that I carried on with my own children, only now it has a name.

I’ve been soaking oats nightly forever mainly because I felt the soaking would make the oats more digestible (see link below) for a young tummy at the time and I just carried on out of habit. Then someone gave it a name,  Overnight Oats!  Although I have to say that mine are more like the Bircher Muesli mum used to make minus the dried fruit which I have steered clear of for Miss ND so far, they are too prone to getting stuck on little teeth!

oats close

During the colder months I do cook Miss ND’s oats after soaking overnight, I think little ones need something warm in their tummies in the morning before braving the elements before school.

I make them in separate bowls for each of us, I like Almond or Coconut milk and Miss ND  will either have whole milk or Oat milk.  I also like to soak chia, ground almonds and flaxseeds in the mix.  I pop the flaxseeds in whole for myself as I love nibbling on them in each mouthful to crack them open, just me probably, but it also makes me slow down and eat more mindfully!  For Miss ND I do grind them though.

oats and seeds

These additions do soak up a significant amount of milk which I don’t measure, I do, however, check the oats mix just before I go to bed and add more milk to each as necessary.

A dollop of full fat natural Greek Yogurt (Lidl’s is amazingly creamy and comes in a huge bucket which is just as well as Miss ND loves it and eats it by the bowlful every day for afters) some fruit and a sprinkling of cinnamon will complete the bowl in the morning.

I don’t sweeten our breakfast, the only sweetness will come from the fresh fruit.  Miss ND has been brought up on low/no sugar and it really has paid off, she loves savoury and when she does eat chocolate,  she only manages a little (wish I had the same restraint!).

And when you see a “new” healthy recipe, remember that they may have been around for a while. Some of us have been hiding vegetables in our cakes, soaking our oats, making almond milk and clean eating, etc  long before it all became a trend.

Health Info:

Oats contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, E, Folic Acid, Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Selenium – trace elements: copper, chromium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and iodine.

This link from Sun Warrior is an excellent explanation of why we should soak our nuts and seeds overnight.

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Allinsons Dough Tree Campaign

It was lovely to receive this hamper packed with Allinson Baking Products from Baking Mad to promote Allinson’s Dough Tree Campaign.

bread hamper

The challenge was to bake one of their Dough Tree bread recipes from the ingredients.  There was so much to choose from, the Cranberry and Pumpkin Cob  is appealing because of the fruit content and Pumpkin seeds (Pumpkin seeds are rich in Manganese Phosphorus, Magnesium and Copper plus a source of Zinc and iron).  Slathered in butter, Miss ND wolfed a couple of slices down after school, I was very impressed.

Dough Collage cranberry pumpkin Collage

bread and butter

I’m not a huge bread eater myself, I have a mild allergy to yeast, but I couldn’t resist baking the Bacon and Cheddar Scrolls as well, I love cheeses in bread and the combination of bacon, cheese. wholegrain mustard and onion is delicious encased in the bread.

bacon scrolls Collage

Flour

Bread freshly baked from the oven is a delight and what better aroma wafting around the kitchen too.  I have 2 tips for baking bread, use a dough hook on your mixer, it saves time and aching wrists plus it kneads dough beautifully.   Make sure your yeast is within date, you may not get the best results with yeast you bought months ago that’s been lurking in the cupboard, ask me how I know!

 

Disclosure:  We were sent a hamper of products from Baking Mad to make some delicious breads.

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Healthy Date, Walnut and Seed Truffles

I’ve been using various combinations of ingredients for these little sweet morsels, trying to keep the little girl’s mind on healthy treats.   And with Valentine’s Day at the end of the week, they also make a lovely gift for the one I love. 

healthy truffles

These are sugar-free, the dates gives them their super sweetness and the cocoa that soft chocolatey taste, the seeds and nuts are blitzed finely (or hidden in the case of the toddler) and the coconut oil makes these truffles silky smooth.   For children I would roll in a smoother coating such as ground almonds or coconut rather than chopped nuts.

Healthy Date, Walnut and Seed Truffles

Prep TIme:  30 minutes
Chilling Time:  20 minutes
Makes 20-24

 Ingredients

125g dates
50g walnuts
50g mix of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flaxseeds
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut oil
100g fresh blueberries

To finish: flaxseeds, cocoa, chopped or ground almonds,
chopped hazelnuts, coconut

Method

Soak the dates in warm water for a few minutes to soften, then blitz the dates, walnuts and seed mixture in a food processor until smooth.

Add the cocoa powder, coconut oil and blueberries and gently pulse until well combined. Place the mixture in the fridge for an hour to firm up a little.

Form into small balls and roll in coatings of your choice, see above for suggestions.

These truffles will keep in the fridge for a week, not that I’ve ever had to test out that theory!

Quick Nutritional Info:

Dates are rich in Polyphenols, a plant antioxidant that has a higher capacity to reduce oxidative stress.  An excellent source of Potassium, Calcium and magnesium, with a good balance of manganese, zinc, copper, iron and selenium.  Vitamin K and B complex.

Walnuts:  Good source of Potassium, iron and magnesium, plus B6  and omega 3 fats.

Cocoa Powder (unsweetened):  Phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium, flavenoids.

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Seeded Spelt Loaves

Since I went on the bread making workshop  I’ve been wanting to try out some breads using non-traditional flours.  I’ve had some Wholegrain Spelt Flour in the cupboard for a while now and was wondering what to bake with it.   Spelt is an ancient grain, a cousin to wheat although  it contains a broader range of nutrients and is high in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, folic acid, E, manganese,  copper, and magnesium.   It also contains a wide range of minerals and is a good source of fibre .

I used this recipe from Dove’s Farm  except that I made 4 mini loaves, omitted the nuts and added a mix of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flaxseeds to the top as well as the dough.  Before adding the seeds on top I egg washed the dough to give a nice sheen.

Speltflour

 

The dough was a little harder to work with and didn’t rise with as much aplomb as my usual wheat-based flour doughs but nevertheless the resulting Spelt bread rose well enough and was delicious.

Spelt loaf ND

 

We’ve enjoyed these loaves with a numbers of toppings and fillings, from cheeses to honey and even my jam!  It was also delicious toasted the next morning.  Even the tiddler enjoyed a slice  or two, although I think she’s a little confused about why I would put seeds in her bread when we usually put them in the garden!   

I popped one of the loaves into the freezer, the great frozen abyss that is my old chest freezer, I cannot wait till I have an upright one with drawers!

If you want to try using non-traditional flours, Spelt is a great one to start with,  it has a lovely nutty flavour and with the addition of seeds a very healthy alternative to traditional wheat.

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Roasted Salmon with Cumin Pumpkin Seed Crust

Roasted salmon is one of my favourite fish dishes, I eat some most days, I’ve even been known to eat it for breakfast if there is some cold in the fridge! I am happy with just roasting or pan frying in a little olive oil and maybe garlic and herbs but like experimenting with crusts to give it an extra dimension and  flavour boost.  All crusts are very simple to put together as is the whole dish and the combinations endless.  This cumin pumpkin crust is quite dense but hugely flavoursome.   Salmon only needs a few minutes in the oven, too long and it will dry out.    Wild Alaskan Salmon fillets are usually more expensive but more generous in their portion size so I will usually cut some off to make a separate meal for Miss ND or freeze a raw portion to enhance a white fish pie.

I’ve used approximate quantities as I don’t tend to measure!

 

Serves 2

Pre-heat your oven to 160 C 

Ingredients

2 Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillets 
Cumin seeds
Pumpkin seeds
Sea Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
2 tsp Mixed herbs or to taste
4 tablespoons Greek Yoghurt

Start by toasting a couple of small handfuls of pumpkin seeds in a frying pan until they are lightly browned, don’t do for too long as they can burn quite quickly and the taste will not be good!  Cool.

pumpkinseeds

Take a couple of big pinches of cumin seeds and toast these very briefly, basically just warming them through, about a minute should do!  If you are not keen on cumin, it’s one of my favourites, replace with another spice, it’s the pumpkin seeds that are the star ingredient on top of the salmon.  Once cool add the cumin to the toasted pumpkin seeds, place these and the mixed herbs and salt into a blender and pulse until the pumpkin seeds are to your liking, I like mine quite big!

Smear the yoghurt over the salmon with the back of a spoon leaving a nice thick layer which will keep the fish moist, then sprinkle the spice/herb seed mix over the yoghurt, then a couple of twists of black pepper over the whole dish and you are ready to roast.

Roast for around 10-12 minutes.

Roasted Salmon with Cumin Pumpkin seed Crust – delicious hot or cold.

Quick Nutritional Info:

Salmon – Omega 3, vitamin B3, B6, B12, selenium, magnesium
Pumpkin seeds – magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium

 

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