Tag Archives: Breakfast

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

 

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Vegan Hot Cross Buns; moist with grated apple, warm with gentle spices, and sweet with dried cranberries, these are worth every minute of work. Get baking, there’s less than a month till Easter!

It just wouldn’t be Easter without Hot Cross Buns. Maybe this is something very specific to the UK but here you know Christmas is over when the mince pies are replaced with Hot Cross Buns even though Easter is still 3 months away! That being said, this is not a complaint as I love the ever changing seasons, and what better way to celebrate than with food that reminds you that warmer weather is on the way.

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This is my second Hot Cross Bun recipe on the blog. Without eggs, these are slightly lighter and more justifiably a breakfast food, and potentially slightly better for you! For me, this was all about making sure I still had a way to eat a tasty, delicious, and fresh Hot Cross Bun in time for Easter!

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My Hot Cross Buns are heavier with fruit than normal. As well as the traditional mixed peel and sultanas, I’ve added grated apple and dried cranberries for a nice sweet and sour hit. The apples tend to melt away here, but they keep the buns deliciously moist and sweet.

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These don’t need any topping apart from a light scraping of dairy free butter, and perhaps a smidge of honey or golden syrup if you eat these for elevenses. Personally, this is one of my breakfast treats, but that doesn’t mean I can’t eat them at 11, and again at 4, and again after dinner!

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Vegan Crepe Pancakes

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Fabulously simple, it’s hard to believe these are vegan. These are still as light and moreish as their eggy counterparts, just a teeny bit better for you.

I love pancakes, and every year I like to focus on bringing a new pancake recipe to the blog. This year, however, you’re being treated to two new recipes – both vegan! Although I’ve always been keen to experiment with more vegan recipes, I will admit that I have another personal reason for now giving it a wholehearted go (but that is a story for another time). Safe to say for now that finding a way to make great vegan pancakes has been a big part of my happiness in the last few months. The approaching Pancake Day (next Tuesday 28th Feb!!) is just a great excuse to share them!

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I will admit that I was very sceptical of vegan crepes working. I just couldn’t understand how they could hold together without an egg… let alone how they could be as light yet crispy as a ‘normal’ pancake. But these really are, and they honestly use the simplest of ingredients; flour, baking powder, non dairy milk and oil. That’s it. Unless you count the lemon and sugar toppings of course!

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I’ve said it before that I think baking powder is the secret to amazing vegan baking, and here it is no exception. The purpose of the baking powder here isn’t really to ‘rise’ the pancake, but to give it a light texture from all the air bubbles – much like an egg does. The only thing then that you’re missing is the fat. Ever so important in baking, this is such a key step to cracking vegan recipes. So don’t be put off by the oil content. It may sound a lot, but trust me when I say it’s needed to help bind the pancakes together, and to give them flavour.

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So here it is… my last pancake recipe for Pancake Day 2017. I personally don’t think these need anything other than a light sprinkle of sugar followed by a generous squeeze of lemon. But maybe that’s because I’m old school! Go mental with these and top them however you like – chocolate sauce and banana, ice cream and caramelised oranges… the combinations are delicious and endless!

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Fruit Scones

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Light, crumbly, fruit scones – packed full of sultanas, these scones only need a light spread of jam and a teaspoon of your favourite jam to achieve perfection. This reliable Delia recipe has been a family favourite for many years and never fails to delight.

So, I’m going to put it out there – my favourite time of the day to eat a scone is for breakfast. Now, I know what you’re all thinking. That is more than a little bit strange! In Britain, scones are a traditional afternoon tea treat. However, many moons ago my mother, who comes from Belgium, thought she would try and learn to make scones (she’s an absolute expert, and I have to admit hers always come out better than mine!). Her trusty Delia book did not give any indication of when these should be eaten, and so she made them for breakfast. And although it may not be conventional, it’s no more odd than eating a croissant and jam before 9am!

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You can of course still eat these at tea time – I tend to make mine as ‘mini’ scones, so you get to feel naughty and eat more than one – but I really consider them an any time of day treat. And as these scones have a generous amount of sultanas in them, you can kid yourself into thinking they count as one of your 5 a day!

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Now there may be many of you who are wondering what is a scone? And is it pronounced ‘skon’ or ‘scone’ (like cone with an ‘s’ at the front). Although I can’t answer the debate on pronunciation, I can explain what a scone is! Technically, it is a type of dough enriched with eggs and butter, where you start as if you were making pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour and sugar to make crumbs. The effect creates a crumbly half bread, half pastry product – crumbly and light, a good scone should melt away in your mouth, and provide a buttery texture and taste which is perfect for lashings of jam on top.

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Traditionally scones are served with jam and clotted cream – however our dairy free version comes with a nice bit of dairy free butter. Unfortunately I think clotted cream is just one of life’s pleasures we may have to go without, but there are other upsides – no cream means you can definitely have at least 1 more scone!

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Coffee Shop Blueberry Muffins

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Coffee shop style blueberry muffins; extra-large and packed with blueberries. A not-so-naughty treat for any time in the day… including breakfast!

This weekend I really fancied a simple bake, and although this does require the use of two bowls (which for some of my friends precludes this from being called simple!) it really is very straightforward and hard to go wrong. These muffins, without fail, come out light, slightly chewy, and bursting with blueberries every time.

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Now is the beginning of the blueberry season in the UK; perhaps a little early to see a lot of British blueberries in the shops, but keep an eye out as they will be there very soon. Maybe it’s just me, but I find fruit and veg are always best bought and eaten when in season, and the blueberries here were packed with flavour – something you need in a good blueberry muffin!

Another great thing about these muffins is you probably already have all the ingredients, bar the blueberries, at home. So there are no excuses when you want to whip up a quick batch of these – which is a dangerous thing to realise!

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I would not advocate eating these for breakfast (although of course for “research purposes” I did!) but they did make a nice treat. My favourite time to eat them was as a not-so-naughty elevenses treat, with a strong black coffee on the side; Just like you would in your favourite coffee shop.

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Cinnamon & Banana French Toast

IMG_0921Golden, soft yet crispy cinnamon french toast, topped with banana and served with a drizzle of maple syrup. This is a breakfast favourite I can promise you will keep coming back to.

French toast (or, honestly, eggy bread as it is called in my house) is one of my favourite breakfasts. I’ll tell you a naughty secret… I don’t just eat it on the weekends! If I feel like I need a pick-me-up breakfast on a weekday, this is my go to recipe as it can always put a smile on my face.

I eat french toast in several ways (try vanilla and blueberry with a sprinkle of icing sugar, or chocolate spread and strawberries) but this has to be my favourite. Despite drenching it in maple syrup, it tends to be a little less sweet than the other types, so you can try to convince yourself it’s better for you.

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Maple syrup is on the pricey side, but trust me when I say do not substitute it for honey or sugar. I used Waitrose Maple Syrup No.2 which has a stronger flavour – I prefer this to the lighter, less strong kinds as I find I tend to use a lot less which, for a breakfast recipe, is probably a good thing. Do make sure you buy pure maple syrup – not maple flavoured syrup, which is not real maple syrup, overly sweet and not maple-y at all.

This is a very simple recipe, requiring only a few ingredients. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes from when you start to getting it in your mouth, which for any breakfast recipe is a winning factor. I hope you enjoy!

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Cinnamon & Raisin Bagels

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A denser than normal bread with a crisp and chewy crust. Flavoured with cinnamon and stuffed with raisins, these are perfect just lightly buttered and topped with cinnamon sugar.

Bagels have been a very recent discovery for me. I often don’t bother to check the ingredients on baked goods, presuming they have butter or milk in them, but recently found New York Bakery Company’s bagels are dairy free! And so the last few weeks have been bagel filled whilst I’ve been trying different toppings, and it seems that everyone has their favourite combination. After experimenting with everything from eggs, jams and marmalades, peanut butter and chocolate spread, I have settled on my favourite…. Cinnamon and Raisin Bagels lightly buttered with a cinnamon sugar topping.

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These freshly bakes bagels are so much better than the shop bought variety; more crusty and chewy on the outside, much less dense in the middle. They were perfect just reheated in the oven for a few minutes, split open and then buttered. If you, like me, have no problem with something sweet occasionally for breakfast, sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and sugar on top too. I love cinnamon so am generous with the cinnamon – Although there is quite a lot in the dough already, it only gives a gentle flavour once the bagels have been baked so I like to ramp it up.

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Bagels on paper did not look that difficult to make – but they were certainly one of the more challenging types of bread that I have made. There are two things that made it different to normal dough; One thing is that you make a pre-ferment (sounds complicated but was actually incredibly simple), and the second is that the dough has very low hydration levels, which makes it very stiff and a good work out for your arms to knead it. I would not recommend making these as a first time bread maker, but if you’ve made any sort of bread before you will be fine.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Richard Bertinet’s book ‘Crust’ but has been adapted to make them cinnamon and raisin flavoured. If you wanted to make plain bagels simply omit the cinnamon and raisins and reduce the honey to 20g.

With all of that being said these bagels were so delicious and worth the effort that I will definitely be doing them again. It makes me wish we held brunches at our house just to have an excuse to make them regularly!

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Blueberry Breakfast Muffins

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Breakfast foods again! There does seem to be a trend, doesn’t there 🙂 And even better, this week is National Breakfast Week (see more here), so there really is no excuse not to give these a try.

The original recipe appeared on BBC Good Food – but here I’ve made some substitutions to help the muffins keep you fuller for longer, which I think is key in any good breakfast food – and of course to make them dairy free too!

So, onto the muffins! This is a recipe that I keep going back to. Packed with goodness from the porridge oats and wholegrain flour and low on added sugar, they really do keep you full until lunch. Even better, these muffins freeze really well so I often bake a batch at the weekend and then defrost them as needed (overnight on the kitchen side is perfect). Although they are just as good cold, in the winter I like to pop them in the microwave until just warm – the ultimate treat of a ‘freshly’ baked muffin in 30 seconds to me is the perfect way to start the day.

Although the predominant flavour of these muffins is blueberry, you can also taste the cinnamon, nutmeg and banana which is added to the batter. These warming spices help tone down the sweetness of the blueberries and really bring out the flavour of the oats and wholegrain flour.

I’ve finished these muffins with a nutty granola topping (find the Granola recipe here) or you could simply add a few chopped nuts or oats of your choice to provide a bit of crunch.

So give them a try, whether it is for breakfast or a mid morning snack, and I promise you’ll be reaching for these in your freezer again and again.

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Healthy Granola

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Breakfast – The most important meal of the day. And lets be honest, sometimes it can become the most boring one, especially on a week day. I’ve never been a cereal or porridge fan, so often I resort to toast with peanut butter… a worthy breakfast but sometimes I do fancy a change!

So along comes granola… a crunchy mix of your favourite nuts, seeds and oats, packed full of fibre and protein – what’s not to like? Well…nothing! Now, you could go out and buy one of the many branded versions around. But I want to convince you to make your own, and believe me, once you do you won’t ever want to settle for the shop bought stuff again.

  1. It takes less than 10 minutes to make 10 breakfast worths (I’m not kidding – If I was concentrating I think I could do it in under 5 – theres a challenge for you to beat!). Even better, you can easily do this one weekend and it lasts for weeks.
  2. You can personalise it. Don’t like almonds? Don’t add them! Want more sweetness but don’t like raisins? No problem, add cranberries! More than that you really can use whatever you’ve got in the cupboard – and equally skip or substitute for what you do have!
  3. It is healthier. Its scary when you start reading the packets and realise how much sugar is added to shop bought stuff. Now, as someone who writes a baking blog I can’t profess to be counting every teaspoon of sugar I consume, but I do try not to add more than needed. For breakfast I want to eat something wholesome, not something that’s going to make me hungry an hour later.
  4. It is so versatile. My favourite way to eat granola is with a heaped tablespoon of coconut yoghurt and some fruit – but why not eat it with almond milk, or make some breakfast muffins and add some granola before baking for a crunchy topping? The uses are endless!
  5. It’s cheaper. Enough said 🙂

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So – heres a toast to the wonderful granola. I hope it inspires you to give it a try.

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