Breville Juicer Review and A Glass of Sass

Hey everyone! This video is a LONG one, but in it I review the Breville juicer that I just got! It deserves a long video! 🙂

I also mention a really cool raw vegan book I got, and use the juicer to make one of the recipes! So if you have the time, check it out! 🙂

Here’s the recipe I used for the Juice in the video!

A Glass of Sass

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole bunch spinach
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1/2 bunch celery
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 1/2 inch knob of ginger
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 1/2 lime, peeled
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled

Method:

  • Juice all ingredients one at a time in the order mentioned above.
  • Serve and enjoy! 🙂

The book title is: “Rawesomely Vegan! The ultimate raw vegan recipe book”, and the author is Mike Snyder. It’s definitely worth a read!

Here’s the juicer on the company website!

PS: Here’s the recipe for the Ruby Red Super Juice that I mention in this video! 😉

Strawberry & Date Jam

After making apple butter so many times, I decided I wanted to try some other fruit spreads. I wish I would have known how messy this jam was going to be… So be warned: this will splatter while cooking! Luckily the taste more than makes up for the mess… 😀

The dates add a thickness to the jam that makes it taste quite rich, with a sweetness that isn’t too much to handle. The lemon zest and spices add a little “something else” that you won’t find in many other jams. I love fruit spreads, and find this to be pretty unique when compared to other ones I’ve had. I enjoyed some of this jam on some whole wheat bread with goat’s milk cheese, but you could really put it on anything!

This recipe filled one 310 ml jam jar. Enjoy! 🙂

Strawberry & Date Jam

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups strawberries, cleaned with the tops cut off
  • 1/2 cup pitted honey dates, finely chopped
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar (you can add more if you like, but I found this to make the jam pretty sweet!)
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey

Method:

  • In a deep pot (trust me, it splashes…), place all ingredients and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, puree the contents of the pot, and adjust the temperature to high heat.
  • It will come to a rolling boil pretty quickly, so you need to keep stirring or the bottom will burn. If you have a heavy bottom pot, use that.
  • Continue to stir the mixture for 20-25 minutes. I don’t use a thermometer, I judge it by eye. When the mixture is thick, it’s ready to come off the stove. A good way to judge the right thickness is to pull the spoon through the middle of the mixture. Once it’s at a perfect thickness, the mixture will fall back together quite slowly. Also, when you scoop some of it up on the spoon, and tip the spoon upside down, it will “glob” off of the spoon instead of pour off nicely. For me, with the quantities of ingredients I used, it was good to remove from the heat after 25 minutes exactly. Once it’s done, remove from heat and stir a few more times until it’s cooled slightly.
  • I didn’t make a recipe for preserving, and haven’t attempted to do so yet, however if stored in a sterile glass jar (old jam jars are great), or in a clean and sterile container, you can keep this in your fridge for up to 1 week. If you like, you can also freeze this for however long you’d keep jam in the freezer, but I’ve never really been a fan of freezer jam in the past. If you do preserve jams, you can preserve this and store for as long as you normally would any other jam.
Mmmmmmm!!!!!!!! It tastes best after having sat in the fridge over night... So fruity...

Mmmmmmm!!!!!!!! It tastes best after having sat in the fridge over night... So fruity...

Strawberry Lemonade

I’m on a bit of a strawberry kick obsession it seems, but can you blame me? They’re so good! I’ve been dealing with frozen strawberries all winter, so I’m pretty anxious for strawberry season to visit us all here in Ontario.

When making things like smoothies or juice, frozen strawberries are actually a pretty good substitute. Not only are they picked and frozen at their freshest point, but they (like other frozen fruit) take the place of ice cubes without watering down your drink. That’s pretty awesome.

To get back on topic here, I usually don’t like things like lemonade to be honest. I’d much rather have a tall glass of water with a few slices of fresh lemon to provide just a hint of lemon flavour. However, there are times where I just want a glass of something sweet. I don’t like store-bought lemonade because it’s usually way too sweet, so I decided to make my own. 🙂 Here’s my recipe for some strawberry lemonade! Enjoy! 🙂

Strawberry Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • 3 big lemons
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 3 cups cold filtered water
  • sugar to taste (I only put about 4 tbsp of sugar into my lemonade because I don’t like it that sweet)

Method:

  • Roll the lemons between your hands and the counter a few times before squeezing the juice from them. (This softens the lemons a bit, allowing the juice to be squeezed out much easier. I also keep my lemons in the fridge, so if you do too, take them out of the fridge about 20 minutes prior to making this.)
  • Squeeze the juice from each lemon with a juicer (I just have a simple citrus-juicer, and it works great!), and pour the lemon juice into a juice jug.
  • Add all other ingredients into the jug, and with an immersion blender simply blend everything together until smooth. (If you just have a regular blender, you can use that too!)
  • Pour into a glass, and enjoy!
  • Note 1: You may need to shake/stir the juice a bit before serving as juice tends to settle when sitting for a while. Not that it will be an issue, 😉 but try to consume within a few days of making the juice.
  • Note 2: Try it with other frozen fruit! Melon, blueberries, raspberries, banana… And for something really interesting, toss in a few cinnamon sticks and a few drops of vanilla extract. There are so many options! 🙂
Refreshing... :)

Refreshing... 🙂

Soma Chocolatemaker – Review

There’s so much to say about this place! 🙂 Where to start…

Continue reading

Key Lime Pear Bran Muffins

Seeing as it’s been a while since I’ve posted any recipes {plenty of cooking, just not enough free time for the laptop}, I thought I’d share a key lime creation! For me, this was one of those “try something new” moments, because I have never had key limes before. I bought a bag of them at the grocery store, and was so excited because they were so small and cute. As soon as I got home, I cut one in half and licked it. When I was shocked that it was just as sour as a regular lime, the husband looked at me with confusion and said, “what did you expect, it’s a lime!” For some reason, I had hoped that they would be sweet. *Insert sad violins here.* 😦 

 

  

Bag of {key} lime ;)

Bag of {key} lime 😉

 

Either way, I decided to make a muffin out of them! Because this was a new trial for me, I wanted to keep the batch small. Currently, I am wishing that I had made a full dozen, because these turned out pretty darn good! If you want to make these super sweet, something along the lines of a light coconut frosting {sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes} or would go very well with these. A glaze would make these muffins soggy, as they are SUPER moist. I’ve never been a big fan of limes, but these muffins came out with such a nice texture, and a pleasantly light lime flavour. 

This recipe makes 6 muffins. To make 12, just double the ingredients. Enjoy! 🙂 

Key Lime Pear Bran Muffins 

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar {you can substitute with any sweetener if you want to make this vegan. If using a raw sugar, add it to the wet ingredients instead so that it dissolves a bit.}
  • 1/4 cup golden liquid honey {again, if making this vegan, simply omit the honey and add an equal amount of pure maple syrup instead.}
  • 3 tbsp vanilla almond milk {you can use regular milk if you like, however I wanted to keep these dairy free, and almond milk is a wonderful substitute to regular milk!}
  • 1 egg {you can use an egg substitute such as the flaxseed substitute that I’ve mentioned in an earlier post if you don’t want to use egg.}
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • 6 key limes {for this recipe, you will need to finely grate the rind of each of these key limes, and you will also need to juice each one. They’re a little tricky to juice because they’re so small.}
  • 1 Bosc pear {peeled, seeded and finely chopped}

Method: 

  • Pre heat your oven to 400 F, and line a muffin tin with 6 paper muffin cups.
  • Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. {Flour, oat bran, baking powder, salt, sugar and the grated rind from the key limes.}
  • In another bowl, mix the almond milk with the honey.
  • Add the egg, and lightly whisk until combined.
  • Add all other wet ingredients to the egg mixture, except the chopped pear, and mix well.
  • Add the chopped pear, stir, and then pour into the flour mixture.
  • Fold the wet mixture in with the dry ingredients just until mixed. DO NOT OVER MIX.
  • Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups, and fill to just under the top of the cup. They don’t rise too high, so you don’t have to worry about them overflowing.
  • Bake on the middle rack for about 20 minutes. {Oven times vary, so check at 15 minutes, then again at 20. When they’re done,the tops will no longer be soft and sticky, and a knife or toothpick inserted into the center will come out with very few somewhat moist crumbs on it.}
  • Note: Allow to cool on a rack {outside of the muffin tin} before eating. Because apple sauce makes muffins VERY moist, you need to allow them to cool so that they set properly, and don’t fall apart as soon as you take off the paper cups.
  • These can be stored at room temperature over night and eaten the next morning. If keeping longer, simply place in an airtight bag or container, and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. You CAN freeze these for up to 3 weeks, but I don’t recommend it as they taste at their best the day after baking.
 

  

Finished Product: Key Lime Pear Bran Muffins! :) Yum! :)

Finished Product: Key Lime Pear Bran Muffins! 🙂 Yum! 🙂

 

Rich & Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake

There seems to be a stigma attached to vegan desserts. A lot of people think they don’t taste like normal desserts, or that it’s impossible for them to even compare. In some cases, this may be true… But the people who think this must NOT have ever had a vegan dessert, because let me tell you, they really can taste amazing! {A vegan chocolate pudding I made a while back tasted so good!} Last night I wanted some chocolate cake, but nothing too sweet or fattening. I really didn’t feel like loading up on flour, eggs and butter. So I brought some items out of the cupboards, and got started on a chocolate cake, vegan style! For those of you that are raw foodists, you’ll be happy to know that you can make this too! Everything is “raw” in this dessert, although some argue that cocoa powder isn’t “raw” because the beans are actually roasted before being made into powder. You can easily use raw cocoa if you like, or even carob powder. Also, this dessert has no sugar added to it, but it’s still sweet! Anyways, I’ll stop talking about this and get to the recipe already! This is a very rich “cake”, and can be cut into 4 servings. This cake EASILY passed the husband-taste-test, and he ate half of the cake… So if you’re anything like him, this cake makes 2 servings… 😉 I’ve also included a ganache recipe that worked really well for this.

Rich & Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake

Layer 1 Ingredients:

  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces, finely chopped

Middle Layer Ingredients:

  • About 8 dates, soaked for about 20 minutes so that they’re nice and soft
  • 1-2 tbsp strawberry preserve OR strawberry puree {you can use any berry you like for this part}
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Layer 2 Ingredients:

  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, finely chopped

Method:

  • In a small bowl, allow the dates to soak while you make layer 1 of this cake.
  • Line a small/medium dish/cake pan with foil/parchment paper/plastic wrap, and set aside. {This cake isn’t too big, so I used a french onion soup bowl to form the cake. It’s about 4.5 inches in diameter, and only about 2 inches deep.}
  • Layer 1: In a bowl, mix together the mashed 1/2 banana, ground almonds, cocoa powder and 1/4 cup chopped walnut pieces until combined. Press the “dough” into the bottom of the lined dish/cake pan. Place the dish in the freezer while you prepare the middle layer.
  • Middle layer: Drain the liquid from the dates, and add the preserve. Mix until well combined. Remove the cake dish from the freezer, and spread the date and preserve mixture over the “dough”. Sprinkle the dried cranberries over it all. Return to the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Layer 2: Make layer 2 the same way you made layer 1. After 10 minutes, remove the cake from the freezer and place this dough on top. You may need to make a ball with the dough, and flatten it into a disc before putting it onto the cake. Press the dough down lightly so that it’s flat on the top. Place the cake back in the freezer for another 10 minutes.

Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 4 squares best quality dark chocolate {aim for as high a cocoa % as you can enjoy. For vegans, you can use any vegan chocolate.}
  • About 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk

Method:

  • Place the chocolate and almond milk into a bowl/cup, and microwave on high for about 20 seconds.
  • Remove from the microwave, and stir until smooth and creamy. It may not look like it will come together at first, but just keep stirring! If you want a thicker ganache, just add another square of chocolate while the liquid is hot, and stir until smooth.

To Serve The Cake:

  • Remove the cake from the freezer.
  • Hold a plate over the top of the dish, and then while holding the plate firmly to the cake dish, flip it upside down and rest the plate on the counter.
  • Slowly and carefully, remove the cake dish from the plate. While doing this, hold the sides of the foil/plastic wrap to the plate so that the cake comes out of the cake dish. Set the cake dish aside.
  • Slowly peel the foil/plastic wrap off of the cake.
  • Cut the cake into 2 or 4 pieces {depending on how many people you are serving}, and place each slice on a plate.
  • Drizzle with ganache, and enjoy! 🙂
Vegan Chocolate Cake a la Nikki ;)

Vegan Chocolate Cake a la Nikki 😉

Green Smoothie – Success At Last!

After MANY attempts at this whole “green smoothie” business, I have finally found the way! Kale. Yes, Kale. The cousin to cabbage. Who would have thought that this leafy thing would work so well? After green smoothie attempts with baby spinach {so many websites seem to suggest this as a good starting point, though it didn’t work well for me}, and iceberg lettuce {which does NOT work… *sigh*}, I turned to the massive amount of kale I had sitting in my fridge. {I had purchased a bunch at the advice of my boss to add to some tomato sauce, which turned out tastier than I had imagined! 🙂 } I had read suggestions saying that kale would be a little bitter for a smoothie, but I actually couldn’t taste the kale at all. I used quite a bit in each smoothie, too… So here it is, a recipe for a fresh and amazing green smoothie! It looks VERY green and questionable, but believe me when I say that your taste buds and insides will be happy to have this! I even got my husband to drink this, and he’s a little reluctant to have things this healthy. 😉 He actually drank his faster than I drank mine, which is always a good sign. 🙂 Enjoy! This recipe makes 2 regular sized smoothies at just over 100 calories each, or 1 large one if you’re feeling really hungry/thirsty. 😉

Green Smoothie With Kale

Ingredients:

  • About 1 cup finely chopped fresh kale {rinse the leaves before chopping. Remove the leafy parts from the stems, then discard the stems. You want the leaves without stems. Also, try to go for the smaller leaves as they are less bitter.}
  • 1 banana, cut into pieces {I always buy bananas in large quantities, and then freeze them just before they start to turn brown. That way I can use frozen bananas in my smoothies. They make such a nice cool and creamy texture when frozen.}
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple {you can use canned, or fresh. If using canned, toss in a bit of the juice too!}
  • Juice of 1 medium-large orange
  • About 1 cup crushed ice
  • About 1/2 cup of water {you may need a little more.}
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon {you can also add a dash of nutmeg if you like.}

Method:

  • Just toss everything into a blender, and blend until smooth! 🙂
  • Serve and drink immediately.

Note: With a green smoothie, the green taste may be a bit too much for some people. The banana in this smoothie helps to tone down the bitterness of the greens, while the pineapple provides enough sweetness. Cinnamon and vanilla are also a great additions to any green smoothie. Green smoothies are great to cleanse the system, so when having one, be sure to avoid dairy or and fatty oils that would be found in nuts and seeds. {So don’t add yogurt, milk, or any almond/rice/soy milk to this.} Try to drink this on an empty stomach, and don’t eat for about 30 minutes after.

Green Smoothie -Drink Up! :)

Green Smoothie -Drink Up! 🙂

Honey & Vanilla Pancakes {with Strawberry & Rhubarb Sauce}

One of the things that I love to do on Saturdays now that the weather is nicer, is go downtown to the St.Lawrence Market. I love wandering through the North Farmer’s Market tables, because most of what you get there is local produce, with a lot of organic options. Inside the two levels of the South Market, you will find everything food related from cooking supplies, produce, cheese, meats and more! On Saturdays, they’re open at 5am, so I make my way down there as early as possible. Today, I managed to get there for shortly before 6am, and went on my mission to pick up some tasty foods. Since I was out grocery shopping at the market so early, getting back from the market at 7am gave me ample time to prepare a tasty and healthy{ish} breakfast for Joe and myself. {More about my day at the St.Lawrence Market.}

This morning, I decided on pancakes. I don’t really like plain pancakes, and didn’t feel up for adding fruit to them. I loved chocolate chip pancakes as a kid, but find that to be a bit too sweet for such an early hour. What I wanted was something that was light, with a hint of sweetness to them. So here’s what I threw together! Enjoy! 🙂

This recipe serves 2 people, and I’ve also included a quick strawberry rhubarb sauce that I made to go along with the pancakes.

Honey & Vanilla Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups milk {start with 1 1/2 cups, if the batter is too thick, add a little more in 1/4 cup increments until it’s as thin or thick as  you like it}
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp golden liquid honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar

Method:

  • In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
  • Add the egg whites and oil to the dry ingredients, and stir.
  • Add all of the other ingredients, and mix well until there are no lumps/traces of dry ingredients.
  • Heat a pan over medium heat, and spray with a light coating of cooking spray. Allow to warm up for a minute or two.
  • Pour about 1/4 cup of pancake batter {more if you want larger pancakes, less if you want smaller pancakes}, and tilt the pan slightly to make sure the batter is spread out evenly. You don’t want it too thinned out, and may not even need to tilt the pan at all…
  • Allow to cook until you see bubbles forming on the surface of the batter. At this point, use a spatula to slowly and carefully detach the pancake from the pan. Once you’ve gotten the pancake onto the spatula, carefully flip it uncooked side down back into the pan. If you’ve never made pancakes before, your first or second one may be a little crumbled and ugly, but that’s alright! 😉 Start off with small pancakes, it’s easier.
  • Once it’s flipped onto the other side, cook for another 2-3 minutes. After 2 minutes, check the pancake by gently lifting the side up with the spatula. If it’s golden brown, it’s good to go! If not, keep it on longer, checking at 1 minute intervals.
  • When it’s done, set the pancake aside in a paper towel lined plate {if you just stack them on a plate while they’re sitting waiting for the others to be done, the steam coming from the pancake will collect onto the plate and cause your pancakes to be soggy}. Then cover the plate of pancakes with a plate or a bowl so they stay warm. Repeat these steps with a 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake until all of the batter is done.
  • Serve with syrup, a fruit sauce, or any other toppings you like! 🙂

Strawberry & Rhubarb Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries {about 5 large, or 10 small}
  • 2 stalks rhubarb, finely diced {prepare the stalks of rhubarb similar to the way you would prepare celery. Cut off both ends, cut out any dented or marked bits, and if you like you can peel off some of the outer skin although it is not necessary}
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Method:

  • Fill a saucepan with 1 cup of water, and the rhubarb, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Allow to boil for 1 minute, then drain.
  • Add the orange juice to the saucepan with the rhubarb, and all of the other ingredients except for the strawberries and maple syrup.
  • Return the saucepan to the stove, and bring back to a boil at medium-high heat.
  • Once it comes to a boil, cook {stirring constantly} for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat, and add the strawberries and maple syrup. Stir.
  • Add all contents to the blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Drizzle the sauce over pancakes, waffles, or frozen yogurt/ice cream!
Honey & Vanilla Pancakes With Maple Syrup, Rhubarb & Strawberry Sauce, and a Sliced Strawberry :)

Honey & Vanilla Pancakes With Maple Syrup, Rhubarb & Strawberry Sauce, and a Sliced Strawberry 🙂

Banana Bread – Egg & Dairy Free! {Vegetarian}

Lately, I’ve been trying to transform foods that I enjoy into vegetarian dishes. I’ve had a few good results, and a few bad results. This is definitely one of the good ones! 🙂 There’s a bunch of spices, some chopped walnuts, a hint of cocoa powder and some banana and dates! This is a bit more dense than some lighter loaves, so it’s best to bake it in a shallow and wide baking dish instead of a loaf pan. It’s almost like eating a banana flavoured brownie or cake… A co-worker described this as “if a brownie and a banana bread had a baby, this would be it!”  To make it more decadent, you could even drizzle some melted chocolate over the top of the loaf! The best part about this sweet treat? It’s not bad for you. 😉 There’s tons of fiber, grains and a serving of “good” fats! Even better, there’s NO butter or eggs. 

Banana Bread – Egg & Dairy Free! {Vegetarian} 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled or quick oats
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar {note: to make this vegan, you can substitute for vegan sugars and omit the honey mentioned below for garnish.}
  • 3/4 tsp ground cardamom {green. Click here to find out why you should NOT mistake green cardamom for brown/black cardamom! Also, if you don’t like cardamom, you can omit it all together. I’m not the biggest fan of this spice, but did want to give it a try. I used very little, so there was only the slightest hint of it in the flavour.}
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil {or apple sauce}
  • 1 tsp vinegar added to 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp warm water
  • 2 bananas
  • Garnish prior to baking: finely chopped walnuts, liquid honey, cinnamon, vanilla sugar, brown sugar

Method

  • In a small bowl, mix the ground flaxseed with water. Stir, and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes until it becomes jelly like. This will replace the egg that you would have used for this.
  • In another bowl, soak the chopped dates with just enough water to cover them for at least 5 minutes.
  • In another bowl, combine the almond milk with the vinegar, and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Pre heat the oven to 350 F, spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray, and set aside. {Note: make sure it’s a wide and shallow baking dish. Do not use a loaf pan, otherwise this loaf will be undercooked on the inside.}
  • In a large bowl, add all of the dry ingredients.
  • Slice the banana, and place it in a blender. Then drain the water from the dates, reserving about 2 tbsp of the water, and add them {with the reserved water} to the blender with the banana. Blend to a fine paste. If you do not have a blender, you can easily mash the banana and dates together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Add the flaxseed + water mixture to the flour, and stir.
  • Add the almond milk + vinegar mixture to the flour, and stir.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to the flour mixture, and stir until combined. This batter will be tough to stir, but you can do it! Use a strong arm! 😉
  • Pour the batter into the prepared glass dish.
  • Lightly drizzle honey over the top of the batter.
  • Sprinkle all of the garnish ingredients evenly over the batter, and bake for 40-45 minutes. {Cake tester/knife inserted into the center will come out with a few crumbs on it, but shouldn’t be fully covered. Edges will be slightly darker. The bread will be softer than desired in the center when it’s fresh out of the oven, but resist the urge to bake for longer as this will dry it out. After the bread has set for an hour or so, the center will be chewy and tasty!}
  • Note: Do not eat this fresh out of the oven, as tempting as it may be. This tastes best after sitting overnight. Cool the loaf in the original baking dish, then once completely cooled cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit until the next morning. This will give it a very nice texture and flavour!
Banana and walnut goodness!

Banana and walnut goodness!

Grape Apple Breakfast

What a beautiful long weekend this was! Joe and I got quite a bit of outdoor enjoyment this weekend. We had a couple of friends (and their new baby) over, we drove out to Milton to view our up-and-coming house (such progress in only one week!), we explored some forest-like areas, and we even went for a jog (he was on roller blades). It felt so nice to run out in the open air instead of the treadmill. Thank you Mother Nature for such beautiful spring/summer weather! 😉 The weather has been so beautiful that I even woke up early enough today to take Buddy out for a jog before getting ready for work! 🙂

On the Monday of the long weekend, Joe asked me the question: “What’s for breakfast?”… I answered “Is cereal okay?”, and the look of sadness on his face made me laugh pretty hard… With the previous morning’s breakfast being the home-made apple pie oatmeal, I knew that there was no excuse for regular cereal on a morning when I didn’t have to be at work. I was feeling a little too lazy to make anything like bacon and eggs {plus, the grocery store was closed on Monday!}, and I wanted to keep it healthy because, well… That’s self-explanatory. So I thought of something else… This is pretty similar to my fruity tabbouleh, but has less ingredients and a much better flavour! I was so tempted to call this “Grapple Breakfast”, but couldn’t bring myself to do it…

Here is a quick and easy breakfast full of whole grains and fruit, with a tasty hint of pure maple syrup!

Grape Apple Breakfast

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red grapes, cut into halves and then quarters
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup bulgur {any grade works, I usually stick to medium grade}
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup {if you don’t have pure maple syrup, the other stuff works too… But I suggest buying pure, as it tastes the best!}
  • Optional: For this batch, I added in 3 fresh pitted and diced apricots.

Method:

  • Soak, rinse and drain the bulgur.{Quick method for preparing bulgur: Place the dry bulgur in a bowl. Fill the bowl with twice as much water as bulgur. Pop the bowl into the microwave. Heat for 1 minute on high. Remove, stir, place back into microwave. Heat for another minute on high. Remove, stir, remove some bulgur with a spoon –blow on it, it’s hot!– and test it to see how soft it is. If it’s at a consistency that you like, it’s done. If you want it softer, pop it in for another minute. (If you like, you can also just soak the bulgur for 1 hour at room temperature instead of using a microwave.) When it’s done, slowly pour the water out of the bowl. The bulgur will settle at the bottom as you slowly pour. Pour some cold water into the bowl, stir, allow the bulgur to settle, then pour out the water. Get a second bowl handy, and take small handfuls of the wet bulgur. Over the sink or the bulgur bowl, squeeze out the water. REALLY squeeze that bulgur in your hand. Release the squeezed bulgur into the new bowl, and repeat with all wet bulgur one handful at a time until it is all squeezed out into the fresh bowl. Simple as that!}
  • Add the cut grapes and apples into the bowl with the bulgur, and drizzle with the maple syrup.
  • Stir it all together, and you’re good to go! 🙂
Fruity goodness!

Fruity goodness!

And now for something different! Some pictures and a blog post from my long weekend, with a picture of Buddy after a long jog. 🙂