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10 Minute Organic Banana Cranberry Breakfast Oats February 23 2015, 0 Comments

Occasionally our weekday breakfasts start to feel a bit boring. It's difficult to take as much pleasure in boiled eggs and toasted bread as you would a fried egg sandwich or blueberry pancakes. We started experimenting with quick and healthy breakfast recipes for mornings when a green smoothie just won't suffice.

This is a gluten-free and vegan recipe, full of protein, fibre, omega 3 and antioxidants.

Serves 2 in 10 minutes with 3 easy steps.

Ingredients:

2 slightly green, organic bananas

1 cup organic rolled oats (we use Bob's Red Mill pure, traditional rolled oats)

1/2 cup organic cranberries (no sugar added)

1/4 cup organic sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon milled organic seeds (we use a mix of 50% flax, 25% pumpkin and 25% sunflower)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon Grade A maple syrup 

1 cup organic, unsweetened almond milk 

Method:

1. Place a small pot on your stove over medium heat. Into your pot, cut your bananas lengthwise down the middle and then into bite size pieces. Pour in your maple syrup and stir to caramelise your bananas. 

2. In the same pot, add your almond milk, oats, cranberries, cinnamon, ginger and stir. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until your oats have absorbed must of the moisture from the almond milk. 

3. Last, add your milled seeds and sunflower seeds. Stir to combine and serve. 


Gluten-free Dairy Free Banana Date Bread February 09 2015, 0 Comments

On Sunday afternoon we had friends over for lunch. If you're a friend of ours, you know a meal in our home will always end with something sweet, fresh from the oven. This recipe was thought up Sunday morning for our dairy-free and gluten-free party people. 

 

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (we use Doves Farm gluten and wheat free plain white flour blend)

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder 

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 heaping teaspoon cassava starch or xanthan gum (we use isabel's baking fix or Doves Farm)

1/3 cup organic dark brown sugar (we use Tate & Lyle sugars in all of our recipes)

1/3 cup organic caster sugar

 

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic coconut oil (we use Biona cuisine oil) and a little extra to grease your bread tin

3 overripe medium organic bananas 

10-15 organic Mejdool dates 

1 organic large egg

1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract

1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar (we use Biona unfiltered)

3 tablespoons organic almond milk 

 

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and grease your bread tin.

2. In a medium bowl, sift your flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and your cassava starch or xanthan gum.

3. In a small bowl, mash your banana with a fork. Do not over mash. Leaving some larger pieces will give your bread a better texture.

4. Pit your dates and cut into small pieces, about the size or your thumb nail and add them to your mashed banana along with your vanilla extract, almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir to mix.

5. In your electric mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer, cream your coconut oil until light and fluffy.

6. Add your sugars to your coconut oil and mix throughly. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of your bowl to ensure your ingredients are well blended. Make sure to do this after each addition. Leaving flour or oil on the sides of your mixing bowl can effect the consistency of your bread. 

7. Add your egg to the sugar and oil and mix until well combined.

8. Add half of your flour mixture to your mixing bowl, stirring until just combined. Then add your banana mixture, also stirring until just combined.

9. Now add the last of your flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Be sure to scrape the sides of your bowl with your spatula to ensure all the ingredients are well blended. 

10. Pour your batter into your greased bread tin and put in the oven to bake for 35-45 minutes. When your bread is ready, it will be a deep golden brown and starting to pull away from the sides of your baking tin. 

11. Cool your bread in the tin for about 15 minutes, then turn over to remove and transfer to a cooling rack. Once cooled, slice and enjoy.

This bread makes a lovely treat on its own for brunch with friends and family, but we like it best served slightly warm with a drizzle of dairy-free salted caramel sauce and a scoop of Co Yo coconut milk yoghurt. 

You can find our recipe for dairy-free, cane sugar-free caramel sauce here: www.megpies.co.uk/blogs/megpies-blog/17096176-dairy-free-coconut-sugar-salted-caramel-sauce


Dairy Free Cane Sugar Free Salted Caramel Sauce February 09 2015, 0 Comments

Not too sweet and slightly salty, this rich salted caramel sauce goes well with just about everything.

You only need five natural ingredients to make delicious dairy-free and cane sugar-free caramel. This recipe makes a little over a 1/2 cup of caramel, but will not be quite as thick as traditional dairy and cane sugar caramel. 

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar (we use Biona)

4 tablespoons water

1 cup coconut milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

2 healthy pinches of sea salt 

 

Method:

1. Add your coconut sugar and water to a small sauce pan and bring to a slow boil, whisking occasionally to melt your sugar. 

2. Once your mixture has reached a boil, whisk in your coconut milk, vanilla extract and salt.

3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes. Watch your mixture carefully to ensure it does not burn or boil over. 

4. Once your caramel is a rich golden brown colour and has thickened slightly, remove from heat and allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Your caramel will keep in the fridge for a week (if you can stop yourself from eating it all in one go!) in an airtight container and can be served cool or warm. 

We like to put this caramel on almost anything. Try it drizzled over banana bread, farm fresh green apples, sticky toffee pudding or ice cream. 

Organic coconut sugar is unrefined and made from the liquid nectar of the coconut blossom. Coconut palm sugar is a low GI sweetener with a glycemic value of 35, compared to regular cane sugar, which is typically GI 68. 


Spiced Apple Crisp November 28 2013, 0 Comments

Today is a good day to tell our loved ones what we are thankful for. With the captivating smell of warm cinnamon, baking fruit and crispy oats making its way through our house, we are thankful for dessert!

 This recipe is the perfect ending to a fine feast or weekend dinner and will serve about 10 impressed guests 

 

Ingredients:

 FILLING

5 pounds (2200 grams) organic Granny Smith or Bramley apples (We buy our fruit from local farmers whenever possible and it is important for this recipe to choose firm fruit that isn't too sweet)

Finely minced zest and juice of 1 organic, unwaxed lemon

1/2 cup granulated sugar (We use Tate & Lyle Fairtrade in all of our recipes)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

 

CRUMBLE TOPPING

1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (We use Doves Farm)

1 cup organic oats

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light soft brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt (We use Pink Himalayan)    

225 grams cold organic, unsalted butter, cubed

 

Method:

 

Preheat the oven to 180c (350f) and butter a 9 x 14 x 2 inch oval baking dish.

Peel, core, and cut your apples into large wedges.

 

In a mixing bowl, toss the apples in your sugar, spices, lemon zest and juice. Pour into your baking dish. (To save time, this step can be done the evening before, covered and refrigerated overnight. Simply bring to room temperature before adding your topping and baking).

 

To make the topping, combine your flour, oats, sugars, salt and cold butter with a pastry blender or in your mixer on low speed until your topping mixture is crumbly and the butter is the size of peas. Scatter evenly over the apples.

 

Place your baking dish on a piece of foil or a cookie sheet to prevent the fruit from creating a sticky mess on the bottom of your oven. Bake for 1 hour until the top is brown and the filling is piping hot and bubbling.

 

This lovely crisp is best served warm. We like to add a scoop of Booja Booja vanilla ice cream before serving. 


Healthy Asian Chicken Salad November 14 2013, 0 Comments

I've been told to stop calling this my lazy day lunch. I suppose it is a bit too much effort to really be referred to as a lazy lunch, but it is just so simple and delicious. I like to make this salad the day after we have roasted a chicken for dinner, having saved the breasts for this lovely, easy meal. For a vegetarian or vegan salad, simply omit the meat.

 Serves a hearty lunch for two or 4-6 small, side dish portions

 

INGREDIENTS

Dressing:

 2 tablespoons organic coconut or grape seed oil

1 tablespoon organic rice wine vinegar

tiny splash of sesame oil

1 teaspoon organic soy sauce

1 teaspoon organic, freshly grated ginger

2 teaspoons organic honey or agave

the zest and juice of 1 washed, small organic orange

1 garlic clove, very finely minced

1 tablespoon organic cold milled golden flax seed (flax seeds add Omega-3 essential fatty acids and fibre to this dish)

a pinch of coarse sea salt (we like to use pink Himalayan) 

black pepper to taste

 

Salad:

2 roast chicken breasts

1 very large handful purple kale (rinsed, dried and torn) 

1 very large handful organic green kale (rinsed, dried and torn)

1 small head of organic butter lettuce (you guessed it, rinsed, dried and torn)

(feel free to substitute any healthy greens you have on hand)

a sprig of fresh organic mint and coriander, finely chopped

3 large organic carrots sliced finely

1/4 cup organic cashews, roughy chopped

1/4 cup organic peanuts, roughly chopped 

 

1. To make your dressing: In a medium size bowl, vigorously whisk together your dressing ingredients and season with salt and pepper. You can also use your food processor or blender, but why dirty more dishes?

2. In a large bowl, toss your greens (and purples), carrots, cashews and peanuts.

3. Drizzle on your dressing, toss well and serve immediately.

 

This dressing also makes a lovely marinade for chicken, seafood and BBQ steak.


Gluten-Free Pie Crust October 14 2013, 0 Comments

Beautifully flaky, golden brown, gluten-free pie crust can be difficult to achieve, but this tried and true recipe is worth the effort.

Start by reading our baking tips below to ensure a perfect pie every time. This recipe utilises a pastry blender. If you don't already have a pastry blender this is the perfect time to change that! Every kitchen should have one. 

This recipe yields one 9" pie crust, but can be easily doubled.

 

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour (we use Doves Farm gluten-free plain white flour)

1 tablespoon sugar (we use Tate & Lyle Fairtrade, but you can substitute coconut palm sugar or your favourite sweetener)

1/2 teaspoon gluten-free xanthan gum (we use Doves Farm) 

6 tablespoons organic, very cold butter (regular butter, not unsalted) and a little extra for greasing your pie pan

1 large organic egg

2 teaspoons organic apple cider vinegar

     

    Method:

    1. Lightly grease your 9" pie pan with the extra butter.

    2. In a large bowl, sift together your flour, sugar and xanthan gum.

    3. Cut your cold butter into small pieces then work into your flour mixture using your pastry blender until your mixture has a crumbly texture with some larger, pea-sized lumps of butter remaining.

    4. In a small bowl, whisk together your egg and vinegar until very frothy, then mix into your dry ingredients. Stir until the mixture holds together. You can add 1 to 3 tablespoons of ice cold water if your mixture is too dry to hold together.

    5. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic, then flatten into a disk and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.

    6. After at least one hour, remove your dough from the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling.

    7. Roll your dough out between two sheets of parchment paper or on a silicone rolling mat.

    8. Gently transfer your dough into your pie pan, crimp, fill and bake as your recipe directs.

     

    BAKING TIPS:

    If the edges of your pie crust begin to brown too quickly, shield them with aluminium foil to prevent them from burning while the crust continues baking.

      If you are making a fruit pie, baking at a higher temperature for the first 20 minutes will help to prevent a soggy bottom. Bake at 220C/425F on the bottom rack of your oven for 20 minutes, move your pie to the middle rack, reduce the heat to 180C/325F and continue to bake until the crust is golden and the filling has begun to bubble. 

        If you're baking a custard pie, follow the directions above, then cool the crust until it is lukewarm to the touch before pouring in your custard. Bake your custard-filled pie according to your recipe directions. 

          Brushing your top pie crust with milk (feel free to substitute lactose free or your personal favourite) and sprinkling it with sugar before baking will add a sweet, golden crunch.


            Kale, Plum & Marcona Almond Salad October 07 2013, 0 Comments

             We love this salad as a side dish or on it's own for a bright and light Autumn lunch. Feel free to substitute your favourite citrus or leafy greens.

             

            Serves 4-6

            2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil

            1 tablespoon organic balsamic vinegar

            1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (make sure to use unwaxed, organic fruit)

            1 teaspoon grated blood orange zest (see note above)

            2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

            2 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice

            a pinch of coarse sea salt (we like to use pink Himalayan) 

            a pinch of crushed black pepper

            2 very large heads of organic kale (rinsed, dried and torn)

            2 ripe organic black or red plums (pitted and quartered) 

            1/2 cup of Marcona almonds (feel free to substitute pistachios or your favourite nuts)

             

            1. To make your dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, citrus juices and zest and season with salt and pepper.

            2. In a large bowl, toss your kale, plums and almonds.

            3. Drizzle in your dressing, toss well and serve immediately.


            Made Without August 31 2013, 0 Comments

            Following a gluten-free diet to manage celiac disease or gluten intolerance can be very difficult, but we don't believe it should keep you from the things you love. All of Megpies' decadent cupcakes and delicious muffins can be "made without" as well as some of our tempting cookies. We use gluten-free flour and rising agents produced by Doves Farm, who have worked closely with gluten free groups, sufferers and nutritionists to develop their award winning gluten-free products.

            Our "made without" treats are baked lovingly with gluten-free ingredients, kept separately from our traditional flours and baking tools. However, they are made in the same kitchen as our traditional baked goods, therefore we cannot officially certify them as gluten-free. Please get in touch if you would like more information about our ingredients or baking techniques.