I know that January is almost over, but I am still optimistically (desperately) hanging on to my resolutions (delusions) of improved health and well being. This feels all the more urgent because my diet at the moment seems to consist mainly of butter, egg yolks and cream. My waistline is in serious peril. But more on that in a later post.
My problem is snacking. I can’t have breakfast at 7.30 in the morning and wait until 1pm for lunch. I’ll keel over. I need something that hits the spot, preferably with a bit of carbohydrate to keep me going. I know I should probably have some protein, but that just doesn’t do it for me, no matter what the nutrition police say. These oat, orange and prune bars are soft, squidgy and hearty yet butter, wheat and sugar free (well, just a tiny bit of honey to sweeten- adjust to your taste). So they do the job in my book.
Oat, Orange and Prune Bars
You will need:
1 orange- zest and fruit of
10 prunes, chopped
3-5 tbsp honey
60 ml vegetable oil
150ml Greek yogurt
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1. Preheat the oven to 175 C.
2. Mix together oats, orange zest and pulpy flesh, prunes, desired amount of honey, oil and yogurt with the salt and cinnamon until you have a very thick batter.
3. Smooth this into a lined baking dish. Push down any bits of exposed prune and bake for 30-40 min until just set. Cool before cutting into rectangles. Sprinkle with a little sugar should you wish.
|Healthy pancakes with blueberries, banana and honey. Black tea.|
For one of our first dates, which coincided with Shrove Tuesday, Toby invited me round to his London Fields flat for pancakes. I’m not convinced that he had ever made them before, particularly as he tried to make savoury ones with tinned spinach. Luckily he had a French flatmate at the time, who swooped in and saved the day with her crêpe-making prowess (air-flipping and all). In the end, they turned out pretty well, nobody went hungry and we’ve continued the tradition every pancake day since.
1. Separate the egg whites and yokes. Put the yokes to one side (perhaps turn them into mayonnaise later?). Whisk the whites until stiff and peaky, either with an electric whisk or a hand-held one (if you prefer to give your arms a bit of a workout).
2. Add the oats and cottage cheese, whisking between each addition to make sure there’s plenty of air in the batter. This will make the pancakes light and fluffy.
3. Use a nonstick frying pan, lightly greased with vegetable oil. You want to make sure the pan is really hot for the first batch. Dollop a couple of tablespoon-fulls of batter into the pan. I made the thicker, American style versions, but you could make thinner crêpe-like ones with this batter too. The trick to knowing when to flip your pancakes over is to wait until little bubbles form on the top (i.e. on the uncooked side). After flipping they should only take another minute or so tops.
4. Serve with your favourite pancake toppings- fruit, syrup, lemon juice, or honey. Or sugar, chocolate sauce, ice cream, marshmallows, bacon…..
…are a bummer.
I’ve taken to eating breakfast once I get to the office, which is a bit depressing but I do find it curbs my hunger for lunch until lunchtime, rather than until mid- morning.
I’ve got the working breakfast thing sorted and stock our fridge with some yoghurts, fresh fruit and there’s a big bag of oats in the cupboard. So this is what my breakfast usually looks like:
Porridge with seeds and blueberries, a drizzle of honey.
And on that note, I’d like to point you in this direction. If you haven’t browsed through the breakfast ideas on this blog already, I heartily suggest that you do.
Of course, there are times when a breakfast out (preferably a fry-up or a stack of pancakes) is the only thing that will do. For that, I would like to recommend to my fellow Londoners the definitive breakfast bible, the London Review of Breakfasts.