Springtime is rushing past & summer is right on our doorstep! So stock your fridge with wholesome, filling, delicious chia puddings. When you're too hot to even contemplate toast for breakfast or you get a craving for an afternoon or late night sweet treat, chia pudding has got your back.
The humble chia pudding is a good reminder that sometimes mixing 2 or 3 simple ingredients together produces something far grander than the sum of its parts.
The soluble fibre in chia seeds makes it turn jelly-like when it's left to soak in liquid. Simply adding chia to milk and adding some flavourings produces the most delicious breakfast, dessert or snack with only a few minutes preparation.
I've provided a recipe for a basic chia pudding, plus 2 variations. Play around with different add-ins and toppings to come up with some more variations! Note that the recipe makes one single serve, so just double or quadruple the recipe if needed. I like to make 3 or 4 at a time so I have a few days worth of yummy breakfast or snack.
On chilly mornings the humble bowl of porridge is a comforting, nourishing way to start the day. While the go-to oats used for porridge tend to be rolled oats and quick oats, steel cut oats also have a devoted fan base, and if you've tried them you'll understand why.
There are just as many people out there who aren't that familiar with steel cut oats, and we are often asked for advice on how to prepare them.
But first, a brief explanation on the different forms that oats come in.
The least processed are oat groats where the oat grain is left whole. These take the longest cooking time. The next stage in processing is steel cut oats, where the whole oats are cut into smaller fragments with steel blades. After this, they are rolled and flattened to produce rolled oats. And finally, these rolled oats are cut finer again to make quick oats.
Now we'll walk you through the preparation of steel cut oats, with the aim of demystifying it for the novices & hopefully inspiring you to get in the kitchen and pop a pot of steel cut oats on the stove.
So excited were we at the arrival of our new product, Organic Oat Flour, it didn't have a chance to cool its heels before I took some home to put it to delicious use.
And there are so many delicious uses! What I chose to make were these moreish Orange and Poppy Seed Oat Bars.
These Oat Bars come together so quickly and simply, and are an excellent breakfast on the run, a quick refuel with a cup of tea or a nourishing snack popped into a lunch box.
The icing is optional. When making these for breakfast bars I tend to omit the icing, but it's really down to personal preference. You can also reduce the sugar from ⅔ cup to ½ cup if you like.
A customer recently popped in to get ingredients for making English muffins, and asked what they were traditionally dusted with. I admitted that I hadn't a clue, and advised, with not much conviction, to try semolina.
I realised that not only had I never made English muffins from scratch, I'd never even thought of doing so. Yet suddenly it was at the top of my to-do list.
That evening I consulted the great Google and learnt that yes, English muffins are dusted with semolina. However, many recipes called for polenta, regular flour, corn meal or farina cereal. Just to confuse things further, all of these online sources were adamant that theirs was the only proper English way.
As it so happened, I had both semolina and cornmeal in my pantry, so I decided to make a batch right away, dusting half with semolina and half with corn meal.
The results were basically identical, although I do like the speckled golden edge of the corn meal ones best. Flavour-wise, there was nothing in it.
So here it is, our English muffin recipe, cobbled together from the knowledge I gleaned online from two British bakers plus the results of my own tinkering about. I was delighted by both how easy they were to make, and how deliciously authentic they tasted.
They're truly delicious with both savoury and sweet toppings. We enjoyed a freshly made one with jam, then froze the rest before toasting them two days later as the base for a delicious Eggs Benedict.
When cooking queries regarding millet were recently brought up by two separate customers on the same day, we thought it might be a sign to serve our customers up a millet recipe. Or maybe even two!
Millet porridge is a common breakfast in several countries. It's also used as a high protein, nutritious alternative to rice, pearl barley and couscous.
One of the conversations we had with a customer was about how to properly cook millet porridge. Some people find that the end result is a little firm, even after cooking thoroughly. After some trial and error, I think I've cracked the code. Huddle up:
There are two methods that give you a satisfyingly creamy porridge, albeit with differing textures. The first method involves leaving the millet grains whole, but soaking them overnight before then cooking them for about 20 to 30 mins. It's basically the same method I use for steel cut oats, and the result is similar- a robust bowl of goodness.
The second method is quicker and gives you a smoother, silkier porridge. You simply put the raw millet grains in a food processor, blender or coffee grinder and whiz it until the grains are much finer - about halfway to being a flour. Then you cook it in milk and water for 15 minutes. This is my preferred method, and the one I use below, but you might find you prefer the whole grain version.