Finally summer feels like its on the way and with a heat wave hitting the UK over the past week (although it is currently pouring down as I type this), I feel like the summer wardrobe is here to stay. We got the BBQ out last weekend, two nights running and it was lovely to sit outside in the garden into the evening sipping on a glass of wine whilst devouring homemade burgers one night and chicken kebabs the other. We enjoyed lunches by the river in the baking sunshine and followed them up with plenty of ice cream. Seb couldn’t believe his luck as he tucked into his first bowl of chocolate ice cream.
We’ve got a busy few weekends coming up and the all important job of moving Seb into his new ‘big boy’ bedroom decorated with plenty of dinosaurs and (unintentionally) glow-in-the-dark dinosaur curtains that I’m hoping don’t scare the life out of him on his first night in his new room. He seemed suitably impressed the first time he wandered up there to see what we’d been up to and let out a loud ‘wow!’ which made all the hard work worthwhile.
We’re celebrating Seb’s birthday (a week early) with a BBQ, Beers and Brownies 2nd birthday party at home with some friends and grandparents. I still need to get my head round how I’m going to make a train cake for him and have spent far too long looking at train cakes that I wake up in a cold sweat at night having nightmares about producing one! As I’ve said before, my artistic skills are clearly lacking and my dislike for all things fondant mean I better improve my buttercream piping skills sharpish. More on how that goes another time though.
With the sunny weather forecast again, this should really be a recipe about ice cream, but I’ve not quite got round to making another batch just yet, although I have my eye on a few different flavor combinations to try. Instead (I’m sorry) this is another breakfast recipe… I really am obsessed by breakfast clearly. So much so in fact, I couldn’t just pick one recipe this time and instead am providing with you two flavor combinations to try.
The first recipe, ‘Peanut butter and banana’ evolved because to be honest, I just love peanut butter. Give me a teaspoon, hell give me a tablespoon and a tub of it and I’m happy. Peanut butter and banana is a tried and tested flavor combination that you just know is going to start you off on the right foot in the morning. You don’t need to add any extra sweetness in terms of honey or syrup because the ripe banana does all that work for you. And well, I don’t need to tell you how great peanut butter tastes, but it also provides a bucket load of good fats and protein, which will keep you going all morning.
The second recipe, ‘Carrot Cake’, was conceptualized because I’d seen lots of people adding grated courgette to their porridge (which they call zoats) and I wondered how that might work with finely grated carrot. This is a step forward for me as carrots really are one of the few vegetables I can just about tolerate now but still won’t choose, but I try to get Seb to eat all the time. He’s always much more keen to try new things if he sees me eating them so I made us both a batch this week for breakfast before we hit swimming lessons (for him) and the gym (for me.).
The cinnamon and ginger spices conjure up those flavours you’re familiar with from a traditional carrot cake and I think the coconut yoghurt brings a lovely indulgent creamy sweetness. You can of course sub this for Greek yoghurt if you’re really not a fan of coconut yoghurt, but I really think it’s worth a try in this instance. The toasted pecans on top give a much needed crunch and bite against those soft plump oats and If you shut your eyes I think you can almost be fooled into thinking you’re having some freshly baked carrot cake.
Two recipes, both can be prepared the night before and toppings added in the morning so that you can take it for an on the go breakfast, but best enjoyed with a coffee in the garden with a newspaper and plenty of sunshine.
Peanut butter & banana overnight chai-oats
65g rolled oats
1 tbsp chai seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
250ml nut milk (I use almond milk)
1 large ripe banana (1/2 to be mashed, ½ to be sliced as topping)
extra peanut butter
Place your oats, chai seeds, ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, peanut butter and milk in an airtight container / jar and mix.
Place in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, mash half of your banana and mix through your oat mixture. To serve, place your chai-oats in a bowl or jar and top with sliced banana, as much extra peanut butter as you fancy and some toasted peanuts.
Carrot cake bircher muesli
15g buckwheat groats
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp agave nectar
250ml nut milk (I use almond milk)
1 tsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp sunflower seeds
handful of grated carrot
coconut yoghurt or Greek Yoghurt
handful of toasted pecans
Place your oats, buckwheat, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, agave nectar, grated carrot, pumpkin and sunflower seeds in an airtight container / jar followed by the milk and mix well.
Leave overnight in the fridge.
Serve topped with yoghurt, more grated carrot and toasted pecans.