Blueberry, Pecan Maple Bircher Muesli

Bircher muesli is one of my favourite breakfasts right now. There are so many different and delicious versions you can make and this blueberry, pecan and maple variety is up there on the favourite list.  I have never understood people who don’t eat breakfast. I’m excited to get out of bed to start the day with something delicious and healthy! This bircher muesli gives you lots of fibre, protein and antioxidants. Enjoy.

Ingredients for one serve:

1/2 cup wholegrain rolled oats
1/2 cup water
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 grated apple
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large desert spoons of berry yoghurt
1/4 cup blueberries
6 pecan nuts, chopped
1 teaspoon maple syrup

Soak the oats overnight in water and lemon juice. In the morning, drain any excess water, mix in the grated apple, cinnamon, yoghurt and blueberries. Top with the chopped pecans and drizzle over the maple syrup.

Tomatoes – why you should eat them + recipe for slow roasted tomatoes

Image from

Tomatoes are in season now, meaning they are cheap at the supermarket and perhaps even growing in your own back yard.  Tomatoes are one of the few vegetables that are a rich source of lycopene. Lycopene gives tomatoes their bright red colour and is a powerful antioxidant. Research shows that lycopene can have an important role in reducing the incidence of prostate cancer and may also help reduce the incidence of other cancers and cardiovascular diseases. It also plays a role in maintaining eye health.  Cooking tomatoes enhances the availability of lycopene so our bodies can use it more easily.

Tomatoes also provide a range of other nutrients. They are a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A. They also provide vitamin E, folic acid, potassium and some fibre.

One of my favourite ways to use  the glut tomatoes in the garden is to make slow roasted tomatoes. Here’s how:

Image from Smitten Kitchen

Preheat oven to 110 degrees Celsius.  Line a baking tray with baking paper. Chop tomatoes in half and lay on the oven dish.  You can use as many as you like.  Sprinkle with rosemary and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake in oven for 2-3 hours until shrivelled but so they still have a little juice inside. Taste test along the way to see how they are going.  For more detailed information on these, check out Smitten Kitchen blog.

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Healthier Carrot Cake

Carrot cake, although made with vegetables, sits much more in the “sometimes” food group rather than the eat as much as you can vegetable department. This version of carrot cake is made with less oil and more carrot than some versions and contains cinnamon and mixed spice which gives it a delicious flavour. I made mine in cupcake cases for the perfect portion size. It’s still a treat food, but we all need those every once in a while

Here’s how.

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup trim milk
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2.5 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
3 medium carrots grated

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Measure oil, brown sugar and milk in large bowl. Add the eggs and beat well to combine. Fold in the remaining ingredients until just combined. Place in cupcake cases in a muffin tin and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes.

For extra indulgence, top with this cream cheese icing:

1 cup reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in icing sugar and lemon juice.

Raspberry Popsicles

These popsicles are really just a smoothie on a stick, so they’re simple to make and taste delicious.

Here’s how.

1 cup of raspberries
1 banana
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon of lemon cordial (or you can use 2 tsp lemon juice + 1 teaspoon sugar)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into popsicle moulds, or you can use small glasses with popsicle sticks inserted in. Freeze until set.

How many this makes really depends on your the size of your moulds – for these ones I made two large ones in glasses.

Better for you Brownies

Decadent yet full of nutrients, these brownies make a delicious, better for you treat.  Made with antioxidant rich prunes, and dark chocolate these brownies are gluten free and have that characteristic fudgey brownie texture and a great chocolatey taste.

Prunes provide a great source of fibre, potassium, beta carotene, and unique antioxidants called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid. According to WH foods, these antioxidants help prevent free radical damage against fats. Since our cell membranes and brain cells are made mainly of fats, these antioxidants are very valuable in keeping our bodies and brains healthy.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]Better for you Brownies[/typography] (Adapted from Elana’s Pantry)

1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup apple juice
4 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (use real chocolate, not compound chocolate)

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]Method:[/typography]

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]1.[/typography] Place prunes and apple juice in a pot over a medium heat. Gently simmer for around 15 minutes, or until the prunes have absorbed most of the apple juice and are soft.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]2.[/typography] While the prunes simmering, mix together the oil, vanilla and eggs until well combined.  In a separate bowl sift the cocoa and baking soda, and add the sugar and salt.  Mix.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]3.[/typography] Remove the prune mixture from the heat and pulse in a food processor. Mix in the egg and cocoa mix and pulse again until combined.  Add chocolate chips.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]4.[/typography] Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish and pour in mixture.  Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.  This is lovely served slightly warm with greek yoghurt.