Nutrient-dense smoothie bowls

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Kiwi and Kale Smoothie Bowl with dragon fruit stars and chia seeds

Smoothie bowls are a big craze that started on Instagram with photos of the prettiest recipes that can possibly be created. They are eaten with a spoon to replace a light meal and provide a healthy food source that is quick to prepare. As there is some chewing involved, this triggers the…

Source: Sunday Times Nutrient-dense smoothie bowls

My fruit and vegetables come from Big Fresh in Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables in Paola and Barbuto for Organic.  I used seeds and nuts by Good Earth 

What to eat in February

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Nettle Soup fortified with spirulina and served with fresh burrata in today’s Sunday Times. Photo CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show.

 

February is the time when winter starts to become spring. These recipes feature in-season ingre­dients and some carnival treats. Nettle leaves are young and tender this month, and as we approach the summer the leaves toughen up, so now is the time to make use of them. Use gloves and scissors to…

Source Sunday Times: What to eat in February

I use fresh vegetables by Big Fresh, spirulina by Good Earth and olive oil by Costa d’Oro at J Calleja Import Export Ltd

Eating in: Easy TexMex

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Easy TexMex in today’s Sunday Times  Photo taken by George Aquilina during a live tv show

We associate Mexican diner food with restaurant food, but creating these dishes at home could not be easier as most of the food can be prepared the day before, making it excellent for entertaining a crowd. It is quick and inexpensive, and an ideal choice for non-confident or starter cooks and for…

Source Sunday Times: A taste of Mexico

Cooking with Amaranth

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Purple Carrot Soup with Crispy Kale thickened with Amaranth.  Photo by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

Amaranth is an ancient, gluten-free superfood associated with the Aztec empire. When raw, it appears to be similar to quinoa but changes completely in texture when it is cooked. Amaranth seeds are nutrient-dense and high in protein and amino acids, calcium and iron. It is comparable to a…

Source The Sunday Times: Superfoods: cooking with Amaranth

Black Forest Smoothie Bowl fortified with Aronia

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‘Nothing tastes better than fresh ingredients and this black forest smoothie bowl is the ultimate breakfast or dessert.  I poured melted chocolate over the ice cold mix and it solidified in a few seconds.  My photos are taken by CJ during a live tv show’

You will need:

1/2 purple raw carrot
1/2 cooked beetroot
4 dates
2 kale leaves
1/4 peeled apple
2 frozen bananas
2 cups mixed frozen cherries and cranberries
1 teaspoon agave
2 tablespoons aronia concentrate
2 cups cashew milk
3 tablespoons oats

Top with : 100g fresh cherries, 50g dry roasted flaked almonds and 50g melted dark sugar free chocolate, baby chard

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Add all the ingredients to the blender and combine until it is a smooth consistency.

While you are doing this melt the dark chocolate in a bain marie.

Pour into a bowl.

Arrange the fresh cherries on top of the smoothie mix.

Add some dry roasted flaked almonds.

Pour melted chocolate on the surface of the smoothie mix. It will solidify and makes the smoothie mix taste even more amazing.

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My fresh fruit and vegetables come from Big Fresh, frozen fruit from PJ Sutters, nuts, oats, agave and cashew milk from Good Earth, sugar-free chocolate by Valor and aronia concentrate from J Calleja Import Export Ltd

Fortifying food with fresh ginger

Fresh ginger is one of the most widely used spices in both eastern and western cuisines and is known for its medicinal properties. I like its versatility as it blends well with breakfast cereals and savory or sweet dishes. It can be pickled, made into tea, gingerbread, cakes, sweets and beer. If…

Source Sunday Times: Fortifying food with fresh ginger

What to eat in January

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What to eat and drink in January in today’s Sunday Times.  Photo CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show. 

January sees us spending more time indoors to recharge our minds and bodies after the recent festivities. The fresh food we find shifts by season and there is a distinct difference in the market especially when it comes to fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables.

Source The Sunday Times : What to eat in January

I use fresh fruit and vegetables from Big Fresh in Mosta and Oscars Fruit and Vegetables in Paola, meats by Ta Cancu Butcher in Zejtun and Majjal ta’ Malta [KIM].  My organic produce comes from Barbuto .  I use natural food ingredients by Good Earth.

Triple Ginger Orange Muffins

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Ginger orange muffins, no refined sugar and butter free.  Photo taken during a live tv show by Marconia Schembri

‘A very quick, all-in-one method, these muffins can be prepared and baked in 20 minutes from start to finish.  I used a mix of grated fresh ginger, ginger powder and crystallized ginger which resulted in the most rounded ginger flavor laced with orange and drizz;ed with melted dark sugar-free chocolate and more crystallized ginger pieces.  These are the best muffins for a cold January, the ginger will give you instant warmth’.

You will need:

250g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
50ml olive oil
50ml yoghurt [if you don’t like yoghurt used a plant-based milk]
4 tablespoons stevia
4 tablespoons agave or honey
3 eggs
1 tablespoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger
zest of an orange
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
a pinch of salt

After baking:  150g dark melted chocolate and more crystallized ginger

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Healthier Ginger orange muffins, photo taken by Marconia Schembri during a live tv show.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Sift the self raising flour and baking powder twice. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Crop the crystallized ginger into very small pieces.  Add to the mixing bowl together with all the other ingredients.  Whisk everything for a minute on high speed.

Line a muffin tin with muffin cases and immediately fill the muffin cases.  Scatter some more crystallized ginger pieces on top.  Bake for 15 minutes [depending on size and up to 25 minutes for giant muffins].

Remove from oven.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a bain marie.  Add a couple of drops of olive oil and drizzle the chocolate over the muffins.  Scatter a few small pieces of crystallized ginger and allow the chocolate to harden up.

Prepare your cup of tea !

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The magical silent city of Mdina on an island blessed with so much.  Photo Marconia Schembri.

 

I use crystallized ginger by Good Earth, ginger powder by Schwartz, fresh ginger and orange by Big Fresh, sugar free chocolate by Valor, Stevia by Hermesetas and flour by St George’s Brand.

Cooking with borage in today’s Sunday Times

I was delighted to find borage in my organic box delivery recently and I put it to good use. Borage (fidloqqom) is also known as starflower and is easily recognisable by its edible, bright blue flowers with five pointed petals. It attracts pollinators and acts as a natural fertiliser as it…

Source Sunday Times: Cooking with borage

Lea’s new book  Good Food Everyday is available via Midsea Books and major bookshops in Malta and Gozo.

I use borage from Barbuto Sicily and Big Fresh in Mosta

Borage Flower Ice Cubes

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Borage ice cubes in citrus flavoured water, photo during a live tv show by CJ Baldacchino

‘having used organic borage very recently for some new recipes, I was given a box of fresh borage flowers by my friend Antida this week.  Borage flowers are usually bright blue but you can find creamy white ones and pink ones too.  Borage is also known as starflower because of the 5 pointed petals.   A few years ago I went through a phase of using edible flowers in ice cubes but could not resist making them on tv this week’

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Borage flowers from Antida’s garden, photo by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

Once you have picked the flowers and while they are very fresh, gently remove the stem.  Be careful not to damage them.  Place them in a bowl of water to make sure there are no insects.  Fill up an ice cube tray with bottled or filtered water.  I found that the best method is to place the flowers on top and push them down gently with your finger.

There are other methods to freeze half of the ice cubes and top with water once the flower freezes but doing it in one go produces more crystal clear ice cubes and is much quicker.  When the ice cubes are completely frozen, add them to your drinks.  The flowers are edible.

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Borage flowers in ice cubes,  photos taken during a live tv show

Lea’s new book  Good Food Everyday is available via Midsea Books.

I use organic borage from Barbuto.  With thanks to Antida at Big Fresh Mosta for the borage flowers.