Sunday, 28 July 2013

Strawberries, Honey & Vanilla

Can you still get good strawberries where you are?
Strawberry season is nearing its end and I am enjoying every second of it. So much that I actually got up at 8 this morning to get one of those super cheap 2kg baskets this stall near my house has been selling (if you don't make it there in time they have sold out and you're stuck with the 1kg ones that are nearly the same price).
Since getting back from a super quick trip to London earlier this week I might have made more strawberry milk, strawberry ice-pops, strawberry infused iced-tea, and the strawberries in the picture above. I got the idea for this on one of my flights back where I had a strawberry and pineapple salad with a 'honey and vanilla marinade'. It was such a lovely combination.
As much as I love a really elaborate meal (if someone else has to stand in the kitchen for it) I was just blown away by the  simplicity of this combination. This is obviously really nice on its own but some ice-cream doesn't hurt either. How else are you supposed to deal with this heat?!? :)
This is obviously more of a non-recipe. These are the quantities I went for so feel free to experiment. Also, pineapple obviously works really well with this...

Strawberries, Honey & Vanilla
2 tsp Honey for every
1/2 Vanilla Pod and
1lb Strawberries

Hull and quarter the strawberries.
Scrape the vanilla seeds into the honey and stir until the two are combined. Mix with the strawberries and allow the strawberries to macerate for 10 minutes or so.
Now get out that tub of ice-cream :)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Almond Banana Bread

Life has been crazy for me (the good kind) so whenever I have actually been at home I have been living out of my freezer (also - Mum, Dad - I'm running out of fancy Italian Pasta...I need to come and visit you soon so I can 'borrow' more from your store cupboard...).
There are exciting things happening in my freezer. There are pasties filled with ragu, there's amazing frozen strawberries for smoothies, there's loads of different kinds of bread and soup...oh, and most importantly, there are coconut and cookie ice-creams. I could probably feed myself for a week relying only on my freezer but the one thing I have been incredibly thankful for whenever I open its door has been this almond meal banana bread that I made a few weeks ago and luckily had the foresight to freeze.
This is a simple unsweetened banana bread which once started it's life as Elana Amsterdam's Paleo Banana Bread. It's still paleo, gluten-free and dairy free but that's not the reason why I like this bread. I am somewhat in love with this bread because it works as a normal bread with cheese or with a bowl of soup (lending an intriguing sweetness to the mix) but if you toast it (which I highly recommend you do, especially if you're defrosting frozen slices) the banana-flavour becomes a lot more pronounced and it is incredibly nice for breakfast with lots of fresh fruit or with my mum's strawberry jam :)

Almond Banana Bread (after Amsterdam)
6 Ripe Bananas, mashed
6 Eggs
2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
100ml Vegetable Oil (I use rapeseed)
400g Almond Flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Bicarb

Preheat your oven to 175˚C.
Mix together the bananas, eggs, vanilla and oil using a food processor or your trusty hand-held blender.
Then add the almond flour, salt and bicarb - if you were using a hand held blender, switch to a spatula.
Grease a large bread tin and scoop the batter into the tin.
Bake for 65-70 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. If the top of the banana bread browns too quickly you can cover the top with tin foil.
Allow to cool before removing from the pan - if you take it out too soon it will most likely break into two or more pieces. know what works well with banana bread...
Have a fantastic rest of your week! I will be enjoying the heat in London for the next few days.
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