Tag Archives: healthy eating

Use your loaf

10 Jul

I mentioned in my previous post that I had an elderflower bread starter on the go. Well, it’s now good and fizzy, smelling pungent, zesty and floral; so the time has come to try it out and see what kind of bread it’ll make… For those of you not familiar with sourdough bread then Dan Lepard is a great place to start. He’ll show you how to do it in a far superior way then I ever could so I won’t be attempting here. I will however give a very brief photo journal of the progression of the starter to give anyone interested an idea of what’s good and what is not. This post actually has taken a little longer then intended as my first starter attempt succumbed to a carpet of very blue mould and went bin-wards; if at first you don’t succeed…
Bread Starter IngredientsBread Starter Day 1Bread Starter Day 2Bread starter day 3Bread
When making bread, white flour is often the best place to start, it has a higher gluten content which means that your loaf is more likely to rise to the occasion. Because this was my first loaf with this starter I used predominantly white flour but added a handful of wholemeal plus a couple of tablespoons each of buckwheat and spelt grains for texture and flavour.
Sourdough Bread Dough
I’m really happy with how the loaf looks on the outside and the inside structure has made it a lovely light loaf . Incredibly the flavour of the elderflower really comes through in the cooked loaf too. Success!
Sourdough Loaf

The great eScape

5 Jul

A brief break from elderflowers whilst my elderflower bread starter gets its fizz on – more on that later. In the meantime I’ve been getting in a pickle. Scapes are the immature flowering stems of a garlic plant, the stems are delicious with a light gralicky flavour. But it’s not the stems I’m interested in this time… scape buds
I got my hands on a decent quantity of the unopened flower buds. Since capers are also flower buds I thought I’d try pickling the scape buds in a similar way. So here goes…
pickled scape buds
I made a pickling mix using cider vinegar and a few aromatics; coriander, bay, fennel and peppercorns. I think they look pretty good, because of their size I’m leaving them a week in order for the pickle to really work its magic. Thumbs up!
Pickled scape buds

I’ll let you know how they taste soon!

Sprout forth

10 Apr

DSCF0603I’ve mentioned before the wonder of the sprouts. Tiny seeds, just off the starting blocks of life. Delicious, moreish and seriously good for you. I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite sprout salads, which, after the couple of days needed to get the sprouts grown is super easy to construct. Here too the recipe for raw hummus, something that anyone who is a fan of those tubs you find on countless supermarket aisles, should try at least once. Nuttier, fresher and somehow an entirely different beast, delcious on crusty bread or dipped into with veg or fingers.
 

 
All the ingredients you need for a super scrummy sprout salad!
sprout salad ingredients
All the ingredients you need for the hummus
raw hummus ingredients
A perfect lunch for a sparkling spring day.
raw hummus and sprout salad

Something for the fish

20 Mar

I’m a huge fan of bulbed fennel, it is so delicious, both cooked and raw. One of my favourite things is thick slices of fennel browned until the sugars in the fennel begins to¬†caramalise, sublime either with fish or nibbled on whilst standing at the hob! Unfortunately I ¬†won’t have space for the bulbed variety but I couldn’t resist a packet of fennel bronze that I spied in my local garden center. I’ve never seen this bronze variety, the picture looks like they’ll come up as a rusty dark mauve colour. More interesting then the standard variety and I’m looking forward to seeing them grow.
The seeds are sublime! Love the fact that they will grow into beautiful bronze fronds.

fennel seeds

Slow going

22 Jan

So it seems that January isn’t the best time to start growing. Most garden activities required in January are related to things that need doing once you’ve got an established growing space. Me, with my sad pots, don’t really need any attention, especially as I’m planning to get rid of most of them when the weather gets a little cheerier and I’ve got something to go in their place.

I have however been doing some growing of an alternate type… Sprouts! They are the easiest way to achieve the buzz of growing something and they are delicious too.

sprout

They are super easy to do, soak in water overnight and then leave in a well ventilated place, rinse each day and within a few days you’ll have a budding bean and tasty snack. I’m going to do some chickpeas next. I’ll report back and show you the result.