Spiced Apple and Pear Compote

Delicious yoghurt topping

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Coco and Lentil are big yoghurt fans and little tubs of raspberry, strawberry, apricot or peach flavoured yoghurt are a regular after supper dessert.  Generally, Lentil chooses one first and little Coco gets whichever flavour he discards.  I allow Lentil this little concession as I suspect it will quickly come to an end once Coco starts talking!

I like to add a bit of texture and additional flavour to their yoghurts and this little compote is a quick and tasty topping.  It helps with satisfying your little charges’ 5 or 3 (depending on which school of thought you subscribe to!) a day; can be pureed for babies; and is suitable for freezing. It also makes a good combo with creme fraiche, or adds a little healthiness to an ice-cream treat!

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Makes 4 portions.

The what:

2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into kiddie bite-sized chunks

2 pears, peeled, cored and chopped into kiddie bite-sized chunks

a handful of raisins or other dried fruit

1/4 tsp of mixed spice

60ml water

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The how:

Put all the ingredients into a pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. The compote is ready once the apple and pear are soft but not mushy.  If the compote starts to stick to the bottom of the pan add a little more water.

Then it’s ready to serve: on its own, with yoghurt, creme fraiche or ice-cream!  It is also delicious with porridge or muesli…..endless possibilities!

Enjoy!

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Apple, Date and Raisin Compote

A versatile fruity compote – equally delicious served warm or cold

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This quick and tasty little compote is great for jazzing up yoghurts, adding to porridge or muesli, or simply on its own.  It’s also makes a delicious fruity weaning puree if you give it a few pulses with the blender.  Run out of chutney for the cheese board?  It’s a complementary substitute for that too.  I usually make extra and pop little tubs of it in the freezer. You gotta love such simple, versatile food!

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Bircher Muesli

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Simply known as Müesli in Switzerland and southern Baden-Württemberg, Bircher muesli was developed by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner at the turn of the twentieth century.  A similar dish had been a staple in the diet of the Alpine shepherds for over a hundred years before Bircher was introduced to it by an Alpine dairymaid whilst hiking in the Swiss Alps. Bircher named his dish Apfeldiätspeise (the apple diet dish).

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Cucumber and Pineapple Smoothie

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I love this flavour combination, which I happened upon accidentally while creating Riata for my chickpea and sweet potato curry (click here in case you missed it!).  I don’t know why I never thought of cucumber and pineapple before, but I’m sure glad I’ve found it now!!

Lentil loves smoothies and now regularly asks for them, so I’m constantly on the lookout for new concoctions and this one definitely seems to be a winner. Smoothies are also a great way to use up that leftover bit of cucumber in the fridge that would otherwise end up in the bin.

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The what:

a think slice of pineapple, peeled and chopped

1/3 cucumber, peeled and sliced

handful fresh mint

4 tbsp natural yoghurt

1 tsp honey

The how:

Blend the pineapple, cucumber and mint in a food processor, then add the yoghurt and honey and blend until well combined.  You can either serve as a textured smoothie, or pass through a sieve if you prefer a drinkable smoothie without any “bits”.  Personally, I prefer the former, but some kids might be put off by the “bits”.

Have a smoooooothie day!

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Fruity Coconut Porridge

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Porridge is a great breakfast to start off the day, especially for growing children and Lentil and Coco eat it most mornings.   It’s so simple and quick too. We usually add raisins, maybe some cinnamon, or other fruit. They don’t seem to tire of it, but I do!  So every so often, I try out a few new flavours. Coconut is a current favourite. I’ve used banana, strawberries and blueberries here, but you can add any fruit, whatever will get you going on a Monday morning!

Makes 1 adult and 1 child portion (about 4tbsp for an adult and 2 tbsp for a child portion).  Just multiply accordingly for the rest of the family.

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The what:

6 tbsp organic porridge oats

350ml milk

2 heaped tbsp coconut flakes plus extra for sprinkling on top

1 banana, sliced

handful of strawberries, topped and sliced

handful of blueberries

The how:

Add the porridge oats and milk to a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Add the coconut flakes and simmer for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve with your favourite fruit (or whatever is leftover in the fruit bowl!) piled high and sprinkle some coconut flakes on top.

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Enjoy!

Strawberry Goodness Dessert Pot

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“More strawberries?” I hear you say.  But it’s summer and they are just soooooo delicious! I just can’t get enough of these scarlet berries at the moment.  Plus I’m getting all caught up in Wimbledon fever, especially with this fantastic weather.  And heaven forbid we waste any strawberries!  So here is a little dessert I created earlier this week.  It went down such a treat with Lentil and Mr C&L that we’re having it again this evening. You can use whatever fruit you like: it’s a great way of using up any leftovers while they are still fresh.  And it’s so quick and easy, just an assembly job really, which leaves more time to focus on the main course. Just as well as I have no clue what we’re having yet! Hoping to get a little inspiration when I head to the fishmongers later. As delicious as this pot of goodness it, I’m not sure Mr C&L would want to forego a main dish for it……

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Makes one Papa-sized sharing pot and one smaller pot with two kiddie portions.

The what:

6 large strawberries, stem removed and quartered

75g blueberries

5 tbsp natural yoghurt

1 tbsp honey

large handful of granola

some orange zest for sprinkling on top

The how:

Mix the yoghurt and honey together.  If making in one large bowl, layer the bottom of your bowl/jar with half the quartered strawberries.  Dollop 4 tbsp of the honey yoghurt on top.  Next add the granola and layer the blueberries on top of that.  Add the remaining strawberries and 1 tbsp of honey yoghurt.  Finally sprinkle a little orange zest on top.  Be sure to just use the outer zest as if you go too close to the orange flesh it will be bitter.

Then grab a spoon and tuck into to this pot of deliciousness!

Would love to hear any other ideas you have for fruits to use.  xx

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Strawberry, Banana and Cucumber Smoothie

 

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In good old British tradition, we started off the week with strawberries and cream as temperatures soared and the players retreated to Wimbledon’s new ice baths!

I’ve never been a big fan of the ice treatments some spas offer following a sauna or steam – I prefer my spas to be an enjoyable experience! I did however once try a home-made ice bath after a training run for a marathon a few years ago.  I wasn’t able to stay in it for very long and I’m not sure how much it helped, but Mr Coco&Lentil certainly found it amusing!

So leaving the ice baths to the players, we’re starting day 3 off with a healthy strawberry smoothie instead to keep us nice and refreshed as heatwave continues.

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This recipe makes two large and one mini smoothie (for little Coco!) but you can just increase the ingredients to make more. Smoothies are a great way to get extra fruit and veg into little tummies. Lentil asks for seconds of this one and would never guess there is cucumber in it!

The what:

1 banana, peeled and chopped

6 big / 8 small strawberries, topped and quartered

1/4 cucumber, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp natural yoghurt

The how:

Add the banana, cucumber and strawberries to the blender and blitz until smooth.  Then add the yoghurt and blend until you have a thick, but smooth smoothie.

Pour into a glass and sit back and enjoy as there is more sun and Wimbledon excitement in store today: Djokovic meets Jarkko Nieminen of Finland; GB’s Heather Watson takes on Daniela Hantuchova; and Serena Williams finishes the order of play on Centre Court.  Can’t wait?  Neither can we!

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