how to summon Spring? cacao crepes with banana and blackberry jelly

I’m officially sick and tired of this Spring-called weather. Whoever pulls the strings up there is either mentally unstable or simply mean. This so-called Spring is an error, something is broken in matrix, it’s beginning of May and I’m still wearing my high top sheep wool slippers. And I had to switch on the heating (although having a look on my energy bill should heat me up). 9 degrees Celsius (feels like 6°C) doesn’t call for short sleeves and ditsy floral dresses that are abandoned in my wardrobe for months. Spring – you’re urgently called to be present! I understand that North Scotland is not the hottest place on Earth (either in Spring or Summer), but it’s not Alaska for God’s sake.

That’s why, against all odds lets make a very Summery recipe today. Maybe it will cheer me up while I rest my feet on the radiator.

These fruity crepes are just in time for a weekend breakfast or afternoon tea. We have three flavours here – slightly dry cacao pancakes, sweet banana and slightly sour blackberry jelly. This combination makes the dish not overly sweet. Adults should like it, and kids will surely be delighted with this combination. Especially since we have quite a lot of goodness here – cacao is a source of magnesium and gives happiness, bananas are full of vitamins, minerals and natural fiber, blackberries are full of goodness, all without artificial additives. So basically if you don’t mind carbs – just yummy. It’s a great Spring and Summer meal (if your Spring and Summer is warm) when your body calls for something lighter, juicy and fun.

I give approximate amounts of ingredients for crepes – I always guesstimate the amounts and if I want thinner crepes, I make slightly more liquid batter – it’s easier to spread it on the pan. About 10 pancakes came out of this amount of ingredients. But it all depends on your personal preferences and own way of frying crepes and, of course, the size of the pan.

For making blackberry jelly, apart from fruits, you can either use water or blackberry juice (or other fruit juice). You can also swap blackberries with cherries, blueberries or blackcurrants. Choose the one you like the most or the one that are available for you. You can also use frozen fruits if you don’t have fresh on hand.


cacao crepes with banana and blackberry jelly


NOTE: my cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS for crepes batter:

  • about 1½ cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp sugar (or sugar replacement)
  • milk of your choice
  • 3 tsp raw organic cacao
  • clarified butter for frying (or coconut oil)

INGREDIENTS for blackberry jelly:

  • 2 handfuls of blackberries
  • some water (or blackberry juice)
  • about 2 tsp potato starch or corn starch
  • sugar to taste (or sugar replacement)

ADDITIONALLY:

  • couple bananas
  • clarified butter for frying (or coconut oil)

DIRECTIONS

Prepare a traditional pancake batter: whisk together flour, baking powder, egg and milk add enough milk to be able to pour batter and spread it over the pan. Additionally add a little sugar (so that the pancakes are not bitter) and cacao. Mix everything thoroughly so there’s no cocoa lumps in it. I also always add a tablespoon of coconut oil or clarified butter to the batter (it helps crepes not getting sticky to the pan).

Heat the pan adding a tablespoon of clarified butter or coconut oil and pour your first crepe. Usually the firs crepe is always imperfect, so don’t you worry an keep frying. When the crepe pan heat up properly you should be able to get beautiful crepes, without even using any fat. Make rather thin crepes so that when the banana is wrapped in them it’s not going to be too thick. When you make a batch of crepes put them aside and cover with a pan or a plate to keep them warm and soften the edges.

Now it’s time for jelly. Place blackberries in a small saucepan and add a little water – just enough that the fruits are in water but not covered with it. Add sugar to taste and heat it up, let it simmer for a minute. In a small cup, combine potato starch or corn starch and 2-3 tsp of cold water. Pour in the starch and stir quickly, but as gently as possible, so as not to crush the fruits. Simmer until you get jelly-like texture and clear colour. If you feel like it’s not thick enough add a little bit more starch (but always combine it first with a little bit of water, never add straight to the fruits because you’ll get lumps). When you get consistency that you like switch off the heat and let it cool down slightly.

Peel bananas and cut them lengthwise in half. Wrap each half with a crepe. Heat the frying pan adding butter or coconut oil, and fry crepes for a few minutes on both sides, over low heat, so that the banana has time to warm up and soften.

Serve warm, right after frying – crepes are then crispy, and banana is sweet and soft – it melts in your mouth. Decorate crepes with warm or cold blackberry jelly and enjoy 🙂

quick summer black soya bean spaghetti (vegan, gluten free)

When the sun is shining in Scotland and temperatures goes up it’s not the time to sit indoors. This weather is not going to last for long, so the best you can do is to try to enjoy it as much as you can. If your work allows you to take advantage of the sun and spend time on the beach or hiking – good for you. To take the most of the Summer and do not die starving you definitely need a quick, healthy and delicious meal you can prepare effortlessly in your kitchen in less than 30 minutes.

So here comes fresh and colourful veggie pasta. But it’s not an ordinary spaghetti. It’s black soya bean spaghetti – gluten free, dairy free, wheat free. Free of almost everything 😉 If it would be carbohydrates free it would be ideal 😉 But it contains 15g of carbs per 100g, so it’s half less than in regular pasta.

Veggie season is officially opened – I started receiving my organic and local veggie delivery and it always inspire me to prepare something new, fresh and delicious. I love having plenty of veg in my fridge because it’s so easy to cook with them – you can easily prepare something yummy, good looking almost from nothing. I keep on learning new things about veggies, about their edible parts we usually put to rubbish (to learn more about this click here) and it gives even more opportunities to make the most of each vegetable.

I highly encourage you to include more veggies into your diet, Summer is the best moment for that. Experiment with veggies you don’t know and never tried, prepare salads, smoothies, stir fry or grill veggies if you have a chance. Veggies are the easiest and quickest to prepare if you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. But remember to buy locally, veggies that didn’t travel thousands of miles, but are locally grown with love are the best veggies.

So today we have easy-peasy and quick gluten free and vegan spaghetti with stir fry veggies and bunch of delicious spices. Although you don’t need to use these exact spice mix. If you have your own favourite mix – use it. If you want to try something new grab some fenugreek, nigella seeds, fennel, coriander seeds, black pepper and cloves. You can use a mortar to grind them together or simply pop them into the coffee grinder. Then add dried tomato flakes, chilli flakes, some dried parsley and chives, mix with some onion powder and voila!

quick summer black soya bean spaghetti

(vegan, gluten free)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pak choi cabage
  • handful of sugar snap peas
  • couple cherry tomatoes
  • small tin of chickpeas
  • 1 spring garlic (or couple garlic cloves plus spring onions)
  • 200g black soya bean spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds oil
  • natural rock salt to taste and to cook spaghetti
  • mix of spices: onion powder, fenugreek, tomato flakes, nigella seeds, chilli flakes, fennel, coriander seeds, parsley, black pepper, chives and cloves

DIRECTIONS

Cut of the ends of sugar snap peas and boil in water for 4-5 minutes, then drain. Also cook black soya bean spaghetti in salted water for 2-3 minutes as describe on the packaging. Slice spring garlic, finely chop its green part. Also thoroughly rinse and chop pak choi. Cherry tomatoes cut in halves.

Heat a large pan adding 3 tbsp of olive oil, add snap peas and chickpeas, fry for 3-4 minutes and add all the spices. Then add sliced spring garlic, leaving the green part on the side. Add cooked spaghetti, tomatoes and pak choi cabbage. Give it 4-5 minutes so pasta can soak all the flavours. Add more spices if needed. At the end drizzle with a tablespoon of sesame seeds oil and sprinkle with green part of garlic.

Serve fresh and hot. Enjoy!