Thursday, 15 November 2018

Winter Spiced Apple Compote

Soft and indulgent apple compote, infused with warming cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Perfect for a quick dessert, breakfast or even served with roast pork. 

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive, at no extra cost to you, a small commission that helps me keep the blog going. Thank you for your support. 

I had a load of Bramley apples in the fridge last week, that were destined for a crumble. Except I never got around to it, and then when I realised they needed using up, I was too tired to make crumble. Ah, life. So my husband suggested I make compote. 

Oh that was a good idea. 

I didn't want to make another sweet, apple sauce - I wanted something different - something warming and comforting that you could stir decadently into breakfast, porridge (or the various veggie alternatives) or yoghurt on a chilly day. You could even serve this with roasted pork. So I added some wintery spices and this was born.

Spiced paleo AIP apple compote

I've made this in a slow cooker, but you could achieve the same results in a pan, in about 20 minutes, by just letting the apples break down gently, over heat, with a splash of water, stirring occasionally. 

I love Bramley (cooking) apples for this, because they're tart and the flesh is kind of firm and meaty when raw although breaks down beautifully when it's cooked. I haven't added any honey to the compote, because I like to stir some in when I eat it and I can better control the sweetness that way. But oh my goodness. Apples and honey. *all the heart eyes*

Winter Spiced Apple Compote 
Makes approx 2 cupfuls
8 Bramley cooking apples, peeled, cored and chopped roughly into chunks
1 small cinnamon stick (or half a teaspoon ground, depending on taste)
3 cloves (or quarter teaspoon of ground cloves)
1 scant teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
Splash of water

To make this in the slow cooker, like I did, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, place on the lid and leave to cook on medium for 3-4 hours. When the compote is soft, give it a stir. Turn off the slow cooker and transfer the compote to a suitable container. I'd suggest dividing the mixture in half,  so you have some for now and some to freeze for later. 

If you'd rather make this on the stove, do the same, but add all the ingredients to a pan and simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat, stirring every now and then, until the apples have broken down. Cool and transfer to containers. 

Store in the fridge and eat up within 2-3 days. 

Made this recipe? Snap a pic and let me know on Instagram @joromerofood - I'd love to see!

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Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Pumpkin Spice Paleo Pancakes

I cook up some tasty paleo pumpkin pancakes, spiced with warm autumn flavours and served with raw local honey and ripe stone fruits. 

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you that helps me keep the blog going. Thank you for your support. 

So. Pancakes. 

I know we're into November, so we're totally all about pumpkins now and warm spices and settling down under a comfy blanket to watch something on telly (I love The Hollow Crown series lately - anyone else?). 

And it struck me one day when I was washing up (lots of things strike me then, when my mind wanders off) that we get pumpkin cake, pumpkin coffee and pumpkin treats, but what about pancakes? Have pumpkin pancakes really been done enough? 

pile of paleo pancakes flavoured with warm spices, drizzled with honey

Soft, fluffy pancakes, with a secret dose of pumpkin and all the spices to go with it. They're not too sweet, so you'll want to sweeten them up a little bit with some gorgeous local honey (I get mine from a lovely man who lives up the road called Mike). I've kept them intentionally low in sugars because I know how we all love to drench pancakes in sweet, syrupy things. Don't we? 

Pumpkin Spice Paleo Pancakes
Serves 2-3

2 eggs
1 banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
quarter tsp ground ginger
quarter teaspoon cinnamon
eighth teaspoon ground cloves
1 tbsp coconut flour
1 heaped tablespoon canned pumpkin (or use your own fresh pureed pumpkin)
1 tbsp mild, unflavoured coconut oil 
raw local honey and ripe stone fruits, to serve

Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and beat the together. Peel the banana and discard the peel. Mash the banana into the eggs and beat until you have a runny, gloopy but fairly smooth mixture. Add the vanilla, ginger, cinnamon and the cloves and mix again. Add the coconut flour and stir. Leave for a few minutes, to allow the mixture to stiffen a little. Stir in the pumpkin and mix well. 

Melt the coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Once hot, add dessertspoonfuls of the pancake mixture, smoothing them out with the back of the spoon to make a pancake shape. Allow to cook on one side, and, when you start to see bubbles appear, flip them over to cook on the other side. Transfer onto a plate, while you cook the rest. 

To serve, pile up the pancakes and serve with raw, local honey and ripe autumnal stone fruits. 

Made this recipe? Let me know what you think - tag me on Instagram at @joromerofood and I'll share any I see! 

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Thursday, 25 October 2018

Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Bites

A recipe for allergy-friendly chocolate bites with a soft, whipped spiced pumpkin centre. Perfect for a Halloween treat or an autumnal snack any time. 

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on them and make a purchase, I may receive, at no extra cost to you, a small commission that helps me keep the blog going. Thank you for your support. 

Well, this recipe got everyone a bit excited on social media. 

I feel a bit bad for teasing you all with the photos now - but then again, I kind of don't. 

Crisp, very dark chocolate casing with a soft, whipped pumpkin puree centre, flavoured with warm spices including ginger, cinnamon and cloves and a good dose of local raw honey. You know, because all the sniffles are about at this time of year, too. 

Now these pumpkin spiced chocolate bites (it rhymes! Kind of) aren't too sweet. If you taste the mixture and you need a bit more sweetness, add a little more raw honey. I like them this way - but go with your own preferences. Also, I've used Divine Chocolate's very dark chocolate - 95% cocoa solids - for this recipe, but feel free to use your favourite dark chocolate. You'll notice as well, that I haven't covered the pumpkin bites very uniformly in the chocolate, because I was going for a rustic look. Feel free to do yours a bit more artistically, if you have the patience and if you like to. 

These bites will soften when left out of the fridge for more than about 10 minutes. And while they're delicious popped in your mouth chilled, I really prefer them left at room temperature for 20-30 minutes or so. They soften, have a lovely whipped texture and are much more tasty. 

AIPers, I've got your covered too - scroll down for an AIP adaptation of the recipe. 

Pumpkin Spiced Chocolate Bites
Makes 12
7 heaped dessertspoons coconut butter (or coconut manna)
2 heaped dessertspoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
quarter teaspoon ground cloves
quarter teaspoon cinnamon
quarter teaspoon ginger
1 tsp raw local honey
small pinch of salt
140g dark chocolate of your choice - I used Divine Chocolate's Very Dark Organic Chocolate, 95% cocoa solids
bee pollen - this is the one I use - for sprinkling

First, take a bowl and measure out the coconut butter and the pumpkin puree. You might need to soften the coconut butter first. With a spoon, mash and stir the two ingredients together until you have a smooth paste. Add the vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, honey and salt and whip again until well combined. 

You should have a loose, soft paste that can still be rolled into balls. Have a tiny taste and adjust the sweetness if you want to, with a drop or two more honey, bearing in mind you'll be smothering them in chocolate later. 

Divide the mixture into 12 and line a plate with parchment paper. Roll each portion into a small ball and place on the parchment. Place in the freezer to set, for about 30 minutes to 2 hours. 

Melt the chocolate carefully, using a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. You can also do this in the microwave, but it's much more risky. Keep an eye on it and stir regularly so the chocolate doesn't burn. 

Take the plate of pumpkin bites out of the freezer and, one by one, spoon the melted chocolate over each ball and place back on the parchment. Very quickly, sprinkle a few pieces of bee pollen over the top, before the chocolate sets completely. Because the bites will be very cold, the chocolate will set almost immediately. Don't tip them all in the bowl of chocolate, because the chill from the pumpkin balls will just set the bowl solid. Once finished, store in the fridge and eat up within 2-3 days. My favourite way to eat them is to take them out and leave at room temperature for 20 minutes or so to soften slightly. Taking the chill off will enhance the flavour and soften the centre to a beautiful, creamy, whipped consistency. 

AIP Adaptation: AIPers - make everything as above, but when it comes to the chocolate bit, use 2 tablespoons warmed coconut oil, 2 teaspoons carob powder and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix everything together and use to drizzle over the frozen pumpkin bites. Again, the carob coating will set very quickly. As far as I know bee pollen is AIP, but it has been thought to excite the immune system so only use if you know you tolerate it well. If not, scatter with sea salt flakes instead. 

Made this recipe? Tag me in and so I can see it on Instagram at @joromerofood!

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