My allotment is really coming alive lately, so to use up my glut of berries here is my tried & tested strawberry & peanut butter flapjack recipe. A match made in heaven.
Seasonal Eating – Strawberries
Seasonal eating is something that I am passionate about. It is one of the best things I have learnt from growing my own produce. Over the years I have become familiar with what crops will ripen and when. So now that the sun has started warming our bones the strawberries are out. It’s a no brainer that this is the best time of year to eat them. You just try to find strawberries in the winter, they’re practically anaemic. For top flavour it pays off to follow the seasons.
Strawberry & Peanut Butter Flapjacks
I only ever make these flapjacks when my strawberry patch is producing more than I can manage (which is like, every year). I have so many to use up that I simply can’t get through them all otherwise! There is something about a homegrown strawberry that is just that little bit nicer than shop bought. For one the taste is far more intense. What’s more is that they pair perfectly with a big dollop of peanut butter in this recipe.
These flapjacks are rustic, to say the least. They taste divine when warm & fresh out of the oven. Beware, though, they are mega crumbly, so with this in mind you might want to put them in the fridge before you slice them up as it helps keep them from turning into granola!
Make sure you fold in the strawberries gently to stop them breaking up. Also, to add that extra bit of texture and sweetness I cut up medjool dates and add them to the mix. However, you can jazz this up with other additions if you prefer. Raisins or chocolate chips would work really well too.
Want to Vegan-ize?
This recipe can easily be made vegan friendly:
- Sub the butter for coconut oil
- Sub the honey for maple syrup
As I write this post up I am finishing one of these bad boys off with a cup of coffee, perfect.
Strawberry & Peanut Butter Flapjacks
Delicious rustic flapjacks, dotted with fresh strawberries and medjool dates.
- 3 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp Peanut butter
- 1 Tsbp Honey
- 1 Tsbp Maple syrup
- 3 Medjool dates, chopped
- 2 Cups Oats
- 1 Cup Chopped strawberries
Set you oven to 180 degrees.
Line a baking tray with non stick parchment paper.
In a pan, add the butter, peanut butter, honey & maple syrup. Heat on medium-low for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and the mixture is combined.
In a bowl, combine the oats together with the dates and butter mixture. Once combined, stir in the strawberry chunks gently.
Tip the mixture into the baking tray, smoothing out into the edges.
Cook on the middle shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. They are ready once the top begins to turn a golden brown.
Leave to cool in the tray. These flapjacks are crumbly, so would benefit from being cooled in a fridge before slicing. Also great warm if you don't mind the mess!
I consider myself rather priviledged that I live just a 30 minute journey away from Central London. So here are my top 3 picks of London summer events. Tried & tested by yours truly. Plus one is budget friendly (I know, practically unheard of in London!). If you’re planning a trip to the capital and looking for some quality entertainment then this is the guide for you.
My Top 3 London Summer Events 2018
Of course, the world famous Wimbledon has just got to be featured on my list. Whilst you hear stories of how tough it is to get a ticket there are a few hacks I have picked up. Pick one of the quieter days match-wise and you’ll be in within an hour or two. Provided you don’t mind an early morning and a good ole’ British queue. Once through, you are free to wander all the courts, or take a seat on Henman Hill to watch the big screen. Everyone looks great, the Pimm’s is flowing and you’ll be bound to see some great tennis action no matter which court you’re sat in. Quintessentially British. Even for those of you who don’t watch tennis, it’s just a great day out.
2. Regents Park Open Air Theatre
Now, it took some convincing to get me here as I’m not the biggest fan of musicals. How glad I am I that I said yes. I even went back the next year. Set inside London’s famous Regents Park, this theatre experience is like no other. Once through the gates you are free to wonder the lovely indoor-outdoor style grounds. With seasonal plants trailing along the structure and a very enticing looking bar, I’d encourage everyone to turn up with some time to spare just to soak it all in. Plus, you can have a bite to eat too.
When it comes to the performances, the shows and cast always bring a fresh and exciting take on whatever title you may be seeing. Great choreography and stage craft. You’re guaranteed a great view pretty much no matter where you are seated also.
3. Pop – Up Screens – Outdoor Cinema
Pop-Up Screens host outdoor screenings of all our favourite films in parks throughout London. I went along last year to their showing of the classic Dirty Dancing in Hammersmith’s Ravenscourt Park. It’s a simple, yet effective, idea with a great atmosphere. We parked ourselves in a nice spot in front of the screen. Then dived straight into our picnic, with a glass of bubbles. Very civilized. As the sun goes down and the final film-goers take seat the movie starts. It’s like a regular cinema, just more relaxed and outside!
The audience participation is what makes it. With any famous line coming out of handsome Mr Swayze’s mouth, literally the entire audience would swoon and egg him on!
Prices range from £12.50-£20.00
Bargain. (and you can keep it cheap by bringing your own picnic).
So, what are you waiting for? The city awaits and these London summer events will guarantee a good time.Yum
Tortilla Pizza Base – A Reduced Calorie Alternative
Who doesn’t love pizza? Although it’s not always the healthiest option, so when you’re craving some glorious cheesy goodness why not try a skinny tortilla pizza instead? Tortillas double up as a great pizza base alternative, plus they are extra crispy.
This is probably one of my favourite ways to use tortillas in cooking. It was something a friend recommended to me ages ago and ever since I have always kept a pack in the freezer. If you are trying to cut back on calories but still enjoy what you eat, you will love this recipe.
What About The Calories?
That is saving you a huge 234 calories! Enough to allow you that Kitkat chunky for dessert, right? To be honest, I am a terrible calorie counter, having not been on a diet for years. I’d recommend trying to change the way you act about your eating as a whole, rather than have to do diets. However, if you are on a plan and calories are important then this is a good incentive to make the swap to a skinny tortilla pizza.
Feeling sorry for myself the day after a boozy work party, a skinny tortilla pizza was the comfort food I totally needed. I made two varieties using what I had available in the fridge, but you can really go all out and add whatever toppings you like. Bear in mind though they can add tonnes of calories so try to keep it light!
As I usually order a thin base it’s right up my street to use tortillas. If you’re a deep-pan kinda guy, obviously, this is not going to be like your Domino’s or Papa Johns but it’s still a worthy alternative.
Preparing this and some sides to eat al-fresco yesterday near enough killed me (did I mention how hungover I was?). In the usual way though, this is an easy one to put together. No faffing around making pizza dough or buying pre-made pizza bases that are always a little bit cardboard-y! I have put the recipe below but left the toppings up to you (although you can see at the bottom what I used to make mine).
Skinny Tortilla Pizza's
A basic recipe for a lighter tortilla pizza. A versatile recipe, invent your own toppings!
- 2 Tortilla bases
- 1 tbsp Tomato puree or pesto
- 2/3 Cup Shredded cheese or mozzarrella slices
- Toppings of your choice
Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees.
Whilst waiting for the oven to warm up, set out your two tortilla bases on baking trays (or ideally pizza trays).
Spread the tomato puree/pesto evenly on the tortillas, coating the entire base but leaving a little around the edges.
Add the grated cheese/mozzarella & customize the rest of the ingredients to your liking! (My personal favourite is pesto, mozzarella and italian herbs!)
Once you have added all the toppings you desire, put the pizzas in the middle of a the pre-heated oven. Cook for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the base crisping up at the edges.
Cut into slices and enjoy.
For a bit of inspiration, here’s my two topping mixes:
Italian Pesto, Tomato & Mozzarella Skinny Pizza
- 1 Tbsp Pesto
- 1 Mozzarella ball, cut into round slices
- 1 Large vine tomato, cut into round slices
- Pinch of Italian herbs
Tomato, Caramelized Onion Cheese & Ham Skinny Pizza
- 1 Tbsp tomato puree
- 4 Slices quorn ham, chopped into chunks
- 2/3 Cup of mature caramlized onion cheddar, grated
- Pinch of salt & pepper