Friday, 28 August 2015

coconut oat pancakes

Slimming World syn free coconut pancakes

Yes, you read it right! These pancakes are completely free on Slimming World, provided you use the porridge oats as your Healthy B. I found this recipe on VIPXO's blog and have adapted it slightly to make these super simple pancakes gorgeously coconutty. And I can honestly say they taste amazing - you wouldn't know they are made from oats. Of course, you could use a vanilla yogurt instead of coconut if you fancy. As you can see from my pictures, this recipe makes a fairly decent stack of pancakes - around six or seven depending on size. You do have to leave the oats to soak up the yoghurt overnight; something to remember!

You will need 
35g porridge oats
Half a coconut Muller Light 
2 eggs
2 tbsp sweetener 

Start by mixing the porridge oats and Muller Light (just half a tub) into a small mixing bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day, give the oats and yogurt mixture a stir through and then beat in the eggs and sweetener with a whisk. Spray FryLight into a non-stick pan, and then fry as you would regular American-style pancakes; a couple of minutes on each side on a medium heat. 

I've served mine with the remaining coconut Muller Light, natural fat-free yogurt and sliced banana - all free on SW. A teaspoon-sized drizzle of Sweet Freedom Coconut Choc Shot is 0.5 syns - you can buy this from Holland and Barrett. 

I posted another grain-free pancake recipe here - equally as delicious and guilt-free!


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

UK break-ing

Some weeks back I shared with you that we were heading off to North Devon for a few days of peace and quiet by the seaside. I can confirm that both peace and quiet were had, along with numerous cream teas, walks, seaside ciders, peaceful evenings and day time wanderings. 

We stayed in Combe Martin, a gorgeous seaside town just outside of Exmoor with just the right number of pubs, ice cream shops and seaside atmosphere. As budget was tight we went down the AirBnB route and found this perfect little room - a complete bargain that meant we could enjoy more of the few days we had there. Jen was the perfect host and went above and beyond to accommodate us during our stay - we would definitely recommend. 

Combe Martin beach was gorgeous and when the tide is out you can walk down the paths carved into the rock and explore the coves and caves. We did this in the late afternoon sun which gave us some gorgeous scenes and memories. On the last day of our trip we had a little morning of adventure and started by walking (I should really say climbing...) The Hangman Hills up to Great Hangman. It took us just over an hour to get to the top, a huge 318 meter sea cliff, and left us with the most incredible views. It really took our breath away! When we made our way back down to the bottom we decided to do a spot of sea kayaking - I think we paid £15 for an hour with the use of a double kayak. We were able to paddle out to the coves and explore beaches further afield. I am a little scared of small boats and the open sea so was rather cautious, but have to admit it was an amazing experience and a great way to explore. 

On our first full day we decided to go on a road trip to explore North Devon, and we managed to see a lot! We started with Ilfracombe, then followed the coast round to Lee and Woolacombe and Croyde. We stopped for a mooch round each and really fell in love with the relaxed seaside vibe in Croyde. 

That's the thing about going to Devon / Cornwall - you need a car. Whenever we go to the West Country we rack up the mileage as it really is the best way to explore the countryside and towns. The journeys themselves however are totally idyllic in the main part! There were so many times I would be asking Rich to pull over so I could get out and see the views - there were so many coastline views which were completely stunning. The pictures don't do it justice! Expect narrow, winding roads. When we were leaving Lee the road was so narrow and steep I was genuinely concerned we would fall off into the sea if we came across another car!

The final part of our road trip took us to Clovelly - a historic fishing village with a super steep cobbled street which takes you down to the quay and harbour. It wasn't cheap - it costs around £7 per adult to get into the village (to pay for the upkeep...) and if I'm honest I wouldn't pay that again. Yes, it was nice to visit but I don't think it was worth the £7. We had a nice time looking round and enjoyed a cider in the quay alongside the lobster pots, followed by a cream tea - naturally. 

You can sort of see in the images quite how steep the street is! A word of warning - proper footwear is a must. Coming back up in my Birkenstocks was a little bit of a challenge! For those who don't fancy the walk back up, there are Land Rovers which can take you back. Or donkeys...

We had such a lovely time in Devon, just looking at these pictures is making me want to return! Combe Martin itself was great - the perfect location to explore the surrounding area further without being in the bigger towns like Ilfracombe which were more populated. That's not to say Combe Martin was quiet - it's definitely got the touristy buzz and the beach was full of families on each day we were there. We were so lucky with the weather, as you can tell from the pictures. We had bright sunshine and blue skies each day... we managed to get impressive t-shirt and short tan lines after just an hour kayaking! I say tan lines, we were definitely more than a little pink...

Until next time, Devon.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

DIY cream tea

There's nothing better than a cream tea. Deliciously indulgent; cream, jam, doughy deliciousness. 

With most cream teas costing around £4-£5, it's not going to break the bank but with only £27 left in my bank account (saving whilst being on summer holiday is killer) I am finding ways to do the things I love without the cost. 

I blogged earlier in the holidays about how we've been walking around the local area this summer; free, active, outdoors. At the end of our first walk we found a tea rooms for a cream tea, which got me thinking about making my own. Last weekend I made the first batch of my own scones, which we enjoyed after a walk with cream and jam... at minimal cost! If you are a keen baker its likely you will have SR flour, butter, baking powder, eggs and sugar in your cupboards, which is essentially what you need to make scones. 

I used this classic Mary Berry recipe to make my first batch of scones. 

I like my scones big; find a bigger cutter for a more generous size. Look for a 9-10cm cutter for these. 

Don't fiddle with the mixture too much; minimal handling means they will be lighter!

Don't roll the dough too thinly. For nice thick scones you'll want to keep the dough around 0.5-1inch thick. When you've cut the first lot out you will need to re-roll the dough - remember, try to avoid over-kneading. 

Try something different! Cheese scones with butter and chutney are a delicious alternative to a sweet scone. 

And now the weather is more than a little miserable (what's going on?!) what better than to set up your own sofa picnic with a good film, a cuppa and home made scones. 

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