Healthy Truffles – is that even possible?

goats-cheese-and-raspberry-truffles-11

Truffles needn’t be only made with chocolate, these creamy tasting truffles speckled with a fresh fruity raspberry burst are great served straight from the fridge. Rich in calcium to aid bone strength and density they are also a good source of protein and they are low in sugar.

Makes 16

Prep 15 minutes

Chill 1 hour

Ingredients

150g/5oz rindless French soft goats’ cheese

1 teaspoon runny honey

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

75g/3oz raspberries

25g/1oz pistachio nuts, finely chopped

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

Method

◾Add the goat’s cheese, honey, vanilla and salt to a bowl and fork together until just mixed. Add the raspberries break up with the fork and lightly mix into the goats cheese mix.

◾Scoop heaped teaspoons of the mixture on to a small baking sheet to make about 16 rough shaped mounds.

◾Spoon the chopped pistachio nuts on to a saucer and the cocoa on to a second saucer. Roll half the truffles in to the pistachio nuts, one at a time until evenly coated then add to petites four cases.

◾Roll the remaining truffles in the cacao, add to petites four cases then chill for at least 1 hour until firm. Pack into an airtight box, store in the fridge and eat within 2 days.

Cook’s tip

Serve these tasty healthy truffles with coffee for a tasty snack.

Diary of an imperfect mum

Valentines Day Breakfast in Bed can be the perfect start to a romantic day for you and your loved on. Try this Raspberry and Chocolate Granola recipe for something that little bit fruity and different.

Raspberry granola

Fruity!

Serves 4

300g of raspberries

600ml of almond milk

100g of rolled oats

200g of buckwheat groats

50g of coconut flakes

100g of honey

50g of coconut oil

3 tbsp. of raw cacao powder

1 tsp of vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 170C

Mix the oats, buckwheat groats and the coconut flakes together.

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and mix in vanilla extract, cacao powder and honey together in a small saucepan on a low heat until fully melted.

Pour this over the dry mix and stir well together.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper or two small trays. Spread out the granola so it is evenly spaced.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden and crunchy.

Allow the granola to cool then place grab a glass and fill it half with the granola and top with the fresh raspberries until its ¾ full and then pour over the top almond milk and enjoy!

Tip: The granola can keep in a plastic container or sealed jar in the fridge for 3-4 days.

How do you get fruity on Valentines Day?

Walk to School Week 2016 takes place from 16-22 May throughout England, Scotland and Wales. It challenges schools and their pupils to walk to school more during the week. It’s a great way to celebrate walking and can be a stepping stone to year-round activity. Last year, over 14,000 classes took part; that’s approximately 400,000 children walking to school.

walking

Although I now home educate and get out walking a lot, it is always good to be reminded of the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of getting some fresh air and talking to people as you walk. With the obesity levels in this country, the more all of us walk the better.

When we walk, we have time to chat. We have time to stop and stare. I used to stop and have impromptu picnics with the children when the weather was fine. You can walk the dog at the same time. Let’s hope it is sunny by May!

My son Ramsey says:

“The great thing about walking is that you never know what you are going to come across. It also gives me a sense of peace”

Walk to School Week is organised by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking.

The fundraising element of Walk to School Week takes place on Tuesday 17 May, or ‘Happy Shoesday’. Children and teachers will wear the shoes that make them the happiest and donate £1.

Money raised will go to Living Streets for work with schools, disability groups and local communities, and campaigning work to make UK streets safer for everyone.

Contact: Schools interested in getting involved should contact Living Streets for more information about available resources: 020 7456 9794.

Will you get involved in Walk to School Week 2016 and encourage your school and community to do so?

The White Star Tavern is a Southampton restaurant offers a very special dining experience. We were lucky enough to visit last weekend. The White Star Tavern is a recently refurbished gastro pub offering excellent customer service, luxurious food and quality drinking options. It also has five star accommodation available. A new menu will be launched this weekend drawing on the talents of Head chef Matt Noonan.

Profile

Many restaurants claim to offer fine food and so few actually do in our experience. You will not have those worries if you visit the White Star Tavern. It holds awards such as The Les Routiers South of England Restaurant of the Year and has held two AA Rosettes since 2010, an award given to ‘Excellent Restaurants’ in the local area.

Beef and stout

As soon as we arrived at the Tavern, I felt about 20 years younger. We don’t get out as a couple alone very often at all and this makes a perfect venue for a date night. We arrived at 7pm when there was already a pleasant and lively atmosphere and things got busier toward 8pm. However, the tables had plenty of room between them and there were different areas from the informal bar to more formal dining areas if that is what you are looking for.

Chicken parfait

We received a very warm welcome from all the members of staff we came into contact with. I loved how we were given sufficient time to read the menu in detail rather than being rushed to order. As soon as we were ready, a waitress dealt with us so very efficiently. We were offered bread and also water for the table. I enjoyed little details like having a tumbler rather than a wine glass for water. Myself and my husband both found the bread a little crusty but that is probably because we tend to eat very basic bread at home.

We moved to starters and I found it difficult to focus on mine as my husband was making noises of delight across the table. As he puts it “Having chosen a Black Pudding and shallots sausage roll with wholegrain mustard as my starter I was delighted to be presented with a sliced roll where the mixture of the black pudding and shallots in pastry produced a taste sensation akin to ecstasy!” Now for a man of few words, that is pretty amazing feedback and I think other diners were about to say “I’ll have whatever he is having!” like in the famous When Harry Met Sally movie scene. He went on to describe his main of twice cooked pork belly with bubble and squeak as brilliant. Pork belly has to be just right for him as it is one of his favourites. He also cleared his dessert plate whereas he is not usually overly concerned with puddings. Here is a pic before the dulche de leche disappeared.

Dulce de leche

I went for the cured sweet potato and butternut soup. This was superb and a taste sensation almost like a fine wine that just keeps on giving.

If you know me, you know that I love all lamb dishes so it was no surprise that I selected the herb crust rack of lamb accompanied by potato gratin, kale and garlic and carrot puree. This was luscious. It was one of those meals where even whilst you are eating it, you are mourning the fact that the experience will not last forever.

To be honest, I was concerned that the dessert could not possibly live up to what had gone before. I went for lemon posset with
lavender & almond shortbread, New Forest berries and raspberry sorbet. Every element of this was scrumptious and it was certainly one to take your time with and savour every mouthful.

Next time, I have to try Death by Chocolate!

Death by Chocolate

There is a good selection of wines and spirits along with a selection of lagers and beers including cask bitters. I enjoyed reading the fun and informative wine list.

Providence is of particular importance to The White Star Tavern as a partner with Hampshire Fare, sourcing their produce from Hampshire suppliers wherever possible. This includes many small independent farms and shops, such as the Hoxton Bake House for their bread, based just 1.3 miles away. The menu boasts an exciting selection of modern British dishes, from pub classics to lighter mains, whilst also featuring vegan and vegetarian options making use of seasonal local ingredients.

Stonebass

Breakfast items on the menu are also freshly prepared, including favourites like the traditional full English, as well as brunch options like the smashed avocado on toast and American style pancakes. The full restaurant menu is available during lunch hours with additional dishes added, including light bites and sandwiches.

Guests can book for up to six people online and the restaurant can easily accommodate larger bookings; in keeping with their personal approach to service the staff talk these through, taking into consideration any additional requests.

About The White Star

The White Star Tavern is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

White Star

28 Oxford Street
Southampton
Hampshire
SO14 3DJ

023 8082 1990

https://twitter.com/WhiteStarTavern

https://www.facebook.com/WhiteStarTavern/?fref=ts

3 Little Buttons

Strawberry chia jam and almond muffins are a tempting treat with a great combination of flavours.

Chia seeds are attracting lots of interest at the moment due to their reputed health benefits. Chia seeds are tiny seeds from the seed pods of Salvia hispanica L, a summer annual herbaceous plant that is a member of the mint family, related to sage. It grows in Mexico and South America, where it is believed they were once part of the Aztec diet. The seeds have been described as having either a bland or mild nutty taste.

chia

Makes 12 muffins

Chia jam

200g of strawberries

3 tbsp of chia seeds

2 tbsp of honey

1 vanilla pod

Muffins

300g of ground almonds

300ml of full fat coconut milk (from a can)

2 organic freer range eggs

1 Pinch of sea salt

½ tsp baking soda

4 tbsp honey

1 vanilla pod scraped

Preheat oven to 180° C

To make the muffins mix the almonds, salt and baking soda together in a bowl. In another bowl, mix the coconut milk, eggs, honey and 1 vanilla pod scraped. Combine together and pour the mixture into muffin paper holders, but only fill them 2/3 full as they will rise.

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes until just cooked through and golden on top.

While the muffins are baking put the strawberries, honey and vanilla bean pod in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in the chia seeds. Let this sit for 15 minutes stirring every 5 until it thickens into a jam like consistency.

Top the muffins with the strawberry jam and enjoy.

Will you give these strawberry chia jam and almond muffins a go?

You Baby Me Mummy