Earl Grey Tea Loaf with Marmalade Glaze

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Happy Half Term!  I hope you’ve all survived.  We’ve had a lovely quiet week not doing much, which I think we all needed.  One afternoon I was even lucky enough to ditch the kids with daddy and escape ON MY OWN!!  My lovely friend and fellow blogger Lauren over at Black Dog Living invited me along with her to celebrate Teapigs 10th Birthday.  We got to sample lots of lovely teas including their new limited edition Jelly and Ice Cream Tea, and eat cake.  It was amazing! We got to drink whole cups of tea, hot, and talk to other grown ups, with no kiddy interruptions.  I couldn’t quite believe I was at a day time party with no children or creepy entertainers, and no crying over Pass The Parcel.  In fact, the only crying was from us when we had to head home.

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As a Northener, I like a good strong cuppa with now’t messed around with.  And I think I have fallen in love with their Everyday Brew.  Sadly, it’s not cheap, so I will be saving it for special occasions (and hangovers, it would definitely blast a hangover away).  I do like herbal and fruit teas, too, but I often find they smell incredible but taste flat.  So, I wasn’t expecting much from the Jelly and Ice Cream tea, if I’m honest, but it was fantastic! It really does tastes as good as it smells.  Apparently, I now know, this is because Teapigs use the the whole leaf and whole spices and flowers.  Other tea bags tend to just contain dried up sawdusty bits and bobs, hence they lack the same flavour punch. You can find out more here About Teapigs

All those lovely tea flavours inspired me to try and incorporate them in a recipe.  So here is my Breakfast Bread. The tea gives it a rich flavour and also keeps the loaf lovely and moist.  I’ve used Apple purée and a tiny bit of honey to sweeten this naturally.  and, of course, it is gluten and dairy free. It’s a winner! Eat on its own or slathered with cold butter!

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Gluten dairy and sugar free Earl Grey Tea Loaf

Earl Grey Tea Loaf with Marmalade Glaze 

INGREDIENTS

275g dried fruit (I used cranberries, raisins, sultanas and dried apricots)

300ml Teapigs Earl Grey Strong Tea (I used one tea bag, if using another brand you might need 2 tea bags)

zest of 1/2 orange (or lemon)

75g or 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

75g or 3/4 cup ground almonds

100g Apple & pear purée (I use Hipp purée pots)

5 tbsps melted coconut oil or butter

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

11/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

3 medium organic eggs

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1-2 tbsps honey

GLAZE

100ml Teapigs Earl Grey Strong Tea

2 tbsps St Dalfour Orange Spread (this is pure fruit and sugar free) or Marmalade

zest of 1/2 orange, thickly pared if possible

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METHOD

1. Oil and line a loaf tin and preheat oven to 170C fan.

2. Place dried fruit and orange zest in pan and pour over hot tea.  Bring to boil, cover and remove from heat.   Leave for 5 minutes so the fruit soaks up the tea and becomes nice and plump and juicy.  Alternatively, you can soak for several hours or overnight.

3. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.  Make a well in the centre and crack eggs into it.  Whisk eggs well with a fork, trying not to incorporate the dry ingredients too much.  Whisk in melted oil, then vinegar and honey.  Mix well.

4. Stir in cooled dried fruit and Apple purée.

5.  Pour into lined tin and bake for approx 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

MARMALADE GLAZE

When your loaf is almost ready, make your glaze.

1. Place tea and marmalade into a pan, along with thickly pared orange zest. Bring to boil and simmer strongly for about 5 minutes or until a syrupy consistency.

2. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so. Use a cocktail stick to make holes all over top of cake.  Pour glaze on top and allow cake to cool in tin.

Salmon To Make Your Skin Glow

I have rubbish skin. My daughter tells me so, often. I am a master in the art of concealer (Rimmel Hide The Blemish, if you’re asking. I’ve tried many and this is just THE best). I’ve never had them on my T-zone, always on my cheeks or jaw, like a teenage boy. I was told it is “male pattern acne” caused by too much testosterone. Jesus Christ! Could it get any worse? Also known as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. So my hormones are to blame. It will never be perfect but it has DEFINITELY got better since I cleaned up my diet.  Or perhaps it’s now that I am thirty-fucking-five and it’s harder for the spots to fight for space between my crow’s feet??? Anyway, it’s one of the reasons I try to avoid lactose as I notice it flairs up straight away if I have too much dairy, and I definitely think cutting out sugar has balanced my hormones, thus improving my skin.

So, last week, I was watching TV with daughter and a Clearasil advert came on TV. Daughter turned to me and said, in her kindest voice, with a somewhat patronising smile, “Don’t you get that Mummy…. You wouldn’t be the same without your spots” Sigh. She has also said on several occasions, with real fear in her eyes, “I won’t get spots like you when I’m older, will I?” I really hope she doesn’t, and remains peachy skinned and beautiful  throughout her teens. And twenties. And sodding thirties. God, when will they go?!!! She and her brother are totally screwed in the genetics department mind you, both me and Mr Intolerant have dreadful skin, so the odds are sadly stacked against them.

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Anyway, salmon is supposed to be good for your skin. And seeds. All those omegas and essential fatty acids. So here is a salmon and seed recipe to make your skin glow, or to at least make it slightly less shit, if you’re me.  I LOVE this salad, it’s easy, tasty and protein-rich. P. S. Try to buy wild salmon, my Mum told me farmed salmon is really bad for you, so it must be true. If you want to do your own research you can read about it here Wild Vs Farmed Salmon

SALMON PESTO CANELLINI BEAN SALAD

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)

2 salmon fillets

4 tbsps pesto (dairy free pesto if you like)

extra Virgin olive oil

handful tomatoes, fresh or sunblush

salad leaves

1/2 courgette

1/2 tin canellini beans

1/4 small red onion or 1 Spring onion

4-5 radishes, sliced

lemon juice

balsamic vinegar

pumpkin/sunflower etc seeds

METHOD

1. Get your pan really hot, pat dry and season salmon. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and cook salmon flesh-side down on medium-high for 5 minutes.  DO NOT TOUCH IT. Not even a teensy bit, you want a nice crisp top.

2. Meanwhile drain and rinse beans, chop 1/4 red onion or spring onion very finely. Mix with beans, squeeze over lemon juice and season with lots of black pepper and a little salt.

3. Use a vegetable peeler to peel fairly thick strips from courgette (you want some bite).

4. You probably want to flip your salmon now if it’s had 5 minutes. Cook skin side down for another minute or two.

5. Place 2 tbsps pesto on each serving plate. Mix with about 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil to thin it a little. Place courgette strips, salad leaves, bean mixture, tomatoes (halved if fresh) in pesto-y bowls and mix around a little. Drizzle with about 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (you don’t need much, you have a lot of flavours going on here) and place salmon on top.  Scatter with seeds.

Sugar Free Buckwheat Banana Muffins

These muffins are genuinely sugar free. Not sugar free but actually contain half a bottle of maple syrup or a cup of honey, or 1kg of dried dates, but genuinely 100% bona fide no added sweeteners. They are also wheat, gluten and lactose free. Hurrah! And… my kids actually even eat them. Can you believe it?!

I love adding fruit purée to my baking, it’s such an easy way to increase fibre and nutrients, but also makes everything more moist and full of flavour. What’s not to like? Use as ripe-as-possible bananas for this. This recipe also makes a great banana loaf, just bake in a lined tin for 45-50 minutes.

P.S. Don’t be put off by the vinegar, you can’t taste it, it’s there as a raising agent. Promise.

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RECIPE (makes 10 cupcake size)

4 ripe bananas (medium or thereabouts)

3 eggs

4 tbsps melted coconut oil

2 tsps vanilla extract

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup ground almonds

2 tsps cinnamon

2 tsps mixed spice

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Optional – 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans/walnuts/pumpkin seeds

Optional – 1/4 cup chopped dates

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 170C (fan oven)

2. Whisk together wet ingredients.

3. Mash bananas into wet mixture.

4. Sift in buckwheat flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and add almonds. Fold in gently, ensuring all ingredients are well incorporated.

5. If using, stir through nuts and dates. As a yummy and very pretty alternative, you can add the nut and date mixture to the top of the cake mixture after you have put it into the tin, see picture of loaf I made below. To prevent it browning too quickly, mix with a little melted coconut oil to coat, and scatter over the mixture before baking.

6. Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean (longer for larger cupcake cases and 45-50 mins for a loaf. The loaf may need foil on top for the last few minutes if you use the nut topping and it starts to brown too quickly).

Enjoy warm with a mug of tea!

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