Category Archives: Snack

roasted red pepper hummus

Roasted Red Pepper and Paprika Hummus

I have to admit that my hummus obsession has got slightly out of hand, I honestly can’t remember a single day in the last month which didn’t contain some variety of hummus! I’ve tried so many variations recently and have a few new favourites but this Roasted Red Pepper and Paprika recipe absolutely wins. I even like it more than normal hummus now, which is a pretty big deal. The roasted pepper just brings such a rich, deep almost sweet flavour to it while the paprika and chilli add a beautiful spice that literally means each bite sings in your mouth. It’s just amazing! Of course you still have the classic super creamy texture of normal hummus, as well as the subtle hints of tangy lemon, smooth tahini and peppery cumin so you won’t be loosing any of your favourite hummus elements, just adding to their awesomeness with a few new additions!

Hummus is an awesome addition to any meal too, not just because it tastes like heaven, but also because it’s really good for you. I feel that there’s a misconception that it’s not that healthy, and when it comes to store brought ones that is usually the case as they’re filled with funny additives, vegetable oils and a few preservatives – I even saw one recently where the first three ingredients were modified maize starch, cream and sugar, which was so bizarre, since when do you add cream to hummus?! But if you make your own hummus then it’s super healthy (and also a lot less expensive!) Part of the reason that I love it so much is that chickpeas are a fantastic source of vegetarian protein so you’ll get lots of energy from it. They’re also filled with tons of fibre, which we all really need for a healthy, efficient digestive system. The more fibre something has the slower it’s realised into your blood stream too, which means your blood sugar stays under control and you stay full and energised for longer. There’s even a unique type of fibre in chickpeas that has also been shown to increase blood fat regulation and lower cholesterol, as well as reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. So there really are a lot of reasons to eat lots of delicious hummus! I do eat lots of it with a spoon, often straight from the processor, but my other (more conventional) favourite way to eat it is in a rainbow bowl of veggies and quinoa, using it as a deliciously creamy dressing!

Roasted Red Pepper and Paprika Hummus

Makes one big bowl

- 2 1/2 cups of chickpeas (either canned and pre-soaked, or soak your own overnight and then boil for about thirty minutes)

- 1 large red pepper

- 1/2 a jalapeño pepper (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

- 3 tablespoons of olive oil

- 1/4 of a cup of water

- 1 tablespoon of tahini

- 2 teaspoons of paprika

- 1 teaspoon of cumin

- 2 lemons

- salt

Roasted Red Pepper and Paprika Hummus

Start by slicing the red pepper into about eight long strips, discarding the seedy centre part. Then place these strips in a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes at 180C.

While the pepper bakes make the rest of the hummus. First squeeze the lemons then place the lemon juice and all of the other ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, this should take 3-4 minutes. The stronger your processor the smoother and creamier the hummus will be.

Once the peppers have cooked for ten minutes and are starting to turn ever so slightly brown at the edges remove them from the oven, allow them to cool for a couple of minutes and then add them to the food processor with the hummus and blend until smooth. Finally serve and enjoy!

Almond, Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed Bread

Superfood Bread

I’ve always been a bit nervous of making a delicious gluten free, vegan, super healthy bread, it just seemed like a very daunting and slightly impossible task, but after the success of my burger buns two weeks ago I realised that it was time to attempt it and what a simple success it was! I can’t tell you how easy this recipe is and how insanely awesome it tastes, it also left me feeling like a serious domestic goddess: seriously I was jumping all around my kitchen in such excitement! The bread is just perfect, with a beautifully rich, wholesome, nutty flavour and a wonderfully soft texture. It’s so great to have bread back in the house again too and I’ve been really enjoying slices of it toasted with all my favourite toppings – think creamy avocado with lemon juice, chilli salt and sliced tomatoes; homemade almond butter with banana slices and medjool dates; roasted red pepper hummus with bean sprouts and black pepper, healthy nutella with pieces of roasted hazelnuts… the list is just too awesome!

Something tells me this might be my most popular recipe yet and I know it’s something that a lot of you have been asking for for a while so I hope you love it! This type of nut and seed bread is so popular at the moment and seems to be popping up on blogs everywhere so I’m sure you’ll have come across similar versions on places like Green Kitchen StoriesOh She Glows or My New Roots (three of the best blogs ever) as well as lots of paleo versions using eggs not psyllium. I’ve changed the consistency of the typical bread though to make is smoother and softer as I like my toast to have a more traditional texture that kind of melts in your mouth, although I’ve left some whole pumpkin and sunflower seeds in there for a little crunch! Mine’s also totally gluten free as most of these types of recipes use oats, so I’ve moved to brown rice flour to make it easier for you all.

Almond, Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed BreadAlmond, Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed BreadAlmond, Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed Bread

Makes one loaf

- 2 cups of cold water

- 1 and a 1/2 cups of pumpkin seeds

- 1 cup of buckwheat or brown rice flour

- 1 cup of almonds

- 1/2 a cup of sunflower seeds

- 3 heaped tablespoons of psyllium husk powder

- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds

- 2 tablespoons of dried mixed herbs (I used herbs de provence but basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano etc are all great)

- salt and pepper to taste

Unfortunately there is no substitute for the psyllium husk powder – they work to stick the loaf together and I’m so sorry but they’re just essential for the recipe, I tried it without them and it was just too crumbly! They’re really easy to get hold of though, every health food shop sells them and google has endless links to sites that sell them too.

P.S. I just changed the recipe a little to the original changing the quinoa flakes which lots of you were struggling to find and instead using brown rice/buckwheat flour, I’ve also taken out the flaxseeds. I find this version works much better and I hope you do too!

Almond, Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed Bread

Simply place the almonds and one cup of the pumpkin seeds in a food processor and blend for a couple of minutes until a smooth flour forms. Transfer this flour into a bowl and stir in the remaining half a cup of pumpkin seeds plus the buckwheat flour, sunflower seeds, psyllium husks, dried herbs and salt. Stir the mix well before gradually pouring in the water.

You’ll then need to let the mixture sit for an hour or so to let it fully absorb all the water and firm up. During which time you can heat the oven to 180C.

Once the mix is nice and firm (I mean really firm, it can’t even be a tiny bit runny – if it is then add another spoon of psyillium) grease the base of a loaf tin with coconut or olive oil, pour the mix in and firmly press it down with a spoon or spatula. Then place the bread in the oven and bake for forty minutes to an hour, until the top begins to brown and you can pull a knife out of the middle without any mix sticking to it. Finally, slice, smother in your favourite toppings and enjoy!

I normally store the bread in the fridge as it makes it last longer, and if you want to freeze it that works too, I normally slice it before freezing first though to make toasting easier!